Happy New Year!

…and welcome back! We’ve thrown the light switches back on here and dusted the place to get ready to start the new year off with more HDTV Almanac entries. Just to recap, we were more than halfway to our second thousand posts last September when new projects got the better of me and I had to take a hiatus from posting here.

And boy, did I miss a lot to cover in that time. There have been continued blackouts of local television stations over retransmission fee disputes. The federal government is still looking for ways to get some of the broadband spectrum back from the terrestrial TV broadcasters (who in turn still seem to think that digital mobile TV is going to save their industry). Meanwhile some major cable companies have sold their radio spectrum to Verizon, willing to let the phone company build up wireless broadband and then lease back the service to provide to their cable customers. And Lightsquared still thinks that jamming GPS signals with its wireless broadband service is a good idea.

And then there’s the whole HDTV market. Sony has sold its interest in its joint venture back to Samsung, and seems bent on rebuilding its TV brand by getting out of the TV building business. (I’m still trying to figure that one out.) Just about every pundit in the business has declared that 3DTV is dead, though friend and colleague Peter Putman states in a recent column that “what you’ll see in 2012 is much less emphasis on 3D (it will simply become an embedded feature at no extra cost).” That’s a backhanded way to say it will become a common feature, but I think he’s absolutely right. Prices continue to fall, and the major manufacturers are trying to figure out if there’s a hope of making a profit somewhere in the business.

Meanwhile, people keep holding out the irrational hope for practical 3DTV without glasses for the living room. I’ve received several breathless press releases teasing some breakthrough demonstrations for CES 2012 next week. (I’m sorry to say that I won’t be there, but I’ll still keep you posted on the important news from the show.) It looks as though I may have to repeat my explanation of why autostereoscopic 3DTV can’t work for multiple viewers.

And then there’s all the news about advancements in OLED and other display technology, new television online guides and user interfaces, and changes in the streaming video market. Google TV has a new version, and apparently there is no shortage of speculation about Apple’s new television (which nobody has seen yet).

I apologize for not posting about all this and more over the past four months, but as I’ve said, I was busy tooling up for some new business projects. (I’m happy to tell you about them if you’re curious, but it’s not really on-topic here so drop me an email or check out my LinkedIn profile if you want to know more.) So now I’m back, and you can expect to get more of the wide-ranging content about HDTV technology and the home entertainment industry at large that you expect from the HDTV Almanac. The only difference — at least for now — is that I’m going to stop the practice of putting parts of the text in bold. I’d love to do more of a site design, but that’s a project for another day. If you have some change to suggest that you’d like me to make, drop me a note at alfred@hdtvprofessor.com. I’d love to hear from you.