Month: December 2008

DTV Conversion Heats Up

December 31, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, we've got seven weeks to go until the end of (most) analog TV broadcasts in the United States. And Nielsen reported a couple of weeks ago that at least 7 million homes still aren't ready for the conversion. And that's just among homes that only get TV over the air; it does not include the millions more that have secondary sets that are not connected to the cable or...

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LG Tops 120 Hz

December 30, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
LG Display announced today that it has developed a "Trumotion 480Hz" LCD HDTV panel. Yes, Virginia, that's four times faster than the current 120 Hz specification offered by some of the top-of-the-line models from various TV makers. The point of the higher refresh rate is that it helps reduce motion blur on LCD panels. By refreshing the image faster than then standard 60 Hz -- sixty times each second --...

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Do You Blu-ray?

December 29, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last Friday, CompUSA.com ran a one-day special on the Sylvania NB501SL9 Blu-ray DVD player, selling it for just under $180. This is about a 10% discount over the $200 price that you can find from lots of sources. My question is this; is this price low enough to entice you to switch to Blu-ray? Keep in mind that this is about four times the price of a decent upscaling DVD...

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Inventory Management

December 26, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
What happens when people stop buying your product? Early numbers indicate that 2008 was one of the worst holiday shopping seasons on record, when you compare with the prior year. And as anticipated, inventories are still high at the retailers. From sweaters to flat screens, retailers have been slashing prices in efforts to try to get people to buy, but uncertainty about the economy and jobs as well as big...

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Happy Holidays!

December 25, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I'm celebrating Christmas today, so I'll under the tree instead of in front of the keyboard this morning. Let me take this time to wish all of you a happy holiday season. Even in these difficult times, I hope that you find many reasons to be thankful. Whether this is your first visit to the HDTV Almanac, or have been a faithful reader for years, I thank you for your...

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The CE Retail Carnage Continues

December 24, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Here's another name to add to the list: Theater Xtreme. The Delaware corporation ceased operations at the two company-owned stores in early December, as well as laying off all corporate employees, but took the next step of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week. It is possible that the company could regroup, but it is more likely that the remaining assets will be liquidated. One important point is that the...

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Roku Adds HD

December 23, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, now there's one less reason to roll your own Media Center PC in order to watch movies from the Internet on your HDTV. Roku announced yesterday that their $99 Netflix Player will now support streaming HD content. The company does not specify what "advanced compression technology" it uses, but I'm guessing that it's some form of H.264/MPEG4 AVC, as that's one of the most effective compression schemes for video...

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Polaroid: Out with the Tide?

December 22, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
One of my favorite sayings is that "a rising tide raises all boats", which I view as shorthand for how cooperation between competitors for the good of the industry help all involved. The current economic situation looks more like ebb tide in the Bay of Fundy, where the water level can drop as much as 48 feet in less than seven hours. As we're seeing in many industries, not all...

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Big JVC HDTV for Times Square

December 19, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Just in time for the big ball to drop, JVC has installed a new giant display in New York City's Times Square. The company claims that it's the first "true 720p high definition display" in Times Square. The installation includes a main screen and two tickers, one of which wraps around the globe. The screen is 19 feet tall and 34 feet wide, and uses 1,152,000 individual LEDs. It also...

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No OLED TV For You!

December 18, 2008 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
When it comes to OLED HDTVs, I'm as big a cheerleader as you'll find. What's not to love? They have super-thin panels, the emissive technology looks better than a CRT, and it has none of the problems faced by plasma and LCD panels, such as image retention or motion blur. There's just one small problem; OLEDs cost too much to make. So it came as little surprise (but still a...

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