Month: July 2007

120 Hz: Does It Matter?

July 31, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
One of the "hot" new features for LCD HDTV is a 120 Hz refresh rate. Okay, it's not all that new; I wrote about it in my CES coverage last January. But the products that include this feature are starting to show up on the shelves in even greater numbers, so I figure it's time to review the technology. Most LCD panels refresh the image 60 times a second. This...

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Bigger is Smaller

July 30, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Here's a conundrum for you: how can the continued miniaturization of electronics play a role in the HDTV market where consumers are looking to buy ever larger displays? Well, Electronic House just named the Mitsubishi LT-46144 LCD HDTV as a 2007 Product of the Year. What's so special about this 46" 1080p LCD model? It has a frame around the screen that is less than one inch wide, which makes...

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Blockbuster Raises Rates

July 27, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Blockbuster is making changes to its "all you can eat" movie plans that compete directly with NetFlix. One of the key advantages to the Blockbuster program is that instead of mailing back the DVDs when you're finished watching them, you can drop them off at the local Blockbuster store instead. And when you drop it off, you get to borrow a DVD from the store as well; this is in...

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ABC Goes HD on the Web

July 26, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Go to ABC's Web site and you'll see a link in the middle of the page that offers "full screen now available" for the online shows. These shows include full-length episodes with only "limited" commercial interruption: three 30 second breaks in an hour-long show, and two per half hour episode. You've got to be in the United States to view the full length episodes, and you must have a broadband...

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Is IPV the Future for US Viewers?

July 25, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The Consumer Electronics Association just released a report stating that 72% of U.S. adults have broadband access to the Internet. Subscriptions for home broadband services have increased 21% in the past year, now reaching 57.8 million households. Three out of four homes with Internet access have broadband service. And for those who do not have Internet access at home, many use broadband connections in libraries, at work, at school, and...

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CableCard Deadline

July 24, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The cable industry has fought it for years, but earlier this month they finally lost the battle and the FCC's new rules for cable connections went into effect earlier this month. It's a complex topic, but here's the simple explanation. Cable companies have to separate their security features from the channel selection function. Until now, both have been combined in a single settop box that you typically have to lease...

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Westinghouse Set to Give Away HDTVs

July 23, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The sweepstakes is not slated to launch until August 13, but Westinghouse Digital has teamed up with the Oxygen cable network to create a "Girls Gone Wired" promotion. Winners in 20 local affiliate markets will get a "total techover" that will include up to $5,000 worth of Westinghouse products. There will also be 20 runner up prizes that will award an SK-32H590D, a 32” LCD TV that feature a built-in,...

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IPTV Set to Boom

July 19, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Would you be surprised to find that worldwide, 300 million consumers watch ad-supported or subscription-based broadband video content on the Internet? A report published earlier this month by ABI Research predicts that this number will soar to nearly 1 billion by 2012. The company expects that broadcast television content will continue to be supported by paid advertisements. Movie content will be paid for by the consumer, either in subscription or...

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Who Wants IPTV?

July 18, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
A recent survey by iSupply reveals that nearly two out of three consumers want their televisions connected to the Internet. I find this to be a curious result, because most people don't have TVs connected to the Web so why do they think they would want that? iSupply's answer makes a lot of sense. Consumers are using a variety of electronics devices, and want to connect them to each other...

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Is “Pause” the Next HDTV Feature?

July 17, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
EE Times has reported that Magnum Semiconductor has a design for a chip that will let viewers pause live TV on their televisions without the need for a separate digital video recorder. (And here's a tip of my cap to my friends at "Display Daily" for pointing out the EE Times story.) The basic idea is that the television controller circuitry will include enough solid state memory to store up...

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