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PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #406: Predictions for 2010

By The HT Guys • Dec 31 2009, 8:22pm

Each year we try to look into the future and predict the state of the industry. The last few years we have been about 30% accurate but that doesn't stop us from trying. With technology moving so fast its difficult to know where its going to end up in just one year but its still fun to try!

LCD HDTVsBusiness & InvestmentLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LCD HDTVs: Speed Hertz

By Alfred Poor • Dec 31 2009, 1:00pm

The LCD HDTV business is highly competitive, and profit margins are razor thin for the manufacturers. They keep looking for ways to increase margins with new features, but the competition rapidly beats back any attempts at getting more money for differentiation. A case in point is the efforts to reduce blurring of moving images on [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DIRECTV HD and Movie Choices to Get a Lift With Successful Satellite Launch

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 30 2009, 4:27pm

As the DIRECTV 12 satellite soars into space following its successful launch today, DIRECTV customers will soon see a stellar lineup of new HD channels and movie choices.

When the satellite begins operations in the early second quarter of next year, it will be among a fleet of five powerful, HD satellites delivering an unprecedented array of programming and other services to households across America.

The new satellite will boost DIRECTV's HD capacity by 50 percent, to more than...

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Itsy Bitsy HDTV Spider

By Alfred Poor • Dec 30 2009, 1:00pm

My friend and touch-screen technology expert Geoff Walker sent me a link to an interesting site. Price Spider scours the Web for prices on popular product categories such as HDTVs. It then can present you with a list of sites and their prices for a specific product. Nothing special so far. But the site also [...]

Cable HDTVSports

HDTV Almanac - Fox vs. Time Warner

By Alfred Poor • Dec 29 2009, 1:00pm

I’m an unabashed fan of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. Once again, the final game of the season is against the Dallas Cowboys, and the outcome will have a major impact on the playoffs leading to the SuperBowl. And the way things are headed, Time Warner cable subscribers may not get to see the [...]

Plasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Prices Holding Steady

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2009, 1:00pm

If Santa didn’t put a flat screen in your stocking, you don’t need to cry or pout, as the good prices on LCD and plasma HDTVs seem to be hanging around like the extra pounds gained from holiday cheer. I’ve checked a couple price watch sites, and conducted my own unscientific scan of a stack [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #405: Listener Q & A

By The HT Guys • Dec 25 2009, 2:25pm

Merry Christmas to all and to all another HDTV Podcast episode. May your tree be full of gifts to help you enjoy HDTV and Home Theater even more this coming year and may your stocking overflow with great gadgets.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Happy Holidays!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 25 2009, 1:00pm

As you read this, I may be curled up with a cup of cocoa and a grandchild in my lap. It’s a safe bet that I won’t be at my computer, however. I wrote this holiday greeting beforehand and set it on autopilot to be delivered to you today.
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that [...]

BroadcastEntertainment

HDTV Almanac - Broadcast Battle

By Alfred Poor • Dec 24 2009, 1:00pm

You can’t see them. You can’t hear them. You can’t touch them. Yet they are responsible for an enormous amount of our communication and entertainment. Most people would use the general term “radio waves” to refer to that part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than visible light, but these are also used for [...]

3D HDTVPC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - Avatar Is Box Office Boffo!

By Alfred Poor • Dec 23 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve mentioned several times that I view James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” as a key factor in determining the fate of 3DTV in the home. It could help launch stereoscopic technology as a central part of the maintstream media, or it could leave the effect in the pile of “gimmicks” used to attract audiences.
It’s still too [...]

OLED HDTVsSportsLCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LG Gets Super Skinny

By Alfred Poor • Dec 22 2009, 1:00pm

One of the reasons everyone wants OLED TVs is because they can be so incredibly thin. But LCD panels are getting remarkably thin in spite of the need for a bright backlight to make them work. High brightness LEDs arranged along the edge of the panel with complex light guides do a great job of [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor to Launch the HDBaseT™ Cross-Industry Alliance

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 21 2009, 7:20pm

LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor announced today that they intend to launch a cross-industry alliance to promote and standardize the HDBaseT™ technology for whole-home distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content.

The HDBaseT Alliance will...

Mobile HDTVService & RepairHTPCs & LaptopsProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Milennials Want Mobile TV

By Alfred Poor • Dec 21 2009, 1:00pm

A research report by Magid Media Labs released earlier this month by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) shows that consumers are interested in receiving television programming on their cell phones and other mobile devices. The cosumers who have particularly strong interest in this type of service are the 18 to 29 year old “Milennials”.
Two [...]

3D HDTV

Disney's Toy Story 3 to be Released in IMAX(R) 3D on June 18, 2010

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 19 2009, 1:43am

IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures today announced that Toy Story 3, the third installment of the blockbuster hit franchise Toy Story, will be released to IMAX(R) 3D theatres simultaneously with its wide release on June 18, 2010. Toy Story 3 will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of...

Programming

HDTV Almanac - Almost Silent Night?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 18 2009, 1:00pm

Don’t we all just live for those moments? Your favorite show or movie has a tender, emotional scene, the screen fades to black, and then you get blasted out of your chair by “HEADON!! Apply directly to the forehead!“. The jarring differences between the volume levels of the programming content and advertisements has been a [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #404: 2009 Prediction Results

By The HT Guys • Dec 18 2009, 7:41am

Each year we try to predict what will happen in our industry and each year we usually miss the mark. On today's show we take a look back at our predictions for 2009.

Blu-ray3D HDTV

Blu-ray Disc Association Announces Final 3D Specification

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 18 2009, 2:40am

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced the finalization and release of the “Blu-ray 3DTM” specification. The specification, which represents the work of the leading Hollywood studios and consumer electronic and computer manufacturers, will enable the home entertainment industry to bring the 3D experience into consumers’ living rooms on Blu-ray Disc, the most capable high definition home entertainment platform.

The “Blu-ray 3D” specification fully leverages...

PC & Laptop TechnologyHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Almanac - The Ultimate Living Room PC

By Alfred Poor • Dec 17 2009, 1:00pm

Yes, we have a computer in our living room. It’s a big, old-fashioned tower case with a powerful CPU and big hard drive inside, sitting on the floor next to the TV stand. It’s not particularly lovely, but it gets the job done. Still, I think I could do better, at least until I visit [...]

Technology

NXP Announces Support for 21:9 Cinema-like Display

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 16 2009, 6:01pm

NXP Semiconductors today announced that its TV550 platform now offers direct support for 21:9 panels running at 60 Hz. NXP will be showing HD movies on a 21:9 display panel at the upcoming 2010 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA in January. The demo will show different use cases that are possible with the TV550, such as full screen “true size” movies. In addition, the demo will show how interactive Internet applications such as widgets, newsfeeds, weather and Video on Demand can run in the remaining screen space, alongside a high-definition 16:9 image.

The NXP TV550 is a...

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - LG Aims at 3D

By Alfred Poor • Dec 16 2009, 1:00pm

Look out, Panasonic and Sony, you’ve got another player walking onto the court. And LG is a force to be reckoned with. According to a report in Reuters, the company is drawing a bead on the emerging 3DTV market. LG has stated that it intends to sell 400,000 3DTVs in 2010, then skyrocketing to 3.4 [...]

3D HDTV

Ed's View - HD 3DTV: The Tasks Ahead

By Ed Milbourn • Dec 15 2009, 4:52pm

In spite of the aggressive marketing aspirations of a few major television industry giants, namely Sony and Panasonic, there are essentially three fundamental tasks remaining before HD 3DTV can become a viable adjunct to the spectrum of consumer electronic products...

Service & RepairDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - On the Skids, or Just Skidding on the Turn?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 15 2009, 1:00pm

Multichannel News ran an intriguing story on Monday about TiVo. Apparently, the television digital video recording (DVR) service has suffered a loss of subscribers from 3.5 million a year ago to 2.7 million now. In an industry where you have to grow to move forward, these look like pretty crushing numbers. According to the article, [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

AT&T U-verse TV Lineup Expands to Include Five New HD Channels

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 15 2009, 4:42am

AT&T today announced several additions to the AT&T U-verse(SM) TV channel lineup, including five new High Definition (HD) channels and new international programming channels for Filipino and Cantonese viewers.

With the latest additions, AT&T U-verse has launched more than 60 channels this year, including 30 HD channels. The U-verse HD channel lineup now offers more than 115 HD channels, which continues to exceed the HD channels offered by the major local cable providers in every U-verse TV market.

U-verse TV HD customers now have access to...

Environment / GreenPolitics & Policy

Green Nonsense

By Terry Paullin • Dec 14 2009, 4:46pm

We did it again! Yup, my very own State of California has once again been the first to ring the Stupid-Bell in an attempt to lead the Nation into yet another set of ill-advised legislations destined to cost its population jobs, cash and freedom of choice.

Undoubtedly you have read about our most recent embarrassment, the enactment into law of “Standards” that will require most flat panel televisions sold in the State to be 33% “more efficient” by 2011 and 50% more-so by 2013.

Consider for a moment...

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Countdown to 3D

By Alfred Poor • Dec 14 2009, 1:00pm

I don’t think the movie industry has ever invested so much hope (and hype) on a Friday that wasn’t the 13th as they are this week. And since the television industry is inseparably entwined with the movie industry, Friday December 19, 2009 may turn out to be as seminal an event for the living room [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVHD DVDDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Wireless HD Standard Approved

By Alfred Poor • Dec 11 2009, 1:00pm

The Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) group announced the release of the WHDI specification earlier this week. This is designed to let HDTV equipment makers create wireless connections between devices, up to 100 feet apart and through walls. It relies on a 40 MHz channel in the 5 GHz unlicensed band, rated at less [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #403: Last Minute Shopping Guide 2009

By The HT Guys • Dec 11 2009, 6:22am

You know we're always looking out for you, so we've decided to revisit the last minute shopping guide we assembled last year. We know you've been busy, and so have we, but if you screw up on the gift you get for special someone in your life, you'll be paying for it for a long, long time. We do recognize that procrastination could be strategic, you need to make sure you get the absolute perfect gift, so we aren't trying to judge here. Whatever the reason, if you still need a gift, we have some tips for you.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - A Little Horn Blowing

By Alfred Poor • Dec 10 2009, 1:00pm

I don’t usually take up space here talking about me, but I came across an interesting development and ask for your patience as I toot a little on my own horn today.
Tekrati is a Web site that tracks blogs, and within that, the site maintains a list of analyst blogs. A site called The Customer [...]

Internet HD VideoBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Provides Needle-Finder

By Alfred Poor • Dec 9 2009, 1:00pm

It should come as no surprise by now that I love Hulu. I probably watch as many shows on it as I do on broadcast television, now that I have a computer hooked up to my big screen. But one of the problems I’ve had is finding the shows that I want to watch. Discovering [...]

BroadcastDigital (DTV) TransitionMobile HDTVPolitics & Policy

The End of High Definition Broadcasting

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Dec 8 2009, 11:15pm

It is not a nightmare. You have read it correctly.

According to recent reports, the FCC's broadband plan mandated by Congress is due next February and although the consideration of freeing spectrum for commercial use is not final, the FCC is requesting information from the industry to evaluate the current and future utilization of broadcast airwaves.

The idea is...

New Products & Equipment

2010 International Consumers Electronics Show (CES) - New York Press Preview

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Dec 8 2009, 5:22pm

This event by the Consumers Electronics Association was held on November 10 in New York City to show to the press a preview of the new products and planned events that will take place at the 2010 International CES in Las Vegas on January 7- 10, 2010.

Steve Koenig, CEA’s Director of Industry Analysis, and Shawn DuBravac, CFA, CEA’s Chief Economist and Director of Research disclosed their analysis of the holiday outlook for consumer electronics sales and technology trends for CES 2010, introduced some new hot products, and announced the best of Innovation Honorees, mentioned in a link below. Several exhibitors with tabletop displays introduced new products in advance of their official debuts at the actual CES in January.

The expectation for the holidays is...

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LED LCD TVs: Gaining Ground

By Alfred Poor • Dec 8 2009, 1:00pm

The industry analyst firm DisplayBank has released a presentation that gives an overview of the flat panel display industry, with some special emphasis on LCD HDTVs with LED backlights. This is the segment of the market that some manufacturers have chosen to call “LED TVs”, which is a term that many people find misleading.
LED backlights [...]

3D HDTVBlu-ray

AMD Advances 3D Entertainment: Demonstrates Blu-ray Stereoscopic 3D Playback at 2010 International CES

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 8 2009, 1:45am

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that it will demonstrate the forthcoming Blu-ray stereoscopic 3D standard at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, showcasing how consumers will soon get to enjoy high-fidelity 3D entertainment once reserved only for theaters.

* A new way to enjoy Blu-ray entertainment: Expected to hit store shelves in...

HTPCs & Laptops

CEDIA 2009 Review: PC Home Theater Integration

By Richard Fisher • Dec 7 2009, 5:25pm

Still to this day, the PC world lacks the ability to fully integrate into a home media or theater system. Touching on all the ifs, ands and buts over the last 8 years would add a lot of length but it would add up to some feature or service not being available on a PC making a universal PC solution for all users impossible.

With the release of Windows 7...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - You Want It When?!?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 7 2009, 1:00pm

The Internet changes everything, or so they say. Look up information and it’s delivered to your screen at the speed of light. (Okay, maybe not that fast, but a lot faster than if you had to drive to the library.) But the Internet geeks still haven’t figured out how to deliver physical stuff over broadband. [...]

Environment / GreenLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LED Backlights Gaining

By Alfred Poor • Dec 4 2009, 1:00pm

One detail that came up in the dust-up over the California Energy Commission’s new requirements that limit the energy consumption of flat panel TVs is that some existing models already meet the more stringent 2013 limits. And according to DisplaySearch, all but one of these low-power HDTVs were LCDs with LED backlights.
LEDs are more efficient [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #402: RedEye Remote Control and HTiB Buying Guide 2009

By The HT Guys • Dec 4 2009, 7:16am

Typically we are not big fans of Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) systems. Its not because the electronics are not good. In most cases the electronics are decent middle of the road components. The area we feel HTIB systems break are the speakers. When you consider that the manufacturer needs to bundle 7 speakers in a system that goes for $500 how good can the speakers be? With that said, we understand that not everyone has a big budget and that a HTIB system is better than nothing. We recommend four systems that have decent to good electronics and these components will sound even better one day when you upgrade the speakers. All but one of these systems feature electronics that you can keep for years.

Sports

Sony and FIFA Announce the World's First 3D FIFA World Cup(TM)

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 4 2009, 4:27am

Sony Corporation and FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) today announced an agreement for selected media rights of the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) in 3D. FIFA is to produce the world's first FIFA World Cup(TM) in 3D. Up to 25 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa(TM) matches will be produced using Sony's 3D professional cameras, which will provide coverage of the action that is unprecedented in depth, vividness and excitement to people around the world.

FIFA will utilize Sony's...

New Products & Equipment

CEDIA 2009 Review: Mitsubishi

By Richard Fisher • Dec 3 2009, 5:31pm

While I had no intention of providing reports on manufacturers, the direction Mitsubishi has taken with rear projection and some design changes ended up a highlight for me.

They had their laser-driven rear projection DLP, marketed as LaserVue, at the show providing the only 3D demo of the active LCD shutter system for Mitsubishi (there were three demos from others at the convention). Oddly enough there was not any promotion of this new laser light driven technology which left me wondering why they were going through the trouble. I did press a representative over what Mitsubishi hopes to accomplish with this technology and...

Cable HDTVHTPCs & LaptopsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Gets NBC

By Alfred Poor • Dec 3 2009, 1:00pm

Comcast announced this morning that its deal with General Electric to buy NBC is going through, pending regulatory approval. For $6.5 billion, Comcast will get a controlling 51% interest in the media empire that includes the NBC television network, Telemundo, a handful of other cable channels, and the Universal Studios movie business. Oh, and they [...]

Events & TradeshowsInternet HD Video

CEDIA 2009 Review: Whole House Automation

By Richard Fisher • Dec 2 2009, 5:27pm

If the product in your home accepts a remote command, has an RS232 serial interface or access to the internet, there are numerous products out there for whatever you want to control from a central or remote location. Think big and out of the box; if the current product in your home lacks a particular feature, there is likely another you can buy that doesn’t!

Speakercraft had a press conference on the March 2010 release of the Nirv system. They claim to...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Black Friday: I Was Wrong

By Alfred Poor • Dec 2 2009, 1:00pm

If you don’t want to be wrong, ever, just don’t make predictions. A new press release from the market analyst iSupply states that on Black Friday, retailers dropped the prices for LCD HDTVs by a whopping 22%. That’s not the price drop from last year, folks; it’s the drop from the week before. Okay, here’s [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Boeing Ships High-Definition Broadcasting Satellite DIRECTV 12 to Launch Site

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 2 2009, 4:16am

DirecTV 12Boeing announced today that DIRECTV 12 was shipped Nov. 25 from Boeing's satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch facility in Kazakhstan. Upon arrival, the satellite will undergo final preparations for a December launch aboard an International Launch Services Proton/Breeze M rocket.

DIRECTV 12 is the 11th satellite Boeing has built for the nation's No. 1 satellite TV service, enabling DIRECTV to...

Environment / Green

CEDIA 2009 Review: LCD Gets Greener, Along with a Facelift

By Richard Fisher • Dec 1 2009, 5:56pm

The change in LCD display cabinet finishes along with the new LED lighting system was the game changing highlight of the show for me!

Regardless of manufacturer or backlighting technology, it appeared all LCDs displays received a facelift in the form of a new shiny glass-like screen throwing out the anti-glare screens of the past. It’s some form of Plexiglas along with an added optical coating to improve contrast and naturally it works quite well. Gone are the days of SSE (Silk Screen Effect) that we have been seeing on micro-display rear projection and LCD flat panels. My first newbie question upon my first arrival at a manufacturer’s booth was...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - We Have Our HDTVs! (Well, Almost Half)

By Alfred Poor • Dec 1 2009, 1:00pm

A new report by Leichtman Research Group indicates that nearly half of U.S. households have at least one HDTV. The 46% level of HDTV penetration is roughly double what it was two years ago. The fact that prices have fallen more than 20% a year for the past two years doesn’t hurt either.
According to the [...]

Marketplace

Black Friday Sales Strong, According to CEA

By Shane Sturgeon • Dec 1 2009, 3:33am

Strong November sales continued into Black Friday weekend as consumers took advantage of an early start to the holiday shopping season and many holiday weekend specials at retailers, according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®.

This weekend’s shopping patterns proved...

Internet HD Video

CEDIA 2009 Review: Multimedia Directly To Your Display

By Richard Fisher • Nov 30 2009, 5:30pm

This is one area that has trickled its way down to regular folks and CEDIA was chock-full of products that provide it, along with whole-house automation to run it. What was different was the expansion of more new ways to view, listen, stream and capture content directly at the display. Samsung and others are including...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Gaming Redbox

By Alfred Poor • Nov 30 2009, 1:00pm

If you don’t know about Redbox, you probably should. They have more than 17,500 kiosks that look like bright red soda vending machines, except they deliver DVDs instead of soft drinks. A rental costs $1 per night, and you can return it to any kiosk — not just the one where you rented it — [...]

Technology

CEDIA 2009 Review: More Motion Flow Processing

By Richard Fisher • Nov 30 2009, 3:55am

Motion flow processing has played a huge role in the marketing of LCD product, turning what used to be negative into an unnecessary marketing positive. At first it was 120 Hz processing and now the big hype is 240 Hz processing; bigger numbers infer better. The common misperception is that motion flow processing is all about compensating for LCD pixel speed when actually the main purpose is to remove the potentially objectionable strobe effect of 30 and 24 frame content that appears most strongly with high contrast displays, like an LCD. All displays suffer from this artifact to some degree with contrast ratio playing the greatest role. For a deeper understanding...

Blu-rayDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - We Want Our HDTVs!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 27 2009, 1:32pm

Market researcher InStat has released the results of its survey on holiday shopper’s plans for consumer electronics purchases this year, and the interesting news is that high definition products take the first and fourth positions on the top five product category list:
? HDTVs
? Notebook PCs
? Digital cameras
? Blu-ray players
? Desktop PCs
One interesting point is [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #401: What we’re thankful for ‘09

By The HT Guys • Nov 27 2009, 6:41am

Thanksgiving is a time to, well, to give thanks. So that's what we're going to do; give thanks for everything we have in our lives. The things we're most thankful for: our families, our health, our friends, and our wonderful listeners, don't make good topics for a show about HDTV and Home Theater. So as is tradition over the last five Thanksgivings, on today's show we give you our list of consumer electronics things we are thankful for.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Happy Thanksgiving!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 26 2009, 1:00pm

I’m not here today. I’m skipping breakfast and working out and trying to make a personal commitment to refrain from second helpings this afternoon, in hopes that I can manage to keep the scales from finding a new all-time high on Friday morning.
However you plan to spend the day, I hope it provides you with [...]

Technology

High Definition Content Distribution in the US (Part 3) - Pre-recorded HD Media Distribution, and Conclusion

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 25 2009, 5:35pm

Several formats were introduced over the past few years to distribute pre-recorded HD content. Some of those are already discontinued; others were introduced at trade shows in the US (such as the Consumer Electronics Show, CES) but were implemented only overseas.


D-VHS

Pre-recorded HD content was available in the form of digital D-VHS videotapes before Blu-ray was established. The tapes were...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Grows Again

By Alfred Poor • Nov 25 2009, 1:00pm

An article in Advertising Age reports that the latest Video Metrix results from comScore show that Hulu traffic jumped by 47% in October, mirroring a similar gain last year. The article attributes the gains to the advent of shows for the new fall season on the major networks: NBC, ABC, and Fox.
The reported figures show [...]

Technology

High Definition Content Distribution in the US (Part 2) - The Quality Factors of HDTV Content Distribution

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 24 2009, 5:31pm

High quality HDTV can be broadcasted using the 6 MHz channel-slot of one analog NTSC channel, but with over 9 times its resolution quality. The NTSC image is made of 480ix450 viewable picture elements per video frame composed of two interlaced fields and delivered at a rate of 60 fields (30 frames) per second.

Most HD broadcast compressed with MPEG-2 is transmitted as interlaced 1080i with 2 million+ pixels per video frame (1080x1920 pixels), each frame is composed of two interlaced 540-line fields delivered at the rate of 60 fields per second (30 frames).

Some HD broadcasts use...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - TV Guide For NeTVs

By Alfred Poor • Nov 24 2009, 1:00pm

Rovi announced yesterday that it has a TV Guide widget for the Yahoo! Widget Engine platform that is now available on select Samsung HDTV models. The utility provides listiings of programs on 28 of the most popular networks. The widget shows what’s on now, as well as what’s on next. The selections are also listed [...]

Technology

High Definition Content Distribution in the US (Part 1) - The Market for HD Content and Distribution Services

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 23 2009, 5:27pm

This series of three articles analyzes the current and future market for HD, the methods of distribution and the capabilities of the digital technology to distribute HD content to meet consumer expectations. This technology must also support other quantity oriented businesses and services that can potentially degrade the original HD vision and affect those that invested in HDTV equipment under the reasonable expectation of viewing uncompromised HD quality, not just digital. This is a dilemma of quantity vs. quality when DTV permits the implementation of both, sharing the same bandwidth.

HD content is defined in this article as...

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - No-Battery Remote

By Alfred Poor • Nov 23 2009, 1:00pm

It’s a small problem, to be sure. A pair of penlight batteries in a typical TV remote control will last for years. But when you add up the millions of TVs (and DVD players and set top boxes and other devices that use remotes), that means an enormous number of batteries still end up in [...]

Environment / Green

3M Launches Consumer Awareness Campaign on TV Energy Consumption

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 21 2009, 1:33am

3M’S Optical Systems Division today announced that it has launched a consumer awareness campaign in an effort to raise awareness of household TV energy consumption and what to consider when purchasing an energy efficient TV. Specifically, the company is hoping to provide valuable information to consumers through the media to educate the public about energy efficient TVs and the issues surrounding TV power consumption in the home.

As TV sizes get larger and consumers watch more television, energy consumption in these household fixtures has increased dramatically. In fact...

Service & Repair

HDTV TLC: Mounting Your HDTV Over the Fireplace

By Richard Fisher • Nov 21 2009, 12:00am

Ah, flat screen TV … just what so many were waiting for to put on the wall, mostly inspired by Hollywood and television programs over the decades. Yep, putting that flat screen on your wall is the Buck Rogers thing to do for so many of us. What most people don’t know is that by doing so you have made yourself responsible for additional services and charges if the product fails.

All service programs...

Deals & DiscountsCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Silly Season in Full Swing

By Alfred Poor • Nov 20 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, if you want the coolest bargains on HDTVs, you probably will have to spend all your time just tracking the deals. In addition to the sales circulars and online specials posted at the retailers’ Web sites, you can also check out the various Black Friday sites or monitor the year-’round bargain aggregators such as [...]

Blu-rayDeals & DiscountsPlasmaPlasma HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #400: Black Friday Preview

By The HT Guys • Nov 20 2009, 7:16am

On today's show we will discuss the expected Black Friday deals we can all look forward to on the day after Thanksgiving. Last year the cheapest Blu Ray player was $128 and a 50 inch 720p plasma was going for $900. This year the cheapest Blu Ray player comes in at $78 and you can pick up a 50 inch 1080p plasma with a Blu Ray player for $1000. There are so many deals out there we can't talk about all of them. We selected a few we thought were mentioning so that you can plan out your Black Friday strategy.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Who Needs Content Protection?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 19 2009, 10:55pm

The subject of “content protection” continues to be a complicated issue. While some firmly think that one should be able to legally make a copy of lawfully acquired content, if such content is protected to avoid exactly that and the protection is circumvented to perform such copy, how can that action be right when it is actually violating the right of the content creator?

The content production industry needs...

Environment / GreenCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - California Choose Stick Over Carrot

By Alfred Poor • Nov 19 2009, 1:00pm

Yesterday, the California Energy Commission (CEC) made it official, and unanimously adopted new energy requirements for televisions sold in the state. It sets electricity consumption limits for sets up to 58″ diagonal. The first level takes effect January 2011, at which time one source indicates a 42″ must not consumer more than 183 watts. In [...]

Politics & Policy

Consumer Electronics Association Reacts to California Energy Commission TV Energy Use Mandates

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 18 2009, 11:00pm

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today issued the following statement regarding a decision by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to impose unprecedented and unnecessary energy efficiency standards on television sets sold in California. The following statement may be attributed to Jason Oxman, CEA’s senior vice president of Industry Affairs.

“CEA is extremely disappointed in the CEC’s decision to regulate...

Cable HDTVBlu-ray

HDTV Almanac - New Lamps for Old!

By Alfred Poor • Nov 18 2009, 1:00pm

An evil sorcerer tricked Aladdin’s wife into giving him the magic lamp by offer to swap new lamps for old. It’s no trick this time around, however, as Warner Brothers has launched a campaign that lets you trade in your old WB DVDs in exchange for the same titles in Blu-ray format. They have set [...]

Internet HD Video

Netflix Members Can Now Instantly Watch Movies and TV Episodes Streamed to Sony Networked Bravia TVs and Blu-ray Disc Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 18 2009, 2:50am

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced that Netflix members can now instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix directly to TVs via Sony BRAVIA Internet Video-capable HDTVs, previous BRAVIA models compatible with Sony's BRAVIA Internet video link module and the Sony Network Blu-ray Disc Player.

The Sony BRAVIA TVs now available...

Environment / GreenPlasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - 3M Promotes Energy Star for HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Nov 17 2009, 1:00pm

The HDTV world is flat and turning green. Plasma and LCD panels dominate, and now manufacturers are fighting over who can make the most environmentally-friendly televisions (since there are relatively few other meaningful differences among their features). And one of the key focal points for these efforts is to use less power. The good news [...]

New Products & Equipment

NuVision Unveils Two LUCIDIUM FX5 120HZ Ultimate Performance LCD HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 17 2009, 4:13am

NuVision© U.S. Inc., the leading manufacturer of ultimate-performance 1080p Deep Black LCD HDTV's has announced the introduction of two new models for the consumer LCD TV market–the Lucidium NVU32FX5 (32-inch) and NVU37FX5 (37-inch). The 32-inch version is also available in a limited edition version (NVU32FX5P) featuring an elegant pink frame. Both 32” and 37” models are the company’s first smaller format sets to utilize NuVision’s powerful FX5 120Hz video processing, which eliminates the need for corrective mathematical algorithms when viewing 24 frame 1080p content by displaying each film frame five times on the display, creating an effective rate of 120 frames per second.

Both new CCFL backlit Lucidium FX5 models incorporate...

Service & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Bugged, But It Could Be Good

By Alfred Poor • Nov 16 2009, 1:00pm

My entry last Friday about advertising on television shows streamed over the Web hit a few nerves over on HDTV Magazine where the Almanac is republished every day. It generated a long string of comments that covered a wide range of issues, from how much people pay for television service in their homes, to how [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - How Much Can You Stand?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 13 2009, 1:00pm

I watch Hulu. Do you? If you do, you know that most shows are interrupted several times for advertisements. These typically run 15 to 30 seconds, and aren’t long enough to get to the kitchen for a snack; you’ll have to put the show on pause before making a raid on the refrigerator.
Content providers worry [...]

Cable HDTVHD DVD

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #399: Receiver Buying Guide 2009

By The HT Guys • Nov 13 2009, 7:05am

The HT Guys buying guides have become an annual tradition, and something that we really look forward to putting together. Last week we covered TVs, this week we'll do A/V Receivers. We'll break them down into price categories, just like last year, $500 or less, between $500 and $1000, and greater than $1000. It's become commonplace for receivers to support Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, so we'll be looking for other features to distinguish each unit this time around.

HD DVDBlu-rayDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - More on DVD Killers

By Alfred Poor • Nov 12 2009, 1:00pm

On Monday, I wrote about the evidence that the DVD market is fading (and taking Blu-ray’s hopes with it). So of course, I immediately found one more bit of evidence that adds more weight to the conclusion.

NCR and MOD Systems announced on Monday that they were launching a new line of digital movie kiosks that [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Wrong-Way Corrigan Works for Sony?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 11 2009, 1:00pm

“Wrong-Way” Corrigan made history by flying across the Atlantic when he was supposed to fly coast to coast across the U.S. (History indicates that it was a case of “accidently on purpose” because he couldn’t get clearance for the trans-oceanic flight.) But his spirit apparently lives on at Sony.
I’m the first to agree that an [...]

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Is 3DTV in the Cloud?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 10 2009, 1:00pm

Friend and colleague Jon Peddie is one of the leading analysts and experts in the area of graphics processing and related display concepts. In his blog yesterday, he mused about the role of cloud computing in various applications. He pointed out that lots of server farms have idle CPU cycles, and just as we rely [...]

Blu-rayCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Where Are the DVDs?

By Alfred Poor • Nov 9 2009, 1:00pm

So you think DVDs are doing just fine, and that Blu-ray is getting poised to be the high definition replacement for them in due time. Well, here are some news items that might cause you to think again.
Best Buy and Sonic Solutions announced last week that they are forming a partnership to promote the Roxio [...]

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Walmart Joins Early Sales Trend

By Alfred Poor • Nov 6 2009, 1:00pm

Early Black Friday sales are popping up all over, and Walmart is holding a one-day in-store sale tomorrow, Saturday November 7, starting at 8 AM. Quantities are limited, and you can’t buy more than two of some items, but here are some of the items that might get your attention. The 46″ 1080p plasma HDTV [...]

Deals & DiscountsPC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #398: HDTV Buying Guide 2009

By The HT Guys • Nov 6 2009, 6:51am

It's time for our annual HDTV buying guide. Just like last year, we're listing them by size instead of technology. Prices have dropped quite a bit in just 12 months, and there are some really exciting deals available right now. This year the prices for tier one manufacturers are even more affordable. Without further ado, here is the list for 2009.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Looks Like Last Year

By Alfred Poor • Nov 5 2009, 1:00pm

Last month, the NPD Group came out with the results of their annual survey of consumers, trying to find out what their holiday shopping plans are. And the results look very familiar. 11% of those polled indicated that they intend to spend more than they did last year, which is the same number as last [...]

Service & RepairMobile HDTVProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Go with the Flo

By Alfred Poor • Nov 4 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve mentioned Qualcomm’s Flo TV before, but now you have a new way that you can get television programming as you go about your daily routine. Chrysler announced last week that it will be offering this mobile TV service as an option in most of its cars, starting next month. For $629 (plus dealer installation [...]

Programming

DIRECTV Partners With HDNet and HDNet Movies to Offer On Demand Programming

By Shane Sturgeon • Nov 4 2009, 11:00am

HDNetHDNet, the independent network delivering all of its programming in true high definition, announced today a deal in which DIRECTV, the nation's No. 1 satellite service, now offers more than 20 hours of HD programming from HDNet, and more than 25 movies from its sister network HDNet Movies, on a video on demand basis every month.

DIRECTV HD customers will be able to...

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Close to Buying NBC

By Alfred Poor • Nov 3 2009, 1:00pm

It seems a little like a gasoline company buying General Motors, but it looks like the rumors about Comcast wanting to buy NBC Universal have some fire behind the smoke. In an article published Sunday by the New York Times, General Electric may be on the verge of reaching a deal with Comcast. According to [...]

Broadcast

HDTV Almanac - DIY Big Antenna

By Alfred Poor • Nov 2 2009, 1:00pm

I still get TV broadcasts over the air, but I’m not happy with the antenna I’ve got in one of our buildings. So I’ve been poking around the Web lately, looking at ideas for a do-it-yourself TV antenna. And then I found a site that has plans for a monster, designed for fringe reception. I [...]

3D HDTVInternet HD VideoMobile HDTV

HD World Conference in NY - 3D, IP Online Video, and Mobile DTV

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 30 2009, 7:10pm

The HD World Conference closed its doors this past Thursday October 15, 2009 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in NY. It was a two day event dedicated to HD, from content creation to production, editing, and distribution.

One of my objectives for this conference was to update my coverage of Mobile DTV and IPTV, and to also discuss the technical details of 3D as it is being implemented for the home. I engaged in several discussions regarding the production and the distribution stages of 3D, with emphasis on the issues that affect the quality of the final viewing by consumers.

I also covered...

LED (LCD) HDTVsService & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Fall Back — Bah, Humbug!

By Alfred Poor • Oct 30 2009, 1:00pm

And now for a public service announcement: Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour on Saturday night (unless you live in one of those areas that does not observe Daylight Savings Time).
And now for my semi-annual rant: Why should I have to reset the clock on anything? It seems that I have more [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #397: Logitech Squeezebox Radio Review

By The HT Guys • Oct 30 2009, 6:19am

On Episode 386 we got into the details of Ara's whole house music system based around Airport Express and iTunes. Braden has a whole house audio system based on Logitech Squeezebox devices and their Squeezbox Server software. Logitech let us play with a new Squeezebox Radio. It's pretty cool.

Internet HD Video

Apple Introduces Apple TV 3.0 Software With Redesigned User Interface

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 29 2009, 7:38pm

Apple® today introduced new Apple TV® 3.0 software featuring a redesigned main menu that makes navigating your favorite content simpler and faster, and makes enjoying the largest selection of on-demand HD movie rentals and purchases, HD TV shows, music and podcasts from the iTunes® Store even better on your TV. You can now enjoy iTunes Extras and iTunes LP in stunning fullscreen with your Apple TV, as well as listen to Genius Mixes and Internet radio through your home theater system. The new Apple TV software is available immediately free of charge to existing Apple TV owners, and Apple TV with 160GB capacity is available for just $229.

The redesigned main menu on Apple TV gives you...

High Definition ProductionProgrammingHD DVD

Among HDTV Viewers, Daily Viewing of High-Definition Programming Increases 65% in Just Two Years

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 29 2009, 4:38pm

A new Knowledge Networks recontact study of persons ages 13 to 54, released as part of How People Use® HDTV 2009, shows that high-definition TV (HDTV) viewers are now 65% more likely to say they watch HD programming daily, compared to their viewing habits two years ago.

In 2009, Knowledge Networks recontacted high definition viewers from...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

KVH Unveils Breakthrough Marine HDTV Antenna with Simultaneous Tracking of Three Satellites

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 29 2009, 1:21pm

There's a new definition for satellite television at sea and it's called the TracVision® HD7 from KVH Industries (NASDAQ:KVHI) . Unveiled today at the 2009 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, the TracVision HD7 is a breakthrough in maritime satellite TV design, offering boaters a DIRECTV® high-definition TV experience exactly like they enjoy at home thanks to simultaneous reception of two DIRECTV Ka-band satellites and one Ku-band satellite.

The 24-inch diameter TracVision HD7 is the world's...

Deals & Discounts

HDTV Almanac - Sears: Eating Their Young?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 29 2009, 1:00pm

Hmmm, it’s still October but the Black Friday madness has started already. Sears has decided to start a “Black Friday Now” campaign that offers “doorbuster” deals every Saturday from now until Christmas. The offers will be available from 7 AM to noon each Saturday, but in honor of Halloween this week the doorbusters will be [...]

TechnologyHigh Definition Production

Texas Instruments announces new low power IP camera reference design providing H.264 main profile 1080p at 30 frames per second and 30% performance boost

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 29 2009, 1:00pm

Texas InstrumentsTexas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) today announced a new Internet Protocol (IP) camera reference design that provides low power, high definition (HD) video processing for the video surveillance market. The DM368IPNC-MT5 IP camera reference design with H.264 main profile 1080p at 30 frames per second (fps) offers industry-leading compression in a full HD solution, with the complete camera utilizing only three Watts. Based on a new DaVinci(TM) video processor, the IP camera reference design provides 30 percent more host processing performance over the previous generation. This overall performance boost allows the camera to support 720p at 60 fps for multiple video formats including H.264 and MPEG-4, as well as MJPEG at five Megapixels (MP) at 15 fps. It also supports multi-streaming video proce ...

3D HDTV

Panasonic to Show Full HD 3D Home Theater, Expanded tru2way(R) Solutions at Cable-Tec Expo 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 29 2009, 11:01am

Panasonic will demonstrate prototype Full HD 1080p 3D televisions and will exhibit an expanded range of tru2way solutions, including tru2way-based broadband cable set-top boxes and its tru2way-intergrated consumer VIERA HDTVs at this year's Cable-Tec Expo® -- the cable industry's engineering show of the year -- beginning today through October 30 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

In addition to the Panasonic booth (#14053), the company's presence will be supplemented by a Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater-equipped tractor trailer exhibit from its nationwide 3D tour fleet to demonstrate 3D for show goers. The Full HD 3D system, which will reach the market next year, utilizes...

3D HDTV

Ed's View - 3DTV: The Cart Before the Horse

By Ed Milbourn • Oct 28 2009, 10:45pm

Here again, the US consumer electronics industry as well as broadcasters find themselves and their consumers in a technical/marketing quandary because of lack of foresight, planning and just plain incompetence. This time it may really hurt. It didn't take any genius to foresee the possibilities of in-home 3D years ago, particularly in light of the economic success of digital 3D movies over the past three years. Since movies derive more than 55% (and climbing) of their revenues from in-home distribution channels (disc, VOD, PPV etc.), it doesn't take much prescience to predict 3DTV possibilities. Did the salient organizations react? Yes. Being unencumbered by the thought process, their reaction was something like a bunch of night drunks during a bar raid.

A couple of years ago a few manufactures started marketing "3D ready" rear projection units with no particular performance standards or technology in mind. Then about a year and a half ago...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Motorola Unveils New All-Digital, High-Definition Set-Top for Cable Operators

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 28 2009, 2:00pm

Expanding on Motorola, Inc.'s industry-leading set-top portfolio, Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business today introduced the addition of the DCX700 all-digital, high-definition (HD) set-top to the DCX product line. This new low-profile design will help cable operators' successful migration to an all-digital network while accelerating the delivery of personal media experiences and multi-room-DVR (MR-DVR) capabilities.

The Motorola DCX700's small, streamlined profile allows for a space-saving wall-mounted installation. It is a cost-effective set-top with a single 1 GHz tuner that supports both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC services. The all-digital DCX700 also includes...

Blu-ray

JVC Announces Popularly-Priced Blu-ray Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 28 2009, 1:20pm

JVC XV-BP11 Blu-ray PlayerJVC today announced the availability of a new entry-level Blu-ray player. The new JVC XV-BP11 is a truly versatile high definition player, offering playback of high definition Blu-ray discs, plus playback of the AVCHD format, the high definition format widely used for HD camcorders, including the JVC HD Everio line.

JVC XV-BP11 Features...

Internet HD VideoSatellite HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - How Much Would You Pay for Hulu?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 28 2009, 1:00pm

Sky’s offer of satellite service over the Internet for United Kingdom customers is an interesting step, but it raises a major question: How long can streaming video on demand sites remain free? I’m talking about Hulu, which reportedly attracts more than 40 million viewers these days, but the same question applies to Joost and other [...]

New Products & Equipment

Samsung HDTV Monitors Eliminate Line Between Work Productivity and HD Entertainment

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 28 2009, 3:34am

Samsung 933HD+ and 2333HDSamsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, the number one worldwide brand of LCD display products, today announced the debut of its entertainment-centric monitors, the 933HD+ and 2333HD. At an estimated street price of $249.99 and $329.99, respectively, both monitors produce picture perfect HD quality in a sleek design and are now available from Samsung resellers and retailers.

The 19-inch 933HD+ and 23-inch 2333HD have all the benefits of a compact television including...

Education

Long Island Doctor Shows First '4K' Ultra-High Definition Surgery

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 27 2009, 5:22pm

Doctors at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine got a glimpse into the future of women's health with the presentation of endoscopic gynecologic surgery performed for the first time using "4K" technology.

Steven F. Palter, MD, an obstetrician, gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist performed the world's first 4K super high-definition (HD) ...

Internet HD Video

Roku Introduces New $79 Instant Streaming Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 27 2009, 2:26pm

RokuRoku, Inc., maker of the popular and award-winning Roku player, announced today for immediate availability two new models. The new Roku SD and Roku HD-XR expand the product lineup to three models. Now customers have a variety of features and price points ($79.99, $99.99, $129.99) to fit their needs. All players continue to deliver instant entertainment from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Video On Demand and MLB.TV. With today's announcement, customers can now purchase a Roku player for as little as $79.99 at www.roku.com or www.amazon.com. For a limited time, customers purchasing through either Roku or Amazon will receive free shipping, making it even more affordable to get started with a Roku.

The Roku SD player connects to the ...

Blu-rayHD DVDGamingPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - No Blu-ray for XBox

By Alfred Poor • Oct 27 2009, 1:00pm

According to a Digital Trends report, a Microsoft spokesperson has stated that there are no plans to build an XBox version with a Blu-ray player in place of the current standard definition DVD drive. Microsoft was a backer of the ill-fated HD DVD technology, but now that even Toshiba has started shipping a Blu-ray player, [...]

Entertainment

Hollywood Theaters to Install Sony 4K Digital Cinema Projectors Across Its Circuit

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 26 2009, 5:28pm

Hollywood Theaters is installing Sony Electronics' 4K digital cinema technology across its circuit. The Portland, Ore.-based exhibitor will begin its digital conversion by equipping 13 of its U.S. locations (167 screens) with Sony® projectors over the next few months.

The 4K roll-out will also include...

Satellite HDTVService & RepairHTPCs & LaptopsProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Satellite Without the Dish

By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2009, 1:00pm

Got Windows 7? Want satellite TV service? Don’t want to hang a dish on your house? Well, if you live in the United Kingdom and your version of Windows 7 includes Media Center, you’re all set. You can subscribe to the Sky satellite service and get all your programming content sent to you over the [...]

Blu-rayGamingInternet HD Video

Coming Soon: Netflix Members Can Instantly Watch Movies and TV Episodes Streamed to TVs Via the PlayStation(R)3 Computer Entertainment System

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 26 2009, 12:30pm

Netflix-PS3Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced that they are joining forces to make thousands of movies and TV episodes from Netflix available to be streamed instantly to TVs via the PlayStation®3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system. Netflix expects to begin streaming via the PS3 system...

Broadcast

CEA Files Comments Urging the FCC to Evaluate and Protect Our Nations's Valuable Spectrum

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 24 2009, 1:06am

Today, in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® urged the FCC to initiate immediate action to assess spectrum usage and determine how additional spectrum can be allocated for wireless broadband and other uses.

CEA worked with...

LED (LCD) HDTVsDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - NBA Knicks Get Courtside LED TVs — Really

By Alfred Poor • Oct 23 2009, 1:00pm

While 10 NBA teams now use DLP rear-projection modules from ANC Sports Enterprises as courtside displays, the New York Knicks are the first to use the company’s new LED modules. Built by Mitsubishi, the panels are thinner and have better viewing angles than the bulkier DLP models.
Note that these are true LED displays, where individual [...]

Cable HDTVHD DVD

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #396: HD Fury 2 and Home Automation with Insteon

By The HT Guys • Oct 23 2009, 6:37am

As Daylight Savings time draws to a close those of us with lights on a timer need to do our bi-annual ritual of readjusting the settings so lights are on when it gets dark. This year Ara decided that he wanted to look into home automation so his lighting could be set once. He decided to go with an Insteon System starter package that included two lamp controllers, one appliance controller, a computer interface, access points for the mesh network, a remote control, and software.

New Products & Equipment

Alfred Poor's Video Report - Epson Artisan 810 All-In-One Printer

By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2009, 3:50pm

This Alfred Poor's Video Report is a company-sponsored report on the Epson Artisan 810 All-In-One Printer, which can print, copy, scan, and send and receive faxes. Optimized for photos, it also does a great job at printing at scanning. A wireless connection makes it easy to share.

Wireless HDMI/HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - New Wireless HDTV Option

By Alfred Poor • Oct 22 2009, 1:00pm

You’ve got your beautiful, big, flat screen television hanging on the wall. Now how do you get the signal to it? You can buy an expensive HDMI cable to cover a long run, or you can spend a lot more to get a professional to run wires through your floor, wall, or ceiling. Now there’s [...]

New Products & Equipment

Alfred Poor's Video Report - Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2009, 3:56pm

This Alfred Poor's Video Report is a company-sponsored report on the Western Digital WD TV Live HD Player, which can play video, music, and photos on your HDTV without a computer. A network connection lets you access local, network, and Internet content.

New Products & Equipment

SANYO Releases New Two-Lamp Projector With Innovative QuaDrive(TM) Optical Engine for Improved Color Reproduction

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 21 2009, 2:28pm

Sanyo PLC-XF1000SANYO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD and DLP projectors, announces the release of a new two-lamp projector, the PLC-XF1000, which features the exclusive QuaDrive(TM) optical engine for exceptional color reproduction for brighter capacities, 12,000 lumens brightness, 4000:1 contrast ratio, and the proprietary Active Maintenance Filter (AMF) for increased reliability.

The high brightness, two-lamp PLC-XF1000 projector is the second SANYO model to be equipped with...

Programming

Starz Entertainment Announces Five More Channels Going Hi-Def

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 21 2009, 2:09pm

StarzStarz Entertainment revealed plans to launch five additional high definition (HD) channels, adding to its suite of premium, commercial-free offerings. Anticipated to launch in phases in early-mid 2010, Starz In Black HD and Starz Cinema HD will round out the complete Starz channel lineup in HD. Additionally, IndiePlex HD and RetroPlex HD will debut, as well as a West Coast feed of the flagship Encore HD channel and bring Starz Entertainment's total HD channels and feeds to eleven.

Specifically, upon launch of the five new HD channels, Starz Entertainment will offer...

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

Philips Sets Flat-Panel TVs Free with U.S. Launch of Wireless HDTV Link

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 21 2009, 1:57pm

Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG, AEX: PHI) today confirmed U.S. retail availability for its much-anticipated Wireless HDTV Link (SWW1800/27) that uses innovative technology to wirelessly deliver superior high-definition TV picture quality (up to 1080p) without ruining the aesthetics of the home. Unsightly wires are a digital burden of the past with the Philips Wireless HDTV Link which replaces the cables that connect the HD cable set-top box, HD satellite receiver, Blu-ray player and gaming console to a HDTV.

Just in time for holiday gift-buying, Philips Wireless HDTV Link is currently available for...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Consumers Still Buying HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Oct 21 2009, 1:00pm

A new survey by market research firm NPD indicates that one out of four U.S. households intends to buy a new TV within the next six months. Size and high resolution were the most important factors, according to the survey.
For those planning to buy a new set, the average size for the intended purchase is [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Taiwan Power Outage Cools Corning

By Alfred Poor • Oct 20 2009, 1:00pm

In September, it was an earthquake in Japan that shut down one of Corning’s glass factories. Last weekend, the gremlins struck again, this time at the company’s Central Taiwan Science Park plant. A power outage caused an unspecified number of the plant’s glass melting tanks to shut down, possibly damaging them in the process.
The outage [...]

Internet HD Video

Best Buy and Netflix Announce Partnership to Instantly Stream Movies Over the Internet Via Latest Models of Insignia Blu-ray Disc Players

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 20 2009, 12:46pm

Insignia, a Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) exclusive brand, and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced the availability of two new Insignia Blu-ray Disc Players that enable Netflix members to instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix over the Internet to their televisions.

The new Insignia Advanced Series Blu-ray Player (NS-WBRDVD) and the Insignia Connected Blu-ray Player (NS-BRDVD3) are now on sale for...

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionProgramming

HDTV Almanac - ATSC Approves Mobile TV Standard

By Alfred Poor • Oct 19 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, the ATSC approved a standard for mobile digital television broadcasting. “Mobile DTV” will give consumers access to free programming on a variety of mobile devices. Already, 70 broadcasters in 29 markets have annonuced plans to roll out Mobile DTV this year. Manufacturers including LG Electronics will ship a Mobile DTV device early in [...]

High Definition Production

NewTek Unveils Miniature Live TV High Definition Production Vehicle on Cross-Country Tour

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 16 2009, 9:30pm

NewTek MINI Cooper HD live production vehicleNewTek Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, announced the NewTek TriCasts™ America Tour, sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc. and TodoCast™. From October 27 through November 17, 2009, NewTek is traveling cross-country in one of the world's first, and smallest, live TV high definition (HD) production vehicles showcasing the...

Broadcast

With Standard Adopted, Broadcasters Poised to Bring Mobile DTV to American Consumers

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 16 2009, 9:18pm

The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), a voluntary association of more than 800 broadcast stations, today announced it is "All Systems Go" for a new era of television service on mobile devices. With Thursday's adoption of a final mobile digital television (Mobile DTV) broadcast standard by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), U.S. broadcasters are poised to roll out an array of digital program services that will be available to consumers on devices ranging from in-car screens to portable DVD players and mobile phones.

OMVC today demonstrated the services enabled by the new standard during a Mobile DTV briefing for government officials and...

Service & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Samsung Adds Amazon On Demand

By Alfred Poor • Oct 16 2009, 1:00pm

As of last Wednesday, owners of Samsung Series 650 and 7000 flat panel HDTVs can take advantage of Amazon’s Video on Demand service. Amazon offers more than 50,000 commercial-free movies and television episodes — many of which are available in HD – that you can either purchase or rent for download. You can use a [...]

HD Video ProductionHigh Definition ProductionHTPCs & LaptopsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #395: brite-View CinemaTube and Philips Prestigo SRU8008

By The HT Guys • Oct 16 2009, 6:06am

We'll admit it, there are other companies that make remote controls. We decided to try one this week. The Prestigo 8008 is a cool remote with a color screen, but how does it stack up to the entry level Harmony 510? Excellent question.

And we had a chance this week to take a look at the CinemaTube from brite-View. It's a network media player that supports full 1080p/60 video and Dolby Digital and DTS audio, so it's right up our alley. After all, who wants to stream video if you can't get it in high def?

HD Video ProductionHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Another Tiny HD Video Camera

By Alfred Poor • Oct 15 2009, 1:00pm

On Tuesday, JVC announced a new pocket camera with 8 megapixel resolution for still shots (3,264 by 2,448 pixels). Oh, and by the way, it also takes 1080p video at 30 frames per second (FPS). It does 720p at 60 fps. Oh, and it does all this for a list price of $199.95.

The camera is [...]

Internet HD Video

Samsung and Blockbuster Roll Out Blockbuster On Demand(R) Services Starting Today

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 15 2009, 3:08am

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, and Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE:BBI) (NYSE:BBI.B) , a global leader in entertainment, today announced the immediate availability of Blockbuster's vast and growing library of premium digital entertainment for rent or purchase on select 2009 Samsung HDTVs, Blu-ray Players and Blu-ray integrated Home Theater Systems.

Specific models featuring the new BLOCKBUSTER On Demand service include...

High Definition Production

Telairity BE8500 Hot-Switchable HD/SD H.264 Encoder Introduced at HD World

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 15 2009, 3:05am

The Telairity BE8500, a versatile H.264/AVC video encoder capable of hot-switching between a high-definition (HD) or standard-definition (SD) video source, was introduced today by Telairity, Inc. at HD World. The exhibition is being held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center today and tomorrow, October 14-15. Telairity is exhibiting in Booth #1248.

The newest model in the Telairity family of H.264 encoders, the 1-RU BE8500 enables users to encode...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Flip Video Introduces Next Generation Flip MinoHD

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 15 2009, 2:54am

The maker of the acclaimed Flip Video(TM) family of camcorders -- recently acquired by Cisco® -- today announced the second generation of its popular Flip MinoHD(TM) line. The premium Flip MinoHD offers consumers an easy and stylish way to capture and share high-definition (HD) video with a sleek new design, up to two hours of recording time, and a large high-resolution screen. Also introduced today was the latest version of the pre-loaded FlipShare(TM) software which now offers consumers direct video uploads to Facebook(TM).

The all-new Flip MinoHD camcorder offers...

OLED HDTVsPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Giant OLED Screen at CEATEC

By Alfred Poor • Oct 14 2009, 1:00pm

Techon reported last week about a technology demonstration by Mitsubishi Electric. At the annual CEATEC show in Japan, the company showed an OLED display that was 155″ diagonal: nearly 13 feet diagonal. That’s one big screen!
Actually, it was really 720 little screens. Each tile was about 5″ diagonal, with 16 by 16 pixel resolution. The [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Be CALM: House Bill Passes Sub-Committee

By Alfred Poor • Oct 13 2009, 1:00pm

The closing scene of your favorite TV drama ends with a quiet emotional moment between the protagonist and the love interest. Fade to black. Cue the pickup truck ad with the blaring soundtrack. Cue the viewers diving frantically for their remotes, trying to turn down the volume.
Some sets have automatic volume control, which can help [...]

BroadcastMobile HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - TV in Your Pocket

By Alfred Poor • Oct 12 2009, 1:00pm

FLO TV announced the FLO TV Personal Television last week, a $249 pocket device that receives streaming television content over the air. Instead of using terrestrial broadcast television stations, it uses its own network of transmitters. Until now, FLO TV has been available on select AT&T and Verizon mobile phones, but the Personal Television is [...]

Fiber/IPTV HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Fiber for Your HDMI

By Alfred Poor • Oct 9 2009, 1:00pm

How big is your living room? Probably not too big for Gefen’s DVI-1600HD. This professional level device is overkill for most residential installations, but it does let you run an HDMI connection farther than you normally can. How does up to two kilometers sound? The system relies on four strands of optic fiber cable. If [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsHD DVDHD Video Production4K (Ultra HD)

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #394: Zune HD

By The HT Guys • Oct 9 2009, 6:34am

All of us have a need to take our content on the road for one reason or another. There are plenty of devices that can do that for you. Anything from an iPod or a laptop to a portable media center. You can choose the ultra portability of an iPod but you'll give up video quality. If you want HD quality you can use a laptop or portable media center but those are a bit bigger and more difficult to drag around with you. Today we are taking a look at the ZuneHD. With the Zune you can have ultra portability and HD video quality in one nice looking package.

New Products & Equipment

Samsung's Latest Ultra-Slim LED Monitor Offers HD Quality Picture

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 8 2009, 6:10pm

Samsung XL2370Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, the number one worldwide brand of LCD display products, today announced the debut of its premium LED monitor, the SyncMaster XL2370. At an estimated street price of $299, the XL2370 produces picture perfect, HD quality in a sleek, aerodynamic design. It will be available at Best Buy starting October 12 and through distribution and retailers in late November.

Whether you're watching a Blu-Ray movie or video clips online, the XL2370's LED edge-lit backlight performs at...

HDTV Displays

Portable TV and the Haier HLT717

By Richard Fisher • Oct 8 2009, 4:39pm

This story actually starts with a DVD Audio player! DVD Audio is a defunct HD audio format from 2001 (along with SACD) that brings the master recording to your home. Unfortunately the DVD forum and mastering houses failed in execution of this new standard making many of the titles auto play for multi-channel only, not stereo; an irritating premise for a 2 channel audiophile minimalist requiring a video monitor to navigate the menus to the stereo tracks. Indeed, DVD Audio listening time was few and far between due to this hassle.

What my DVD Audio world needed was an inexpensive, small LCD display with quick and convenient disconnects...

New Products & Equipment

Panasonic Launches New Full High Definition Home Theater Projector

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 8 2009, 4:15pm

Panasonic Projector Systems Company, Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, today announced the debut of its newest LCD home theater projector with 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) native resolution: the PT-AE4000U. Designed for savvy home theater enthusiasts and audio video professionals who desire an immersive home entertainment viewing experience, the new projector delivers 1080p images with remarkable detail and clarity with 1,600 lumen brightness and 100,000:1 contrast ratio.

The new PT-AE4000U is...

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Can One-Eyed People Watch 3DTV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 8 2009, 1:00pm

The whole topic of 3DTV has been getting a lot of coverage lately (and I’m happy to see that my market research report for GigaOM Pro has been part of that). I have been on a lot of sites with discussions and comments on the topic, but one question in particular has stuck with me. [...]

New Products & Equipment

Sony Delivers New Touch-Screen HD PC/TV

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 8 2009, 12:36pm

Sony today unveiled its new touch-enabled, multi-media machine -- the VAIO® L Touch HD PC/TV.

With the VAIO L Series' multi-touch screen, easy access to your PC, HDTV, DVR -- your entire entertainment hub -- is readily at your fingertips.

Equipped with a 24-inch (diagonal) WUXGA (1920x1080) widescreen panel, the unit displays high-definition content in Full HD resolution.

Select models feature a Blu-ray Disc(TM) optical drive so you can enjoy high-definition movies. A rewritable BD drive...

Blu-ray

Samsung Announces Its First Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Drive With BD-R and BD-ROM Read Speed of 8X

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 8 2009, 1:27am

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in digital consumer electronics and information technology, has launched its first internal Blu-ray disc COMBO, the SH-B083. The Samsung Blu-ray disc (BD) drive is available with large capacities of up to 25GB for a single layer disc and 50GB for a double layer disc for use in PCs. Building upon the company's ODD leadership, the new Blu-ray drive reads BD-R and BD-ROMs at up to 8x speeds. The COMBO drive also reads CDs at up to 40x and DVDs at up to 16x.

With Samsung's fast dual layer jumping algorithm, the new SH-B083 COMBO drive features an average access speed of...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

The DIRECTV High Definition DVR - Year Three

By Doug Brott • Oct 8 2009, 1:05am

It's hard to believe how long it has been since the first HR20-700 hit the streets. Three years after the introduction of DIRECTV's flagship receiver in August 2006, it continues to improve. Even though there hasn't been a new receiver since the HR23 was released last year, DIRECTV continues steady development of the HD DVR platform by adding new features. One such highly anticipated feature...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Eutelsat Breaks the Barrier of 100 HDTV Channels!

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 7 2009, 5:33pm

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today announced that it has broken through the barrier of 100 High-Definition TV channels broadcasting through its video satellites. The 100th channel to take to the skies was Sky Sport 1HD, the flagship channel of the latest HD package from the SKY Italia pay-TV platform.

Commenting on passing the landmark of 100 HD channels, Eutelsat's Commercial Director Olivier Millies-Lacroix said...

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - A Dangerous Game

By Alfred Poor • Oct 7 2009, 1:00pm

In doing some other research, I stumbled across the following article :
Forrester Research Predicts HDTV Will Fail
While digital television offers a variety of ways for TV manufacturers, broadcasters, and cable operators to make money, high-definition television (HDTV) doesn’t. A new Report from Forrester Research, Inc. predicts that standard definition digital television (SDTV) will succeed where [...]

3D HDTV

3M Enhances 3D Display Capabilities for Handheld Displays with 3D Optical Film

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 7 2009, 3:19am

3M's Optical Systems Division today announced that 3M has developed a new, field sequential 3D optical film for handheld devices-enabling true auto stereoscopic 3D viewing on mobile phones, gaming and other handheld devices without the need for glasses.

The company's 3D optical film can...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DIRECTV Has Launched Altitude in HD 24/7

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 7 2009, 2:42am

Following its recent announcement that all Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets games this year will be available in high-definition (HD), Altitude Sports & Entertainment has launched Altitude programming in full-time HD on DIRECTV, and is now available in 5.1-channel surround sound. DIRECTV is currently the only satellite TV provider to offer Altitude in HD on a 24/7 basis.

In addition to...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DIRECTV HD Customers Now Have Access to Popular Interactive Weather Features and On-Demand Content from The Weather Channel HD

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 7 2009, 2:28am

After its successful launch on the standard-definition version of The Weather Channel less than a year ago, DIRECTV's interactive weather applications, including "Local on Demand" and "Local on the 8's" have generated close to 1 billion total household impressions. Now, these same interactive features will be available on the crystal-clear feed of The Weather Channel HD(R) (TWC HD). As an additional benefit, customers can now access TWC VOD content 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week from the DIRECTV on DEMAND platform at the click of a button on their remote control.

The popular interactive weather services include...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Cisco to Buy Tandberg: Why You Should Care

By Alfred Poor • Oct 6 2009, 1:00pm

Yes, this sounds like a totally IT story: connectivity giant Cisco has a deal pending to buy TANDBERG for about $3 billion. Aside from dealing with numbers that are incomprehensible compared with the typical consumer’s mortgage or rent payment, what’s the point of bringing it up here?
TANDBERG is a videoconferencing company, and Cisco has been [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

SiBEAM's Second Generation Chipsets Accelerate WirelessHD Market Adoption

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 6 2009, 12:11am

SiBEAM, the leading innovator of 60GHz wireless solutions and developer of high-speed wireless communication platforms, today unveiled its second generation 60GHz chipsets based on the WirelessHD® specification at CEATEC Japan. Following the success and widespread adoption of its award-winning first generation high performance WirelessHD chipsets, this latest achievement keeps the company in the industry lead as the only option for high quality lossless 1080p Full HD video in the world. Major technical breakthroughs in the new chipsets also serve to boost and simplify CE manufacturer accessibility and WirelessHD product development.

The second generation consists of...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DISH Network(R) Announces Free Preview of CBS College Sports Network

By Shane Sturgeon • Oct 5 2009, 6:36pm

DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), today announced a free preview of CBS College Sports Network from Wednesday, Oct. 7 through Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009.

DISH Network is making the channel available to all customers in celebration of CBS College Sports Network's Armed Forces Appreciation Week. The week of special programming saluting our nation's armed forces and service academy football teams includes a triple header of...

3D HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Do You Want 3D TV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 5 2009, 1:00pm

In-Stat recently published the results of a consumer survey designed to measure attitudes about 3D television in the home. The survey found that 64% were at least somewhat interested, and one out of four overall were either “very” or “extremely” interested. That’s a high level of interest for a new technology, and demonstrates that there [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sharp Fires Up Gen 10 LCD Plant

By Alfred Poor • Oct 2 2009, 1:00pm

As has been widely reported, Sharp started production at its new Gen 10 LCD panel manufacturing plant in Japan this week. I wrote about their plans to build this plant two years ago when it was first announced, and now it is finally ready to start production.
The glass sheets used to make the panels [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #393: Harmony 700 Universal Remote

By The HT Guys • Oct 2 2009, 6:29am

Not content with what the HT Guys have declared the best universal remote on the market, Logitech continues to put out new Harmony Universal Remotes. Of the two most recent models on the market, the Harmony 700 and the Harmony 900, we've had a chance to look at the 700. It is the less expensive of the two, and can be found in retail stores and online for an MSRP of $150 US.

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Will You Have to Tip Your HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Oct 1 2009, 1:00pm

According to some sources, circulation at 24 of the nation’s top 25 newspapers is down significantly. In this age of the instant Internet, delivering news when you want and on the topics you want to know about, and with Craig’s List offering free classified ads in every state, it’s not surprising that newpaper subscriptions are [...]

Satellite HDTVCable HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Who Will Pay for TV?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 30 2009, 1:00pm

This is a recurring theme for me, which will be familiar to Almanac readers; if everyone is skipping the commercials, who will pay for TV? The subscription fees you pay for cable or satellite do pay something back to the content producers, but without advertising, the major networks can’t get enough money to pay for [...]

Internet HD Video

Akamai Unveils the Akamai HD Network

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 30 2009, 3:12am

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering video, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced the Akamai HD Network, its next generation video delivery offering and the first platform to deliver HD video online to viewers using Adobe Flash technology, Microsoft Silverlight, and to the iPhone, at broadcast-level audience scale. The Akamai HD Network is the only solution that supports live and on-demand HD streaming with a highly-personalized and interactive online experience that matches and complements HD television.

As a first-of-its-kind streaming platform, the Akamai HD Network is designed...

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: Best Buy Explains “LED TV”

By Alfred Poor • Sep 29 2009, 1:00pm

Most of the Truth Patrol tips are sent in by readers, but this is one that I found myself, thanks to a lead from TWICE eNews Daily. They published a link to a YouTube video that was apparently created by Best Buy to train its staff about the Samsung “LED TVs“. As I and many [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - A Remote Rant

By Alfred Poor • Sep 28 2009, 1:00pm

The title doesn’t mean that I intend to phone it in today. No, instead I want to take a moment to complain — okay, maybe even whine – about remote controls. To quote Chef of South Park, most remotes have “more features than the Space Shuttle.” I’ve got one with 50 buttons. 50! And most [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - HD in a Cell Phone?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 25 2009, 1:00pm

It was bound to happen. Cell phone designers have been putting multi-megapixel cameras in their phones, so why not use them to capture video as well? With all those pixels, what the heck; let’s make them HD video clips! And that’s exactly what Sprint is offering in its Samsung Instinct HD smart phone. No, it [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTVInternet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #392: Belkin Gigabit Powerline Ethernet Adapter

By The HT Guys • Sep 25 2009, 6:01am

With so many devices connecting to the Internet these days we like to see products like Powerline Ethernet adapters come to market. In general the technology has improved vastly since our first review back in 2006. At that time we reviewed a product that was rated at 85Mbps and we were lucky if we got 10 Mbps. So imagine our excitement when we heard about the Gigabit Adapter from Belkin (Model # F5D4076).

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Instinct HD from Sprint Adds High Definition Camera and Camcorder, HDTV Capabilities and Opera Mobile Web Browser

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 24 2009, 10:58pm

Sprint and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) today announced the upcoming availability of Samsung Instinct® HD, the latest follow-up to the award-winning Samsung Instinct, which made its debut last summer exclusively from Sprint.

Samsung Instinct HD boasts an attractive and intuitive user interface as well as the high-speed connectivity of America's most dependable 3G network3 (EVDO Rev. A).With Samsung and Sprint's first high-definition 5-megapixel camera and camcorder and TV-out HD connection, it allows photo and video playback on an HD capable auxiliary device but it does not provide...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Hit the Road, Kid!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 24 2009, 1:00pm

Earlier this month, Nielsen published their “A2/M2 Three Screen Report” for the second quarter of 2009. (You can download it for free at http://en-us.nielsen.com/forms/report_forms/A2_M2_Three_Screen_Report. This overview report has some fascinating information about America’s viewing habits, and I was particularly interested in online viewing.

The graph doesn’t show direct TV watching; those numbers are more than 100 [...]

New Products & Equipment

Allio Announces Second Generation HDTV-PC

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 23 2009, 3:38pm

Silicon Mountain Holdings today announced their second generation all in one Allio LCD HDTV-PC products.

Like their first generation predecessors, Allio 2.0 products will be available...

Service & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Where Is Blockbuster Headed?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 23 2009, 1:00pm

Netflix is off to see to Oz (see yesterday’s post), but where is Blockbuster headed? The company has announced plans to close up to 960 neighborhood stores and install thousands of kiosks (presumably in an attempt to cut costs and compete with Redbox). But wait, it is has an online rental service that can stream [...]

Internet HD VideoCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - We're Off to See the Wizard

By Alfred Poor • Sep 22 2009, 1:00pm

“The Wizard of Oz” is 70 years old this year, and Warner Brothers is celebrating by performing a digital restoration of the original film. And you can watch it for free, thanks to Netflix. For 24 hours, starting at 9 AM Eastern on October 3. All you have to do is go to www.netflix.com/wizardofoz to [...]

HD Camcorders & Cameras

SANYO Unveils World's First Lineup of Full HD / Full Frame Rate CCTV Cameras

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 22 2009, 12:44am

SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO) today announces its 2009 line-up of nine new HD surveillance cameras that offer up to 4MP MJPEG and Full High Definition (HD) video for critical security monitoring. The world's first complete lineup of Full HD 1080p and full frame rate compatible network cameras with multi-streaming H.264 and MJPEG codecs includes four different form factors: Box, Dome, Zoom, and PTZ. These state-of-the-art security cameras will be shown at ASIS 2009 in Booth #2939 Sept. 21-Sept. 24 in Anaheim, CA.

The nine new cameras...

Environment / Green

HDTV Almanac - California Pushes Energy Savings

By Alfred Poor • Sep 21 2009, 1:00pm

It used to be that a 35″ TV was about as big as you’d get for home use. Now many people are buying rear-projection and flat panel displays that are much larger, and there are concerns that these sets are more power hungry than the TVs that they replace. As is often the case, California [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Get Connected!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 18 2009, 1:00pm

Last night, I attended a “Holiday Spectacular” press event hosted by Pepcom in New York City. I saw all sorts of new sparkly shiny things there, some of which I will probably end up buying because they are just too cool and do exactly what I want and are priced right. For example, I’m due [...]

Events & TradeshowsFront Projection

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #391: Denon Review, CEDIA 2009 Part 2 and Front vs. Rear Pro

By The HT Guys • Sep 18 2009, 6:35am

We received a great listener review of the Denon AVR-3310CI Home Theater Receiver, so we'll share that with you. We also found a slightly different take on this year's CEDIA show with a few more products to talk about. Then we dive into the ageless debate, what to buy: a Front or Rear Projector for your home theater.

EntertainmentLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - It's Not a TV, But...

By Alfred Poor • Sep 17 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, they don’t have tuners. Their Wide VGA (800 by 640 pixel) screen is not HDTV resolution. But the new DreamScreens from HP fill an interesting hole in the home entertainment landscape. The HP product manager doesn’t like it when I say it, but these are the next logical step up from an LCD photo [...]

New Products & Equipment

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD Offers Big Screen High-Definition Performance for Under $750

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 17 2009, 12:30pm

Bringing affordable, big-screen home entertainment to households across the country, Epson today announced the new Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD. Available for $749.99, the Home Cinema 705HD joins Epson's award-winning line of 3LCD(TM) home theater projectors, providing families and first-time home theater enthusiasts with a versatile, high-quality 720p high-definition solution for a range of options -- from movies and gaming, to broadcast TV and sports, to videos and music with an Apple iPod.

The Home Cinema 705HD is designed to make home entertainment simple and enjoyable, and comes with...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DISH NETWORK® Expands Local HD Offerings in Six Markets

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 17 2009, 11:42am

DISH Network® today expanded its local lineup of high definition (HD) channels in six DMAs, fortifying the company's HD leadership. New HD channels include...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Can You Trust User Ratings?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 16 2009, 1:00pm

You’re shopping for a new HDTV (or anything else for that matter), and you do some research on the Web where you find lots of user ratings for various products. It’s hard not to be influenced by a lot of positive ratings, but be careful. User ratings are not always reliable.
I’ve written about this before, [...]

Sports

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Signs Two-Year Agreement to Deliver High-Definition Online Video With Microsoft Silverlight

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 16 2009, 2:00am

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball announced today they signed a two-year agreement with Microsoft Corp. to use Microsoft Silverlight 3 to deliver high definition (HD) live streaming video of professional beach volleyball matches to fans around the world. AVP will utilize its new AVP.com HD Video Player application powered by Silverlight 3 and Internet Information Services (IIS) Live Smooth Streaming to bring worldwide professional beach volleyball fans a new and unique option for...

Politics & PolicyEnvironment / Green

POLL: 57% of Californians Oppose Proposal to Ban Big Screen HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 16 2009, 1:01am

Today, during a series of events held at local TV retail stores in Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco, Californians for Smart Energy released the findings of a new statewide poll that found that 57 percent of Californian's oppose the California Energy Commission's (CEC's) proposal to regulate television electricity usage. Conducted by Zogby International (see memo at: http://casmartenergy.com/in-the-news.php), other key findings included...

Blu-ray

Corel® WinDVD® Pro 2010 Delivers the Ultimate Blu-ray and DVD Playback Experience on the PC

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 15 2009, 3:38pm

Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CREL) (TSX:CRE) today announced the newest version of the world's most widely used DVD playback software-Corel® WinDVD® Pro 2010. This latest release delivers the industry's best movie-watching experience on the PC, introducing speed enhancements across the application, improved Blu-ray support with BD-Live™, new GPU-based upscaling that boosts standard-definition (SD) video to HD-like quality, all delivered through a new clean and easy-to-use interface.

Whether you're watching a Blu-ray Disc® or an AVCHD™ or SD home movie, WinDVD Pro 2010 provides...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DIRECTV and DISH Network Urge Michigan Legislators to Reject Discriminatory Satellite-Only Tax

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 15 2009, 3:24pm

DIRECTV and DISH Network are urging Michigan state legislators to reject a discriminatory satellite-only tax included in the most recent House budget proposal.
In a joint company letter to be sent to legislators tomorrow, the satellite providers caution that under the proposal supported by cable companies, "approximately 1 million Michigan families would be punished with a new 5% sales tax for choosing satellite TV."

The following is the complete text of the letter:

New Products & Equipment

Seagate's New FreeAgent Theater+(TM) HD Media Player Enhances the Enjoyment of Digital Home Movies and Photos

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 15 2009, 3:12pm

Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) , the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, today unveiled its new FreeAgent Theater+(TM) [Plus] HD media player, the next generation home theater solution designed to instantly and easily connect your digital media library to your home entertainment system.

The FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player leverages...

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - 2010: Year of 3DTV?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 15 2009, 1:00pm

Hannah Montana and U2 proved it. Chicken Little and UP! proved it. 3D movies are a big hit for Hollywood, and becoming a key part of the industry’s strategic plans. In spite of being available at far fewer cinema screens than traditional 2D movies, the 3D versions consistently pull in more revenue than their flat [...]

HD Camcorders & Cameras

JVC Launches New HD Everio Memory Camera For Video Enthusiasts

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 15 2009, 11:11am

JVC today announced a new video camera that offers the performance, features and handling demanded by video enthusiasts. The new JVC HD Everio GZ-HM400, available immediately, emphasizes image quality and usability in a design that videographers will find allows comfortable extended use.

The HD Everio GZ-HM400, which records to an SD/SDHC card and includes 32GB of internal memory, features a 10.3-megapixel CMOS sensor that delivers nine-megapixel still images and 1080 TV lines of horizontal resolution for Full HD video. High-speed recording of up to 600fps is also possible for...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - End of the Draft!

By Alfred Poor • Sep 14 2009, 1:00pm

Last Friday, the IEEE finally ratified the 802.11n specification. You may find this to be a big yawner, but it really has some important implications for HDTV.
802.11n is the latest in the varients of the 802.11 specifications, which are commonly known as WiFi. 802.11b was the original and most common. 802.11a and 802.11g are about [...]

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Electronics Offers New Addition to Home Theater Projector Lineup

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 12 2009, 2:14am

Samsung Electronics America, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, today announced the release of the A600, the latest A Series (A/V) Home Theater Projector with Full High Definition (HD) 1080p performance. The A600 builds on Samsung's engineering depth and leverages the image performance and color quality of the acclaimed A800 and A900 Full HD 1080p "Joe Kane Signature Series" projectors. The A600 will be available...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Quake Breaks Glass Supply

By Alfred Poor • Sep 11 2009, 1:00pm

Did you notice the news reports last month about an earthquake in Japan? You may not have paid much attention, figuring that it didn’t have any direct impact on you. Well, if you’re in the market for an LCD HDTV before the end of this year, that quake could have had more impact than you [...]

Technology

Motorola Launches Advanced Multi-Format Encoding Platform for 1080P Content

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 10:31am

Motorola, Inc.'s Home and Networks Mobility business (NYSE:MOT) today revealed its next generation encoding platform. This high-performance video processing platform supports both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) encoding and transcoding and has been designed to meet future processing demands of both 1080P/50Hz and 1080P/60Hz resolutions using the MPEG-4 format.

The powerful compression engine supports...

Blu-ray

Pioneer Showcases the World's First THX Certified Blu-ray Disc Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 6:28am

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. announces its Elite® BDP-09FD flagship model has become the world's first Blu-ray Disc® Player to achieve THX® certification and that its Elite® EX Series in-wall speakers have attained THX Select2™ certification. These products complement Pioneer's current top-of-the-line Elite A/V Receivers that are the world's first and only THX Ultra2™ Plus Certified receivers to feature Class D digital amplification. When used...

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Announces New Addition to the LCD TV Line Up at CEDIA EXPO 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 6:26am

Today at CEDIA EXPO 2009 (Booth #925) Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, announced availability for its latest CCFL-backlit LCD TV- the 65" LCD 650 Series (LN65B650) with 1080p resolution. The latest entry in the LCD 650 Series TVs will deliver Auto Motion Plus™ 120Hz refresh rate, fast 4ms response time for motion clarity and high dynamic contrast ratios for deeper, more natural blacks. The LN65B650 will also include expansive networking and connectivity capabilities including Samsung's Medi@2.0 Suite, the unique Touch of Color™ design, and it will meet the latest Energy Star® qualifications.

The Samsung booth will also showcase...

New Products & Equipment

Vivitek Adds New 1080p Projector to Home Theater Line-Up

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 6:20am

Vivitek Corporation, a leading manufacturer of environmentally innovative visual display and presentation products, today introduces its latest 1080p home theater projector to its line-up with the H5080. A professional-grade projector with the consumer enthusiast in mind, the Vivitek H5080 utilizes the latest advancements in video processing technologies to create remarkable image quality and delivers amazing video processing performance.

The Vivitek H5080 home theater projector provides...

Technology

Pioneer Demonstrates Entertainment Tap Networking Project

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 6:18am

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today exhibits the future of home theater innovation - a network entertainment concept player, code named "Project ET," that encompasses high quality audio and video playback, Internet access and home theater control capabilities all within a single set-top device. Pioneer® differentiates its technology concept from existing players in the market by letting consumers combine their personal music, movies and photo collections with access to a choice of online content services, social networking applications and online purchasing sites. Pioneer's concept incorporates...

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

LG Electronics Broadens Home Entertainment Options With Two New Wireless HDTV Series

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 6:15am

Offering diverse integration options for custom installers, LG Electronics is highlighting its first-ever series of wireless LCD HDTVs, including an LED model, this week at the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) EXPO 2009 (Booth #2623).

Whether it's...

Blu-ray

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Unveils the 'Diamond Collection'

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 11 2009, 6:09am

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) announced the launch of the new Diamond Collection today at the D23 Expo. Diamond Collection is the definitive collection of the Walt Disney Studios most historic and beloved animated classics that will debut on Blu-ray Hi-Def.

Beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on October 6, the Diamond Collection comprises an additional 13 of Disney's most treasured titles, including...

Events & TradeshowsCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #390: CEDIA 2009

By The HT Guys • Sep 11 2009, 6:03am

CEDIA stands for "Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association". Each year they have an expo where manufacturers show off their wares. This year the show is in Atlanta. While the HT Guys did not go we have friends who did attend. Listen to the show for some first hand reports from the event. In the mean time we run down some of the announcements that came out of the show.

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Torrent HDMI Cables Get Distribution

By Alfred Poor • Sep 10 2009, 1:00pm

I first wrote about Torrent’s Sureconnect HDMI cables back in June. These cables have a feature that makes the connection more secure, and the plug less likely to pull out of the connector by accident. They also have a clever feature in that an LED lights up to indicate that you’ve got a solid connection.
In [...]

Internet HD VideoTechnology

DivX Signs License Agreement With Panasonic for Next-Generation DivX Plus(TM) HD Technology

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 12:25pm

DivX, Inc. (NASDAQ:DIVX) , a digital media company, today announced a license agreement for next-generation DivX Plus(TM) HD technology with Panasonic Corporation. Panasonic plans to incorporate DivX Plus HD technology into its UniPhier semiconductor chips, enabling consumer electronics (CE) devices such as digital TVs, Blu-ray disc players and in-car players to playback DivX Plus HD H.264 video in the MKV container at high-definition resolutions up to 1080p.

Known for great performance, visual quality and interoperability on any DivX Certified device, DivX technology gives consumers...

Environment / Green

Motorola Reveals New Eco-Friendly IPTV Set-tops at IBC 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 11:44am

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) , today announced the latest additions to its Home & Networks Mobility business' VIP series IPTV set-top portfolio, introduced to help service providers and consumers lower their carbon footprint. The flexible high definition (HD) set-tops are compliant with new US and EU initiatives for low-power consumption devices in the home, featuring next-generation power management capabilities for lower energy consumption.

In addition to delivering high-quality digital video products...

Blu-rayHigh Definition Production

Sonic Simplifies and Broadens High-End BD Creation

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 11:41am

Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) today announced a new lineup for its professional Blu-ray Disc (BD) authoring, compression, and quality assurance products. Built on the same advanced technology that has made Sonic BD production systems the choice of more authoring facilities than all other BD production platforms combined, the new BD product line features...

New Products & EquipmentCable, Satellite & Fiber

Microsoft Enhances the Digital Cable Experience and Names 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Winner

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:23am

Today at CEDIA EXPO 2009, Microsoft Corp. discussed key Windows Media Center features for Windows 7 and announced a series of initiatives that enhance the digital cable experience in Windows Media Center. With the addition of native support for additional international broadcast TV standards, including QAM and ATSC, there will now be support for switched digital video (SDV), a new tool that will make it possible for end customers to add a digital cable tuner with CableCARD to their PC, and for existing digital cable tuner with CableCARD customers to enjoy more portability for digital cable TV that is marked as "copy freely" (CF). In addition, Microsoft and the Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA) announced...

New Products & Equipment

Panasonic Showcasing 85-inch Plasma Display at CEDIA 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:21am

Panasonic Professional Display Company, a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the industry leader in professional Plasma displays, will be highlighting its new 85-inch Plasma display, available next month, at CEDIA 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia Sept. 10-13.

The industry's first 85-inch, full HD 1080p Plasma, the TH-85PF12U takes advantage of Panasonic's...

New Products & Equipment

New Sony AV Receivers Drive Multi-Room High-Definition Throughout the Home

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:16am

Sony today introduced two new "Elevated Standard" (ES) audio/video receivers, including its first to offer control over an IP network, the STR-DA5500ES.

Both the STR-DA5500ES and new STR-DA3500ES are designed as easy-to-use solutions for expanding high-definition entertainment to multiple rooms of the home.

The new STR-DA5500ES model features...

Blu-rayNew Products & Equipment

New Sony Blu-ray Player Integrates Streaming Internet Video for Ultimate Home Entertainment Experience

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:14am

Offering the best of full HD 1080p and streaming Internet video, Sony today introduced the BDP-N460 networked Blu-ray Disc(TM) player.

Beside playing Blu-ray Discs and DVDs, the device instantly streams one of the largest collections of premium and free on-demand entertainment from the BRAVIA(TM) Internet Video platform including thousands of movies, TV programs, and music from...

New Products & Equipment

Sony Introduces New Full HD Home Theater Projector

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:09am

Sony today announced a new high-contrast, high-definition projector, adding more options for those looking for a true cinematic home theater experience.

The new VPL-VW85 projector features a full HD 1920 x 1080 progressive Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD(TM)) and 24p True Cinema(TM) technology, delivering a true film-like performance. The new model also has an exceptionally high dynamic contrast of...

New Products & EquipmentWireless HDMI/HDTV

Sony Adds Super Slim Edge-Lit LED Models to BRAVIA HDTV Line

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:08am

Sony today introduced a new line of ultra-thin BRAVIA(TM) LCD HDTVs featuring an advanced edge-lit LED backlight and exceptional contrast ratio of over 1,000,000:1.

The XBR10-series models also deliver full 1080p wireless transmission of high definition signals from a separate media box to a receiver embedded in the TV, allowing source components to be placed...

Blu-rayInternet HD Video

LG Electronics Adds VUDU HD Movie Service to Wireless 'NetCast' Network Blu-ray Disc Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 4:04am

LG Electronics today announced the addition of the high-definition streaming movie service from VUDU, Inc. to the LG Wireless Network Blu-ray Player (model BD390). With VUDU, consumers can instantly buy or rent from an extensive library of movies and TV titles, including an industry-leading catalog of more than 2,200 high-definition (HD) movies. The BD390 with VUDU will be demonstrated here this week at the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) EXPO 2009 (Booth #2623).

The addition of VUDU service to the BD390 adds...

Blu-rayNew Products & Equipment

Panasonic Launches Blu-ray Disc(TM) Home Theater System

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 3:11am

Panasonic today announced the debut of its first 2.1 channel Blu-ray Disc(TM) home theater system. The innovative SC-BTX70 is designed with a chic, upright silhouette, making it an ideal match for a flat panel TV. Panasonic's SC-BTX70 unleashes the beauty of Blu-ray Disc, while also providing a wide variety of other digital media options for family and friends to enjoy.

Sporting a sleek and compact form factor, the SC-BTX70 is a 2.1 system delivers realistic virtual 7.1 channel sound dispersed through a wide listening area. Panasonic's advanced...

New Products & Equipment

LG Electronics Breaks Barriers in Home Entertainment With Seamless Panel LCD HDTVs, LED by Stunning New LED Models

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 3:08am

Breaking barriers in home entertainment, LG Electronics today introduced a "Full HD" LED LCD HDTV - that looks almost as thin as the single sheet of glass it resembles.

Introduced for the U.S. market here this week at the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) EXPO 2009 (Booth #2623), the new 47- and 42-inch class* SL90 series HDTVs feature LED lighting and other display technologies developed by LG Electronics.

Unlike conventional LCD TVs, where the panel is recessed slightly within a thick plastic frame, LG's new series of LCD HDTVs use...

New Products & Equipment

IOGEAR Launches HDMI Control Center Offering Users Complete Convergence Between Home Electronics and Their PCs

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 10 2009, 3:04am

Entertainment enthusiasts can now control all of their HDMI electronic devices and manage their home office and media center from the comfort of their couch with IOGEAR's HDMI Control Center.

Using the wireless keyboard with built-in laser trackball, consumers can...

New Products & Equipment

Sound Goes Live With New Harman Kardon® Audio/Video Receivers Bringing Home-Theater Setups to Life

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 9 2009, 4:06pm

Harman Kardon, a division of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com), today introduced three new audio/video receivers that bring the best sound and visual experience to the home. Each receiver takes advantage of the latest sound and video technologies - such as the latest high-bit-rate formats, including Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ delivered via Blu-ray Disc™ and the HD video content stored on iPod and iPhone products - and incorporates them into a beautifully designed, easy-to-use system. The AVR 1600, AVR 2600 and AVR 3600 are all capable of generating multichannel surround sound, allowing users to hear the crisp detail of a soft guitar stroke and the exciting explosions coming from different directions in the latest action movie. Since Harman Kardon's introduction of the world's first high-fidelity receiver in 1954, the company continues to utilize the latest in Harman's proprietary ...

Programming

Verizon FiOS TV Adds More Premium Video-on-Demand Programming in HD, Continuing to Lead the Industry

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 9 2009, 3:28pm

Verizon is continuing its high-definition and video-on-demand (VOD) programming leadership by adding even more programming choices for FiOS TV customers who subscribe to premium content packages.

FiOS TV subscribers who have HBO and Cinemax soon can enjoy...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV and Video Phones

By Alfred Poor • Sep 9 2009, 1:00pm

Dick Tracy had his two-way wrist video communicators, and I don’t know about you, but I believed that we’d all be using them by now. The idea of video phone calls has had a strong appeal for decades, but many efforts have failed to make them a practical reality. But maybe that’s changing at last.
All [...]

Internet HD Video

NETGEAR Introduces Digital Entertainer Live, Compact All-in-One Set-top Box for Playing Home Media and Streaming Internet Video on HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 8 2009, 4:14pm

NETGEAR launched the newest Internet-connected set-top box in its popular "Digital Entertainer" product family. The new Digital Entertainer Live (EVA2000) is an easy-to-use and affordable Internet set-top box that enables viewers to play their digital media collections, YouTube videos and a wide range of other Internet content on big-screen TVs. Rather than having to watch downloaded movies and online videos on small computer screens, families can now enjoy media collections stored on USB storage devices, computers and network storage directly on their HDTVs, from the comfort of their couch.

In addition to personal media collections and YouTube, consumers can now...

New Products & Equipment

Epson's Latest 1080p Pro Cinema Projectors Bring Custom Installers High-Performing Home Theater Solutions with up to 200,000:1 Contrast Ratio

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 8 2009, 2:16pm

CEDIA Expo 2009, Booth 3353 -- Epson America today announced two native 1080p 3LCD(TM) home theater projectors designed for custom installers and home theater buffs, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 9100 and 9500 UB. These projectors feature the latest 3LCD chips with D7 technology for amazing color and detail, and significantly higher contrast ratios - the Pro Cinema 9100 achieves a 36,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and the Pro Cinema 9500 UB attains an unprecedented 200,000:1 in its class (i). With professional-level color tools including ISF calibration and color isolation, the Pro Cinema 9100 and 9500 UB offer professional installers full-featured solutions.

Available for...

New Products & Equipment

Epson Adds Two High-Performance 1080p Projectors to Award-Winning Home Theater Lineup

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 8 2009, 1:31pm

CEDIA Expo 2009, Booth 3353 -- Epson America today announced two 1080p front projectors, the PowerLite Home Cinema 8100 and 8500 UB, expanding its award-winning line of 3LCD(TM) home theater projectors. Featuring D7 technology for brilliant color and detail, and higher contrast, the Home Cinema 8100 reaches a 36,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and the Home Cinema 8500 UB achieves an unprecedented 200,000:1(i). The Home Cinema 8100 and 8500 UB also offer the latest in real color reproduction capabilities for more natural and precise colors, delivering an outstanding viewing experience for home entertainment and AV enthusiasts.

With pricing of...

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Vudu Scores Twice

By Alfred Poor • Sep 8 2009, 1:00pm

Vudu is an online service that provides streaming access to rental movies and other content. Two of the key attributes of the service are 1080p resolution and instant streaming (provided you have sufficient bandwidth). As a measure of the growing interest in broadband-delivered video content, two major HDTV manufacturers have recently announced plans to support [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - No Labor Day

By Alfred Poor • Sep 7 2009, 1:00pm

I hope that you’re getting the chance to enjoy some time off today. I am. When you read this, I may be tucked away in a shady spot enjoying a cold beverage, or I may be preparing to fire up the grill for a traditional attempt at charring dinner. But in any case, I’m not [...]

Internet HD Video

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Ships VUDU Integrated 1080p Flat Panel LCD Televisions

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 5 2009, 3:08am

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. (MDEA) today announced it has begun shipping VUDU integrated 1080p flat panel TVs in its Diamond models of Unisen(TM) Immersive Sound LCD Televisions. MDEA will provide the consumer the opportunity to experience the seamless delivery of thousands of high-definition movies and TV shows.

Consumers will now be able to enjoy VUDU HD movie content through...

Blu-ray

Sonic Launches BD PowerStation

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 5 2009, 2:41am

Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) today released the Sonic BD PowerStation(TM), a new cost-effective Blu-ray Disc (BD) production suite for professional videographers that's built on Sonic's Hollywood-standard CineVision HD video encoding and Scenarist authoring products, which have been used to create millions of DVD and BD titles worldwide.

Configured and priced to meet the needs of professional videographers, independent film and corporate video producers, Sonic BD PowerStation includes...

New Products & Equipment

Logitech Harmony 700 Remote Simplifies Home Entertainment

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 4 2009, 10:30pm

You and your family love to be entertained - enjoying TV, movies, games and music - in the comfort of your living room. But getting to your entertainment can be difficult, often requiring that you use several remotes just to get to your favorite TV show. The Logitech Harmony® 700 remote, the newest universal remote from Logitech (SIX:LOGN) (NASDAQ:LOGI), can help simplify your home entertainment by replacing up to six remotes. The Harmony 700 remote features a color screen, rechargeable batteries and one-click control of your favorite activities.

To get you to your entertainment faster, the Logitech Harmony 700 remote offers...

Internet HD VideoBlu-ray

Samsung Announces YouTube Service Availability for Select Blu-ray Players

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 4 2009, 10:27pm

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the availability of YouTube™ on select Samsung Blu-ray players. Owners of the BD-P1600, BD-P3600 or BD-P4600 Blu-ray players will be able to enjoy user-generated content on YouTube by uploading the value-added service at no additional cost. The new service will be on display publicly at Samsung Booth #925 at CEDIA EXPO 2009, taking place September 10-13 in Atlanta, Ga.

When connected to a wired or wireless internet connection, Samsung Blu-ray players deliver...

Blu-ray

Toshiba Introduces Blu-ray Disc Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 4 2009, 7:58pm

Toshiba America Consumer Products L.L.C. ("Toshiba"), a market leader in home entertainment products, underscores its commitment to high-definition entertainment with the introduction of its first Blu-ray Disc player. The BDX2000 provides Full HD 1080p digital output that when coupled with a REGZA LCD TV, enables consumers to enjoy the superior quality of high-definition audio & video content.

Supporting BD-Live(TM) (Profile 2.0), the BDX2000 allows users to ...

Blu-ray3D HDTV

Blu-ray Disc Association Provides Updates on 3D Technology

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 4 2009, 2:35pm

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced its plans for incorporating 3D into the widely successful Blu-ray Disc format. The rapid and enthusiastic consumer adoption of Blu-ray Disc, coupled with the format's technical capabilities and capacity make it the ideal format for bringing a vibrant 3D experience to consumers.

The BDA, comprised of...

Service & RepairDeals & DiscountsInternet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - YouFlix?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 4 2009, 1:00pm

Many sources have published reports that Google is negotiating with Hollywood studios for deals to offer streaming movie rentals on YouTube. The service already has permission to stream some full length movies for free, but these are older titles from the back catalog with limited appeal. YouTube wants to offer the latest movies, and if [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsCable HDTVSports

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Fall 2009 TV Schedule: Podcast #389

By The HT Guys • Sep 4 2009, 7:04am

It's that time of year again. The weather begins to cool, leaves start to change colors, Football is back and we get a bunch of new HDTV shows. When we were kids we looked forward to Christmas and the first day of summer. As adults, we look forward to the fall more than anything else. Some of our favorite shows are coming back with new episodes and we get the opportunity to fill the DVR with brand new series to see what sticks.

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - HDMI 1.4: What Is It Good For?

By Alfred Poor • Sep 3 2009, 1:00pm

My good friend and colleague Ken Werner of Nutmeg Consultants sent me a link to an interesting white paper on the Key Digital site. The article provides a comparison of all the versions of HDMI from 1.0 to 1.4, listing the different features supported by each version.
What sets this apart from other similar comparisons is [...]

Broadcast

HDTV Almanac - L.A. TV Towers Safe for Now

By Alfred Poor • Sep 2 2009, 1:00pm

There’s one aspect to the Southern California wildfires that may not be immediately obvious. The national coverage has mentioned the risk to the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, but less coverage has been given to the fact that Mount Wilson also is home to the television broadcast antenna farm for the greater Los Angeles area. More [...]

Internet HD Video

VUDU 1080p Movie Streaming Goes Live on LG Broadband HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Sep 1 2009, 4:03pm

The VUDU HD entertainment service is now available on LG Electronics broadband HDTVs, the companies announced today. The VUDU service is available on LG's LH50 1080p LCD series and PS80 1080p plasma series with "NetCast Entertainment Access."**

Starting today, all...

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - UK Proclaims "LED TV" Misleading

By Alfred Poor • Sep 1 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, it’s not just me. According to an entry in the DisplaySearch blog, UK?s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that Samsung’s advertising campaign promoting “LED TV’s” is misleading, and has to be changed. (DisplaySearch was one of the first groups that agreed with me that it was misleading to call an LCD TV with [...]

OLED HDTVsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - OLED HDTV Update: LG 15" This Fall

By Alfred Poor • Aug 31 2009, 1:00pm

Now please don’t get excited. There is little news in today’s entry except to confirm what I’ve been saying all along; OLED HDTVs remain off in the future. And the Sony OLED TV that is already on the market does not count because it is not HD, though its astronomical price alone would probably disqualify [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Musical Chairs: The DTV Converter Market

By Alfred Poor • Aug 28 2009, 1:00pm

Remember playing “musical chairs” when you were a kid? The adults would make sure that there was one less chair available than kids, and then set you marching around in a circle until the music stopped, and then the kid who didn’t get a seat was eliminated? And the process repeated until one final victor [...]

Blu-ray

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #388 - Popular Options for Blu-ray Players

By The HT Guys • Aug 28 2009, 6:14am

Now that you can find Blu-ray players at Wal*Mart for less than $150 we thought it would be a good idea to present five slightly more expensive options that you may want to consider. Spending a little more can get you a more capable player that won't feel obsolete by Christmas.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - World's Biggest HDTV Gets Punted

By Alfred Poor • Aug 27 2009, 1:00pm

Beware of chasing after superlatives. Those seeking to create “The World’s Whatever-est Thingie” sooner or later learn a lesson about hubris. Sooner or later, someone else will end up making a Thingie that is more Whatever than yours, and your creation will be relegated to the ash heap of other Thingies that are less Whatever. [...]

Internet HD Video

More than a Media Server: S1Digital's New Digital Entertainment Platform Stores and Distributes All Kinds of Digital Media Including HD Movies and Television

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 26 2009, 4:44pm

As households become increasingly populated with an assortment of digital media from many disparate sources, consumers have been calling for a way to easily store, manage and consume all their content around the home. Now S1Digital (http://www.s1digital.com/) has answered the call with the Digital Entertainment Platform, which provides centralized archiving, storage and distribution of HD...

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Is That a Hard Drive in Your HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 26 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, now I’m really puzzled. I had (well, I still have) a Panasonic DVR that we loved to use. It made recording programs off-the-air so much easier to use than the old VHS recorder it replaced. But with the end of analog broadcasts, it’s now just a somewhat complicated DVD player. And aside from TiVo, [...]

3D HDTV

HDTV Almanac - 3D HDTV Is Unstoppable

By Alfred Poor • Aug 25 2009, 1:00pm

I don’t know exactly how it will happen, or even whether or not I think it’s a good idea, but brace yourself; 3D television is coming to a living room near you. Just as the local cinema created demand for the color television and stereo sound (and later, surround sound) that are now standard features [...]

New Products & Equipment

Onkyo Debuts 3 Networked, Multi-task AV Receivers

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 24 2009, 2:03pm

Onkyo has introduced three network- and internet-radio-capable, 9.2-channel THX Ultra2 Plus certified A/V receivers that deliver all the power, processing, and features to support cutting edge home theater and whole-house entertainment. The three new models, the Onkyo TX-NR1007, TX-NR3007, and top-of-the-line TX-NR5007, will all be shipping...

Business & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Blockbuster: Closing Shop?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 24 2009, 1:00pm

In an investor phone call last week, Blockbuster CEO James Keyes pointed to unmanned kiosks as the possible future for the company’s movie rental business. He stated that plans call for 500 kiosks to be in place by the end of August, and more than 2,500 up and running by the end of this year. [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - Video in Your Magazine

By Alfred Poor • Aug 21 2009, 1:00pm

And now for something completely different. When subscribers to “Entertainment Weekly” open up their copies of the September 18 issue (if they live in New York or Los Angeles), they will find an ad from CBS promoting the network’s new lineup for Monday nights this fall. That’s no so amazing, until you find that you [...]

SportsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #387 - Football, At Home or Away?

By The HT Guys • Aug 21 2009, 3:34am

It's football season, and we're ready to watch a serious amount of football. For us, it's one of those things that you miss in the off season, but you don't really realize how much you miss it until it it's back. A recent San Diego Chargers pre-season game was blacked out because they didn't sell enough tickets. To see it live, you had to attend, which isn't cheap. Is it worth it?

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - DIY Mount with Extra Features

By Alfred Poor • Aug 20 2009, 1:00pm

I have a woodworking shop, I do odd jobs and repairs around the house, and I’m a bit of a packrat. As a result, I’ve got all sorts of tools and gadgets and spare parts down there somewhere. So when it comes time to install a typical wall mount for a flat panel HDTV, I’ve [...]

Mobile HDTVPC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Truth Patrol: “The Portable Pocket HDTV”

By Alfred Poor • Aug 19 2009, 1:00pm

Hammacher Schlemmer is known for its unusual and hard-to-find products, but this latest item would make be think twice before relying on the company’s accuracy in describing technology products. The description of their Portable Pocket HDTV is very straightforward in what it says:

This is the pocket-sized, portable color HDTV that receives high-definition digital broadcasts.
That’s pretty [...]

Gaming

New Slimmer and Lighter PlayStation(R)3 to Hit Worldwide Market This September

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 19 2009, 3:15am

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today unveiled the new PlayStation 3 (CECH-2000A) (body color: charcoal black) computer entertainment system, featuring an extremely streamlined form factor with a 120GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). The new PlayStation 3 (PS3 ) system will become available in stores from...

HD DVDBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - DVD Archiving at Risk

By Alfred Poor • Aug 18 2009, 1:00pm

I am not a lawyer, though it seems hard to be a consumer these days without the training. As I understand it, however, we have the right to make archival copies of the content that we buy (or license) such as computer software or music CDs or DVD movies. This protects our investment so that [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - VHF to UHF: Moving on Up!

By Alfred Poor • Aug 17 2009, 1:00pm

At least four television stations have petitioned the FCC to reassign their digital broadcasts from a VHF channel (2 through 13) to a UHF channel (14 through 51). (Note that UHF channels used to go up to channel 83, but the frequencies for channels 52 to 83 were auctioned off as part of the transition [...]

Global & Worldview

Brazil Leads in High Definition TV Channel Launches

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 14 2009, 4:13pm

Sky, the largest HD Pay TV operator in Latin America, and NET Brasil, the company responsible for distribution of Globosat channels, announced today that they have reached an agreement for the distribution of the high definition channels of Globosat, Latin America's largest subscription TV programmer.

Sky will offer its clients three new...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Did You Get a $10 LCD HDTV?

By Alfred Poor • Aug 14 2009, 1:00pm

Ooops. For a few hours on Wednesday, the Best Buy Web site listed a Samsung 52″ LCD HDTV for the unbelievable price of $9.99. Sure enough, it was not believable. Best Buy quickly fixed the typo, restoring the correct $1,699.99 price. The company also issued an apology, and stated that they would not honor the [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #386 - DIY Whole House Audio

By The HT Guys • Aug 14 2009, 3:45am

We talked last week about 7 tips for creating an entertaining whole-house audio system. We talk this week about all the tools and technology you need to build your own. Of course wireless is the easiest way to get there, we've got all the particulars to get you up and running.

Service & RepairMobile HDTVFiber/IPTV HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Program DVR on Your Cell Phone

By Alfred Poor • Aug 13 2009, 1:00pm

Verizon announced on Tuesday that any FiOS TV DVR users can now program and manage their DVR remotely, using a cell phone. This free service can be accessed either using a special application for select phones, or through a mobile Web site that you can reach from any phone that has access to the Internet. [...]

New Products & Equipment

Zune HD Available for Pre-Order Today

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 13 2009, 10:50am

Zune HD, the next generation of Microsoft Corp.'s portable digital media player, is available now for pre-order and is set to hit store shelves on Sept. 15. The player, available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, is the first touch-screen Zune and includes powerful playback technology to give you a different way to experience media on the go. Combined with unparalleled PC software and online services such as Zune Pass, Zune provides a rich and meaningful connection to music, videos, podcasts and more.

Pre-order Zune HD in 16GB Black and 32GB Platinum through...

New Products & Equipment

Onkyo Debuts Mid-Price THX Select2 Plus AV Receiver With Streaming Internet Radio Capabilities and DLNA 1.5 Networking Compatibility.

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 12 2009, 3:22pm

Onkyo has introduced and begun shipping its first network-capable home theater receiver configured for Pandora, Rhapsody, and Sirius' streaming internet radio services. The new Onkyo TX-NR807 also capable of playing computer music files from networked PCs, is fully compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance's DLNA 1.5 consumer electronics interoperability specification, and sells for less than...

Blu-ray

Walt Disney Studios Extends Blu-ray(TM) Combo Pack Efforts through December 2010

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 12 2009, 3:18pm

In a time when price, quality and value are top of mind with consumers, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) today announces the extension of it's Blu-ray Combo Pack initiatives worldwide, providing extended utility of DVD and exceptional quality of a Blu-ray Disc in a single value-pack. The Combo Packs will now be available across all Disney-branded Blu-ray titles releasing through December of 2010.

In a recent online survey...

Plasma HDTVsHD DVDDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Win a Panasonic 50″ Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Aug 12 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve got just one question for you; are you feeling lucky? If so, Panasonic’s Living in HD Web site is running an “End of Summer” contest where you have a choice of winning either a Panasonic digital camera or a 50″ VIERA G10 Series plasma HDTV. The set is THX Certified and has 1080p [...]

Blu-ray

Marvell Redefines Video Quality - Introducing Qdeo HD Video Evaluation Blu-ray Disk

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 12 2009, 3:11am

Marvell today introduced a new high definition (HD) test disk that enables objective evaluation of the quality of video processing in HD audio-video products like Blu-ray players, AV receivers and HDTVs. The HD test disk has been designed to provide...

Front Projection

HDTV Almanac - 1080p Projector Under $1,000

By Alfred Poor • Aug 11 2009, 1:00pm

Home theater: a dedicated room found in trophy homes created by professional installers who charge from $50,000 on up to create a cinematic experience in your own home.
That definition is starting to fall apart, as prices for all things high definition continue to tumble. The latest breakthrough is a 1080p projector for less than $1,000. [...]

Blu-ray

It's Official, Toshiba to Enter Blu-ray Market

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 10 2009, 2:26pm

To meet the increasing consumer demand for high definition content, Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. will be entering the Blu-ray market. We will share additional product information and details...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Online Video Growing Rapidly

By Alfred Poor • Aug 10 2009, 1:00pm

A study by Ipsos MediaCT reveals that more than one out of four Americans with Internet access streamed at least one full length video program during April this year, and 14% streamed at least one full-length movie. I find these to be remarkable statistics, especially when you consider that these represent more than double the [...]

Service & Repair

HDTV TLC: Projection Lamp Failure and Replacement

By Richard Fisher • Aug 7 2009, 3:51pm

If you suspect lamp failure the first step is to check your owner's manual, which will tell you how to read/interpret the indicator lights on the front of your TV or on your front projector. If you do not have the owners manual, odds are very high you can find it on the internet and download it. Manufacturers often times provide these manuals on their web sites.

A lamp timer...

Blu-ray Players

OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray Player

By The HT Guys • Aug 7 2009, 2:50pm

It was in September of last year that we first got wind that OPPO was developing a Blu Ray player. Since then we have received a boatload of emails asking us when it would become available. The good news for those who have asked is the answer is it is available today! The BDP-83 can be found online for $499.99 and is available...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - 42″ LCD HDTV Under $600

By Alfred Poor • Aug 7 2009, 1:00pm

You’re thinking about buying a new flat panel HDTV, and your budget is $600. So natuarally, you’re looking for a good price on a 32″ model. With luck, maybe you can stretch it to cover a 37″ set. Hold on a minute; you don’t have to wait for Black Friday for crazy prices. Look no [...]

HD Video Production

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #385 - HP MediaSmart Server LX195

By The HT Guys • Aug 7 2009, 3:42am

Imagine with me, if you will, a day when a small box no bigger than a standard dictionary will be able to hold as many pictures as you can ever take, as many songs as you could ever listen to and a ton of movies and video as well. That day has come, and HP calls it the MediaSmart Server LX195. We got a chance to play around with one, and really liked it.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Prices: Reading the Tea Leaves

By Alfred Poor • Aug 6 2009, 1:00pm

The two questions I get asked the most are (1) what’s the best HDTV, and (2) when’s the best time to buy one? I’m not going to give my soapbox speech about the first question (short version: nobody can answer that question), but now that we’re just a week away from the start of the [...]

Technology

Ed's View - Cognitive Radio: What it Means to HDTV

By Ed Milbourn • Aug 5 2009, 3:10pm

"Cognitive Radio." What a strange, oblique name for one of the greatest technology advances in telecommunications since Ma Bell decided that ones and zeros made better use of our precious spectrum (over both wired and wireless media) than wavy, wriggly voltage changes. Clearly, the academics who coined the name failed PR101. Why not call it "Smart Radio" - because that's what it is - really smart radio. So, I'll compromise in this wheeze on the subject by cowardly retreating into the technical acronym morass - henceforth tagging "Cognitive Radio" as "COR" and its TV version as "COTV."

The precise definition of COR...

Blu-rayService & RepairMobile HDTVHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic BD Players Add Amazon Access

By Alfred Poor • Aug 5 2009, 1:00pm

Yesterday, Panasonic announced that all its 2009 Blu-ray players with VIERA CAST will now be able to access Amazon’s Video On Demand service without the need for anything else but an Internet connection. This includes the B15 portable Blu-ray player.

Amazon offers more than 45,000 titles, including more than 1,000 in HD format. Once you have [...]

Internet HD Video

Panasonic Announces Availability of Amazon Video on Demand on Its Full Line of 2009 VIERA CAST(TM)-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Players

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 4 2009, 3:24pm

Panasonic announced today that Amazon Video On Demand is now available on its full line of 2009 VIERA CAST(TM)-enabled Blu-ray Disc players. Current owners of Panasonic's 2009 Blu-ray Disc players automatically received a free software update today and can begin enjoying the service immediately when they...

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Front ProjectionLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - All-In-One: Movie Camera and Projector

By Alfred Poor • Aug 4 2009, 1:00pm

Today, Nikon announced its new Coolpix S1000pj digital camera. It’s pretty typical for a higher-end point-and-shoot camera: 12.1 megapixel resolution, 5x optical zoom, optical and electronic image stabilization, 2.7 LCD panel, and a host of image processing magic features built in. And like most digital cameras these days, it can also take digital video clips [...]

New Products & Equipment

Vivitek Raises Bar and Lowers Price with Sub-$1,000 1080p Home Theater Projector

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 3 2009, 5:16pm

Vivitek Corporation announced the launch of its sub-$1,000 1080p home theater projector, the H1080FD. The Vivitek H1080FD is a high-performance, digital projector that fits into any home theater-based environment. It will be available through authorized retailers and key e-tailers for an MSRP of $999 in August 2009.

The Vivitek H1080FD home theater projector features native 1080p (1920x1080) resolution, 1800 lumens of brightness and a contrast ratio of 5000:1. It is designed for...

Programming

Netflix Announces Agreement With Disney-ABC Television Group to Stream Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and More

By Shane Sturgeon • Aug 3 2009, 5:02pm

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) , the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced an agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group that will make several of ABC's most popular TV series available to be streamed instantly from Netflix.

In its entirety, the deal will allow Netflix members to instantly watch the first five seasons of the hit ABC franchise "Lost," seasons four and five of the pop culture phenomenon "Desperate Housewives," season five of the critically acclaimed "Grey's Anatomy," and seasons one and two of the syndicated epic action-adventure fantasy series "Legend of the Seeker" from ABC Studios. Many of the episodes, including the first four seasons of "Lost," will be available from Netflix beginning August 1. The remainder will be available..

Internet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - VUDU Inside LG HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Aug 3 2009, 1:00pm

Momentum is building rapidly for the delivery of video content over the Internet. VUDU offers streaming movies and other content for rental or purchase. Many movies from major studios are available the same day as the DVD release, and rental fees range from $.99 to $5.99. with more than 15,000 titles available, more than 2,000 [...]

Cable HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Swivel-Head Cables

By Alfred Poor • Jul 31 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, flat panel HDTVs are getting thinner and thinner, and the newest wall mounts let you hang them just about flush with the wall. But here’s a question; what are you going to do about the HDMI cable? If the connector on the TV is facing the back, then the cable will stick straight out, [...]

Blu-ray

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #384 - Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray Player

By The HT Guys • Jul 31 2009, 5:52am

It was in September of last year that we first got wind that Oppo was developing a Blu Ray player. Since then we have received a boatload of emails asking us when it would become available. The good news for those who have asked is the answer is it is available today! The BDP-83 can be found online for $499.99 and is available at the HT Guys store.

New Products & Equipment

LG Electronics Showcases New Products with 'Unparalleled Performance by Design' for Holiday Season

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 31 2009, 2:41am

Led by the new SL80 and SL90 HDTVs with their seamless design and ultra-thin bezel, LG Electronics highlighted its latest collection of home entertainment, home appliance and mobile communications products at the company's 2009 holiday preview event.

During its annual Summer Line Show today LG showcased...

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Introduces Stylish New LED HDTV That Delivers Excellent Picture Quality, Connectivity and Interactive Features

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 30 2009, 3:29pm

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today unveiled the flagship model of its expanded LED HDTV lineup with the all-new 8500 Series. The new HDTVs combine the award-winning picture quality and thinness of Samsung's previous LED HDTVs, with the latest networking and interactive features, to provide an ideal option to all TV connoisseurs.

Samsung 8500 LED HDTV Series Pricing and Availability...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Only Two Days Left!

By Alfred Poor • Jul 30 2009, 1:00pm

According to the latest Nielsen numbers, only 1.1% of the U.S. homes with televisions remain totally unprepared for the end of analog broadcasts by the full-power stations in this country that happened last June. That tiny fraction still translates into more than 1 million households, but it’s a major improvement over where we stood at [...]

Internet HD Video

VUDU's Streaming Movie Service Transforms HDTVs into Movie-On-Demand Video Stores

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 29 2009, 2:12pm

VUDU Inc., a leading provider of on-demand Internet entertainment services today announced its second-generation service platform specifically optimized for Internet capable smart TVs.

The new VUDU service delivers a compelling environment for consumers to discover and watch high definition 1080p movies on-demand. The company is also announcing that industry leader LG Electronics will ship new HDTVs that include...

Internet HD Video

LG Electronics First to Bring VUDU HD Movie Service to Broadband HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 29 2009, 2:11pm

LG Electronics will be the first to introduce broadband HDTVs with the instant-access high-definition (HD) movie service from VUDU Inc., a leading provider of digital on-demand entertainment services, the companies announced today. VUDU on-demand movies will be available on LG's LH50 1080p LCD series and PS80 Plasma 1080p series with "NetCast Entertainment Access," beginning next month.

The VUDU service allows consumers to instantly buy or rent from an extensive library of movies and TV titles, including...

Plasma HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Runco Still Offers Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Jul 29 2009, 1:00pm

Many videophiles lament the departure of Pioneer from the plasma HDTV market, citing their products for excellent image quality (provided that you can keep the ambient lighting in the room to low levels). But you have not seen the end of high-end plasma HDTV offerings. Runco is arguably the top brand for luxury home theater [...]

Blu-ray

Onkyo Debuts Blu-ray Disc Player with BD-Live Interactive and AVCHD Compatibility

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 28 2009, 9:41pm

Onkyo has introduced a new, state-of-the-art, BD-Live interactive Blu-ray Disc Player, model DV-BD507. This full-featured player delivers outstanding high definition 1080p video playback and high resolution multichannel audio over a HDMI 1.3a. It has all the capabilities once could expect from a Blu-ray player, plus the high performance and build-quality consumers have come to expect from Onkyo products.

The Onkyo DV-BD507 plays Blu-ray discs with their full high definition 1080p resolution, including...

Blu-ray

Onkyo Home Theater Packages Ideal for Blu-ray and HD Video Systems

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 28 2009, 9:39pm

Onkyo has introduced two new 7.1-channel home theater systems that deliver leading edge AV processing and surround sound reproduction for today's most advanced home theater programming, including HDTV and Blu-ray. The HT-S7200 and HT-S6200 each feature powerful AV receivers with 1080p-compatible HDMI inputs, 130 watt-per-channel amplification, processing for every major audio format on the market - including the option of incorporating front height-channel reproduction with Dolby's newly introduced ProLogic IIz processing. Each package also includes a high performance 7.1-channel speaker system with a powerful active subwoofer, and Onkyo's exclusive U-Port single-cable iPod dock and charging system.

The Onkyo HT-S7200 and HT-S6200 feature five and four HDMI 1.3a inputs, respectively, and are completely compatible with...

HD DVDLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Toshiba Matches Your Refrigerator

By Alfred Poor • Jul 28 2009, 1:00pm

Toshiba has been one of the few companies to champion the combo LCD TV design, which builds a DVD player into the screen. It’s convenient and space-saving, and makes a lot of sense in settings where countertop real estate is at a premium, such as most kitchens. And now, the new 19LV612U 19″ model comes [...]

HD Camcorders & Cameras

New Panasonic LUMIX, 18x Optical Superzoom Digital Camera Features High Definition Video Recording

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 28 2009, 12:47am

Today, Panasonic announced the new LUMIX DMC-FZ35, a digital camera featuring AVCHD Lite, High Definition (HD) video recording capability, combined with a powerful 27mm wide-angle, 18x optical zoom LEICA DC lens. A successor to the popular FZ28, the FZ35 packs enhanced creative features combined with the power to shoot HD videos, including motion zoom capabilities to take full advantage of the 18x zoom. The operational layout of the FZ35 includes a dedicated video record button, making it a true hybrid -- a single model that performs seamlessly at capturing both still and motion images -- while still providing smooth and easy operation in either mode.

For users looking for increased creativity while shooting both video and still images, the LUMIX FZ35 delivers. New manual controls and creative options, include...

Cable HDTVHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HD Waveform - CinemaScope, Zoom Versus Anamorphic

By Richard Fisher • Jul 27 2009, 3:10pm

This is an exciting time for home theater and one for which I have been waiting; the ability to properly display CinemaScope content in its native aspect ratio, duplicating the experience of your local film theater where CinemaScope content is larger, growing left to right as the side curtains are pulled back to reveal more screen for a larger image.

Check the A/V and videophile magazines for this year. Odds are quite high that they had advertising for cinemascope screens, lenses or compatible projectors. A new term has appeared in front projection reviews and specs called "Panamorph lens compatible/capable", which was also supported by...

Service & RepairBusiness & InvestmentHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - CinemaNow in the News

By Alfred Poor • Jul 27 2009, 1:00pm

CinemaNow is (primarily) an online service where you can view movies for a fee. Part of Sonic Solutions, the site offers both purchase and rental options. With its ties to the Sonic Solutions software business, you can even purchase a movie and burn it to a DVD. CinemaNow offers a library of more than 14,000 [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Four Digits: The 1,000th Post

By Alfred Poor • Jul 24 2009, 1:00pm

I made it. This is the 1,000th post for the HDTV Almanac. Over the past few years, I’ve probably written enough to fill a few books. A few of my past entries remain high on Google search positions for topics such as contrast ratio and 120 Hz refresh rates. I expect that hundreds of thousands [...]

HD DVDBlu-rayDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #383 - How To, Home Audio Connections

By The HT Guys • Jul 24 2009, 7:55am

Springboarding off a few listener questions, we get into the nitty gritty of audio codecs, DVD players, Blu-ray players, Receivers, you name it. How do you get all those things to play nice together? What happens if a Dolby Digital audio track on your DVD wants to run through your Receiver, but it wants DTS audio? Turns out it isn't nearly as complicated as it sounds.

Blu-ray

Sony Organizes Your Entertainment Collection With New 400-Disc Blu-ray Disc/DVD MegaChanger

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 23 2009, 11:44pm

Looking to help consumers simplify and manage their living room entertainment experience, Sony today announced the new BDP-CX960 and the "Elevated Standard" (ES) BDP-CX7000ES 400-disc Blu-ray Disc(TM) MegaChangers.

The company also announced the BDP-S1000ES single disc ES player expanding Sony's Blu-ray Disc line to 13 models offering a broad set of performance and features.

The Blu-ray Disc MegaChanger models store and play...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Comcast First to Launch HBO On Demand® HD

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 23 2009, 3:17pm

Comcast announced that it is the first cable provider to offer the full HBO On Demand service in HD, bringing the ultimate HBO experience to its customers. As part of this initiative, HBO original and award-winning programming, as well as their extensive movie collection - content which has never been offered in HD On Demand before by any provider - is now available to Comcast On Demand customers who subscribe to HBO.

Comcast's HBO customers have unlimited access to the network's HBO On Demand HD service, featuring...

New Products & Equipment

Toshiba Enhances Sleek Sophistication in LCD TV/DVD Combo Category With its Striking New Stainless Style(TM) TV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 23 2009, 2:04pm

Toshiba announced the latest addition to its comprehensive 2009 LCD TV/DVD combination lineup, reinforcing its authority in this growing product category. The glamorous new Stainless Style(TM) model continues the Toshiba advantage of an all-in-one entertainment ensemble combining style and innovation with picture excellence, with the look of stainless steel for today's kitchen.

Toshiba's new Stainless Style(TM) LCD TV...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - We Want Broadband TV

By Alfred Poor • Jul 23 2009, 1:00pm

A report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) summarizes the results the company got from a survey that asked 2,000 broadband users about whether they are interested in getting video content over the Internet. If you’re a frequent reader of the HDTV Almanac, you know that I’m bullish on the subject, and believe in the [...]

Technology

LG Electronics Introduces First-Ever THX Display Certified LED LCD HDTV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 22 2009, 1:47pm

Redefining the LED LCD HDTV landscape, the newest HDTVs from LG Electronics are the first LCDs to receive THX Display Certification in the U.S. market. LG's new LH90 series, available now through national retailers such as Best Buy and other leading electronics dealers, offer consumers advanced picture quality, smart energy savings and stylish design.

Previewed at the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, the new LH90 series of LCD HDTVs features...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Where Is Microsoft?

By Alfred Poor • Jul 22 2009, 1:00pm

An announcement last week that Macrovision has changed it’s name to “Rovi” (which was cleverly extracted from the middle of its old name) got me to thinking. According to a story in TWICE, the company is focusing on “a new multi-faceted integrated graphical user interface” that lets users find and view content from a variety [...]

Blu-ray

Samsung Unveils Enhanced Home Theater System with Blu-ray Creating Powerful HD Experience for Consumers

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 21 2009, 3:42pm

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the introduction of its new HT-BD3252 home theater system to deliver an enhanced Blu-ray integrated home theater experience for consumers. The new HT-BD3252 combines a high quality viewing experience, with powerful audio and an array of advanced networking options in a boldly designed player that can help convert almost any living space into a premium HD showroom.

Samsung HT-BD3252 Home Theater System Product Pricing and Availability...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Rumor: Amazon to Buy Netflix?

By Alfred Poor • Jul 21 2009, 1:00pm

In a fascinating article in the LA Times last week, the writer speculates on rumors that Amazon might be looking to buy Netflix. Whether there’s a smidgen of truth to the gossip or not is hardly important; would this deal make sense?
It sounds like a match made in heaven to me. Netflix established and dominated [...]

OLED HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - OLED HDTV: LG says 2012 for 3o”

By Alfred Poor • Jul 20 2009, 1:00pm

According to a report from AsiaPulse last Friday, LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo is quoted as saying “We plan to produce 30-inch OLED panels for TVs in 2012.” This is one of the first credible announcements on the subject that I’ve heard, and is in keeping with the timelines I’ve heard from various sources. Some [...]

LCD HDTVsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - More Little HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jul 17 2009, 1:00pm

ASUS got a lot of press coverage this week (including a number of blogs) that breathlessly drooled over their new T1 line of 1080p LCD HDTVs that “double as LCD monitors” for use with computers. Huh?
Yes, these are HDTVs, available in 22″, 24″, and 27″ sizes. Yes, they have digital tuners and HDMI connectors, along [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #382 - Predictions for 2009, Mid-Year Results

By The HT Guys • Jul 17 2009, 6:45am

Today we're giving ourselves a progress report, a midterm of sorts, on the 2009 predictions we made back in January.

Digital (DTV) TransitionBroadcastSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition Winners

By Alfred Poor • Jul 16 2009, 1:00pm

As I expected, cable and satellite services will be big winners as a result of the transition to digital broadcast of television content when analog broadcasts ended on June 12. As over-the-air users discovered that their systems could not receive the same stations that they had received via analog transmissions — especially in fringe reception [...]

Blu-ray

HDTV Almanac - Blockbuster and Samsung Team Up

By Alfred Poor • Jul 15 2009, 1:00pm

Is Blockbuster catching on? Yesterday, the company announced a deal with Samsung that will put Blockbuster OnDemand as a menu item on select Samsung Blu-ray player and flat panel TV models. Customers can pick a movie to rent or buy, and then choose “play” on the screen to view it immediately. Samsung 650 Series and [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Aims Low for Big Sales

By Alfred Poor • Jul 14 2009, 1:00pm

An article in the Wall Street Journal last week described a new strategy for Panasonic. The company plans to design products with stripped-down feature sets for sale in “emerging market” countries. These are nations that have large populations and growing economies that are likely to have increased demand from consumers with incomes that are limited, [...]

Internet HD Video

Blockbuster and Samsung Sign Agreement to Deliver BLOCKBUSTER(R) OnDemand Services to Select Samsung HDTVs, Home Theater Systems and Blu-ray Players

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 14 2009, 11:00am

Blockbuster and Samsung announced they are joining forces to enable consumers to access Blockbuster's vast and growing library of premium digital entertainment via select new Samsung HDTVs, home theater systems and Blu-ray players. The new services will be available in the fall of 2009 and are expected to provide millions of homes across America access to Blockbuster's digital library of movies. Additionally, as part of the agreement, Blockbuster OnDemand will have preferred positioning on the Blu-ray interfaces.

The BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand service provides

Politics & PolicyDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Vizio Wins Another Round

By Alfred Poor • Jul 13 2009, 1:00pm

In addition to its battles on the sales floor, Vizio has been fighting in the courtrooms and halls of government these days. Last Wednesday, the company announced another victory in its on-going disputes with Funai over claims of copyright infringement by VIZIO products. The US Customs and Border Protection agency ruled in favor of VIZIO, [...]

LCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Sharp Joins the LED LCD Movement

By Alfred Poor • Jul 10 2009, 1:00pm

At their line show in New York City earlier this week, Sharp showed its new LE700 series of LCD HDTVs. Right off the bat, the good news is that the company is calling them “LCD TVs”, and choosing to name the series “AQUOS LED“. This is in contrast to Samsung and Toshiba who have chosen [...]

Entertainment

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #381 - Movie Download Roundup

By The HT Guys • Jul 10 2009, 5:53am

There are a few movie download services vying for a spot in your entertainment cabinet. They all have their pros and cons, so we thought we'd look at four of the big dogs to see how they stack up. We chose to look at services that offer both the movies and a piece of home theater equipment to watch them with. There a ton of other options if you want to connect a computer to your TV, but since most people aren't doing that, we've decided to omit them from the discussion.

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

MSNBC HD Now Available Nationwide Exclusively on DISH Network

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 9 2009, 1:33pm

DISH Network today introduced MSNBC HD, becoming the first and only pay-TV provider to offer the channel to consumers nationwide.

DISH Network customers will now be able to watch MSNBC's popular primetime programming in full high definition, including...

Internet HD Video

Sony Adds Netflix to Bravia Internet Video Platform

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 9 2009, 1:31pm

Netflix, Demand Media(TM), and ON Networks(R) are the latest content providers to join Sony's BRAVIA(R) Internet Video platform.

In the fall of 2009, Netflix members will be able to instantly watch more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes on Sony BRAVIA Internet Video-capable HDTVs and on previous BRAVIA models compatible with Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link module.

With BRAVIA Internet Video-capable HDTVs, users can enjoy access to...

Marketplace

Best Buy and TiVo Form Strategic Alliance to Transform the Home Entertainment Experience

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 9 2009, 1:27pm

TiVo Inc. announced it has entered into a strategic alliance with Best Buy Co., Inc. designed to transform the digital home entertainment experience. The alliance seeks to drive greater distribution of TiVo(R) products and its user experience, and to provide Best Buy with a digital platform in the home to strengthen its customer relationships. For Best Buy, the alliance is a major step intended to accelerate its evolution in digital media and better serve the needs of its customers. As part of the agreement, TiVo and Best Buy plan to investigate development of a unique user interface for TiVo DVRs purchased at Best Buy which would provide Best Buy a platform to more effectively market its digital content services, to regularly offer consumers trusted advice and guidance on the digital home experience, and to provide an ongoing dialogue with customers about Best Buy's various retail offerings.

Best Buy is making a commitment to TiVo to...

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Please Define “Necessity”

By Alfred Poor • Jul 9 2009, 1:00pm

On Tuesday, PriceGrabber put out a press release about its 2009 Consumer Behavior Report: Economic Trends in Consumer Spending. It paints a fairly pessimistic picture; two out of three consumers surveyed have cut back on spending, and 90% indicated that they plan to continue to control their spending even after the economy improves.
But the item [...]

High Definition ProductionPlasma HDTVs

Living in High Definition Community Website Offers Opportunity to Win a 54-Inch Panasonic Viera Plasma HDTV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 8 2009, 4:40pm

Panasonic announced an opportunity exclusively through its www.LivinginHD.com community web site for a chance to win Panasonic's critically acclaimed 54-inch class Panasonic VIERA V10 Series 1080p Plasma HDTV.

The giveaway, which runs through...

Wireless HDMI/HDTVEntertainmentProgrammingInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Broadband Growing at High Speed

By Alfred Poor • Jul 8 2009, 1:00pm

The communication world is changing rapidly, and this has enormous implications for everything from how we get our news to who pays for our entertainment programming. And key to this change is the growth of broadband Internet connections to the home. Now that we’ve graduated from slow dial-up connections to always-on high-speed broadband over wireless [...]

Blu-ray

OPPO Announces Availability of BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 8 2009, 12:33am

I received the following email from OPPO today as a subscriber to their newsletter. Many of you may have received the same letter, but I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the official "release".

We have not yet reviewed this unit, but we will. A quick search of our site for OPPO will show that they have a good track record of churning out excellent products. And there's no reason to believe their Blu-ray effort would be any different.

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Sony Unveils New Flash Memory 1080x1920 HD Camcorders With Advanced Optics

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 8 2009, 12:11am

Sony today announced its new HDR-CX520V and HDR-CX500V Handycam(R) camcorders, which capture full 1920x1080 high-definition video and up to 12-megapixel photos on a 64GB or 32GB internal flash memory, respectively, offering up to 25 hours of HD video (LP mode).

For optimal playback, the HDR-CX520V and HDR-CX500V camcorders feature 60p output, which automatically converts...

New Products & Equipment

Sony Introduces New DVDirect With Smaller Body and Larger LCD Display

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 7 2009, 11:05pm

The VRD-MC6 can transfer AVCHD(TM) quality videos to DVD discs in their native 1080i HD resolution when connected directly to a Sony hard drive or Memory Stick(R) media-based Handycam(R) camcorder. AVCHD quality DVDs can be played back on compatible Blu-ray Disc(TM) devices, including players and computer drives, as well as PlayStation(R) 3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment systems.

It can also transfer...

Mobile HDTVBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Trying Harder: Rent-a-TV

By Alfred Poor • Jul 7 2009, 1:00pm

It’s hard to differentiate your company in the car rental business. Once you have a lot full of late model cars at or near major airports, what’s left? Well, Avis is teaming up with AT&T to offer mobile TV in their cars at vacation destinations in Florida. Avis adds $8.95 a day for the AT&T [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Where is Blu-ray?

By Alfred Poor • Jul 6 2009, 1:00pm

I stumbled across this statement on Betanews as I looked around for news about Blu-ray: “Back in April, Sony President Ryoji Chubachi projected that its Blu-ray Disc format would garner 50 percent of DVD market share by the end of 2008.”
So here we are, halfway through 2009, and I’m wondering where Blu-ray stands. According to [...]

Internet HD VideoHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Netflix Plans for the Future

By Alfred Poor • Jul 3 2009, 1:00pm

Reed Hastings has seen the future, and there are no polycarbonate discs in his vision. You might find this surprising, given that he’s the CEO of Netflix. Is there life for Netflix after the DVD? That’s the question that was explored in an article in the Wall Street Journal last month.
Hastings co-founded Netflix, and expects [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsInternet HD Video

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #380 - PlayOn Update, Local Media Streaming

By The HT Guys • Jul 3 2009, 4:33am

It's been almost a year since we first checked out the beta of PlayOn from MediaMall Technologies. Now there's some new beta functionality in PlayOn, so we've decided to do a little update. The new feature allows you to stream local media content to your connected players.

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Small 1080p LCD HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jul 2 2009, 1:00pm

I’ve received a lot of promotional emails in recent weeks about new 24″ and 25″ 1080p LCD HDTVs at pretty astounding prices, some under $200. This would have been an appealing price for a 15″ LCD computer monitor just a few years ago, and now you get a widescreen and a TV tuner in the [...]

New Products & Equipment

New Pioneer Elite A/V Receivers Produce High Resolution Multi-Channel Sound Quality That Brings Cinematic Entertainment into the Home

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 2 2009, 12:53am

Raising the bar on high power A/V Receiver performance, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today unveils four A/V Receivers designed to bring enhanced clarity, detail and dynamic "quick response" from uncompressed Dolby® True-HD and DTS-HD™ Master Audio soundtracks used in Blu-ray Disc® entertainment. The new Pioneer® Elite® SC-25 and SC-27 A/V Receivers incorporate a Direct Energy HD Class D amplifier featuring ICEPower™ technology to ensure unprecedented reproduction of high resolution multi-channel, stereo as well as compressed audio and provide premium home entertainment that rivals the movie theater experience. Pioneer pushes the limits of A/V Receiver innovation with the Elite SC-27, which leverages the full advantages of this emerging amplification technology to become the industry's first Class D amp design to achieve THX™ Ultra2 Plus as well as AIR Studio monitor certifications. Together, these achievements undoubtedly affirm the company's positio ...

Cable HDTVWireless HDMI/HDTVBusiness & InvestmentInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Launches Wireless Pipe

By Alfred Poor • Jul 1 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, I posed the possibility that cable providers would have to choose between providing the pipes or the water (connections or content) for the Internet. It’s too soon to know if they will have to pick one or the other, but it’s clear that Comcast definitely wants to be in the pipe business. Yesterday, [...]

New Products & Equipment

Integra Debuts Pair of Mid-Priced AV Receivers for Custom Installations

By Shane Sturgeon • Jul 1 2009, 4:09am

Integra has introduced two mid-priced audio-video receivers designed to provide state-of-the-art home theater performance plus sophisticated integration with home automation systems. The new Integra DTR-30.1 and DTR-20.1 are, respectively, 7.2- and 5.2-channel, two-zone AV receivers designed for modern high-definition audio and video systems. In addition, the DTR-30.1 is the first Integra A/V receiver that incorporates the new Dolby ProLogic IIz which lets installers offer their clients engaging sonic ambience in three dimensions, not just two.

Both receivers use the latest...

New Products & Equipment

Hannspree Introduces a New 25-inch 1080p Full HD LCD Television

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 30 2009, 4:44pm

Hannspree today introduced the 25-inch ST251MKB 1080p Full HD LCD television to the US market at $399.99 MSRP. This model is going to be a part of the company's first line of mainstream digital TVs under the ST series. The larger models are expected to be released later this year. The ST series LCD televisions boast a stunning all-black design with a glossy front bezel and a set of key performance features that appeal to today's value and budget-conscious consumers. In addition, ST series televisions include a 6-ft. HDMI cable and Universal Remote Control.

The Hannspree ST series 1080p LCD TVs provide...

Cable HDTVService & RepairBroadcastProgramming

HDTV Almanac - Supreme Court Okays Cable DVR

By Alfred Poor • Jun 30 2009, 1:00pm

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it decided not to hear a case challenging Cablevision’s new digital video recording (DVR) service that it intends to roll out. This decision could have enormous implications, as far reaching as the famous “Betamax Case” that allowed consumers to “time shift” their viewing of broadcast programming by recording [...]

Internet HD VideoLCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - New Vizio Sets Add More Internet

By Alfred Poor • Jun 29 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, I got to see prototypes of some of VIZIO’s new XVT line of LCD 1080p HDTVs. These new models will ship this summer and fall. There will be 47″ and 55″ models with LED backlights that incorporate a local dimming feature for increased contrast, and in addition to these two, a 42″ model [...]

LCD HDTVsGlobal & Worldview

HDTV Almanac - Slamming the Door on Sharp

By Alfred Poor • Jun 26 2009, 1:00pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a “limited exclusion order” which effectively blocks the import of certain LCD panels and LCD TVs made by Sharp because the company had violated a patent held by Samsung. The ITC started its investigation of Samsung’s original complaint in January 2008, nearly a year and a [...]

HD DVD

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #379 - Yamaha RX-V565BL Receiver

By The HT Guys • Jun 26 2009, 6:47am

An HD picture is only half of the Home Theater experience. To complete it you need a good sound system. On this show we routinely talk about receivers that cost $750 and more which frustrates many listeners who want advanced features without spending a ton of money. The Yamaha RX V565 may be the machine that some of you have been looking for. At $430 its not the most capable machine out there but for some it will be a major step up over what they currently have been listening to.

Cable HDTVService & RepairEvents & TradeshowsInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Cable and Satellite: Selling Pipes or Water?

By Alfred Poor • Jun 25 2009, 1:00pm

Time Warner and Comcast are collaborating in their “TV Everywhere” initiative, and their CEOs held a joint press conference on Wednesday. The latest word is that the service is likely to launch by the fourth quarter of this year. Just as Netflix wants to put its movie catalog on the Web so that subscribers can [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - Walmart: I Beg to Differ

By Alfred Poor • Jun 24 2009, 1:00pm

TWICE published a story yesterday that quotes an interview with Gary Severson, senior VP/general merchandise manager of Walmart. The whole article is worth a read, but there was one part that leaped out at me.
The Walmart executive, who is not only responsible for CE but also toys and entertainment software, advised suppliers in the audience [...]

New Products & Equipment

VIZIO Announces High Performance XVT HDTV Line Up with 240Hz SPS(TM), TruLED(TM) and Smart Dimming(TM) Technology, VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA), and Slim Line(TM) 120Hz LCD HDTV Models

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 24 2009, 3:31am

VIZIO has unveiled details for its Fall 2009 Extreme VIZIO Technology, (XVT) series lineup, with 8 new models ranging in sizes from 32" to 55". The comprehensive range includes cutting-edge technologies like 240Hz scenes per second, TruLED(TM) with Smart Dimming(TM) backlight technology, VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA(TM)) feature and high-style Slim Line(TM) profile 120Hz LCD HDTVs. All of VIZIO's 2009 televisions are energy efficient, with each earning and exceeding Energy Star 3.0 qualifications by as much as 20%. Products are scheduled to ship...

OLED HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - OLED TV: More Mixed Messages

By Alfred Poor • Jun 23 2009, 1:00pm

Who knows what to believe? As I made the rounds of the various booths in the exhibit hall at SID 2009 in San Antonio three weeks ago, I found it difficult to get anyone to talk about OLED TV production plans. The few comments I got ranged from non-committal to a flat out “we haven’t [...]

Politics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - 10 Days Later

By Alfred Poor • Jun 22 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, I’ll grudgingly give the FCC some credit where credit is due; I’m not sure that the end of analog television broadcasts on June 12 was the complete train wreck that I expected it to be. But I also give FCC Acting Chairman Michael Copps credit for being honest about the fact that it was [...]

Blu-ray

New Sony Notebook Delivers Stunning Blu-ray Entertainment at Entry-Level Price

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 19 2009, 2:22pm

Sony today unveiled the VAIO(R) NW notebook -- a new line of PCs that provide a powerful high-definition experience while starting at just $800 for the standard model and $880 equipped with Blu-ray Disc(TM) technology.

Part of a series, the NW notebook features...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Cox Launches New HD Channels in Line-Up, Including Family-Friendly Channels

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 19 2009, 1:30pm

Cox Communications customers now have access to new HD channels, including two new family friendly high-definition channels with the addition of Disney Channel HD and ABC Family HD to Cox's lineup.

Also, a variety of content from...

Digital (DTV) TransitionLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - InfoComm 2009: That’s Big!

By Alfred Poor • Jun 19 2009, 1:00pm

InfoComm is a show for dealers and professional installers, and has products for digital signage and meeting room applications and professional sound and staging and all sorts of cool bright and shiny things. But one of the displays that stopped me in my tracks was at the Daktronics booth. This company makes the large LED [...]

SportsService & RepairCable HDTVHD DVD

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #378 - Tips for Tuning Your Surround Sound

By The HT Guys • Jun 19 2009, 7:57am

Never a shortage of things to talk about, topics in this episode range from the best football movie of all time - and yes, we are talking about American football (although Goal! would have been up there if we weren't). We dive into projectors a little bit and talk about the new HD streaming service Epix. The show closes with a discussion of an article from Electronic House about how to tune your surround sound system.

Front Projection

HDTV Almanac - InfoComm 2009: No Bulb in the Projector

By Alfred Poor • Jun 18 2009, 1:00pm

Front projectors are a terrific value for HDTV content; 1080p projectors can cost $1,200 or less and 720p models can cost well under $1,000. As John Jatinen of Epson puts it, they are the thinnest screen possible. And if you want a large image, they are much less expensive than an equivalent flat panel. Front [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsFront ProjectionMobile HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Pico Projectors Getting Better

By Alfred Poor • Jun 17 2009, 1:00pm

Pico projectors are the tiny devices that are small enough to be built into a cell phone or portable media player, but can still create an image large enough that a few people can watch it at the same time. Insight Media organized the Projector Summit here in Orlando, before InfoComm 2009, and a number [...]

New Products & Equipment

AVerMedia(R) Launches the Next Generation in PC-TV Tuner Cards!

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 17 2009, 4:14am

AVerMedia announced today the release of the Next Generation in PC-TV Entertainment. The AVerTV Combo G2 (White Box) is a DTV Ready Next Generation PCI Express TV tuner card that allows you to watch one program while recording another, or record two programs simultaneously! It's a Combo tuner, so it has one tuner for Analog (NTSC) and one for Digital broadcasting, Over-the-Air (ATSC), or Unencrypted Digital Cable (ClearQAM), designed to receive these signals directly to your PC! It comes equipped with...

Technology

Belden Runs An Unamplified 1080p/60 Digital Video Signal Over 100ft of Connectorized HDMI Cable

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 17 2009, 2:30am

Belden demonstrates the unique cable performance properties of their HDMI cable by running an unamplified 1080p/60 digital video signal 100 feet from a generic Blu-ray Disc player to a generic 1080p/60 display. This demonstration will be featured live throughout the InfoComm/NSCA tradeshow in Orlando, Florida June 17-19, 2009.

The secret behind these Belden HDMI cables is...

HTPCs & LaptopsLCD HDTVsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - “LED TVs”: Good News, Bad News

By Alfred Poor • Jun 16 2009, 1:00pm

First, the bad news: I’ve already expressed my concern over Samsung’s decision to use “LED TV” for their new line of LCD HDTVs, and I’m not alone. DisplaySearch, Insight Media, and even the New York Times have joined in the chorus to criticize this unfortunate choice. And now the hole in the marketing dike has [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyPolitics & PolicyCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - A Better HDMI Cable

By Alfred Poor • Jun 15 2009, 1:00pm

At the CEA Line Show in New York, I stumbled across some new technology that I hadn’t heard about before. One problem with HDMI cables is that there is no locking mechanism for the connector, and in some cases, the cables work loose. If your devices are mounted in a closet or cabinet, it can [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

Full-Power TV Broadcasters Go All-Digital

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 14 2009, 1:01am

The nation's historic switch to digital television by 971 full-power stations Friday prompted hundreds of thousands of consumers to call for assistance but caused no widespread disruption of free, over-the-air television broadcasts.

A record 317,450 consumers called...

3D HDTVLaser HDTVEvents & TradeshowsDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Something Small from Mitsubishi

By Alfred Poor • Jun 12 2009, 1:00pm

At the CES Line Show in New York City earlier this week, I visited with Mitsubishi. As expected, they had some large stories to tell, including their 82″ DLP rear projection HDTV that they claim is the largest 3D-ready TV on the market (shipping in July). And they were showing their LaserVue rear projection sets [...]

Politics & Policy

1 Day and Counting - Joint FCC Commerce News Release

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 12 2009, 12:02pm

On the eve of an historic technological transition to digital television, the focus for the two federal agencies managing the switch is on helping Americans who are at risk of losing their TV signals.

The digital TV (DTV) transition began over two decades ago as engineers set an ambitious technological goal...

PlasmaPlasma HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #377 - Panasonic TC-P54G10 Plasma HDTV

By The HT Guys • Jun 12 2009, 6:40am

Some say that Plasma is dead but they forgot to tell Panasonic. Today we take a look at the G10 line of plasmas more specifically the TC-P54G10 54 inch THX Certified 1080p TV. From what we can tell, plasmas are not dead yet! At $1900 it the best bang for the buck flat panel on the market.

New Products & Equipment

LG Electronics Delivers First Broadband HDTVs That Stream Instantly to Netflix Members

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 11 2009, 7:01pm

Building on its 18-month alliance with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) , LG Electronics has introduced yet another industry first with two new series of Full HD 1080p HDTVs with Netflix instant streaming software embedded directly in the TV and requiring no external device.

First announced at the 2009 International CES(R), the first of the new sets - a 47-inch class* LCD HDTV (model 47LH50) and 50-inch class* plasma HDTV (model 50PS80) with NetCast Entertainment Access - are available now at national retailers. A 42-inch class* LCD (model 42LH50) and 60-inch class* plasma (model 60PS80) are coming this...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Flat Panel Wall Mounts Get Easier

By Alfred Poor • Jun 11 2009, 1:00pm

Years ago, few people mounted their flat panel TVs on the wall. Most people simply put their sets on the same furniture where they had their old picture tube TV. Installing a wall mount was a task typically left to the pros. Then companies came to realize that DIY (Do It Yourself) consumers wanted to [...]

New Products & Equipment

Monster Introduces Breakthrough "SuperThin Cable™ for HDMI™"

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 11 2009, 11:43am

Monster, the world's leading manufacturer of cables, AV accessories, and power conditioning products, today announced the introduction of a new line of "Powered" SuperThin Cables™ for HDMI™ Cables specifically designed for use with a wide variety of electronics devices, ranging from today's super-slim flat-panel TVs to digital video cameras, home theater systems, gaming systems or portable computers. The new Monster SuperThin Cables for HDMI are the first fruits of a recently announced collaboration with RedMere, a leader in advanced silicon chip development. Monster Super Thin Cable for HDMI products will be available in...

New Products & Equipment

Toshiba Brings Industry-Leading Picture Quality to Home Theater With Its First Series of LED TV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 10 2009, 2:25pm

Toshiba America Consumer Products L.L.C. ("Toshiba"), a market leader in LCD TVs, today announced that it is now shipping its premium REGZA(R) HDTV Series, including the highly acclaimed ZV650 LCD TV, and state-of-the-art SV670 LED TV. These new series combine the most advanced picture technology with stunning designs, creating a highly immersive viewing experience that improves and extends home entertainment in new and exciting ways.

As a leader in technology, Toshiba designed its new REGZA line of premium LCD TVs to elevate the viewing experience to the next level by using its unmatched processing power to create all-new levels of picture quality. In addition...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - 120 Hz LCD Grows Slowly

By Alfred Poor • Jun 10 2009, 1:00pm

I wrote last November about DisplaySearch’s third quarter flat panel shipments for 2008, in which 120 Hz models represented 16% of the total shipments. According to the company’s report for the first quarter of 2009, just over 14% of the panels were 120 Hz, with another 4% with the new 240 Hz “quadruple frame rate” [...]

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Will Apple Change Television?

By Alfred Poor • Jun 9 2009, 1:00pm

Apple has a knack for making technology stick. It was not the first company to make a computer with a mouse and a graphical interface, but the Mac changed the face of personal computing. Apple wasn’t the first to sell downloaded music tracks, but iTunes created a permanent change in the recording industry. Apple wasn’t [...]

Blu-rayPlasma HDTVsInternet HD VideoBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - Amazon on Panasonic HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Jun 8 2009, 1:00pm

Panasonic has announced that its line of plasma and Blu-ray players with the Viera Cast feature will now be able to access Amazon Video on Demand content as well. Instead of using your cable, satellite, or antenna connection, Viera Cast relies on a broadband Internet connection to access video content without the need for a [...]

New Products & Equipment

VIZIO America's #1 HDTV Company Delivers NEW High Performance TV Collection

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 8 2009, 12:23pm

VIZIO, America's #1 HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, has unveiled its 2009 TV product lineup, with 31 new models in three product groups. With a comprehensive range that includes cutting-edge Smart Dimming(TM) backlight TruLED(TM) LCD technology, high-style/high performance products, and the best everyday value HDTVs, VIZIO's products are energy efficient, with each earning and exceeding Energy Star 3.0 qualification. Product releases are scheduled throughout the year, with numerous products now in-store and due to hit shelves soon.

This year...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Panasonic Introduces the World's Lightest* High Definition Camcorders

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 8 2009, 12:18pm

Panasonic today announced the release of two of the world's lightest*, High Definition (HD) camcorders -- the HDC-SD10, which uses an SDHC/SD Memory Card as recording media, and the Twin Memory Type HDC-TM10, which records onto both an 8 GB** Built-in Memory and an SDHC/SD Memory Card. Each model weighs just 0.5 LB, yet its compact body design has a high-powered 16x optical zoom capabilities and advanced features to produce beautiful 1920 x 1080 Full-HD videos.

The 16x optical zoom...

Environment / GreenLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - SID 2009: More Color!

By Alfred Poor • Jun 5 2009, 1:00pm

“Tim the Toolman” may have only wanted more power, but for HDTV fanatics, what we really want is more color. An extended color performance allows sets to provide more lifelike hues and create a wider range of shades of color. But almost all LCD HDTVs are limited to the red, green, and blue light produced [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #376 - Summer HDTV Fun, Outside

By The HT Guys • Jun 5 2009, 6:30am

It's almost become an annual tradition for us to do a feature on backyard HDTV for summertime. This time of year there isn't much to watch on TV, so we have concentrated mostly on movie setups. We'll expand the scope a little this year, and hopefully provide a little something for everyone.

Blu-ray

Pioneer Reaches Pinnacle of Video Performance with New Line of Blu-Ray Disc Players Now Available at Retail Stores

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 5 2009, 3:38am

With consumer interest in the Blu-ray Disc™ format at an all-time high, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. brings a new level of cinematic-quality entertainment to living rooms with three new Blu-ray Disc players now available at retail stores. The Pioneer® Elite® BDP-23FD along with the Pioneer BDP-120 and BDP-320 models are outfitted with advanced audio video processing designed to deliver vibrant colors, detailed pictures and immersive high resolution surround sound allowing owners to differentiate Pioneer's level of high performance well into the future.

Pioneer completes the Blu-ray Disc home theater experience by incorporating...

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - SID 2009: It’s All Good

By Alfred Poor • Jun 4 2009, 1:00pm

Walking around the exhibit hall at SID 2009, I was struck by an observation; just about all the displays look marvelous. This may seem like a trivial statement, but it’s not. I think back to what the flat panels looked like 10 years ago — or even five years ago – and the improvement is [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyOLED HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - SID 2009: Who Needs OLED TV?

By Alfred Poor • Jun 3 2009, 1:00pm

SID is the place to see the coolest technology demonstrations and prototypes in the display industry. Here’s one of the coolest I’ve seen so far this week. Samsung is showing a 24″ flat panel display that is only 3.5 mm thick. For those of you who are metrically challenged, that’s just a hair thicker than [...]

Events & TradeshowsPC & Laptop TechnologyBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - SID 2009: Average TV Sale Price Down

By Alfred Poor • Jun 2 2009, 1:00pm

I’m at the Society for Information Display 20o9 conference in San Antonio all this week, and even though the exhibit hall doesn’t open until this morning, I’ve already been drinking from the firehose of display technology information. Yesterday was a full-day conference hosted by the market research firm DisplaySearch, focused on the business of displays. [...]

Blu-ray

Panasonic Announces Availability and Pricing for DMP-B15, the World's First and Only Portable Blu-Ray Disc Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jun 1 2009, 1:26pm

Panasonic, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray Disc format, announced the availability and pricing for the world's first portable Blu-ray player, the Panasonic DMP-B15. Designed to provide the ultimate High Definition Blu-ray experience for those on the go, the B15 features a high quality 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD screen and includes Panasonic's VIERA CAST(TM) Internet accessibility and BD Live functionality, as well as a SD Memory Card slot. The B15 will be available in...

Digital (DTV) TransitionBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition: Down to the Wire

By Alfred Poor • Jun 1 2009, 1:00pm

It’s still a glass half-full/half-empty situation. The rest of the full-power television broadcast stations are going to turn off their analog transmitters a week from this Friday, and according to Nielsen, about 3.1 million U.S households remain totally unprepared for the transition to digital TV broadcasts. That’s a lot of homes that aren’t ready.
On the [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - LED TVs: What Are They Really?

By Alfred Poor • May 29 2009, 1:00pm

I’ll blame Samsung. Not their engineers who develop some great technology, and not their manufacturing people who execute those designs to create top quality products, but I expect that it’s the marketing folks who came up with this one. There’s a lot of buzz about “LED TVs“, which appears to be a term that Samsung [...]

3D HDTVInternet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #375 - HDMI 1.4

By The HT Guys • May 29 2009, 5:23am

It seems like all of the HDTV shows we watch have ended for the season, so we're clearing out the divvers and watching alot of Netflix. While the world of HDTV may not be terribly exciting right now, we still have a ton of stuff to talk about. One of our favorites, 1080p, is back. We get into two-way communication and finish with HDMI 1.4. Enhancements in the new HDMI spec include Ethernet networking, audio return channel, 3D capability, improved performance and new connectors.

EntertainmentCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - New HDMI Spec on the Way

By Alfred Poor • May 28 2009, 1:00pm

HDMI has become the first choice in making the connection between HDTVs and other components in a home entertainment system; the installed base includes more than a billion connections. The single cable carries video and audio, which helps eliminate the rat’s nest of wires that often accompanies electronic equipment. The high speed digital connection provides [...]

Technology

HDMI Licensing, LLC Announces Features of the Upcoming HDMI Specification Version 1.4

By Shane Sturgeon • May 28 2009, 11:23am

HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface® (HDMI®) specification, today announced the features that will be incorporated in the upcoming HDMI 1.4 specification. This latest version of the HDMI specification will, among other advancements, offer networking capabilities with Ethernet connectivity and will add an Audio Return Channel to enable upstream audio connections via the HDMI cable. The HDMI specification 1.4 will be available for download...

LCD HDTVsBroadcast

HDTV Almanac - JVC Launches LCD TV Monitor

By Alfred Poor • May 27 2009, 1:00pm

An interesting announcement was posted yesterday. JVC has released a new 42″ 1080p LCD TV, except that it’s not really a TV; it’s a monitor. What’s the difference, you ask? The difference is that a TV has a tuner that can receive a broadcast signal and extract the sound and images from it, but a [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Time Warner Drops HDNet

By Alfred Poor • May 26 2009, 1:00pm

Time Warner announced recently that the company will drop HDNet from its cable services. Apparently, it was unable to come to terms with Mark Cuban for his HDNet and HDNet Movie channels. A a result, the two will be dropped from the Time Warner line-up next Sunday, May 31.
Cuban launced HDNet in September 2001 to [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Happy Memorial Day!

By Alfred Poor • May 25 2009, 1:00pm

If you’re in the United States, I hope that you are getting to enjoy this Memorial Day long weekend. Maybe you’ll get to watch some sports or enjoy a movie on an HDTV screen. Or maybe there will be a backyard barbecue or other celebration of the start of summer. No matter how you spend [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Windows Media Center Gets Netflix

By Alfred Poor • May 23 2009, 1:00pm

Do you have a subscription to Netflix? Do you have a computer with Windows Media Center? Then it is now easier than ever to take advantage of the streaming online movies that are available free to subscribers. This gives you access to the more than 12,000 movies and videos that you can also access with [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #374 - Fall TV Lineups

By The HT Guys • May 22 2009, 7:10am

The major networks have all finally released their fall TV line ups. We now know for sure what's coming back and what's been terminated. If you've been waiting and waiting to hear what will happen to your favorite shows, wait no longer. We have all the details.

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Samsung TVs to Tweet!

By Alfred Poor • May 21 2009, 1:00pm

Okay, file this item in the “There are only two kinds of people in the world” folder. Either you will think that this is a great idea, or a terrible one.
Last year, I reported on Samsung’s plans to provide Yahoo! widgets on their Series 6 and 7 LCD TVs to provide feeds of information from [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Dots Enough Already?

By Alfred Poor • May 20 2009, 1:00pm

Okay; first we had standard definition TV which we will imprecisely assume has 640 by 480 pixels in the image (because that’s close enough for our purposes here). Then HDTV came along with 720p (1,280 by 720 pixels) and 1080i/1080p (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) resolutions. Movie theaters need even higher resolution, and so the standard [...]

Internet HD Video

Microsoft and Netflix Enhance Movie and TV Watching on the PC

By Shane Sturgeon • May 20 2009, 11:17am

Microsoft Corp. today announced that more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix Inc., the world's largest online movie rental service, are now available to watch instantly on the PC using Windows Media Center on PCs with Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate. This newest content addition builds on Microsoft's goal to create a consistent experience on the PC for consumers to easily enjoy the entertainment of greatest interest to them.

With Windows Media Center, consumers...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LCD TV Sales Up… and Down

By Alfred Poor • May 19 2009, 1:00pm

DisplaySearch has released their information on worldwide LCD TV shipments (from manufacturers, as opposed to the sales by retailers) for the first quarter of 2009, and the trend is familiar. The number of units shipped — 26.7 million — was up 27% compared with the first quarter of 2008, but the revenues actually declined 1% [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV-Day Minus 25…

By Alfred Poor • May 18 2009, 1:00pm

Nielsen has announced that about 3.3 million U.S. households remain totally unprepared for the end of analog television broadcasts on June 12. If you’re a glass-half-full type, this means that about half the households that were totally unprepared in January are now at least partially prepared. On the other hand, if you’re a glass-half-empty type, [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)LED (LCD) HDTVsDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Real Networks Fights Back Against DRM

By Alfred Poor • May 15 2009, 1:00pm

DRM: it stands for “digital rights management” but many believe that it’s just an indirect way of saying “copy protection“. Publishers of all sorts of copyrighted material — including music and movies – have tried to find ways to prevent people from making illegal copies of their products. The major Hollywood movie studios created the [...]

Mobile HDTVDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #373 - Portable Digital Televisions (ATSC)

By The HT Guys • May 15 2009, 6:03am

With the digital switch taking place right in the middle of Hurricane and Tornado season many of our listeners wonder what will replace the trusty old portable analog TV in emergencies. Apparently a lot of people have been thinking about this. In Amazon.com's list of popular TVs there are two portable digital models. So for today's show we thought we'd rundown your options.

Blu-ray

HDTV Almanac - Blu-ray Player on the Wall…

By Alfred Poor • May 14 2009, 1:00pm

Who’s the thinnest of them all? I don’t know if the Samsung BD-P4600 is the thinnest Blu-ray player on the market, but at 1.5″ thick, it’s certainly a contender. And it’s designed to hang on the wall right next to your flat panel HDTV. Pretty cool, huh?

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Systemax Expands Online Empire

By Alfred Poor • May 13 2009, 1:00pm

As I reported last month, the auction of Circuit City’s assets happened yesterday, and according to several published accounts, Systemax came out as the top bidder for the online retail site and other intellectual property. The deal requires confirmation by the bankruptcy judge, which is expected later today.
You may not be familiar with Systemax, but [...]

New Products & Equipment

Video Report - Buffalo TeraStation III NAS

By Alfred Poor • May 13 2009, 10:50am

The TeraStation III is a network-attached storage (NAS) device that lets you share and backup files on a network. It is also a DLNA Certified™ media server. In this company-sponsored five minute video, Alfred Poor gives you an overview of the various features, and shows how easy it is to install and use on your home network.

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Vizio Regains #1 Spot in LCD TV

By Alfred Poor • May 12 2009, 1:00pm

DisplaySearch has released their preliminary data on the flat panel TV market for the first quarter of 2009, and it indicates that the market was much stronger than might have been expected. The company tracks manufacturer shipments, not the actual retail sales. (Retail sales are tracked by DisplaySearch’s parent company, NPD.) LCD TV shipments declined [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - Will Someone Please Answer the Remote?

By Alfred Poor • May 11 2009, 1:00pm

You’ve got a short stack of remote controls in your lap as you’re watching television, and the telephone rings. Now you have to shuffle around and find the phone handset to answer the call. Well, if Motorola has its way, your pile of electronic controls could be pared down to a single device.
At CES 2009, [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DISH Network(R) Introduces New National HD Channels

By Shane Sturgeon • May 9 2009, 4:40pm

Today, DISH Network(R) introduces the high definition feeds of: FX, SPEED, Fashion TV (FTV), Logo and MavTV, fortifying its HD superiority and bringing its total national HD count to more than 140 channels. DISH Network also announced that it will now host the complete 24-hour feed of The N on DISH Network Ch. 181, its new permanent location. Additionally, DISH Network will launch MSNBC HD in June.

FX HD and SPEED HD are located in DISH Network's Classic Silver 200 HD programming package and above, available to consumers starting at...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Not Your Father’s Rabbit Ears

By Alfred Poor • May 8 2009, 1:00pm

Have your experiences with “rabbit ear” TV antennas been like mine? Have you ever draped pieces of aluminum foil and copper wire off the telescoping rods in hopes of getting a slightly better picture? Maybe you’ve turned them this way and that, only to find that the image changes when you let go?
Well, the good [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #372 - Harmony Remote Round-Up

By The HT Guys • May 8 2009, 5:57am

The secret ingredient in any home theater is the right universal remote control. And it's no secret that our special blend involves a few different Harmony Remotes strategic placed throughout our homes. If you're still living without a universal remote control, still forcing friends and relatives to sort through multiple remotes just to do the simplest things, you owe it to yourself to spice it up a bit. Give it a try, you'll love it.

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Introduces New Slim Touch of Color LCD Monitors

By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2009, 11:31pm

Samsung Electronics America, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, the number one worldwide brand of LCD display products, today announced the release of its 70 Series Monitors: the P2070, P2370 and P2370HD. These slim LCD monitors, with screen depths of 30 mm (1.18 inches) for the P2070 and P2370 and 65.5mm (2.58 inches) for the P2370HD and Touch of Color (ToC™) design, are the latest release of Samsung's high performance displays.

The 70 Series Monitors...

New Products & Equipment

Panasonic Announces New Pricing on 103-Inch Full HD Plasma Display

By Shane Sturgeon • May 7 2009, 11:24pm

Panasonic, a leader in High Definition technology, announced today that the critically-acclaimed, 103-inch Plasma Full High Definition 1080p Display -- the world's largest Plasma commercially available -- will now be priced at...

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Broadcast

HDTV Almanac - Maine Senators Concerned about DTV Cliff

By Alfred Poor • May 7 2009, 1:00pm

The two U.S. Senators from Maine, Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins , have introduced the The DTV Cliff Effect Assistance Act of 2009. This bill aims to address some of the problems that rural consumers are encountering with poor reception of digital television broadcast signals.
As mentioned here on more than a few occasions, digital [...]

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Panasonic Announces Pricing for Lumix GH1, a New Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera With Full-High Definition Video Recording Capability

By Shane Sturgeon • May 6 2009, 2:56pm

Panasonic today announced pricing for the highly-anticipated LUMIX DMC-GH1, the new Micro Four Thirds digital camera with Full-High Definition (HD) video recording ability, which will be available in early June for a suggested retail price of $1499.95. The LUMIX DMC-GH1 includes the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens as part of the kit. The new lens, designed to support HD movie recording, features a silent motor and continuous auto focusing (AF) capability -- a differentiator from traditional DSLRs.

In the U.S., the LUMIX GH1 will be available...

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Scores Again

By Alfred Poor • May 6 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, Disney announced that it will join NBC Universal, News Corp., and Providence Equity Partners as an equity owner in Hulu, the online video site. As part of the deal, Disney will post a wide range of full-length episodes of ABC and Disney show content on the Hulu site. Among the shows to be [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LED LCD TVs: Back or Side-Lit?

By Alfred Poor • May 5 2009, 1:00pm

Until recently, just about every LCD TV used cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) to provide the very bright backlights required to create an image using an LCD panel. (Even when showing an all-white screen, about 95% of the light is absorbed by the panel, so the backlight needs to produce a lot of light.) CCFL [...]

HD DVDHigh Definition ProductionDigital (DTV) Transition

Panasonic's LivingInHD.com to Give Away 30 High Definition Products in 30 Days

By Shane Sturgeon • May 4 2009, 3:35pm

Panasonic today launched a contest exclusively on LivingInHD.com in which they will give away one HD product each day for 30 days. The Panasonic Living In HD 30x30 contest, which runs through May 30, will award a daily winner their choice of one of three 2009 Panasonic products from its critically acclaimed line of LUMIX digital cameras and HD camcorders.

The three prize options include...

HD DVDPC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic HD Camera Give-Away

By Alfred Poor • May 4 2009, 1:00pm

Panasonic has created a “Living in HD” (LiHD) social networking site which it hopes will help “demystify High Definition and ‘unconfuse’ the consumer”. It provides places to post still and video images, discuss technology, find answers to your questions, and more. And to promote the site, Panasonic is giving away an HD digital camera every [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & PolicyCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - FCC Updates DTV Transition Site

By Alfred Poor • May 1 2009, 1:00pm

Well, the horse’s departure from the barn has been delayed, which has given the FCC some extra time to work on the closing the barn door. Last week, the agency announced a revamped Web site for the digital TV transition at www.dtv.gov. With about six weeks to go before the June 12 transition date, this [...]

HTPCs & Laptops

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #371 - Data Robotics Drobo

By The HT Guys • May 1 2009, 5:47am

If you listen to our show chances are you have a lot of media stored on your computer. Everything form mp3s to DVDs to family videos and pictures. It probably took you a while to take, scan, rip or download all this stuff and you certainly don't want to lose it since you probably can't recreate it all if you did. What we all need is a good backup strategy. One that works well and does not require much thought beyond the initial setup. That's where the Drobo comes in. The Drobo is a device that will protect your data from loss and is extremely simple to setup and use.

OLED HDTVsSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - More on OLED TVs: Maybe Next Year?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 30 2009, 1:00pm

I know that I just wrote about this, but here comes more information. MegaWhat.TV has posted a video report about a new Samsung 23″ OLED monitor (which is really just a TV without a tuner, and if you’re using a cable or satellite set top box, you don’t need a tuner in your TV). According [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Radio Shack Survives on Converter Boxes

By Alfred Poor • Apr 29 2009, 1:00pm

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, Radio Shack recently announced its first quarter financial report. In a time when most companies see good news as a smaller loss than expected , Radio Shack posted an 11% increase in income over last year. According to the article, if you take out the [...]

New Products & Equipment

Epson Announces Next-Generation Ensemble HD Home Cinema System Featuring Latest 1080p Projector Models

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 28 2009, 9:22pm

Epson today announced that its multi-award winning Ensemble HDTM Home Cinema System is now available with the company's latest 3LCD 1080p front projectors. The PowerLite® Home Cinema 6100 and Home Cinema 6500 UB offer home entertainment and AV enthusiasts two outstanding options for an incredible viewing experience with Ensemble HD.

The Ensemble HD Home Cinema System is a fully-integrated, high-end home entertainment solution for viewing movies, TV and playing video games. With a motorized 100-inch screen...

PC & Laptop TechnologyHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LG Supports DivX

By Alfred Poor • Apr 28 2009, 1:00pm

LG Electronics has a history of supporting DivX video compression dating back to 2007, and last week, renewed that support in a big way. The company announced that its latest line of TVs supports the new DivX HD technology. This brings the total to more than 200 LG TV models that have been DivX certified. [...]

Cable HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Comcast Cable TV on Your Computer

By Alfred Poor • Apr 27 2009, 1:00pm

Netflix gets it. iTunes gets it. And now it appears that Comcast, the leading cable TV provider in the country gets it. Traditional content delivery is going the way of the buggy whip. Consumers don’t want to be tied to a disc of polycarbonate plastic or a coax wire coming through the wall in order [...]

HD DVDDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - TiVo Downloads from Amazon

By Alfred Poor • Apr 24 2009, 1:00pm

In an announcement on Tuesday, TiVo announced that their customers can now download video and movie HD content from Amazon directly to their TiVo recorders. The supported models are the Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL digital video recorders (DVRs). High definition TV episodes can be purchased for about $3, and HD movies can [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #370 - Interview with Audio Expert Kevin LaTour

By The HT Guys • Apr 24 2009, 6:18am

Ara had a chance to speak with audio expert Kevin LaTour about speaker cables. Kevin presented the other side of the argument that says you really should spend more on your speaker wire. He explains why he believes it's worth it.

OLED HDTVsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - More OLED TVs This Year?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 23 2009, 1:00pm

After lots of backpedaling on promises to ship OLED TVs — especially by Samsung — some companies are starting to sing a different tune. A story from the Hindu Business Line this week has been widely quoted and has stirred up a bit of excitement. In the report, an executive from LG is quoted as [...]

Internet HD Video

Amazon Video On Demand Announces Launch of High Definition Movies and TV Episodes

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 22 2009, 11:35pm

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that customers can rent box-office favorites and purchase top TV shows in HD from Amazon Video On Demand. Customers can select from more than 500 HD TV shows and movies from major studios and networks including Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Showtime Networks. Top titles available now in HD on Amazon Video On Demand include new-release movies such as...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Flip Video Mino HD

By The HT Guys • Apr 22 2009, 4:24pm

The first thing you notice when you open the Mino HD is how small it is. It measures 3.94" x 1.97" x 0.63" (10 x 5 x 1.6 cm) and weighs only 3.3 ounces. Easily smaller than an iPod or PDA, in fact smaller than most cell phones and digital still cameras; the Mino HD is incredibly portable. Also included in the box are a wrist strap, a carry case and an A/V cable (composite video and stereo audio).

Using the Mino is a snap. It recharges via...

LCD HDTVsGlobal & Worldview

HDTV Almanac - LCD TV Production on the Rise

By Alfred Poor • Apr 22 2009, 1:00pm

According to a press release from DisplaySearch yesterday, March 2009 shipments of LCD TV panels rose 30% over February’s number to total 9.9 million units. Even better is the news that this represents a 14% increase over the March 2008 numbers, which was before we ran headfirst into the brick wall of global recession and [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Hulu Growing

By Alfred Poor • Apr 21 2009, 1:00pm

According to a report by comScore, the Internet video site Hulu saw a 42% increase in viewership in February, serving up about 330 million videos. This was enough to push the service up to fourth place overall among Internet Video sites. (Google with its YouTube remains solidly in the top spot with more than 5.3 [...]

Speakers & Sound Systems

Yamaha YSP-4000

By The HT Guys • Apr 20 2009, 4:19pm

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...

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FFC Sets Rules For DTV Help Centers

By Alfred Poor • Apr 20 2009, 1:00pm

Earlier this month, the FCC published the rules for DTV help centers. Most TVbroadcasters are required by the “DTV Delay Act” to create walk-in help centers for their markets. These new rules require that the centers be open at least from 4 to 8 PM (local) on Fridays, and 10 AM to 4 PM on [...]

Speakers & Sound Systems

Logitech Squeezebox Duet

By The HT Guys • Apr 17 2009, 4:15pm

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.

According to the Logitech Website, the Squeezebox Duet lets you...

DLP HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - The Norwegian Blue of HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Apr 17 2009, 1:00pm

Last week, Mitsubishi announced its lineup of premium TV models for 2009. In addition to a range of flat panel LCD HDTVs, the company also announced seven new rear projection DLP models which makes them the last major company to still emphasize DLP HDTVs. (It is interesting to note that the company’s press release did [...]

High Definition ProductionHD Video Production

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #369 - The Future of Electronics Retailers

By The HT Guys • Apr 17 2009, 5:55am

We got an email recently from a listener named William asking what we think about the future of the high end audio/video retailer. There's no doubt this economy has been rough, hitting both the specialty dealers and the big stores like Circuit City alike. Eventually the economy will rebound, we all know it works in cycles. But will the downturn have a permanent impact on the way we buy gear?

3D HDTV

Panasonic to Showcase 3D Full HD Technology at 2009 NAB Show

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 16 2009, 9:05pm

Panasonic Corporation, a world leader in High Definition and 3D Full HD technology, will showcase its cutting edge 3D Full HD Home Theater solution and the future of 3D Full HD technology at the 2009 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show which runs Monday, April 20 through Thursday, April 23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Panasonic 3D Full HD Theater, located at Booth C3327 in the Central Hall, will feature...

Technology

Revisiting the Component Approach to Audio/Video in Today’s Home Theater Market

By Robert A. Fowkes • Apr 16 2009, 4:24pm

Over two years ago I wrote an article titled A New Approach to Components in a Digital Audio/Video World to share my thoughts regarding equipment options in Home Theater and related electronics. At that time I outlined the reasons that components might provide a better overall solution to an all-in-one box in terms of upgradability, performance and sometimes even price. Basically, the upside focused on the ability to upgrade as needed without replacing perfectly adequate and functional parts and the downside involved more boxes and wires than the alternative. While that's a gross simplification of the whole hypothesis you can review the entire argument by referring to the original article.

The basic principles of that paper still apply but a lot has changed over the past two years...

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - More Electronics Recycling Centers

By Alfred Poor • Apr 16 2009, 1:00pm

The Manufacturers Recycling Management Company — MRM — is a joint venture between Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba to encourage the recycling of consumer electronics in the U.S. Panasonic announced Tuesday that an additional 30 recycling sites have been added, bringing the total to 310 with coverage in all 50 states. These sites will accept any [...]

Blu-ray

New Pioneer Blu-ray Disc Computer Writer Delivers Full Potential of HD Disc Format

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 16 2009, 10:30am

To the delight of creative consumers and professional authoring providers, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today introduces its new BDR-2203 Blu-ray Disc®/DVD/CD internal computer writer. Delivering on the promise of a comprehensive solution for large file storage and high definition film functionality, the new device features an impressive 8X write speed capability for dual-layer BD-R Blu-ray Disc media. With the new writer, users can take advantage of ...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DIRECTV Now Offers the Largest Selection of 1080p Movies

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 16 2009, 4:36am

Continuing to sharpen up the HD viewing experience, DIRECTV is now offering the most movies in 1080p, the highest resolution format available for HD video enthusiasts and the same format used by Blu-Ray HD DVDs.

DIRECTV customers with DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR receivers have access to...

Media Players

Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player

By The HT Guys • Apr 15 2009, 7:00pm

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 (we'll discuss this later). The player supports 1080p for...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Circuit City Online to Continue

By Alfred Poor • Apr 15 2009, 1:00pm

Systemax — the company behind Tiger Direct – bought the CompUSA.com Web site and a couple of the CompUSA stores in Florida when that company closed last year. Now Systemax is in line to take over the Circuit City Web domain and some other assets, which would increase the company’s dominant position as an online [...]

Environment / Green

Panasonic Announces Major Expansion of its Nationwide Consumer Electronics Recycling in Southeast

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 14 2009, 4:42pm

Panasonic Corporation of North America, a market and technology leader in High Definition consumer and digital electronics products, announced today a major expansion of its Nationwide Recycling Program. The expansion will initially add more than 30 drop-off sites to Panasonic's Nationwide Recycling Program in the Southeastern United States including...

Front Projection

HDTV Almanac - Projector Company InFocus to Be Sold

By Alfred Poor • Apr 14 2009, 1:00pm

InFocus announced yesterday that it will be purchased by Image Holdings Corporation in a cash deal for $0.95 a share, or about $39 million. That’s about half the share price from a year ago, and about one-tenth of the company’s five year high price. Still, it is good news as it means that InFocus is [...]

HD DVDInternet HD VideoCable HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - HD VuNow Available from Amazon

By Alfred Poor • Apr 13 2009, 1:00pm

There’s a lot of good video available for free on the Web if you have broadband Internet access, and it’s not that difficult to connect a PC to your television. If your computer graphics adapter is like most, it has a DVI connector. You can get a DVI to HDMI cable to connect it to [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Dish Network Introduces Seven New National HD Channels from MTV Networks and BET Networks

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 13 2009, 11:15am

Today, DISH Network® (NASDAQ: DISH) asserted its HD supremacy by announcing an agreement with MTV Networks and BET Networks and launching high definition feeds of BET, CMT, COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV and VH1 at no additional cost to customers.

CMT HD, COMEDY CENTRAL HD, MTV HD, Nickelodeon HD, Spike TV HD and VH1 HD are now available to DISH Network customers who subscribe to...

Sports

HDTV Almanac - Online March Madness Gets Bigger

By Alfred Poor • Apr 10 2009, 1:00pm

According to a report in Fierce Online Video, the CBS Interactive free online coverage of the 2009 NCAA Mens Basketball championship delivered 8.6 million hours of video and audio. This represents a 70% increase over last year. The coverage garnered about $30 million in revenue, up more than 30% from last year.
As I’ve pointed out [...]

Cable, Satellite & FiberCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #368 - 2009 Cable Show

By The HT Guys • Apr 10 2009, 6:09am

Today we want to go over some of the news that came out of the recently concluded Cable Show. The show was held in Washington DC and ran from April 1st to April 3rd. The show drew record attendance this year with more than 12,000 attendees.

HD DVDCable HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Moxi HD DVR Adds Features

By Alfred Poor • Apr 9 2009, 1:00pm

Digeo makes the Moxie HD DVR that lets users of cable TV services record and play back TV shows. Unlike TiVo, there’s no monthly subscription fee. However, the device costs about $200 more than a TiVo, so it will take about two years to recover the difference in cost. Digeo announced a range of new [...]

3D HDTV

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Announces Its Large Screen 2009 Home Theater TVs With 3D-Ready Technology

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 9 2009, 2:47am

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced its new Home Theater TV series for 2009, offering a larger than life, vivid viewing experience and includes 3D-Ready(1) viewing technology - a feature becoming more in demand among consumers as 3D content production continues to increase. In addition to 3D-Ready, the new Home Theater TV product line features a solid offering of large screen sizes including...

New Products & Equipment

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Unveils Unisen(TM)

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 9 2009, 2:44am

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. today announced its 2009 line of Premium Flat Panel TVs. Newly branded Unisen(TM), the three new series all feature a fully integrated 16-speaker Dolby(TM) Digital 5.1 channel surround system. Each new premium flat panel TV delivers the optimal blend of superior picture performance with unparalleled immersive sound technology, providing viewers with a complete sensory experience. Unisen will allow consumers to enjoy concert quality sound in their homes, without the need for separate home theater components. The Unisen 2009 line-up will feature screen sizes ranging from...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Toshiba Imaging to Exhibit New Suite of High Def Cameras at NAB Show

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 9 2009, 2:41am

Toshiba Imaging (www.cameras.toshiba.com), a global leader in advanced HD color video imaging, will showcase its revolutionary, POV high definition HD Camera Suite of five cameras at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas, NV, April 18 - 23, 2009 in Toshiba's Booth #C5119.

The sophisticated, 3CCD IK-HD1 Camera features the smallest HD remote camera head available (only 1.6 inches, weighing 2.3 oz.) with an ultra-compact control unit. It delivers the sharpest, clearest, true color imagery with...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Backyard Movie Theater?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 8 2009, 1:00pm

Friend and colleague Peter Putman (of www.hdtvexpert.com) is renowned for his HDTV SuperBowl parties, where he fills his house with displays so you won’t miss a second of the game as you move from room to room. One of my favorite tricks of his is to hang a bed sheet outside over a picture window, [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - Really High-Def Cinemas

By Alfred Poor • Apr 7 2009, 1:00pm

There’s an entertainment arms race that’s been underway just about as long as there has been television. The challenge has been for the movies to offer a better experience than you can get in your living room, in order to entice you to part with your cash in order to watch a movie at your [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - One Hot HDTV: Insignia IS-LCDTV26

By Alfred Poor • Apr 6 2009, 1:00pm

Last Thursday, Best Buy announced a voluntary recall of the Insignia IS-LCDTV26 television. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall announcement is posted here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09183.html. The reason for the recall is that Best Buy received two reports of the TVs catching on fire as a result of a failure of the power supply. One report [...]

LED (LCD) HDTVsPolitics & PolicyCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #367 - How to spend your Refund Check

By The HT Guys • Apr 3 2009, 2:48pm

It's annual income tax time here in the United States, and odds are quite a few of those listening will be getting a refund back from the government. If you haven't left things to the last minute, you may already know how much is coming back. If you have to pay this year, we're sorry for you. Better luck next year.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - What is the “Best” Flat Panel TV?

By Alfred Poor • Apr 3 2009, 1:00pm

I received an offer to do some cross-promotion with a site call Wize. According to the email, the company “aggregates and analyzes millions of reviews from around the web to determine the best products for specific uses / intentions.” It’s an interesting site, but I am not sure that its source information is capable of [...]

PC & Laptop TechnologyMobile HDTVBusiness & InvestmentLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - More Consolidation in LCD Panel Business

By Alfred Poor • Apr 2 2009, 1:00pm

Toshiba announced yesterday that they are buying out Panasonic’s 40% interest in “Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd. (TMD), a joint venture that develops, manufactures and sells liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and organic light emitting displays (OLEDs),” according to a company press release. The venture will become a Toshiba subsidiary, to be renamed “Toshiba Mobile [...]

Broadcast

Ed's View - HD Radio in HD

By Ed Milbourn • Apr 1 2009, 3:55pm

When working for Sirius Satellite Radio (now Sirius-XM), I was asked to attend a seminar in Newark, N.J., sponsored by iBiquity, the developer of the HD Radio standard. I was uninformed as to the purpose of the seminar and assumed it was a "spy" mission.

With the invitation in my hot little hand, I presented myself at the conference room sign-in desk. Since the HD radio group considered Satellite radio the mortal enemy, I was greeted with a lot of upturned eyebrows and numerous whispers.

I discovered that...

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - Sony Shutters FED

By Alfred Poor • Apr 1 2009, 1:00pm

Field Emissions Technology (FET) was a Sony spin-off created to explore field emission display — FED — technology. And according to several reports, Sony announced last week that it will shut down the company. This really comes as little surprise, as last December Sony announced a massive 8,000 layoffs and the closing of some factories [...]

Blu-rayInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - NetFlix Raises Rates for Blu-Ray

By Alfred Poor • Mar 31 2009, 1:00pm

Netflix subscribers are shocked, shocked to discover that Blu-ray discs cost the company more than standard DVDs, and that Netflix is increasing their subscription fees for those users who want to receive their movies in high-definition. Reaction to the announcement made in the company blog yesterday generated hundreds of angry comments from subscribers.
The increase is [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FCC Enlists AmeriCorps for DTV Transition

By Alfred Poor • Mar 30 2009, 1:00pm

The FCC apparently has decided that it would be helpful to have “boots on the ground” in 49 major metropolitan areas to help residents make the transition to digital broadcasts by the June 12 deadline. According to a press release from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) on Friday, its members “will focus on groups [...]

Politics & PolicyEvents & TradeshowsDigital (DTV) TransitionPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Almanac - CEA Rides Again: We’re Ready for DTV

By Alfred Poor • Mar 27 2009, 1:00pm

I get it. CEA stands for “Consumer Electronics Association”, and in addition to hosting the CES conference in Las Vegas every January, the organization provides “representation from the voice of the industry, CEA, promoting and advancing member needs and interests.” And those 2,200 members are companies within the consumer technology industry. So I get it; [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #366 - Speaker Wire Myths Busted

By The HT Guys • Mar 27 2009, 7:23am

Speaker Wire Myths Busted: Today we tackle some of the myths we have heard related to speaker wiring.

Broadcast

Ed's View - Better Broadcast HDTV

By Ed Milbourn • Mar 26 2009, 3:49pm

I am sure most of you have experienced the superb HD picture offered by Blu-ray discs, and wonder why over-the air (OTA) HD broadcast do not exhibit the same quality. The answer to this question is compound and has been discussed in similar blurbs on this subject. However, one of the broadcasters' limitations to optimizing HDTV is inherent in the ATSC standard itself, and that is the obsolete MPEG-2 compression system.

When the digital (HD or SD) signal is originally digitized...

Internet HD VideoService & RepairHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - NetFlix Bogs Down

By Alfred Poor • Mar 26 2009, 1:00pm

Apparently there has been a flurry of complaints about the Netflix streaming video service. Some users have encountered problems just with HD streams, while others have had problems with choppy performance even on SD titles. The company responded with considerable candor in a blog entry last week in which Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer, [...]

Deals & DiscountsPolitics & PolicyCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - NTIA to Replace Expired Converter Coupons

By Alfred Poor • Mar 25 2009, 1:00pm

In a press release yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it had cleared the backlog of rebate coupon requests for digital converter boxes, and is accepting new applications. For the first time, the agency is also accepting applications from households who received rebate coupons, but who failed to redeem them before [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - More Homes Prepare for DTV Transition

By Alfred Poor • Mar 24 2009, 1:00pm

Nielsen has posted their latest estimate of how many U.S. households remain unprepared for the end of analog TV broadcasts in June. With just over two months left to go, the number of households has been cut nearly in half from December to now, leaving only 4.1 million homes still not ready according to Nielsen; [...]

HD Video ProductionWireless HDMI/HDTVFront ProjectionPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #365 - Gefen Wireless HDMI Adapter (EXT-WHDMI)

By The HT Guys • Mar 24 2009, 7:24am

One issue many of us come across when setting up our home theaters is that the TV would look great in a particular spot in the room that is not necessarily the best spot for the source equipment. The dilemma is how do you get the video to the TV or projector. Gefen has you covered in this case. Their new wireless HDMI adapter will transmit HDMI audio and video up to 30 feet using Ultra-Wideband technology. But that is going to come at a cost. For that capability Gefen is selling the WDHDMI for $999. Still for some of you that cost is less than the cost of ripping up walls and running physical cables.

Broadcast

Ed's View - HDTV Broadcast Wish List

By Ed Milbourn • Mar 23 2009, 3:47pm

As mentioned in my prior wheezes on this subject, the present US economic climate would appear to present over-the-air (OTA) television broadcasters with fantastic possibilities. With the tremendous opportunities offered by digital production and transmission (i.e. HD and SD multi-channel and mobile and IP capabilities all at the same time), and most of it "free" to viewers, one would think that the time is ideal for OTAs to take a big chunk of penetration from their pay brethren. However, as an undying cheerleader for success of OTA, I feel there are a couple of wishes that must be granted before broadcasters have any hopes of stopping and successfully reversing their 15% household penetration ratio. First...

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - LCD TV Shipments: Turning the Corner?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 23 2009, 1:00pm

DisplaySearch tracks the production of flat panel displays, and in a press release last week, the company released statistics for the LCD TV panel shipments in February. They report that 7.7 million panels shipped in February, compared with 6.9 million in January; this amounts to an 11% gain from month to month. The rest of [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - More 12 Volt DC LCD TVs

By Alfred Poor • Mar 20 2009, 1:00pm

TWICE ran a story this week about “a new start-up LCD TV brand, Naxa Electronics“. None of the sets mentioned in the company’s new line-up are larger than 26″, and some are as small as 13″ which gives new meaning to the concept of a “personal” HDTV. The sets have some strange panel resolutions, such [...]

HD Video ProductionHD DVDLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #364 - Mac Mini Video Server Update

By The HT Guys • Mar 20 2009, 6:38am

We first talked about using a Mac Mini as a video server way back in March of 2007. It has served us well now housing more than 150 movies, almost 1500 songs and podcasts, and dozens of HDTV that was recorded via the HD Homerun. Just over two years later we have upgraded one of our three Mac Minis with the latest offering from Cupertino. The version the HT Guys chose was the $799 model that comes with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. The older Minis did a good job with almost all the video we through at it. The one exception is overly compressed 1080i content. So how does the new Mini hold up with 1080i and 1080p? Listen in...

HDTV Displays

Mitsubishi LT-46148 LCD HDTV - On the Test Bench

By Richard Fisher • Mar 19 2009, 4:06pm

This portion of the review details how the Mitsubishi LT-46148 LCD HDTV performed on the test bench. Please read the Mitsubishi LT-46148 LCD HDTV Review Essentials, if you have not already.

RGB 0-255 can't pass below black because black is 0. Unfortunately the same goes for YPbPr 16-235 yet with that video signal black is 16 so it could if designed to do so. Bottom line, no below black signals will pass. While not a severe error, it is one that Videophiles should take note of since some small portion of consumer video content will exceed 16 or 235 by a few notches and an ISF calibration would setup a display to account for that anomaly. This one...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Circuit City is Gone; Wattles Remains

By Alfred Poor • Mar 19 2009, 1:00pm

Investor Mark Wattles bought a sizable portion of Circuit City, and tried to influence the company’s direction. One of those steps included lobbying to support Blockbuster’s abortive effort to buy Circuit City last year. There’s a little irony here because Wattles founded Hollywood Video, one of Blockbuster’s competitors, and the sale of that chain to [...]

HDTV Displays

Mitsubishi LT-46148 LCD HDTV - Review Essentials

By Richard Fisher • Mar 18 2009, 4:29pm

LCD has come a long way since just a few years ago, taking over the flat panel market up to about 50" in screen size. While Mitsubishi is far better known for rear projection DLP since the demise of CRT, market forces can't be ignored and consumers remain spellbound by the flat panel concept in their homes. Let's see what Mitsubishi has to offer and how their LCD products compare.

Since last year Mitsubishi has offered 40", 46" and 52" models and the LT46148 is part of their current line of 1920x1080 displays.

Satellite HDTVService & RepairCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Dish-ing Out Movie Tickets

By Alfred Poor • Mar 18 2009, 1:00pm

One reason to get satellite or cable TV service is so that you can watch movies at home. Many people pay these services lots of money each month for premium channels in order to watch recent releases on their TV sets. But here’s an interesting twist; Dish Network is launching a channel that uses Fandango [...]

Mobile HDTVInternet HD Video

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #363 - Most Important Inventions of the last 30 Years

By The HT Guys • Mar 17 2009, 2:08pm

When you think of the most influential inventions of the last 30 years, what would you put on that list? That's exactly what a panel of eight judges from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was asked to do. The Internet and mobile phones made the top of the list. There's a few items missing from their list that have changed our lives dramatically.

Global & Worldview

HDTV Almanac - Hitach Hits Hard Times

By Alfred Poor • Mar 17 2009, 1:00pm

What do you call a company that has more than 900 subsidiaries? You might call it “enormous”, but you could also call it Hitachi, one of Japan’s largest conglomerate corporations. And the global recession has hit the company just about as hard as many of its competitors around the world. This week, Hitachi announced new [...]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Growing Demand for Web-Enhanced TVs

By Alfred Poor • Mar 16 2009, 1:00pm

Parks Associates recently released a white paper about U.S. consumer interest in broadband services delivered to their TVs. Nearly 50% of the respondents expressed interest in getting premium services (for a fee) such as streaming movie rentals and video on demand using a set top box connected to their TVs. Interestingly, about 40% would like [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DISH Network(R) Lights Up More National HD Channels

By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 13 2009, 10:27pm

Today, DISH Network(R) launched the high definition feeds of Showtime Showcase HD, SHO2 HD, The Movie Channel HD and BET J, expanding its national HD count to up to 128 channels. In addition, DISH Network also announced that it will add BET, Comedy Central, CMT, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV and VH-1 in HD this spring.

Showtime Showcase HD, SHO2 HD and The Movie Channel HD are located in

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Wal-Mart and Best Buy Dominate CE Shopping

By Alfred Poor • Mar 13 2009, 1:00pm

Where do you shop for your consumer electronics? According to a new study by market analyst BIGresearch (as reported by TWICE), a survey of shoppers in the first week of March revealed that 35 percent shopped most often at Best Buy for their electronics, and another 20 percent picked Wal-Mart. Third place trailed far behind, [...]

HD DVDHD Video ProductionCable HDTVProgramming

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #362 - What if AppleTV Replaced my DVR?

By The HT Guys • Mar 13 2009, 7:08am

If you have been listening to our show for a while you know that Braden would really like an a la carte sway to buy TV. It makes sense, why pay for 300 channels when in reality you only watch about 30 or 40. And really you probably only watch about 10 to 15 90% of the time. So the other day Ara missed an episode of Lost and was forced to watch it via the ABC website. After about 5 minutes of so called streaming HD video he got fed up and downloaded an HD version from iTunes. It cost $2.99 but had no commercials. The quality was quite good and it even had 5.1 audio. Something that makes watching Lost quite enjoyable. That got us wondering. Could heavy TV watchers like ourselves get by with buying TV programming A la Carte style via AppleTV. This would also work if you have an HTPC with iTunes on it.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: How to “Rescan”?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 12 2009, 1:00pm

Q: I am at my wits end trying to find a site that will provide me with easy to understand instructions on how to do a rescan! Do you have any idea how I can find a source for this? Your site (after searching for an hour and fifteen minutes is the closest to anything [...]

LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Hitachi Takes a Fall: $31 Million Fine

By Alfred Poor • Mar 11 2009, 1:00pm

Hitachi is the fourth defendant in the U.S. Department of Justice’s campaign against price fixing in the LCD panel market has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to fix prices. The complaint stems from the company’s deal with Dell to supply panels for notebook and desktop monitors from 2001 through 2004. The [...]

Internet HD VideoLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - U.S. Consumers Staying Connected

By Alfred Poor • Mar 10 2009, 1:00pm

According to a new study published by In-Stat, most U.S. households will continue their television, cell phone, and Internet access subscriptions without a change. Only about 15% indicate that they plan to cut back, a change that is more common among households with annual incomes less than $35,000. Even though this is a relatively small [...]

LCDLCD HDTVsLED (LCD)Cable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #361 - Refresh Rate and Response Time

By The HT Guys • Mar 10 2009, 6:53am

We get a handful of emails every week asking about Refresh Rates and Response Times: what are they? are they different? do I care? While refresh rate applies to any TV technology, response time is something an LCD buyer needs to know about. And with the rapid growth of LCD sales, it looks like just about everyone these days is an LCD buyer. So what do they mean and why do you care? We're glad you asked...

Internet HD VideoService & RepairCable HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Does ZillionTV Have the Formula?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 9 2009, 2:00pm

One of the hot Web-based TV services getting a lot of buzz these days is ZillionTV. Currently in beta testing, the service has the backing of major content powerhouses such as Disney, NBC, Universal, Sony Pictures Television, and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. The company will provide streaming video content over broadband Internet connections, partnering with [...]

HD DVD

HDTV Almanac - Ready for Your Close-Up?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 6 2009, 2:00pm

The annual PMA convention was held this week in Las Vegas. This is probably the most important event in the photography industry. For HDTV fans, there’s a new development worthy of note. Just a few years ago, we were amazed with the first HD resolution camcorder price less than $1,000 appeared. Up until then, only [...]

Blu-ray

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #360 - Blu-ray Rentals and Home Theater Tricks

By The HT Guys • Mar 6 2009, 7:39am

Lots of content to cover in this episode. Of course there's news and email. We also have the monthly review of the top 20 shows on TV. The core of the show covers a couple articles that we thought were interesting. First off, is Blu-ray a rental format, or should you buy discs? and then a few cool, cheap home theater tips and tricks.

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & PolicyLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - FCC to Investigate DTV Licensing Fees

By Alfred Poor • Mar 5 2009, 2:00pm

Vizio led the charge in creating “CUT FATT“, the Coalition United to Terminate Financial Abuses of the Television Transition. (It is not clear, but it appears that only Westinghouse has joined this “coalition”.) The group complains that they are being charged too much by the patent holders for licenses to use certain technologies that are [...]

Internet HD VideoService & RepairSatellite HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Is Roku the Next Settop Box?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 4 2009, 2:00pm

Forget cable. Forget satellite. If you’re a movie lover, maybe all you need is a broadband connection and the Roku Digital Video Player. This is the $99 box that made waves when it was introduced as a gateway to the Netflix streaming video service. Then came news yesterday that you can purchase or rent movies [...]

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Netflix May Offer Streaming Subscription

By Alfred Poor • Mar 3 2009, 2:00pm

According to widely-reported comments by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the company could offer a subscription that only offers streaming movies, and this could become available by the end of this year or early next year. Currently, the company only offers the streaming as a free service to the more than 10 million subscribers who [...]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #359 - Universal Remote Control 2.0

By The HT Guys • Mar 3 2009, 8:12am

We first mentioned the AirRemote application for the iPhone on Episode #286, noting that it should be coming soon and that it looked pretty cool. CE Pro recently posted a nice writeup about it. While we haven't tried it ourselves just yet, it does look like a very interesting concept. Although the power isn't just in using the iPhone to control your TV and Surround Sound receiver, it goes much deeper than that. Unfortunately we aren't quite there yet.

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

AT&T U-verse TV Lineup Expands To 100 Or More High Definition Channels In Every U-verse TV Market

By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 2 2009, 6:59pm

For viewers who want more High Definition (HD) channels at a great value, cable isn't even a question. AT&T* today announced that AT&T U-verse(SM) TV now offers 100 HD channels -- exceeding the HD channel lineups offered by the local cable providers in every U-verse TV market.

With recent expansions to the U-verse TV HD lineup, customers can now enjoy...

Internet HD Video

BitGravity Announces 1080p HD Live Streaming

By Shane Sturgeon • Mar 2 2009, 6:48pm

BitGravity, Inc., the innovative next-generation Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider today announced the availability of BG Live HD, the first affordable, true HD, online streaming service for live events in 1080p or 720p resolution. BG Live HD is a Flash-based, highly scalable, streaming service built on...

LCD HDTVsCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Free HDTVs in March!

By Alfred Poor • Mar 2 2009, 2:00pm

“If it’s free, it’s for me.” How about a Samsung 52″ LCD HDTV, with a wall mount and a starter package from Belkin with a surge protector and an HDMI cable? How about 31 of these sets? That’s what Newegg is giving away this month: one every day in March. The company that has been [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Big Brother Hides in DTV Converters?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 27 2009, 2:00pm

Okay, it’s Freaky Friday. I’m a little late to this party, but apparently there has been an active movement on the Internet, driven by people committed to exposing the hidden cameras and microphones that are embedded in the digital television converter boxes that are being bought by millions of people with the help of our [...]

Wireless HDMI/HDTVMarketplaceHD DVD

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #358 - HomeNet Powerline Networking by Corinex

By The HT Guys • Feb 27 2009, 8:00am

With more products entering the marketplace that support network connectivity it has become important for you to have network access near your electronics. For many a wireless adapter is enough to do the trick. But if you want to stream HD content you need 802.11N which will work well in most cases. Wireless works well until you have interference from other electronics or a neighbor's wifi setup. So what can you do to install a secure hardwired network without crawling through attics and ripping up drywall?

Cable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - How Low Can They Go?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 26 2009, 2:00pm

Yes, now is a great time to buy a flat screen TV if you have the money. As I predicted, the manufacturers and retailers are stuck with inventory, and need to get some cash out of the products. The SuperBowl is behind us, and there’s only March Madness between now and next September that might [...]

Internet HD VideoBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - If You Can’t Beat Them…

By Alfred Poor • Feb 25 2009, 2:00pm

Netflix has clearly seen the writing on the wall, and is transitioning its business from distributing plastic disks to providing subscription access to movies delivered over the Internet. Hulu, Joost, and other sites are feeding a growing consumer demand for content delivered on demand over broadband. Now comes word that the largest video subscription services [...]

Internet HD Video

VUDU First to Sell On-Demand Movies in High Definition

By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 24 2009, 4:32pm

VUDU, Inc., a leading provider of digital on-demand entertainment products and services, today announced it has achieved another industry milestone by becoming the first on-demand service to offer high definition movies for download to own on its popular 1080p Internet Movie Player. HD movies are available for purchase today to all Vudu owners.

Until now consumers have been restricted to renting HD movies from on-demand services, including VUDU's library of over 1,400 HD movies, the largest HD library in the world. Today VUDU unveiled a collection of over 50 HD movies...

Wireless HDMI/HDTVMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Free Movies on Your Phone

By Alfred Poor • Feb 24 2009, 2:00pm

The new Samsung Delve has a touch screen, 2 MP camera, Web browsing, and the other sorts of features that you’d expect on a mobile phone these days. And it accepts microSD memory cards. But if you buy one from Alltel Wireless before April 16, you can also get a free 2 GB microSD card. [...]

Cable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #357 - A look at the Top Ten TVs at Amazon.com

By The HT Guys • Feb 24 2009, 8:36am

From time to time we take a look at the top ten selling TVs at Amazon.com. This time we are not really going to list the TVs individually but will instead focus on the overall statistics about the TVs. They're pretty enlightening if you can trust them to really indicate trends in the retail TV landscape. The list is updated hourly, so we pulled the statistics from a particular point in time. We're assuming the top ten is fairly stable, at least from an overall trend breakdown and that the list doesn't change too rapidly.

HTPCs & LaptopsHD DVD

HDTV Almanac - March Madness Goes Online with HD

By Alfred Poor • Feb 23 2009, 2:00pm

Last year, nearly 5 million viewers watched more than 5 million hours of online coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, also known as “March Madness”. This year, CBSSports.com is relying on Microsoft’s Silverlight media player to deliver the sights and sounds of the 2009 tournament starting March 19. Coverage will include all [...]

Front ProjectionBroadcast

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #356 - Mitsubishi HC6500 Projector Review and the Reclaimed Analog Spectrum

By The HT Guys • Feb 21 2009, 12:04am

We got a ton of great feedback from our 1080p Projector Options show in January (Episode 349). For today we're reviewing the Mitsubishi HC6500 3LCD projector to make good on the promise we made in a bunch of emails to do more front projection content. Let's face it, projectors rock. Those with them know it and those of us who don't have them really wish we did.

Front ProjectionMobile HDTVOLED HDTVsDLP HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Here Come Projector Phones

By Alfred Poor • Feb 20 2009, 2:00pm

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Samsung announced the first mobile phones with a projector built into it. The Samsung phones use a DLP imager from Texas Instruments. The high-end phones also feature an OLED touchscreen and a 5 megapixel camera. Initially, the I7410 and W7900 phones will only be available in Korea [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - No Big Bang on Digital TV Transition

By Alfred Poor • Feb 19 2009, 2:00pm

Tuesday was supposed to be the day that all full-power TV stations were to end their analog broadcasts. Congress delayed that switch until June 12, but allowed stations to switch on February 17th as planned if they wanted to, and if the FCC approved their application. As a result, 421 stations pulled the plug on [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)Programming

HDTV Almanac - Fix Digital TV Signal Problems

By Alfred Poor • Feb 18 2009, 2:00pm

When it comes to the transition to digital broadcasts of television programming, the elephant in the room has been the fact that many people who can receive analog transmissions just fine may not get digital transmissions. As I’ve discussed here many times, a weak analog signal produces a snowy image, but a weak digital signal [...]

BroadcastBusiness & InvestmentSatellite HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Shootout in Space

By Alfred Poor • Feb 17 2009, 2:00pm

There was high drama in the U.S. broadcast business over the last week, about 22,000 miles high. That’s where Sirius XM (the merged satellite radio companies) have their geosynchronous satellites in orbit. And the whole system was on the verge of crashing down (financially, not literally) because a major debt payment was due today, and [...]

Events & TradeshowsHTPCs & Laptops

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #355 - CES Best Buzz and Cheap Home Theater Upgrades

By The HT Guys • Feb 17 2009, 8:04am

Each year Insight Media releases their CES Best Buzz awards to showcase some of the hottest items from CES. We expected to see a couple of the items that made the list, a few of the them surprised us and several made us really wish we'd been able to attend this year. Hopefully next year. We also went over some of the items in a resent article from Lifehacker about how to upgrade your home theater without spending much money. Some of the items on the list were pretty cool.

BroadcastPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - Where’s My TV Station?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 16 2009, 2:00pm

Sure, you may have gone to www.antennaweb.org to find the headings for the television broadcast stations in your area, but have you ever wondered where those towers are, and what they look like? Wonder no more, thanks to Cavell Mertz & Associates, a Virginia based engineering consulting firm. They’ve mashed up the FCC broadcast database [...]

Plasma HDTVsEvents & TradeshowsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Vizio Bails on Plasma

By Alfred Poor • Feb 13 2009, 2:00pm

Tack another nail in the coffin for plasma. Vizio has decided to drop plasma from its product lineup. The company didn’t show any new plasma models at CES this year, and is going to focus solely on LCD for its TVs. Following so closely on the heels of Pioneer’s announced exit from the TV market [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #354 - HP TouchSmart PC

By The HT Guys • Feb 13 2009, 7:44am

If you have been listening to our show for a while you know that we have love the ability to watch TV or listen to music in any room in the house. So when we were given the chance to live with the HP TouchSmart PC we jumped at the chance. The TouchSmart PC is an extremely capable PC that will do your email, spreadsheets, and word processing. But for this review, we will strictly focus on the Multi Media Aspects of the computer. In fact, in our minds, this is a TV that also is a computer.

Internet HD VideoService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - Can Movies over the Internet Succeed?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 12 2009, 2:00pm

If you want to watch a movie at home, you probably put a polycarbonate plastic disc in a player that’s connected to your TV. You may own the disc, or you may have rented it from Blockbuster or NetFlix or some other service. But companies are starting to use the Internet to distribute movies for [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionPolitics & Policy

HDTV Almanac - FCC Releases “Early” Transition List

By Alfred Poor • Feb 11 2009, 2:00pm

Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie, who’s not ready, holler “I”! Well, with the ?DTV Delay Act?, it’s really those stations that are ready to make the transition on the original February 17, 2009 datethat have to speak up. They had until Monday to file their intention with the FCC to cease analog broadcasts on that date, [...]

Blu-rayHD DVDPC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTV

HDTV Almanac - How You Doin’, Blu-ray?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 10 2009, 2:00pm

It’s been a year since Blu-ray won the war, and defeated HD DVD to become the high definition DVD format. It’s time to take the pulse of the new technology and see how it’s doing. According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, more than 10.7 million Blu-ray players have been sold in the United States. That [...]

Internet HD Video

VUDU Cuts Retail Price in Half to $149

By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 10 2009, 12:30pm

VUDU, Inc., a leading provider of digital technologies and services that deliver entertainment over the Internet to consumers' HDTVs and Home Theaters, today said it has lowered the price of its on-demand Internet movie player to just $149. Available at Best Buy, audio video retailers, and online, VUDU HD is the only solution on the market to deliver weekly new releases from all the major studios, the largest HD library, the highest quality HD picture quality with HDX, local movie storage and the ability to access popular Internet content directly on the TV.

In addition to the VUDU HD, the company said it is reducing the price of VUDU XL, VUDU's home theater product sold through professional custom installers, to...

PC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTVCable, Satellite & FiberDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #353 - Ultimate Technology Throwdown

By The HT Guys • Feb 10 2009, 7:07am

There's nothing better than a really good food fight, a close second is a really good technology battle. The Charlotte Observer's Eye on Electronics column recently featured point-counterpoint on some of the hottest technology debates of our time: Satellite vs. Cable, Wired or wireless networking, DSL vs. Cable high speed Internet, and a few more. All that and 5 Digital Television Transition Myths to wash it down.

Plasma HDTVsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - Pioneer Plasma is “on the Roof”

By Alfred Poor • Feb 9 2009, 2:00pm

First, Pioneer announced their exit from the plasma panel manufacturing business nearly a year ago. Last November, the company announced expectations of a major loss and the elimination of about 2,000 jobs. Now it is widely reported that a story in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei indicates that Pioneer will exit the plasma TV business altogether. [...]

Entertainment

HDTV Almanac - High-End Home Theater Sales Decline

By Alfred Poor • Feb 6 2009, 2:00pm

A lot of U.S. consumers would balk at spending $5,000 for a home entertainment system. There’s a segment of the market, however, for whom the game doesn’t start until you get up to $50,000. These folks want a home theater system that would rival — or beat — anything you’d find at your local cineplex. [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionSatellite HDTVDigital Rights Management (DRM)Politics & Policy

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #352 - DTVPal DVR from Dish Network

By The HT Guys • Feb 6 2009, 8:16am

Although the US Government has opted to push the digital transition back a few months, we're still fairly confident that it will eventually happen. When it does, everyone receiving over the air television will still need a converter box if their TV doesn't have a built in digital tuner. Dish Network has three options available if you find yourself in that situation. We've had a chance to check out their DVR option, the DTVPal DVR.

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition Delayed

By Alfred Poor • Feb 5 2009, 2:00pm

The deed is done, the die is cast. Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the delay of the cutoff date for analog television broadcasts. The date was moved out another four months to June 12, 2009. The bill is now headed to the White House, where President Obama’s repeated calls for a delay make it [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Panasonic’s Turn in the Box

By Alfred Poor • Feb 4 2009, 2:00pm

Okay, we get it. The economic situation is bad. And there’s no safety in being big, as we’ve seen from Sony and Mitsubishi and others. Today, we get word that Panasonic is taking the hit. The company is forecasting a $4.3 billion loss for their current fiscal year (that’s billion with a Big B), and [...]

Service & RepairMobile HDTV

HDTV Almanac - Camel’s Nose under JVC’s HDTV Tent?

By Alfred Poor • Feb 3 2009, 2:00pm

JVC Americas announced yesterday that they will be combining the four divisions of its U.S. operations. This includes JVC Company of America, which sells the consumer TV and camera products. The other divisions are Mobile which sells car stereos and navigation products, Professional Products which sells professional grade cameras and displays, and the service division [...]

High Definition ProductionPC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #351 - What's Next in High Definition?

By The HT Guys • Feb 3 2009, 8:07am

Here in the United States we use a technology standard called ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) for digital, over-the-air (free-to-air) television broadcasts. Sometime this year, hopefully, we'll migrate all TV signals off of the legacy analog system and on to ATSC. Once that happens, we'll certainly need to be planning for the "next big thing." From what we can tell the ATSC is already moving on defining what will come next in high definition.

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition: Remember to Rescan

By Alfred Poor • Feb 2 2009, 2:00pm

Full-power analog television broadcasts in the U.S. may or may not end in two weeks, but when they do, there will be some additional changes. If you look at www.antennaweb.org to see which digital channels you can receive, you may see that some are assigned to one frequency now, and will have another frequency after [...]

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV on the Half Shell

By Alfred Poor • Jan 30 2009, 2:00pm

“Ah, is that the Boticelli Venus hanging there in your living room?” “Yes, but let’s watch the SuperBowl so wait just a moment while I push this button to make the painting roll up and reveal my flat screen television!”
My friend and colleague Bruce Berkoff likes to refer to the WAF of flat panel TVs [...]

Sports

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #350 - 2009 Super Bowl Facts

By The HT Guys • Jan 30 2009, 8:58am

We discuss reactions to an article on why people aren't watching HDTV and go over some of the cool HDTV techie facts for the 2009 Super Bowl.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - High-Def Domestic Tranquility

By Alfred Poor • Jan 29 2009, 2:00pm

You’re in the living room with your “significant other” watching a movie or TV show or sports event on your beautiful big flat panel HDTV, and then one of you decides that you’d like a snack from the kitchen, which is the next room. Do you pause the show (if it’s a movie or you’ve [...]

SportsHigh Definition Production

Samsung Survey Says 43 Percent of Football Fans Are Likely to Visit In-Laws If They Owned an HDTV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 28 2009, 5:25pm

Samsung Electronics America, the market leader in HDTVs and the Official HDTV of the NFL and Super Bowl XLIII, today announced additional findings from a recently commissioned survey. The survey revealed that an HDTV can entice your spouse to visit the in-laws, even for the Super Bowl, if it means viewing football in high definition.

According to the survey, Americans, football fans or not, agree there is no better place to watch the game than at home when there is a high definition television in place. However, the survey also found that...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - HDTV Owners Don’t Watch HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 28 2009, 2:00pm

No surprise here, really. InStat reported this week that 17 million of the more than 39 million U.S. households with at least one HDTV set do not have an HDTV signal source. That’s a little more than two out of every five. Now the good news is, I suppose, that a couple of years ago [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Who’s Not Ready?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 27 2009, 2:00pm

Well, it looks as though the U.S. Congress is going to delay the transition to digital television broadcasts, and I’ve already made my position clear on why that’s not a good idea. Nielsen reported new numbers last week on about how many households remain unprepared for the end of analog broadcasts, and the results provide [...]

Front ProjectionCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #349 - 1080p Projector Options

By The HT Guys • Jan 27 2009, 8:05am

We get asked via email to spend more time talking about front projection setups. While the idea is something we're big fans of, and often drool over, neither of us have a front projector, and to be perfectly honest, neither does the vast majority of our audience. But that doesn't diminish the fact that a 110" screen comes a lot closer to being a true "theater in your home" than even a massive 65" TV does. But 65" is great, don't get us wrong. We drool over those, too.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Reader Question: Pixelated Text

By Alfred Poor • Jan 26 2009, 2:00pm

Q: Why do HDTV’s at major retailers look pixelated, especially on lower third text effects at bottom of screen? Is it just me or is something wrong?
Anthony
A: There are a number of possible explanations for this. The most likely one is that the retailer is using a distributed signal from a single source to all [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - DTV Transition: The End is Nigh!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 23 2009, 2:00pm

Due in part to maneuvering by some Republican Senators, Democratic Representative Henry Waxman has postponed a vote on his bill to delay the cut-off of analog television broadcasts for another four months. So the clock continues to tick, and we’re now down to 25 days. (You can get your own DTV digital clock at http://www.dtv.gov/dtvcountdowns.html.) [...]

LCDLCD HDTVsLED (LCD)

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #348 - LG 47LG70 47-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV Review

By The HT Guys • Jan 23 2009, 8:24am

Its been a while since we reviewed an HDTV so for today's show we put the LG 47LG70 through its paces. This is a 120Hz 47 inch 1080p LCD TV that can easily be used as your primary TV. While it may be a bit too big for your bedroom it will fit nicely in most people's living rooms. The TV has a street price of about $1700 but you get a lot for the price.

Cable HDTVService & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Almanac - Cable TV: Moving to the Internet?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 22 2009, 1:58pm

An article on Sunday in Multichannel News reported on the plans of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Communications – the three largest US cable companies — to allow “place shifting” of their services. The idea is simple; you have a subscription for cable TV service. Why should you be constrained to just watching that [...]

Digital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)LCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - Battery Powered LCD TV

By Alfred Poor • Jan 21 2009, 2:00pm

Two products got lost in the shuffle on the way to the digital TV transition: TV radios and battery-powered TVs. TV radios are handy, because they can receive the audio portion of analog broadcasts for TV channels. Sadly, the audio signal in digital TV broadcasts is encoded along with the video, so it will be [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Don’t Delay the DTV Transition

By Alfred Poor • Jan 20 2009, 2:00pm

The news is full of efforts to delay the transition to digital TV broadcasts, with a bill introduced in Congress to postpone the end of analog broadcasts from February 17 to June 12. In my opinion, this would be a big mistake that will cost the taxpayers and businesses in this country hundreds of millions [...]

Internet HD VideoHTPCs & LaptopsHD Video ProductionEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #347 - Yahoo! Connected TV

By The HT Guys • Jan 20 2009, 7:22am

We've touched on Yahoo's platform for Internet connected television, sometimes called the Widget Engine, briefly in the past. One of the really big themes we saw come out of CES this year was streamed or Internet video content in the family room. What started as a hardcore geek experiment using Home Theater and Media Center PCs slowly grew into a legitimate consumer electronics phenomenon in 2008 with the help of products like Vudu, Apple TV and TiVO. We're now poised for an all out explosion in 2009 and one company vying to be at the forefront is Yahoo!

Deals & DiscountsBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - RIP: Circuit City

By Alfred Poor • Jan 19 2009, 2:00pm

Well, the two “highly motivated and interested parties” failed to materialize, and on Friday, the court authorized liquidation of the Circuit City assets. The sales started on Saturday, and according to some reports, business was brisk. There still may be opportunities for bargains, however, as the discounts will increase between now and the end of [...]

Events & TradeshowsEnvironment / Green

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Trend — Green

By Alfred Poor • Jan 16 2009, 2:00pm

After I had sat through my fourth consecutive manufacturer’s press conference at CES 2009, I started making the shorthand notation in my notes: OGS (Obligatory Green Speech). As I predicted last year, the environmentally friendly position gave a company an advantage last year, but it has become required just to stay competitive this year. So [...]

HTPCs & LaptopsEvents & TradeshowsMobile HDTVPC & Laptop Technology

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #346 - HP Mini, XP Edition review

By The HT Guys • Jan 16 2009, 7:34am

We mentioned in our CES roundup that Netbooks are fast becoming a popular class of personal computer. Their main use is for web browsing, email, and light general computing. Their main draw is cost and size when compared to a regular laptop. When Ara saw the new HP Mini Netbook in Costco he wondered if this device could be used as a portable media device. This feature will only concentrate on using this device in that capacity. This will not be a full review of the Netbook.

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DISH Network Expands Local High Definition Markets

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 15 2009, 7:05pm

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 seven markets: Abilene, Texas (KTAB CBS Ch. 32 and KRBC NBC Ch. 9); Joplin, Mo. (KODE ABC Ch. 12 and KSNF NBC Ch. 16); Little Rock, Ark. (KARK NBC 4); Louisville, Ky. (WDRB FOX Ch. 41); Springfield, Mo. (KOLR CBS Ch. 10 and KSFX FOX Ch. 27); Wichita Falls, Texas (KFDX NBC Ch. 3 and KJTL FOX Ch. 18); and Wilkes Barre, Penn. (WYOU CBS Ch. 22 and WBRE NBC Ch. 28). DISH Network(R) now offers local channels in 90 markets reaching 78 percent of U.S. TV households.

Consumers can...

Events & TradeshowsWireless HDMI/HDTV

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Trend — No Wires

By Alfred Poor • Jan 15 2009, 2:00pm

Another trend at CES this year is that wireless connections for HDMI were everywhere. They were all different, and everyone had a reason why their solution was best, but the bottom line is that it solves a major HDTV problem; what to do with the wires. Some of the manufacturers, including LG, unveiled sets with [...]

Events & TradeshowsPlasma HDTVsLCD HDTVs

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Trend — Thin is In, Sort Of

By Alfred Poor • Jan 14 2009, 2:00pm

I’ve got lots of photos of thin flat panel HDTVs that were announced by all sorts of companies at CES this year. And I’m not going to post any of them here. Sure, it’s pretty amazing that they can make a big plasma or LCD set that’s less than an inch thick. But my reaction [...]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #345 - CES 2009, Part II

By The HT Guys • Jan 13 2009, 4:24pm

Second round of our overview of all the news and announcements from the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES 2009).

Events & TradeshowsFront ProjectionEntertainmentBusiness & Investment

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Is That a Projector in Your Pocket?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 13 2009, 2:00pm

Front projectors are big and noisy and heavy and they put you right to sleep with then conference lights dim and the first PowerPoint slide appears on the screen. Right? Well, front projectors are poised to make a huge impact on both the business and entertainment segments with the new pico projectors. These tiny devices [...]

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

The DIRECTV Plus High Definition DVR – Year Two

By Doug Brott • Jan 12 2009, 4:11pm

After a jam packed year, the DIRECTV Plus High Definition DVR has become the flagship receiver for a company that has become one of the leaders in high-definition programming. The enthusiast community is stronger than ever, fusing innovation and collaboration in ways that have never been done before. Sit back while we reflect on the things that have made this trip something to remember.

Joining the HR20-700 and the HR20-100 this year are the...

Events & TradeshowsHD DVDSatellite HDTVService & Repair

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: DTV Switch Boosts Satellite

By Alfred Poor • Jan 12 2009, 2:00pm

The DISH Network booth at CES 2009 was emblazoned with a huge banner touting service including more than 50 HD channels and 15 premium movie channels and a free HD DVR upgrade for just $9.95 a month. Now, that’s only a six-month promotional rate (only three months of the premium movies), but it’s still pretty [...]

New Products & Equipment

New JVC Everio Line Offers a Compact, Stylish Camcorder to Meet Every Need

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2009, 4:28pm

JVC today announced a new line of Everio camcorders that offers innovations in video sharing, dual storage memory models and hi-def camcorders no larger than their diminutive standard definition counterparts.

For 2009, what the Everio line offers is choice - in storage medium, color and sharing. The line includes hard disk drive (HDD) models, memory camcorders, and for the first time dual memory models, including standard and high definition dual...

New Products & Equipment

Epson Introduces High-Performance Home Theater Projector With 1080p Resolution and 75,000:1 Contrast Ratio

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2009, 4:25pm

Building on its leadership position as the number-one selling projector brand worldwide(ii), Epson today announced the latest addition to its award-winning line of 3LCD 1080p front projectors, the PowerLite(R) Home Cinema 6500 UB. Offering true 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) resolution with the latest 3LCD D7 chip set for significantly higher contrast, a built-in HQV Reon-VX processor by Silicon Optix, and a wide range of new performance advantages, the Home Cinema 6500 UB delivers an outstanding viewing experience for...

3D HDTV

RealD Takes 3D Spotlight at CES

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2009, 4:21pm

RealD, the global leader in 3D, showcased its innovations in 3D entertainment at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Thursday with spectacular demonstrations at the opening keynote address, Sony Electronics booth and the first live 3D broadcast of...

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Dolby Smooths the Volume

By Alfred Poor • Jan 9 2009, 2:00pm

Don’t you just hate it? You’re watching a TV show and a commercial comes on with the sound track at twice the volume, blasting you out of your chair. Or in an action movie, the characters are whispering to each other inbetween massive explosions. And you’re sitting there, wearing out the volume buttons on your [...]

Digital (DTV) Transition

Consumers Union Asks Congress to Consider Delay of Digital TV Transition After Federal Coupon Program Runs Out of Money

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 9 2009, 1:08pm

Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, today said Congress should consider delaying the February 17 transition from analog to digital TV broadcasts.

In letters to members of Congress, President Bush, and President-elect Obama...

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #344 - CES 2009, Part I

By The HT Guys • Jan 9 2009, 7:28am

First round of our overview of all the news and announcements from the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES 2009).

Upconverting DVD Players

OPPO DV-983H Upconverting DVD Player - On the Test Bench

By Richard Fisher • Jan 8 2009, 7:37pm

The very ability to inspect and view an HDMI video source goes directly against the copyright capability of the connection since the means to see it would infer a means to steal it. At this time the Panasonic PTAE-1000U has been kept in the stable just for the purpose of using the Wave Form Monitor feature. While the Wave Form Monitor does suffer when looking at high frequency response video such as bursts, it is also the perfect tool for checking IRE levels and color decoding. This does come with the limitation of only being able to check YPbPr output, preventing me from verifiying the switching to RGB output that would be required for a DVI input. Some of the results are based on visual calibration checks as well as signal and are noted. All tests were performed using Digital Video Essentials as the source material.

Blu-ray

New Pioneer Blu-ray BD-Live Players Deliver Cinematic-Quality Performance

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 7:17pm

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today unveils a complete series of BD-Live Blu-ray Disc players for entertainment junkies who seek cinematic-quality performance along with a premium and unique user experience. The two Pioneer® BDP-120 and BDP-320 models and the Elite® BDP-23FD are outfitted with expandable or built-in memory to deliver on the promise of BD-Live™ right out of the box. Pioneer's players combine supreme features, sophisticated internal construction with a rigid chassis design ensuring the highest quality playback of Blu-ray Disc, DVD and...

New Products & Equipment

Pioneer A/V Receivers Deliver Cutting Edge Digital Entertainment to the Living Room

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 7:15pm

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today unveils a new line of stellar A/V receivers that are the first to provide a complete digital entertainment solution for the home theater. The Pioneer VSX-519V, VSX-819H, VSX-919AH and VSX-1019AH are some of the industry's first to feature iPhone and iPod® certification for enhanced compatibility to the millions of Apple® mobile digital devices already sold. In addition to simple ‘plug and play' connectivity, Pioneer enhances the overall user experience with full color graphic user interfaces including...

New Products & Equipment

Pioneer Elevates Digital Music with New Upconverting DVD Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 7:13pm

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today debuts the new Pioneer® DV-420V 1080p upconverting DVD player, which is the first to feature an exclusive MP3 encoding capability for supreme music portability. Combining HDMI™ connectivity with advanced multi-format playback, Pioneer's new player is an ideal source device for secondary room settings. Extremely compact in size, the DV-420V features a length of only...

New Products & Equipment

Hauppauge Introduces HD PVR Upgrade to Support Playstation 3 and Digital Audio

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 4:18pm

Hauppauge Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAUP), the world's leading developer and manufacturer of analog and digital TV tuner products for personal computers, has announced that their HD PVR now has direct recording support for digital audio and for the high definition format used by the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3). HD PVR is a high definition video recorder for PCs and Macs. It records from HD cable TV and satellite set top boxes and allows a user to create libraries of high definition TV shows and movies for playback on HD TVs or burning to disk in a Blu-ray format.

HD PVR records videos onto...

3D HDTV

NVIDIA Announces 3D Vision-The World's First High-Definition 3D Stereo Solution for the Home

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 2:45pm

NVIDIA Corporation, in conjunction with the world's leading content developers, display manufacturers, and PC OEMs and system builders, is pleased to announce NVIDIA(R) 3D Vision(TM) for GeForce(R), the world's first high-definition 3D stereo solution for the home.

Forming the foundation for a new consumer 3D stereo ecosystem for gaming and home entertainment PCs, 3D Vision is a combination of high-tech wireless glasses, a high-power IR emitter and advanced software that automatically transforms...

New Products & Equipment

LG Electronics Unveils Stylish 2009 LCD Monitors, Highlights Include 1080p Resolution and 16:9 Aspect Ratio

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 2:29pm

LG Electronics unveiled three new series of liquid crystal display (LCD) computer monitors as the foundation of its expanding information technology (IT) product portfolio.

By combining stylish design with new features, including 16:9 aspect ratio, ATSC tuners, Full HD 1080p resolution and multi-screen capability, consumers can now elevate the look and functionality of any home office. The monitors highlight...

New Products & Equipment

SANYO Smashes $2000 Price Barrier on Full HD 1080p Home Theater Projector

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 2:26pm

SANYO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD and DLP presentation systems introduces a new Full HD LCD projector for popular residential applications, such as home theaters and media rooms. While the PLV-1080HD is SANYO's entry- level projector it is equipped with a state-of-the-art Full 1080p HD 3LCD panel, the most advanced lens-shifting technology in the industry, a new variable iris, and SANYO's 3D color management system. The PLV-1080HD is shipping...

Internet HD VideoEvents & Tradeshows

HDTV Almanac - CES 2009: Netflix Everywhere

By Alfred Poor • Jan 8 2009, 2:00pm

Blockbuster had better watch out; Netflix is making some bold moves. The company is repositioning itself in preparation for the day when Internet delivery replaces the distribution of rental movies on little plastic discs, either from a storefront or by the mail. I’ve written lately about some of the new devices that let you access [...]

Blu-ray

LG Electronics Debuts Full Line of Network Blu-ray Disc Players and Home Theater Systems

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:52pm

Building on the success of its BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player -- the world's first Blu-ray player to instantly stream Netflix -- LG Electronics introduced two new Network Blu-ray Disc Players (BD370, BD390) and three Network Blu-ray Disc Home Theater Systems (LHB954, LHB977, LHB979) with expanded content options and wireless connectivity...

Technology

Dolby Showcases Audio Innovations Driving High-Definition Entertainment

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:44pm

At the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB), will highlight the first television sets for the US and European markets that feature Dolby® Volume audio technology. The company will also demonstrate the latest entertainment innovations that feature Dolby's world-class audio technologies, including...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

Verizon Now Offers 100 or More High-Definition Channels in all FiOS TV Markets

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:41pm

Verizon FiOS TV now provides 100 or more channels of high-definition (HD) television in every market where the TV service is offered, delivering Verizon's promise to provide the ultimate high-definition home-entertainment experience by surpassing all of its cable competitors in the number of HD channels it offers. FiOS TV also offers superior picture-and-sound quality because it is delivered over...

Cable, Satellite & Fiber

DISH Network(R) Introduces World's First 'SlingLoaded' HD DVR at 2009 Consumer Electronics Show

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:35pm

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) , the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today unveiled the world's first SlingLoaded(TM) HD DuoDVR(TM), the award-winning ViP(R) 922. The ViP(R) 922 is the first high definition digital video recorder that incorporates placeshifting technology.

The ViP(R) 922 was built by...

New Products & Equipment

Seagate Brings Enjoyment of Digital Content to the Living Room With Seagate(R) FreeAgent(R) Theater(TM) HD Media Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 3:19am

Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) , the world's leading provider of storage solutions, today unveiled the new Seagate(R) FreeAgent(R) Theater(TM) HD media player, a complete home theater solution designed to enhance the experience of enjoying digital media by providing an easy way to play your favorite videos, movies and photos on your TV. The Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player is a new accessory designed to work with...

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Launches High Performance Plasma HDTVs at CES 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:47am

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today unveiled two series of advanced plasma HDTVs. Delivering full HD 1080p resolution, increased energy efficiency, breath-taking design and deeper levels of black performance, Samsung's latest plasma line sets a new standard of excellence in the Plasma HDTV category.

The entire line-up will be...

New Products & Equipment

Samsung's 1080p LCD HDTVs Couple Energy-Efficiency with Advanced Picture Quality

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:44am

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today unveiled its next-generation LCD HDTV lineup with CCFL backlighting. The LCD HDTV line-up is led by the Series 7, which is the company's first CCFL-backlit LCD TV with a 240Hz refresh rate. Samsung's line of LCD HDTVs will be...

Blu-ray

Samsung's Latest Award-Winning Blu-ray Players Open up a New Multimedia Experience Portal

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:41am

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today unveiled the world's first wall-mountable Blu-ray player, the BD-P4600, as well as the new standard for Blu-ray performance and versatility, the BD-P3600. A 2009 CES "Best of Innovations" Award Winner, the BD-P4600 unites a plethora of multimedia features in a svelte, first-in-class package. The enthusiasts' choice, the BD-P3600 promises top-notch video playback, comprehensive audio decoding, and unprecedented networking capabilities for an immersive, theater-like experience. Both players set a new direction for the Blu-ray category with wireless...

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Ushers in New Era for Flat-Panel Television with New Category Line-Up of LED LCD HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:33am

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, raises the bar for flat-panel TVs everywhere with the launch of an entirely new line-up of advanced LED HDTVs. Samsung's latest HDTVs will be...

New Products & Equipment

Sharp® Demonstrates Continued Leadership in LCD Innovation and Introduces Cutting-Edge Video and Audio Technologies at CES 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:27am

At CES 2009, Sharp is showcasing several revolutionary products and technologies that demonstrate the company's drive to innovate and improve the LCD industry with increased performance, the widest array of screen size offerings, improvements in energy efficiency and dazzling new designs. While maintaining its commitment to the LCD industry, Sharp is also incorporating its leading display technologies into the video industry with new Blu-ray introductions and an array of...

New Products & Equipment

Samsung Delivers World's First Blu-ray Home Theater Sound Bar

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:14am

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today debuts its new line of award-winning home theater offerings, including the HT-BD8200 Blu-ray Home Theater Sound Bar, HT-BD7200 Blu-ray 2.1 channel Home Theater System, and the HT-BD1250 5.1 channel Blu-ray Home Theater System. The HT-BD8200 and HT-BD7200 are 2009 CES "Best of Innovations" Award winners, while the HT-BD1250 Blu-ray Home Theater System is a CES 2009 Innovations Design and Engineering Award honoree. Samsung's home entertainment lineup, available in...

Technology

The Next Dimension in Home Entertainment: 3D HDTV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:09am

3D isn't just for the movie theaters anymore; very soon viewers will be able to enjoy a true 3D experience right in their own home. Next3D has developed a ground-breaking technology that allows consumers to receive theatrical 3D films, 3D IMAX films, movie trailers, real-time stereo camera webcasts and other 3D content directly to their XBOX 360 or PC.

Blu-ray

Panasonic Introduces World's First Portable Blu-ray Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:07am

Panasonic, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray format, introduced the world's first portable Blu-ray Disc player at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. The DMP-B15, designed to provide the ultimate high definition Blu-ray experience for those on the go, features a high quality 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD screen and includes the unique VIERA CAST(R) internet accessibility and BD Live functionality. The DMP-B15 will be available in...

New Products & Equipment

Panasonic Develops Super High-Efficient Thin-Profile Plasma and LCD HDTV Displays

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:06am

Panasonic, the industry and technology leader in HDTVs, has developed new thin-profile display panel technologies for both Plasma (PDPs) and LCD HDTVs, achieving further advancements in picture quality and environmental performance. These prototypes will be featured at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week.

The newly developed NeoPDP technology has been incorporated into two types of PDPs. The first is...

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

Panasonic Premieres Wireless HDTV

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:04am

Panasonic Corporation of North America (NYSE:PC) , the industry leader in high definition and Plasma HDTV, today introduced its flagship 1080p one-inch thin Z1 Plasma series. The NeoPDP HDTV features, in addition to the one-inch design and separate tuner box configuration, WirelessHD(TM) technology to deliver the ultimate in sleek, uncluttered panel cabling setup and an expansion of last year's innovative internet enabled VIERA Cast(TM) functionality, that now incorporates Amazon's Video-on-Demand service. The Z1 series will be available in...

Blu-ray

Panasonic Creates Ultimate HDTV and Blu-ray Entertainment Devices With Amazon Video On Demand

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 1:01am

Panasonic announced today a collaborative relationship that adds Amazon Video On Demand to Panasonic's line of 2009 VIERA CAST(R) enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray devices. Bringing unique internet enabled services to VIERA HDTV and Blu-ray owners, VIERA CAST will enable customers to instantly shop and watch their favorite movies and TV shows, selecting from Amazon Video On Demand's huge selection of more than 40,000 titles. Panasonic is a leader in built-in TV web entertainment via VIERA CAST and its award winning line of VIERA HDTVs and Blu-ray players, while Amazon.com is a leader in video-on-demand entertainment.

For 2009, Panasonic's VIERA CAST feature has been extended to...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Panasonic Expands Line of High Definition Camcorders, Including Model With World's Highest Total Pixel Count*

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:58am

Panasonic today expanded its 2009 High Definition (HD) camcorder line with six new full-HD models, ranging from introductory to semi-professional. Three new models, the HDC-HS300, HDC-TM300 and HDC-HS250, are more advanced and feature a newly developed 3MOS chip system, while the three other introductory models, the HDC-HS20, HDC-TM20 and HDC-SD20, offer features ideal for first-time users wanting simple but powerful video capabilities. All six High Definition models feature...

Blu-ray

Panasonic's Expanded 2009 Blu-ray Line Up Features VIERA CAST(R), BD Live(TM), World's First VHS-Blu-ray Player and Reduced Power Consumption

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:53am

Panasonic, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray format, today introduced the successors to last year's award winning DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 players, as well as presenting the world's first Blu-ray-VHS dual player. All three of the new Blu-ray players - DMP-BD60, DMP-BD80, DMP-BD70V - combine high quality images with enhanced networking functions, including VIERA Cast's improved internet functionality that provides access to Amazon VOD's huge selection of titles. Continuing its commitment to producing products that stress ease of use, the 2009 line of Blu-ray Disc(TM) players continue to incorporate...

New Products & Equipment

Panasonic Expands Its Award Winning Line of VIERA(R) HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:51am

Panasonic Corporation of North America (NYSE:PC) , the industry leader in high definition Plasma and LCD televisions, introduced its expanded line of VIERA HDTVs at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. Building upon its award winning portfolio of high definition televisions, Panasonic will broaden its offering in 2009 by introducing new screen sizes in both Plasma and LCD lines with a new 54-inch class plasma and 19-inch class LCD. In addition, VIERA will extend its unique technology features, such as the acclaimed VIERA CAST(R) web menu, to additional model lines.

VIERA CAST, originally launched in 2008, will broaden its entertainment offering with the addition of...

New Products & Equipment

Panasonic's World's First 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System* Makes U.S. Debut at CES 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:46am

Panasonic, the market and technology leader in HDTV, announced today the U.S. debut of its world's first 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System (3D FHD) this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2009. The system made its world debut at CEATEC JAPAN 2008 in October 2008 to very strong reviews.

Panasonic's 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System enables...

Technology

Panasonic and Comcast to Collaborate on Bringing HDMI-CEC to Set-Top Boxes

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:44am

On the heels of the successful retail launch of the first tru2wayTM -ready VIERA(R) HDTV, Panasonic, the market and technology leader in HDTV, and Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA; CMCSK), the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, today announced that they are collaborating to bring HDMI-CEC technology to the latest generation of digital cable set-top boxes.

HDMI-CEC is the technology underlying...

Programming

Panasonic Announces Creation of 3D Full HD Advanced Authoring Center in Hollywood

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:42am

Panasonic Corporation, a market and technology leader in HDTV, announced today the creation of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory Advanced Authoring Center (PHL-AC) which will begin operations effective February 1, 2009. The center, which will be located within Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) in Universal City, CA, will accelerate 3D Full HD (3D FHD) Blu-ray format-establishment and development and will work directly with Hollywood studios providing 3D title development services for 3D FHD Blu-ray titles.

PHL-AC will feature...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Share Fun Moments Online With Sony 'Webbie HD' Cameras

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 8 2009, 12:40am

Social networking is all the rage with Sony's new stylish cameras that make it easy to capture and upload MP4 video and still photos directly to the Web.

The MHS-CM1 and MHS-PM1 Webbie HD(TM) cameras capture daily events in high definition video (1440x1080/30p) and 5-megapixel still photos. Embedded software makes it possible to quickly upload content online in a few simple clicks. Two portable designs in three stylish colors...

Upconverting DVD Players

OPPO DV-983H Upconverting DVD Player - Review Essentials

By Richard Fisher • Jan 7 2009, 11:15pm

Since 2006, OPPO has been providing a DVD performance envelope covering the main feature, the movie, at roughly the $200 mark directly competing with other players and external scalers costing $1000 plus. They have been earning my recommendation since then along with a full model line review last year. When it was announced that OPPO was releasing a flag ship DVD player at nearly double the price, I requested a review sample to find out how OPPO has raised the bar on an already very successful product line.

As with past models...

Programming

Picture Gets Clearer With GOLF CHANNEL Now in High Definition

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 9:33pm

GOLF CHANNEL's exclusive coverage of the first three PGA TOUR events of 2009 in high definition is merely a tip of the cap to the network's newly launched HD channel, which will bolster the network's schedule with more than 2,100 total HD hours of tournaments, original programming and news this year.

The tournament season kicks off Thursday with...

Internet HD Video

Netflix Announces Partnership With VIZIO to Instantly Stream Movies to New High Definition TVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 9:31pm

Netflix Inc., (NASDAQ:NFLX) the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced a partnership with VIZIO, the American TV and consumer electronics company based in Irvine, Calif., that will enable consumers to instantly watch movies from Netflix directly on new VIZIO high definition televisions featuring...

New Products & Equipment

Haier America Offers Most Extensive New Electronics Product Launch in 10 Year History

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 7:31pm

The 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will unveil a completely new line of televisions, portable electronics and technologies by Haier. As the Official HDTV of the NBA, Haier will showcase a broad array of LCD high-definition televisions, including...

New Products & Equipment

Toshiba to Build on Its Collaboration with Intel and Microsoft with New Internet- and PC-Connected AV Products

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 7:08pm

Today, Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) announced a major product initiative that will reinforce its collaboration with Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation respectively and allow users to quickly and easily access and enjoy a diverse range of high quality content and information services in the home.

New Products & Equipment

From 19 to Advanced 55", the 2009 Toshiba LCD TV Line-Up Has It All

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 7:06pm

Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. ("Toshiba"), a market leader in LCD TVs, today announced its full 2009 line-up of LCD televisions offering striking new cosmetics, unique technologies, more advanced features and additional screen sizes. From 19-inch to new 55-inch Cinema Series(R) models, Toshiba's line-up offers...

New Products & Equipment

NETGEAR Unveils Two New Internet-Connected Set-Top Products to Enrich TV Entertainment for Internet Families and Serious Media Enthusiasts

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 7:02pm

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opening today, NETGEAR(R), Inc. (NASDAQ:NTGR) , a worldwide provider of technologically innovative, branded networking solutions, introduced two new products that enable consumers to enjoy the world of Internet videos and digital entertainment content on their HDTV screens. Designed to enhance the connected lifestyles of Internet-generation families and serious media enthusiasts, the NETGEAR Internet TV Player (ITV2000) and the NETGEAR Digital Entertainer Elite (EVA9150) will be...

Internet HD Video

LG Electronics Launches Broadband HDTVs With 'NetCast(TM) Entertainment Access'

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 6:59pm

LG Electronics today announced two new HDTV series with NetCast(TM) Entertainment Access that offer instant streaming of movies, TV shows, video, and a Widget-based user experience via Ethernet connectivity directly to the television. Through new alliances with Yahoo!, Netflix, and YouTube(TM), consumers can instantly stream...

New Products & Equipment

LG Electronics' 2009 HDTV Lines Feature Smart Technologies, Beautiful Viewing Experience

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 6:57pm

LG Electronics today unveiled 12 stylish new HDTV product lines -- nine series of LCD models and three plasma series -- with screens ranging from 19- to 60-inch class sizes. Each of these HDTVs blends a refined design with smart technologies to elevate and personalize the home theater experience. The entire line is being introduced this week at the 2009 International CES(R), Booth #8214, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.

Many of LG's HDTV series incorporate advanced technologies -- such as...

Technology

New HDMI Version Coming - Will Add Networking, Higher Speeds and Address Emerging Auto Industry

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 6:42pm

HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface™ (HDMI™) specification, today announced an overview of the capabilities and features of the next version of the HDMI specification which will be launched in the first half of 2009.

Our goal is to address 5 key industry trends in the coming spec...

New Products & Equipment

Accell Announces the UltraAV 4x4 High Speed HDMI 1.3 Matrix Switch

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 6:38pm

Accell announces the debut of their UltraAV 4x4 High Speed HDMI 1.3 Matrix Switch. This switch allows any of up to four HDMI audio/video sources such as a DVD player, set-top box, PS3 and receiver to independently send an audio/video signal to any four devices such as TV's and Projectors. The UltraAV 4x4 High Speed HDMI 1.3 Matrix Switch will...

New Products & Equipment

Accell's New Locking HDMI Cable Offers Trouble Free Connectivity and Enhanced Performance

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 6:36pm

Accell announces the debut of their patent pending Locking HDMI cable. This exclusive design was created for anyone purchasing an HDMI cable that wants to ensure a trouble free installation. The Locking HDMI cable will be showcased at International CES, from January 8-11, 2009 in the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall 1, Booth #20425.

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

VIZIO Announces New and Exciting 'Connected HDTV' Platform With Wireless Connectivity (802.11n)

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:54pm

VIZIO, America's TV and Consumer Electronics Company, announced today the unveiling of its "Connected HDTV" Platform, which enhances the HDTV viewing experience by bringing personalized entertainment, information and social networking content into the viewer's living room. With unprecedented choice and control of web-based and local content from a wide range of popular content providers and services, including on-demand movies and music, news, weather, sports, gaming and social networking services, this platform will be integrated as a key feature into VIZIO televisions shipping...

New Products & Equipment

VIZIO Extends Universal Line of Accessories With Energy Saving Surge Protector, HDMI Cables, HDTV Wall Mounts, and HDMI Extender

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:51pm

VIZIO, America's HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, introduced several new products for their branded line of accessories including the company's first Surge Protector, HDMI cables, a variety of Flat Panel Wall Mounts, and a HDMI Extender.

New Products & Equipment

VIZIO Offers Complete Line of Energy Efficient LCD HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:48pm

VIZIO, America's HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, revealed details about seven new EcoHD(TM) LCD HDTVs that meet or exceed all of the Energy Star 3.0 requirements.

Currently, all VIZIO LCD HDTVs meet Energy Star 3.0 requirements for lower energy consumption. These seven new EcoHD(TM) models, however, exceed those standards by as much as 25%, which is good news for both the environment and value-conscious consumers. The amount of energy consumption depends on the size of the TV. For instance...

New Products & Equipment

TiVo Transforms the TV World Once Again by Offering a New Way to Search & Discover Content

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:46pm

TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) , the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today showed the future of television, unveiling a redesigned TiVo Search feature that offers improved search results with a completely new High Definition design, all at no additional charge. TiVo Search brings users the power of choice, offering millions of pieces of content not available via cable or satellite, along with thousands of linear TV choices. Delivered via broadband, TiVo Search combines a graphics rich experience with simplicity and relevancy that...

New Products & Equipment

Macrovision's Guide Daily to Be Deployed in SANYO's Digital TVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:44pm

Macrovision Solutions Corporation (NASDAQ:MVSN), a digital entertainment technology leader, announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with SANYO Manufacturing Corporation, allowing Macrovision's Guide Daily to be incorporated into SANYO's digital TV product line. Guide Daily is a version of Macrovision's full-scale interactive program guide (IPG), designed to help consumers navigate, sort, select, and schedule television programming.

SANYO will deploy Guide Daily into its flat panel TV product for its value line of digital televisions to be available...

Blu-ray

Memorex® Blu-ray Disc Player, HDMI Cables and Soundbar

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:31pm

Recreate the cinema movie experience right in your home with easy-to-use and affordable Memorex home theatre products. Memorex, a portfolio brand of Imation Corp. (NYSE: IMN), today introduced the powerful SimpleSurround HDMI DVD SoundBar with iPod® dock, the feature-packed MVBD-2520 Blu-ray Disc player, and high performance audio/video cables including High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables. The latest in the Memorex line of home theatre components and accessories represent the perfect blend of quality and value, and offer consumers the exciting opportunity to experience high-definition (HD) movies in their homes without breaking the bank.

The following home theatre components and accessories will be on display...

New Products & Equipment

VIZIO Expands Flagship XVT Series of HDTVs

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 3:13pm

VIZIO, America's HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, unveils several new models to the XVT Series expanding the performance line with five NEW models. The most dramatic technology introduction is the use of LED panels featuring 240Hz with Scanning Backlight and VIZIO's Smooth Motion II(TM) technology in their largest model the 55" VF551XVT. LED backlight technology provides better picture quality with 1,000,000:1 Mega Dynamic Contrast with local dimming. LED also provides faster response times and higher color saturation so you achieve a better picture. It is also environmentally responsible because it is mercury free. The VIZIO VF551XVT also has 5 HDMI Inputs and a speaker bar designed into the TV so you achieve more robust full body sound from a flat panel TV with SRS TruSurround HD(TM), and TruVolume(TM).

They are also expanding their collection of 42" and 47" XVTs to include...

PC & Laptop TechnologyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - HDMI Wins an Emmy

By Alfred Poor • Jan 7 2009, 2:00pm

Today, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) presents the founders of HDMI with the Technology & Engineering Excellence Emmy Award, in recognition of the HDMI technology standard.
Since its introduction six years ago, HDMI has become the connection of choice for HDTVs and related equipment. The high speed digital connection provides fidelity and [...]

New Products & Equipment

VIZIO Introduces High Style Line of Full HD 1080p and 120Hz LCD HDTV Series With JAVA Color HDTV Collection

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 1:19pm

VIZIO, America's HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, launches the VL and VT Series, enhancing the performance of Full HD 1080p LCD HDTVs with 120Hz Smooth Motion II(TM) technology. The VL Series consists of four new models ranging from 32" to 47" (VL320M, VL370M, VL420M, and VL470M). The VT Series consists of three new models ranging from 37" to 47" (VT420M, and VT470M).

Each model in the VL and VT Series incorporates...

New Products & Equipment

Hitachi Showcases Latest Advanced Technologies at CES 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 4:09am

Always on the cutting edge of design and aesthetics, Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT) (TOKYO:6501) and Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc. will unveil their "Style-Unlimited" showcase at the 2009 International CES in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11.

Starting with...

Technology

The Winning Touch: Logitech Harmony 1100 Offers Customizable Touch Screen

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 7 2009, 2:05am

Say goodbye to complicated lists and long explanations about how to use your home-entertainment system. Today at the Consumer Electronics Show, Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) introduced the Logitech® Harmony® 1100 advanced universal remote control, delivering powerful home-entertainment control through a customizable, 3.5-inch full-color touch screen. Logitech's newest remote provides a touch-screen interface that lets you put the commands you want, where you want them. The Harmony 1100 remote has received...

Politics & PolicyDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - Hurry Up and Wait!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 6 2009, 2:00pm

Remember when I said you should order your digital TV converter coupon from the NTIA “today”? I hope that you did, because word comes from Washington that the agency has run through its funding and is now putting new requests on a waiting list.
According to a report in TWICE, the NTIA has filled 46 million [...]

Events & TradeshowsCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #343 - CES 2009 Preview

By The HT Guys • Jan 6 2009, 8:54am

That's right, time has come again for us to make our annual trek to Las Vegas to see all that the world of Consumer Electronics has to offer. Some years we see some really great stuff. Other years we get home really tired with not much to show for it except a bunch of free giveaway junk. So here's our list of things we expect to see, or are at least really hoping for. If we see all of them, it'll be a home run.

Internet HD Video

Amazon Video on Demand Brings Customers New-Release Movies and TV Shows to the Roku Digital Video Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2009, 3:16am

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it will offer customers the ability to instantly purchase, rent and watch digital movies and TV episodes from its popular video service, Amazon Video On Demand, via the Roku Digital Video Player. Beginning in early 2009, the Roku Player, which currently supports only the Netflix service, will offer access to Amazon Video On Demand's more than 40,000 commercial-free movies and television shows, enabling Roku customers for the first time to watch new release movie titles instantly.

With an easy-to-use interface that customers can enjoy from their couch, Amazon Video On Demand and the Roku Player will enable customers to...

HD Camcorders & Cameras

Canon U.S.A. Packs a Punch with a Powerful New Camcorder Line-up for 2009

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2009, 3:04am

Canon U.S.A., Inc, a leader in digital imaging technology, announces an exciting new line of five VIXIA high definition and six standard definition camcorders, which are available in a variety of different recording formats, including Flash Memory. The camcorders retain Canon's core imaging technologies, but add a wide selection of new features for enhanced image quality and added flexibility for sharing and storing memories.

Highlighting the list of new features is Canon's newest and most sophisticated image processor, DIGIC DV III. The new HD processor is featured in select VIXIA models and delivers...

Internet HD Video

Samsung and Yahoo!® Bring the Best of the Web to Television

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2009, 2:59am

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, and Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company, today announced a new Internet-based service to Samsung televisions available in the spring of 2009. Select models in Samsung's 2009 flat-panel HDTV line-up will be powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, a fifth-generation applications platform that enables TV watchers to interact with and enjoy a rich set of "TV Widgets." TV Widgets make it easy to interact with Internet content and services to complement and enhance the traditional TV viewing experience. The lightweight Javascript and XML applications bring content, information and community features available on the Internet within easy reach of the remote control. The new televisions will be displayed at CES 2009 in Samsung's booth located at Central Hall, Booth #11033.

Select models in Samsung's 2009 flat-panel HDTV lines will support the new TV Widget service, called "Internet@TV - ...

Education

MD Goes HD: Phoenix Doctor Is First to Use New High-Definition Television Production Vehicle to Help Educate and Teach From the Operating Room

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2009, 2:46am

VAS Communications, a multi-media marketing and video production company co-owned by Dr. Edward B. Diethrich, Founder and Medical Director of Arizona Heart Institute and Arizona Heart Hospital, has recently custom built a High-Definition Satellite uplink production vehicle, the first vehicle with High-Definition capabilities in Arizona.

Early in his career...

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

Wireless Extension from Gefen

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2009, 12:20am

Ideal for hard to reach locations where cable runs are unwanted, Gefen's wireless extension solutions support the delivery of high definition video with audio up to various lengths, depending on the technology used. Each system allows home entertainment system installers to place high definition displays in hard to reach locations, such as...

Technology

PPC Announces First Locking HDMI Cable at CES

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 6 2009, 12:09am

PPC www.connect2ppc.com, the proven leader in the design and manufacture of connectors for the telecommunications, satellite and wireless industries with the most patents in connector technology worldwide, announced today that it will be debuting the first HDMI locking cable available on the market, the "PPC Locking HDMI Cable," at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held this week in Las Vegas.

The PPC Locking HDMI Cable is an industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface, providing...

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

Celeno and Cavium Networks Collaborate to Offer Whole-Home 1080p60 HDMI Connectivity over Wi-Fi®

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2009, 6:29pm

Celeno Communications, a leading provider of semiconductors for multimedia Wi-Fi home networking applications, today announced a collaboration with Cavium Networks (NASDAQ: CAVM), the leader in super low latency, full-HD H.264 video codecs to fulfill the demand for a robust, low latency and long range wireless HDMI solution. The joint reference design meets the demand for in-room HDMI cable replacement applications as well as whole-home full-HD video content sharing, using standards-based Wi-Fi networking technology. The solution enables consumer electronics manufacturers to develop products that support various digital home connectivity use cases. Examples include...

New Products & Equipment

projectiondesign to Amaze CES Visitors with New Avielo DLP® Home Cinema Projectors

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2009, 6:23pm

projectiondesign invites discerning visitors at the upcoming International CES to experience mind-blowing performance by their new avielo home cinema DLP projector series in suite 31-133 at the Venetian Resort Hotel, Las Vegas.

At CES, projectiondesign will feature and demonstrate its top-of-the-line avielo optix single-chip projector with full HD 1080p resolution for screen sizes up to 180" diagonal. The optix features...

BroadcastDigital (DTV) TransitionDigital Rights Management (DRM)

HDTV Almanac - Your DTV Broadcast Reception

By Alfred Poor • Jan 5 2009, 2:00pm

As I’ve mentioned here on more than a few occasions, digital TV broadcast signals do not carry as far as analog signals. A weak analog signal results in a snowy picture, but a weak digital signal results in a blank screen. How can you tell what your experience will be with broadcast television after the [...]

New Products & Equipment

LG Electronics First to Unveil 'Broadband HDTVs' that Instantly Stream Movies from Netflix

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2009, 12:29pm

LG Electronics today extended its groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), as the two companies announced the first broadband-enabled HDTVs with Netflix streaming software embedded directly in the TV, requiring no external device. LG's new LCD and plasma "Broadband HDTVs" will display the growing library of movies, TV episodes and high-definition (HD) content that Netflix members can watch instantly directly on the TV with Ethernet connectivity.

Available this spring, the new LCD and plasma HDTVs will join the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player, the first Blu-ray disc player to stream movies instantly from Netflix. These products - and five new models of Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems planned for 2009 - will offer...

Blu-ray

ezGear® Introduces BluCobra™ Blu-ray Disc™ Player

By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 4 2009, 7:34am

ezGear, a leading marketer of state of the art audio and video products, -announces the introduction of the BluCobra EZ3000 video player for Blu-ray Discs. The EZ3000 is the first in the new BluCobra line of products from ezGear. BluCobra Blu-ray players include a full host of features you get with higher end models at an affordable price.

The BluCobra EZ3000 is a multi-format player that supports...

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - A Really Big Screen

By Alfred Poor • Jan 2 2009, 2:00pm

The Shell Building in London, England, was transformed into the world’s tallest video projection screen on New Year’s Eve. Revellers were treated to a projected holiday message from Mayor of London Boris Johnson and other celebrities. The installation was engineered by LG Electronics, which also sponsored the fireworks display for the evening’s festivities.
If you weren’t [...]

Blu-rayCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast #342 - 2009 Home Theater Predictions

By The HT Guys • Jan 2 2009, 2:00pm

It's that time of year again. We try to predict the future, at least the future of HDTV and Home Theater. We'll try to stay away from the real obvious ones like TV prices will come down or Blu Ray players will be more affordable.

General Interest

HDTV Almanac - Happy New Year!

By Alfred Poor • Jan 1 2009, 2:00pm

2008 was a rough ride in many ways, but there were some silver linings. The Dow gave up 33.8% for the year, making it the worst year since 1931 during the Great Depression. Across Wall Street in general, about $7 trillion in shareholder value was lost in 2008. (That makes the Obama $1 trillion stimulus [...]