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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (July, 2009)

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General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Only Two Days Left!

By Alfred Poor • Jul 30 2009, 1:00pm

According to the latest Nielsen numbers, only 1.1% of the U.S. homes with televisions remain totally unprepared for the end of analog broadcasts by the full-power stations in this country that happened last June. That tiny fraction still translates into more than 1 million households, but it’s a major improvement over where we stood at [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Runco Still Offers Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Jul 29 2009, 1:00pm

Many videophiles lament the departure of Pioneer from the plasma HDTV market, citing their products for excellent image quality (provided that you can keep the ambient lighting in the room to low levels). But you have not seen the end of high-end plasma HDTV offerings. Runco is arguably the top brand for luxury home theater [...]

HD DVDLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Toshiba Matches Your Refrigerator

By Alfred Poor • Jul 28 2009, 1:00pm

Toshiba has been one of the few companies to champion the combo LCD TV design, which builds a DVD player into the screen. It’s convenient and space-saving, and makes a lot of sense in settings where countertop real estate is at a premium, such as most kitchens. And now, the new 19LV612U 19″ model comes [...]

Cable HDTVHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HD Waveform - CinemaScope, Zoom Versus Anamorphic

By Richard Fisher • Jul 27 2009, 3:10pm

This is an exciting time for home theater and one for which I have been waiting; the ability to properly display CinemaScope content in its native aspect ratio, duplicating the experience of your local film theater where CinemaScope content is larger, growing left to right as the side curtains are pulled back to reveal more screen for a larger image.

Check the A/V and videophile magazines for this year. Odds are quite high that they had advertising for cinemascope screens, lenses or compatible projectors. A new term has appeared in front projection reviews and specs called "Panamorph lens compatible/capable", which was also supported by...

Service & RepairBusiness & InvestmentHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - CinemaNow in the News

By Alfred Poor • Jul 27 2009, 1:00pm

CinemaNow is (primarily) an online service where you can view movies for a fee. Part of Sonic Solutions, the site offers both purchase and rental options. With its ties to the Sonic Solutions software business, you can even purchase a movie and burn it to a DVD. CinemaNow offers a library of more than 14,000 [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Four Digits: The 1,000th Post

By Alfred Poor • Jul 24 2009, 1:00pm

I made it. This is the 1,000th post for the HDTV Almanac. Over the past few years, I’ve probably written enough to fill a few books. A few of my past entries remain high on Google search positions for topics such as contrast ratio and 120 Hz refresh rates. I expect that hundreds of thousands [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - We Want Broadband TV

By Alfred Poor • Jul 23 2009, 1:00pm

A report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) summarizes the results the company got from a survey that asked 2,000 broadband users about whether they are interested in getting video content over the Internet. If you’re a frequent reader of the HDTV Almanac, you know that I’m bullish on the subject, and believe in the [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Where Is Microsoft?

By Alfred Poor • Jul 22 2009, 1:00pm

An announcement last week that Macrovision has changed it’s name to “Rovi” (which was cleverly extracted from the middle of its old name) got me to thinking. According to a story in TWICE, the company is focusing on “a new multi-faceted integrated graphical user interface” that lets users find and view content from a variety [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Rumor: Amazon to Buy Netflix?

By Alfred Poor • Jul 21 2009, 1:00pm

In a fascinating article in the LA Times last week, the writer speculates on rumors that Amazon might be looking to buy Netflix. Whether there’s a smidgen of truth to the gossip or not is hardly important; would this deal make sense?
It sounds like a match made in heaven to me. Netflix established and dominated [...]

OLED HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - OLED HDTV: LG says 2012 for 3o”

By Alfred Poor • Jul 20 2009, 1:00pm

According to a report from AsiaPulse last Friday, LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo is quoted as saying “We plan to produce 30-inch OLED panels for TVs in 2012.” This is one of the first credible announcements on the subject that I’ve heard, and is in keeping with the timelines I’ve heard from various sources. Some [...]

LCD HDTVsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - More Little HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jul 17 2009, 1:00pm

ASUS got a lot of press coverage this week (including a number of blogs) that breathlessly drooled over their new T1 line of 1080p LCD HDTVs that “double as LCD monitors” for use with computers. Huh?
Yes, these are HDTVs, available in 22″, 24″, and 27″ sizes. Yes, they have digital tuners and HDMI connectors, along [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionBroadcastSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition Winners

By Alfred Poor • Jul 16 2009, 1:00pm

As I expected, cable and satellite services will be big winners as a result of the transition to digital broadcast of television content when analog broadcasts ended on June 12. As over-the-air users discovered that their systems could not receive the same stations that they had received via analog transmissions — especially in fringe reception [...]

Blu-ray

HDTV Almanac - Blockbuster and Samsung Team Up

By Alfred Poor • Jul 15 2009, 1:00pm

Is Blockbuster catching on? Yesterday, the company announced a deal with Samsung that will put Blockbuster OnDemand as a menu item on select Samsung Blu-ray player and flat panel TV models. Customers can pick a movie to rent or buy, and then choose “play” on the screen to view it immediately. Samsung 650 Series and [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Aims Low for Big Sales

By Alfred Poor • Jul 14 2009, 1:00pm

An article in the Wall Street Journal last week described a new strategy for Panasonic. The company plans to design products with stripped-down feature sets for sale in “emerging market” countries. These are nations that have large populations and growing economies that are likely to have increased demand from consumers with incomes that are limited, [...]

Politics & PolicyDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Vizio Wins Another Round

By Alfred Poor • Jul 13 2009, 1:00pm

In addition to its battles on the sales floor, Vizio has been fighting in the courtrooms and halls of government these days. Last Wednesday, the company announced another victory in its on-going disputes with Funai over claims of copyright infringement by VIZIO products. The US Customs and Border Protection agency ruled in favor of VIZIO, [...]

LCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sharp Joins the LED LCD Movement

By Alfred Poor • Jul 10 2009, 1:00pm

At their line show in New York City earlier this week, Sharp showed its new LE700 series of LCD HDTVs. Right off the bat, the good news is that the company is calling them “LCD TVs”, and choosing to name the series “AQUOS LED“. This is in contrast to Samsung and Toshiba who have chosen [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Please Define “Necessity”

By Alfred Poor • Jul 9 2009, 1:00pm

On Tuesday, PriceGrabber put out a press release about its 2009 Consumer Behavior Report: Economic Trends in Consumer Spending. It paints a fairly pessimistic picture; two out of three consumers surveyed have cut back on spending, and 90% indicated that they plan to continue to control their spending even after the economy improves.
But the item [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVEntertainmentProgrammingInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Broadband Growing at High Speed

By Alfred Poor • Jul 8 2009, 1:00pm

The communication world is changing rapidly, and this has enormous implications for everything from how we get our news to who pays for our entertainment programming. And key to this change is the growth of broadband Internet connections to the home. Now that we’ve graduated from slow dial-up connections to always-on high-speed broadband over wireless [...]

Mobile HDTVBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Trying Harder: Rent-a-TV

By Alfred Poor • Jul 7 2009, 1:00pm

It’s hard to differentiate your company in the car rental business. Once you have a lot full of late model cars at or near major airports, what’s left? Well, Avis is teaming up with AT&T to offer mobile TV in their cars at vacation destinations in Florida. Avis adds $8.95 a day for the AT&T [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Where is Blu-ray?

By Alfred Poor • Jul 6 2009, 1:00pm

I stumbled across this statement on Betanews as I looked around for news about Blu-ray: “Back in April, Sony President Ryoji Chubachi projected that its Blu-ray Disc format would garner 50 percent of DVD market share by the end of 2008.”
So here we are, halfway through 2009, and I’m wondering where Blu-ray stands. According to [...]

Internet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Plans for the Future

By Alfred Poor • Jul 3 2009, 1:00pm

Reed Hastings has seen the future, and there are no polycarbonate discs in his vision. You might find this surprising, given that he’s the CEO of Netflix. Is there life for Netflix after the DVD? That’s the question that was explored in an article in the Wall Street Journal last month.
Hastings co-founded Netflix, and expects [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Small 1080p LCD HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jul 2 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve received a lot of promotional emails in recent weeks about new 24″ and 25″ 1080p LCD HDTVs at pretty astounding prices, some under $200. This would have been an appealing price for a 15″ LCD computer monitor just a few years ago, and now you get a widescreen and a TV tuner in the [...]

Cable HDTVWireless HDMI/HDTVBusiness & InvestmentInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Launches Wireless Pipe

By Alfred Poor • Jul 1 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, I posed the possibility that cable providers would have to choose between providing the pipes or the water (connections or content) for the Internet. It’s too soon to know if they will have to pick one or the other, but it’s clear that Comcast definitely wants to be in the pipe business. Yesterday, [...]