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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (July, 2011)

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LCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Westinghouse Lowers LED LCD HDTV Prices

By Alfred Poor • Jul 29 2011, 1:00pm

You can scratch off another “premium” feature that no longer carries a premium price. According to the company’s press release, Westinghouse Digital has announced that it is shipping LCD HDTVs with LED backlights at prices that challenge the traditionally less-expensive cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlight designs. Its 40″ LD-4070Z is on sale online now at [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionMobile HDTV

HDTV Expert - Useful Gadgets: RCA DMT336R Mobile DTV/ATSC Pocket TV

By Pete Putman • Jul 28 2011, 10:00pm

The DMT336R is just one of many inexpensive pocket digital TVs that RCA is rolling out this summer.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - DisplaySearch Lowers Expectations

By Alfred Poor • Jul 28 2011, 1:00pm

“Demand in many developed countries continues to be very soft” so analysts at DisplaySearch have lowered their forecasts for the total worldwide television shipments for this year. The new figure is 252 million units, which is down 3% from the previous estimate. Three percent doesn’t sound like much until you realize that represents more than [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Connected TVs Getting Used

By Alfred Poor • Jul 27 2011, 1:00pm

In-Stat has released results of a new survey that indicates connected TVs are being put to use. The company estimates that about 60% of households with a connected TV use a TV app at least once per week. Netflix and YouTube are the leading choices and Keith Nissen, Research Director, says “TV apps will become [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVBroadcastPolitics & PolicyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - To the Federal Communications Commission: STOP! Enough, already!

By Pete Putman • Jul 26 2011, 4:09pm

The FCC, once a respected arbiter of the nation's spectrum, has become little more than a pawn of the CTIA - The Wireless Association and apparently wants to do away with free digital TV and HDTV.

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Pressure for Retrans Reform Builds

By Alfred Poor • Jul 26 2011, 1:00pm

According to a press release from the American Television Alliance, the FCC approved the sale of the ABC affiliate in Topeka, Kansas, to Parkin Broadcasting Company. The problem is that two other major network stations in that market — NBC and Fox affiliates — are owned by a single company, New Vision Television. And New [...]

Politics & PolicyLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - CEA Reports TVs Weigh Less

By Alfred Poor • Jul 25 2011, 1:00pm

From the Who Ever Would Have Guessed It Department, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has come out with a report detailing the “materials footprint” of televisions and computer monitors from 2004 through 2011. In comparing televisions in the 13″ to 36″ size range, the group determined that flat panel LCD TVs weigh 82% less than [...]

ProgrammingCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Making a Case for a la Carte

By Alfred Poor • Jul 22 2011, 1:00pm

Earlier this year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court threw out a class action antitrust lawsuit (Brantley v. NBC Universal) that held that bundling of cable channels unfairly forces consumers to pay for programming that they don’t want. The ruling stated that while consumers may be damaged by the practice, there is not evidence that competition [...]

HD DVDService & RepairBroadcastProgrammingInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Zediva: Rent-a-DVD-Player Service under Fire

By Alfred Poor • Jul 21 2011, 1:00pm

If you haven’t heard about Zediva yet, you may want to check it out quickly. Like iviTV and FilmOn, this company thinks that it has figured out a way to game the system to provide video content over the Internet. Where iviTV and FilmOn provided broadcast television programming, however, Zediva is renting DVD movies.
The wrinkle [...]

Internet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CBS Picks Amazon

By Alfred Poor • Jul 21 2011, 1:00pm

If you’re a Hulu fan, you have probably noticed the conspicuous absence of any current CBS shows. It’s not too surprising, given that the owners of major rivals ABC (Walt Disney Co.), NBC (Comcast), and FOX (News Corp.) are Hulu’s owners. Now comes word that CBS has signed a deal with Amazon to offer about [...]

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Dyle-ing Mobile TV with a New Brand

By Alfred Poor • Jul 20 2011, 1:00pm

New wine in a new bottle, already. Mobile DTV was the name for the broadcast television for mobile devices that has started to roll out in markets across the country. There aren’t many devices available yet that can receive these signals, but the industry hopes that it will be supported by a wide range of [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Useful Gadgets: Hauppauge WinTV Aero-M ATSC/MH USB Tuner

By Pete Putman • Jul 19 2011, 4:36pm

The WinTV Aero-M combines ATSC and MH tuning into a compact USB stick design — and works exceptionally well.

LCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVsEnvironment / Green

HDTV Almanac - DisplaySearch: LED Costs Less Overall

By Alfred Poor • Jul 19 2011, 1:00pm

The display market research firm DisplaySearch has released its latest “Quarterly TV Design and Features Report” for Q2′11, in which the company points out the energy-savings advantages of LED backlights for LCD HDTVs. An analysis of 40″ LCD TVs shows that consumers will save money over the life of the television set in spite of [...]

Internet HD VideoBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Closed-Captions Coming to the Internet

By Alfred Poor • Jul 18 2011, 1:00pm

With all the interest and excitement about streaming video over the Internet, one detail is often overlooked. Some individuals with disabilities — particularly those with limited hearing – are closed out from this video content because it does not include closed captioning. Broadcast television provides it and most movie DVDs offer English sub-titles, but not [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Beyond Smell-o-Vision

By Alfred Poor • Jul 15 2011, 1:00pm

I recently wrote about adding odors to movie screenings, but it was a low-tech, scratch-and-sniff solution. And it is totally eclipsed by a new venture coming out of Korea that looks to enhance your movie-going experience with a lot more than some simple scents. The company is CJ CGV, and it has created what it [...]

3D HDTVSports

HDTV Almanac - Sony Re-Ups for ESPN 3D

By Alfred Poor • Jul 14 2011, 1:00pm

“They cost too much.” “There’s not enough content.” “I won’t get one until they get rid of those stupid glasses.” Two out of three ain’t bad, and frankly, I expect that it will be more than enough.
We’ve already seen the prices falling for 3DTVs and I expect that the cost difference with standard HDTVs will [...]

Internet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Raises Rates

By Alfred Poor • Jul 13 2011, 1:00pm

Netflix has raised its rates. Get over it.
Apparently there has been a firestorm of protest over Netflix raising its rates this week. The focus is on the company increasing the rate by 60% for some subscribers. That’s sounds pretty egregious, but let’s break it down.
There used to be a plan that gave you one DVD [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Product Placement on the Fly

By Alfred Poor • Jul 12 2011, 1:00pm

Frequent readers of the HDTV Almanac will know that one of my favorite hobbyhorses is the question of who will pay for episodic “television” and movie content going forward. Consumers now have more ways to avoid watching commercials, and there are limits to how much money you can get from them in monthly subscription fees. [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - ISPs Ready to Get Tough on Copyrights

By Alfred Poor • Jul 11 2011, 1:00pm

Have you heard of the Center for Copyright Information? I encourage you to head over to their site and check it out. In particular, look at the “Copyright Alerts” section because it could have an impact on your access to the Internet.
The Center is a joint effort between the copyright holders — the music, film, [...]

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FCC: More Waiver Trouble

By Alfred Poor • Jul 8 2011, 1:00pm

The fast-track waivers that the FCC granted Lightsquared have received a lot of attention lately, none of which makes the federal agency look good. Now the courts have struck down another set of waivers that the FCC granted to allow some companies to own a newspaper and a television station in the same market. The [...]

3D HDTVFront ProjectionMarketplace

HDTV Expert - Product Review: Mitsubishi HC9000 Diamond 3D Projector

By Pete Putman • Jul 7 2011, 5:00pm

Mitsubishi's entry into the 3D projector marketplace makes beautiful 2D images. But it needs either more horsepower for 3D, or a high-gain screen for viewing.

Internet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - For Sale: Hulu

By Alfred Poor • Jul 7 2011, 1:00pm

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Disney CEO Bob Igor has gone on the record confirming the rumors that Hulu is up for sale. The joint venture owned by Disney, News Corp, and Comcast/NBC Universal is expected to reach a million registered users and more than $500 million in revenues this year.
One [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Expert - InfoComm 2011, From The Rear view Mirror

By Pete Putman • Jul 6 2011, 4:26pm

Digital video was big at the show. So were higher brightness projectors, tiled displays, and lower prices!

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Rare-Earth at Sea

By Alfred Poor • Jul 6 2011, 1:00pm

“Rare-earth” is the term given to a number of exotic minerals that have proven to be essential to the modern electronics industry. Currently, nearly all this material comes from China, but that country has made noises about restricting supply and increasing prices. As a result, geologists have been searching for other sources. The problem is [...]

General Interest

One Installer's Opinion: Road Trip

By Terry Paullin • Jul 5 2011, 2:18pm

It's a rare and fortunate "find" when you encounter a client who is willing (actually, more like insistent) to have you build three theaters for him. I've been favored with a few such patrons, but none so exacting, erudite and insightful as LD. Let's call him LD, as he is a private man and will appreciate the alias. Save to say, the demographic of this readership likely uses his product in some way, everyday. What follows is the saga of LD's theaters for which, by the time I am done with #3, I will have driven over 10,000 road miles to complete.

LD initially found me through...

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Throttle Back Production

By Alfred Poor • Jul 5 2011, 1:00pm

DigiTimes has reported that LCD panel makers in Korea and Taiwan scaled back production of large size panels, starting in June. Panel prices went up a little in May, but soft demand for product has threatened to drive prices down again. By limiting production, the manufacturers hope to stabilize prices. The article indicated that the [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Happy 4th of July!

By Alfred Poor • Jul 4 2011, 1:00pm

Backyard barbecue or small town parade: how are you celebrating Independence Day? I’m probably sitting someplace shady with a cool beverage right now, taking the day off from the HDTV Almanac. If you’re in the U.S., I hope you enjoy a great long weekend. And I’ll be back tomorrow with more news and insight into [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - iPhone Users Like Video

By Alfred Poor • Jul 1 2011, 1:00pm

I have an Android smartphone, and I’m a bit surprised that I actually watch video on it. I don’t watch lengthy content such as movies or television episodes (at least not yet), but I do find myself watching more YouTube videos and similar content on the device in spite of its tiny screen. All the [...]