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By Alfred Poor • Apr 29 2011, 1:00pm
EPIX is a a movie channel for subscription TV services including cable, satellite, and telco (such as Verizon’s FiOS).
It boasts recent releases from major studios, including Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM.
But you aren’t just limited to watching the movies and other programming on your TV service when they are scheduled; EPIX is also a [...]
By Terry Paullin • Apr 28 2011, 2:12pm
Regular readers know that we (several from this publication and hundreds from others), flock in the first week of January to that mother-of-all-things-that-light-up, the Consumer Electronics Show held in the city that is never un-lit, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The big news in Las Vegas this year wasn't a new app.
for the next i-Trinket that prints money in eleventeen different languages, nor was it a 175 in.
flat panel, or even the announcement of Smell-o-Vision as a 3D accessory - although there's a joke in there somewhere.
It was, in fact, the attendance itself.
By some counts...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 28 2011, 1:00pm
An article in Multichannel News reports that Charter is looking to sell its cable business in Los Angeles.
It appears that the normal way these deals go down is to swap subscribers with a competitor, but Time-Warner Cable apparently turned down a deal to trade for its business in parts of Wisconsin where Charter already [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 27 2011, 1:00pm
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! It’s just little ol’ Netflix, doing it’s little streaming video thing.
Nothing to see here, move along, move along.
At least, that seemed to be the message on Monday when CEO Reed Hastings announced the company’s first quarter financials.
All they did was about double worldwide [...]
By Terry Paullin • Apr 26 2011, 2:50pm
No, this isn't the I-told-ya-so column ...
Events have moved much faster than I predicted when I wrote a column on this topic about a year ago, but it seems we are headed for the same forecasted result.
In that column I pointed to lack of standards, lack of content, the glasses nuisance and the problematic usage model in the home as probable deterrents to wide (or any) adoption of 3D in your living room.
Press releases received over the past few months from various independent surveys have "leaked" reports of disappointing sales from even the most conservative manufacturers estimates.
Last week, an article in reuters.com confirmed "3DTV hasn't caught the imagination of consumers".
Reasons cited later in the article were ...
lack of standards, lack of content and, yup, those pesky glasses.
To make matters even worse, in an almost unbelievably inept marketing move, studios partnered with specific manufacturers to offer "exclusive" content packages - as if wanting to spend a ...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 26 2011, 1:00pm
If you’re planning on relying on the Internet to get work done on Friday – especially if you’re on the East Coast — you may want to think about working unplugged.
William and Kate may spoil your day.
Not even the HDTV Almanac is a Royal-Wedding-Free zone.
But rather than focus on bridal trains and the [...]
By Pete Putman • Apr 25 2011, 7:50pm
Yep, the perfectionist who spent four years making 'Avatar' thinks half-resolution 3D is just fine for home viewing.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 25 2011, 1:00pm
If you watch television programming that has commercials, I’m sure you’ve experienced it more than once.
Your program winds down to a sensitive, thoughtful stopping point, and then there’s a commercial break.
And the very first commercial BLOWS YOUR EARS OUT!!! You lunge for the remote and mash the Mute button, wondering “why doesn’t someone [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 22 2011, 1:00pm
According to a press release from DisplaySearch, the company’s new study reports that consumers worldwide continue to replace their televisions more frequently than in the past.
Traditionally, consumers replaced a CRT TV with another CRT TV every 10 to 15 years.
That cycle is much shorter now, and not just in the U.S.
By Terry Paullin • Apr 21 2011, 2:34pm
I recently got an E-mail from a regular WSR reader (Greg) who, apparently satisfied with our product reviews in other areas, complained that we fell short in commenting on "serviceable life expectancy".
Although Greg's comments were aimed at front projectors, I want to expand his Q and attempt to answer for all display devices.
So on these "service" topics, here's the thing...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 21 2011, 1:00pm
Once a worldwide leader in the television industry, Philips has thrown in the towel and is exiting the business.
The company has been headed in that direction for some time.
In 2008, they licensed their brand name to Funai for sales in North America.
(Funai also makes televisions under some other familiar brands, including Emerson, [...]
By Pete Putman • Apr 20 2011, 5:25pm
The recent National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas was loaded with new media demonstrations, and there were some cool broadcast and professional monitors to check out, too.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 20 2011, 1:00pm
This is totally propeller-headed, but a company named Cymer, Inc.
made an interesting announcement in a press release last week that said, in part:
(Nasdaq: CYMI), announced today that TCZ, its display equipment product division, has received a volume order for the TCZ-1500B, TCZ’s new Gen 5.5 crystallization system, from a leading Asian flat [...]
By Terry Paullin • Apr 19 2011, 2:23pm
Before we get to the meat, let me first thank this readership for putting up with my rants and occasional insight all this time.
It's been a genuine labor of love, I promise you.
Over the years I've offered "TOP TEN reasons to invest in a Home Theatre", "TOP TEN mistakes made by DIY theatre installers", "TOP TEN things that tick me off about this business", "TOP TEN pieces of mis-information likely to be heard from Sparky down at Big Barn A/V" and more recently, "TOP TEN Blu-Ray concert videos".
Having completed my 1,000th theatre installation this year, allow me to offer what I think have been the TOP TEN contributions to our collective enjoyment of our various theatre experiences.
As they say on DWTS, "In no particular order...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 19 2011, 1:00pm
At the NAB show last week, RCA demonstrated three new portable LCD TVs.
All run on battery or AC power, and both can pick up standard ATSC digital television broadcast signals.
What makes these two models particularly interesting is that they also can receive the new Mobile DTV signals (that I discussed last week).
Two models [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 18 2011, 1:00pm
Walmart recently announced that it was expanding the number of HDTV models that it will offer, but that apparently will be primarily for online sales.
The company has announced plans to actually shrink the display space allocated to consumer electronics products in their brick and mortar stores.
Part of the move is due to their perception [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 15 2011, 1:00pm
Earlier this week, I pointed out that the price of active glasses for 3DTV has plummeted, now that Samsung has announced that it will sell them for less than $50.
Now it appears that another point has been proven.
I have contended for a long time that adding 3D support to a typical HDTV from [...]
By Terry Paullin • Apr 14 2011, 2:14pm
Readers of this magazine have long been about examining the best of audio and video ...
if not for their own consumption, then just to better understand how various Home Theatre products get to be "the best that they can be".
Regular readers of video product reviews in these pages have come to understand that NO display product can fully realize its potential until it has been calibrated in the environment in which it lives - perhaps your living room.
Clearly, not all display devices calibrate equally well.
There are several factors that impact the end result...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 14 2011, 1:00pm
First, YouTube extended the limits on uploaded content; some partners are now able to post feature-film-length videos.
But it seems that Google has even bigger plans for YouTube to become not just the video network of the future, but the whole broadcast system as well.
Last week, the company announced that YouTube Live is now [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 13 2011, 1:00pm
Last week, DISH Network successfully outbid others to buy the assets of bankrupt Blockbuster for about $320 million.
(The company reportedly owes its creditors more than $1 billion.) Does DISH intend to go into the DVD rental business?
It’s not likely.
Already, it appears that the company will continue to close many of the remaining Blockbuster [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 12 2011, 1:00pm
According to the Open Mobile Video Coalition, 76 stations in 32 U.S.
markets are now on the air with Mobile DTV signals that let consumers receive station programming on mobile devices without needing to access the Internet through WiFi or data wireless broadband networks.
According to Anne Schelle, Executive Director of OMVC, “Mobile DTV will reach [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 11 2011, 1:00pm
Remember how I said that the price of the $200 active glasses would come down sooner or later? I was expecting that to come from the third-party vendors, but it looks as though the top brands are willing to make pre-emptive price cuts in order to increase 3DTV sales.
Samsung has announced that it will start [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 8 2011, 1:00pm
Another dot got connected in the broadcast television picture.
Earlier this week, WMFE-TV in Orlando, Florida, announced that it was to be purchased by a Christian broadcaster based in Dallas, Texas, and would be leaving the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
The viewer-supported station was unable to raise enough in donations to meet the annual PBS [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 7 2011, 1:00pm
A news release from Futuresource indicates that the number of people listening to streaming music over the Internet has remained about the same over the past year and a half — about 38% in the U.S.
— but those people are listening more.
The study reports that U.S.
listeners increased the number of hours by [...]
By Pete Putman • Apr 6 2011, 3:55pm
Surprise! Blockbuster has been saved from an ignonimous ending by – Charlie Ergen?
By Alfred Poor • Apr 6 2011, 1:00pm
News from Korea indicates that Samsung Electronics has started the commercial production of 22″ transparent LCD panels.
The panels are capable of 720p had images without scaling (they have 1,680 by 1,050 pixel resolution) but they are really intended for digital signage applications.
Still, it’s intriguing to think about what you could do with a transparent [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 5 2011, 1:00pm
The major studios are scrambling, trying to figure out how to make money from their movies now that DVD sales are dropping.
Blockbuster is on the verge of disappearing, and Netflix is trying to transition to streaming services.
One possible replacement is to boost the video on demand (VOD) part of the business.
It has [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 4 2011, 1:00pm
The “Sony Style” is changing.
According to a report from TWICE, the company closed 11 of its retail stores last month.
Perhaps more interesting is that the remaining stores will be renamed from “Sony Style” to “Sony Factory Outlet.”
The closings seem perfectly reasonable.
The last few years have been difficult ones for retail stores, and [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Apr 1 2011, 2:06pm
Sounds like the title of a Steven King novel.
The term “power harvesting” has long been given to the process of acquiring useful power from otherwise wasted energy sources.
However, in this particular application it is the name given to a uniquely innovative system that provides power to electronic devices virtually free.
The theory has been known for years: a vast amount of energy flows in the ether simply from the existence of random RF radiation over a vast spectrum.
The engineering challenge, of course, has been...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 1 2011, 1:00pm
It seems that as soon as we get settled with our 720p and 1080p HDTV displays, talk started up about even higher resolution images.
Demonstrations of 2K and 4K display technologies have knocked viewers’ virtual socks off.
Is there a limit to how high “high definition” can become?
One problem that doesn’t get discussed much, however, [...]