This particular launch may have ended in a ball of fire, but DirecTV says its planned launch of 100 new HD channels by year's end is still on track. Yesterday a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by a company called Sea Launch exploded on the platform. Although the rocket did not contain a DirecTV satellite, the company plans to use Sea Launch to put up the second of two new "birds" later this year. DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer told TVpredictions.com that the explosion would have no impact on the company's high-definition plans; he wouldn't elaborate. Mercer'… Read more
Two USB HDTV tuners are grabbing headlines today. Since we've yet to be truly impressed by the image quality of any variety of TV tuner (ATI's internal TV Wonder 650 card is the best we've seen to date), we're eager to test out these two new devices.
First up: from Taiwanese manufacturer Compro, the VideoMate U2700. This USB 2.0 hybrid device pulls in over-the-air HD content in 1080i along with standard-def broadcasts. It provides all the DVR features you'd expect, and it can record your shows straight to DVD. You can also select a … Read more
Citing those deep holiday discounts for big-screen HDTVs, such as the $999 Westinghouse 42-inch LCD, analysts told CNNMoney.com that this year's Super Bowl won't occasion the same kinds of price cuts. Previous years have seen lineman-size reductions in HDTV prices during the two weeks leading up to the big game, but this year outlets such as Circuit City and Best Buy, whose profits were hurt by a blitz of holiday sales, will instead focus on kicker-size price promotions (the deepest discount analysts saw so far is a $250 Vizio deal at Costco) and bundles. If you were … Read more
Is it possible to have a positive Webware experience on something besides a PC? Cell phones and small handheld Internet devices don't cut it with their tiny screens and awful browsers (at least until the iPhone arrives). So what if you could use that nice bandwidth you get at home and combine it with that large HDTV sitting in your living room? That question has recently been answered with Nintendo and Sony's more recent gaming consoles: the Wii and the PS3, respectively. Microsoft's Xbox 360 doesn't have a browser, likely because of the company's failure … Read more
First there was 1080p. Now there's something called "Quad Full" or 3,840x2,160 resolution, which Westinghouse showed off in a 56-inch LCD HD monitor at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The company says that equates to a resolution greater than 8 megapixels and that the LCD offers "stunning, never-before-seen picture reproduction."
The Quad Full monitor may be the flashy headline act, but the real meat of the story is that Westinghouse is serving up several new LCD televisions, with a full lineup of moderately priced 1080p models in 42-, 47-, and 52-inch sizes. … Read more
As reported last week, Warner Brothers announced yesterday at CES its introduction of a new disc format that will contain both HD DVD and Blu-ray versions of the same movie, so it would work with either type of player. Warner calls the new format Total HD.
The studio fleshed out a few more details at the press conference. It announced that major retailers Best Buy and Circuit City, along with online retailer Amazon, will stock the discs when they appear in the second half of this year. It also specified, according to Reuters, that the discs could be either single- … Read more
Hitachi's main television-related introduction at CES 2007 might engender a certain amount of confusion about an already-confusing topic to many HDTV buyers. The company is marketing its new plasma TV, the P50H401 (February, $2,500), as the world's first "50-inch 1080 HDTV flat panel for under $2,500." If you're paying close attention (and really, who is?), you'll notice "p" is a big deal, however--the panel's pixel array is 1,280x1,080, not the 1,920x1,080 that qualifies for 1080p native resolution. But the price is definitely better than that … Read more
Panasonic's new line of LCD projection TVs are featuring a new technology--called LIFI--that Panasonic is claiming will eliminate the need for lamp replacement. Since today's LCD and DLP projection sets often need to have their bulb replaced after 3-5 years--and the bulbs cost several hundred dollars--LIFI technology could get remove one of the major drawbacks to projection TVs. We have seen ultralong bulb-life from projection TVs on Samsung's HL-S5679W, which was the first DLP HDTV to use an LED light source. The HL-S5679W claimed its bulb lasted for 20,000 hours, which means it virtually never needs … Read more
Panasonic's 2007 press event Sunday at the CES was devoted primarily to extolling the virtues of the company's television cash cow: plasma HDTVs. It featured numerous presentations covering the myths and realities of plasma, plasma picture quality, and the ways plasma TVs can help you "live in high definition." The press event was a snoozer, but just about my favorite thing at CES this year was the amazing display at the Panasonic booth, which consisted of a pair of 103-inch plasmas dancing on articulated mounts that moved up and down and rotated in synch, displaying video … Read more