Month: May 2008

Universal TV Tuner

May 30, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
In this global community, we still tend to be provincial about television. In the United States, we know about NTSC, but may not know about the PAL and SECAM video standards used in many parts of the world. We are learning about the ATSC digital broadcasts, but may not be as aware of the DVB-T, ISDB-T, or SBTVD standards used elsewhere. Just as mobile phone users have learned to have...

Continue Reading

Blue Laser Update

May 29, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
In an earlier HDTV Almanac entry, I wrote about a complaint filed by Gertrude Neumark Rothschild against 31 electronics companies for violation of her patents on blue LEDs and lasers. According to a press release by the law firm handling the complaint, four companies have signed licensing agreements for the technology. Sony and Sanyo are the most notable among the four. The significance is that this agreement is likely to...

Continue Reading

Sony Chooses tru2way

May 28, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
There's a big media splash today about Sony building new TVs that can plug directly into your digital cable service -- without a separate set top box -- and access all the two-way cable services such as pay-per-view and video recording. The announcement makes a point of listing the major cable companies that support tru2way: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House Networks. Together, they represent "more...

Continue Reading

The Netflix Box Bombshell

May 27, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, there are still dozens of stories from SID that I could write, but it's really time to move on. And to play catchup, I need to cover the biggest story from last week; a week ago, Netflix announced the Netflix Player by Roku. This box is simple; it connects your TV to the Internet so that you can watch movies and recorded television shows. It gives you access to...

Continue Reading

War Funding Funds Low-Power TV Broadcasts

May 26, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
It's business as usual in Washington, DC. According to a report by TVTechnology.com, an emergency supplemental appropriation for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq included measures for low-power television broadcasts. One provides grants to help these stations continue to broadcast analog signals after the February 17, 2009 deadline for the full-power stations to cut off their analog signals. The other moves the funding up a year to help the lower...

Continue Reading

SID 2008: Thinner LCDs

May 23, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I'm not sure that the consumers agree, but LCD makers appear to think that the way to the hearts (and wallets) of HDTV buyers is to make their panels thinner and lighter. At SID 2008, there were plenty of efforts on display that indicate some interesting developments along this line. The key to thinner LCD panels is to make thinner backlights. Traditional designs rely on multiple fluorescent light tubes snaking...

Continue Reading

SID 2008: In Touch with HDTVs

May 22, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Blame it on the iPhone. Or maybe blame Tom Cruise in "Minority Report". Touch screen displays used to be simple affairs for airport kiosks and bank ATMs, but now everyone wants "multitouch". This means that the screen is able to recognize when the screen is being touched in two or more places. Multitouch makes it possible to do much more than just push a virtual button. As the iPhone has...

Continue Reading

SID 2008: Display Industry Tackles Energy Use

May 21, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
According to Paul Drzaic, President of the Society for Information Display (SID), consumers worldwide use tens of terrawatt hours of electricity each year, just to watch television (citing information from the Consumer Electronics Association in a free report). That's an enormous number, and if we can get each set to save only a little more energy, a tiny percentage drop in the usage will result in a measurable decrease in...

Continue Reading

SID 2008: How to Pick an HDTV

May 20, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The Society for Information Display (SID) 2008 annual conference really doesn't start until today (though it gets started early with a 7 AM press breakfast). Yesterday was the SID 2008 Busines Conference, which focuses on the business of the display industry. Participants got to hear many insightful and inspiring presentations, but the one I think that may be of most interest to HDTV Almanac readers was the one by Paul...

Continue Reading

SID 2008: Here We Go!

May 19, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Each year, the Society for Information Display (SID) holds their major conference. You may not have heard of SID, because this is not a flashy show like CES or InfoCOMM or CEDIA that are filled with shiny products for end users. The SID conference is by, for, and all about the display industry. You'll see some esoteric stuff like machines that use lasers to cut LCD panel glass substrates, or...

Continue Reading