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Tag Archives: TV

Senate Passes Bill To Delay DTV Transition (Again)

By Luke Anderson

When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents for something, only to be turned down? Sure, it happened plenty. I learned quickly that simply asking again was not a course of action that I wanted to take, as it only served to frustrate my parents (and usually meant trouble for me). It’s amazing how much I can relate simple lessons from my childhood to our government. In case you haven’t caught on by now, I’m once again talking about the Digital TV Transition.

The bill was passed by the Senate earlier in the week, only to be shot down at the House. Well it seems that despite being told “No”, the Senate has once again passed a bill delaying the transition. In all fairness, they made a minor tweak or two, which was apparently just enough to justify a competently new bill. The fundamentals are still the same, with the transition being delayed until June 12. The House is out until Monday, so we’ll see how round 2 turns out.

VIA [ Gearlog ]

Digital Transition Back On Track For February 17

By Luke Anderson

The other day I was pretty harsh on the Senate’s decision to delay the transition from analog to digital TV. I still stand firmly by my opinion, and am happy to report that the United States House of Representatives shares my stance. The bill failed to gain the two-thirds majority of votes that it needed to pass.

This isn’t the final nail in the coffin, as it is still possible for the bill to be brought back to the floor under the rules of a simple majority vote. What I find interesting is that the other day we were talking about 20 million people being unprepared, and now we’re hearing a 6.5 million figure. Honestly, if that’s all we’re talking, I don’t think it will take long for the 6.5 million people to get things sorted out once their TV stops working.

VIA [ AFP ]

US Senate Delays Digital TV Transition By Four Months

dtv-large-transparent

By Luke Anderson

I’m not yet a parent, but there are a few things that I’ve learned about human behavior that makes me thing that I’ll do alright. One major thing that I’ve observed is that if you tell a child that a specific action will result in a punishment, you’d better keep your word. Otherwise they will eventually learn that you are simply making empty threats, and that they can go on doing whatever they please without consequence. Believe it or not, the same thing applies with adults. If you tell them that their TV will stop working after February 17th unless they get a new TV or a converter, don’t go extending that deadline.

It appears that my words are too late, as those who have either been living under a rock, or just didn’t bother to get with the program are getting a four month reprieve. The senate has decided to postpone the digital TV transition until June 12th. They’ve been talking about this switch for years now, and I’ve been hearing about the coupon program on the very stations that will be lost for months. If you decided to wait until January to pick up a coupon (or let the one you received expire as many people have), then I have little sympathy for you. Sure, if you’ve genuinely been trying to get one for months but have run into issues, then I understand. The word is that there are currently 20 million Americans who are unprepared for the switch. If the number were down to 15 million by June I’d be shocked.

VIA [ Reuters ]

[CES 2009] LG Booth Highlights

lgbooth

By Evan Ackerman

lgamoled1

lgamoled2

LG Objet 15″ AMOLED TV, 720p resolution, 0.85 millimeter thick (!) and super bright. It’ll be showing up in the US, but there’s no price or timeframe yet.

lgprada

LG Prada cellphone controlled by matching watch via Bluetooth. 600 Euros for the phone, another 300 for the watch.

lgdtv

LG digital TV chip, watch DTV on your phone in realtime. Works in mobile devices without a significant cost increase, 4+ hour battery life in cellphones. Will be available in LG phones in September, after the US transitions to digital TV from analog.

Softbank Releases Their 1-Seg TV Tuner & Battery For The iPhone

Softbank iPhone 1-Seg TV Tuner (Image courtesy DVICE)
By Andrew Liszewski

Softbank has finally released their 1-Seg TV Tuner accessory for the iPhone 3G, and DVICE has posted a first look at what they feel is now one of the best accessories for Apple’s phone. Unlike most add-ons, the Softbank tuner doesn’t attach to the iPhone like a sleeve, but is a separate device that’s styled to look like the phone itself. And while it connects to the iPhone via a sync cable, it actually transmits the 1-Seg TV signals it pulls in via wifi. So in order to actually watch TV with the iPhone, you need to be in range and connected to a wifi network.

Overall, DVICE was definitely impressed with the $108 (9,850 yen) accessory, though locating the accompanying software in the iPhone App Store was a chore unto itself, and they found that the tuner tended to drain the iPhone’s battery after just an hour of watching TV. So you better make sure there’s a power outlet nearby if you’re hoping to watch a movie with it. Oh, and you better hope you live in Japan as well.

[ DVICE - Softbank iPhone TV Tuner & Battery unboxing and hands-on ] & [ Softbank iPhone TV Tuner ]

$1,000 For An LCD/Plasma TV Or $1,000 For A Retro B&W Model – You Decide

Brionvega Doney TV (Images courtesy Connox Shop)
By Andrew Liszewski

Listen, I like retro hardware as much as the next guy who has a closet full of old-school gadgets and electronics, but I also have a pretty strict budget when it comes to adding to my collection. So while this reproduction of a 1960′s era Doney TV that was originally designed by Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso might be oozing with retro charm, I just can’t see myself dropping over $1,000 on a set that will probably not even work once the digital switchover is complete here. (The site claims that Brionvega has equipped the TV with the newest technology, but I somehow doubt that includes a digital tuner.) But if you’d rather spend your money on a 14 inch B&W CRT than a 40+ inch plasma or LCD model, the Doney TV is available from Connox for about $1,072. (Though they’re ‘out of stock’ at the moment.)

[ Brionvega Doney TV ] VIA [ Chip Chick ]

Remote Control That Never Needs Batteries Is Nice, Won’t Stop It From Getting Lost

By Jonathan Kimak

Although it’s a minor thing in the grand scheme of life, the remote losing power can be rather annoying. And despite our pressing the buttons harder, the channels eventually stop changing and we go looking for some fresh batteries. Now there’s a battery-free remote control that eliminates the need to ever get off our butts ever again.

Online store Gizoo sells a universal remote control that uses wind-up power to charge itself. 30 twists is enough to power the device for a week. For the serious couch-potato that could qualify as a weekly work-out.

The pirce is £19.95 ($38 US).

[ Wind-up Universal Remote ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

OhGizmo! Review – Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick

Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick (Image courtesy Pinnacle) By Andrew Liszewski

As February 17, 2009 creeps closer and closer, many people are rushing out to upgrade their old analog TV sets with brand new digital HD models. Of course I have no problem with that, but did you realize that fancy new LCD monitor you bought for your PC can also serve as a high-def display? It probably won’t be able to tune in an over-the-air HD signal right out of the box, but that’s where the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick comes into play.

It’s a small USB dongle that connects to your PC or laptop and allows you to watch standard or high-def TV broadcasts alongside your spreadsheets and email. You can even use your PC as a PVR with the included software, which will take care of all that free hard drive space you have lying around. And if you find that clicking a mouse button takes away from your TV watching experience, it even includes a remote control for turning your workstation into a pseudo home theater. You can read my full review of the PCTV HD Pro Stick after the jump.

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From The Road: Checking Out Sony’s OLED XEL-1



Sony OLED XEL-1 (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

I guess my XEL-1 review unit from Sony must’ve gotten lost in the mail, but thankfully I was able to get some one-on-one time with the OLED TV at my local Sony store. Not surprisingly the display looks amazing, and is exactly what you’d expect with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. And even though it only has a native resolution of 960×540 pixels, you don’t really notice it since the display is just 11 inches in size. But am I tempted to take one home? Absolutely not.

SonyOLED XEL-1 (Image property of OhGizmo!)

As far as I’m concerned the XEL-1 is nothing more than a tech demo/marketing exercise. Sure, it’s cool that Sony was the first company to get an actual OLED TV to the market, but who’s going to pay $2,499.99 for a display that can’t even do 720P? Even the XEL-1′s design seems engineered to promote the technology first and foremost. By keeping all of the controls and connections in the base of the unit, it allowed them to make the actual OLED display remarkably thin. And it works, as that seems to be the biggest feature most people noticed as they walked past. But while OLED technology is definitely a viable contender when it comes to who will rule the flat screen market in the future, it’s probably a good idea to wait a few more years before making the investment.