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HDTV Magazine Articles Archive (January, 2006)

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Technology

Ed's View - Plasma

By Ed Milbourn • Jan 26 2006, 4:37pm

Plasma should not work! At least it should not work as a TV display system. At best, it should provide a nice, even light surface - suitable for decorative effect, and maybe, with a strong south wind, work as some type of test display. That was the thinking about thirty years ago. But today, "Plasma" (a.k.a. Gas Discharge) is one of two technologies presently being employed for flat panel TV displays - the other being LCD. Although plasma displays have been around for several years, only relatively recently has this technology been applied to television. Earlier Plasma uses were relegated to flat alphanumeric displays, but other, more efficient technologies such as LCD, LED et al have replaced Plasma in these applications.

Technology

HDTV Integrated Tuners, and You

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 25 2006, 3:00pm

The cable and consumer electronics industries are moving towards integrating over-the-air (OTA) and cable HD tuners into HDTV sets. It is certainly good news that the cable industry is finally getting on board of HDTV.

Since about 70% of TV viewers subscribe to cable, this has the potential of accelerating the adoption of HDTV in general, at a pace we have not seen over the last 5 years. The integration of tuners into TVs seems to be an attractive proposition for everyone.

This article analyzes the subject to help you decide what is best for you.

Technology

Why 1080p? - Part 2 - A Brillian(t) Case

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 23 2006, 3:00pm

Following with the subject of 1080p, this is the second part of the series of articles about the technology. Today we will look behind the curtain of how Brillian had implemented their 1080p magic into their recently released LCoS rear projection set.

Programming

National Geographic Goes HD

By Dale Cripps • Jan 23 2006, 6:16am

The month marks both the fifth anniversary of the National Geographic Channel as well as the birth of NGC-HD, the much anticipated high-definition version. You can now receive all NGC in HDTV... well, you can if you do your part in calling both local cable and satellite operators with a demand that they carry it. (Call 1-877-77-NGCHD for more information).

It's been our tradition to interview the network brass who have had the courage to launch a HD channel. For the second time in our history we called upon Mr. John Ford, Executive Vice President NGC-HD programming. John shouldered much of the responsibilities as he engineered the launch of NGC-HD. I say "for the second time" because he is in the rarefied class of people who have launched more than one HDTV network, his first being the Discovery HD Theater back in 2001.

Technology

Why 1080p?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 18 2006, 3:55pm

What are 1080p manufacturers doing on their current 1080p sets? Are they really implementing all that 1080p can and should do? Do people need all that 1080p can do? When? How could one find out if a set is actually suited to be ready for near future 1080p media, such as Hi Def DVD coming in a few months?

I will cover all those subjects gradually in short articles, but first let us mention a couple of key points.

Marketplace

Buying an HDTV? How to be prepared to select the one for you

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 16 2006, 9:09pm

You have been hearing about HDTV and decided to start looking for one. A friend of yours reminds you that the general knowledge about buying regular TVs is not quite enough for selecting this type of product, so you quickly review what you read about widescreen, black bars, digital tuners and resolution, and hope things would clear out at the store.

You get into the store and suddenly see a dozen HDTV demo sets staring at you. A salesperson is approaching you, the person's face is familiar; the salesperson is the one that sold you the new dishwasher two weeks ago, now the person is selling HDTVs with authority. At that point you start feeling worried, but you hang in there.

Marketplace

Ed's View - CES 2006 Trends

By Ed Milbourn • Jan 11 2006, 9:21pm

The International Consumer Electronics Show (a.k.a. CES) certainly lives up to all of the superlatives attributed to it. The CES is arguably the largest commercial trade exhibition in the world by any metric applied. Virtually every consumer electronics device that may be marketed in the near future is displayed. It addition, and equally important, powerful commercial agreements are consummated, deals are brokered, and carriers and reputations are established or diminished. It is a wonderful and wondrous example of international capitalism at work and in full bloom.

Marketplace

CES - Day 4

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2006, 5:02am

Toshiba is set to ship its HD DVD laptop. Available in March with a HD-DVD option, they expect it to sell in the $3000 range.

LG is working on an STB to be used in the government subsidy program. The target price point currently is $50, of which $40 would be subsidy with a $10 consumer co-pay.

Audio Authority is showing the first in its new line of HD components: the 1166. This is a 6x1 DVI w/HDCP switcher with component video, digital audio, and stero audio.

Marketplace

CES - Day 3

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2006, 4:08am

DirecTV has a new line of receivers hitting the market. Among them is an HD DVR with dual tuners, capable of buffering 90 minutes of live TV, or recording 30 hours of HD in MPEG-2, or up to 50 hours of HD in MPEG-4, or up to 200 hours of SD. This will be available "mid-year". Current Local HD channels are available in 12 markets, with 24 more coming in the April/May time frame.

Marketplace

CES - Day 2

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2006, 8:36am

Windows Vista Media Center is coming, and there will be an upgrade path ... maybe. Also, it will support HD-DVD AND Blu-Ray?

TDK is highlighting their array of Blu-Ray products, including a 100GB disc.

Marketplace

CES - Day 1

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2006, 5:39pm

The Sony Blu-Ray products, when they do finally reach the market, will be fully backward-compatible (DVD, CD, etc ... all read/write formats supported). There will be 20 titles available initially and will be available for ordering in March.

Dish announced that it is adding 5 new Voom channels to its HD lineup as well as 2 additional HD channels: ESPN2 and Universal HD. So as of February 1st, there will be 25 HD channels available on Dish Network with an expected price point of $20 per month.

Marketplace

CES - Day 0

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 4 2006, 3:24pm

Even though the CES doesn't officially start until tomorrow, the day before is typically a day of press conferences, and today was no exception. We did not have the opportunity to cover all of these conferences, but here are some items of note from those that we were able to take in: