By Rodolfo La Maestra • Dec 31 2008, 7:30pm
Congress passed a law providing an initial $990 million dollars within a $1.5 billion program to subsidize the purchase of converter boxes
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Dec 31 2008, 7:30pm
On July 2006, based on an estimate of the number of households who rely solely on OTA television broadcasts, the U.S. Commerce Department proposed coupons for an estimated 21 million U.S. households to aid the purchase of converter boxes,
Congress passed a law providing an initial $990 million dollars within a $1.5 billion program to subsidize the purchase of converter boxes
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 31 2008, 7:16pm
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) today announced it is expanding its list of 1080p high definition programming options to include "The Dark Knight" available now for $6.99 per purchase.
Consumers can sign up for the best high definition programming and service in the satellite industry with DISH Network's TurboHD programming packages, the only all-HD packages on the market, starting at...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 31 2008, 2:00pm
Okay, we’ve got seven weeks to go until the end of (most) analog TV broadcasts in the United States. And Nielsen reported a couple of weeks ago that at least 7 million homes still aren’t ready for the conversion. And that’s just among homes that only get TV over the air; it does not include [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 30 2008, 3:07pm
LG Electronics today announced the expansion of network entertainment options for its Network Blu-ray Disc players through new alliances with CinemaNow and YouTube(TM).
Available on new LG Network Blu-ray Disc Players in...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 30 2008, 2:37pm
LG Display (NYSE:LPL, KRX:034220), a leading innovator of TFT-LCD technology, announced today that it has developed the world's first "Trumotion 480Hz" LCD TV panel, which has an impressive 480 refresh rate per second, accelerating the advent of ultra high-speed images, without sacrificing picture quality.
LG Display's 'scanning backlight' is the technology that...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 30 2008, 2:00pm
LG Display announced today that it has developed a “Trumotion 480Hz” LCD HDTV panel. Yes, Virginia, that’s four times faster than the current 120 Hz specification offered by some of the top-of-the-line models from various TV makers. The point of the higher refresh rate is that it helps reduce motion blur on LCD panels. By [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 30 2008, 8:00am
It's an awesome show to close out 2008. Ara had to fly solo because Braden lost his voice, but there's still a ton of great news, emails and articles to cover. The "Beware of the Dog House" video may be one of the instant classics for this year. You've got to check it out.
By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2008, 2:00pm
Last Friday, CompUSA.com ran a one-day special on the Sylvania NB501SL9 Blu-ray DVD player, selling it for just under $180. This is about a 10% discount over the $200 price that you can find from lots of sources. My question is this; is this price low enough to entice you to switch to Blu-ray? Keep [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 26 2008, 2:00pm
What happens when people stop buying your product? Early numbers indicate that 2008 was one of the worst holiday shopping seasons on record, when you compare with the prior year. And as anticipated, inventories are still high at the retailers. From sweaters to flat screens, retailers have been slashing prices in efforts to try to [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 26 2008, 6:57am
Technology moves faster now than it ever has before. Things that were cutting edge just a year ago are almost antiques already. 2008 saw some really great and exciting things in the world of HDTV and Home Theater. Back in January we tried to predict what we thought would happen. Let's take a look at our predictions to see how we fared.
By Alfred Poor • Dec 25 2008, 2:00pm
I’m celebrating Christmas today, so I’ll under the tree instead of in front of the keyboard this morning. Let me take this time to wish all of you a happy holiday season. Even in these difficult times, I hope that you find many reasons to be thankful. Whether this is your first visit to the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 24 2008, 2:00pm
Here’s another name to add to the list: Theater Xtreme. The Delaware corporation ceased operations at the two company-owned stores in early December, as well as laying off all corporate employees, but took the next step of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week. It is possible that the company could regroup, but it is [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 23 2008, 2:00pm
Okay, now there’s one less reason to roll your own Media Center PC in order to watch movies from the Internet on your HDTV. Roku announced yesterday that their $99 Netflix Player will now support streaming HD content. The company does not specify what “advanced compression technology” it uses, but I’m guessing that it’s some [...]
Cable HDTV • LCD • LCD HDTVs • LED (LCD)
By The HT Guys • Dec 23 2008, 7:43am
It's almost Christmas and maybe you've been too busy watching LCD prices fall, trying to figure out the best time to grab one, and you forgot to pick up a gift for that special someone in your life. Or maybe you're just one of those crazy people who likes to do all their shopping last minute. Whatever your circumstance, we have some tips for you. These are gift suggestions for that special someone in your life. The person who maybe doesn't share your passion for all things Home Theater.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 22 2008, 7:00pm
Roku Inc., a leading innovator in digital media technology and maker of the popular Netflix Player by Roku, today announced it has released support for streaming high definition (HD) content. Through the use of advanced compression technology, Roku can deliver instant streaming of HD content over average consumer broadband connections - bringing HD to the mass market at an affordable price of just...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2008, 2:00pm
One of my favorite sayings is that “a rising tide raises all boats”, which I view as shorthand for how cooperation between competitors for the good of the industry help all involved. The current economic situation looks more like ebb tide in the Bay of Fundy, where the water level can drop as much as [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 19 2008, 2:00pm
Just in time for the big ball to drop, JVC has installed a new giant display in New York City’s Times Square. The company claims that it’s the first “true 720p high definition display” in Times Square. The installation includes a main screen and two tickers, one of which wraps around the globe. The screen [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 19 2008, 7:05am
We've talked about wanting to give our television providers the boot for the past two years now. In the end, at least for us, there is no way to eliminate them completely. This week while reading an article in Broadcasting and Cable entitled Web Sports Enters HD Arena we thought it would be a good idea to revisit the subject. For this study we looked at our viewing habits and tried to come up with online equivalents.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Dec 18 2008, 5:07pm
This part in the series discusses the implementation of tuner integration, its timing within the DTV Transition, and its impact on existing and future DTVs. I will talk about over-the-air (OTA) and cable reception, integrated tuners and set-top-boxes (STBs), and satellite STBs.
This is an analysis of the facts related to tuner integration as implemented over the past 6 years within the 10-year DTV transition, and how those facts affect consumers depending on the service they use (broadcast, cable, satellite, or Telco).
At closing I will also identify...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 18 2008, 2:00pm
When it comes to OLED HDTVs, I’m as big a cheerleader as you’ll find. What’s not to love? They have super-thin panels, the emissive technology looks better than a CRT, and it has none of the problems faced by plasma and LCD panels, such as image retention or motion blur. There’s just one small problem; [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 17 2008, 2:00pm
Tweeter, Circuit City, CompUSA, and other consumer electronics stores have fallen by the wayside. And now we learn that Best Buy is not immune to the financial woes of a weakened economy. The company announced third quarter net earnings yesterday, which were down 77% from a year ago. That’s huge. And the company is not [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 17 2008, 12:26pm
Sony Electronics is teaming with FOX Sports and an all-star roster of technology providers to deliver the first live 3D presentation of next month's college football FedEx Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game between the University of Florida and University of Oklahoma. The announcement was made here during the Sports Video Group annual League Technology Summit.
The Jan. 8 game will be shot using 3ality Digital's image-capture technology and transmitted live via Cinedigm's CineLive(TM) satellite distribution network from Dolphin Stadium in Miami to...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 17 2008, 12:23pm
VUDU today took a major step forward in bringing the Web into the living room by launching the VUDU RIA (Rich Internet Application) platform, a standards-based platform that brings Web-hosted rich applications and services to consumer appliances such as the popular VUDU Internet movie player. VUDU RIA combines the openness and ease of development of Web applications, lightweight hardware requirements compatible with today's consumer Internet appliances, and a lean-back user experience optimized for television.
To demonstrate the power and flexibility of VUDU RIA, VUDU has created...
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 17 2008, 11:50am
XStreamHD, an emerging leader in the delivery and distribution of Full High Definition (HD) entertainment to the home, has successfully tested its revolutionary transport system.
The unique transport system, tested on the AMC-16 satellite at 85 degrees west longitude, enables XStreamHD to deliver Full HD movies, music, and games directly to...
Digital (DTV) Transition • Digital Rights Management (DRM) • Events & Tradeshows • Politics & Policy
By Alfred Poor • Dec 16 2008, 2:00pm
It appears that others share my concern that the transition to digital-only television broadcasts, scheduled for February 17, 2009, may not go off as smoothly as the federal government would like to predict. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) announced yesterday that it was opening DTV Assistance Centers in seven U.S. cities [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 16 2008, 8:27am
Just when you might think that you have enough gadgets, you come across a new one that reminds you: you can never have enough cool stuff. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the "world's smallest HD camcorder," the Flip Video Mino HD. Not only was it a lot of fun to play with, it was very useful and extremely convenient. If you'd like to record some Holiday memories this year in true 720p high definition, or you need to find a cool, unique gift for the techie who has everything, the Mino HD is a sure hit.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 15 2008, 8:33pm
ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual display products, today announced the launch of the VT2430, a 24-inch LCD HDTV with full 1080p high-definition performance, delivering precise images for a sharper picture. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, TVs top the lists of what both adults and teens want for the holidays1, and the VT2430 is an affordable option to grant those wishes.
The VT2430 has key features that consumers desire...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2008, 2:00pm
Molex. What’s a Molex, you may ask. No, it’s not some one-name action star from Hollywood. It is one of 10 companies that will share in an award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) in recognition for their contribution to the development of the HDMI interface. Molex is one of the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 12 2008, 2:00pm
Nielsen announced yesterday that a bit more than 23% of U.S. households have at least one HDTV as of November 30. This includes “HD capable” sets that are not receiving HD service. Unfortunately, Nielsen did not report on what percentage do not have HD service, but recent figures from other sources have indicated that it [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 12 2008, 1:59pm
Alltop is an “online magazine rack” that aggregates RSS feeds about popular topics. For HDTV, it includes feeds from PC World, PC Magazine, HDTV Magazine, Engadget, and AVS Forum. And now it includes HDTV Almanac as well. And so we now proudly include the Alltop badge in the right-hand column of this page. (I was [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 12 2008, 6:10am
Each year we put together an entire starter home theater system. This year we know money is tight so we assembled something that we feel will provide a great experience without breaking the bank.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 12 2008, 3:14am
SageTV, LLC, today released SageTV HD Theater, a $199.95 Full HD capable networked media player that lets you enjoy virtually any home video, music or photo from your home network in Full HD on your HDTV. Internet Video from YouTube and many other popular online video services can be browsed, searched and played on the SageTV HD Theater.
Setup with the SageTV HD Theater is really simple...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 11 2008, 2:00pm
Okay, the fact is that I could probably write every entry from now until February 17, 2009 finding errors in what’s being written about the digital TV transisition. Some of the errors apparently are made out of ignorance, and some are cases of the writer over-simplifying. But the fact remains that there’s a lot of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 10 2008, 2:00pm
The transition to digital broadcast of television programming is not the only big transition scheduled for TV in 2009. On June 1, 2009, Conan O’Brien is slated to take over from Jay Leno at the big desk on NBC’s late night “Tonight Show”. But few were prepared for the big news that broke yesterday. NBC [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 10 2008, 12:36pm
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that its highly anticipated PlayStation(R)Home Beta service for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(R)) will become available for all PS3 users around the world(*1) on December 11, 2008. Following the successful completion of the closed beta service, PlayStation Home's open beta service will continue to evolve with new features and functionality.
PlayStation Home is a ground-breaking 3D social gaming community available on PS3 that allows users to...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2008, 2:00pm
One of the assumptions about a slow-down in consumer electronics sales is that the prime brands will be okay, and it’s the smaller companies that get hammered. Well, as a measure of just how bad the situation is, Sony announced today that it intends to trim about $1.1 billion in annual costs. One way to [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 9 2008, 7:38am
We start off the main content in today's show talking about a couple of low cost options we found for recording your Holiday memories in High Definition. Then we move on to the 2008 edition of our annual Home Theater Receiver buying guide. Like last year, this year we have given you our HTIB and HDTV buying guide. Once again our series would not be complete without talking about the hub of your Home Theater, the Receiver. This year we have three categories, $500 or less, greater than $500 and less than $1000, and greater than $1000. Last year the cheapest receiver supporting Dolby True HD was the Onkyo TX-SR605 which went for an incredible $380.
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 9 2008, 1:24am
Creative(R) today announced availability of the Vado(TM) HD Pocket Video Cam, the ideal holiday gift. The thin, lightweight Vado HD is small enough to fit easily in a pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, and it captures video in 720p high-definition quality with just the touch of a button.
The Vado HD is the only Pocket Video Cam to feature...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 8 2008, 2:00pm
When I was in a Costco last week, I looked for some smaller LCD HDTVs with built-in DVD players, but couldn’t find any. I asked one of the store staff, and he told me that they used to carry such models but don’t anymore. (I did notice that Best Buy and Circuit City both had [...]
By Alfred Poor • Dec 5 2008, 2:00pm
November retail sales figures are coming in for the discount chains, and according to a report by TWICE, the news is a bit grim. WalMart posted a 6.5 percent gain over last year, with consumer electronics, clothing, and home goods doing well.
So much for the good news. Costco was down 3 percent, and sales were [...]
3D HDTV • Broadcast • Entertainment • Sports
By Alfred Poor • Dec 4 2008, 2:00pm
It has been widely reported that Fox announced plans to broadcast the college football BCS championship game in 3D at select movie theaters in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. The plans were announced this week by Fox Sports CEO David Hill at the 3-D Entertainment Summit.
Perhaps more important were the comments made by Hill [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 3 2008, 9:41pm
TZero Technologies, the leader in Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology and wireless video solutions, today announced that it will publicly demonstrate its second generation ZeroWireTM product at a developer's conference in Tokyo this week. The new ZeroWireTM solution, with an expected bill of material cost below $50 per device, is the world's first and only commercially viable Wireless HDMI product that supports...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 3 2008, 2:00pm
Already liquidating under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, Tweeter threw in the towel and abruptly closed all of its 70 stores nationwide on Tuesday. More than 600 employees lost their jobs, and the company has petitioned a Delaware court to convert the Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Many customers have paid some or [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 3 2008, 1:56pm
To help viewers prepare for the federally mandated shutdown of full-power television analog signals and the transition to digital television (DTV) on February 17, 2009, all Boston market broadcast television stations and cable providers, in conjunction with Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee as well as the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association (MBA), have partnered to launch 'DTV Day' on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 from 5:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
'DTV Day' is a market-wide educational initiative designed to...
By Alfred Poor • Dec 2 2008, 2:00pm
I just knew that there would be more. KTVH in Helena, Montana, has joined the ranks of the early converters to digital broadcasts. Their transmission tower is located above 8,000 feet on Hogback Mountain (no kidding!) can be a bit difficult to work on in February weather, so they decided to make the switch on [...]
By The HT Guys • Dec 2 2008, 6:40am
We did this a couple years ago, and it's probably just as good an idea now as it was then. Being that many of you may have recently purchased your first HDTV at a great price on "Black Friday," we wanted to do a show that will help you decide on a Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) system that will bring the other half of the HD experience into your HD Theater. We list and briefly discuss 5 systems; all of which support Blu-ray - some even include it.
By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2008, 2:00pm
Netflix has a huge head start in delivering rental movies over broadband Internet, but Blockbuster is making an attempt to catch up. The company announced their 2Wire MediaPoint digital media player last week. The device is nominally free; all you have to do is buy 25 movie rentals for $99, which works out to $4 [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 28 2008, 2:00pm
Those NFL fans with the goofy hats and face paint are going to be emerging — literally — on screens on December 4th in the first ever 3D live broadcast of an NFL game. When the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders face off in an intrastate contest, fans in Boston, Hollywood, and New York [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 28 2008, 6:37am
Each year at this time we stop to give thanks for everything we have in our lives. Home electronics is pretty far down the list in the bigger picture. It goes without saying that we are thankful for our families, our health, our friends, and our wonderful listeners. With that said, there are a few things that we are thankful for in the home electronics area. As is tradition over the last four Thanksgivings, on today's show we give you our list of things we are thankful for.
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 28 2008, 1:54am
VIZIO, America's HDTV Company, announces details on some of their special pricing for select TVs during Black Friday weekend (starting the day after Thanksgiving, November 27, 2008.) VIZIO is lowering prices now so buyers can save now on the most popular LCD and plasma models...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 27 2008, 2:00pm
I’m not here today. I’m off with family and friends, enjoying the holiday, and I hope that this is a happy day for you, too.
These are difficult times for many people, and getting a flat screen TV may not be in the cards for many this year. Whatever your circumstances, I hope that you have [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 26 2008, 2:00pm
I recognize that there are many sites that give you the “inside scoop” on the Black Friday offers. And this year — more than ever – the retailers themselves have been tipping their hand and pre-announcing their own specials. And then let’s not forget the fact that we’ve been seeing Black Friday pricing on lots [...]
Panasonic Brings Back Open Access to Its Exclusive VIERA HDTV Concierge Service for Holiday Shopping Season and Leading Up to the Digital Transition
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 26 2008, 3:08am
Panasonic, a market and technology leader in flat panel HDTV's, announced today that it will again offer consumers access to its Panasonic VIERA Concierge(TM) toll-free information service prior to "Black Friday" and through this holiday season. The Panasonic VIERA Concierge program, normally open exclusively to Panasonic VIERA Plasma and LCD HDTV owners, will be accessible to any consumer who would like to learn more about selecting a flat panel television from a live expert beginning...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 25 2008, 2:00pm
A new flat panel report from DisplaySearch indicates that the proportion of LCD panels with 120 Hz refresh increased from 12% in the second quarter of 2008 to 16% in the third quarter. This is a big increase: one third more in just one quarter.
The shift becomes more significant when you break it down by [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 25 2008, 7:03am
There's never a bad reason to watch another Blu-ray movie, especially if that movie is about a Marvel comics hero. We've compiled lists in the past of our favorite DVDs to use to show off a home theater. It seems like just about every Blu-ray movie coming out these days can easily be added to the list - for sure the block-bluster movies from the big studios. Iron Man is no exception.
If you're looking for a fun movie that looks and sounds great, look no further.
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 25 2008, 1:48am
Sherwood America Inc., one of the world's leading manufacturers of high performance audio and video consumer electronics, announces that it is now shipping its first Blu-ray DVD player, aimed at consumers that have been waiting for affordability and optimum performance.
Sherwood's premier entry-level Blu-ray DVD player is aimed at consumers that are looking to step up to high-definition discs but have been waiting for an affordable solution. The BDP-5003 supports...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 25 2008, 1:29am
Frank N. Magid Associates' recent study of high-definition television set owners reveals that fewer first-time HDTV set buyers are arranging for high-definition program service from cable and satellite providers than ever before. Among the 12 percent of U.S. households who purchased a new high-definition television in the past year, 41 percent still need to arrange for high-definition program service from a cable or satellite provider, compared to as many as...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 24 2008, 10:23pm
Connectivity solutions provider Gefen today announced the availability of its 1:5 Splitter for HDMI v1.3. This high performance distribution solution accepts one HDMI signal from Blu-ray players, DVD players, set-top boxes, digital video recorders and game systems, and delivers the same audio and video to five HDMI displays and projectors at the same time. Greater signal distributions can be achieved when cascading two or more Splitters together.
With support for the full scope of the HDMI v1.3 format, this Gefen Splitter passes...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 24 2008, 2:00pm
As I’ve mentioned here frequently, the elderly are one major segment of the US population who are most likely to be adversely affected by the upcoming transition to digital television broadcasts. They are least likely to be technology-savvy, and most likely to depend on television broadcasts for their entertainment and information. Add the fact that [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 24 2008, 11:53am
Continuing its commitment to bring the best prices to customers through Operation Main Street, Walmart today posts online at Walmart.com (http://www.walmart.com/) its entire Black Friday advertising circular with incredible savings on hundreds of items to help its customers cut the cost of Christmas. In addition, Walmart.com today announces it will offer online specials on Thanksgiving Day.
In addition to its Black Friday specials...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 21 2008, 2:00pm
Q: The transition to digital broadcasts poses a problem for some people who record daytime shows on their VCRs to watch when they come home from work. I asked the salesman at Radio Shack about the two converter models they sell, and they do not have a timer feature to set up like a [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 21 2008, 7:47am
On today's show we will discuss the expected Black Friday deals we can all look forward to on the day after Thanksgiving. We will also see how our predictions we made back in September turned out.
By Alfred Poor • Nov 20 2008, 2:00pm
A new administration, and everything changes. Barack Obama has already announced that his weekly radio address to the nation will also be filmed and then posted on YouTube. If nothing else, this is a president who understands communications in the 21st Century.
In fact, he’s already started using the Democratic weekly address as an opportunity to [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 19 2008, 2:00pm
The transition from analog to digital television broadcasts in the U.S. can best be described as “exceptional“. On February 17, 2009, all TV stations in the country will stop broadcasting analog signals, and will only broadcast digital. Except some that are not full-power stations. And except for most of the stations in Wilmington, NC, which [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 18 2008, 2:00pm
It’s not a good time to be an LCD HDTV maker. Sharp is Japan’s largest LCD TV maker — and fifth largest LCD panel maker worldwide — and they’re taking it on the chin. According to a report from PriceSCAN, the average selling price for LCD HDTVs 50″ and larger fell by 6% in October [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 18 2008, 12:26pm
VUDU debuted today the VUDU XL2, a new Internet movie player designed specifically for professional home theater installations that demand the highest quality picture and a product that occupies just one rack unit (1U) of space.
In addition to providing access to hundreds of titles in VUDU's proprietary HDX format and with the largest HD library available on-demand, the XL2 will allow the most discerning home theater owners to choose from...
By The HT Guys • Nov 18 2008, 7:07am
Every year the Consumer Electronics Association compiles Five Technology Trends to Watch. The full document is about 25 pages long, but it has some great information in it, so we went through it to pull out the highlights. The CEA claims that the "topics chosen this year by CEA market analysts cover a wide range of digital technologies that will impact the world." While they may not end world hunger or and end to war, we do agree that they are interesting trends that we all will want to keep an eye on. We'll give the HT Guys Digest version, but please read the whole article if we pique your interest.
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 17 2008, 4:42pm
Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc. will introduce a new sales channel for its award-winning Blu-ray camcorder, introduced last summer, using a direct sales Web site, www.hitachibd.com. Launched on November 17th, the microsite provides a convenient outlet for consumers to purchase the coveted camcorders. The user-friendly site also provides consumers direct online access to help them prepare for the holiday season.
Hitachi's new Web site will also feature...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 17 2008, 4:39pm
NETGEAR(R), Inc. (NASDAQ:NTGR) , a worldwide provider of technologically innovative, branded networking solutions, today announced the general availability of its latest powerline adapters for turning electrical power outlets into high-speed Internet and home network connections. Fast enough to stream high-definition video, the award-winning Powerline HD Plus Ethernet Adapter Kit (HDXB111) and Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter Kit (XAVB101) provide reliable, high-speed network connections up to...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 17 2008, 2:00pm
February 17, 2009 is just four months away. If you have any of your TVs connected to an antenna, you should be thinking about how you’re going to get a signal after the digital conversion. Your old analog set can have a long life after the digital switch-over, but you’ll need a digital converter box. [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 14 2008, 2:52pm
Today we take a look at the Western Digital WD TV HD Media player. The WD TV HD Media Player is a device about the size of an external hard drive that plays A/V content from USB storage media. The WD TV HD Media player is optimized for the WD "My Passport" line of hard drives but it will work with other USB devices. The player supports 1080p for content and menus navigation.
Comcast Announces More Than 1,000 HD Choices Available - the Most HD Content Anytime, Anywhere (well, almost)
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 14 2008, 2:39pm
As High Definition (HD) Television viewing skyrockets, Comcast/South Florida, the area's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications services, announced today that it now offers more than 1,000 high definition viewing choices, delivering on the company's commitment to significantly increase HD programming by year's end. This announcement also marks a major milestone for Project Infinity, Comcast's initiative to provide...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 14 2008, 1:00pm
Look at this picture. Yes, the device on the right is an iPod, and you can store photos and video on it which you can then watch on the little LCD screen. But what if you want to show the content to someone else, or a couple of people? Do you all crowd around and [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 13 2008, 1:00pm
CompUSA.com sent out an email yesterday advertising some sale specials. The lead item was a 61″ 120 Hz 1080p HDTV on sale for $1,099.99. This is no off-brand product; it’s from Samsung. It’s ready to display 3D images, such as movies or video games. And it’s not a refurbished return; it’s got a full factory [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 13 2008, 11:16am
Shuttle Inc., the market leader in the Mini-PC segment and manufacturer of Multi-Form-Factor solutions today announces its brand-new XPC Barebone with Intel G45 Express chipset. The Shuttle XPC Barebone SG45H7 is ideally suited to deliver high-resolution 1080p picture quality. Furthermore, heat dissipation and noise level have been further improved in this model. As a unique feature amongst Mini-PCs...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 12 2008, 1:16pm
Looking to brighten the out-of-home advertising market, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world's largest provider of thin-film transistor, liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCDs), today announced that it has developed a 70-inch diagonal, "super bright" LCD digital signage panel - the brightest panel in the world to be mass produced.
Samsung's new 2000nit LCD panel is one-third...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 12 2008, 1:00pm
MultiMedia Intelligence issued a press release last week, announcing a new research report on peer-to-peer use of the Internet for for video content and its impact on connection bandwidths and the new data transfer caps being implemented by Comcast on all residential accounts.
The release gives a lot of good information, even if you don’t spend [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 11 2008, 1:00pm
YouTube is the place to watch those funky homemade short videos, right? Stuff like cats doing clever (or stupid) things, or stunts that might make it on AFHV. And of course there are those clips from TV shows, many of which are posted illegally by viewers and soon get taken down. But you don’t find [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 11 2008, 7:03am
There are quite a few solutions on the market for wireless digital audio. When Logitech acquired Slim Devices a couple years ago, they jumped into the fray with the Squeezebox line of products. Logitech quickly turned out their own twist on the product line, the Squeezebox Duet. We've had one in the HT Guys lab for quite a while and recently got the chance to plug it in, power it on and give it a listen.
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 11 2008, 4:20am
VUDU Inc. today announced a nationwide promotion only available at Best Buy that should help chase away the winter and lighten the pressure of delivering that "tah-dah" gift this holiday season: a $299 VUDU bundle which includes a VUDU Internet Movie Player and $200 worth of movie credits.
VUDU is the only service to offer...
Sharp Adds Enhanced Inputs and Network Connectivity to Professional High-Definition Liquid Crystal Display Lineup
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 10 2008, 9:09pm
Sharp is expanding its comprehensive line-up of professional LCD displays with the announcement of two Monitors that represent upgrades to two successful "PN" series monitors. The new PN-S525, designed for extended use in both landscape and portrait mode, replaces its predecessor - model PN-525U, while the new PN-S655, designed for extended use in landscape mode, replaces its predecessor - model PN-G655U. These new models offer high image quality and performance, adding a new LCD component panel for improved resistance to image retention, as well as additional inputs including HDMI and RJ-45 LAN for advanced connectivity and networking capability. Also...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 10 2008, 9:07pm
Silicon Mountain Holdings, Inc., (OTC:SLCM) (BULLETIN BOARD: SLCM) , a technology company specializing in high-performance interactive computing solutions, today announced its design for a 32 and 42-inch High Definition LCD-TV with an integrated, full-function PC and Blu-ray/DVD player. Named Allio, this system will define an entirely new category of converged products, where entertainment and instant, on-demand information and productivity blend together seamlessly, in stunning high-definition.
The Allio HD TV / PC is the first...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 10 2008, 9:00pm
NEW YORK, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- With only 100 days remaining before broadcasters shut down their analog television transmissions, new research from Frank N. Magid Associates finds that an unprecedented 96 percent of all consumers ages 21 and older now say they have heard something about the pending digital transition.
Magid's online survey, fielded in September, reveals that...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 10 2008, 8:48pm
VUDU announced today the availability of more than 1,100 HD titles for instant, on-demand viewing, giving the VUDU owners access to the largest library of HD content in existence. VUDU also pledged to continue to aggressively expand this HD library further in the coming weeks. The combination of this massive HD library, which spans mainstream new releases to independent titles and classics, with VUDU's two high quality HD formats, instant-start HD and the superior HDX format, make VUDU the most convenient and exciting choice for consumers who love HD content.
To achieve this milestone, the company added on average over 150 HD titles per week in October alone. Every week...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 10 2008, 1:00pm
Circuit City acknowledged that there is indeed an elephant in the room today, declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to seek protection from creditors while it tries to create a reorganization plan to save the company. The problem is that it owes millions of dollars to the very companies that it needs to provide [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 7 2008, 2:39pm
Ara got a chance to speak with Avner Ronen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Boxee Inc. Boxee is billed as the open, connected, social media center for Mac OSX and Linux. It is a fork of the XBMC project that has taken the media center application in a new 'social networking' direction. Currently in a limited alpha release, big things are already happening and it's gaining a lot of traction. It's a fun piece of software and was a fun interview.
By Alfred Poor • Nov 7 2008, 1:00pm
Back in January, I singled out “green” issues as one of the key themes of the CES 2008 conference. I was focused on the environmental issues — power consumption, hazardous materials, manufacturing pollution — but the power consumption issue seems to have taken the spotlight as consumers are also more conscious about saving “green” on [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 6 2008, 1:00pm
Last month, Sharp announced the DX series of AQUOS LCD HDTVs for the Japanese market. The sets come in 26″ to 52″ sizes, but they all have one important detail in common; they all include a built-in Blu-ray DVD recorder.
Now, including standard DVD players in an LCD TV is fairly common these days. A built-in [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 5 2008, 1:00pm
NetFlix is clearly preparing to make the transition from DVDs to electronic delivery of rental movies. On Monday, the company announced that it was ending its practice of offering used DVDs for sale. They didn’t say what they were going to do with all those discs, but presumably they will be wholesaled to another company [...]
By Alfred Poor • Nov 4 2008, 1:00pm
Next to the SuperBowl, a presidential election seems to bring out the geek in the television graphic designers. It’s a one-time event that lets them throw away budget limitations and build the slickest technology they can in order to make their broadcast coverage the most compelling show possible. So watch for some cool visuals tonight [...]
By The HT Guys • Nov 4 2008, 6:47am
CE Pro magazine has put together another list of amazingly priced home electronics products. We're looking for ideas to put on our wish lists for Christmas, so we figured this list would be a good place to start. And Yahoo has a list of new TV shows that have either already been picked up for a whole season or are looking promising. So if you're wondering if that new show you've really gotten addicted to will be around in the springtime and beyond, you'll want to have a listen.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 3 2008, 5:42pm
This part is dedicated to tuner integration and the role it was expected to play in the DTV Transition.
As mentioned in part 3 of this series, 15 million households have over-the-air-only TVs, and many cable/satellite subscribers may also tune broadcast on their secondary TVs.
Would DTV tuner integration address this situation?...
By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 3 2008, 2:41pm
WD(R) (NYSE:WDC) , the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced a simple way for consumers to play their stored digital content on their HDTV in Full- HD 1080p resolution. The WD TV(TM) Media Player connects to a user's TV or home theater and plays digital movies, music and photos from WD's My Passport(TM) portable drive or other USB mass storage device. The WD TV Media Player is available...
By Alfred Poor • Nov 3 2008, 1:00pm
Circuit City announced today that the company will close 155 stores. These stores will not open tomorrow, and the closing sales will begin on Wednesday, November 5. Our local store will not be closing. You can find out if you’re near one of the targeted stores by reading the list posted on the Circuit City [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 31 2008, 1:00pm
EnergyStar is the joint project by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that is designed to help consumers identifiy energy-efficient products before they make a buying decision. The problem of rating flat panel televisions is that it is a moving target. The average screen size is a lot larger than it [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 31 2008, 6:38am
As the first Halloween with one High Definition movie disc format, we compiled a list of the ten best spooky movies on Blu-ray, just in case you don't have anything to do and want to watch something scary. But before we get too far on that, we also cover some recent reports about Blu-ray being a temporary format and not having that much life left. Who knows, maybe next year we'll give the list of the top ten high definition downloads for Halloween.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 30 2008, 1:00pm
A report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday confirms what many analysts have been saying for some time; sales of large flat panel TVs are in trouble, and inventories are piling up for both manufacturers and retailers. The latest evidence? Sales of digital converter boxes are exceeding projections. More people are simply buying converters [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 30 2008, 11:04am
Microsoft Corp., the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions, and Akamai Technologies Inc., the leader in powering rich media, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced plans to enable high-definition (HD) quality experiences on PCs. Akamai will release a beta version of a new service, powered by Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Silverlight, to deliver rich Internet applications via the world's largest HTTP edge network.
Microsoft is introducing new Web server technology, called Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7.0) Smooth Streaming, that gives consumers instant start-up times and no buffering by adapting the quality of the video stream in real time based upon changing connectivity speed. This enables...
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. Announces Retail Availability of World's First Laser-Based Television
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 30 2008, 11:00am
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced the beginning of the laser era and the immediate availability of the world's first, laser-powered television. The Mitsubishi LaserVue(TM) 65" model is now being sold for $6,999 at select specialty retailers nationwide. After months of anticipation, many consumers nationally have already purchased LaserVue and have had the rare opportunity to experience the amazing breadth and depth of color that laser television offers. LaserVue has been introduced as the most energy efficient large-format, high-definition television available on the market today. LaserVue not only delivers two times the color(1) of many of today's HDTVs, but it also uses exponentially less power(2) than LCD and plasma TVs.
LaserVue's technology is...
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 30 2008, 10:50am
FOX News Channel (FNC) will provide live continuous coverage of Election Night beginning at 6:00PM ET on November 4th.
Brit Hume will kick off the evening's coverage joined by Chris Wallace and panelists Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol from The Weekly Standard, Juan Williams of National Public Radio, and Nina Easton of Fortune magazine. Coverage will emanate from FNC's all new High Definition studio which will be debuted that evening, and analysis will be provided by both the former Co-chief Strategist and Communications Director for Senator Hillary Clinton Howard Wolfson and former Senior White House Advisor to President Bush Karl Rove.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 29 2008, 1:00pm
Do you relish standing in line for five hours in the cold and dark, just to get a shot at one of the Black Friday bargains? If not, you might be interested in the shortcut that Best Buy has announced. As part of its Black Friday VIP contest, you can be one of 25 lucky [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2008, 1:00pm
A press release from Futuresource , a British market research firm, makes some interesting observations about the state of the world economy and its impact on consumer electronics. Their numbers are based on United Kingdom measures, but I expect that for this purpose, they are similar enough to the situation in the USA for argument. [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 28 2008, 5:17am
We've compile a few lists of some of the top selling items at Amazon.com. A few of the lists shocked us a little bit. Of course, we have an opinion on what they mean, and what we might see for the Holiday shopping season.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 27 2008, 4:58pm
Part 3 of the series has the objective of helping the reader get a general picture of the adoption of digital TVs; the growing of the DTV installed base, household coverage, the combined conditions of both to meet the deadline of the DTV Transition and a projection for the eventual replacement of the full inventory of analog TVs within the US.
Over recent years some of the figures tossed by...
Netflix Begins Roll-Out of 2nd Generation Media Player for Instant Streaming on Windows PCs and Intel Macs
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 27 2008, 2:24pm
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced it has begun the deployment of Microsoft Silverlight to enhance the instant watching component of the Netflix service and to allow subscribers for the first time to watch movies and TV episodes instantly on their Intel-based Apple Macintosh computers. The deployment, which will initially touch a small percentage of new Netflix subscribers, is the first step in an anticipated roll-out of the new platform to all Netflix subscribers by the end of the year.
Silverlight is designed for
By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2008, 1:21pm
In a press release earlier this month, Apple touted the fact that it has HD versions of popular network TV shows available for sale on its iTunes service. Here are shows offered in HD on iTunes by four major networks:
?Brothers & Sisters?
?Dirty Sexy Money?
?Life on Mars?
?CSI: New [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 24 2008, 1:00pm
I’ve been writing about how bad the HDTV market is going to be this winter, and yesterday, a big shoe dropped. When times get tough, you’d expect that the middle and lower tier companies might struggle, finding it more difficult to get shelf space and make sales. You’d think that the blow would be buffered [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 24 2008, 6:39am
We've both seen the entire Indiana Jones Trilogy, so when Paramount said they were filming a fourth movie we both became very excited. Braden saw the movie in the theater and Ara waited for it to come out on Blu Ray. While this review is technical in nature, be fore warned, we may throw out a few spoilers.
We talked about Vudu's new HD Technology (HDX) back on Show #316. For those of you that did not hear that show, Vudu's HDX technology, according to Vudu, is a new video format that delivers the highest quality true High Definition 1080p content available from any Internet, broadcast or satellite on-demand service. We decided to put that statement to a test.
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 23 2008, 5:22pm
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, and Samsung Electronics America, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced a broad partnership to offer consumers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from the Netflix Web site directly to their living rooms via Samsung's BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 Blu-ray disc players. The companies also said they are collaborating to enable Samsung to integrate instant streaming from Netflix into a range of home entertainment products.
The BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 are currently available for...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 23 2008, 4:18pm
Part 2 is dedicated to some technical aspects and benefits brought by the DTV implementation.
DTV includes HDTV and SDTV, HDTV is a major improvement having 9 times the image quality of analog just in resolution terms, and SD is efficient enough to be able to broadcast 4-6 SD channels over the same bandwidth reserved for one HD channel (or one analog channel) in areas where that line up is needed.
DTV also allows for the simultaneous broadcasting of both HD and SD, whereby SD uses part of the bandwidth required for HD on the same channel slot, which could be a good benefit, but could possibly harm the quality of the parallel HD program if overused. DTV also has...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 23 2008, 1:00pm
I was one of the beta testers for Joost, the site that offered streaming video — often in higher definition than you get from some Web video sites — of a wide range of content. It offered old made-for-TV movies, current TV episodes, music videos, and a ton of specialty programming that was aimed at [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Oct 22 2008, 4:22pm
Spurred on by the technical and economic success of digitally produced and distributed motion pictures, the inevitable emergence of the third dimension of consumer HD is upon us. Consider the following items...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, maybe it’s just because it’s so late at night (or so early in the morning, depending on your perspective), but I feel a good rant coming on. Is anyone else out there getting fed up with the “bugs” and “crawls” and other visual junk that the networks are throwing on the screen while you’re [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 22 2008, 3:55am
Continuing in his celebrated tradition of providing comprehensive Election Night coverage, Dan Rather will host a live broadcast from the Newseum in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 4.
"Dan Rather Reports On Politics: Election Night 2008" will kick off at...
VIZIO Launches Two New Lines of Mid-Sized LCD Displays With High Style and Full HD 1080p Performance
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 22 2008, 3:53am
VIZIO, America's HDTV Company, has announced today four new high performance Full HD 1080p LCD flat panel displays in 32" and 37" sizes. The VOJ370F and VOJ320F are the first of the exclusive decor-colored "Java" product line with colored bezel and stand treatments that integrate elegantly into contemporary styling of today's homes. VIZIO has also released two additional Full HD models based on the popular VIZIO "VO" series of products. The VO32LF-32" LCD and VO37LF-37" LCD are now Full HD 1080p, offered at...
By The HT Guys • Oct 21 2008, 4:12pm
We reviewed the original Slingbox way back in 2005. Ara currently has two of them and has been able to watch TV from his hotel in Chicago, Denver, and Europe. But the main way the Slingbox is used in the Derderian family is to extend TV reception to any room in the house. While the Slingbox works well via the Internet it works really well on your local network. The issue with Internet usage is bandwidth. First, if your upstream bandwidth is limited, it really doesn't matter how much downstream bandwidth you have. In Ara's home the upstream is capped at 1 Mbps although lately I have exceeded that.
When we saw the Slingbox PRO-HD come to market we were very excited. We realize that...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2008, 1:00pm
Some analysts have questioned whether or not Circuit City will survive until the end of 2009. Now there appears that the company may not finish 2008. A report in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere yesterday indicates that Circuit City may shutter as many as 150 of its 712 stores and lay off thousands of [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 21 2008, 4:55am
It's no secret we're into projects; we like to geek out every now and then to see what we can put together without breaking the bank. We've built our own MythTV server, assembled a Mac based video server and have messed around with whole house audio as well. Another project we've had in the back of our minds for years now is the infamous DIY Home Theater Projector project. As we started to do our research, a thought hit us. Would it be better to build a projector ourselves, or just pay a little extra and buy one on eBay?
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 20 2008, 8:07pm
Churchill Downs will become the first racetrack in the United States to offer simulcasting in high definition ("HD") when it opens its 2008 Fall Meet on Sunday, Oct. 26. The HD signal will be rolled out progressively to select off-track betting locations ("OTBs") and racetracks across the nation, as well as on-track in a variety of public areas.
Churchill's high-definition simulcast will present live racing in...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 20 2008, 6:25pm
The purpose of this series of articles is to help the public and the industry with the Digital Television (DTV) transition, and to motivate you to help others.
Due to the imminent DTV transition deadline of February 17, 2009, and because the subject is complicated to many in the public, it deserves to be explained in detail, so I will cover the topic in several articles within the series of "DTV Transition - Can YOU Help?"
If you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of the evolution of the DTV implementation...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2008, 1:00pm
What’s happening to the LCD HDTV market? One way to look at what’s ahead is to look “upstream”. By this, I mean look at what’s been going on at the manufacturer level. They make the panels that will go into the televisions that will be sold this holiday season. So what’s happening upstream?
Orders are way [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 17 2008, 1:00pm
With international stock markets forcing economic writers to reach for their Thesauruses to find a word that goes beyond “volatility“, we’ve added another factor to the mix for this train wreck that we call this year’s holiday buying season. Manufacturers and retailers alike were counting on this last quarter of the year to balance their [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 17 2008, 6:38am
We first saw the Yamaha YSP-4000 Sound Projector in use at CES 2007. At that time we were quite impressed that a single unit could generate a 5.1 sound field. For those of you who are not familiar with what the Yamaha Sound Projector, it is single unit resembling an oversized center channel that decodes surround sound and generates multi-channel experience by bouncing sound waves off the walls in your room. The advantages are obvious, no running of speaker wire, easy placement of a single component, no clutter! This type of device is ideal for an apartment dweller or for use in a master bedroom, or for the person who wants surround sound but doesn't want to deal with the installation of a multi piece system.
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 16 2008, 1:38pm
Apple(R) today announced that all four of the major networks are offering primetime programs in stunning high definition on the iTunes(R) Store (http://www.itunes.com/), including viewer favorites "Grey's Anatomy" and "Lost" from ABC, "CSI" and "CSI: Miami" from CBS, "Bones" and "Prison Break" airing on FOX, and "Heroes" and "The Office" from NBC Universal. The iTunes Store is the world's most popular online TV store with over 200 million TV episodes sold, including more than one million HD episodes purchased since the launch of HD programming on iTunes last month.
The list of HD programs now available on the iTunes Store includes...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 16 2008, 1:00pm
Two related news items this week caused a little head-scratching in the professor’s study. The first was an announcement from Sherwood that they were introducing a Blu-ray player designed “for affordability and optimum performance” with “an irresistable” list price of $299.95.
And then there was the news that a new Blu-ray player bearing the Olevia brand [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 16 2008, 1:52am
Panasonic (NYSE: PC), the consumer electronics industry leader in the development and application of tru2way technology, and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications today announced the arrival of the first tru2way VIERA HDTVs at Abt Electronics in Glenview, IL and officially declared the tru2way platform active in Chicago and Denver.
Tru2way technology is being used to create...
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 16 2008, 1:43am
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital television leader, today announced it will begin transmitting the industry's most advanced MPEG-4 delivery system to consumers in 11 additional markets in the eastern half of the United States. Now, consumers who sign up for DISH Network(R) in 32 markets will receive all standard and high definition programming in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding Standard, which provides the best picture quality on any TV. In August, DISH Network became the first pay-TV provider to offer all-MPEG-4 service.
New customers in 32 designated markets* in the eastern half of the U.S. who sign up for any DISH Network HD package will receive...
Internet2 and Partners Demonstrate First Uncompressed High-Definition Video Using Dynamic Circuit Networks
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 15 2008, 5:28pm
This week at its annual Fall Member Meeting in New Orleans, La., Internet2 together with several collaborators will showcase the first uncompressed high-definition videoconference application over revolutionary dynamic circuit networks (DCN). The demonstrations will highlight the promise of DCN and high-definition video technology to create the ultimate collaboration environment that can support new innovation in science, research, the arts, telemedicine and beyond.
"The Internet2 community is deploying...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 15 2008, 1:00pm
One of my favorite refrains is “Who will pay for video entertainment on the Web?” I’ve accused the various publishers of throwing spaghetti on the walls of cyberspace to see what sticks. Well, look out because here comes another flung strand of pasta.
In a blog entry last week, Google announced “Today, we’re taking our first [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 14 2008, 10:47pm
Sherwood America Inc., one of the world's leading manufacturers of high performance audio and video electronics, introduces its first Blu-ray DVD player, aimed at consumers that have been waiting for affordability and optimum performance. Sherwood's BDP-5003 offers function and features at an irresistible $299.95 price.
Sherwood's premiere entry-level Blu-ray DVD player is aimed at consumers that are looking to step up to high-definition discs but have been waiting for an affordable solution. The BDP-5003 supports...
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 14 2008, 5:36pm
Lite-On proudly introduces its 6X internal Blu-ray Disc Combo, iHES206. The new Blu-ray Disc Reader plus DVD writer provides consumers an innovative way to playback high definition content, while maintaining the capability of archiving personal data files onto CD or DVD.
The iHES206 is a great solution for enthusiasts who wish to enjoy the advanced technologies of Blu-ray in home entertainment. It will not only allow them to play high-definition content such as Blu-ray movies, it will also...
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 14 2008, 5:34pm
Sony today announced that for a limited period, BRAVIA(R) Internet Video Link owners will have the opportunity to watch the Sony Pictures summer hit, Hancock, prior to retail DVD and Blu-ray Disc(TM) availability.
The movie, which can be rented for $9.99, will stream directly to BRAVIA televisions equipped with Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link for a 24-hour viewing period. This offer will be available to BRAVIA Internet Video Link owners beginning on October 28 and running through November 10.
As a bonus to consumers who purchase the rental stream and who register online, a free Blu-ray copy of Hancock will be mailed to consumers after the Hancock Blu-ray street date, November 25. This combo package is valued at...
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 14 2008, 5:32pm
CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW), innovative solution provider for the connected digital lifestyle, today announced the release of CyberLink Media Server 2 and CyberLink SoftDMA 2, home networking applications for remotely accessing and sharing high-definition videos, photos, and music throughout the digital home.
Media Server turns a home PC into a network server for digital video, photo, and music content, which can be accessed and played by media players-such as SoftDMA-that are connected across a DLNA/UPnP network. Media Server, which is certified for the DLNA 1.5 logo, supports...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2008, 1:00pm
Here’s another lesson learned from the early transition to digital broadcasts in Wilmington, NC last month. According to a recent statement by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the NTIA underestimated the number of households that would want rebate coupons by 39%. Extrapolated for the nation, and the NTIA could find that instead of 8.4 million households [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 14 2008, 6:40am
MediaMall has released a new version of PlayOn that now supports Netflix Watch Instantly streaming. This is the feature we've all been waiting for, so we had to check it out. Setup is simple, you just add your Netflix username and password and you're done. There's even a test button to make sure you typed your password correctly.
For the last couple weeks, since we did Episode #315 complaining about the lack of good choices for DLNA servers, we've received a ton of recommendations and tried out almost a thousand of them. For the short term we had to focus on software-based options, but there are also a bunch of hardware solutions available as well. We're trying to get our hands on some of them to add to the trials. With so many options, something was sure to blow us away, right?
By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2008, 1:00pm
In South Korea (among other places), film piracy is commonplace. It was widely reportedly recently that Warner Brothers has decided on a new tactic to counter illegal copies of new release movies; they are releasing movies online two weeks ahead of the DVD release date. The company chose South Korea for this experiment because it [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 10 2008, 1:00pm
The IPTV camel has inched its nose a little further under the tent. You might find PBS and Microsoft to be unlikely partners — especially centered on a video gaming console like the Xbox 360 — but the two have come together to offer PBS programming on the Xbox LIVE service. You might be as [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 10 2008, 6:19am
Apple recently released a firmware update for its AppleTV to add support for HD TV Shows. On today's show we talk about the update and our latest experience with the AppleTV. The latest firmware brings the version to 2.2 and, according to Apple, it promises to provide bug fixes, improve stability, and add a feature or two.
By Alfred Poor • Oct 9 2008, 1:00pm
I’ve been writing for months that we can expect to see price cuts on HDTVs this fall the way they vote in Chicago: early and often. Now TWICE and the IFR Group have teamed up to provide a weekly listing of the most advertised consumer electronics products, including HDTVs. Note that these are not necessarily [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 8 2008, 1:00pm
PriceGrabber.com has released the results of an online survey that have me scratching my head. They polled 1,915 “online consumers” in September, and of those who do not already own an HDTV, nearly 75% plan to buy one in the next 12 months. I don’t know about you, but this number seems very high to [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Oct 7 2008, 4:48pm
Actually, it's Indianapolis that's lucky to have WTHR, Channel 13, as one of the premier US leaders in providing local HDTV programming. WTHR is at this time the only Indiana station producing HDTV local news and other local programming in this 25th largest market in the US - in which it has been consistently Number 1. This narration is not to be considered a "commercial" for WTHR, (but it would not be judged an affront if so assumed). Rather it is a salute to all those local digital broadcasting pioneers who have had the foresight to fully embraced the technology and adjust their business plans to exploit all the benefits to their customers that can be provided - including, most specifically, locally produced HDTV programming.
It is no secret that the old over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcast business model is in trouble at both the major network and local levels...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2008, 1:00pm
Most of us keep an eye out for the best bargains in HDTVs, such as a 42″ 1080p LCD model for under $700. But some people are less concerned with the total cost than they are about getting something special that will stand out in their home. So you can now have the choice of [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 7 2008, 6:14am
Amazon has an excellent write-up on four super slim HDTVs. They offer a glimpse into the future of what television may be like in a few years. Imagine what the family room or the home theater will look like when wireless HDMI removes the need to tether your TV to a set top box or a Bu-ray player. And it also removes the need to have your speakers wired to your receiver or amplifier. Couple that with a giant 60, 70 or even 80-inch flat panel TV only millimeters thick, mounted directly to the wall. Now we're talking Jetson's technology. And by the looks of things, it may not be that far off.
By The HT Guys • Oct 7 2008, 2:40am
The movie won seven Oscars when it was released in 1970 and is one of Ara's favorites. He has seen it at least ten times over the years and it has a permanent place on his movie server. So with the recent release on Blu-ray, We wanted to see if the movie benefited from the new technology.
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 6 2008, 8:31pm
UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (10/06/08) -- Integra has introduced its first Blu-ray disc player, the DBS-6.9, which delivers the ultimate in high definition performance, including 1080p Deep Color capable video and bitstream output of the latest high-resolution audio codecs.
The DBS-6.9 delivers...
By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2008, 1:00pm
A number of years ago, Texas Instruments was embroiled in controversy for underwriting a research project that concluded that the image on some LCD front projectors turns yellow with time. The research results raised more questions than they answered, as they did not release important details such as naming which projectors were used in the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Oct 3 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, this entry is about Internet radio, not video. But if you’re interested in getting video and movies over the Internet, this is an important issue because it gets at the thorny issue of who pays what for content on the Web.
Internet radio stations got hit with a decision last March that imposed royalty fees [...]
By The HT Guys • Oct 3 2008, 7:13am
We reviewed the original Slingbox way back in 2005. Ara currently has two of them and has been able to watch TV from his hotel in Chicago, Denver, and Europe. But the main way the Slingbox is used in the Derderian family is to extend TV reception to any room in the house. While the Slingbox works well via the Internet it works really well on your local network. The issue with Internet usage is bandwidth. First, if your upstream bandwidth is limited it really doesn't matter how much downstream bandwidth you have. In Ara's home the upstream is capped at 1 Mbps (although lately he has exceeded that).
By Alfred Poor • Oct 2 2008, 1:00pm
Last month, it was a deal with CBS and the Disney Channel to stream many of their most popular shows over the Internet. Then yesterday, Netflix announced a bigger deal with Starz, the movie channel, to stream their library on the Netflix service. Under the agreement, Netflix subscribers will also get access to “Starz Play” [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 2 2008, 4:00am
VUDU Inc., a leading provider of digital technologies and services that deliver Internet entertainment to consumers' HDTVs and Home Theaters, today unveiled HDX, a groundbreaking video format that for the first time enables the viewing of Internet-delivered movie content in full High Definition 1080p format that is optimized for 40 inch and larger HDTVs and Home Theaters.
By The HT Guys • Oct 1 2008, 4:09pm
Orb Audio makes small speakers and sells direct to the consumer similar to Aperion and many other speaker manufacturers. By cutting out middle men the company is able to sell speakers at a greatly reduced cost. The speakers are small in size measuring 4 3/16" W x 5" H x 4 7/8" D with stand and weigh 2.0625 pounds (.94 Kg). They also come in a center channel orientation with the two spheres mounted side by side.
The speakers are made out of American carbon steel and hand made in the USA (California and Oregon). The only exception is part of the subwoofer, which is made in Canada. The speakers come in 5 finishes (Metallic Black Gloss, Pearl White Gloss, Hand Polished Steel, Hand Antiqued Copper, and Hand Antiqued Bronze) so there will definitely be something that the aesthetics committee will approve.
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Announces FL6900U High Brightness 1080p Projector for Commercial and Education Applications
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 1 2008, 1:38pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division, known for award-winning, high-quality, high-definition presentation and display products, introduced its FL6900U projector designed for commercial and education installations. At a manufacturer's suggested retail price of only $9,995, Mitsubishi continues to lead the market for high-brightness 1080p projectors at lower price points than most with similar specs.
Mitsubishi's FL6900U offers a combination of 4000 lumens with full 1080p high-definition (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution for commercial venues with high ambient lighting such as sports bars, restaurants, hotel conference rooms, school auditoriums and corporate boardrooms.
The projector provides
Thomson's Technicolor Establishes First BDA-Approved Blu-ray DiscTM Testing Center in the United States
By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 1 2008, 1:36pm
Thomson (Paris:18453) (NYSE:TMS) - the worldwide leader in video solutions for the Communication, Media & Entertainment (CME) industries - through its Technicolor Business Group, today announced it has established the first Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA)-approved Blu-ray Disc Testing Center in the United States at its Burbank location.
Because Blu-ray Discs feature cutting edge video, audio, and interactive features (BD-Jive and BD-Live), a sophisticated level of testing is required to ensure compatibility and flawless operation of all players available on the market before the discs are publicly released. Technicolor's test center is categorized as a
By Alfred Poor • Oct 1 2008, 1:00pm
Sometimes companies will do something just to show that they can do it. Case in point: at the CEATEC show in Chiba, Japan this week, Panasonic demonstrated a 150″ 1080p plasma display that is able to show 3D images. You need to wear special glasses to see the 3D effect; presumably they are LCD shutter [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 30 2008, 1:00pm
There’s at least one dark side to the February 17, 2009 transition to digital TV broadcasts that few people have addressed, and that’s the question of what to do about getting a digital video recorder. We have a Panasonic model in our home that we use to watch at least 80% of all our TV [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 30 2008, 6:10am
We've talked about DLNA, or Digital Living Network Alliance, several times before - on Episodes 264 and 161 both get into the nitty gritty on what it is and what it's for. Let's just cut it short and say that it's a way for consumer electronic devices to share media content. You've got DLNA servers that dish out content and DLNA players that play it back. There are a ton of great options out there for DLNA players, as well as a bunch of server options. While many of the players are top notch, we're having trouble tracking down a really good server.
By Alfred Poor • Sep 29 2008, 1:00pm
Circuit City has announced a bone-crushing $239.2 million loss for the second quarter of this year. According to various news reports, management has stopped trying to find a buyer for the company, and is trying to find ways to shore up the ailing company. This includes shelving plans for opening up new stores, cancelling all [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 26 2008, 1:00pm
This week, DISH Network announced an agreement with Sony Pictures Television that will allow DISH to carry their movies and other content on their video on demand service, DISH on Demand. The agreement covers both standard resolution and HD versions of the content, and also includes delivery through the DISH Pay-Per-View service. DISH on Demand [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 26 2008, 6:47am
Dennis from Medina OH sent us a link to an article that ran down a list of Black Friday Predictions at BlackFriday @ GottaDeal.com. We want to do the same thing. The only rules we had were not to read the article prior to making our predictions. The article has predictions about computers, computer peripherals, GPS, and all things electronic. Our predictions will stay in the realm of HDTV and Home Theater.
We also recently received an email asking us for a good solution to archive old family videos that are locked away on VHS tapes. Many options require you to use the hard drive of your computer for the recording process. Today we take a look at a devices that easily connects to your analog sources and records to multiple destinations. The Neuros OSD lets you convert your treasured videos to digital so they can be enjoyed for years to come.
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 25 2008, 2:51pm
Sling Media, Inc., a leading digital lifestyle products company, today announced its next generation Slingbox™ PRO-HD is now available for purchase from www.slingmedia.com and leading online and brick and mortar retailers nationwide for $299.99. Sling Media is also pleased to announce the Slingbox PRO-HD will be available at leading Canadian retailers for $329.99 in the coming weeks. The Slingbox PRO-HD is a revolutionary new product that is capable of streaming HD content from a home television source, including over the air HD digital signals (ATSC), digital cable channels (Clear QAM), HDTV cable set-top boxes, HDTV satellite receivers, or HD DVR's, to a laptop or desktop computer in and around the house. Additionally, customers who have a high speed broadband connection that features upload speeds of 1.5 Megabits per second or higher, Slingbox PRO-HD can even stream HD TV signals outside the home to just about anywhere you can receive a high-speed network connection.
With the ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 25 2008, 2:48pm
JVC today released additional technical information and revised specifications for four recently announced D-ILA home theater projectors to be available this fall. Among the four new full high-definition front projectors are two THX® Certified* models that offer a native contrast ratio of 50,000:1, the industry's highest. The other two models achieve native contrast ratios of 32,000:1 and 30,000:1. Like current highly-acclaimed JVC projectors, all four new models achieve high contrast ratios without the use of an auto iris.
The new projectors are the...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 25 2008, 1:00pm
It has been widely reported that LG Electronics is shipping two HDTV models for Middle East markets that contain the full text of the Koran (Quran), the holy book of Islam. This product was created after research indicated that many devout Muslims read the Koran every day, or listen to it on their home entertainment [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 24 2008, 11:43pm
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the digital transition leader, today announced the availability of the DTVPal(TM) Plus, its next generation digital-to-analog converter box. The DTVPal(TM) Plus offers all the features of the industry favorite DTVPal(TM), plus an enhanced digital tuner for optimizing weak signal areas.
The DTVPal(TM) Plus joins DISH Network's suite of converter boxes that qualify for...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 24 2008, 1:00pm
On September 8, most of the TV stations in Wilmington, NC turned off their analog broadcasts and broadcast only in digital. While most say that the transition went smoothly, there were still plenty of people caught unprepared for the change. This experiment was important so that local, state, and federal government officials could learn from [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 24 2008, 11:38am
Every year 30 million HD-ready (high definition) televisions are sold in the European Union (EU). The European HDTV market will be the focus of the trade fair "HD-TV across Europe" taking place October 14-15, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. Invest in Germany, the country's inward investment promotion agency, will be present to outline the many benefits of Germany as both a manufacturing and service location.
The European Union has set the year 2012 as the deadline for all European television stations to transfer...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2008, 2:03pm
GE today announced the formation of General Displays & Technologies LLC (GDT), a new joint venture with Tatung Company, a global leader in display technologies. GDT will design, market and service GE-branded HDTVs to deliver the best home high definition video, audio and Internet experience. The first series of premium product offerings will be available to consumers in Spring 2009.
In addition to offering innovative HDTVs, GDT will partner with NBC Universal...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2008, 2:00pm
Sony Electronics today announced its third generation internal Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD) writer for the computer aftermarket, which at about $400 achieves a new level of affordability for BD enthusiasts.
The new BWU-300S model burns single and dual layer BD-R media at up to 8X speed, recording a full 25GB disc in about 15 minutes and a full 50GB disc in about 30 minutes. The 8X recording speed is achieved using...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2008, 1:55pm
ViewSonic(R) Corp. introduces the latest addition to its LCD TV portfolio with the 3-in-1 22-inch, N2201w LCD HDTV/DVD combo to accommodate the growing popularity of small screen dual-purpose displays. At less than $500, the N2201w is an ideal choice for thrifty shoppers as the holiday season approaches with PC capabilities and built-in DVD player, which is placed on the side of the TV for a convenient, streamlined appearance and multi-functionality.
The N2201w is perfect for environments where space is at a premium and various mediums are used...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2008, 1:23pm
Sony today took the wraps off the world's lightest computer with Blu-ray Disc(TM) technology -- the VAIO(R) TT Series notebook.
Housed in a lightweight carbon-fiber chassis, this new model weighs just 2.87 pounds and is less than...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2008, 1:20pm
Sony Electronics today announced the availability of three new BRAVIA(R) Link modules including the Wireless Link, DVD Link, and Input Link. The new devices attach to the back of compatible BRAVIA HDTVs and integrate directly into the television's menu system.
Sony's Wireless Link Module (DMX-WL1) is a two-piece system that wirelessly transmits high-definition video (up to...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 23 2008, 1:00pm
Q: If a HDTV is limited to automatically displaying 720p what will be the picture results if the signal come at 1080 off air or cable?
A: Curt, when an image of one size is displayed on a screen with a different native resolution (number of pixels), then the image has to be scaled. If [...]
Netflix Announces Agreements With CBS and Disney Channel to Stream an Array of Current Hit TV Shows at Netflix
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2008, 9:32am
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , the world's leading online movie rental service, today announced separate agreements with the CBS Television Network and Disney-ABC Television Group that will allow current season episodes of a number of today's most popular TV shows to be streamed at Netflix. The two deals add meaningfully to a growing library of 12,000 choices that Netflix members can watch instantly on their PCs and TVs as part of their existing subscription plans and without impacting the number of DVDs they receive.
The CBS deal brings to Netflix the global phenomenon "CSI." Starting in...
By The HT Guys • Sep 23 2008, 5:33am
There's a lot of talk about the economy these days. Things are slowing down and people are trying more than ever to make their hard earned money work for them. We don't claim to be financial advisers or economic experts, we don't even play them on the Internet, but we do have a few options for those looking to enjoy HDTV while riding out a difficult economy. Because as we all know, some things in life are optional, Starbucks, Swedish massages, expensive creams and lotions ... but HDTV is not.
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 22 2008, 4:24pm
The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc. has approved and published A/72 which details the methodology to utilize Advanced Video Coding (AVC) within an ATSC DTV transmission. AVC, which was developed by the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group, is also known as H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 10. The A/72 Standard defines constraints with respect to AVC, compression format restraints, low delay and still picture modes, and bit stream specifications. In addition it specifies...
By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 22 2008, 4:18pm
Entertainment Studios (http://www.es.tv/), the largest independent producer and distributor of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations, announced today that the company will launch six targeted high-definition (HD) networks, and has signed Verizon's FiOS TV for the initial launch.
The six HD networks, currently planned to launch on FiOS TV later this year, are...
By The HT Guys • Sep 22 2008, 2:38pm
If you have an HDTV or are thinking about getting one before the analog cutoff early next year, you may also want to consider picking up your digital TV via an antenna. Many of you are concerned that an antenna is an eye sore or that they are just too big to to deal with. Today we talk about an antenna that takes care of both these issues.
The ClearStream2 (C2) from Antennas Direct is less than...
By Alfred Poor • Sep 22 2008, 1:00pm
If you want to get people to do something, offer prizes. That’s what the Consumer Electronics Association (the group behind the annual CES mega-show) and the National Association of Broadcasters have done. To help publicize the impending transition to digital over-the-air TV broadcasts in February, the two organizations are sponsoring a “Rabbit Ears Pioneers” contest [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 19 2008, 1:00pm
Hitachi has announced that it will cease production of plasma panels, and instead buy them from Panasonic (Matsushita). This mirrors a similar decision made earlier this year by Pioneer. This is good news for Panasonic — at least in the short term — as it ensures an increased market for the output from the company’s [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 18 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, I’m not shilling for Westinghouse (or any other manufacturer or retailer, for that matter), but I’ve just noticed another deal that I have to mention. Two weeks ago it was a Westinghouse 42″ 1080p model at Costco that staggered me. Now Buy.com is offering a different model at a price that risks causing double-take [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 17 2008, 1:00pm
Market research firm NPD has stated (according to a report by TWICE) that about 46 percent of USA television households now have HDTVs. 34 percent have only one HDTV, and 13 percent have two or more. So depending on how you look at it, the HDTV glass for US viewers is either half empty or [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 16 2008, 1:00pm
Thomas Jefferson once wrote “The best defense of democracy is an informed electorate.” The Internet could be a positive or negative force in this regard. On the one hand, it makes it too easy to only hear from those sources that agree with youon different subjects. On the other hand, the full spectrum of political [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 15 2008, 1:00pm
Q: Is there anyway to eliminate the “side bars” from an HD picture ?
A: To paraphrase a former president, we could do that, but it would be wrong.
The “side bars” on an HD screen occur when you show standard definition content on a wide screen. The standard definition has a 4:3 aspect ratio ? [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 12 2008, 1:00pm
DirecTV must be on the right track as it focuses on adding HDTV channels. According to The Bridge, the satellite service grew by 219,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2008, while its rival DISH Network declined by 25,000 customers. This places DirecTV as the number two television subscription service in the US, behind only [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 11 2008, 1:00pm
Q: I think I’ve heard you mention on The Personal Computer Show that rabbit ear owners would do well to replace their old antenna with a digital style model. Is that correct?
A: Actually, Richard, my take on “rabbit ears” is slightly different. The problem is that analog signals can be received even when [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 10 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, I expect that few readers will remember how Ed Sullivan always introduced his Sunday variety TV show as being a “really big shoe tonight” (back in the day when TV hosts didn’t have to be gorgeous and under 30). But if Ed’s show was still on the air, you might want to watch it [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 9 2008, 1:00pm
Numerous sources are reporting that Mitsubishi has announced the pricing for the 65″ model of its new Laser TV, recently branded “Laservue”. The rear projection 1080p design is slated to ship by “the end of the third quarter” — (”Really, Seth? Really, Amy!”) — so we’ve only got to wait a few more weeks . [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 8 2008, 1:00pm
As Blockbuster and Netflix battle it out for dominance in the movie rental business, both will have to be looking over their shoulder at Amazon. Amazon has had its “Unbox” service that lets users rent and purchase and download movies, but last week, the company launched its new “Video on Demand” service. Aside from its [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 5 2008, 1:00pm
We were shopping in Costco on Wednesday evening — that’s my wife and I, not the editorial or royal “we” — and I spotted someone rolling a Westinghouse box out the door as we walked in. Looked like a 42″ screen or thereabouts. And sure enough, right on the second endcap, was a pile of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Sep 3 2008, 1:00pm
Front projectors are the most cost-effective way to get a really big HD image on a wall. One complication is that they use tiny arc lamps that need to be replaced every few thousand hours. Not only is it expensive, but it’s also a nuisance… especially if your projector is mounted on the ceiling. Rear [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 29 2008, 1:00pm
Sony’s betting that some HDTV buyers will be happy to shell out more and get less. According to a report by Reuters, the company announced yesterday that they will start shipping a new LCD HDTV that is just 9.9 mm thick. For those who may be metrics-challenged, that is just about 5/32 inch thick. The [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2008, 1:00pm
According to a news report in TWICE yesterday, audio maker Sherwood is planning to release a pair of TVs at CEDIA next week. According to the article, the LCD HDTVs will be a 32″ WXGA model and a 42″ 1080p moodel. No prices or distribution information was available, though they are apparently scheduled to [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 27 2008, 1:00pm
AMIMON, an Israeli company, is one of the companies behind the WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) standard, along with Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, Sony. This technology is designed to send “uncompressed” high-definition content between devices in the home without wires. The “uncompressed” simply means that the system does not apply additional compression on top of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 26 2008, 1:00pm
Let me start by saying that I’m a bit hawkish about copyright protection; I’ve made my living for more than 25 years by creating copyrighted content. However, I’m also opposed to heavy-handed enforcement that gathers in innocents while trying to deter violators.
One problem is that copyrights are frequently abused on online video sites, particularly YouTube. [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 25 2008, 1:00pm
One of the most common misconceptions about the transition to digital broadcasts next February is that “everything will have to be HD”. Another one is that cable companies will be forced to switch to HD. Both of those are false, mostly.
First, the government is not requiring that all TV content be in high definition. It [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 22 2008, 1:50pm
I reported a month ago about the Internet widgets on some of Samsung’s new TVs. On Wednesday, Intel and Yahoo! announced the Widget Channel that will let viewers add Internet content to their screens. It is to work not just with televisions, but other consumer electronic devices as well. The goal is to have developers [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2008, 1:00pm
To the victor go the spoils. Blu-ray Disc (BD) conquered HD DVD to become the industry’s high definition video disc format, and now that it’s had the market to itself for six months, how has it fared?
One measure of its success can be found in a market report released on Tuesday by Futuresource. The decidedly [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 20 2008, 1:00pm
The manufacturer shipment data reported for the second quarter of 2008 by DisplaySearch shows plasma units “surged” by 35%, largely on the strength of Vizio’s introduction of a 32″ plasma TV. This reprieve for plasma will be short-lived, however, as LCD models are available with better features at lower prices.
The conventional wisdom has been that [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 19 2008, 2:48pm
Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else get the idea that the FCC is making up this digital TV transition thing as they go along? After what seemed like years of wrangling before they finally set a firm date for the changeover, they have been making some major adjustments ever since.
For example, there was [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 18 2008, 1:00pm
Toshiba has announced their new XD-E500 DVD player, with a $149 list price. The product marks the debut of new “eXtended Detail Enhancement (XDE)” technology. The company claims that this player can give “near-HD” quality to standard DVDs. It not only upscales (like many other standard DVD players), but it adds processing for edge enhancement, [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 15 2008, 12:41pm
Panasonic is “the Official HDTV of the Olympic Games”, according to their press release in which they announce that their entire line of 1080p Viera plasma HDTV models for 2008 now have a lifetime rating of 100,000 hours. If you figure on the typical 6.5 hours of viewing a day, 365 days a year, that [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2008, 1:00pm
As reported here last spring, the impending transition to digital-only terrestrial television broadcasts (by full power stations) is creating a problem for stations in the United States along the border with Mexico. They have to compete with high-powered TV transmissions from Mexican stations that are serving the same markets on both sides of the border [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 13 2008, 1:00pm
Premier Mounts is… well… one of the premier companies making flat panel mounts. According to some reports, about three out of four flat panels in corporate settings get mounted, but only about one in four in homes. If you think you might want to be one of that 25%, Premier has just posted a short [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 12 2008, 1:00pm
An appeals court ruled last week that Canon had not broken its license with Applied Nanotech Holdings for the company’s SED — surface-conduction electron-emitter display – technology. SED is a novel flat panel display technology that puts tiny electron emitters behind each sub-pixel. The result is an extremely thin panel that produces an emissive image [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 11 2008, 1:00pm
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, LCD is the worst display technology except all the others that have been tried. The panels take many complex and precise steps to manufacturer using discrete sheets of glass substrates (instead of a more efficient roll of some material), and the finished product blocks about 95% of the light from the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 8 2008, 1:00pm
Spurred in part by flat panel TV sales, Wal-Mart reported a 6.7% increase in sales for July compared with a year ago. Given the uncertainty of the economy, higher food and gas prices, and rising unemployment, it’s interesting to see that flat panel sales continue to be strong at Wal-Mart.
I have to wonder what the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2008, 1:00pm
Q: Some weeks ago, I heard you mention thedifference in power consumption between LCD and plasma televisions on The Personal Computer Show. I have found that Crutchfield provides a comparison option which includes their own testing of TVs. When you have some time, could you compare the four 46″ models I have listed below, using [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 6 2008, 1:00pm
My friend and colleague Steve Sechrist at Insight Media wrote a great piece in that company’s free “Display Daily” newsletter about problems facing two subscription-based mobile TV services. Mobile Broadcasting Corp. in Japan will shut down next spring after failing to sign up enough subscribers in spite of 10 years of trying and Toyota’s endorsement. [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 5 2008, 1:00pm
The federal government is providing rebate coupons to consumers who want to buy a converter for their analog-only television sets before the transition to all digital broadcasts next February. (See the HDTV Almanac entry for details about the coupon program.)
The NTIA has issued about 20 million coupons so far. However, the coupons have a 90-day [...]
HD DVD • Sports • Satellite HDTV • Cable HDTV
By Alfred Poor • Aug 4 2008, 1:00pm
NBC is touting the fact that it will offer 1,400 hours of Olympic coverage on its various networks, including NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, and Telemundo. It also will have 24/7 live and repeat HD coverage on Universal HD. If you want to check out what networks are available to you on your cable or satellite [...]
By Alfred Poor • Aug 1 2008, 1:00pm
Netflix subscribers, I hope you haven’t rushed out and bought the Roku box yet. (That’s the $100 box that lets you stream movies and other video content from Netflix over the Internet for free.) Apparently, Netflix is going to give you lots of options to access the online content, and yesterday LG Electronics showed off [...]
By Richard Fisher • Jul 31 2008, 3:16pm
While rarely mentioned over the decades, vertical filtering, which removes horizontal detail in your image, has been around as long as CRT has and is still used to this day in displays and source scaling. Even with the arrival of DTV in 1998, vertical filtering was commonly used in the video circuits of consumer 1080i HDTV CRT displays. For this article we are looking at vertical or horizontal filtering related to luminance response.
The first step with horizontal and vertical filtering is...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 31 2008, 1:00pm
This week, NBC and the NFL announced that Sunday Night Football will be streamed live on the Internet on NFL.com and NBCSports.com. Ironically, the first game will actually be on Thursday, September 4; if you’ve got a broadband connection, you’ll be able to watch the Redskins and Giants battle it out on the gridiron. (Does [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 30 2008, 1:00pm
The space race is now measured in number of high definition channels, and DIRECTV is continuing with its successful drive to stress HD coverage to attract subscribers. This week, the company announced that it will be adding more than 30 additional HD channels next month, which adds up to a total of more than 130 [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 29 2008, 1:00pm
Residents of the Big Apple will now be able to get their daily dose of fiber — fiber optics, that is — thanks to FiOS TV. Verizon announced yesterday that the service is now available to residents in 108 neighborhoods, with a capacity of 300,000 subscribers. By the end of the year, the company plans [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 28 2008, 1:00pm
There are those who argue that any tax on subscription video service fees is unfair, but in many states, satellite services are taxed at a higher rate than the cable services. As a result, Michigan representative John Conyers introduced H.R. 3679 — known as the State Video Tax Fairness Act – which is wending it [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 25 2008, 1:00pm
At Samsung’s annual “Christmas in July” press event in New York City on Wednesday, the company showed off cool stuff like their 3D-capable plasma and DLP rear projection televisions, but the item that caught my eye was the “touch of color” LCD HDTVs with Samsung’s “Infolink” feature. This function is built in as a standard [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 25 2008, 6:22am
From time to time our listeners send us emails asking us to review equipment that they are interested in buying or themselves. Recently we received an email from Kris asking us to take a look at the Orb Audio line of speakers. We were able to obtain the Orb Audio Mod 2 speakers with an upgraded Uber Ten subwoofer. The total cost for the 5.1 system was $1597 including standard ground shipping.
By Dale Cripps • Jul 24 2008, 8:00pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS, July 24, 2008-After strong plasma display panel (PDP) shipment growth in Q1'08, units increased 1% Q/Q to 3.5 million units in Q2'08, relatively soft growth due to weaker demand in North America and China in Q1'08, according to the latest DisplaySearch Plasma and LCD TV Panel Shipment Module of the Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.
To view the extended version of this report, follow...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 24 2008, 1:00pm
A press release from J.D. Power and Associates and Market Force Informaiton cites a new report, “2008 Television Retail Insights Report”, which was released last Monday. Based on the results gathered by more than 2,000 mystery shoppers at retail stores across the country over the past six months, the report measures the product knowledge of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 23 2008, 1:00pm
Unholy alliance or the greatest thing since the Home Shopping Network? You decide. According to many sources, TiVo announced a partnership with Amazon yesterday that will let TV viewers buy products right off their screen. If you have a broadband-connected Series2, Series3, or TiVo HD DVR, you can use the remote control to purchase an [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 22 2008, 1:15pm
Sony Creative Software, a leading worldwide provider of professional video and audio production applications, today announced the availability of Sony's new multi-codec video encoder for Blu-ray Disc authoring developed in conjunction with Sony Electronics and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Originally announced by Sony Electronics at NAB 2008, the BAE-VX1000 encoder is priced to bring high-speed, high-quality Blu-ray Disc authoring within reach of smaller studios.
A multi-codec design enables BAE-VX1000 encoder compatibility with most common Blu-ray authoring applications, such as...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 22 2008, 1:00pm
Let’s review the facts. On February 17, 2009, full-power broadcast television stations will cease analog broadcasts. If you do not have a cable or satellite subscription, or you do not have a TV with a digital (ATSC) tuner, then you’ll need to get one or add a converter box that will received the digital signals [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 22 2008, 5:47am
For today's show Ara had a chance to connect with Clint DeBoer, editor-in-chief of Audioholics.com about a recent article they published entitled Long HDMI Cable Bench Tests - Monster Cable Shootout. It's a great article and a great interview.
SMPTE to Establish 3-D Home Entertainment Task Force Committee to Define Parameters of Stereoscopic 3-D Mastering Standard for Home Display
By Dale Cripps • Jul 21 2008, 4:15pm
The SMPTE is a standards setting society for the North American television and motion picture industries.
While every task force formed within the SMPTE may not lead to a new industry success, a formation of one sends a very strong message that a seriousness for a topic has set in.
The engineers that populate the SMPTE are, for the most part, from the manufacturing and content sectors.
For those who have experienced 3D on the big screen (by way of the Christie digital projector) know that a great treat is in store for us when it comes home.
That is now technically possible and some sets are being sold today as 3D-ready.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 21 2008, 3:52pm
This month, HDNet Movies presents a programming event to celebrate director Steven Spielberg as one of the most influential figures in cinema.
Beginning Monday, July 28, HDNet Movies subscribers will get a chance to sample some of the early work that helped solidify Spielberg's position as a top Hollywood director, including...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 21 2008, 1:00pm
One of my main themes from CES 2008 last January was how the HDTV manufacturers were looking to wireless connections to make it easier for consumers to install and connect their HDTVs to other home entertainment devices. Given the expense and hassle of running wires through walls and floors — or even through wire channels [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 19 2008, 2:37pm
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced the addition of high definition local channels in Beaumont - Port Arthur, Texas. DISH Network(R) now offers local channels in 66 markets reaching more than 69 percent of U.S. TV households, continuing its commitment to reach its year-end goal of 100 local HD markets.
Earlier this year, DISH Network announced...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 18 2008, 1:00pm
It’s not just the neon lights that they say are bright on Broadway. The Great White Way got a little brighter and more colorful this week when Toshiba unveiled its new LED billboard on top of One Times Square in New York City. The new display is 880″ diagonal, which is all the more impressive [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 18 2008, 6:37am
Sony announced on Tuesday that that they would begin offering movies and TV shows for download to the Playstation 3 through the Playstation store. Movies are available from Disney, Fox and Warner Bros in addition to the obvious inclusion of Sony Pictures titles. The system is setup much like Vudu and AppleTV, new release movies can be rented for $3.99 in standard def and $5.99 in high definition or purchased in SD for $14.99. Older titles are available for rent for $2.99 for SD, $4.50 for HD and $9.99 for purchase. So the big question is, "How does Sony's offering stack up against Vudu or AppleTV?"
By Alfred Poor • Jul 17 2008, 1:00pm
On Monday, I spent most of the day traveling to and from New York City, and a little bit of time walking around a Best Buy store with a reporter and camera crew from the Fox Business News Network. And here is the result; it’s posted on their Web site and will air this weekend.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 17 2008, 12:12pm
Ascent Media Network Services, a provider of outsourced network origination services to the media and entertainment industry, today announced key milestones in the launch of uncompressed high definition (HD) video transport via Ascent's Midtown Manhattan switching facility.
Ascent announced that it has secured initial...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 17 2008, 2:47am
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today launches the company's new video delivery service on PLAYSTATION(R)Store for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) and PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) systems in the United States. Consumers will have the ability to download full-length movies, television shows, and original programming accessible through the PLAYSTATION Store on PLAYSTATION(R)Network. With nearly 300 full length movies and more than 1,200 TV episodes, many available in both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD), PLAYSTATION Network's video delivery service makes PS3 the ultimate entertainment platform and enhances PSP's status as a portable entertainment marvel. PLAYSTATION Network's video delivery service will become available later this evening.
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will initially make available...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 17 2008, 2:35am
The Valuable Group (http://www.valuablegroup.com), a leading Mumbai-based media and technology company, has completed a transaction to purchase the assets of pioneering video on demand (VOD) service, MovieBeam, including all trademarks, technology, and alliances. The announcement was made today by Sanjay Gaikwad, Founder and Managing Director, Valuable Group, who also led the deal.
Initially launched by Disney in 2005, MovieBeam was conceived as an on-demand service to wirelessly download movies into customers' homes via a set-top box. Through this acquisition...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 16 2008, 1:00pm
What do rifle shells and HD video cameras have in common? In a story reported by TVTechnology.com earlier this month, President Bush asked Congress to provide a temporary exemption for the export of shooting munitions and certain HD cameras which otherwise would be blocked from export. The request was prompted by the need for these [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 15 2008, 1:00pm
How would you like to watch television programming from around the world on your regular television? There are many sites that make it easy to access streaming video from the US and other countries on your computer, but one of those sites — WhereverTV — is now offering a set top box for your broadband [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 15 2008, 5:40am
We get email after email asking for advice on when is the right time to upgrade your home theater equipment. The answer, of course, is always "right now," but that isn't always possible. Often we have to compromise in one area to upgrade another. So what components are the most important to keep up to date? Which ones can wait a while? Let's take a look.
Microsoft and Netflix Unveil Partnership to Instantly Stream Movies and TV Episodes to the TV via Xbox LIVE
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 15 2008, 2:49am
An exciting new home theater experience is coming to living rooms this holiday season. At the E3 Media and Business Summit, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, today unveiled an exclusive partnership to offer consumers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. Xbox 360 will be the only game system that lets users instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix. This movie watching innovation will be available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers and will let those users enjoy streaming movies from Netflix on Xbox LIVE at no additional cost.
A growing library of more than 10,000 movies and TV episodes will be available from Netflix when it launches on...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 14 2008, 1:00pm
The transition from analog over-the-air television broadcasts to only digital signals is scheduled to happen on February 17, 2009, just seven months from now (or Labor Day, if you’re in Wilmington, NC). Let’s just recap the key points; you’ll only be affected by this transition if you use an antenna to get your TV signals. [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 11 2008, 1:00pm
Wire services report that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said yesterday that Comcast “violated our principles” on Internet access by blocking or slowing access to data by users of certain file sharing programs. The FCC policy is to guarantee open access to Internet data. If two more of the five-member commission agree with Martin, then Comcast [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 11 2008, 6:03am
With money tight and more of it going to fill up your gas tank instead of your AV rack we thought it would be a great time to discuss an article on haggling. Jennifer DeFeo has written an article for Electronic House entitled "10 Tips for Haggling with A/V Retailers". We also discuss the highlights of the Entertainment Merchant Association 2008 Annual Report.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 11 2008, 2:22am
The new Belkin FlyWire is the simple solution that gives you the freedom and flexibility to place your HDTV where you want-without cables. Featuring an intuitive and simple setup, FlyWire wirelessly connects devices such as Blu-ray® players, receivers, video-game consoles, and set-top boxes to HDTVs and projectors, transmitting high-definition 1080p True Cinema picture resolution with whole-home range.
As the first offering in the FlyWire family, this solution provides...
DISH Network(R) Meets 100 HD Channel Mark Ahead of Schedule; Announces Launch of 17 More National HD Channels
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 11 2008, 1:55am
DISH Network(R) (NASDAQ:DISH) today announced plans to launch 17 national HD channels, surpassing its goal of reaching 100 national HD channels five months ahead of schedule.
The new HD channels that will be added are...
RCA Multi-Directional Flat Antenna Designed for Pinpoint Pickup of Free Over-the-Air Digital TV Signals
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 10 2008, 7:00pm
Viewers looking for an alternative to soaring subscription TV bills should consider pairing a digital TV with a new RCA Flat Antenna designed to pick up more channels than a traditional "rabbit ears" antenna. Local broadcasters are now sending multiple digital TV channels to supplement their main programs, including informational and live radar and weather forecasts available at the touch of a button - for free!
In addition to receiving pristine uncompressed digital TV signals...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 10 2008, 1:00pm
Syntax-Brillian, maker of the once popular Olevia brand of LCD TVs, is scheduled to slip slowly beneath the fiscal waves later next month. The company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, let go of all but eight employees, and is selling off its assets. It’s ill-fated Vivitar camera business is still running fine, so [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 10 2008, 12:21pm
Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) today unveiled the KODAK Theatre HD Player, a High Definition (HD) media player that enables consumers to interact more freely and creatively with their most valuable possessions -- their memories.
Harnessing Wi-Fi and HD technologies, a wide array of organizational and display features and access to online content through unique partners, the KODAK Theatre HD Player turns consumers into the directors of their own show with...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 9 2008, 1:00pm
Not content with leading the way in commercial production of OLED TVs, Sony has also backed another novel techlogy: field-emitter displays, or FEDs. The concept behind this technology is simple. A traditional CRT vacuum picture tube uses three electron guns at the back of the tube to shoot electrons at the phosphors inside the front [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 8 2008, 1:00pm
QPC Lasers, Inc. announced last week that the company has received a contract for $3.5 million for red, green, and blue lasers to be used in a 3D projector system. This is in addition to the $12 million contract to produce lasers for Laser TVs that was announced last December. These are certainly some impressive [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 8 2008, 6:29am
We have been trying to get a hold of a Vizio TV for review for some time now but with no luck. This weekend while the family was in Costco stocking up on supplies Ara spent some time looking at the Vizio 50 inch 1080p Plasma. In actuality this feature is more of a Costco roundup than an in depth review of the TV.
By Alfred Poor • Jul 7 2008, 1:00pm
As Costello might say, “I’ve got a baaaad feelin’ about this, Abbot.” We’ve started the second half of 2008, and the HDTV market forecast is clear as mud.
Data point: Sony Electronics president Stan Glasgow is quoted as being upbeat about consumer electronics sales for the rest of 2008. At the CEA Executive Summit he said [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 4 2008, 1:00pm
According to a press release Monday, DIRECTV has launched its DIRECTV On Demand service to all U.S. customers. You must have a DIRECTV Plus HD DVR or R22 DVR receiver in order to take advantage of this service, but there is no additional charge. Customers can choose among 4,000 standard definition and HD titles, at [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 4 2008, 7:12am
Happy Fourth of July! If you have the day off, we hope you're enjoying it; if you have to work, we hope you get a day off real soon. We didn't take the day off but instead interviewed John Griffin from Dolby Laboratories and tested out Google's new MediaServer gadget.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 3 2008, 9:18pm
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) , the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced the addition of four high definition (HD) local markets: Albany - Schenectady - Troy, N.Y.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Lansing, Mich.; and Syracuse, N.Y.
In January, DISH Network(R) announced plans to...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 3 2008, 1:00pm
On Tuesday, Blockbuster issued a statement that the company has “decided to withdraw its proposal to acquire Circuit City.” The release quoted company chairman and CEO, Jim Keyes:
“Based on market conditions and the completion of our initial due diligence process, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of Blockbuster’s shareholders to [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jul 2 2008, 1:00pm
According to a new report from ABI Research, half of all cable subscribers will use tru2way technology for their cable connection by 2013. Originally named Open Cable Applications Platform (OCAP), tru2way supports interactive television features for cable services. The technology can be built into traditional set top boxes, or can be incorporated directly in television [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 1 2008, 7:35pm
ONKYO Corporation has announced that it will release its first Blu-ray Disc Player for the international market in late 2008. This player is designed to partner with Onkyo's high-definition A/V receivers equipped with full HDMI processing of 1080p video and decoding of Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD™ Master Audio surround sound formats.
The release of this Blu-ray Disc player will be...
By Alfred Poor • Jul 1 2008, 1:00pm
The DISH Network has started selling a converter box — called the DTVPal – for terrestrial television broadcasts, through a dedicated Web site at http://www.dtvpal.com/. Originally, the company had hoped to bring the converter to market at the $40 price of the US government rebate coupon, but the price has turned out to be [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 1 2008, 12:26pm
Simplay Labs, LLC, the leading solutions provider of technologies, testing programs, development tools, and interoperability and performance design standards for the high-definition (HD) consumer electronics industry, today announced that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC) will be implementing a pilot program of Simplay HD testing and verification at Samsung's facilities. Administered by both companies, this program will expand Samsung's participation in the Simplay HD Testing Program by increasing product throughput, extending the range of products tested, and accelerating time to market.
This is the first-of-its-kind self-testing initiative for...
By The HT Guys • Jul 1 2008, 7:26am
We've never really been into special features on discs, but what if the
special features weren't actually on the disc, but were on the Internet? Like it or not, BD Live looks like it's coming in full force
very soon. It could be cool, or it could just be a lot of hype.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 30 2008, 5:08pm
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) , the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced the addition of high definition (HD) local channels in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Memphis, Tenn. DISH Network now offers HD locals in 61 markets reaching more than 68 percent of U.S. TV households.
DISH Network also recently disclosed plans to add 22 HD local markets throughout the summer and fall. These markets include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 30 2008, 5:06pm
DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV), the nation's leading satellite television service provider, today launched its highly anticipated DIRECTV on Demand service to customers across the country. The platform is available at no additional charge to customers with a DIRECTV Plus(R) HD DVR or R22 DVR receiver, and offers more than 4,000 standard-definition and HD titles, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
The service allows customers to download...
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. Introduces New Premium Flat Panel TV With Integrated 16-Speaker Sound Projector
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 30 2008, 1:16pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced the introduction of their Ultra Thin Frame Premium Flat Panel TV with Integrated Sound Projector (iSP). The new Premium Flat Panel TVs with iSP deliver built-in sound capabilities that will transform the home entertainment experience with innovative sound technology by offering consumers an integrated home theater TV solution without the need for additional speakers or extra wires -- all using a single remote control. Mitsubishi's new Premium Flat Panel TV with Integrated Sound Projector product line up will come in 46" (LT-46149) and 52" (LT-52149) models.
The integrated sound projector (iSP) reproduces true 5.1 surround sound from a single speaker cabinet attached...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 30 2008, 1:00pm
I-Movix has announced that they will be providing their SprintCam Live 2 HDTV cameras to Beijing Olympic Broadcast for the Summer Games coverage. The cameras will be deployed with mobile units at the major Olympics venues, according to a company press release. What makes these cameras special is that they can record the action at [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 30 2008, 12:08pm
ViewSonic(R) Corp. introduces the latest addition to its complete range of LCDs with the affordable, feature-rich VA2626wm LCD monitor. At less than $530, the 1080p Full HD panel offers a large workspace for the productive multi-tasker and the ultimate viewing experience for movie buffs and gamers.
Multiple inputs, like...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 27 2008, 1:00pm
Mitsubishi has announced that it will ship a 65″ LaserVue laser TV starting in the third quarter of this year, with a 73″ model to follow. Now, the third quarter officially starts on Tuesday and ends on September 30th, but I’ll be stunned if we see any shipments before Labor Day. This does imply that [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 27 2008, 7:23am
Living large and lovin' life. Ara's back from vacation and we hit the ground running. Can you tell it's summer yet? Of course there's tons of great news and emails, but we also came across an article at lifehacker on how to turn your Xbox 360 into a streaming Netflix player. Pretty handy. Check it out.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 26 2008, 6:08pm
The DTVPal qualifies for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's TV Converter Box Coupon Program; coupons may be ordered by visiting http://www.dtv2009.gov. Consumers can purchase the converter box for $19.99 after the $40 government coupon is applied; MSRP for the DTVPal is $59.99.
The DTVPal by DISH Network was deemed a "top choice" by...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 26 2008, 1:00pm
What drives technology adoption, especially for consumer electronics products? History has shown that pornography is a major (though often unmentioned) force. I suspect that sports comes in a close second. I remember that early color television programming focused on sporting events. Sports also make up a large part of the HDTV programming that’s available today. [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 25 2008, 5:20pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced additional details surrounding the performance and functionality of its LaserVue(TM) TV. LaserVue will be available in 65" and 73" models with the 65" Diamond shipping to authorized retailers in the third quarter of this year and the 73" Diamond to follow. LaserVue will raise the bar for large screen television by delivering twice the color at half the power of today's HDTVs while at the same time providing an unparalleled 3D viewing experience.
Laser beams provide...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 25 2008, 1:00pm
I’ve been doing my best to spread the word about the details of the upcoming transition to digital-only terrestrial broadcasts of television signals. One of the key points I’ve try to stress is that if you have cable or satellite service, you will not be affected by the digital changeover when it happens next February [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 24 2008, 7:44pm
DisplaySearch recently released a report about what TV manufactures will need to do to sell more televisions in the coming years. One of the key features was network, and specifically Internet, connectivity. Just a couple days prior to that report we received a press release about the availability of HP's MediaSmart Connect for pre-order. We saw the demo at CES and liked the idea. All of this got us thinking; DisaplySearch says TV's need Internet connectivity, HP agrees in theory, but prefers the set top box route. If we could design our own Internet connected TV or STB, what would it do. From the "If the HT Guys ruled the world..." point of view.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 24 2008, 1:00pm
Content producers keep experimenting with the Internet, trying to find the right combination of features that make it a practical delivery system. One of the biggest names is trying something new this summer: free, full-length, streamed movies.
I remember when I was little, I had to eat dinner and take my bath early so that I [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 23 2008, 1:00pm
It has been widely reported that Kevin Martin, Chairman of the FCC, has announced his support for the proposed merger of the XM and Sirius satellite radio services. This is not a story directly about HDTV, but it is an important data point as we rush through a rapidly changing landscape of entertainment delivery systems. [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 22 2008, 4:44pm
Isn't it annoying when you want to turn on your home theater with your IR based remote control and one or more components misses the command. It could be that someone walked in front of the remote or that you just didn't keep it pointed at your system long enough for the entire macro sequence to be transmitted. That's why most integrators shy away from IR based remotes and use systems like Crestron or Control4 to transmit commands to a head end unit which then sends the commands via Ethernet, Serial, or IR via an emitter to the equipment being controlled.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 20 2008, 1:00pm
At InfoComm this week, Optoma showed off a new pico projector. It was in the Texas Instruments booth, which makes sense when you consider that it relies on TI’s new DLP Pico imager chipset. The tiny box is designed to project a large image from an iPod, digital camera, mobile phone, or other device. The [...]
By Richard Fisher • Jun 19 2008, 7:24pm
HQV Benchmark is produced by Silicon Optix, a leading developer of video processing technology. If you are new to the terms video processing and scaling, then a great foundational start is our own Video Dictionary on HD Library, Scaler.
The HQV Benchmark series of discs have received a lot of press and a lot of players have failed to pass many of the tests. Let's take a look at what each of these tests are, what their purpose is and what it actually means to disc players...
By Ed Milbourn • Jun 19 2008, 4:38pm
So far, practically all the digital transition "buzz" has been focused on avoiding the trauma that would be suffered by the "poor little old ladies" vainly wiggling their rabbit ears atop their 1975 Zeniths and getting no picture (or sound) on February 17, 2009.
Yes, I'm sure there will be a few of those. But there will be a lot more, and very vocal, "little old ladies" who already have digital reception capability (HDTV or otherwise) who will be shocked on Feb. 17th to find out they are not receiving one of there favorite DTV channels, and many...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 19 2008, 1:00pm
I received an email broadcast from Blockbuster yesterday, touting the “good news” that Blu-ray movies are now available for rent or purchase in “every participating Blockbuster store.” That seems to be a curious way of saying that Blu-ray movies are available in all the Blockbuster stores where they are available. But I guess it’s encouraging [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 19 2008, 1:37am
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a world-leading supplier of professional LCD and PDP display products, today announced the nationwide availability of the SP-A800B projector, a premium projector that enhances the home theater experience by delivering film-like picture quality in full high-definition 1080p. The SP-A800B will be on display at the InfoComm Tradeshow 2008, in the Central Hall at Samsung booth, C2417, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 18 - 20.
The high-end projector maximizes the home theater connoisseur's full HD viewing experience by leveraging advanced optics and a Texas Instruments 1080p DLP® chip to deliver...
New Kaleidescape Movie Players Produce Stunning Video Quality From Ordinary DVDs, Provide Viewing Experience That Rivals Blu-ray
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 2:20pm
Kaleidescape, Inc., the market leader in entertainment servers, today introduced the 1080p Player and 1080p Mini Player - two Movie Players that produce stunning video quality from ordinary DVDs, providing a viewing experience that rivals Blu-ray. The new family of Players makes it possible to enjoy the Kaleidescape Experience even with DVDs and CDs that have not been imported into a Kaleidescape System, and a new form factor makes it possible to place a 1080p Mini Player anywhere in the home.
The 1080p Player is designed as a...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 1:35pm
Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN) today at InfoComm DLP(R) Products introduced the industry's first home theater lamp-free projector that utilizes a PhlatLight(TM) LED light source and a BrilliantColor(TM) chipset. This technology demo delivers a superior 1080p picture for which DLP technology is known, while eliminating maintenance costs such as lamp replacements and filter changes required by some competing projector products. Multiple DLP customers have plans to develop...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 1:12pm
SANYO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD and DLP projectors introduces their second-generation LCD Waterproof Monitor, the CE52SR1. Integrating SANYO's revolutionary sun-readable LCD panel and marine grade construction, the CE52SR1 is designed for virtually any outdoor installation.
This unique LCD monitor is...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 1:09pm
3LCD, the world's number one projection display technology, and manufacturers of projectors featuring 3LCD technology are showcasing industry advancements and break-throughs at InfoComm 08. From ultra-bright, ultra-portable projectors ideal for a range of business applications, to a high-brightness WXGA unit, to an ultra-short throw with networking capabilities, projectors featuring 3LCD technology will showcase some of the industry's latest and greatest advancements.
New products and innovations debuting at InfoComm include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 1:06pm
ViewSonic(R) Corp. launches its brightest projector, the PJ1173, to fill large venues with eye-catching presentations and entertainment. The powerhouse projector brings true high-definition picture quality and 5,000 lumens to ensure clear, crisp visuals in auditoriums, religious sanctuaries, lecture halls and conference sites.
The PJ1173's extreme brightness, combined with a 1024x768 native resolution and...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 1:05pm
The world's most well known secret agent and his bevy of babes are even hotter in high definition when six, must-have, classic James Bond films debut worldwide on Blu-ray Disc -- (OCT. 21 North America / OCT. 20 UK/International) -- from MGM and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Recently restored and re-mastered for the highest quality picture and sound quality via the state-of-the-art Lowry process digital frame-by-frame restoration and featuring...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 18 2008, 1:04pm
SANYO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD and DLP projectors introduces their latest optical engine, called 4LCD, which adds a Color Control Device to conventional 3LCD (red/green/blue) systems. The first projector to launch this innovative new 4LCD engine is the PLC-XP200L. The additional Color Control Device in the 4LCD optical engine allows...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 18 2008, 1:00pm
As the saying goes, content is king. And when you have a worldwide sporting event that only comes around every four years, you can end up with some pretty impressive content. And so it goes with the Winter and Summer Olympics. According to a report in Business Week, the International Olympic Committee — IOC — [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 17 2008, 2:24pm
MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd. ("MEASAT") and Euroconsult jointly announced today the results of a study into the development of High Definition Television ("HDTV") in the Asia-Pacific region. The study, which was conducted during May by Euroconsult, polled the rationale, benefits, challenges and expectations or HDTV amongst the regions' leading PayTV operators. 25 operators in 15 markets, collectively serving more than 24 million subscribers, were interviewed.
The study found that...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 17 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, let’s get serious about big flat panel TVs. Don’t bother me with wimpy little measurements in inches. If you want to play this game, let’s talk about screen size in terms of feet. And Sharp has sold a flat panel to a movie theater in Japan that is 9 feet diagonal. The Shinjuku Picadilly [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jun 17 2008, 11:32am
How would you like to view an HD movie at home via Video-On-Demand (VOD) just a few weeks after its theatrical release, even before it's released on DVD and Blu-ray? Maybe your HDTV connections would not let you do it, despite the fact that you paid for the movie.
On May 9, 2008, the MPAA issued a petition to the FCC for a waiver of the SOC feature...
By The HT Guys • Jun 17 2008, 6:11am
Every year CE Pro puts together a list of the top 100 custom electronics dealers in the country. Then they poll those top dealers for their favorite brands to sell in 37 different categories. Of course half the picture for dealers is how much profit they can make selling a particular product, but the other half of the picture is reliability and returns. We like to look at the list to see what all the custom home theater installers are endorsing. If you've narrowed a purchase down to two brands, it may help to swing your vote.
By The HT Guys • Jun 17 2008, 6:00am
Father's Day is in just a couple days. If you still need to pick up a gift, or help someone pick one out for you, we have a couple of ideas.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 16 2008, 6:12pm
St. Louis-based antennas maker Antennas Direct announced its new, ultra-efficient, compact, digital TV antenna, ClearStream2, will arrive June 30. Orders are being taken now.
ClearStream2 is Antennas Direct's latest model of digital TV antennas, which are optimized specifically for the 2009 digital conversion.
The first DTV antenna created with...
A Capitol Fourth Fireworks Celebration, America's Biggest Birthday Party, Live in HD and All Commercial Free
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 16 2008, 4:10pm
On July Fourth, there's no place like our nation's capital for America's biggest birthday party. Featuring the most spectacular fireworks display anywhere in the nation, the 28th annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth airs live in high definition and commercial free from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits, the star spangled party features special performances by...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 16 2008, 4:07pm
JVC has added three new high definition camcorders to its HD Everio line, including a pair of dual-format models, one of which records up to 50 hours of AVCHD Full HD video.
Two new models, the GZ-HD40 and GZ-HD30, are the world's first AVCHD / MPEG-2 dual-format camcorders, allowing access to the superior long time compression afforded by AVCHD, as well as MPEG-2's superior editing and post-production environment. Both offer...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 16 2008, 1:00pm
I continue to be a skeptic about the adoption of Blu-ray, even though it has won the war of the high definition DVD standards. The biggest problem is that many Americans are satisfied with the image quality of standard DVDs scaled up for to view on their HDTVs. (The fact that many people buy HDTVs [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 13 2008, 1:00pm
“Flexible displays” actually fall into two distinct categories. There are the “deformable” displays that can be curled and uncurled; the holy grail in this department is the “pen” display where the screen retracts into a cylindrical case like a tiny window shade. However, there is a second, more modest category: “conformable” displays. These are panels [...]
By Richard Fisher • Jun 12 2008, 7:32pm
The infamous CRT rear projector, whether NTSC or HDTV, remains one of the greatest display products to have hit the consumer market. They lasted over two decades until the flat panel display phenomenon wiped them out. The same can be said of CRT direct view, the TVs we all grew up on. While big, bulky and heavy, these displays could deliver some great imaging, producing bright dynamic pictures and inky blacks in medium to dark ambient light environments. For rear projection, smaller sizes (below 50") could even perform well in brighter environments. CRT rear projection and direct view technology was used to drive the HDTV revolution out of the gate and along the way there were some really stellar videophile performers meeting most of the imaging science aspects of video standards. These products have a typical 10-15 year life span based on normal usage and CRT wear and tear. Before deciding to throw out this technology, you should reflect on the imaging performance you will be losing, ...
DISH Network Launches WGN America in HD and Renews Retransmission Agreement With Tribune's 23 Television Stations
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 12 2008, 7:16pm
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced an agreement with Tribune, America's largest employee-owned media company, to add WGN America in HD to its lineup of more than 80 national HD channels. As part of the agreement, DISH Network(r) this week will begin to carry high-definition programming from four Tribune stations in major markets -- KCPQ FOX, Seattle, Wash.; WPIX CW, New York, N.Y.; WGN-TV CW, Chicago, Ill.; and KTXL FOX, Sacramento, Ca.
The agreement also provides for...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 12 2008, 1:00pm
You have to be careful reading the specifications in advertisements, and we have a case in point this week in the Father’s Day flyer from Wal-Mart:
So what’s wrong with this picture? A 52″ LCD TV sounds interesting, and the under-$1,700 price sounds more like a plasma price than an LCD,so that’s news. The ad also [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 12 2008, 6:01am
Home Theater Magazine recently put a panel together to look at five different soundbars. Since we've only ever used the Yamaha Sound projector, and often get questions about models from other manufacturers, we thought it would be valuable to share their results. The full article, called 'The Power of One' was written by Adrienne Maxwell. It's certainly worth reading if you're in the market for a soundbar, since we won't cover all the details. The five models tested were from Philips, Marantz, Yamaha, Denon, and Polk.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 11 2008, 10:32pm
Digital TV and high-definition (HD) entertainment have finally arrived. New HDTV channels, HD programming, movies, and music videos are constantly being announced as networks and studios strive to release more HD content. To help consumers with their HD buying decisions, Dolby Laboratories has created HD Essentials: Get in the Middle of the HD Action-an easy-to-follow guide that demystifies the process and outlines the essentials of HD technology.
Following the FCC regulation that...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 11 2008, 1:00pm
The summer slow-down and the stagnant inventories are adding up to pressure on retailers to move product. We’re seeing some very tempting prices in advertisements, but perhaps the most interesting was the email broadside I received yesterday from CompUSA.com. In case you haven’t been keeping score, Tiger Direct bought the Web domain when CompUSA went [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 10 2008, 1:00pm
It’s not too soon to start thinking about what your favorite high school grad may need for college next fall, and HP announced a new computer today that has some attractive features. The new HP TouchSmart IQ506 PC is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and has a 22″ widescreen HD LCD display. [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 10 2008, 1:30am
So you want to watch movies with Netflix "Watch Instantly", but you aren't thrilled about sitting in front of your computer to do it? Netflix and Roku have partnered to bring the Watch Instantly functionality to your TV. We have one of these players and have spent a week putting it through its paces.
The player can be purchased for $99.99 from the Roku website and requires...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 9 2008, 1:00pm
Almost all LCD HDTVs use fluorescent lights behind the the LCD panel to provide a backlight. This is a relatively inexpensive solution, but has a number of shortcomings, not the least of which is the reliance on mercury that is an environmental hazard, which in turn makes it difficult to dispose of and recycle the [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 6 2008, 5:15pm
We have designed whole house video and audio systems and talked about them on our show. The one room we really haven't done much with is the Bathroom. We know what you are probably thinking: the bathroom is one area in the home where you don't want to be bombarded with the world's problems. We hear you; but what if you are in the middle of a football game and your wife tells you that its time to get ready so you can go to your in-law's? Having a TV in the bathroom sounds like a good way keep everyone happy.
By Alfred Poor • Jun 6 2008, 1:00pm
What if you won the battle but lost the war? Blu-ray technology beat out HD DVD as the high definition format for DVD movies, but the products have hardly rocketed off the launch pad. A report from market watcher NPD indicates that 45% of American consumers are aware of Blu-ray, up nearly a third from [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 5 2008, 9:35pm
Offering a stylish solution for the modern high-definition home theater, Sony today introduced the HT-IS100 BRAVIA(R) Theatre Micro System.
Designed with five incredibly small speakers roughly the size of a golf ball, the new audio/video system delivers a rich surround sound experience that can be easily integrated into a home theater.
The system includes three 1080p HDMI(TM) inputs with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 5 2008, 9:31pm
Sony today introduced seven new BRAVIA(R) XBR flat-panel LCD high-definition televisions including models with TRILUMINOS(R) LED backlight and local dimming for outstanding black-level reproduction and unmatched contrast.
The new models expand the BRAVIA LCD line up to 30 models ranging in screen size from 19- to 70- inches measured diagonally.
The XBR models represent Sony's premium line, delivering the latest features and the pinnacle of picture quality...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 5 2008, 3:17pm
VUDU Inc., the company that brings instant access to video content to the living room, today announced the release of the VUDU Wireless Kit, a new wireless solution that lets consumers enjoy their VUDU set top box anywhere in their home without the need for ethernet cables.
The VUDU Wireless Kit will retail for...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 5 2008, 1:00pm
Here’s a quick quiz for you: according to a report released last month by comScore, how many online videos were viewed in March 2008 by U.S. Internet users?
a: 11.5 million videos
b: 115 million videos
c: 11.5 billion videos
Now, before you make your pick, remember that this is just for one month. And it’s [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jun 4 2008, 1:00pm
Best Buy announced this week that it’s trying free electronics recycling for customers in stores in three major market areas. Starting June 1, customers will be able to turn in products for recycling at no charge — even if they did not buy the product at Best Buy — at stores in the greater Minneapolis, [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 3 2008, 7:50pm
Today we got into a discussion on a recent article from the CE Pro Magazine website. It's about 17 "green" products installers can use to make their custom home theater or automation installations more eco-friendly. We thought some of the products were pretty cool. You can read the full article online.
And you really need to check out "The Ultimate Remote" if you haven't already. It might give the Harmony One a run for its money.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 3 2008, 6:56pm
Wal-Mart announced today that it has completed a redesign of its consumer electronics department in stores nationwide, adding hundreds of new consumer electronics models and features. In addition to new product assortment, recent design changes intend to help Wal-Mart customers also better understand the uses and options of many new products in the market, such as the addition of a "hi-def Blu-ray experience area" in 1,200 of its stores.
Details about these new enhancements to Wal-Mart's electronics departments include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 3 2008, 6:48pm
According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, 45 percent of HDTV owners in the U.S. now claim to be familiar with Blu-ray Disc (BD), up from 35 percent in June 2007. And, while only 6 percent of all consumers surveyed said they plan to purchase a BD device, NPD found purchase intent to be higher among the growing population of HDTV owners, boding well for the future of the format.
Nevertheless, manufacturers still face challenges. Although HD-DVD is no longer a competitive threat, many consumers are content with standard-definition DVD players and content. The leading reasons cited as barriers to purchase were...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 3 2008, 1:25pm
LG Electronics today launched its new line of optical disc drives, which feature one of the fastest Blu-ray reading and writing speed of 6x. The latest models - BE06, GBC-H20L and GBW-H20L - are available now through national retail stores as well as other leading online electronics retailers.
Unique to LG, the line offers...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 3 2008, 1:00pm
Nielsen released a report last week indicating that 22% of U.S. TV households are either totally or partially unprepared for the digital TV transition next February (or Labor Day, if you’re in Wilmington, NC). Some of the markets with the highest percentage of unprepared households include Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Portland (Oregon), and Houston. The [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 3 2008, 1:03am
Integra, the first company to produce audio-video receivers specifically designed for custom installers and systems integrators, has expanded connectivity and HD audio and video features on its mid-priced DTR-5.9 A/V receiver. The new model features the same HDMI 1.3a repeaters and high resolution audio processing as the best-selling DTR-5.8 that it replaces, and adds two additional HDMI inputs for a total of four, 1080i upscaling of standard definition sources over HDMI, and Audyssey's new Dynamic EQ loudness compensation technology.
The DTR-5.9 features...
By Alfred Poor • Jun 2 2008, 1:00pm
Netflix is moving to deliver rental movies over the Internet. Blockbuster is figuring that there may be some intermediate ground between online rentals and handling physical DVD discs. So the company is testing kiosks that will let you download a rental movie to a portable movie player in about 30 seconds.
The initial test only works [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 30 2008, 1:00pm
In this global community, we still tend to be provincial about television. In the United States, we know about NTSC, but may not know about the PAL and SECAM video standards used in many parts of the world. We are learning about the ATSC digital broadcasts, but may not be as aware of the DVB-T, [...]
By The HT Guys • May 30 2008, 5:56am
So you want to watch movies with Netflix watch it now but you aren't thrilled about sitting in front of your computer to do it. Netflix and Roku have partnered together bring the Watch it Now functionality to your TV. We have one of these players and have spent a week putting it through its paces.
By Alfred Poor • May 29 2008, 1:00pm
In an earlier HDTV Almanac entry, I wrote about a complaint filed by Gertrude Neumark Rothschild against 31 electronics companies for violation of her patents on blue LEDs and lasers. According to a press release by the law firm handling the complaint, four companies have signed licensing agreements for the technology. Sony and Sanyo are [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 28 2008, 1:00pm
There’s a big media splash today about Sony building new TVs that can plug directly into your digital cable service – without a separate set top box — and access all the two-way cable services such as pay-per-view and video recording. The announcement makes a point of listing the major cable companies that support tru2way: [...]
By The HT Guys • May 27 2008, 9:15pm
Today we've decided to take a little walk down Home Theater memory lane. The last couple years have seen some significant changes in home theater technology, and we've seen a few devices go extinct. A few are still on the endangered species list, but will probably be gone very soon. We'd like to bid farewell to some technological advances that changed the way we enjoy entertainment in our homes, or were supposed to, but maybe it didn't quite pan out.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 27 2008, 1:28pm
A new line of digital audio-video products from LG Electronics, led by home theater audio products tuned by renowned audio expert Mr. Mark Levinson, have been introduced through national retail stores, such as Best Buy, Circuit City and other leading electronics retailers.
Previewed at the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, the new home theater audio systems (models LHT888, LHT874, LHT854, LFD850 and LFA840) feature...
By Alfred Poor • May 27 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, there are still dozens of stories from SID that I could write, but it’s really time to move on. And to play catchup, I need to cover the biggest story from last week; a week ago, Netflix announced the Netflix Player by Roku. This box is simple; it connects your TV to the Internet [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 26 2008, 1:00pm
It’s business as usual in Washington, DC. According to a report by TVTechnology.com, an emergency supplemental appropriation for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq included measures for low-power television broadcasts. One provides grants to help these stations continue to broadcast analog signals after the February 17, 2009 deadline for the full-power stations to cut off [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 23 2008, 4:56pm
A centerpiece of the annual home entertainment industry calendar returns to Los Angeles June 16-17 when Home Media Magazine presents the seventh annual Home Entertainment Summit: transFORMATions.
This year's event, again held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City, Calif., will examine several key issues facing the future of home entertainment. Is Blu-ray Disc ready to take the mantle of packaged media from DVD? Will electronic sellthrough be a factor in home viewing habits?
Consumers, bloggers, industry experts and studio representatives will be on hand to weigh in on these issues. The two-day event will feature...
By The HT Guys • May 23 2008, 4:23pm
Motorola Tuning Adapter MTR700
If you are a Tivo lover and have your Series 3 box so that you can watch and record HD from your cable company, you may be wondering what will happen to your service when your cable company rolls out Switched Digital service. We have great news for you! Your Tivo Series 3 will be compatible with the new format. You will need an adapter to make it work however.
More Mobile Digital Media
A few weeks ago on Show 272 we discussed the emerging mobile TV standard of the Open Mobile Video Coalition. At that time we discussed how the standard was just being deployed. We received an email from Glenn, host of “The ZA Show ” asking us to talk about a format that is already deployed called MediaFlo.
By Alfred Poor • May 23 2008, 1:00pm
I’m not sure that the consumers agree, but LCD makers appear to think that the way to the hearts (and wallets) of HDTV buyers is to make their panels thinner and lighter. At SID 2008, there were plenty of efforts on display that indicate some interesting developments along this line.
The key to thinner LCD panels [...]
Canada's Leading HD Broadcaster High Fidelity HDTV Signs Exclusive Deal With Smithsonian Networks(TM)
By Shane Sturgeon • May 22 2008, 7:01pm
Canadian HD viewers are about to be able to watch premium new High-Definition programming associated with one of the most trusted brands in the world.
High Fidelity HDTV Inc, Canada's foremost HD broadcaster, and Smithsonian Networks of the USA, have signed an exclusive programming agreement under which programs from the US service Smithsonian Channel HD(TM) will be broadcast on Oasis HD, Equator HD and Treasure HD, three of the all-HD channels operated by High Fidelity in Canada.
Smithsonian Channel HD's programming is...
By Alfred Poor • May 22 2008, 1:00pm
Blame it on the iPhone. Or maybe blame Tom Cruise in “Minority Report”. Touch screen displays used to be simple affairs for airport kiosks and bank ATMs, but now everyone wants “multitouch”. This means that the screen is able to recognize when the screen is being touched in two or more places. Multitouch makes it [...]
By Alfred Poor • May 21 2008, 1:00pm
According to Paul Drzaic, President of the Society for Information Display (SID), consumers worldwide use tens of terrawatt hours of electricity each year, just to watch television (citing information from the Consumer Electronics Association in a free report). That’s an enormous number, and if we can get each set to save only a little more [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 20 2008, 9:55pm
Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, and Roku, Inc., an innovator in digital media streaming technology, today announced the introduction of The Netflix Player by Roku™, a device that enables Netflix subscribers to instantly stream a growing library of movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to the TV. Priced at just $99.99, the player is available for purchase starting today at www.roku.com/netflixplayer.
The player is simple to install, easy to use and gives Netflix members instant access to more than...
By The HT Guys • May 20 2008, 4:23pm
The TV looks visually appealing and has a high build quality. There is a clear plastic frame that goes around the TV. The TV weighs 84 pounds (38 Kg) with the pedestal and measures 49.7" (126 cm) wide by 31.3" (79.5 cm) high by 17.7" (32 cm) deep (4.8" (12 cm) without the pedestal). We immediately took the TV off the default setting and changed it to cinema. Cox cable looked very bad. So bad that we recommended switching to satellite. Braden has Cox as one of his sources so his impression was that Cox does not look that bad on his TVs. It could be that this TV does not do well with compressed sources. OTA HD looked much better. In general OTA digital channels looked better than the SD coming from the Cox cable box.
We then popped in a Blu-ray disc...
By Alfred Poor • May 20 2008, 1:00pm
The Society for Information Display (SID) 2008 annual conference really doesn’t start until today (though it gets started early with a 7 AM press breakfast). Yesterday was the SID 2008 Busines Conference, which focuses on the business of the display industry. Participants got to hear many insightful and inspiring presentations, but the one I think [...]
By The HT Guys • May 20 2008, 7:33am
In keeping with tradition, we have a new show full of, dare we say, great content - even though we needed to take a few days off. All the stuff you'd expect: news, email and even a discussion on how to keep your home theater gear cool. But you have to listen to the show. No notes for this one.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 19 2008, 5:36pm
MGM HD, the high definition channel from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has signed an affiliate agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC) to provide MGM HD to Time Warner Cable customers. The announcement was made today by Douglas A. Lee, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Digital Media, MGM...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 19 2008, 3:13pm
Samsung today announced the availability of its OpenCableTM High Definition DVR for tru2wayTM digital cable deployments. Tru2wayTM refers to interactive digital cable services delivered over the cable video network. Cable operators have committed to deploy support for the tru2way platform in service areas covering more than 90 million U.S. homes by the end of 2008.
The SMT-3090 has...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 19 2008, 2:50pm
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq:CMCSK, CMCSA), the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, today announced it has more than 500 high-definition (HD) choices available at any given time and is significantly increasing HD video-on-demand (VOD) movie and television series programming from Showtime, Encore, MoviePlex and Starz. With this content increase, the company strengthens its leadership position in offering more HD movies and programming than anyone else. The company also...
By Alfred Poor • May 19 2008, 1:00pm
Each year, the Society for Information Display (SID) holds their major conference. You may not have heard of SID, because this is not a flashy show like CES or InfoCOMM or CEDIA that are filled with shiny products for end users. The SID conference is by, for, and all about the display industry. You’ll see [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 16 2008, 8:32pm
MGM HD, the high definition movie channel from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, today announced it has signed an affiliate agreement with Comcast Corporation, the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications. This new agreement between MGM and Comcast will provide Comcast the ability to distribute the network to its high-definition (HD) customers with hundreds of HD movies from MGM's expansive library.
Comcast's HD customers will be able to enjoy...
By The HT Guys • May 16 2008, 5:16pm
If you look at our DVRs you will see that the majority of the recorded shows are of over the air networks. These are high quality programs that arrive at your home free of charge. All you need to watch them is an ordinary antenna. On today's show we will talk about what you need to begin enjoying high quality picture and sound free of charge. We hope to give you the information you need to begin enjoying HDTV for free!
By Robert A. Fowkes • May 16 2008, 4:08pm
The question has been raised regarding how good 1440x1080 resolution from HD camcorders is when compared to "full" 1920x1080 resolution devices. While it is technically accurate to say that 1920x1080 images contain more pixels than 1440x1080 images the actual appearance to the native eye is not as different as logic might make you think. And the choice of "1440" as the resolution in the horizontal direction in a "1920x1080" world is not an arbitrary number but carefully selected due to
By Alfred Poor • May 16 2008, 1:00pm
It’s all but a done deal; in October, JVC and Kenwood will merge into a single company. JVC has been struggling with its line of HDTVs and other consumer electronics products, and there apparently is some hope that merging with Kenwood’s automotive entertainment systems business will provide some sort of synergy that can’t happen as [...]
By The HT Guys • May 15 2008, 3:57pm
Back in Episode #178 (June, 2007) we did a feature on the Vista Media Center. For that review we used an HP m8000n to run the Media Center. We talked about the features of the Media Center and how one could use the computer to run spreadsheets during the day and watch live TV or movies using an extender device at night. If you are not familiar with the features of the Media Center, that would be a good show to go back and listen to. We will only be covering specific features of the Media Center as they pertain to the DSM-750...
By Alfred Poor • May 15 2008, 1:00pm
Q: We recently purchased two digital converter boxes for our analog TVs. Although the pictures are generally very good, occasionally the picture freezes or distorts, as does the sound. This happens on both TVs. Each set is connected to its own antenna. Do I need a different type of antenna to [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 14 2008, 6:20pm
While many people expected sales of Blu-ray disc players to spike when Toshiba decided to drop out of the high-definition HD DVD market in February 2008, according to a new Harris Poll, it seems that the recently resolved high definition format war is not motivating consumers to purchase the advanced DVD players any time soon. The Harris Poll® of 2,529 U.S. adults surveyed online between April 7 and 15, 2008 by Harris Interactive® found that...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 14 2008, 5:37pm
LG Electronics (LG) and Samsung Electronics (Samsung), which together lead the global digital TV market, announced today that they will propose their jointly developed technology as the North American technology standard for mobile DTV.
Samsung and LG held a signing ceremony at Seoul Plaza Hotel in Seoul, Korea, on May 14, 2008. Executives from the two companies attended the event, including Woo Paik, LG's President and CTO, and JongWoo Park, President of Samsung Digital Media Business.
At the ceremony, the two companies agreed to...
D-Link Now Shipping Wireless Bridge for Connecting Multiple Devices in the Home Entertainment System
By Shane Sturgeon • May 14 2008, 5:24pm
D-Link today introduced the newest member of its award-winning Xtreme N(tm) product family, the DAP-1522 Wireless Bridge, which enables users to create a powerful Wi-Fi bridge to the home entertainment system using the latest draft 802.11n technology. The DAP-1522 connects up to 4 wired devices to an existing wireless network to lend high performance to the home entertainment system for HD transfers, online gaming and more.
The new D-Link® Wireless Bridge allows users to...
By Alfred Poor • May 14 2008, 1:00pm
Mark Cuban is the high-profile owner of the the NBA Dallas Mavericks, and also has been a driving force behind the growth of HDTV with his HD.NET enterprise. He also has something in common with about 10 million other Earthlings; he has a blog. In a recent entry, he tackles the question of whether video [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 13 2008, 4:16pm
Starz Entertainment announced today plans to launch the company's fifth distinct High Definition (HD) channel, Encore HD. With more than 31 million subscribers to the flagship Encore channel, the Hi-Def version of Encore will meet the growing consumer demand for popular uncut, subscription movies offered in True HD.
Scheduled to premiere in...
By Alfred Poor • May 13 2008, 1:00pm
Sharp’s X-Series of LCD HDTVs have gone on sale in Japan, and they apparently are headed to the U.S. market as well. These 120 Hz 1080p models are special in that the controlling circuitry is separate from the panel itself, so that the panel can be a lot thinner. And rather than have to string [...]
By The HT Guys • May 13 2008, 6:35am
With Electronic House Magazine announcing their 2008 Electronic House of the Year awards, and Kobe Bryant winning the NBA MVP award, we thought it fitting to announce some sort of recognition ourselves. For the first time ever, we've decided to declare some 'Home Theater Heroes.' They are companies or individuals that we believe are doing the most to drive innovation in HDTV and Home Theater. We're either thankful for what they've done, are enjoying what they're doing, or are excited to see what they have in store. We know everyone on this list is extremely honored just to be mentioned, after all how many times do you get a couple of guys on a Podcast announcing your company as a Home Theater Hero? Without further ado...
Sharp® Expands Professional High-Definition Liquid Crystal Display Monitor Line with Price Competitive Series
By Shane Sturgeon • May 12 2008, 4:36pm
Expanding its broad line of Professional Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Monitors, Sharp today announces the new TL Professional LCD Monitor line, a full 1920 x 1080 two-megapixel high-definition (HD) resolution series. This series joins the high-end PN Monitor series, providing an affordable complement for display and presentation opportunities requiring accurate and precise image reproduction.
The new series, including the 52-inch class (52.03" diagonal) TL-M5200 and the 46-inch class (45.9" diagonal) TL-M4600, offers high image quality, features and performance at a very competitive price point...
By Alfred Poor • May 12 2008, 4:00am
Wilmington, North Carolina has been known as the high school home of basketball legend Michael Jordan, as well as the backdrop for the TV shows Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. Well, Wilmington is about to make history again, when the television viewers there get to set their clocks ahead this fall… by about five [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 12 2008, 3:52am
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH), today announced plans to bolster its rapidly expanding HD programming with the launch of an additional 22 national HD channels beginning Monday, May 12. These additions include...
By Alfred Poor • May 9 2008, 1:00pm
On Wednesday, Pioneer rolled out two new KURO plasma HDTV models. Both are 1080p models with one year warranties, and are scheduled to ship in June. The PDP-5020FD is a 50″ version with a list price of $4,000, and the 60″ PDP-6020FD has a $5,500 list price. The KURO technology empahsizes creating very dark black [...]
By The HT Guys • May 9 2008, 6:10am
As you would imagine being a close friend of the HT Guys comes with some benefits. We have a friend that just bought the SONY KDLXBR4 46 inch LCD and a SONY Blu Ray player. He asked for some help setting the TV up and of course we said yes. Well, we said yes because it provides good material for our show. Our friend uses Cox cable, OTA and Blu Ray for his HD material.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 9 2008, 2:37am
Paving the way for next-generation digital television (DTV) standards, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc. celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the 2008 ATSC Annual Meeting today.
The Honorable Richard E. Wiley, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and of the FCC's Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, was the keynote speaker at the event held at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton in Arlington, Va. Wiley, recognized as the "Father of HDTV," highlighted the...
By Dale Cripps • May 8 2008, 7:03pm
Frances Cripps died yesterday, May 8th 2008, at high-noon in Corvallis, Oregon. She was 93 years old. She had suffered a long illness.
Why is this news in HDTV Magazine, you should rightly ask? Frances was one of many unsung heroes who played key roles in furthering HDTV. Always far-seeing and an engineer by nature, she...
By Alfred Poor • May 8 2008, 1:00pm
Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV is gorgeous and impossibly thin; there is no argument possible about either of those facts. And that’s enough to make people go gaga over it, even though it is about one sixteenth the size of a 42″ 1080p LCD TV and more than twice the price. Oh, and it’s not even [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 10:22pm
When high definition video displays, touch screens and computer monitors need to be extended away from their source or mounted in a remote location, Gefen's HDMI RS-232 CAT-5 Extender enables a simple method of signal delivery. With RS-232 and an IR back channel delivered alongside HDMI, users can adjust their displays, change settings and access audio/video sources from up to 50 meters (150-feet) in distance. Long-distance source control through the display is ideal for digital signage installations where A/V equipment is located in rack-mounted spaces away from the viewing area.
Sender and receiver units connect the A/V source to the remote display using category-5 cables that transmit...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 10:17pm
Emmy®-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will go Hi Def this fall when "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" begins its sixth season on Monday, September 8, and is produced and broadcast in High Definition (HD) after moving its production operations to a newly constructed, state-of-the-art facility on the Warner Bros. Studios lot. The announcement was made today by Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President, Telepictures Productions, and Jon Gilbert, President, Warner Bros. Studio Facilities.
The one-hour series, renewed through the 2010-2011 season, will now...
Pioneer Expands KURO Display Strategy Beyond Living Room Delivering New 1080p Projector Technology for Home Cinema
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 10:13pm
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces that it is expanding its KURO strategy across new display technologies to meet the needs of the most discerning entertainment connoisseurs. Just as KURO high-definition televisions have set the standard in the home theater, Pioneer® will enter the home cinema market with the introduction of its new Elite® KURO projector, delivering the same industry-leading black levels and 1080p picture performance that have become synonymous with the brand.
KURO stands for...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 10:09pm
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces a new line of KURO plasma displays featuring black levels five times deeper than the previous award-winning KURO. Widely recognized for its commitment to creating entertainment experiences that transcend the ordinary, Pioneer takes yet another groundbreaking step towards HDTV perfection with this new line of 2008 KURO flat panel televisions.
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 9:49pm
Elevating the high definition experience in home theaters, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces the Elite® BDP-05FD and Pioneer® BDP-51FD BonusView Blu-ray Disc® players that exceed the capabilities of current players in the market with support of next generation high resolution audio and video formats that fulfill the emotional experience of high end entertainment. Featuring picture-in-picture interactivity and a redesigned platform that significantly improves...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 9:36pm
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today introduces four new A/V receivers delivering high-definition (HD) audio and video experiences for emerging home theaters - the Elite® SC-07, SC-05, VSX-03TXH and VSX-01TXH. Acting as the HD control center, Pioneer®'s full line of A/V receivers work seamlessly with Pioneer's 2008 KURO displays and Blu-ray Disc® players to deliver the ultimate HD picture and sound performance for a truly emotional response in the living room.
Pioneer's flagship A/V receiver, code named "Susano," has set the industry standard for home theater performance and its 2008 top-of-the-line receivers, the SC-07 and SC-05, continue to incorporate...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 2:23am
Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal U.S. subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC), announces the introduction of the anticipated DMP-BD50, Panasonic's third generation Blu-ray disc player - the ultimate playback source for high definition 1080p content. Blu-ray media offers a wide range of functions that foster the transition to HD - including 1080p image quality, lossless Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ and versatile Picture-in-Picture applications. The BD50 adds the new BD-Live function, which...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 2:10am
Dreamer, a Korean-based leader in developing interactive TV-related platforms, announced today that it has opened an office in Burbank, CA in order to better serve Hollywood-based customers of its patented BIDDLE technology, which is currently in use by over one million subscribers in Korea.
Dreamer's BIDDLE technology is a software platform that makes it possible for...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2008, 2:03am
The LCD TV Association, a global, not-for-profit, marketing trade association formed to help the entire LCD supply chain, retail channel and consumers, recently launched its GreenTV logo program to help focus LCD TV manufacturers and brands on reducing the power consumption of LCD TVs and raising consumer awareness.
The first step in the LCD TV Association's GreenTV Program is to work with major TV vendors to implement and promote...
By The HT Guys • May 6 2008, 2:28pm
Mother's Day is coming this Sunday, May 11. Sure, you can be like every other guy out there and get your mom or your wife, the mother of your children some flowers or a nice meal (j/k) for Mother's Day, but is that what she really wants? Be bold, get her something she'd never expect. She won't know how great a gift it is until a few months from now, when she realizes that it's become a part of her every day life and she can't imagine living without it. Here are some of the best bet technology gifts for Mother's Day.
By Alfred Poor • May 6 2008, 1:00pm
A group of Chinese companies announced the creation of a new consortium last week, with the goal of creating and promoting a new interface for consumer electronics products. They call it the Digital Interface for Video and Audio, which results in the unfortunate acronym, DIVA. Backing this new move are some major and influential companies, [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 5 2008, 1:33pm
Vusion, Inc., providers of instant-on, full-screen, HD quality streaming video, today announced its formal company launch, leaving behind its stealth-mode name of 'Jittr Networks'. Vusion will deliver the industry's first end-to-end online video distribution service capable of providing the scalability and reach to serve true HD and DVD quality video to 95 percent of all broadband consumers.
The high bandwidth fees and limited reach of current content delivery technologies has made streaming video a loss leader for even the most highly trafficked web properties. Vusion's technology has been designed to...
By Alfred Poor • May 5 2008, 1:00pm
Time Warner, parent company of cable giant Time Warner Cable, said last week that it intends to spin-off the cable service as a separate company. The parent company owns 84% of the publicly-traded subsidiary, and has not yet announced details of how it intends to separate from the cable company which is still profitable and [...]
By The HT Guys • May 3 2008, 5:03am
Our recent discussion about the Digital Television transition prompted a few emails asking about emergency preparedness and how the loss of analog TV transmission would affect consumers in the event of a natural (or man-made) disaster. This prompted a great email from one of our listeners about the emerging Mobile Digital TV Standard. And we have a quick review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35A 10.1MP Digital Camera.
By Alfred Poor • May 2 2008, 1:00pm
Roll out the red carpet and set up those swirling spotlights in your front yard; new DVD movie releases are coming directly to your living room, thanks to iTunes. And you don’t need the DVD.
“Day-and-date” is the oddly redundant term used by the film industry to refer to the release of movie content. iTunes has [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 1 2008, 7:35pm
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced the addition of high definition (HD) locals in Norfolk -- Portsmouth -- Newport News, Va.
In January, DISH Network(r) announced plans to enhance...
By Richard Fisher • May 1 2008, 4:55pm
In case you hadn't heard, the HD format war is over. The Blu-ray camp struck a huge win just before CES when Warner Brothers announced they would be moving exclusively to Blu-ray by mid year, tipping the scales majorly in Blu-ray's favor. Then, in February 2008, Toshiba announced it would discontinue the development, manufacturing and marketing of HD DVD, officially ending the format war. They did, however, confirm that they would honor the warranty of all HD DVD players.
The Toshiba HD DVD players featured in this review were the latest (and as it turns out, last) generation to be released. While it may seem an empty effort to review them now since HD DVD has removed itself from the race, these third generation players from Toshiba have a performance response at crazy low prices to be reckoned with and deserve the full story.
ZeeVee Launches ZvBox, New Consumer Electronics Product for Broadcasting Any Internet TV or Computer Content to All HDTVs in Your Home
By Shane Sturgeon • May 1 2008, 1:35pm
Startup company ZeeVee Inc. announced today the launch of ZvBox(TM), a new consumer electronics product for watching any Internet TV, online video, or computer content on HDTVs at home. Available for preorder online exclusively at Amazon.com, ZvBox will redefine television as we know it.
Until today, the explosion of Internet TV and movie downloads has been confined to the computer's small screen. Alternative solutions have failed to solve this problem, with drawbacks including limited content, added subscription fees, the need for a box at each TV, and the inability to show everything a computer can do with high-quality video and audio. ZeeVee's new ZvBox is the first device that allows consumers to...
By Shane Sturgeon • May 1 2008, 1:25pm
Apple(R) today announced that new movie releases from major film studios and premier independent studios are available for purchase on the iTunes(R) Store (http://www.itunes.com/) on the same day as their DVD release. New releases and catalog titles will be available from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios. Movies purchased from iTunes can be viewed on an iPod(R) with video, iPhone(TM), Mac(R) or PC or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV(R), with new releases priced at $14.99 and most catalog titles at $9.99.
New releases available for purchase on the iTunes Store this week, concurrent with their DVD release, include...
By Alfred Poor • May 1 2008, 1:00pm
Last weekend, I drove 18 miles to recycle a carload of used computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, and other electronic equipment. A local township was sponsoring the event, and since they didn’t have a limit on the number of items you could drop off, it was worth the drive. I had some other options – including [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • May 1 2008, 12:21am
FOX News Channel (FNC) will launch in High Definition (HD) beginning Thursday, May 1st, announced Tim Carry, VP of Affiliate Sales. Initially available to Time Warner customers in select regions, the FOX News HD feed will be presented throughout the network's special election coverage, including the upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
FOX News HD will be offered as...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 30 2008, 1:00pm
A report from Digitimes last week indicate that Samsung is proceeding with plans to build medium and large OLED panels suitable for notebook computers and televisions, starting next year in 2009. The article also cites a Samsung vice-president as saying that flexible OLED displays will start production in 2010.
Samsung expects to ramp up production to [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 29 2008, 11:25pm
LG Electronics today unveiled the "Scarlet" series, a stylish new line of "Full HD" 1080p liquid crystal display (LCD) HDTVs (LG60). The global campaign included advertising, public relations and viral components to bring Scarlet to life. The integrated marketing campaign rolled out to more than 27 countries worldwide over the last four months and will continue through July.
Key elements of the campaign included...
Panasonic Gives Consumers Taste of First-Ever All High Definition Olympic Games with Multi-Faceted Promotional Campaign
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 29 2008, 5:09pm
Panasonic, a market and technology leader in flat panel HDTV's and an Official Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games, celebrated the 100 day mark to the start of the Summer Olympic Games with the launch of a nationwide promotional campaign designed to make sure consumers are ready to enjoy the upcoming Olympic Games - the first time the entire Games will be broadcast in High Definition. Panasonic VIERA series Plasma and LCD HDTV's are the official HDTV of the Olympic Games.
At the center of Panasonic's Summer Olympic promotional campaign is a nationwide truck tour which features...
By Richard Fisher • Apr 29 2008, 4:20pm
It's just a switcher; there is nothing to set up so installation is a newbie breeze. The power supply wall wart is offset to the side to avoid taking up two outlets. That seems like a great feature but that will depend on the orientation of your outlets. Oddly enough for me my outlets and strips made that the most difficult part of this installation. It supports hot plug and play and auto switching as evidenced when I hooked it up. I simply inserted the HM-31 in between a Toshiba HD-A35 HD DVD player and a Denon AVR-3808Ci receiver while in the midst of a movie. I looked up at the screen and within a few moments there was Phantom of the Opera in 1080p24 with sound. A quick look at the receiver confirmed my bitstream DTS True HD was still engaged. From there I connected...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 29 2008, 1:00pm
When we talk about HDTV, we tend to focus on professionally-generated content that is commercially distributed one way or another. But this totally overlooks another important source of HD video: user-generated content. There’s only one problem; most HDTV video cameras are extremely expensive.
DXG USA has announced the DXG-569V HD camcorder. It comes in your choice [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 29 2008, 6:23am
When you're researching an HDTV, you often find yourself reading what others have posted at various forums such as AVS. In those forums they tend to use a lot of jargon and lingo that a casual TV watcher may not understand, be aware of, or for that matter even care about. Today we'll try to define a few of them and add some clarity around the whole subject. As a "spoiler warning" if you own an HDTV, especially a rear projection HDTV, be warned. We'll talk about some issues that can appear on the screen that you may have never noticed before. If you start to look for them, you might start to actually see them. If you prefer to live in ignorant bliss, you might want to skip this feature.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 28 2008, 2:20pm
EINSTEIN MAGIC unveiled this week its answer to streaming video both Live and Prerecorded content over the Internet with what they call the DreamStream™ iHD Universal media player. DreamStream™ iHD is a stand-alone plug and play unit that is capable of streaming high definition content under 1 MGPS download speed with no measurable buffering or latency whatsoever viewable in any operating system with nothing to install or download prior to viewing.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 28 2008, 1:00pm
The HDTV market continues to consolidate. The latest company to scale down operations and expectations is JVC. The company is ceasing production in Japan and Scotland, and will focus its manufacturing operations in other markets where it can make a larger profit.
There had been reports that JVC was also going to stop selling TVs in [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 25 2008, 4:13pm
We receive emails all the time from listeners asking us about cables. Many ask what they would be missing of they were to use Component cable instead of HDMI. From a picture point of view your not giving up too much. From an audio point of view you would need to run eight RCA cables to bring in Dolby True HD or DTS MA sound tracks. Eight cables for audio and three for video. That's eleven cables to do the work of one HDMI cable. So with such a big advantage in cable management alone, we found it interesting that professional installers preferred to use component cables.
By Alfred Poor • Apr 25 2008, 1:00pm
Reuters reported this week that Netflix has expanded its partnerships with set-top box makers. In addition to their existing deal with LG Electronics, the company expects to announce three more partnerships that will let subscribers watch movies on their TVs, streamed directly from the Internet. The Netflix CEO stated that we can expect to see [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 24 2008, 1:00pm
A new report from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates that the average U.S. household spent $1,405 on consumer electronics in the past year. The CEA is the cheerleader for the consumer electronics industry, so take this result with a grain of salt. But with the average life span of a cell phone now down [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 24 2008, 12:24pm
5.5 million households brought home an HDTV set for the first time during the 2007/2008 holiday and Super Bowl season this year. A recent study of consumers across the U.S. indicates that 25 percent of U.S. households or 28 million now have at least one HDTV set, that up from a penetration of 20 percent in September 2007. In a study conducted shortly after Super Bowl XLII, Frank N. Magid Associates identified an impressive three million homes added a second HDTV during this same time frame, bringing multiple HDTV set homes up to nearly 10 million.
Due to falling prices and the upcoming digital transition, a larger percentage of younger adults 21-34 purchased HDTV's this holiday season. Among those who purchased their HDTV set in the past year, 18 percent say they did so to connect it to a high definition video game console like Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3...
New Iomega(R) ScreenPlay(TM) HD Multimedia Drive Brings High-Definition Content, via Upscaling, From the PC to the Home Theater System
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 23 2008, 4:07pm
Iomega Corporation (NYSE:IOM) , a global leader in data protection and security, today announced the new Iomega(R) ScreenPlay(TM) HD Multimedia Drive, a portable external hard drive that leaves the PC behind, delivering multimedia content to high-definition televisions and home theater systems.
The Iomega ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive is a 500GB* drive with the storage capacity to hold up to...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 23 2008, 3:59pm
Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, continues to expand its lineup of Blu-ray format A/V products with its fourth-generation Blu-ray player. Featuring the latest in Blu-ray technology as well as advanced connectivity for use with other digital devices, it offers consumers exceptional functionality, compact design and remarkable viewing quality.
As the first company to introduce a stand-alone Blu-ray player, Samsung reinforces its support of the Blu-ray format with the next generation, full HD, BD-P1500. An ideal player for anyone who enjoys Blu-ray, DVDs or CDs in their home, this groundbreaking model significantly...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 23 2008, 1:00pm
The battle is over. Blu-ray is victorious over HD DVD as the high definition DVD storage format. To the victor go the spoils. But just what exactly has Blu-ray won?
A new report by ABI Research makes some interesting points. ABI Research analyst says “The studios better hope that people are playing movies on their Playstations.” [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 23 2008, 12:08am
The average U.S. household reports spending $1,405 on consumer electronics products in the past 12 months, $120 more than the year before, according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The 10th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study shows that HDTVs will have the highest growth in household penetration rates this year.
Cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and laptop computers are also helping drive growth in...
Planar, Mitsubishi, and Eiki Top-Rated Overall among North American Projector Brands in Pacific Media Associates Dealer Survey
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 23 2008, 12:03am
Planar, Mitsubishi, and Eiki earned the first three spots as the top front projector brands overall in the 12th annual survey of U.S. and Canadian projector dealers. Pacific Media Associates, the global market information experts on large-screen displays, conducted the survey at the end of 2007. The company's Annual Dealer Survey is the authoritative source of independent, unbiased ratings of large-screen displays manufacturers by dealers throughout North America.
The survey ranks 25 aspects of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 22 2008, 3:03pm
According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, keeping consumers excited about devices and hardware may be the secret to industry success in the current challenging economic environment. Results from NPD's upcoming "Entertainment Trends In America" report showed that 37 percent of Americans believe they will spend less on entertainment products and devices in 2008 versus 2007, compared to just 18 percent who anticipate spending more.
Just under half of respondents to NPD's survey (46 percent) thought they would...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 22 2008, 3:01pm
Aided by the major motion picture studios, Sony's Blu-ray format has emerged as the undisputed technology for high-definition DVD video, but according to new market data released by ABI Research, Blu-ray cannot rest on its laurels. A bright future for high-definition DVD is not a foregone conclusion.
One of the primary challenges facing Blu-ray, says principal analyst Steve Wilson, is that many consumers are...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 22 2008, 2:59pm
When the Olympic Games begin in August this year in Beijing, China, many viewers will be able to watch live High Definition (HD) broadcasts of the games on their laptops, thanks to an initiative between Legend Silicon and Intel. The move is part of the rapid evolution of digital television (DTV) in China, where the new Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasting (DTTB) standard supports both fixed HDTV (High Definition TV) sets as well as viewing on mobile devices. Legend Silicon developed the core technology behind China's DTTB standard.
In August 2006, China launched its DTTB standard, GB20600-2006, demonstrating the country's capacity for innovation. In 2007, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 22 2008, 1:00pm
Depending on who is keeping score, about 75% of Americans now admit to having at least heard something about the upcoming transition to digital terrestrial — “over the air” — broadcast of television signals, and the end of analog broadcasts on February 17, 2009. We’ll ignore for the moment that this means at least one [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 22 2008, 4:57am
In Episode 260 we covered various options for energy efficient home theaters. One of those involved making sure you look for the Energy Star logo on the products you buy. After all just because we want to watch HDTV doesn't mean our kids should be robbed of watching Quad-HDTV when they grow up. There are a lot of colors talked about in home theaters, white noise, black-out shades, red lasers, blu-ray...even rainbows on your DLP TV. But today we're going to continue in the green theme. Listener Greg from Michigan thought it would be a good idea to round out the discussion; we've talked about how to buy gear, now we'll cover how to get rid of it.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 21 2008, 8:10pm
Onkyo has upgraded the features set of its most popular HDMI-1.3a-capable home theater receiver by adding 1080i video upscaling, two additional HDMI inputs to handle a total of four HDMI sources, Audyssey's new Dynamic EQ loudness compensation technology, and Onkyo's new Music Optimizer circuit. The new Onkyo TX-SR606 replaces the company's best selling TX-SR605.
The Onkyo TX-SR606 provides HDMI 1.3a inputs for up to four high-definition 1080p video sources, plus...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 21 2008, 1:00pm
In the early days of radio, the corporate sponsor was closely affiliated with the program, such as the “General Motors Symphony”, “Ford Sunday Evening Hour”, “Chesterfield Hour”, and the “Heinz Hall of Fame”. Many early television programs followed the same model, which carries forward to today in the form of the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 19 2008, 4:36am
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today launched CNN HD, SCI FI HD and USA HD.
The new high definition channels are available to DISH Network customers who subscribe to...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 18 2008, 1:00pm
As you may know by now, I’m a big proponent of video content delivered over the Internet, though I don’t have a clear vision of just what method — or methods — will win out eventually. The big news from Sony comes from a posting on their Playstation.Blog that is attributed to Peter Dille, Senior [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 18 2008, 6:34am
First of all, you can now follow us at Twitter. Check it out and tell us what you think. There's a fun article about Great Movie Scenes for Surround Sound at Electronic House and it seemed like something cool to discuss on the show. And we've compiled a list of six 32" HDTVs for budget conscious buyers.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 8:12pm
Since humans first flew in space, nothing has captivated astronauts more than the view of home out the window of their spacecraft. In honor of Earth Day, April 22, NASA will make those views available to people here on Earth with an event highlighting imagery taken by astronauts and the science behind it.
For the first time ever, NASA Television will air...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 5:47pm
EdgeStream announces a Video Content Delivery Network with an attitude - High Definition Video streaming for everyone. No Interruptions; No degradation in Video Quality; No re-buffering. Powered by its patented Internet Congestion Tunnel Through (ICTT) and Continuous Route Optimization (CROS) technologies, the EdgeStream VCDN is fulfilling the dreams of every web video operator - provide a quality of service similar to private operators like Cable, Satellite and Telco TV with High Definition video streaming to...
Universal Unveils Inaugural Slate of Film and TV Offerings Coming to Blu-ray(TM) Disc Day and Date With DVD
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 4:21pm
Universal Studios Home Entertainment revealed its initial lineup of film and television properties arriving later this year on Blu-ray(TM) Disc, day and date with DVD, it was announced today by Craig Kornblau, President, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms. Marking the rollout of the studio's first global release on Blu-ray(TM) will be the "Heroes: Season Two," which will debut beginning August 26, 2008.
The highly anticipated premier of the sophomore season of NBC's...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 2:53pm
Over the past two years, we have seen a number of video download services hit the market from major players like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Netflix. There have also been some new companies entering this category, such as XStreamHD and VUDU. Some are available only via a software client, meaning a PC (or Mac) would be required to enjoy them, while others work with dedicated hardware connected to your TV. They vary in quality, selection, delivery methods and cost and this article will hit the highlights of what each of the major players are offering their would-be customers in this burgeoning market.
Let's set the stage. This article covers products and services that provide movie downloads via the internet. Specifically...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 1:55pm
HP today announced it is the first company to release Microsoft's Media Center Extender capability to an Internet-connected TV.
With the capability, people using HP MediaSmart TVs not only get access to rich content from the Internet(1) but they also can enjoy their own digital treasures from their home PCs on a big screen high-definition TV (HDTV).
Extender for Windows® Media Center enables...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 17 2008, 1:52pm
Iomega Corporation (NYSE:IOM) , a global leader in data protection and security, today announced the new Iomega(R) Media Xporter(TM) Drive, a game-oriented portable hard drive that provides cross-platform media storage for Xbox(TM) 360 and PlayStation(R) 3 consoles, making it easier than ever to utilize today's popular game consoles and high definition televisions and other large screen TVs to share photos, videos, and music collections with family and friends.
The wallet-sized USB-powered 160GB* Media Xporter Drive utilizes the USB 2.0 ports on the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3 to...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 17 2008, 1:00pm
Back in the 50s, 3D movies with red/green glasses were a novelty that thrilled the horror film fans. 3D movies are much more than a novelty these days, however, with the amazing success of the “U2 3D” and”Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus” concert films. Disney and Pixar continue to generate animated 3D features, and are even converting [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 16 2008, 2:46pm
In a significant expansion of its multi-platform business, Lifetime Networks announced today that it has launched Lifetime Television HD, joining sister channel Lifetime Movie Network HD, which bowed last year.
In making this announcement, Lori Conkling, Executive Vice President, Distribution, said that Lifetime Networks has signed deals with...
Universal Music Group (UMG) and PluggedIn Partner to Bring Fans HD Music Videos Via New Entertainment Site
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 16 2008, 2:21pm
Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, and PluggedIn (http://www.pluggedin.com/), announced today an agreement whereby PluggedIn users will have access to thousands of high-definition quality videos from UMG's extensive roster of chart-topping artists covering every genre of music.
PluggedIn is powered by an innovative new media player that supports high-definition full-screen video playback with no buffering and DVD like controls, a multimedia search engine and fan centric social networking applications. PluggedIn's Media Player delivers...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 16 2008, 1:00pm
A year ago, the president of Sony’s U.S. electronics unit complained that there had been too much price erosion for LCD televisions in 2006, and he expressed hope that the price declines would be smaller in 2007. He said that some competitors priced their products so low that it “borders on being irresponsible“.
This adds a [...]
Consumers Will Pay $7-9 for Earlier-Release, High-Definition Video-on-Demand and Internet Rental Movies, Oliver Wyman Study Finds
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 15 2008, 5:59pm
A study of 2,000 U.S. consumers conducted by Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm, found that a price point between $7 and $9 is optimal for the next generation of video-on-demand (VOD) and Internet movie rentals: high-definition (HD) movies released on the same day as DVDs. This premium over today's $4 price for standard DVD or VOD movie rental would create substantial market growth by 2010.
Rollout of HD VOD and Internet movies on day-and-date of DVD release is...
RedMere Technology Debuts the Industry's First 3.4Gbps HDMI Switch Product with Embedded CEC Controller.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 15 2008, 2:25pm
RedMere Technology, a leading innovator in semiconductor solutions for ultra low power interconnect announced the world's first High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) switch and repeater products to include integrated programmable CEC microcontroller and EDID memory at speeds up to 3.4Gbps. All switch and repeater products include RedMere's Cable MagnifEye® equalization technology designed to recover signals over the full frequency range from non compliant or long cables offering an extremely robust solution to the TV manufacturer. Performance at the maximum HDMI operating speed of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 15 2008, 2:11pm
SANYO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD projectors announces the addition of two new LCD Multimedia Projector's, the PLC-ET30L and PLC-XT21/L, to their popular 'T' Series of high brightness, high resolution projectors for the education and business presentation markets.
Offering a full 1400 x 1050 resolution and 10-Bit digital gamma correction, the PLC-ET30L makes it possible to...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 15 2008, 2:05pm
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today introduced a new, more dynamic look and faster, more fluid navigation to PLAYSTATION(R)Store for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)). As part of the revamp, PLAYSTATION Store, previously a Web-based storefront, now lives natively as an application on the PS3 system, dramatically improving navigation speed. PS3 users can now more quickly and seamlessly shop, purchase and download...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 15 2008, 1:00pm
Blockbuster has offered $1 billion for consumer electronics retailer Circuit City. Circuit City has been struggling financially, but did post an 11% annual sales increase in the last quarter of 2007. Blockbuster, on the other hand, is part of the DVD movie disc rental business that saw revenues decline nearly 1% last year.
One interesting development [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 15 2008, 6:27am
Back in Episode #178 (June, 2007) we did a feature on the Vista Media Center. For that review we used an HP m8000n to run the Media Center. We talked about the features of the Media Center and how one could use the computer to run spreadsheets during the day and watch live TV or movies using an extender device at night. If you are not familiar with the features of the Media Center that would be a good show to go back and listen to. We will only be covering specific features of the Media Center as they pertain to the DSM-750.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 15 2008, 12:42am
DISH Network(r) (Nasdaq:DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the leader in digital television, today announced the addition of four high definition (HD) local markets: Cleveland -- Akron (Canton), Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Richmond -- Petersburg, Va.; and Tampa -- St. Petersburg (Sarasota), Fl. DISH Network now offers HD locals in 43 markets, reaching more than 58 percent of U.S. TV households.
In order to view HD programming, DISH Network customers will need...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 14 2008, 5:58pm
Sony and CBS have joined forces to bring the ground-breaking reality series "SURVIVOR" to high definition. Sony's XDCAM HD(TM) Professional Disc(TM) system will be used to shoot the upcoming 17th season of "SURVIVOR" in high definition, with production scheduled to begin this summer and the premiere episode debuting in the fall.
The XDCAM HD camcorders and decks to be deployed are...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 14 2008, 1:00pm
On Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied EchoStar’s request for a rehearing of their case with TiVo. TiVo has complained that EchoStar — parent company of the Dish Network satellite TV service — had violated TiVo’s patents. The complaint centered around hardware and software used in Dish Network’s digital video [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 11 2008, 1:00pm
Look at it this way; the Internet can be the world’s biggest TiVo, full of on-demand video programming waiting for you to watch what you want, when you want. And much of it is free. Now, a lot of the content is short length, low resolution, over-compressed, slow frame rate clips like we’re used to [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 11 2008, 6:45am
For today's show we'll talk about CNet's listing of the 5 best HDTVs they have reviewed. Then we get into a discussion on Hulu.com - a new video streaming site with a lot of potential.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 10 2008, 2:56pm
Beginning this week, in addition to the standard DVDs lining its shelves, Blockbuster Inc. will be offering customers something extra -- Blu-ray movies, for rent and sale in all of its corporate stores in the U.S., as well as in Canada, and select domestic franchise locations. Blockbuster made news last July with its announcement that the company was making Blu-ray available in 1,700 of its stores. Now, less than a year later, the company is positioning itself to become the customer's Blu-ray headquarters for rental and retail product with this national launch.
To highlight the availability of Blu-ray in its stores, Blockbuster is...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 10 2008, 1:00pm
Philips Electronics has announced that they are going to stop making HDTVs for the US and Canada markets, choosing instead to license the brand name in those markets. The company continues to be successful with these products in Europe and Latin America, but has failed to gain traction in the US and Canada against leading [...]
By Alfred Poor • Apr 9 2008, 1:00pm
From the start about two years ago, I’ve sold my book, “Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV”, as an electronic download through direct marketing on my Web site, www.hdtvbuyguide.com. With the new second edition, I also started offering the book as a paperback through Amazon and other book retailers.
For a variety of reasons, I have [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 8 2008, 5:49pm
Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) announced today that customers are now able to purchase its cable, broadband internet access and digital phone service in nearly 700 Wal-Mart locations Customers can sign up for services with the help of a Wal-Mart electronics associate, guiding them on selecting packages of their choice through easily accessible in-store kiosks at the Wal-Mart "Connection Center."
The partnership between the nation's leading retailer and second largest cable operator will allow customers to...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 8 2008, 1:00pm
I’m dating myself here, but when I went off to college, the two essentials were a typewriter and a television. Technologies for both have advanced a long way since then, but the writing and entertainment functions remain fundamental requirements. Most notebook and desktop computers have DVD drives, so they can be used to watch movies. [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 8 2008, 6:58am
As most of us know the big transition from analog to digital television in the US will happen in less than a year. Either the public service announcements are starting to work, or people are just finally starting to pay attention, but our inbox is filling up with questions. We tried to cover the whole issue back in Episode 257, but we must have left out some crucial details because the email keeps coming. We'll probably need to do this again in the future, but let's see if we can clarify things a little better.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 7 2008, 2:57pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced its new multi-dimensional HDTVs for 2008, which will take sight and sound to new heights for consumers demanding only the best in quality and performance from their HDTVs. New 2008 product highlights include thinner frame and brighter DLP(R) models and Ultra Thin Frame(TM) LCD HDTVs with improved sound capabilities.
Mitsubishi also has named its recently announced Laser TV, which will be branded as LaserVue(TM) and will be available to consumers...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 7 2008, 1:00pm
Is your television connected to your home computer network? According to a new report from ABI Research, it’s a question of “when”, not “if”. Consumer electronics are becoming increasingly dependent on network connections for the distribution of images and sounds. And televisions are right in the path of this juggernaut.
According to ABI Research, about 3.6 [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 4 2008, 5:33pm
Today we discuss what DLNA is and what it can mean for your home theater system. DLNA stands for the Digital Living Network Alliance and began in 2003 when a group of companies came together to create products that worked together. Today, there are more than 250 companies in the alliance.. They include consumer electronics, computer and mobile device manufacturers. DLNA published its first set of Interoperability Guidelines in June 2004 and the first set of DLNA Certified products began appearing in market soon thereafter. The latest version of the DLNA Interoperability Guidelines, version 1.5, was published in March 2006, and then expanded in October 2006. To become certified, products pass through the DLNA Certification Program.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 4 2008, 4:21pm
Pinnacle Systems, Inc., the consumer division of Avid Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID) , announced today the next generation of its Pinnacle PCTV™ HD Stick, and Pinnacle PCTV™ HD Pro Stick-the number one selling TV tuner for PCs in the U.S. retail market in 2007, according to NPD. In addition to delivering free digital HD and SD TV over-the-air (ATSC), these new Pinnacle PCTV HD and HD Pro Sticks now support unencrypted digital cable (ClearQAM) channels and include a next-generation tuner/demodulator with more sensitive reception of both analog and digital TV signals and, in the case of the PCTV HD Pro Stick, even FM radio.
About the size of a...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 4 2008, 1:00pm
The new Yankee Stadium is scheduled to open in time for next year’s baseball season. And the main center field video scoreboard is going to be in high definition. Mitsubishi Electric has announced that it will provide the Diamond Vision scoreboard. Don’t plan on getting one of these puppies for your living room; at 101 [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 3 2008, 1:10pm
DIRECTV, the nation's leading satellite television provider, adds another notch in its HD belt as the Premiere Official Sponsor of the IndyCar Series. Beginning with the April 6 Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg all IndyCar Series events will be carried in DIRECTV HD, delivering unprecedented detail and realism to a sport already defined by speed, history and pulse-quickening close finishes.
As the Premiere Official Sponsor for the IndyCar Series, DIRECTV will be recognized in the series logo to reinforce that each respective race event is carried "in DIRECTV HD". DIRECTV will also...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 3 2008, 1:00pm
Next year, analog broadcasts of television programming will cease (more or less, but that’s another story). It is possible that millions of analog TVs will become obsolete overnight (if they get their content over the air with an antenna). A new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates that this will amount to fewer [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 3 2008, 4:16am
The new pocket-sized Sony HDR-TG1 Handycam(R) camcorder's weighty high-definition capability will appeal to vacationers who prefer to "travel light."
This diminutive camcorder weighs in at only ten ounces. It has an ultra-portable body measuring just 1.3-inches wide by 4.7-inches tall by 2.5-inches deep.
It is a full-featured camcorder that can record...
By Dale Cripps • Apr 2 2008, 9:12pm
Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington, VA., is sharpening his battle ax for the likes of Lou Dobbs. Dobbs is chief among those believers and campaigners against many elements of free trade, at least as practiced around the world today. Dobbs asserts that FT is hollowing out our advanced civilization and replacing it with a third-world-like existence--a bad deal for America. Shapiro holds a far different view and offered it on Dobbs afternoon CNN television program a few months ago. The recalcitrant Dobbs left Shapiro appearing as a well-spoken but one-sided representative of a foreign constituency rather than a noble upholder of the truth. Shapiro is widely acknowledged as being a savvy, but shoot-from-the-hip operator, and one of the most effective lobbying forces in all Washington. Shapiro said recently in a confident statesman-like address to the Detroit Economic Club that contrary to popular thinking the benefits of Free Trade are many and ...
By Terry Paullin • Apr 2 2008, 9:01pm
I guess it's a sign of the times. With TV shows like "Survivor" and "The Bachelor" espousing the virtues of deceitful behavior and getting big ratings, why should I be surprised that specifications from A/V manufacturers occasionally stretch the truth. I'm not, and they do......and they continue to on an ever more frequent basis. Still, one has to draw the line somewhere.
When they sold us "1080p" sets that wouldn't...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 2 2008, 8:55pm
DIRECTV's unparalleled commitment to providing sports fans with superior HD programming and interactive content is on display again with its 2008 MLB EXTRA INNINGS(R) out-of-market subscription service.
DIRECTV customers who subscribe to MLB EXTRA INNINGS(R) and the SuperFan(R) option will receive up to 40 games in HD each week, about four times more than last year. Additionally, SuperFan offers unique features like...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 2 2008, 1:00pm
Light behaves like waves (sometimes). Longer wavelengths produce light toward the red end of the spectrum. Shorter wave lengths make light toward the other end, with colors like blue or violet.
This bit of optical trivia may not seem important, but it’s an essential fact in the creation of high-definition DVD discs and players, such as [...]
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Introduces WL6700U High-Brightness, High-Definition WXGA Projector
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 1 2008, 5:45pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division, known for award-winning, high-quality, high-definition presentation and display products, introduced its WL6700U, a 5000 ANSI lumen, WXGA resolution (1366 x 800 pixels) projector for commercial, home theater and education installations. By offering this projector at a cost remarkably lower than others of the same caliber, Mitsubishi continues to lead the projector industry with a combination of high brightness and wide-screen, high definition at an unprecedented price.
Blasting 5000 lumens with a 1000:1 contrast ratio, the WL6700U uses three...
By Ed Milbourn • Apr 1 2008, 4:45pm
Much has been written about wireless component connectivity. The most recent publicity surrounds the "WirelessHD" initiative - an incipient standard for wirelessly interconnecting signal processing components to an HDTV display. This is a great concept except one big cord remains - the power cord.
Wireless power has been a much sought-after technology since Nikola Tesla first demonstrated the possibilities in the early 1900's. Inductive battery recharging technologies have recently been aggressively explored for cordless cell phone applications, but have not been seriously commercialized. However, a recent exciting innovation being developed by...
Consumers Plan to Sell, Donate or Recycle 95 Percent of Unused Analog TVs Following the DTV Transition
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 1 2008, 4:30pm
Questions of what will happen to millions of analog TVs following next year's transition to digital television (DTV) have been answered with news that is also good for the environment, according to a new study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. Indeed, results of the study, Trends in Consumer Electronics (CE) Afterlife show that households receiving broadcast signals only over-the-air (OTA) expect to remove fewer than 15 million televisions from their homes through 2010, ninety-five percent of which will be sold, donated or recycled. Most OTA-only households expect to...
By Alfred Poor • Apr 1 2008, 1:00pm
No, I’m not talking about the chocolate mints left on your hotel pillow. I mean mounts, as in the devices used to hang flat panel HDTVs on the wall. Maybe you haven’t been concerned about how thick your wall mount is, but apparently the people who design and build them are hoping that “thin is [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 1 2008, 7:11am
So by now everyone knows what's in Ara's Home Theater, in fact all over Ara's house, but we get questions occasionally on what Braden is using as well. To put those questions to rest, we'll get into all the details today. You've heard bits and pieces, like the recent addition of the PS3, but here's the whole system, all at one time.
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 31 2008, 2:48pm
LG Electronics today announced the nationwide availability of three new series of LCD monitors designed to deliver an enhanced gaming, graphics or multimedia experience. Previewed in January at the 2008 International CES®, LG's three new lines of elegantly designed LCD monitors (the W52, W00 and L7W series) are available at Best Buy, Circuit City, and other leading electronics retailers across the United States.
LG's distinctive technologies such as...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 31 2008, 1:00pm
I mean the really, really small screen: your cell phone. On Friday, AT&T announced that it will offer subscribers ten channels of television programming. The images may be small, but the networks providing the content are some of the giants: CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN, FOX, MTV, NBC, NBC News, and Nickelodeon.
AT&T will be using the [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 30 2008, 11:53pm
ESPNEWS, the nation's only all-sports news television network, will debut a new high-definition studio and an entire new look on Sunday, March 30 at 8 a.m. ET with the first hour simulcast on ESPN HD. In addition, twice later that day - at 11:30 a.m. and at 11:30 p.m. - ESPNEWS HD will be simulcast for 30 minutes on ESPN2 HD.
One notable innovation in the...
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 28 2008, 2:30pm
The high-definition format wars are over - and you won: Dell customers can now get a Blu-ray laptop for under a $1,000. Available today on dell.com, movie buffs can pick up the Inspiron™ 1525 with optional Blu-ray disc playback starting at $879.
As retailers and video rental companies expand their high-definition offerings, Blu-ray is the new "must-have" technology to help get the most out of your viewing experience.
The award-winning Inspiron 1525 laptop features...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 28 2008, 1:00pm
Earlier this week, a US company named Microtune sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The NTIA is the federal agency in charge of the program to provide rebates for the coverters that will allow analog televisions to receive digital broadcasts. (You can read more about the rebate program in an [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 28 2008, 3:04am
Today we discuss a recent article in CE Pro that runs down 9 A/V Receivers that you may want to consider for your next home theater. These receivers are not entry level and as such will cost a little more than your bargain receivers.
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 27 2008, 8:39pm
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider, today announced the launch of the New England Sports Network (NESN), New England's most-watched sports network, in high definition (HD). NESN is available in standard definition (SD) on DISH Network channel 434 and HD games are available on channel 434 HD to customers who subscribe to America's Top 100 Plus or higher programming packages.
NESN, the definitive source for New England sports programming, is the top rated regional sports network in the country delivering...
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 27 2008, 8:33pm
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced immediate availability of four new high-performance AMD Phenom™ X4 processors for PC users in search of the Ultimate Visual Experience. Led by the AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition processor, each CPU features true quad-core design, and when matched to AMD 790 series chipsets supports up to four award-winning ATI Radeon™ HD 3800 series graphics cards. This enthusiast PC platform, codenamed "Spider," energizes the latest PC gaming titles, speeds high-definition video playback, and delivers amazing performance for advanced productivity and multi-tasking.
Featuring the best quad-core desktop CPUs AMD has offered, these AMD Phenom X4 quad-core processors can improve performance for gaming and multi-threaded applications. The AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition is...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 27 2008, 1:00pm
As the Rainman might say, “there are thousands and thousands of them.” At a time when most of the copyright holders for music, movie, and video content are going bananas trying desperately to lock up their products and prosecute anyone who misappropriates their product, Paramount is taking a different approach. The company is embracing the [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 26 2008, 4:14pm
The Blu-ray Disc victory in its recent format war with HD-DVD will propel this technology into 29.4 million homes worldwide by the end of 2008, according to the latest research published by the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service. According to, "Blu-ray Devices: Forecasting Sales and Ownership," Sony's PS3 games console will continue to drive the Blu-ray market until 2009, after which stand-alone Blu-ray players will become the dominant segment. By 2012 more than...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 26 2008, 1:00pm
You walk into a big box store like Best Buy and see a price posted on an HDTV. Or you scan through their sales circular and see prices for specific models. That’s the price you’ll pay, right?
Maybe not. According to a report in the New York Times on Sunday, a growing number of United States [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 25 2008, 1:00pm
Last year, federal law made it illegal to manufacture or import television devices in this country that contained analog tuners unless they also had digital tuners. Manufacturers and retailers were allowed to sell existing inventory of analog-only devices, but only if they were clearly labeled about this limitation. Apparently, not all the retailers were diligent [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 24 2008, 9:41pm
Windows Media Center Extenders
Up until recently the only extender device available for your media center PC was the Xbox 360. On today's show we will discuss some new extender devices that are currently (or soon to be) on the market.
We also discus the results of a survey that we recently conducted.
GalleryPlayer Inks Deal with Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America to Embed HD Art and Photography in 2008 Flat Screen Models
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 24 2008, 2:33pm
GalleryPlayer, the pioneer in HD lifestyle imagery, has announced a partnership with Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc., to embed the Company's proprietary technology into 2008 Mitsubishi HDTV models launching this spring, allowing consumers to view GalleryPlayer's library of full HD 1080p fine art and photographic images.
In addition to embedding GalleryPlayer's technology into their new line of HDTVs...
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 24 2008, 1:40pm
Plextor® LLC, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, today announced two new multifunction disc drives that combine next-generation Blu-Ray and HD DVD technologies.
The internal PX-B920SA drive features...
Quanta and ooVoo to Bring First 'Plug and Play' High Definition Video Instant Messenger and Chat Solution to the Living Room
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 24 2008, 1:25pm
Quanta Research Institute, the advanced technology research center of Quanta Computer Inc. (www.Quantatw.com), and ooVoo (www.ooVoo.com), the leader in providing high-quality, real-time video communication over the Internet, today announced a technology partnership that will for the first time turn any high-definition television (HDTV) or laptop computer into a simple high definition, multi person video instant messenger and chat screen.
The agreement calls for...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 24 2008, 1:00pm
DISH Network (of Englewood, Colorado) is locked in a struggle with DirecTV and other television subscription services to attract and retain customers. And one of the key competitive features is HD channel coverage. DirecTV has a lead on this score, but a new satellite launched by DISH Network was intended to help the service [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 21 2008, 1:00pm
In case you were wondering about why analog televisions broadcasts are scheduled to end next February, I can give you nearly 20 billion reasons. By switching to digital broadcasts, large segments of the radio frequency spectrum will be freed up for other uses. And on Tuesday, the FCC concluded auctions that sold off the licenses [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 21 2008, 7:15am
Many of us want to make sure that we are the most efficient we can be in how we use the resources we consume. One concern that has come up in our email inbox lately is all the power that is consumed by adding so many new home theater gadgets. We're using bigger TVs than ever before, more surround sound processors are in use, often people will add a game system like and XBox360 or PS3 and still have a DVD player or a Blu-ray player along with it. Of course you have to have a DVR, and there's the whole HTPC angle; it just keeps going. With all this technology proliferation, how do we keep our electricity usage in check, if for no other reason than we want to keep our monthly bills in a reasonable range?
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 20 2008, 7:10pm
A powerful, new DIRECTV satellite, launched successfully today from the Pacific Ocean-based Sea Launch platform, will further boost DIRECTV's HD capacity, enabling the industry's HD leader to deliver up to 150 national HD channels when the satellite goes into service this fall. With the additional capacity, DIRECTV will also expand its delivery of local HD channels to more than 100 markets, representing 84 percent of U.S. TV households.
DIRECTV will launch another satellite in 2009 that will enable the nation's leading satellite TV service to offer consumers up to...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 20 2008, 1:00pm
Okay, today’s item is not a little technical; it’s a lot technical. But as always, I’ll not only tell you the story, but also what it means. So hang in with me on this one….
At the end of last month, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute issued a press release about Martin Schubert, a doctoral student in engineering, [...]
PLAYSTATION(R)3 To Support New Interactive Blu-ray Movie Features (BD-LIVE) With Upcoming System Software Update
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 20 2008, 12:23pm
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that the next system software update for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system, slated for release in late March, will add Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD) Profile 2.0 or BD-LIVE, enabling PS3 owners to experience interactive features, such as downloadable video content, ringtones, games, and more. In addition to BD-LIVE, the system software update (v. 2.20) will enable photo and music playlists on PS3 to be copied to PSP(R)(PlayStation(R)Portable) handheld entertainment system, among other new features. These updates demonstrate how PS3 continues to evolve as a home entertainment hub with the flexibility to deliver the newest technology innovations that benefit PS3 owners.
BD Profile 2.0 requires...
By The HT Guys • Mar 19 2008, 4:40pm
Well the folks at OPPO Digital are at it again. This time they have released a new high end Up-Converting DVD player. The DV-983H is the new gold standard in up-converting DVD players. It incorporates Video Reference Series processing (VRS by) Anchor Bay. This is the same technology used in video processors costing $3000 or more.
Best Buy Stands Behind Customers By Awarding More Than $10 Million in Gift Cards to HD DVD Purchasers
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 19 2008, 1:11pm
With Blu-ray declaring victory over HD-DVD in the high definition movie format war, Best Buy, the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, is giving $50 gift cards to customers who purchased an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment from its U.S. stores before February 23, 2008. Customers will get a gift card for each player or HD-DVD attachment that they purchased. Through this program, Best Buy will distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to customers across the country.
The beauty of this offer is...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 19 2008, 1:00pm
Were you like me, and you purchased an HD DVD player at the end of last year? The chances are good that you may be suffering from a bit of buyer’s remorse at this point, now that Blu-ray has carried the day (for reasons that I’ve covered in previous entries). The Fed has bailed out [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 18 2008, 6:06pm
DISH Network(r) Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH), the nation's third-largest pay-TV provider, today confirmed that plans to enhance its HD programming line-up this spring remain on track, despite the launch anomaly experienced by the AMC-14 satellite on March 14.
Over the next two months, DISH Network will increase its local HD offering by more than 60 percent with the addition of HD broadcast networks in the following markets...
By The HT Guys • Mar 18 2008, 4:58pm
So you want to buy a brand new HDTV, A/V Receiver, Blu Ray player and some of you have an old VCR that you want to incorporate into your home theater experience. There is something that you probably didn't even think about, much less budget for, and that's how you are going to tie it all together. This is the job of the cable. There are many kinds of cables out there all with different uses. Today's column will discuss the various kinds of AV cables on the market and what they are used for.
Before we get started, we want to talk a bit about cost...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 18 2008, 1:00pm
It seems to me that the main achievement of the tiny Sony XEL-1 is to leave us wanting more: more resolution, more screen, and a lot more for our money. Many companies are working hard to deliver more from OLED technology, which as the Sony TV has demonstrated, can deliver an impossibly thin and light [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 17 2008, 9:43pm
The Window Channel creates an exclusive library of High Definition programming for hotel operators offering guests a customized window on the world.
Hotel operators can choose from a wide variety of existing content or...
By The HT Guys • Mar 17 2008, 4:44pm
This week we finally get to the review a lot of listeners have been asking for, the Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote by Logitech. We reviewed the Harmony 880 almost three years ago, and although Ara questioned the price premium, it eventually became our standard universal remote recommendation. Now with the release of the One, we were eager to see if it would replace the 880 in our hearts and minds. It won the 'Best of Innovations' award in the Home Theater Accessories category at CES 2008. You can find it in retail stores and online for an MSRP of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 17 2008, 3:05pm
Batman Begins catapults into the high definition age on July 8th with the Blu-ray™ Hi-Definition release from Warner Home Video. Batman Begins has already been well received in high definition, as the HD DVD release is the top catalog HD seller.
Three new DVD editions...
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 17 2008, 3:04pm
Image Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISK), a leading independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment programming in North America, announced today that it has selected Sony DADC for the authoring and compression of the company's continuing output of high-definition Blu-ray releases.
Image's first Blu-ray titles...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 17 2008, 1:00pm
One of the fears about Blu-ray’s victory in the high definition DVD format war was that without competition, prices would not fall or could even rise. The fact that older Blu-ray players don’t have the capabilities of current models, and that new models with Internet support won’t be out until next fall (at the [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 16 2008, 3:02pm
Well the folks at Oppo Digital are at it again. This time they have released a new high end Up-Converting DVD player. The DV-983H is the new gold standard in up-converting DVD players. It incorporates Video Reference Series processing (VRS by) Anchor Bay. This is the same technology used in video processors costing $3000 or more.
By The HT Guys • Mar 14 2008, 4:17pm
Last month Ara picked up an Apple TV for use in his media room. That became the fourth HDMI device which was one device too many for his Yamaha RX-V2700 receiver. So he contacted Pioneer to see if he could review the Pioneer VSX-94TXH 7.1 A/V Receiver. In actuality, Ara was auditioning the receiver for his own personal use. Within a few days the receiver showed up and it's not going back! Just so everyone is clear, Ara has to pay for the receiver to keep it.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 14 2008, 2:33pm
NBC 13 in Birmingham, Alabama, certainly had its heart in the right place when it published “The In’s And Out’s Of HDTV” on its Web site for its viewers, but it would have been better if they got their facts straight before they tried to explain these topics. The story has a number of glaring [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 14 2008, 5:27am
This week we finally get to the review at lot of listeners have been asking for, the Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote by Logitech. We reviewed the Harmony 880 almost three years ago, and although Ara questioned the price premium, it eventually became our standard universal remote recommendation. Now with the release of the One, we were eager to see if it would replace the 880 in our hearts and minds. It won the 'Best of Innovations' award in the Home Theater Accessories category at CES 2008. You can find it in retail stores and online for an MSRP of $250 US.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 13 2008, 1:00pm
Yesterday, TiVo announced plans that will let subscribers access YouTube content directly through a TiVo DVR. To take advantage of this feature when it becomes available later this year, you will need a Series3 DVR (which includes the new TiVo HD) and a broadband Internet connection. You will be able to search and watch the [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 12 2008, 1:00pm
According to an Associated Press report, four major Hollywood studios have reached agreements with Access Integrated Technologies to help finance the conversion of up to 10,000 more movie theater screens to digital technology capable of projecting 3D images. The deal is worth up to $700 million. Hollywood has been enticed by digital technology for years, [...]
By Richard Fisher • Mar 11 2008, 4:35pm
With one war over and Blu-ray taking victory, there is yet another war brewing in the background ... or is there? The new question being asked by the rank and file is whether or not there is even a future for packaged media. Can you imagine a day where nobody physically rents a movie? Some are.
Historically, this battle has been ongoing via your local cable system or satellite service; it is called Pay Per View (PPV) and Video On Demand (VOD). While the providers have found great profits in this service and their customers have enjoyed the convenience, it didn't ...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 11 2008, 2:00pm
Last week, Monster Cable announced plans to expand the distribution of their lower-priced HDMI cables. Monster is known for its high quality cables available at many consumer electronic retailers, which sell for breath-taking prices. The next step down in price usually takes the buyer to a different brand. Monster intends to capture more of those [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 10 2008, 4:30pm
Scripps Networks' HGTV and Food Network will simulcast their respective standard-definition and high-definition feeds to cable and satellite affiliates beginning March 31, 2008. This means that the rapidly growing number of HD-enabled households will be able to watch their favorite Food Network and HGTV programs in high-definition at the same time the shows air on the standard-definition channels.
Since launching in 2006, HGTV-HD and Food Network-HD have carried...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 10 2008, 2:00pm
Samsung has announced cancellation of its plans to build its new dual format HD DVD/Blu-ray player, the BD-UP5500 that was announced at CES 2008. Apparently, the company will continue to sell the BD-UP5000 hybrid player that was supposed to be replaced by the new model. The older set is available on Amazon for under [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 9 2008, 3:17pm
US Digital TV Transition
The United States is set to transition all over the air, or free to air, television broadcasts from analog to digital in just under a year from now. It acronym speak, we'll all need to use ATSC tuners instead of the NTSC tuners we've been using for the past half century. There are a bunch of questions swirling about the transition, we'll try to answer the most popular ones. If you live outside the US, this information may apply to you at some point in the future, when your governing body decides to make a similar transition.
By The HT Guys • Mar 7 2008, 6:38pm
If you are like us, you probably have one or two recordings on your DVR that you simply won't delete. But what if you want to archive the recording or watch it on your computer? Your choices in the past have been to down-convert the program to 480i and record it on a DVD recorder or a computer with a capture card. The people at Gefen have come up with a new PVR that will record from your DVR or Set Top Box via the HDMI connection in HD! The only caveat is...
HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #256 - Television is back and Pioneer VSX-94TXH 7.1 A/V Receiver Review
By The HT Guys • Mar 7 2008, 2:25pm
Now that the Writer's strike is over, we can finally start to get our favorite shows back. We'll talk about when you can expect to see new episodes of the great HDTV you've been missing for the last few months. You can read all about it at TV Guide. We've also got a review of the Pioneer VSX-94TXH 7.1 A/V Receiver.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 7 2008, 2:00pm
It’s official. Pioneer confirmed the rumors today and announced that the company will cease production of plasma panels. Pioneer was one of the few remaining plasma manufacturers, along with the giant Matsushita (parent of Panasonic). Pioneer had already announced plans for a joint venture with Sharp in order to get a supply of panels for [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 6 2008, 8:06pm
The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Sea Launch Home Port for the equatorial Pacific, in preparation for the launch of the DIRECTV 11 broadcast satellite, planned for Monday, March 17. Liftoff is expected at the opening of a 58-minute launch window, at 3:49 pm Pacific Daylight Time (22:49 GMT).
Upon arrival at the launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, the team will ballast the platform to launch depth and initiate a 72-hour countdown. During this period...
By Ed Milbourn • Mar 6 2008, 5:58pm
In 1969 Japan's National Broadcast Network (NHK) started research on an advanced television system to bring truly high definition television to the public. Their goal for such an endeavor was to "appeal to a higher level of psychological sensation and emotion by transmitting highly intellectual information with detailed characters and graphics." 1
That highly eclectic goal for HDTV remained through its complex evolution to the US system commercialized in 1996. Unfortunately, that goal is being severely and continuously...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 6 2008, 2:00pm
Last month, HP announced that it had recycled almost 250 million pounds of electronics hardware and related consumables in 2007. According to the company’s press release, this was equivalent to two Titanics. HP has already recycled more than 1 billion pounds of electronics, and has now set a goal of 2 billion pounds by 2010. [...]
By Alfred Poor • Mar 5 2008, 2:00pm
Traditional picture tube televisions have the three electron guns arranged in a triangle. The resulting geometry requires a screen that is curved both horizontally and vertically. 40 years ago, Sony engineers realized that you could put the three guns in a line, and use vertical stripes of phosphors instead of circular dots. And this resulted [...]
By Dale Cripps • Mar 4 2008, 5:15pm
I suppose I should be jubilant with Toshiba's announcement saying the end of the high def DVD format war has come. If you have not yet heard, Toshiba has tossed in the towel on their HD DVD format.
Oddly enough, I am not all that thrilled. It's not that I miss the fist pounding, name calling, and back biting from the combatants, for I don't. My sadness, if it is that, is because both contenders were so well suited for the job they were vying for. It is just unfortunate to me that one had to fail in the public eye. It is, after all, a bit of a public humiliation. Neither candidate deserved that fate, but, then again, the consumers didn't deserve an industry knock down, drag out street fight either! Both formats had elegant-enough technology to support their candidacy. In the end, only the belief that...
By Alfred Poor • Mar 4 2008, 2:00pm
Sony is one of the largest flat panel HDTV companies in the world, but they don’t make the LCD panels used in these sets. They get many of their panels from a Korean company called S-LCD, which is a 50/50 joint venture with Samsung that was created in 2004. (Samsung actually owns 50% plus one [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 4 2008, 5:10am
If you are like us you probably have one or two recordings on your DVR that you simply won't delete. But what if you want to archive the recording or watch it on your computer? Your choices in the past have been to down convert the program to 480i and record it on a DVD recorder or a computer with a capture card. Today we talk about a product that we saw at CES that solves this problem. The Gefen HD PVR (EXT-HD-PVR)
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 3 2008, 7:13pm
DivX, Inc., a digital media company, (NASDAQ:DIVX) today announced the DivX® Certification of Panasonic's Blu-ray Disc (BD) Player (PN: DMP-BD30EG/EE).
The Panasonic Blu-ray Disc player, which joins a number of existing DivX Certified products from Panasonic, is scheduled to be released beginning in March and is expected to be the first DivX Certified® Blu-ray Disc Player available in Europe and Russia. Like Panasonic's existing DivX Certified DVD players, the latest DivX Certified Panasonic Blu-ray disc player enables users to enjoy...
By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 3 2008, 6:35pm
For those of you who may have ordered the Planet Earth set we notified you about last week, Discovery Channel is now discounting their Sunrise Earth set as well. They are also offering free shipping on both, if that interests you. Again, I'm not sure how many they have in stock, so if you're an HD DVD owner, you might want to order one of these before they're gone.
By Alfred Poor • Mar 3 2008, 2:00pm
For most of us, the cut-off of analog over-the-air television broadcasts is a fairly cut-and-dried issue. On February 17, 2009, we’ll stop getting any analog broadcast signals. But what happens for United States residents who happen to live near the border with Canada or Mexico? TVTechnology.com has provided a good overview of the situation. As [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 29 2008, 4:08pm
It's pretty clear by now that Blu-ray won the high definition video disk war. By the end of this year HD DVD will be a distant memory and those who want to watch High Definition movies will need a Blu-ray player. There are a bunch of options out there for those in the market, and the Sony PlayStation 3 has been talked about as the most capable player available. For a long time it was the least expensive way to get a Blu-ray player. That isn't true anymore, but it's still close. It's currently available in two models, a 40 GB model for $399.99 and an 80 GB model for $499.99. Today we'll ignore the gaming side for the most part and look at how the device performs as a home theater device...
By The HT Guys • Feb 29 2008, 2:24pm
It's pretty clear by now that Blu-ray won the high definition video disk war. By the end of this year HD-DVD could be a distant memory and those who want to watch High Definition movies will need a Blu-ray player. There are a bunch of options out there for those in the market, and the Sony PlayStation 3 has been talked about as the most capable player available. For a long time it was the least expensive way to get a Blu-ray player. That isn't true anymore, but it's still close. It's currently available in two models, a 40 GB model for $399.99 and an 80 GB model for $499.99. Today we'll ignore the gaming side for the most part and look at how the device performs as a home theater device.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 29 2008, 2:00pm
Syntax-Brillian, the company behind the Olevia brand of HDTVs, has fallen deeper into hard times. After delaying and revising last quarter’s financials, the company made a shake-up of top management and a changed their business model. Part of those changes included abandoning their LCoS rear projection television business. Now they are late again with their [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 28 2008, 3:45pm
In 2007, the flat panel display industry reached the $101 billion mark, and it is expected to grow to $131 billion by 2012. While there are many display-centric applications on the rise such as notebooks, mobile applications, digital photo frames, home appliances and navigation systems, flat panel HDTVs continue to comprise 50% of all 10-inch and larger LCD panels shipped on an area basis-a segment that on a revenue basis, hit the $33.5 billion mark in 2007, $11 billion more than in 2006.
DisplaySearch predicts the cumulative number of HDTVs in the US will...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 28 2008, 2:00pm
A news story in the Wall Street Journal last week reported that Verizon was having problems with a shortage of HD set top boxes for its FiOS television service. FiOS is the company’s service that provides telephone, high speeed broadband Internet, and television to homes over .
The problem appears to be that Motorola has not [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 27 2008, 2:00pm
Blu-ray has won. HD DVD has been vanquished. But did you expect the prices to fall this fast? Check out the Microsoft Xbox 360 Web site: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/x/xbox360hddvdplayer/default.htm. Microsoft is offering the the Xbox 360 HD DVD player for $49.99. And that apparently still includes five free HD DVD titles.
Microsoft has put a tidy disclaimer on [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 27 2008, 12:58am
Goldmund, makers of the world's most extravagant and technologically advanced systems for audio-video purists, introduced today the company's first Blu-ray player, the Eidos 20 BD. With the announcement of the Eidos 20 BD, Goldmund becomes the first high-end audio/video manufacturer to issue a Blu-ray player.
The Eidos 20 BD embodies the Goldmund high-tech refinement that has made the Swiss-based company a leader in the audiophile community for the last 30 years. Goldmund signature features found on the Eidos 20 BD include...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 26 2008, 2:49pm
Sony updated its Blu-ray Disc player line today with two new models that will be capable of accessing advanced interactive features such as BonusView and BD-Live.
The BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 models both support BonusView (Picture-in-Picture) featured on some of the new Blu-ray Disc theatrical releases. The BDP-S350 model is BD-Live ready featuring an Ethernet port for an easy firmware update and access to Internet-based interactive content features. The BSP-S550 is BonusView and BD-Live capable when it ships.
Both models also feature...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 26 2008, 2:43pm
Providing a simplified approach to high-definition home theater management, Sony today unveiled a line of four A/V receivers offering high-definition performance, easy set-up and control through a unique icon-driven menu system.
Each of the new models simplify home theater operation by serving as a central hub for audio and HD video home theater components, converging all sources to one HDMI(TM) output from the receiver to the display.
Designed for optimal high-definition home theater performance, the models include such features as...
By The HT Guys • Feb 26 2008, 2:20pm
If you're fairly new to the world of HDTV, one word you've probably heard a few times is 'compression.' Typically it's used in a very negative way, taking the blame for all sorts of picture quality issues. Unfortunately, compression gets a bad wrap most of the time, in fact, compression itself is really a great thing. In a nutshell, compression is exactly what it sounds like: taking something big and making it smaller, compressing it down to a smaller size. It's the thing that allows a full HDTV movie to fit on a Blu-ray disk, or for an HDTV program to be broadcast to your home for your viewing pleasure. Uncompressed high definition content is simply too large to be of any use to us consumers. Compression is the thing that allows you to store and transfer audio and video content that otherwise would be way too big.
Think of a beach ball...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 26 2008, 2:00pm
As many readers are aware, I’m a big fan of IPTV which some people call “Next Generation Television”. I’m convinced that it will reshape how we watch video. In fact, it already has; consider YouTube. But some people wonder if it’s a practical solution.
Well, consider this. According to a recent issue of The Bridge, the [...]
By Dale Cripps • Feb 25 2008, 4:25pm
Pacific Media Associates, the global market information experts on large-screen displays, reports that inventories of consumer flat panel televisions at North American distributors rose 68% in January over December's levels. Their Flat Panel Display Distributor Tracking Service report for January 2008 also shows that
By Alfred Poor • Feb 25 2008, 2:00pm
I try to explain to people that you need to sit close enough to an HDTV that you get a cinematic experience; a small screen across the room won’t give you the benefit of the fine detail available in the HD image. If you use the screen size calculations in my book, Professor Poor’s Guide [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 24 2008, 8:05pm
Microsoft Corp. said it will stop making HD DVD players for its Xbox 360 video game system after Toshiba Corp. ceded the high-definition video format battle to Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray.
Microsoft said Saturday it would continue to provide standard warranty support for its HD DVD players. Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida last week estimated about 300,000 people own the Microsoft video player, sold as...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 24 2008, 5:56pm
We were just made aware of the new pricing on Planet Earth (HD DVD version) from the Discovery Channel Store and thought you might be interested. If you're an HD DVD owner, you might want to order one of these before they're gone.
By The HT Guys • Feb 24 2008, 2:42am
We've received a few emails asking for Ara to describe his A/V network. By now you probably know that at the center of the system is a Mac Mini serving up DVDs but what else can it do and how many zones does Ara have in his house. Today's show will take you through a virtual walk through of Ara's home....
Blu-ray • Cable HDTV • HD DVD
By The HT Guys • Feb 22 2008, 2:26pm
We had planned some very different content for today's show, but something very strange happened this week. There seems to be a huge backlash against Blu-ray for some reason. It caught us somewhat by surprise, but the trend is too strong to ignore, so we just have to talk about it. If the war really is over, and by most accounts it is, why aren't people rejoicing in the peaceful times ahead? Why can't we put the differences behind us and move on to soak in all our movies in HD on one kind of disc, and maybe enjoy a little wide scale adoption at the same time?
By Alfred Poor • Feb 22 2008, 2:00pm
Well, once again I get to publicly proclaim that I was wrong. In an earlier entry in the HDTV Almanac about digital TV converters, I wrote “wait until the end of 2008 to buy one. By then, competition will likley drive the price down to below $50, so you will practically get the converter for [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 21 2008, 10:29pm
Onkyo has distributed and sold approximately 2000 units of the HD DVD players in the selected markets due to the growth of the large screen display market and high demand for home entertainment media. Onkyo has reached its decision to discontinue the development and production of HD DVD players after thorough review of Toshiba's public announcement "Toshiba Announces Discontinuation of HD DVD Businesses" on February 19, 2008. As Onkyo manufactures HD DVD players...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 21 2008, 5:09pm
So you've probably read that Apple is getting into the movie rental business, and with high definition even. With the recent upgrades to their Apple TV unit and addition of movie rentals, Apple is now positioned toward the top of the heap when it comes to online high definition movie rentals. Another company that is at the top of that heap is VUDU, who also has a hardware-based player that connects directly to the TV just like the Apple TV unit. I thought it would be appropriate to pit these two against each other and see which comes out on top.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 21 2008, 2:00pm
If you’ve been in any consumer electronics store in the United States within the past year, you may find this next item surprising, but here goes. According a industry-watcher DisplaySearch, LCD TV shipments surpassed CRT TV shipments for the first time in 2007, accounting for 56% of the 28.5 million units. CRT stands for “cathode [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 20 2008, 2:58pm
In an effort to help demystify high-definition entertainment for consumers, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced its support for Blu-ray as the digital format of choice for customers. As part of this announcement, Amazon.com will more prominently promote Blu-ray hardware and software products on its website.
Amazon.com currently carries a wide array of Blu-ray hardware and software products including...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 20 2008, 2:00pm
We’re now less than a year away from the end of analog broadcasts for local television stations, and we keep finding out little tidbits of information that indicate that the transition may not be as smooth as we might like.
Last week, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin testified before Congress that as many as 5% of users [...]
By Dale Cripps • Feb 20 2008, 4:15am
AUSTIN, TEXAS, February 19, 2008-DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in display market research and consulting, reported in its latest Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report that global TV shipments grew 21% Q/Q and 5% Y/Y to 60.8 million units, which brought 2007 total shipments to almost 200 million units worldwide. For the full year in 2007, TV revenues exceeded $100 billion for the first time, with Q4'07 revenues climbing 10% Y/Y and 26% Q/Q to a record $32.9 billion.
Also of note, DisplaySearch reported that LCD TV shipments worldwide overtook CRT TV shipments...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 19 2008, 2:00pm
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament starts in just one month. Also known as “March Madness“, this marks the 18 days of the year when normal people who have no interest at all in basketball the other 347 days of the year become rabid fans of some little-known Cinderella school. Office pools, heated discussions about [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 19 2008, 12:08pm
Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide...
By The HT Guys • Feb 18 2008, 5:19pm
Today we go through an article published in Sound and Vision Magazine entitled M-Card: Possible Its a guide that will help you obtain and use the new Multi Stream Cable Card.
Braden has been contemplating a new screen for his home theater, and the 73" DLP from Mitsubishi would fit quite nicely. So just like any good audio video enthusiasts would do on the weekend, he packed up the kids and spent some quality time at Best Buy and Magnolia to check it out.
HD DVD • Blu-ray • Cable HDTV
By Alfred Poor • Feb 18 2008, 2:00pm
I was probably one of the first to pick HD DVD as the winning format in the high definition video disc contest. It had the backing of enough of the Hollywood studios to be competitive. Warner Brothers had a clever multilayer design that would play in both DVD and HD DVD players. The Blu-ray camp [...]
By Robert A. Fowkes • Feb 15 2008, 5:03pm
HDMI (which stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface) was developed to accommodate the emerging HD digital technologies which have now entered the mainstream of home entertainment. It was planned as a "one wire" digital solution to both audio and video requirements. It is also one of the most confusing connection technologies available to the general public - especially when people hdmi(3)are used to more traditional interconnectivity. As HDMI attempts to do what it was designed to do, part of the process involves the pieces of the puzzle communicating with each other (sometimes referred to as "handshaking"). This two way communication causes...
By The HT Guys • Feb 15 2008, 3:30pm
When Steve jobs introduced the next generation of AppleTV it took Ara about 30 seconds to decide it was worth buying the device. If for only satisfying his curiosities. So Ara purchased the new AppleTV about a month ago and there it sat until Tuesday of this week. That's because the device is essentially identical to the previous AppleTV but now with a new version of software the AppleTV is a brand new Machine...
By The HT Guys • Feb 15 2008, 3:30pm
When Steve jobs introduced the next generation of AppleTV it took Ara about 30 seconds to decide it was worth buying the device. If for only satisfying his curiosities. So Ara purchased the new AppleTV about a month ago and there it sat until Tuesday of this week. That's because the device is essentially identical to the previous AppleTV but now with a new version of software the AppleTV is a brand new Machine...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 15 2008, 2:00pm
Q: I have not been able to find anyone who feels confident with their answer to this question and hope you can help me. I have three radios that receive audio only TV signals. Will I be able to receive audio only TV signals on these radios after the switch to digital? I talked with [...]
By Dale Cripps • Feb 14 2008, 10:10pm
Menlo Park, California, USA - February 14, 2008. Pacific Media Associates, the global market information experts on large-screen displays, reports that unit sales for flat panel HDTV televisions in North America grew by 27% in December over November's sales, marking a seasonal sales surge for the end of the year. Their Consumer Flat Panel Display Sell-Through Tracking Service also shows that consumers moved toward buying...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 14 2008, 2:00pm
Here’s just what we need: another optical disc format. On Monday, Vmedia Research announced their new miniature Vmedia disc that is only 32 mm in diameter; that’s slightly more than 1.25 inches, or about one-fourth the size of a standard DVD or CD. This new format is designed for use in mobile devices such as [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 13 2008, 6:52pm
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (Amex: MCZ; TSX), a leading third-party interactive entertainment accessory provider announced today the release of the Xbox 360 HDMI Conversion Kit, a revolutionary new accessory designed to allow owners of the Xbox 360 console to connect directly to any standard HDMI input on their TV's or displays and enjoy true High-Definition (HD) digital video and audio for gaming and movie playback.
The HDMI Conversion Kit connects...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 13 2008, 5:35pm
The last in a four-part series of articles on buying an HDTV. The following topics are covered in this segment:
HDTV as a System, not Just a TV Set
Recording and Digital Connections
Analyze the Connectivity Issues
HD Integrated Tuners
Controls, Cables, Screen Shields, ISF, Stores, etc.
By Alfred Poor • Feb 13 2008, 2:00pm
Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. — The Red Queen, “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll.
The plasma manufacturers must be feeling as though they have fallen through the looking glass themselves. According to a release from industry watcher DisplayBank, plasma panel [...]
By Terry Paullin • Feb 12 2008, 5:16pm
Look, I'll admit it. I like to find a bargain as much as the next guy. When I walk into "DVDs 'R US", I always slide by the "previously viewed" bin first. When I travel, Budget Inn is high on my list. But experience has taught me that there are times when spending MORE is the smart thing to do in the name of economy. Recently, in the quest to find material to be contrary about (that's my mission here - had you guessed?), I found a significant number of posts on various websites focused on where to find the absolute rock bottom price for this or that piece of A/V gear. It's not unusual to find a subsequent post a week or two later looking for help on how to "fix" that same item.
Here's the thing
By Alfred Poor • Feb 12 2008, 2:00pm
Yesterday, Netflix issued a press release stating that “as of now it will purchase only Blu-ray discs and will phase out by roughly year’s end the alternative high-def format, HD DVD, developed by Toshiba.” The press release cited the fact that “the industry now [has] picked a winner,” with four out of six major US [...]
By Dale Cripps • Feb 11 2008, 10:13pm
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) is taking a step forward in addressing consumer confusion about high-definition formats. Beginning in early March, the leading consumer electronics retailer will prominently showcase Blu-ray hardware and software products in its Best Buy retail and online channels in the United States.
"Consumers have told us that they want us to help lead the way. We've listened to our customers, and we are responding. Best Buy will recommend...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 11 2008, 5:29pm
The third in a four-part series of articles on buying an HDTV. The following topics are covered in this segment:
The Aspect Ratios
The Viewing Experience at the Store
By Dale Cripps • Feb 11 2008, 3:15pm
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Netflix Inc., the online movie rental company, said Monday it is switching exclusively to the Blu-ray format for high-definition DVDs, following four major movie studios in selecting the Sony technology over one pushed by Toshiba Corp.
Toshiba and Sony have been vying to set the standard for high-definition DVDs for several years. The stakes are high because ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 11 2008, 2:01pm
One week before U.S. households receive the first of thousands of $40 digital converter box coupons, Wal-Mart is stocked and ready with these small converter box units designed to keep home analog TVs receiving a digital signal. Today 3,400 Wal- Mart stores carry a new Magnavox digital converter box, with a retail price of $49.87.
The Nielsen Company estimates that ...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 11 2008, 2:00pm
Radio Shack has apparently all but given up on their HDTV strategy. The retail chain appears to have returned to its focus on consumer electronic gadgets and accessories. However, their Sunday sales circulars still include the occasional ad for an HDTV, such as the one below that appeared in yesterday’s flyer:
Yes, this is an ad [...]
HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #249 - How to Paint Your Home Theater and Insight Media's CES 2008 Best Buzz Awards
By The HT Guys • Feb 9 2008, 8:24pm
Most of us believe that what color you choose to put on the walls is a decision that should be left firmly in the hands of the aesthetics committee. But according to an article from the online version Electronic House magazine, the home theater enthusiast may want to weigh in on the decision. It seems there are some very good colors to use in the home theater, and some very bad colors.
And yes we went to CES, but no we didn't see everything. Insight Media just released their "Best Buzz" awards for CES 2008 and they mentioned a few products we either didn't see or didn't talk much about, so we thought it would be good to go over some of them. The Best Buzz awards are given by Insight Media at CES, and other trade shows each year. You can't petition to win - you win by showing a product or technology that gets people talking - something that creates buzz because of its uniqueness, innovation, styling, boldness or is just plain cool.
Finally a listener put together a A/V room wi ...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 8 2008, 2:00pm
We know by now that about half the people with HDTVs don’t have HDTV service, even though about half of them think that they do. So it comes as no surprise that the video services are tripping all over each other to claim that they have the most (or best or whatever) HD content. Who [...]
By The HT Guys • Feb 8 2008, 1:28pm
Listener Mike sent in a review of the Samsung BD-UP5000 combo Blu-ray and HD-DVD player. We review the Audioengine AW1 Wireless Audio Adapter. And the top 10 things we really wish could have been in high definition.
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 8 2008, 12:47pm
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading satellite television service provider, is now offering local HD programming to customers in 76 markets across the United States with the launch of four new HD markets today. DIRECTV customers in Cedar Rapids-Waterloo, Iowa; Louisville, Ky.; Paducah, Ky., and Wichita, Kan., now have access to local broadcast networks in HD. With the addition of these four new markets, DIRECTV now offers access to local HD broadcast channels to nearly 76 percent of U.S. TV households.
DIRECTV's roll out of local HD channels...
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 8 2008, 12:40pm
SES ASTRA, an SES company (Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG), today announced the launch of Spain's first HD channel on ASTRA. The new HD channel is called Canal+ HD and is part of Sogecable's digital pay-TV package Digital+ which broadcasts via ASTRA on 19.2° East. The programme line-up of Canal+ HD includes premium movies, series and sports events such as the 2008 European Soccer Championship whose 31 matches will be broadcast all in HD.
SES ASTRA had announced in October 2007...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 7 2008, 5:25pm
The second in a four-part series of articles on buying an HDTV. The following topics are covered in this segment:
Decision to Go with HDTV
The HDTV for Your Viewing Objectives
Your Consumer Electronic Habits
By Alfred Poor • Feb 7 2008, 2:00pm
A report by Dealerscope describes the apparently widespread practice of “wardrobing”, in which customers buy a product with the intent of using it and then returning it for a refund after their need for the item is over. Apparently, this practice has grown in association with a single event: the SuperBowl. Customers “purchase” a large [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 6 2008, 2:00pm
The Environmental Protection Agency first introduced the Energy Star program in 1992 to encourage the development of more energy efficient personal computers and computer monitors. The program has since expanded to cover more than 50 product categories. Yesterday, the agency released their final version 3.0 requirements for televisions.
In order to qualify for the Energy Star [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 5 2008, 6:23pm
There's no need to wait any longer to buy an HDTV. That's the advice from Consumer Reports. Tests of 101 plasma, LCD, and rear-projection TVs for the March issue yielded more sets with top scores for picture quality than in years past. CR also reveals that prices are down as much as 40 percent on some TVs, so consumers continue to get more bang for their buck.
Consumer Reports notes that there are three major considerations when buying an HDTV...
By Dale Cripps • Feb 5 2008, 6:04pm
In its flat TV price report, Displaybank (CEO Peter Kwon, www.displaybank.com), a display research institute, reported the prices for LCD and PDP TVs for the fourth quarter of 2007.
The average selling price for 32-inch LCD TVs were $828 per unit and $26 per inch as of the fourth quarter of 2007, stabilizing with a quarter-on-quarter drop of 2.4%, and amid the tightened supply of panels since the third quarter of last year, panel prices are predicted to remain rosy for the time being. Prices for 40-inch LCD TV slid slightly from the previous quarter to $1,412, with prices per inch at around $35, while 42-inch LCD TV prices dropped 3.7% quarter-on-quarter to $1,413.
As were in the sector for LCD TVs, the PDP TV market has also entered a price stabilization phase since the second quarter. This is because...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 5 2008, 4:50pm
I wrote this article originally for the HDTVetc magazine for the August 2003 issue, and it was later published on the HDTV Magazine in 2006. Consumers still go through the same struggle at national-chain stores today. I updated the article to include current HD equipment and technologies. Its tutorial substance and analysis are still applicable today, and are intended to help consumers in making the right purchasing decisions. Enjoy the reading.
The following topics are covered in this segment:
H/DTV and NTSC TV Systems, What are they?
The First Effort of the DTV Transition
Quality HDTV, or Quantity DTV, or Both?
Backward Compatibility with Legacy Analog TV for Digital Broadcast
Satellite/Cable, and the DTV Transition
The Effect DVD had for DTV
The Rush for Knowledge
You have been hearing about HDTV and decided to start looking for one...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 5 2008, 2:00pm
Just a few years ago, the idea of having more than one HDTV in your home seemed to be reserved for the mega-rich like Bill Gates. Falling prices and changing expectations have changed all that. A survey reported by IDC last month revealed that consumers are adding flat panel TVs in places where they did [...]
HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #247 - How Much Will my Home Theater Cost and Monoprice HS-102 1X2 HDMI Distribution Amplifier
By The HT Guys • Feb 4 2008, 9:51pm
We go over an article published at ElectronicHouse.com entitled How Much Will my Home Theater Cost? It describes what you can expect to get for $5K, $10K, $20K, $50K and $100k. We give your our take on the article. This is an audio feature but you can follow along with the link to the original article
We also review the Monoprice HS-102 1X2 HDMI Distribution Amplifier...
By Terry Paullin • Feb 4 2008, 5:45pm
If you haven't already, marketing types everywhere are saying you probably will - buy a large screen TV in 2008 that is. For our purpose here, let's define large as anything north of a 50" diagonal. With the resurgence of a couple good RPTVs, precipitous price drops in both LCD and Plasma large panels and really good front projector/screen combos in the under $5,000 range, many more of you WILL opt for Big Screen nirvana this year. But will all truly be well in Megapixelville? If all you do is replace the monitor, maybe not so much.
Here's the thing. From the beginning...
By Alfred Poor • Feb 4 2008, 2:00pm
Did you miss Stewie duking it out with Underdog for the giant Coke bottle? Is everyone around the water cooler still laughing about the eTrade baby? Want to see Shaq win a horserace? Whether you watched the SuperBowl last night or not, you may be interested in knowing that some of the best parts of [...]
By Alfred Poor • Feb 1 2008, 2:00pm
A press release arrived yesterday with a headline that was clearly intended to stir the pot: “Audioholics Launches Controversial New Online Storefront”. According to the release, the controversial part of the announcement was that this new online store offers free extended warranties, free shipping, and lifetime technical support. Certainly, these features could be “controversial” for [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 1 2008, 1:12pm
With the all-new Alienware High Definition Media Server, Alienware - the leading manufacturer of high-performance desktop, notebook and professional systems - brings customers one step closer to a fully integrated, digital life. System integrators, distributors and home builders can now join the Alienware Digital Home Channel Program to become an authorized reseller of the media server.
The ideal product for upscale mediaphiles, the Alienware High Definition Media Server integrates seamlessly into a home entertainment system, creating a centralized source for...
By The HT Guys • Feb 1 2008, 4:04am
The Super Show 2008; everything you'd ever want to know about Super Bowl XLII. There's something for everyone, even those who'd rather watch the Golden Girls than a sporting event, as we look at the technical production details behind the game, what TV to buy...even the somewhat odd way we decided who to pull for this year. You name it, it's all in there.
By Alfred Poor • Jan 31 2008, 2:00pm
We’re fast approaching the start of the one-year countdown to the end of analog over-the-air transmission by local television broadcasters. The US Congress has been concerned that Americans may not be aware of the transition to digital broadcasts, or of the government rebate program for digital converters.
A survey commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 30 2008, 8:38pm
JVC today announced a pair of new high definition Everio hard disk camcorders that offer industry-leading picture quality in a dramatically reduced size. The new JVC GZ-HD6 and GZ-HD5 HD camcorders are 45 percent smaller than JVC's previous top-end HD camcorder, the GZ-HD7, without any sacrifice in image quality.
To provide the best possible quality, both new HD camcorders feature...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 30 2008, 2:00pm
Regular readers of the HDTV Almanac know that I’m a big proponent of what the Internet will do for video entertainment. The ability to watch what you want, where you want, when you want is a powerful development that will change everything. It’s easy to suppose such a position in theory, but it’s even better [...]
By The HT Guys • Jan 29 2008, 6:39pm
So you went out and bought yourself a new HDTV. Many of you bought a sound system to go with it. Now you are inundated with all kinds of terms and acronyms. In this series we will go through the jargon associated with your new system. While these articles are aimed at newbies, some experienced readers out there may learn a thing or two as well. Today we start with two topics that come up on our podcast (HDTV and Home Theater Podcast) quite frequently....
By Alfred Poor • Jan 29 2008, 2:00pm
A lot of movies have been made. Talk about an understatement! The Internet Movie Database currently lists close to half a million different titles. It’s a safe bet that only a small fraction of those titles are available on DVD, because the market for many of them is so small that it’s not worth gearing [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Jan 28 2008, 8:46pm
As my DirecTV monthly contribution approaches $100 and with heating bills up 20% and auto gas prices up 30% and the economy under increasing stress, I decided to do an audit on the $100 bill. I would guess that many other families are doing the same thing, particularly as Cable and Satellite bills seem to have no ceiling.
The result of my audit was not at all surprising: 90% or our viewing is among ten channels, six of them are available over-the-air ....
Survey Shows the HD Experience Is a Key Factor for Fans Deciding How and Where to Watch the Super Bowl
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 28 2008, 6:53pm
As millions of TV viewers make their Super Bowl plans, a new survey conducted by Comcast offers important information for potential party hosts: the high-definition (HD) experience -- an HD television and HD service -- will play a big part in how and where people choose to watch the Patriots and Giants take the field in Arizona.
Comcast's study found that...
By Terry Paullin • Jan 28 2008, 6:29pm
So you want to petition Warner and let them know you still want HD-DVD.........and you've got 12,000 signatures..................really?
What are you guys thinking?!!
How many HD DVD...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 28 2008, 2:00pm
About 20 years ago, when CRT computer monitors started to get bigger than about 14″ diagonal, people started to notice an annoying flicker on their screens. It appears that history may be repeating itself, and researchers are looking for ways to eliminate flicker from large HDTVscreens.
A paper in the Journal of the Society for Information [...]
By The HT Guys • Jan 27 2008, 12:40am
This year's CES was as big as ever. Its too big for us to see and talk about everything so we try to stay focused on what most of our listeners are interested in. We recently received an email from Dale in McPherson, KS asking us to look into a product that was not shown on the main floor but in the Venetian hotel. The product is the Neosonik wireless home theater and hi-fi system. We have requested an evaluation system but we thought that the product would make a good topic for discussion.
We've discussed compression in the past, on Episode 13 and then again on Episode 107, but with all the talk about downloading HD content to your Vudu or Apple TV, and how that measures up to HD-DVD or Blu-ray, we thought it might be a good time to revisit the topic.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 25 2008, 9:40pm
Following overwhelming consumer and media response of Blu-ray technology being the leading format of choice for home entertainment - Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Panasonic Electronics today announce the official extension of Disney's Magical Blu-ray Tour to visit seven additional North American cities in 2008. The announcement was made by Bob Chapek, president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
Disney's Magical Blu-ray Tour, sponsored by Panasonic, will continue to educate consumers across the country about...
HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #244 - New DirecTV Features and the new High Definition movie war, downloads vs. discs
By The HT Guys • Jan 25 2008, 2:24pm
There's lots of news and email to discuss, including the "Save HD DVD" petition. Will it work to slow the momentum Blu-ray is building? And DirecTV has some new features that aren't new to the market, but new for DirecTV subscribers, so we'll use them to get into deeper discussions on High Definition movies, specifically downloads versus discs....
By Alfred Poor • Jan 25 2008, 2:00pm
One of the main reasons for switching from analog to digital broadcast of television signals is that you can send more content over a digital signal than you can over an analog one. (This is also why digital broadcasts are required in order to send out high definition signals.) So all the television stations got [...]
HD DVD • Blu-ray • Cable HDTV
By Alfred Poor • Jan 24 2008, 2:00pm
Was Warner Brothers hasty in dumping HD DVD? Or was the Sony Blu-ray camp clever in engineering the defection so that it could get out in front of some difficult news. A press release from DisplaySearch reports that sales of Toshiba’s HD DVD models accounted for 64% more of the stand alone devices sold in [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 24 2008, 5:00am
VUDU Inc., the company that brings instant access to video-entertainment to the living room, today announced that it has lowered the price of the basic VUDU box to $295, a decrease of more than $100. The new price takes effect Jan. 24, 2008.
Since its launch last year, VUDU has quickly achieved critical mass among home video fans by offering...
By Ed Milbourn • Jan 23 2008, 9:17pm
The digital/HDTV transition now in pregress by the television industry is arguably (certainly by that industry) the most complex ever experienced, though likely not since the evolvement of radio communications from Morse coded pulses to commercial broadcast radio. That took about 15 years and with a lot of glitches along the way, But they were overlooked and corrected as the...
By Dale Cripps • Jan 23 2008, 7:21pm
Englewood, Colo., - January 23, 2008 - "Ushering in the new year on a great note, Starz Entertainment has finalized deals with five major studios," announced Stephan Shelanski, Starz executive vice president programming. Its exclusive first run output deals with Sony Pictures Television and Disney-ABC Domestic Television have been extended well into the next decade, and library acquisitions from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, MGM Worldwide Television Group and Universal Pictures will provide the rights to approximately 1,200 top movie titles and television series from these studios' substantial film vaults. The deals allow Starz Entertainment to offer...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 23 2008, 7:09pm
Continuing to capitalize on the opportunities created by the recent growth in high definition television, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) has secured carriage for its MGM HD Channel on Verizon's FiOS TV service, bringing feature film hits from the MGM library to Verizon FiOS TV subscriber households in full high definition splendor. The announcement was made today by Douglas A. Lee, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Digital Media for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Jim Packer, Co-President, MGM Worldwide Television.
MGM HD will be rolled out in...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 23 2008, 3:42pm
AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the introduction and availability of the ATI Radeon™ HD 3400 and ATI Radeon™ HD 3600 series, the leading-edge entry-level and mainstream graphics processors (GPU) in the ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 series. Ranging in price from USD $49-$65 suggested e-tail pricing (SEP) for the ATI Radeon HD 3400 series and USD $79-$99 SEP for the ATI Radeon HD 3600 series1, the new graphics solutions deliver unmatched value to the consumer. Both series continue to advance AMD's leadership by delivering display connectivity through DisplayPort™ integrated into the GPU2, allowing AMD to exceed current manufacturing expectations in the industry. As part of the first family of graphics cards built using 55nm process technology3, both series provide exceptional performance-per-watt for a quiet and power-efficient experience at unbelievable price points.
Blu-ray or HD DVD disc playback can be...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 23 2008, 2:00pm
By Dale Cripps • Jan 23 2008, 5:53am
El Segundo, Calif., Jan. 22, 2008-After two lackluster quarters, Plasma Display Panel (PDP) shipments rebounded during the third quarter of 2007 due to increased consumer demand driven by rapid price declines, according to iSuppli Corp.
Global shipments of PDPs, which are used mainly in televisions, in the third quarter reached...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 22 2008, 2:00pm
Technology Research News is a wonderful site that reports on a wide range of scientific papers and studies that point toward possible future technologies. Yesterday, they cited a paper from the 21st IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanicals Systems (MEMS 2008). If you’re still with me, that’s great because this is really cool.
The researchers [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 22 2008, 2:16am
A recent question by one of our HDTV Magazine readers regarding LCD was: What does 4ms really mean? And how would that reconcile with the fact that a typical 60Hz frame rate would display each frame every 16ms? (8ms on a 120Hz display).
To accurately respond to these questions would take more than just a few sentences. The answers are not black and white, as I explain in the following article.
There seems to be a contradiction in the way these specs are expressed or interpreted for LCDs, and they are actually two different subjects that interact for the objective of display quality...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 21 2008, 2:00pm
The New York Post reports today that content from Time Warner’s HBO network will be available over broadband. The initial rollout is very limited in scope, but there are indications that the availability will expand.
The service will provide on demand access to 600 movie titles and about 4,000 hours of original programming including “The [...]
HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #243 - The Death of Rear Projection TVs & Bridging the Gap from your Computer to your TV
By The HT Guys • Jan 20 2008, 4:37pm
We witnessed the death of CRT a few years ago when we searched high and low all over the CES show floor for somebody showing anything resembling a tube TV and came up empty. This year, if you don't count the Texas Instruments DLP booth, we saw only three rear projection sets at the entire show. Sony has announced their exiting the market because it wasn't profitable. By not announcing anything new, JVC has all but announced that they won't be in the game for very much longer. Samsung announced a hand full of new models and Mitsubishi is is touting their new laser based unit that should be available before the end of the year. So for today's show we give you some tips that will help you decide if buying a Rear Projection TV is right for you.
Until now the concept of a media center PC, or a computer in your home theater has largely remained in the realm of the IT expert or extreme enthusiast. There hasn't really been a product yet that has bridged the gap between the IT side of yo ...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 18 2008, 2:00pm
Monday’s press release from Netflix says it all: “Beginning today, all Netflix subscribers on unlimited rental plans, which start as low as $8.99 a month, will be able to stream as many movies and TV episodes as they want on their PCs, choosing from a library of over 6,000 familiar movies and TV episodes.”
Bang! No [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 18 2008, 6:28am
For those of you who have been receiving the bulletins from CES over the past two weeks, you will recognize many of the topics below. I've picked some of the highlights and popular themes from this year's show and included a brief comment or two on each. This is not a comprehensive overview, but rather a "highlight reel" from the event. Here is a list of topics covered in this article. These are in no particular order:
By The HT Guys • Jan 17 2008, 4:14pm
Last week it was CES and this week its Macworld. On today's show we cover Macworld from the perspective of HDTV and Home Theater. This year's Macworld was not as exciting as last year's but there were four announcements that all our listeners may be interested in.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 17 2008, 3:17pm
Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) today announced its upcoming slate of releases on HD DVD for the first quarter of 2008. A compelling array of action-adventure, drama and family fare, PHE's lineup of HD DVDs provides something for everyone, further expanding the format's offerings for a broad consumer audience.
Released on January 8, PHE's first HD DVD title of the year is...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 17 2008, 2:00pm
On Monday, Toshiba announced deep price cuts on their newest HD DVD players. It’s impossible to separate this action from the bombshell that Warner Brothers dropped 10 days earlier when it announced that it was going exclusive with the Blu-ray format for its high definition disc releases, starting in May. The Toshiba press release cited [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 16 2008, 2:00pm
For my last entry about CES 2008, I’ll say goodbye to the 37″ LCD HDTV market segment. It’s not really gone yet, but don’t expect it to last much longer. Many major manufacturers told me that they will not be coming out with new products in this size.
Why? The reason is simple; the difference in [...]
By Dale Cripps • Jan 15 2008, 9:27pm
Austin, Texas, January 15, 2008 - DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in display market research and consulting, reports that sales of equipment used to manufacture TFT LCDs is expected to surge 40% to more than $11.6 billion in 2008, and will likely remain at a similar level through 2009 in its Quarterly TFT LCD Supply/Demand and Capital Spending Report.
According to DisplaySearch Vice President of Manufacturing Research Charles Annis, “2007 turned out to be an excellent year for TFT LCD panel makers. Unfortunately, it was a very challenging year for equipment companies, who generated only $8.3 billion in revenues, down 35% from 2006 levels. These dynamics of reduced investment and healthy panel maker earnings, coupled with continued strong...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 15 2008, 5:59pm
Apple(R) today announced iTunes(R) Movie Rentals featuring movies from all the major movie studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema. Users can rent movies for as low as $2.99 and watch them on their Macs or PCs, all current generation iPods*, iPhone(TM) and Apple TV(R). iTunes Movie Rentals launches today and will offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in stunning high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals are priced at $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just...
By The HT Guys • Jan 15 2008, 2:19pm
Our Second day at CES 2008
We walked the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, scouring the thousands of booths to find stuff you'd want to hear about. Listen to the show for all the details ...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 15 2008, 2:00pm
At CES 2008 in Las Vegas last week, JVC showed a new line of LCD HDTVs. The P Series includes four models, ranging in size from 32″ to 52″: LT-32P679, LT-42P789, LT-47P789, and LT-52P789. The smallest has Wide XGA resolution, but the other three are 1080p models. All have three HDMI inputs and a side-loading [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 15 2008, 1:38pm
Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (‘MTG' or ‘the Group') (STO:MTGA) (STO:MTGB), the international entertainment broadcasting group, today announced that Viasat Broadcasting has launched its high definition television (HDTV) offering on its Nordic Satellite pay-TV platform, including two Viasat-branded premium HDTV channels - TV1000 HD and Viasat Sport HD.
The initial line up of Viasat's HDTV channels consists of...
By The HT Guys • Jan 15 2008, 5:53am
Our first day at CES 2008
We walked the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, scouring the thousands of booths to find stuff you'd want to hear about. Listen to the show for all the details, but we've got highlights from...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 14 2008, 7:03pm
Today, the Travel Channel announced the launch of Travel Channel HD(TM). The high-definition simulcast of the Travel Channel network offering is now available to cable, satellite and telco providers nationwide, and will feature the network's popular series and personalities such as Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Best Places to Find Cash and Treasures and Samantha Brown's Passport series. Consumers interested in finding out more about Travel Channel HD(TM) should visit http://www.travelchannel.com/hd.
In the Travel Channel HD Landscape Study, conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates in Fall 2007*, Travel Channel was ranked...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 14 2008, 2:00pm
CES 2008 ended last week, but the hits keep on coming. This is a monster of a show, and I’ve still got a number of interesting products and issues to cover. Normally, I don’t spend time on computer products here, but this display needs to be mentioned:
I saw an Ostendo Technologies prototype at the Texas [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 14 2008, 11:24am
Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. ("Toshiba") today announced that it is stepping up its successful marketing campaign for HD DVD as it experienced record-breaking unit sales in the fourth quarter of 2007. Major initiatives, including joint advertising campaigns with studios and extended pricing strategies will begin in mid- January and are designed to spotlight the superior benefits of HD DVD as well as the benefits HD DVD brings to a consumer's current DVD library by upconverting standard DVDs via the HDMI(TM) output to near high definition picture quality.
As Toshiba achieved the #1 sales volume in the next generation DVD category with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2008, 4:03pm
2008 International CES, South Hall 4 - Booth #35328 -- Hauppauge Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAUP), the world's leading developer and manufacturer of analog and digital TV receiver products for personal computers, demonstrated at CES 2008 for the first time their ‘HD PVR', a USB personal video recorder which can record high definition TV video into H.264 in real time.
The HD PVR can connect to high definition cable TV or satellite TV set top box receivers, and uses it's on-board...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 11 2008, 2:00pm
It was only a prototype, and its appearance was telegraphed widely before it appeared, but it is still worth mentioning, if only to keep score in the “mine is bigger than yours” category. Panasonic showed a 150″ plasma monitor at CES 2008 in Las Vegas this week.
How big is a 150″ flat panel? It’s about [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 10 2008, 2:00pm
If there was a surprise for me at CES 2008 this year, it was the number of companies pursuing 3D HDTV. It’s a reasonable strategy on two counts. First, these sets will be more expensive (simply because there’s more stuff and production costs in them), but it also is an opportunity to get better margins [...]
WirelessHD™ Emerges as Leader in Wireless High Definition at 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2008, 1:02am
At the 2008, International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), SiBEAM, Inc., a leading innovator of millimeter wave (mmWave) solutions and developer of high-speed wireless communications platforms, along with other WirelessHD Promoters, Toshiba and Panasonic, are showcasing the World's First WirelessHD-based solutions which are poised to revolutionize the wireless high-definition multimedia experience. WirelessHD experienced a triumphant introduction at CES this year and has established itself as the choice of major global consumer electronics manufacturers for delivery of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2008, 1:00am
New Medium Enterprises (NME) (BULLETIN BOARD: NMEN) today at International CES 2008 announced HD VMD players are shipping into the U.S. market. HD VMD is delivering maximum-HD 1080p high-quality players to consumers for a groundbreaking MSRP of $199 via PCRush.com and NMEStore.com. All orders for HD VMD players in January will come with two complementary titles, "Mother Ghost" starring James Franco and cult hit "Cutting Room."
Shipping since December, HD VMD discs and players stand to revolutionize the high-definition disc market, providing consumers with...
Life|ware Launches Their First Entry Level Life|media Servers, Including the LMS-150 with Dual CableCARD Tuners
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2008, 12:48am
Today at CES, Life|ware™ launched their new entry level LMS-100 and LMS-150 Life|media™ Servers. Life|ware, the industry pioneer in Windows® Media Center-based digital entertainment and home automation, is now offering two media servers direct to consumers to provide end users with media servers that meet their personal entertainment needs.
The Life|media LMS-100 is the starting point for an all-digital future. A true workhorse with both the power and the storage to gracefully manage all of your digital media - pictures, videos, TV shows, movies, music and more in up to five zones in your home. The LMS-100 is priced at...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 9 2008, 2:00pm
From what I’ve seen, 2008 is going to be a very good year for HDTV. The industry is not sitting still, and you can expect to see many interesting developments. I’ve found that there are four major themes that cover many of these changes: thin, wireless, the Internet, and green pitches. I’ll cover them quickly.
XStreamHD™ Unveils First-Ever Transport Network to Deliver High-Definition Movies, Music, and More Directly to the Home at CES 2008
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2008, 5:23pm
XStreamHD, revolutionizing the delivery and distribution of Full HD entertainment to the home, today unveiled at CES 2008 (Sands Booth #71838) the first-ever transport network to deliver movies, TV, music, electronic games, and more in Full HD (1080p) video and 7.1 channels of DTS-HD Master Audio™, directly to consumers, via satellite.
XStreamHD is leading the Full HD revolution with the first transport network to bring...
By Dale Cripps • Jan 8 2008, 4:40pm
Comcast distributed three powerhouse press releases(see below)that will punctuate Comcast Chairman, Brian Roberts key note speech scheduled for 9:00 am this morning at the 2009 CES in Las Vegas. For a webcast of Robert's address go to www.comcast.com/ces. While most newsreleases are felt as little quakes at best these announcements from ferociously shake the ground and raise a Tsunami. _Dale
By Alfred Poor • Jan 8 2008, 2:00pm
Last night I went to the Mitsubishi Laser TV event in which they rolled out the prototype 50″ Laser TV. The company is careful not to call it rear projection, as they don’t want it to carry the baggage associated with that market segment. Instead, they want to present it as a new class of [...]
By The HT Guys • Jan 8 2008, 12:53pm
What we will be looking for at CES
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2008, 8:01am
Verbatim® Americas, LLC announced today that it has extended its support for Blu-ray Disc (BD) technology and will feature its expanded line of Blu-ray media at Booth #S4-36249 in the South Hall during CES this week. In addition to the 2x BD recordable (BD-R) and BD rewritable (BD-RE) media which are available now, Verbatim will showcase six new BD products scheduled to begin shipping in the first half of 2008. The new products include 4x BD-R discs, Single-sided Double-layer (DL) 2x BD-R and BD-RE discs, Mini BD-R and BD-RE discs and 1-2x BD-R LTH TYPE discs.
The market for BD blank media is being driven by the growing demand for...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2008, 7:59am
itsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced the world premiere of the laser television category during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, unveiling a new large-format LaserTV that delivers as much as twice the color of current high-definition televisions.
Mitsubishi has harnessed its worldwide leadership in precision laser technology to produce the first-ever...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2008, 3:08am
GalleryPlayer, the pioneer in HD lifestyle imagery, has announced an agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to embed a collection of images from the Company's online library of true 1080p high definition fine art and photography in Samsung's new line of Series 7 LCD TVs during the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
A world leader in Full HD technology, Samsung has...
Samsung and HP Unveil Extender for Windows Media Center Extender Devices, Bridging the Gap Between PC and TV
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2008, 3:06am
During Sunday's keynote address at the 2008 International CES, Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division at Microsoft Corp., announced that premier consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will include Extender for Windows Media Center technology in its Home Digital Media Adapter (DMA) arriving this year for compatible Samsung HDTVs. In addition, HP is launching a new Extender device for Windows Media Center, the HP MediaSmart Receiver x280N, designed to work with any high-definition television.
Extenders for Windows Media Center allow viewers to enjoy...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 4:27pm
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division, known for award-winning, high-quality, high-definition presentation and display products, introduced the FL7000U, its first ultra bright 1080p HD projector for commercial, home theater and education installations. At a cost remarkably lower than similar projectors of the same caliber that are available today, Mitsubishi continues to lead the projector industry by offering this combination of high brightness and high definition at an unprecedented price.
Blasting 5000 lumens with a 1000:1 contrast ratio, the projector uses three...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 4:14pm
DISH Network(r) (Nasdaq:DISH) today announced a freeze on pricing for its most popular programming packages, including the DishDVR Advantage. In addition, new and current DISH Network customers can take advantage of several new promotions and save even more on their monthly bills.
DISH Network's DishDVR Advantage packages includes...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 4:08pm
DISH Network(r) (Nasdaq:DISH) today announced plans to increase its national HD channel count from 76 to 100 in 2008. The company also plans to add local HD channels in 65 new markets, bringing its HD local market total to 100.
DISH Network plans to launch three satellites in 2008, providing the company additional bandwidth to maintain its reign as a top HD provider.
The company begins its HD launches with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 4:05pm
Southern California-based consumer electronics innovator SPECTRONIQ(R) 3-D Inc. ("SPECTRONIQ 3-D"), will unveil its inaugural stereoscopic 3-D HD LCD TVs in Las Vegas as the focal point of the company's presentation during CES, January 7-10. Already a leader in the realm of high-end HD LCD televisions, SPECTRONIQ 3-D is ramping up for a groundbreaking summer 2008 nationwide retail launch for the 46" 3-D TVs under the SPECTRONIQ(R) brand, the first mass market consumer roll-out of its kind.
At the vanguard of setting a new industry standard for...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:47pm
Canon U.S.A., Inc. proudly announces the VIXIA family - a new lineup of consumer High-Definition camcorders embracing Canon optical and imaging technologies for superior image quality and flexibility - at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Booth #12606).
The new HD camcorder family - the Canon VIXIA HF10 Dual Flash Memory camcorder, VIXIA HF100 Flash Memory camcorder and VIXIA HV30 HD camcorder - reflects Canon's commitment to High-Definition imaging excellence. In addition...
Sharp Demonstrates LCD Display and Video Prowess at CES with Enhanced TV Features and Groundbreaking New Technologies
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:44pm
Sharp continues to change the LCD industry with one-of-a-kind innovations, increased performance and dazzling new designs. Reinforcing its commitment to the display industry at CES 2008, Sharp is demonstrating several revolutionary products and technologies that help to make the LCD TV both a design statement and the leading technology for home entertainment.
Sharp is taking LCD technology to new levels and responding to consumer demand for stylish, unobtrusive home theater products. For the first time in the U.S., Sharp is showcasing...
XStreamHD™ Announces Strategic Partnerships with High-Definition Audio Pioneer, DTS, Inc., and Worldwide Storage Leader, Seagate Technology
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:42pm
XStreamHD, setting a new standard for the delivery and distribution of Full HD entertainment to the home, today announced strategic partnerships with two recognized pioneers of high-definition technology, DTS, Inc. (DTS) and Seagate Technology® (NYSE: STX). XStreamHD will provide the first-ever transport network to deliver high-definition movies and music directly to the home - offering up to 7.1 channels of DTS-HD Master Audio™, and featuring Seagate's purpose-built DB35 Series™ hard drives with up to an incredible one terabyte (TB) of storage, allowing consumers to use up to 2TB of storage in one solution. The XStreamHD solution will be unveiled for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 7-10.
XStreamHD will offer affordable access to...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:40pm
SyncTV (www.synctv.com) will demonstrate a proof-of-concept device that will play downloads, including 1080p HD video content on a television set at this year's CES show.
The device is one example of how SyncTV will be integrated into a variety of Consumer Electronics devices, as well as work on Windows PCs, Macs and Linux PCs. SyncTV has an open-standards approach which facilitates
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:31pm
DLP® Products from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN), the first HDTV technology to enable 3-D viewing in the home, demonstrated the ability to display two separate image sources at the same time on a DLP HDTV screen. DualView capability is an innovation for two-player gaming that gives each gamer independent full screen views. This technology demonstration, along with 3-D ready HDTVs and other DLP HDTV advancements, are on display at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) (Central Hall - Booth 8205).
All 3-D ready DLP HDTVs are capable of DualView and can simultaneously display...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:30pm
DLP® Products from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN), today at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) set a new benchmark in HDTV brightness due to advancements in Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). DLP technology has now doubled the brightness of previous LED models and reached levels that exceed that of the competing full HD plasma. These brightness advancements can be expected in future product lines from leading DLP HDTV manufacturers and a prototype can be experienced in the DLP products booth at CES (Central Hall, Booth #8205).
The latest DLP HDTV LED enhancements also feature...
ViewSonic Unveils Industry Leading Color Performance and Improved Pixel Density for Desktops, Living Rooms and Home Theaters at CES 2008
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 3:23pm
ViewSonic(R) Corp., a leading global provider of visual display products, has once again expanded its display technology innovations from the desktop to any room in the home with ease, style and affordability. In conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company will showcase more than a dozen new displays that push the boundaries of color reproduction and image quality, including industry- leading, stylish desktop LED and LCDs; a broad line of true high definition (HD) 1080p HDTVs, a complete line of digital photo frames and a high-end home theater projector.
With new designs and enhanced feature sets, ViewSonic...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 7 2008, 2:00pm
I was planning to write about the three big themes emerging about large displays here at CES 2008 in Las Vegas, but an announcement last Friday from Warner Brothers is the elephant in the room that has to be addressed first. The studio was the only major to offer high definition movies in both HD [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 1:07pm
Niveus Media, the leading manufacturer of high-performance digital entertainment solutions for the connected home, is pleased to introduce the Sierra Edition Media Server. Based on Windows Vista Home Premium featuring Windows Media Center, Sierra is a scalable and energy efficient Media Server that offers users a simple way to access, store, manage, and distribute digital content throughout the home.
A CES Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree, Sierra offers the functionality, performance, and reliability for which Niveus is recognized, in a low power consuming (less than 180W) and compact form factor (just over 1U).Boasting uncompromised processing power, Sierra is built with...
HD DVD Rallies Consumer Audience in 2007 Driving Nearly One Million Dedicated Player Sales in North America
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:52am
At the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the companies of the HD DVD Promotional Group recapped a breakthrough year for the high definition format, reaching nearly one million dedicated HD DVD players sold in North America and delivering on the promise of affordability, quality and a consistent experience on every machine. With a leading install base of dedicated players, there are now more than 400 titles available in the US and more than 1,000 titles available worldwide. During the key five week holiday selling period, HD DVD software sales grew at nearly twice the rate of Blu-ray, which was consistent with increased player growth.
As the industry looks for a format that can break into the mainstream consumer market, HD DVD continues...
Verbatim Adds World's First 2x-Speed HD DVD Recordable Media to Industry's Broadest HD DVD Media Product Line
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:50am
Verbatim® Americas, LLC announced today that it will begin shipping the world's first 2x-speed HD DVD-R (recordable) and HD DVD-RW (rewriteable) discs this quarter. By adding the new HD DVD recordable media to its current offerings, Verbatim now offers the industry's broadest range of premium-quality HD DVD media products. The complete HD DVD media product line, including Verbatim's 2x HD DVD R/RW media and its 1x HD DVD-R DL media will be showcased at Verbatim's CES Booth #S4-36249 in the South Hall this week.
Verbatim 2x-speed HD DVD-R/RW Media -- At 2x-speed Verbatim's new recordable and rewriteable HD DVDs slash the time required to fill a 15GB HD DVD disc to about...
High-Definition Content Takes Center Stage as Seagate Announces New Hard Drives Designed to be the Gold Standard for HD Performance
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:47am
Seagate Technology (NYSE:STX) today announced its PipelineHD(TM) Series Hard Disc Drives, a new family of purpose-built HDDs for Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) with initial capacities planned up to 1TB, allowing DVRs to capture up to 200 hours of exciting high-definition (HD) television or 1,000 hours of Standard Definition television. Fueling the need for these large capacity options is the ever- increasing demand for high-definition content from consumers all around the world.
The new PipelineHD Series hard drives not only increase the amount of content which can be stored but also...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:39am
Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal U.S. subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC) , the industry leader in high definition and Plasma TV, today introduced its 2008 line of Plasma full HD televisions. The VIERA 2008 full HD Plasma series introduces a new screen size - a 46-inch(1) class display, complimenting the Panasonic Plasma family of televisions, further strengthening Panasonic's award winning Plasma line-up, which also includes televisions in the 42-inch class, 50-inch class and 58-inch class size. This year, Panasonic 's VIERA Plasma 1080p series feature a new panel with increased contrast ratio and an improved anti-reflective screen, a Game Mode, VIERA Link(TM), increased luminous efficiency, lead free panels and 100,000 hours to half brightness. Completing the 2008 Plasma HD line-up are two 720p Plasmas in 42-inch class and 50-inch class screen sizes. The entire VIERA line of HDTVs features a new aesthetic look.
Year after year, Panas ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:37am
Panasonic, a leader in High Definition and digital video technologies, today announces two new full-High Definition 3CCD camcorders, the HDC-HS9, a hybrid model that can record to either an SD (or SDHC) Memory Card or its built-in 60-GB hard disk and the HDC-SD9, the world's smallest and lightest* SD card High Definition camcorder, weighing in at just 0.606 pounds. Both the SD9 and HS9, which feature new Panasonic camcorder technologies, Face Detection and Intelligent Shooting Guide, will be displayed at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas from January 7-10 at the Panasonic booth #9405.
The Panasonic HDC-SD9 and HDC-HS9 offer...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:26am
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company today announced the launch of its first home theater in a box (HTiB) system with an integrated Blu-ray Disc player. The new model, SC-BT100, is the perfect complement to a flat panel, large screen TV.
The new model epitomizes Panasonic's emphasis on media friendly capabilities. It is made for iPod* and features...
Panasonic Showcases World's First* Prototype of 32GB SDHC Memory Card, With Fast Speeds to Capture HD Videos
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 7:20am
Panasonic, a leader in High Definition technology, today announced the development of the world's first* 32 Gigabyte (GB) SD High Capacity (SDHC)** Memory Card with Class 6 speed specification, perfect for recording High Definition video. With the ability to store up to eight hours of High Definition video, the 32GB SDHC Memory Card prototype will be showcased at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas from January 7-10 at the Panasonic booth #9405.
The newly developed card, featuring a massive 32GB of capacity is ideal for...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2008, 6:52am
Sony rolled out new products, technologies and business relationships here on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show. From razor-flat television technology to innovative audio, mobile and IT products, the company demonstrated its leadership across several major product categories.
Key alliances were announced at a press conference, where company executives highlighted three new exhibit areas: HDNA (high-definition), mobility and creativity.
The company took the wraps off...
Samsung Redefines the Way Consumers Use HDTVs with the Introduction of Its New Series 6 and 7 LCD HDTV
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 11:16pm
Samsung Electronics, the market leader in HDTV design and innovation, is redefining the role HDTVs play in the home with its forward-looking LCD HDTV Series 6 and 7. Not only is picture quality dramatically enhanced, but an elegant new design born from Samsung's extensive R&D in the automotive and fashion industries brings a never-before-seen "Touch of Color" to any living room or home theater. Samsung's TOC (Touch of Color) design features a hint of amber color naturally blended into Samsung's traditional piano black bezel frame.
Samsung has also incorporated...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 11:14pm
Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, continues to improve its camcorder offerings with the addition of the SC-HMX20C Progressive HD Flash-based Camcorder. Featuring Full HD and a1080p mode with 30 frames-per-second recording capability, the SC-HMX20C's flash-based design makes this camcorder compact and easy-to-use. With an included docking station, users will find it simple to not only charge the SC-HMX20C, but utilize the HDMI input and component connectivity to easily view home movies directly on an HDTV. Furthermore, users are able to connect the SC-HMX20C to their laptop or PC via a USB connection and share their home movies with family and friends quickly and easily. For added value and convenience, this multifunctional HD camcorder also delivers among the best still camera functionality within a camcorder on the market-up to 8 megapixels size through pixel-rising technology. Samsung's camcorder lineup will be on display at Boo ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 11:12pm
Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, introduces a new Duo HD disc player offering the ideal solution for those consumers new to the world of HD home entertainment. In addition to the Blu-ray and HD DVD playback capability found in the CES 2008 Innovation Award Honoree BD-UP5000, the next-generation BD-UP5500 is a fully functioning Blu-ray Bonus View player packaged in a slim and sleek cabinet design. Opening access to both HD formats for a wider consumer audience with this new Duo HD player, Samsung continues its commitment to developing products that make life simpler through its breadth of innovative technologies. Both the Samsung BD-UP5000 and BD-UP5500 Duo HD Players will be on display at booth #11033 during the International Consumer Electronics Show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 7 through 10.
Designed to invite both novices and aficionados into a world of vivid HD picture quality, Samsung's BD-UP5500 next-g ...
Bluetooth Integration and 1080P Upscaling among Winning Features of Samsung's 2008 Home Entertainment Systems
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 11:11pm
Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, offers consumers an enhanced total HD solution with its 2008 Home Entertainment lineup. Designed to enhance the digital living-room experience and complement Samsung's HDTVs, Samsung's latest home entertainment lineup brings functionality, audio quality and connectivity to a whole new level. With fully integrated Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities, 1080p support technology and full support for iPod connectivity, Samsung is expanding the possibilities of HD living, making the home theater experience more accessible and convenient for consumers. Samsung's home entertainment lineup will be on display at Booth #11033 during the International Consumer Electronics Show, which will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 7 through 10.
New for 2008, Samsung has...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 11:08pm
Consumer Electronics Show attendees can preview the next wave in digital entertainment, gaming and home networking through an array of innovative concepts, conversations and technology demonstrations at the Dell Lounge. Those not making the annual trek to Las Vegas can tune into www.delllounge.com/ces, where Dell will post webcasts of entertainment events and product demos.
Featured displays include a premium 16-inch concept laptop with a picture-perfect full HD 16:9 aspect ratio and a preview of a mainstream XPS™ gaming desktop that will offer performance approaching purpose-built gaming systems. Dell will also demo a high-definition...
Sony Computer Entertainment America Announces PlayStation(R) Hardware Sales Exceeding 3.9 Million During Holiday Sales Window
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 10:38pm
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced PlayStation(R) hardware retail sales reached more than 3.9 million units in North America during the critical holiday sales window (Friday, November 23, 2007 to December 31, 2007). This accounts for SCEA's three systems currently in the market PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)), PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) and PlayStation(R)2 (PS2). PS3 retail sales reached 1.2 million hardware units during this holiday timeframe.
Sales of PSP reached 1.4 million units during this same timeframe. The success of the...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 8:08pm
Establishing a new benchmark in flat panel TV design, JVC today unveiled the world's thinnest LCD TVs with built-in tuners*. The new line of super-slim Full HD TVs also weigh less and consume less power than conventional LCD TVs.
JVC's new slim LCD TVs feature a cabinet that across most of its width measures a mere 1.5 inches (39mm) deep, with a maximum depth of just 2.9-inches (74mm) at the panel's center. The design ensures that from nearly any angle, the sets present a super-slim appearance. Complementing the slim design is a thinner bezel, further minimizing the presence of the cabinet.
The new super-slim design will be available...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 7:58pm
Demonstrating strong consumer acceptance for the HD DVD format, Toshiba America Consumer Products L.L.C. ("Toshiba") today announced that the rollout of its third generation HD DVD players has been the most successful to date. With their unrivaled performance including real-world Web-enabled networking capabilities, consumers have chosen Toshiba's third generation HD DVD players for their ultimate high def entertainment experience, resulting in the strongest quarter of unit sales to date and solidifying Toshiba's market share leadership position.
As it has become established in the market, HD DVD has delivered on the promise of...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 7:54pm
Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. ("Toshiba") announced today its Spring 2008 LCD TV introductions, including 20 new LCD TV models in five distinct series, creating a robust line-up with something for every lifestyle. For 2008, Toshiba has focused on improving image quality, connectivity, and design. From the Toshiba AV500 Series, to the premium REGZA(R) CV510, RV530, & XV540 Series, to the exclusive Cinema Series(R) REGZA XF550 Series, Toshiba has created superior quality at every price point.
Toshiba is also showcasing...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 7:34pm
LG Electronics today unveiled its stylish 2008 LCD HDTV line -- eight series, 24 models, 17 with "Full HD" 1080p display capability -- with screen sizes ranging from 19- to 52-inches. The line features multiple design and technological innovations, including a stunningly designed 1.7-inch thin LCD, a unique wireless HDTV and a model with LED backlighting technology.
A new invisible speaker system tuned by...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 7:31pm
Panasonic today announced that it has developed the world-first wireless High Definition (HD) Audio/Video transmission system based on the "WirelessHD(TM)" standard, in partnership with SiBEAM, Inc. (SiBEAM) of the United States. The system enables HD video transmission in uncompressed format between a television and other AV equipment like a Blu-ray Disc player without quality deterioration. Panasonic will debut this system at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which will be held from January 7-10, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Panasonic's lineup of featured products and technologies will be on display at booth #9405.
Unlike conventional wireless transmission technologies, this system uses...
VIZIO Introduces New Generation Plasma TVs Including Full 1080p HD Models and Silicon Optix HQV Processing
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 7:23pm
VIZIO, America's Fastest Growing Flat Panel HDTV Company, today introduced seven new plasma High-Definition Televisions with advanced processing power and the latest technological advancements. Offerings will include the feature rich VP504F-50" Full High Definition, 1080p Plasma Display featuring Silicon Optix HQV Processing and the all new VP605F-60" Full high-Definition 10800p display. In addition, VIZIO will release the all new VIZIO VP series of products including the VP322-32" Plasma ($689), VP422-42" Plasma ($999), VP423-42" Plasma ($999), and VP503-50" Plasma ($1399) all with High Definition 720p technology. VIZIO also reintroduces the VIZIO Jive VP500 and new VP501 All-in-One home theatre solution which include 50" Plasma technology alongside a full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound system, now also featuring...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 7:20pm
VIZIO, America's Fastest Growing HDTV Company, announced today a new line of 1080p, flat panel displays with 120Hz processing with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation). The new "Black Tie" VIZIO SV42LF-42" LCD and SV47LF-47" will bear four HDMI inputs, Full 1080p resolution, 120Hz processing, Motion Estimation Motion Compensation (MEMC), and side access HD Game Port with HDMI. The new SV42LF and SV47LF will begin shipping in July 2008 with estimated selling prices of $1499 and $1899 respectively.
Both Black Tie models benefit from the inclusion of...
Pioneer Unveils KURO Flat Panel Technology Concepts for Extreme Contrast and Ultra Thin 9-mm Thick Display at 2008 CES
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 6:58pm
Pioneer Corporation (TOKYO:6773)(ISIN:JP3780200006) (President and Representative Director: Tamihiko Sudo) today unveils concepts for future plasma display technologies under the code name "Project KURO" at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. After a year where it was proved that its award-winning plasma technologies are leagues above the rest of the HDTV industry in picture quality, Pioneer engineers preview future Project KURO concepts for extreme contrast and advanced design. The extreme contrast concept realizes the reproduction of absolute black, and the advanced design concept becomes the world's thinnest 50-inch display(1) at only nine millimeters (mm) thick.
The extreme contrast concept is the industry's first plasma that can achieve...
Toshiba's Comment on Announcement from Warner Bros. Entertainment of Its Exclusive Support for Blu-ray Disc Format
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 4:51pm
Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.' decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.
We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 4:40pm
VUDU Inc., the company that brings instant access to video-entertainment to the living room, announced today that it is greatly expanding the high-definition (HD) movies available through the VUDU box. By the end of January, 70 HD movies will be available for customers to rent and watch instantly. More HD movies will be added to VUDU over the coming months as the studios make their films available.
Playback of the HD movies will be instant provided the Internet connection to the home network is...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 4:37pm
VUDU Inc., the company that brings instant access to video-entertainment to the living room, today announced at CES the launch of VUDU XL, a brand new high-end version of the already successful VUDU box, designed for integration into high-end home theaters.
Since its release earlier this fall, the VUDU box has quickly won a strong following among those seeking instant access to high quality home video entertainment. VUDU XL takes this one step further by providing storage to accommodate more than...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 3:05pm
Sling Media, Inc., a leading digital lifestyle products company, today announced its next generation Slingbox™ PRO-HD, a revolutionary new product that is capable of streaming HD content from a home television source, including over the air HD digital signals, HDTV cable or satellite receivers, or HD DVR's, to a laptop or desktop computer in and around the house. In addition, when paired with Sling Media's new SlingCatcher, Slingbox PRO-HD will transmit the HD signal to another TV in the house. In fact, customers who have a high speed broadband connection that features upload speeds of 1.5 - 2 Mbps or higher, Slingbox PRO-HD can even stream in HD outside the home to the office, to a hotel room or even to a remote TV when using SlingCatcher.
As part of the Slingbox PRO-HD product, Sling Media is also announcing...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 3:03pm
Hitachi has developed an Ultra Thin plasma display panel (PDP) that is a mere 1.5-inches in depth. Having shaved more than one third of the thickness off of today's comparable plasma displays, this new product represents an engineering achievement of significant importance from Hitachi.
This new Ultra Thin plasma display will be the centerpiece of Hitachi's Innovations Showcase here at CES, which also features...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 2:57pm
As the advertising around Las Vegas have been hinting for days, "1.5 Is Coming..." and, after much anticipation, it's now here. For the first time in the U.S., Hitachi is officially unveiling its new line of Ultra Thin LCDs. Having already received overwhelmingly favorable response in sneak previews to overseas audiences last Fall, the new line called "1.5" - in reference to its 1.5-inch depth - is now expected to be among the hottest items being announced and displayed at this year's International CES.
These slim, stylish LCDs from Hitachi represent an important new category of product that is being called Ultra Thin Displays. The Hitachi Ultra Thin 1.5 series have been available in Japan since December of last year and will be available for U.S. consumers in...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2008, 2:53pm
In response to consumer demand, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release its high-definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
Warner Home Video will continue to release its titles in standard DVD format and Blu-ray. After a short window following their standard DVD and Blu-ray releases, all new titles will continue to be released in HD DVD until...
By The HT Guys • Jan 4 2008, 3:00pm
Since we received positive feedback on the Transformers technical review we did a few months back, we decided to make them monthly features. We'll alternate between Blu Ray Discs and HD DVD discs. For our second technical movie review we chose Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I (Ara) remember watching this movie as a teenager. I was about 15 years old and remember how I marveled at the special effects and cinematography. When the 30th Anniversary version came out on Blu Ray I knew that I was going to buy it and make it part of my library. I wondered how would a movie that was made in the late 70's hold up technically after all these years. Overall, we have to say it help up pretty darn good. It may not be a movie you use to show off your new HDTV and Blu Ray player but it did provide much entertainment for the entire family.
By The HT Guys • Jan 4 2008, 2:55pm
Since we received positive feedback on the Transformers technical review we did a few months back, we decided to make them monthly features. We'll alternate between Blu Ray Discs and HD DVD discs. For our second technical movie review we chose Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Blu-ray.
By Alfred Poor • Jan 4 2008, 2:00pm
You get your new flat panel HDTV home, and you hang it on the wall. Now what? You have to snake all those cables around to the different components so that you can watch cable, DVD, PVR, and whatever else you want on your new screen. And your living room suddenly turns into a mockup [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 3 2008, 5:24pm
Cox Communications Northern Virginia today became the first company in Fairfax County and the Fredericksburg region to launch high-definition On DEMAND, featuring exciting content from Starz! and Showtime. Any Starz! or Showtime subscribers who have an HDTV and HD receiver from Cox can access the new On DEMAND HD content at any time for free.
More than 20 Starz! and Showtime On DEMAND HD movies are currently available, with more titles added every week. In addition to this new high- definition On DEMAND content...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 3 2008, 3:16pm
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, and LG Electronics, a global consumer electronics leader, today announced they are joining forces to develop a set-top box for consumers to stream movies and other programming from the Internet to HDTVs -- bypassing the need to use a personal computer.
The collaboration is expected to deliver a compelling new online home entertainment service via technology embedded in an LG networked player planned for...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 3 2008, 2:58pm
The High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (HANA) announced today that it will host a four-room "HANA Home" demonstration of its HD home networking solution at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show, January 7-10 in Las Vegas. Along with the demo, HANA also announced that Firecomms Ltd. and Newnex Technology Corporation have joined HANA as adopter members. The HANA Home is located in the North Hall Meeting Rooms N119/N120.
HANA will showcase the HANA Home, a four-room demo that will simultaneously distribute five wireless HD content streams throughout the home over...
Syntax-Brillian Showcases 120Hz and Full-HD Technology on New LCD HDTV Demonstration Units at CES 2008
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 3 2008, 2:55pm
Syntax-Brillian Corporation (Nasdaq:BRLC) today announced that at CES 2008 it will be exhibiting a diverse range of new Olevia™ LCD HDTVs featuring the latest in display technology hardware and feature enhancements combining 120Hz Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation (ME/MC) technology with full-HD 1080p resolution, new industrial designs and firmware upgradeability via USB. These new technology demonstration units will be on exhibit from January 7 - 10, 2008 in the Olevia™ booth #20401, Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall.
At the Olevia™ booth, visitors can experience...
DTS Showcases Solutions for HD Content Distribution, Simulated Surround and Lossless HD Audio at CES 2008
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 3 2008, 2:52pm
DTS, Inc. (NASDAQ: DTSI) returns to main floor of the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 7-10, Booth # 21913, South Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center, with breakthrough demonstrations of its new DTS Surround Sensation™ simulated surround sound technologies, innovative high definition content distribution partnership news with XStreamHD™, as well as new developments in its highly regarded DTS-HD Master Audio™ technology (common to both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD next generation optical disc standards). At CES, the company will be showcasing its offerings for the consumer electronics, personal computing, and digital content distribution marketplaces including live A/B demonstrations of DTS Surround Sensation headphone technology. The company will also distribute its new Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD movie / music discs featuring DTS-HD Master Audio™ throughout the show.
At CES 2008, DTS will feature...
By Alfred Poor • Jan 3 2008, 2:00pm
According to MultiMedia Intelligence, about $24 billion will be spent for advertising on the Internet this year. You may find that to be surprising, but how about this? Of that total, about $1.6 billion will be spend on US Internet video advertising. One dollar out of ever 15 spent on Internet advertising will go for [...]
By Alfred Poor • Jan 2 2008, 2:00pm
Q: I can’t find anyone that can help me with this! I want to purchase an HDTV for use in a tractor trailer. I drive cross country. I’m trying to find something in the 15″ to 20″ range that will stand up to the nation’s rough roads. I’d prefer an AC/DC model, but I can [...]
By The HT Guys • Jan 1 2008, 3:04pm
This being our first show for 2008 we decided to give you our predictions on what we see happening. We have ten items and they are in no particular order. Please feel free to send us your predictions for 2008. Happy New Year from the HT Guys!!
By Alfred Poor • Jan 1 2008, 2:00pm
A report out yesterday from ABI Research predicts that “universal” high-definition DVD drives will account for two-thirds of the high-definition DVD drives in desktop PCs and notebook computers in 2012. Part of this prediction is based on the expectation that by 2009, hybrid drives that can read both HD DVD and Blu-ray discs will be [...]