Month: January 2006

Satellite Built-In?

January 31, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Earlier this month, Humax announced its intention to develop a line of LCD TVs that will include tuners compatible with the DirecTV digital satellite service. This means that these TVs will not require a separate "set-top box" in order to receive the satellite service signal. The compact displays will open up new opportunities for DirecTV subscribers. Humax plans to have a 20-inch SD model in the first half of 2006,...

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One Less Network

January 30, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last week, CBS and Warner Brothers announced that they will combine the UPN and WB broadcast networks to create a joint venture that will be called CW. The new network will start broadcasting in the fall of 2006, at which time the other two networks will shut down. CW programs will include some of the more popular content from the UPN and WB lineups. Many cities currently have both networks,...

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IPTV: Think Small!

January 27, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
IPTV -- Internet Protocol TV -- holds out the promise of "what you want to watch, where you want to watch it, when you want to watch it." And it continues to be the hot topic of the year. The latest development is a new dramatic series developed by CBS and sponsored by Pontiac. The startling detail about the show that started airing this week is that the episodes are...

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Watching Butterfly Wings

January 26, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I don't report on it much here because it gets pretty esoteric, but I'm fascinated with the new display technologies that are under development in the labs. I've met with researchers who have found out how to eliminate the polarizing layer from LCD panels (which in turn makes the panels much more efficient), and I follow efforts to use colored lasers to create a rear-projection HDTV. But I read a...

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Family-Friendly Programming Gets Boost

January 25, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Digital satellite service providers Dish Network and DirecTV have both come out with "family-conscious" programming plans. DishFamily will have 32 channels, and DirecTV Total Choice Family offers more than 40 including local broadcasts. These offerings may have been accelerated by Congressional hearings into possible legistlation that could regulate programming content. The industry also is going to spend up to $300 million to help educate families how to use the V-chip...

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More “My HDTV is Bigger”!

January 24, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, CES 2006 ended more than two weeks ago, and I'm finally getting to this story... which should give you some sense of how important I think it is in the grand scheme of things. But here goes: Panasonic showed a prototype 103" plasma 1080p HDTV. Yes, this is gigantic, and an impressive feat. The panel is about 7.5 feet wide and four feet tall. That's bigger than a bed...

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A Blue Laser DVD Solution?

January 23, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
There's a new voice in the conflict over competing high-density blue-laser DVD standards. The HD Disc Consumer Advocacy Alliance has weighed in with a manifesto that declares that supporters of HD-DVD and Blu-ray "must set their differences aside and work to find a compromise for a single, unified high-definition optical disc format." I find this demand to be nothing short of astonishing. Where have these people been for the past...

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HDTV: It’s All About Sports!

January 20, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The Consumer Electronics Association is the group that puts on CES -- the Consumer Electronics Show -- every January in Las Vegas. And the group just released the results of a study conducted along with the Sports Video Group. The results weren't earth-shaking, but it's interesting to see numbers that support the conclusions that many of us had already made. For example, half the HDTV owners responding to the survey...

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Roll-Up the TV

January 19, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
A 50" TV takes up a lot of space, no matter what technology you use. And they get pretty heavy; a plasma panel that size can weigh 100 pounds or more. Imagine an HDTV that disappears when you're not watching it. It can be done. Instead of using glass substrates to create the panels, you can use plastic that is thin and flexible. In theory at least, you could then...

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The Best Bargains You Never Heard Of

January 18, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The HDTV market is a boom town. When a market grows this large and this rapidly -- with every indication that it will continue to grow -- then there will always be new players drawn to the action. Some will be big companies that are already well-established in other segments who want to expand into new fields. Dell is a perfect example of this. As I walked the exhibit halls...

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