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HDTV Magazine Columns Archive (May, 2012)

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Digital (DTV) TransitionBroadcast

HDTV Expert - Useful Gadgets: Wall-Mounted DTV Antennas Revisited

By Pete Putman • May 29 2012, 11:49pm

A re-test of Winegard's FlatWave antenna, combined with a newcomer (Antennas Direct Micron XG) = another visit to Turner Engineering!

3D HDTV

Ed's View - What's Wrong with 3DTV

By Ed Milbourn • May 22 2012, 2:51pm

The short answer is that is doesn't work very well. One can tick-off a whole litany of deficiencies, both commercial and technical, that have resulted in a less than stellar acceptance of this feature. Does this mean 3DTV is a "failure?"

Cable HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Partners with Skype

By Alfred Poor • May 21 2012, 1:00pm

In a joint announcement last week, Comcast and Skype unveiled plans to provide video chat service to Xfinity customers. By adding an adapter box to their set-top box and a “high-quality” video camera, subscribers will be able to send or receive instant messages or video calls to any Skype user worldwide, including smart phones, tablets, and [...]

General Interest

Ed's View - Old Movies and HDTV - The Dilemma of Sound

By Ed Milbourn • May 18 2012, 2:26pm

Like many, I love (most) old movies. And again, like many, I have accumulated a significant collection of classics - most on VCR's and on the old RCA CED video disc format (RIP). With the advent of HDTV and advanced film restoration technologies, the BD and DVD versions of these movies are - for the most part - spectacular. However, the one generally disappointing aspect that mars the total HD experience of these productions is the disappointing sound quality. This is especially true with...

Mobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Alone Together: Is Split Screen TV a Good Idea?

By Alfred Poor • May 18 2012, 1:00pm

Conventional wisdom has it that television remains a group activity. We are rapidly being assimilated by our personal mobile devices, and I often see two people together who are both busy texting or Facebooking or whatever on their smartphones. Then I read a blog entry by some DisplaySearch analysts that describe a new “smart dual [...]

3D HDTVFront ProjectionPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Turn a Projector into 3D with SmartCrystal Pro

By Alfred Poor • May 17 2012, 1:00pm

My good friend, colleague, and sometimes co-author M. David Stone alerted me to a product that he recently reviewed for PC Magazine: the SmartCrystal Pro from Volfoni. This is a device that can turn any 3D-capable front projector into one that uses passive glasses for $1,500 (street price). Inexpensive 3D projectors require you to use bulky shutter [...]

Cable HDTVService & RepairFiber/IPTV HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Cable Loses; Telco Wins; SatTV Draws

By Alfred Poor • May 16 2012, 1:00pm

The Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) recently reported on the pay television service subscriber counts for 2011. The numbers have not really changed much compared with 2010. The big losers continue to be the cable companies; the top 10 U.S. cable services lost more than 1.6 million subscribers in 2011. The telco services (Verizon’s FiOS and [...]

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionPC & Laptop TechnologyBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Mobile DTV Stuck in the Mud?

By Alfred Poor • May 15 2012, 1:00pm

I’ve gone on the record with my pessimism about Mobile DTV, and recent events have done nothing to change my view of the situation. TV Technology recently published an article about a discussion of Mobile TV at the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) in Washington that confirms my suspicions. Jay Adrick is Vice President for Broadcast [...]

SportsService & RepairSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Olympic Online Coverage Will Include Every Event

By Alfred Poor • May 14 2012, 1:00pm

NBC will cover all 302 of the Summer Olympic medal events this summer and you can watch them all online. Well, you probably can. The coverage is only available to those viewers who already have a subscription to a cable, satellite, or telco service that includes CNBC and MSNBC. But if you have a subscription, [...]

Cable HDTVBlu-rayDigital (DTV) TransitionHD DVDPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - DVD and Blu-Ray: Exit Slowly, Stage Left

By Alfred Poor • May 11 2012, 1:00pm

There was a time when DVDs enjoyed the fastest new technology adoption of all time. The transition from the clumsy, snowy VHS tapes to the sleek little polycarbonate discs was driven by the fact that the digital image looked terrific even on standard definition picture tube televisions. And they look even better on flat panel [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - What Is a “Direct LED” TV?

By Alfred Poor • May 10 2012, 1:00pm

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a new term creeping into the television industry lexicon: Direct LED TVs. And as is so often the case, the new term has created all sorts of new confusion. Here’s a quick overview of what this means. First and foremost, this does not refer to a TV where the image [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Media Center, We Hardly Knew Ye!

By Alfred Poor • May 9 2012, 1:00pm

Microsoft initially added the Media Center feature to Windows XP. It let you watch broadcast television on your computer, as well as play DVDs, your digitized music collection, and a lot more. It was there in versions of Windows Vista and 7, but according to news reports, it will be MIA in Windows 8. Apparently, [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - The Return of Google TV!

By Alfred Poor • May 8 2012, 1:00pm

According to a Reuters report, LG is going to start shipping televisions based on the Google TV platform before the end of May. Manufacturing of the sets is slated to begin May 17 in Mexico. This is Round 2 for Google TV which drew a lot of interest before it put on the brakes and [...]

Service & RepairInternet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Will Hulu Require a Cable Subscription?

By Alfred Poor • May 7 2012, 1:00pm

Hulu has made some sizeable waves in the television industry pond. The service makes “catch-up” episodes of current television shows available for free; all you have to do is sign up and endure a relatively few commercial interruptions during the show. (The service also has an extensive list of old show episodes and some mediocre [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Look, Ma! No Wires!

By Alfred Poor • May 4 2012, 1:00pm

You’ve got a beautiful, big flat screen television. It’s so thin that you’ve put it on a wall mount and it just seems to float in space. Maybe it will just float away! Wait a minute; no, that can’t happen because it’s tied solidly to the ground by a mass of cables that should be [...]

Internet HD VideoCable HDTVEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - More Streaming Time on U.S. TVs

By Alfred Poor • May 3 2012, 1:00pm

A new white paper from Parks Associates reports on the shifting trends in home entertainment. One of the most telling statistics in this document is that the average broadband user in U.S. households now watches 1.6 hours a weeek of Internet video on their television. Not on their notebook or smartphone or tablet or desktop [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Dozen-Foot Diagonal Display

By Alfred Poor • May 2 2012, 1:00pm

Once again, Panasonic has move the goalposts in the “Mine Is Bigger than Yours” contest. The latest is a 145-inch diagonal plasma television; that’s more than 12 feet from corner to corner. According to a news report by Tech-On, the behemoth was a joint effort with NHK (Japan Broadcasting System) and was produced in one [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Pay for Online Purchases with Cash

By Alfred Poor • May 1 2012, 1:00pm

From the What Will They Think of Next Department: Do you enjoy the convenience of shopping in your BVDs at any hour of the day or night, but still feel a little queasy about sharing your credit card information on the Interwebs? Are you the type who thinks that “left pocket, right pocket” is all [...]