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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (October, 2005)

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ProgrammingHD DVDSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV is a Hit

By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2005, 1:00pm

Consumer Reports released a report this week that found that 87 percent of their readers that they surveyed felt that they thought digital HD content from cable or satellite was significantly better than other programming. Half of them also complained that there isn’t enough HD programming available.
It’s important to remember that the HDTV display is [...]

HD DVDSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Satellite HDTV Relies on More Compression

By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2005, 1:00pm

As more and more consumers get HDTV sets, the demand for more HD content is growing. (And the manufacturers of the HDTVs want more HD content to be delivered, as this should help drive increased demand for the new sets.) One problem for satellite services is that they have limited bandwidth over which to transmit [...]


HDTV Almanac - HP Asks for BluRay Changes

By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2005, 1:00pm

New developments continue in the fight to create the high-definition DVD format, though it appears that we’re still far from being able to name a winner in the blue laser competition. HP had been a backer of BluRay for a long time, but last week, the company went public with its desire that the BluRay [...]


HDTV Almanac - Comedy Central Goes Online

By Alfred Poor • Oct 25 2005, 1:00pm

Comedy Central is scheduled to launch a broadband optimized IPTV site called “Motherload” on November 1. The site will include short clips from shows including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It will also offer original material created just for the site.
The site will be funded through advertising for Verizon’s broadband services, as well [...]

Service & RepairFiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Verizon IPTV Takes on Cable

By Alfred Poor • Oct 24 2005, 1:00pm

Last month, Verizon got the go-ahead from the Fairfax County, Virginia supervisors to offer TV service. Yes, this is one of the first instances of the “triple-play” strategy, where a single provider aims to deliver phone, Internet, and television service all over a single connection.
Verizon calls its service “FiOS”, which relies on fiber-optic connections instead [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Digital TV Deadline Looms

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2005, 1:00pm

The US Congress has already passed a law requiring that analog terrestrial TV broadcasts cease by December 31, 2006, or when 85 percent of American households can receive digital terrestrial broadcasts. Now Congress is looking to push that up to a hard date of April 7, 2006. According to Consumers Union, as many as 80 [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - What’s the Right Size HDTV for Me?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2005, 1:00pm

One of the biggest questions among people shopping for an HDTV is “how big should it be?” If you have an unlimited budget, you might be tempted to get the biggest display in the store. And you’d probably be making a mistake.
Think about when you go to the movie theater. Do you always try to [...]

LCD HDTVsHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - LCD TVs: From Desktop to Den

By Alfred Poor • Oct 19 2005, 1:00pm

By all accounts — including the numbers from Pacific Media Associates where I’m a Senior Research Associate — the LCD TV market is growing rapidly, especially for screens 30-inches and smaller. Lots of companies have been making LCD displays in this size range for years for the desktop computer monitor market. That market is crowded [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVsPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Dude! I’m Watching a Dell HDTV!

By Alfred Poor • Oct 18 2005, 1:00pm

This changes everything. Dell is a juggernaut that has grown to dominate the desktop and laptop computer markets. And now the company is setting its sights on the living room with its new large flat panel TV offerings. In addition to smaller sets, the company now offers a 37-inch LCD HDTV and a 50-inch plasma [...]

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - iTunes Does Digital TV

By Alfred Poor • Oct 17 2005, 1:00pm

Apple’s announcement last week of a new iPod that can play video did not get my pulse racing; it’s been possible to watch video clips on all sorts of portable devices for years. The big news that got my attention, however, was the deal with Disney to make video content from ABC network shows available [...]

DLP HDTVsDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - DLP Goes Mainstream

By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2005, 1:00pm

When it comes to propeller-beanie, techno-geeky, esoteric details, it’s tough to beat the micromechanical, digital micromirror device known as “DLP” (Digital Light Processing) from Texas Instruments (TI). (You can find out more about the details of DLP in Professor Poor’s HDTV Buying Guide.) This little chip is the heart of many front- and rear-projection displays, [...]

EntertainmentDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Networks for HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2005, 1:00pm

The Digital Delivery Group is a consortium of consumer electronics distributors, working with the custom-installation home theater segment. The group sees a major sea change in how home entertainment systems are structured. In the past, everything connected to the television. The new concept is that everything is connected to the network. This makes the display [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Lies, Damned Lies, and Specifications

By Alfred Poor • Oct 12 2005, 1:00pm

The HDTV display manufacturers and retailers are in danger of turning specifications into a waste of the paper that they’re printed on. Specifications can be important to buyers who want to comparison shop, but they are dangerous for if you don’t know what’s being measured and what difference it might make. Too often, people make [...]


HDTV Almanac - HDTV on DVD: Will blue lasers be too late?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 11 2005, 1:00pm

WARNING: there are acronyms in this item. There’s no way to avoid it when discussing technical standards, but it’s an important story, so hang with me on this one.
Last month, Nero and KiSS announced that they will create a DVD recorder capable of recording and playing back content using MPEG-4 compression. This is a relatively [...]

Front ProjectionHD DVDLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - $300 DVD LCD Projector

By Alfred Poor • Oct 10 2005, 1:00pm

Okay, it’s not HD. In fact, it’s not even SD (Standard Definition) resolution. But Hasbro has announced the Zoombox, a DVD player with an integrated front projector. It’s intended for kids, and is slated to be available in December for $299. The projector will only have 557 x 234 pixel resolution, which is about half [...]


HDTV Almanac - Recordable DVD Dilemma

By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2005, 1:00pm

I want to replace my old DVD player with a DVD recorder so that I can record TV shows to watch later, but I’m confused by all the different formats. What’s the difference between recording onto DVD-RAM disks and using DVD-RW disks? Also, I see that there’s a DVD-R and DVD+R????? and DVD-RW and DVD+RW. [...]


HDTV Almanac - Samsung announces dual format HD DVD

By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2005, 1:00pm

Since the HD DVD and BluRay camps don’t seem to be able to come to terms on a single format for the next generation of high-definition DVD drives, Samsung has already announced that the company will build a single drive that supports both HD DVD and BluRay formats.
I think that this “superdrive” approach is an [...]


HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Boggled by Big Screen Bucks

By Alfred Poor • Oct 5 2005, 1:00pm

Last month, I attended a press event hosted by Sharp, at which they unveiled their new 65-inch Aquos LCD 1080p HDTV: the LC-65D. It was gorgeous, and it will be available for a list price of about $21,000. As impressive as it was, the impact was reduced by the fact that I had just come [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVsService & RepairLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HDTV LCD vs Plasma: a Hidden Difference

By Alfred Poor • Oct 4 2005, 1:00pm

Here’s an interesting fact: if you buy an LCD TV from Dell, and there’s a problem with it, you box it up and ship it back to the company. However, if you buy a plasma TV from Dell, and it should need to be serviced or replaced, the company sends a service to your home [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Love and Loathing on the Big Screen

By Alfred Poor • Oct 3 2005, 1:00pm

Last month, Brillian announced its 6580iFB 65-inch 1080p rear-projection LCoS television. I have seen it, and it looks gorgeous. Brillian has had a bit of a hard time building headway in the market — their deal to provide Sears with products for last year’s holiday season fell through — but their displays have always been [...]