Month: January 2010

iPad Display: Flawed Picture

January 29, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, I was determined to maintain the HDTV Almanac as an iPad-Free Zone, but Steve Jobs has forced me to break my resolution. There are many amazing points to pick out of Wednesday's announcement, but I'm just going to focus on the video part. First, consider these quotes from the iPad promotional video on the Apple Web site: "The iPad is the best... movie-watching experience ever." Phill Schiller, Senior VP,...

Continue Reading

DisplayMate Now Tweets!

January 28, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Raymond Soneira is the creator of DisplayMate, which is an excellent program that can quickly tell you volumes about your display, whether it's an HDTV, a computer monitor, a notebook, or even a cell phone. I used DisplayMate extensively for many years when I developed and used the display tests for PC Magazine, and they still use the program today in the product testing. While I don't entirely agree with...

Continue Reading

YouTube to Rent Movies

January 27, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
If there's a way to make money with YouTube, Google is sure to find it. The company is certainly trying enough different ways to generate revenue. Last week, YouTube announced that they will start renting movies. According to a company blog entry, an agreement with the Sundance Film Festival will make five films available for rent for $3.99 each through the end of January. You can find the films featured...

Continue Reading

China Workers Protest at Touch Panel Plant

January 26, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
China News Daily reported last week that more than 2,000 workers demonstrated at a touch panel plant owned by a Taiwanese company to protest pay disputes and unsafe working conditions. According to the protesters, at least four workers have died from over-exposure to hexane, a toxic solvent used to clean the panels. Some other reports indicated that workers may have also been upset about rumors that year-end bonuses were to...

Continue Reading

FED: Not Yet Dead

January 25, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
One of Taiwan's top two LCD manufacturers, AUO, has announced that it is buying some technology (intellectual property) and other assets from Field Emission Technology (FET). FET was a spin-off from Sony that was develop and manufacture field-emission displays (FEDs), but during last year's economic downturn, the company balked at spending the $300 million required to buy the manufacturing facilities from Pioneer. FEDs are a flat panel display technology that...

Continue Reading

FCC Backs “Sports Neutrality”

January 22, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Earlier this week, the FCC ruled that cable companies that control local content -- such as professional sports games -- must make the programming available to other services, including satellite systems like DirecTV and DISH Network. This closes what has been called the "terrestrial loophole". It got its name from the fact that any programming that used satellite connections for any portion of its distribution had to be made available...

Continue Reading

TV Rights for Next Olympics: $2 Billion

January 21, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
According to a report last week in Television Broadcast, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects to get more than $2 billion for the U.S. television broadcast rights for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. NBC paid nearly $0.9 billion for the 2009 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, and according to the network's annual report, lost $150 million in the...

Continue Reading

Reader Question: Ban the Black Bars?

January 20, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Q: I was visiting someone with a high definition TV. When they play back DVDs (normal ones, not Blu-ray), the images were letterboxed with black stripes on the top and bottom of the screen. What gives? I expect letterboxing on a square CRT but not on a widescreen HDTV. The TV plays HD broadcast channels in full screen mode just fine. Michael Horowitz A: You're certainly not alone in your...

Continue Reading

DISH Network is Everywhere

January 19, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
"TV Everywhere" is the moniker given by subscription video services to their attempts to let their subscribers watch their content through a streaming connection over the Internet. It makes sense; if I'm already paying for the content, why can't I "tune in" over a broadband connection to see whatever my set top box can deliver? It's a nice idea, but it raises some thorny issues. Are the cable (and satellite...

Continue Reading

Where Did You Shop?

January 18, 2010 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Earlier this month, the market research firm BIGresearch released their results for the top five retailers for consumer electronics for December 2009. According to the company press release, nearly one-third of all adults (18 years old or older) surveyed indicated that they shopped at Best Buy most often when looking for electronics. Walmart was close behind, with one in five shoppers citing it as their preferred store. Store Dec 2008...

Continue Reading