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Tag Archives: TV

Disney Buys Into Hulu, Will Offer Full ABC Shows

By Chris Scott Barr

I’ve been contemplating dropping my cable TV service for a couple of months now. There are two main factors that have influenced this idea. One, I realized that I don’t actually watch that much TV. There are a few shows that I follow on a regular basis, which brings me to my second point. All of the shows I watch can be found online. For free. Hulu is by far the site that I watch the most video on, and soon it will have even more to offer me.

Disney has just wrapped up a deal that will land them a 30% stake in Hulu. They will be putting up roughly $100 million and will soon start offering full ABC shows and classic movies on the site. Yeah, it’s definitely time to dump my cable.

[ WSJ ] VIA [ Wired ]

ProPrompter Wing Turns Your iPhone/iPod Touch Into A Teleprompter

ProPrompter Wing (Image courtesy Bodelin Technologies)
By Andrew Liszewski

NAB is just around the corner, so for the next week or so you can expect an avalanche of new broadcast-related gear. Like the ProPrompter Wing from Bodelin Technologies. It attaches to your camcorder’s tripod mount and allows your iPhone or iPod Touch to hang off the side, relatively close to the lens, and be used as a teleprompter.

The other piece of this puzzle is the ProPrompter software which is still awaiting approval on the Apple App Store. It features smooth scrolling in landscape or portrait modes, seven ‘prompting’ speeds, customizable fonts, text size and background color as well as cue point functionality. Your scripts need to be uploaded to the ProPrompter website and then downloaded to your device, but you’re able to upload as many as you need once you’re logged into their site.

The ProPrompter software will be free once available on the App Store, and pricing for the ProPrompter Wing will most likely be officially announced at NAB.

[ ProPrompter Wing ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Check Out The New Yankee Stadium’s Giant Screen – There’s No Such Thing As Too Big

New Yankee Stadium Screen (Image courtesy CBS)
By Andrew Liszewski

Given the Yankee’s new stadium has a price tag of $1.3 billion, it’s not surprising that some of that money has been spent on what has to be one of the largest ‘TVs’ in the world. The image you see here was taken by a New York CBS affiliate and shows an early test of the stadium’s 103 by 58 foot (that’s almost 6,000 square feet) Mitsubishi Diamond Vision LED display. It’s composed of 8,601,600 LEDs and besides being HD it can also display up to 4 video feeds at one time, and do picture-in-picture.

Unfortunately some fans are worried that the new screen might actually be too big, and that it could become a distraction or overshadow what’s happening on the field, but apparently they’ve never sat through an entire baseball game before. As far as I’m concerned, the more distractions, the better.

[ Wired Gadget Lab – Monster Screen in New Yankee Stadium Looks Great, But Won’t Show Crucial Replays ]

DTV Converter Box Battery Hack Means My Sony Watchman Is No Longer Obsolete

Digital TV Converter Hack (Image courtesy Kipkay via Instructables)
By Andrew Liszewski

Like any technophile, I was quite excited for the DTV transition to finally hit the U.S. I mean free digital and HD signals over the air? What downside could there possibly be? I was on cloud nine, until I realized that my beloved Sony Watchman, the first gadget I ever skimped and saved for, would become useless once the analog broadcasts stopped transmitting.

Sony Watchman (Image property of OhGizmo!)

And unfortunately, all of the DTV converter boxes currently on the market are AC powered, which totally negates the ‘portable’ aspect of a portable TV. But over on Instructables, Kipkay has posted a tutorial on how to hack one of those converter boxes to run on battery power. Besides making your portable TV portable again, the hack is also useful for camping or in the event of emergencies when there’s no power and you have to rely on a portable set. Now if I could just find a way to splice the signal from a DTV converter box into my Watchman, I’d be all set.

And if you’re curious, after the jump I’ve included a few more glamor shots of my Watchman that I had sitting on my drive.

[ Instructables – Digital TV Converter Hack ] VIA [ TechEBlog ]

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Intel Develops The World’s First Embedded Balanced Antenna For Digital TV On Your Laptop

World's First Embedded Balanced Antenna for Digital TV on Your Laptop (Image courtesy Intel)
By Andrew Liszewski

This seems like an obvious upgrade now that the U.S. and eventually Canada are converting to DTV broadcasts, but Intel is apparently the first company to develop a balanced antenna for digital TV that can be embedded inside a laptop. So down the line if you find yourself stuck in an airport or anywhere without a wireless internet connection, you’ll at least be able to enjoy the boob tube (can we still call it that with tube-less flat screen displays?) without the need for an annoying external TV antenna.

[ [email protected] – World’s First Embedded Balanced Antenna for Digital TV on Your Laptop ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Screen Time Manager Will Force Your Family To Kill You In Your Sleep

600346_p-custom By Evan Ackerman

Here’s a quick and easy way to get everyone in your household to hate you… The Screen Time Manager allows you to ration the amount of time that people are allowed to use display devices, including televisions and computer monitors. Each person gets their own pin, which they have to input into the device whenever they want to watch something. The Screen Time Manager then allows the TV or whatever to be turned on for the amount of time that you’ve specified, whether it’s hours per day or hours per week. If you really want to be a jerk, you can designate blocks of time where nobody can use the TV at all. Nobody but you, that is. Like, you know, when new episodes of Good Eats are on or something.

Although there are no details, it looks like the Screen Time Manager works by simply holding the wall end of the power cord of the display device hostage. This, of course, can be circumvented by unplugging the cord at the other end if possible, or (and this seems much more likely) through violent physical destruction of the Screen Time Manager itself. It’s $90 from Brookstone.

[ Screen Time Manager ] VIA [ RFJ ]

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.


US Senate Delays Digital TV Transition By Four Months


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 ]