Archives For HDTV

Never enough time…

Does Mari Need HD?

Mari Silbey —  October 24, 2006

I’ve had a DVR for five years now, but I still haven’t picked up an HDTV. Honestly, I have trouble believing I need it and trouble believing it will make that much of a difference in my TV-watching career. Which is why Dave Winer’s recent commentary got my attention: He didn’t offer any great new analysis, but he proclaimed HD is “a life-changer.”

After a short time with my DVR, I started viewing the world through DVR functionality. I’d half hear something on the radio and for a split second think I could rewind it. Or I’d be listening in on a technical briefing and wish I could pause the conversation for a little thought-processing time.

I just don’t see HD having the same effect.

On the other hand, according to analyst Mike Paxton (who, by the way, I happen to respect greatly) 8.5 million households are watching HDTV on a nightly basis, and the number of households with HD sets is approaching 25 million. Can that many people be wrong? That’s a small percentage of Americans overall, but it’s still a decently high number. Nothing to sneeze at.

So I am reconsidering my personal position on HDTV. College basketball season is coming up, and HD games could make me a believer. I never thought I needed a big-screen TV either (sacrilege, I know), but now that I have one I could never go back. Tiny basketball players just don’t compare to their big-screen counterparts. Maybe sharper, clearer, HD-quality players will prove just as important.

Certainly I would have gotten a better photo with an HDTV last year when Bradley played (and beat) Pittsburgh in the NCAA tournament. As it was, my photo of “Brad Pitt” ended up pretty low-res.

Brad Pitt

Never enough time…

  • New Sony LocationFree LF-B20 with WiFi reviewed. (CNET)
  • Is that a laser in your TV, or are you just happy to see me? (Australian AP)
  • Nielsen’s commercial/advertising tracking effort stumbles. (NY Times)
  • Another day, another web site streaming pirated TV. (WebTVHub)

Never enough time…

  • Dish DVRs can continue to operate during appeal of TiVo win. (Davis Freeberg)
  • DirecTV HR20 receives positive review. (CNET)
  • Does Slingbox Pro really do HD? (EngadgetHD)
  • Apple upscaling video instead of re-encoding? (Engadget)

Never enough time…

  • Custon BeyondTV GUI created for Hauppauge media extender. (SnapStream)
  • SageTV looks for Mac beta volunteers. (PVRWire)
  • AT&T’s U-verse going high def soon? (EngadgetHD)
  • Sony creates choose-your-ending TiVo ad. (Engadget)

sling-support2.jpgI was somewhat doubtful when I read yesterday that someone had picked up a new Slingbox, but I figured what the heck and headed over to Best Buy (Fairfax, VA) during lunch. Lo and behold, about half a dozen AV Slingboxes were on the shelf next to the original Slingbox. I had an employee ring up the price: $179.99. The side panel of the boxes confirms there will ultimately be three new models — the Tuner, AV, and Pro. The Tuner unit includes a built-in tuner (duh) for analog cable or antenna, the AV model is for controlling a set-top box, and the Pro model appears to support multiple sources and HD. The other side panel indicates support for Windows and Mac OSX… AND Symbian! (Which CEO Blake Krikorian alluded to two weeks ago.) I didn’t come across much more info on features (versus the “classic” Slingbox) or pricing of the other two models, though we gotta hear something official soon – right?

UPDATE: Ryan H from the Sling Community was a little more thorough than I when visiting his Best Buy in August, GA. The Best Buy computer shows the Tuner model listed at $150 and the Pro model listed at $250, both being available 10/22. Additionally, there’s a listing for a $50 HD connector.

sling-av.jpgUPDATE 2: Amazon has both the Slingbox AV and Slingbox Tuner online. Neither is available for purchase, though the AV is listed at $180 and can be pre-ordered for $155. The descriptions indicate a 400% improvement in picture quality over the original Slingbox. (Thanks Bill!)

Updated info:
The 2nd Generation Slingbox Resource Page
Three New Slingboxes Formally Announced

Continue Reading…

Never enough time…

  • New Slingbox(es) coming this week? (Engadget)
  • Warner patents hybrid Blu-ray/HD-DVD/DVD disc. (New Scientist)
  • Pinnacle introduces USB ATSC tuner. (DVGuru)
  • Web 2.0 TV guide MeeVee updated. (TechCrunch)