Month: December 2009

LCD HDTVs: Speed Hertz

December 31, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The LCD HDTV business is highly competitive, and profit margins are razor thin for the manufacturers. They keep looking for ways to increase margins with new features, but the competition rapidly beats back any attempts at getting more money for differentiation. A case in point is the efforts to reduce blurring of moving images on LCD sets. One effective approach has been to increase the refresh rate from 60 times...

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Itsy Bitsy HDTV Spider

December 30, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
My friend and touch-screen technology expert Geoff Walker sent me a link to an interesting site. Price Spider scours the Web for prices on popular product categories such as HDTVs. It then can present you with a list of sites and their prices for a specific product. Nothing special so far. But the site also gives you a graph of the product's price over the past year. For example, here's...

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Fox vs. Time Warner

December 29, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I'm an unabashed fan of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. Once again, the final game of the season is against the Dallas Cowboys, and the outcome will have a major impact on the playoffs leading to the SuperBowl. And the way things are headed, Time Warner cable subscribers may not get to see the game. No, the impending blackout is not the result of any NFL rule or FCC...

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Prices Holding Steady

December 28, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
If Santa didn't put a flat screen in your stocking, you don't need to cry or pout, as the good prices on LCD and plasma HDTVs seem to be hanging around like the extra pounds gained from holiday cheer. I've checked a couple price watch sites, and conducted my own unscientific scan of a stack of sales flyers I have here that date back to early November. The bottom line...

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Happy Holidays!

December 25, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
As you read this, I may be curled up with a cup of cocoa and a grandchild in my lap. It's a safe bet that I won't be at my computer, however. I wrote this holiday greeting beforehand and set it on autopilot to be delivered to you today. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that yours is a merry one. If you celebrate some other holiday at this time...

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Broadcast Battle

December 24, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
You can't see them. You can't hear them. You can't touch them. Yet they are responsible for an enormous amount of our communication and entertainment. Most people would use the general term "radio waves" to refer to that part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than visible light, but these are also used for cell phones, television stations, cordless phones, wireless networks, and an enormous range of other functions....

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Avatar Is Box Office Boffo!

December 23, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I've mentioned several times that I view James Cameron's blockbuster "Avatar" as a key factor in determining the fate of 3DTV in the home. It could help launch stereoscopic technology as a central part of the maintstream media, or it could leave the effect in the pile of "gimmicks" used to attract audiences. It's still too early to weigh its impact on 3DTV, but it's clear that all the trailers...

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LG Gets Super Skinny

December 22, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
One of the reasons everyone wants OLED TVs is because they can be so incredibly thin. But LCD panels are getting remarkably thin in spite of the need for a bright backlight to make them work. High brightness LEDs arranged along the edge of the panel with complex light guides do a great job of delivering lots of light where it's needed. Last summer, I reported the Samsung demonstration at...

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Milennials Want Mobile TV

December 21, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
A research report by Magid Media Labs released earlier this month by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) shows that consumers are interested in receiving television programming on their cell phones and other mobile devices. The cosumers who have particularly strong interest in this type of service are the 18 to 29 year old "Milennials". Two of the interesting details of the survey results are that consumers are most interested...

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Almost Silent Night?

December 18, 2009 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Don't we all just live for those moments? Your favorite show or movie has a tender, emotional scene, the screen fades to black, and then you get blasted out of your chair by "HEADON!! Apply directly to the forehead!". The jarring differences between the volume levels of the programming content and advertisements has been a problem for almost as long as there has been broadcast commercial television. We drew a...

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