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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (May, 2006)

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HDTV Almanac - Oversupply Brewing for LCD HDTV

By Alfred Poor • May 30 2006, 1:00pm

LCD manufacturers have been busy building new production lines capable of handling large glass substrates. As a result, production capacity is increasing. And lately, inventory levels have been increasing as well. Panels sitting in a warehouse don’t make any money for the manufacturer, but these companies need to run the plants at capacity to get [...]

Plasma HDTVsService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Repairing Plasma HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • May 29 2006, 1:00pm

Q: Is it true that it is too expensive to repair plasma TV?
Ida Issac-Brewton
A: There are parts of a plasma television that can fail and be replaced at a reasonable cost. For example, the electronics are typically designed as separate modules that can be replaced fairly easily. I suspect, however, that your question is prompted [...]


HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Is 50 the New 4o?

By Alfred Poor • May 26 2006, 1:00pm

DigitTimes reports today quoting the executive vice president of AU Optronics, which is one of the largest LCD makers in Taiwan. Hsing Hui predicts that the 50″ LCD HDTV will become a mainstream segment, as increased production results in lower costs, which in turn will make LCDs competitive with plasma in this size range.
This is [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - “No-Box” DVR Challenged

By Alfred Poor • May 25 2006, 1:00pm

On Wednesday, March 29, I wrote about Cablevision’s plan to let subscribers “record” shows to a central server, and then watch them when they want. At the time, I pointed out that some analysts thought that this might lead to lawsuits by the content producers.
Well, the show has dropped. An Associated Press report indicates that [...]


HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Picks DivX

By Alfred Poor • May 24 2006, 1:00pm

Last week, Panasonic announced plans to include DivX support in two DVD video recorders: the DMR-EH55S and the DMR-EH75VS. Both will have HDMI connectors, and are capable of up-converting output to a 1080i resolution signal. Both have hard disk drives, and have red laser DVD burners. The new recorders are expected to ship end [...]


HDTV Almanac - Electronics Goes HDTV

By Alfred Poor • May 23 2006, 1:00pm

I’ve been watching as CompUSA keeps giving more floor space to LCD and plasma and rear-projection TVs, but the latest news is that Radio Shack is jumping on the HDTV bandwagon. This reverses the move in 2002 that dropped televisions in favor of smaller consumer electronics devices. Radio Shack plans to phase in the new [...]

BroadcastCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Wait a Second!

By Alfred Poor • May 22 2006, 1:00pm

I’ve written here often about the question of who is going to pay for published video content. The traditional broadcast commercial model breaks down as people shift to other distribution sources, and use recorded video to time- and place-shift their viewing of the content. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that TiVo and [...]

Satellite HDTVService & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - DISH Network Expands Local HD

By Alfred Poor • May 19 2006, 1:00pm

The DISH Network satellite television service announced Wednesday that they are adding local HDTV channels in 11 markets, which nearly doubles the number of cities and now reaching a total of 24. The new cities are Dallas; Houston; Miami; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; and Spokane. They plan to [...]


HDTV Almanac - A Plastic HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • May 18 2006, 1:00pm

Plasma and direct-view LCDs use glass substrates. Glass is relatively fragile, and the sheets used in LCD panel production are special and expensive. So manufacturers are searching for alternatives. One problem for LCDs and OLEDs is that they require a semiconductor layer on the substrate in order to create the transistors that will switch the [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Another Connection

By Alfred Poor • May 17 2006, 1:00pm

Are you confused enough yet by HDMI and DVI and composite and component video connections? Brace yourself; here comes DisplayPort. It’s the new digital interface standard developed by VESA, the Video Electronics Standards Association. Already backed by HP, Lenova, and Dell, the standard is designed to carry digital video and audio signals, and supports digital [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Blu-ray Laptop Announced

By Alfred Poor • May 16 2006, 1:00pm

Sony hopes that you’ll take your HD movies on the road with you, and view them on the new VAIO AR Premium notebook computer. It is scheduled to ship this summer for about $3,500, and will have a 17-inch wide display, analog TV tuner, and a Blu-ray drive with both read and write capabilities. The [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Can the Internet Handle IPTV?

By Alfred Poor • May 15 2006, 1:00pm

An Associated Press story raises the question of whether or not the Internet can handle widespread adoption of IPTV. The system is designed to handle the occasional download of information, such as email, or a music file, or a Web page. But to watch full-resolution television programs – not to mention video in HD format [...]


HDTV Almanac - PowerDVD Supports MPEG4 AVC

By Alfred Poor • May 12 2006, 1:00pm

An announcement from CyberLink describes their new PowerDVD 7 Deluxe software package for DVD playback that makes it easy to watch movies on your notebook or desktop computer. One interesting feature of this latest version is that it supports MPEG4 AVC compression, also known as H.264. This provides higher compression rates with improved image [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Peer-to-Peer Goes Legit?

By Alfred Poor • May 11 2006, 1:00pm

“Peer-to-peer” networks are almost synonymous with “piracy” in many people’s minds. The infamous Kazaa and BitTorrent networks are known as havens for people who want to swap copyrighted content like audio CD tracks. The BitTorrent technology has gained a big leg up toward clearing its reputation, however. Warner Brothers has announced that it will use [...]


HDTV Almanac - HDTV to Go… Now!

By Alfred Poor • May 10 2006, 1:00pm

Back in February, I reported on Toshiba’s announcement of the Qosmio notebook that could display 1080p HDTV. Well, they’re ready and will be available on Toshiba’s Web site this week. The Qosmio G35 has a pair of 100 GB hard drives, but the really interesting feature is the HD DVD drive.
At about 10 pounds and [...]


HDTV Almanac - LCD HDTV Prices to Hold Steady?

By Alfred Poor • May 9 2006, 1:00pm

The display market research firm WitsView has reported that the average wholesale cost of a 42″ LCD panel for HDTV use has fallen to $860, down from $890 last month. The company is predicting that prices for LCD HDTV panels will start to stabilize this summer, after fairly steady declines.
Predicting the future prices in [...]

BroadcastFiber/IPTV HDTVProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Free CBS IPTV

By Alfred Poor • May 8 2006, 1:00pm

CBS has jumped on the bandwagon of providing free online video. The network now offers “innertube” which includes a variety of broadcast, special, and behind-the-scenes programming. There’s even a Pearl Jam concert from a David Letterman show available. The content segments are interspersed with short commercials (or spots promoting CBS shows). Segments range from a [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - More Blu-ray De-lay

By Alfred Poor • May 5 2006, 1:00pm

Surprised? I’m not. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that even though they will have their first Blu-ray high-density DVD titles ready to ship on May 23rd as planned, they will hold off on releasing them until June 25th. Why? Because Samsung has delayed the shipment of their first Blu-ray DVD player until then, and [...]


HDTV Almanac - 50″ Plasma HDTV under $2K

By Alfred Poor • May 4 2006, 1:00pm

“Residential AV” reports that Envision Peripherals has announced plans to ship a 50″ plasma HDTV next fall with a list price of $2,395. This means that the model could well sell at a street price under $2,000.
Wow. Prices have been falling for plasma and LCD, but this is a dramatic price point to break through. [...]


HDTV Almanac - Bigger Glass for LCD HTVs

By Alfred Poor • May 3 2006, 1:00pm

Last week, LG.Philips celebrated the completion of its 7th generation LCD panel manufacturing plant. LCD plants are described by generations to denote the size of the glass substrates that are used. Larger substrates mean that larger displays can be made more efficiently, which manufactures (and consumers) hope will result in lower prices.
This new plant uses [...]


HDTV Almanac - Better than HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • May 2 2006, 1:00pm

HDTV is great; the detail compared with standard television is amazing. But is there life after HDTV? To paraphrase Mel Brook’s Two Thousand Year Old Man character, “there’s something bigger than HDTV.” The Japanese public broadcaster NHK brought their “Super Hi-Vision” — or SHV for short — demo to the U.S. this month, broadcasting images [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVCable HDTVSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV IPTV coming in Germany

By Alfred Poor • May 1 2006, 1:00pm

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has been stringing fiber optic cable throughout ten cities, as part of a $3.7 billion build-out that will eventually cover 50 cities. Test operations are starting this month, with select customers enjoying about 100 channels, both from cable and satellite feeds. Other services include movies on demand and VOIP.
One key component is [...]