Month: June 2009

Supreme Court Okays Cable DVR

June 30, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it decided not to hear a case challenging Cablevision's new digital video recording (DVR) service that it intends to roll out. This decision could have enormous implications, as far reaching as the famous "Betamax Case" that allowed consumers to "time shift" their viewing of broadcast programming by recording shows on a VCR. In that landmark case, Universal City Studios brought the suit because...

Continue Reading

New Vizio Sets Add More Internet

June 29, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last week, I got to see prototypes of some of VIZIO's new XVT line of LCD 1080p HDTVs. These new models will ship this summer and fall. There will be 47" and 55" models with LED backlights that incorporate a local dimming feature for increased contrast, and in addition to these two, a 42" model will offer "240 scenes per second (SPS)" performance. This is really the standard 60 frames...

Continue Reading

Slamming the Door on Sharp

June 26, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
On Wednesday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a "limited exclusion order" which effectively blocks the import of certain LCD panels and LCD TVs made by Sharp because the company had violated a patent held by Samsung. The ITC started its investigation of Samsung's original complaint in January 2008, nearly a year and a half ago. At face value, the order appears to say that Sharp cannot import or...

Continue Reading

Cable and Satellite: Selling Pipes or Water?

June 25, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Time Warner and Comcast are collaborating in their "TV Everywhere" initiative, and their CEOs held a joint press conference on Wednesday. The latest word is that the service is likely to launch by the fourth quarter of this year. Just as Netflix wants to put its movie catalog on the Web so that subscribers can stream them on demand, so do these cable companies want to allow their subscribers to...

Continue Reading

Walmart: I Beg to Differ

June 24, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
TWICE published a story yesterday that quotes an interview with Gary Severson, senior VP/general merchandise manager of Walmart. The whole article is worth a read, but there was one part that leaped out at me. The Walmart executive, who is not only responsible for CE but also toys and entertainment software, advised suppliers in the audience that if they want to get noticed by the chain, they should “have a...

Continue Reading

OLED TV: More Mixed Messages

June 23, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Who knows what to believe? As I made the rounds of the various booths in the exhibit hall at SID 2009 in San Antonio three weeks ago, I found it difficult to get anyone to talk about OLED TV production plans. The few comments I got ranged from non-committal to a flat out "we haven't made any announcements". Discussing the issue with a range of sources leads me to believe...

Continue Reading

10 Days Later

June 22, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, I'll grudgingly give the FCC some credit where credit is due; I'm not sure that the end of analog television broadcasts on June 12 was the complete train wreck that I expected it to be. But I also give FCC Acting Chairman Michael Copps credit for being honest about the fact that it was not all cookies and cream. “This was never going to be an easy transition, as...

Continue Reading

InfoComm 2009: That’s Big!

June 19, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
InfoComm is a show for dealers and professional installers, and has products for digital signage and meeting room applications and professional sound and staging and all sorts of cool bright and shiny things. But one of the displays that stopped me in my tracks was at the Daktronics booth. This company makes the large LED displays that are used to make stadium screens among other applications. The setup on show...

Continue Reading

InfoComm 2009: No Bulb in the Projector

June 18, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Front projectors are a terrific value for HDTV content; 1080p projectors can cost $1,200 or less and 720p models can cost well under $1,000. As John Jatinen of Epson puts it, they are the thinnest screen possible. And if you want a large image, they are much less expensive than an equivalent flat panel. Front projectors can also be much less intrusive in a home decor than a large flat...

Continue Reading

Pico Projectors Getting Better

June 17, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Pico projectors are the tiny devices that are small enough to be built into a cell phone or portable media player, but can still create an image large enough that a few people can watch it at the same time. Insight Media organized the Projector Summit here in Orlando, before InfoComm 2009, and a number of companies demonstrated their latest designs. In general, resolutions are getting higher and the devices...

Continue Reading