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More from Shane Sturgeon

Technology

A Comparison of Movie Download Services

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 2:53pm

Over the past two years, we have seen a number of video download services hit the market from major players like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Netflix. There have also been some new companies entering this category, such as XStreamHD and VUDU. Some are available only via a software client, meaning a PC (or Mac) would be required to enjoy them, while others work with dedicated hardware connected to your TV. They vary in quality, selection, delivery methods and cost and this article will hit the highlights of what each of the major players are offering their would-be customers in this burgeoning market.

Let's set the stage. This article covers products and services that provide movie downloads via the internet. Specifically...

Marketplace

From the Industry - The Big Picture: DisplaySearch's Outlook on the HDTV Market

By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 28 2008, 3:45pm

In 2007, the flat panel display industry reached the $101 billion mark, and it is expected to grow to $131 billion by 2012. While there are many display-centric applications on the rise such as notebooks, mobile applications, digital photo frames, home appliances and navigation systems, flat panel HDTVs continue to comprise 50% of all 10-inch and larger LCD panels shipped on an area basis-a segment that on a revenue basis, hit the $33.5 billion mark in 2007, $11 billion more than in 2006.

DisplaySearch predicts the cumulative number of HDTVs in the US will...

New Products & Equipment

Showdown: Apple TV vs. VUDU

By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 21 2008, 5:09pm

So you've probably read that Apple is getting into the movie rental business, and with high definition even. With the recent upgrades to their Apple TV unit and addition of movie rentals, Apple is now positioned toward the top of the heap when it comes to online high definition movie rentals. Another company that is at the top of that heap is VUDU, who also has a hardware-based player that connects directly to the TV just like the Apple TV unit. I thought it would be appropriate to pit these two against each other and see which comes out on top.

Technology

CES 2008: New HDTV Products and Technology Overview

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 18 2008, 6:28am

For those of you who have been receiving the bulletins from CES over the past two weeks, you will recognize many of the topics below. I've picked some of the highlights and popular themes from this year's show and included a brief comment or two on each. This is not a comprehensive overview, but rather a "highlight reel" from the event. Here is a list of topics covered in this article. These are in no particular order:
  • Warner Brothers Chooses to go Blu-ray Exclusive
  • Blu-ray Getting "Bonus View"
  • LaserTV
  • The Shift to Wireless HD
  • The Rise of Video Download Services
  • Netflix and LG to Partner on Streaming Video
  • Dish Network Commits to 100 HD Channels in 2008
  • Slingbox Pro-HD
  • Microsoft Mediaroom Getting Traction
  • JVC Lineup
  • LG Lineup
  • Panasonic Lineup
  • Pioneer Lineup
  • Sharp Lineup
  • Sony Lineup
  • Toshiba ...

Blu-ray

Which is More Consumer Friendly: HD DVD or Blu-ray?

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 26 2007, 1:58pm

No, this is not the standard HD DVD vs. Blu-ray article that you may be used to reading. I am not declaring a "winner" because I think we are at a point now where neither camp is going away. Instead, this article explains which format I believe is the better choice for the consumer (you) this holiday season. Could that change a year from now? Sure, but I want to help you decide what to buy this year.

This article is not written in an attempt to convince anyone who has already made an investment one way or the other, for that is an almost impossible feat. It was written for those that are still "on the fence", as they say. It is for those who are either undecided, or are waiting to see which one will come out ahead (or which will be first to waive the white flag). It's time to hop down off of that fence.

Programming

DirecTV - The March to 100 National High Definition Channels

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 11 2007, 1:45pm

Unless you've been under a rock, or subscribed to Cable, you are likely intimately aware of DirecTV's promise of having 100 national high definition channels in service by the end of 2007. Sounds good, doesn't it? 100 National channels of HD content! As you might imagine, this raises more than a few questions. Some of the more frequent ones I've heard are:

  • What channels will these be?

  • Will {insert favorite channel here} be among them?

  • How will they carry 100 HD channels if there aren't 100 networks with HD content?

  • How much will this cost me?

Events & Tradeshows

CES 2007 Predictions

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2007, 8:11pm

It seems every writer out there loves writing predictions, so I can only assume it's because readers love reading them. Or perhaps it's just because writers want to be right and say "I told you so". Well in that same spirit, I thought I would take a stab at some CES 2007 predictions. I realize some of these may be obvious, or no-brainers, but I think I've stuck my neck out on a couple as well. These are in no particular order...

HD Video ProductionHD DVD

Podcasting in High Definition

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 2 2006, 5:15pm

For those of you who just don't get enough High Definition from your local provider, here are a few more sources of HD content and information to satisfy your craving. I've scoured iTunes and plucked these gems to highlight for your viewing (and listening) pleasure. The first group are podcasts about high definition technology: news, reviews, analysis, etc. The second group are podcasts that feature high definition video. Shot in either 720 or 1080 lines of resolution, these are hefty downloads, but should help ease the pangs of your high definition hunger.

General Interest

Fall 2006 HDTV Study Results

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 27 2006, 6:09pm

The results are in. From August 22nd, 2006 through October 1st, 2006, HDTV Magazine conducted and sponsored The Fall 2006 HDTV Study. This article focuses on several key questions related to HDTV technology and how the results came out. The charts and data below reflect the preferences, buying habits, and general demographics of 1281 study respondents. These respondents took the survey either as a subscriber to our services, or by navigating from a link featured on our home page. As such, the audience for this survey are primarily either owners of HDTVs or those in the immediate market (within 3 months of purchase) for an HDTV.

Technology

HD DVD vs. Blu-ray: And the Winner is ... No One

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 16 2006, 6:43pm

By now, I'm sure you've read a dozen articles like this one. In fact, I debated about whether or not to title it as such, as I was afraid most of you would skip it over. Obviously that is not the case if you are now reading these words.

If you are withholding your Next-Gen DVD player purchase until this so-called format war has a winner, it won't help ... there likely won't be one ... and there definitely won't be one any time soon.

Technology

HD DVD Primer

By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 28 2006, 6:12pm

Many of you are eagerly anticipating the arrival of HD packaged media. While HD media has been available for purchase in one form or another for many years (D-VHS/D-Theater and WMVHD), HD DVD promises to be the largest distribution to date within months of its release. This article will cover the basics of HD DVD audio and video, gives a brief overview of the two Toshiba models arriving in March, and concludes with a listing of HD DVD movies that will be available upon release (and soon thereafter).

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: