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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (December, 2009)

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PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Itsy Bitsy HDTV Spider

By Alfred Poor • Dec 30 2009, 1:00pm

My friend and touch-screen technology expert Geoff Walker sent me a link to an interesting site. Price Spider scours the Web for prices on popular product categories such as HDTVs. It then can present you with a list of sites and their prices for a specific product. Nothing special so far. But the site also [...]

Cable HDTVSports

HDTV Almanac - Fox vs. Time Warner

By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2009, 1:00pm

I’m an unabashed fan of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. Once again, the final game of the season is against the Dallas Cowboys, and the outcome will have a major impact on the playoffs leading to the SuperBowl. And the way things are headed, Time Warner cable subscribers may not get to see the [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Prices Holding Steady

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2009, 1:00pm

If Santa didn’t put a flat screen in your stocking, you don’t need to cry or pout, as the good prices on LCD and plasma HDTVs seem to be hanging around like the extra pounds gained from holiday cheer. I’ve checked a couple price watch sites, and conducted my own unscientific scan of a stack [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Happy Holidays!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 25 2009, 1:00pm

As you read this, I may be curled up with a cup of cocoa and a grandchild in my lap. It’s a safe bet that I won’t be at my computer, however. I wrote this holiday greeting beforehand and set it on autopilot to be delivered to you today.
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that [...]

BroadcastEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - Broadcast Battle

By Alfred Poor • Dec 24 2009, 1:00pm

You can’t see them. You can’t hear them. You can’t touch them. Yet they are responsible for an enormous amount of our communication and entertainment. Most people would use the general term “radio waves” to refer to that part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than visible light, but these are also used for [...]

3D HDTVPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Avatar Is Box Office Boffo!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 23 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve mentioned several times that I view James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” as a key factor in determining the fate of 3DTV in the home. It could help launch stereoscopic technology as a central part of the maintstream media, or it could leave the effect in the pile of “gimmicks” used to attract audiences.
It’s still too [...]

OLED HDTVsSportsLCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LG Gets Super Skinny

By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2009, 1:00pm

One of the reasons everyone wants OLED TVs is because they can be so incredibly thin. But LCD panels are getting remarkably thin in spite of the need for a bright backlight to make them work. High brightness LEDs arranged along the edge of the panel with complex light guides do a great job of [...]

Mobile HDTVService & RepairHTPCs & LaptopsProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Milennials Want Mobile TV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2009, 1:00pm

A research report by Magid Media Labs released earlier this month by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) shows that consumers are interested in receiving television programming on their cell phones and other mobile devices. The cosumers who have particularly strong interest in this type of service are the 18 to 29 year old “Milennials”.
Two [...]

Programming

HDTV Almanac - Almost Silent Night?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 18 2009, 1:00pm

Don’t we all just live for those moments? Your favorite show or movie has a tender, emotional scene, the screen fades to black, and then you get blasted out of your chair by “HEADON!! Apply directly to the forehead!“. The jarring differences between the volume levels of the programming content and advertisements has been a [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - The Ultimate Living Room PC

By Alfred Poor • Dec 17 2009, 1:00pm

Yes, we have a computer in our living room. It’s a big, old-fashioned tower case with a powerful CPU and big hard drive inside, sitting on the floor next to the TV stand. It’s not particularly lovely, but it gets the job done. Still, I think I could do better, at least until I visit [...]

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - LG Aims at 3D

By Alfred Poor • Dec 16 2009, 1:00pm

Look out, Panasonic and Sony, you’ve got another player walking onto the court. And LG is a force to be reckoned with. According to a report in Reuters, the company is drawing a bead on the emerging 3DTV market. LG has stated that it intends to sell 400,000 3DTVs in 2010, then skyrocketing to 3.4 [...]

3D HDTV

Ed's View - HD 3DTV: The Tasks Ahead

By Ed Milbourn • Dec 15 2009, 4:52pm

In spite of the aggressive marketing aspirations of a few major television industry giants, namely Sony and Panasonic, there are essentially three fundamental tasks remaining before HD 3DTV can become a viable adjunct to the spectrum of consumer electronic products...

Service & RepairDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - On the Skids, or Just Skidding on the Turn?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2009, 1:00pm

Multichannel News ran an intriguing story on Monday about TiVo. Apparently, the television digital video recording (DVR) service has suffered a loss of subscribers from 3.5 million a year ago to 2.7 million now. In an industry where you have to grow to move forward, these look like pretty crushing numbers. According to the article, [...]

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Countdown to 3D

By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2009, 1:00pm

I don’t think the movie industry has ever invested so much hope (and hype) on a Friday that wasn’t the 13th as they are this week. And since the television industry is inseparably entwined with the movie industry, Friday December 19, 2009 may turn out to be as seminal an event for the living room [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVHD DVDDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Wireless HD Standard Approved

By Alfred Poor • Dec 11 2009, 1:00pm

The Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) group announced the release of the WHDI specification earlier this week. This is designed to let HDTV equipment makers create wireless connections between devices, up to 100 feet apart and through walls. It relies on a 40 MHz channel in the 5 GHz unlicensed band, rated at less [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - A Little Horn Blowing

By Alfred Poor • Dec 10 2009, 1:00pm

I don’t usually take up space here talking about me, but I came across an interesting development and ask for your patience as I toot a little on my own horn today.
Tekrati is a Web site that tracks blogs, and within that, the site maintains a list of analyst blogs. A site called The Customer [...]

Internet HD VideoBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Provides Needle-Finder

By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2009, 1:00pm

It should come as no surprise by now that I love Hulu. I probably watch as many shows on it as I do on broadcast television, now that I have a computer hooked up to my big screen. But one of the problems I’ve had is finding the shows that I want to watch. Discovering [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LED LCD TVs: Gaining Ground

By Alfred Poor • Dec 8 2009, 1:00pm

The industry analyst firm DisplayBank has released a presentation that gives an overview of the flat panel display industry, with some special emphasis on LCD HDTVs with LED backlights. This is the segment of the market that some manufacturers have chosen to call “LED TVs”, which is a term that many people find misleading.
LED backlights [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - You Want It When?!?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2009, 1:00pm

The Internet changes everything, or so they say. Look up information and it’s delivered to your screen at the speed of light. (Okay, maybe not that fast, but a lot faster than if you had to drive to the library.) But the Internet geeks still haven’t figured out how to deliver physical stuff over broadband. [...]

Environment / GreenLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LED Backlights Gaining

By Alfred Poor • Dec 4 2009, 1:00pm

One detail that came up in the dust-up over the California Energy Commission’s new requirements that limit the energy consumption of flat panel TVs is that some existing models already meet the more stringent 2013 limits. And according to DisplaySearch, all but one of these low-power HDTVs were LCDs with LED backlights.
LEDs are more efficient [...]

Cable HDTVHTPCs & LaptopsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Gets NBC

By Alfred Poor • Dec 3 2009, 1:00pm

Comcast announced this morning that its deal with General Electric to buy NBC is going through, pending regulatory approval. For $6.5 billion, Comcast will get a controlling 51% interest in the media empire that includes the NBC television network, Telemundo, a handful of other cable channels, and the Universal Studios movie business. Oh, and they [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Black Friday: I Was Wrong

By Alfred Poor • Dec 2 2009, 1:00pm

If you don’t want to be wrong, ever, just don’t make predictions. A new press release from the market analyst iSupply states that on Black Friday, retailers dropped the prices for LCD HDTVs by a whopping 22%. That’s not the price drop from last year, folks; it’s the drop from the week before. Okay, here’s [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - We Have Our HDTVs! (Well, Almost Half)

By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2009, 1:00pm

A new report by Leichtman Research Group indicates that nearly half of U.S. households have at least one HDTV. The 46% level of HDTV penetration is roughly double what it was two years ago. The fact that prices have fallen more than 20% a year for the past two years doesn’t hurt either.
According to the [...]