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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (June, 2006)

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Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Will Rear Projection HDTV Improvements Help?

By Alfred Poor • Jun 29 2006, 1:00pm

Rear projection HDTV sales continue to defy logic. When you get up to the larger sizes — especially 50-inches and larger – rear projection models enjoy a huge price advantage over the more popular plasma and LCD models. Why are buyers so interested in spending more for the flat panels? Only about one in six [...]

Service & RepairPlasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Starts HDTV Concierge Service

By Alfred Poor • Jun 28 2006, 1:00pm

It comes as no surprise that people are confused to varying degrees by the whole process of moving to HDTV, from researching the choices, making the purchase, installing it at home, and then getting the most from it. Earlier this month, Panasonic announced a new service, Plasma Concierge, that is intended to help customers throughout [...]

Service & RepairFiber/IPTV HDTV

HDTV Almanac - TiVo Delives IPTV

By Alfred Poor • Jun 27 2006, 1:00pm

Earlier this month, TiVo announced TiVoCAST, a new service — free to TiVo subscribers — that provides access to video content on the Web. The service includes content from the NBA and WNBA, the New York Times, CNET, and iVillage. It also has content for extreme sports, hip hop and other music, and the Rocketboom [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - A New HDMI

By Alfred Poor • Jun 25 2006, 9:14pm

Maybe you already know that HDMI is the digital interface that lets you connect HDTV devices to transfer image and audio signals. Early HDTV models didn’t include it, but most recent models have an HDMI connector and sometimes even two. But did you realize that there’s now a new version of HDMI?
The companies that founded [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Radio Shack Picks HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jun 23 2006, 1:00pm

Twice Magazine reports that Radio Shack has chosen LG and Panasonic as brands of flat panel HDTVs the stores will carry, starting in September. And contrary to what I reported here last month, they plan to carry models as large as 42-inches. These plans apply to the 5,000 company-owned stores. The company also offers an [...]

Satellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - One with Everything

By Alfred Poor • Jun 22 2006, 1:00pm

Bad joke alert: What did the Buddhist monk ask the New York City hot dog vendor? “Please make me one with everything.”
Okay, not too Zen perhaps, but it’s right in line with DirecTV’s new offer: the Titanium Package. Talk about an “all you can eat” plan! This is clearly designed for the viewer who can’t [...]

HD DVDBlu-rayLaser HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Blue Lasers: Follow the Money!

By Alfred Poor • Jun 21 2006, 1:00pm

The first Blu-ray high definition DVD drives have finally started to ship, and at last, we are starting to see comparisons between Blu-ray and HD DVD based on actual products instead of just published specifications and supposition. But why do we have this major battle between two competing high definition, blue laser DVD standards?
You might [...]

Cable HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - ABC Downloads a Success

By Alfred Poor • Jun 20 2006, 1:00pm

One of my recurrent themes has been the question of who is going to pay for downloaded content from the Internet. iTunes has already shown that many people are willing to pay to download commerical-free television episodes. Now the returns are in on ABC’s experiment with free downloads of prime time episodes that include commercials. [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - Nothing on HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Jun 19 2006, 1:00pm

So you’ve got a big, gorgeous HDTV set in your living room. It looks great when you’re watching TV or movies, but it just sits there taking up space when you’re not watching. Sure, you could hide it behind the doors of an entertainment center, but Panasonic and GalleryPlayer figure you might want to use [...]

Blu-rayCable HDTVHTPCs & LaptopsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Blu-ray Arrives! Almost…

By Alfred Poor • Jun 16 2006, 1:00pm

The first Blu-ray high-definition DVD player was launched in the U.S. last night, with an event at the Samsung Experience showcase store in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Actually, first shipments to dealers won’t be made until June 25th. The drive will support 1080p output through the digital HDMI connector, but [...]

Front ProjectionEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - HDTV in the Palm of Your Hand

By Alfred Poor • Jun 15 2006, 1:00pm

At the Society for Information Display conference in San Francisco last week, Symbol showed a prototype of their pocket projector engine, which only takes up 4.3 cubic inches (without its heatsink). Think of a deck of cards; now think half that size. That’s small. At this point, the projector only puts out 10 lumens of [...]

LCD HDTVsCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - The Next Gen for LCD HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jun 14 2006, 1:00pm

LCD fabrication lines have been designed to handle larger and larger sheets of glass. Each time a plant is built to handle a larger size, the manufacturers refer to that as the next generation. Gen 5 plants handle glass that is more than one yard long on each side. This is impressive until you realize [...]

Events & TradeshowsPlasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Really Big HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jun 13 2006, 1:00pm

At the Society for Information Display conference in San Francisco last week, manufacturers were showing off some big displays. I mean really big!

A 100-inch LCD HDTV from LG.Philips

A 102-inch plasma HDTV from Samsung
These are certainly impressive displays, but why do they build them? Certainly, they aren’t commercial products (though I’ve been told that a few [...]

LCD HDTVsPC & Laptop TechnologyEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - Flashing Lights for Better LCD HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jun 12 2006, 1:00pm

One of the most dramatic improvements for LCD HDTV I saw last week at the Society for Information Display conference in San Francisco was a technology demonstration by a company called Brightside. Like many other companies, they have replaced the typical fluorescent backlights for an LCD panel with LEDs. The big difference, however, is that [...]

Cable HDTVPlasma HDTVsOLED HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - New Approach to OLED HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jun 9 2006, 1:00pm

The dominant technologies for HDTV are LCD and plasma flat panels. Other novel technologies are under development, but none are close to becoming commercial products any time soon. One of the most promising approaches is organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. These have the promise of an emissive screen that looks like a standard CRT — [...]

3D HDTVEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - 3D HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jun 8 2006, 1:00pm

Just when you thought you had HDTV figured out, here comes another wrinkle. Many companies at the Society for Information Display conference in San Francisco this week were showing panels that can display 3D images. Some were like the ColorLink designs that use polarized light and required special glasses to see the 3D image. Others [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Taiwan Takes Over

By Alfred Poor • Jun 7 2006, 1:00pm

For years, Japan dominated LCD production. Then Korea took the top spot, on the strength of two juggernauts: Samsung and LG.Philips. Now, according to at least two market tracking services, Taiwanese companies have overtaken Korea, and produce more LCD panels — larger than 10 inches diagonal — than any other country.
Almost all the major LCD [...]

Service & RepairMobile HDTVHTPCs & LaptopsProgramming

HDTV Almanac - 1,600 Movies for $10 a Month

By Alfred Poor • Jun 6 2006, 1:00pm

The Starz channel is a familiar component of many cable services, but the company has also been beta testing a new Internet-based service since January. The Vongo service offers subscribers access to more than 1,600 movies and other programming content for $9.95, which can be viewed on a computer, television, or portable media device. You [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - Welcome to San Francisco!

By Alfred Poor • Jun 5 2006, 1:00pm

It’s a busy week in HDTV this week. On the East Coast, in Orlando, Florida, the annual InfoComm conference is happening, where all the major display vendors show what is happening in the HDTV industry. But if you want to know what’s going to happen in the future, you need to be on the West [...]

GamingLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Dell Fixes HDTV Banding Problems

By Alfred Poor • Jun 2 2006, 1:00pm

Reports have been showing up from users who say they have problems with their Dell 2007WFP LCD HDTVs. Apparently there are banding problems on smooth gradients when using the Desktop mode. According to a Dell source, the problem is with the Faroudja video processing, but there is no trouble with the Multimedia or Gaming modes. [...]

HTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Media Servers on the Rise

By Alfred Poor • Jun 1 2006, 1:00pm

A study by Parks Associates predicts that annual U.S. sales of home media servers will reach 50 million units by the end of 2010. What is a media server? Essentially, it’s a device with storage that lets you access media content – audio and video — on displays such as televisions, often using a local [...]