Best Selling HDTVs

October 31, 2005

When Reality TV Makes a Bigger Mess of Reality

I'm not a big reality TV fan, but being a major sports fan I decided to to watch a few episodes of ESPN's "Bound for Glory", a reality show about about high school football. The basic premise is you take a sad sack high school football team, bring in a dynamic head coach and get the once prominant program on track. Of course "Bound for Glory" hired Dick Butkus as the head coach, so the combination should make for great TV right? Not exactly. The whole fiasco just feels like a three-ring circus that's more focused on making a show at the kids expense.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review there were problems with the reality show that escalated when the production wrapped up before the end of the football season:

While Butkus' abrupt departure prompted furor in Western Pennsylvania high school football circles, it was met with a shrug by Montour's players, coaches and administrators.

"We found out four weeks into the season that he wasn't going to be there for the whole season. It wasn't a big shock to us," Montour junior Bryce Pfeuffer said. "I figured, even if he wasn't getting paid, he might stay with us. I guess we weren't that important to him."

To make matters worse, the team went 1-7 for the season. The strange part is that the high school had actually hired a proven coach before Butkus got there:

With Butkus gone, Lou Cerro regained complete control of the team he was hired in February to coach. Cerro led Seton-La Salle to two WPIAL Class AA championships in three years, but he took on the title of "assistant head coach" for the sake of the show.

I really love the quote from the school superintendent:

"This probably would have not gone as smoothly as it did had we not had a coach of the ilk of Lou Cerro," Montour superintendent Dr. Joseph Findley said. "He's not interested in creating his own personal mystique. Lou's main focus is developing the kids."

Hmm. Go hire a good coach, demote him, and then bring in a circus side-show to get the team back on track and then say that the reason everything didn't blow up too bad was because of the coach in the shadows. Yep, sounds like reality TV!

at Pittsburg-Tribune Review


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 31, 2005

Convert TiVo to Video iPod Format with TVHarmony's AutoPilot


If you've got a TiVo and one of them new fangled iPod Video players, you'll want to check out TVHarmony's AutoPilot. According to PVRWire.com:

TVHarmony.com has released a new version of its AutoPilot software that supports converting TiVo-recorded shows into a format that's compatible with the new video iPod. It also works with Palm devices that can view video.

The software automatically transfers, converts and stores your TV programming. You can select shows to be downloaded automatically, in the middle of the night if you like, and process the transfers into popular formats. AutoPilot keeps track of the shows you've already downloaded so you can transfer an entire TV series without duplicates.


The cool thing is it's free software, so be sure to AutoPilot out.

At PVRWire.com

Visit TVHarmony's Homepage

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

October 29, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 30, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases Coming October 30, 2005:

The Adventures of Pete & Pete - Season 2

The Brady Bunch - The Complete Fourth Season

Little House on the Prairie - The Complete Season 9

21 Jump Street - The Complete Fourth Season

Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 30, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 28, 2005

White Sox Plus Astros Equal Snooze?

According to the Indy Star:

The four-game sweep by the Chicago White Sox produced the lowest TV ratings for a World Series. The Series, seen on Fox, attracted an average of 11.1 percent of the 110.2 million U.S. households with televisions, according to Nielsen Media Research Inc. That was down 30 percent from last year, when the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals for their first championship since 1918, one year after the White Sox's previous title.

The news is kind of surprising when you figure it was the Astro's first series and Chicago's first in eons. I assume when Clemens got hurt a lot of people gave up on the Astros (I was kinda' in that mindset too). Hopefully we'll see Clemens get another shot at it next year.

Did you notice there seems to be no Cubs fan left? It looks like they all defected to the ChiSox camp (let the hate-mail begin!).

At IndyStar.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

October 27, 2005

HDTV for Free

Got an HDTV? Did you know you can get your local major network's HDTV signal for free? All you'll need to do is install an outdoor antenna. CNET.com has a nice 6 part tutorial with video that shows you how to buy and set up an antenna for your HDTV and it starts:

If you have an HDTV with a built-in digital tuner, you can get high-def programming without paying a dime in monthly subscription fees to the local cable or satellite megaconglomerate. You can also enjoy free over-the-air high-def broadcasts if you have an HDTV-ready television connected to an external high-def tuner, such as the Humax HFA100.
All you need, so the story goes, is to connect an antenna. Free high-def programming is explained in depth here, but in short, you can receive high-def broadcasts from the major networks--ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS--over the air in most areas of the country today.


Read Watch free HDTV with an outdoor antenna [via PVRBlog]

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 26, 2005

Programming the 30 Second Skip Function on TiVo Series 1, Series 2, and DirectTivo

Since we posted the tutorial about programming the 30 second skip on the Motorola DVR, we thought we'd show you how to program TiVo with the 30 second skip. So for all of our wonderful readers, here are the steps for programming the 30 second skip feature on the TiVo Series 1, Series 2, and DirectTivo.

While watching a recording, press

  • Select

  • Play

  • Select

  • 30

  • Select

Try out the skip by pressing the "advance" button on your remote. It should skip through the recording by 30-second jumps.

If you've successfully entered the code, you'll hear three "dings" in succession to inform you that you've successfully enabled the 30 second skip.

Power outages and software updates will require you to re-enable the 30 second skip feature, so keep these codes handy

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Oct. 17-23, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Oct. 17-23, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***
1CSICBS17.719,517,000
2Desperate HousewivesABC15.917,506,000
3Without a TraceCBS13.414,788,000
4LostABC12.713,974,000
5Grey's
Anatomy
ABC12.113,340,000
6CSI:
Miami
CBS11.913,085,000
7NCISCBS11.612,763,000
8Fox
World Series Game 2
FOX11.112,190,000
9Commander
In Chief
ABC10.711,836,000
1060
Minutes
CBS10.611,723,000

*Rank is based on U.S. Household Rating % from Nielsen Media Research's National People Meter Sample

**A household Rating is the estimate of the size of a television audience relative to the total universe, expressed as a percentage.
As of September 20, 2004, there are an estimated 109.6 million television households in the U.S. A single national household ratings point represents 1%, or 1,096,000 households.

***Total viewers includes all persons over the age of two.

Used with permission:
Nielsen Media Research, Inc. The Information contained herein is the copyrighted property of Nielsen Media Research, Inc. Unauthorized use of this copyrighted material is expressly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 25, 2005

Deal of the Day: JVC DVD Recorder / Hi-Fi VHS VCR Combo at Woot


Editor's Note: This deal is gone but if you're interested in the JVC DVD Recorder / Hi-FI VHS VCR Combo, it's also available at Amazon.com


If you're looking to start moving those old VHS tapes to DVD, you'll want to check out the JVC DVD Recorder / Hi-Fi VHS VCR Combo Deal at Woot:

Note: These units are refurbished and the deal ends at midnight or when they sell out. Better move fast!

Features:

DVD:

  • Playable Formats: DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD, VCD, CD-R/RW, MP3/JPEG Digital Still (CD-R/RW)
  • Recordable Formats: DVD-RAM, DVD-RW (VR and Video Formats), DVD-R
  • Digital Direct Progressive Scan Output (for Film Source)
  • Super MPEG Encode Pre-Processor: Time Base Corrector, Frame Synchronizer and Motion Active Noise Reduction
  • Super MPEG Post-Processor: Block Noise Reduction Circuit, Color DigiPure and Hadamard Noise Reduction System
  • 8-Hour DVD Recording
  • Library Database DVD Navigation
  • DVD Navigation with Animated Thumbnail (DVD-RAM/DVD-RW VR Format)
  • On-Disc Timer Programming (DVD-RAM/DVD-RW VR Format)
  • Live Memory (Simultaneous Recording & Playback) (DVD-RAM)
  • Instant Replay, Quick Skip, Live Check
  • “Undo Finalization” Capability (DVD-RW)
  • Linear PCM Audio Recording (XP Mode Only)
  • High-Resolution GUI

VCR:

  • Hi-Fi VHS Stereo
  • SQPB
  • B.E.S.T. Picture System
  • Color On-Screen Display (English/French/Spanish)

More Info at Woot.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

What Exactly Does HD-Ready Mean?

HD versus HD-ready probably causes the most confusion for television buyers. Here is a breakdown from HP.com:

HD, or integrated HD, means that all of the equipment needed to accept and reproduce high definition content is provided on a television right out of the box. HD-ready, on the other hand, means that the television is capable of displaying HD content, but a separate HD tuner/receiver is required to convert on-air and cable/satellite signals to higher resolutions.

An HD-ready TV is probably sufficient for most buyers since almost every cable and satellite company offer HD tuner boxes now. So the next time you're HDTV shopping, you'll know what it means when the display says HD-ready.

See HP explains the HDTV explosion

Compare Prices: HDTV

Compare Prices: HD-Ready

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

TV Buying Guide By Price Range


In reality, most of us buy a TV by what we can afford, not necessarily by features. CNET.com has a really nice TV buying guide that breaks down these price ranges:


  • Less than $300
  • $300 to $500
  • $500 to $750
  • $750 to $1,000
  • $1,000 to $1,500
  • $1,500 to $3,000
  • More than $3,000


See the TV Buying Guide at CNET.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 24, 2005

CrazyAboutTV.com: Great Resources for Couch Potatoes


Looking for information and trivia about your favorite TV show? Be sure to check out CrazyAboutTV.com. It's amazing how many listings they have on their site. The listing contain all kinds of information about a show like:

  • Series Description:

  • Cast:

  • Trivia:

  • Episodes List With Original Air Dates

What a great site for TV buffs!


Visit CrazyAboutTV.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Pioneer DVR-233 DVD Recorder Review

If you're still recording from your TV to a VCR, I'm here to gently nudge you into the wonderful world of DVD recorders. Just a few short years ago, a stand-alone DVD recorder would have cost you between $400 to $800, much higher than the typical consumer was willing to spend. Just like most technologies though, we've seen the prices drop dramatically into the $150 to $400 range.

Today, we're talking about Pioneer's newest entry level DVD Recorder, the DVR-233. The $199 DVR-233 is no slouch when it comes to DVD recorders but was specifically designed with the new user in mind. As you can see from the following images, the DVR-233 is standard size with the basic AV connections on the back and AV input connections on the front.

 





ArrowContinue reading: "Pioneer DVR-233 DVD Recorder Review"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Programming the 30 Second Skip Function on Your Motorola 6400 Series DVR

I've always been envious of TiVo and ReplayTV users and their ability to zip through commercials (recorded shows only) with a 30 second skip button. If you're not familiar with the 30 second skip, it's just like it sounds. You push a button while watching a recorded program and you'll skip ahead 30 seconds. During commercials, whacking on the skip button 3 or 4 times is much faster and easier than the fast forward button.

Well if you're a cable customer that uses a Motorola DCT6400 series DVR, you should be able to program a 30 second skip on your remote too. I say should because it may depend on what cable company you use but in most cases, the skip codes should work. In this tutorial we'll show you what remote you need and how to program the 30 second skip feature on a few different remotes.

Let's start with the remotes that can and cannot be programmed. If you have the new dual tuner (DCT6412) box, you probably have the DRC800 remote pictured below.

ArrowContinue reading: "Programming the 30 Second Skip Function on Your Motorola 6400 Series DVR"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (14) | social bookmarking

October 23, 2005

How Have DVRs and TiVo Changed Your Viewing Habits?

So I've gotten several emails reminding me that I haven't updated my HBO's "Extras" quote of the week lately. I apologize and have a confession to make. I watch a lot of TV but I'm always behind and about the only shows I watch live are sports. My viewing habits have really changed since I got a DVR. There's nothing sweeter than watching TV shows on my terms.

So I've got 3 "Extras" on the DVR which I'll try to watch this week and then do an update. How do use your DVR? You can also leave a comment if you'd like:

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Court TV and John Waters: How Weird Can it Really Get?


There's some weird stuff on television, but I guess Court TV thinks we need something really wacky. You say a half-hour series about true-crime domestic murder mysteries isn't that weird? What if I tould you the host was John Waters? Yep, I had had the same expression. According to the The Detroit News:

Taking a half-step from real courtrooms to "Law and Order"-style dramas, Court TV plans to air a new half-hour series this winter about true-crime domestic murder mysteries hosted by iconoclastic film director John Waters.

The series, called "Til Death Do Us Part," will focus on a single spousal murder in each episode, beginning with a reenactment of the wedding. Waters will serve as the "groom reaper," walking the viewer through each story.

"It has a little bit of irony to it, especially to start at the wedding," said Marc Juris, Court TV's general manager of programming and marketing. "Every bad marriage does have a happy wedding."

What's next? Geraldo's special on Yellow Journalism?

at TheDetroitNews.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 22, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 23, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases Coming October 23, 2005:

The L Word - The Complete Second Season

Alias - The Complete Fourth Season

Little House on the Prairie - The Complete Season 9

Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season

3rd Rock From the Sun - Season 2


ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 23, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

"The Office"- Dual Roles Serves the Show Well


It's amazing the things you learn when you're goofing off working. I recently came across B.J. Novak's blog on TVGuide.com. B.J. plays Ryan the temp on the American version of "The Office". What I didn't realize is that he was also one of the writers on the show. In fact, several of the actors on "The Office" serve dual roles as writers according to B.J.'s blog:

One unique thing about our show is that we have a lot of writer-actors, including me, Paul Lieberstein (Toby) and Mindy Kaling (Kelly). And a lot of our main cast members are writers in "real life," including Steve, who cowrote his movie, The 40 Year Old Virgin; and John, who just adapted a novel. Jenna [Fischer, Pam] and Rainn are both married to successful writers. Rainn also writes poetry, but I read it and it sucked.

We start a batch of episodes with a handful of comedy writers, always in jeans and sneakers (except for Mindy Kaling, the Beyonce of our writers' room, who is typically all blinged out), procrastinating and trying to make each other laugh with story ideas. (By procrastinating, I really mean procrastinating, as in painting chopsticks to resemble Harry Potter wands.) Then we narrow it down to the stories that are the most interesting, funny and realistic, and we start outlining those ideas as a group. Each writer is then assigned one script idea and goes off to write a first draft. Sounds simple, right? Think again. Still sounds simple, even after you thought again? Fair enough.

While the American version may not be as good as the British version of "The Office, I still think it's still one of the best shows on TV. What's great is that as executive producers, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant stuck to the same formula that made the BBC version so popular. Instead of handing the show over to a bunch of "just" writers, they got talent that could really control the direction of the show with their writing and acting skills. It definitely makes "The Office" a must watch show.

See B.J. Novak's Blog at TVGuide.com


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 21, 2005

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Oct. 10-16, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Oct. 10-16, 2005
RankProgramNetworkHousehold RatingTotal Viewers
1CSICBS17.419,156,000
2Desperate HousewivesABC16.117,690,000
3Without a TraceCBS13.414,744,000
4LostABC12.814,114,000
5Grey's
Anatomy
ABC12.213,405,000
6CSI:
Miami
CBS11.913,159,000
7NCISCBS10.911,982,000
8Commander
In Chief
ABC10.811,875,000
9Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS10.511,549,000
1060
Minutes
CBS10.311,330,000

Used with permission:
Nielsen Media Research, Inc. The Information contained herein is the copyrighted property of Nielsen Media Research, Inc. Unauthorized use of this copyrighted material is expressly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

TV Snob & The Best of the Blogpire

Tvsnob BlogadWe've been very busy bloggers this past week. One of our blogs TV Snob has been very very busy. They've found some very cool stuff to enhance your TV experience including: Plasma TV Fireplace - A Great Way to Hide That Ugly Plasma TV in a Beautiful Faux Fixture, The Classé CDP-300 - The World's Most Beautiful $6500, 35lb DVD Player, TV Walker Flash - TV Tuner and USB Flash All-In-One, and SpyderTV - Optimize Your TV's Color Settings. Also each week TV Snob covers the latest Amazon DVD Releases so you don't have to. Check out TV Snob - you won't be sorry.

Now - on with the rest of the Blogpire!

Single Serve Coffee: Review: Baronet Coffee's 12 Gram Dark Kenya AA Monster Coffee Pods from Single Serve Coffee.com - Williams Sonoma & Single Serve Coffee

Just The Chips: Straight Flush Ghetto - Dogs Playing Poker Drink Coaster Set - Royal Flush Chip & Dip

Kitchen Contraptions: 12-Bottle-Capacity Table-Top Wine Cellar - Clear Espresso Hand Tamper - Kitchen Contraption Makes Dishes on Demand

Shirt Snob: Halloween Designs at Cafe Press - Reprints at Threadless - Accessory Friday-iPod Cases and Breast Cancer Research

GPS Lodge: GPS Review: Another Great Review for TomTom GO 300 - Want a Free Garmin eTrex? Buy a Segway - Club TomTom Blog launched for US

Liquor Snob: Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch Review - Tito's Handmade Vodka Review - Blavod Black Vodka Review

The Cooking News: Wine News: 50 flavorful, affordable wines - Recipe News: Get creative with pumpkin recipes - Cooking news: Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That? - Wine News: Wine tasting 101

Shaving Stuff: The Science of Billy Jealousy's Hydroplane - 2005 FHM Grooming Awards - Braun Cruzer3 Shaver - CVS M3 Razors

What's All the Racquet: Roddick clinches berth in Tennis Masters - Williams Sisters get props from the Hip Hop Community

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 20, 2005

Plasma TV Fireplace - A Great Way to Hide That Ugly Plasma TV in a Beautiful Faux Fixture


I guess if you're the type who doesn't want your plasma TV to always be out in the open, you can hide it in your fireplace. Yep, you can invest some big dough in the Plasma TV Fireplace from Picture House. According to Mavromatic.com:

It’s an interesting idea, but they don’t have me sold… there’s something not right about spending that much on a Plasma, then putting it inside a fake fireplace. I think putting the fireplace inside the plasma is more geek acceptable. As for pricing on one of these handcrafted faux fireplaces, you’ll need to contact Picture House directly, but to give you a rough idea, the NAPOLI model has a list price of £5256 (or $9,228.21 US), less display. The whole kit includes the cabinet or fireplace, the ‘super thin’ lift mechanism, infrared remote control and installation instructions.

Although there's not a real flame, there is a "heater" built-in which is kind of scary. So what does a melting plasma screen smell like?

At Mavromatic.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

The Classé CDP-300 - The World's Most Beautiful $6500, 35lb DVD Player


I'm just enough of a dreamer (that means fool in French) to still believe I might have enough change in the couch cushions to get the Samsung TV we talked about the other day. If I dig really hard, I might be able to also get one of the most beautiful DVD players I've ever seen. The Classé CDP-300 sports a metal case, touch-screen, and will only set you back $6,500. According to Engadget:

As the first model in the Delta series, the CDP-300 hints at good things to come from this lineup, with 1080p upconverting via HDMI, XLR balanced outputs, component RGBHV, a touchscreen display, and the usual assortment of regular component video, S-video, composite, digital coax, and optical hookups. One nice feature of the touchscreen is that it also serves as a video preview monitor, so you can view and control DVD-Audio discs without powering-up your main display.

Couch, here I come!

At Engadget [via HDBeat]

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 19, 2005

TV Walker Flash - TV Tuner and USB Flash All-In-One


Lately, portable TV has been creating quite a buzz. While there's several technologies to make television portable, I've got to say I'm intrigued by the "TV Walker Flash" device from Lifeview. It's pretty much a TV tuner built into a USB flash drive. According to Lifeview:

By incorporating flash memory, the TV Walker Flash do much more than store your files – you can record digital TV directly to the onboard storage and play it back on any computer! The drivers and application are preloaded on the unit, giving you a truly portable TV solution – simply plug it in to any computer and install the necessary files on the spot, no CD or downloads required! With its amazing functionality, ultra portable size and classy looks, you’ll want to take it everywhere!

The TV Walker Flash comes in 1GB/2GB/4GB sizes. There's no details on price or availabilty, but we'll keep you posted.

Editor's Note: Steven over at DTVFacts.com posted a comment about a point we failed to mention:

Alas, it's for DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting)-- it won't pick up U.S. TV broadcasts.

Yep, no luck with analog broadcasts. Thanks Steven.

At Lifeview.com.tw

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

October 18, 2005

CBS Enters the Blogosphere

There seems to be a lot of "insider" blogs coming out lately, especially from large companies and the entertainment industry. CBS.com is jumping on the bandwagon according to Yahoo News:

Corey Miller, executive story editor for "CSI: Miami," tells viewers how an episode goes from initial idea to final cut as he shares his perspective. James Van Praagh, co-executive producer of "Ghost Whisperer," is extending his online presence with a blog that provides information about the show, augmented by news relevant to the spirit world. And contestants from previous seasons comment on events during "Survivor: Guatemala."

There also seems to be an influx of "mock" blogs like this one from CBS:

Each show's blog is designed to reflect and extend the tone of the program. For example, the writers of freshman comedy "How I Met Your Mother" are creating Barney's Blog, using the voice of the character played by Neil Patrick Harris.

So I went to check out Barney's Blog. How freakin' lame. The first thing they need to do is get rid of the full page advertisments between "fake" blog posts. If you're going to have a "mock" blog, how about putting a little effort into it like Darth Vader did on his blog.

At Yahoo News

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 17, 2005

SpyderTV - Optimize Your TV's Color Settings


Looking to enhance your color settings on your TV? You might want to check out the SpyderTV. The $250 device claims to calibrate your color settings on about any TV:

Have you ever noticed that all the TVs in a retail showroom look different and wondered which one was right? If any? Have you ever tried to adjust your TV settings to get a better picture and never quite gotten it right? SpyderTV takes the guesswork out of improving your TV picture. It doesn’t rely on the human eye, which is subjective. Instead it uses the Spyder, a scientific colorimeter that replaces the human eye. SpyderTV will:
  • Allow you to see your favorite shows and movies just as the director intended.
  • Increase the realism of your programs by extending highlight and shadow detail.
  • Enhance your TVs dark images for better visibility — If you’re a gamer you will really love this benefit.
  • Improve your overall viewing experience and give you the satisfaction of knowing that your TV has the optimum settings for your set-up.

The way it works is:

The Datacolor SpyderTV colorimeter and software deliver an easy-to-use solution for optimizing any TV for a better viewing experience. SpyderTV scientifically measures contrast, brightness, color, tint, and color temperature presets on your TV and helps you make the necessary adjustments to dramatically improve your picture quality. SpyderTV supports Plasma, RPTV, DLP, LCD and CRT TVs.

The SpyderTV sensor is attached to your laptop or desktop computer using a USB cable, and then attaches to the front of your TV screen. Then the sensor analyzes the test patterns on the DVD. Based on the information it sees, the software running on your computer instructs you how to adjust your settings accurately without any guesswork. The SpyderTV is like an electronic "eye" that makes scientific measurements and tells you how to make the right adjustments that would be impossible to make with the human eye alone.

If you use the SpyderTV, let us know what you think.


More at Colorvision.com [via Uncrate.com]

SpyderTV at Amazon.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 16, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases Coming October 16, 2005:

C.S.I. New York - The Complete First Season

The Twilight Zone - Season 4 (The Definitive Edition)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season One, Volume 1 (Collector's Edition)

Batman Begins (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)

Land of the Dead (Unrated Edition)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 16, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 14, 2005

Disney to Deliver TV Shows to iTunes

This is pretty big news. According to Reuters UK:

Opening the door to a new revenue stream for television content, the Walt Disney Co. said on Wednesday it will begin offering next-day digital downloads of its biggest ABC prime time hits for $1.99 per episode.
The article continues:
As part of that collaboration, commercial free episodes of two of U.S. television's highest rated shows -- ABC's "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" -- will be available for download from Apple's iTunes online music store a day after their network broadcast. Last season's episodes will be available for download immediately.

Viewers will then be able to watch the shows at their leisure on the new video playing iPods and newly upgraded iMac computers unveiled by Apple on Wednesday.


It's not going to be long till television viewing is completely portable (at a cost of course!).


More at Reuters UK


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Kitchen Contraptions & The Best of the Blogpire

Mailing List Kitchen

Ummm...where did the week go? I was pretty sure getting up this morning that it was in fact Thursday and not Friday.

Since it's the weekend, we recommend checking out Kitchen Contraptions if you haven't had your fill of cooking this week. Kitchen Contraptions features kitchen gadget news, reviews, and more including: Zevro Perfetto™ Pasta Cooker - Grcic Espresso Machine - Cameron's Stovetop Smoker

Now on with the best of the Blogpire!

Single Serve Coffee: Review: Grindmaster OPOD001 Precision Pod Brewing System - Review: Starbucks Coffee Pods for Senseo & Home Cafe from Single Serve Coffee

Just The Chips: Howard Lederer Tells All

Shaving Stuff: RAZORBLOGGING on Instapundit.com - Gillette Venus Vibrance "Legs of a Goddess'' Contest

What's All The Racquet: Blake, Rochus, Paradorn reach quarterfinals - Venus pulls out of Kremlin Cup

TV Snob: The Fortis TV - TV for the Taste Impaired? - Should your next HDTV be a Plasma? - 4GB Hard Drive for PSP

Shirt Snob: Lost t-shirts - Jesus Hates the Yankees from Busted Tees - Accessory Friday-Breast Cancer Awareness

GPS Lodge: GPS Review: TomTom GO 300 - Amazon Sale on Select GPS Units - Timex Body Link: Now with Small GPS Receiver

The Cooking News: Mexican food glossary defines terms for dining, cooking - New Cookbook Offers Relief From Multiple Food Allergies - Jumpy Monkey Coffee becoming a hit

Liquor Snob: Bombed Beer Pong Game Review - Coldpole Liquor Reservoir Ski Poles - Orange V Vodka Review - New Miller Beer Ads Are Bittersweet - Monkey Shoulder Whisky

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2005

The Fortis TV - TV for the Taste Impaired?


A few years ago, we had a situation at my home simply known as "The Incident". To make the story short, it involved me being in charge of getting the kids ready for school. Now to me, there's nothing wrong with mixing plaids and stripes when dressing the kids. Unfortunately, my wife disagrees and I've lost all rights to clothing decisions, including picking my own to wear. I'm also a big fan of wood paneling and orange shag carpet, so you might deduce that I'm not the best judge of style (those are my wife's words, not mine).

So why tell you the story? Well, mainly to let you know about an article at HDBeat about what they claim is the ugliest TV ever. Wow! I've gotta agree with them. As you can see from the image, the Eizo's Fortis TV is just plain fugly (I think that's a french word). So, I obviously don't have bad taste if I think it's ugly. Even in the den with the orange shag and nagahide loveseat, the Fortis TV is just gonna stand out like sore thumb.

More at HDBeat [via Akihabaranews]

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

EchoStar Introduces PocketDISH Product Line

There's been quite a bit of excitement since EchoStar announced it's PocketDish at CES earlier this year. Well, it's finally here and there's currently 3 models to choose from. While PocketDish is designed for easy interfacing with the Dish Network DVR, you'll be able to use about any audio or video source to store video, images, and music. The three models are:

AV700E ($599 list)
av700e.jpg

  • 7" widescreen LCD display

  • 40 GB** hard drive

  • Quickly transfer and view TV shows from select DISH Network DVRs

  • Store up to 40 hours of DISH Network satellite TV programming

  • Record up to 160 hours of video from other sources at a lower resolution

  • Store up to 20,000 songs (MP3, WMA and WAV music files)

  • Store up to 400,000 JPEG photos and images

AV500E ($499 list)
av500e.jpg

  • 4" LCD display

  • 30 GB hard drive

  • Quickly transfer and view TV shows from select DISH Network DVRs

  • Store up to 30 hours of DISH Network satellite TV programming

  • Record up to 120 hours of video from other sources at a lower resolution

  • Store up to 15,000 songs (MP3, WMA and WAV music files)

  • Store up to 300,000 JPEG photos and images

AV402E ($329 list)
av420e.jpg

  • 2.2" LCD display

  • 20 GB hard drive

  • Quickly transfer and view TV shows from select DISH Network DVRs

  • Store up to 20 hours of DISH Network satellite TV programming

  • Store up to 10,000 songs (MP3, WMA and WAV music files)

  • Store up to 200,000 JPEG photos and images

More Info at PocketDISH.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 12, 2005

Samsung Introduces 80-inch Plasma for $150,000

If you're really loaded and want one of the biggest Plasma TVs around, you'll want to check out the 80 inch plasma from Samsung for a mere $150,000. You know, I don't think my kids really wanted to go to college anyway, so......

At Engadget

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (7) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Oct. 3-9, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Oct. 3-9, 2005
RankProgramNetworkHousehold RatingTotal Viewers
1CSICBS17.819,644,000
2Desperate HousewivesABC15.917,496,000
3Without a TraceCBS13.715,090,000
4LostABC13.114,465,000
5CSI:
Miami
CBS12.313,544,000
6Grey's
Anatomy
ABC11.913,063,000
7Commander
In Chief
ABC11.112,257,000
8Law
and Order: SVU
NBC11.112,241,000
9NCISCBS10.811,941,000
10Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS10.811,894,000

Used with permission:
Nielsen Media Research, Inc. The Information contained herein is the copyrighted property of Nielsen Media Research, Inc. Unauthorized use of this copyrighted material is expressly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 11, 2005

Should your next HDTV be a Plasma?


Remember the good ole days when plasma was something you sold to pay your way through college? Well these days, plasma TVs are all the rage and they keep dropping in price. So why should you invest in an plasma HDTV? DigitalHomeCanada has a nice article that tells you why you should invest in a plasma, starting with lifespan:

Engineers at Panasonic have told DHC that a plasma set has a half-life of approximately 60,000 hours and some think the number might be as high as 100,000. A CRT rear projection is said to have a half life of 20 to 25,000 hours.

DLP rear projection and LCD rear projection typically have bulbs which are said to last about 10,000 hours and then need to be replaced at a cost of $300 to $600. Many DLP and LCD projection owners have complained of bulbs burning out annually so the cost can add up.

The result is that despite a higher upfront cost, plasma is generally expected to last longer and cost less to maintain than competing technologies.

At DigitalHomeCanada.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 10, 2005

DirecTV Kicks Off $30 Million Campaign to Introduce New DVRs


We've known this was coming for awhile, but DirecTV is finally offering it's own DVR to customers instead of the TiVo device they were previously offering. According to the NYTimes:

DIRECTV, the satellite television operator, is introducing a $30 million advertising campaign on Monday to promote its highly anticipated digital video recorder.

The campaign, created by the New York office of BBDO Worldwide, is DirecTV's first widespread public effort to distance itself from TiVo. Of DirecTV's 14.7 million customers, 2.3 million now subscribe to TiVo. DirecTV, which pays TiVo a monthly fee of $1.13 per TiVo subscriber, hopes those users will switch to its own service.

If you use the new DVR, be sure to let us know what you think.

More at NYTimes.com

More at DirecTV

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Whirpool Introduces Concept Microwave with Built-in Flat Screen TV


I applaud any device that lets my fat butt spend more time in the kitchen. That's why I love the Whirpool microwave with a built-in flat screen TV. It's still a concept unit and I'm sure it'll probably cost a lot more than shoving a 13 inch tv in the corner. No problem though, after going broke buying this thing, you can just eat a lot of microwaved hot dogs while you watch Gilligan Island reruns. Ah, the good life!

At Trendir.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 9, 2005

4GB Hard Drive for PSP

Psp-Datel-4Gb-Hdd We can appreciate having more space for TV shows on our PSP, but we don't want the bulk. Hopefully this new 4gb hard drive will be slim and trim.

"...Datel, which also makes the X2 battery pack for the PSP, has come out with an integrated 4GB hard drive version, effectively making this an external hard drive for the PSP. The Datel MAX 4GB connects to the memory stick port of the PSP, and will utilize its built-in battery pack instead of sapping the PSP’s power. As for pricing, Lik-Sang is selling it for $249.99, while Dark Planets is selling it for £137.49 (quoted RSP is £149.99). Considering the price of a 2GB Memory Stick Pro DUO is more than $330, this is looking to be a must-have add-on for those PSP fans that like to pack on the multimedia in their handhelds (TV shows, for example). It will be available later this month."

Via Gizmodo at Lik-Sang

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

October 8, 2005

NBC Plans Live Episode of 'The West Wing'


This isn't the first time that a television show has been aired "live", but this one sounds a bit lame. On Nov. 6, "The West Wing" is going to air a live episode that's a presidential debate. It sounds pretty boring to begin with but it also seems kind of cowardly on NBC's part. If you're going to do something risky like a "live" show, how about something a little more energetic? Maybe I'm wrong. NBC has had some pretty entertaining live debates, like the 2000 SNL debate between Gore and Bush:

Jim Lehrer: Which beings us to our final question. Governor Bush, both you and the Vice-President have offered plans to provide prescription drugs for the elderly. What makes your plan superior?

Al Gore:
Jim, I'd like to interrupt here and answer that question as if it were my turn to speak. Jim, let me tell about a friend of mine. [ holds up a picture of an elderly woman ] Her name is Etta Munsen. She's 94, she's a widow living on Social Security in Sparta, Tennessee. Etta was born with only one kidney. She also suffers from poilo, spinal menengitis, lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer, an enlarged heart, diabetes, and a rare form of styctic acne. Now, several recent strokes, along with an unfortunate shark attack, have left her paralyzed and missing her right leg under the knee. Just last week she woke from a coma to find that, due to a hospital mix-up, her left arm had been amputated, infected with syphillis, and then reattached.

Jim Lehrer:
Mr. Vice-President, we are short of time..

At Yahoo News

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

October 7, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 9, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases Coming October 9, 2005:

Arrested Development - Season Two


Kingdom of Heaven (Widescreen Edition)


Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season

South Park - The Complete Sixth Season


ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming October 9, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

The Cooking News & The Best of the Blogpire

ThecookingnewshearderWe think you should check out The Cooking News. Each week it features the latest recipes, food news, and interesting tidbits on cooking. Jennifer & Mike bring to you each and every day the best recipes they can find like: Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, SQUASH RECIPES, and of course Apple recipes. We think you'll really enjoy The Cooking News.

Now on with the best of the Blogpire!

Liquor Snob: Quaffer Shot Glass Review - Tuaca Italian Liqueur Review - Liquor Snob Roundup: September 2005

GPS Lodge: GPS movie to be released: GPS The Movie - Magellan RoadMate 800 Announced - OFFICIALLY - GPS Lodge Monthly Round-up for September 2005

Shirt Snob: Tees at Gama-Go - Breast Cancer Awareness at Cafe Press - Shirt Snob.com round up for September

TV Snob: Using P2P to Catch up with The BBC - DVD Recorders - What Can You Do With Them? - TV Snob Monthly Round-up for September 2005

What's All The Racquet: Tennis star in doping shock...

Shaving Stuff: A Patented Approach to Increasing Razor Life - No Nose Hair Ever - September Wrap-Up

Kitchen Contraptions: Review: simplehuman compact dishrack - Kitchen Shredder: Protect Your Family's Identity - The Best of Kitchen Contraptions for September 2005

Just The Chips: World Poker Tour Texas Hold'Em Handheld Game - TV Poker Blackjack & Video Poker

Single Serve Coffee: Get Tassimo $144.99 & FREE SHIPPING - Review: Brugo Self Cooling Coffee Mug - Single Serve Coffee Monthly Round Up for September 2005

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 6, 2005

HBO's "Extras" Quote of the Week

I've mentioned I'm a big fan of "The Office" with Ricky Gervais, but I really think I like "Extras"on HBO even better. What's so funny about the show is that "Extras" has guest stars that play themselves and you wouldn't believe what comes out of their mouths. Since I'm a week behind, I'll give you two quotes this week:

Episode 1
Kate Winslet plays herself in the role of a nun during the Holocaust. When asked why she was doing a movie about the Holocaust:

"If you do a film about the Holocaust, you're guaranteed an Oscar ... that's why I'm doing it: Schindler's bloody List ..."

Episode 2
Ben Stiller plays himself as a director of the movie in which the main character was orphaned during wartime. Ben questions how to help an orphaned child:

"How can I cheer up this orphaned kid? By showing him the DVD of Dodgeball? Well, sure, then he'll be happy for an hour and a half, but what then? Do I show him Dodgeball again? Of course, he'll get more out of it, because he'll spot new things the second time round. It's layered; it's written that way. But how many times can I show him Dodgeball? Seven, eight, maybe. Then what?"

Pure genius! Only Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant can write lines that funny and actually get actors and actresses to poke fun at themselves like that.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 5, 2005

Using P2P to Catch up with The BBC


The BBC is so freakin' cool! BBC has a selective trial of a new P2P service called iMP that basically lets UK viewers watch televison shows on their computer. Here's the BBC's description:

iMP is an application in development offering UK viewers the chance to catch up on TV and radio programmes they may have missed for up to seven days after they have been broadcast, using the internet to legally download programmes to their home computers. iMP uses peer to peer distribution technology (P2P) to legally distribute these programmes.

Seven days after the programme transmission date the programme file expires (using Digital Rights Management - DRM - software) and users will no longer be able to watch it. DRM also prevents users emailing the files to other computer users or sharing it via disc.

Get a clue US networks! I sure hope this service makes it's way to BBC America. If you are testing the service, let us know what you think.

You can read a user's first impression and see some screenshots here

At BBC.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 4, 2005

TiVo Loses Another Top Executive

With all of the upheavals and problems TiVO has experienced lately, it's amazing they're still in business. It comes down to one thing - they have a great product that has a pretty strong loyalty factor. Still, you have to wonder how long till TiVo customers and investors start a mass defection because of nervousness of TiVo's future.

The latest in Tivo's saga is the announcement of the departure of Chief Financial Officer David H. Courtney. This all comes after losing two other high ranking executives in less than a year. The Motley Fool has a great article that discusses the the depature and questions the press release that announces it:

Anyway, dig into the press release and there is some explanation for Courtney's departure. "In light of the company's recent accelerated achievement of its profitability target, its very strong financial position, and the successful transition in CEO leadership, I feel that this is the right time for me to turn my attention to new and different pursuits," Courtney said.

Hmm. Things are going swimmingly, and my work here is done? Not.

We all know that TiVo still faces plenty of challenges from a slew of rivals on many fronts. Despite its highly anticipated deal with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), it recently lost its very important arrangement with DirecTV (NYSE: DTV), one that represents a whole lot of subscribers. TiVo also said recently that it plans to delay sustained profitability to embark on yet another marketing blitz. Yeah, yeah, it's to sign on as many subscribers as possible -- we've heard it before.


The press release didn't say where David Courtney was going, but I'm sure it has something to do with the manufacturing of rose colored glasses.

At The Fool.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 3, 2005

Panasonic Introduces PT-AE900U HD Projector with a 5500:1 Contrast Ratio


If you're looking to build a true home theater system, you'll want to look into a high quality projector. Panasonic has introduced the PT-AE900U, a projector with a 5500:1 contrast ratio. Wow! Here's the Press Release:

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 9, 2005) — Panasonic Broadcast has introduced the new PT-AE900U, a native high-definition home theater projector that produces stunning, film-like images with a dramatic 5500:1 contrast ratio.

Capable of displaying ultra-sharp, ultra-clear HD pictures up to 14.5-feet wide, the PT-AE900U is equipped with advanced, new digital picture-enhancing features allowing users to enjoy “Hollywood picture quality” in the comfort of their homes.

The PT-AE900U offers a host of image optimizing features including a new Dynamic Iris optical system that extends the iris range by 30% for a breathtaking 5500:1 contrast ratio. Dynamic Iris, with scene tracking capability, constantly adjusts the light volume and gamma curve in real time, so the picture is always optimal and transitions between scenes are amazingly smooth and natural. The PT-AE900U is also outfitted with new Smooth Screen technology that effectively eliminates the “Screen door effect” (visible spacing between pixels) and gives the projector a sharp, detailed HD picture that is remarkably smooth and film-like. More at Panasonic.com

Pretty Sweet! The PT-AE900U is available now at a suggested list price of $3,199 (as low as $2300 on Amazon). The thing to remember about projectors is that replacement bulbs can be expensive ($200-$800) and may need to be replaced several times a year with heavy usage. So before you buy a projector be sure to do some research.

Compare Prices for the PT-AE900U


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

DVD Recorders - What Can You Do With Them?

Thinking about getting a DVD recorder, but not sure what you can do with it? Well, our friend Robert over at HomeTheater.About.com has a great DVD recorder FAQ to help you out. One of the great FAQs is:

Q. Can I make a copy of a DVD that I made from HBO?

A. HBO and some other cable and Network programmers are beginning to copy-protect some of their programs on a random basis. The type of copy protection that is being used allows an initial recording (such as to a hard drive of a DVD recorder/Hard Drive combo or direct to DVD or VHS), but will not allow the initial recording to be copied again (such as making a copy from a DVD recorder hard drive to DVD or from DVD to DVD or DVD to VHS). Unfortunately there is no way around this with consumer equipment. This would be the same no matter what brand or model of DVD recorder you have. It is simply the luck of the draw as to which programs are copy-protected. You will see an increase of this practice, especially as HDTV becomes more popular and HD-DVD and Buy-ray High Definition DVD recorders reach the consumer.

More DVD Recorder FAQs at HomeTheater.About.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 2, 2005

TV Snob Monthly Round-up for September 2005

Well, September was an exciting and busy month at the TV Snob Headquarters. First and foremost, you've probably noticed that TV Snob has a new Editor. TV Snob's founder Jay Brewer, has decided to direct his focus to running the multiple Blopire Properties and has graciously passed the torch to your's truly. You can find out more details about the change of Editor in this post.

Besides bringing you the great TV hardware information you're used to, we're also focusing on bringing you more news and discussion about your favorite televison shows, gaming systems, and more. We've got a poll running to find out whether you prefer the British or American version of "The Office". You can vote in the poll here. You'll also want to check out the new Ricky Gervais show "Extras" on HBO. The show is just as funny as "The Office", so be sure to watch it on Sunday nights. You can get more information at this post.

Speaking of TV hardware, you'll want to check out this press release on the Norcent 42-inch HD Plasma TV for an unbelievable MSRP of $1999. Not too shabby! We also have to say we're pretty impressed with the Claro TV, a really cool piece of glass for about $45,000. Be sure to read more about Claro TV here.

One last note. If you're a public relations rep. or company rep. looking to get your TV product reviewed, or to advertise on TV Snob, be sure to check out this post for information.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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