Cool HDTV Gadgets – The HDTV Watch

August 3, 2009 – 9:53 am, posted by Oliver

Picture this: Youre on the bus, going across town. The trip is going to take you an hour and a half. Thats a lot of time wasted if you have to sit there with nothing to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could watch the latest blockbuster hit in High Definition, with no need for additional electronics? How is this possible? It would be if you were wearing one of the newest items on the HD market today – the HDTV watch. Sounds like science fiction, doesnt it? I thought so too – until I ordered one. Now I never leave home without it.

This little beauty exceeds all of the high expectations placed on it. Its 3.4 inch screen may seem small compared to the regular HDTVs, and it is. While 3.4 inches is small, you tend not to notice once you get engrossed in a movie or show. The movie is just as clear as it would be if it were on a big screen, with the added ability to watch it wherever you want. Plug in your headphones and you’re ready to go. No more boring bus rides, no more boring waiting rooms. Bored in study hall? Watch last weeks episode of House, all in HD. With the ease and simplicity of a watch, and the advancements of HD technology, it is possible. This isnt meant to replace your big screen HDTV, but it gives anyone the ability to watch their favorite movies or shows on the go. You can pick one of these up online for about $100.00 US. Well worth the investment.

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HDTV CURVED – The Screen of the Future

August 3, 2009 – 9:53 am, posted by Oliver

HDTVs have been on the market for a while now, and pretty much everyone has had a chance to see them and a lot of people already have them in their homes. The technology has lost a lot of its hype, and many are wondering what the next big advancement is going to be. Well, you dont have to wait much longer. The next generation of HDTV is being developed as you read this.

Until now, when you look at your screen, whether it be your television or computer monitor, it was flat, offering a single dimension of view. Now, the company “Alianware” (which is actually a leader in the advanced computer market) is developing a high definition screen that is curved, giving you a wrap around view, (i.e. Peripheral vision). This new advancement will allow gamers to be able to see not only in front of them but beside as well, as you would in real life.

This has huge implication for the film industry as well. Over the years we have grown accustom to the one sided view of television. But as this technology develops we may start to see movies and television shows in a whole new way. Imagine not only seeing whats going on in front of you in a fight scene, but also beside you.

The panoramic view is something that many of us have been dreaming about for ages. Now the dawn of it is at our doorstep. This could mean a whole new break through in HDTV screen technology. Imagine being able to roll up a screen and put it in your pocket, or in a bag. Then when you need it just pull it out unroll it and either hang it up or hold it like a book. The possibilities are endless.

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Are We Really Ready?

August 3, 2009 – 9:52 am, posted by Oliver

With all the hype about HDTV, one should stop to wonder if we are really prepared for this technology. Some people think they may be pushing it too hard; that the aggressive advertising is to make up for all the downfalls the technology has. Some people even believe that this push from the government and the FCC is both underhanded and premature.

These people have every right to feel the way they do, but they also need to look at it from the standpoint of both the consumers’ and the companies’ positions. As the production costs have increased, so has the cost of movies, and movie tickets. But over the past 10 years, before the push for HD as a standard started, the average consumer did not see any difference, except in the price. They were in essence not getting the bigger bang for their buck. Hence why we have the push for all High Definition. Viewers are now going to get to see the difference when it comes to their movies and shows.

Oddly enough, this push was not as sudden as most people may think. The original date was supposed to be December 31,2006. That got pushed back almost 3 years, giving both broadcast companies and electronics companies time to compensate for the loss they could face. This is one of the reasons the FCC has been pushing it so hard over the last year. There was ample warning to all companies.

I have to be honest though, I had no idea about the switchover until about 6 months before it was completed. But then again, I already had an HDTV with the HD tuner built in.

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The Complete Home Theatre System

August 3, 2009 – 9:51 am, posted by Oliver

Do you remember the first time you went to the theatre? I know I do. I was 7 years old, and my dad had taken me to see “Star Wars”. It was the most amazing experience for me. The huge screen, all the people, and a big bucket of buttery popcorn… For me though, what tied it all together was the sound. It was louder than I had ever watched TV in my life. And I loved it. I remember leaving there, my ears ringing, not realizing that I was actually yelling everything I was trying to say. It was all normal volume to me. But the best part of it was that throughout the movie, the sounds that were supposed to be behind what you were seeing sounded like they were behind us. It was the first taste I had of surround sound.

Over the years I have tried to duplicate the sound, though never to the same magnitude. Unfortunately, the experience was never the same. I always chalked it up to the fact that I was young, and it was my first time going to the movies. That was until I bought my High Definition Television. I hooked it up with my Dolby Digital Surround Sound System, and it was like I was back watching Star Wars for the first time with my dad. I even put on the original Star Wars, made myself some popcorn, and had my son watch it with me. He had the same expression on his face as I did when I was his age. Now I know what my dad felt like after the movie. Its a good feeling being able to share that experience with your son. I’m so glad I bought the HDTV.

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Not All HDTV Are Created Equal

August 3, 2009 – 9:51 am, posted by Oliver

There are so many different things you have to look at when you go to purchase your HDTV. With so many different brands, models, and all the HD terms, it can be hard to know exactly what youre looking for, let alone what you really need. In this article, we are going to look at two very different terms and what they mean to you when you are looking to buy a brand new HDTV.

HD ready – This means that your set is capable of displaying High Definition signals, with the proper equipment. This also means that it does not have a built in HD tuner. You want to try to avoid these unless you have already bought the tuner. The tuner will usually run you about $180.00 US. So if youre just buying a new television, spring for the full HD television.

Full HD – This means that the TV you are buying is ready to display a High definition signal right out of the box. It has its own HD turner card built in at the factory.

If you have cable and/or satellite, then you wont have to worry about this. In the end, this is only going to affect people who get their television signals out of the air.

Unless your HDTV is displaying 720 or 1080 lines, (check the specs in your owner’s manual) it is not true HD. With your current CRT television, you’ll only be getting 480 lines.

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HDTV Goggles – TV on the Go

August 3, 2009 – 9:50 am, posted by Oliver

Picture this: you’re watching the newest blockbuster release, a must-see, on a huge 52 inch screen, while lounging in the sun at the beach. Many of you will say this is not possible. And youre be right, if I was talking about a regular television. It would be impractical to bring a television of that size to the beach, for a number of obvious reasons. One is size; its a HUGE television. Where would you put it? How are you going to get it there without damaging it? Then theres the problem of power. The television uses quite a bit of power, so youre probably not going to use your car, unless you plan on walking home. And then there’s the issue of lighting. We all know what its like trying to watch television in a really sunny room; it just doesnt work.

Thats all changed now, with the development of HD goggles. You can hook these up to any device that outputs a video signal, such as a DVD player, Xbox, even iPods. You can load up your favorite movies or television shows, and watch them in true High Definition anywhere you want; whether it be lounging at the beach, lying in bed while your partner sleeps, on long trips… Which of these would you prefer? One of the small car screens or a virtual 52 inch personal screen? Just a word of warning, do not under any circumstances attempt to operate a motorized vehicle while wearing these. That should go without saying, but there have already been accidents because of this. You can pick up a good quality pair of these goggles online for about $150 US. This is a new technology, but it is already making waves in the tech world.

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Aspect Ratio

August 3, 2009 – 9:49 am, posted by Oliver

For anyone who has invested in an HDTV over the last 5 years, this is something with which you should be familiar. For those considering buying one, the aspect ratio can be a crucial part of that decision. For others, it does not make much of a difference. In this article, will look at what ‘aspect ratio’ is, and why it can have an impact on which High Definition television you buy.

Aspect ratio is the viewing mode of all televisions. There are multiple ratios, but the standard ones are as follows.

4:3 Standard – This has been the standard for CRT televisions since its development.

Widescreen – This was the original widescreen format used for the projection screen before the development of High Definition broadcasting.

720 P & I – This is new to the playing field of High Definition. This is the resolution usually reserved for the smaller HDTVs, generally 32 inches and below, although some 36 inch screens also use this as a default.

1080 P & I – This is also new to the HD playing field. This resolution is generally reserved for the larger screen High Definition Televisions, usually 36 inches and up.

The aspect ratio is going to play a role in the television you buy, depending on the content you will mostly be viewing. If you have cable or satellite and subscribe to the HD service, you are more than likely going to want a 1080p or 1080i – especially if you also watch a lot of DVDs that are recorded in High Definition, or if you do a lot of gaming that is made for High Definition. All in all, take a look at the content you will be viewing, and base the HDTV you buy off of that.

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HDTV – The Current Conversion

August 3, 2009 – 9:49 am, posted by Oliver

With HDTV now the standard for broadcasts in the United States, you would think that by now everything would be in High Definition. But this is sadly not yet true. See, the FCC mandated that all broadcasts had to be over High Definition channels, but as of yet there is no regulation over which format they must be recorded in. So if a recording studio is still using the original cameras to record their shows, then even though you are watching an HD Channel on a High Definition Television, the show you will be watching will still look like analog.

Over the next 5 years, you can expect everything coming out to be recorded in High definition, but as for now, not everything is. Unfortunately for the older films and or series, they are not going to be rerecorded, so the only thing that they can do for them is what is called ‘up conversion;. This is the process of digitally enhancing what has already been recorded in either 4:3 standard or widescreen format, and compressing it to an EHD (Equivalent of High Definition) format. This is not perfect by any standards, and to be honest with you, I prefer to watch what has already been recorded, in its original format. This is because the process can actually destroy the film visually. You can still watch it, but it will be distorted, especially those things that were recorded in 4:3 standard.

So for the time being, we’re stuck in the middle, waiting for the networks and studios to catch up with the technology.

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HDTV – The Dreaded Letterbox

August 3, 2009 – 9:49 am, posted by Oliver

So youre sitting on the couch, finally home after a long day’s work, and you turn on the television to find that your screen is messed up. All you can see is a small picture in the middle of the screen. You think “What the heck is going on with my TV?!” First you panic, thinking it might be broken. Then, when rational thought processes return, you change the channel to find that the next one is fine. Relieved, you flip back, and there it is again – that dreaded letterbox. If this has happened to you, then you know how aggravating it can be, especially when you find that it’s happened right before the beginning of a show you wanted to watch. Let’s take a look at what really causes letterboxing, and what you can do to fix it.

I had this happen to me when I got my first HDTV. Since it only seemed to be happening on one channel, I called my cable company, wondering what was going on. It turns out I had to set the proper aspect ratio in my cable receiver to match that of my television. Okay, done. But that still didnt solve the problem. I was then told that letterboxing can occur when a company doesn’t record a show in High Definition. All I have to do is temporarily change my settings back to either widescreen or 4:3 standard and it would go away. From there, I can zoom in and out of the picture to make it fit the screen. Turns out that even though the channels are digital, it still depends on the content and what format it was recorded in. It’s a simple fix for an aggravating problem.

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HDTV – The Wonder of It All

August 3, 2009 – 9:48 am, posted by Oliver

I remember when I was 16, watching the original Star Wars for the first time. It was amazing. I was not the only one to have this thought at that point. “This is as good as its going to get“. And for a 16 year old kid, that was pretty darn good. The movie itself was amazing. Sure, some of the acting wasnt the greatest but the graphics sure made up for it. They were top of the line, leading edge in the movie world. Now I can create the same effects with my Mac book in about 20 minutes. To be honest though, they seem somewhat cheesy now. That is due to what I like to call the advent of real TV -High Definition.

Its amazing the detail that they can show these days. If you were a fan of the “Star Wars” saga, then you remember what I am talking about, in terms of graphics. Now compare that to the first, second, and third parts that were just made over the last 5 years. (Note – Star Wars was made in 2 parts for those that do not know, the fourth, fifth, and sixth parts were made first. This was decided by a coin toss by the writer/director George Lucas.) Compared to the new films the originals look like B movie graphics. High Definition has forever changed the way things are done in the movie industry. You can expect big things over the next 10 years in terms of graphics. This is definitely not as good as it’s going to get.

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