By Alfred Poor • Dec 31 2007, 2:00pm
The Consumer Electronics Association – CEA — put out a release on Friday trumpeting the good news that more than 50% of U.S. households now have “digital televisions”. The group points [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 31 2007, 2:00pm
Are you a “glass is half full” or “half empty” type of person? This story may mean different things to you, depending on your perspective.
The Consumer Electronics Association – CEA — put out a release on Friday trumpeting the good news that more than 50% of U.S. households now have “digital televisions”. The group points [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 28 2007, 2:13pm
As we close another year on the HDTV Podcast, we look back over what happened in 2007. We also revisit the predictions we made back in January to see how well we did. We hope you had a wonderful 2007 and look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2008.
By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2007, 2:00pm
The Danish TV-maker Zepto has reportedly released a new line of LCD HDTVs that can connect wirelessly to Windows Media Center computers on a local network. The Helios LCD line includes a 720p 32″ model and a 1080p 40″ model. They are only available in Europe, with ticker-stopping stickers of more than $3,000 each.
For that [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 27 2007, 2:00pm
Concerns about short supplies of 32″ LCD panels for HDTVs continue to grow, and plasma panels are hoping for the opportunity to fill the gap with inexpensive plasma models. Original intended for the growing consumer markets in China and India, some brands including Proview are reportedly eying the U.S. market for low cost plasma sets.
By Alfred Poor • Dec 26 2007, 2:00pm
This item starts with what has to be one of the strangest press releases ever published in all of 2007. On December 19, Matsushita – the parent mega-corporation of Panasonic — released the following statement, repeated here in its entirety:
The Company has not decided anything in regards to the alliance in LCD Panel Business with [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 25 2007, 2:00pm
My family celebrates Christmas, and that’s what I’ll be doing today. I will take this time to send out my best wishes to everyone who reads the HDTV Almanac, and hope that you enjoy a wonderful holiday season, whatever holiday holds special meaning for you.
I also want to thank you for your support, and that [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 25 2007, 6:44am
Merry Christmas from the HT Guys. We would like to thank all our listeners for your continued support! Today's show pretty much empties out our email and voice mail. We hope you enjoy! Ara Derderian and Braden Russell
By Alfred Poor • Dec 24 2007, 2:00pm
Many were surprised last week by Sony’s announcement that the company will shut down production of its rear projection HDTV models, and sell out existing inventory. One reason that this was a surprise is that by some measures, Sony was in second place for this market segment. Why would the company abandon this market?
As I’ve [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, we’ve done flat. What next? According to Sharp, the next step will be thinner flat panel HDTVs. The company hopes to trim set thickness in half or so, to create a sexy, svelte display. The other part of the strategy is that these panels will be able to command a premimum in the marketplace, [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 21 2007, 1:33pm
Ever wonder who made the best Holiday turkey in High Definition, or what is the most watched animal in High Definition? DirecTV did a survey of some very off-beat HD topics. We'll go over the results.
Worst Cable TV Horror Story Will Win a 42" Plasma HDTV and Antenna from Antennas Direct™ Plus $1,000 for Stress Counseling
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 21 2007, 4:38am
As reported a few days ago by the Bridge Data Group, overall customer satisfaction with cable TV stands at only 58%. The 75 year-old hammer wielding grandmother who "attacked" a Comcast payment center in Virginia might be considered to be in the other 42%.
To that end, Antennas Direct is having a contest to find the ten worst cable TV horror stories. The best of the worst verified story teller will receive a 42" Plasma HDTV and a Terrestrial Digital™ Off-Air antenna, selected to allow them to receive the most...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 21 2007, 4:33am
Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE:CVC) and ESPN today announced the addition of ESPN2 HD to Cablevision's high-definition programming lineup, giving iO TV customers access to 45 high-definition programming services at no additional cost. Effective Friday, December 21, ESPN2 HD will be available across Cablevision's entire service area on iO TV channel 735.
ESPN2 HD is a 24-hour high-definition simulcast service of ESPN2, and features programming including...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 20 2007, 2:00pm
A new survey by Nielsen shows that game console buyers are indeed buying HDTVs in order to get the maximum performance from their systems. According to the results, 71% of the PS3 owners have their consoles connected to an HDTV, while 66% of XBox 360 and 65% of Wii systems are hooked up to HDTVs.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 19 2007, 8:10pm
Public Television stations across the country will soon be available in high-definition (HD) to DIRECTV customers through a landmark agreement reached today by DIRECTV, Inc., the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). DIRECTV viewers will have access to other Public Television content as well.
Continuing its unprecedented expansion of HD services, DIRECTV, the industry leader in HD programming, will include the local HD feeds of Public Television stations in its HD rollout plans beginning in 2008. DIRECTV currently offers local HD programming in...
By RedMere/Molex • Dec 19 2007, 3:20pm
Multi-gigabit communications present many challenges to cable manufacturers. How can bandwidths higher than 10Gbps required by new standards such as HDMI™ and DisplayPort be achieved over low cost cables? What are the core technical problems with achieving these high data rates and what technologies can be used to address them? How can manufacturers achieve solutions which are less dependent on copper pricing? How can reliability issues be resolved without the need to use thicker cables? Cable manufacturing techniques have evolved to try to meet the challenge, but semiconductor solutions are emerging as promising alternatives and can be expected to play a significant role in solving these issues.
This article explains the physical problems faced by cable manufacturers, in particular...
VUDU Offers Free Boxes to Customers Who Purchase Select AQUOS 1080p High Definition LCD TVs Through Vudu.com
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 19 2007, 2:48pm
VUDU Inc., the company that brings instant access to video entertainment to the living room, announced today that they will offer a free VUDU box to customers who purchase select models of the AQUOS high definition televisions through Vudu.com over the holidays.
The free VUDU box will be offered through January 5, 2008 on purchases of Sharp AQUOS televisions with 42" or larger screens. (visit http://www.vudu.com/sharp.html for details)
Just last week, VUDU became the first service to offer...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 19 2007, 2:00pm
Disc drive maker Addonics has announced its Zebra Blu-ray/HD DVD Player external drive. Not only will it read both high definition formats, it can also read and write to most DVD and CD media as well. The drive comes in two models. One version has both USB 2.0 and external SATA connectors, for a list [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 18 2007, 11:27pm
For years, parents have trained themselves to avoid disappointment by remembering batteries on Christmas morning. This year, gift givers need to help friends and family find the best high-definition service to go along with their shiny new high-definition televisions (HDTVs), according to a new pre-holiday study commissioned by Comcast.
The survey showed that one in four consumers has a high-definition television (HDTV) on their holiday wish lists or shopping lists. However, 88 percent of the gift-givers are not thinking about including the HD service that these sets require as part of the gift. As a result...
By Dale Cripps • Dec 18 2007, 5:43pm
The Plasma Coalition sent out the following press release providing their take on the latest trends in flat panel._Dale
New York, NY, December 18, 2007 – As another record breaking year for television sales comes to a close, one thing is certain -- flat panel displays are the clear consumer choice, with Plasma HDTV sets dominating the...
By The HT Guys • Dec 18 2007, 3:30pm
We recently did a review of the Pioneer Elite PRO-150FD 60" Plasma TV back in November (Podcast 224) so when Pioneer offered us the 42 inch model we weren't sure that we wanted to review a TV that was so similar. Since the TV was 720p we decided that it was different enough to warrant a review.
By Alfred Poor • Dec 18 2007, 2:00pm
The first 100 retailers have been certified by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in preparation for the federal discount program for converter boxes. These retailers represent about 15,000 individual outlets, which will be eligible to accept the $40 coupons for converter boxes. Some of the approved chains include Best Buy, Circuit City, K-Mart, [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 18 2007, 1:48pm
We recently did a review of the Pioneer Elite PRO-150FD 60" Plasma TV back in November (Podcast 224) so when Pioneer offered us the 42 inch model we weren't sure that we wanted to review a TV that was so similar. Since the TV was 720p we decided that it was different enough to warrant a review.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 18 2007, 1:21pm
On the heels of its launch of the first national electronics recycling initiative, Sony Electronics today announced a program to further encourage consumers to recycle their old television sets.
Sony will be offering, until March 15, 2008, a $100 coupon towards the purchase of a new Sony BRAVIA high-definition TV at Sony Style stores, online at sonystyle.com and through Sony Style telesales at 1-877-865-SONY for every old set recycled through the Sony Take Back Recycling Program, which kicked off September 15.
To help consumers...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 17 2007, 2:36pm
Meeting the growing demand from TV viewers for quality High Definition (HD) programming, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced the addition of eight HD channels to its AT&T U-verse(SM) TV channel lineup.
U-verse TV now offers Animal Planet HD, CNN HD, Discovery HD, Science Channel HD, Starz Kids & Family HD, Superstation WGN in HD, TLC HD, VERSUS and GOLF CHANNEL HD.
With these additions, AT&T U-verse TV subscribers with the HD service option have access to a lineup of more than...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 17 2007, 2:00pm
A new study from The Diffusion Group reports on the preferences of consumers who are planning on buying their first HDTV within the next six months. In this group, the study reports that among those who describe themselves as likely to buy a high-definition DVD player within the next six months, 43% prefer HD DVD [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2007, 2:00pm
Remember how Toshiba promised to ship 30″ OLED HDTVs in 2009? As the saying goes, that statement is now “non-operational“. Surprise, surprise; Toshiba has discovered that the cost of mass production does not make it practical to produce the sets at this point. So the project is on hold indefinitely. The company will instead focus [...]
HD DVD • Plasma • Plasma HDTVs
By The HT Guys • Dec 14 2007, 12:42pm
Last year we assembled two starter systems (see Podcast 132 for details) that we felt was a nice entry into the world of HDTV and Home Theater. This year we do the same. Last year Braden designed a system with a 42 inch plasma, 5.1 sound, upconverting DVD player and a universal remote all for $3032. Ara's system included a 56 inch LCoS rear projection, 7.1 sound, upconverting DVD player and a univ ...
By Dale Cripps • Dec 13 2007, 9:56pm
Menlo Park, California, USA - December 13, 2007. Pacific Media Associates, the global market information experts on large-screen displays, reports that in the hotly contested 50" to 54" HDTV market segment, 1080p LCD models outsold 1080p plasma models nearly...
By Robert A. Fowkes • Dec 13 2007, 3:23pm
Remember when Home Entertainment life was much simpler? All you did was to sit back and turn on the TV to watch programs. Or, if you remember TV before the days of remotes you turned on the TV and then sat back unless you had a young son who was your human remote. Carrying this one step further back (as this writer remembers) there was actually a time when you only listened to programs for your nightly entertainment. Fibber McGee and Molly anyone? In any event, in the 1950's to somewhere in the 1980's "Home Theater in a Box" was just that for most people - the family television.
A handful of audiophiles (I was building kits in the early days) had stereos by the late 50's and we knew about audio components - a pre-amplifier, an amplifier and speakers which produced wonderful sounds from our sources - usually records and reel to reel tapes. (Yes, I also had a wire recorder for a time. I also have an Edison cylinder or two gathering dust.) But as interest in components grew so did the de ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 13 2007, 3:06pm
Addonics Technologies today announced its Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player an optical storage solution that allows your PC to play Blu-ray and HD DVD movies from the same tray.
The Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player also plays standard DVDs and CDs in various file formats and burns DVD±R/RW and CDRW media, which makes it one of the most flexible optical drives available. Users can turn their laptop or desktop computer into a high definition movie player and enjoy high definition video quality of 1080p format at 1920x1080 resolution and the dynamic 7.1-channel audio output that comes with the Blu-ray or HD DVD format.
Microsoft Releases Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator to Help Speed Content Production and Lower Development Costs
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 13 2007, 2:34pm
Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator, enabling film studios and disc authoring companies to model the behavior of HD DVD disc content, including encoded video and HDi interactivity, in a virtual environment before committing to burning a single HD DVD disc. This comprehensive tool is among the first commercially available, software-based solutions of its kind, eliminating the need for expensive hardware or time-consuming and costly trial-and-error processes for testing HD DVD titles, helping to ensure that titles ship error-free.
The enhanced content and rich interactive capabilities of HD DVD increase the need for an efficient way to troubleshoot coding to maintain the highest-quality consumer experiences. The emulator uses...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 13 2007, 2:01pm
WealthTV, the premier lifestyle and entertainment network, recently announced that its high definition programming lineup is now available to Charter Communications, Inc. customers on demand nationwide. Charter customers can now enjoy a robust lineup from WealthTV's numerous original series when they want. WealthTV features compelling series on exotic travel, fine cuisine, automotives, health, finance, gadgets and fashion.
In addition to enjoying WealthTV's HD VOD nationwide, Charter customers can enjoy...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 13 2007, 2:00pm
Earlier this week in his ZDNet blog, David Berlind mentioned a piece by CNET columnist David Carnoy, “720p vs. 1080p HDTV: The final word“. (Isn’t it something how so much of the Internet is about something else on the Internet? Escher would be pleased.) Now, I’m not going to pick apart either piece, as both [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 13 2007, 1:57pm
With the many decisions plaguing shoppers this holiday season, DIRECTV wants to give HD buyers a sneak preview of what they will enjoy once they take the HD plunge.
In a recent survey commissioned by DIRECTV, 400 HDTV owners were asked to reveal their favorite reasons for choosing HD. Some of the more unique findings included...
LCD TVs, GPS, Digital Picture Frames, Camera Accessories and D-SLR Among Top Selling Items for Black Friday
By Dale Cripps • Dec 12 2007, 7:48pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, December 12, 2007-TVs, next-generation DVD formats, notebook PCs and other consumer electronic devices were highlighted in last week's Black Friday Webinar held by DisplaySearch. Featuring an analysis of holiday sales results for consumer electronics through Thanksgiving weekend, expert analysts from DisplaySearch, The NPD Group and Current Analysis West provided a closer look at the results for the first week of the 2007 holiday shopping season and how this activity will translate into...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 12 2007, 7:20pm
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading satellite television service provider, is now offering local HD programming to customers in the Tucson, Ariz. designated market area. The following broadcast networks are available in HD: KGUN/ABC, KOLD/CBS, KMSB/FOX and KVOA/NBC. DIRECTV hopes to add additional stations as they become available. With the addition of Tucson, DIRECTV now offers local HD broadcast channels in 68 cities, representing more than 72.6 percent of U.S. TV households.
DIRECTV's roll out of local HD channels in Tucson is part of a nationwide expansion of HD programming that includes...
By Dale Cripps • Dec 12 2007, 7:00pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, December 12, 2007-DisplaySearch believes the outlook for plasma TV cost reductions and performance improvements are closely tied to improvements in luminous efficacy as outlined in its recently introduced 2007 PDP Technology Report. Luminous efficacy can be simply expressed as...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 12 2007, 3:24pm
Spike TV and GameTrailers.com (GT), both divisions of Viacom Inc.'s (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:VIA.B) MTVN Entertainment Group, announced today an unprecedented multi-platform integration with the launch of "GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley." This weekly, entertaining and informative magazine-style show for gamers will be available in high- definition on-air and online beginning Friday, January 25, 2008. Produced and created by GameTrailers.com, "GameTrailers TV" marks the first time an MTVN Entertainment Group digital property has fully executed a half-hour show for linear television. Taking Spike TV's "Game Head" to the next level, "GameTrailers TV" will provide viewers with expanded editorial content and an all-new level of interaction online at GameTrailers.com.
"GameTrailers TV" is hosted and executive produced by industry veteran...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 12 2007, 2:00pm
In a repeat of last year’s promotional offer, Panasonic has unlocked the door to their “Plasma Concierge” service. This is normally available only to owners of Panasonic plasma HDTV products, but from now through February 3, 2008, anyone can call for advice about HDTVs. The service is intended to provide basic and technical information, as [...]
THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER to Broadcast in High-Definition Format Beginning Monday, December 17, 2007
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 11 2007, 5:26pm
The program's commitment to depth and clarity takes on new dimension as it launches a high-definition broadcast beginning on Monday, December 17, 2007. The new format will deliver superb video resolution and higher-quality audio, and will result in a richer experience for the increasing number of viewers who watch the program on an HD television set.
The transition of the NEWSHOUR to a high-definition digital broadcast furthers the goal of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to deliver...
By Chris Russell • Dec 11 2007, 5:19pm
The advent of high definition content with Blu-Ray and HD DVD, HD broadcast and stunning real time HD console gaming continue to drive the bandwidth requirements at a dramatic pace. The most recent specifications for supporting current and future HD content requires a bandwidth as high as 10.8Gbps (in the case of Display Port) and 10.2Gbps (in the case of HDMI). The first part of this article examines the driving forces behind the requirement for ever-increasing bandwidth. The second part of the article compares the bandwidth available with wired solutions and various wireless bands including UWB and 60GHz bands.
The key factors driving the requirement for increased bandwidth are...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 11 2007, 2:00pm
As a child, I remember seeing limousines and other fancy cars with little delta wing antennas mounted on the trunk. Somehow, I learned that these were television antennas, and that meant that the people inside were probably watching a little Sony TV. I thought it was pretty cool, though I imagine the programming options were [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 11 2007, 1:39pm
So you've been listening to the show for a while and now you are ready to buy your HDTV. We have some tips for you to get the most out of your HDTV once you get it out of the box. With permission from Audioholics we go through Clint DeBoer's Basic Television Setup Tips.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 11 2007, 3:53am
According to research from The Diffusion Group, close to one-third of non-HDTV households are interested in purchasing a new HDTV in the next six months - a very encouraging sign for HDTV manufacturers and, by relation, high-def DVD manufacturers. More interesting, perhaps, is that the same research found that the characteristics of these "HDTV Intenders" vary widely from that of current HDTV owners. HDTV Intenders tend to be younger, single, more ethnically diverse, and have lower annual household incomes than current HDTV owners - in many respects more characteristic of mainstream consumers than the early adopters who today own an HDTV.
While this trend could in theory benefit either Blu-ray or HD DVD, the data suggests otherwise. Among HDTV Intenders who are likely to purchase a new high-def DVD player in the next six months, 43% prefer...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 10 2007, 4:10pm
LG Electronics' second-generation LG Super Blu(TM) Player (model BH200) is now available nationally at leading consumer electronics dealers. This advanced multi-format disc player (suggested retail price $999) lets consumers choose from the widest variety of high-def video content as it is the only player capable of playing both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs.
The Super Blu Player offers consumers increased HDTV entertainment choices because it provides access to between 50 and 70 percent more high-def movie titles than any single-format player.
The multi-format combination ensures users of the BH200 the latest technology available from both high-def disc formats. The LG Super Blu Player features...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 10 2007, 2:00pm
Have I mentioned lately just how tough the consumer electronics retail market is these days? The latest casualty — but certainly not the last – is CompUSA. About half of the chain’s stores closed last spring, but apparently that was not enough to staunch the flow of red ink. The remaining stores have been turned [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2007, 2:00pm
It’s a recurring theme of mine that I have not visited in a while, but an announcement from Sharp yesterday brought it to the fore once again. The topic is “Video Gaming and HDTVs“. I have long-contended that many of the young adults with gaming consoles have the discretionary income and the inclination to trick [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 7 2007, 1:58pm
So far this year we have given you our HTIB and HDTV buying guide. Our series would not be complete without a Home Theater Receiver buying guide. This year our list contains receivers that will support Dolby True HD and DTS HD. We feel recommending a receiver without this capability would be wrong. There are cheaper receivers out there that will produce good sound but without next generation audio ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 6 2007, 6:07pm
Wal-mart has revealed their Secret In-Store Specials for tomorrow. Among them are: Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player with 12 FREE HD DVDs, 40GB PS3 with FREE $50 gift card.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 6 2007, 4:02pm
Sharp, a worldwide leader in flat-panel Liquid Crystal Display Televisions (LCD TV), is introducing a second generation widescreen 32-inch (LC-32GP3U) Full HD 1080p AQUOS® LCD TV, created specifically for gamers. Built with the needs of gamers in mind, the new GP3U model handles the highest frame rates of even the most challenging video games and is equipped with special features that enhance the gaming experience.
Available in three glossy finish colors, black (LC-32GP3U-B), a unique dark wine red (LC-32GP3U-R) and white (LC-32GP3U-W), the new gaming series sports a striking new slim-line design, with a significantly smaller footprint, as well as...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 6 2007, 2:00pm
Q: I cannot find any specific information regarding the government rebates on the purchase of HDTV converter boxes. I read an article that mentioned a $50 rebate would be provided “by the government.” However, there is no mention of a) who in the government b) who is eligible and c) how does one [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 5 2007, 6:26pm
Continuing its momentum for delivering the best quality HD programming available, DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) will offer local HD broadcast networks in 76 markets, representing more than 75 percent of U.S. TV households, when it rolls out 11 additional local HD markets by mid-2008. DIRECTV began the rollout with the launch of HD local channels in the Flint, Mich. and Waco, Texas designated market areas last week.
The 11 local markets to receive HD programming from DIRECTV include...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 5 2007, 2:00pm
Like the notorious “Norwegian Blue” parrot, Laser TVs may not be dead but only sleeping. Mitsubishi will hold a press event at CES 2008 in Las Vegas in a month, and the company is expected to show new Laser TVs as part of its 2008 product lineup. While this is still short of the mark [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 4 2007, 2:00pm
The East Valley Tribune (Phoenix, AZ) picked up a story from the Philadelphia Daily News entitled “Three of best among myriad of HD TVs“. The article begins with the following:
How does a high-definition video display maker stand out in the crowded field of 300 current models? We sampled the latest crop and bring you three [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 4 2007, 1:39pm
It's time for our annual HDTV buyers guide. Today we list TVs from three categories that we would like to own. The range from very affordable to if money was not an issues this is what we'd buy. Last year our most expensive TV was the $6000 for a 50 inch Pioneer Elite Plasma. This year out top of the line plasma is $7500 but for the additional money you get 60 inches of pure plasma fun. Our lowest ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 4 2007, 1:18pm
Fans of summer smash hits and groundbreaking TV series are tapping into the web-enabled communities offered by HD DVD. "Transformers" from Paramount Home Entertainment and "Heroes: Season One" from Universal Home Entertainment are among the titles that saw significant online usage of the web-connected features.
Made possible through Microsoft's HDi™ technology, web-connected features are supported in every HD DVD player due to the mandatory hardware requirements inherent in the HD DVD specifications. The specifications include...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 3 2007, 2:00pm
There’s no question about it; hanging your big flat panel HDTV on the wall is really cool. One of the main obstacles for doing this, however, is the question of what to do with all the wires. It’s expensive and/or difficult to run signal cables through the wall. You can use those handy wire [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Nov 30 2007, 3:30pm
To most of us the term "9-11" connotes the terrible events surrounding the infamous date of September 11, 2001. However, to all of us who salute HDTV, the date of September 11, 2007, is one of celebration. For on that date the FCC adopted a significant ruling affecting not only HDTV but also the digital transition in general. In short, the FCC (unanimously) ruled that...
By The HT Guys • Nov 30 2007, 2:25pm
The HT Guys 2007 Home Theater in a Box Buying Guide. We list and briefly discuss eight systems ranging from just under $300 to about $1000. Most systems do not include a DVD player. Why when you can get a great upconverting DVD player from Oppo Digital or buy and HD DVD player for less than $200!
By Alfred Poor • Nov 30 2007, 2:00pm
A press release from Samsung highlights the fact that the company is now shipping its 81 Series of LCD HDTVs in time for holiday shopping. One key feature of these models is that they have LED backlights. Instead of the usual cold-cathode fluorescent lamps — CCFLs — the backlights for these models use an array [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 29 2007, 4:53pm
Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE:CVC) and Scripps Networks, today announced the addition of HGTV HD and Food Network HD to Cablevision's high-definition programming line-up, giving iO TV customers access to 44 high-definition programming services at no additional cost. HGTV HD and Food Network HD are available across Cablevision's entire service area on iO TV channels 730 and 766.
Programs being produced in high definition for HGTV HD include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 29 2007, 4:48pm
TDK, a world leader in digital recording solutions, today announced the launch of two new write-once Blu-ray Discs capable of recording at 4x speed. TDK 4x 25GB BD-R Blu-ray Disc media and the 50GB version will both begin shipping later this summer. Retail pricing is set at $19.99 for a 4x 25GB BD-R25B (recordable), while pricing for the 4x 50GB BD-R50B (recordable) has not been finalized. A TDK 4x 25GB Blu-ray Disc can be fully recorded in 22 minutes, and a TDK 4x 50GB Blu-ray Disc can be fully recorded in 45 minutes, cutting the recording time in half in comparison to 2x Blu-ray Disc media. Additionally, TDK announced that it will offer business customers the world's first 50 piece spindles of 4x 25GB BD-R Blu-ray Disc media.
A pioneer of blue laser recording technology and founding member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, TDK began offering its highly anticipated 2x 25GB recordable and rewritable Blu-ray Disc media in the first quarter of 2006. TDK first shipped mass production samp ...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 29 2007, 2:00pm
Gemstar-TV Guide International and Comcast released results of a national study about consumers and “interactive program guides“. These are the electronic guides available from television services, from cable and satellite to the free over-the-air broadcasts. And few will be surprised to find that these guides have become almost as indispensible as the remote control.
80% of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 28 2007, 2:00pm
What was missing on Black Friday? I didn’t see any rear projection models with solid state lasers as a light source. This design is supposed to be the answer to why rear projection sets don’t sell. Lasers will eliminate the costly projection lamp and never need to be replaced. Lasers also require simpler optics, [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 27 2007, 3:59pm
Following landmark Black Friday promotions through major retail chains, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group today announced that sales of dedicated HD DVD players exceeded the 750,000 mark. The data is based on retailer reports and other point of sale data, and includes standalone set-top players as well as the Xbox 360 HD DVD player.
HD DVD continues to...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 27 2007, 2:00pm
It’s hard enough to play in a fiercely competitive game, but even harder when they go and change the rules. That’s the problem being faced by cable companies in the United States.
When cable services first started, the federal, state, and local governments worked out a carrot-and-stick arrangement to encourage them to make the investment required [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 27 2007, 1:39pm
Our first place-shifting review happened way back in October of 2005 on Episode 40 when we first looked at the Sling Media Slingbox. It's been two years, and we're now looking at a device that bills itself as the Slingbox Killer - the HAVA. Place shifting isn't exactly the revolution that it might have been 2 years ago, but it's still cool, and the HAVA adds some unique twist to the application ...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 26 2007, 2:00pm
For the second year in a row, Amazon has run its “Customer Vote” promotion. This pits three popular products against each other, offered at crazy discount prices. Different choices are offered each day over a week. Amazon visitors then vote for which one they would like to buy. Hundreds of voters who picked the winner [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 26 2007, 1:58pm
No, this is not the standard HD DVD vs. Blu-ray article that you may be used to reading. I am not declaring a "winner" because I think we are at a point now where neither camp is going away. Instead, this article explains which format I believe is the better choice for the consumer (you) this holiday season. Could that change a year from now? Sure, but I want to help you decide what to buy this year.
This article is not written in an attempt to convince anyone who has already made an investment one way or the other, for that is an almost impossible feat. It was written for those that are still "on the fence", as they say. It is for those who are either undecided, or are waiting to see which one will come out ahead (or which will be first to waive the white flag). It's time to hop down off of that fence.
By Alfred Poor • Nov 23 2007, 2:00pm
Today is Black Friday, the day we all get excited about incredible deals on all sorts on consumer electronics. But just because we get excited, it doesn’t mean that we should let accuracy fly out the window. And that goes double if you’re part of the technology media whose mission is to help separate fact [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 23 2007, 12:41pm
Today we put together a special Thanksgiving episode. You'll have to listen to hear what the HT Guys are thankful for. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
By Alfred Poor • Nov 22 2007, 2:00pm
Anyone in the magazine business can tell you; the hard part is getting someone to subscribe. Getting renewals is much easier. That’s why magazines offer crazy deals for new subscribers. And that also explains the hundreds of dollars you can get as a bonus if you sign up for satellite service when you buy your [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 21 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, maybe it’s not “no wires”, because this new LCD TV from LG Electronics still needs to be plugged into a power outlet. But you don’t need to connect it to your set top box or DVD player, at least not with cables. The 52LG71 has high-speed WiFi 802.11n wireless connectivity built right in, so [...]
By Richard Fisher • Nov 21 2007, 8:16am
I typically don't veer from the technical side into opinion, but HDTV Magazine founder Dale Cripps recently posted an article about the HD disc format wars, Blu-ray versus HD DVD, and his choice as to which one would be the winner. What I loved about his article was that it was not technical and most importantly took the pragmatic stance that he did not feel he should make that choice due to his lack of technical expertise on these two formats yet the industry would rather consumers, who know little about the technical side and far less than Dale, be the ones to make that choice. As a consumer Dale made his.
I never thought 10 years ago that I would be one of those early adopters with money to burn on expensive product but it turned out I was. Until HDTV came along I spent much of my time...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 20 2007, 3:16pm
This is a matter that Technology Committees within Homeowners Associations should have reported already to community residents subscribing to cable video services (MVPDs). A new regulation by the FCC could benefit them favorably (both, owner and association) by opening the field to competition and consumer's choice.
The FCC approved on October 31, 2007 a "Report and Order (FCC 07-189)" banning the use of "exclusivity" clauses for the provision of video services to multiple dwelling units ("MDUs") or other real estate developments, by MVPDs subject to section 628 of the Communications Act.
In other words, a cable subscriber is now free to...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 20 2007, 2:00pm
What size flat panel TV do you want to find in your stocking this holiday? (I hope you have a big stocking!) Maybe a 42″, or 50″? How about one of those 103″ monsters you see on some of the network sports sets? Or are you thinking really big? How about 140″ diagonal? In case [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 20 2007, 1:40pm
With Black Friday rapidly approaching, here are some of the deals our listeners may be interested in. This way you'll know where to camp out Thursday night.
Our research came from various sites including: www.bfads.net, www.blackfriday.info, and blackfriday.gottadeal.com.
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 19 2007, 5:17pm
Macrovision Corporation (Nasdaq:MVSN) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain technology assets from Cryptography Research, Inc. (CRI), the San Francisco-based R&D organization focused on solving complex security problems. Upon closing of the transaction, Macrovision will own the SPDC™ (Self-Protecting Digital Content) technology, which formed the basis of BD+, a key element of Blu-ray's content security platform. The purchase includes certain CRI's patents, security software code, and related third party customer and partner agreements. Macrovision will also hire certain CRI employees involved in the technology.
The Blu-ray Disc Association adopted BD+, exclusive to the Blu-ray format, as an added layer of content protection for movies and other premium entertainment released on the Blu-ray Disc standard. The technology will complement Macrovision's...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 19 2007, 2:00pm
It may be true that “what goes up, must come down,” but the opposite is not true in consumer electronics these days. Once a price goes down, it pretty much stays down. Case in point: the new Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player. This is the replacement for the HD-A2 that caused so much excitement [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 16 2007, 4:00pm
When I went to CEDIA last September one of my favorite demonstrations was the Pioneer Elite Kuro plasma TV. Today we take a look at this TV and help you decide if you want to convince Santa to load this monster in his sleigh. The first thing you notice about the TV is how large and black it is. It measures 57-15/16 x 34-23/32 x 4-13/16 inches (WxHxD) without the stand and it weighs in 122 pounds without speakers. The speakers are optional and can be added onto the sides of the panel. It looks beautiful and the fit and finish are very nice. Its so black when its off. Actually, loosely translated Kuro, means deep blacks in Japanese and the TV delivers on its name. More about that later.
By The HT Guys • Nov 16 2007, 2:41pm
When Ara went to CEDIA last September one of his favorite demonstrations was the Pioneer Elite Kuro plasma TV. Today we take a look at this TV and help you decide if you want to convince Santa to load this monster in his sleigh. The first thing you notice about the TV is how large and black it is. It measures 57-15/16 x 34-23/32 x 4-13/16 inches (WxHxD) without the stand and it weighs in 122 pound ...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 16 2007, 2:00pm
A press release from DirecTV today, the company is offering to do an extreme home makeover that is out of this world. Their target? Nothing less than the International Space Station! They want to equip the new living quarters with a 42″ HDTV screen, and HD DVR, and HDTV service including a variety of national [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 16 2007, 1:27pm
Congratulating NASA on the completion of a successful shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and the recent unveiling of a new living space aboard the orbital laboratory, DIRECTV is offering the ISS a complete HD makeover - including its industry-leading line-up of national HD channels, the most advanced HD DVR on the market, a 42" flat screen HDTV and a sturdy velcro-wrapped remote control.
With the solar array repaired and the Harmony module - the ISS's first new living space in six years - successfully bolted into its permanent location, DIRECTV is ready to offer...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 15 2007, 2:00pm
The cat-and-mouse game over Black Friday ads may be ending. In years past, a number of Web sites have vied to reveal the most the soonest. Somehow, they manage to get to peek at the sales circulars for major retailers in advance of their distribution on Thanksgiving. Reactions to this practice have been varied. According [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 14 2007, 2:00pm
Why do I think IPTV is going to be such as big deal? Maybe it’s because I can’t resist checking out what’s playing on the “B Movie” channel on Shoutcast TV, even though it’s a small image and horribly over-compressed. Or maybe I think that Lynne & Tessa are really funny. Or maybe it’s how [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 13 2007, 2:00pm
Samsung is betting that lots of people will want larger HDTVs as the prices come down. In an interview with the Korea Times, the chief of Samsung’s LCD Technology Center announced that the company has plans to build aGen 11 LCD fabrication plant. The line will use 3,200 by 3,600 millimeter sheets of glass substrates. [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 13 2007, 1:36pm
Netflix Watch Instantly Technology - Quick Review There are so many ways to get movies from the Internet, and they seem to be multiplying daily. We've talked about the Netflix Watch Instantly feature in the past, but want to take a few minute to give it a closer look. Sometimes you need a movie right away. With Blockbuster you just swing by the store, wit ...
By Ed Milbourn • Nov 12 2007, 6:04pm
Reams of paper have been devoted to writings by technical historians in argument as to the "inventor" of television. In truth, there was no single "inventor" of television such as recognized by seminal technical advances such as the light bulb, airplane and the telephone. Several individuals representing many generations of scientific discoveries and enabling technologies serially combined to give us the technical miracle we identify with "television." But there is one individual we can arguably identify as the "father" of the television system. That is John Logie Baird, a Scotsman who virtually single-handedly devised, built and, indeed, commercialized television in Britain. Indeed, his television developments comprised the adopted BBC television system from 1929 to 1934. Several thousand Baird "Televisors" (receivers) were built and sold, allowing British citizens to enjoy regular television programming before anybody else in the world!* The amazing aspect of the Baird system w ...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 12 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, your family and friends and neighbors still don’t get it. A new study by Leichtman Research Group shows that not much has changed in the HDTV market over the past couple years, in spite of all our efforts.
According to the results, about one in four U.S. households have at least one television capable of [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 9 2007, 3:26pm
Apple updated the Mac Operating System, and with it came some updates to Front Row and the DVD player, moving the platform even closer to the video server system we've put together. We'll fill you in on the details. We also have a review of the Audioengine A2 speakers.
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 9 2007, 3:17pm
QVC, Inc., one of the world's largest multimedia retailers, announced today that it will be launching a high-definition (HD) simulcast of its domestic broadcast in the first quarter of 2008. HD technology gives QVC the ability to deliver a crisper, more colorful and detailed picture to its shoppers and viewers.
QVC has been updating its "storefront" with...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 9 2007, 2:00pm
A report in DigiTimes states that Hitachi is pulling its rear projection HDTV products from the North American markets. The article staes that the company’s Mexican factories have shut down, and shipments have dropped from 340,000 units in 2006 to just 30,000 units in 2007. The company apparently will focus on plasma and LCD HDTV [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 8 2007, 2:00pm
“57 channels and nothing on.” Bruce Springsteen clearly did not set his sights high enough, as the new competition among broadcast television providers is the number of high definition channels that they will deliver. DirecTV has set the bar, promising 100 HD channels by the end of this year, increasing to 150 by the end [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 7 2007, 2:00pm
Last week, Consumer Reports released the results of a study about the repair rates on various HDTV technologies. Overall, LCD and plasma models have about a 3% repair rate. The company cited the Panasonic TH-50PZ700U plasma HDTV as having the lowest repair rate. Pioneer and Samsung plasma products also rated well, as did Sony, Samsung, [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 6 2007, 2:00pm
Reports from last week’s FPD International 2007 Forum quote Samsung’s executive vice president as saying that he expects to have 42″ OLED HDTVs for sale by 2010. Naturally, this has caused a bit of excitement on the Web, especially as this would be a huge step from the tiny 11″ OLED TVs that Sony is [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 6 2007, 12:31pm
We already know that you can buy TVs and HTiB systems at Costco. But this weekend while shopping for much less important stuff I found that Costco has come a long way in selling gear that you would want in your home theater. While its not a Best Buy or Circuit City it does offer some essential gear at reasonable prices. Today we talk about what you might expect to find while walking down the elect ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 6 2007, 12:11am
For the first time ever, Consumer Reports has brand repair rates for flat-panel and rear-projection TVs. CR's data reveals that flat-panel LCD and plasma TVs have been highly reliable, requiring few repairs during the first three years of use. The report, featured in CR's December issue, reveals that on average, rear-projection TVs were much more repair prone than LCD and plasma sets. These results are based on Consumer Report's National Research Center's Annual Product Reliability Survey which covers almost 93,000 TV sets bought new between 2004 and 2007.
Consumer Reports' new reliability data provides consumers with more detailed information for...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 5 2007, 6:17pm
ESPN and Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement that will add high- and standard-definition full-length games, television shows and video game programming to Xbox LIVE, the online games and entertainment network on Xbox 360. Effective immediately, fans of all ages can access a growing catalog of marquee sporting events and timely programming, including full-length NCAA college football and basketball games, Summer X Games 13, "World Series of Poker," "The Contender," "Madden Nation" and much more on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, the leading high-definition video download service.
Through this agreement, Xbox LIVE users can download a variety of popular events and shows available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace each week, highlighted by the best...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 5 2007, 2:00pm
I didn’t find out in time to put it in the HDTV Almanac, but last Friday, Wal-Mart reportedly sold the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player for $98.87. It was a one-day only sale, and supplies were limited, though some reports indicated that there would be at least 10 units per store. I know one person [...]
By Dale Cripps • Nov 2 2007, 6:31pm
I wrote the piece (below) originally for High-Def.Org Magazine. It concerns the high-definition DVD format war High-Def.Org is a printed monthly magazine read by 20,000 professionals working in television and motion pictures. The article contains a highly personal view (certainly different from my partner Shane's) and one which I ask no one to follow...nor is it some official stand taking by HDTV Magazine. It would be misleading to say, however, that it was written without the hope of being an influence to putting to rest this dual format problem. How it falls is not too much of a concern for me (even if I push one way and it falls back to the other) but to end this "strike" a side must to be taken. I know some of you will think I am blindly biased for the side I did take and far too simplistic in my view while others will say that I finally see the light. The technology and arguments behind either format are challengingly good. But I have been in this predicting business for 25 years ...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 2 2007, 2:00pm
A report on Tech.co.uk reports that a company, Shinoda Plasma, will start building and selling 142″ plasma displays early next year. The company is also working expanding the technology to create 270″ displays. How big is that? That’s 22 and a half feet. That will be nearly 20 feet wide. The 142″ models weigh about [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 2 2007, 1:48pm
Ever since the Transformers HD-DVD episode there have been questions about audio formats, especially Dolby Digital Plus versus Dolby TrueHD. Questions like: Why would we want one instead of the other? What's the difference? Should we be upset if TrueHD is missing from a disc? We had the opportunity to ask Dolby experts Jack Buser and Craig Eggers these very questions. It's a great interview ...
By Dale Cripps • Nov 1 2007, 6:42pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, November 1, 2007--The North American TV brand sell-in rankings were shaken up again in Q3'07 with Sharp on top in LCD TVs for the first time since Q1'05. As shown in Table 1, Sharp led the North American LCD TV market with an 11.3% share, rising from #3 in Q2'07, on 65% Q/Q and 88% Y/Y growth. Its strong growth can be attributed to:
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 1 2007, 5:31pm
DIRECTV hockey fans now will have access to the ultimate hockey sports lineup with the launch of the NHL Network(TM) in both SD and simulcast in HD on DIRECTV. NHL Network will broadcast 50 live regular-season games this season all in HD in addition to its daily live signature show, NHL on the Fly, classic games, documentaries, instructional shows, highlights and more.
NHL Network is now available to DIRECTV customers subscribing to DIRECTV(R) CHOICE XTRA(TM) and above programming packages, as well as those with a subscription to NHL(R) CENTER ICE(R).
With the addition of NHL Network HD, DIRECTV now offers...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 1 2007, 3:52pm
According to an article recently posted on Daily Tech, Wal-Mart is advertising that it will sell the Toshiba HD-A2 this Friday for $98.87.
By Alfred Poor • Nov 1 2007, 2:00pm
Is it Black Friday already? The street price for a high definition DVD player has dipped below $200 for the first time, and we’re not even in the heat of the holiday buying season yet. I should not have to even mention what technology the player uses; at this price, it can only be HD [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Nov 1 2007, 12:46pm
This provocative article from our Ed Milbourn will echo forward for a long time to come. While broadcasting is still a robust business the cracks in its business model are severe. Analog technology once dictated the business model for telecasting, but that is now remade beyond recognition with the advent of digital technology. What lays ahead for the use of broadcast spectrum? Let Ed Milbourn open your mind to an exciting and creative future. _ Dale Cripps
Don't panic! This may be a very good thing for HDTV. Sometimes it takes a seminal, very disruptive event to cause a fundamental change in traditional business and/or political models to ensure survival. Failure to make those changes usually results in complete disaster. Successful change, however, usually results in the surviving entity being stronger, more vibrant and successful than before. History is replete with examples or this phenomenon, so I won't belabor this tome ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 31 2007, 5:02pm
Continuing to box out the competition as the leading provider of HD sports programming, DIRECTV has launched NBA TV HD with plans to offer more than 72 games in HD and other NBA programming in HD, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With the addition of NBA TV HD, DIRECTV now offers 74 full-time national HD channels, including 16 sports networks in HD, significantly more than any other television provider. DIRECTV will continue to expand its national HD lineup throughout the rest of the year and is expected to have...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 31 2007, 2:00pm
Lots of analysts — including myself — are a bit pessimistic about the future of plasma HDTVs. The increased efficiency of LCD panel production has led to the routing of plasma in HDTV sizes up to 50″, and LCD is making gains at that size as well. It’s easier to make 1080p resolution panels with [...]
TI Announces Industry's First Approved DTS-HD Master Audio DSP Implementation for Audio/Video Receivers
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 31 2007, 1:32pm
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) today announced that its audio digital signal processors (DSPs) are the first embedded implementation approved with DTS-HD master audio at 192 kHz for unparalleled audio quality in home theater systems. Audio/video receivers (AVRs) based on TI's award-winning DA7xx generation of DSPs have the power to fully support eight channels of 192 kHz lossless audio that is bit-for-bit identical to the original audio source, which allows home theater systems to sound exactly as the filmmaker intended. With the full certification of DTS-HD Master audio and DTS-LBR (Low Bit Rate), DA7xx DSPs are the first audio processors approved for...
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...
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 30 2007, 2:00pm
“SneakerNet” was the derogatory term for transfering data from one computer to another by copying it to a floppy disk and walking the disk from one computer to the Other. SanDisk has released the SansaTake TV, a USB device designed to make it easy to transfer video content from a PC to a television.
You connect [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 30 2007, 12:58pm
The features we have for you today are both listener requested. Ashton sent us an email asking to to explain PCM, Linear PCM and Bitstreams and Nathan wanted more information about Aspect Ratios.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 29 2007, 2:00pm
One of the big differences between plasma and LCD panels is that plasma can use relatively inexpensive glass, but LCDs require special glass made expressly for use as LCD panel substrates. Corning makes about 60% of the world’s supply of this special glass, but a new development demonstrated by Samsung last week could change the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2007, 2:00pm
NBC has pulled clips of its programs from YouTube, apparently in preparation for the launch of the network’s Hulu site on the Web. Hulu is a new joint project between NBC and News Corp that is supposed to launch by the end of October but there are few signs of life at the Web address. [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 26 2007, 1:41pm
We try to be as format neutral as possible, after all what really matters is that you're watching movies in high definition. Who cares what disc format you use, right? To be fair, and to set the record straight, we'll go over all the specs for the two formats and see who has the edge in each category. By all accounts this format war is still neck and neck.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 25 2007, 2:00pm
Last Monday, an article in Information Week described the new chips for mmWave technology under development by IBM in partnership with MediaTek of Taiwan. According to the report, this new wireless technology uses milimeter wavelength radio signals to transmit data. And we’re talking fast transmissions, up to 2 Gbits per second. This is fast enough [...]
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 24 2007, 2:00pm
An article in the Wall Street Journal last week shed light on a little-known fact about the high definition DVD market. Both sides in the conflict make a big deal about which Hollywood studios have exclusive agreements for US distribution in one format or the other, with the Blu-ray camp stressing the number of studios [...]
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...
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...
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...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 23 2007, 2:06pm
This is the concluding article in the IPTV series of articles and covers specific IPTV implementations by Sony, TAVI 030, UTStarcom, Xbox 360, Verizon, and a smattering of other worldwide solutions and final thoughts on the big picture.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 23 2007, 2:00pm
Consumers continue to be confused by all the HDTV choices (as well as all the talk about the unrelated end of analog “over the air” broadcasts of television programs), so manufacturers and retailers are looking for effective ways to differentiate their offerings from the competition. Philips has decided that service may be the answer, and [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 23 2007, 12:34pm
We are big proponents of movie downloads and we always have our eyes peeled for a good solution. To date, all the solutions out there have something that the HT Guys don't like. The biggest issue we have is video quality but other issues include the payment system or requiring a computer to download and store the movie. Enter Vudu. It is a $400 set top box not much bigger than a Mac Mini that pro ...
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, you no longer have to rely on crudely recorded clips of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” on YouTube to get your news reports (or check back on what has happened over the past eight years). Commedy Central has posted 13,000 video clips of past shows on the program’s Web site. No, I didn’t count [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 19 2007, 2:59pm
People are getting serious about the February 17, 2009 cut-off for analog over-the-air television broadcasts. The FCC has started taking money from retailers for failing to inform buyers adequately about the limitations of some of the sets that they sell.
As of earlier this year, stores were not allowed to import televisions that do not have [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 19 2007, 12:49pm
Paramount released the Transformers HD-DVD on Tuesday and if you have an HD-DVD player, this one is a must buy. If you don't have a player yet, this movie might be a good reason to finally pull the trigger and get one. As a quick overview, the video quality is amazing, the surround sound is awesome and it's packed with special features. We aren't typically big fans of special features, but some ...
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...
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 18 2007, 2:00pm
It’s enough to make me start wondering if I’ve got my own version of the Sports Illustrated “Kiss of Death” going here. (Buy me a cold bevearage and ask about the Cauzin Strip Reader or the PD CD format or the Zenith MiniSport’s 2″ floppy disk sometime….) But I had to go all enthusiastic over [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 17 2007, 2:00pm
Liberty Media is the owner of the QVC cable shopping newtork and and Starz movie channels, among others. Last year, it made a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to trade for a controlling interest in the satellite television service, DirecTV. Now a number of sources, including analysts Probe Financial Associates, are musing about the [...]
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...
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...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 16 2007, 2:02pm
This is a continuation of the IPTV series of articles and covers specific IPTV implementations by Falcon Communications, Minerva Networks/Siemens/Espial, MyTVPal.com, and Sasktel.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 16 2007, 2:00pm
In the battle for the high-definition DVD, Blu-ray has a big advantage because there are all those PlayStation 3 consoles out there with Blu-ray drives. In spite of this, HD DVD has a strong advantage by having lower cost players than Blu-ray; entry level models cost about half as much. And I’m convinced that purchase [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 16 2007, 12:33pm
We update our discussion on Audio and Video cables
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 15 2007, 2:00pm
Syntax-Brillian is looking to make some noise for its Olevia brand in the larger sizes, and has announced two new LCD HDTVs. The 247TFHD is a 47″ model that has an MSRP of $1,999. The 265TFHD is 65″, and lists for $6,995. Both have 1080p resolution, a pair of HDMI connectors, and thin bezel design. [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 12 2007, 2:00pm
Market researched DisplayBank has released its forecasts for the worldwide television market, and they predict that the number of TVs shipped will increase 50% from 196 million this year to 290 million units in 2015. This year, about 38% of those sets will be LCD TVs; by 2015 this proportion is expected to grow to [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 12 2007, 12:19pm
An update to the Mac Mini Video Server project using new new 4.0 release of DVDPedia.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 11 2007, 2:00pm
One of the most frequent questions I get is “when is the best time to buy an HDTV?” I’ve mentioned this already recently, but I want to give a more detailed explanation of my thoughts on this thorny question.
Note that this forecast is an informed guess, but it’s still a guess. Here’s how I see [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 10 2007, 2:00pm
I know I did a Truth Patrol entry last week, but this one is too good to pass up. The WCPO Channel 9 Web site ran a story from the E.W. Scripps Co. about what you can expect to pay for an HDTV. The piece was doing fine until it ran off the tracks at [...]
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...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 9 2007, 2:58pm
Some IPTV Implementation Lessons
This Texas company's president Keith Galitz commented "It hasn't been easy, but it's been a great experience for us".
Canby is a 100-year-old telephone cooperative with 11,000 phone lines that started offering IPTV a couple of years ago, invested about $3 million by Dec 06, and has 900 IPTV subscribers of about 100 channels and VOD, no HD yet.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 9 2007, 2:00pm
I’m the first to admit that getting all the details right is difficult in this business. The biggest problem is that it’s so easy to pass along “common knowledge” items that contain true statements but that are misleading or even wrong in the whole. For example, DisplaySearch is a major market research firm that covers [...]
Plasma • Plasma HDTVs • LCD • LCD HDTVs
By The HT Guys • Oct 9 2007, 12:55pm
So you've got your eye on a shiny new Plasma or LCD TV and think, well
if I buy the flat panel TV, I might as well mount it to the wall,
right? For some it may seem like a walk in the park. For others it
might sound like a daunting task. But really, no matter what your
background or skill level, mounting a flat panel TV is pretty easy.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 8 2007, 2:00pm
I haven’t had a chance to put out a press release about it yet, but not only is Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV now available in its newly revised Second Edition, just in time for the fall HDTV buying season, but it also is now available in paperback as well as the original ebook [...]
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 5 2007, 2:00pm
It must be the season for survey results, because here’s another. According to a CNNMoney.com article, Best Buy VP Mike Mohan said “We were getting a lot of anecdotal evidence that showed consumers were frustrated with their HDTV purchases. We felt that we had some gaps in key areas of consumer education.”
I can’t say that [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 5 2007, 1:52pm
With more and more devices on the market supporting digital interfaces like HDMI and DVI it has become a necessity for TV manufacturers to build TVs with more than one HDMI input. That's great if you are buying a TV today. But what do you do if you have a relatively new TV with one HDMI input? You certainly are not going to trade it in. You have two choices, buy a new A/V receiver with HDMI switc ...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 4 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, maybe I shouldn’t pick on the Nigerian press, especially after all that country has done to help make sure that everyone gets plenty of email. But when I received this item from Vanguard Online, I couldn’t believe that someone would actually publish this:
General Manager of [LG]?s Nigerian operation, Mr. Tae-Joon Park also noted that [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 3 2007, 2:00pm
Research and Markets conducts an annual survey about what people plan to buy in the way of consumer electronics for the upcoming holiday season. In the 2006 survey, digital cameras topped the wish lists of the respondents, with HDTVs coming in second. This year, HDTVs have risen to the top spot.
The company’s press release announcing [...]
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?...
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...
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...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 2 2007, 2:51pm
When using standard MPEG-2 compression, an HD channel requires about 19 Mbps of bandwidth to be transmitted. If using DSL or cable modem, although it is considered hi-speed for typical Internet services, it currently has the capacity to transmit only a small fraction of what raw HDTV requires.
Even when re-compressing the 19 Mbps with more efficient compression algorithms like MPEG-4 or VC1, and even when using additional transmission-saving techniques to fit HDTV content into those typical hi-speed Internet services, the approach would be a challenge, not to mention that after making use of this bandwidth for HDTV there will be little or no headroom left for Internet downloads of music, files, photos, etc.
Additionally, it becomes less feasible to...
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...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 2 2007, 2:00pm
As expected, Sony has announced its plans to ship its XEL-1 OLED TVs later this fall. The sets weigh less than five pounds, and are just 3 mm thin; that’s a bit more than a tenth of an inch. The screens are only 11″ diagonal, which is small by any standard, even for a standard [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 2 2007, 12:47pm
This is the time of year when we add the most new listeners to the HDTV
and Home Theater Podcast. First of all, welcome to the show, we're
glad you found us. Some of you new listeners are new to the world of
HDTV, having just installed your first one. Maybe you wanted to see
this Football season in high def, or the world series, or the 2007 Fall
dramas. Whatever it is, congratulations on your ...
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.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 1 2007, 2:00pm
When it comes to comparing the value of the different HDTV technologies, it’s difficult at times to compare apples to oranges. In preparing this week’s “Professor Poor’s Weekly Price Intelligence Report“, I found an ad page that provides an interesting comparison. On page 10 of the Best Buy circular, the company offers you three different [...]
DisplaySearch and Meko Ltd Announce Agenda and Sponsors for Upcoming DisplayForum 2007 European Display Market Conference
By Dale Cripps • Sep 28 2007, 4:12pm
For those of you who must stay fully informed about the European state of displays (and HDTV in particular) you had best put the DisplayForum 2007 European Display Market Conference being held November 14 and 15 in Prague on your calendar. Below is a bit more about it.
AUSTIN, TEXAS September 27, 2007-DisplaySearch announced today the agenda for the upcoming 2007 DisplayForum European Display Market Conference they are hosting in association with Meko Limited, the European Display Market research specialist and consultancy.
The conference with the subject 'Developed, Made and Sold in Europe: Europe's Place in the Display World' will gather all of the key players from around the world to...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 28 2007, 2:00pm
In the battle for which satellite service is more HD-friendly, DISH Network has stepped up with a new advantage; LCD HDTVs cost less if you are a DISH subscriber. Through January 31, 2008, you can get up to $800 of a Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV if you are a qualifying existing or new customer and [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 28 2007, 1:05pm
A few weeks ago we learned that most consumers put a heavier emphasis on cost than any other specification when selecting an HDTV. So we decided to obtain and review a TV that can be considered a value brand. While not the cheapest TV on the market today the Westinghouse TX-42F430S is definitely a value for what you get. This Westy has many of the cool features that the more expensive tier 1 TVs d ...
By Dale Cripps • Sep 27 2007, 3:45pm
The art of retailing HDTV is becoming more of a sharp edged business sword with margins evaporating and new market channels threatening to displace the old. If you have any responsibility for the retailing of HDTV you had best get your team to this conference -- the 5th Annual HDTV Conference put on by DisplaySearch. _Dale
Leading Retailers Discuss Challenges of Selling HDTVs, HD Service, Next-Generation DVD Players and Gaming Platforms at DisplaySearch's 5th Annual HDTV Conference
AUSTIN, TEXAS, September 27, 2007—DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in display market research and consulting, unveiled plans for the Retailer Panel at its upcoming 2007 HDTV Conference on October 10-11, 2007 at the Hilton Los Angeles/University City, California. Featuring executives from leading retail outlets, the panel will discuss the CE spending picture for this holiday season, what products are likely to be the best sellers, what has an ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 27 2007, 3:21pm
Sling Media, Inc., a leading digital lifestyle products company, today announced the retail launch of the new Slingbox™ SOLO, a freshly designed new Slingbox that can connect to a standard definition or high definition set top box and features increased streaming performance for less than $200. Slingbox SOLO transforms PCs, laptops, Macs and a variety of smartphones into personal, portable TVs and builds upon the goals of the original Slingbox -- giving consumers the freedom to view their home cable, satellite or digital video recorder (DVR) programming on a wide range of devices anywhere they can access the Internet. Slingbox SOLO is available...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 27 2007, 2:00pm
Westinghouse Digital issued an interesting press release last week, reporting the results of a poll that asked “If you could design a TV yourself, what would you add?”
The top answer was speech recognition. (Actually, the press release said “voice recognition” but that is really a security feature, like fingerprint recognition. If you want something that [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 26 2007, 11:12pm
A few weeks ago we learned that most consumers put a heavier emphasis on cost than any other specification when selecting an HDTV. So we decided to obtain and review a TV that can be considered a value brand. While not the cheapest TV on the market today the Westinghouse TX-42F430S is definitely a value for what you get. This Westy has many of the cool features that the more expensive tier 1 TVs do and a couple that they don't....
By Dale Cripps • Sep 26 2007, 5:49pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, Sept 26, 2007-According to DisplaySearch Q2'07 video processor, MPEG video processor and de-interlacer/scalar unit shipment growth was 12% Q/Q and 51% on a Y/Y basis. Overall revenues, however, declined 3% Q/Q due to ASP margin declines in the quarter that were faster than unit shipment growth but showed a 8% Y/Y increase. A large percentage (65%) of all IC units shipped were...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 26 2007, 3:01pm
The only thing that seems to be as confusing as HDTF is the whole issue about the end of analog television broadcasts on February 17, 2009. Here’s the straight scoop; on that day, local television stations will cease their analog broadcasts of television content. They will continue the free digital broadcasts that are already [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 26 2007, 12:35pm
SANYO, a world leading digital camera manufacturer, debuts the Xacti HD700, a pocket-sized, 720p high-definition digital camcorder. The HD700 is a high-performance camcorder capable of recording both high-definition video and 7.1-megapixel photos easily to an SD or SDHC memory card (memory card sold separately). Featuring an ultra-compact, ergonomic shape, the HD700 is specifically designed for publishing high quality video and high resolution still photos in formats ideally suited for Web-use or sharing. Fun and easy to use anytime inspiration strikes, the HD700 is truly an advanced communication tool for the emerging information age.
The SANYO Xacti HD700 will be available in
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 26 2007, 11:53am
I expect there is more to come later today in the form of an official announcement, but below is information on the stations launched this morning. These new channels appear along-side the existing channels in my guide.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 25 2007, 2:46pm
In April 2006, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) created a focus group on IPTV to coordinate and promote the development of global IPTV standards with the following agenda:
Ericsson, Matsushita's Panasonic, Philips, Samsung Electronics, Siemens AG, Sony, AT&T, Telecom Italia, and France Telecom, to work on a single IPTV standard, created an Open IPTV Forum.
The forum is open to other companies to join, supports IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) for unified Internet service delivery, and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). The group was planning to...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 25 2007, 2:00pm
Boy, I was going to write about an incredible deal today that I found while preparing “Professor Poor’s Weekly Price Intelligence Report“. In Sunday’s circular, Best Buy advertised the Panasonic TH-50PZ77U for $1,709 after instant savings. That’s a 50″ plasma with 1080p resolution, and that’s a killer price that matches well against the second and [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 25 2007, 1:59pm
Toshiba's Digital Product Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced that it has further expanded its lineup of HD DVD-ROM capable notebook computers to give users the industry's fullest portfolio of high-definition mobile computing solutions mixing price points and screen sizes. These five HD DVD-based notebooks will be showcased this week during the DigitalLife tradeshow in New York at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Booth (#621) this week.
The five Toshiba HD DVD enabled notebook computers, include the Qosmio® G45, Qosmio F45, Satellite® X205, Satellite P205 and Satellite A205 with select configurations starting as low as $1,1491. These HD DVD enabled notebooks feature high-definition widescreen displays with resolutions of either 720p or 1080p and sizes ranging from 15.4-inches to 17-inches.
Along with the attractive price points of the HD DVD notebook...
By The HT Guys • Sep 25 2007, 12:51pm
Al Gore recently won an Emmy Award for interactive television for his Current TV network. The network features a mix of professionally produced and viewer submitted content. It's almost like the Cable TV version of YouTube. Gore says that we live in a world where viewers want to be in control of their media. Whether the Current TV model is actually what one would call "Interactive TV" is probably ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 24 2007, 2:21pm
Smithsonian Networks today announced it has signed its first carriage agreement with DIRECTV and will begin broadcasting its original programming on a new linear High Definition channel, Smithsonian Channel, on or about September 26. The announcement was made by Tom Hayden, General Manager for Smithsonian Networks.
Carriage on DIRECTV immediately creates a major national presence for Smithsonian Channel and will make the network's programming available to more than 16.3 million customers across the United States.
Much of Smithsonian Networks programming will...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 24 2007, 2:00pm
On Friday, the DVD Copy Control Association reported that they had finalized an agreement with Hollywood studios that will let consumers download movies from the Internet, and save them to a DVD that can be played on other DVD players. This new digital rights management (DRM) technology — also known as “copy protection” — will [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 21 2007, 2:00pm
(One of these days, I’m going to come up with an entry headline that is all acronyms!) On Wednesday, ReplayTV announced its “Personal HD” product, which they offer as an “all-in-one solution for the PC with HDTV, multi-tuner, and iPod support.” The package includes an analog/digital tuner that plugs into a USB port on your [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 21 2007, 1:00pm
Recently, Kevin from Wright City Missouri sent in an email asking us if we had heard anything more about any Microsoft plans for IPTV using their Xbox360 as a platform. Way back in January, Robbie Bach, president of The Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division, showed the IPTV service at CES and since then we have not heard much more about it. At that time they said the service would be availa ...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 20 2007, 2:00pm
NBC has announced that it will offer free downloads of prime time and late night programming episodes on its new NBC Direct service. Anyone with a PC running Windows will be able to download and watch these episodes up to seven days after the initial broadcast airing. Mac support will follow soon, as will the [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 19 2007, 6:25pm
The NPD Group reported today some reasons for the slower than expected start of high-definition video players and high-definition content sales (i.e., HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc). NPD's new High Definition Video Report Series examines consumer awareness, ownership, usage patterns, and intent to purchase high-definition players and content, since these new technologies were introduced last year.
Among those who currently own HDTVs, half (52 percent) are familiar with the availability of high-definition DVD players, but only 11 percent expressed strong intentions to buy one in the next six months. Seventy-three percent of HDTV owners reported that their current traditional-format DVD player still works well for them, so they do not need to replace it; while 62 percent said...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 19 2007, 5:45pm
IPTV is becoming a buzzword used to generally name TV distribution using IP networks. Some IP content distributors that only offer limited services making subscribers believe this is a full service with all the features of legacy digital cable are also using this term very loosely.
There are several camps on this subject. On one side some industry experts firmly believe that the infrastructure of our current IP networks is solid enough and is ready for full-blown HDTV distribution over IP. As you will see below...
By Dale Cripps • Sep 19 2007, 4:47pm
For those still bitting your fingernails over the analog shut off of traditional broadcasting on Feb 17, 2009, the following written submission to Congress by the National Association of Broadcasters may give you some comfort. _Dale
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing today regarding the digital television transition. Following is a transcript of the prepared oral testimony delivered by NAB Executive Vice President of Television Marcellus Alexander.
* * *
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. My name is Marcellus Alexander and I am Executive Vice President for Television at the National Association of Broadcasters. I appreciate this opportunity to testify today.
Local broadcasting is a vital part of everyday life with local news, weather, emergency information and programming. The switch to digital broadcasting holds great promise. It is of particular signific ...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 19 2007, 2:00pm
Q: Can you tell me anything about the Samsung LN-T5271F LCD TV? It has a “shiny” screen. Is that a good feature?
A: That’s a great question, Ralph. The specification sheet for the LN-T5271F describes it as having a “Super Clear Panel”. According to Samsung materials, this is designed to deliver “higher picture clarity and [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 18 2007, 3:04pm
Taking advantage of the new opportunities created by the recent growth in high definition broadcasting, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) will launch its first wholly-owned channel in the United States, achieving its long-time goal of breaking into the channel business in the world's largest marketplace. The announcement was made today by Harry E. Sloan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MGM.
In a breakthrough agreement, MGM HD, a new 24/7 linear network delivering a robust library of classic and contemporary films in high definition, will launch this fall on DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading satellite television service provider. While the MGM HD channel heralds the studio's first foray into domestic channel operations, the MGM channel is currently available in nearly 120 countries across the globe, including an MGM HD channel in Poland which launched last year.
MGM HD will provide consumers with...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 18 2007, 2:00pm
It was just over a year ago that Radio Shack started its focus on HDTV. You may recall that I was skeptical at the time. So now would be a good point to ask “How’s that working for you?” Well, by some simple indicators, the answer doesn’t look too positive.
“Professor Poor’s Weekly Price Intelligence Report” [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 18 2007, 12:40pm
Part 2 of our CEDIA Roundup. We'd like to talk about the companies that
we visited and what we saw. Use the following as a guide to follow
along with the discussion on the podcast. We have provided as many
links as we can to help in your information gathering. So here we go in
no particular order...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 17 2007, 2:00pm
Something new and different happened at the Emmy Awards last night. Al Gore won the first “interactive television services” Emmy for the cable network, Current TV. The the tie to Internet TV is that the content includes a mix of professionally produced and user-submitted content. You can watch the viewer-contributed content and vote on [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 15 2007, 12:47am
The DIRECTV 10 satellite, launched on July 6, 2007, has been successfully placed in geo-synchronous orbit and is currently undergoing in-orbit testing. The testing process has confirmed that the satellite is fully functional to deliver all planned nationwide HD programming. This will enable DIRECTV to deliver up to 100 HD channels nationwide by year-end.
The DIRECTV 10 satellite's transponder payload also includes spot-beam capacity that will support the expansion of DIRECTV's local HD channel services. While testing of DIRECTV 10's capability continues, it appears that...
By Dale Cripps • Sep 14 2007, 3:11pm
Consumers prefer a 46-inch full HD LCD TV rather than a 50-inch HD PDP TV, according to the latest survey data.
While the full HD TV market is continuing to flourish, led by large sizes, Displaybank (CEO Peter Kwon, www.displaybank.com
By Dale Cripps • Sep 14 2007, 2:53pm
After declining or remaining stable for the past six months, the Average Selling Price (ASP) for LCD-TVs rose significantly in July and remained at a higher level in August, according to iSuppli Corp.'s TV PriceTrak service.
The increase mainly was due to...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 14 2007, 2:00pm
The marketing and PR campaigns for the dueling high-definition DVD formats continue to heat up. Each side lays claim to the Number One position. The Blu-Ray camp has claimed that they have sold twice as many Blu-ray discs than HD DVD. Toshiba has countered that they have maintained a lead in sales of “high [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 14 2007, 12:36pm
Now that we have had some time to collect our thoughts on the recent CEDIA Expo. We'd like to talk about the companies that we visited and what we saw. Use the website as a guide to follow along with the discussion on the podcast. We have provided as many links as we can to help in your information gathering.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 13 2007, 2:28pm
Some people budget for the sky is the limit (or should I say they do not need to budget) when implementing solutions from professional projection systems, like Barco, Sony 4K, etc. Some professional projection systems used for local theaters are in the $100K to $250K range for just the projector.
However, most people are not looking for that level of (expensive) sophistication for regular home theaters. I believe that level of quality offers a low return on the investment considering that a $10K-20K projector could perform very well in the home environment, unless you are looking for 300"+ diagonal screens and a large seating area to compete with George Lucas and the Skywalker Ranch.
Just to put some numbers together, the video part of a CinemaScope™ project could require...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 13 2007, 2:05pm
Okay, I’m finally digging out from under all the backlog that piled up while I attended CEDIA 2007 in Denver last week. Here are few of the highlights that I feel are worth noting.
The first item is the new Epson Ensemble. It’s a clever combination of either their 720p or 1080p home theater front projector, [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 12 2007, 2:00pm
Most of us grew up hearing the often-repeated mantra, “But first, a word from our sponsors.” Commercial interruptions of broadcast television entertainment has been a fixture of the industry almost from the start. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch a soccer game that runs without commercials thanks to the sponsors whose logos appear next [...]
By Doug Brott • Sep 11 2007, 2:47pm
Despite its troubled start, the DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR has evolved into a capable high-definition video recorder. In addition, the Plus® HD DVR has been the driving force in the creation of a strong community of enthusiasts taking an unprecedented role in the software release cycle with DIRECTV leading the way. Now it's time to look back at the DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR journey.
January, 2006: DIRECTV's first homegrown Digital Video Recorder (DVR), the R15, has been in use for several months. The HR10-250, a high-definition DVR based on the TiVo software, has a list price of $1,000. The satellite world is ready for an alternative.
By Alfred Poor • Sep 11 2007, 2:00pm
This weekend, I found an a sales circular from Target as I was compiling the data for my Weekly Intelligence Report. One item prompted me to single out Target on the wording of one of their items:
The ad shows a 37″ Magnavox listed as a “1080i LCD HDTV“. Two out of three ain’t bad [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 11 2007, 12:43pm
Today's show is mostly news and email. Ara spent the weekend in Denver Colorado at the CEDIA expo. We will have a full CEDIA rundown on Friday's podcast. For today, Ara briefly talks about his experience at the show. We wrap up with the top ten selling Blu Ray Discs and HD DVDs as ranked by Amazon.com on Monday September 10th.
By Alfred Poor • Sep 10 2007, 2:00pm
We’ve hit a speedbump on the way to Internet TV. It’s probably not the first, and certainly won’t be the last. The Washington Post reported Friday that some Comcast customers have had their accounts cancelled because they were using too much bandwidth. According to the article, the company won’t reveal its download limits, but [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 7 2007, 2:00pm
As I have mentioned before, memory costs have dropped so low that it’s now reasonable to think of solid-state memory devices to take the place of magnetic and optical storage discs. The USB thumb drive is a perfect example; it has no moving parts, requires no batteries, is lightweight and portable.
Now SanDisk has announced a [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 7 2007, 11:28am
We received a question from a listener regarding HDMI and it's various versions. That led us into a full discussion on everything from what all the various versions are capable of, how they inter-operate, backward compatibility issues, you name it. Today it's all about the HDMI.
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:54am
Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide(1) continues to drive innovation in the home theater industry with a new high-end projector that delivers true 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) resolution and contrast ratios measuring up to 50,000:1. Incorporating the latest 3LCD optical engine -- the D7 chip set with C2Fine and new UltraBlack technology, this professional home theater projector is designed to deliver the industry's best image quality yet for projectors in the sub-$5,000 price category.
Today at CEDIA Expo 2007, Epson America unveiled its first home theater projector to take advantage of these engineering breakthroughs with the Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080 UB. This new flagship model is built upon...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:53am
With HD DVD drives already owning a 70%(1) share of the notebook PC market worldwide, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group today announced that Acer, the world's No. 4 PC vendor, has officially joined the Group.
"We're pleased that Acer is now a member of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group," said Ken Graffeo, co-president of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group. "Acer is already producing a stellar line of HD DVD-enabled notebook PCs for consumers today and we expect continued strong demand for their products. Acer's support is one reason HD DVD continues to be the worldwide leader in the PC market."
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:50am
The second-generation dual-format LG Super Blu(TM) Player and new 1080p HDTVs enhance LG Electronics' robust, premium and innovative product line demonstrated here this week at the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) EXPO 2007 (booth #720).
Ranked by integrators as one of the top three preferred brands for flat-panel displays,* LG Electronics has expanded its LCD HDTV line to include displays in sizes that span 20 to 52 inches.
From its new "Full HD" 1080p LCD and plasma HDTVs to cutting-edge digital audio-video offerings, LG Electronics provides custom installers...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:46am
Panasonic, the market and technology leader in Plasma HDTVs, announced today at the opening of the 2007 CEDIA convention, that it has expanded its already industry leading line of 1080p High Definition Plasma TVs, to include two new, more affordable models -- the TH-42PZ77 and the TH-50PZ77. Scheduled to ship this month, the new 42-inch and 50-inch class Plasmas have SRPs of $1799.95 and $2799.95 respectively.
The introduction of the PZ77 series increases Panasonic's already deep line of 1080p Plasmas to eight -- the widest selection of Plasma TVs in the industry -- and further demonstrates Panasonic's industry leadership and cutting edge technology in big screen Plasma entertainment. The two new 1080p TVs join the critically acclaimed 700 and 750 series providing consumers with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:41am
DLP(R) Products from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN) is showcasing high definition 3-D DLP technology at CEDIA Expo, the high end home theatre and entertainment industry's annual meeting. DLP core technology is enabling stereoscopic 3-D capability for HDTVs that are currently on the market. CEDIA attendees will see first-hand how TI DLP Products, a world leader in digital imaging innovations, is providing consumer electronics manufacturers with a simple, yet high performance solution that will deliver the thrill of 3-D content in the home.
As the single unifying technology behind leading 3-D HDTV applications, the extremely fast response and refresh rate of the DLP chip allows consumer electronics manufacturers to innovate options for HDTVs that add an immersive third dimension to TV viewing. Future-proofing HDTVs with 3-D capabilities is especially desirable for video gaming, immersive action scenes, and watching fast-action sports.
Following a similar path to DLP Product's innova ...
Pioneer Showcases New Flagship A/V Receiver Outfitted for High End Home Theater Performance Like Never Before
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:38am
At CEDIA Expo today, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. unveils a new flagship A/V receiver; a sophisticated powerhouse that sets the benchmark for multi-channel sound in 1080p home theaters with pristine reproduction of emerging high resolution audio and high definition video formats. The Pioneer® Elite® SC-09TX A/V receiver features a reengineered "direct energy high HD" amplifier that takes advantage of ICEpower™ analog class-D amplification coupled with Pioneer sound tuning technology. Reinforced with proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities, the receiver ensures maximum high resolution sound reproduction of new audio formats, Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS-HD™. A seamless user experience is achieved with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:36am
High resolution picture and sound performance come together in the new Pioneer® Elite® BDP-95FD Blu-ray Disc® player introduced at the CEDIA Expo today. Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is showcasing its highly anticipated player, the industry's first to offer bitstream output of all advanced audio formats including: Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital+, DTS-HD™ High Resolution and DTS-HD™ Master Audio. The BDP-95FD ensures a near cinematic experience with its ability to handle 1080p 24 frames per second (fps) reproduction rate preserving a feature film's original sequence. Taking advantage of HDMI® 1.3 connectivity, the new player provides smooth, pristine imagery and dynamic 7.1 surround sound to deliver the full emotional impact of Blu-ray Disc feature films as the director intended.
The Pioneer Elite Blu-ray Disc player leads the industry with sophisticated home theater offerings including HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) to ensure seamless integ ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:34am
Sharp introduces the new slim-profile AQUOS® BD player, model BD-HP20U, the company's first offering in the U.S. market and first U.S. product outside of the Sharp LCD suite to carry the AQUOS name. Combining full digital 1080p video output with an AQUOS HDTV Liquid Crystal Television, the BD-HP20U allows consumers to view the latest high-definition films as well as enhanced definition titles in stunning high-definition quality.
The BD-HP20U player lets consumers realize the powerful next generation of home entertainment enabled by the high-definition Blu-ray format. The user-friendly player features...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:32am
Hitachi America, Ltd. today announced the company will be showcasing the recently announced Reel60 technology, Blu-ray camcorder and televisions from its fall line up at the upcoming CEDIA Expo 2007 in Denver. In addition to the new televisions and camcorder products and the launch of a new campaign, Hitachi is realigning its sales strategy to focus on the custom install community. This new direction is part of Hitachi's commitment to provide accessible luxury to consumers.
Hitachi is revamping its entire go-to-market strategy for its Director's Series televisions to embrace the custom channel with programs suited to the custom specialist. To implement the new strategy and provide best-in-class service at the same time, Hitachi has...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:29am
NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading stand-alone provider of LCD desktop and large-screen LCDs, plasma displays and projectors, today introduced a new line of affordable, feature-rich LCD displays. The new AccuSync Multimedia Series combines intelligent design with innovative display technology for performance-minded residential customers.
By incorporating key features, such as a built-in HD Tuner and comprehensive input panels, the AccuSync Multimedia displays bring new value to the entry level LCD display market. With a detachable TruSurround XT sound system and 5000:1 contrast ratio, the AccuSync Multimedia does not sacrifice performance to get there. The Series also uses...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:27am
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of professional LCD and PDP display products, today unveiled the SP-A800B projector, a premium projector that enhances the home theater experience by delivering film-like picture quality in high-definition 1080p. A selection of Samsung's home theater offerings, including the SP-A800B, will be on display at the CEDIA Expo 2007, in the Samsung booth, SR-10, at the Colorado Convention Center, September 5-9.
With the SP-A800B, home theater enthusiasts are able to watch their favorite films in the comfort of their own living and media rooms without compromising on picture quality. The SP-A800B leverages an advanced 1080p DLP engine to deliver...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 6:21am
Panasonic Projector Systems Company, Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, today announced the debut of its newest LCD home theater projector with 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) native resolution: the PT-AE2000U. Designed for savvy home theater enthusiasts and audio video professionals who desire an immersive home entertainment viewing experience, the new projector delivers 1080p images with a carefully-tuned lens system to reproduce remarkable detail and clarity with 1,500 lumen brightness and 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
The new PT-AE2000U model is the next evolution of its predecessor, the PT-AE1000U, which has been widely accepted and used to display professional movies. The new projector...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 7 2007, 5:40am
EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its DISH Network(r) satellite TV service today announced the launch of the Big Ten Network.
"DISH Network recognizes how important Big Ten games are to our customers, and we are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Big Ten Network so we may continue offering our customers the best in college and all sports," said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of programming for DISH Network. "Additionally, when we launch the HD simulcast of the Big Ten Network next week, our customers will receive even more HD programming at the best value."
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 6 2007, 6:16pm
Triggering the latest evolution in digital entertainment, Alienware® - the leading manufacturer of high-performance desktop, notebook and professional systems - is introducing the new Alienware HD Media Server to system integrators at CEDIA EXPO 2007 in the Life|ware booth (#320). Alienware's award-winning Hangar18: HD Entertainment Center, now featuring Blu-ray Disc, will also be showcased at CEDIA EXPO. The event runs from September 5-9 in Denver, CO at the Colorado Convention Center.
The ultimate media server for the digital home of tomorrow, Alienware's new HD Media Server comes loaded with up to four terabytes of hot-swappable hard drive storage. The system enables the recording and playing back of high definition content at up to...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 6 2007, 2:00pm
Are you ready for some football? Sports appears to be one of the greatest driving forces behind the adoption of HDTV, and football is probably the most influential of all. So it’s little wonder that this is the time of year when the thoughts of football fans turn not to the kick-off for the season [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 6 2007, 12:48pm
As I mentioned in my previous articles I am concerned with the bandwidth required for the A-VSB mobile transmission taken from the 8-VSB transmitted channel of DTV terrestrial television, an issue that I particularly consider a risky opportunity to further degrade the quality of full HDTV channels.
Many broadcasting stations are already using part of the HDTV 6 MHz channel (19.4 Mbps) to transmit several simultaneous multi-cast SD channels, and those are already degrading considerably the quality of the once alone HD channel, reducing its available bandwidth to close to half of the 19.4 Mbps, a bandwidth it requires to show acceptable quality.
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 5 2007, 8:54pm
LG Electronics, the first company to introduce a dual-format high-definition disc player, today unveiled its second-generation LG Super Blu(TM) Player (model BH200). Sporting both formats' logos, LG's new high-def player is capable of Blu-ray disc and HD DVD playback with advanced BD-Java and HDi interactivity, enabling consumers to choose from the widest variety of high-def content regardless of disc format.
On display for the first time at the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) EXPO 2007 (booth #720), LG's Super Blu Player will be available to U.S. consumers and custom installers in mid-October at a suggested retail price of $999.
The BH200 further strengthens LG's position as an innovator. Seven months ago...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 5 2007, 8:48pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division, known for award-winning, high-quality presentation and display products, today introduced its newest true 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution HC6000 home theater projector. Improving upon and replacing Mitsubishi's outstanding HC5000, the HC6000 offers enhanced features at under $4000, performing seamlessly with the latest Blu-ray or HD DVD technology.
Mitsubishi has improved the HC6000's auto iris function for quicker black to light imaging and increased its contrast ratio to 13,000:1. This combination allows for dynamic and smooth transitions between light and dark scenes and sharper overall details in dark areas, even in fast action spaceship scenes or classic film noir.
The new HC6000 provides...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 5 2007, 8:41pm
SANYO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of projectors introduces the PLV-Z2000 1080p LCD projector during CEDIA EXPO this week in Denver, CO. The PLV-Z2000 features a new 3D color management system with a high contrast ratio of 15,000:1, along with an advanced lens shifting function and the industry's quietest fan system. The PLV-Z2000 will be available in the U.S. in October 2007 with a MSRP of $2,995.99.
Offering a full 1920 x 1080 high definition resolution, the PLV-Z2000 delivers rich, deep and accurate colors due to SANYO's exclusive Topaz Real HD technology, a 3D color management system that addresses changes in color phase and color level to obtain perfect color reproduction. The PLV- Z2000's color management system provides...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 5 2007, 8:32pm
EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its DISH Network(r) satellite TV service today launched The History Channel HD(tm), making DISH Network the first major multichannel distributor to provide the network to viewers. The addition will bring DISH Network's total national HD channel lineup to 39 -- the most in the pay-TV industry.
The History Channel HD simulcasts The History Channel's lineup of original, non-fiction series and specials, creating a stunning new dimension for the timeless content and powerful storytelling that only The History Channel can provide. The History Channel HD features a diverse range of programming including...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 5 2007, 2:00pm
Technology — like politics — can make strange bedfellows. Take the example of DirecTV. What could be more wireless than a satellite TV service? You physically cannot run a wire to a satellite. Still, there are some services that just don’t lend themselves to the current wireless technologies, such as providing telephone service or broadband [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 4 2007, 7:01pm
CNN Worldwide this week launched the first 24-hour domestic news network in high definition, marking the company's global commitment to provide more news and information in that format for years to come.
CNN HD, which was made available on Saturday, Sept. 1, stands as a separate high-definition signal offering a programming line-up identical to the CNN/U.S. channel broadcast in the standard-definition format. As part of its initial entry into high-definition television, CNN will produce all of its New York-based programs, select documentaries and special events, including CNN Presents: Planet in Peril and presidential debates, in high definition.
The launch of CNN HD is part of a continued rollout of high-definition offerings and innovations. CNN Worldwide's high-definition plans go beyond upgrades of studios...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 4 2007, 2:00pm
After Labor Day, sales of HDTVs tend to build right through the end of the year. It’s likely that you’re one of the millions of Americans who are considering buying an HDTV soon. And just in time for this increased interest, I am pleased to announce the release of the Second Edition of Professor Poor’s [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 4 2007, 1:07pm
In Ara's never ending search for the perfect low cost whole house audio system he has experimented with many powered speaker systems but its always been a compromise. Either the speakers were too small and did not produce enough volume, or they did not produce an acceptable level of audio quality, or they were just plain ugly. Today we talk about a speaker system that gives him everything he was ...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 3 2007, 2:00pm
It used to be that you’d have to drive all the way to the video rental store to get your movies to watch at home. DVDs helped change that, because they were much less expensive to mail than the bulky old VHS tape cassettes. And thus NetFlix came into being. Blockbuster saw a bunch of [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 3 2007, 12:47pm
In the first two articles, I covered the details of how this mobile DTV system works, the requirements, and some potential effects on HDTV channels if not used with quality of terrestrial broadcast in mind.
In April 2007, I privately discussed with Mr. John Godfrey, VP of government and public affairs for Samsung Information Systems America, to confirm some of the technical aspects of AVSB.
By Alfred Poor • Aug 31 2007, 2:00pm
Ilgin Display has announced that they intend to ship an add-on projector for mobile phones in Korea starting this September, followed by exports to other markets soon after. The projector uses a tiny imager with solid-state lasers as the light source. It’s bright enough to display a 20-inch diagonal image on a wall or other [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 31 2007, 12:19pm
We all know that HDTV is a sports fan's best friend. In many aspects watching your favorite sport on a big screen HDTV in the comfort of your own home is even better than being there live. You get a better view, you don't have to worry about any kind of weather issues, and you control the remote and the concessions. What could be better? With the football season in full swing, we thought we'd ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 30 2007, 2:28pm
SANYO, a world leading digital camera manufacturer, introduces the Xacti HD1000, the world's smallest and lightest full HD digital camcorder*1. The sleek and simple-to-use device records video in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and also takes 4-megapixel digital still images. The HD1000 utilizes the advanced MPEG-4 AVC/H.246 video format and features a 10x optical HD lens and a large 2.7-inch widescreen display.
The SANYO Xacti HD1000 will be available in the U.S.A. in September, 2007, and has an MSRP of $799.99*2.
The new SANYO Xacti HD1000 weighs only 9.5 ounces and has a total volume of only 16.6 cubic inches, making it the world's smallest and lightest Full HD recording (1920 horizontal and 1080 vertical pixels) digital camcorder*1. It incorporates advanced MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression, enabling up to...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 30 2007, 2:00pm
ABI Research has published a new study that finds that almost half of all U.S. consumers watch video on their PCs. (Actually, I expect that since you read HDTV Almanac , you are probably ahead of the curve and among the half that watches video on your PC.)
What are they watching? About 72% are watching [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Aug 30 2007, 12:42pm
I have an obligation to our readers to be as complete, analytical, and accurate as possible with the information I publish, so this second article is needed.
Some statements provided by the source in that first article were recently contradicted by an announcement of an actual product. As I mentioned in my article, I contacted the HD DVD Promotion Group for them to verify Dolby's statements on the subject of the DVD Forum and HD DVD. Although they responded, after numerous requests they still did not confirm nor correct Dolby's statements. As a respect to Dolby's source, I assumed they were factual and used them for the article.
As you might recall, Dolby stated that the pass-through streaming feature on HD DVD players was...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 29 2007, 2:00pm
Syntax-Brillian announced their new Olevia 665H, a new 65″ HDTV that has a suggested retail price of $1,999. Does that get your attention? It’s got 1080p resolution, dual HDMI and dual component connections, a PC input. It’s also got RS-232 serial control for commercial applications. Video processing is handled by Pixelworks DNX technology.
Okay, 65″ 1080p [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 29 2007, 10:26am
Venturer Electronics today announced the launch of its first HD DVD player for the North American market. Responding to strong consumer demand for high definition video playback devices, Venturer will introduce the SHD7000 that offers the superior HD movie experience as defined by the DVD Forum. Featuring 1080i video output and an HDMI connection, the SHD7000 is designed to be compatible with the vast majority of HDTVs already in North American consumers' homes. With Ethernet connectivity to the network , the SHD7000 also allows users to access bonus features from movie studio web servers and unlock special prerecorded content on some HD DVD discs. Dolby TrueHD rounds out the high definition experience by presenting the HD DVD disc soundtrack as it was meant to be heard, virtually equal to the studio master. In addition...
By Dale Cripps • Aug 28 2007, 4:44pm
DisplaySearch Reports July LCD TV and LCD Monitor Panel Shipments Establish Record Highs
AUSTIN, TEXAS, August 28, 2007--DisplaySearch today released its July LCD panel shipments results. Specifically, the firm announced that LCD TV panel shipments hit an all-time high with 7.2 million units shipped, up 6% M/M and 72% Y/Y. Although LCD monitor panel shipments have been growing in single digits on a sequential basis since April, July results established a record high of 16.1 million units, up 1% M/M and 35% Y/Y.
"Despite worries that US consumer spending might decline due to weakness in the housing market and recent credit crunch, July was...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2007, 2:00pm
At the height of the personal computer price wars, I often said that the only company making money in the PC market was United Parcel Service. Manufacturer and dealer margins were razor thin – if not actually negative — and only the freight companies were profiting from the sales.
Well, it’s deja vue all over again [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 28 2007, 12:50pm
We've talked in the past about the Yamaha Sound Projector. It's a box that looks like one center channel speaker, but really it simulates a full surround sound experience. In demos we've had, it actually works really well, better than we would have guessed, but it needs some help from the environment. It's really at its best when the room it's in is fairly rectangular and doesn't have too much ...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 27 2007, 2:00pm
As I’ve mentioned before, sales of rear projection HDTVs continue to defy gravity. The advantages over flat screen models are considerable; they cost less, they weigh less, and they take up less space because their bezels are a small fraction of the typical plasma screen. And the new slim models are not much deeper than [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 27 2007, 12:19pm
Featuring a floating glass design, the VAIO(R) LT HD PC/TV serves as a computer entertainment center, where you can watch and record analog, digital and cable television programming, including premium HD channels. A Cable CARD(TM) is required.
Part of a series, the new LT PC/TV comes in multiple configurations, including a standard and an HD model. The high-definition version features a Blu-ray Disc(TM) optical drive so you can enjoy high-definition movies, as well as record, store and play back personal content on high-capacity BD media (up to 50 GB on a single disc).
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 27 2007, 12:17pm
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and applications online, today announced that a consistent, high-definition video experience is now possible online via its global content distribution network. Akamai's customers are now delivering HD quality content on Akamai's uniquely distributed edge delivery network that is specifically tuned for optimal delivery of HD files online.
HDTV is defined by the industry to be video with significantly high pixel resolution of 1080i, 1080p or 720p. In the broadcast world, the industry is undergoing a series of transformations that are standardizing the delivery of high-definition video to the home. For the Internet, Akamai is making the HD web possible by
By Alfred Poor • Aug 24 2007, 2:00pm
Sharp announced a new prototype LCD HDTV this week. The 52″ model is remarkable for the fact that it is less than 30 mm thick. For those of you who don’t have the metric system memorized, that’s less than an inch and a quarter. And that’s about the thickness of a typical 10″ LCD. [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 24 2007, 12:07pm
We announce the Winners of the show 200 giveaway contest and by now you have probably heard that Paramount and DreamWorks Animation are now exclusive HD DVD studios. So if you want to watch Shrek the III or Transformers on a next generation format you'll need an HD DVD player. We'll give you our take on the big announcement.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Aug 23 2007, 7:13pm
On the first article I covered the subject of how the architecture of the system works, on this article I address the subject of bandwidth requirements and how that plays a role with existing HDTV terrestrial bandwidth requirements for quality HD.
At CES 2007, Mr. Godfrey addressed a subject that I have personally questioned at Samsung press conference regarding what A-VSB does to an HDTV channel in terms of quality when borrowing from its allocated bandwidth.
By Alfred Poor • Aug 23 2007, 2:00pm
Paramount and its subsidiary DreamWorks announced this week that they were dropping production of Blu-ray high definition discs for future movie releases, and will go ahead exclusively with HD DVD. Up until this announcement, the studios released titles in both formats. According to an interview by (a former colleague) Melissa Perenson in PC World with [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 22 2007, 2:00pm
A reader who purchased a copy of “Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV” sent the following comment yesterday:
Your ?calculation? of distance from the TV produces impractical results. At 1080p, your calculations indicate for a 42 inch TV you have to sit 5 feet from the screen. It makes no sense!
A lot of people have that [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 22 2007, 1:02pm
Panasonic has started to ship a new line of High Definition LCD Rear Projection Display televisions featuring the revolutionary long-life LIFI(TM), a first-of-its kind light fidelity projection display application that ensures image brightness over an extended period of time as well as greatly reduced start-up time. The Panasonic LIFI High Definition line includes two series - the LCZ and LCX. The LCZ series, available in three large-screen screen sizes, 61-inches, 56-inches and 50- inches, feature 1080p resolution and an elegant glossy black finish with a new floating panel design. The PT-61LCX70 and PT-56LCX70 offer 720p resolution.
By converting HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps to LIFI, the models enjoy an especially long life span with incredible brightness. When the electrodes in HID lamps deteriorate...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2007, 2:00pm
In June, Tweeter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors. The company announced restructuring plans that included closing all stores in California, Tennessee, Alabama, New York and most of Georgia. In July, the company’s assets were sold to Schultze Asset Management for $38 million. On Friday, the new owners announced that half of [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 21 2007, 1:55pm
It seems like the concept of IPTV or Internet video or downloadable movies comes up almost weekly on the HDTV Podcast. We're excited about the idea that one day we'll be able to just queue a Netflix movie and have it download straight to some sort of STB or HTPC. Hopefully it will be at least DVD quality. But getting the movie selection of Netflix or Blockbuster, without having to wait for a DV ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 21 2007, 1:04pm
Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the latest update for Adobe® Flash® Player 9 software, code-named Moviestar, which includes H.264 standard video support - the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray® and HD-DVD® high definition video players - and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support, as well as hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback. These advancements will extend Adobe's leadership position in Web video by enabling the delivery of HD television quality and premium audio content through the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player and pave the way to expand rich media Flash experiences on the desktop and H.264 ready consumer devices. The latest update for Adobe Flash Player 9 will be available in beta for immediate download later today on Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com.
With H.264 encoding already available in Adobe Premiere® Pro and Adobe After Effects® software, H.264 playback is now enabled in...
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 20 2007, 4:43pm
Movies Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment Including Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation SKG, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films to be Released Exclusively in HD DVD
Exclusive Program To Begin with Release of "Blades of Glory," Followed by "Transformers" and "Shrek the Third," Films Representing More Than $1.5 Billion in Combined Worldwide Box Office
By Alfred Poor • Aug 20 2007, 2:00pm
I hate to pick on National Public Radio (NPR) because they do such an excellent job of broad and deep reporting on a wide variety of subjects. Following a sequence of links, I came across a piece on their Web site that does a pretty good job of addressing the problem of the upcoming cut-off [...]
Broadcom Announces Complete Digital TV Receiver System Designed to Meet the NTIA's Digital-to-Analog TV Coupon Program
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 20 2007, 1:19pm
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) , a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced a complete digital television receiver system targeted at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) digital-to-analog converter box program. The program, which is part of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiative, includes a budget of $1.5 billion that will be used to assist U.S. households in making an affordable transition from existing analog televisions to digital by providing coupons to households to defray the cost of digital TV converter boxes. Broadcom has introduced a turnkey digital television-on-chip (TVoC) and associated software to enable these digital-to-analog converter boxes, extending the lives of analog-only TVs.
As written in the Department of Commerce's Federal Register...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 17 2007, 2:00pm
Congress and the FCC have decided that on February 17, 2009, analog television terrestrial broadcasts — “over the air” — will cease. This frees up all those radio spectrum frequencies for other uses, including the sale of some ranges to private businesses, which will bring billions of dollars into the federal coffers. Congress is concerned [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 17 2007, 12:18pm
We've received a few emails lately asking us to talk about 2.1 home theater systems. This is not something that would necessarily go into a large dedicated home theater but something that would work well in a small apartment or a master bedroom. It consists of a receiver. left and right speakers, a sub woofer. You would supply your own DVD player and television set top box.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Aug 17 2007, 11:59am
A-VSB is a DTV broadcast system for mobile purposes proposed to the ATSC in December 2005. During 2006 Sinclair Broadcast Group, Samsung Electronics, and transmitter manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz, joined efforts to successfully test DTV mobile reception at highway speeds.
A-VSB is expected to be included in the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) digital-TV standard by 1H07, and is backward compatible with 8-VSB the current DTV terrestrial system.
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 16 2007, 11:25pm
EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its DISH Network(r) satellite TV service today announced the introduction of its newest high definition (HD) DVR, the ViP722(tm). The ViP722 is an advanced version of the company's award-winning ViP622 DVR(tm) and complements DISH Network's extensive lineup of HD programming, which was expanded to 38 national channels earlier this week.
Similar to the ViP622, the ViP722 is a dual-tuner DVR receiver that powers two rooms, one in HD and the other in standard definition (SD). Compared to HD DVRs offered by other pay-TV providers, the ViP722 features expansive storage capacity (500 GB hard drive) and the option of recording 55 hours of HD programming in MPEG4, 350 hours of SD programming, and more than 100 hours of movies and shows with DISH On Demand -- for a total of up to 500 hours of programming. The receiver supports ...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 16 2007, 2:00pm
The number of good reasons for having a computer attached to your television grows daily. Digital video recording, access to shared media storage, Internet music and video streams, and more make it an ideal match. Of course, the “Design Police” may object to putting an ugly beige box by your beautiful flat screen HDTV.
Sony has [...]
By Richard Fisher • Aug 15 2007, 5:18pm
The format battle for HD disc is heating up this year as both HD DVD and Blu-ray push for entry level products under $500 with the goal being less than $200 by the end of the year. Panasonic just released the DMP-BD10A with an MSRP of $599 and one of our readers, Jack Wilson of BAJ Access Security, offered up one for a quick review.
The purchase of this product adds a Blu-ray 5 disc starter pack of the following titles: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Transporter, Fantastic Four and Crash. Limited quantities of players were shipped with the starter pack and promotional blurbs on the outside of box. If not included, this promotion runs until 09/30/07 to be claimed via US mail. Please check the Panasonic site for details.
By Alfred Poor • Aug 15 2007, 2:00pm
DRM is the acronymn for “Digital Rights Management”, but as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, it’s just a pretty way of saying “copy protection“. (Sort of like calling a tax increase “revenue enhancement”.) And as I’ve stated before, the landscape is littered with failed attempts at making copy protection stick. I believe that in the long [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Aug 14 2007, 5:33pm
By the end of 2007 more than 5000 North American movie screens will be capable of showing digitally distributed motion pictures, some of which are produced in 3D. The distribution medium, however, remains mechanical, i.e. the actual digital data are stored as encrypted files on hard discs. Downloading of the files via satellite has been successfully demonstrated internationally, and undoubtedly will replace the ferrying of hard drives soon.
The key to this high quality, economical motion picture distribution system is...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2007, 3:31pm
Up until a few years ago, the standard practice for movies was to release them in the theaters first, and then four to six months later, bring them out on VHS or DVD. That “release window” shrank to four to six weeks, and now many movies are released to DVD on the same day that [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 14 2007, 12:38pm
It seems like a lot of what we've been talking about on the show lately has revolved around something Braden is doing. But if it matters to one of us, odds are it might matter to some of you, so here's another one. With the addition of boy number four to the Russell home, we've realized that our current car just doesn't quite fit our needs. We spent the whole weekend minivan shopping, and loved ...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 13 2007, 2:00pm
Have you seen the television commercial for Sharp Aquos LCD HDTVs? It’s the one where the golfer hits the ball in the rough, and everyone on the course is searching for the ball but can’t find it. And all the folks watching at home — on high-definition LCD TVs — can clearly see the ball, [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 10 2007, 2:00pm
At the CEDIA conference in Denver next month, the proponents of Blu-ray and HD DVD will be doing their best to convice professional installers of home entertainment systems to use their high definition DVD technology. However, a third choice will be making its U.S. debut; New Medium Enterprises will introduce their HD VMD technology. The [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 10 2007, 12:00pm
From time to time we like to run down to our local Best Buy and see what they have in their Magnolia Home Center. This weekend we saw the 65 inch LCD from Sharp (LC-65D93U) that just grabbed our attention and said take a look at me.
ONKYO Introduces Its First HD DVD Player, Including High-Bit-Rate and Lossless Audio Streaming via HDMI 1.3a
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 9 2007, 10:46pm
ONKYO USA has announced the launch of its first HD-DVD player, the DV-HD805. This player has been introduced to realize the potential of high-definition HD DVD content. It is also one of the first HD DVD players to take advantage of high-bit-rate audio streaming via HDMI version 1.3a. The DV-HD805 will be available in the fall of 2007.
The DV-HD805 is designed to partner with Onkyo's 2007 A/V receiver line-up. Both the HD DVD player and the A/V receivers feature HDMI version 1.3a connections, making the combination of these components the perfect platform for high-definition 1080p video images. It also nicely complements Onkyo's A/V receivers by streaming of the new lossless surround sound formats, Dolby® TrueHD and DTS®-HD Master Audio, as well as two "lossy" formats, Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS®-HD High Resolution Audio.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Aug 9 2007, 8:02pm
As with every year, this report reviews the state of HDTV technology for consumers, its implementation, government affairs, and the industry behind it.
This year, in addition to this report, I have produced a more comprehensive Industry Edition distributed by Display Search (almost 600 pages). On this Consumer Edition, I concentrate most of the material on what the readers of the HDTV Magazine usually devote more interest to: HDTV hardware, especially TVs.
Additionally, to round up the presentation, I provide a brief review of the main subjects related to DTV. However, due to space considerations, the full coverage of those subjects, such as digital connectivity, multi-channel audio for HD, content protection, satellite/cable/broadcast, IPTV, DTV implementation, etc. will be released in separate editions.
By Alfred Poor • Aug 9 2007, 2:00pm
Not all technology advances that take hold in Japan make it across the Pacific to the United States, but in many ways, the country is a bellwether for what we can expect to see next. And if TV Portal Service is any indication, IPTV may be a significant factor over here sooner than we might [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 8 2007, 5:31pm
Henry Schleiff, President and CEO, Crown Media Holdings, Inc. -- owner and operator of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel -- announced today that the company will launch its first High Definition (HD) service in the first quarter of 2008 -- Hallmark Movie Channel HD.
"This launch is in direct response to the growing demand for family-friendly content on television today," said Schleiff. "Once again the Hallmark brand delivers the very best in high-quality entertainment for families and offers distribution partners and advertisers an outlet to reach their consumers where they know they are spending time."
By Dale Cripps • Aug 8 2007, 4:23pm
For those of you watching the international scene this tidbit just in from iSuppli Corp. should help round out your perspective. _Dale
El Segundo, Calif., Aug. 8, 2007-Despite numerous trade barriers, China's television exports will surpass its domestic shipments for the first time in 2007, iSuppli Corp. predicts.
China is set to export 39.6 million televisions in 2007, compared to 38.3 million sets shipped in the domestic market. In comparison, China in 2006 had 36.8 million domestic TV shipments and 34.8 million exports.
"China's rising exports come as a direct result of...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 8 2007, 2:00pm
Not since Godzilla took on Rodan have we seen a battle of oriental titans like this, even if the combat will take place within the staid confines of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. It’s good that Texans are used to events staged on a grand scale. The battle lines have [...]
HD DVD • Blu-ray • Cable HDTV
By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2007, 2:00pm
One of the big questions about the high definition DVD format wars between HD DVD and Blu-ray is this: Does anyone really care? Are consumers really ready to replace their existing DVD players and libraries with expensive high definition players? Well, it appears that a lot of people are headed in that direction.
Yesterday, Warner Home [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 7 2007, 12:53pm
Most of us have had a computer just give up on us at one point or another. For whatever reason it just decides to give up and die. It can happen to a PC, a Mac, a Linux box, you name it. Nowadays there are so many options on replacements, it's tough to decide what to do. What are the options? We also announce a show 200 giveaway!
By Alfred Poor • Aug 6 2007, 2:00pm
Plasma makers are making a big push back against the gains of LCD panels in HDTV applications, and they’re pulling out all the stops. Buyers will have to look closely and read carefully to make sure that they get what they think their getting. For example, consider the new “1080″ plasma panels put forth by [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 6 2007, 12:52pm
Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. ("Toshiba"), announced today its third generation of HD DVD players for the U.S. market. Continuing to outpace the competition in sales of dedicated high definition players and responding to increased consumer demand, Toshiba revealed three new sleek and stylish models for an ultimate HD home movie experience. With all three new models priced under $500 (MSRP), Toshiba is delivering a powerful line-up of HD DVD players designed to meet the aggressive growth in demand for high definition TVs.
"With a majority market share in unit sales of next generation DVD players, consumers are speaking loud and clear, and they are adopting HD DVD as their HD movie format of choice," said Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing, Toshiba's Digital A/V Group. "Because of the proven manufacturing efficiencies of the HD DVD format, Toshiba can bring this level of innovation in technology to a new generation of players with cutting-edge functionality at affordabl ...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 3 2007, 2:00pm
Last winter, Wal-Mart set off a price war with its deep discounting of HDTV products on Black Friday, the SuperBowl of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Best Buy and Circuit City are still recovering from the hits they took trying to keep up with the competition. How has Wal-Mart held up? It looks as [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 3 2007, 10:55am
It is no secret that the HT Guys like and recommend Oppo Digital upconverting DVD players. We have reviewed the current lineup of DV-970HD, OPDV971H, and DV-981HD players in the past. Today we take a look at the new Oppo Digital DV-980H. Essentially the 980 is the same as a 970 but with 1080p and better audio capability for just $20 more. This review will not be as detailed as previous Oppo review ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 2 2007, 6:16pm
Verbatim® Corporation and its parent company Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM), announced today the world's first Mini Blu-ray Recordable/Rewriteable (BD-R/RE) media. Measuring three inches (8cm) in diameter, the new 7.5GB discs provide approximately one hour of continuous video capture time on a single side when high definition (1920x1080i) is used, and approximately two hours* of video capture time with images recorded at 1440x1080i. MKM Mini BD media will be available in August in Japan, where the new Hitachi BD-compatible camcorder will be launched. Verbatim will begin shipments to other parts of the world, including North America, when the new BD-compatible camcorders become available locally.
By The HT Guys • Aug 2 2007, 3:10pm
It is no secret that the HT Guys like and recommend Oppo Digital upconverting DVD players. We have reviewed the current lineup of DV-970HD, OPDV971H, and DV-981HD players in the past. Today we take a look at the new Oppo Digital DV-980H. Essentially the 980 is the same as a 970 but with 1080p and better audio capability for just $20 more. This review will not be as detailed as previous Oppo reviews because we found that the performance was similar to the 970. We'll concentrate on what is new or what has improved.
By Alfred Poor • Aug 2 2007, 2:00pm
Got a spare $3.2 billion? Then you too can build a tenth generation — 10G — LCD production plant just like Sharp. Sharp is the first company to announce plans for a production line that will handle sheets of glass substrates this large. As already reported here, the glass will be more than 10 feet [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 2 2007, 1:35pm
Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT / TSE:6501) announced the world's first Blu-ray Disc (BD) Camcorder, -which records one hour of 1920x1080 Full High-Definition video onto a BD (single side, single layer.) The new camcorders will start selling in Japan on August 30, 2007, and overseas market sequentially starting from October.
The new DZ-BD7H is a Hybrid Cam with a BD drive and a 30 gigabyte (GB) built-in hard disc drive (HDD) which can record approximately four hours of 1920x1080 full high-definition video, or up to eight hours of 1440x1080 high-definition video. It can also copy the contents from HDD to 8cm BD within the camcorder so that users do not need to use any external devices.
LCD TV Panels Enjoyed Record Quarter in Q2'07, Doubled Up on PDPs at 40"+ as Plasma Sales Remained Weak
By Dale Cripps • Aug 1 2007, 2:11pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, July 31, 2007-DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in flat panel display market research and consulting, reported in its latest Quarterly PDP Module and TV Shipment and Forecast ReportandWeekly TV Flash Report that plasma and LCD TV panel sales were headed in opposite directions in Q2'07.
LCD TV panel shipments enjoyed a record quarter in Q2'07, rising 32% Q/Q and 65% Y/Y to 19.6M panels. The Q2'07 results exceeded suppliers' expectations and DisplaySearch's forecast by over 700K panels or 4%. Revenues grew 28% Q/Q and 39% Y/Y to a record $7.2B. ASPs were only down 2% Q/Q and 16% Y/Y to $369. For the first time, twice as many 40"+ LCD TV panels were shipped as 40"+ plasma panels, as shown in Figure 1. The LCD TV share of the 40"+ flat panel market rose from 42% in Q2'06 to 68% in Q2'07. This can be attributed to...
By Alfred Poor • Aug 1 2007, 2:00pm
Internet Television, aka IPTV: do you watch it? If you’ve every watched a YouTube clip, the answer is yes. And as I’ve mentioned here, the delivery of video content over broadband has the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the existing television broadcast systems, from the studios that generate the content to the networks that [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Aug 1 2007, 12:44pm
In April 2007, as part of my analysis about Hi-Def DVD and Multi-channel audio in my annual HDTV Technology Review, I discussed the subject with Craig Eggers and Roger Dressler, Dolby executives. Some of the items discussed were: soundtrack streaming pass-through feature over HDMI in near future players, streamed Dolby Digital Plus not supported by HDMI versions 1.1 and 1.2 (while DTS HD is), audio-mix encoders for legacy connectivity, Dolby Digital at 640 kbps, etc. This article summarizes those conversations as follows:
By Alfred Poor • Jul 31 2007, 2:00pm
One of the “hot” new features for LCD HDTV is a 120 Hz refresh rate. Okay, it’s not all that new; I wrote about it in my CES coverage last January. But the products that include this feature are starting to show up on the shelves in even greater numbers, so I figure it’s time [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 31 2007, 12:52pm
Back in April of 2005, Episode #2 in fact, we did a comparison between LCD, DLP and Plasma as your three main choices for living room HDTVs. The landscape has changed a little since then, so we've decided to update the comparison. We also had to add flat panel LCD and LCoS to the discussion. Like the original, we're sticking with only the digital display types. Sorry CRT fans.
By Dale Cripps • Jul 30 2007, 9:42pm
"We need to get the digital transition right." _Senator Daniel Inouye
The Senate Commerce Committee on Science and Transportation held yet another hearing last Thursday, (July 26, 2007), on the digital television transition. With only eighteen months remaining until shut off of all analog terrestrial broadcasting (switching to all-digital) there is a frightening recognition that the public has yet to be informed about it. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) opened the hearing with a fist full of "facts".
"Between 15 and 21 million households," he said, "rely exclusively on over-the-air television. Many more have second and third over-the-air sets in their homes. In February 2009, these Americans could see their televisions go dark, disconnecting them from news, public safety announcements, and their community unless they get a converter box and attach it to their television. Yet far too few of these consumers know that the transition ... is underway. "
By Alfred Poor • Jul 30 2007, 2:00pm
Here’s a conundrum for you: how can the continued miniaturization of electronics play a role in the HDTV market where consumers are looking to buy ever larger displays? Well, Electronic House just named the Mitsubishi LT-46144 LCD HDTV as a 2007 Product of the Year. What’s so special about this 46″ 1080p LCD model? It [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 27 2007, 2:00pm
Blockbuster is making changes to its “all you can eat” movie plans that compete directly with NetFlix. One of the key advantages to the Blockbuster program is that instead of mailing back the DVDs when you’re finished watching them, you can drop them off at the local Blockbuster store instead. And when you drop it [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 27 2007, 1:20pm
Today, we are taking a look at the Gefen Home Theater Scaler; a scaler that costs $450 and can scale your video, convert your analog sources to digital, and act as a switch box for up to four video sources.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 26 2007, 5:42pm
Beginning this fall and continuing at least through the holiday season, Target will feature Sony® Blu-ray Disc® players as the exclusive product in the emerging category of high-definition home video systems, as well as an expanded assortment of Blu-ray Disc movies.
The Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray Disc player will arrive in stores in October as part of a holiday feature endcap that will clearly communicate the consumer benefits of the Blu-ray Disc technology. The endcap will also feature an expanded list of movie titles from a variety of Hollywood studios.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 26 2007, 2:34pm
The HD DVD Promotional Group today announced at Comic-Con International 2007 that companies supporting HD DVD showcased some of the most anticipated movie and TV titles for fantasy and sci-fi fans, including Heroes: Season 1 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 300 from Warner Home Video, and STAR TREK: The Original Series from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. Microsoft Corp. announced that it would reduce the price of its popular Xbox 360 HD DVD Player in the United States to $179, as well as adding five free HD DVD movies with the purchase of every player.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 26 2007, 2:00pm
Go to ABC’s Web site and you’ll see a link in the middle of the page that offers “full screen now available” for the online shows. These shows include full-length episodes with only “limited” commercial interruption: three 30 second breaks in an hour-long show, and two per half hour episode. You’ve got to be in [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 25 2007, 2:00pm
The Consumer Electronics Association just released a report stating that 72% of U.S. adults have broadband access to the Internet. Subscriptions for home broadband services have increased 21% in the past year, now reaching 57.8 million households. Three out of four homes with Internet access have broadband service. And for those who do not have [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 24 2007, 6:11pm
Sony today launched new audio/video receivers in its "Elevated Standard" (ES) line featuring compatibility with the latest audio formats including Dolby Labs' Dolby® Digital +/Dolby® TrueHD and dts® High Resolution Audio and dts® HD Master Audio.
The STR-DA5300ES, STR-DA4300ES and STR-DA3300ES 7.1 channel models offer iPod® intergration through the receiver's Digital Media Port feature and optional iPod audio dock (TDM-iP1), sold separately. Users can then access digital music from most iPod players as well as the device's playlists, artist, album and track information through the receiver's Xross Media Bar™ (XMB) inspired icon-based, on-screen menu system.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 24 2007, 4:56pm
TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), announced today the launch of a new TiVo high definition DVR, delivering a premium HD experience at an affordable price. Starting today, consumers can pre-order TiVo HD at www.tivo.com for just $299.99, down from the original TiVo Series3™ HD Digital Media Recorder at $799.99. Product expected to arrive on retail shelves in early August. The new TiVo HD DVR is the ultimate HDTV companion, maximizing the HD cable experience by combining a new popular price with the clarity of HD programming and our Emmy® award-winning TiVo™ service. The new TiVo HD is also a Digital Cable Ready set-top-box that works seamlessly with any cable provider in the U.S. Moreover, the new product also enables the latest and greatest exclusive TiVo service features such as Movie & TV Downloads from Amazon.com, Home Movie Sharing and universal Swivel™ search, delivering the best o ...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 24 2007, 2:00pm
The cable industry has fought it for years, but earlier this month they finally lost the battle and the FCC’s new rules for cable connections went into effect earlier this month. It’s a complex topic, but here’s the simple explanation. Cable companies have to separate their security features from the channel selection function. Until now, [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 24 2007, 10:17am
Braden is back (sort of) from paternity leave, so the show is almost back to the regular format. There's a little news, some listener email and a detailed discussion of Ara's experience with the Mac Airport Express for whole house audio.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 23 2007, 2:00pm
The sweepstakes is not slated to launch until August 13, but Westinghouse Digital has teamed up with the Oxygen cable network to create a “Girls Gone Wired” promotion. Winners in 20 local affiliate markets will get a “total techover” that will include up to $5,000 worth of Westinghouse products. There will also be 20 runner [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 20 2007, 12:41pm
Braden's is a father again. His son was born on Wednesday July 18th. Mother, Baby, and HT Guy are doing fine. I would love it if you could send the Russell family a congratulations email or e-card. Please send it to email@example.com. Braden and I know we have the best listeners out there. It would be real cool for Braden's wife to get the same appreciation.
We sti ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 19 2007, 4:21pm
JVC Company of America today announced the launch of a new consumer high definition camcorder that combines a 3-CCD image sensor, high definition 1440 x 1080 recording and embedded 60GB hard disk storage in a compact size that fits in the palm of the hand.
The new HD Everio GZ-HD3 follows the launch earlier this year of the high definition HD Everio GZ-HD7, which combined the pristine image quality of high definition with the convenience and high capacity of recording to a built-in hard drive. With the new GZ-HD3, JVC brings these same benefits to a wider audience in a palm-sized camcorder that's easy to carry and offers point-and-shoot simplicity.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 19 2007, 2:00pm
Would you be surprised to find that worldwide, 300 million consumers watch ad-supported or subscription-based broadband video content on the Internet? A report published earlier this month by ABI Research predicts that this number will soar to nearly 1 billion by 2012. The company expects that broadcast television content will continue to be supported by [...]
By Dale Cripps • Jul 18 2007, 7:17pm
For those following such things Pacific Media in Menlo Park, California reports that the month-to-month (April and May 2007) increase in flat panel sales was only 1% in volume but 4% in total income. Why the disparity between volume and revenue? Consumers are stepping up to buy the more expensive 1080p models. Given that 1080p now accounts for a third of all flat display volume demand for distributed signals in 1080p cannot be far behind. Charlie Rhodes, a legendary engineer who ran the technical arm of the Advanced Television Testing Laboratories, said some 20 years ago that the old analog standard would not be replaced by a single new high-def standard. Time has proved him to be unerringly right as there are now a plethora of standards ranging from being lower than NTSC to the highest attainable. In "Charlie's future world" each customer will pay for the level of signal and programming quality they can afford. With 1080p being purchased with one thing only in mind -- image quality -i ...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 18 2007, 2:00pm
A recent survey by iSupply reveals that nearly two out of three consumers want their televisions connected to the Internet. I find this to be a curious result, because most people don’t have TVs connected to the Web so why do they think they would want that?
iSupply’s answer makes a lot of sense. Consumers are [...]
By Dale Cripps • Jul 17 2007, 5:33pm
For you in the production of those scrumptious HD sports and remote location programs we adore, here is a little something fresh from the fiber folks that may make your job easier and more versatile. Give it a read and let me know what, if any, creative ideas come to mind. _Dale
Telecast Fiber Systems' New CopperHead DLV-3X1 Fiber Optic Multiplexer Adds Versatility to HD Acquisition
WORCESTER, Mass. - July 17, 2007 - Telecast Fiber Systems today announced the release of the new CopperHead DLV-3X1 camera-mounted fiber optic multiplexer for Dual Link Digital Cinema Cameras. The DLV-3X1 converts four 1.5-GB/s data streams from copper to fiber, permitting transmission of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 17 2007, 5:21pm
At the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) Home Media Expo 2007, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group today announced that overall HD DVD hardware sales were up 37 percent from Q1 to Q2 2007, while software sales experienced a 20 percent increase in growth. The data is based on NPD reports, Nielsen Netratings reports and point of sale data from the studios. During the same time-frame, overall Blu-ray hardware sales saw a 27 percent decline from Q1 to Q2, and Blu-ray software sales were down 5 percent.
Driven by major spring marketing efforts which brought standalone HD DVD players down to an industry first $299, dedicated HD DVD CE players experienced an astounding 183 percent quarterly increase. There are currently more than 180,000 dedicated HD DVD CE players in the market.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 17 2007, 2:00pm
EE Times has reported that Magnum Semiconductor has a design for a chip that will let viewers pause live TV on their televisions without the need for a separate digital video recorder. (And here’s a tip of my cap to my friends at “Display Daily” for pointing out the EE Times story.) The basic idea [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 17 2007, 12:49pm
We talk about the Family and Consumer Act of 2007 and how it may bring a la carte pricing to your TV. We also revisit a subject that we have received allot of email about. Should you go and buy a 1080p when you can get a great deal on 720p TVs. For a refresher we are including information from our November 14th show as well as a link to an interview at Electronic house with SIM2 marketing Manager ...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 16 2007, 2:00pm
Amazon.com has created CustomFlix Labs, which produces DVDs on demand for sale on Amazon. The service has been in the news lately on two counts. First, it has settled on the HD DVD format for its discs, and is offering free authoring and setup services for the first 1,000 indie film titles to be offered [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 13 2007, 2:00pm
It’s not enough to have a great looking screen, as many retailers have found. Customers still return new HDTVs by the boatload. So retailers are looking for ways to help keep the new HDTV at home once it gets there. And some manufacturers recognize this as an opportunity to support their retailers, so they are [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 13 2007, 2:00pm
Do you have a computer that is capable of displaying HD pictures but have no way to get an ATSC signal to the screen? The HDHomeRun now makes it possible to place a tuner anywhere in your house, as long as you have a network connection near by, and send the television picture to any or all computers on the network. The HDHomeRun is a small device a little bigger than a paperback novel. It has two ATSC/QAM tuners and a 100 baseTX Ethernet port. The concept is very straight forward. The digital signal is received by the tuners and than multi-cast on your network for all computers to receive. You can put more than one device on your network but when you use more than three you need a gigabit network to support all the data traffic.
By The HT Guys • Jul 13 2007, 1:08pm
Back to our normal, lively format we review the HDHomeRun from Silicon Dust. Then we diverge into a topic we can't really explain - you just have to listen to it. I bet you never thought you'd hear this phrase ever uttered on the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast. Enjoy!
By Ed Milbourn • Jul 13 2007, 12:08am
It has been a long battle, but it has been won - big time. HDTV is now de-facto, not only nationally but internationally. The marketing "S" curve is approaching its steepest slope. Indeed, it is getting hard to find a retail TV offering that is not HDTV capable. HDTV programming, distribution options and sources are being augmented on an increasingly frequent basis. (Of course, there can never be enough.)
But, is there another, higher level of home AV that...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 12 2007, 2:00pm
As reported here recently, the list price for a Sony Blu-ray high definition DVD player has fallen to $500. That’s still a lot more than the $299 for a Toshiba HD DVD player, but now there’s a more affordable option to get Blu-ray if you already have a computer. Pioneer has announced yesterday that they [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 11 2007, 2:00pm
In an announcement yesterday, DISH Network revealed plans to add more HDTV channels to their offerings. Eight regional sports network channels will be added today, which bring the total to 17. On August 15, seven national HD channels will be added:
MHD (music programming)
Animal Planet HD
The Science Channel HD
The company announced that [...]
By Dale Cripps • Jul 11 2007, 1:42pm
iSuppli Survey Finds
El Segundo, Calif., Jul. 11, 2007-Nearly two-thirds of consumers want their televisions to link to the Internet, a sentiment that will help propel rapid sales growth for network-enabled consumer electronics devices in the coming years, according to iSuppli Corp.
In line with consumers' desires, home networking is migrating beyond its PC-centric beginnings to incorporate a variety of...
By Dale Cripps • Jul 10 2007, 7:58pm
Microsoft Named Presenting Sponsor
Lineup Includes: "Iconoclasts," "Big Ideas for a Small Planet"
and "Live from Abbey Road"
Premieres Wednesday, August 1st at 8PM
New York, July 10, 2007 - Sundance Channel President & CEO Larry Aidem and President NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content Jeff Gaspin announced today that Sundance Channel and Universal HD are going to bring HD viewers a new weekly programming block beginning Wednesday, August 1st at 8 PM ET/5PM PT. The branded programming block, presented by Microsoft, will run Wednesdays through December 26th, showcasing Sundance Channel's critically-acclaimed, original series "Iconoclasts," "Big Ideas for a Small Planet" and "Live from Abbey Road" in high definition.
"Sundance Channel speaks to a very educated, tech savvy audience," said Aidem. "Our viewers are...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 10 2007, 5:08pm
EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its DISH Network(tm) satellite TV service today announced exciting enhancements to its industry-leading DishHD programming package.
On July 11, DISH Network will launch eight Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) in high definition (HD) that feature game-only baseball content, including Fox Sports Network Arizona (Ch. 365), Fox Sports Network Northwest (Ch. 376), Fox Sports Network Cincinnati (Ch. 377), Fox Sports Network Pittsburgh (Ch. 378), Fox Sports Network Detroit (Ch. 380), SportsTime Ohio (Ch. 381), Fox Sports Network North (Ch. 386), and SportsNet New York (DISH Network Ch. 388). With the launch of nine HD RSNs earlier this year, these new additions bring DISH Network's total lineup of HD RSNs to 17, with more channel launches planned for Aug. 15.
Also on Aug. 15, DISH Network will add seven national HD channels to its DishHD programming package...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 10 2007, 2:41pm
Today, InFocus (NASDAQ:INFS), the industry pioneer in digital projection technology, introduces the newest addition to the Play Big line-up, the InFocus Play Big IN82, full HD 1080p projector. As the highest performing, single-chip DLP home theater projector in InFocus history, the Play Big IN82 sets a new benchmark in video performance. Whether watching your favorite HD DVD, Blu-ray™ movie or the final swing of the US Open, the Play Big IN82 ensures fans will see every detail of high-definition (HD) 1080p entertainment magnified in perfect clarity.
Armed with the latest DLP® DarkChip3™ technology from Texas Instruments, the InFocus Play Big IN82 full HD 1080p projector boasts a native 4000:1 contrast ratio that can be boosted to a maximum of 12000:1 using the iris that ensures deep, rich blacks, and bright, pure whites while preserving all of the subtle shades in between.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 10 2007, 2:25pm
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), Inc. today announced a new 80GB model of its PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system. Beginning in August, the new PS3 model will be available in North America for a suggested retail price of $599/$659 CND and will be sold with the popular online-enabled racing game MotorStorm(TM). In conjunction with this news, the company also announced that effective immediately, the current 60GB PS3 model will be available in North America for $499/$549 CND, or $100 below the original launch price.
By featuring an expanded hard disk drive (HDD), the new 80GB PS3 is designed to appeal to the online gaming and entertainment enthusiast, providing ample storage space to download more games and other entertainment content from PLAYSTATION(R)Network.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 10 2007, 2:00pm
LCD panels are produced in a batch process; you take a sheet of glass and apply various coatings and layers and eventually you get a display. If you use larger sheets of glass, you get more panels in each batch, so the process becomes more efficient. And greater efficiency means lower production costs. Or at [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 10 2007, 12:51pm
We are still on vacation. But that didn't keep us from pre-recording a great show for you today. We have the usual listener emails but we also have a listener review of the Sharp LC- 37D62U LCD TV and we have a listener's first impression of the SONY BDP-S300 Blu Ray Player.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 9 2007, 2:00pm
In the battle for the high definition DVD format, the HD DVD camp has enjoyed a considerable price advantage over the Blu-ray competition. Sony has just diminished that gap by a bit by lowering the price on Blu-ray player by $100. No, this is not the BDP S300 that Sony dropped to $499 last month; [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 7 2007, 2:59pm
The DIRECTV 10 satellite soared into space yesterday, beginning the first leg of its mission to dramatically expand HD programming for millions of DIRECTV customers nationwide and establish DIRECTV as the industry's HD pace-setter.
The Boeing-built 702 model satellite lifted off at 6:16 p.m. PDT, Friday, July 6, from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Russian-built Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. After nine hours and eight minutes in flight, the rocket left the spacecraft in a geosynchronous transfer orbit with a high point of 22,300 miles (36,000 km) above the equator. Controllers at the ground station in Hartebeesthoek, South Africa have made contact with the satellite and confirmed that all systems are functioning properly.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 6 2007, 2:00pm
Starting last April, the FCC required retailers to post warning labels on any TVs that have only analog tuners. In preparation for the cut-off of analog terrestrial broadcast — “over the air” channels — on February 17, 2009, the FCC requires that all devices that have television tuners must have a digital tuner. Manufacturers are [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 6 2007, 12:53pm
We are officially on vacation today, but just like the post office, we continue to deliver - even in the face of really nice weather and hawaiian shirts. We consider this one to be a "casual dress" Friday; no formal content, just classic HT Guys discussion. On the list of topics:
* Creating a Wii Media Server
* Managed copy for standard DVDs
* ESPN HD on Dish Network
* Sitco ...
By Richard Fisher • Jul 5 2007, 3:28pm
1080p DLP front projection is slowly starting to dribble into the market but pricing has been high. BenQ is providing the W10000 for the street price of just under $6000, providing a full 1920x1080 DLP Dark Chip3 DMD far closer in price range with other recently released 1080p technology at $5k and below.
As noted, this is a full 1920x1080 chip and does not use wobulation. The advantage here is the potential for a pixel perfect response. Bear in mind this also means pixels are going to be more visible but whether or not that is a problem is a matter of viewing distance. This is a single chip display utilizing an 8 segment color wheel...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 5 2007, 2:00pm
In reporting weak first quarter financials, the president of Circuit City announced that the national retailer intends to “simplify the selection” of HDTVs. This could mean that the company intends to stock fewer brands. If that’s the case, it could help start the expected industry shake-out.
Some say that there are too many different brands [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 4 2007, 2:00pm
Digital video recorders such as TiVo and equivalent services from many digital cable companies have made it you never have to watch a commerical again. Distributors of video content on the Internet are searching for business model that works. The changing landscape of video entertainment and information poses a difficult question: who is going to [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 3 2007, 2:00pm
Is fiber optic broadband to the home a viable technology? Verizon is betting heavily that it is, and the returns are starting to show. The company has announced that it has signed up one million subscribers for its FiOS service. Half of those subscribers are receiving television service via FiOS.
Now, these numbers pale compared with [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 3 2007, 12:55pm
CE Pro produces a list of the top 100 custom electronics dealers every year, ranked by revenue. Then they take that information and ask each of those dealers what their favorite products are to sell in a bunch of different categories. They call it the Top 100 Products Analysis. We go over this information every year not because we believe these are necessarily the best you can buy, but because ...
By Dale Cripps • Jul 2 2007, 7:11pm
The following is drawn wholly from a HD-HDTV public relations spin article about the raging high definition pre-recorded format war. The HD DVD camp was recently stung by a PR coup when Blockbuster popped up with a boldly worded press release saying that they will be carrying the Blu-ray format exclusively in a significant number (1450) of their better located stores. HD DVD advocates say that there is far more to the story than first meets the eye. The war between the two HDTV DVD formats, they claim, is far from won (as the Blu-ray advocates claimed immediately following the Blockbuster announcement). You, as always, are the final judge of which direction the disks are truly spinning.
Blockbuster Choice of Blu-ray has Little Impact on Blue Format War
Austin, TX (July 2, 2007) - Blockbuster's recent announcement that 1450 of its stores would exclusively carry Blu-ray Disc titles as their high-definition offering, has been noted by some as a potential turning point i ...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 2 2007, 2:00pm
My friend and colleague Ken Werner reported in Friday’s “Display Daily” from Insight Media that Toshiba’s summer line show event did not include any new rear projection models. He cited a Toshiba representative as saying that the company will continue with their existing DLP models, but are focusing on their line of Regza LCD HDTVs [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 29 2007, 2:00pm
What if you could rent movies to watch at home, and not have to go to the store to pick out the DVD? Or even go to the mailbox to get the DVD that was sent to you by NetFlix or Blockbuster? What if there was no disc at all? What if you didn’t [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 29 2007, 12:52pm
Today we talk about the DVD Copy Control Associations attempt to add an amendment to its licensing agreement that requires a DVD to be present during playback. Then we move on to discuss an email from Jason in Brooklyn, NY which spurred some debate around the offices of the HT Guys. Jason asked us to convince him why he should upgrade to the next generation DVD format.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 28 2007, 2:09pm
With today's introduction of its new product line, Hitachi takes an important step forward in executing on its visionary strategy of providing all 1080, all flat panel, all large-screen (42"-60") HDTVs with patented, innovative features and never-before-seen technology breakthroughs that deliver the most captivating, sharp and clear visual experience, no matter what viewers are watching.
The following 10 new HDTVs are being announced today and bring Hitachi's overall product offering to a total of 14 feature-rich flat panel displays:
By Alfred Poor • Jun 28 2007, 2:00pm
Hitachi announced yesterday that they will drop their rear projection product line, so that they can focus more on their flat panel HDTV business. The company will offer 10 plasma models and four 1080p LCD models. The LCDs will come in 42″ and 47″ sizes, while the plasma models will range from 42″ to 60″ [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 28 2007, 1:45pm
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the arrival of the ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 and ATI Radeon™ HD 2400 series, the mid-range and entry-level graphics processors in the ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 series. These next-generation graphics processing units (GPU) bring premium support for Windows Vista® with feature-rich DirectX® 10 graphics1, and built-in multimedia functions for an immersive HD video experience on the PC. Ranging from USD $89-$149 (SEP) for the ATI Radeon HD 2600 series and USD $50-$85 (SEP) for the ATI Radeon HD 2400 series2, the new graphics solutions deliver compelling performance and image quality at an unbelievable price point. The ATI Radeon HD 2600 and ATI Radeon 2400 series have enjoyed broad customer adoption and are designed into a significant number of major OEM mainstream and value DirectX® 10 PCs to be shipped in 2H07.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 27 2007, 2:00pm
According to a press release from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), 30% of U.S. households have one or more HDTVs. The group also expects that this will increase to 36% as they forecast that 16 million new HDTVs will be bought in 2007. And more than one third of households with HDTVs have at least [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jun 27 2007, 10:23am
If your HDTV has a fixed frame, such as an LCD/plasma panel or a rear-projection TV, and you want to see the CinemaScope™ image at its intended aspect ratio, there is not much that can be done about the bars at the top and bottom of the screen. As a result, the bars use part of the valuable vertical resolution of the 16:9 TV or the projector's chip. To make things worse some technologies, such as LCD projection, show the black bars as dark gray, distracting the viewing of the actual image.
The HD chip of a front projector is fixed to the resolution of its design (720px1280 or 1080px1920 pixels). Many projectors today are chip-based DLP, LCD, and LCoS technologies at 720p resolution. More recently, several affordable 1080p projectors were introduced to the market.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 26 2007, 2:00pm
I continue to be a believer in rear projection HDTV, as I think it offers the best value in large screen technology for the average home installation. And these HDTVs can produce some of the best images you’ll see from any technology. A lot of people dismiss rear projection out of hand, but it’s still [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 26 2007, 12:54pm
We finally talk about our MythTV experience. For this show we have invited Jeff Davis to be our guest. Jeff was critical in putting our MythTV project together. He did most of the Low Level LINUX work for us including finding and installing device drivers.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 25 2007, 2:00pm
One reason that everyone seems to want a large flat screen HDTV — either LCD or plasma — is that they want to hang it on the wall so it doesn’t take up much space in their room. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, most people don’t actually do this; they typically end up putting the [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 22 2007, 3:00pm
You can find some great deals on the Toshiba HD-DVD players right now, especially the HD-A2. They've had the 5 free movie promotion going for a while, and it seems like the price just keeps getting lower. Is the player so bad that they need to practically give it away to get people to buy it? Why would Toshiba go to such lengths to get these into your home theater? The answer, of course, is the format war. In the end, whoever can sell the most movies wins. And for someone to buy or rent a movie, they have to have a player to watch it on. If more people have HD-DVD players, more will buy HD-DVD movies and the rest will be history.
By The HT Guys • Jun 22 2007, 2:22pm
First we cover the ins and outs of the FCC CableCard mandate. Then we review the Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player. You can find some great deals on the Toshiba HD-DVD players right now, we'll let you know whether or not to take advantage of them.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 22 2007, 2:00pm
Home networking is becoming more popular, but adding connections to a home can be difficult. New construction often has Cat5 Ethernet cable strung everywhere, but in old homes — such as our old mill with stone-filled outside walls — it can be difficult and expensive to run wires. WiFi eliminates the wires, but there can [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 21 2007, 4:40pm
Cablevision will now carry Rainbow Media's fifteen channel suite of VOOM HD Networks, it was announced today by Joshua Sapan, Rainbow President and Chief Executive Officer. The VOOM HD Networks will be available to Cablevision subscribers beginning July 1, 2007.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 21 2007, 2:00pm
As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, this is going to be the first year where environmentally “green” marketing is going to be essential in the consumer electronics market. One end is the production and use part of the product lifecycle, so “friendly” materials and lower energy consumption will be important. But the other end of the lifecycle [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 20 2007, 6:53pm
Panasonic, the market and technology leader in Plasma HDTVs, announced today that its much anticipated TH-42PZ700U, 1080p 42-inch Plasma HDTV -- the first 1080p 42-inch Plasma to come to market - will be available at retail beginning in early July with an SRP of $2499.95.
The arrival of the 1080p 42-inch Plasma rounds out Panasonic's 2007 line of critically acclaimed 700 Series 1080p HDTVs which includes 42, 50, 58 and 65-inch models as well as the 103-inch model -- the world's largest 1080p Plasma on the market today. Panasonic's 700 Series has received stellar reviews from some of the leading industry media for their deep blacks, high contrast ratio, excellent shadow detail, and clean images.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 20 2007, 2:00pm
The 2007 American Customer Satisfaction Index results from the University of Michigan were released last month, according to a report in The Bridge. First, the good news: the two satellite TV services lead the cable companies by a significant margin. DISH Network and DirecTV are tied at the top with a 67 score. (In 2006, [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 19 2007, 2:00pm
At InfoComm 2007 in Anaheim, CA, Westinghouse Digital Electronics today announced a new line of high-end LCD HDTVS that are aimed at the custom installation market. The new TX Series models all have 1080p native resolution, digital and analog tuners, and an impressive four HDMI connectors. They come in three sizes: the 42” TX-42F430S, the [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 19 2007, 12:49pm
We have heard, and read, countless stories about listeners, and their friends, ordering HD only to find out that their service was not properly set up. Today we are going to give you a check list of things to ask your installer to Make sure you you get all the HD you pay for!
Also, we throw a bunch of terms around when talking about Home Theater receivers, and, based on s ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2007, 5:16pm
Onkyo Professional introduced its first surround processor model designed for commercial and professional studio applications at the InfoComm 2007 event here today. The Onkyo Pro PR-SC885P is a THX-Ultra2 Certified 7.1-channel A/V processor that delivers state-of-the-art features and performance for the most technically sophisticated installations, including HDMI 1.3a compatibility, comprehensive upconversion of all sources to HD video with Reon-VX HQV video processing, and a wide array of connection options to accommodate any system. The rack-mounted unit is built around a massive toroidal transformer power supply with two separate power transformers for audio and video processing, and includes professional XLR balanced pre-outs for all channels.
Blu-ray • HD DVD • Cable HDTV
By Alfred Poor • Jun 18 2007, 2:00pm
Associated Press reports this morning that Blockbuster will announce that it only will stock Blu-ray high definition DVDs in 1,400 stores later this month. Having tested Blu-ray and rival HD DVD formats in 250 stores for the past year, the company reports that customers requested the Blu-ray titles 70 percent of the time. As a [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 15 2007, 2:00pm
Apple does it. Amazon does it. Wal-Mart does it. And now it appears that both Best Buy and Blockbuster are planning to offer movie download services at some point in the future. This revelation occured when the CEO of Lionsgate mentioned in an investor conference call that the studio has made digital distribution deals with [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 15 2007, 1:11pm
Last week we talked about Microsoft Vista Media Center using the HP Pavilion Media Center m8000n. After getting a ton of emails on the subject, we decided to revisit the topic and install some add-on programs to trick out the Media Center a little. While Microsoft has done a solid job at creating a well rounded home theater PC interface, there are a few companies and individuals out there that h ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 14 2007, 2:12pm
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has introduced the largest (70 inch) commercially available full high-definition LCD TV in Korea. The new TV boasts Samsung's very best image enhancement technologies and employs a light-emitting diode (LED) backlight instead of the conventional cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) version. Moreover, Samsung's unique local dimming technology enables the LED backlight to be turned off in dark image areas, delivering a dynamic contrast ratio of 500,000:1. At the same time, power consumption is lowered by as much as fifty percent.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 14 2007, 2:00pm
The HDTV manufacturers are doing their best to promote their products as the perfect gift for some deserving dad on this year’s Father’s Day. Panasonic is offering some free help to those trying to decide what to buy. In a reprise of a feature that they ran during last winter’s holiday buying season, the company [...]
By Richard Fisher • Jun 14 2007, 1:54pm
In the summer of 2005 I came across a well regarded DVI upconverting DVD player from a new kid on the block by the name of OPPO and decided to give it a whirl. This culminated in August of 2005 into a Review in Progress report for the OPDV-971HD in which I gave the product a very high rating. I have been recommending OPPO ever since.
Since then, OPPO has released another model, the DV-970HD. The DV-970HD added HDMI output, SACD and DVD Audio, analog audio with the ability to turn the video stages off for better audio reproduction, and a unique 480i output directly from the disc for the scaling videophile.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 13 2007, 4:07pm
Continuing to pack its lineup with premium-quality HD channels for launch this fall, DIRECTV will begin to roll out the HD feeds of 11 HBO and Cinemax channels nationally in September.
In addition to the HBO (East) HD channel it currently offers, DIRECTV will launch the following HBO/Cinemax channels in full-time HD: HBO West, HBO2 West, HBO2 East, HBO Family East, HBO Family West, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, Cinemax East, Cinemax West and MoreMax. The channels will begin rolling out in September and continue to launch through the rest of the year. DIRECTV currently carries each of these channels in standard-definition.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 13 2007, 2:00pm
At three national gaming events this summer, Westinghouse Digital Electronics will showcase its 1080p LCD HDTVs. The events are Comic-Con (July 26-29, San Diego, CA) and two Showdown LAN events (June 15-17, San Jose, CA and September 14-16, Indianapolis, IN). Westinghouse will also be giving away 37″ 1080p LCD HDTVs at all three events.
The fact [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 12 2007, 2:00pm
The bad news keeps piling up for Sony. A company named Target Technology has claimed that it has patents on the reflective layer materials that are an integral part of the Blu-ray design. They specified silver alloys that are less expensive than gold but more corrosion resistant than pure silver. The suit was filed in [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 12 2007, 12:57pm
There are have been a allot of stories going around the Internet about how Major League Baseball may go after Sling Media. Today we will talk about the issues and give you the HT Guys take on the subject. As always feel free to send us your thoughts on the subject.
The HT Guys are both dads, and yes we both have some idea of what would make a nice Father's Day present. As ...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 11 2007, 2:00pm
Planar Systems has been known for its display products for niche markets, such as medical applications. For a time, the company positioned itself to be a major player in the desktop PC monitor market. Then last fall, at the CEDIA 2006 conference in Denver, the company made a big splash with its announcement that it [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 11 2007, 1:45pm
Unless you've been under a rock, or subscribed to Cable, you are likely intimately aware of DirecTV's promise of having 100 national high definition channels in service by the end of 2007. Sounds good, doesn't it? 100 National channels of HD content! As you might imagine, this raises more than a few questions. Some of the more frequent ones I've heard are:
By Alfred Poor • Jun 8 2007, 2:00pm
Some technologies are dominant in a market, but you may not be aware of it. For example, Corning makes more than half the glass used in LCD panels worldwide. But here’s a technology that is almost as widely used that you might not know about; nearly two out of every five flat panel TVs sold [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 8 2007, 12:40pm
Using a computer in your home theater in one way or another has been a hot topic on the show for a while now; we have looked at the Mac Mini, we're looking at Linux and MythTV, various Windows topics have come up, etc. Today we want discus another HTPC product, but this time it's an off-the-shelf Media Center running Microsoft Vista, the HP Pavilion Media Center m8000n.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 7 2007, 2:00pm
I will admit that this is an afterthought, but I’m still going over my notes from SID 2007 even though it ended two weeks ago. One of the big topics at the conference was flexible displays.
A few were intended for video and other fast-moving images, such as the LG.Philips OLED build on a stainless steel [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 6 2007, 10:17pm
Sony today introduced nine new BRAVIA(R) flat-panel LCD high-definition televisions with advanced features.
The new models all feature 1920 x 1080 full high-definition resolution, 10-bit panels and, in select models, Motionflow 120Hz high frame rate technology, as well as x.v.Color(TM) capability. Encompassing the XBR5, XBR4 and W series, they come in screen sizes of 52, 46 and 40 inches (measured diagonally). Including the previously announced S series and V series flat- panel LCD models, the complete line of 17 models range in size from 70 to 26 inches (measured diagonally.)
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 6 2007, 10:13pm
Sony today unveiled five new BRAVIA(R)SXRD(R) (Silicon X-tal (Crystal) Reflective Display) micro-display HDTVs featuring Motionflow 120Hz high frame rate technology and dramatically thinner cabinets.
About 20 percent slimmer than last year's sets, Sony's A3000 line features three new models including the 50-inch KDS-50A3000, the 55-inch KDS-55A3000, the 60-inch KDS-60A3000 (screen sizes measured diagonally) models.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 6 2007, 2:00pm
The Weather Channel has announced plans to transform the network to HDTV. In May, construction started on a new studio that is part of a $50 million investment over the next year and a half. The company has announced plans to launch a separate HD channel starting this September.
Initially, the studio content will be in [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 5 2007, 2:00pm
A story posted yesterday on TWICE (www.twice.com) provides more detail about Wal-Mart’s expansion into the HDTV market. According to the report, Wal-Mart is boosting its inventory from 10 to 11 brands by adding Vizio. In April, they had 28 models, but that swelled to 36 models in May, half of which were the four new [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 5 2007, 12:42pm
We cover two topics that appeared online recently. The first is an article from Electronic House and it discusses what the networked home of the future will be like. The second comes from ProAV Magazine and it covers Outdoor Speaker Design.
HD DVD • Blu-ray • Laser HDTV
By Alfred Poor • Jun 4 2007, 2:00pm
As we are frequently reminded, the reason that a lot of companies are in the consumer electronics market is not just to manufacture and sell products, but also to get revenue by licensing the intellectual property used to create those products. The battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD to be the high-definition laser storage solution [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Jun 1 2007, 3:35pm
As I have expressed many times in my various articles, I am not a fan of rear projection HDTV, least of all being the single panel DLP variety. Oh, yes, one can get from such DLP applications a bright, high-contrast image with definition a little bit better that SDTV, but certainly not HDTV. That added with the spinning color wheel with its whirling noise, motion artifacts, and poor (very poor) color tracking makes a mockery out of the perceived "definition" of HDTV.
But, now, there is new light shining...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 1 2007, 2:00pm
In February, I stated that it was not likely that SED HDTVs would ever come to market. Pundits don’t always get it right, so I’m going to take full credit on this one. Last week, both Toshiba and Canon announced that the the launch of SED HDTVs due by the end of this year has [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 1 2007, 12:58pm
We'd all love it if every show we watched was in HD; and for many of us that includes a reality show or two. We'll discuss a few reasons why they may not be in High Def yet, and why those reasons may not be valid. Then we have a review of the Panasonic TH-50PZ700U 1080p plasma television.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jun 1 2007, 2:12am
DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in display market research and consulting, is now offering the recently completed 2007 HDTV Technology Review - Industry Edition, authored by HDTV Magazine's Senior Technical Director Rodolfo La Maestra. Exclusively available from DisplaySearch, this 560-page report is the ultimate source for the latest developments in all aspects of HD technology, covering the latest developments and key trends in...
By Alfred Poor • May 31 2007, 2:00pm
The new spring models have arrived on store shelves around the country, and more are set to ship throughout the summer. Many retailers still hold inventory of older models, and they have to get rid of them. So they put them out for sale at clearance prices. The database used to create Professor Poor’s Weekly [...]
By The HT Guys • May 30 2007, 3:52pm
We just reviewed the Panasonic TH-50PX75U, which comes with a street price of $2100 a few shows ago. We loved the TV, but it's still a 720p model. We got a ton of email asking why we were living in the past, why we would have anything to do with a 720p plasma when the new 1080p model, the TH-50PZ700U, is already available. To be perfectly honest, we didn't have much luck getting our hands on one of the 1080p sets, so we went ahead with the 720p. Add on the fact that we still really like the 720p set, and our minds were made up. But not to turn a deaf ear to our loyal listeners, we tried our best to find a way to review the 1080p model. By the way, the extra pixels add up to a street price of $2900.
By Alfred Poor • May 30 2007, 2:00pm
The Society for Information Display conference is like a candy store to a techie display guy like me. It’s almost all about components and new technologies and future stuff that just over the technology horizon. But occasionally, there are commercial products worthy of note. For example, Sharp was showing their 108″ 1080p LCD TV monitor, [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 29 2007, 2:00pm
Some may call it an inconvenient truth, but worldwide consumers are becoming more conscious of energy and environmental issues. (Do you think that $3/gallon gasoline could be a factor?) The big take-away from the SID 2007 conference is that the display industry hears that message loud and clear, and many companies were talking “green” about [...]
By The HT Guys • May 29 2007, 12:44pm
We give you a debrief about our recent visit to Dolby Laboratories. And since the TV season in the US just ended this week, we want discuss what we enjoyed in HD and what we stopped watching.
By Alfred Poor • May 28 2007, 2:00pm
There’s a video clip making the email rounds these days. It’s a clip of an under-bed HDTV mount from MK 1 Studio. This motorized lift slides your HDTV out from under your bed, and positions it at the foot of the bed. It can even automatically adjust the viewing angle to your preference.
Now, this is [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 25 2007, 2:00pm
Once again, there are lots of 3D displays being shown at SID 2007, but this year I’ve started to think differently about them. Until recently, I only saw them as niche products that had practical appear for narrow applications such as pharmaceutical design or medical procedures. Head mounted goggles are too bulky or geeky for [...]
By The HT Guys • May 25 2007, 1:00pm
A very special HDTV and Home Theater Podcast. We have an abreviated one for you today. Braden was called away on an emergency so Ara had to fly solo. The show today was just email and news. Back to the regular podcast on Tuesday. Thanks for understanding!
By Alfred Poor • May 24 2007, 2:00pm
Rear projection HDTV sales continue to defy rational analysis as buyers choose to spend an extra $1,000 or more to get a flat panel model instead. One development on the near horizon that could change this is the arrival of the Laser TV.
A Laser TV is really a rear projection HDTV that replaces the projection [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 23 2007, 2:19pm
DIRECTV, the nation's leading satellite television service provider, continues to set the stage for its unprecedented expansion of HD services. With agreements in place to launch four Discovery HD channels, five HD channels from Starz, CNBC and Chiller in HD, along with recently completed deals with The History Channel and A&E, DIRECTV is on schedule to roll out up to 100 national HD channels by year-end to satisfy the appetite of its HD customers, who have doubled over the last year.
By Alfred Poor • May 23 2007, 2:00pm
I am the first to admit that I have been bearish on plasma HDTVs. The rising tide of LCD has steadily eroded plasma’s market share, taking over larger and larger segments until we have reached the point where LCD owns the flat panel market below 50”, and is threatening to take over the 50” to [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 22 2007, 2:00pm
One fact is becoming clear in the HDTV market; 1080p wins. It wins for a number of reasons, some good and some not so good. One of the weaker reasons is that many consumers shop by comparing specifications; 1080p has more pixels than 720p and more must be better, so 1080p wins. A more solid [...]
By The HT Guys • May 22 2007, 2:00pm
Back in January of this year we reviewed the Panasonic TH-50PX60U and were impressed with what we saw. At that time we had three things we didn't like about the TV. Today we take a look at Panasonic's new 50 inch 720p plasma, the TH-50PX75U, which comes with a street price of $2100 and addresses the three nit picks we had with the earlier model. This is a 720p TV with a resolution of 1366 x 768, a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, two HDMI inputs, and an SD card reader. One of the issues we (mainly Ara) had with its predecessor was its silver bezel. The 50PX75U comes with a thin black bezel that hides the speakers very well and looks quite good even when its off. Rounding out the features, the TV come with built-in ATSC/QAM/NTSC Tuners. Build quality is quite good. The product dimensions are 47.7 x 3.8 x 31.3 inches and it weighs 89.8 pounds which is almost identical to the previous model.
By The HT Guys • May 22 2007, 12:47pm
We have a review of the Panasonic TH-50PX75U 50 Inch Plasma TV we also give you our thoughts on an article from Connected Home Magazine titled The Future of Media in the Networked Home.
By Alfred Poor • May 21 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, I’ve written in the past about diamonds in HDTVs, but they have been cosmetic features, intended to differentiate the model with a little bling. And yes, diamonds are pure carbon crystals, so in a sense you could say that using carbon nanotubes in a display technology would be a little like using diamonds. But [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 18 2007, 2:00pm
Sony has reported dismal financials for last year, due in large part to all the money they lost on the Playstation 3 by selling them with Blu-ray drives at less than the manufacturing costs. Now Toshiba is turning up the heat in the high definition DVD race by cutting prices on their HD DVD models.
By The HT Guys • May 18 2007, 12:31pm
After listener emails and the news, we go over a few tips on buying speakers. Then we close it out with a review of the Rocketfish Wireless Rear Speaker System.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 18 2007, 11:54am
JVC today announced its second generation Clear Motion Drive (CMD) high-speed LCD television technology that delivers crisp fast action images, typically a weakness in LCD performance. JVC's new Clear Motion Drive II technology, like the original, features a refresh rate of 120 frames per second (120Hz), double the typical rate. But CMD II has been designed specifically for full HD (1920 x 1080) displays and improves motion detection fivefold compared to the original high speed driver.
By Alfred Poor • May 17 2007, 2:00pm
Today, LG.Philips LCD announced that they will be demonstrating a flexible OLED display next week at the Society for Information Display Symposium next week in Long Beach, CA. (And I’ll be there, reporting on the new developments in display technology here in the HDTV Almanac.) The demonstration panel has a 4″ diagonal size, and a [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 16 2007, 2:00pm
It’s strange that one acronym – IP — covers two different terms that both stand to have a big impact on HDTV content on cable systems. IP stands for Internet Protocol, and it’s shaping up as a competitor to cable; as more and more people get high-speed broadband Internet access, delivery of HDTV content over [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 15 2007, 2:00pm
That happy smiley face will be shining down over a lot more HDTVs, as Wal-Mart aggressively expands its offerings. According to a company press release yesterday, the chain will start carrying Vizio?s 26″, 32″, 37″, and 42″ flat panel television models . You can also expect to find 1080p sets 40″ or larger from Philips [...]
D-Link(R) Introduces Wireless Draft 11N Solution That Moves High-Definition Content Throughout the Home Using Any Router
By Shane Sturgeon • May 15 2007, 1:59pm
D-Link(R), the end-to-end networking solutions provider for consumers and business, today introduced the new D-Link(R) Xtreme N(TM) Duo(TM) MediaBridge(TM) which allows users to add 5GHz Draft 802.11n capabilities to an existing router. Wireless 802.11n operating at 5GHz makes it possible to stream high-definition (HD) multimedia content throughout the home, from PCs to home entertainment centers, with minimal interference and congestion from legacy (2.4GHz) networks. The new D-Link Xtreme N Duo MediaBridge (DAP-1555) helps avoid interference by allowing the user to use the 5GHz frequency band to provide a stable high-performance wireless link for streaming HD video and more.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 15 2007, 1:46pm
Panasonic, one of the industry leaders behind the development of Blu-ray Disc(TM) technology and the market leader in Plasma television, today announced the availability of the DMP- BD10A, Panasonic's next generation Blu-ray Disc player, at a SRP of $599.95. The DMP-BD10A features an audio upgrade package that brings high end surround audio to the viewing experience via the inclusion of 7.1 channel surround, Dolby(R) True HD and 'dts-HD(TM) — High Resolution Audio decoding technology. The DMP-BD10A also incorporates...
By The HT Guys • May 15 2007, 12:46pm
We have a discussion about building a do it yourself Drive-In Theater. The idea comes to us from Popular Mechanics magazine. We also talk about a fantastic 3D movie experience from Real D.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 15 2007, 3:23am
There has been no press release yet from Microsoft on this, but the following bullet-points outline improvements for the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on that are apparently to go in tomorrow according to threads at the AVS Forum by Amir Majidimehr, VP of Microsoft's Consumer Media Technology Group...
By Alfred Poor • May 14 2007, 2:00pm
I was originally skeptical about the demand for video content on mobile phones, but studies in Europe made me a believer. The US market still trails Europe and parts of Asia in adopting this technology, but signs indicate that Americans are about to see lots of new products and services in this area. And a [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 14 2007, 1:34pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc., maker of award winning high-definition home theater products, today rolled out eight top-of-the-line, premium 1080p LCD flat panel HDTVs with unique thin frame, ultra-compact designs. All of these new 1080p flat panel HDTVs are designed, engineered and built in North America.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 14 2007, 1:33pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc., maker of award winning high-definition home theater products, today introduced nine top-of-the-line, premium 1080p DLP® HDTVs with unique Thin Frame™, slim depth, ultra-compact design. Each 1080p DLP® HDTV includes Mitsubishi's unique 6-Color Light Engine™ making these televisions the only HDTVs to produce images with six separate colors. All of these new fully featured 1080p DLP® HDTVs are designed, engineered and built in North America.
By Alfred Poor • May 11 2007, 2:00pm
Panasonic is the big dog in the plasma display market, and their planned production expansion is a measure of their commitment to the market. Others are not so confident that plasma can remain competitive, however. Direct view LCD has already taken over the HDTV market up to 5o”, and is poised to make a fight [...]
By The HT Guys • May 11 2007, 10:02am
Highlights from the 2007 Cable Industry Show in Las Vegas and a discussion on DVD on Demand technology. There's some really great stuff on the horizon, you don't want to miss it.
By Alfred Poor • May 10 2007, 2:00pm
Pioneer has a strong reputation for high-quality plasma displays. At their spring line show event in New York, the company announced their new products for 2007:
Screen Size (Diagonal)
50 inch [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 9 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, our refrigerator is covered with snapshot photos of family and friends. I mean covered; apparently there is a social barometer that indicates when your photo moves off the doors and around to the side to make room for a more “door-worthy” picture. But now LG has come up with a refrigerator that may provide [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 8 2007, 2:12pm
The History Channel® and DIRECTV, Inc. today announced that DIRECTV will be the first to launch The History Channel HD, a new 24-hour high definition television network, scheduled to debut in September 2007. In addition, A&E HD, which debuted in 4Q 2006, will also launch on DIRECTV in September. The announcement was made by David Zagin, Executive Vice President of Distribution AETN.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 8 2007, 1:41pm
Building on its award-winning Weather & Info TV Refrigerator, LG Electronics makes kitchens more innovative and entertaining with the introduction of the first-of-its-kind digital high-definition television (HDTV) Refrigerator. The new premium model is highlighted along with LG's full refrigerator line at the 2007 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, May 8-10 (Booth C3713).
By The HT Guys • May 8 2007, 1:03pm
We have a review of the Samsung LN-T2332H 23" LCD HDTV and we discuss an article in Electronic House Magazine called 10 Things About Sound That You Were Afraid to Ask.
By Alfred Poor • May 8 2007, 12:48pm
Bruce Springsteen sang about “57 channels and nothin’s on“. It makes you wonder about what he’d think about all the video that’s available online these days. I have a widget on my Google homepage that brings up a variety of new and popular video clips, which led me back to something I already new about [...]
By Richard Fisher • May 7 2007, 3:32pm
Starting with the PT-AE700 720p projector, Panasonic has built quite a reputation around their extremely wide installation capability and inexpensive pricing using transmissive LCD technology for the last couple of years. Panasonic continues their 720p capability with the PT-AX100 while introducing new 1080p24/60 capability in the form of the PT-AE1000U for a mere $4,000 USD street price, which is expected to get even lower as the months pass. This has certainly been the year for new 1080p front projection below $5,000 USD.
Transmissive LCD projection technology is well over a decade old using red, green and blue LCD panels. No color wheel is required and therefore no concerns over rainbows; those are a DLP issue only related to the size and expense of 3 chip capability as well as supply and demand of the devices. In the early days...
By Alfred Poor • May 7 2007, 2:46pm
On Thursday, DirecTV announced their new “Sat-Go” product. This briefcase-sized device contains a 17″ LCD screen and a DirecTV satellite receiver. Just open it up, point it south at a DirecTV satellite, and you’ll get all your DirecTV programming on the system including premium sports subscriptions. It has rechargeable batteries, and runs on regular household [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 6 2007, 7:20pm
DISH Network(TM) satellite TV service announced today the launch of two more Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) in high definition (HD). With the release of seven HD RSNs just last month, that brings the total line-up of HD RSNs to nine and further strengthens DISH Network's position as the leader in HD programming.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 6 2007, 7:15pm
DISH Network(TM) satellite TV service today announced the launch of Cinemax HD. The new channel brings DISH Network's total national HD channel lineup to 32 channels - the most in the pay-TV industry today.
By Alfred Poor • May 4 2007, 2:00pm
Media giant Viacomm holds the rights to many popular video properties, including MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. I’m not saying that these programs are designed to appeal to viewers with short attention spans, but the content does lend itself well to capture and uploading to YouTube (which has a 10 minute cap on segment lengths). [...]
By The HT Guys • May 4 2007, 12:34pm
Ever wonder how you would design the perfect Xbox 360 Home Theater Edition? Gizmodo thought about it, and came up with some cool ideas. We also have a review of the Panasonic DMR-EZ47VK DVD Recorder; it received the coveted 'digital video Swiss Army knife' award.
By The HT Guys • May 3 2007, 7:43pm
There's an old adage that says "never shop at Costco when you're hungry." If you do, you'll typically walk out of there with way too many snack foods. We'd like to extend that adage to include "never shop at Costco when you've got an HDTV itch." It's just way to easy to walk out of there with a new television. That's exactly what happened to Braden a few days ago. He was at Costco, because, well who doesn't want to go to Costco? And of course, needing a new HDTV, happened upon the Samsung LN-T2332H 23" LCD HDTV. Having passed finance committee approval (the finance committee was waiting in the car), the set has since made a great addition to the Russell family abode. At a price of $499, how can you go wrong?
By The HT Guys • May 3 2007, 5:51pm
The Panasonic DMR-EZ47VK can be thought of as a digital video Swiss Army knife. It has a built in ATSC tuner, DVD recording capability, VHS Playback and dubbing, and its an upconverting DVD player (up to 1080p via HDMI) to boot. So with all this capability we were excited when the unit showed up at the home offices of the HT Guys. On paper this device was too good to be true. So how did it fare in the real world?
By Alfred Poor • May 3 2007, 2:00pm
Former head of the Disney empire, Michael Eisner, was in the vicinity last month and spoke to a local college. He described his new studio, Vuguru, and some of its projects. One of the most interesting items is a serial drama titled “Prom Queen“, comprising 80 episodes that last just 90 seconds each. The episodes [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 2 2007, 2:00pm
It can be argued that 2006 was the Year of the HDTV, as a result of the booming sales. If so, then perhaps 2007 will go down as the Year of the Green HDTV. No, this is not about color balance; it’s all about the environment.
The media has given lots of attention to global warming [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 1 2007, 2:47pm
Starz Entertainment President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Myers today announced plans to launch three additional high definition (HD) channels, bringing to four the total number of HD channels offered by the premium television company.
The three new channels offered in HD will be East Coast feeds of Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, and Starz Kids & Family. They will complement the existing Starz HD channel, which is available in East and West Coast feeds, (as well as the Starz On Demand HD and Encore On Demand HD services). The new channels are expected to launch by...
By Alfred Poor • May 1 2007, 2:00pm
Plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS: the current technology landscape is cluttered enough to cause paralyzing confusion for many buyers. The prospect of OLED, SED, and Laser TVs only makes the question of whether to buy now or to wait that much more difficult. But the display industry does not stand still, and the next breakthrough technology [...]
By The HT Guys • May 1 2007, 12:58pm
Just when we were ready to pronounce traditional movie theaters dead and buried, they may be in the early stages of a very strong comeback. We received an email from listener Darin about some work Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, had done using a new camera from a company simply called Red. We talk about what impact this can have on both the cinema and the home theat ...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 30 2007, 2:00pm
Last week, I wrote about the move to provide flat panel mounts for the do-it-yourself market. This could increase the “attach rate” for flat panel HDTVs to home walls, and perhaps provide more affordable solutions in this accessory market that up until now has enjoyed relatively high profit margins. But you can count on this [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 27 2007, 2:00pm
On Wednesday, the FCC approved new rules that require retailers to include warning stickers on any television sold with an analog tuner but not a digital tuner. All new models are required to have digital tuners at this point, so this sticker requirement would apply to the existing inventory of products. If these units are [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 27 2007, 1:30pm
We throw around terms like Dolby Pro Logic and Matrix Decoding all the time. In today's show we actually define the terms, give a little background on the technology and hopefully explain it a bit.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 26 2007, 5:56pm
Joe Kane, whose name became synonymous with home theater calibration upon the creation of the original Video Essentials 10 years ago, has now created the preeminent audio/video calibration tool: "Digital Video Essentials HD DVD." One side of the disc features both 1080p and 720p Test and Demonstration materials, and also introduces 6.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital True HD. The second side is presented in Standard Definition, in NTSC or PAL format. "Digital Video Essentials HD DVD" was produced in cooperation with Microsoft Corporation and Deluxe Laboratory, and is available now from ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 25 2007, 2:02pm
The TX-SR605's two HDMI v1.3a inputs provide the most advanced interface for transporting both uncompressed high definition (HD) video and uncompressed multi-channel audio in all HD formats including 720p, 1080i and 1080p. It is among the first receivers available to include decoding for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master multichannel audio formats from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 25 2007, 2:00pm
Q: I’ve noticed that some HDTVs are listed as 720p, but their specs says that they supports 1080i. Why wouldn’t those TVs be listed as 1080i? With these types of TVs, would a 1080p signal come through as 1080i or 720? If an upscaling dvd player is used on those TVs, would it upscale [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 24 2007, 2:00pm
Ask the average person why they want to get a flat panel — LCD or plasma – even if it costs more than a rear projection model of the same screen size, and you’re likely to get the answer “…because I can hang it on the wall.” The fact is that most people don’t hang [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 24 2007, 12:46pm
The timing was almost perfect. We did a little feature on home automation a few episodes ago, then started to receive a ton of email on the subject. Not long after the April 2007 edition of CE Pro magazine showed up. It had a feature in it entitled "The Ultimate Guide to Home Automation." We go through a list of DIY home automation products. We also discuss a recent blog by Mark Cuban that talk ...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 23 2007, 2:00pm
According to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger, a federal court in New Jersey has decided to dismiss a case in which a California man, Jason Ford, claimed he was defrauded by Panasonic for selling him a plasma television as an HDTV even though it did not have enough pixels to qualify. The Panasonic model [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 20 2007, 1:47pm
We discuss a blog about the top 20 reasons why Home Theater is better than the Movie Theater. Then we review the Mitsubishi WD-65831 65" 1080p DLP.
HD Video Production • Global & Worldview • Blu-ray • Marketplace • New Products & Equipment • Sports • Technology
By Dale Cripps • Apr 20 2007, 3:51am
Depending upon one's loyalty "your side" is winning the high definition DVD race, but it's still a horse race to everyone else.
What is making headway is 1080p-the golden hope of the 80s and 90s has arrived, though not without controversy over its necessity.
Many of you in the professional ranks will say...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 19 2007, 2:00pm
Everyone knows that people are confused about HDTV. And lots of people are trying to help consumers understand this technology and the various choices; that’s why the HDTV Almanac exists in the first place. These efforts are commendable. But sadly, many responsible individuals and companies spread confusion and misinformation rather than eliminate it. Under the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 19 2007, 12:32pm
Q: Is there a difference in energy consumption between plasma and LCD? And does size make a difference; how much more energy do you use as sets get larger?
A: As I’ve said, I expect that consumers will start paying more attention to environmental issues for all sorts of products, including HDTV, so this is [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 18 2007, 2:00pm
For the month of April, anyone purchasing a Sharp LCD HDTV with a screen size of 37″ or larger can have their old television set recycled for free. The purchase has to be made on Sharp’s online retail site and the new screen has to be at least as large as the one being recycled. [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 18 2007, 4:14am
National Football League (NFL) referees for the first time will be able to review instant replays with the sharpest images possible thanks to high definition (HD) technology from Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS) , an international communications and information technology company.
The NFL has placed an order with Harris for the purchase of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2007, 11:04pm
Marking the first anniversary of HD DVD hardware and movies sold to consumers, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group announced today that sales of dedicated HD DVD consumer electronics players reached more than 100K units sold in the United States, ahead of any other high definition format. This figure does not include sales of HD DVD PC drives or the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, which are also selling strongly.
By The HT Guys • Apr 17 2007, 3:45pm
If you have listened to this show for more than a couple of months you know that Ara has purchased a 65 inch Mitsubishi DLP WD-65831 $2950 online. Many will remember the journey that got him there. He looked at the SONY SXRD, JVC HD-ILA, and he even toyed with buying the Samsung LED based DLP. In the end, one Saturday afternoon while hanging out in a Magnolia store he saw the Mitsubishi and decided it was that TV that was going into the Media Room.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 17 2007, 2:00pm
If you want the biggest HD image for the lowest price, the clear choice is a front projector. Until recently, however, there was not much middle ground in your choices. The standard business projectors with their XGA and SVGA resolution are perfectly capable of displaying a wide standard definition image — often called Enhanced Definition [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 17 2007, 12:56pm
When you go out to buy an HDTV you are usually bombarded with all kinds of specifications and numbers. One of the most misused is Contrast Ratio. Today we help you understand what Contrast Ratio is all about. We also opine about being able to control your system over HDMI via CEC (Consumer Electronics Control)
By Alfred Poor • Apr 16 2007, 2:00pm
The battle rages between Blu-ray and HD DVD to become the high-definition DVD format. One question I often hear is “Why can’t they just agree on a compromise format?” Aside from the technical issues that account for significant physical differences between the two formats, the best answer can be found by following the famous advice, [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 13 2007, 3:00pm
Samsung Electronics Co., LTD., a leader in consumer electronics and digital media technologies, and the first company to introduce a Blu-ray disc player will introduce a dual format High-Definition (HD) optical disc player in time for the holidays.
Samsung's Duo HD player (BD-UP5000) will fully support both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats and their interactive technologies, HDi and BD-Java. With the Duo HD consumers can
By Alfred Poor • Apr 13 2007, 2:00pm
Reuters reported that Sony said yesterday that the company will market OLED HDTVs before the end of this year. By Sony’s own admission, the new sets will be “very expensive” and will initially be marketed “as a status symbol”. Sony plans to start initial production at about 1,000 units per month, which is a trickle [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 13 2007, 12:12pm
In this, our spooky Friday the 13th episode, we cover some really scary stuff, like the DLO Homedock Pro and HD Radio. OK, so they really aren't all that scary, but it's a fun show. Take a listen.
By Ed Milbourn • Apr 12 2007, 7:23pm
Strictly speaking what you are about to read is not focused upon HDTV.
Most of the communications systems forming around the world, however, are major benefactors from the technical development of HDTV.
As with NASA's spin offs the strengths found in HDTV solutions are becoming cornerstones for other services.
In this article by DTV pioneer and designer Ed Milbourn we see such developments supporting the enjoyment factor of still another of our national pass times--motoring about the countryside.
The kid in us is going to love this marriage between car and cartoon.
It's not HDTV - yet. But this application of digital television is truly a seminal event in expanding the amazing benefits of DTV technology. To punctuate that thought is the recent announcement by Sirius Satellite Radio that it will start providing
By Dale Cripps • Apr 11 2007, 7:45pm
The press release from LSI (below) marks a beginning of 1080p distribution in ways other than optical disks. The encoding of a progressive source is not much more data consuming than it is for an interlaced version (sometimes less, and algorithms, like wine, are improving with time). While many still ask why we need 1080p since so much of the installed base of HD today is no more than 720p? At least one answer to that question is simple. Manufacturers want to sell bigger and bigger screens and they are hell-bent-for-leather to outdo each other in marketing low-to-lowering cost 1080p projection--front and rear--devices that support those bigger screens. As you recall ten years ago the $10,000 price point for a 50 Inch rear tube-type projector plagued us, but changed dramatically over the ensuing years to one tenth of that cost. Another answer to why 1080p is the fact that the dedicated media room is now an essential space in our homes, especially if we have any ideas toward selling tha ...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 11 2007, 2:00pm
Conventional wisdom says that HDTV buyers will research their purchases online, but when it comes time to put cash on the barrelhead, they head for retailers at the local mall. I believe that a major factor in this is that they want one last chance to kick the tires before making their choice, and they [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 10 2007, 2:00pm
At the Panasonic spring line show last month, the company showed rear projection and direct view LCD models in addition to their new plasma line, but it’s clear that the company is committed to making a big play for plasma. While some other companies — including Philips — are pulling back from plasma displays, Panasonic [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 10 2007, 1:15pm
We decompose an article in Home in Home Media Magazine entitled Katzenberg: HD is a Niche. We try to get to the real meaning behind Jeffrey Katzenberg's statements. We also talk about the Digital Living Network Alliance, or DLNA and what their view of the future is.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 9 2007, 2:00pm
Q: I would like your advice on the purchase of my first LCD TV. I have researched this but the more I read, the more confused I become! What model(s) would you recommend in the 26-32″ range that are reliable, have a sharp picture, and are also capable of playing CD’s? Does [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 6 2007, 2:32pm
We discuss what might happen in the DVD server market now that Kaleidescape has put their legal struggles behind them, including devices like the T2 Media Server from Interact-TV. We also picked our 10 favorite shows in High Definition, but we each used slightly different criteria to pick them. You'll have to listen to find out more.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 6 2007, 2:00pm
The boys of summer have taken to the fields of dreams, and once again, the spring air is filled with the hopes of new beginnings. There’s nothing new about sports driving HDTV sales, however, and baseball is no exception. Sharp has entered into a deal with Major League Baseball to be the official HDTV sponsor, [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 5 2007, 2:00pm
Late last month, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that they were closing one third of their consumer electronic stores, and laying off more than 20% of their employees. The company has had its share of financial woes in recent years, and the price wars of the past holiday season punched more holes in the hull [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 4 2007, 10:45pm
EchoStar announced today the launch of seven Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) in high definition (HD) that will strengthen DISH Network's position as the leader in HD programming. Now avid fans in these seven markets will have access to their home team's games in vivid HD and stunning surround sound.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 4 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, the dirty secret is out. Video content over the Internet — IPTV – may cause a bigger hit to American worker productivity than Freecell and instant messaging, and that’s saying a lot! HDTV champion Mark Cuban (billionaire owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and chairman of HDNet) has an excellent blog called “Blog Maverick“. [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 3 2007, 2:00pm
Apple’s iTunes service owns the lion’s share of the legal music download business. EMI Group claims to be the world’s largest independent music company. Clearly, these are two heavyweight influencers in the music marketplace. So it was a bit of a bombshell when the two companies announced that iTunes will be allowed to start selling [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 3 2007, 1:21pm
We go through the 2007 RAVE awards from Home Theater Magazine and we provide a basic introduction to home automation.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 2 2007, 2:00pm
Last Thursday, I attended the Panasonic spring line show press event, and while much of the news was as might be expected, the company announced plans for the TH-42PZ700, a 42″ plasma model with 1080p resolution that is expected to ship in June for a suggested retail price of $2,499.
The question is why Panasonic is [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 30 2007, 2:00pm
During the lead-up to the SuperBowl, we saw lots of local cable companies get in beefs over rebroadcasting the HD programming from local network stations. As I mentioned at the time, it makes sense to me that the owners of the local stations ask to share in the revenues earned by the cable companies for [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 30 2007, 1:44pm
In response to emails about those on a limited budget, we put together a complete HDTV setup for under $1200 to get you in the game. We also have a review of the Intimus 532 speakers from Aperion.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 29 2007, 2:00pm
I’m fortunate to be one of the beta testers for the new Joost IPTV service. This is the system that was originally known as “the Venice Project“, created by the original inventors of the Skype Internet phone service. Joost keeps growing and getting more polished. The number of channels has been expanded, and includes a [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 28 2007, 6:33pm
The top studios backing HD DVD, including Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Paramount Home Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, Genius Products, and Eagle Rock Entertainment today announced more than 70 specific titles and release windows through July 2007. With movie titles like Smokin' Aces, The Complete Matrix Trilogy, and DreamGirls, HD DVD continues to deliver on promises made to fans of high definition. Additional titles for the remainder of 2007 will be announced this summer.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 28 2007, 2:00pm
In a press release, the display market research firm Pacific Media Associates (I work for this company) reported that in January rear projection HDTV unit sales increased 1.5% over December’s sales figures. That may not seem like much, but compare it with the 20% drop in sales of flat panel HDTVs: LCD and plasma. Texas [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 28 2007, 1:55pm
Sony Electronics today unveiled two new front home theater projectors that bring the movie-going experience home at prices beginning at about $1,000.
The new BRAVIA 3LCD VPL-AW15 and VPL-AW10 projectors feature 1280 x 720 progressive resolution, which is ideal for large screen home entertainment applications like enjoying HD movies, gaming and sports.
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 28 2007, 9:47am
Microsoft Corp. today announced the upcoming availability of Xbox 360™ Elite, a new model of the video game and entertainment system that includes a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish for the console, wireless controller, and Xbox Live® headset.
Xbox 360 Elite has enough space for a library of Xbox Live Arcade games and thousands of songs, as well as downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies available on Xbox Live Marketplace. The new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory to give current Xbox 360 owners greater choice and flexibility in their games and entertainment experience.
Additional Xbox 360 Elite accessories...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 27 2007, 2:00pm
A couple of weeks ago, the CEO of Philips Consumer Electronics stated that the company is phasing out its plasma HDTV products worldwide except for North America and Australia, and will just focus on LCD TVs. It is worth noting that Philips also was a player in the LCoS rear projection market for long time [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 27 2007, 1:21pm
We have a review of the JVC HD-61FN97 61" 1080p HDTV we also have a discussion on home automation that the home owner can program. Well sort of.
By The HT Guys • Mar 26 2007, 8:31pm
We've talked about the JVC HD-ILA (Buy Now)rear projection HDTVs for a long time. In fact way back in Episode 11, on June 9 of 2005, we picked a 720p JVC as our favorite in a shootout between JVC, Mitsubishi and Samsung. Those were the days. TV technology has come a long way since then, but JVC is still a very solid performer, and one of our favorites. In fact, Ara has mentioned that his brother has a couple of them. We finally got one in our HT Guys testing facility - also know as our family rooms - to test it out for ourselves. But would it live up to our expectations?
By Richard Fisher • Mar 26 2007, 6:28pm
Over the last 3 years manufacturers have been busy improving their marketing specs to the mass market for contrast ratios by using an iris and gamma technique since better numbers creates the illusion of purchasing better performance. The purpose of this article is to put that into perspective so that the performance enthusiast will understand why this feature degrades overall image performance, why it sells product and why, for some technologies, it may be needed to be competitive.
One way to improve dynamic range and measured contrast ratio is to employ an iris. An iris typically decreases...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 26 2007, 2:00pm
A couple of weeks ago, Motorola announced the purchase of Amimon, Inc., a company that has created a wireless high-definition interface that it calls “WHDI“. Now, Motorola is big in wireless connectivity, but we think of it as a cell phone company. Why is it getting involved in HD?
The fact is that wireless connectivity offers [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 23 2007, 2:00pm
One of the problems with an HDTV is that you can’t record high definition programming with most digital video recorders (DVRs). There are a few models on the market, but most are tied to cable or satellite service. If you want a DVR for over-the-air broadcast HDTV, one of your best bets at this point [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 23 2007, 1:55pm
Today we provide what we think is a definitive list of what HD channels are available, and what one's are coming in 2007 and 2008. Then we discuss the HQV Benchmark DVD from Silicon Optix.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 22 2007, 2:00pm
Three years ago, the average 42″ high-definition plasma television sold for more than $5,000. Today, you can buy five of them and have money left over. Earlier this month, VIZIO announced a 42″ plasma HDTV that sells at an everyday price of $999.99. That’s a price point that we’ve seen in loss-leader promotions and close-outs, [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Mar 21 2007, 6:02pm
Imagine virtually any digital video source -regardless of its original resolution- being rendered in full 1920x1080 HDTV. Of course, most any modern display up-converter/scaling system will render images in a 1920x1080 format, but not at full HDTV resolution. Enter an incredible development shortly to be revealed - one that is truly exemplary of disruptive technology - the Ultimate Media Player or UMP, the working name and acronym for this amazing innovation.
An interesting consortium of three companies, spearheaded by a large Japanese based electronics powerhouse, developed the UMP. (I am unable to confirm the name of this "prime contractor," but you can guess.) The key to the operation of the UMP is...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 21 2007, 2:00pm
In February 2009, transmission of analog television broadcasts will stop. By some accounts, this will mainly affect the 78 or so million TVs in US households that receive over-the-air (OTA) signals. The NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) has been charged with implementing the rebate program that will help pay for digital tuner conversion [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 20 2007, 2:18pm
Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Jack Buser and Craig Eggers of the DolbyCast. We talk about their latest audio technology and other audio related topics.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 20 2007, 2:00pm
Could your next cell phone be an HDTV? It’s possible, given the advances in light sources for small projectors. As demonstrated at CES by a number of companies, the lighting packages are getting small enough to include in a typical “smart phone” housing. Earlier this month, Osram Opto Semiconductors announced a new six-LED package [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 19 2007, 2:00pm
Pioneer has announced a new 50″ plasma HDTV monitor intended for professional markets. The PDP-5000EX appears to be the pro version of the PRO-FHD1 consumer model that came out last fall. According to a Pioneer press release, the panel uses a deep waffle rib structure that increases the amount of phosphor available for a brighter [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 16 2007, 2:41pm
Just two guys hanging out in Ara's new media room, talking home theater and having a good time. We go over all the ins and outs of Ara's new setup.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 16 2007, 2:00pm
CBS and the NCAA have teamed up again this year to provide free online coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. You can watch any game that isn’t televised in your local market on the March Madness on Demand Web site. Registration is required, but it’s all free and you get buzzer to buzzer coverage.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 15 2007, 2:00pm
A report last week on TVTechnology.com describes the new video franchising rules set down by the FCC. The rules should help the telephone companies get permission to start offering television services around the country. One key element of the rules is that the local franchise authorities must reach an agreement within 90 days of application [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 14 2007, 2:00pm
Gefen – www.gefen.com — has announced a new product that may make it easier for some users to coordinate the video signals from various sources. The new HD Mate Scaler has two sets of component inputs and a DVI-I input that handles digital and analog signals. It then can identify the resolution of the incoming [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 13 2007, 3:16pm
Now that the federal government has issued final eligibility rules for Digital Television Adapters, RCA is readying the DTA800, a low-cost and energy-efficient converter that will insure reception of favorite broadcast TV programs even when analog TV signals are turned off.
At the stroke of midnight at the end of February 17, 2009, analog TV broadcasts are scheduled to end in the United States in favor of digital over-the-air broadcasting. Millions of consumers...
By The HT Guys • Mar 13 2007, 2:07pm
We discuss an article from Electronic House entitled "Home Theater for Small Rooms" And we remember Dr Robert Adler, the father of the remote control, by talking a bit about the history and technology behind the one product in the home theater that we all take for granted.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 13 2007, 2:00pm
CES 2007 is fading into the mists of memory, but all those new HDTVs are starting to appear. Over the next six months, the products announced in January will start to appear on retailer’s displays and in the listings of Web shopping sites. The dealers still have a sizable inventory left over from the end-of-year [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 12 2007, 2:00pm
If you managed to miss the fact that Daylight Savings Time (DST) started yesterday — three weeks earlier than in years past — you probably showed up an hour early for your first appointment today. Unless you had at least one clock in your home that made the change for you.
Here’s the “Spring Forward” scorecard [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 9 2007, 6:00pm
When I bought my Mac Mini last year it was done so with the sole purpose to turn it into an HTPC. But after spending a year with it, the Mini has become so much more. We primarily use the Mini as our video server. We also have an ATSC tuner (El Gato EyeTV) connected to it so it is used as a back up DVR on those rare occasions that we have to record three programs at the same time. With a little networking know-how and a couple of applications the Mini becomes quite a powerful video server.
First lets talk about the hardware...
By The HT Guys • Mar 9 2007, 2:08pm
This is part one in our one part interview with Ara Derderian, co-host of the HDTV and Home Theater podcast. We pick his brain about setting up a do-it-yourself video server and home entertainment network. He based his on the Mac Mini from Apple.
By Richard Fisher • Mar 8 2007, 4:24pm
One of the biggest complaints with the Blu-ray and HD DVD disc format war is the need to buy separate players for each format. If HD and film is your passion you have a difficult choice because not all movies will be released in both formats. A large portion of the potential "high definition disc" consumers are waiting for one of two things before investing their hard-earned dollars in another format: 1) a clear winner in the format war, or 2) a universal player. When LG unveiled their universal player at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 8 2007, 2:00pm
At the DisplayBank FPD Materials Conference last week in New York City, DisplayBank’s Kenny Kim gave a presentation on the supply and demand for LCD panels over the coming years. He forecasts a sizeable surplus manufacturing capacity to continue until early 2009. This is in spite of many companies announcing plans to slow down or [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 7 2007, 2:00pm
All the pundits are still trying to handicap the race between the two blue laser high-definition DVD technologies. (For the record, this pundit has already picked HD DVD as the eventual winner over Blu-ray.) At the USDC investors’ conference for displays last week in New York City, my friend and colleague Pete Putman posed an [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 6 2007, 7:52pm
As I mentioned on the first article, I decided to launch this CinemaScope™ project at my own cost and with my own design and equipment selection, to been able to publish a series of articles for the readership of our magazine, and to show consumers that this concept of a high-definition home-theater (HDHT) CinemaScope™ is economically affordable, technically possible, and could certainly be attractive to many 2.35:1 movie viewers.
Having completed the electronic and optical stages of the system in a dedicated room with controlled lighting, I can tell...
By The HT Guys • Mar 6 2007, 2:04pm
When we saw the new Vizio 60 inch Plasma (the MAXIMVS) via a press release a few weeks ago we were very impressed by its specifications. This week we take an in store look at the TV (Vizio does not send out evaluation samples). There's a new acronym emerging that we want to give you a heads-up on. It's called 'iDCR' and stands for 'Interactive Digital Cable Ready..
By Alfred Poor • Mar 6 2007, 2:00pm
Anyone familiar with HDTV issues knows that the rear projection television — RPTV — market defies gravity. These devices are largely 1080p resolution, so you get the best image detail possible, and they come in the large sizes that people need for a typical living room viewing distance. They weigh much less than a plasma [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 5 2007, 2:00pm
The headline on the BizBlog on the Idaho Business Review Web site screams “You need to buy an HDTV in the next 24 months”. This proves that there is at least one more Chicken Little writing about television in the blogosphere.
Here are the facts, folks. In February 2009, analog broadcast over the air will cease. [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 2 2007, 4:18pm
Part three of our three part interview with Phil Dade of Cavalti Home Theater.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 2 2007, 2:00pm
On Tuesday, the two satellite TV services issued a joint announcement. EchoStar – the company behind the DISH Network — and DirecTV announced that they had settled “certain litigations” between them. Apparently, both were using each other’s trademarked names in sponsored links on search engines using services such as Google Adwords. These links would use [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 1 2007, 2:00pm
IPTV is about sending television, movies, and other video content over a network connection, such as a local network or the Internet. At this point, the technology is still in its infancy. It has cropped up in some Asian markets as an alternative to broadcast television over the airwaves, but in the US, it is [...]
By Dale Cripps • Feb 28 2007, 11:27pm
The process of educating the public about the shut off of analog television in 2009 has begun in earnest. All analog TV broadcasting from terrestrial towers will come to an abrupt and permanent end on February 17, 2009. At the same time each broadcaster is federally mandated to deliver at least the equivalent digital signal as a replacement for the shut off analog. As you will see from the press release below there are upward of 20 million people who remain entirely dependent upon over-the-air analog television signals. Few of those dependents know anything about the transition. The goal of the coalition is to educate every one who is wholly or partially dependent and insure that they have the physical apparatus needed to receive and decode digital signals-something congress has provisioned for in the form of a converter box subsidy costing one and one half billion dollars.
The Fed's provision for the educational component is a paltry $5,000,000--something you can easily blow before ...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 28 2007, 2:00pm
Last week, electronics giant Canon lost a big court decision to a little Texas company, Nano Proprietary. Nano Proprietary holds patents on some of the technology necessary to develop the new surface emitter displays: SEDs. According to a Reuters report, Canon paid Nano a one-time $5.6 million licensing fee for the use of those [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 27 2007, 2:00pm
At a press conference yesterday, Sony announced plans to release an entry-level Blu-ray high-definition DVD player with a $599 list price early this summer. A senior VP also predicted that a Blu-ray player will be selling for less than $500 for this year’s winter holiday buying season, according to a variety of sources. Sony also [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 27 2007, 1:48pm
We run down a list of the top 10 "Must Have" home technology trends from a Market watch article and we talk about three cool home theater gadgets that we found interesting.
By Dale Cripps • Feb 26 2007, 5:42pm
The following announcement is clearly a sign of the times. The Internet is increasingly used as a delivery platform for entertainment television. Traditional appointment viewing and its business model is being challenged with every capacity added to the net. There are, of course, times when appointment viewing remains victorious--sports and news for example--but a majority of our free time is spent with programming that has no particular time imperative. The announcement below studiously avoids the mentions of HDTV--the big bandwidth hog of the day--but the fact that BitTorent can boasts of 135 million "clients", whom they call the "BitTorrent generation", means by default that they are also the "HDTV generation". You can trust that this “bit” generation will grow weary with anything less than HD and soon a demand for its quality will arise. Will we pay for the bandwidth? We have done so every time we are treated with its reward. _Dale
BitTorrent, Inc. Launches the BitTo ...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 26 2007, 2:00pm
You subscribe to a cable service. You expect that you’ll get your local television stations as part of that service. If you are paying extra for digital cable with HDTV service, you might expect to get the local HDTV broadcasts as well. And you might well be wrong. As we saw in the days leading [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 23 2007, 3:11pm
Last Friday (Episode 146) we played part one of an interview we did with custom home theater designer Phil Dade of Cavalti Home Theater in Newport Beach. Today's show is part two of the Q and A session. Great stuff!
By Alfred Poor • Feb 23 2007, 2:00pm
Word broke last week that someone had found a way to unlock the AACS digital rights management (which is another way of saying “copy protection”) for the new high definition blue laser DVDs. These discs are “locked” using a key that is stored on the DVD. Someone discovered a way to find the key, which [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 22 2007, 2:00pm
Q: New DVD players offer up-conversion of a standard DVD signal. How is this accomplished, and is this feature worthwhile?
John Lee, Hawaii
A: Standard DVDs produce a 480i signal (or 480p if it’s a progressive scan player). The new “upconvert” devices take the roughly 850 by 480 pixel image and scale it up to 720p [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 21 2007, 2:00pm
Google’s YouTube has lost another possible partner. Viacom announced yesterday that efforts to reach a revenue-sharing agreement with YouTube have failed, and so the company is turning to Joost – formerly the Venice Project — to host online clips from Viacom’s programming. If you’re not familiar with Viacom, you’ll probably recognize the names of its [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 20 2007, 2:00pm
Many readers of the HDTV Almanac are already familiar with “Professor Poor’s Weekly Price Intelligence Report“: the fastest and easiest way to find all the advertised prices for HDTVs from the major national retailers. The news is that we have developed a new way to track all these prices, which will make the report more [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 20 2007, 12:11pm
Today's show is pretty much all audio. We have an interview with Alex Thatcher Senior Product Marketing Manager for Flat Panel Television. We met Alex at CES this year and asked him if he would come on our show to talk about what HP has in the way of networkable TVs. The conversation went into home networking and included a discussion on movie downloads.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 19 2007, 2:00pm
As the personal computer market gets more constricted and margins get thinner, it should come as no surprise that information technology (IT) companies are looking more and more at consumer electronics (CE) as a way to branch out and pursue the continued growth that corporations seem to equate with success. Two pieces of news from [...]
By Dale Cripps • Feb 16 2007, 9:22pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, February 13, 2007-DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in display market research and consulting, released Q4'06 TV shipments and revenues by technology, brand, region, size and resolution for 53 different TV brands as part of its Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.
Global TV unit shipments grew 26% Q/Q in seasonally strong Q4 while declining 1% Y/Y to 57.6M. Due to a strong shift towards flat panel TVs, average TV prices fell just 1% Q/Q but increased 16% Y/Y to $534. LCD and PDP TV prices fell 21% and 29% Y/Y, respectively, which increased flat panel TV demand boosting the flat panel unit share from 19% in Q4'05 to 38% in Q4'06 and the flat panel revenue share from 57% in Q4'05 to 73% in Q4'06. As a result, TV revenues reached a new record high of $30.8B, up 24% Q/Q and 15% Y/Y.
By region, Europe enjoyed the fastest sequential growth, up...
By The HT Guys • Feb 16 2007, 2:49pm
We had a chance to meet with custom home theater designer Phil Dade of Cavalti Home Theater in Newport Beach. We sat with him and picked his brain about home theater. Today's show is part one of the interview.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 16 2007, 2:00pm
Where will you be when the analog broadcasts of television in the U.S. stop? In two years from this weekend, the nation’s TV broadcasts of analog signals will go dark. The FCC has come to the realization that most Americans are unaware of this scheduled event, and don’t understand its significance. Organizations such as the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 15 2007, 2:00pm
The New York Times published a story earlier this week with the headline “The No-Name Brand Behind the Latest Flat-Panel Price War”. The story makes the case that the Olevia brand of LCD HDTVs made by Syntax-Brillian were responsible for the incredibly low prices seen during last year’s holiday shopping season. The article cites Circuit [...]
By Richard Fisher • Feb 14 2007, 4:27pm
Depending on the age of your product and its options, you are either watching the viewing screen directly, or watching through a screen protector. The actual viewing screen will be grooved for CRT rear projection or flat textured for micro-display rear projection (such as DLP, LCD, etc.). Screen protectors are perfectly smooth and shiny like a piece of glass. Indeed it is a Plexiglas product that may also have an optical coating to reduce glare. Behind the protector...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 14 2007, 2:00pm
An article in this week’s Newsweek explores the growing demand for antennas for over the air — OTA — reception of digital television signals from local broadcast stations. A number of factors could be in play behind this growing interest. Certainly, the fact that some viewers were unable to get the SuperBowl in HD over [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 13 2007, 2:06pm
We have a listener review of the SONY HDR-HC3 HD Camcorder and we take a look at the history of the Yamaha corporation from an A/V perspective.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 13 2007, 2:00pm
Does the SuperBowl sell HDTVs? I haven’t seen sales figures for January yet and February’s only half over, but it’s pretty clear from a number of metrics that I track that interest has fallen way off since February 4th. We’re entering the dark time for HDTV sales — aside from a possible bump from Chinese [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 12 2007, 8:18pm
Texas Instruments Incorporated(NYSE: TXN) (TI) demonstrated the industry's first application processor to playback 720p high- definition (HD) video for high-end mobile phones. The OMAP3430 solution is also the first application processor to integrate the newly-defined OpenGL ES(R) 2.0 graphic standard, bringing "life-like" 3D graphics to the handset and creating a mobile gaming experience comparable to today's handheld gaming devices. In addition, TI introduced two...
By Richard Fisher • Feb 12 2007, 4:19pm
TV Guide has become the new industry standard for providing the mass market with a universal guide system. It operates anywhere in the US using your local over the air broadcast stations, which are also carried on your cable system. QAM digital cable tuners are typically part and parcel of a product supporting TV Guide, often times including a cable card option. This review will help you navigate the potential problems that may arise in setting up this feature for your HDTV.
When you first install the TV, or other product with this feature, you will be prompted to setup the system by answering...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 12 2007, 2:00pm
Corning owns the lion’s share of the LCD glass market worldwide, and the company is gearing up for growth. In preparation for their annual investor meeting on Friday, the company announced that it expects the demand for LCD glass to grow at a compound annual rate of 30 percent for the next two years. By [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 9 2007, 2:47pm
We go over the history of high definition television and discuss some tips and tricks for wiring in difficult situations.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 9 2007, 2:00pm
I realize that the content on your site is available for free, but I must register my displeasure with all the coverage of IPTV. It is still in its infancy and tends to require special access or software or permission. I don’t think that a site that is named HDTVprofessor should spend so much time [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 8 2007, 2:00pm
As I’ve pointed out before, Radio Shack has a problem with its new foray into becoming an HDTV dealer; its stores are small. As a result, they don’t have room for large screens, and only stock models up to about 37″. And that’s not nearly large enough for most American living rooms. So the company [...]
By Richard Fisher • Feb 7 2007, 4:27pm
If you have one of the new lamp-based microdisplays such as DLP, LCoS, SXRD, D-ILA or LCD it will definitely pay off to learn how to extend your lamp life. Lamp life varies by manufacturer design based on the application of the product and varies anywhere from 2000 to 8000 hours. Lamp replacements run from $200-$500 but most consumer rear projection displays are in the $200-$300 range and also lean more towards longer rather than shorter life design. The good news here is unlike any other display you have owned you can bring these back to brand new performance by simply replacing the lamp.
Lamp replacement is generally easy and comes in the form of...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 7 2007, 2:00pm
DRM stands for “copy protection” and refers to the various technologies that are used to deter the illegal copying and use of copyrighted material such as music, movies, and video. The problem is that DRM also prevents legitimate use of this material. Yesterday, Steve Jobs of Apple came out with a strong position against DRM [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 6 2007, 2:15pm
We have a review of the Helios H4000 and we talk about what we are watching on TV.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 6 2007, 2:00pm
Remember the tough old days when you used to have to drive all the way to Wal-Mart to buy a movie? (The average driving distance for the average American has to be under 15 miles, given the way Wal-Marts seem to be everywhere these days.) Thank goodness that if you want to buy a movie [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 6 2007, 2:00pm
We have both gone on record saying that we are going to wait out the next generation DVD format war. But Ara gave in and bought a HD DVD drive for his xBox 360 at Christmas. Braden is still holding out as are many people. So what are your alternatives. You can buy an upconverting DVD player that will supposedly take your standard DVDs and make them compatible with HD resolutions.
By Richard Fisher • Feb 5 2007, 4:18pm
As of 2006, nearly all TVs sold in the US now use this updated internal tuning system for receiving DTV over the air (an FCC regulation) and all analog and digital cable channels without a cable box. This has added a new wrinkle to how your TV is setup and how it operates.
First thing you may note when you setup the TV or product, such as a DVR, is that it takes quite a long time (10-30 minutes) to perform an auto programming of...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 5 2007, 2:00pm
Perhaps you caught the two quick ads last night on the SuperBowl; today is the official launch of Bud.TV, a new Web video site developed by Budweiser. This free site boasts a variety of original content developed just for this new Internet “channel”. A number of current and former Saturday Night Live members are among [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 2 2007, 5:09pm
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) known for its leading Panasonic brand, today announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Panasonic Corporation of North America, will establish a Panasonic Hollywood Blu-ray Testing Center (PHBTC) within the existing facilities of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory and start testing services immediately.
Blu-ray Discs feature strong copyright protection technology, and conducting logical format verification of entertainment content in replicated BD-Video discs requires...
By The HT Guys • Feb 2 2007, 2:14pm
Living in the US its pretty hard not to know that this Sunday (February 4th) is Superbowl Sunday. We take a look at the Superbowl from an HD perspective. We also take a look at HDMI 1.3. Should you buy something today that does not support HDMI 1.3 or should you wait.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 2 2007, 2:00pm
I have noticed that a lot of people have come to the Almanac as a result of using search engines to find information about 32″ LCD HDTVs. (Yes, I’ve got a nifty new tool that tells me all sorts of things about how people find the Almanac, and what they read when they get here; [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 2 2007, 12:08am
DISH Network(TM) satellite TV service today announced the launch of A&E HD, a high definition simulcast of the network's blockbuster lineup.
"The exciting addition of A&E HD helps further complement DISH Network's industry-leading suite of high definition programming," said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of Programming for DISH Network. "We are pleased to be the first national provider of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 1 2007, 7:49pm
Probably the shortest bulletin you've ever seen from us. The CBS website is reporting...
By Dale Cripps • Feb 1 2007, 4:01pm
The following press release contains some disturbing information about the transition to all digital terrestrial TV. There are still far too many over-the-air viewers who know nothing of what is coming upon them (shut off of analog on February 17, 2009). We, who already have these digital services, need to think of how we can individually advance the understanding of the transition to those who still have not a clue. It is important work and we thank you in advance for doing what you can for the cause. The nation needs the spectrum back to be then reissued by the FCC to Homeland Security first responders, among other things. There is a coupon subsidy program for ATSC decoder boxes designed to help those who simply cannot afford to make the transition, so no one is being led into a blind corner. The solutions are there for those dependent upon over-the-air services but the education needed to successfully engage those solutions is not._Dale
APTS Survey Finds Majority of Americ ...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 1 2007, 2:00pm
I have noticed that a large number of people have come to the HDTV Almanac as part of online searches for information about HDTV contrast ratios. I go into the subject in some detail in Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV, but here’s the quick overview.
Contrast ratio is probably the single most important performance factor [...]
By Richard Fisher • Feb 1 2007, 5:17am
CableCARD is a new feature that comes with most HDTV displays allowing you to eliminate the cable box from your system (and your bill), saving you some space and a little dough. Most cable cards rent for a few dollars a month. Depending on your cable company, you will be provided the card for you to install, a simple insertion on the back of the product, or they will send out a service rep. Once installed...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 31 2007, 2:00pm
This morning, Syntax-Brillian announced a partnership with AEG to become a “Founding Partner” at a number of AEG venues across the country, including L.A. Live, STAPLES Center, Sprint Center, and Citizen’s Bank Arena. The multimillion dollar sponsorship agreement will see Olevia-branded LCD and RPTV displays integrated throughout the venues, in digital signage and hospitality applications. [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Jan 30 2007, 8:09pm
At least at the start.
There is no doubt (at least in my little mind) that the next big step in television development is the addition of the third dimension - i.e. "3DTV." Interestingly, virtually all of the technical elements are in place to commercialize fully compatible 3DTV.
The one caveat to this statement is...
By The HT Guys • Jan 30 2007, 3:10pm
We've got news, listener email, some talk about Microsoft and the HD-DVD format, and a review of the Sony VPL-VW50 SXRD projector.
By Alfred Poor • Jan 30 2007, 2:00pm
A story in DigiTimes reports that the Photonics Industry Technology & Development Association (PIDA) has predicted that prices for 32″ LCD HDTV panels will decline 7.6%. That’s not their prediction for all of 2007; it’s just for the first quarter. And 37″ panel prices are expected to fall 6.1%. PIDA estimates that the average [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 29 2007, 2:00pm
DRM: it stands for “digital rights management” but the definition is really “copy protection“. We are currently coping with heavy-handed implementations of protection at a number of levels. Why can’t your iTunes music play on an MP3 player that is not an iPod? DRM. Why will some high-definition DVD players produce a 1080p signal only [...]
By The HT Guys • Jan 26 2007, 3:00pm
We have become pretty jaded by large contrast ratio numbers so when we saw a 8,000:1 rating we were not too impressed. But we were wrong. This TV produced some of the best contrast and detail that we have seen in a long time...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 26 2007, 2:00pm
Netflix is a phenomenon; there’s no other way to put it. More than 5 million people subscribe to the service that has done such a good job using your mailbox as a replacement for the video rental store, that Blockbuster has now been compelled to match the service. Netflix offers more than 70,000 titles on [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 26 2007, 3:09am
Bringing further heat to the burgeoning HD DVD format, Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) will release more than 100 new film and television titles in 2007. Perennial favorites such Scarface and instant classics like 40-Year-Old Virgin, Battlestar Galactica S1 and Oscar®-winning Brokeback Mountain will be joined by dozens of new titles released day and date with the DVD.
By Alfred Poor • Jan 25 2007, 2:00pm
I’ve written lately about the brave talk from manufacturers about how flat panel HDTV prices are not going to decline as fast in 2007 as they did in 2006, and how they are whistling in the dark. The market will determine the pricing, and if supplies exceed demand as it appears likely that they will, [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 25 2007, 12:30pm
Anyone can relate to how CinemaScope brings the movie experience to the eyes, some of us can even remember the Cinerama experience over 40 years ago, almost everyone is familiarized with the term and meaning of HDTV, and with HT (Home Theater). So I created the term "CinemaScope HDHT" because it is actually blending the 3 concepts and technologies into one, and this series of articles is about implementing the 3 concepts, at your home, finally with consumer products.
For some people the choice of 16:9 (aspect ratio of 1.78:1 for HDTV) has been...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 24 2007, 2:00pm
As some of you may know, I’m co-host of a radio show that is broadcast on Wednesday nights at 8 PM Eastern, on WBAI-FM in New York City. The Personal Computer Show is the longest running computer show in the country, and I am honored that I get to be a part of it.
The show [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 23 2007, 2:00pm
Last week, I mentioned the beef that some network affiliate station owners had with local cable services offering their HD programming without paying anything extra for it. And right now, if that station is affiliated with CBS, a lot of subscribers are very interested in a quick settlement to the problem… say, before February 4th. [...]
By Dale Cripps • Jan 23 2007, 1:30am
January 20, 2007 - Alsea, OR -- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) alerted the press today that legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to deal with the educational efforts related to the February 18, 2009 "hard date" shut off of...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 22 2007, 2:00pm
Sony has announced that it will not let its Blu-Ray disc production subsidiary produce any “adult” titles. As it did with Betamax, it is not going to make it easy for pornography producers to publish on Blu-Ray. This comes on the heels of the announcement by many major porn publishers that they will be using [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 19 2007, 2:00pm
While the November and December retail wars were raging, the LCD manufacturers of the world saw orders decline. This is a normal seasonal fluctuation, as retailers scale back from the feeding frenzy of the holidays. But while orders are down, many manufacturers are looking to expand their production capacity even further for the coming years.
By Tom Starner • Jan 19 2007, 3:08am
It's getting closer. Super Bowl XLI, that is.
But before many of us shift into the mindset of "Let's play the freaking game already!" (remember, they are using the two-week gap again), we need to find out who gets to play in the world's biggest single televised sporting event, HD or otherwise (with all due respect to the World Cup).
It's the weekend we football fanboys (and girls) get to soak in all the HD glory of...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 18 2007, 2:00pm
Lots of people have the same complaint about IPTV as they do about broadcast television and cable: “500 channels and nothing’s on“. Well, if you’re looking for quality content for free on the Internet, you need look no further than the Sundance Film Festival’s site. Starting today, the festival will post complete short films as [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 17 2007, 2:00pm
You’ve bought your magnificent HDTV and it’s installed. You have upgraded your cable service so that you get their HD programming, to take advantage of the extra resolution of your new TV. And you’ve started making the shopping list for your SuperBowl bash on February 4th, because you’ve invited a mob of friends and family [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 16 2007, 2:00pm
IPTV is “Internet Protocol television”, and refers to video content delivered over a network instead of broadcast over terrestrial towers, satellites, or cable systems. The rapid growth of YouTube and the sale of network broadcast show episodes over iTunes demonstrate clearly that people are ready to start getting at least some of their entertainment video [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 15 2007, 2:00pm
How small can a front projector get? Small enough to be bundled into a typical “smart phone”! A demonstration by Microvision at CES last week showed a tiny package that was displaying full color, full motion video content, and the mockup showed it fitting into a cell phone case. No, it wasn’t very bright, but [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2007, 2:00pm
Aladdin was not the only one to consider swapping his old lamp for a new one. Rear-projection HDTV makers have been actively seeking alternatives to the traditional UHP lamps used in most RPTVs and front projectors. While these lamps are very bright, they also generate a lot of heat and are limited to a few [...]
By Tom Starner • Jan 12 2007, 3:05am
When it comes to HD, this is about as good as it gets on the pro football front. The Divisional playoffs, with four more NFL games and another level deeper into the "tournament" (to quote Cowboy coach Bill Parcells, who no doubt will be watching all the NFL action on his massive HDTV). My only fear is one of the networks, in search of even higher ratings, will use T.O. as guest color commentator on a pre-game show, or worse, as a sideline reporter. Ahhhhh!
Anyway, another feast of NFL playoffs in HD...
By Tom Starner • Jan 11 2007, 2:41pm
As I write this, the negative/problem posts continue to stack up on DBSTalk.com, a Web forum devoted to satellite TV and its users. Since late summer, that particular forum has been ground zero for a major "debate" of sorts, one that, in essence, separated DIRECTV defenders from detractors (though to be fair, not everyone who posts is firmly on one side or the other).
By Alfred Poor • Jan 11 2007, 2:00pm
As I’ve written here before, a lot of companies have been saying that they don’t expect the flat panel HDTV prices to fall as much this year as they did last year. I can understand why they would say this; the 25% to 40% price drop made profits evaporate even while unit sales went through [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2007, 7:45pm
Warner Home Video unveiled its groundbreaking "Total Hi Def" disc, which plays the HD DVD format on one side and the Blu-ray Disc format on the other, at a presentation hosted by Warner Bros. Entertainment Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
While consumers rave about the quality of high definition when they see it, a confusing format dilemma will result in slower consumer adoption of HD technology. Until now, consumers have been forced to choose one high-definition format-not knowing ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2007, 6:04pm
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading satellite television service provider, announces that the DIRECTV Plus(R) HD DVR has been verified with Intel(R) Viiv(TM) technology. With this certification, DIRECTV becomes largest supplier of Viiv-verified digital media adapters (DMAs).
DIRECTV customers who have a DIRECTV Plus(R) HD DVR can now access and enjoy their pictures and music on their TVs directly from Intel Viiv technology-based PCs. The DIRECTV Plus(R) HD DVR is the world's first digital set-top box with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2007, 5:02pm
Apple® today premiered Apple TV™, an easy to use and fun way to wirelessly play all your favorite iTunes® content from your Mac® or PC on your widescreen TV, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts. Using Apple TV's stunning new interface, anyone can quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room using the simple and intuitive Apple Remote. Apple TV easily connects to almost all modern widescreen televisions, and will be shipping in February for just $299.
Apple TV has a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 10 2007, 2:00pm
I know that this coverage is unbalanced, giving Sony two entries in a row, but the news is worth it. In addition to all their new products, Sony also is demonstrating a 27″ 1080p OLED TV here at CES in Las Vegas. OLED is the technology that many think is most likely to gain a [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2007, 7:58pm
Toshiba Corporation today underlined the versatility and high capacity of the HD DVD format with the announcement that the company has developed a triple-layer HD DVD-ROM (read only) disc with a capacity of 51 gigabytes. The new disc can store up to 7 hours1 of high-definition video and adds an extended capacity, high-end option to the already extensive line-up of HD DVD-ROM discs. Toshiba aims to...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 9 2007, 2:00pm
At their CES press event Sunday evening, Sony announced plans to offer an IPTV service, which means providing video content over the Internet. Some models of the Bravia line will accept special modules that will allow you to connect the set directly to a broadband Internet connection, without the need for a separate PC.
The service [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2007, 2:39am
DIRECTV is hailing 2007 as the "Year of HD" with the planned launch and carriage of 100 national high-definition (HD) channels. With this substantial HD muscle, DIRECTV will offer three-times more HD programming than any other multi-channel distributor, with the majority of these channels launching in Q3.
DIRECTV also announced today...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 8:22pm
DISH Network™ satellite TV service announced today that starting February 1st, 2007, it will offer new DISH Network customers the highly-acclaimed, high definition ViP622 DVR™ receiver for free as part of the Digital Home Advantage Program. The ViP622 DVR is the first HD DVR in the satellite industry to be offered with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 4:15pm
Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment (BVWHE) today announced the company's most extensive Blu-ray Disc slate yet, with action-packed and family titles due for release throughout 2007 in North America, Europe and Asia. Showing its continued commitment to the next-generation, high-definition format, the company has selected a wide range of titles, many 50GB, to showcase the new Blu-ray Disc format, from blockbusters and Academy Award(R)-winning masterpieces, to popular animated movies for the entire family. In North America, BVWHE will release titles beginning March '07 to include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 4:04pm
Onkyo Corporation today announced plans to launch its first HD DVD player for the North American market in 2007. HD DVD is the next generation DVD format approved by the DVD Forum.
Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD 5.1 channel audio processing formats are supported by HD DVD, which allows consumers to enjoy a high quality home theater experience. HD DVD also will offer the advanced content and features such as active menus and PinP video adopted by HD DVD.
Onkyo will introduce an HD DVD player initially...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 3:22pm
Continuing its industry leadership role and unwavering commitment to the Blu-ray disc format, the only high-definition packaged media format supported by the movie, music, gaming and computing industries, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) announced its impressive slate of upcoming Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles due for release through the first half of 2007 in North America. Following the chart-topping sales success of Q4 2006 releases X-Men: The Last Stand and Ice Age: The Meltdown BD releases -- 2 of the top 3 BD sellers to date-- plans call for the Company to collectively release an average of 5 to 10 titles per month from Fox and MGM. The Studio's new release titles will be released day-and-date with DVD whenever possible including the recent...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 3:00pm
AMD today unveiled the ATI TV Wonder™ Digital Cable Tuner - the industry's first and only device that enables users to watch and record premium HD digital cable content, such as HD ESPN and HD HBO, on their PCs.
The ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner turns a PC into a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) with easy to use Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center menus and interfaces. It is scheduled to be available starting...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 2:53pm
Sharp is once again raising the bar for LCD technology at 2007 CES with one-of-a-kind innovations and increased performance. The world's largest LCD TV, the 108-inch, is headlining the company's wide breadth of TV offerings, which also includes the newest lines of large-screen AQUOS HDTVs to come from the company's 8th generation factory in Kameyama, Japan, featuring enhanced contrast ratios, response times that are among the fastest in the industry, and more inputs than ever before. In addition, Sharp is showcasing...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 8 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, CES 2007 hasn’t started yet officially, and I’ve already picked one of the “buzz themes” for the show. The press gets to shuffle from one massive press conference to another the day before show starts. If you think nobody will show up for an LG Electronics press conference at 8 AM on a Sunday [...]
ViewSonic Showcases the Latest in Display Products and Previews Technologies for the Future at CES 2007
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 1:48pm
ViewSonic® Corp. has once again brought display technology innovations to homes and offices everywhere. In conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company showcased more than a dozen displays, including the industry's first fully-featured, multifunction, high definition DLP® projector with an integrated iPod® dock, two true 1080p HDTVs, and a complete line of Microsoft Windows Vista™ certified widescreen desktop LCDs that give consumers even more options for work and play. These displays...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 1:34pm
WHV will be opening the vaults and bringing out fan favorites and top franchises for all genres. Planned releases for 2007 include The Matrix franchise, all of the Harry Potter films and Oceans 11 and Oceans 12. Other classic titles to be released in the first quarter of 2007 include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 5:00am
Samsung Electronics today unveiled its second-generation Blu-ray player for the home entertainment industry. Samsung expects that the BD-P1200 player will help the company stay a step ahead of the cutting-edge optical media industry.
One of the BD-P1200 player's key new features is its Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) processor, which is a powerful unit similar to those used by Hollywood production studios. With its HQV processor, the BD-P1200 player offers true 1080i to 1080p HD de-interlacing, so it can deliver the best HD images possible...
Panasonic Debuts Next Generation Big Screen 1080p High Definition Plasma TV's And Shows Prototype 42-Inch 1080p
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 4:26am
Panasonic, the leader in high definition and Plasma TV, today announced its full line of Plasmas for 2007, including a 50-inch and 58-inch 1080p high definition model, which compliment Panasonic's current 65-inch and the world's largest Plasma, the 103-inch, to provide a wide choice of Plasmas in the 1080p resolution arena. The full line brings seven new Plasmas to consumers for 2007, and further demonstrates Panasonic's industry leadership and cutting edge technology in big screen Plasma entertainment.
Also, at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic unveiled a prototype 42-inch 1080p high definition Plasma...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2007, 3:58am
At CES, Toshiba is introducing the new HD-A20, which is expected to retail at $599.99. With the 1080p capabilities of the HD-A20, Toshiba has taken high definition to the next level at an attractive price point. The HD-A20 joins the existing Toshiba HD DVD line-up which includes the entry level HD-A2 and the top of the line model, HD-XA2. This expanded line of products offers...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2007, 8:07pm
Blending the latest technologies and offering unprecedented flexibility to consumers seeking the convenience of playing both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD high-definition content, LG Electronics (LG), a leader in consumer electronics and mobile communications, today launched the groundbreaking "Super Multi Blue" Player at the 2007 International CES®.
Launching in the United States during the first quarter of 2007, this advanced dual-format high-definition disc player, LG model BH100, will be the first player on the market with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2007, 7:44pm
NETGEAR®, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) today announced an ongoing collaboration and agreement with BitTorrent, Inc. to promote video downloads streamed to high-definition televisions (HDTVs) through the new NETGEAR Digital Entertainer HD (EVA8000) media receiver. BitTorrent, home to the world's leading peer-assisted digital content delivery platform, will work with NETGEAR on marketing and technology initiatives to deliver the highest quality and fastest distribution of media files over home networks.
Debuting this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Digital Entertainer HD is a...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2007, 5:00pm
JVC today unveiled its 2007 line of digital entertainment products in conjunction with the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For 2007, JVC will field a line that positions the company at the forefront of advanced-technology design and engineering, delivering expanded performance capabilities, operational versatility, and unmatched ease of use to consumers.
JVC's 2007 display product line-up reflects its 10 years of HD-ILA technology innovation. Among its many product highlights, JVC will introduce...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2007, 4:26pm
LG.Philips LCD Co., Ltd. (NYSE:LPL)(KRX:034220), a leading innovator of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) technology, announced today that it will showcase its cutting-edge suite of TFT-LCDs for HDTVs, desktop monitors, notebook PCs, digital information displays and other applications during CES 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada, to be held from January 8-11, 2007.
Products showcased will include a full line-up of full high definition...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2007, 8:11pm
It seems every writer out there loves writing predictions, so I can only assume it's because readers love reading them. Or perhaps it's just because writers want to be right and say "I told you so". Well in that same spirit, I thought I would take a stab at some CES 2007 predictions. I realize some of these may be obvious, or no-brainers, but I think I've stuck my neck out on a couple as well. These are in no particular order...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2007, 6:01pm
Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) today announced the world's first half-height HD DVD writer, providing high-definition video editing and content creation capabilities on desktop systems and media centers using this increasingly popular next-generation DVD technology. Like Toshiba's slim-line HD DVD writer launched in 2006, the new SD-H903A provides read and write support for legacy formats, enabling users to enjoy existing CD and DVD material along with high-definition DVD content.
Ideally designed for single-bay desktop PCs with its multi-functional capabilities, Toshiba's SD-H903A is the perfect solution for professional...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 5 2007, 2:00pm
Major manufacturers have been quoted recently, saying that the plummeting prices for flat panel HDTVs in 2006 were more than they had expected, but that price reductions in 2007 should be smaller. And I dismissed this as whistling in the dark. The new year is less than a week old, and V Inc — makers [...]
By Tom Starner • Jan 4 2007, 4:00pm
Only one thing to say about this weekend when it comes to HD sports: NFL playoffs. After all, this is why many of us went out and bought those big screen HDTVs. For football freaks, it's time for four weekends (remember the week off before the Super Bowl) of total football immersion, where every game counts. And all in glorious HD (if the networks do their jobs right).
And this weekend, there is a special cherry on the top of our football phantasmagoria. On Monday night...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 4 2007, 2:00pm
LG Electronics has announced that the company will show a new high-definition DVD player at CES. The drive will support both HD DVD and Blu-Ray formats. No mention was made about pricing or availability, or even how the drive would be configured.
Some may view this as good news for the high-definition DVD market, as it [...]
By The HT Guys • Jan 3 2007, 5:02pm
In a recent podcast (Podcast 132) we both put together and HD starter system. Braden chose the Panasonic TH-42PX60U Plasma HDTV ~$1300 US Street Price. Today we are going to take a look at its bigger cousin the TH-50PX60U 50" Diagonal Plasma HDTV ~2000 US Street Price
By Alfred Poor • Jan 3 2007, 2:00pm
Showtime Networks has announced that they will offer a service that will let consumers download-to-own episodes of the network’s proprietary programming. The system relies on Microsoft’s new Vista version of Windows, using its Media Center PC features. The network plans to demonstrate the service at CES in Las Vegas next week.
The camel’s nose continues to [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 2 2007, 2:00pm
Many consumers in the U.S. are beginning to enjoy the power of fiber optic data transmissions. This service provides a high bandwidth connection to the Internet, telephone service, and eventually, video entertainment. Companies such as Verizon have made enormous investments to build out the fiber optic network, and hope to challenge traditional cable companies by [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 1 2007, 2:00pm
Okay, just like last Monday, I’m not posting any HDTV news today. I want to thank everyone who reads the HDTV Alamanac and has helped spread the word; I greatly appreciate your support and comments. Thanks also to the HDTV industry as a whole, as they are bringing better and better products to market all [...]