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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (February, 2007)

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Blu-rayHD DVDEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - Sony Blu-ray DVD Player for $599?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 27 2007, 2:00pm

At a press conference yesterday, Sony announced plans to release an entry-level Blu-ray high-definition DVD player with a $599 list price early this summer. A senior VP also predicted that a Blu-ray player will be selling for less than $500 for this year’s winter holiday buying season, according to a variety of sources. Sony also [...]

Service & RepairCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - CBS Reaches HDTV Deal with Cable

By Alfred Poor • Feb 26 2007, 2:00pm

You subscribe to a cable service. You expect that you’ll get your local television stations as part of that service. If you are paying extra for digital cable with HDTV service, you might expect to get the local HDTV broadcasts as well. And you might well be wrong. As we saw in the days leading [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)HD DVDLaser HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - HD DVD Copy Protection Unlocked

By Alfred Poor • Feb 23 2007, 2:00pm

Word broke last week that someone had found a way to unlock the AACS digital rights management (which is another way of saying “copy protection”) for the new high definition blue laser DVDs. These discs are “locked” using a key that is stored on the DVD. Someone discovered a way to find the key, which [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Upscaling DVD Players

By Alfred Poor • Feb 22 2007, 2:00pm

Q: New DVD players offer up-conversion of a standard DVD signal. How is this accomplished, and is this feature worthwhile?
John Lee, Hawaii
A: Standard DVDs produce a 480i signal (or 480p if it’s a progressive scan player). The new “upconvert” devices take the roughly 850 by 480 pixel image and scale it up to 720p [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Joost IPTV Gets MTV

By Alfred Poor • Feb 21 2007, 2:00pm

Google’s YouTube has lost another possible partner. Viacom announced yesterday that efforts to reach a revenue-sharing agreement with YouTube have failed, and so the company is turning to Joost – formerly the Venice Project — to host online clips from Viacom’s programming. If you’re not familiar with Viacom, you’ll probably recognize the names of its [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - New Intelligence Report Format!

By Alfred Poor • Feb 20 2007, 2:00pm

Many readers of the HDTV Almanac are already familiar with “Professor Poor’s Weekly Price Intelligence Report“: the fastest and easiest way to find all the advertised prices for HDTVs from the major national retailers. The news is that we have developed a new way to track all these prices, which will make the report more [...]

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Is Dell’s Future in HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 19 2007, 2:00pm

As the personal computer market gets more constricted and margins get thinner, it should come as no surprise that information technology (IT) companies are looking more and more at consumer electronics (CE) as a way to branch out and pursue the continued growth that corporations seem to equate with success. Two pieces of news from [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - DTV Changeover: Two Years to Go!

By Alfred Poor • Feb 16 2007, 2:00pm

Where will you be when the analog broadcasts of television in the U.S. stop? In two years from this weekend, the nation’s TV broadcasts of analog signals will go dark. The FCC has come to the realization that most Americans are unaware of this scheduled event, and don’t understand its significance. Organizations such as the [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Olevia: HDTV Trend Setter?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 15 2007, 2:00pm

The New York Times published a story earlier this week with the headline “The No-Name Brand Behind the Latest Flat-Panel Price War”. The story makes the case that the Olevia brand of LCD HDTVs made by Syntax-Brillian were responsible for the incredibly low prices seen during last year’s holiday shopping season. The article cites Circuit [...]

BroadcastHD DVDDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - OTA HTDV Gaining Interest

By Alfred Poor • Feb 14 2007, 2:00pm

An article in this week’s Newsweek explores the growing demand for antennas for over the air — OTA — reception of digital television signals from local broadcast stations. A number of factors could be in play behind this growing interest. Certainly, the fact that some viewers were unable to get the SuperBowl in HD over [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - SuperBowl HDTV Epilogue

By Alfred Poor • Feb 13 2007, 2:00pm

Does the SuperBowl sell HDTVs? I haven’t seen sales figures for January yet and February’s only half over, but it’s pretty clear from a number of metrics that I track that interest has fallen way off since February 4th. We’re entering the dark time for HDTV sales — aside from a possible bump from Chinese [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Corning Making More HDTV Glass

By Alfred Poor • Feb 12 2007, 2:00pm

Corning owns the lion’s share of the LCD glass market worldwide, and the company is gearing up for growth. In preparation for their annual investor meeting on Friday, the company announced that it expects the demand for LCD glass to grow at a compound annual rate of 30 percent for the next two years. By [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Reader Comment: Too Much IPTV?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 9 2007, 2:00pm

I realize that the content on your site is available for free, but I must register my displeasure with all the coverage of IPTV. It is still in its infancy and tends to require special access or software or permission. I don’t think that a site that is named HDTVprofessor should spend so much time [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Radio Shack HDTV: Buy Online, Pickup Locally

By Alfred Poor • Feb 8 2007, 2:00pm

As I’ve pointed out before, Radio Shack has a problem with its new foray into becoming an HDTV dealer; its stores are small. As a result, they don’t have room for large screens, and only stock models up to about 37″. And that’s not nearly large enough for most American living rooms. So the company [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - DRM: Good News, Bad News

By Alfred Poor • Feb 7 2007, 2:00pm

DRM stands for “copy protection” and refers to the various technologies that are used to deter the illegal copying and use of copyrighted material such as music, movies, and video. The problem is that DRM also prevents legitimate use of this material. Yesterday, Steve Jobs of Apple came out with a strong position against DRM [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Download Movies from Wal-Mart, The Sequel

By Alfred Poor • Feb 6 2007, 2:00pm

Remember the tough old days when you used to have to drive all the way to Wal-Mart to buy a movie? (The average driving distance for the average American has to be under 15 miles, given the way Wal-Marts seem to be everywhere these days.) Thank goodness that if you want to buy a movie [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Hey Bud, This IPTV’s for You!

By Alfred Poor • Feb 5 2007, 2:00pm

Perhaps you caught the two quick ads last night on the SuperBowl; today is the official launch of Bud.TV, a new Web video site developed by Budweiser. This free site boasts a variety of original content developed just for this new Internet “channel”. A number of current and former Saturday Night Live members are among [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Thoughts on a 32″ LCD HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Feb 2 2007, 2:00pm

I have noticed that a lot of people have come to the Almanac as a result of using search engines to find information about 32″ LCD HDTVs. (Yes, I’ve got a nifty new tool that tells me all sorts of things about how people find the Almanac, and what they read when they get here; [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Tutorial: Contrast Ratio

By Alfred Poor • Feb 1 2007, 2:00pm

I have noticed that a large number of people have come to the HDTV Almanac as part of online searches for information about HDTV contrast ratios. I go into the subject in some detail in Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV, but here’s the quick overview.
Contrast ratio is probably the single most important performance factor [...]