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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (October, 2009)

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LED (LCD) HDTVsService & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Fall Back — Bah, Humbug!

By Alfred Poor • Oct 30 2009, 1:00pm

And now for a public service announcement: Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour on Saturday night (unless you live in one of those areas that does not observe Daylight Savings Time).
And now for my semi-annual rant: Why should I have to reset the clock on anything? It seems that I have more [...]

Deals & Discounts

HDTV Almanac - Sears: Eating Their Young?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 29 2009, 1:00pm

Hmmm, it’s still October but the Black Friday madness has started already. Sears has decided to start a “Black Friday Now” campaign that offers “doorbuster” deals every Saturday from now until Christmas. The offers will be available from 7 AM to noon each Saturday, but in honor of Halloween this week the doorbusters will be [...]


Ed's View - 3DTV: The Cart Before the Horse

By Ed Milbourn • Oct 28 2009, 10:45pm

Here again, the US consumer electronics industry as well as broadcasters find themselves and their consumers in a technical/marketing quandary because of lack of foresight, planning and just plain incompetence. This time it may really hurt. It didn't take any genius to foresee the possibilities of in-home 3D years ago, particularly in light of the economic success of digital 3D movies over the past three years. Since movies derive more than 55% (and climbing) of their revenues from in-home distribution channels (disc, VOD, PPV etc.), it doesn't take much prescience to predict 3DTV possibilities. Did the salient organizations react? Yes. Being unencumbered by the thought process, their reaction was something like a bunch of night drunks during a bar raid.

A couple of years ago a few manufactures started marketing "3D ready" rear projection units with no particular performance standards or technology in mind. Then about a year and a half ago...

Internet HD VideoSatellite HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - How Much Would You Pay for Hulu?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2009, 1:00pm

Sky’s offer of satellite service over the Internet for United Kingdom customers is an interesting step, but it raises a major question: How long can streaming video on demand sites remain free? I’m talking about Hulu, which reportedly attracts more than 40 million viewers these days, but the same question applies to Joost and other [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDGamingPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - No Blu-ray for XBox

By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2009, 1:00pm

According to a Digital Trends report, a Microsoft spokesperson has stated that there are no plans to build an XBox version with a Blu-ray player in place of the current standard definition DVD drive. Microsoft was a backer of the ill-fated HD DVD technology, but now that even Toshiba has started shipping a Blu-ray player, [...]

Satellite HDTVService & RepairHTPCs & LaptopsProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Satellite Without the Dish

By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2009, 1:00pm

Got Windows 7? Want satellite TV service? Don’t want to hang a dish on your house? Well, if you live in the United Kingdom and your version of Windows 7 includes Media Center, you’re all set. You can subscribe to the Sky satellite service and get all your programming content sent to you over the [...]


HDTV Almanac - NBA Knicks Get Courtside LED TVs — Really

By Alfred Poor • Oct 23 2009, 1:00pm

While 10 NBA teams now use DLP rear-projection modules from ANC Sports Enterprises as courtside displays, the New York Knicks are the first to use the company’s new LED modules. Built by Mitsubishi, the panels are thinner and have better viewing angles than the bulkier DLP models.
Note that these are true LED displays, where individual [...]

New Products & Equipment

Alfred Poor's Video Report - Epson Artisan 810 All-In-One Printer

By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2009, 3:50pm

This Alfred Poor's Video Report is a company-sponsored report on the Epson Artisan 810 All-In-One Printer, which can print, copy, scan, and send and receive faxes. Optimized for photos, it also does a great job at printing at scanning. A wireless connection makes it easy to share.

Wireless HDMI/HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - New Wireless HDTV Option

By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2009, 1:00pm

You’ve got your beautiful, big, flat screen television hanging on the wall. Now how do you get the signal to it? You can buy an expensive HDMI cable to cover a long run, or you can spend a lot more to get a professional to run wires through your floor, wall, or ceiling. Now there’s [...]

New Products & Equipment

Alfred Poor's Video Report - Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2009, 3:56pm

This Alfred Poor's Video Report is a company-sponsored report on the Western Digital WD TV Live HD Player, which can play video, music, and photos on your HDTV without a computer. A network connection lets you access local, network, and Internet content.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Consumers Still Buying HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2009, 1:00pm

A new survey by market research firm NPD indicates that one out of four U.S. households intends to buy a new TV within the next six months. Size and high resolution were the most important factors, according to the survey.
For those planning to buy a new set, the average size for the intended purchase is [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Taiwan Power Outage Cools Corning

By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2009, 1:00pm

In September, it was an earthquake in Japan that shut down one of Corning’s glass factories. Last weekend, the gremlins struck again, this time at the company’s Central Taiwan Science Park plant. A power outage caused an unspecified number of the plant’s glass melting tanks to shut down, possibly damaging them in the process.
The outage [...]

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionProgramming

HDTV Almanac - ATSC Approves Mobile TV Standard

By Alfred Poor • Oct 19 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, the ATSC approved a standard for mobile digital television broadcasting. “Mobile DTV” will give consumers access to free programming on a variety of mobile devices. Already, 70 broadcasters in 29 markets have annonuced plans to roll out Mobile DTV this year. Manufacturers including LG Electronics will ship a Mobile DTV device early in [...]

Service & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Samsung Adds Amazon On Demand

By Alfred Poor • Oct 16 2009, 1:00pm

As of last Wednesday, owners of Samsung Series 650 and 7000 flat panel HDTVs can take advantage of Amazon’s Video on Demand service. Amazon offers more than 50,000 commercial-free movies and television episodes — many of which are available in HD – that you can either purchase or rent for download. You can use a [...]

HD Video ProductionHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Another Tiny HD Video Camera

By Alfred Poor • Oct 15 2009, 1:00pm

On Tuesday, JVC announced a new pocket camera with 8 megapixel resolution for still shots (3,264 by 2,448 pixels). Oh, and by the way, it also takes 1080p video at 30 frames per second (FPS). It does 720p at 60 fps. Oh, and it does all this for a list price of $199.95.

The camera is [...]

OLED HDTVsPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Giant OLED Screen at CEATEC

By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2009, 1:00pm

Techon reported last week about a technology demonstration by Mitsubishi Electric. At the annual CEATEC show in Japan, the company showed an OLED display that was 155″ diagonal: nearly 13 feet diagonal. That’s one big screen!
Actually, it was really 720 little screens. Each tile was about 5″ diagonal, with 16 by 16 pixel resolution. The [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Be CALM: House Bill Passes Sub-Committee

By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2009, 1:00pm

The closing scene of your favorite TV drama ends with a quiet emotional moment between the protagonist and the love interest. Fade to black. Cue the pickup truck ad with the blaring soundtrack. Cue the viewers diving frantically for their remotes, trying to turn down the volume.
Some sets have automatic volume control, which can help [...]

BroadcastMobile HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - TV in Your Pocket

By Alfred Poor • Oct 12 2009, 1:00pm

FLO TV announced the FLO TV Personal Television last week, a $249 pocket device that receives streaming television content over the air. Instead of using terrestrial broadcast television stations, it uses its own network of transmitters. Until now, FLO TV has been available on select AT&T and Verizon mobile phones, but the Personal Television is [...]


HDTV Almanac - Fiber for Your HDMI

By Alfred Poor • Oct 9 2009, 1:00pm

How big is your living room? Probably not too big for Gefen’s DVI-1600HD. This professional level device is overkill for most residential installations, but it does let you run an HDMI connection farther than you normally can. How does up to two kilometers sound? The system relies on four strands of optic fiber cable. If [...]


HDTV Almanac - Can One-Eyed People Watch 3DTV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 8 2009, 1:00pm

The whole topic of 3DTV has been getting a lot of coverage lately (and I’m happy to see that my market research report for GigaOM Pro has been part of that). I have been on a lot of sites with discussions and comments on the topic, but one question in particular has stuck with me. [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

The DIRECTV High Definition DVR - Year Three

By Doug Brott • Oct 8 2009, 1:05am

It's hard to believe how long it has been since the first HR20-700 hit the streets. Three years after the introduction of DIRECTV's flagship receiver in August 2006, it continues to improve. Even though there hasn't been a new receiver since the HR23 was released last year, DIRECTV continues steady development of the HD DVR platform by adding new features. One such highly anticipated feature...

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - A Dangerous Game

By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2009, 1:00pm

In doing some other research, I stumbled across the following article :
Forrester Research Predicts HDTV Will Fail
While digital television offers a variety of ways for TV manufacturers, broadcasters, and cable operators to make money, high-definition television (HDTV) doesn’t. A new Report from Forrester Research, Inc. predicts that standard definition digital television (SDTV) will succeed where [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Cisco to Buy Tandberg: Why You Should Care

By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2009, 1:00pm

Yes, this sounds like a totally IT story: connectivity giant Cisco has a deal pending to buy TANDBERG for about $3 billion. Aside from dealing with numbers that are incomprehensible compared with the typical consumer’s mortgage or rent payment, what’s the point of bringing it up here?
TANDBERG is a videoconferencing company, and Cisco has been [...]

3D HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Do You Want 3D TV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 5 2009, 1:00pm

In-Stat recently published the results of a consumer survey designed to measure attitudes about 3D television in the home. The survey found that 64% were at least somewhat interested, and one out of four overall were either “very” or “extremely” interested. That’s a high level of interest for a new technology, and demonstrates that there [...]


HDTV Almanac - Sharp Fires Up Gen 10 LCD Plant

By Alfred Poor • Oct 2 2009, 1:00pm

As has been widely reported, Sharp started production at its new Gen 10 LCD panel manufacturing plant in Japan this week. I wrote about their plans to build this plant two years ago when it was first announced, and now it is finally ready to start production.
The glass sheets used to make the panels [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Will You Have to Tip Your HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 1 2009, 1:00pm

According to some sources, circulation at 24 of the nation’s top 25 newspapers is down significantly. In this age of the instant Internet, delivering news when you want and on the topics you want to know about, and with Craig’s List offering free classified ads in every state, it’s not surprising that newpaper subscriptions are [...]