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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (December, 2006)

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Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - China Resists Digital TV Royalties

By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2006, 2:00pm

A report by China Daily on Wednesday indicates that some Chinese TV manufacturers may be banding together to negotiate lower royalty rates for the patent licenses required to build televisions with digital tuners for the United States Market. All TVs must have digital tuners starting next March.
According to the report, the Chinese government claims that [...]


HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Interference from Flat Panels?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2006, 2:00pm

Q: I am an amateur radio operator and I want to get a flat panel TV that will be in the same room as the radio transceivers. I am concerned about the new TV producing any interference for the radio. I do not get any noise from the LCD monitor on my computer in [...]

Events & TradeshowsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Sorry — No SED at CES

By Alfred Poor • Dec 27 2006, 2:00pm

Toshiba has released a statement indicating the the company will not be showing the SED HDTV displays at CES next month in Las Vegas. CNET reports that a company spokesperson said that the reason for the cancellation is neither “technical or business”. While this does not seem to leave much much room for other [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Red Friday?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 26 2006, 2:00pm

Circuit City reported its third quarter financials last week, for their third quarter ending November 30th. The net loss was $16 million. That’s a lot of money to lose, but it’s even larger when you compare it with the $10 million in profit the company posted for the same period a year ago. What happened? [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Best Wishes to All!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 25 2006, 2:00pm

I’m off enjoying a high-definition holiday today, so I’ll just take this moment to thank all of you for your tremendous support in the past year, to wish you warm greetings of the holiday season, and to hope that you and yours enjoy a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
Alfred Poor

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Obsolete TVs?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2006, 2:00pm

Q: I’ve heard that in the near future, only those who have HDTV will be able to receive a tv signal and all the old tvs will be obsolete. This can’t be true, can it? Please advise.
Robert Romine
A: This is probably the question that I am asked second-most often. (The most frequent question [...]


HDTV Almanac - Shortcut to IPTV?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2006, 2:00pm

A friend sent me a link to a product called “PCShowBuzz” that promises to give you access to more than 1,000 movie, news, sports, and music channels on the Web. My friend wanted to know if this product was for real, or was it a scam of some sort.
The answer is that it’s a little [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - How Reliable Are HDTV Reviews?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 20 2006, 2:00pm

Of all the sources of comparitive reviews of consumer products, I hold Consumer Reports in very high regard. This is the company that essentially established the field, and they generally are careful and precise in their testing and reporting. I discovered when I was deeply involved in personal computer testing over the past 20 years [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - IPTV: The Venice Project

By Alfred Poor • Dec 19 2006, 2:00pm

I’ve been testing a bunch of different IPTV services, and some of them leave me unconvinced that they’re an improvement on traditional broadcast. In some cases, I’m not even sure that they are as good. But there’s a new effort underway to make IPTV work: The Venice Project. According to its Web site, this is [...]


HDTV Almanac - RP HDTV on the Wall

By Alfred Poor • Dec 18 2006, 2:00pm

One of the reasons that people prefer LCD and plasma flat panels over rear projection models is that you can “hang them on the wall“. Never mind that fewer than 25% of buyers ever do that. For a 42″ or larger screen, you could be dealing with hanging 100 pounds or more: not your [...]


HDTV Almanac - Sharp Announces 1080p 32″ LCD

By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2006, 2:00pm

Sharp has announced that they will release a 32″ LCD HDTV with 1080p resolution in Japan next week. It will come in two models: one with side speakers and one with bottom speakers.
It’s interesting to see that 1080p is starting to take over the LCD world. Unlike with plasma displays, it’s really not that difficult [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Video to Go Will Blossom

By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2006, 2:00pm

A new study by the McLaughlin Consulting Group predicts that “personal viewer” sales will reach $1 billion in 2010. That’s just four years out from now. The group also picks Apple Computer as one company in a good position to benefit from this growth, as it plays off the success of the iPod family of [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - The Cost of Black Friday

By Alfred Poor • Dec 13 2006, 2:00pm

A Sony executive has already gone on the record that flat panel TV prices have fallen too fast this year, and while it has been great for consumers, the low prices will make it difficult for manufacturers to fund expanded production and technological innovation. Now we hear from a retailer on the subject. In a [...]

Service & RepairPlasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Offers Free HDTV Advice

By Alfred Poor • Dec 12 2006, 4:05pm

If you buy a Panasonic plasma HDTV, you gain access to the company’s Concierge program. A toll free number gives you access to experts who will answer basic and technical questions, and can even help you pick the right model for your needs. You can also use the service to get help with connecting your [...]

HD DVDGaming

HDTV Almanac - How is HD DVD Doing?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 11 2006, 2:00pm

Okay, the best buy in high-definition DVD players has been released: the Sony PlayStation 3 that includes a BluRay DVD player. Sadly, a severely limited product supply meant that they sold out in hours (often to speculators hoping to finance their holiday gift giving). So with PS3 models reselling for $700 or more, the HD [...]

BroadcastDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Stealth DTV Antenna

By Alfred Poor • Dec 8 2006, 2:00pm

The fact is that you don’t need a special antenna to receive digital TV transmissions, though one designed specifically for the job is likely to do better. But say you live in a strong signal area — within 15 miles of the transmitter or so — and don’t want to put an aluminum monstrosity on [...]

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Gets Personal?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2006, 2:00pm

A report from the McLaughlin Consulting Group (MCG) predicts that the “Personal Viewer” market could reach $1 billion in sales by 2010, just four years from now. A Personal Viewer is a small, head-mounted display that creates a virtual image of a screen many feet wide. The same technology that is making low-cost high [...]

Satellite HDTVProgrammingService & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Local Weather from Satellite

By Alfred Poor • Dec 6 2006, 2:00pm

One problem with satellite service is getting local programming. (EchoStar is an a major tussle with broadcasters and content producers for distributing “distant” network TV programming on its system.) Cable and over-the-air are great sources for local news including weather reports, but how can satellite services match that? Well, the Dish Network has found a [...]

HD Video Production

HDTV Almanac - Plug-in H.264 Conversion

By Alfred Poor • Dec 5 2006, 2:00pm

Okay, this gets a bit techie so feel free to skip ahead to tomorrow if this is more than you want to know. ADS Tech has announced the release of Instant Video To-Go, a USB 2.0 device that provides hardware conversion for H.264 video. H.264 is also known as MPEG 4 (because it is included [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Ambilight Online

By Alfred Poor • Dec 4 2006, 2:00pm

Ambilight is the feature that Philips has added to some of its flat screen displays. It essentially frames the image with a faint glowing light, and is designed to enhance the viewing experience. It also may help reduce eye strain and fatigue by decreasing the contrast between the image and the immediate surroundings in your [...]

Service & RepairBroadcastFiber/IPTV HDTV

HDTV Almanac - IPTV Boost Broadcast?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2006, 2:00pm

CBS launched the CBS Brand Channel on YouTube in October, and within one month, reportedly has become the number one content channel on the service. The network has posted more than 300 clips, which have been viewed more than 29 million times. One of the most interesting facts is that a number of the clips [...]