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HDTV Magazine Bulletins Archive (October, 2007)

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HD DVDHigh Definition Production

Nielsen Releases High Definition TV (HDTV) Household Estimates

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 31 2007, 2:59am

The Nielsen Company today announced that 13.7% of TV households in the U.S. are equipped with an HD television and HD tuner capable of receiving signals in HD (HD Capable), while 11.3% are equipped with an HD television and HD tuner and receive at least one HD network or station (HD Receivable).

Los Angeles has the highest penetration of HD Capable homes (20.4%) and New York has the highest penetration of HD Receivable homes (17.5%). Nielsen also reports that...

Blu-ray

Panasonic Introduces Next-Generation Blu-Ray Disc™ Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 31 2007, 2:40am

Panasonic, a leader in High Definition technology, announced today the introduction of the DMP-BD30, the next generation High Definition 1080p Blu-ray Disc player. The DMP-BD30 is the first Blu-ray player to be introduced with Final Standard Profile, which adds a variety of new and enhanced features to the Blu-ray arena and one that separates the Panasonic Blu-ray player from the rest of the field. Also unique to the DMP-BD30 is the inclusion of an SD Memory Card slot for playback of High Definition content recorded in the AVCHD format. The SD slot also allows for viewing of digital still images recorded to an SD Memory Card.

Final Standard Profile is an advanced function added to the Blu-ray standard, which...

Service & RepairHTPCs & Laptops

"New" vs. "Old" Program Guide

By Dale Cripps • Oct 24 2007, 10:05pm

A month ago we found it necessary to discontinue the old program guide data service (Tribune Media) and introduce to our site a program guide provided by TVGuide. Change invariably produces rough-edged comments and, while many of you were supportive, others were less-than enthused. They believed we had regrettably...

Satellite HDTVHigh Definition ProductionHD DVDHD Video Production

The DIRECTV HD Starship Puts the 'High' in High-Def with the World's Largest LED Screen in the Sky

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 24 2007, 1:41pm

DIRECTV, the nation's leading satellite television service provider, is taking its high-definition dominance to the next level -- that would be 1,000 feet above Boston's Fenway Park -- aboard the DIRECTV HD Starship, a blimp specially equipped with an HD aerial camera system and the world's largest airborne LED video screen.

The first of its kind to operate in North America and one of only two worldwide, the blimp and its 2,100-square foot video light sign will display DIRECTV HD spots and messaging in full color when it makes its debut over...

Programming

EchoStar Unveils ViP-TV, One of the Most Comprehensive IPTV Transport Platforms On the Market

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 24 2007, 1:31am

EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its subsidiary, EchoStar FSS Corporation (EFSSC), today announced the launch of ViP-TV(tm) service, through which EFFSC has the ability to transport over 300 channels of secure broadcast quality popular television programming via satellite to Telco, private and rural cable operators, municipalities and master planned community video providers that have obtained rights for distribution of programming over their wire-line networks. ViP-TV is EFSSC's turn-key solution for wholesale multi-channel content transport and distribution, and offers customers affordable, scalable and aggregated MPEG-4 Internet protocol encapsulated radio and television programming channels from a high-powered Ku-band satellite.

ViP-TV's suite of channels includes ViP-Premier(tm), which offers over 100 channels of the most popular television programming, ViP-HD(tm), which boasts 40 channels of industry-leading high definition programming...

Marketplace

New Category in LCDs - The "Ultra Thin" and Hitachi Is Leading

By Dale Cripps • Oct 23 2007, 6:36pm

The HDTV revolution put the display industry into frenetic motion. Out of this phenomena sprang new departures in technology which promise to keep the "WOW" in HDTV for years to come. Hitachi sent us this "WOW" announcement (below) today. Watch for a luxury grade of new Ultra Thin flat panels as soon as next year at a retail outlet near you. _Dale

Available in 2008, Hitachi's Chic New HDTVs Mark the Debut of an Entirely New Category of Display

TOKYO - October 23, 2007 - Hitachi has achieved yet another consumer electronics breakthrough with today's announcement of its new line of 1.5-inch (35mm) Ultra Thin HDTV's. Hitachi also expects to be first to market with its new Ultra Thin series, which will be available in the Japan market in December of 2007. U.S. consumers can expect to see Ultra Thin models in early 2008 - many months before thin displays from other manufacturers.

These slim, stylish LCDs from Hitachi represent an important new...

Technology

New Wireless Chipset Can Deliver Uncompressed HDTV to Many Rooms

By Dale Cripps • Oct 23 2007, 5:36pm

Announcements such as the one below are beginning to densely populate the news services. It is a clear indicator that we are on the threshold of a great liberation from complicated cabling and household distribution headaches. IBM and MediaTek jointly made a similar announcement yesterday and still others were showing their wireless wares at the recent DisplaySearch HDTV Conference held a week ago in Hollywood. I highlight this entry only to highlight the general category. I think we will all want to know more about this kind of household distribution, so stay tuned to HDTV Magazine for the latest. A success in this category also bodes well for the enterprise of HDTV set making and retail selling since the gray question of how to hook up a second and third set to an HDTV source starts to have a clearer wireless answer. Like all things appealing to the consumers there will be format wars with which to contend. We will do our best to sort it out for you._ Dale

__________________________ ...

Programming

Limelight Networks Unveils High-Definition Content Delivery for the Internet

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 23 2007, 3:34pm

Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW) , the leading content delivery network (CDN) for digital media, today introduced LimelightHD, a service for the delivery of high-definition (HD) media and digital content over the Internet. LimelightHD allows media and entertainment companies, global consumer brands, game publishers, and social media sites to deliver HD-quality movies, TV shows, video clips and games directly to their users' Internet-connected televisions, game consoles, and PCs. Leading Internet TV service Brightcove, and key media entities, including Fox Interactive Media, MSN Video and Rajshri.com, India's leading broadband video portal, are among those who announced they will offer HD content via the LimelightHD service. Media technology leaders supporting the LimelightHD initiative include Adobe Systems, Incorporated, Microsoft Corporation, Move Networks and Veoh Networks. LimelightHD will be available immediately on over 700 broadband access networks worldwide.

LimelightHD is des ...

New Products & Equipment

WD(R) Delivers Hundreds More Hours to High Definition TiVo(R) DVRs

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 23 2007, 3:31pm

Expanding consumers' TV recording capabilities by as many as hundreds of hours, WD(R) (NYSE:WDC) today announced that its My DVR Expander(TM) external hard drives are verified compatible with TiVo(R) HD and TiVo Series3(TM) DVRs (digital video recorders). Available now at Best Buy retail stores and online at TiVo.com/store, the My DVR Expander external hard drive is capable of storing up to 300 hours of digital standard-definition (SD) or up to 60 hours of high- definition (HD) television programming based on 500 GB of hard drive storage(1). Users can instantly expand their recording capacity by simply attaching the My DVR Expander drive to their TiVo HD and TiVo Series3 HD DVRs. The My DVR Expander external hard drive is designed for TiVo subscribers who want even more room to store not only broadcast content, but also broadband content that TiVo makes available through TiVoCast partners, including movie and TV downloads via Amazon Unbox(TM) on TiVo.

The My DVR Expander external hard ...

Gaming

Microsoft Launches New Xbox 360 Console for Families

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 23 2007, 3:23pm

Just in time for holiday, Microsoft Corp. today released a new Xbox 360(R) console that delivers games and content to everyone in the family for an incredible value of $279.99 (U.S. estimated retail price)*. Available in stores beginning today, Xbox 360 Arcade console is the first Xbox 360 console to include five family-friendly games, a wireless controller, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) connection to enable high-definition output if desired and 256 MB of memory useful for storing games and entertainment content. At $279.99, the Xbox 360 Arcade console will include five best-selling games: "PAC-MAN Championship Edition" (NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.), "Uno" (Carbonated Games), "Luxor 2" (MumboJumbo), "Boom Boom Rocket" (Electronic Arts Inc.) and "Feeding Frenzy" (Sprout Games).

The news of Xbox 360 Arcade comes as part of a broader initiative by Microsoft to...

Blu-ray

TRANSFORMERS Becomes the Best-Selling High Definition Title, Day One and Week One for Either Format

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 23 2007, 1:50am

The blockbuster hit from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, TRANSFORMERS, has exploded into the high definition market, with North American sales exceeding 100,000 HD DVDs its first day of release, it was announced today by Paramount Home Entertainment. The title rocketed past previous releases to become the fastest and best-selling day one high definition title on a single format. The biggest original film of the year from director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg, in association with Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), has sold over 190,000 HD DVDs in its first week making it the top-selling week one release on either high definition format as well as the best-selling HD DVD ever. Additionally, in the first week alone, over 20% of consumers have connected to the unique web-enabled features available on the TRANSFORMERS HD DVD.

The smash hit has also become...

Programming

DISH Network Adds Another Channel to Industry's Largest HD Lineup

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 18 2007, 8:42pm

DISH Network(r), home of the best sports and movies in high definition (HD) as well as the best HD DVR in the industry, announced today the launch of its latest HD channel: NHL Network HD. This addition brings DISH Network's national HD programming lineup to 75 channels -- the most offered by any pay-TV provider in the United States.

NHL Network is the first national network dedicated entirely to hockey giving viewers unprecedented 24-hour access to the most comprehensive hockey coverage, both on and off the ice. NHL Network will broadcast...

Gaming

Sony Announces New 40GB Playstation(R)3 (PS3(TM)) and Reduces Price on 80GB Model

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 18 2007, 2:24pm

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) today announced plans to introduce a new 40GB model of its PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system. Beginning November 2nd, to further enhance the HD entertainment experience, the new 40GB PS3 model will come bundled with the blockbuster movie Spider-Man(TM) 3 Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and will be available in North America for a suggested retail price of $399 (USD/CND). The company also announced that effective immediately, the current 80GB PS3 model will be available in North America for $499 (USD/CND), $100 below the original launch price.

The new 40GB PS3 will no longer play...

Circuit City Boosts Consumer Education for DTV Transition

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 17 2007, 7:24pm

Building on its longstanding commitment to provide consumers with vital information about the technologies that affect their daily lives, consumer electronics retailer Circuit City Stores, Inc. today announced it will enhance its already robust efforts to help ensure that American television viewers are aware of the upcoming Digital Television (DTV) Transition.

U.S. television stations will cease transmitting analog signals on February 17, 2009, meaning that...

High Definition ProductionHD DVD

HDMI Trademark and Logo Usage Guidelines for Advanced Consumer Electronics Features

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 17 2007, 12:24pm

HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) specification, today announced the release of Trademark and Logo Usage Guidelines creating a consistent way for manufacturers to describe the HDMI-enabled functionality of their products. By providing a consistent set of terminology for HDMI-enabled features, the Trademark and Logo Usage Guidelines provide manufacturers with effective ways to communicate these features to consumers, giving consumers consistency and clarity of information when making an HD purchase decision.

To ensure that consumers are given the product information that they want and need, manufacturers are now required to include specific HDMI features enabled in their product along with the HDMI version number (e.g. as "HDMI 1.3"). This enhancement is necessary because...

Entertainment

DLP Cinema(R) Technology Surpasses 5,000 Screen Milestone

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 17 2007, 12:20pm

Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN) today announced that its DLP Cinema(R) technology has surpassed the 5,000 screen milestone on a path to doubling that next year. There are 5,260 DLP Cinema enabled theatres installed across the globe, an increase of 140% from the same period one year ago.

The pristine picture quality and ideal combination of contrast, color and brightness created by DLP Cinema allowed DLP Cinema technology to quickly become the industry standard. DLP Cinema(R) technology is deployed throughout 99% of the digital cinema market and is in every continent in the world except Antarctica. DLP Cinema expects to surpass...

Programming

DIRECTV HD™ Revolution Begins

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 15 2007, 3:45pm

DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV), the nation's leading satellite television service provider, is now offering 72 national HD channels - significantly more than any other television provider in the nation. This is the first wave in DIRECTV's unprecedented expansion of HD services that is building towards up to 100 HD channels by year-end(a).

The full DIRECTV HD programming lineup, including the new channels, and details on receiving equipment needed for the new DIRECTV HD services, are available by calling 1-800-DIRECTV or visiting directv.com.

DIRECTV's current HD lineup includes...

Amazon.com Unveils "High-Def 101" Customer Knowledge Center for High-Definition Shoppers

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 10 2007, 4:50pm

Amazon.com, Inc. today unveiled a new customer knowledge center, Amazon High-Def 101 (www.amazon.com/hd101), which will help customers navigate the mountains of information available about the high-definition (HD) home entertainment marketplace. As a one-stop education and shopping destination, Amazon High-Def 101 allows visitors to explore a comprehensive lineup of HD-related products -- including HDTVs, movie players, game systems, PC options, accessories and movies -- while getting the facts on how to "high-def" their homes. Visitors also have access to other HD product offerings and new content, including educational videos and weekly blog posts highlighting the latest trends.

In a confusing high-definition marketplace, there are many different TVs, DVD players, DVD formats, cable boxes (and cable companies), and surround sound systems (which include receivers, tuners, speakers, sub-woofers and more) to choose from - and they all have to be installed. The goal of High-Def 101 is t ...

Blu-ray

Sony Unveils 4X Blu-ray Disc Writer

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 9 2007, 9:05pm

Sony Electronics today announced its second generation internal Blu-ray Disc™ (BD) writer drive for the computer aftermarket, which boasts 4X BD-R and 16X DVD+R recording speeds.

The new BWU-200S model cuts BD-R burning time by half compared to the first generation model, allowing for a full 50GB BD-R disc to be recorded in about 45 minutes. It also features improved DVD burning speeds, making it a multi-format combo burner that eliminates the need for more than one drive in a system.

The drive comes with...

Programming

DISH Network Launches TBS in HD

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 8 2007, 1:16pm

DISH Network(r), home of the best sports and movies in HD as well as the best HD DVR in the industry, today announced the launch of TBS in HD, the exclusive HD provider of the first round of MLB playoffs. The channel addition brings DISH Network's national HD channel count to 48 -- the most offered by any other pay-TV provider in the country.

TBS in HD, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is one of television's top-rated comedy networks. It serves as home to such original...

High Definition ProductionHD DVDProgrammingHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Customers Are Happy With Picture Quality, Less Enthusiastic About Programming Options

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 3 2007, 12:26pm

High definition (HD) television owners are much more satisfied with the picture quality of HD television than they are with the amount or selection of HD programming, The Nielsen Company reported today.

According to Nielsen Media Research's 2007 High Definition Survey, 85 percent of HD owners gave a 4 or 5 rating (with 5 meaning "excellent" and 1 meaning "poor") for picture quality but only 39 percent provided the same rating for programming selection.

How would you rate each of the following?...

Programming

Cox to Offer TBS HD and CNN HD in Cox Markets

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 3 2007, 12:22pm

Cox Communications and Turner Networks announced an agreement today that will allow Cox to offer TBS in HD and CNN HD in Cox markets. "We are thrilled to complete this agreement for the addition of 2 more strong brands to our HD lineup, further fulfilling our promise to provide customers with a high-quality HD lineup," said Bob Wilson, senior vice president of Programming, Cox Communications. "As we continue to increase the value of our video service with more high definition channels and more On Demand Choices, customers will continue to count on Cox Digital Cable for the best value in our markets."

TBS in HD will offer viewers a stellar line-up of comedy that includes such exclusive programs as...

Blu-ray

The Guaranteed Internet Connection in Every HD DVD Player Allows Movie-Specific Access to Content, Community Building and Online Purchases

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 3 2007, 9:24am

Today, Universal Studios Home Entertainment raised the bar on HD DVD's unique web-enabled experiences by unveiling an Internet infrastructure that allows it to take advantage of the guaranteed Internet connection in every HD DVD player and deliver compelling, title specific features. Heroes: Season 1 on HD DVD was the first title to take advantage of web-enabled capabilities, but with the forthcoming availability of Evan Almighty on HD DVD, Universal is setting the stage for new home entertainment experiences with web-enabled features such as the Download Center, U-Shop, and much more. Taking advantage of the infinite possibilities of web-enabled experiences, Universal is utilizing HD DVD to explore the promise of digitally distributed scenarios and infusing movie content with e-commerce and social media capabilities.

In addition to title-centric experiences available through any HD DVD player...

HD DVDDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)High Definition Production

Clear Channel Brings High Definition Billboard to Times Square

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 2 2007, 2:29pm

Clear Channel Outdoor's (NYSE:CCO) Spectacolor Division launched a state-of-the-art digital billboard in New York City's Times Square today. The new billboard branded "Spectacolor HD" http://www.spectacolorhd.com/ will boast the sharpest image quality of any digital billboard in the U.S. while also being the most technologically advanced. Spectacolor HD will be the first digital billboard in the world to run multiple advertiser spots in conjunction with streaming news, weather and live HD broadcasts provided exclusively from CNN, the most trusted source in news and information.

Spectacolor HD will also be the first digital billboard to provide viewers with a dedicated audio...

Programming

SPEED Goes High-Def, Starting with 100 Hours of NASCAR Coverage from 50th Anniversary of Daytona 500

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 1 2007, 6:56pm

SPEED will make its move to High Definition in 2008, beginning Feb. 7 with 100 hours of NASCAR on SPEED HD from Daytona Speedweeks.

Topping the 70-million U.S. household mark and coming off four consecutive years of ratings growth in 2007, the move to High Definition is the next step in the evolution of a network that has added more than 30 million homes since being fully acquired by Fox Cable Networks in 2001.