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By Alfred Poor • Jan 29 2010, 1:48pm
Okay, I was determined to maintain the HDTV Almanac as an iPad-Free Zone, but Steve Jobs has forced me to break my resolution.
There are many amazing points to pick out of Wednesday’s announcement, but I’m just going to focus on the video part.
First, consider these quotes from the iPad promotional video on the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 28 2010, 1:00pm
Raymond Soneira is the creator of DisplayMate, which is an excellent program that can quickly tell you volumes about your display, whether it’s an HDTV, a computer monitor, a notebook, or even a cell phone.
I used DisplayMate extensively for many years when I developed and used the display tests for PC Magazine, and they [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 27 2010, 1:00pm
If there’s a way to make money with YouTube, Google is sure to find it.
The company is certainly trying enough different ways to generate revenue.
Last week, YouTube announced that they will start renting movies.
According to a company blog entry, an agreement with the Sundance Film Festival will make five films available for [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 26 2010, 1:00pm
China News Daily reported last week that more than 2,000 workers demonstrated at a touch panel plant owned by a Taiwanese company to protest pay disputes and unsafe working conditions.
According to the protesters, at least four workers have died from over-exposure to hexane, a toxic solvent used to clean the panels.
Some other reports [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 25 2010, 1:00pm
One of Taiwan’s top two LCD manufacturers, AUO, has announced that it is buying some technology (intellectual property) and other assets from Field Emission Technology (FET).
FET was a spin-off from Sony that was develop and manufacture field-emission displays (FEDs), but during last year’s economic downturn, the company balked at spending the $300 million required [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 22 2010, 1:00pm
Earlier this week, the FCC ruled that cable companies that control local content — such as professional sports games — must make the programming available to other services, including satellite systems like DirecTV and DISH Network.
This closes what has been called the “terrestrial loophole“.
It got its name from the fact that any programming [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 21 2010, 1:00pm
According to a report last week in Television Broadcast, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects to get more than $2 billion for the U.S.
television broadcast rights for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
NBC paid nearly $0.9 billion for the 2009 Summer Olympics [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 20 2010, 1:00pm
Q: I was visiting someone with a high definition TV.
When they play back DVDs (normal ones, not Blu-ray), the images were letterboxed with black stripes on the top and bottom of the screen.
What gives? I expect letterboxing on a square CRT but not on a widescreen HDTV.
The TV plays HD broadcast [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 19 2010, 1:00pm
“TV Everywhere” is the moniker given by subscription video services to their attempts to let their subscribers watch their content through a streaming connection over the Internet.
It makes sense; if I’m already paying for the content, why can’t I “tune in” over a broadband connection to see whatever my set top box can deliver?
By Alfred Poor • Jan 18 2010, 1:00pm
Earlier this month, the market research firm BIGresearch released their results for the top five retailers for consumer electronics for December 2009.
According to the company press release, nearly one-third of all adults (18 years old or older) surveyed indicated that they shopped at Best Buy most often when looking for electronics.
Walmart was close [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 15 2010, 1:00pm
We’ve managed to stuff another Consumer Electronics Show into the history books (and no doubt consuming more than a few terabytes of Internet storage along the way with all that’s been posted about it).
So let me make one last entry to sum it all up.
First, this year leaves no doubt that CES is the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 14 2010, 1:00pm
The arms race continues.
When you have a product category where the competing products do not differ significantly, manufacturers must find a way to make their product stand out.
Almost all televisions are now thin and flat and have 1080p resolution, so what can they do? Competing on price is difficult, with margins already cut [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 13 2010, 1:00pm
If you were hoping for a breakthrough announcement about OLED TVs at CES 2010, you were let down again.
OLEDs are a promising new display technology that is widely used in mobile phones and personal media players, but these are small displays.
While OLEDs would make great televisions due to their incredible thinness and great [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Jan 12 2010, 4:22pm
One cannot appreciate the enormity of this exhibition except in person.
This was my fortieth CES – the first being in 1965 at the old American Hotel in NYC, called the EIA Convention at that time.
Then as a young engineer with RCA, I was awestruck by two full floors of products – one floor with radio, phonograph and audio tape products and the other with television – mostly black and white models.
Now, the CES occupies several square miles of Las Vegas convention space exhibiting and hosting presentations relative to all types of electronics products competing in the ever hungrier world-wide consumer electronics marketplace.
But one factor remains the same as in 1965: television is the king.
Video products continue to...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2010, 1:00pm
LEDs are a solid state light source that have extraordinarily long lifetimes, and do not use mercury or other environmentally hazardous chemicals that are found in the fluorescent lamps traditionally used as backlights for LCD panels in devices such as computer monitors, notebook displays, and HDTVs.
In addition, LED backlights provide better color performance, resulting [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 11 2010, 1:00pm
I know that at least some of you frequent HDTV Almanac readers are old enough to remember when the NBC peacock revealed a major change in television technology.
Overnight, we went from shades of gray on the TV screen to full color (or what was close enough to full color for us at the time).
By Alfred Poor • Jan 8 2010, 1:00pm
As I mentioned yesterday, we will need a sufficient quantity of 3D content in order for 3D channels and 3D television sales to succeed, but only a limited amount is available at this point.
But maybe that’s not the obstacle that it would appear to be.
At the press conferences at CES on Wednesday, two companies [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 7 2010, 1:00pm
Last summer, European satellite service BSkyB made headlines by announcing plans for an all-3D HDTV channel to begin broadcasting this year.
Many people — including me — thought that this is probably premature due to the limited amount of 3D content available.
Like the early days of HDTV broadcasts, you were likely to see the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 6 2010, 1:00pm
Skype is a service that lets you make free phone calls between computers using your broadband connection.
What many people don’t realize is that close to a third of those calls are video calls, where you get to see the people you’re talking to.
We use this feature all the time, and even have added [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 5 2010, 1:00pm
The world of displays has gone flat and wide.
HDTVs use a format that has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means that for every 16 units of width, the screen is 9 units high.
Due to the economies of making everything the same format, we now have 16:9 computer monitors, portable media players, and digital [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 4 2010, 1:00pm
The much-publicized game of chicken between Fox and Time Warner ended on New Year’s Day with a settlement.
The terms were not disclosed, but Time Warner agreed to pay Fox for the rights to retransmit the Fox Network programming and some other News Corp cable networks.
As a result, Time Warner’s customers did not miss [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 1 2010, 1:00pm
Happy New Year!
While there are plenty of gloomy topics floating about in our world these days, high definition television is not one of them.
We survived the transition to digital broadcast of television programming (more or less) and now many viewers can enjoy HD shows for free over the air.
HDTV prices fell another 20% [...]