Items tagged with TV

Ever heard of AT&T U-verse? Unless your neighborhood is one of the few scattered about America with access to U-verse, there's a good chance that you haven't heard about it. Basically, it's a rival for cable carriers, DirecTV, DISH Network and Verizon's FiOS. It's a fiber-based system that provides Internet, TV and phone service just like any other telco, but AT&T has struggled in reaching plenty of homes while installing the technology. Once a node is built, the reach is rather short, so unless your home is really near a node, chances are you're out of range. But now, that may be changing. AT&T has announced that it's "deploying a new, but long-promised, technology to reach more... Read more...
Yep, it's really happening. 3D content is finally arriving on television sets, which is arguably the last major puzzle piece that in-home 3D had to solve. 3D glasses are here, as are 3D HDTVs. And there's at least some demand for having 3D support around in the home. But if there's no 3D programming to enjoy, what's the use in having the 3D hardware around? DirecTV was well aware of this, and now they're becoming the first major pay-TV provider to launch an actual suite of 3D channels. ESPN 3D was the first actual 3D channel to go live with the start of the World Cup, but now n3D (which is being sponsored by Panasonic) will be a variety of 3D sports and entertainment programming to DirecTV customers.... Read more...
Call the whole 3D craze nothing more than a hyped up gimmick if you will (and maybe you're right), but if that's the case, this is shaping up to be one of the most lucrative gimmicks in recent times. According to the number crunchers over at NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service, Americans have spent over $55 million on 3D-capable televisions and Blu-ray players in the first three months since these products launched in February. "3D TV and Blu-ray players are seeing steady growth even as major product line launches are slated for the coming months," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD. "As more consumers adopt 3D, the industry can help foster a 3D ecosystem similar... Read more...
The HDTV industry has become somewhat saturated, and it's getting to the point where it's difficult to distinguish between models. But there's no doubt that you'll recognize Mitsubishi's latest television, as it looks nothing like the flat screens that are so common in retail shops everywhere. The LaserVue was a specialized HDTV that originally launched in late 2007, but given that it had "a back" rather than being a flat panel, not too many were sold. Additionally, the MSRP was around $7000, and even for 65", that's quite a lot to ask. But no matter, as now the company has just released the second major LaserVue television, with this one measuring 75" diagonally and offering an even lower price... Read more...
Waiting is a tough, tough thing. Waiting on a new gadget is even tougher. Late last year, the folks at Boxee seemed to think that the Boxee Box (which was being built by D-Link) would be available to consumers in the first half of 2010. It's sort of tough to believe, but the first half of 2010 is just about over. With the latter half quickly approaching, Boxee has issued an update to everyone wondering if we'd see the Boxee Box go on sale in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it will be the case. According to a new post on Boxee's own blog, the original plan was to have the Box out by the end of Q2 (i.e. just about now), but that time-frame "proved overly ambitious."... Read more...
Samsung is bringing social networking and location based services to your TV and entertainment system with the addition of Facebook and Google Maps to Samsung Apps. Samsung Apps is an HDTV-based application store that provides users with downloadable apps for their 2010 Samsung Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray Home Theater systems, and some Samsung TVs. Announced earlier this year, the Samsung Apps platform also offers applications from more than 30 other partners including Blockbuster, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, USA TODAY, and Vudu. Samsung Adds Social Features and Location Based Services to Samsung Apps with Availability of Facebook and Google Maps Applications New Applications Showcase Versatility... Read more...
We don't know if the emerging 3D craze will end up a mere blip in the history of home entertainment or, if like netbooks, this will become the newest must-have technology, but if the 3D market does fall flat on its face, it won't be for a lack of effort from Sony. On the contrary, the electronics maker this week announced a whole bunch of new 3D capable products, everything from updated Bravia TVs to Blu-ray players and home theater setups, and even 3D capable home audio components. It's a 3D bonanza! First and foremost, Sony is pretty jazzed about their new 3D Bravia TV sets. There are five new sets in all measuring 40, 46, 52, 55, and 60 inches and priced between $2,100 (KDL-40HX800) to around... Read more...
Enjoy watching Hulu? Well, you better go ahead and take the next week off of work in order to catch up on all of those old episodes of your favorite show, because the Free Lunch Parade may be ending. Ever since Hulu was introduced, users and analysts wondered if NBC would be able to keep it free. Users are forced to watch ads during the show, but it's still a pretty great deal for consumers when you look at just how expensive pay-TV is. Recently, rumors about pay-access to Hulu began to gain even more steam, and now it seems like an inevitability that pay access is coming sooner rather than later. According to a new Reuters report that sources a few undisclosed people close to the situation,... Read more...
3D may be the "big thing" right now, but it's still too early to tell whether it's consumers that are driven the demand, or the companies that are invested in the technology. Yes, 3D cinema has gone over well, but it's still too early to tell whether even that is just another fluke. Remember, the world has seen 3D in cinemas before, and it never did manage to sustain a growth pattern. One of the major gripes about 3D, including NVIDIA's own 3D Vision system, is the glasses that you have to wear. There's just no avoiding the fact that wearing glasses to enjoy content is a huge pain, and for many, it's simply unacceptable. The solution isn't easy, but it's out there in prototype form. It's "Glasses-Free... Read more...
This is easily one of the most interesting partnerships that we have seen this year in the consumer electronics world, and it's one that most general consumers will overlook. Insignia is the "house brand" at Best Buy, a label of electronics that are generally priced below that of Sony, Sharp, LG, etc. Over the years Insignia has expanded to cover televisions, portable media players, memory accessories, and lots more, but it has remained a brand that hardly anyone took seriously. But now, the most recognized name in the DVR industry is partnering with Insignia, and not only in branding, but in an effort to create an entirely new product. Best Buy and TiVo announced that development is underway... Read more...
Sadly, the world will have to live with one less competitor for LCD, OLED and CRT. As if CRT is still around. Canon, the same company responsible for selling millions of EOS digital cameras, once had a plan to truly rival the other television technology producers in the world. But for one reason or another, SED never really took off. There were prototypes shown off and promises made, but no launch schedule was ever followed. Now, years after SEDs initial introduction, Canon is finally hoping to put the technology behind them and forget all about what could've been. This week, the company officially killed plans to further develop a SED television, which comes as little surprise to those following... Read more...
Did Google miss a critical opportunity? Some might say they did. Google has obviously capitalized on quite a number of market openings, paving the way for true smartphone competition with Android, putting Yahoo! and MSN on their toes with Google search, and putting Yahoo! Mail as well as Hotmail on guard with Gmail. And that's just the beginning. Google is also doing their best to bring cloud applications into the mainstream, with the Google Document suite putting serious pressure on Microsoft's Office suite. But no one needs to tell you that Google is on top of their game. Google is even looking to revolutionize the television industry and content delivery business with Google TV.  In fact,... Read more...
Mobile TV in America is still one of those technologies that is either too ahead of its time, or simply unwanted in its current state. Tons of advertising has been done to showcase the tech, but for one reason or another, it's not nearly as popular as one might think. Then again, neither is downloading music directly onto your cellphone. But that's not stopping AT&T from adding another smartphone in an attempt to get people hooked on mobile TV one more time, as the LG Vu Plus has just been announced for America's largest GSM network. The phone is AT&T's newest Mobile TV-capable device, offering HSPA 7.2Mbps high-speed support, a 4-line QWERTY keypad, access to TV content courtesy of FLO... Read more...
Sony and Android, just like two peas in a pod? Sony Ericsson has been known to install Android on select phones, but that's really the extent of the relationship up until now. But after Google's Google TV announcement last week, it seems as Sony and Google are now signed up to be buddy-buddy in a lot of respects. What we're looking at here is quite possibly yet another tech shift that'll have a ripple effect throughout this decade. Outside of storing files for access elsewhere, the "cloud" really hasn't had a second purpose worth focusing on. But with names like Google, Microsoft and now Sony getting behind it, we could very well see an explosion of cloud-enabled applications and devices. Both... Read more...
Yesterday, Google's biggest reveal at Google I/O was Google TV. It's still sort of a fuzzy product, and it's hard to aptly describe in just a few words. It's definitely aiming to be the "next big thing" in television, and the only way it will ever have a huge impact is to join up with known names in the industry in order to get into more homes. Teaming with DISH Network at first is a wise move, but there's no Google TV without an Intel CE4100 processor to run the custom Android app/Chrome browser. You can either buy a set-top box for this and connect it to your existing television, or you can get the functionality (and hardware) built right into your next TV. Sony hopes you'll go for the latter... Read more...
Bang & Olufsen isn't a name you see every single day. They're not listed at Wal-mart, not even at Best Buy. In order to own one of their products, you have to seek them out, and likely visit your local high-end A/V dealer just to see anything they make. They're an exclusive company, and everything they design is not only beautiful, but extremely pricey. You might call them the Apple of the A/V world, and if you disagree, just take one look at this amazing new panel. It just might be the most well-designed television the world has ever seen, and it's easily one of the most expensive 40" LCD panels you could purchase. The new BeoVision 8 is a 40" LCD TV, and it has just begun to ship to North... Read more...
Mother Earth may be hurting from that oil spill down in the Gulf, but there's still some bright news on the "green" front: the new, tougher Energy Star standard went into effect this week, making it tougher for companies to ship and sell gizmos that aren't power efficient. Beginning on May 1, the new Energy Star 4.0 standard for televisions will go into effect, and while the standard was announced last September, it hasn't officially been the latest and greatest until now. With the new standard, the "maximum amount of power an Energy Star TV can consume will drop by about 40 percent." After May 1, no televisions will be able to be manufacturerd will be able to carry an Energy Star logo unless... Read more...
Are game consoles the next set-top box? Five years ago, no one would've ever believed that the Nintendo 64 or PlayStation 2 could ever become someone's primary source of in-home entertainment, but now, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 definitely have that capability. Between the two, users can watch DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, Web programming, movies, TV shows and of course, play games. That's an awful lot of entertainment, but more could be on the way for Microsoft's console. In a never-ending bid to one-up "the other guy," Microsoft is reportedly talking behind the scenes of boosting the Xbox LIVE offering with a dedicated Xbox TV channel that would provide some original content and some reruns. Details... Read more...
It's just a matter of time at this point: the whole world will be ditching the landline phone and Skyping before the next century. Not that we'll be around most likely to see if this pans out, but there's our wild stab at the future. Skype has already become to go-to choice for international calling, and it's already becoming a huge, important part of many smartphones. Now, Skype is invading the television, but considering that no current TVs ship with webcams built right in (or none that come to mind), Panasonic is crafting a stop-gap solution for video chatters until sets begin to ship with those cameras in the bezel. Those webcam-ready sets can't be too far out, but for now, you'll need one... Read more...
Wow. How the times have changed. In 2000, hearing about "HDTV" was rare. You might see one or two big events in HD, and you'd probably have to visit a sports bar or something similar to see it. Most people were still wowed with broadband Internet, and seeing March Madness in 720p was the least of their worries. SD content had worked fine for decades, so why change now?Slowly but surely, big networks began to make the investments required to bring HDTV to the masses, and pay-TV carriers began to offer them. Many charged extra for small "HD tiers," while some bragged about offering HD channels for free. Now, HD isn't just the norm, it's the expectation. Many consumers won't even watch a show if... Read more...
Until now, getting live TV on the iPhone took some effort. There was the SlingPlayer app that enabled SlingPlayer owners the ability to stream their Pay-TV content to their phone, but there wasn't a real substitute for the likes of Sprint TV on the iPhone. But MobiTV is hoping to change that, and their new app--which just got approved and listed in the App Store--is the software to do it. MobiTV brings live TV, sports, breaking news and other entertainment options to iPhone owners, and there's also a user interface that makes it easy to sift through the various portals. Consumers can use the in-app purchasing feature to download an additional content package that includes eight channels of live... Read more...
Do you watch TV online? Even occasionally? All the time? If you're reading this now, there's a better than average chance that you have consumed at least one or two television shows in your lifetime online, and that number is growing fast. More and more people are looking to the Internet to get their entertainment fix, and the reasons are numerous. First, the Internet is more convenient. It's almost everywhere, whereas your 56" HDTV is understandably fixed in your living room. The second reason is cost: watching shows online requires only that you watch ads, whereas cable, satellite and other pay-TV options continue to get more and more expensive.One area that pay-TV companies seem to ignore... Read more...
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