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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (September, 2008)

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Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Circuit City on the Rocks?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 29 2008, 1:00pm

Circuit City has announced a bone-crushing $239.2 million loss for the second quarter of this year. According to various news reports, management has stopped trying to find a buyer for the company, and is trying to find ways to shore up the ailing company. This includes shelving plans for opening up new stores, cancelling all [...]

Satellite HDTVService & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Sony Signs with DISH Network

By Alfred Poor • Sep 26 2008, 1:00pm

This week, DISH Network announced an agreement with Sony Pictures Television that will allow DISH to carry their movies and other content on their video on demand service, DISH on Demand. The agreement covers both standard resolution and HD versions of the content, and also includes delivery through the DISH Pay-Per-View service. DISH on Demand [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - LG Puts Holy Text in HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Sep 25 2008, 1:00pm

It has been widely reported that LG Electronics is shipping two HDTV models for Middle East markets that contain the full text of the Koran (Quran), the holy book of Islam. This product was created after research indicated that many devout Muslims read the Koran every day, or listen to it on their home entertainment [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionBroadcastPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Wilmington NC: What Did We Learn?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 24 2008, 1:00pm

On September 8, most of the TV stations in Wilmington, NC turned off their analog broadcasts and broadcast only in digital. While most say that the transition went smoothly, there were still plenty of people caught unprepared for the change. This experiment was important so that local, state, and federal government officials could learn from [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Scaling HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Sep 23 2008, 1:00pm

Q: If a HDTV is limited to automatically displaying 720p what will be the picture results if the signal come at 1080 off air or cable?
Curt
A: Curt, when an image of one size is displayed on a screen with a different native resolution (number of pixels), then the image has to be scaled. If [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition Contest

By Alfred Poor • Sep 22 2008, 1:00pm

If you want to get people to do something, offer prizes. That’s what the Consumer Electronics Association (the group behind the annual CES mega-show) and the National Association of Broadcasters have done. To help publicize the impending transition to digital over-the-air TV broadcasts in February, the two organizations are sponsoring a “Rabbit Ears Pioneers” contest [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - One More Nail in Plasma Coffin

By Alfred Poor • Sep 19 2008, 1:00pm

Hitachi has announced that it will cease production of plasma panels, and instead buy them from Panasonic (Matsushita). This mirrors a similar decision made earlier this year by Pioneer. This is good news for Panasonic — at least in the short term — as it ensures an increased market for the output from the company’s [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Top This!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 18 2008, 1:00pm

Okay, I’m not shilling for Westinghouse (or any other manufacturer or retailer, for that matter), but I’ve just noticed another deal that I have to mention. Two weeks ago it was a Westinghouse 42″ 1080p model at Costco that staggered me. Now Buy.com is offering a different model at a price that risks causing double-take [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Half Full? Half Empty?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 17 2008, 1:00pm

Market research firm NPD has stated (according to a report by TWICE) that about 46 percent of USA television households now have HDTVs. 34 percent have only one HDTV, and 13 percent have two or more. So depending on how you look at it, the HDTV glass for US viewers is either half empty or [...]

BroadcastFiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - IPTV Impacts Presidential Campaigns?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 16 2008, 1:00pm

Thomas Jefferson once wrote “The best defense of democracy is an informed electorate.” The Internet could be a positive or negative force in this regard. On the one hand, it makes it too easy to only hear from those sources that agree with youon different subjects. On the other hand, the full spectrum of political [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Black Bars on Wide Screen

By Alfred Poor • Sep 15 2008, 1:00pm

Q: Is there anyway to eliminate the “side bars” from an HD picture ?
Jack Keefe
A: To paraphrase a former president, we could do that, but it would be wrong.
The “side bars” on an HD screen occur when you show standard definition content on a wide screen. The standard definition has a 4:3 aspect ratio ? [...]

Satellite HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - DirecTV Grows

By Alfred Poor • Sep 12 2008, 1:00pm

DirecTV must be on the right track as it focuses on adding HDTV channels. According to The Bridge, the satellite service grew by 219,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2008, while its rival DISH Network declined by 25,000 customers. This places DirecTV as the number two television subscription service in the US, behind only [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Broadcast

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Rabbit Ears for Digital TV?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 11 2008, 1:00pm

Q: I think I’ve heard you mention on The Personal Computer Show that rabbit ear owners would do well to replace their old antenna with a digital style model. Is that correct?
Richard Blum
A: Actually, Richard, my take on “rabbit ears” is slightly different. The problem is that analog signals can be received even when [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Built for “a Really Big Shoe”

By Alfred Poor • Sep 10 2008, 1:00pm

Okay, I expect that few readers will remember how Ed Sullivan always introduced his Sunday variety TV show as being a “really big shoe tonight” (back in the day when TV hosts didn’t have to be gorgeous and under 30). But if Ed’s show was still on the air, you might want to watch it [...]

Laser HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Laser TV Price Set; Brace Yourself

By Alfred Poor • Sep 9 2008, 1:00pm

Numerous sources are reporting that Mitsubishi has announced the pricing for the 65″ model of its new Laser TV, recently branded “Laservue”. The rear projection 1080p design is slated to ship by “the end of the third quarter” — (”Really, Seth? Really, Amy!”) — so we’ve only got to wait a few more weeks . [...]

Service & RepairInternet HD VideoBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Amazon Heats Up Online Video

By Alfred Poor • Sep 8 2008, 1:00pm

As Blockbuster and Netflix battle it out for dominance in the movie rental business, both will have to be looking over their shoulder at Amazon. Amazon has had its “Unbox” service that lets users rent and purchase and download movies, but last week, the company launched its new “Video on Demand” service. Aside from its [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Has the Silly Season Started Already?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 5 2008, 1:00pm

We were shopping in Costco on Wednesday evening — that’s my wife and I, not the editorial or royal “we” — and I spotted someone rolling a Westinghouse box out the door as we walked in. Looked like a 42″ screen or thereabouts. And sure enough, right on the second endcap, was a pile of [...]

Front ProjectionHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - HD Projector Has No Lamp

By Alfred Poor • Sep 3 2008, 1:00pm

Front projectors are the most cost-effective way to get a really big HD image on a wall. One complication is that they use tiny arc lamps that need to be replaced every few thousand hours. Not only is it expensive, but it’s also a nuisance… especially if your projector is mounted on the ceiling. Rear [...]