Archive for the 'Television' Category

Appeals Court in Favor of Automated DVR Ad-skipping

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

TelevisionThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit confirmed a lower court’s ruling that Dish Network’s Hopper, a DVR that automatically skips commercials when playing back recorded content, does not violate copyright law. Whether or not the decision is appealed, this case will produce a landmark ruling.

(via Kim Komando)

2013 Superbowl Commercials

Monday, February 4th, 2013

FootballThis year’s crop of Superbowl commercials was definitely lacking. But Hulu has all of them available online. Here are my favorites:

  1. [Tide] Miracle Stain
  2. [Coca-Cola] Mirage
  3. [Century 21] Wedding Day
  4. [Toyota Rav4] Wish Granted

Note: if your Internet browser has an ad-blocking extension, you will need to disable it to view the videos.


Tech Gear to Avoid

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

GadgetThe linked article gives a breakdown on tech gear that may seem like a good deal but which should probably be avoided. In many cases it’s possible to get a much better item for just a little more money.

Here’s the short version of what not to buy:

  • Budget Android gadgets
  • 17-inch laptops
  • Bridge cameras
  • Entry-level e-readers
  • Budget LCD TVs


2012 Superbowl Commercials

Monday, February 6th, 2012

FootballIn case you missed them, Hulu has online videos of this year’s Superbowl commercials (it also has previous years back to 2008). Here are my three favorites:

And then there’s the one where Priceline (finally!) kills off William Shatner.

Note that it may be necessary to disable your browser’s ad-blocking software in order to view the site.


No, We Do NOT Want 3D!

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

3D GlassesTelevision manufacturers and the motion picture industry are pushing 3D technology, even though many consumers don’t want it. For me, it’s the glasses and the eye strain that are the kiss of death. I already wear glasses, so putting another pair on over top of them is awkward and uncomfortable. The linked article also lists reduced picture quality as a reason to abandon 3D.


Computer Kicks Butt on Jeopardy

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

WatsonIBM’s “Watson” computer wiped out the human competition in the first match of Jeopardy (aired on Tuesday, Feb. 14th). Watson scored $35,734 compared to Ken Jennings at $4,800 and Brad Rutter at $10,400. Keep in mind that Jennings won the most consecutive games, staying in for 74 matches, and Rutter is the all-time money winner at more than $3 million. Long the stuff of science fiction, Watson is a significant step on the road to computers that can respond to natural speech.


Netflix: More Streaming, Less Mailing

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

DiscNetflix is known for sending movies through the mail, but now more and more of its business is done via online streaming. From the linked article: “Three years ago we [Netflix] were a DVD-by-mail company that offered some streaming. We are very proud to announce that by every measure we are now a streaming company, which also offers DVD-by-mail.” To get a grasp on just how big this is, a recent study by Sandvine found that Netflix is responsible for 20% of downstream internet traffic during certain peak periods. And the folks at Netflix, being no dummies and seeing the future for what it is, have made it easier to access content from game consoles.

Link (PDF):…
(via The Consumerist)

Don’t Rush Out to Purchase a 3D Television Quite Yet

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

3D Glasses3D televisions were all the rage at last January’s Consumer Electronics Show, but the reality is that (1) they require inconvenient 3D glasses, and (2) the glasses are expensive. So demand is not very high. Fortunately there are alternatives on the horizon. Toshiba, for example, will be releasing some glasses-free screens next month. They’re small and very expensive, and you have to to sit in specific locations relative to the screen, but I expect it won’t be too long before the size goes up and the price goes down.

(via Kim Komando)

Television Actor Salaries

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

TelevisionEver wondered just how much television actors make? The linked article shows the top earners. Oprah Winfrey wins by a landslide ($315 million per year), and Charlie Sheen comes in second with $1.25 million per episode. As astronomical as these may seem, average salaries are lower than they used to be. For example, the final season of Friends had all six cast members making $1 million per episode.

Thanks to Mike P. for this link.


3D Without the Glasses?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

3D GlassesTelevision manufacturers know that people don’t like 3D glasses, so they’re trying very hard to find an alternative. Glasses-free 3D systems are currently available, but you have to view the TV from a specific location. I’m not sure how effective that would be in a family living room. The linked article has a short blurb on Sony’s efforts in this area.


Say Hello to Gorilla Glass

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Broken iPhoneBack in 1962, researchers at Corning developed a very strong glass that’s hard to break, scratch, or dent. The product didn’t gain acceptance, and Corning gave up trying to sell it—until recently, that is. “Gorilla Glass” is now being used for consumer electronics such as smartphones and netbooks, and is poised to enter the television market. Corning is making some serious money from this invention that couldn’t find a buyer 50 years ago.

Link #1:…
(via engadget)

Link #2:…

Why Expensive HDMI Cables Don’t Make Sense

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

DigitalIn the older, analog world of video, any degradation in the signal due to cheap cabling would cause a corresponding degradation in the picture. So super-high-quality, gold plated, and hideously expensive cables made a certain amount of sense. But in the digital world, you can have a severe amount of signal degradation without any loss in picture quality. The $6.00 cable really is just as good as the $250.00 cable. In fact, you may see more degradation from your cable or satellite provider than you’ll ever get from cabling.