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By Alfred Poor • Oct 30 2008, 1:00pm
A report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday confirms what many analysts have been saying for some time; sales of large flat panel TVs are in trouble, and inventories are piling up for both manufacturers and retailers.
The latest evidence? Sales of digital converter boxes are exceeding projections.
More people are simply buying converters [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 29 2008, 1:00pm
Do you relish standing in line for five hours in the cold and dark, just to get a shot at one of the Black Friday bargains? If not, you might be interested in the shortcut that Best Buy has announced.
As part of its Black Friday VIP contest, you can be one of 25 lucky [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2008, 1:00pm
A press release from Futuresource , a British market research firm, makes some interesting observations about the state of the world economy and its impact on consumer electronics.
Their numbers are based on United Kingdom measures, but I expect that for this purpose, they are similar enough to the situation in the USA for argument.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2008, 1:21pm
In a press release earlier this month, Apple touted the fact that it has HD versions of popular network TV shows available for sale on its iTunes service.
Here are shows offered in HD on iTunes by four major networks:
?Brothers & Sisters?
?Dirty Sexy Money?
?Life on Mars?
?CSI: New [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 24 2008, 1:00pm
I’ve been writing about how bad the HDTV market is going to be this winter, and yesterday, a big shoe dropped.
When times get tough, you’d expect that the middle and lower tier companies might struggle, finding it more difficult to get shelf space and make sales.
You’d think that the blow would be buffered [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 23 2008, 1:00pm
I was one of the beta testers for Joost, the site that offered streaming video — often in higher definition than you get from some Web video sites — of a wide range of content.
It offered old made-for-TV movies, current TV episodes, music videos, and a ton of specialty programming that was aimed at [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Oct 22 2008, 4:22pm
Spurred on by the technical and economic success of digitally produced and distributed motion pictures, the inevitable emergence of the third dimension of consumer HD is upon us.
Consider the following items...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, maybe it’s just because it’s so late at night (or so early in the morning, depending on your perspective), but I feel a good rant coming on.
Is anyone else out there getting fed up with the “bugs” and “crawls” and other visual junk that the networks are throwing on the screen while you’re [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2008, 1:00pm
Some analysts have questioned whether or not Circuit City will survive until the end of 2009.
Now there appears that the company may not finish 2008.
A report in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere yesterday indicates that Circuit City may shutter as many as 150 of its 712 stores and lay off thousands of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2008, 1:00pm
What’s happening to the LCD HDTV market? One way to look at what’s ahead is to look “upstream”.
By this, I mean look at what’s been going on at the manufacturer level.
They make the panels that will go into the televisions that will be sold this holiday season.
So what’s happening upstream?
Orders are way [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 17 2008, 1:00pm
With international stock markets forcing economic writers to reach for their Thesauruses to find a word that goes beyond “volatility“, we’ve added another factor to the mix for this train wreck that we call this year’s holiday buying season.
Manufacturers and retailers alike were counting on this last quarter of the year to balance their [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 16 2008, 1:00pm
Two related news items this week caused a little head-scratching in the professor’s study.
The first was an announcement from Sherwood that they were introducing a Blu-ray player designed “for affordability and optimum performance” with “an irresistable” list price of $299.95.
And then there was the news that a new Blu-ray player bearing the Olevia brand [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 15 2008, 1:00pm
One of my favorite refrains is “Who will pay for video entertainment on the Web?” I’ve accused the various publishers of throwing spaghetti on the walls of cyberspace to see what sticks.
Well, look out because here comes another flung strand of pasta.
In a blog entry last week, Google announced “Today, we’re taking our first [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2008, 1:00pm
Here’s another lesson learned from the early transition to digital broadcasts in Wilmington, NC last month.
According to a recent statement by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the NTIA underestimated the number of households that would want rebate coupons by 39%.
Extrapolated for the nation, and the NTIA could find that instead of 8.4 million households [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2008, 1:00pm
In South Korea (among other places), film piracy is commonplace.
It was widely reportedly recently that Warner Brothers has decided on a new tactic to counter illegal copies of new release movies; they are releasing movies online two weeks ahead of the DVD release date.
The company chose South Korea for this experiment because it [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 10 2008, 1:00pm
The IPTV camel has inched its nose a little further under the tent.
You might find PBS and Microsoft to be unlikely partners — especially centered on a video gaming console like the Xbox 360 — but the two have come together to offer PBS programming on the Xbox LIVE service.
You might be as [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 9 2008, 1:00pm
I’ve been writing for months that we can expect to see price cuts on HDTVs this fall the way they vote in Chicago: early and often.
Now TWICE and the IFR Group have teamed up to provide a weekly listing of the most advertised consumer electronics products, including HDTVs.
Note that these are not necessarily [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 8 2008, 1:00pm
PriceGrabber.com has released the results of an online survey that have me scratching my head.
They polled 1,915 “online consumers” in September, and of those who do not already own an HDTV, nearly 75% plan to buy one in the next 12 months.
I don’t know about you, but this number seems very high to [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Oct 7 2008, 4:48pm
Actually, it's Indianapolis that's lucky to have WTHR, Channel 13, as one of the premier US leaders in providing local HDTV programming.
WTHR is at this time the only Indiana station producing HDTV local news and other local programming in this 25th largest market in the US - in which it has been consistently Number 1.
This narration is not to be considered a "commercial" for WTHR, (but it would not be judged an affront if so assumed).
Rather it is a salute to all those local digital broadcasting pioneers who have had the foresight to fully embraced the technology and adjust their business plans to exploit all the benefits to their customers that can be provided - including, most specifically, locally produced HDTV programming.
It is no secret that the old over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcast business model is in trouble at both the major network and local levels...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2008, 1:00pm
Most of us keep an eye out for the best bargains in HDTVs, such as a 42″ 1080p LCD model for under $700.
But some people are less concerned with the total cost than they are about getting something special that will stand out in their home.
So you can now have the choice of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2008, 1:00pm
A number of years ago, Texas Instruments was embroiled in controversy for underwriting a research project that concluded that the image on some LCD front projectors turns yellow with time.
The research results raised more questions than they answered, as they did not release important details such as naming which projectors were used in the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 3 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, this entry is about Internet radio, not video.
But if you’re interested in getting video and movies over the Internet, this is an important issue because it gets at the thorny issue of who pays what for content on the Web.
Internet radio stations got hit with a decision last March that imposed royalty fees [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 2 2008, 1:00pm
Last month, it was a deal with CBS and the Disney Channel to stream many of their most popular shows over the Internet.
Then yesterday, Netflix announced a bigger deal with Starz, the movie channel, to stream their library on the Netflix service.
Under the agreement, Netflix subscribers will also get access to “Starz Play” [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 1 2008, 1:00pm
Sometimes companies will do something just to show that they can do it.
Case in point: at the CEATEC show in Chiba, Japan this week, Panasonic demonstrated a 150″ 1080p plasma display that is able to show 3D images.
You need to wear special glasses to see the 3D effect; presumably they are LCD shutter [...]