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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (April, 2010)

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HDTV Almanac - Amazon Explains 3DTV

By Alfred Poor • Apr 29 2010, 1:00pm

There’s no doubt that 3DTV is creating a lot of buzz, but it’s also creating a lot of confusion. Do you need special 3D glasses to see the images? Can you get 3D on both plasma and LCD HDTVs? How does the 3D effect happen? Thousands of words have been written to answer these questions, [...]


HDTV Almanac - Would You Wear Goofy 3D Goggles?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 28 2010, 1:00pm

One of the most common complaints that I hear about 3DTV is that people won’t wear 3D glasses in order to watch TV. I’m not so sure that’s true. Let me paint an alternative view for you. Let’s start with the fact that if I asked you 15 years ago whether or not you’d be [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - YouTube Expands Movie Rental Catalog

By Alfred Poor • Apr 27 2010, 1:00pm

As reported here earlier this year, Google has started experimenting with renting films on the YouTube site. At the “YouTube Store“, you can rent feature-length films as well as shorter program episodes. Much of the content is from the Sundance Film Festival, but the offerings have been expanding to include other titles, some of which [...]


HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Announces VT25 3D HDTV Series

By Alfred Poor • Apr 26 2010, 1:00pm

On Friday, Panasonic announced delivery dates and list prices for the VT25 Series plasma HDTVs, the newest line of VIERA models with 3DTV support.
- 50″ TC-P50VT25, list $2,599.95, ships May 3, 2010
- 54″ TC-P54VT25, list $2,999.95, ships May 3, 2010
- 58″ TC-P58VT25, list$3,399.95, ships June 2010
- 65″ TC-P65VT25, list $4,299.95, ships June 2010
These will join [...]

Satellite HDTVProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Who Has the Most HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 23 2010, 1:00pm

Ah, the HDTV channel wars are heating up again. Earlier this week, Dish Network announced that it was going to add eight more HD channels, bringing its “total” to 200 HD channels. Then DirecTV revealed plans to add 30 more HD channels this year, bringing its “total” to 160 HD channels. Now, I’ve put “total” [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Change of Heart by Cable?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 22 2010, 1:00pm

Jim O’Neill is the editor of Fierce Online Video, and he made an interesting observation in his column today :
At the American Cable Association’s policy summit this week in Washington, several smaller cablecos posited that acting as a “dumb pipe” for the flood of online video that was moving across the system of late might [...]

Business & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Best Buy Sues Ultimate

By Alfred Poor • Apr 21 2010, 1:00pm

Be careful what you say out there, especially if you’re in the consumer electronics retail business. Ultimate Electronics has been advertising that they comparison shop at Best Buy and Walmart, then adjust their prices so that consumers can be sure that they are the lowest. Not so fast, according to Best Buy, which is the [...]

Internet HD VideoHTPCs & LaptopsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Seagate Adds Netflix

By Alfred Poor • Apr 20 2010, 1:00pm

Seagate announced this week that it is adding support for Netflix streaming video content to its FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player. Existing owners of the device can add support for this new feature through a free download. The media player also now supports online access to content from YouTube, vTuner, and Mediafly. The device can [...]


HDTV Almanac - More LED Backlight Price Drops Forecast

By Alfred Poor • Apr 19 2010, 1:00pm

Two months ago, I reported on DisplaySearch’s forecast that prices for LED backlight units for a 40″ LCD HDTV would fall about 15% this year, though LCD HDTVs with LED backlights would continue to cost significantly more than equivalent models with traditional CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent lamp) backlights.
Now another display market tracking firm has weighed in [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionEvents & TradeshowsBroadcast

HDTV Expert - NAB 2010: A Show in Transition

By Pete Putman • Apr 16 2010, 11:40pm

This year’s National Association of Broadcasters trade show resembled CES more than it did a traditional broadcast and engineering show.

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionBroadcastProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Mobile TV Moves Ahead

By Alfred Poor • Apr 16 2010, 1:00pm

Mobile digital TV (Mobile DTV) is one of the new technologies under development intended to bring video programming to portable devices. Mobile DTV is designed to use part of a local television station’s broadcast spectrum to provide a signal for mobile devices, delivering a combination of free and subscription content.
One issue (of many) challenges for [...]


HDTV Almanac - OLED Progress

By Alfred Poor • Apr 15 2010, 1:00pm

Researchers at two of the Fraunhofer Institutes in Dresden have announced the successful production of OLED devices using a continuous roll-to-roll process. While these devices are targeted for lighting devices, it is a step that could have a big impact on the future of OLED televisions.

The OLED devices created at Fraunhofer are interesting on a [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Hard Drive Comes with Movies On Board

By Alfred Poor • Apr 14 2010, 1:00pm

Buy a new external hard drive, get the 2009 movie “Star Trek” for free. That’s the deal with select units of the new 500 GB FreeAgent Go drive from Seagate. The drive comes with 21 movies from Paramount, including “Star Trek” which you can watch for free once you’ve registered your purchase. The other 20 [...]


HDTV Almanac - ViewSonic Brings 3D Home

By Alfred Poor • Apr 13 2010, 1:00pm

ViewSonic has announced their PGD-150 active shutter glasses that will allow viewers to watch 3D content on any of the company’s 3D-capable DLP projectors. The glasses are priced at just $99 apiece, which is a reasonable list price this early in the game.
This announcement also keeps front projection systems in the mix for those who [...]

HD DVDCable HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Strange Bedfellows?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 12 2010, 1:00pm

What could possibly bring the cable companies and the Hollywood studios together? Aren’t these the same two warring camps that have been playing chicken over retransmission fees? Well, consider these two words: Netflix and Redbox.
The fact is that DVD sales continue to drop as consumers choose other ways to get their movies at home, and [...]


HDTV Almanac - Get Part of the Earth in HD for Free!

By Alfred Poor • Apr 9 2010, 1:00pm

40 years ago, I was a marshal for the first Earth Day parade in Boston. We’ve certainly learned a lot about our planet and its ecology since then, and some of that knowledge has informed actions in our daily lives. I suspect that a significant portion of people reading this participate in some form of [...]


HDTV Expert - They’re Back…HDTVexpert.com Archives Update April 8, 2010

By Pete Putman • Apr 8 2010, 8:35pm

Still wondering where some of your favorite old HDTVexpert.com articles went? Look no further.

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - Product Review: Three For DTV…Reception (February 2009)

By Pete Putman • Apr 8 2010, 8:31pm

Here’s a tale of three indoor digital TV antennas – low-priced, mid-priced, and high-priced. See how they fared in a side-by-side test.

Front ProjectionDLP HDTVsPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Expert - Product Review: Optoma HD8200 Home Theater Projector (August 2009)

By Pete Putman • Apr 8 2010, 8:11pm

Here’s another sleek, piano-black 1080p home theater projector with a long throw lens, horizontal and vertical lens offset, and dynamic iris. The difference? It uses single-chip DLP technology, and is priced at $5,000. Surprised?

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Product Review: Kramer ProScale VP-729 Presentation Switcher/Scaler (June 2009)

By Pete Putman • Apr 8 2010, 8:05pm

Kramer’s ProScale VP-729 switcher/scaler packs a bunch of features into an affordable and practical package…and it supports HDMI, too.

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - HDTV Tech Talk: I’ve Got The Low-Band DTV Blues (June 2009)

By Pete Putman • Apr 8 2010, 7:55pm

Did DTV channel 6 disappear on your converter box or digital TV after June 12? Here’s why it may be “MIA”…and what you may be able to do about it.


HDTV Expert - Product Review: Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD Blu-Ray Player (May 2009)

By Pete Putman • Apr 8 2010, 7:42pm

Pioneer’s top-line BD player is built like a tank, has whisper-quiet operation, and delivers top-notch audio and video.

Laser HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - New Laser HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Apr 8 2010, 1:00pm

You may have heard the buzz about Prysm and its new “laser phosphor display” (LPD). The short take-away points on this story are (1) this is a new and different approach to flat screen displays, and (2) it is not likely to be a consumer product any time soon.
Here’s how the display works; an array [...]

3D HDTVBlu-rayInternet HD Video

One Installer's Opinion - Equine Brutality, The Wisdom of the Doors ... ... and Other Matters.

By Terry Paullin • Apr 7 2010, 4:05pm

Look, I hate to beat a dead horse, ...well, maybe occasionally I ... O.K., O.K., I love to milk a topic that deserves it, and this horse ain't runnin' off into the sunset anytime soon. Yup, I'm talking about the NEW stallion on the block, 3D. While most periodicals are still gushing "2010 is the year of 3D", I'm more convinced than ever that it won't be. Clearly, the hype will be excruciatingly loud and constant for the remainder of the year, but the substance will remain elusive.

Here's the thing...

Politics & PolicyCable HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - FCC Loses on Net Neutrality

By Alfred Poor • Apr 7 2010, 1:00pm

Something big happened yesterday. It sounds a little geeky at first, but the implications are serious. Here’s the quick summary. Comcast penalized some of their broadband subscribers for downloading too many movies (presumably from pirate sites, but that’s beside the point) by slowing down their Internet connections. The FCC stepped in and ruled that Comcast [...]


From the Trenches - 2 Million 3D Ready Displays Already in the Home, but…

By Richard Fisher • Apr 6 2010, 3:32pm

If you purchased a Mitsubishi or Samsung DLP rear projection HDTV over the last 3 years, you might want to check your owners manual, spec sheet or back of the TV to confirm you are 3D ready. The fact is that many owners are unaware of the feature since it isn’t the reason they bought it to begin with. From experience in the field, many are bound to unwittingly consider replacing it for a 3D ready display when they may not need to.

If you are one of the current 2 million 3D DLP owners...

Politics & PolicyLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Anti-Trust Suit Filed Against LCD Makers

By Alfred Poor • Apr 6 2010, 1:00pm

It has been widely reported that a U.S. District judge has ruled that class action suits can be brought against the LCD panel manufacturers that were accused of price fixing for their products. One class includes those companies that bought the panels to include in their own products — such as televisions, cell phones, and [...]

Global & WorldviewBlu-rayBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Just 6% Worldwide

By Alfred Poor • Apr 5 2010, 1:00pm

We tend to get a provincial view of technology in this country, sometimes. A recent report from Inform Telecoms & Media puts things in perspective a bit. According to their numbers, HDTV penetration worldwide for last year was estimated to be just 6% of consumer households. Of this, North America makes up about two thirds [...]

Mobile HDTV

Ed's View - How Mobile Capability Could Redefine and Save Over-the-air Television

By Ed Milbourn • Apr 2 2010, 3:44pm

Arguably, 3D HD was the "star" of CES 2010 and is the primary focus of the television business starting now. And rightfully so, as 3D will be a welcome incrementally profitable business as HD approaches market maturity. However, the same cannot be said for broadcasters as they gather in Las Vegas this month for NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Convention 2010. To OTA broadcasters, whose very lifeblood – their spectrum – is under assault, the issue is survival. And that survival may very well depend on their successful embrace of the new ATSC Mobile/Handheld (M/H) standard. So, in spite of its glitter, 3D may very well take a second seat to M/H at NAB 2010.

To some extent M/H is a solution waiting for a problem. It is not clear there is any driving conventional need for linear mobile television and/or non-internet data services, at least in the US, or any that would appear to be economically viable. However, here are some factors, both commercial and technical, tha ...


HDTV Almanac - $59 LCD TV

By Alfred Poor • Apr 2 2010, 1:00pm

Psst! Over here! Shhh! Don’t draw attention. Look, you wanna buy an LCD TV for $59? I know just the place: Walmart.


HDTV Almanac - HDTV Headlines

By Alfred Poor • Apr 1 2010, 1:00pm

Wow — the news keeps coming so fast and furious these days that I can’t keep up with it all. So I’m clearing my “Almanac ideas” file in Evernote today as part of my annual spring cleaning. Here is a bunch of short items.
Sony brings back OLED TV: Sony has announced plans to bring out [...]