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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (January, 2009)

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General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV on the Half Shell

By Alfred Poor • Jan 30 2009, 2:00pm

“Ah, is that the Boticelli Venus hanging there in your living room?” “Yes, but let’s watch the SuperBowl so wait just a moment while I push this button to make the painting roll up and reveal my flat screen television!”
My friend and colleague Bruce Berkoff likes to refer to the WAF of flat panel TVs [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - High-Def Domestic Tranquility

By Alfred Poor • Jan 29 2009, 2:00pm

You’re in the living room with your “significant other” watching a movie or TV show or sports event on your beautiful big flat panel HDTV, and then one of you decides that you’d like a snack from the kitchen, which is the next room. Do you pause the show (if it’s a movie or you’ve [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Owners Don’t Watch HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 28 2009, 2:00pm

No surprise here, really. InStat reported this week that 17 million of the more than 39 million U.S. households with at least one HDTV set do not have an HDTV signal source. That’s a little more than two out of every five. Now the good news is, I suppose, that a couple of years ago [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Who’s Not Ready?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 27 2009, 2:00pm

Well, it looks as though the U.S. Congress is going to delay the transition to digital television broadcasts, and I’ve already made my position clear on why that’s not a good idea. Nielsen reported new numbers last week on about how many households remain unprepared for the end of analog broadcasts, and the results provide [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Pixelated Text

By Alfred Poor • Jan 26 2009, 2:00pm

Q: Why do HDTV’s at major retailers look pixelated, especially on lower third text effects at bottom of screen? Is it just me or is something wrong?
Anthony
A: There are a number of possible explanations for this. The most likely one is that the retailer is using a distributed signal from a single source to all [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition: The End is Nigh!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 23 2009, 2:00pm

Due in part to maneuvering by some Republican Senators, Democratic Representative Henry Waxman has postponed a vote on his bill to delay the cut-off of analog television broadcasts for another four months. So the clock continues to tick, and we’re now down to 25 days. (You can get your own DTV digital clock at http://www.dtv.gov/dtvcountdowns.html.) [...]

Cable HDTVService & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Cable TV: Moving to the Internet?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 22 2009, 1:58pm

An article on Sunday in Multichannel News reported on the plans of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Communications – the three largest US cable companies — to allow “place shifting” of their services. The idea is simple; you have a subscription for cable TV service. Why should you be constrained to just watching that [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Battery Powered LCD TV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 21 2009, 2:00pm

Two products got lost in the shuffle on the way to the digital TV transition: TV radios and battery-powered TVs. TV radios are handy, because they can receive the audio portion of analog broadcasts for TV channels. Sadly, the audio signal in digital TV broadcasts is encoded along with the video, so it will be [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Don’t Delay the DTV Transition

By Alfred Poor • Jan 20 2009, 2:00pm

The news is full of efforts to delay the transition to digital TV broadcasts, with a bill introduced in Congress to postpone the end of analog broadcasts from February 17 to June 12. In my opinion, this would be a big mistake that will cost the taxpayers and businesses in this country hundreds of millions [...]

Deals & DiscountsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - RIP: Circuit City

By Alfred Poor • Jan 19 2009, 2:00pm

Well, the two “highly motivated and interested parties” failed to materialize, and on Friday, the court authorized liquidation of the Circuit City assets. The sales started on Saturday, and according to some reports, business was brisk. There still may be opportunities for bargains, however, as the discounts will increase between now and the end of [...]

Events & TradeshowsEnvironment / Green

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Trend — Green

By Alfred Poor • Jan 16 2009, 2:00pm

After I had sat through my fourth consecutive manufacturer’s press conference at CES 2009, I started making the shorthand notation in my notes: OGS (Obligatory Green Speech). As I predicted last year, the environmentally friendly position gave a company an advantage last year, but it has become required just to stay competitive this year. So [...]

Events & TradeshowsWireless HDMI/HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Trend — No Wires

By Alfred Poor • Jan 15 2009, 2:00pm

Another trend at CES this year is that wireless connections for HDMI were everywhere. They were all different, and everyone had a reason why their solution was best, but the bottom line is that it solves a major HDTV problem; what to do with the wires. Some of the manufacturers, including LG, unveiled sets with [...]

Events & TradeshowsPlasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Trend — Thin is In, Sort Of

By Alfred Poor • Jan 14 2009, 2:00pm

I’ve got lots of photos of thin flat panel HDTVs that were announced by all sorts of companies at CES this year. And I’m not going to post any of them here. Sure, it’s pretty amazing that they can make a big plasma or LCD set that’s less than an inch thick. But my reaction [...]

Events & TradeshowsFront ProjectionEntertainmentBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Is That a Projector in Your Pocket?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 13 2009, 2:00pm

Front projectors are big and noisy and heavy and they put you right to sleep with then conference lights dim and the first PowerPoint slide appears on the screen. Right? Well, front projectors are poised to make a huge impact on both the business and entertainment segments with the new pico projectors. These tiny devices [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

The DIRECTV Plus High Definition DVR – Year Two

By Doug Brott • Jan 12 2009, 4:11pm

After a jam packed year, the DIRECTV Plus High Definition DVR has become the flagship receiver for a company that has become one of the leaders in high-definition programming. The enthusiast community is stronger than ever, fusing innovation and collaboration in ways that have never been done before. Sit back while we reflect on the things that have made this trip something to remember.

Joining the HR20-700 and the HR20-100 this year are the...

Events & TradeshowsHD DVDSatellite HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: DTV Switch Boosts Satellite

By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2009, 2:00pm

The DISH Network booth at CES 2009 was emblazoned with a huge banner touting service including more than 50 HD channels and 15 premium movie channels and a free HD DVR upgrade for just $9.95 a month. Now, that’s only a six-month promotional rate (only three months of the premium movies), but it’s still pretty [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Dolby Smooths the Volume

By Alfred Poor • Jan 9 2009, 2:00pm

Don’t you just hate it? You’re watching a TV show and a commercial comes on with the sound track at twice the volume, blasting you out of your chair. Or in an action movie, the characters are whispering to each other inbetween massive explosions. And you’re sitting there, wearing out the volume buttons on your [...]

Internet HD VideoEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Netflix Everywhere

By Alfred Poor • Jan 8 2009, 2:00pm

Blockbuster had better watch out; Netflix is making some bold moves. The company is repositioning itself in preparation for the day when Internet delivery replaces the distribution of rental movies on little plastic discs, either from a storefront or by the mail. I’ve written lately about some of the new devices that let you access [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - HDMI Wins an Emmy

By Alfred Poor • Jan 7 2009, 2:00pm

Today, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) presents the founders of HDMI with the Technology & Engineering Excellence Emmy Award, in recognition of the HDMI technology standard.
Since its introduction six years ago, HDMI has become the connection of choice for HDTVs and related equipment. The high speed digital connection provides fidelity and [...]

Politics & PolicyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Hurry Up and Wait!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 6 2009, 2:00pm

Remember when I said you should order your digital TV converter coupon from the NTIA “today”? I hope that you did, because word comes from Washington that the agency has run through its funding and is now putting new requests on a waiting list.
According to a report in TWICE, the NTIA has filled 46 million [...]

BroadcastDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Your DTV Broadcast Reception

By Alfred Poor • Jan 5 2009, 2:00pm

As I’ve mentioned here on more than a few occasions, digital TV broadcast signals do not carry as far as analog signals. A weak analog signal results in a snowy picture, but a weak digital signal results in a blank screen. How can you tell what your experience will be with broadcast television after the [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - A Really Big Screen

By Alfred Poor • Jan 2 2009, 2:00pm

The Shell Building in London, England, was transformed into the world’s tallest video projection screen on New Year’s Eve. Revellers were treated to a projected holiday message from Mayor of London Boris Johnson and other celebrities. The installation was engineered by LG Electronics, which also sponsored the fireworks display for the evening’s festivities.
If you weren’t [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Happy New Year!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 1 2009, 2:00pm

2008 was a rough ride in many ways, but there were some silver linings. The Dow gave up 33.8% for the year, making it the worst year since 1931 during the Great Depression. Across Wall Street in general, about $7 trillion in shareholder value was lost in 2008. (That makes the Obama $1 trillion stimulus [...]