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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (August, 2011)

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Satellite HDTVBroadcastCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - DISH on the Road

By Alfred Poor • Aug 30 2011, 1:00pm

Satellite TV subscriptions are great, especially if you live out past where the sidewalks end, beyond the reach of cable services. But it’s not so great when you want to go somewhere else. You can’t exactly bring down your dish antenna and take it with you. At least you couldn’t until now. DISH Network is [...]

BroadcastPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Bye-Bye Channel 51?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 29 2011, 1:00pm

Last week, the FCC announced a procedural decision to freeze all pending applications for new low-power or full-power television broadcast stations on channel 51. The announcement also permits any of these pending applications to be modified within the next 60 days to request assignment to a lower channel.
Any discussion of television channels is complicated by [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Let’s Watch a Movie; Fire Up Facebook

By Alfred Poor • Aug 26 2011, 1:00pm

Maybe it would be easier if I just listed all the websites that aren’t offering streaming movies these days. We can now add one more to the list of the ones that do: Facebook. Miramax has signed a deal to provide blockbuster titles for streaming onto computers, tables, or Google TV devices. You can now [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Bad Economy? hhgregg Steams Full Speed Ahead

By Alfred Poor • Aug 25 2011, 1:00pm

After opening ten new stores in Florida this summer, electronics retailer hhgregg is expanding into the Chicago market with 14 new stores. It was not so long ago that we saw the implosion of Circuit City and CompUSA, and the discounting 6th Ave Electronics beat a retreat from its efforts to expand into the Philadelphia [...]

Internet HD VideoBroadcastGamingSportsSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - NFL on PS3: It’s More than Just Madden

By Alfred Poor • Aug 24 2011, 1:00pm

Okay, here’s how I see it. Online streaming content has been the poor step-child of the broadcast networks, movie studios, and other content distributors. All the good stuff goes to the cable and satellite services, and the crumbs fall to the online sites. But streaming is managing to post some impressive growth and revenue figures, [...]

3D HDTVFront Projection

HDTV Almanac - Optoma Shatters 3D Home Projector Price

By Alfred Poor • Aug 23 2011, 1:00pm

Have I got a deal for you! How would you like a 55″ 1080p high definition display for $1,500? Not so exciting? Okay, let’s make it 70″; does that make it more interesting? I’ll sweeten the pot and throw in 3D capability and support for radio frequency (RF) active glasses, still for $1,500. Do I [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Fox Limits New Episode Access

By Alfred Poor • Aug 22 2011, 1:00pm

Are you a fan of a Fox Network series such as Family Guy, the Simpsons, or Fringe? Have you been using Hulu or Fox.com to catch up on a recent episode that you missed? Well, Fox has delayed your access to new episodes until eight days after the original air date. If you try to [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Retools For Kids

By Alfred Poor • Aug 19 2011, 1:00pm

According to an article published by GigaOM, Netflix appears to be testing a new user interface designed specifically for children. Not only is the listed content limited to kid-friendly titles, it also makes it easier for youngsters to navigate. A scroll bar at the top of the screen shows individual characters, including kid favorites such [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - TWC: #2 and Growing

By Alfred Poor • Aug 18 2011, 1:00pm

The cable TV industry news has been full of gloom and doom over the loss of subscribers recently. Time Warner Cable (TWC) has found a way to boost its subscriber rolls quickly; the company is going to acquire Insight Communications which is a leading cable company in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. In exchange for $3 [...]

Internet HD VideoHTPCs & LaptopsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Roku Gathers Momentum

By Alfred Poor • Aug 17 2011, 1:00pm

The easiest way to turn a dumb TV into a Smart TV is to add a network media player. And some of the most attractive choices at this point are available from Roku. The new Roku 2 models are smaller than ever, and even the entry level $60 model can stream HD resolution content to [...]


HDTV Almanac - iSupply: Low-End Brands Drive Down Prices

By Alfred Poor • Aug 16 2011, 1:00pm

Here’s another item from the Stating the Obvious Department, though it is still worth noting; iSupply has released a study showing that lower-priced HDTV brands are helping drive down the price of premium models. According to a company press release, “U.S. average pricing for a typical high-end LCD TV amounted to $1,002.58 in July, down [...]

HD DVDInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Zediva Goes Dark

By Alfred Poor • Aug 15 2011, 1:00pm

I wrote about Zediva last month, and the fact that it was taken to court for violating copyright law. If you recall, the company had a clever idea for streaming movie content over the Internet; a customer would rent a physical DVD that would then be placed in a DVD player and the content would [...]


HDTV Expert - Wishing Won’t Make It So

By Pete Putman • Aug 12 2011, 2:55pm

Pioneer and Sharp's new Elite line of LCD TVs represent the triumph of hope over experience.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Walmart Does End Run around Apple iStore

By Alfred Poor • Aug 12 2011, 1:00pm

My accountant once gave me some sage advice: “Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered.” A little greed is okay, but when you start gouging your source of sustinance, you may discover that you end up going hungry. Consider the case of Apple’s iStore and its policy concerning content for iPhones and iPads. Apple insists [...]


HDTV Almanac - 3DTV Active Glasses Standard in the Works

By Alfred Poor • Aug 11 2011, 1:00pm

Standards are great. It means that you can buy one set of wrenches and you can use them to work on any car or truck. Unless the car uses hardware built to a different standard. So maybe you need two sets of wrenches to work on cars. It looks as though we may be headed [...]

Satellite HDTVEntertainmentCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Pay TV Services Lose 0.5 Million Subs

By Alfred Poor • Aug 10 2011, 1:00pm

Are people unhappy with their pay TV subscriptions? Is the bad economy wiping out the money that people are willing to spend on television entertainment? According to the second quarter earnings reports, the cable and satellite television services lost a net of 553,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year. Only DirecTV picked up [...]

Service & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Amazon Snags Universal Movies

By Alfred Poor • Aug 9 2011, 1:00pm

Last month, Amazon did a deal with CBS for television episode content to stream to its Amazon Prime members. Now it has added movies from Comcast’s Universal Pictures catalog, including popular titles such as “Notting Hill,” “Being John Malkovich”, “Fletch,” and “Billy Elliott.” According to an Amazon press release, this brings the service’s total count [...]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Sony: “Make. Believe” Isn’t Making It Anymore

By Pete Putman • Aug 8 2011, 3:02pm

Sony's continuing losses in TV operations cant' be wished away.

3D HDTVSports

HDTV Almanac - ESPN 3D: Too Little, Too Soon?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 8 2011, 1:00pm

AT&T made a big public splash last year when it picked up ESPN 3D, the all-3D sports channel. So it’s a little surprising that the company has dropped the channel without ceremony rather than renew the contract. According to AT&T sources, “the price tag was too high.”
Is this a major blow to ESPN or 3DTV [...]


HDTV Almanac - Best Buy Uses TiVo for HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Aug 5 2011, 1:00pm

According to a company press release, Best Buy has released two new connected HDTVs under its Insignia brand. The 32″ NS-32E859A11 sells for $499, and the 42″ NS-42E859A11 has a $699 price tag. These sets have fairly typical feature sets, including LED backlights, 120 Hz LCD panels, and support for online streaming services including Netflix, [...]

Internet HD VideoSports

HDTV Almanac - Streaming Sports for Canadians

By Alfred Poor • Aug 4 2011, 1:00pm

There are many items that are unique in Canada, including the Toronto Blue Jays: the only Major League Baseball (MLB) team in the entire country. The team’s unique status has resulted in an unusual and perhaps unintended consequence. MLB treats all of Canada as the home market for Blue Jay games, and thus blacks out [...]


HDTV Almanac - English Football Goes for Immersion

By Alfred Poor • Aug 3 2011, 1:00pm

The whole idea about a home theater – or a local cinema, for that matter — is to fill your field of vision and overwhelm your auditory system to produce a state of immersion: the sense that you’re really there. This is certainly not the only way to get to such a state; many of [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Speedbump for Comcast/NBCU

By Alfred Poor • Aug 2 2011, 1:00pm

The Justice Department gave its blessing to Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal earlier this year, and many figured it was a done deal. Not so fast! A federal judge in the District of Columbia has expressed doubts about the arbitration terms of the agreement, and has stated that his is concerned that they may not [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Hard Times for Logitech; Trouble for Google TV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 1 2011, 1:00pm

Don’t look know, but one of Google TV’s few proponents just took a big hit. The company announced a $29.6 million first quarter 2011 loss, which represents more than a $49 million swing compared with the same quarter 2010. And in a phone call for investors, it was revealed that its Google TV product, Revue, [...]