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?
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.
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.
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.
(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.
Here'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.
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]
Is 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.
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
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.
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.
I 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.
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?
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.
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.
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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