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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (August, 2006)

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General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Screen Sizes

By Alfred Poor • Aug 30 2006, 1:00pm

According to a story on chinapost.com.tw, the German consumer magazine Test advises that you should sit no closer to an HDTV than three times the screen’s diagonal measurement. So for a 32″ model, you should sit at least 96″ away, which is eight feet.
Now, I’ll admit that this is a second-hand reference, but the facts [...]


HDTV Almanac - OLEDs Ready for Prime Time?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 29 2006, 1:00pm

OLEDs are one of the most promising novel display technologies, especially for HDTVs. They have the brightness, and viewing angle of a traditional CRT, but also the fine detail from the physical pixels like an LCD. And the OLED panels can be a fraction of the thickness and weight of an LCD or plasma panel. [...]


HDTV Almanac - Are You Up for Downconversion?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2006, 1:00pm

New jargon alert: downconversion. You may have heard of upconversion; this refers to the process that some DVD players use to take standard definition DVD content and expand it to high definition resolution. This is a form of scaling that essentially fills in the “missing” data when the number of pixels is increased. Of course, [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

HDTV Almanac - TV on the Road

By Alfred Poor • Aug 25 2006, 1:00pm

On long road trips, I used to get so tired of finding new radio stations every hour or so as I drove in and out of range. Now satellite radio makes it easy to listen to one music station (or an entire sporting event) without ever losing the signal. I expect that some drivers would [...]

Service & RepairHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Click for HDTV Help

By Alfred Poor • Aug 24 2006, 1:00pm

Selling HDTVs online is a challenge. Buyers want to see the televisions in person, and want to be able to compare the image quality of different sets side by side. Amazon is trying to address buyers’ concerns by launching a new “Click-to-Call” HDTV call center. The idea is to provide a 24/7 live service where [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Are You Watching HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 23 2006, 1:00pm

A press release by InStat projects that the number of households receiving HDTV services – cable, satellite, over the air, and IPTV — will swell from 15 million in mid-2006 to more than 20 million by the end of 2006. That’s a one-third increase in just six months. 91% of these homes will be in [...]

LCD HDTVsGlobal & Worldview

HDTV Almanac - LCD HDTV: The Big Show!

By Alfred Poor • Aug 22 2006, 1:00pm

The arms race of “mine is bigger” continues unabated as Samsung has announced that it will sell a 70-inch LCD HDTV in 2007. The company has announced that it will show the new display tomorrow, Wednesday, August 23, at the International Meeting on Information Displays in Daegu, South Korea. The new 1080p display incorporates 120 [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Is HDTV Contrast Meaningless?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2006, 1:00pm

Almost every HDTV maker provides a rating for each model’s contrast. Contrast is simply a measure of how different the “blackest” black compares with the “whitest” white that the display can produce. Contrast is one of the most important performance factors for an HDTV, or any TV for that matter. Good contrast helps make the [...]

EntertainmentWireless HDMI/HDTV

HDTV Almanac - The New Home Entertainment Network

By Alfred Poor • Aug 18 2006, 1:00pm

Times are changing rapidly in the home entertainment market. We’re seeing all sorts of wired and wireless solutions being developed to bring audio and video entertainment, as well as telephone and information services to your home. But this raises the question of what happens to all this once it gets delivered there.
In the really old [...]

EntertainmentPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Take a PC TV Survey

By Alfred Poor • Aug 17 2006, 1:00pm

I’ve read Jon Peddie’s writing for years, and he’s one of the top experts I know on computer graphics. His areas of interest now collide with HDTV, as the personal computer may be poised to become the central hub for television and other forms of home entertainment. His company is conducting an online survey about [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Radio Shack for HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 16 2006, 1:00pm

I’ve reported here already about Radio Shack’s plans to bring HDTVs into its stores. The question now is whether or not they will be in financial shape to make the transition. The company has already closed 480 stores, leaving about 6,000 stores. And last week, they announced that they will be cutting as many as [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Disney Goes Slow on BluRay

By Alfred Poor • Aug 15 2006, 1:00pm

According to a post on TVPredictions, Disney CEO Robert Iger stated last week that neither Cars nor Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest would be released on BluRay this year. This is potentially embarrassing for Sony as Disney is a member of the BluRay camp.
According to the report, Iger predicted that “adoption of next-gen [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Load Up the Senses

By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2006, 1:00pm

I read a press release today in which the president and CEO of D2Audio claimed “We have long understood that improved audio leads to a perception of better video.”
I won’t argue. In a past life, I was active in the flight simulation community: people who fly airplanes on their computers. In my studies of simulations [...]

Deals & DiscountsPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Simpler HDTV Offers

By Alfred Poor • Aug 11 2006, 1:00pm

Dell recently announced that it will make its offers simpler for its PC, peripheral, and consumer electronic products. Over the next year and a half, they intend to reduce the number of rebates, special discounts, and other promotional offers by 80 percent. The net price is expected to remain about the same, but it will [...]


HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Made in the USA?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 10 2006, 1:00pm

Syntax-Brillian announced Tuesday that they will be assembling Olevia LCD TVs in California starting later this month, and their LCoS rear projection TVs starting in September. According to the company, this will cut down on shipping costs and import duties.
Presumably, the company also hopes to trade on their products’ new “made in the USA” status. [...]

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - US Gov Sells Frequencies Today

By Alfred Poor • Aug 9 2006, 1:00pm

Today, the US government hopes to have a little sale and raise $15 billion. What are they selling? Air. Well, to be more precise, they are selling the right to use radio waves in certain frequencies that travel through that air in certain parts of the country. According to the laws of the land, the [...]


HDTV Almanac - IPTV Forecast to Grow Big

By Alfred Poor • Aug 8 2006, 1:00pm

Over the next five years, the number of IPTV subscribers will grow, according to the market research firm iSupply. Now, it would be nice if the market would double by 2010. Tripling would be better. Growing six times larger would be impressive. But iSupply forecasts that there will be 12 times as many subscribers in [...]

Front ProjectionDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - New Optoma HDTV Projector

By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2006, 1:00pm

If you’re a frequent reader of the HDTV Almanac, you’re probably aware that I don’t do product reviews. However, I will highlight new product announcements when I think they have some relevance beyond the individual model. And that’s exactly why you should know about the EP1690 from Optoma.
This is a DLP front projector. Yes, I [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVBroadcastInternet HD VideoSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - IPTV for HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Aug 4 2006, 1:00pm

One of my standard comments about IPTV is that it will have to be at least as easy to use as regular broadcast, cable, or satellite TV. Five major HDTV manufacturers agree, and have announced plans to develop a standard user interface to get video content from the Internet. Sony, Matsushita (parent corporation of Panasonic), [...]


HDTV Almanac - HDTV Prices Drop!

By Alfred Poor • Aug 3 2006, 2:17pm

Here we go, foks. At least one manufacturer has not waited until September to make some big cuts in their product prices, and this is not one of the third tier brands, either. Sharp announced price drops for their line of AQUOS LCD TVs, according to TWICE:



Old Price

New Price


































$1,299 [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Sony Blinks on DRM?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 2 2006, 1:00pm

An interesting event happened about two weeks ago. Yahoo Music started selling Jessica Simpson’s “A Public Affair” for $1.99. No, the extra $1 about the standard $.99 price for a downloaded song is not the news. Nor is the curious feature that if you happen to have one of the 500 names that Jessica and [...]

HD DVDSports

HDTV Almanac - No Hybrid HD DVD from LG

By Alfred Poor • Aug 1 2006, 1:00pm

When I’m at a seafood restaurant, I often order the “Fisherman’s Platter” because I can’t make up my mind and I like variety. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a fan of LG’s “Super Multi” DVD drives; they support DVD-RAM, DVD+R/RW, and DVD-R/RW (as well as all CD formats). You don’t have to pick a [...]