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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (February, 2009)

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Digital (DTV) TransitionInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Big Brother Hides in DTV Converters?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 27 2009, 2:00pm

Okay, it’s Freaky Friday. I’m a little late to this party, but apparently there has been an active movement on the Internet, driven by people committed to exposing the hidden cameras and microphones that are embedded in the digital television converter boxes that are being bought by millions of people with the help of our [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - How Low Can They Go?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 26 2009, 2:00pm

Yes, now is a great time to buy a flat screen TV if you have the money. As I predicted, the manufacturers and retailers are stuck with inventory, and need to get some cash out of the products. The SuperBowl is behind us, and there’s only March Madness between now and next September that might [...]

Internet HD VideoBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - If You Can’t Beat Them…

By Alfred Poor • Feb 25 2009, 2:00pm

Netflix has clearly seen the writing on the wall, and is transitioning its business from distributing plastic disks to providing subscription access to movies delivered over the Internet. Hulu, Joost, and other sites are feeding a growing consumer demand for content delivered on demand over broadband. Now comes word that the largest video subscription services [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Free Movies on Your Phone

By Alfred Poor • Feb 24 2009, 2:00pm

The new Samsung Delve has a touch screen, 2 MP camera, Web browsing, and the other sorts of features that you’d expect on a mobile phone these days. And it accepts microSD memory cards. But if you buy one from Alltel Wireless before April 16, you can also get a free 2 GB microSD card. [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - March Madness Goes Online with HD

By Alfred Poor • Feb 23 2009, 2:00pm

Last year, nearly 5 million viewers watched more than 5 million hours of online coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, also known as “March Madness”. This year, CBSSports.com is relying on Microsoft’s Silverlight media player to deliver the sights and sounds of the 2009 tournament starting March 19. Coverage will include all [...]

Front ProjectionMobile HDTVOLED HDTVsDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Here Come Projector Phones

By Alfred Poor • Feb 20 2009, 2:00pm

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Samsung announced the first mobile phones with a projector built into it. The Samsung phones use a DLP imager from Texas Instruments. The high-end phones also feature an OLED touchscreen and a 5 megapixel camera. Initially, the I7410 and W7900 phones will only be available in Korea [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - No Big Bang on Digital TV Transition

By Alfred Poor • Feb 19 2009, 2:00pm

Tuesday was supposed to be the day that all full-power TV stations were to end their analog broadcasts. Congress delayed that switch until June 12, but allowed stations to switch on February 17th as planned if they wanted to, and if the FCC approved their application. As a result, 421 stations pulled the plug on [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Programming

HDTV Almanac - Fix Digital TV Signal Problems

By Alfred Poor • Feb 18 2009, 2:00pm

When it comes to the transition to digital broadcasts of television programming, the elephant in the room has been the fact that many people who can receive analog transmissions just fine may not get digital transmissions. As I’ve discussed here many times, a weak analog signal produces a snowy image, but a weak digital signal [...]

BroadcastBusiness & InvestmentSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Shootout in Space

By Alfred Poor • Feb 17 2009, 2:00pm

There was high drama in the U.S. broadcast business over the last week, about 22,000 miles high. That’s where Sirius XM (the merged satellite radio companies) have their geosynchronous satellites in orbit. And the whole system was on the verge of crashing down (financially, not literally) because a major debt payment was due today, and [...]

BroadcastPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Where’s My TV Station?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 16 2009, 2:00pm

Sure, you may have gone to www.antennaweb.org to find the headings for the television broadcast stations in your area, but have you ever wondered where those towers are, and what they look like? Wonder no more, thanks to Cavell Mertz & Associates, a Virginia based engineering consulting firm. They’ve mashed up the FCC broadcast database [...]

Plasma HDTVsEvents & TradeshowsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Vizio Bails on Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Feb 13 2009, 2:00pm

Tack another nail in the coffin for plasma. Vizio has decided to drop plasma from its product lineup. The company didn’t show any new plasma models at CES this year, and is going to focus solely on LCD for its TVs. Following so closely on the heels of Pioneer’s announced exit from the TV market [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Can Movies over the Internet Succeed?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 12 2009, 2:00pm

If you want to watch a movie at home, you probably put a polycarbonate plastic disc in a player that’s connected to your TV. You may own the disc, or you may have rented it from Blockbuster or NetFlix or some other service. But companies are starting to use the Internet to distribute movies for [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FCC Releases “Early” Transition List

By Alfred Poor • Feb 11 2009, 2:00pm

Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie, who’s not ready, holler “I”! Well, with the ?DTV Delay Act?, it’s really those stations that are ready to make the transition on the original February 17, 2009 datethat have to speak up. They had until Monday to file their intention with the FCC to cease analog broadcasts on that date, [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDPC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - How You Doin’, Blu-ray?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 10 2009, 2:00pm

It’s been a year since Blu-ray won the war, and defeated HD DVD to become the high definition DVD format. It’s time to take the pulse of the new technology and see how it’s doing. According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, more than 10.7 million Blu-ray players have been sold in the United States. That [...]

Plasma HDTVsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Pioneer Plasma is “on the Roof”

By Alfred Poor • Feb 9 2009, 2:00pm

First, Pioneer announced their exit from the plasma panel manufacturing business nearly a year ago. Last November, the company announced expectations of a major loss and the elimination of about 2,000 jobs. Now it is widely reported that a story in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei indicates that Pioneer will exit the plasma TV business altogether. [...]


HDTV Almanac - High-End Home Theater Sales Decline

By Alfred Poor • Feb 6 2009, 2:00pm

A lot of U.S. consumers would balk at spending $5,000 for a home entertainment system. There’s a segment of the market, however, for whom the game doesn’t start until you get up to $50,000. These folks want a home theater system that would rival — or beat — anything you’d find at your local cineplex. [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition Delayed

By Alfred Poor • Feb 5 2009, 2:00pm

The deed is done, the die is cast. Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the delay of the cutoff date for analog television broadcasts. The date was moved out another four months to June 12, 2009. The bill is now headed to the White House, where President Obama’s repeated calls for a delay make it [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic’s Turn in the Box

By Alfred Poor • Feb 4 2009, 2:00pm

Okay, we get it. The economic situation is bad. And there’s no safety in being big, as we’ve seen from Sony and Mitsubishi and others. Today, we get word that Panasonic is taking the hit. The company is forecasting a $4.3 billion loss for their current fiscal year (that’s billion with a Big B), and [...]

Service & RepairMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Camel’s Nose under JVC’s HDTV Tent?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 3 2009, 2:00pm

JVC Americas announced yesterday that they will be combining the four divisions of its U.S. operations. This includes JVC Company of America, which sells the consumer TV and camera products. The other divisions are Mobile which sells car stereos and navigation products, Professional Products which sells professional grade cameras and displays, and the service division [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition: Remember to Rescan

By Alfred Poor • Feb 2 2009, 2:00pm

Full-power analog television broadcasts in the U.S. may or may not end in two weeks, but when they do, there will be some additional changes. If you look at www.antennaweb.org to see which digital channels you can receive, you may see that some are assigned to one frequency now, and will have another frequency after [...]