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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (December, 2010)

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HTPCs & LaptopsInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - NeTVs to Dominate by 2014

By Alfred Poor • Dec 30 2010, 1:00pm

According to a report in the Media Daily News, a research study by Futurescape predicts that 54% of all flat panel televisions shipped worldwide in 2014 will have network connectivity so that they can access content from the Internet. The study also forecasts that by five years from now, 40% of all U.S. homes will [...]

Satellite HDTVService & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - DirecTV Raises Rates

By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2010, 1:00pm

The number one complaint about cable companies appears to be the increased subscription fees with no change in the service. The DirecTV satellite service is following in a similar trajectory. The company just announced a 4% rate increase, effective February 10. This is similar to a rate increase that they announced a year ago.
According to [...]

Deals & Discounts

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Bargains Still Out There

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2010, 1:00pm

Did you miss the Black Friday specials? Feeling a little regret that you didn’t grab one of those door-buster deals? Don’t be glum; as predicted, there are plenty of deals available this week as retailers make a last-minute effort to get inventory out of their warehouses and off their books before the start of the [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Rovi to Acquire Sonic Solutions

By Alfred Poor • Dec 27 2010, 1:00pm

The story broke last week that Rovi will acquire Sonic Solutions for more than $700 million. And you are probably saying, “Who cares?”
It helps to know who these two companies are. Rovi used to be called Macrovision, and they are responsible for the copy protection schemes that prevent you from copying (or at least make [...]

Internet HD VideoProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Holds Off on IPO

By Alfred Poor • Dec 24 2010, 1:00pm

Hulu has changed the way that many Americans watch television programming these days. It is currently owned by News Corp, Walt Disney, NBC Universal, and Providence Equity Partners, but the company had been looking to going public with an IPO to gain its independence. Those plans are now on hold, even though the company is [...]

Internet HD VideoService & RepairPolitics & PolicyCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - FCC Pleases Few with Net Neutrality

By Alfred Poor • Dec 23 2010, 1:00pm

Here’s the problem in a nutshell. People are watching more video over the Internet than ever before; by some accounts, Netflix streaming alone accounts for 20% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. at peak times. Streaming video can place a strain on the available bandwidth for some service providers, such as cable companies. The [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - No New Google TV at CES

By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2010, 1:00pm

How can life possibly be hard for a company with a net worth of more than $5 billion? Well, Google apparently has stubbed its toe and is struggling to make the best of it. The problem is with Google TV, which was to be the company’s universal solution to all things video. It is intended [...]

BroadcastMobile HDTVService & RepairDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - FLO TV Spectrum Sold

By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2010, 1:00pm

Qualcomm will sell its nationwide licenses for the 700 MHz broadcast spectrum as it pulls the plug on its FLO TV mobile television service. AT&T will pay nearly $2 billion for the rights to these radio waves. Along with this announcement came the news that Qualcomm will shut down the mobile television services that it [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Expert - Google TV: Oops! Never Mind…

By Pete Putman • Dec 20 2010, 10:34pm

Looks like the public isn’t quite ready for an Internet video search engine just yet.

PC & Laptop TechnologyEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - Please Support HDTV Almanac

By Alfred Poor • Dec 20 2010, 1:00pm

Last year, HDTV Almanac was honored with a “Golden Retrevo Award” for 2010 for its coverage of HDTV and home entertainment technology topics. As 2010 draws to a close, Retrevo is getting ready to choose the winners for 2011. And once again, HDTV Almanac has been nominated for the award.

This year, they are asking readers [...]

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Vizio Proves Me Wrong!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 17 2010, 1:00pm

For quite a while, I’ve been saying that if you want 3DTV with a flat panel display, you’re going to be stuck with active “shutter glasses” for the foreseeable future. Why not use the inexpensive passive glasses like you wear at the local cinema? Because it costs too much to add the required extra polarizing [...]

3D HDTVMarketplace

HDTV Expert - 3D TV Came In With a Bang, But Appears to Have Fizzled Out

By Pete Putman • Dec 16 2010, 4:33pm

All of the hoopla about 3D TV hasn’t translated into increased sales at the checkout counter.

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Pssst! Wanna Free Google HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 16 2010, 1:00pm

By now, you’ve probably worked your way through your holiday shopping list, but I have one question: what are you getting yourself this year? Sure, budgets are tight but wouldn’t you like to have a 46″ Sony Internet HDTV that runs on Google TV? How would you like to get one for free?
Google is running [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Fights Cabin Fever!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2010, 1:00pm

I often receive comments about some of my Almanac entries that say “That’s fine for you, but it’s not what we’ve got up here in Canada!” Well, things are looking up a little for the citizens of the Great White North, thanks to Netflix. According to a company press release, Canadian subscribers to the streaming [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Same Day Movies at Home?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2010, 1:00pm

Tired of standing in line to see the latest blockbuster? Not so thrilled about paying a fortune for a giant tub of buttery popcorn? Wishing for a way that you could enjoy the latest movies without having to endure the loud conversations and ringing cell phones at your local cinema?
Well, you may be able to [...]

3D HDTVPC & Laptop TechnologyBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - 3DTV Broadcasts Work on 2D HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Dec 13 2010, 1:00pm

According to an article in TV Technology, a consortium of Italian broadcasters and technology companies has come up with a way to broadcast 3D video content over a television channel in such a way that a standard 2D HDTV could still show a high definition image.
The key to the technique is that two 720p images [...]

Cable HDTVSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Could HBO Drop Cable and Satellite?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 10 2010, 1:00pm

The Wall Street Journal quoted Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes as follows:
Mr. Bewkes said that if HBO becomes ‘overly hindered by having it only available to you in $60, $80 or $100 packages,’ it could be sold separately through the channel’s existing distributors, like cable and satellite companies, or new distributors.”
The operative term in that [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sony Integrates HDTV with PS2

By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2010, 6:40pm

Looking for the ideal holiday gift for a college student or someone living in a small flat? Note that I say “flat” instead of “apartment” because this new set is only available in the United Kingdom at this point. Sony has rolled out the new KDL-22PX300, a 22″ LCD HDTV with a built-in PS2 video [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - More TV Content for Netflix

By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2010, 1:00pm

Several sources including the LA Times have reported that Netflix has struck a new deal with Disney to gain access to more of its television content. This includes episodes from prior seasons of popular ABC shows such as “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy”. According to the LA Times article, episodes from the current season still will [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Can You Cut the Cord and Still Find Happiness in TV Land?

By Pete Putman • Dec 8 2010, 10:21pm

Analyst firm Needham and Company recently polled 300 people to find out what TV channels they absolutely could not live without. You may be surprised by the results!

Internet HD VideoHTPCs & LaptopsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Why I Love Networked Devices

By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2010, 1:00pm

I’ve got a couple Internet-connected devices here, including network media player boxes from Roku and Western Digital. They have individual strengths and weaknessess, but both share two features that I really like.
First, they let me access content on the Internet or on my other computers on the network. This gives me a nearly-endless supply of [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sony Outsources More HDTV Production

By Alfred Poor • Dec 6 2010, 1:00pm

HDTV may be in Sony’s DNA, according to the company’s marketing campaign, but it appears that they are turning more and more to surrogate parents to produce their offspring. A recent report in DigiTimes indicates that Sony will increase its use of LCD panels made by other companies from 30% to 50%, relying primarily on [...]

Global & Worldview

HDTV Almanac - Concerns Continue Over HDTV Inventories

By Alfred Poor • Dec 3 2010, 1:00pm

A report this week from DisplaySearch showed that the growth of global television shipments slowed in the third quarter of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009. Last year’s shipments over the prior year were up 26% for the third quarter, but this year, that figure shrank to just 9%. Weak sell-through at the [...]

BroadcastPolitics & PolicyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - FCC Prepares to Reassign TV Spectrum

By Alfred Poor • Dec 2 2010, 1:00pm

The transition to digital broadcasting of television content freed up a lot of valuable radio spectrum, much of which the FCC auctioned off years ago for which it collected billions of dollars. Almost before the transition dust had settled, however, the FCC started to look longingly at some of the spectrum that had been assigned [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Connected TVs – Are They, Or Are They Not A Threat?

By Pete Putman • Dec 1 2010, 10:23pm

I guess it all depends on who’s taking the survey!

3D HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - The Truth about 3DTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2010, 1:00pm

Calvin Hsieh of Displaybank has written a great article, entitled “Which Technology Will Dominate the 3DTV Market?”. It’s been picked up all over the place — just search with Google — and one place you can find it is Widescreen Review. In the article, he tears down the different approaches to building a 3D-compatible flat [...]