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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (May, 2008)

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Global & WorldviewDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Universal TV Tuner

By Alfred Poor • May 30 2008, 1:00pm

In this global community, we still tend to be provincial about television. In the United States, we know about NTSC, but may not know about the PAL and SECAM video standards used in many parts of the world. We are learning about the ATSC digital broadcasts, but may not be as aware of the DVB-T, [...]

Laser HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Blue Laser Update

By Alfred Poor • May 29 2008, 1:00pm

In an earlier HDTV Almanac entry, I wrote about a complaint filed by Gertrude Neumark Rothschild against 31 electronics companies for violation of her patents on blue LEDs and lasers. According to a press release by the law firm handling the complaint, four companies have signed licensing agreements for the technology. Sony and Sanyo are [...]

Cable HDTVService & RepairHTPCs & LaptopsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Sony Chooses tru2way

By Alfred Poor • May 28 2008, 1:00pm

There’s a big media splash today about Sony building new TVs that can plug directly into your digital cable service – without a separate set top box — and access all the two-way cable services such as pay-per-view and video recording. The announcement makes a point of listing the major cable companies that support tru2way: [...]

Internet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - The Netflix Box Bombshell

By Alfred Poor • May 27 2008, 1:00pm

Okay, there are still dozens of stories from SID that I could write, but it’s really time to move on. And to play catchup, I need to cover the biggest story from last week; a week ago, Netflix announced the Netflix Player by Roku. This box is simple; it connects your TV to the Internet [...]

BroadcastBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - War Funding Funds Low-Power TV Broadcasts

By Alfred Poor • May 26 2008, 1:00pm

It’s business as usual in Washington, DC. According to a report by TVTechnology.com, an emergency supplemental appropriation for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq included measures for low-power television broadcasts. One provides grants to help these stations continue to broadcast analog signals after the February 17, 2009 deadline for the full-power stations to cut off [...]


HDTV Almanac - SID 2008: Thinner LCDs

By Alfred Poor • May 23 2008, 1:00pm

I’m not sure that the consumers agree, but LCD makers appear to think that the way to the hearts (and wallets) of HDTV buyers is to make their panels thinner and lighter. At SID 2008, there were plenty of efforts on display that indicate some interesting developments along this line.
The key to thinner LCD panels [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - SID 2008: In Touch with HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • May 22 2008, 1:00pm

Blame it on the iPhone. Or maybe blame Tom Cruise in “Minority Report”. Touch screen displays used to be simple affairs for airport kiosks and bank ATMs, but now everyone wants “multitouch”. This means that the screen is able to recognize when the screen is being touched in two or more places. Multitouch makes it [...]

Environment / Green

HDTV Almanac - SID 2008: Display Industry Tackles Energy Use

By Alfred Poor • May 21 2008, 1:00pm

According to Paul Drzaic, President of the Society for Information Display (SID), consumers worldwide use tens of terrawatt hours of electricity each year, just to watch television (citing information from the Consumer Electronics Association in a free report). That’s an enormous number, and if we can get each set to save only a little more [...]

Events & TradeshowsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - SID 2008: How to Pick an HDTV

By Alfred Poor • May 20 2008, 1:00pm

The Society for Information Display (SID) 2008 annual conference really doesn’t start until today (though it gets started early with a 7 AM press breakfast). Yesterday was the SID 2008 Busines Conference, which focuses on the business of the display industry. Participants got to hear many insightful and inspiring presentations, but the one I think [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - SID 2008: Here We Go!

By Alfred Poor • May 19 2008, 1:00pm

Each year, the Society for Information Display (SID) holds their major conference. You may not have heard of SID, because this is not a flashy show like CES or InfoCOMM or CEDIA that are filled with shiny products for end users. The SID conference is by, for, and all about the display industry. You’ll see [...]


Home Theater Concepts: Is a 1440x1080 HD Camcorder Inferior to a 1920x1080 HD Camcorder?

By Robert A. Fowkes • May 16 2008, 4:08pm

The question has been raised regarding how good 1440x1080 resolution from HD camcorders is when compared to "full" 1920x1080 resolution devices. While it is technically accurate to say that 1920x1080 images contain more pixels than 1440x1080 images the actual appearance to the native eye is not as different as logic might make you think. And the choice of "1440" as the resolution in the horizontal direction in a "1920x1080" world is not an arbitrary number but carefully selected due to

EntertainmentBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - JVC and Kenwood to Merge

By Alfred Poor • May 16 2008, 1:00pm

It’s all but a done deal; in October, JVC and Kenwood will merge into a single company. JVC has been struggling with its line of HDTVs and other consumer electronics products, and there apparently is some hope that merging with Kenwood’s automotive entertainment systems business will provide some sort of synergy that can’t happen as [...]

BroadcastDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Digital TV Reception

By Alfred Poor • May 15 2008, 1:00pm

Q: We recently purchased two digital converter boxes for our analog TVs. Although the pictures are generally very good, occasionally the picture freezes or distorts, as does the sound. This happens on both TVs. Each set is connected to its own antenna. Do I need a different type of antenna to [...]

HD DVDInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Mark Cuban on Internet TV: Show Me the Money

By Alfred Poor • May 14 2008, 1:00pm

Mark Cuban is the high-profile owner of the the NBA Dallas Mavericks, and also has been a driving force behind the growth of HDTV with his HD.NET enterprise. He also has something in common with about 10 million other Earthlings; he has a blog. In a recent entry, he tackles the question of whether video [...]


HDTV Almanac - Sharp Cuts the Cables

By Alfred Poor • May 13 2008, 1:00pm

Sharp’s X-Series of LCD HDTVs have gone on sale in Japan, and they apparently are headed to the U.S. market as well. These 120 Hz 1080p models are special in that the controlling circuitry is separate from the panel itself, so that the panel can be a lot thinner. And rather than have to string [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Wimington NC: Lab Rat?

By Alfred Poor • May 12 2008, 4:00am

Wilmington, North Carolina has been known as the high school home of basketball legend Michael Jordan, as well as the backdrop for the TV shows Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. Well, Wilmington is about to make history again, when the television viewers there get to set their clocks ahead this fall… by about five [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyPlasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Pioneer Rolls Out KURO Models

By Alfred Poor • May 9 2008, 1:00pm

On Wednesday, Pioneer rolled out two new KURO plasma HDTV models. Both are 1080p models with one year warranties, and are scheduled to ship in June. The PDP-5020FD is a 50″ version with a list price of $4,000, and the 60″ PDP-6020FD has a $5,500 list price. The KURO technology empahsizes creating very dark black [...]


HDTV Almanac - How Long Does Sony’s OLED TV Last?

By Alfred Poor • May 8 2008, 1:00pm

Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV is gorgeous and impossibly thin; there is no argument possible about either of those facts. And that’s enough to make people go gaga over it, even though it is about one sixteenth the size of a 42″ 1080p LCD TV and more than twice the price. Oh, and it’s not even [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Does the World Need Another DIVA?

By Alfred Poor • May 6 2008, 1:00pm

A group of Chinese companies announced the creation of a new consortium last week, with the goal of creating and promoting a new interface for consumer electronics products. They call it the Digital Interface for Video and Audio, which results in the unfortunate acronym, DIVA. Backing this new move are some major and influential companies, [...]

Cable HDTVService & RepairBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Time Warner to Sell Cable Business

By Alfred Poor • May 5 2008, 1:00pm

Time Warner, parent company of cable giant Time Warner Cable, said last week that it intends to spin-off the cable service as a separate company. The parent company owns 84% of the publicly-traded subsidiary, and has not yet announced details of how it intends to separate from the cable company which is still profitable and [...]


HDTV Almanac - iTunes: New Release Movies at Your House

By Alfred Poor • May 2 2008, 1:00pm

Roll out the red carpet and set up those swirling spotlights in your front yard; new DVD movie releases are coming directly to your living room, thanks to iTunes. And you don’t need the DVD.
“Day-and-date” is the oddly redundant term used by the film industry to refer to the release of movie content. iTunes has [...]

Environment / Green

HDTV Almanac - Sam’s Club Goes eGreen

By Alfred Poor • May 1 2008, 1:00pm

Last weekend, I drove 18 miles to recycle a carload of used computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, and other electronic equipment. A local township was sponsoring the event, and since they didn’t have a limit on the number of items you could drop off, it was worth the drive. I had some other options – including [...]