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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (September, 2009)

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HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Best Buy Explains “LED TV”

By Alfred Poor • Sep 29 2009, 1:00pm

Most of the Truth Patrol tips are sent in by readers, but this is one that I found myself, thanks to a lead from TWICE eNews Daily. They published a link to a YouTube video that was apparently created by Best Buy to train its staff about the Samsung “LED TVs“. As I and many [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - A Remote Rant

By Alfred Poor • Sep 28 2009, 1:00pm

The title doesn’t mean that I intend to phone it in today. No, instead I want to take a moment to complain — okay, maybe even whine – about remote controls. To quote Chef of South Park, most remotes have “more features than the Space Shuttle.” I’ve got one with 50 buttons. 50! And most [...]


HDTV Almanac - HD in a Cell Phone?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 25 2009, 1:00pm

It was bound to happen. Cell phone designers have been putting multi-megapixel cameras in their phones, so why not use them to capture video as well? With all those pixels, what the heck; let’s make them HD video clips! And that’s exactly what Sprint is offering in its Samsung Instinct HD smart phone. No, it [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Hit the Road, Kid!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 24 2009, 1:00pm

Earlier this month, Nielsen published their “A2/M2 Three Screen Report” for the second quarter of 2009. (You can download it for free at http://en-us.nielsen.com/forms/report_forms/A2_M2_Three_Screen_Report. This overview report has some fascinating information about America’s viewing habits, and I was particularly interested in online viewing.

The graph doesn’t show direct TV watching; those numbers are more than 100 [...]

Service & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Where Is Blockbuster Headed?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 23 2009, 1:00pm

Netflix is off to see to Oz (see yesterday’s post), but where is Blockbuster headed? The company has announced plans to close up to 960 neighborhood stores and install thousands of kiosks (presumably in an attempt to cut costs and compete with Redbox). But wait, it is has an online rental service that can stream [...]

Internet HD VideoCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - We're Off to See the Wizard

By Alfred Poor • Sep 22 2009, 1:00pm

“The Wizard of Oz” is 70 years old this year, and Warner Brothers is celebrating by performing a digital restoration of the original film. And you can watch it for free, thanks to Netflix. For 24 hours, starting at 9 AM Eastern on October 3. All you have to do is go to www.netflix.com/wizardofoz to [...]

Environment / Green

HDTV Almanac - California Pushes Energy Savings

By Alfred Poor • Sep 21 2009, 1:00pm

It used to be that a 35″ TV was about as big as you’d get for home use. Now many people are buying rear-projection and flat panel displays that are much larger, and there are concerns that these sets are more power hungry than the TVs that they replace. As is often the case, California [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Get Connected!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 18 2009, 1:00pm

Last night, I attended a “Holiday Spectacular” press event hosted by Pepcom in New York City. I saw all sorts of new sparkly shiny things there, some of which I will probably end up buying because they are just too cool and do exactly what I want and are priced right. For example, I’m due [...]

EntertainmentLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - It's Not a TV, But...

By Alfred Poor • Sep 17 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, they don’t have tuners. Their Wide VGA (800 by 640 pixel) screen is not HDTV resolution. But the new DreamScreens from HP fill an interesting hole in the home entertainment landscape. The HP product manager doesn’t like it when I say it, but these are the next logical step up from an LCD photo [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Can You Trust User Ratings?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 16 2009, 1:00pm

You’re shopping for a new HDTV (or anything else for that matter), and you do some research on the Web where you find lots of user ratings for various products. It’s hard not to be influenced by a lot of positive ratings, but be careful. User ratings are not always reliable.
I’ve written about this before, [...]


HDTV Almanac - 2010: Year of 3DTV?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 15 2009, 1:00pm

Hannah Montana and U2 proved it. Chicken Little and UP! proved it. 3D movies are a big hit for Hollywood, and becoming a key part of the industry’s strategic plans. In spite of being available at far fewer cinema screens than traditional 2D movies, the 3D versions consistently pull in more revenue than their flat [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - End of the Draft!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 14 2009, 1:00pm

Last Friday, the IEEE finally ratified the 802.11n specification. You may find this to be a big yawner, but it really has some important implications for HDTV.
802.11n is the latest in the varients of the 802.11 specifications, which are commonly known as WiFi. 802.11b was the original and most common. 802.11a and 802.11g are about [...]


HDTV Almanac - Quake Breaks Glass Supply

By Alfred Poor • Sep 11 2009, 1:00pm

Did you notice the news reports last month about an earthquake in Japan? You may not have paid much attention, figuring that it didn’t have any direct impact on you. Well, if you’re in the market for an LCD HDTV before the end of this year, that quake could have had more impact than you [...]


HDTV Almanac - Torrent HDMI Cables Get Distribution

By Alfred Poor • Sep 10 2009, 1:00pm

I first wrote about Torrent’s Sureconnect HDMI cables back in June. These cables have a feature that makes the connection more secure, and the plug less likely to pull out of the connector by accident. They also have a clever feature in that an LED lights up to indicate that you’ve got a solid connection.
In [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV and Video Phones

By Alfred Poor • Sep 9 2009, 1:00pm

Dick Tracy had his two-way wrist video communicators, and I don’t know about you, but I believed that we’d all be using them by now. The idea of video phone calls has had a strong appeal for decades, but many efforts have failed to make them a practical reality. But maybe that’s changing at last.
All [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Vudu Scores Twice

By Alfred Poor • Sep 8 2009, 1:00pm

Vudu is an online service that provides streaming access to rental movies and other content. Two of the key attributes of the service are 1080p resolution and instant streaming (provided you have sufficient bandwidth). As a measure of the growing interest in broadband-delivered video content, two major HDTV manufacturers have recently announced plans to support [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - No Labor Day

By Alfred Poor • Sep 7 2009, 1:00pm

I hope that you’re getting the chance to enjoy some time off today. I am. When you read this, I may be tucked away in a shady spot enjoying a cold beverage, or I may be preparing to fire up the grill for a traditional attempt at charring dinner. But in any case, I’m not [...]

Service & RepairDeals & DiscountsInternet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - YouFlix?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 4 2009, 1:00pm

Many sources have published reports that Google is negotiating with Hollywood studios for deals to offer streaming movie rentals on YouTube. The service already has permission to stream some full length movies for free, but these are older titles from the back catalog with limited appeal. YouTube wants to offer the latest movies, and if [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - HDMI 1.4: What Is It Good For?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 3 2009, 1:00pm

My good friend and colleague Ken Werner of Nutmeg Consultants sent me a link to an interesting white paper on the Key Digital site. The article provides a comparison of all the versions of HDMI from 1.0 to 1.4, listing the different features supported by each version.
What sets this apart from other similar comparisons is [...]


HDTV Almanac - L.A. TV Towers Safe for Now

By Alfred Poor • Sep 2 2009, 1:00pm

There’s one aspect to the Southern California wildfires that may not be immediately obvious. The national coverage has mentioned the risk to the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, but less coverage has been given to the fact that Mount Wilson also is home to the television broadcast antenna farm for the greater Los Angeles area. More [...]


HDTV Almanac - UK Proclaims "LED TV" Misleading

By Alfred Poor • Sep 1 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, it’s not just me. According to an entry in the DisplaySearch blog, UK?s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that Samsung’s advertising campaign promoting “LED TV’s” is misleading, and has to be changed. (DisplaySearch was one of the first groups that agreed with me that it was misleading to call an LCD TV with [...]