Month: October 2008

Tomorrow: New EnergyStar Requirements

October 31, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
EnergyStar is the joint project by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that is designed to help consumers identifiy energy-efficient products before they make a buying decision. The problem of rating flat panel televisions is that it is a moving target. The average screen size is a lot larger than it was for picture tube (CRT) models, so it is reasonable that LCDs and plasmas draw...

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Converter Boxes Instead of New TVs

October 30, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
A report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday confirms what many analysts have been saying for some time; sales of large flat panel TVs are in trouble, and inventories are piling up for both manufacturers and retailers. The latest evidence? Sales of digital converter boxes are exceeding projections. More people are simply buying converters for their old TVs that get their signal over the air, rather than buy a...

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Be First in Line at Best Buy on Black Friday

October 29, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Do you relish standing in line for five hours in the cold and dark, just to get a shot at one of the Black Friday bargains? If not, you might be interested in the shortcut that Best Buy has announced. As part of its Black Friday VIP contest, you can be one of 25 lucky winners who will get a special shot at the Black Friday bargains. Winners will be...

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Are “Staycations” the Answer?

October 28, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
A press release from Futuresource , a British market research firm, makes some interesting observations about the state of the world economy and its impact on consumer electronics. Their numbers are based on United Kingdom measures, but I expect that for this purpose, they are similar enough to the situation in the USA for argument. The company went back to the "economic slump" of 2001 to see what happened in...

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iTunes Pushes HD

October 27, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
In a press release earlier this month, Apple touted the fact that it has HD versions of popular network TV shows available for sale on its iTunes service. Here are shows offered in HD on iTunes by four major networks: ABC: “Brothers & Sisters” “Desperate Housewives” “Dirty Sexy Money” “Eli Stone” “Grey’s Anatomy” “Life on Mars” “Lost” “Private Practice” “Samantha Who?” “Ugly Betty” CBS: “CSI” “CSI: Miami” “CSI: New York”...

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HDTV Slowdown? Ask Sony!

October 24, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I've been writing about how bad the HDTV market is going to be this winter, and yesterday, a big shoe dropped. When times get tough, you'd expect that the middle and lower tier companies might struggle, finding it more difficult to get shelf space and make sales. You'd think that the blow would be buffered a bit for the top brands, since they are well established and the people with...

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Will It Be Joost Enough?

October 23, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I was one of the beta testers for Joost, the site that offered streaming video -- often in higher definition than you get from some Web video sites -- of a wide range of content. It offered old made-for-TV movies, current TV episodes, music videos, and a ton of specialty programming that was aimed at a younger demographic than the one I represent. The site used short and fairly innocuous...

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Bugged about Bugs

October 22, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, maybe it's just because it's so late at night (or so early in the morning, depending on your perspective), but I feel a good rant coming on. Is anyone else out there getting fed up with the "bugs" and "crawls" and other visual junk that the networks are throwing on the screen while you're trying to watch a show? Now, I'm not talking about the news channels or weather...

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Circuit City: Strong Measures

October 21, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Some analysts have questioned whether or not Circuit City will survive until the end of 2009. Now there appears that the company may not finish 2008. A report in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere yesterday indicates that Circuit City may shutter as many as 150 of its 712 stores and lay off thousands of employees in an attempt to stay afloat through the holiday shopping season. The struggling chain...

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LCD HDTV: What’s Happening “Upstream”?

October 20, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
What's happening to the LCD HDTV market? One way to look at what's ahead is to look "upstream". By this, I mean look at what's been going on at the manufacturer level. They make the panels that will go into the televisions that will be sold this holiday season. So what's happening upstream? Orders are way below projections, and LCD panel factories from Taiwan to Korea have been throttling back...

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