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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (May, 2010)

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3D HDTVEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - SID 2010: HDTV Take-Aways

By Alfred Poor • May 28 2010, 1:00pm

It’s getaway day here in Seattle for me, but as always, it has been a packed week at the Society for Information Display (SID) annual conference. There were no earth-shaking developments for the HDTV market revealed here, but I want to recap the overall themes based on what I saw and heard here.
First, 3DTV is [...]

3D HDTVMarketplaceEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - SID 2010: Don’t Look for Panasonic 3DTV Online

By Alfred Poor • May 27 2010, 1:00pm

At the IMS Market Focus Conference at SID 2010, yesterday was devoted to all aspects of the 3DTV market. During the session on the 3DTV Market Outlook, one of the speakers was Jim Sanduski, Senior Vice President for Sales with Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. He made a number of interesting comments during his presentation, such [...]

3D HDTVSportsHTPCs & LaptopsSatellite HDTVBusiness & Investment

HDTV Expert - MLB All-Star Game carried in 3D? (And ESPN World Cup coverage in 1080i?)

By Pete Putman • May 26 2010, 4:11pm

At yesterday’s 3DTV 2010 event in New York City, panelist Steven Roberts, New Media and Business Development Senior VP for DirecTV, mentioned that his company was testing the possibility of covering this year’s major league baseball All-Star Game in 3D. The game will take place at Anaheim Stadium on July 13.

This statement gives credence to [...]

OLED HDTVsMobile HDTVHTPCs & LaptopsEnvironment / Green

HDTV Almanac - SID 2010: Why You Won’t Have an OLED HDTV Soon

By Alfred Poor • May 26 2010, 1:00pm

OLEDs make my heart sing. They are everything that a display should be: thin, light, great color, emissive, energy efficient, no viewing angle problems. Other people seem to agree; according to some sources, 45 million OLED displays will be sold this year for mobile applications such as cell phones and personal media players. And if [...]

Blu-ray3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - SID 2010: 3D Avatar on Blu-ray

By Alfred Poor • May 25 2010, 1:00pm

All this week I’ll be reporting from the Society for Information Display (SID) annual meeting which is being held this year in sunny (not) Seattle, Washington. This annual gathering of the worldwide display industry is the best place to take a peek over the horizon at what’s headed our way in terms of displays.
The symposium [...]

Broadcast

HDTV Almanac - Google TV: The Beginning or the End?

By Alfred Poor • May 24 2010, 1:00pm

The Diffusion Group came out with a report that predicts that consumers will watch more video content from the Web than from traditional television sources (free broadcast and subscription services) by just 10 years from now. Then on Thursday, Google announced “Google TV”. I’m starting to think that The Diffusion Group might be a bit [...]

HD DVDInternet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Free HD Video Codec

By Alfred Poor • May 21 2010, 1:00pm

Okay, this one is going to get a little propeller-headed; feel free to skip this technical entry and just come back on Monday.
In order to send video over the Internet, you need to package the digital data in packets. The more you can condense the data, the smaller the data stream required, and the better [...]

Cable HDTVHD DVDBlu-rayLaser HDTVDeals & Discounts

HDTV Expert - Is it time to kill the DVD?

By Pete Putman • May 20 2010, 3:56pm

The red laser DVD, that is. With Blu-ray player prices steadily dropping and more aggressive discounts on upcoming releases, it's time to move on.

PC & Laptop TechnologyBusiness & InvestmentHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Manufacturer Fraud?

By Alfred Poor • May 20 2010, 1:00pm

One thing I’ve learned in almost 30 years in the technology products business is that it’s inevitable that as competition gets more intense, the manufacturers play faster and looser with the whole idea of “specifications”. I saw it in the processor speeds of IBM PC AT compatibles, and in the dots-per-inch claims for personal computer [...]

MarketplaceBusiness & InvestmentLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sell More, Earn Less!

By Alfred Poor • May 19 2010, 1:00pm

Thinking about entering the LCD HDTV business? Here are some numbers that might make you rethink that plan. According to Quixel Research, unit sales were up in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009, which sounds like good news. However, first quarter revenues declined from $5.2 billion in 2009 to [...]

Satellite HDTVHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DirecTV Offers Whole Home HD DVR

By Alfred Poor • May 18 2010, 1:00pm

TiVo created a revolution in television viewing when its digital video recorder (DVR) first showed up. In a world resigned to scrolling back and forth through an endless stack of VHS tapes, TiVo made it simple to record a show and watch it later. More than anything, the user interface made it quick and easy [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - Season Finale of “House” shot with Canon digital SLR

By Pete Putman • May 17 2010, 9:04pm

In another example of ‘cross-over’ media acquisition products, Canon announced last week that the season finale of Fox’ ‘House’ (airs Monday, May 17) was shot in its entirety with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
You read that right! Canon’s high-end DSLRs have been able to shoot video for some time now. Cinematographers have been experimenting [...]

Politics & PolicyDigital Rights Management (DRM)Satellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - FCC Orders Remote Kill Switch

By Alfred Poor • May 17 2010, 1:00pm

In an order last week, the FCC granted a limited authority to cable and satellite services that allows them to selectively disable ports on your set top box. This order grew out of an original petition by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in 2008. The FCC prohibited the use of “selectable output control” [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - The Balkanization of Streaming TV

By Alfred Poor • May 14 2010, 1:00pm

Would you like to watch your favorite TV shows online? Many of them are available with full episodes that you can stream to your computer or television. Isn’t that convenient? Well, maybe.
The problem is that you have to go to different sites to see different shows. Sure, many of them are on Hulu, but many [...]

Blu-rayCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - New BDs for Old DVDs

By Alfred Poor • May 13 2010, 1:00pm

I wrote about the Warner Brothers exchange program last November. The company not only has continued the program, but has expanded it and made some changes. The DVD2Blu program still lets you exchange up to 25 existing DVDs for Blu-ray versions, but now the price for many of the exchanges has dropped from $7.95 to [...]

Cable HDTVFiber/IPTV HDTVBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Time Warner and Cox Need More Fiber

By Alfred Poor • May 12 2010, 1:00pm

According to an Associated Press story last week, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus issued a decision that Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications should drop their claims of “fiber-optic” networks in their advertising.
The decision came in response to a complaint filed by Verizon with the NAD, which is [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - The Fat Lady is About to Sing

By Alfred Poor • May 11 2010, 1:00pm

You don’t have to spend the weekend in New York City to see live performances at the Metropolitan Opera. Thanks to the Live in HD program, you can watch the performances live in more than 1,200 movie theaters across the country and around the world. In the 2009-2010 season, the series sold more than 2.2 [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Best Buy Includes Streaming Bonuses

By Alfred Poor • May 10 2010, 1:00pm

Customer loyalty programs are a big part of modern retail strategy, especially for brick and mortar operations. The use of streaming audio and video content from the Internet is growing rapidly. It does not seem likely that these two trends could possibly intersect. But they have.
Best Buy’s program is called RewardZone. If you spend $2,500 [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - tru2way: Who cares?

By Pete Putman • May 7 2010, 7:07pm

Remember CableCARD TVs? They're still around, but never really found favor with consumers. Now, the cable TV industry wants to take the idea to another level...but it's probably too late.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Hollywood Video to Close

By Alfred Poor • May 7 2010, 1:00pm

Do you still believe that there’s a big future in moving little polycarbonate discs around the country? Here’s another data point to the contrary; Hollywood Video is throwing in the towel and closing all of its 2,415 U.S. stores. The parent company, Movie Gallery, filed for bankruptcy in February and had planned to close more [...]

General Interest

One Installer's Opinion - A Half Dozen Reflections on a Thousand Theaters

By Terry Paullin • May 6 2010, 3:06pm

O.K. Truth is, I don't know EXACTLY how many theatres I've actually done. When I started Front Row Cinema in 1988, general accounting was not the top priority. A few years later the IRS convinced me it should be higher on the list. Since then, two hard disc crashes have also taken a toll on the precision of the count. Still, as of April, 2009, the number of installations could conservatively be pegged at somewhere north of 900. Now add another year and something called "editorial license" (a term journalists hide behind when they want to make stuff up) and I've got to be very close to 1,000 installs, plus or minus.

The only systems I count are the ones I have designed (hardware), sourced, installed and calibrated myself, which means I have...

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FCC to Impose “Net Neutrality” Rules?

By Alfred Poor • May 6 2010, 1:00pm

Okay, is anyone else here confused?
On Monday, the Washington Post ran a story that stated “The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has indicated he wants to keep broadband services deregulated”. That’s pretty clear, though it left some people scratching their heads a bit. Chairman Genachowski “swept into his job pledging to protect ‘net neutrality’” [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Classic Pete: Contrast, Shmontrast! (2003)

By Pete Putman • May 5 2010, 11:49pm

High contrast ratios don't make the display - grayscales do!

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - High-Definition Floor

By Alfred Poor • May 5 2010, 1:00pm

Who wouldn’t want a high-definition wall in their home? But have you ever considered a high-definition floor?

Researchers at McGill University have come up with floor tiles that can have a surface image displayed using projectors mounted overhead. So far, pretty cool. But the plastic tiles can sense pressure and be made to vibrate. As a [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Hulu #2 for March Viewers

By Alfred Poor • May 4 2010, 1:00pm

comScore released its comScore Video Metrix results for March 2010. In terms of number of videos viewed online, it should be no surprise that “Google sites” came out on top with more than 13 billion videos, and a 41.8% share of the total. (Why no surprise? Because Google owns YouTube.)
But here’s the surprise: Hulu came [...]

3D HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - Ebert gives 3D a “Thumbs Down”

By Pete Putman • May 3 2010, 5:51pm

Roger Ebert is at it again. 10 years ago, he came out strongly against digital cinema. Now, he's set his sights on 3D in movie theaters

OLED HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVsPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: $229.99 22″ OLED Monitor

By Alfred Poor • May 3 2010, 1:00pm

A tip of the hat to DisplaySearch for spotting this one.
When it comes to cutting edge technology, you may not think of Target first. Yet if you go to the company’s Web site, you’ll find a listing for a 22″ Widescreen OLED Monitor. Now that alone would be enough for a stop-the-presses news alert, but [...]