Skip to comments.TV Tech: The 10 Dumbest Moves Of 2011!
Posted on 12/30/2011 5:28:04 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
Washington, D.C. (December 29, 2011) -- Let's face it. It wasn't a great year for the TV technology industry. TV sales were flat; home 3D became better known as 3DOA; streaming companies invested heavily in new services but persuaded relatively few Americans to give them a try; and pay TV providers, with the exception of DIRECTV, saw their subscriber totals dwindle.
Of course, the nation's sluggish economy didn't help the cause with many consumers deciding to cut spending until things got better.
But we also have to be truthful here: Some of the industry's problems were self-inflicted. Unforced errors, as they would call them in tennis. All year, TV technology companies goofed, blundered and stumbled their way into various troubling situations.
Since everyone is doing their obligatory year-end stories now, I thought it would be instructive to compile the '10 Dumbest Things In TV Technology Industry In 2011.' I offer these 10 dumb-headed moves in the sincere hope that the companies don't repeat them in 2012.
(Excerpt) Read more at tvpredictions.com ...
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60 “ Sharp for Christmas...
This one caught my attention:
In the spring of 2011, DIRECTV and its studio partners launched a $30 Video on Demand service, called Home Premiere. The satcaster charged $30 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release and at least one month before their DVD or Blu-ray launch.
Some analysts, particularly the Wall Street know-nothings, praised the venture, saying it could revolutionize the home video and movie theater industries. Smart-minded types, though, asked, "Who on earth would pay $30 to watch a movie once?"
The only issue with the $30 is the timing. If they could shrink that 60 day window to zero or 7 days, people would pay it. It costs me $30 every time I take the wife to a movie. Consider tickets, gas, popcorn and the inconvenience, I would pay it on occasion for a good movie. 60+ days later who cares, the movie is old news. Timing is everything.
I go to the movies about once every 2-3 years. The last movies I saw in the theatre? Passion of the Christ in 2004, Apocalypto in 2006, Avatar in 2009(BIL bought everyone tickets) and this year, the Muppets Movie with my 8yo niece. Take your über conservatism blather and stuff it.
Pretty accurate list.
Netflix loses $billions in value because of their two major dumb decisions.
I have been laughing at Cox Cable’s claim to 100s of HD channels. I get about 40. They did add a few more (4 or 5) channels just before Christmas.
$30/month for VOD. Cox Cable has VOD and most times, it sucks, primarily due to the networks’ regulations. Originally, many programs were available OD the day after they broadcast on the network. Then, networks changed that to an 8-day delay. OD is more hassle than it is worth, by the time one cycles through the various menues, sub-menues, etc.
No real surprise that 3-D didn’t work out. This is about the 3rd time in my lifetime that Hollow-wood has tried it. There was a push for 3-D movies in the 50s/60s era, then another push about 20-30 years later, and the 2011 push. 3-D gets a lot of hype and then slides back into oblivion for a couple of decades.
I'm sure part of the reason for it is that some people simply cannot watch 3-D without getting severe headaches, nausea, etc. I'm not sure if hubby and son can tolerate watching 3-D, but we're not going to go to the movies and then sit in separate theaters so that I can watch the 2-D version while they watch 3-D. We all watch the 2-D version as a family.
I'm just the opposite. I'll gladly wait the few months until the movie hits Redbox and I can pay about a dollar to see it. The exceptions are special effects spectaculars which need the big screen, "events" with friends where seeing the movie is only a small part of a night out, or movies I really want to show my support for like Atlas Shrugged.
Last month the wife and I bought a new 47” LG for less than half of what we paid for a same-size Toshiba three years ago. And we thought we got a great deal on the Toshiba after exhaustively hunting down bargains. How much did your Sharp cost if I may impudently and rudely ask? You are allowed to give a rude and impudent answer as well ...if you so choose.
I noticed some off-brand 32” LCDs were on Christmas specials for as little as $199.
I paid $650 (IIRC) for my VIZIO 32” in 2008.
During BlackFriday/CyberMonday, I found a 24” LCD monitor for $119. It is to replace a 20” LCD that I bought about 4 years ago for $149.
Side Note: The one thing I like about my VIZIO is that it has 2 AV, 2 Composite, and 2HDMI and a bunch of other connections. Newer flat screens have fewer connection options.
About $1,900. Bought at Best Buy in Springfield, MO.
We bought a 42 “ Sharp in 2001 when we built our retirement house at Lake of the Ozarks. The house was wired for high tech stuff at the time it was built.
Even though we had TV connections (into our Dish) in every room, we still needed a new HD cable for the 60”. The security company that wired the house for TV/alarm, etc., did the hook up.
The 42” went into the guest BR. It has provided excellent service for the past 10 years.
1. Big 720P screens.
2. Mid-sized 720P screens.
3. Small-sized 720P screens.
PINGING THE HDTV LIST. (We have a few newbees that do not have this information.)
720p works fine, but our next TV will be a 43in 1080p set!
For those that are unaware of the broadcast standards, most of your your local HD stations broadcast in 720p, some in 1080i, none in 1080p except for a very limited scattering of 1080p broadcasts and usually on a premium channel that SATELLITE or CABLE service provide, (last time I checked).
The HDTV broadcast standards are as follows in decending order: 1080p, 720p, 1080i, 480p, 480i (standard definition, p= progressive lines, i=interlaced.
IE: 480i is 240 lines, standard TV as we knew it - before HD.
HDMI (digital cable explained, but is a little old-from 2008):
(Note: for newbees I suggest that you investigate http://www.monoprice.com for your cables, 3 ft HDMI digital cables under $3.00, stay away from the higher priced cables. Walmart is even a little pricy but especially MON$TER brand that the big box stores sell!)
HDTV viewing distance/screen size is also a factor, several formulas are on the internet, (bigger is better applies)!
I still remember in the early part of 2011 when I went shopping for a new plasma and the salespeople were so adamant on trying to sell me a 3D version they were practically laughing at my face when I told them it wasn’t what I was interested in, to them they were brainwashed into selling 3D sets PERIOD.
Then I learned of corporate incentives were very heavy on handing out bonuses for pushing the 3D product. Almost reminds me on how Obama was elected, throw enough cash at the product and eventually it gets bought.
Actually, I think only the over-air/cable channels owned by Fox and the Walt Disney Company broadcast in 720p. Everyone else uses 1080i—and CBS does a masterful job with 1080i on their NFL broadcasts (you really can see every blade grass on the football field).
Thanks very much, Dave. Your hard work is appreciated.
BTW, what is the resolution of an HDMI output of a laptop? I have a Toshiba L770 that has an HDMI output. I cannot find the resolution anywhere.
720p resolution screens work great up to 37”. But at 40” and bigger sizes, I’d recommend 1080p.
Dang, guess I’m not a “real” conservative then. I’ll mail my decoder ring back to you.
What is the exact model number?
I did find this for “Satellite L770-ST4NX1”;
Display Resolution 16:9 aspect ratio, Supports 720p content, 1600x900.
Well, actually, you did say it.
Have a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!!!
It was a custom order. But I suppose they all have the same output. I can't even find the downloads for my LT. Standard DVD players put out 480p, right.
LVD: When I went to monoprice, I was overwhelmed by the different kinds of HD cables. I don’t know what to buy. We got a 51” Samsung plasma just before thanksgiving for $500. I want to get the cables but don’t know what to get. Also, do the coaxials that the satellite connects to, and distributes from the DVR to the other unit, need to be changed?
Actually, this was a pretty good year for holiday retail. The problem is that last year was a very good year for HDTVs. Fewer people needed to replace their TVs this year because they bought them just last year.
I bought a 46" Sony LED last year. I saw the same model selling on Black Friday for half of what I paid for it.
The video ports on a modern laptop should support most video resolutions, including 1080p.
I would be surprised if it didn’t. Just hook it up to the HDMI port on a TV and boot the computer and see what resolutions Windows offers you.
IMPORTANT: Check the TV’s HDMI ports to see if any are designated for a computer connection.
If not, they will still work with the laptop, but you will be restricted to TV resolutions (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p).
If the TV has an HDMI port designated for a PC connection, you may have additional PC resolutions to choose from, possibly including resolutions higher than 1920x1080 (1080p).
Your video resolution options are determined by the combination of your video card and monitor. Any resolution that is supported by both devices is going to be an option.
Actually Real Conservatives understand it’s a political ideology not a cult and reality is more complicated than simple BS throwaway lines and idiotic chest pumping. So we get to watch movies if we feel like it.
The only HD cables are HDMI, anything else is just companies lying about the differences in quality. Buy by foot and price, the cheapest ones that are long enough to make your connections. Don’t buy Monster, they’re the biggest liars.
I second that. Buy your cables from MonoPrice. Awesome cables and all kinds of other home theater/networking equipment for dirt cheap. I buy all my stuff from those guys.
I go to the mom and pop computer shop. 10 minutes from home, good prices, nice people. Monoprice looks good though, I’ll keep them in mind for what SWS doesn’t have.
The video ports on a modern laptop should support most video resolutions, including 1080p.
How do I check that? I have searched high and low.
I would be surprised if it didnt. Just hook it up to the HDMI port on a TV and boot the computer and see what resolutions Windows offers you.
I plugged it in and played a Netflix show but nothing came up on the TV or LT.
IMPORTANT: Check the TVs HDMI ports to see if any are designated for a computer connection. If not, they will still work with the laptop, but you will be restricted to TV resolutions (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p).
Gotta find the manual. The TV is a Samsung plasma 780p.
Thanks for that link. Bookmarked for the future.
When I finally switched to HD, I discovered that Comcrap allocates each HD channel two different channel numbers. In my case, CBS-HD shows up at channel 233 and 803. OK, I can live with that, but if I put one of those in my favorites list, BOTH channels are put in the list, so it takes twice as long to step through the list. I suspect they do this just to inflate the apparent number of HD channels they offer.
Costco has a 46" Vizio 3D tv for $850.00 right now after they knock off $150. They also carry up to an 80 inch set which goes for $4699.00 right now.
jdub, I know a fair amount about HDTV cabling. What devices are you trying to connect to that HDTV? That will determine the cables you need.
If you can reply back with the make and model of each device, I can come up with the best connection options.
Some of the cables you have you may need to replace, others you might be able to keep. The specific devices you have, what output ports are on each device, and what input ports are on the TV will determine the best cable options for you.
My Dad’s Samsung LCD has an HDMI port labeled “PC/DVI” to connect a computer to it. The manual should have detailed instructions.
As far as no video, you may need to turn the HDMI port on the laptop to “on”. Laptops ship from the factory with the video ports turned off. They are usually turned on via “hot keys” on the keyboard. They usually have three modes, laptop screen on only, laptop screen and external monitor both on, or external monitor on only. You usually press the same key to cycle through your options.
It will vary from laptop to laptop, but there will usually be a key on the laptops built in keyboard with the characters “Fn” on it. This will usually be in a different color than the letters on the rest of the keyboard.
Other keys will have on them other characters in that same color, in addition to the standard keyboard characters. Starting with the “F1” key usually located on the top row of the keyboard, look for a key with a picture of a monitor, or the words LCD, or CRT, or something else that indicates a monitor.
If you can’t find an obvious one, check the manual for your laptop, there should be instructions for connecting a monitor that explain how to turn on the port.
You should be able to find your manual here:
Thanks again. I should have posted that I have already used the LT on the TV. I was just trying to find out what the resolution of the output was. No menus came up. I DID check and I was using the non-PC HDMI port. I will have to try again in the right port to see what happens.
And a “HAPPY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR” to you and your family.
BTW: you have freepmail!!
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