HDTV Magazine
Welcome, Anonymous  •  Sign In  •  Register  •  Help

Politics & Policy

How Many Depend On Over-the-Air?

By Dale Cripps • Dec 30 2005, 10:36pm

The New York Post ran a story today claiming that "22% of all viewers rely exclusively on over-the-air broadcasting for their television viewing". The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said that
those figures jive with their tally as do those of the Government Accountability Office and the Consumers Union. The NAB has long complained about...

Satellite HDTVService & RepairDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Cold News for DirecTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 30 2005, 1:00pm

Digital satellite service provider DirecTV came up on the losing end of two major decisions in December.
The Federal Trade Commission charged that DirecTV and the companies it hired violated the national Do Not Call Registry rules. According to reports attributed to DirecTV representatives, the violations were made by third-party marketing companies that had since been [...]

EntertainmentHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Playing Nice: Part 2

By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2005, 1:00pm

Last week, I wrote about the two new initiatives to get HD displays and home entertainment equipment to work together. Now there’s word about a new display interface for computers that is intended to help them work better with consumer electronics displays such as HDTVs.
The interface is called the Unified Display Interface — UDI — [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDLaser HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Blu-ray First to Market?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2005, 1:00pm

It looks as though the race to be first to deliver a blue-laser, high-definition DVD player to the market may be won by the Blu-ray camp. Toshiba had announced that it was going to ship a drive based on the competing HD DVD standard before the end of 2005, but was unable to make good [...]

Plasma HDTVsPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & LaptopsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: PC/TV Plasma Bargain?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 27 2005, 1:00pm

I just ran across an ad for a 42″ plasma TV that has PC input and can double as a computer monitor. When I investigated further, I found that the 42″ screen has a resolution of 852 by 480 pixels. Wow! By comparison, a 19″ LCD monitor normally has 1,280 by 1,024. The pixels on [...]

Technology

LCoS

By Ed Milbourn • Dec 26 2005, 8:16pm

The much-touted LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) microdisplay technology may finally have reached a confident level of production maturity. The advantages of LCoS technology have been known for several years and demonstrated many times. But, achieving the desired performance levels, reliability, and production yields has been elusive. However, this past year has seen several key manufacturers introducing or increasing their production of LCoS models. These include Sony, calling their version SXRD (Silicon Xtal Reflective Display), and JVC with their D-ILA (Direct drive Image Light Amplifier) - both derivatives of the basic LCoS technology.

So, what's the big deal? What really is LCoS; how does it work, and what are its advantages to manufacturers and consumers? To answer those questions, I'm going to walk you through a comparatively "high-level" view of this technology - say, from about 100,000 feet.

Fiber/IPTV HDTVEntertainmentInternet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Look Ma! No Wires HDTV!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 26 2005, 1:00pm

Digital television promises to bring crystal clear images to your screen. HDTV promises incredible detail. And IPTV holds out the promise of all sorts of new forms of video entertainment streamed across the Internet. And what’s wrong with this picture?
All this content is delivered to a single location in most homes: a cable box, or [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - One in Four with HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 23 2005, 1:00pm

When you consider that a display company – Panasonic — paid for the study, you need to take the results with a grain of salt, but the conclusions are plausible. One of four USA households either owns or plans to buy an HD display in 2006.
Pretty impressive numbers, to be sure. But it leaves me [...]

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - US Analog TV Dark Date Set!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2005, 1:00pm

Okay, it has finally been decided. At least until Congress changes its mind. Yesterday, the Senate approved a spending bill that contained a provision for the date that analog TV broadcasts will cease in the US: February 18, 2009. The government apparently won’t wait until then to collect on the windfall of the radio frequencies [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Making HDTV Pieces Play Nice

By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2005, 1:00pm

As I write in Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV, you need three parts in order to get a true HDTV experience: Display + Signal + Content = HDTV. If you don’t have all three, you will get nothing better than your old-fashioned Standard Definition television experience, or maybe even worse.
One of the big problems, [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Beyond HDTV? Plenty of Pixels

By Alfred Poor • Dec 20 2005, 1:00pm

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) is one of the major Taiwanese producers of LCD panels. The company announced recently that it had created a 56″ diagonal LCD-TV panel with “quad full high-definition” — QFHD — with 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. Yes, that’s the equivalent of four 28″ 1080p panels tiled together. CMO says that it intends [...]

Politics & Policy

House Passed a Compromise DTV Hard Date Bill

By Dale Cripps • Dec 19 2005, 6:27pm

ALSEA 12/19/2009 - The House passed a compromise DTV hard date shut off bill this morning as part of the omnibus budget reconciliation package.

The new bill sets the date for ending all analog television services as Feb. 17, 2009 (the Senate Commerce Committee had set April 7, 2009, the House Commerce Committee Dec. 31, 2008).

January 28, 2008 is the new date set for the auctioning of the analog spectrum.

A paltry $5 million was set aside for a consumer awareness campaign. We can all have a good laugh about that! New York gets $30 million to help terrestrial broadcasters recover from the World Trade Center towers that were lost in the 9/11 attack.

The much anticipated subsidy for DTV-to-analog converter boxes is

HD DVDBlu-rayLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HP Straddles HD DVD Fence

By Alfred Poor • Dec 19 2005, 1:00pm

The competition to become the standard format for high-definition content on DVD discs just got more confused, if that’s possible. HP has been a part of the Blu-ray development effort that is led by Sony. Earlier this fall, HP asked the Blu-ray camp to incorporate two features that were part of the competing HD DVD [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Brillian LCoS HDTV Wins Again!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 16 2005, 1:00pm

Brillian announced this week that their 65″ 6501m rear-projection LCoS HDTV was named Product of the Year for rear-projection displays by PC Magazine. This is the same HDTV that Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies recently crowned as the new standard by which all other displays should be judged.
This is strong praise for the Brillian [...]

Plasma HDTVsCable HDTVLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - New High Resolution Plasma Panel for HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2005, 1:00pm

Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display has demonstrated a 42-inch plasma display with 1080p resolution: 1,920 by 1080 pixels. The panels are slated to go into production in 2007, at which time you may see them showing up as HDTVs under the Hitachi brand.
This high resolution at this size is unremarkable for LCD panels, but is an [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - USA CRT Plant to Close

By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2005, 1:00pm

Matsushita announced recently that it plans to close the CRT manufacturing plant in Troy, Ohio, which it owns in partnership with Toshiba. The plant builds CRTs for use in televisions, sold under a variety of brand names including Panasonic. Declining sales for CRTs in the face of the rising popularity of flat-panel LCD and [...]

Service & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - DivX Support in PVR Software

By Alfred Poor • Dec 13 2005, 1:00pm

PVR = Personal Video Recorder. Think TiVo. Without the monthly service fee. You can buy a box that will do this for you, and record onto a writeable DVD or hard drive, and they are a wonderful improvement over the standard VHS video cassette recorder.
But these boxes are simply computers with limited capabilities. Many people [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - New LCD HDTV: Astar is Born?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 12 2005, 1:18pm

Last week, Astar announced the release of its LTV 3201, a 32-inch LCD HDTV. The model has 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution, making it suitable for 720p content. It carries a suggested list price of $1,299.99, but it can already be found for sale on the Web for under $1,000. Full specifications for the LTV [...]

Politics & Policy

To Subsidize or Not To Subsidize, That Was Almost The Question

By Dale Cripps • Dec 10 2005, 4:38am

On our "Tips List" – an email forum for those seriously interested in HDTV - a question concerning the proposed Federal "subsidy" for ATSC tuners (to the needy) was hotly argued. One side said it was another example of inept government giving the store away and the other claimed that it was already paid for out of auction money from the analog spectrum, and, while still terribly odious, it was at least comprehensible. The argument was the only thing on target with responses being deeply shaded by political persuasions so, I decided to wade into the conflagration with a little historical memory and perspective. Shane, my stalwart partner in Internet affairs, said he had seen the topic hashed out on other forums with little more then hysteria and hyperbole waging war with one another and would I kindly arrangement my "Tips" comments into an article for wider distribution. With this introduction I hope what follows—the unedited Tips responses—will serve as that article.

The HDTV in ...

Technology

Ed's View - Chicken Little Was Right

By Ed Milbourn • Dec 9 2005, 7:32pm

It is interesting to note how the motion picture industry has been able to technologically "re-invent" itself to provide audiences with ever increasingly compelling movie-going experiences. The litany is long, starting with silent monochrome "flickers" and adding "talkies," color, wide-screen, digital sound, surround sound, THX, 70mm, etc. It is also interesting to muse how the television industry has followed with similar technological advances to enhance the home viewing experience.

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Epson Announces New Rear-Projection HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2005, 1:00pm

Epson announced last week that they will be shipping two new LivingStation rear-projection LCD HDTVs for the Japanese market before the end of this year. The 55-inch ELS-55GL1 and the 65-inch ELS-65GL1 will have 1080p resolution, and memory-card slots. There’s no word yet when or if they will be available in the USA market, but [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - Protests over Product Placement

By Alfred Poor • Dec 8 2005, 1:00pm

I’ve written a number of times about the question of how people are going to make money producing entertainment content for the new world of “television.” Video recorders let you leap over commercials in a single bound. When you let the viewer control the flow of the content stream, the paid advertisements are likely to [...]

Plasma HDTVsDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Plasma HDTV Amazing Facts!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2005, 1:00pm

Source: “The Face of TV to Come: Plasma Vs. DLP,” by Phil Conner, Plasma TV Buying Guide
Quote: “Plasma, by contrast, uses a small electric pulse for each pixel to excite the rare natural gases argon, neon, and xenon (a k a “phosphors”) to produce the color information and light. As electrons excite the phosphors, oxygen [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Mitsubishi Wants HD-MTV!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 6 2005, 1:00pm

January 16, 2006 is the date for the launch of MTV’s new HD music channel, MHD. (Music-High Definition, I presume?) The station will air original and aquired music-based HD content. And on Monday, Mitsubishi Electric announced that it will be the charter sponsor of the new channel. Expect to see Mitsubishi displays sprinkled around [...]

Cable HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Surprise! Cable Rates Going UP!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 5 2005, 1:00pm

From the What Did You Expect Department, Comcast announced on Thursday that the company would be raising the rates for basic (analog) cable service an average of 6 percent nationwide, starting as early as January 1, 2006. This brings the average rate for basic cable to more that $47 a month. Most other cable operators [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Brillian Bundles Tune-Up

By Alfred Poor • Dec 2 2005, 1:00pm

Some of you may remember the early days of color TV. There was endless fiddling with the controls; people on the screen seemed to suffer from apoplexy, then jaundice, and then apparent sea sickness as you changed from channel to channel. Fortunately, color fidelity has been solved fairly well (even though engineers still quip that [...]

Sports

HDTV Almanac - Really H-HDTV!!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2005, 1:00pm

Most of us are still mulling over our choices to enter the wonderful world of HDTV, but experiments are already underway to push pixel progress even further out. Last month, NHK showed a live demonstration of “Super Hi-Vision” TV at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. The images had a resolution of 7,680 by [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Holy HDTV Holograph, Batman!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 30 2005, 1:00pm

Okay, we’re going to look just over the horizon on this one, but the implications for HD content are huge. Earlier this month, Maxell announced plans to ship a 300 GB disc drive next year. Big deal, you say. Okay, it’s going to be a removable disc. Got your attention yet? Here’s more; it will [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: When to Buy?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 29 2005, 1:29pm

In my visitor HDTV survey on this site, I ask people what their #1 question about HDTV is. A lot of people ask questions similar to these: ” When will the price come down?” and ” Is now the time to buy?”
Okay, if I could predict the future, I wouldn’t be writing this Almanac. (Well, [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Plasma TVs a Hit for Online Shoppers!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 28 2005, 1:00pm

Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is more than an event; it’s a phenomenon. Shoppers head for the malls in droves, and retailers count on the crowds to get the holiday buying season started. Brick and mortar stores are not the only ones benefiting from the flood of buyers; the rising tide also raises the [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Truth Patrol: Plasma Bulbs?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 25 2005, 3:06pm

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, by Scott Taves: “Don’t know where to begin? Here are tips to sharpen your focus”
Online at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/248038_hdtv12.html.
Quote: “Older plasmas were subject to burn-in, meaning a static image, such as a video game icon or stock ticker, left a permanent ghost image. The costly bulbs also would lose luminescence after a few [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Happy Thanksgiving!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 24 2005, 1:00pm

Yes, like many of you, I’m off today to work on a good dose of tryptophan, tamped down with some fresh-baked peach pie. So I’m going to share some of my thoughts about what we have to be thankful about in terms of HDTV and digital TV.
First on my list is choice. We have a [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)EntertainmentBusiness & InvestmentDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DRM: Don’t Fence Me In

By Alfred Poor • Nov 23 2005, 1:00pm

One of my least favorite acronyms in the whole home entertainment business is DRM. It reportedly stands for “digital rights management.” From my point of view, that’s about as direct and honest as using “revenue enhancement” to refer to a tax increase. DRM is copy protection, pure and simple.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand [...]

New Products & Equipment

Ed's View - DirecTV HD DVR

By Ed Milbourn • Nov 22 2005, 5:06pm

Normally, I don't do product reviews. Others do that much more completely and with greater expertise than I. However, I am going to make a small exception as I own this product and have copious hands-on experience with it. This unit (the DIRECTV HD DVR HR 10-250) is actually the third DVR I have owned. The others being the R 10 non-HD version of the HR 10-250 and an early RCA Ultimate unit, so I have some basis for comparison.

HTPCs & LaptopsCable HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Microsoft Backs HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Nov 22 2005, 3:09pm

Microsoft announced last week that the company has an agreement with CableLabs that lets Microsoft and personal computer companies create Media Center PCs that will be digital-cable-ready (DCR). The systems will accept CableCARDs, which is intended to let devices connect directly to digital cable television service and eliminate the need for a separate set-top box. [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - Analog TV to Go Dark!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 21 2005, 1:00pm

Last Friday morning, the US House of Representatives passed a budget bill that included a hard date for the shutdown of analog TV broadcasts in this country: December 31, 2008. The Senate already passed a bill that also set a hard date: April 9, 2009. It’s now up to the conference committee to reconcile the [...]

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Thin and Beautiful HDTV!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 18 2005, 1:00pm

OLEDs – organic light-emitting diodes — are emissive devices that are one of the most promising novel technologies that could result in a revolution in television technology. The image is fast and colorful and bright like a regular CRT, but they are as thin as a sheet of thick paper. They produce their own light, [...]

Satellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - More Networks on Demand

By Alfred Poor • Nov 17 2005, 2:05pm

Following on the heels of the successful deal between iTunes and Disney to make episodes froom some of the ABC television network’s top shows available for download at $2 a pop, two new agreements were announced last week. NBC has a deal with DirecTV to offer episodes of a number of major shows for download [...]

Events & TradeshowsHTPCs & LaptopsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - See You in Las Vegas?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 16 2005, 1:00pm

What are you doing next year? I’m going to the HDTV Business Conference on January 4th, the day before the big Consumer Electronics Show — CES — starts in Las Vegas. It’s put together by Insight Media, and will bring together the top executives from major companies in the HDTV industry. There will be presentations [...]

Global & Worldview

Ed's View - HD3D

By Ed Milbourn • Nov 16 2005, 12:35am

There is no doubt that the next "big thing" on the horizon to augment the HDTV viewing experience is three-dimensional (3D) display. To any who have seen IMAX 3D, the 3D effect is awesome. Immediately, one concludes that this is the way all motion picture images should be displayed. Other than the non-compatibility with systems using regular displays and the polarizing filters (those plastic glasses) one must wear, the same IMAX 3D technology would work well with today's HDTV system. (Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?)

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - What Does “Fully HD” Mean?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 15 2005, 1:00pm

In Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty proclaims “A word means what I want it to mean!” That’s certainly a creative view of vocabulary, but it can become a barrier to effective communication when different people start using a term to mean different things.
For example, take “Fully HD.” Some people use it to mean 1080p displays, [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Black Friday Crystal Ball

By Alfred Poor • Nov 14 2005, 1:00pm

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year for American retailers. It’s the one day that retailers count on for getting “into the black” on their balance sheets. In the past, it was a list price event, and the sales didn’t start until after Christmas Day. In recent years, [...]

SportsPC & Laptop TechnologyPlasma HDTVsDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Samsung Hikes HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Nov 11 2005, 1:00pm

Last week, Samsung announced a deal with the National Football League that makes Samsung’s products the “Official HDTV of the NFL.” Samsung products have good coverage of HDTV display technology, including LCD, plasma, and rear-projection DLP HDTV models.
This move makes a lot of sense. Samsung has long used professional sports alliances as part of their [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Cell Phone TV?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 10 2005, 3:38pm

Have you seen the ads on television where hip young people are sprawled around the city, watching their cell phone screens? The Japanese have already made watching TV content on cell phones a hit, and it looks as though some markets in our country may be ready to go for this feature in a big [...]

GamingMobile HDTVBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Sony Sends TV Anywhere

By Alfred Poor • Nov 9 2005, 1:00pm

Television may be a serious business, but Sony has just made gaming hardware an important player in the next generation of TV. Last week, the company announced that the PlayStation Portable (PSPT) has a new firmware upgrade that will allow it to receive audio and video content through a LocationFree Base Station.
Sony’s LocationFree lets users [...]

Programming

Is HD Ready for the Real World?

By Greg Moyer • Nov 8 2005, 10:03pm

VOOM is back in the news and so it gives me great pleaure to introduce to you one of the key men making it happen - Mr. Greg Moyer. Moyer serves as co-general manager of the VOOM HD Networks and recently joined our growing roster of HDTV columnists. His first column, "Is HD Ready for the Real World?", answers that question. _Dale Cripps



With more programs converting to HD, the standard definition "dead zones" on a typical night of television are becoming fewer and fewer. Now scripted series, movies, prime time sports and late night strips hosted by the likes of Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien are reliably in HD.

The big exception is the genre of unscripted "reality" shows that still make up a third or more of the prime time diet. As a group, these high-concept, lower cost series pioneered by "The Real World" on MTV and popularized by "Survivor" on CBS have resisted the urge to go HD largely due to the added cost and complications of extensive field production. If "rea ...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Got a Minute? HDTV Survey

By Alfred Poor • Nov 8 2005, 1:00pm

As you may have noticed, Alfred Poor’s HDTV Alamanac has been going for more than a month now, but we’ve just launched the site officially. And if you poke around the site, you’ll find that I’m in the process of writing Professor Poor’s Guide to Buying HDTV which is scheduled to be published here next [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Pioneer Closes 2 Plasma Plants

By Alfred Poor • Nov 7 2005, 1:00pm

Pioneer is the second-leading manufacturer of HDTV plasma displays. Last week, the company announced plans to shut down two of their manufacturing plants. The company still plans to ship 2/3 more plasma panels than they did last year, up from 380,00 per year to 640,000. Even with closing a third of their production lines and [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Internet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Plug In to Tune In HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Nov 4 2005, 1:00pm

Okay, you’ve got a killer digital TV system set up in your living room, with cable and Internet and a DVR — digital video recorder — with a massive hard drive. But what happens when you go into the kitchen? You can’t enjoy your video assets in the other room.
Oh, but you can. You can [...]

Cable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - VOD is Here! Now!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 3 2005, 1:00pm

Video on Demand — VOD — is already part of many digital cable packages. But are people using it?
According to Comcast, the company’s customers downloaded and watched 100 million programs. That’s an impressive number, but here’s the punchline; that was just in the month of March this year. And 94% of these shows were delivered [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD VideoService & RepairBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Will IPTV Content Be Limited?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 2 2005, 1:00pm

The rise of IPTV – getting video content on-demand and streaming over the Internet — is an intriguing and powerful new development. There’s a potentially dark side to it to, however. The service provider who controls the connection to your home will also be empowered to control what content you get to see.
Broadcast television and [...]

DLP HDTVsGlobal & Worldview

HDTV Almanac - Pedal to the Metal for DLP HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Nov 1 2005, 1:00pm

Texas Instruments continues to dig for display gold on the high-speed race tracks around the country. Yesterday, the company announced a marketing agreement with the International Speedway Corporation that will make DLP HDTV products the official high-definition television at race tracks including Daytona, Taladega, Darlington, and Watkins Glen.
This slipstreams right behind TI’s deal with “Hall [...]

Service & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Someone Agrees about TV over the Internet

By Alfred Poor • Oct 31 2005, 1:00pm

Apple announced today that selling video clips on iTunes is a success. This is their new service that lets you download a video clip of everything from the latest episode of “Desperate Housewives” or “Lost ” to music videos by Madonna or Coldplay, to animated shorts from Pixar. How much of a success? How does [...]

ProgrammingHD DVDSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV is a Hit

By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2005, 1:00pm

Consumer Reports released a report this week that found that 87 percent of their readers that they surveyed felt that they thought digital HD content from cable or satellite was significantly better than other programming. Half of them also complained that there isn’t enough HD programming available.
It’s important to remember that the HDTV display is [...]

Marketplace

Ed's View - KISS

By Ed Milbourn • Oct 27 2005, 7:56pm

A few weeks ago I read an article in a Cable on-line magazine in which the author was lamenting about the high percentage of cable and DBS subscribers who own HDTV monitors but do not sign-up for HDTV programming options. According to research cited by this author, the reason most of these subscribers do not elect to upgrade to HDTV service is that they believe they already are receiving HDTV. The reasons for this should not be surprising.

HD DVDSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Satellite HDTV Relies on More Compression

By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2005, 1:00pm

As more and more consumers get HDTV sets, the demand for more HD content is growing. (And the manufacturers of the HDTVs want more HD content to be delivered, as this should help drive increased demand for the new sets.) One problem for satellite services is that they have limited bandwidth over which to transmit [...]

Politics & Policy

2005 HDTV Report, Part 18: Content Protection

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 27 2005, 12:36pm

Part 18 deals with content protection. HDCP and DTCP content protection was briefly covered on the part of digital connectivity. The FCC approved the Broadcast Flag in November 2003 to limit the indiscriminate redistribution of digital broadcast content, a digital code embedded into a digital broadcasting stream would signal DTV reception equipment to activate the redistribution limit. The mandate was to take effect in July 1, 2005, it was overruled in 2005, and it seems to return stronger judging by some 4Q05 events. This regulation excludes digital devices not built with internal digital tuners, such as existing digital VCRs, DVD players, personal computers, etc; all existing equipment incapable of reading the broadcast flag, such as televisions, VCRs, DVD players, will remain fully functional.

The new rules still allow consumers to make digital copies of broadcast HD content; they are intended to prevent only the mass distribution over the Internet, and to encourage availabilit ...

Laser HDTVCable HDTVHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - HP Asks for BluRay Changes

By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2005, 1:00pm

New developments continue in the fight to create the high-definition DVD format, though it appears that we’re still far from being able to name a winner in the blue laser competition. HP had been a backer of BluRay for a long time, but last week, the company went public with its desire that the BluRay [...]

Technology

2005 HDTV Report, Part 17: Digital Connectivity

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 26 2005, 12:35pm

This part 17 deals with digital connectivity (DVI, HDMI, IEEE1394).

The DVI (Digital Visual Interface) 1.0 specification was introduced in April 1999 for creating a digital connection between a PC and a display device. It is a point-to-point connection with enough bandwidth for uncompressed HD signals, but it was not implemented for audio. On December 9, 2002, the seven founders of HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) announced the 1.0 specification of this connectivity standard, the enhanced, more robust form of DVI. The standard supports HD uncompressed video, 8-channel digital audio (reportedly up to 192 KHz), and some control signals on a single cable (15 mm, 19 pin), while using less than half the available bandwidth. HDMI has the same video capacity as DVI, or up to five Gbps of bandwidth, double what a HD signal would require, and is backward compatible with DVI by using an adapter. There is a two-way communication between the source device and the receiving device ...

Fiber/IPTV HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Comedy Central Goes Online

By Alfred Poor • Oct 25 2005, 1:00pm

Comedy Central is scheduled to launch a broadband optimized IPTV site called “Motherload” on November 1. The site will include short clips from shows including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It will also offer original material created just for the site.
The site will be funded through advertising for Verizon’s broadband services, as well [...]

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 16: Non-Display Equipment with HDMI/DVI/IEEE 1394

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 25 2005, 12:35pm

This year a larger number of units implementing DVI and HDMI were released, in addition to the monitors and integrated TVs mentioned on the previous sections.

Although the implementation of HDMI inputs/outputs was also seen in more receivers, it is still mainly reserved for top-of-the-line receivers, which usually are on the $4000-$6000 range.

The data included below is an example of some of the new units, not a complete list...

Service & RepairFiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD VideoCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Verizon IPTV Takes on Cable

By Alfred Poor • Oct 24 2005, 1:00pm

Last month, Verizon got the go-ahead from the Fairfax County, Virginia supervisors to offer TV service. Yes, this is one of the first instances of the “triple-play” strategy, where a single provider aims to deliver phone, Internet, and television service all over a single connection.
Verizon calls its service “FiOS”, which relies on fiber-optic connections instead [...]

Technology

2005 HDTV Report, Part 15: HDTV IC Chips

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 24 2005, 12:35pm

This part 15 deals with HDTV IC chips, the information is dated as of 1Q05 from the HDTV technology report and some recent events are to be included on the 2006 document. Companies seem to be going in and out of the LCoS business, on Aug 2004, Intel announced a delay on their plans to release their first LCoS chip for projection sets. Their competitor, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., was...

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 14: HDTV Video Cameras

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 23 2005, 12:35pm

This part 14 deals with HDTV video cameras that might interest consumers. The HDV Format was announced in the summer of 2003 and was established as an official format in the fall of 2003. Canon, JVC, Sharp, and Sony are the primary manufacturers supporting this HD format that uses mini-DV videotape, MPEG-2 and at resolutions of 1080i and 720p. The companies indicated that camcorders could be made that can record on the same mini-DV both regular and HD formats. Although the cameras from JVC and Sony included on this part are still available, they have been recently upgraded to newer models and those will be included on the next 2006 HDTV Technology report.

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 13: HD Signal Processors

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 22 2005, 12:35pm

This part 13 deals with HDTV signal processors (line doublers, scalers, etc.). The arrival of 1080p displays unfortunately brought the news of no 1080p inputs at this time, but eventually it is hoped that the next generations of 1080p displays would accept 1080p (although a few claim they would via VGA inputs, unprotected content). TV sets with 1080p inputs would give the option of having a good 1080p processor to upgrade signals out of the TV internal circuitry (in other words distribute the tasks to the devices that can do a better job recognizing that a $3000 quality video processor circuitry could never be found on a regular consumer HDTV), and use the TV to just display the magic such quality processor could do with mainly SD. Such path allows for upgrading the quality of a system without changing a TV display that otherwise is a satisfying performer. Among the video processing manufacturers, Silicon Optix/Teranex is planning to make available the new Realta HQV chip as OEM to ...

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Digital TV Deadline Looms

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2005, 1:00pm

The US Congress has already passed a law requiring that analog terrestrial TV broadcasts cease by December 31, 2006, or when 85 percent of American households can receive digital terrestrial broadcasts. Now Congress is looking to push that up to a hard date of April 7, 2006. According to Consumers Union, as many as 80 [...]

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 12: HDTV Recorders

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 21 2005, 12:35pm

This section deals with HDTV recording devices, such as D-VHS for archival and DVRs for time-shifting, although there are HD DVRs included on this section, they are tuneless, the HD DVRs with tuners are included in the HD-STB section. Please refer to both sections to have a complete picture of HD DVRs. If you are looking for a DVR or a D-VHS that connects to a tuner you already have (as STB or as integrated TV tuner) you will need to use IEEE1394/DTCP protected digital connections to send the signal to those devices for recording. Some units are only compatible with certain equipment, like the Symbio DVR from Toshiba, compatible only with some newer integrated TVs from Toshiba. Some cable DVRs (like Sony) were not suited with IEEE1394 connections to been able to archive the stored content into and external D-VHS (or future Hi Def DVD recorder), as well as making it unsuited for Firewire networking of HD devices. Several D-VHS recorders from JVC, Mitsubishi and Marantz are still cu ...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - What’s the Right Size HDTV for Me?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2005, 1:00pm

One of the biggest questions among people shopping for an HDTV is “how big should it be?” If you have an unlimited budget, you might be tempted to get the biggest display in the store. And you’d probably be making a mistake.
Think about when you go to the movie theater. Do you always try to [...]

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 11: High Definition DVD

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 20 2005, 12:35pm

This part summarizes the main aspects of Hi Def DVD, such as formats, studio support, types of discs, competition from China, introduced models, copy protection, audio and video codecs, etc. The complete review of the State of the High Definition DVD Technology has been covered in an article I recently wrote for the DVDetc magazine, please consult www.hdtvetc.com for access to that information, they also have an online service. Regarding video, both groups/formats (Blu-ray and HD-DVD) selected MPEG-2, MPEG-4 H.264, and VC-1 (originally known as Microsoft's WMV-9 and VC-9) as mandatory video codecs for players; discs would have to be encoded in at least one of them. VC-1 is now an open standard and was voted by 19 companies from the DVD Forum steering committee as best in picture quality. According to Microsoft, the company was to remain neutral regarding format support, and we are starting to see differently lately (4Q05) due to the networking capabilities and copy protection featu ...

Technology

HDTV and the Brain and Why HDTV always Looks Good

By Ed Milbourn • Oct 19 2005, 10:36pm

It is interesting to note how the human animal perceives images. By an investigation of the many factors of human image perception, one can better understand and appreciate how and why HDTV is such a pleasurable experience and how certain factors contribute to perceived imaged quality.

LCD HDTVsHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - LCD TVs: From Desktop to Den

By Alfred Poor • Oct 19 2005, 1:00pm

By all accounts — including the numbers from Pacific Media Associates where I’m a Senior Research Associate — the LCD TV market is growing rapidly, especially for screens 30-inches and smaller. Lots of companies have been making LCD displays in this size range for years for the desktop computer monitor market. That market is crowded [...]

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 10: HDTV Tuners & Tuning DVR's

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 19 2005, 12:22pm

In May 2004, at the National Cable and Communications Association (NCTA) Motorola and Scientific Atlanta announced their new HD cable boxes with DVR and VOD capability. The Explorer 8300 multi-room cable DVR from Scientific Atlanta would have the capability of connecting with up to three non-DVR STBs using existing home wiring and provide image control (FF, RW, etc) from all the STBs and IPG, VOD, and PPV content.

Motorola unveiled their...

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVsPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Dude! I’m Watching a Dell HDTV!

By Alfred Poor • Oct 18 2005, 1:00pm

This changes everything. Dell is a juggernaut that has grown to dominate the desktop and laptop computer markets. And now the company is setting its sights on the living room with its new large flat panel TV offerings. In addition to smaller sets, the company now offers a 37-inch LCD HDTV and a 50-inch plasma [...]

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 9: LCD TV Panels

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 18 2005, 12:13pm

This part 9 is dedicated to LCD panels, they are becoming larger and larger from one year to another; last year's 40-inch screens introduction seemed a big step forward, a step into the domain of plasmas; this year the competition for even larger panels is heating up. The plasmas and LCD panels announced at CES 2005 overlap in the 37 to mid-50-inches range; the new large LCD TV panels generally cost more than similar size plasmas, twice as much in many cases, but prices are coming down fast for both types of panels. The larger LCD TV panels are now at 1920x1080 resolution on the 45+ sizes, while in plasmas the 1080p resolution is seen on much larger sizes. One example of large LCD TV panel is the Sharp's 1080p 45" LCD TV panel (AQUOS models 45GD4U and 45GD6U) available since fall of 2004 at an original price of $10,000 MSRP (but seen at less than half of that on the street by mid year 2005). The first large LCD panels were shown last year at CES 2004, and by year-end 1.4 million LCD ...

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 8: Plasma Panels

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 18 2005, 12:23am

This is a section dedicated to plasmas. In 2005, panel prices are coming down at a faster rate relative to other types of displays, and plasma panels will be more common at larger sizes, such as 70+ and 80-inches plasmas, and even an oversized 102" model, expected within two years. LCD panels are joining the 40" plus domain of the plasmas, with 40 to 65 inches from many manufacturers. CES unveiled a good number of these oversized panels. Samsung introduced large plasmas up to 80 inches (HPR8072, $39,000 MSRP, 1920x1080p) and a 102" prototype model announced as the largest TV in the world (Z102, 1920x1080p, TTM two years, $80,000-$90,000 estimated MSRP). LG unveiled their 71" plasma model MW-71PY10, planned for Feb/Mar 2005, $75,000, 1920x1080p; was still unavailable in September but some sites can BO for "just" $29K, quite a drop in price. LG's technical team supporting this plasma assured the panel will accept 1080p when is released in the US (have to see to believe that claim), t ...

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - iTunes Does Digital TV

By Alfred Poor • Oct 17 2005, 1:00pm

Apple’s announcement last week of a new iPod that can play video did not get my pulse racing; it’s been possible to watch video clips on all sorts of portable devices for years. The big news that got my attention, however, was the deal with Disney to make video content from ABC network shows available [...]

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 7: DLP RPTVs and FPTV Projectors

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 16 2005, 3:22pm

This part 7 includes DLP RPTV's and FPTV projectors (monitors), and a brief summary of TI's efforts on the technology, which complements the DLP coverage of the 2004 report. DLP has now reached 1080p image resolution levels, and many 1080p RPTV's were recently released by several main stream manufacturers, although some argue that the method used by TI is not true 1080p (without an actual 1920x1080 chip). Additionally, most 1080p RPTV's (if not all) do not (yet) accept 1080p from an external source. Separately, 1080p chips for FPTV's were recently announced and many front projection HT enthusiasts are awaiting to see the release of the first 1080p projectors implementing the chip. The 1080p DLP technology is also a good match with the soon to be available High Definition DVD, and with the D-VHS media available today. Consumers would be able to view 1080i/p
high resolution content on display devices that would not scale down that high resolution (such as 720p DLPs do). Owning true 1 ...

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 6: CRT, LCoS, D-ILA, SXRD, SED, and LCD

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 15 2005, 3:14pm

This part 6 details display monitors and integrated TVs using the technologies of CRT, Liquid Crystal On Silicon (LCoS), JVC's D-ILA, Sony's SXRD, Toshiba/Canon SED, and LCD projection displays. All Direct-view, Rear Projection (RPTV), and Front Projection (FPTV) technologies are included.

The parts covering DLP (FPTV and RPTV), LCD-TV panels, and PDP Plasma panel displays will be released shortly.

Please keep in mind that the MSRP and TTM (time to market) information was supplied as of 1Q05 for the CES 2005 report and, as is usual with CE, the prices and availability change upon product release, as well as street sale prices usually differ from the MSRP data used throughout the report.

New Products & Equipment

2005 HDTV Report, Part 5: Analysis of H/DTV Equipment

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 14 2005, 8:45pm

Panel technology and microchip-based displays have taken a larger position in the HDTV market. The price reduction experienced on LCD and Plasma panels is remarkable compared to the year before. DLP and LCD are the main technologies now used for RPTV's, although CRT is not yet withdrawing from the market. Many major companies are still introducing new lines of RPTV and Direct-view models based on CRT technology, which continues to offer the best value for a good quality display known for its excellent rendition of black, provided space and weight are not a constraint. Additionally, with the new introduction of slim tubes using 33% less depth, direct-view sets might create a shift on the market share for second/third room applications, where small LCD panels were starting to be adopted in 2003/4. The LCoS technology is showing some successes but also some disappointments, there is a parallel effect of companies switching in and out of the LCoS technology depending of the manufactur ...

Technology

2005 HDTV Report, Part 4: Satellite, Cable, Broadcasting

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 14 2005, 7:43pm

DirecTV, Dish Network, and Cable are constantly pursuing an increase of their HDTV line up to gain market share. The launching of more satellites and the "upgrade" to MPEG-4 AVC compression provide the satellite companies an opportunity for such gain; the sale of VOOM to Dish Network creates more forces on that competition; what an HDTV consumer is supposed to expect next with these compression plans when is known that true 1080i resolution is not currently being delivered? OTA broadcasting is increasing their SD multi-casting efforts, and their HDTV is gradually being subjected to the pressure of offering more quantity rather than quality. Although the HDTV offerings are on the increase and 1080p displays are starting to appear, it seems contradictory that the delivering of true HDTV is being subjected to quality degradation and could become truncated to just DVD quality at its best. Should we let that happen?

DLP HDTVsDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - DLP Goes Mainstream

By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2005, 1:00pm

When it comes to propeller-beanie, techno-geeky, esoteric details, it’s tough to beat the micromechanical, digital micromirror device known as “DLP” (Digital Light Processing) from Texas Instruments (TI). (You can find out more about the details of DLP in Professor Poor’s HDTV Buying Guide.) This little chip is the heart of many front- and rear-projection displays, [...]

Marketplace

2005 HDTV Report, Part 3: Market Penetration of H/DTV

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 13 2005, 9:36pm

In August 2004, the CEA announced that one of every four TVs sold in 2004 would be an HDTV. 2.8 million DTV units (integrated or monitor capable of at least ED 480p) were sent to dealers on the first semester of 2004, equivalent to 2.7 billion dollars of revenue; an increase of 80% compared to 1.5 million sets sold in the same period last year, making the total of DTV sales to 11.7 million sets since their introduction in 1998, most of those sales have occurred over the last two years.

EntertainmentDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Networks for HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2005, 1:00pm

The Digital Delivery Group is a consortium of consumer electronics distributors, working with the custom-installation home theater segment. The group sees a major sea change in how home entertainment systems are structured. In the past, everything connected to the television. The new concept is that everything is connected to the network. This makes the display [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Lies, Damned Lies, and Specifications

By Alfred Poor • Oct 12 2005, 1:00pm

The HDTV display manufacturers and retailers are in danger of turning specifications into a waste of the paper that they’re printed on. Specifications can be important to buyers who want to comparison shop, but they are dangerous for if you don’t know what’s being measured and what difference it might make. Too often, people make [...]

HD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HDTV on DVD: Will blue lasers be too late?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 11 2005, 1:00pm

WARNING: there are acronyms in this item. There’s no way to avoid it when discussing technical standards, but it’s an important story, so hang with me on this one.
Last month, Nero and KiSS announced that they will create a DVD recorder capable of recording and playing back content using MPEG-4 compression. This is a relatively [...]

Front ProjectionHD DVDLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - $300 DVD LCD Projector

By Alfred Poor • Oct 10 2005, 1:00pm

Okay, it’s not HD. In fact, it’s not even SD (Standard Definition) resolution. But Hasbro has announced the Zoombox, a DVD player with an integrated front projector. It’s intended for kids, and is slated to be available in December for $299. The projector will only have 557 x 234 pixel resolution, which is about half [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Recordable DVD Dilemma

By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2005, 1:00pm

I want to replace my old DVD player with a DVD recorder so that I can record TV shows to watch later, but I’m confused by all the different formats. What’s the difference between recording onto DVD-RAM disks and using DVD-RW disks? Also, I see that there’s a DVD-R and DVD+R????? and DVD-RW and DVD+RW. [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Samsung announces dual format HD DVD

By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2005, 1:00pm

Since the HD DVD and BluRay camps don’t seem to be able to come to terms on a single format for the next generation of high-definition DVD drives, Samsung has already announced that the company will build a single drive that supports both HD DVD and BluRay formats.
I think that this “superdrive” approach is an [...]

Programming

HDNet New Programming Line-up for fall schedule features both series premieres and new episodes of current favorites.

By Dale Cripps • Oct 6 2005, 5:27am

DALLAS, TX - October 5, 2005 - HDNet announced it's new fall programming line-up with exciting additions to their schedule for every night of the week. Viewers can catch new episodes of their favorite HDNet original programs, along with new series and a host of other special programs making their debut this month.

"We're very excited to offer this new schedule of great, high-definition programming to our viewers," said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. "In nearly five years of delivering ground-breaking HD programming, we feel that this October will be one of our best months, yet."

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Boggled by Big Screen Bucks

By Alfred Poor • Oct 5 2005, 1:00pm

Last month, I attended a press event hosted by Sharp, at which they unveiled their new 65-inch Aquos LCD 1080p HDTV: the LC-65D. It was gorgeous, and it will be available for a list price of about $21,000. As impressive as it was, the impact was reduced by the fact that I had just come [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVsService & RepairLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - HDTV LCD vs Plasma: a Hidden Difference

By Alfred Poor • Oct 4 2005, 1:00pm

Here’s an interesting fact: if you buy an LCD TV from Dell, and there’s a problem with it, you box it up and ship it back to the company. However, if you buy a plasma TV from Dell, and it should need to be serviced or replaced, the company sends a service to your home [...]

Technology

HDTV and MTF - Why Projection HDTV Displays Can Never Be As Good

By Ed Milbourn • Oct 3 2005, 3:24pm

There are many factors defining a good HDTV image. Among these are brightness, contrast ratio, colorimetry, noise, artifacts, and detail. When all other factors are equal, the ability to reproduce detail is what differentiates HDTV from any other TV. Detail defines the "high" in High Definition. One of the many detail related parameters not usually considered in a pedestrian analysis of HDTV picture quality if something called MTF. MTF stands for Modulation Transfer Function, a rather arcane way to describe the frequency response of an optical system or component. The following may be a little "technical" for some, but please bear with me.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV: Love and Loathing on the Big Screen

By Alfred Poor • Oct 3 2005, 1:00pm

Last month, Brillian announced its 6580iFB 65-inch 1080p rear-projection LCoS television. I have seen it, and it looks gorgeous. Brillian has had a bit of a hard time building headway in the market — their deal to provide Sears with products for last year’s holiday season fell through — but their displays have always been [...]

Technology

2005 HDTV Report, Part 2: HDTV Implementation Update

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 30 2005, 3:56pm

The original plan for DTV targeted the ending of analog broadcasting by 2007. The FCC provided each station with one additional 6 MHz channel slot so they can broadcast their current analog channel and the DTV version of it simultaneously during the transition period.

By 2007, or when 85 percent of the nation receives DTV, each broadcaster is expected to return to the FCC one of the two channels lent for the transition. That space on the spectrum would then be available for auction by the FCC.

ProgrammingHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Confused by “HDTV Experts”

By Alfred Poor • Sep 30 2005, 1:00pm

Source: “Confused? You’re Not Alone”, by Alex L. Goldfayn, Wild Blue Yonder magazine, Sep-Oct 2005, page 47-48
Quote: “They still sell TVs that are not high-definition. Don’t buy one of those, because soon, by law, all programming will be delivered in HD.”
The Truth: Well, he got the first sentence right. But from then on, it’s a [...]

Service & RepairCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - VOD: Video On Demand — The Future of HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 29 2005, 1:00pm

VOD: that stands for Video On Demand, and is part of the brave new world of “television.” Already part of many digital cable services, this service allows you to choose what you want to watch, and when you want to watch it. It’s sort of like Tivo and other video recorders, in that you can [...]

Technology

2005 HDTV Report, Part 1: CES Highlights

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 28 2005, 5:03pm

CES showed that 2005 will be the year when 1080p display started to compete. Perhaps, content and distribution will equally be motivated to reach that level of quality, such as Hi Def DVD for late 2005 / early 2006. More efficient compression algorithms like MPEG-4 AVC are making possible not only High Definition DVD, but also the expansion of HD satellite services and more HD channels, as it was recently announced by DIRECTV, Dish Network, and Voom.

Should quality be an objective (rather than multicasting DTV SD channels), the more efficient MPEG-4 compression has the potential to facilitate the distribution of 1080p content (at 60 frames x second) using a similar bandwidth allocated for today's 1080i (30 frames per second interlaced as 60 fields).

Although the ATSC standard does not include that level of quality, the potential could be applied for other services than over-the-air. New 1080p sets, if designed to accept a 1080p signal, would be in a good position to display at tha ...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Google HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 28 2005, 1:00pm

Google — the juggernaut that defined the Web search market — appears poised to expand its reach. A job posting on the company Web site seeks candidates to “identify key market trends that are shaping user behavior when watching television.” Google has already discovered ways to make lots of money pairing advertisers with Web users [...]

Marketplace

Ed's View - LDTV

By Ed Milbourn • Sep 25 2005, 7:59pm

No, that's not a typo. I mean LDTV - Low Definition Television*. So, what is LDTV, and how is it relevant to HDTV? To answer that, let's first consider an interesting development now taking place in the wireless world. Cell phone providers, flush with 3G technologies, are beginning to offer television type services to cell phones. However, to consumers, this is a very costly way to get a few minutes of very low quality video. And, to the service providers, this is also a very costly way to use valuable spectrum. A much better solution is to broadcast the video programming, adding the receiving circuitry to the cell phone.

Programming

Saturday Night Live In HDTV Starting October 1, 2005

By Dale Cripps • Sep 23 2005, 4:30pm

NEW YORK -- September 22, 2005 -- "Saturday Night Live" begins its thirty-first season October 1 and in High Definition.

The season premiere will be hosted by Steve Carell hot on the heels of his sleeper comedy "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and the return of the NBC television series "The Office." Outspoken and award-winning hip-hop artist Kanye West will join Carell as musical guest.

Programming

Program Review - Winged Migration on HDNet Movies

By Dale Cripps • Sep 22 2005, 11:50pm

"{For eighty million years, birds have ruled the skies, seas and earth. Each spring, they fly vast distances. Each Fall, they fly the same route back. This film is the result of four years following their amazing odysseys, in the northern hemisphere and then the south, species by species, flying over seas and continents."- Jacques Perrin (from "Winged Migration")

I was heading to bed when I decided to make one last check of my HDTV channels. "Wow!" I heard myself exclaim, "What is that?"

For the next hour and something I sat transfixed and cheered by one of the most beautiful HDTV presentations I have seen since the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

Marketplace

The Health of HDTV As of September 14, 2005

By Dale Cripps • Sep 14 2005, 10:22pm

The health of HDTV could hardly be better. Sales are up 45% over this time last year. Fully 11% of all displays sold in the second quarter were HDTV. Europe is now entering with lower start-up consumer and infrastructure cost than we did (though they have a tough bandwidth issue for terrestrial). Korea and Japan are booming with 3 more HD channels just licensed from Japan's BS satellite. China is gearing up to deliver 35 million HDTV sets in time for their Olympics. Both Argentina and Brazil are committed to digital television and will make their system choices by January, 2006. Zenith is showing Congress just today a $50 ATSC decoder box for low cost completion of the transition. Best of all is that the traditional enemies are nearly at peace with one another with only cable carriage as the last bone of contention. HDTV has become a world wide phenomenon with no end in sight.

Marketplace

Ed's View - HDTV at CEDIA 2005

By Ed Milbourn • Sep 11 2005, 9:38pm

This year's CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) convention and show at Indianapolis was an interesting showcase for HDTV. CEDIA is like a miniature CES (Consumer Electronics Show) with virtually all of the major industry television brands showing their latest and greatest technology to the attendees. CEDIA attendees represent the very vibrant consumer installation business. Their customers demand quality installation and products and are willing to pay the price. As a result, products shown at CEDIA represent manufacturers' highest end and most esoteric offerings. In many ways CEDIA is a precursor to the following year's CES, giving us an "advanced preview" of upcoming products.

Education

Ed's View - Three Books

By Ed Milbourn • Sep 7 2005, 10:20pm

For those interested in the history of HDTV and/or the history of television itself, I highly recommend the two books first described. For those involved in businesses related to any phase of the design and marketing of products such as HDTV, I encourage you to read the third.

EntertainmentTechnology

Ed's View - The "Film Look"

By Ed Milbourn • Aug 30 2005, 5:30pm

As HDTV becomes increasingly popular as both a production and display medium, the subjective differences between motion picture and video originations become more apparent. This is because HDTV reproduces the image more accurately than SDTV, i.e., by definition HDTV is much more "transparent" than SDTV.

The motion picture film image has significantly different qualities than images produced by video cameras. There is not one specific factor that characterizes the difference, but a litany of them. Interestingly, attempts by engineering texts to quantify and precisely define the "film look" have met with dubious success. This is little agreement as to the exact characteristics defining the film image. It is a "you know it when you see it" thing - very ephemeral. Subjective characterizations such as smooth, muted, and surreal are identified with film as compared to video characterizations such as sharp, harsh and vivid.

Technology

Ed's View - The New Kid On The Block

By Ed Milbourn • Aug 11 2005, 10:49pm

Yes, there is a new kid on the HDTV block. And it is (drum roll) -1080p. 1080p is one of those incremental improvements in HDTV to which I have been referring to in my previous articles. 1080p, of course, means 1080 horizontal lines scanned one after the other, or progressively. This is apposed to 1080i that denotes 1080 lines scanned in an interlaced fashion, with the odd number of lines scanned initially and the even number of lines then scanned and positioned, or "interlaced," between the odd lines.

So, is 1080p better than 1080i? Is it better than 720p? The answer to both of these questions is...

MarketplacePolitics & PolicyPolitics & Policy

Ed's View - The (H)DTV Transition

By Ed Milbourn • Jul 31 2005, 11:43pm

Talk about herding cats! That's an apt analogy to the task the FCC has, and continues having, in an attempt to reconcile the positions of all the various entities with a vested interest in the DTV transition - and its star, HDTV. These DTV "stakeholders" are, indeed, just like a bunch of cats - hissing, growling and pawing at each other. But this is understandable, for a lot is at stake as the most fundamental change in the history of US broadcasting takes place. So, let's take a look at the salient issues surrounding these stakeholders to get a better understanding of the various positions and their impact on the growth of HDTV.

Marketplace

Cable On Top Claims INHD

By Dale Cripps • Jul 26 2005, 7:03pm

Education

DisplaySearch HDTV Conference

By Dale Cripps • Jul 25 2005, 7:04pm

With over 300 attendees anticipated, this third annual event will provide two days of content-rich sessions, exhibits and networking opportunities, covering all segments of the TV food chain.

Global & Worldview

Digital Television Broadcasting in the Americas

By Robert Graves • Jul 8 2005, 10:58am

Already a vital part of the region's communications and information infrastructure, during the next decade the national television broadcasting systems throughout the Americas are expected to be upgraded from analog to digital technology, keeping pace with the technological advances that are reshaping all types of global telecommunications. The transition to digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting is a revolutionary change that will dramatically affect the future of free over-the-air television in the Americas. With digital technology, DTT allows each broadcaster to provide a huge wireless information pipeline into every home, delivering 20 million bits per second through each 6 MHz broadcast television channel. This capability not only enables the delivery of dramatically sharper images and CD-quality surround sound, it supports a much greater quantity and diversity of TV programs, plus a whole new array of information services, including interactive capabilities that will h ...

Technology

Ed's View - Are We Being Ripped Off? Episode 2

By Ed Milbourn • Jul 8 2005, 1:21am

Obviously, if the production qualities are unsatisfactory at the point of origination, they will not improve throughout the chain. There are multiple reasons production qualities may not be optimum. These include: camera quality, lighting, audio quality, set design, editing quality, post production elements, encoding factors, etc. When programming is produced in HDTV, even small compromises in these factors can result in a large degradation of picture quality. SDTV productions, being lower resolution, can "hide" a greater degree of production error. HDTV, on the other hand, is not near as forgiving as SDTV relative to production values. This means we can expect a much wider variation of HDTV quality from program to program.

Technology

Ed's View - Boxes

By Ed Milbourn • Jul 8 2005, 12:20am

The history of CE products is littered with the carcasses of combination designs that did nothing very well, including sell. There were some moderate successes such as the radio/phonograph combo. Perhaps the most successful was, and remains, the clock radio. It goes downhill from there.

Technology

Ed's View - Keeping Honest People Honest

By Ed Milbourn • Jun 23 2005, 12:36am

In April 1803, President Thomas Jefferson gave Meiwether Lewis (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition fame) a rather sophisticated key-based cipher table. This table was to be used to encrypt messages intended for the President in Washington if those messages would be sent via a foreign carrier, such as a foreign ship, when the expedition reached the Pacific Ocean. But, alas, the cipher table was never used as no ships came while the expedition was camped there. The point of this anecdote is that the concept of encrypted messages for security and content protection reasons is not new. In fact, language encryption has been around as long as man has been literate (about 10,000 years). It has been surmised that encoding words and speech is one of the reasons different languages developed. May be, but one thing is common with all of the various encrypting schemes through the ages - they all have been broken, no matter how sophisticated.

Technology

Ed's View - Sound

By Ed Milbourn • Jun 22 2005, 4:16pm

This is the fourth in a series of articles by renowned veteran television designer, Ed Milbourn. These articles are designed for the novice investigator of the DTV/HDTV transition.


Ed's view


SOUND

It is amazing to me how much the quality of HDTV sound production has advanced in the past couple of years. Almost all of the film based HDTV programs, i.e. most of the prime time fare, make full use of ATSC Dolby Surround sound encoding. Also, many of the live productions now include audio using all six channels of Dolby Surround. That is in addition to most movies shown in HDTV as will as on DVD's and Cable/Satellite PPV offerings.

Politics & Policy

The Politics of the Transition to DTV - Jeff Hart

By Dale Cripps • Jun 20 2005, 10:52pm

The transition to digital television (DTV) is occurring in all the major industrialized countries and in a selected number of developing nations. I will focus today on the transition in the United States as well as discuss the experience of other countries where that helps us to understand the choices available.

Here are the key policy issues in making the transition:

- subsidizing poor and elderly consumers so that the analog broadcasts can be turned off (thus freeing spectrum for other uses);

- working out the relationships between over-the-air broadcasters on one hand and cable and satellite service providers on the other via "must carry" rules in a fair and equitable manner;

- allowing consumers to purchase add-on services without being forced to purchase unnecessary equipment from service providers ("plug and play");

- protecting the intellectual property rights of content producers w ...

Education

Technology, Television, and Competition : The Politics of Digital TV

By Dale Cripps • Jun 17 2005, 4:02pm

Technology

InfoComm 2005 by Pete Putman

By Dale Cripps • Jun 15 2005, 11:51pm

Technology

Ed's View - The Best HDTV Display

By Ed Milbourn • Jun 14 2005, 4:30pm

After the meeting, we were whisked back to a room deep in the bowels of the labs by one of the developmental engineers. He said he wanted to show us what color television could do if there were virtually no technical limitations. Just before entering the room, he said, in a matter-of-fact tone, "You will never see images reproduced better than this." Well, never is a long time, but to date, he was right.

Marketplace

Ed's View - Are We Being Ripped Off?

By Ed Milbourn • Jun 11 2005, 7:18pm

So,the subject has piqued your curiosity, as it should. For, as HDTV grows, we must act as "policemen" to stem attempts to compromise quality. To be sure there are, and will be, many different quality levels due to production variances, HDTV production equipment limitations, and the effect of the production "learning curve." As production experience is gained and equipment improves, the quality will only get better. However, the question remains whether this positive production improvement curve will be, or indeed is being, compromised at the transmission end - regardless of the physical "transmission" mode - OTA broadcast, cable, DBS, etc. Probably not, but again it depends. Why?

Read all of Ed's View today...

New Products & Equipment

Ed's View - So, What Should You Buy?

By Ed Milbourn • Jun 10 2005, 8:32pm

Politics & Policy

It Is Time For A Public Debate

By Dale Cripps • Jun 3 2005, 6:46am

Entertainment

The Pirate Movie

By Dale Cripps • Jun 1 2005, 6:36pm

Marketplace

An Enormous Marketplace Success

By Dale Cripps • Jun 1 2005, 11:02am

Politics & Policy

Cable's View On The Transition

By Dale Cripps • May 27 2005, 12:07am

Programming

Program Note - Cable's INHD and INHD2 Special Concert Honoring Marines

By Dale Cripps • May 26 2005, 5:28pm

Politics & Policy

CEA's Shapiro Wants Congress To Support Deadline For Shutting Off Analog

By Dale Cripps • May 26 2005, 4:26pm

Politics & Policy

Broadcast Spectrum Hearings - The View Of Broadcasting

By Eddie Fritts • May 26 2005, 3:49pm

Education

Educate the Public by Educating the Retailers

By Dale Cripps • May 25 2005, 7:49pm

This is a call to the industry.

I am preparing a short online course with adequate testing on the subject of HDTV and DTV. The course will cover those points listed below. When passing the course the student will receive from us their graduation certificate suitable for framing and a badge they may wear at their place of employment or a pin they may attach to their own identification cards. In addition each employer who has one or more graduates will receive signage and printable material for general promotion of their acquired expertise.

Entertainment

Looking Out For Movies In The Digital Age

By Dale Cripps • May 25 2005, 2:26am

Global & Worldview

A Vision Forward With IP Still Ends On HDTV

By Dale Cripps • May 25 2005, 12:34am

Business & Investment

Future HDTV Magazine Bloggers

By Dale Cripps • May 24 2005, 2:36am

Programming

"Good Morning America" in HDTV

By Dale Cripps • May 16 2005, 2:53pm

Politics & Policy

Communications Technologies -- Path to Democracy and Self-determination

By Dale Cripps • May 16 2005, 7:58am

Politics & Policy

Who Needs Broadcasting?

By Dale Cripps • May 12 2005, 11:37pm

Arlington, Va., May 12, 2005 - Broadcasters need to stop trying to regulate other industries and instead promote free over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting to consumers if they want their industry to survive, advised Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro in remarks delivered Tuesday.

Shapiro made his comments at the Advanced Television Systems Committee's (ATSC) annual meeting held in Washington, D.C. this week. Shapiro's address came as congressional, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and industry officials debate how to define the end of the nation's transition to digital television (DTV). Legislation setting a hard cut off date for analog broadcast is widely expected to be introduced in this session of Congress.

Politics & Policy

Broadcasting's Challenge, Or Is It Too Late?

By Dale Cripps • May 12 2005, 6:43pm

To continue with our series of high wire observations I bring you this speech from CEA president Gary Shapiro given April 18th to members of the broadcast community gathered in Las Vegas for the National Association of broadcasters convention. These remarks are brought to you unedited in order that the strong influences acting on the HDTV movement become clearly seen by the general public. All of the actions being asked for, however, are more in the hands of the consumers than of those agencies and institutions being called to action. The HDTV movement, and who survives and thrives, is entirely in the hands of the public and those closest to the public--the retailers and signal providers. Without the public doing their part in this transition--acting quite like partners with the manufacturers and signal providers--the movement will take on a surreal sense and spin out of control as pushing then replaces salesmanship. There is simply too much money at stake now to have it otherwise. _Da ...

Politics & Policy

We Are Close -- Let's Bring it Home

By Dale Cripps • May 12 2005, 6:07pm

Even as CEA president Gary Shapiro was urging Congress to pass legislation for a "certain" cut off date for analog terrestrial broadcast services (thus ending broadcasting as we have known it) he offered high praise to CBS and their affiliates for their exemplary work in HDTV. His remarks were given at the annual CBS NAB Engineering breakfast where affiliate stations are brought up-to-speed on what CBS did during the last year and what the outlook is for the next. Shapiro's remarks, made in Las Vegas, are presented here unedited in order that you may understand and gain a greater sense of appreciation for the strong influences shaping this movement. _Dale Cripps


CBS Breakfast
NAB2005

Good morning!
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you all this morning. I am honored to be here today, celebrating HDTV with the network that has believed in HDTV and has backed HDTV where it counts – with HDTV content! And not just any HDTV content – compelling, original HDTV programming that has s ...

Politics & Policy

Do You Want A Date Certain?

By Dale Cripps • May 12 2005, 5:37pm

For those of you who have studied the HDTV movement the name Gary Shapiro will be familiar. He had headed the Consumer Electronics Association in Washington D.C. since the inception of the H/DTV movement. It is his big issue on his watch. Along the way he has publicly bumped heads with broadcast and cable and is doing so again with his attempts to get an uncertain date for the cut off of analog broadcasting legally fixed to a specific "date certain." He is seeking legislation that will terminate the anlog broadcast on a specific date and calculates that the pain that may come from making that date December 31, 2007 is tolerable. The following letter from Gary was sent to Congress just yesterday. It is brought to you in its entirety. With this letter and the speech to the ATSC by Eddie Fritts, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, you begin to see "behind the curtain." _Dale Cripps

Global & Worldview

Digital Television Is Our Gift To The Next Generation

By Dale Cripps • May 11 2005, 4:42pm

A few weeks ago I initiated discussions with several prominent officials in the field of H/DTV. I wanted, and still do, to assemble a set of authorities who can make comments that require no speculation as to what is being said on policy and products. We certainly don't need obfuscation now when clarity is absolutely essential. We cannot forget that we are tearing apart old institutions along with the way we have interacted with them for more than 50 years. We are replacing it all with what is still unknown--the panoply of services potential in the digital age.

Entertainment

Joe Azar's Report From Home Entertainment Show In New York

By Dale Cripps • May 3 2005, 6:57pm

Joe Azar should be everyone's neighborhood high end audio and video retailer. But there is only one of him. His Upstairs Audio was formed in 1972 and has served the discriminating tastes of thousand in and around Columbia, SC. Joe covered the New York Home Entertainment Show for us last year and again this year. The contrast was turned down on video this year.


A recently released government survey concluded that the average American sleeps 8.6 hours. Workers spend a third of the day on the job. The No. 3 activity, after sleep and work, is watching TV.

The study, based on 2003 data, found that our countrymen spend 11% of their life in front of a TV screen. To put it into perspective that is half of our leisure time -- and effectively 11% of our lives -- in front of the television. That's powerful evidence of the commanding role television plays. _Ad Age

Programming

Dish Network is adding 21 of the (formerly) VOOM channels

By Dale Cripps • May 1 2005, 4:54pm

VOOM satellite TV service from Cablevision shut down during this last weekend. The cable company will retain some of the programming.

Rainbow Media Holdings, the Cablevision programming entity, said it will keep VOOM's 21 HD Originals for distribution to cable and satellite TV providers. Cablevision also named Nora Ryan and Greg Moyer co-general managers of the VOOM 21 HD Originals.

Effective May 1st, DISH Network has expanded its high-def package by adding 10 original VOOM HD networks RUSH HD, Gallery HD, Rave HD, Ultra HD, Equator HD, Monsters HD, Animania HD, Majestic HD, HD News and Guy TV HD, the company said. The remaining 11 will be added next year.

New Products & Equipment

Quality Is The Only Purpose

By Dale Cripps • May 1 2005, 5:17am

Quality is the infectious and addictive thing which digital brings to terrestrial broadcasting and all television services that engage HDTV. Low quality digital has already brought us multiple low-quality channels (by way of cable and DBS) to all but a few. This opportunity with HDTV is one time in our nation's history when high-quality can be accepted and delivered to the masses. Never before has a studio creation been so completely deliverable to the home as it is today. A new standard of living, many believe (and me among them) is being given birth through HDTV.

Technology

HDTV Magazine's TIPS LIST Daily

By Dale Cripps • Apr 28 2005, 4:12pm

One of the services offered by HDTV Magazine is an email forum called the TIPS List. The list is populated by 1200 of the most savvy consumers of HDTV products and services you will ever find. It is the first place on the Internet where one hears of change in the services offered by the HDTV industry and, more importantly, the perceptions people have regarding those services.

Politics & Policy

Ridding the Nation of DTV Fables

By Dale Cripps • Apr 27 2005, 8:25pm

Under any scenario conceivable there will not be a successful termination of analog services as long as there are any with a dependancy upon those signals for local news (or even entertainment). If someone is deluded enough to insist that it does happen I want the pitchfork concession Washington. Nothing riles up the public more than the loss of their TV services. The industry is repleat with stories of outages where the wrath of god decended upon the service provider until things were restored. One cable company had been testing a new channel in preparation for placing one of the music services on it. To test the video an engineer pointed a camera on a fish tank and sent the signal down that newly created channel to the subscribers. The images of fish swiming around on your television set went on for several weeks. The day the music channel replaced the fish tank caused a meltdown of the cable company's customer service department as outraged viewers demanded that they get their fish ...

Politics & Policy

Making of a Date Certain

By Dale Cripps • Apr 25 2005, 1:43pm

The High Tech DTV Coalition, a group formed to speed the pace of the broadcast industry's switch to digital TV, has scheduled a news conference on April 27 in Washington. The group wants a "rapid completion" of the DTV transition to free up spectrum for important wireless broadband and public safety services." Members of the coalition include Alcatel, Aloha Partners, AT&T, Dell, Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, T-Mobile, the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, Business Software Alliance, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Rural Telecommunications Group and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association.

Technology

The Internet and Making a Profit

By Dale Cripps • Apr 22 2005, 7:51pm

Politics & Policy

Is the Public Interest to be Found?

By Dale Cripps • Apr 22 2005, 3:57am

At least two organizations have filed petitions with the FCC asking the agency to reconsider its decision that cable operators don't have to carry broadcasters' multiple digital programs. NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts told reporters at NAB2005 that the request to the FCC is part of a strategy that includes seeking legislation to require multicast must-carry. Meanwhile, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) has also filed with the FCC a petition for further reconsideration of the ruling. MMTC is the principal advocate for ownership diversity in the country, representing 54 national organizations to the FCC.

Technology

The End of Broadcasting as we Have Known it?

By Dale Cripps • Apr 22 2005, 1:44am

It is abundantly clear that a wideband Internet is in our collective global future. There will be bandwidth to transport all that we have today and then some. The following article from TV Business Confidential cites a new report which unflinchingly declares the end of the present Network business model. Some hope is held out to those networks who can beat back the blight of fragmentation by being "multi-dimensional, highly adaptive, and customer focused." What the hell does that mean?

Politics & Policy

Consumer Electronics Association Urges Broadcasters to Take Responsibility

By Dale Cripps • Apr 20 2005, 1:59am

Las Vegas, Nev., April 19, 2005 - The broadcast industry should stop pushing for regulations on other industries, "remove its shackles" and market the value of its digital service to consumers, said Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro. Shapiro shared his views on the digital television (DTV) transition and the broadcast industry in a speech delivered yesterday during NAB2005, the annual convention produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Broadcasters face significant challenges in the digital age - challenges they have refused to tackle and opportunities they have refused to embrace," stated Shapiro. "But these challenges are not insurmountable. Indeed, those who play these changes to their advantage will succeed in the digital age.

Global & Worldview

News from China -- A New Respect?

By Dale Cripps • Apr 20 2005, 1:21am

HDMI Licensing LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface(TM) (HDMI(TM)) Specification, today announced at the Shanghai Information Household Appliances Trade Association's (SIAA's) 2005 HDMI and Copy Protection Technology Seminar that more than 200 companies worldwide have become HDMI Adopters, in addition to the seven HDMI Founders. HDMI has quickly emerged as the standard for connecting high-definition television (HDTV). By delivering crystal-clear, all-digital audio and video quality via a single cable, HDMI dramatically simplifies cabling and helps provide consumers with the highest-quality home theater experience.

Marketplace

New Sales Figures Just Released

By Dale Cripps • Apr 16 2005, 6:43pm

With both celebration and caution the February DTV sales figures were released on April 15th, 2005. While the numbers for February were worthy a glass of champagne a new downward revision in the sales forecast for 2005 from the Consumer Electronic Association sounded a new and cautionary note. The revised numbers, while still handsome, are less so than the original projections. No one can say the numbers are anything but still encouraging. HDTV remains the fastest growing sector in consumer electronics. The cautionary note arises from the challenges that lay ahead for the DTV transition (more accurately stated as the HDTV component of the DTV transition). "Why?" you ask. "Things are looking so positive?"

Politics & Policy

On Completing the Transition and Recovering Spectrum

By Dale Cripps • Mar 18 2005, 3:41pm

The most hotly contested DTV topioc in Washington today is over the shut-off date for the analog spectrum.

The arguments for and against a "date certain" cut off are uppermost though not far behind is the approach using the 85% rule.

The most compelling argument for a "date certain" (2006 still most favored) is that it focuses the mind like nothing else can. The 85% rule is in and of itself not clear. Many take it to mean that when 85% of the TV households in a market can decode any digital signal the rule is satisfied. Others say that it should be satisfied only when 85% of the households can decode a digital over-the-air broadcast. Under either circumstance the life of an old analog receiver is extended while spectrum can b e returned to the FCC for auction.

Marketplace

Limping Or Leaping?

By Dale Cripps • Mar 11 2005, 4:17pm

Arlington, Va., March 10, 2005 - Three million Digital Cable Ready (DCR) sets will be sold factory-to-dealer in 2005, building on the installed base of more than one million sold last year, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today. CEA also repeated its call for all industries to help promote digital television (DTV) and educate consumers about the transition.

"The DTV transition is booming with more than 16 million DTV units sold since introduction," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "But while consumer education remains key to the successful completion of the transition, a few key educational efforts are completely missing. For instance, it's a no-brainer that broadcasters should be promoting DTV on their analog channels. Unbelievably, they are not. And cable - the industry that by law must create a competitive retail market for cable equipment - must join in promoting Digital Cable Ready sets and the requisite CableCARD. Beyond that, the CableCARD must be m ...

Technology

HDTV's Chief Competion is 480p

By Dale Cripps • Mar 10 2005, 10:01pm

It seems impossible to me that something as promising as VOOM would register so much difficulty with their High-definition centric launch. There are 12 million HDTV sets already sold and less than one third have any HDTV signal providing connections. The VOOM proposition is profitable to its operators with only 250,000 subscribers. Considering that they do offer the greater promise for HDTV, if you discount Rupert Murdoch's claim to have 150 "cable" like channels in HDTV delivered from DirecTV by year's end. But anyone with half a mind will tell you that there is not enough HDTV formatted programming in the can yet to accom0date so many channels. So, if you can receive VOOM, and you have your HDTV set's collecting standard TV signals, why not venture out there with VOOM? They can reach the threshold of profitability rather rapidly and then you have at least one more dedicated source for new HDTV programming when it becomes available. If DirecTV and DISH find that the digital sets being ...

Education

Welcome To The HDTV Blog

By Dale Cripps • Feb 28 2005, 12:38am