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HDTV Magazine Articles Archive (February, 2006)

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Interview - Mark Knox, Toshiba on HD DVD

By Dale Cripps • Feb 23 2006, 6:59am

Just around the corner is the long-awaited launch of the HD DVD, one of two competing high-definition formats for the DVD optical disk. The stakes could not be higher for the movie business, less so for the manufacturers, and a hair pulling nightmare for the ones asked to finally pay for it all - the consumers.

I interviewed Mark Knox last week. You will find below my lead-in. Mark has the task of explaining to you, as well as the motion picture industry, why the Toshiba-backed HD DVD is the right choice.

The current backdrop for this launch ...
The movie business needs a smashing success using a new distribution format to restore expansion and youthful vigor to all parts of the business. They are presently plagued (in good economic times too) by a sagging box office returns and a flat-to-declining packaged goods business. I will not speak of the gamming side of entertainment here for while some ownership is common it is not entirely integrated with the movie culture.

The "collap ...


Ed's View - MPEG-4 AVC

By Ed Milbourn • Feb 17 2006, 7:51pm

A quiet revolution is taking place in the digital corner of the Consumer Electronics Industry. That revolution is the rapid adoption of the MPEG-4* based AVC (Advanced Video Coding) standard. Driven by the increasing commercial demand for more channels of programming at the same or improved video quality in the limited bandwidth available to service providers, AVC is the natural solution.

Global & Worldview

Copyright Piracy in Asia - An Update

By Dale Cripps • Feb 11 2006, 7:18am

There are those among us, even here at HDTV Magazine, who feel an injustice coming from the "draconian" copy protection measures being imposed upon us by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). We tend to think of the reason for those measures as not real and certainly disassociated from ourselves.

The following MPAA press release from Asia dated February 7, 2006 illustrates the piracy problem in that region of the world. The problem is not shrinking. With cheaper home use equipment pirates plunder. Not until the problem withers away through our collective self/social-discipline will copy protection measures be slackened. I know we will not argue over the value to an economic system of copyright laws. We may bicker over the length of a copyright grant and the language governing "fair use," but no thinking person would seek the end of copyright laws.
_Dale Cripps

Politics & Policy

Analysis of DTV Content Protection Rulings and Agreements

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 9 2006, 3:00pm

The following article originally appeared in HDTVetc magazine in their April 2004 issue. For your convenience, and to facilitate the understanding of the reading of this complex subject, please refer to page the end of the article where you will find a graphical representation of the application of the DTV Rulings and Agreements.

I would like to indicate that the content has an historical value dated back to April 2004, but is still very close to the current situation, except for some events that have taken place after the article was published. One of which was the over-turning of the "Broadcast Flag" FCC mandate, where the court ruled that the FCC had over-stepped its authority.

This subject has been covered by the press and other magazines over time in bits and pieces. In order to provide you with a complete perspective, I have prepared this simplified analysis of the approved FCC rulings, the areas not ruled on yet, and how their integration could affect you as an HDTV adopter.

Politics & Policy

President Bush Signs Historic DTV Bill, CEA Says HDTV Is On A Roll

By Dale Cripps • Feb 9 2006, 12:30am

ALSEA OR-February 8, 2006 - President George Bush signed legislation into law today that set February 17, 2009 as the date when U.S. broadcasters must end their transmission of analog television signals. Some in the press have called it the "end of television as we know it." Others see it as a dawning of a new era. The legislation also allocates up to $1.5 billion to reimburse consumers who purchase digital-to-analog converter boxes, so their analog TV sets continue to work after the shut-off. The legislation excluded a provision that would have allowed cable operators to degrade a broadcaster's HDTV signals to "standard definition," and in doing denying consumers the means to see the highest-quality digital programming.

"With today's action" said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro, "President Bush set...


Is HDTV Complex Enough?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 7 2006, 3:00pm

Some people like to know the HDTV subject in detail before making their purchase; they research an overwhelming volume of technical background and specifications, they feel as earning a PhD in HDTV. However, if you are among the majority of people that want a modern TV and are confused when trying to understand HDTV, you could always apply the simple approach of going to the corner store, amaze your eyes, and sign the check. Is it worth to know well what are you buying? Let us look at both approaches.


Ed's View - DLP

By Ed Milbourn • Feb 6 2006, 6:39pm

I first saw a DLP (Digital Light Processor)* demonstration in 1989 at a Society for Information Display (SID) conference in San Jose. The domo was given by Texas Instruments, Inc., the inventor of the DLP. Demonstrations at SID conferences represent the very cutting edges of new display technologies. Therefore, the demos are comparatively crude exhibitions of concept prototypes. However, in this instance the DLP demo was particularly crude. It exhibited a comparatively dim, low-resolution projected monochrome image with several black areas caused by "stuck" pixels. Of all the prototypes shown, DLP seemed to have the least promise. A few years later, at the urging of Dr. Jim Carnes, then Director of the David Sarnoff Research Center, I traveled to Washington, DC, to see another DLP demo at a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conference

New Products & Equipment

HDTV Products - Looking Into the Future

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 3 2006, 1:44pm

The following article originally appeared in HDTVetc magazine in their August 2004 issue. It contains product information that is likewise, dated to mid-2004. The products in this article were "New" when originally published and should obviously not be considered as such when reading today. Although this article has some historical value, the primary value is the analysis to reach a forecasted vision of future market conditions (which eventually came to pass). This assisted many consumers in making more informed purchasing decisions. Reading the Analysis and Conclusions section is almost like time-travel: The historic vision has now transformed itself into current events and conditions ... mostly (we are still waiting for some of them to happen).


2005 HD Acquisition Television Show Productions

By Thomas Fletcher • Feb 2 2006, 1:50pm

This final part of Tom Fletcher's three-part series (begun Monday) highlights the HD Acquisition Television Show Productions of 2005. The easy-to-read table contains the Network, Show Name, and Camera/Recording Format used. Most of these entries may be known by you to be in HD, but your almost guaranteed to discover a few new ones. There are a few more shows I'll be watching now that I know they're in HD.


HD Feature Films Shot or Released in 2005

By Thomas Fletcher • Feb 1 2006, 1:51pm

This second part of Tom Fletcher's three-part series (begun yesterday) highlights the Feature Films Shot or Released in HD in 2005 (in-whole or in-part). The easy-to-read table contains the movie Title, Director, Director of Photography, and Recording Format used. Put these at the top of your HD-DVD and Blu-ray lists this summer, as they'll be some of the best money can buy in terms of picture quality.