Month: June 2011

Return of Smell-o-Vision!

June 30, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I know that lots of people are of the opinion that most of Hollywood's movies stink, but filmmaker Robert Rodriguez apparently wants movie goers to come to that conclusion about his films, literally. His new 3D version of "Spy Kids" All the Time in the World" will provide simulated scents to enhance the cinematic experience. The 1960 technology Smell-o-Vision pumped the odors into the movie theaters, but Rodriguez is using...

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A 3D Apple for the Teacher

June 29, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
"There's not enough 3D content available!" That's the main complaint from consumers, and is one of the main reasons for the slow uptake on 3DTV-capable sets. (The other is price, but that difference is going away.) But lack of content is not just a problem for consumers; it also affects teachers. XPAND is coming to the classroom's rescue, however. The company that makes "universal" active-shutter 3D glasses is making an...

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Large Screen Photo Album

June 28, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I suspect that many of the readers of this column don't remember the sinking feeling of arriving at someone's home in response to a dinner invitation, only to find a Kodak Carousel slide projector set up on the living room coffee table. It meant that you were in for hours of post-meal "entertainment" of reviewing all the family's photos of their latest trip to somewhere or other. And most people...

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Does Passive Glasses 3DTV Add Cost?

June 27, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Up until Vizio's stunning announcement at the end of last year, I was convinced that we would not see 3DTV flat screen TVs that use passive glasses any time soon. My reasoning was that the patterned polarizing retarder required to make this work was an added material expense, and panel makers are fighting to reduce costs, not increase them. Also, this extra film layer must be precisely aligned, which adds...

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Cisco: Video is the Killer App

June 24, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Cisco has released its Visual Networking Index and it has some interesting data about video and the Internet. For example, video accounted for 40% of all the consumer data traffic on the Internet in 2010, and is forecast to reach 50% in 2012. When you consider all the emails, all the music downloads, and all the peer-to-peer data transfers (which includes a lot of pirated video), this is a mighty...

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Is Broadcast TV Going Away?

June 23, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
I mentioned topic this in passing during my discussion of the dustup over wireless broadband vs. GPS, but I think the time has come to officially recognize this as a subject of interest. Here's the situation as I see it in a nutshell. Some 8% to 15% of the U.S. population relies on the free terrestrial (local) broadcasts for their television content. They do not have cable or satellite subscriptions....

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3DTV No Longer a Premium

June 22, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Westinghouse Digital has announced its new 47" LCD HDTV, the W47S2TCD. This set has LED backlighting and a bunch of other features that you'd expect to find in a 1080p flat panel television. It is priced at $1,199, which is the same price as the 46-inch UN46D6050TF from Samsung which also has LED backlighting. The big difference is that the Westinghouse model also has 3DTV support. Not only is it...

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Hide in Plain Sight

June 21, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
One of the most common mistakes that people make when choosing an HDTV is that they get one that is too small for the viewing distance. Insufficient budget for a larger one is certainly a good reason for going with a smaller model, but too often I hear people complain that they don't want a "big ugly television" dominating their living room decor. I'll grant that it is not easy...

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Hello Comcast, Skype is Calling

June 20, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Last week, Comcast and Skype announced a partnership that will make Skype's video calling available to Comcast customers. Subscribers will be able to make and receive video calls through their television with other Skype users. This means that you'll be able to connect for free with other televisions, computers, tablets, or even smartphones. The plan includes the ability to place or receive Skype calls while watching programs on your HDTV....

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China Passes Japan in LCD Production

June 17, 2011 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Korea is first (thanks to LG and Samsung), and Taiwan is second in terms of producing LCD panels, including those used in LCD HDTVs. Now comes word from Displaybank that China has taken over as the third largest producer of LCD panels, pushing Japan out of the money and into fourth place. This is in spite of Sharp having the world's largest LCD plant -- Gen 10 -- in operation....

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