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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (January, 2006)

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Cable HDTVBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - One Less Network

By Alfred Poor • Jan 30 2006, 1:00pm

Last week, CBS and Warner Brothers announced that they will combine the UPN and WB broadcast networks to create a joint venture that will be called CW. The new network will start broadcasting in the fall of 2006, at which time the other two networks will shut down. CW programs will include some of the [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - IPTV: Think Small!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 27 2006, 1:00pm

IPTV – Internet Protocol TV — holds out the promise of “what you want to watch, where you want to watch it, when you want to watch it.” And it continues to be the hot topic of the year. The latest development is a new dramatic series developed by CBS and sponsored by Pontiac. The [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Watching Butterfly Wings

By Alfred Poor • Jan 26 2006, 1:00pm

I don’t report on it much here because it gets pretty esoteric, but I’m fascinated with the new display technologies that are under development in the labs. I’ve met with researchers who have found out how to eliminate the polarizing layer from LCD panels (which in turn makes the panels much more efficient), and I [...]

Satellite HDTVProgrammingService & RepairDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Family-Friendly Programming Gets Boost

By Alfred Poor • Jan 25 2006, 1:00pm

Digital satellite service providers Dish Network and DirecTV have both come out with “family-conscious” programming plans. DishFamily will have 32 channels, and DirecTV Total Choice Family offers more than 40 including local broadcasts.
These offerings may have been accelerated by Congressional hearings into possible legistlation that could regulate programming content. The industry also is going to [...]

Events & TradeshowsPlasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - More “My HDTV is Bigger”!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 24 2006, 1:00pm

Okay, CES 2006 ended more than two weeks ago, and I’m finally getting to this story… which should give you some sense of how important I think it is in the grand scheme of things. But here goes: Panasonic showed a prototype 103″ plasma 1080p HDTV.
Yes, this is gigantic, and an impressive feat. The panel [...]

HD DVDLaser HDTVBlu-ray

HDTV Almanac - A Blue Laser DVD Solution?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 23 2006, 1:00pm

There’s a new voice in the conflict over competing high-density blue-laser DVD standards. The HD Disc Consumer Advocacy Alliance has weighed in with a manifesto that declares that supporters of HD-DVD and Blu-ray “must set their differences aside and work to find a compromise for a single, unified high-definition optical disc format.”
I find this demand [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - HDTV: It’s All About Sports!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 20 2006, 1:00pm

The Consumer Electronics Association is the group that puts on CES — the Consumer Electronics Show — every January in Las Vegas. And the group just released the results of a study conducted along with the Sports Video Group. The results weren’t earth-shaking, but it’s interesting to see numbers that support the conclusions that many [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyPlasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Roll-Up the TV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 19 2006, 1:00pm

A 50″ TV takes up a lot of space, no matter what technology you use. And they get pretty heavy; a plasma panel that size can weigh 100 pounds or more.
Imagine an HDTV that disappears when you’re not watching it. It can be done. Instead of using glass substrates to create the panels, you can [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - The Best Bargains You Never Heard Of

By Alfred Poor • Jan 18 2006, 1:00pm

The HDTV market is a boom town. When a market grows this large and this rapidly — with every indication that it will continue to grow — then there will always be new players drawn to the action. Some will be big companies that are already well-established in other segments who want to expand into [...]

Business & InvestmentPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - How to Make a Fortune in HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 17 2006, 1:00pm

One of my favorite jokes goes something like this:
Q: How can you make a small fortune in the HDTV business?
A: Well, first you start with a large fortune, and ….
Given the steep competition between technologies, and between manufacturers within the same technology segment, many business strategies seem to be a race to see who can [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - What is MPEG4?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 16 2006, 1:00pm

[And Why Should You Care?]
In order to fit a typical 90-minute movie on a single DVD (plus all those director’s commentaries, out-takes, deleted scenese, alternate endings, and other bonus material), the sound and images had to be compressed. MPEG2 is the name of the standard used to compress the video and audio on movie DVDs. [...]

Events & TradeshowsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - CES 2006: HDTV Conference

By Alfred Poor • Jan 13 2006, 1:00pm

Wow — where did this week go? I’ve been digging through all the information I picked up at CES in Las Vegas (plus catching up on all the work that accumulates when you’re away from your desk for a week). And I still haven’t given a summary of the HDTV Business Conference that was held [...]

Events & TradeshowsInternet HD VideoWireless HDMI/HDTVFiber/IPTV HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CES 2006: Wireless HDTV Is Possible

By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2006, 1:00pm

One of the big themes at CES 2006 was IPTV. Digital TV transmissions already take digitized image data and send it out as packets, so it’s a small step to apply the Internet Protocol — IP — to the process so that you can use standard Internet and network transmission systems to move programming from [...]

Events & TradeshowsHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - CES 2006: Watching a Supernova

By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2006, 2:22am

Sometimes a little rejection is a good thing. And sometimes a lot is even better! While traipsing around the various mammoth exhibit halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I passed the DNP exhibit. DNP is Dai Nippon Printing, and is one of the leading makers of display screens for front projectors. I got [...]

Laser HDTVHD DVDEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2006: No Clear Winner on Blue Laser DVDs

By Alfred Poor • Jan 10 2006, 2:49pm

Traditional DVDs using a red laser and MPEG2 compression do not have the storage capacity for a full-length movie in HD format. Using a blue laser with shorter wavelength light allows designers to use smaller pits and thus store more data on a disc the same size as a standard DVD or CD. Two camps [...]

Events & TradeshowsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - CES 2006: Rear-Projection HDTV with No Lamp!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 9 2006, 1:00pm

I just got back from a week at the Consumer Electronics Show, which is a mammoth annual conference on a scale that is only matched by its location: Las Vegas. I saw and learned tons at the show, and will be sharing some of the highlights over the next week or so.
It’s clear that the [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - LG Aims for #1 Spot

By Alfred Poor • Jan 6 2006, 1:00pm

CEO and Vice Chairman of LG Electronics, S.S. Kim, recently stated that he intends to make his company first in the worldwide television market. According to a press release by SpatiaLight, LG will use SpatiaLight’s LCoS imagers to create a 71″ rear-projection HDTV.
This is interesting news, but SpatiaLight’s release contained a startling statement: “LG expects [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Replay TV Goes Soft

By Alfred Poor • Jan 5 2006, 1:00pm

Now that TiVo has become a verb in the English language — “I’ll TiVo that show because I have meeting that night.” — the other company that helped launch digital video recording (DVR) is rarely mentioned. As a result, Replay TV has restructured its operations, and is focusing on DVR software instead of hardware.
The company [...]

Service & RepairPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & LaptopsBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Network Your HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jan 4 2006, 1:00pm

Instead of connecting the televisions in your home to a cable or satellite service, or to a rooftop antenna, you may soon just connect them to a computer network. ED Digital is a new company that is introducing its Digitrex line of HDTVs that work with Microsoft’s Windows Media Connect technology so that you can [...]

Satellite HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Display Prices Down; Content Costs Up?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 3 2006, 1:00pm

EchoStar announced on New Year’s Day that they were dropping Lifetime’s channels from its DISH Network satellite service after 10 years. According to the press release from EchoStar, Lifetime “demanded an exorbitant price increase of 76 percent” and Echostar responded by saying “NO to Lifetime’s strong-arm tactics.” Lifetime’s Web site doesn’t discuss the contract or [...]

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Happy HDTV New Year!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 2 2006, 1:00pm

Every year, January gives journalists a fat pitch over the plate, and they can’t resist swinging at the chance to declare that the coming year will be The Year of The Whatever! This is especially true for technology topics. One year it was networks, then it was WiFi. For some, last year it was the [...]