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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (August, 2007)

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PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Half of You Are Watching!

By Alfred Poor • Aug 30 2007, 2:00pm

ABI Research has published a new study that finds that almost half of all U.S. consumers watch video on their PCs. (Actually, I expect that since you read HDTV Almanac , you are probably ahead of the curve and among the half that watches video on your PC.)
What are they watching? About 72% are watching [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - 65″ 1080p HDTV Under $2,000

By Alfred Poor • Aug 29 2007, 2:00pm

Syntax-Brillian announced their new Olevia 665H, a new 65″ HDTV that has a suggested retail price of $1,999. Does that get your attention? It’s got 1080p resolution, dual HDMI and dual component connections, a PC input. It’s also got RS-232 serial control for commercial applications. Video processing is handled by Pixelworks DNX technology.
Okay, 65″ 1080p [...]

Service & RepairPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Who profits?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2007, 2:00pm

At the height of the personal computer price wars, I often said that the only company making money in the PC market was United Parcel Service. Manufacturer and dealer margins were razor thin – if not actually negative — and only the freight companies were profiting from the sales.
Well, it’s deja vue all over again [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Ships LIFI HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Aug 27 2007, 2:00pm

As I’ve mentioned before, sales of rear projection HDTVs continue to defy gravity. The advantages over flat screen models are considerable; they cost less, they weigh less, and they take up less space because their bezels are a small fraction of the typical plasma screen. And the new slim models are not much deeper than [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LCD HDTV: Never Too Thin

By Alfred Poor • Aug 24 2007, 2:00pm

Sharp announced a new prototype LCD HDTV this week. The 52″ model is remarkable for the fact that it is less than 30 mm thick. For those of you who don’t have the metric system memorized, that’s less than an inch and a quarter. And that’s about the thickness of a typical 10″ LCD. [...]

HD DVDBlu-rayPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Paramount Backs HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Aug 23 2007, 2:00pm

Paramount and its subsidiary DreamWorks announced this week that they were dropping production of Blu-ray high definition discs for future movie releases, and will go ahead exclusively with HD DVD. Up until this announcement, the studios released titles in both formats. According to an interview by (a former colleague) Melissa Perenson in PC World with [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Reader Comment: HDTV Size Too Big

By Alfred Poor • Aug 22 2007, 2:00pm

A reader who purchased a copy of “Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV” sent the following comment yesterday:
Your ?calculation? of distance from the TV produces impractical results. At 1080p, your calculations indicate for a 42 inch TV you have to sit 5 feet from the screen. It makes no sense!
A lot of people have that [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Tougher Times for Tweeter

By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2007, 2:00pm

In June, Tweeter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors. The company announced restructuring plans that included closing all stores in California, Tennessee, Alabama, New York and most of Georgia. In July, the company’s assets were sold to Schultze Asset Management for $38 million. On Friday, the new owners announced that half of [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Not All Digital TV is Wide

By Alfred Poor • Aug 20 2007, 2:00pm

I hate to pick on National Public Radio (NPR) because they do such an excellent job of broad and deep reporting on a wide variety of subjects. Following a sequence of links, I came across a piece on their Web site that does a pretty good job of addressing the problem of the upcoming cut-off [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionBroadcastPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - IBM Gets the DTV Gig

By Alfred Poor • Aug 17 2007, 2:00pm

Congress and the FCC have decided that on February 17, 2009, analog television terrestrial broadcasts — “over the air” — will cease. This frees up all those radio spectrum frequencies for other uses, including the sale of some ranges to private businesses, which will bring billions of dollars into the federal coffers. Congress is concerned [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsInternet HD VideoPC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Sony PC for Living Room

By Alfred Poor • Aug 16 2007, 2:00pm

The number of good reasons for having a computer attached to your television grows daily. Digital video recording, access to shared media storage, Internet music and video streams, and more make it an ideal match. Of course, the “Design Police” may object to putting an ugly beige box by your beautiful flat screen HDTV.
Sony has [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Camel’s Nose Further into the Tent

By Alfred Poor • Aug 15 2007, 2:00pm

DRM is the acronymn for “Digital Rights Management”, but as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, it’s just a pretty way of saying “copy protection“. (Sort of like calling a tax increase “revenue enhancement”.) And as I’ve stated before, the landscape is littered with failed attempts at making copy protection stick. I believe that in the long [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Before “Same Day Release”

By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2007, 3:31pm

Up until a few years ago, the standard practice for movies was to release them in the theaters first, and then four to six months later, bring them out on VHS or DVD. That “release window” shrank to four to six weeks, and now many movies are released to DVD on the same day that [...]

LCD HDTVsHD DVDSports

HDTV Almanac - NFL Zebras to Get HD Replay

By Alfred Poor • Aug 13 2007, 2:00pm

Have you seen the television commercial for Sharp Aquos LCD HDTVs? It’s the one where the golfer hits the ball in the rough, and everyone on the course is searching for the ball but can’t find it. And all the folks watching at home — on high-definition LCD TVs — can clearly see the ball, [...]

HD DVDPC & Laptop TechnologyEvents & TradeshowsBlu-ray

HDTV Almanac - Hi-Def DVD: Door #3?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 10 2007, 2:00pm

At the CEDIA conference in Denver next month, the proponents of Blu-ray and HD DVD will be doing their best to convice professional installers of home entertainment systems to use their high definition DVD technology. However, a third choice will be making its U.S. debut; New Medium Enterprises will introduce their HD VMD technology. The [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVService & RepairPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - IPTV: Heavyweights Join Forces in Japan

By Alfred Poor • Aug 9 2007, 2:00pm

Not all technology advances that take hold in Japan make it across the Pacific to the United States, but in many ways, the country is a bellwether for what we can expect to see next. And if TV Portal Service is any indication, IPTV may be a significant factor over here sooner than we might [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Sharp Sues Samsung

By Alfred Poor • Aug 8 2007, 2:00pm

Not since Godzilla took on Rodan have we seen a battle of oriental titans like this, even if the combat will take place within the staid confines of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. It’s good that Texans are used to events staged on a grand scale. The battle lines have [...]

HD DVDBlu-rayCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Hi-Def DVDs Taking Off

By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2007, 2:00pm

One of the big questions about the high definition DVD format wars between HD DVD and Blu-ray is this: Does anyone really care? Are consumers really ready to replace their existing DVD players and libraries with expensive high definition players? Well, it appears that a lot of people are headed in that direction.
Yesterday, Warner Home [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - When Is 1080 Not HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 6 2007, 2:00pm

Plasma makers are making a big push back against the gains of LCD panels in HDTV applications, and they’re pulling out all the stops. Buyers will have to look closely and read carefully to make sure that they get what they think their getting. For example, consider the new “1080″ plasma panels put forth by [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Wal-Mart HDTV Juggernaut Advances

By Alfred Poor • Aug 3 2007, 2:00pm

Last winter, Wal-Mart set off a price war with its deep discounting of HDTV products on Black Friday, the SuperBowl of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Best Buy and Circuit City are still recovering from the hits they took trying to keep up with the competition. How has Wal-Mart held up? It looks as [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sharp Announces Gen 10 LCD Plant

By Alfred Poor • Aug 2 2007, 2:00pm

Got a spare $3.2 billion? Then you too can build a tenth generation — 10G — LCD production plant just like Sharp. Sharp is the first company to announce plans for a production line that will handle sheets of glass substrates this large. As already reported here, the glass will be more than 10 feet [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVBroadcastInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - IPTV to Reach $5.8 Billion in 2011

By Alfred Poor • Aug 1 2007, 2:00pm

Internet Television, aka IPTV: do you watch it? If you’ve every watched a YouTube clip, the answer is yes. And as I’ve mentioned here, the delivery of video content over broadband has the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the existing television broadcast systems, from the studios that generate the content to the networks that [...]