Month: February 2009

Big Brother Hides in DTV Converters?

February 27, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, it's Freaky Friday. I'm a little late to this party, but apparently there has been an active movement on the Internet, driven by people committed to exposing the hidden cameras and microphones that are embedded in the digital television converter boxes that are being bought by millions of people with the help of our federal government. If this is news for you to, then check out the YouTube video...

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How Low Can They Go?

February 26, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Yes, now is a great time to buy a flat screen TV if you have the money. As I predicted, the manufacturers and retailers are stuck with inventory, and need to get some cash out of the products. The SuperBowl is behind us, and there's only March Madness between now and next September that might entice sports fans to shell out for a new big screen. (I'm sorry, but I...

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If You Can’t Beat Them…

February 25, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Netflix has clearly seen the writing on the wall, and is transitioning its business from distributing plastic disks to providing subscription access to movies delivered over the Internet. Hulu, Joost, and other sites are feeding a growing consumer demand for content delivered on demand over broadband. Now comes word that the largest video subscription services in the country -- the cable and satellite TV companies -- are exploring the Internet...

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Free Movies on Your Phone

February 24, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The new Samsung Delve has a touch screen, 2 MP camera, Web browsing, and the other sorts of features that you'd expect on a mobile phone these days. And it accepts microSD memory cards. But if you buy one from Alltel Wireless before April 16, you can also get a free 2 GB microSD card. That's not too exciting, I realize, except for the fact that the card is not...

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March Madness Goes Online with HD

February 23, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last year, nearly 5 million viewers watched more than 5 million hours of online coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, also known as "March Madness". This year, CBSSports.com is relying on Microsoft's Silverlight media player to deliver the sights and sounds of the 2009 tournament starting March 19. Coverage will include all 63 games, all for free. Check out ncaa.com/mmod for more information and to download the...

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Here Come Projector Phones

February 20, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Samsung announced the first mobile phones with a projector built into it. The Samsung phones use a DLP imager from Texas Instruments. The high-end phones also feature an OLED touchscreen and a 5 megapixel camera. Initially, the I7410 and W7900 phones will only be available in Korea and Europe, but you can expect them to make their way to this country sooner...

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No Big Bang on Digital TV Transition

February 19, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Tuesday was supposed to be the day that all full-power TV stations were to end their analog broadcasts. Congress delayed that switch until June 12, but allowed stations to switch on February 17th as planned if they wanted to, and if the FCC approved their application. As a result, 421 stations pulled the plug on their analog broadcasts on Tuesday night. Now comes the news that the FCC was surprised...

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Fix Digital TV Signal Problems

February 18, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
When it comes to the transition to digital broadcasts of television programming, the elephant in the room has been the fact that many people who can receive analog transmissions just fine may not get digital transmissions. As I've discussed here many times, a weak analog signal produces a snowy image, but a weak digital signal results in a blank screen. The problem is that not enough people are aware of...

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Shootout in Space

February 17, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
There was high drama in the U.S. broadcast business over the last week, about 22,000 miles high. That's where Sirius XM (the merged satellite radio companies) have their geosynchronous satellites in orbit. And the whole system was on the verge of crashing down (financially, not literally) because a major debt payment was due today, and the company about to declare bankruptcy. The debt had been bought up by EchoStar, the...

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Where’s My TV Station?

February 16, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Sure, you may have gone to www.antennaweb.org to find the headings for the television broadcast stations in your area, but have you ever wondered where those towers are, and what they look like? Wonder no more, thanks to Cavell Mertz & Associates, a Virginia based engineering consulting firm. They've mashed up the FCC broadcast database with Google Earth. By selecting different categories, you can see the transmitter locations for AM...

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