Month: March 2008

TV Comes to the Small Screen

March 31, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I mean the really, really small screen: your cell phone. On Friday, AT&T announced that it will offer subscribers ten channels of television programming. The images may be small, but the networks providing the content are some of the giants: CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN, FOX, MTV, NBC, NBC News, and Nickelodeon. AT&T will be using the MediFLO system, which is the same used by Verizon for its mobile television. Verizon...

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Digital TV Converter Complications

March 28, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Earlier this week, a US company named Microtune sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The NTIA is the federal agency in charge of the program to provide rebates for the coverters that will allow analog televisions to receive digital broadcasts. (You can read more about the rebate program in an earlier HDTV Almanac entry.) The NTIA is responsible for making sure that the digital converter...

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Movie Clips on Facebook

March 27, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
As the Rainman might say, "there are thousands and thousands of them." At a time when most of the copyright holders for music, movie, and video content are going bananas trying desperately to lock up their products and prosecute anyone who misappropriates their product, Paramount is taking a different approach. The company is embracing the new reality of Web-based social networks, and is making thousands of short clips from its...

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Playing “The HDTV Price is Right”

March 26, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
You walk into a big box store like Best Buy and see a price posted on an HDTV. Or you scan through their sales circular and see prices for specific models. That's the price you'll pay, right? Maybe not. According to a report in the New York Times on Sunday, a growing number of United States customers are starting to haggle over prices and they're successful. According to one former...

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FCC Seeks More Fines

March 25, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last year, federal law made it illegal to manufacture or import television devices in this country that contained analog tuners unless they also had digital tuners. Manufacturers and retailers were allowed to sell existing inventory of analog-only devices, but only if they were clearly labeled about this limitation. Apparently, not all the retailers were diligent enough about the products they sold. According to a report by TVTechnology.com, the FCC chairman,...

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Englewood, We Have a Problem

March 24, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
DISH Network (of Englewood, Colorado) is locked in a struggle with DirecTV and other television subscription services to attract and retain customers. And one of the key competitive features is HD channel coverage. DirecTV has a lead on this score, but a new satellite launched by DISH Network was intended to help the service catch up. According to reports, the Russian rocket used to launch the companies latest satellite on...

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Why We’re Switching to Digital TV

March 21, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
In case you were wondering about why analog televisions broadcasts are scheduled to end next February, I can give you nearly 20 billion reasons. By switching to digital broadcasts, large segments of the radio frequency spectrum will be freed up for other uses. And on Tuesday, the FCC concluded auctions that sold off the licenses for much of this spectrum to companies. The sales were originally projected to bring in...

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Propeller Headed: Polarized LEDs

March 20, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, today's item is not a little technical; it's a lot technical. But as always, I'll not only tell you the story, but also what it means. So hang in with me on this one.... At the end of last month, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute issued a press release about Martin Schubert, a doctoral student in engineering, who has been awarded the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize. So what did Martin Schubert...

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R.I.P. HD DVD

March 19, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Were you like me, and you purchased an HD DVD player at the end of last year? The chances are good that you may be suffering from a bit of buyer's remorse at this point, now that Blu-ray has carried the day (for reasons that I've covered in previous entries). The Fed has bailed out Bear Stearns, but are there bailouts available for those who bought HD DVD players? Well,...

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OLEDs: Still moving ahead

March 18, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
It seems to me that the main achievement of the tiny Sony XEL-1 is to leave us wanting more: more resolution, more screen, and a lot more for our money. Many companies are working hard to deliver more from OLED technology, which as the Sony TV has demonstrated, can deliver an impossibly thin and light screen with the detail of an LCD and the emissive image quality of a CRT....

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