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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (January, 2011)

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Blu-rayPlasma HDTVsBusiness & InvestmentLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sharp Goes for Elite Line

By Alfred Poor • Jan 28 2011, 1:00pm

Pioneer made top-of-the-line plasma HDTVs when it exited the television business. It was known for its Elite brand, which was sold through professional AV retailers. Sharp has now decided to resurrect the brand and license it for its own LCD HDTVs. Pioneer will still use the brand on its home theater products and Blu-ray players.
Presumably, [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - TV Panel Prices Continue to Fall

By Alfred Poor • Jan 27 2011, 1:00pm

In the latest PriceWise report, DisplaySearch reports that large LCD television panels dropped another 1% to 2% for the wholesale price across a wide range of sizes in January. Some of the biggest movement was at the 42″ size, with the typical panel dropping from $245 to $240. A 120Hz LED edge-lit 42″ panel also [...]

Front ProjectionDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - Pico Projectors: Cute, But Does Anyone Use Them?

By Pete Putman • Jan 26 2011, 5:13pm

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a projector in your smart phone, or digital camera? Apparently not, based on what I’ve seen so far.

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - People Won’t Pay for Content, Right?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 26 2011, 1:00pm

Ah, the wonder that is the Internet, where you have access to all the content in the world, and it’s free. And for those parts that aren’t free, they should be free, right? That seems to be the attitude of a lot of people, and I agree that there is a lot of good and [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Microsoft Sues TiVo; So What?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 25 2011, 1:00pm

The story is breaking that Microsoft has sued TiVo for alleged patent infringements. What fascinates me is that so many industry pundits are ready to jump in with an explanation of the suit and its implications for the two companies and their markets. Here’s what I think we know for sure about this lawsuit:
We’ll probably [...]

3D HDTVHTPCs & LaptopsCable HDTV

HDTV Expert - 3D: Americans Still Aren’t Buying It

By Pete Putman • Jan 24 2011, 8:12pm

Nielsen Research just published its State of the Media 2010 report, and we’re watching more TV than ever. But we don’t plan to add 3D to the mix any time soon.

Internet HD VideoHTPCs & LaptopsProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Roku Adds Live Channel

By Alfred Poor • Jan 24 2011, 1:00pm

Roku is one of the network media players that lets you turn your HDTV into a “Smart TV” by adding an Internet connection. In general, this means that you can access streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. The company has announced that it will start carrying its first “linear” channel of programming: WealthTV. [...]

Mobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Mobile Video Taking Up Bandwidth

By Alfred Poor • Jan 21 2011, 1:00pm

Do you watch video on your smartphone? The odds are good that you don’t. A study released by Bytemobile shows that only about 10% of users were responsible for 90% of the total mobile network traffic in 2010. And of this total traffic, 40% is video. The company forecasts that video will grow to be [...]

Cable HDTVService & RepairProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Retransmission Wars Avoided… This Time

By Alfred Poor • Jan 20 2011, 1:00pm

Good news! Broadcaster Sinclair and Time Warner Cable have worked out an agreement on retransmission, at least in general terms, and will extend the agreement that expired December 31st until February 21st, to give the two sides time to finalize the details. Sinclair did not pull any of its programming from the cable service during [...]

Cable HDTVPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Gets NBC-U Approval

By Alfred Poor • Jan 19 2011, 1:00pm

The FCC and the Justice Department have given their approval to Comcast’s take-over of NBC Universal, which it is buying from GE. The nation’s largest cable company will now have control of a major Hollywood studio (and all that goes with that), providing it with unprecendent vertical integration.
The FCC tacked on a few conditions with [...]

HD DVDInternet HD VideoHTPCs & LaptopsBusiness & InvestmentDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Limits Access to DVD Queue

By Alfred Poor • Jan 18 2011, 1:00pm

Bottom line: Netflix really wants out of the physical DVD business. And the company is doing its best to hasten its exit.
It has been widely reported that the company’s director of product management, Jamie Odell, announced that subscribers will no longer be able to add DVD titles to their queue using network media players, [...]

Service & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - 15 More Minutes of Fame

By Alfred Poor • Jan 17 2011, 1:00pm

Actually, it’s just under 8 minutes this time. The HDTV Almanac is syndicated through Newstex, a service that provides “authoritative content” from a variety of online sources. And I’m pleased that they chose the Almanac as one of their sources. The company has a new program of video interviews with some of their authors and [...]

Events & Tradeshows3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: Are TV Makers Doing an “Osborne”?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 14 2011, 1:00pm

The big buzz at CES 2011 was about the auto-stereoscopic 3DTV demonstrations that seemed to be everywhere. Toshiba, Sony, and LG all had demo screens available that worked without glasses. Some are designed for single viewers, which is okay. Some were designed for multiple viewers, which I don’t think will work in the typical American [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Expert - CES 2011: Afterthoughts

By Pete Putman • Jan 13 2011, 10:38pm

There’s always more to the story. Here are some additional parting thoughts from this year’s gadget fest.

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Events & TradeshowsMobile HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: More Choices for Hurricane Kits

By Alfred Poor • Jan 13 2011, 1:00pm

Back when the digital transition was pending, I raised the question of battery-powered portable televisions for use in emergencies. The old analog sets that people had stored in their hurricane kits no longer work with the digital signals. At first, there were few choices.
Now the market has responded and you’ve got more choices than in [...]

Front ProjectionEvents & TradeshowsMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: Pico Projectors Coming

By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2011, 1:00pm

Take your iPod or iPad and plop it in a handy dock to recharge; that’s not unusual. The dock has speakers so you can listen to your music with room-filling sound. Also not so unusual. But look at this:

The Cinemin Slice from WowWee is a docking station that includes a pico projector so you can [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Expert - CES 2011: Applications? Plenty! Buzz? Ahhh, Not So Much…

By Pete Putman • Jan 12 2011, 1:49am

Attendance was way up at CES, but the overall mood was more subdued and businesslike than extravagant.

Internet HD VideoEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: Yahoo! Connected TVs

By Alfred Poor • Jan 11 2011, 1:00pm

Consumers are discovering that there’s a lot of good content available on the Internet. Netflix is getting a lot of the attention, especially with the statistic that at peak times, it accounts for 20% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. That’s astounding.
Television manufacturers are going to make that proportion increase, it appears, as many [...]

Events & TradeshowsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: Now THAT’S an LED TV!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 10 2011, 1:00pm

Wandering around the LVCC Central Hall, I rounded a corner and saw this at the Mitsubishi pavillion:

That screen is 155″ diagonal. Yes, that’s equivalent to more than nine 50″ panels. It’s big. (Look at the person standing beside the lower left corner to get a sense of the scale.)
There are two interesting things about this [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: What’s That Show?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 7 2011, 1:00pm

My wife was watching Glee the other night, and I thought I recognized one actress as someone who has starred in movies. In a typical senior moment, however, I could not come up with her name or any of the movies, which left me with the stammering conversation, “That’s whats-her-name, right? The one who has [...]

3D HDTVEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: 3D Glasses Improve Rapidly

By Alfred Poor • Jan 6 2011, 1:00pm

“Those goofy glasses.” It’s one of the biggest stumbling blocks for 3DTV with many consumers, and I can’t blame them. Many of the active shutter glasses look like something out of a 50s science fiction B movie. And the passive glasses that you get in the movie theaters make Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello’s eyewear [...]

Events & Tradeshows3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CES 2011: 3Takes on 3DTV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 5 2011, 1:00pm

CES 2011 Day -1: No, the show doesn’t open until tomorrow, but I arrived in Las Vegas yesterday because it starts two days early for the press. So I had a bunch of events to deal with yesterday. There are a lot of interesting themes emerging already, but I was particularly interested by three different [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - 2010 A Good Year for LCD HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 4 2011, 1:00pm

According to a new report from DisplaySearch, 2010 was a good year for LCD television shipments worldwide. Total shipments are expected to top 190 million units, which is a whopping 31% increase over the 2009 figures. This is a bit of a surprise, given the worldwide recession, but apparently the demand increased in response to [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - A “Goofy Glasses” Rant

By Alfred Poor • Jan 3 2011, 1:00pm

I apologize in advance for starting the new year off with a rant; I usually try to keep my posts upbeat and focused on the optimistic side of HDTV and home entertainment news and technology. But I want to start off the new year with a message for everyone who is waiting for a wonderful, [...]