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November 23, 2014

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Start the 3D TV Revolution Without Me

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 3rd 2010 9:00AM
3D_TV_watching_glassesTechnology is a marvelous thing, right? No, no, this is not a story about the Apple iPad coming out this weekend or the wonders it promises to bring -- just ask Phil Dunphy. He called it the first day of the rest of your life.

But no, the technology that has me scratching my head is 3D television. That's right, the state-of-the-art, mind-blowing idea that you will be able to watch television in a way you never have before. Bigger than a big screen. Better than high definition. More powerful that a home theater sensurround experience.

Next weekend, if you have invested in a first generation 3D TV for about $2,500, you'll be able to watch the Masters Golf Tournament in 3D. And you had better spend on the glasses, too, because not all sets are sold with the spectacles that make the 3D possible in the first place. Funny, you would think that the glasses were included, but apparently not. It's like some computers that ship without a power cord. Are you kidding me?

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Craig Ferguson finally getting a little HD respect from CBS

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 3rd 2009 11:02AM
Late Late Show With Craig FergusonWhen the late night musical chairs began, I dipped my toes into their waters for the first time in many, many years. The only three shows remaining on my DVR are The Tonight Show, Late Night and The Late Late Show, and only Craig Ferguson is a must watch from beginning to end (I've actually cut Tonight twice and put it back since Conan took over).

The real hook for me is Ferguson's monologue. While everyone's doing, "Hey let's look at the news. Setup. Punchline. Setup. Punchline. Setup. Punch me in the face I can't take it anymore!," Ferguson is doing a short stand-up routine every night. It's smart, it's clever, and it all flows so much more nicely.

I've also enjoyed his constant rants about how terrible his show is, what a horrible host he is, and how incredibly cheap CBS is when it comes to anything to do with The Late Late Show. But now, long after all of his competitors got the upgrade, we're finally getting Craig Ferguson in HD starting August 31, 2009. So he'll have one less thing to bitch about, at least.

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Jimmy Kimmel dives face first into HD - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 16th 2009 12:06PM
talk show host Jimmy KimmelDoes the thought of this face in 720 lines of crystal clear resolution make the soup you had for lunch a week ago rise in your gullet?

If so (you extremely shallow human being who will spend life alone until you die), then you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Jimmy Kimmel's first foray into high definition television was quite an improvement.

He even showed his viewers just how beautiful the difference was by making the switch live on the air during Tuesday night's episode.

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The Simpsons gets a new opening ... and it doesn't totally suck - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2009 9:06AM
One of television's most beloved and historic television shows is undergoing a major change tonight.

Oh and it's also going to be in high definition too.

Tonight's episode of The Simpsons will update their iconic opening sequence for the second time in its 20-year history.

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Chuck: Chuck Versus The Third Dimension

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 2nd 2009 9:25PM
Chuck 3D

(S02E12)
"The cell is mightier than the sword, or the very large knife." -- Chuck

There were some funny bits in this episode of Chuck. There were also some good bits of plot development. Still, for what was being promoted as a spotlight show, including the novelty of 3-D, it's hard for me to sing the praises of tonight's episode. It just left a lot to be desired. What it did leave me with is a headache.

Before getting into the particulars, let's get the 3-D thing out of the way. It was terrible. Joel wrote about this a few days ago, and he was right. The 3-D glasses were cumbersome and lame. They also seemed too dark because instead of the effects popping, they just seemed murky and dim. I give NBC credit for trying to think outside the box, but 3-D is not the answer for how to make TV viewing more exciting. Compared to high-def, 3-D is not awesome, just annoying.

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New digitally remastered Star Trek episodes go into syndication next month

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 26th 2007 4:05PM

star trekHere's some cool news for any Star Trek fans who have been enjoying the new digitally remastered Star Trek episodes currently airing in syndication:

CBS will re-air "new" digitally-cleaned-up episodes of the original Star Trek series starting next month. Forty episodes will be shown in total, starting September 15, 2007 and ending August 2, 2008. You'll have to check your listings to see what time they're airing, though it'll be either on a Saturday or Sunday.

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ABC launches HD online video player

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 25th 2007 6:26PM
ABC HD
Tired of squinting at your PC to watch online video. ABC has updated its online video player to support high definition (720p) video playback.

Right now there's not a huge selection of content available in high definition. You can watch a whopping one episode each of Desparate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, or Ugly Betty at resolutions up to 1300x770.

You'll need a 2Mbps or faster internet connection, and even then you're not guaranteed crystal-clear playback. Just because the player supports HDTV resolutions doesn't really mean you're going to get HD quality over the internet. The faster your internet connection and the better your computer's specs (CPU, Graphics card etc), the better your results will likely be.

[via Lost Remote]

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HBO channels to go all Hi-Def by 2008

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 19th 2007 11:01AM

All HBO and Cinemax channels to go hi-def by 2008Is a series-ending black-out even more vibrantly black in high-definition? Well, subscribers of HBO and Cinemax will find out next year when the entire multiplex of pay-cable channels goes hi-def.

According to Bill Nelson, chairman and CEO of the networks, the conversion to HD for all 26 HBO and Cinemax channels will begin later this year and be completed by the 2nd quarter of 2008.

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How to do practically everything with your TiVo: Galleon 2.4 Alpha released

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 6th 2007 11:30AM
Galleon iTunesMore than a year after the developer of Galleon stopped working on the open source application for doing about 1,001 things with your TiVo, a new developer has picked up the project.

Galleon lets you:
  • Play MP3 files using Winamp skins, view album arts, lyrics, and other images for your music collection
  • Listen to your iTunes collection
  • View local weather forecasts
  • Read RSS feeds
  • Listen to internet radio including Shoutcast stations
  • View your photos with background music and slideshow effects
And the list goes on. But with development ceasing last year, there was no support for high definition applications, making Galleon a bit less impressive on Series3 TiVo units.

Two updates were released this week. Galleon 2.3.1 doesn't include much in the way of new features, but 2.4.0 alpha is the first version to support high definition applications, like HD photos. This is an alpha, so expect some bugs, but it's nice to see someone pick up the Galleon torch.

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Comcast to roll out TiVo service in

by Brad Linder, posted May 31st 2007 8:53AM
TiVo ComcastAfter years of waiting, it looks like Comcast and TiVo are almost ready to launch TiVo service for Comcast set top boxes. During TiVo's quarterly earnings call yesterday, CEO Tom Rogers announced that the official launch will be around August.

The software is currently in limited trials. But in August, Comcast plans to launch a limited commercial rollout in parts of New England. Rogers says Cox Cable could be ready to offer TiVo software on its set top boxes by the end of the year.

At this point, TiVo is fighting the generic cable company set top box on two fronts. While sales of the $800 TiVo Series3 haven't been spectacular, Tivo is continuing to work on a lower-cost high definition unit. But if selling standalone boxes doesn't work out for the PVR pioneer, it looks like providing software to television providers may be a viable business model.

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One with the HD universe

by Richard Keller, posted May 12th 2007 10:01AM

I am now one with HDTVI am now one of you. No longer will I be shunned at social events, ignored by family, and laughed at by world leaders. That bleak and dark time of my life is now over. Why, you ask? Well, as of a few short months ago I became one of the 24 million households that owns a flat-screen HDTV. Utopia is now within my reach.

I had no interest in purchasing one at first. It was the re-carpeting of our family room that actually planted the seed.

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Rumor mill: TiVo to launch $300 HD PVR

by Brad Linder, posted May 1st 2007 9:00AM
TiVo Series3So Gizmodo's fanning the flames of the rumor mill by reporting that TiVo's could be prepping a $300 high definition personal video recorder. Sure, the Series3 HD TiVo launched at $800, but now TiVo's offered it at promotional prices as low as $499. Is it too much of a stretch to think the company can offer a stripped down model for $300?

Maybe. Here's the thing. While TiVo CEO Tom Rogers did say back in March that the company is looking into a lower-cost PVR, I'm just not sure we can expect them to release a device anytime soon that's going to dramatically undercut the sales of the their existing box. Because if you could pay $300 or $800 for boxes that do almost the same thing, which would you choose?


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Comcast reports 72% boost in HD and PVR subscribers

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 26th 2007 3:31PM
Comcast HD PVRCable provider Comcast says 535,000 customers added either a PVR or HDTV to their orders during the first quarter of 2007, a 72% increase from the same period last year.

About 20 percent of Comcast's 25 million subscribers now have a high definition box, a personal video recorder, or both. Not that the two items are really related unless your a Comcast PR person touting the strong growth in sales of "new technologies." But Comcast doesn't break down the two figures separately in its financial reports, so that's about as specific as we can get.

About 38% of the company's digital customers (with video-on-demand, HD, and/or PVRs) are using high definition PVRs. That's about 5 million Comcast customers paying an average of $75 per month or more for video services.

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Planet Earth premieres tonight on Discovery

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 25th 2007 3:18PM
planet earth; discoveryThose of you who are lucky enough to own an HDTV should check out Planet Earth tonight on Discovery Channel. I keep seeing previews for it today as I absent-mindedly watch a marathon of Deadliest Catch and it looks stunning. The series is basically Earth Science, featuring all sorts of unique animals and plants, and examining various landscapes.

Besides the fact that it looks beautiful, the story behind it is almost as impressive. The miniseries took five years to make and photographers put their lives on the line more than once to document the extreme living conditions on this planet.

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Velocity Micro ready to ship HTPC with CableCard support

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 21st 2007 10:20AM
velocity micro pcOne of the biggest reasons to use Windows Vista Media Center rather than Windows Media Center 2005 has always been the CableCard support. There's just been one problem. Nobody's shipped a machine that can actually handle CableCards yet.

It looks like Velocity Micro's about to do just that. Velocity Micro's Chris Morley posted in the AVS Forum that the company could ship their CableCard capable Grand Theater line of home theater PCs starting this week. You can expect that PC to set you back at least $2200. Systems can be configured to support up to 4GB of RAM, and up to 2.25TB of hard drive space, but a fully decked out system will cost you considerably more.

Velocity Micro's hardly the only kid on the block working on a CableCard ready system. We can expect to see similar announcements soon from the likes of Niveus, Okoro, and others.

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