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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (February, 2010)

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3D HDTV

From the Trenches - How About 3D on Any Display?

By Richard Fisher • Feb 26 2010, 5:32pm

There are some mumblings on the internet about this possibility related to PS3 3D gaming but I can’t tell you if it is wishful thinking on the part of writers or rumors pulled from within engineering circles. I can tell you that the 720p specification is fully capable of delivering 1280x720 left/right eye high definition 3D at 30 frames even via broadcast DTV (although the content would not be 2D compatible and you would need a new receiver). I could be watching 3D today on my native 720p front projector via my PS3 (after firmware upgrade). Even the 1080i specification could deliver dedicated 3D using checkerboard encoding at 540p. One problem is...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Choose Your Ad

By Alfred Poor • Feb 26 2010, 1:00pm

Earlier this month, NewTeeVee reported the results of a study by VivaKi on the best online video ad units. The accuracy and impartiality of the data collection and analysis apparently is open to some debate, but the bottom line is that the results indicate that Hulu could be revolutionizing the use of advertisements with streaming [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Streaming to TVs

By Alfred Poor • Feb 25 2010, 1:00pm

A new report by The Diffusion Group reveals that of the Netflix subscribers who have broadband Internet access in their homes, more than 62% of them are using the “Watch Instantly” service to watch all the movies and television episodes that they want, at no additional charge. Perhaps the most telling result, however, is that [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Scores Sony

By Alfred Poor • Feb 24 2010, 1:00pm

Sony has a new Wi-Fi enabled touchscreen device that it calls the Dash Personal Internet Viewer. Last week, Sony announced that it was adding a dedicated application to the Dash for the Netflix streaming video service. If you have a Netflix subscription, an icon on the screen will provide access directly to your “Watch [...]

3D HDTV

From the Trenches - Who Wants 3D HDTV: Us or Them?

By Richard Fisher • Feb 23 2010, 8:30pm

3D is coming to a device near you, in the form of displays, broadcast TV, Blu-ray players mobile phones and new technology to convert 2D to 3D. While I am “up” on 3D technology, I was not aware of the mass market 3D infrastructure that had been put in place over the last few years until I attended the CEDIA show in Atlanta this past fall. 3D is coming, Blu-ray specs have been delivered and broadcast is just around the corner!

ProgrammingInternet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Will People Pay for Online Content?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 23 2010, 1:00pm

The World Wide Web has changed everything, and it appears that it hasn’t finished changing yet. One of the topics that I keep coming back to is the question of who will pay for production and distribution of video and movie programming over the Internet. One problem is that people tend to like “free” better [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LED Backlight Prices Falling

By Alfred Poor • Feb 22 2010, 1:00pm

Is the glass half full or half empty? DisplaySearch released a report last week that forecasts a rapid drop in LED backlight prices for HDTVs. According to the company’s press release, the current price for an LED backlight for a 40″ LCD HDTV is about $118, and this should fall to $100 by the end [...]

OLED HDTVsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Sony Pulls Plug on OLED TV in Japan

By Alfred Poor • Feb 19 2010, 1:00pm

It’s only 11″ diagonal. It’s not even HD resolution. And it costs a mind-boggling $2,222 in Japan. But it’s OLED and it looks great, so it gets a lot of attention. Apparently, however, it hasn’t gotten enough attention. Sony will stop production of its OLED TV for Japan, just two years after it started. It [...]

Deals & DiscountsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - More Bad News for High-End Retailers

By Alfred Poor • Feb 18 2010, 1:00pm

Another one bites the dust. Last week, the Washington DC area electronics retailer, MyerEmco Audio Video, announced that it was going out of business. Lack of available credit was cited as a major factor in the company’s demise. The president announced that the store would sell remaining inventory at half-price, with larger discounts available as [...]

Front Projection3D HDTVHD DVDDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - 3D Front Projector for the Home

By Alfred Poor • Feb 17 2010, 1:00pm

Acer has announced the S5200 DLP projector that is certified for 3D image projection. It supports a 120 Hz refresh rate, making it suitable for stereoscopic 3D content using active glasses. The projector is not capable of HD images, as it is only has XGA (1024 by 768 pixel) resolution, but it is reportedly priced [...]

Mobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Apple Wants Lower Prices

By Alfred Poor • Feb 16 2010, 1:00pm

According to a Wall Street Journal article last week, Apple is in negotiations with TV networks to lower the price for TV shows sold on the company’s iTunes site. The report indicates that the goal is to make video content more affordable when the iPad starts shipping, presumably in support of their claim about it [...]

Internet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - The Power of Internet TV

By Alfred Poor • Feb 15 2010, 1:00pm

You won’t find this in your TV guide. It barely got mentioned on the national news that I heard this morning. You may not know it, but the U.S. challenger, BMW Oracle Racing, won the America’s Cup back from the Swiss defender yesterday by winning the second race in a best-best-of-three competition. Oh, this [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sharp and Samsung Settle

By Alfred Poor • Feb 12 2010, 1:00pm

Earlier this week, Samsung and Sharp announced the settlement of their long-running dispute over patents related to LCD panels. As is often the case when both side sue each other, they agreed to a cross-licensing agreement that will give each company access to the disputed intellectual property claimed by the other. Additional details of the [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Is This Any Time to Expand CE Stores?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 11 2010, 1:00pm

In a story last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that consumer electronics retailer hhgregg is planning a massive expansion, starting with the mid-Atlantic region but then spreading throughout the U.S. The company currently has 127 stores and plans to add up to 45 more stores in the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. [...]

Cable HDTVPlasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Plasmas Not So Smart?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 10 2010, 1:00pm

In a story last week, CNET broke the news that Panasonic has admitted to problem with rising black levels on some Viera models of their plasma HDTVs. Apparently there have been many consumer complaints about the increase in black level over time on these sets. Black level is important because it is perhaps the key [...]

Mobile HDTVHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - AT&T Supports SlingPlayer Mobile on 3G

By Alfred Poor • Feb 9 2010, 1:00pm

Okay, maybe you don’t want to watch some version of mobile TV that delivers content that has been boiled and strained. But would you want to watch your favorite shows on your cell phone or other 3G-capable device? That’s going to be possible, now that AT&T has announced a deal with Sling Media (a subsidiary [...]

Blu-rayDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Movie Gallery Files for Bankruptcy

By Alfred Poor • Feb 8 2010, 1:00pm

Last week, another bit of evidence appeared that supports the position that DVDs (and Blu-ray discs) should be put on the endangered list. Movie Gallery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it tries to find a way to deal with its growing debt. The company has more than 2,600 stores in the U.S. in [...]

Blu-ray

HDTV Almanac - $68 Blu-ray Player

By Alfred Poor • Feb 5 2010, 1:00pm

Okay. That’s more like it. Walmart is offering the Magnavox NB500MG1F Blu-ray player for $68. Yes, there are lots of features that you don’t get with this basic model, but it does have an HDMI connection and an SD card slot. And it’s not even Black Friday!
This brings Blu-ray into range for the average buyer. [...]

Service & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Rather Switch than Pay?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 4 2010, 1:00pm

Brand loyalty remains an important part of many consumer markets in the U.S., but according to a new report by Strategy Analytics, subscription television service is not one of them. A recent survey found that more than 2 out of 3 cable subscribers would change providers if they were offered a 20% discount. For the [...]

LCD HDTVsBusiness & InvestmentMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Will Toshiba Call It Quits on LCD?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 3 2010, 1:00pm

A report last week in Tech-On speculates on the possibility that Toshiba might exit the LCD business. The article quotes a senior executive vice president as saying “”Our LCD display business has been worsening, and we are in very difficult circumstances.” He was referring to the LCD business of Toshiba Mobile Display Co Ltd (TMD). [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Another HD Cell Phone Video Camera

By Alfred Poor • Feb 2 2010, 1:00pm

Last fall, I wrote about the Samsung Instinct HD cell phone that could capture HD video. Now comes news that SonyEricsson is following suit. The new Vivaz is a 3G touchscreen phone that can record 720p video using the 8.1-megapixel camera. (The phone originally was known as the “Kurara”.) Apparently, the press release announcing the [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Turn Down the Sound!

By Alfred Poor • Feb 1 2010, 1:00pm

I have reported previously on the “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act”, or CALM, which has been passed by the House of Representatives and now is in the hands of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. However, we don’t have to wait for federal legislation to do something about the large variations in sound [...]