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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (October, 2010)

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Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - How to Watch FOX 5 and My 9 Without Cable

By Pete Putman • Oct 29 2010, 10:16pm

Attention Cablevision customers: Caught in the middle of the tiff between Rupert Murdoch and Jimmie Dolan? You may still be able to watch Saturday's Jets-Packers game, Sunday's NFC games, and the World Series. Read how!

Blu-rayMarketplaceCable HDTV

HDTV Expert - Blu-ray: Those hotcakes must be getting cold

By Pete Putman • Oct 29 2010, 2:51pm

Blu-ray sales must REALLY be slow these days, if Warner Brothers' latest Blu-ray promotion is any indication.

HTPCs & LaptopsCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Another Network Media Player, Plus

By Alfred Poor • Oct 29 2010, 1:00pm

Western Digital has launched another network media player, but this time with a twist. The new WD TV Live Hub includes 1 TB of hard drive storage that can be accessed and shared across your home network. In addition, DLNA support means that it can play video, music, and photos from files stored on computers [...]

Front ProjectionMobile HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - A $40 Projector

By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2010, 1:00pm

Want a battery-powered portable projector? Buy.com is selling the Eyeclops Portable Mini-Projector for just $39.99, and they’ll ship it for free! It uses a solid state LED light source, so you’ll never have to replace an expensive lamp, and it runs on just four D flashlight batteries.
Now, before you get too excited, this is not [...]

3D HDTVBlu-rayMarketplace

HDTV Expert - The 3D Fire Sales have Begun

By Pete Putman • Oct 27 2010, 11:35pm

3D Blu-ray players have dropped dramatically in price since their introduction this past April.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - It’s all in the Way You Spin the Numbers

By Pete Putman • Oct 27 2010, 10:54pm

The glass may be half empty and leaking, but it’s always half-full in Hollywood.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - Cord-cutting: Funny Thing About That…

By Pete Putman • Oct 27 2010, 10:05pm

Two years ago, cable executives and industry analysts pooh-poohed the cord-cutting phenomenon. Time changes everything…

Mobile HDTV

Ed's View - M/H: How Good Does it Have to Be?

By Ed Milbourn • Oct 27 2010, 3:35pm

Unsubstantiated reports from various sources reflect a mixed message relative to the technical efficacy of the ATSC Mobile/Handheld (M/H) standard in actual practice. As we know, last spring selected TV stations started extensive field testing of the system in several US markets under varying terrain, urban density and other related signal propagation parameters. Prototype receiving units (none yet marketed) from several manufacturers and in various physical configurations are, of course, an integral part of the system’s tests.

Commercial applications considerations aside, technically, M/H works as advertised. The question is...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Faster Broadband on the Way?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2010, 1:00pm

Last week, a company named Ikanos Communications made an announcement that is somewhat propellor-headed, but could have far-reaching impact on the average consumer. The company announced the lauch of “NodeScale Vectoring“, which reduces the impact of crosstalk between common copper wire phone lines. It uses unique algorithms, compression, and coding techniques to reduce the processing [...]


HDTV Expert - 3D: Amazed, but Not Interested

By Pete Putman • Oct 26 2010, 8:58pm

A new NPD Group survey says that 20 percent of consumers are amazed by in-store 3D. So, what about the other 80%?


HDTV Almanac - XPAND 3D Glasses on Amazon

By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2010, 1:00pm

XPAND has announced that its new Universal X103 3D glasses are available for pre-order on Amazon. Priced at $129, they cost less than some of the glasses available from the 3DTV manufacturers, but are designed to work with “any 3D-ready display, regardless of brand” according to the company. (I do not have every brand of [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - To DVR, Or Not To DVR?

By Pete Putman • Oct 25 2010, 7:55pm

Do you like to time-shift TV shows? Or, do you prefer to watch ‘em in real time? A new Marist College poll reveals some surprising results.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Are You Protected?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 25 2010, 1:00pm

Last year, a transformer on an electrical pole outside our home decided to go out with a bang and in a blaze of glory, showering sparks onto the street. Pretty spectacular on its own, but even more impressive when you consider that it also took a number of innocent victims with it. I don’t know [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Sears “Black Friday Now” Leaked

By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2010, 1:00pm

According to an article in TWICE, the ad flier for the Sears “Black Friday Now” sale on October 29 and 30 has been leaked. The flier has been posted by BFAds.net, which also included some interesting commentary. They point out that they have gone through the 16-page flier and have determined that instead of blockbuster [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Crowd-sourcing Network Media Players

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2010, 1:00pm

Okay, let me start by saying that I’m planting a stake in the technological terminology ground here, and declaring that I will now use the term “network media player” to refer to devices that connect a television to your home network so that you get access to media files stored locally and on the Internet. [...]

Internet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Roku to Get Hulu Plus

By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2010, 1:00pm

HD movies and television episodes over the Internet are getting more affordable and easier to use. One of the latest developments is the announcement that Roku will be adding support for Hulu Plus to its product line, which starts at $60. The two models with 1080p HD support cost $80 and $100.
Aside from the [...]

Internet HD VideoGamingService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Disc-Free Online Netflix for Wii and PS3

By Alfred Poor • Oct 19 2010, 1:00pm

Netflix has released new software updates for the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PS3 that lets them access the Netflix online streaming service, without having to put in a disc. They now join the Microsoft XBox 360 in having this convenient feature.
This enormous installed base helps extend Netflix’s reach just that much further. The streaming [...]

Satellite HDTVService & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Internet TV is the Competition

By Alfred Poor • Oct 18 2010, 1:00pm

I’ve been seeing an interesting commercial on television these days. (Being from the Philadelphia area, there are a few live sports events that I’ve been drawn to watch, and thus I’ve been exposed to more commercials than usual.) The ad in question is from DirecTV, the satellite television subscription service, and the positioning message is [...]


HDTV Almanac - Toshiba Shows No-Glasses 3D

By Alfred Poor • Oct 15 2010, 1:00pm

Here’s the good news: at CEATAC in Tokyo this week, Toshiba demonstrated its flat panel HDTVs that create 3D images without the need for any special glasses. The technical term is autostereoscopic, and it’s just what consumers have been clamoring for. And the demonstration now proves what I’ve been saying all along; consumers are going [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Plus in Vizio HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2010, 1:00pm

Hulu Plus is the subscription-based premium service from Hulu (though you still have to watch some advertisements) that lets you watch recent episodes of many major, popular television shows. More than just a “catch-up” service, many consumers are using it as their DVR function of choice. This has been made easier as access to the [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - FOX and Cablevision Playing Chicken

By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2010, 1:00pm

Cable television companies are suffering from consumer approval ratings that continue to plunge headlong for the cellar. And at the same time, networks are trying to deal with their declining revenues by hitting up the cable companies for more money in return for retransmitting their content. Some might say that the cable companies are just [...]

Service & RepairMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - FLO TV Shuts Down Direct Service

By Alfred Poor • Oct 12 2010, 1:00pm

The question is whether or not consumers will pay for mobile television service. The people have voted with their dollars, and now Qualcom’s subsidiary FLO TV has announced that it’s shutting down the service that it sells directly to subscribers, as reported by TWICE. The company also announced that it will continue to support the [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Goodbye Flo, We Hardly Knew Ye

By Pete Putman • Oct 11 2010, 3:17pm

Qualcomm finally gives up on FLO TV. What took them so long?

PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & LaptopsProgrammingCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Google Lands Big Partners

By Alfred Poor • Oct 11 2010, 1:00pm

What is the monster lurking among the dust bunnies under the beds of cable television executives? Google TV. Promising to be the one-stop solution to organizing all your video and other media options, Google TV could transform the way we think about and watch video programming.
And now comes word from TV Technology that Google is [...]

Business & InvestmentHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Cisco Announces HD Video Chat System

By Alfred Poor • Oct 8 2010, 1:00pm

Millions of people use Skype every day to place hold video chats with friends, family, and business colleagues across town or around the world… for free. All you need is a computer with a Web cam and a microphone, and you’re good to go. There are even Skype applications that let you have a video [...]


HDTV Almanac - ‘Tis the Season

By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2010, 1:00pm

Ho, ho, ho, the holiday buying season is upon us. On Tuesday, I received what I think was my very first holiday sales pitch for consumer electronics. Judge for yourself; here’s the heading graphic:

CompUSA is a division of Tiger Direct, and the company has a reputation for aggressive marketing and attractive prices. (This particular email [...]


HDTV Expert - Where’s The Beef? Part II

By Pete Putman • Oct 6 2010, 8:09pm

DirecTV’s 3D channel offerings are pretty sparse. Comcast is even thinner.


HDTV Almanac - 24 Million Blu-ray Players

By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2010, 1:00pm

The market-tracking firm Futuresource is bullish on Blu-ray. The company forecasts that 24 million players will be sold in 2010, just in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. And this does not include the Sony PlayStation 3 (which includes a Blu-ray player). The company predicts that 11 million of these units — nearly half of the [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - Safety First for Your HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Oct 5 2010, 1:00pm

While some people are mounting their flat panel HDTVs on the wall, many still have their sets placed in an entertainment center or sitting on a low table. And these pose a significant safety risk to small children. One study showed that in 2007, almost 17,000 children were admitted to emergency rooms after having furniture [...]


HDTV Almanac - Toshiba Pulls Plug on OLED

By Alfred Poor • Oct 4 2010, 1:00pm

Those who look for signs of hope in the OLED display market will now have one less place to look for them. Toshiba has announced that it will not produce OLED panels at Toshiba Mobile Display as originally planned, and instead will focuse on LCD panels instead. This comes after the company spent nearly $200 [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Shades of Crazy Eddie…

By Pete Putman • Oct 1 2010, 7:59pm

Think prices on TVs had dropped as low as they can go? Think again...

Blu-ray3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Help Me, 3D Obi-Wan!

By Alfred Poor • Oct 1 2010, 1:00pm

Okay, we’ve learned that Avatar gets a second bite of the Blu-ray apple by coming out with a 2D version first, followed later by a 3D version. If that strategy works for new science fiction on Blu-ray, why would it not work for the classics in your local cinema? And what is more classic than [...]