Month: May 2006

Producers Oppose Downconverting of HDTV

May 31, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
According to a report by Associated Press, the major networks want Congress to prohibit cable systems from "downconverting" their HDTV programming signals. This means taking high-definition digital signals and converting it to standard definition digital signals. They don't mind conversion to analog standard definition, in order to maintain service for those customers. Lowering the resolution for digital signals, however, means that HDTV owners may not get the full resolution that...

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Oversupply Brewing for LCD HDTV

May 30, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
LCD manufacturers have been busy building new production lines capable of handling large glass substrates. As a result, production capacity is increasing. And lately, inventory levels have been increasing as well. Panels sitting in a warehouse don't make any money for the manufacturer, but these companies need to run the plants at capacity to get the full benefits of higher efficiencies. And so they are led to sell their products...

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Reader Question: Repairing Plasma HDTV?

May 29, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Q: Is it true that it is too expensive to repair plasma TV? Ida Issac-Brewton A: There are parts of a plasma television that can fail and be replaced at a reasonable cost. For example, the electronics are typically designed as separate modules that can be replaced fairly easily. I suspect, however, that your question is prompted by stories of plasma displays "burning out" or wearing out over time. The...

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HDTV: Is 50 the New 4o?

May 26, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
DigitTimes reports today quoting the executive vice president of AU Optronics, which is one of the largest LCD makers in Taiwan. Hsing Hui predicts that the 50" LCD HDTV will become a mainstream segment, as increased production results in lower costs, which in turn will make LCDs competitive with plasma in this size range. This is an intriguing concept, but it takes a closer look to understand what this really...

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“No-Box” DVR Challenged

May 25, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
On Wednesday, March 29, I wrote about Cablevision's plan to let subscribers "record" shows to a central server, and then watch them when they want. At the time, I pointed out that some analysts thought that this might lead to lawsuits by the content producers. Well, the show has dropped. An Associated Press report indicates that Hollywood studios and TV networks have filed suit to halt the service. The studios...

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Panasonic Picks DivX

May 24, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last week, Panasonic announced plans to include DivX support in two DVD video recorders: the DMR-EH55S and the DMR-EH75VS. Both will have HDMI connectors, and are capable of up-converting output to a 1080i resolution signal. Both have hard disk drives, and have red laser DVD burners. The new recorders are expected to ship end of May or in June. The DMR-EH55S has a 200 GB hard drive and will sell...

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Electronics Goes HDTV

May 23, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I've been watching as CompUSA keeps giving more floor space to LCD and plasma and rear-projection TVs, but the latest news is that Radio Shack is jumping on the HDTV bandwagon. This reverses the move in 2002 that dropped televisions in favor of smaller consumer electronics devices. Radio Shack plans to phase in the new strategy over the next few years, as it will take a lot of inventory just...

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Wait a Second!

May 22, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I've written here often about the question of who is going to pay for published video content. The traditional broadcast commercial model breaks down as people shift to other distribution sources, and use recorded video to time- and place-shift their viewing of the content. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that TiVo and other digital video recorders (DVRs) make it easy to skip the commercials. According to some...

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DISH Network Expands Local HD

May 19, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The DISH Network satellite television service announced Wednesday that they are adding local HDTV channels in 11 markets, which nearly doubles the number of cities and now reaching a total of 24. The new cities are Dallas; Houston; Miami; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; and Spokane. They plan to make local HD coverage available to more than half of US households by the end...

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A Plastic HDTV?

May 18, 2006 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Plasma and direct-view LCDs use glass substrates. Glass is relatively fragile, and the sheets used in LCD panel production are special and expensive. So manufacturers are searching for alternatives. One problem for LCDs and OLEDs is that they require a semiconductor layer on the substrate in order to create the transistors that will switch the pixels on and off. Amorphous silicon is used almost universally, and plastic substrates generally are...

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