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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (December, 2005)

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Satellite HDTVService & RepairDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Cold News for DirecTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 30 2005, 1:00pm

Digital satellite service provider DirecTV came up on the losing end of two major decisions in December.
The Federal Trade Commission charged that DirecTV and the companies it hired violated the national Do Not Call Registry rules. According to reports attributed to DirecTV representatives, the violations were made by third-party marketing companies that had since been [...]

EntertainmentHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Playing Nice: Part 2

By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2005, 1:00pm

Last week, I wrote about the two new initiatives to get HD displays and home entertainment equipment to work together. Now there’s word about a new display interface for computers that is intended to help them work better with consumer electronics displays such as HDTVs.
The interface is called the Unified Display Interface — UDI — [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDLaser HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Blu-ray First to Market?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2005, 1:00pm

It looks as though the race to be first to deliver a blue-laser, high-definition DVD player to the market may be won by the Blu-ray camp. Toshiba had announced that it was going to ship a drive based on the competing HD DVD standard before the end of 2005, but was unable to make good [...]

Plasma HDTVsPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & LaptopsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: PC/TV Plasma Bargain?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 27 2005, 1:00pm

I just ran across an ad for a 42″ plasma TV that has PC input and can double as a computer monitor. When I investigated further, I found that the 42″ screen has a resolution of 852 by 480 pixels. Wow! By comparison, a 19″ LCD monitor normally has 1,280 by 1,024. The pixels on [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVEntertainmentInternet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Look Ma! No Wires HDTV!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 26 2005, 1:00pm

Digital television promises to bring crystal clear images to your screen. HDTV promises incredible detail. And IPTV holds out the promise of all sorts of new forms of video entertainment streamed across the Internet. And what’s wrong with this picture?
All this content is delivered to a single location in most homes: a cable box, or [...]


HDTV Almanac - One in Four with HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 23 2005, 1:00pm

When you consider that a display company – Panasonic — paid for the study, you need to take the results with a grain of salt, but the conclusions are plausible. One of four USA households either owns or plans to buy an HD display in 2006.
Pretty impressive numbers, to be sure. But it leaves me [...]

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - US Analog TV Dark Date Set!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2005, 1:00pm

Okay, it has finally been decided. At least until Congress changes its mind. Yesterday, the Senate approved a spending bill that contained a provision for the date that analog TV broadcasts will cease in the US: February 18, 2009. The government apparently won’t wait until then to collect on the windfall of the radio frequencies [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Making HDTV Pieces Play Nice

By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2005, 1:00pm

As I write in Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV, you need three parts in order to get a true HDTV experience: Display + Signal + Content = HDTV. If you don’t have all three, you will get nothing better than your old-fashioned Standard Definition television experience, or maybe even worse.
One of the big problems, [...]


HDTV Almanac - Beyond HDTV? Plenty of Pixels

By Alfred Poor • Dec 20 2005, 1:00pm

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) is one of the major Taiwanese producers of LCD panels. The company announced recently that it had created a 56″ diagonal LCD-TV panel with “quad full high-definition” — QFHD — with 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. Yes, that’s the equivalent of four 28″ 1080p panels tiled together. CMO says that it intends [...]


HDTV Almanac - HP Straddles HD DVD Fence

By Alfred Poor • Dec 19 2005, 1:00pm

The competition to become the standard format for high-definition content on DVD discs just got more confused, if that’s possible. HP has been a part of the Blu-ray development effort that is led by Sony. Earlier this fall, HP asked the Blu-ray camp to incorporate two features that were part of the competing HD DVD [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Brillian LCoS HDTV Wins Again!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 16 2005, 1:00pm

Brillian announced this week that their 65″ 6501m rear-projection LCoS HDTV was named Product of the Year for rear-projection displays by PC Magazine. This is the same HDTV that Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies recently crowned as the new standard by which all other displays should be judged.
This is strong praise for the Brillian [...]


HDTV Almanac - New High Resolution Plasma Panel for HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2005, 1:00pm

Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display has demonstrated a 42-inch plasma display with 1080p resolution: 1,920 by 1080 pixels. The panels are slated to go into production in 2007, at which time you may see them showing up as HDTVs under the Hitachi brand.
This high resolution at this size is unremarkable for LCD panels, but is an [...]


HDTV Almanac - USA CRT Plant to Close

By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2005, 1:00pm

Matsushita announced recently that it plans to close the CRT manufacturing plant in Troy, Ohio, which it owns in partnership with Toshiba. The plant builds CRTs for use in televisions, sold under a variety of brand names including Panasonic. Declining sales for CRTs in the face of the rising popularity of flat-panel LCD and [...]

Service & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - DivX Support in PVR Software

By Alfred Poor • Dec 13 2005, 1:00pm

PVR = Personal Video Recorder. Think TiVo. Without the monthly service fee. You can buy a box that will do this for you, and record onto a writeable DVD or hard drive, and they are a wonderful improvement over the standard VHS video cassette recorder.
But these boxes are simply computers with limited capabilities. Many people [...]


HDTV Almanac - New LCD HDTV: Astar is Born?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 12 2005, 1:18pm

Last week, Astar announced the release of its LTV 3201, a 32-inch LCD HDTV. The model has 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution, making it suitable for 720p content. It carries a suggested list price of $1,299.99, but it can already be found for sale on the Web for under $1,000. Full specifications for the LTV [...]


HDTV Almanac - Epson Announces New Rear-Projection HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2005, 1:00pm

Epson announced last week that they will be shipping two new LivingStation rear-projection LCD HDTVs for the Japanese market before the end of this year. The 55-inch ELS-55GL1 and the 65-inch ELS-65GL1 will have 1080p resolution, and memory-card slots. There’s no word yet when or if they will be available in the USA market, but [...]


HDTV Almanac - Protests over Product Placement

By Alfred Poor • Dec 8 2005, 1:00pm

I’ve written a number of times about the question of how people are going to make money producing entertainment content for the new world of “television.” Video recorders let you leap over commercials in a single bound. When you let the viewer control the flow of the content stream, the paid advertisements are likely to [...]


HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Plasma HDTV Amazing Facts!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2005, 1:00pm

Source: “The Face of TV to Come: Plasma Vs. DLP,” by Phil Conner, Plasma TV Buying Guide
Quote: “Plasma, by contrast, uses a small electric pulse for each pixel to excite the rare natural gases argon, neon, and xenon (a k a “phosphors”) to produce the color information and light. As electrons excite the phosphors, oxygen [...]


HDTV Almanac - Mitsubishi Wants HD-MTV!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 6 2005, 1:00pm

January 16, 2006 is the date for the launch of MTV’s new HD music channel, MHD. (Music-High Definition, I presume?) The station will air original and aquired music-based HD content. And on Monday, Mitsubishi Electric announced that it will be the charter sponsor of the new channel. Expect to see Mitsubishi displays sprinkled around [...]

Cable HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Surprise! Cable Rates Going UP!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 5 2005, 1:00pm

From the What Did You Expect Department, Comcast announced on Thursday that the company would be raising the rates for basic (analog) cable service an average of 6 percent nationwide, starting as early as January 1, 2006. This brings the average rate for basic cable to more that $47 a month. Most other cable operators [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Brillian Bundles Tune-Up

By Alfred Poor • Dec 2 2005, 1:00pm

Some of you may remember the early days of color TV. There was endless fiddling with the controls; people on the screen seemed to suffer from apoplexy, then jaundice, and then apparent sea sickness as you changed from channel to channel. Fortunately, color fidelity has been solved fairly well (even though engineers still quip that [...]


HDTV Almanac - Really H-HDTV!!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2005, 1:00pm

Most of us are still mulling over our choices to enter the wonderful world of HDTV, but experiments are already underway to push pixel progress even further out. Last month, NHK showed a live demonstration of “Super Hi-Vision” TV at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. The images had a resolution of 7,680 by [...]