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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (August, 2008)

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LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Would You Pay More for Less?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 29 2008, 1:00pm

Sony’s betting that some HDTV buyers will be happy to shell out more and get less. According to a report by Reuters, the company announced yesterday that they will start shipping a new LCD HDTV that is just 9.9 mm thick. For those who may be metrics-challenged, that is just about 5/32 inch thick. The [...]

Events & TradeshowsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Do We Need Another HDTV Brand?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2008, 1:00pm

According to a news report in TWICE yesterday, audio maker Sherwood is planning to release a pair of TVs at CEDIA next week. According to the article, the LCD HDTVs will be a 32″ WXGA model and a 42″ 1080p moodel. No prices or distribution information was available, though they are apparently scheduled to [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVPC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - More Wireless HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Aug 27 2008, 1:00pm

AMIMON, an Israeli company, is one of the companies behind the WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) standard, along with Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, Sony. This technology is designed to send “uncompressed” high-definition content between devices in the home without wires. The “uncompressed” simply means that the system does not apply additional compression on top of [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Fair Use a Factor in Video Take-Down Orders

By Alfred Poor • Aug 26 2008, 1:00pm

Let me start by saying that I’m a bit hawkish about copyright protection; I’ve made my living for more than 25 years by creating copyrighted content. However, I’m also opposed to heavy-handed enforcement that gathers in innocents while trying to deter violators.
One problem is that copyrights are frequently abused on online video sites, particularly YouTube. [...]

HD DVDDigital (DTV) TransitionCable HDTVPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Small Cable Companies of the HD Hook

By Alfred Poor • Aug 25 2008, 1:00pm

One of the most common misconceptions about the transition to digital broadcasts next February is that “everything will have to be HD”. Another one is that cable companies will be forced to switch to HD. Both of those are false, mostly.
First, the government is not requiring that all TV content be in high definition. It [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - More Thoughts on Widgets

By Alfred Poor • Aug 22 2008, 1:50pm

I reported a month ago about the Internet widgets on some of Samsung’s new TVs. On Wednesday, Intel and Yahoo! announced the Widget Channel that will let viewers add Internet content to their screens. It is to work not just with televisions, but other consumer electronic devices as well. The goal is to have developers [...]

Blu-rayHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - What Has Blu-Ray Won?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2008, 1:00pm

To the victor go the spoils. Blu-ray Disc (BD) conquered HD DVD to become the industry’s high definition video disc format, and now that it’s had the market to itself for six months, how has it fared?
One measure of its success can be found in a market report released on Tuesday by Futuresource. The decidedly [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LCD Slams the Door on 32″ Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Aug 20 2008, 1:00pm

The manufacturer shipment data reported for the second quarter of 2008 by DisplaySearch shows plasma units “surged” by 35%, largely on the strength of Vizio’s introduction of a 32″ plasma TV. This reprieve for plasma will be short-lived, however, as LCD models are available with better features at lower prices.
The conventional wisdom has been that [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FCC DTV Road Tour: Your Tax Dollars at Work

By Alfred Poor • Aug 19 2008, 2:48pm

Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else get the idea that the FCC is making up this digital TV transition thing as they go along? After what seemed like years of wrangling before they finally set a firm date for the changeover, they have been making some major adjustments ever since.
For example, there was [...]

HD DVDPC & Laptop TechnologyLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - New Toshiba DVD Player: Blow Up?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 18 2008, 1:00pm

Toshiba has announced their new XD-E500 DVD player, with a $149 list price. The product marks the debut of new “eXtended Detail Enhancement (XDE)” technology. The company claims that this player can give “near-HD” quality to standard DVDs. It not only upscales (like many other standard DVD players), but it adds processing for edge enhancement, [...]

Plasma HDTVsSports

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Announces Long Life Plasma HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Aug 15 2008, 12:41pm

Panasonic is “the Official HDTV of the Olympic Games”, according to their press release in which they announce that their entire line of 1080p Viera plasma HDTV models for 2008 now have a lifetime rating of 100,000 hours. If you figure on the typical 6.5 hours of viewing a day, 365 days a year, that [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Digital Transition: Border Wars

By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2008, 1:00pm

As reported here last spring, the impending transition to digital-only terrestrial television broadcasts (by full power stations) is creating a problem for stations in the United States along the border with Mexico. They have to compete with high-powered TV transmissions from Mexican stations that are serving the same markets on both sides of the border [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Mounting Advice

By Alfred Poor • Aug 13 2008, 1:00pm

Premier Mounts is… well… one of the premier companies making flat panel mounts. According to some reports, about three out of four flat panels in corporate settings get mounted, but only about one in four in homes. If you think you might want to be one of that 25%, Premier has just posted a short [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Canon Back on Track with SED

By Alfred Poor • Aug 12 2008, 1:00pm

An appeals court ruled last week that Canon had not broken its license with Applied Nanotech Holdings for the company’s SED — surface-conduction electron-emitter display – technology. SED is a novel flat panel display technology that puts tiny electron emitters behind each sub-pixel. The result is an extremely thin panel that produces an emissive image [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Alternative Technologies

By Alfred Poor • Aug 11 2008, 1:00pm

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, LCD is the worst display technology except all the others that have been tried. The panels take many complex and precise steps to manufacturer using discrete sheets of glass substrates (instead of a more efficient roll of some material), and the finished product blocks about 95% of the light from the [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Wal-Mart Sales Are Up

By Alfred Poor • Aug 8 2008, 1:00pm

Spurred in part by flat panel TV sales, Wal-Mart reported a 6.7% increase in sales for July compared with a year ago. Given the uncertainty of the economy, higher food and gas prices, and rising unemployment, it’s interesting to see that flat panel sales continue to be strong at Wal-Mart.
I have to wonder what the [...]

Environment / GreenCable HDTVPlasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: How Green is My HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2008, 1:00pm

Q: Some weeks ago, I heard you mention thedifference in power consumption between LCD and plasma televisions on The Personal Computer Show. I have found that Crutchfield provides a comparison option which includes their own testing of TVs. When you have some time, could you compare the four 46″ models I have listed below, using [...]

Mobile HDTVHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Subscription Fees Lose Out to “Free”

By Alfred Poor • Aug 6 2008, 1:00pm

My friend and colleague Steve Sechrist at Insight Media wrote a great piece in that company’s free “Display Daily” newsletter about problems facing two subscription-based mobile TV services. Mobile Broadcasting Corp. in Japan will shut down next spring after failing to sign up enough subscribers in spite of 10 years of trying and Toyota’s endorsement. [...]

Deals & DiscountsPolitics & PolicyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Converter Coupons Go Unused

By Alfred Poor • Aug 5 2008, 1:00pm

The federal government is providing rebate coupons to consumers who want to buy a converter for their analog-only television sets before the transition to all digital broadcasts next February. (See the HDTV Almanac entry for details about the coupon program.)
The NTIA has issued about 20 million coupons so far. However, the coupons have a 90-day [...]

HD DVDSportsSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Olympic Coverage Includes Online

By Alfred Poor • Aug 4 2008, 1:00pm

NBC is touting the fact that it will offer 1,400 hours of Olympic coverage on its various networks, including NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, and Telemundo. It also will have 24/7 live and repeat HD coverage on Universal HD. If you want to check out what networks are available to you on your cable or satellite [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - LG Streams Netflix

By Alfred Poor • Aug 1 2008, 1:00pm

Netflix subscribers, I hope you haven’t rushed out and bought the Roku box yet. (That’s the $100 box that lets you stream movies and other video content from Netflix over the Internet for free.) Apparently, Netflix is going to give you lots of options to access the online content, and yesterday LG Electronics showed off [...]