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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (August, 2009)

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Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Musical Chairs: The DTV Converter Market

By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2009, 1:00pm

Remember playing “musical chairs” when you were a kid? The adults would make sure that there was one less chair available than kids, and then set you marching around in a circle until the music stopped, and then the kid who didn’t get a seat was eliminated? And the process repeated until one final victor [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - World's Biggest HDTV Gets Punted

By Alfred Poor • Aug 27 2009, 1:00pm

Beware of chasing after superlatives. Those seeking to create “The World’s Whatever-est Thingie” sooner or later learn a lesson about hubris. Sooner or later, someone else will end up making a Thingie that is more Whatever than yours, and your creation will be relegated to the ash heap of other Thingies that are less Whatever. [...]


HDTV Almanac - Is That a Hard Drive in Your HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 26 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, now I’m really puzzled. I had (well, I still have) a Panasonic DVR that we loved to use. It made recording programs off-the-air so much easier to use than the old VHS recorder it replaced. But with the end of analog broadcasts, it’s now just a somewhat complicated DVD player. And aside from TiVo, [...]


HDTV Almanac - 3D HDTV Is Unstoppable

By Alfred Poor • Aug 25 2009, 1:00pm

I don’t know exactly how it will happen, or even whether or not I think it’s a good idea, but brace yourself; 3D television is coming to a living room near you. Just as the local cinema created demand for the color television and stereo sound (and later, surround sound) that are now standard features [...]

Business & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Blockbuster: Closing Shop?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 24 2009, 1:00pm

In an investor phone call last week, Blockbuster CEO James Keyes pointed to unmanned kiosks as the possible future for the company’s movie rental business. He stated that plans call for 500 kiosks to be in place by the end of August, and more than 2,500 up and running by the end of this year. [...]


HDTV Almanac - Video in Your Magazine

By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2009, 1:00pm

And now for something completely different. When subscribers to “Entertainment Weekly” open up their copies of the September 18 issue (if they live in New York or Los Angeles), they will find an ad from CBS promoting the network’s new lineup for Monday nights this fall. That’s no so amazing, until you find that you [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - DIY Mount with Extra Features

By Alfred Poor • Aug 20 2009, 1:00pm

I have a woodworking shop, I do odd jobs and repairs around the house, and I’m a bit of a packrat. As a result, I’ve got all sorts of tools and gadgets and spare parts down there somewhere. So when it comes time to install a typical wall mount for a flat panel HDTV, I’ve [...]

Mobile HDTVPC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: “The Portable Pocket HDTV”

By Alfred Poor • Aug 19 2009, 1:00pm

Hammacher Schlemmer is known for its unusual and hard-to-find products, but this latest item would make be think twice before relying on the company’s accuracy in describing technology products. The description of their Portable Pocket HDTV is very straightforward in what it says:

This is the pocket-sized, portable color HDTV that receives high-definition digital broadcasts.
That’s pretty [...]

HD DVDBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - DVD Archiving at Risk

By Alfred Poor • Aug 18 2009, 1:00pm

I am not a lawyer, though it seems hard to be a consumer these days without the training. As I understand it, however, we have the right to make archival copies of the content that we buy (or license) such as computer software or music CDs or DVD movies. This protects our investment so that [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - VHF to UHF: Moving on Up!

By Alfred Poor • Aug 17 2009, 1:00pm

At least four television stations have petitioned the FCC to reassign their digital broadcasts from a VHF channel (2 through 13) to a UHF channel (14 through 51). (Note that UHF channels used to go up to channel 83, but the frequencies for channels 52 to 83 were auctioned off as part of the transition [...]


HDTV Almanac - Did You Get a $10 LCD HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2009, 1:00pm

Ooops. For a few hours on Wednesday, the Best Buy Web site listed a Samsung 52″ LCD HDTV for the unbelievable price of $9.99. Sure enough, it was not believable. Best Buy quickly fixed the typo, restoring the correct $1,699.99 price. The company also issued an apology, and stated that they would not honor the [...]

Service & RepairMobile HDTVFiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Program DVR on Your Cell Phone

By Alfred Poor • Aug 13 2009, 1:00pm

Verizon announced on Tuesday that any FiOS TV DVR users can now program and manage their DVR remotely, using a cell phone. This free service can be accessed either using a special application for select phones, or through a mobile Web site that you can reach from any phone that has access to the Internet. [...]

Plasma HDTVsHD DVDDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Win a Panasonic 50″ Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Aug 12 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve got just one question for you; are you feeling lucky? If so, Panasonic’s Living in HD Web site is running an “End of Summer” contest where you have a choice of winning either a Panasonic digital camera or a 50″ VIERA G10 Series plasma HDTV. The set is THX Certified and has 1080p [...]

Front Projection

HDTV Almanac - 1080p Projector Under $1,000

By Alfred Poor • Aug 11 2009, 1:00pm

Home theater: a dedicated room found in trophy homes created by professional installers who charge from $50,000 on up to create a cinematic experience in your own home.
That definition is starting to fall apart, as prices for all things high definition continue to tumble. The latest breakthrough is a 1080p projector for less than $1,000. [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Online Video Growing Rapidly

By Alfred Poor • Aug 10 2009, 1:00pm

A study by Ipsos MediaCT reveals that more than one out of four Americans with Internet access streamed at least one full length video program during April this year, and 14% streamed at least one full-length movie. I find these to be remarkable statistics, especially when you consider that these represent more than double the [...]


HDTV Almanac - 42″ LCD HDTV Under $600

By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2009, 1:00pm

You’re thinking about buying a new flat panel HDTV, and your budget is $600. So natuarally, you’re looking for a good price on a 32″ model. With luck, maybe you can stretch it to cover a 37″ set. Hold on a minute; you don’t have to wait for Black Friday for crazy prices. Look no [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Prices: Reading the Tea Leaves

By Alfred Poor • Aug 6 2009, 1:00pm

The two questions I get asked the most are (1) what’s the best HDTV, and (2) when’s the best time to buy one? I’m not going to give my soapbox speech about the first question (short version: nobody can answer that question), but now that we’re just a week away from the start of the [...]


Ed's View - Cognitive Radio: What it Means to HDTV

By Ed Milbourn • Aug 5 2009, 3:10pm

"Cognitive Radio." What a strange, oblique name for one of the greatest technology advances in telecommunications since Ma Bell decided that ones and zeros made better use of our precious spectrum (over both wired and wireless media) than wavy, wriggly voltage changes. Clearly, the academics who coined the name failed PR101. Why not call it "Smart Radio" - because that's what it is - really smart radio. So, I'll compromise in this wheeze on the subject by cowardly retreating into the technical acronym morass - henceforth tagging "Cognitive Radio" as "COR" and its TV version as "COTV."

The precise definition of COR...

Blu-rayService & RepairMobile HDTVHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic BD Players Add Amazon Access

By Alfred Poor • Aug 5 2009, 1:00pm

Yesterday, Panasonic announced that all its 2009 Blu-ray players with VIERA CAST will now be able to access Amazon’s Video On Demand service without the need for anything else but an Internet connection. This includes the B15 portable Blu-ray player.

Amazon offers more than 45,000 titles, including more than 1,000 in HD format. Once you have [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Front ProjectionLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - All-In-One: Movie Camera and Projector

By Alfred Poor • Aug 4 2009, 1:00pm

Today, Nikon announced its new Coolpix S1000pj digital camera. It’s pretty typical for a higher-end point-and-shoot camera: 12.1 megapixel resolution, 5x optical zoom, optical and electronic image stabilization, 2.7 LCD panel, and a host of image processing magic features built in. And like most digital cameras these days, it can also take digital video clips [...]

Internet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - VUDU Inside LG HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Aug 3 2009, 1:00pm

Momentum is building rapidly for the delivery of video content over the Internet. VUDU offers streaming movies and other content for rental or purchase. Many movies from major studios are available the same day as the DVD release, and rental fees range from $.99 to $5.99. with more than 15,000 titles available, more than 2,000 [...]