Best Selling HDTVs

November 30, 2005

The Sopranos Countdown on HBO On Demand

If you're a "The Sopranos" fan and you have HBO On Demand, you're going to be in Heaven. On your on-screen guide under HBO series look for the "SopranosCountdown" selection. While I can't find any details from HBO, it appears that HBO On Demand is going to show all of the Soprano episodes leading up to season 6 in March of 2005 (I'm speculating they'll show all the episodes). Right now you can watch Episodes 1-13 up till Jan. 02, 2006.

We love you HBO. If you don't have HBO On Demand, I'd definitely make a call to your cable company today!

HBO On Demand Website

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 30, 2005

Doctor Who: The Complete First Series Coming to the US on DVD

Since I live on the U.S. side of the "Pond", I haven't seen the new "Doctor Who" series on BBC, but I do know the hit series is causing quite a buzz in the U.K. It's now been announced that the series will be available to U.S. viewers on DVD according to SCIFI.com:

The BBC told SCI FI Wire that it will release the complete first season of the new British SF TV series Doctor Who on DVD in the United States on Feb. 14, 2006, offering Americans their first official look at the hit U.K. show. BBC Video will release Doctor Who: The Complete First Series with all 13 of the first-season episodes, starring Christopher Eccleston as the immortal Timelord and Billie Piper as his sidekick, Rose, as well as more than four hours of extras. The DVD set will carry a suggested retail price of $99.98.

Pretty cool! We'll keep you posted on when you can preorder the DVD.

At SCIFI.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 29, 2005

Martha Stewart and Buick Become Bestest Pals

First "The Donald" cozied up with Dominos Pizza on the Apprentice. Now it appears that Martha Stewart is one-upping Trump by partnering with Buick to promote the Buick Lucerne on "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart". According to Left lane News:

First airing on NBC from 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST on November 30, two apprentice teams will design an in-dealership launch showroom display to entice and excite potential Buick Lucerne buyers. The influence of the winning team’s creation, selected by Martha Stewart and Buick executives, will be experienced by prospective customers on December 13, when participating dealerships host a Lucerne V.I.P. Premiere Night. Viewers of the November 30 episode can RSVP for an invitation to a Lucerne V.I.P. Premiere Night party in their area via an online registration process and will be directed to Buick.com during the show.

In addition, elements of the Lucerne V.I.P. Premiere Night party will be teased on Martha Stewart’s daytime show on December 1, 2005. Here, the party-planning diva will showcase her influence on the upcoming Lucerne VIP Premiere Parties, from flowers and napkins to punch and hors d’ oeuvres, and will create a scene right out of the “Perfect Party Handbook”– a 20-page guide to entertaining brought to you by Buick and Martha Stewart Living.

Martha may want to invest in some Buick stock. Nah, maybe not!

What's amazing, is that product placement in television is nothing new but it's becoming a lot more "in your face" on reality TV. Anyway, if you're really interested in the Lucerne be sure to watch "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" tomorrow night.

At LeftLaneNews.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 29, 2005

Commercials That Annoy the Heck Out of Me: What Would You Do For Love?

I've been in a bad mood this week. Maybe it's the Holiday season? No, I think it's the commercials. Because there are so many commercials that annoy me, I'm starting a new series entitled "Commercials That Annoy the Heck Out of Me". Why, you ask? Because it's my blog and I like to gripe, but if you're really good you can send me your commercial gripes to and I might even post them.

All types of commercials have annoyed me this week but I'm going to start with the "What Would You Do for Love" commercial from The Diamond Trading Company (the company that says debt a diamond is forever).

If you haven't seen the commercial (lucky you!), you'll be surprised to know that you don't love your wife/spouse/significant other/secretary! Yep, the Diamond Trading Company has decided that the new token of love "must" be diamonds. So guys, all of those 2 am trips to Taco Bell for your pregnant wife didn't mean anything unless there was a "rock" on top of that Nacho Bell Grande (a "rock" does not mean 2 am Taco Bell beans either). Anyway, the basic premise is young rich model guy (should pay his student loan before buying diamonds) is stuck at a snowed in airport. He calls his wife and tells here he won't be home in time for Christmas. He hangs up and sulks as he pulls out a case that contains a 3 diamond necklace. All of a sudden with a determined look he closes the case and runs out of the airport into a blizzard with the commercial ending "What Would You Do For Love". Losing all of my digits to frostbite isn't really my first thought for what I'd do for love, but maybe "the world's greatest man" has a plan.

Well, the great thing is we get a second commercial. Young rich wife is sadly asleep on the couch in the house she and rich husband are way to young to have, when she's awoken by the sounds of a snow plow in front of the house. All of a sudden rich boy shows up from the snow plow (snow plow theft is a crime mister!), hugs rich wife and hands her the diamond necklace as she gasps and so frickin' on.....

Anyway, at the end of the second commercial they flash "What Would You Do For Love" again. So it's not just enough to give diamonds these year, you have to be a freakin' hero. I'm thinking a 1/500 carat necklace on top of the wife's Nacho Bell Grande is kinda hero like (hey! it's cold outside and I did have to drive a mile!)

Rant done! Carry on.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

November 28, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming December 6, 2005

There's quite a few new TV releases out this week. I'm going to order my "Nick and Jessica" DVD before they sell out (enter laugh track here). Actually probably one of the coolest releases this week is Season 1 of The Rockford Files. Long live Jim Rockford! If you want to take a little nostalgia trip, be sure to read the messages left on Rockford's answering machine at the beginning of each episode here

24 - Season Four

The West Wing - The Complete Fifth Season

M*A*S*H - Season Nine (Collector's Edition)

Newlyweds - Nick & Jessica - The Final Season

The Rockford Files - Season One

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming December 6, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Flat Panel TVs- Plasma or LCD?


So you're ready to invest in a new flat panel TV but not sure whether to go with Plasma or LCD? The Times Dispatch has a small article that bullet points a few of the Plasma and LCD differences like:

  • Plasmas give deeper blacks which translate into more 3-D views and are considered better for dark home-theater viewing
  • LCDs have a higher resolution with more color in a normal setting and are better for high-definition programming

Be sure to read the whole article for some more tips.

At TimesDispatch.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Search for Advertisements on TiVo

The ability to search for commercials on TiVo is coming. According to The Wall Street Journal:

TiVo users will be able to set up a profile of products on their television screens by clicking on categories such as automotive or travel or typing in keywords such as "BMW" or "cruises." On a regular basis, TiVo will then download relevant commercials to TiVo recorders over the Internet or, for those users who don't have broadband, send the video via traditional broadcast signals. The commercials will appear on-screen in a folder next to the list of television shows TiVo users record.

Basically this means that sometime next spring, TiVo users will be able to search for commercials. At first this might sound a little lame but it's really ingenious. As consumers we don't like to be advertised to, but how often do we do web searches for a product we're interested in? I'd bet that giving consumers control of commercials will be even more profitable for advertisors than cramming something down our throats.

TiVo is looking at having advertisers bid on keywords just like Google Adsense. I could see this really taking off for TiVo and even cable services. While people will continue to skip commercials as they do now, I bet they wouldn't hesitate to search and watch commercials at their convenience.

At WallStreetJournal.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 26, 2005

DVD Region Codes Explained

Lately I've gotten several emails asking about DVD region codes. Region codes are important when buying DVDs online, especially on auction sites like Ebay. You may find a great deal on your favorite movie, but if it's the wrong code, you won't be able to play it on a standard DVD player (you can buy region unlocked DVD players). Here is a breakdown of the DVD region codes:

If a disc plays in more than one region it will have more than one number on the globe.

1: U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories
2: Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Middle East (including Egypt)
3: Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong)
4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
5: Eastern Europe (Former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
6: China
7: Reserved
8: Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 25, 2005

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Nov. 14 - Nov. 20, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Nov. 14-20, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1CSICBS17.819,641,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
2Desperate
Housewives
ABC15.917,549,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
3Without
a Trace
CBS14.015,431,000Season 1 DVD
4CSI:
Miami
CBS12.914,208,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
5Grey's
Anatomy
ABC12.914,260,000Season 1 DVD
6LostABC12.713,950,000Season 1 DVD
7NFL
Monday Night Football
ABC12.413,644,00025 Years of
MNF VHS
860
Minutes
CBS11.913,140,000Best of 60 Minutes
Vol. 1 VHS
9Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS11.212,351,000Survivor Season 1
Outrageous Moments DVD
10CMA
Awards
CBS11.112,243,000CMA Awards CD

*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

Quote of the Day

Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?
~Al Boliska

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 24, 2005

How About Calibrating your HDTV?

You tune your Piano (actually we've never tuned ours and it sounds like crap), so why not fine tune your HDTV? The Home Theater Dude has a nice article on HDTV calibration that asks:

Why should I calibrate my HDTV?

Well, just like any other fine piece of technology, why have it if you aren’t getting the most out of it? You wouldn’t own and regularly drive a high end sports car without it being properly tuned and maintained, so why not do the same for your high end HDTV?

Some HDTVs look very good out of the box, but oftentimes, we can make them look even better. Sometimes, considerably better. With the chance to get more vibrant colors, better shadow detail, and more immersion in your home theater, you should want to calibrate your set.

Hey, I just rememered something. We don't even have a piano (could be the reason it sounds so bad).

At HTDude.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 23, 2005

Top Movies / TV Shows for the Sony PSP

Since we know many of you will be getting up at 5am on Friday (I did that once - never again!), we wanted to give you some ideas for gifts for your kids or even yourself. One of the easiest gift ideas is to get their favorite TV shows and movies in the UMD Mini format. For you non-techie types, UMD Minis are the disks that work in the Sony Playstation Portable. Just don't forget that when you ground Junior from the TV, you confiscate his Family Guy UMD.

So check this list out before you go shopping or better yet, just click through and buy online. Long live online shopping!

Napoleon Dynamite (UMD Mini For PSP)

Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story (UMD Mini For PSP)

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (UMD Mini For PSP)

Happy Gilmore (UMD Mini For PSP)

Pulp Fiction (UMD Mini For PSP)

ArrowContinue reading: "Top Movies / TV Shows for the Sony PSP"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 27, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases coming November 27, 2005:

Family Guy, Vol. 3

C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete Fifth Season

World Series 2005 - Chicago White Sox

The Family Guy Vol. 1-3 (Seasons 1-4)

March of the Penguins (Widescreen Edition)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 27, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Xbox 360 and the Exciting World of High Definition

If you didn't know, one of the big selling points for the new Xbox 360 is that it's High Definition compatible right out of the box. Of course, that leads to confusion about if you have to have HDTV to use the Xbox 360. ColdForged.org has a really nice FAQ that talks about HD on the Xbox 360:

Q. Will games look terrible on anything but high definition televisions?

A. No, games will not look terrible on standard televisions. Given that the graphics in Xbox 360 games will have greater overall detail in terms of polygon counts and texture sizes, Xbox 360 games will almost certainly look better than games from previous generation consoles, even on standard televisions. As an example, Xbox games look considerably better than, say, Playstation 1 games due to the amount of detail the Xbox was capable of producing in comparison with the Playstation. Similarly, Xbox 360 is more capable of producing detail than any preceding console.

Be sure to check out all 13 informative FAQs.

More at ColdForged.org

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

November 22, 2005

Forget the Lines - Order the Xbox 360 Online

For those of you who weren't about to get out of your warm beds for the Xbox 360 midnight madness sales, you can still order online. Amazon has the Xbox 360 Pro Player's Bundle which includes:

  • Includes: Two months of rentals from Gamefly.com, a one-year subscription to OXM
  • Includes: Eight eye-popping "E," "T," and "M" rated software titles
  • Includes: Kameo: Elements of Power, Project Gotham Racing 3, Perfect Dark Zero: Limited Edition, Quake 4, GUN, Call of Duty 2, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, and Ridge Racer 6
  • All in all, you'll save more than $60 with this bundle
  • Includes: Xbox 360 System, additional Wireless Controller, a Play and Charge Kit, a Rechargeable Battery Pack, faceplate

Better order soon since Christmas shortages are planned predicted.

Note: The listing keeps cycling between "Purchasable" and "Not Available", so you'll want to just keep checking back on the link. I'm sure timing will be the key to snagging one of these babies before Christmas!

More Info at Amazon.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

Trio Cable Channel Moving from the Tube to the Web

It's only fitting that a cable channel that featured the acclaimed "Brilliant, But Cancelled" series is now getting cancelled. According to Online Media Daily:

IN SEARCH OF A MORE receptive audience online, NBC Universal on Monday announced plans to reposition Trio, its arts and pop culture cable channel, to the Web by January 2006.

Under the BravoTV.com banner, Trio will offer online viewers much of the same content currently available on cable TV, such as documentaries, music videos, and its "Brilliant, But Cancelled" series featuring cancelled TV shows.

By next year, the channel will no longer continue as a stand-alone digital cable service. At the beginning of this year, DirecTV stopped carrying Trio, leading to predictions that the channel would fold. Currently, Trio reaches about 8.8 million subscribers, out of approximately 110 million TV households.

I'm disappointed to see the channel go but I'm glad it'll be available on the web. I think it's just another case of a channel being to smart for TV. Anyway, it's good to know I'll still be able to get my "Cop Rock" fix from Trio on the web!

At OnlineMediaDaily.com


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 21, 2005

Nobody Loves Us!


Boo Hoo Hoo! I sit here in a ball of self pity. Why so sad you ask? Cause we're soooo lacking in the comments department. We're building a great reader base and we get lots of email from ya, but I know there's plenty of you out there with something to say. So feel free to start agreeing or disagreeing with us via the new fangled comments contraption at the bottom of each post, we can take it.

Okay, I'm off to drown my sorrows with Ben and Jerry and some Monday Night Football!

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

Xbox 360 - Let the Insanity Begin!

If you want an Xbox 360, you better be lined up for the midnight madness events going on tonight for the official release. According to TeamBox.com:

More than 4,500 retailers will be holding midnight madness events. Best Buy, Microsoft’s retail partner for Xbox 360 launch events, also will open all its U.S. stores at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22. “Xbox 360 takes our customers’ gaming experience to new levels,” said Jill Hamburger, vice president of games at Best Buy. “Walk into any of our stores and you’ll feel the excitement — it’s a complete entertainment solution.”

There's a a lot of talk about Xbox 360 shortages for the Christmas season, so you might want to get one of the suckers fast. Personally, nothing is getting me out of my warm bed and into the freezing air at midnight, so I'll play my Atari 2600 till the crowds are gone.

At TeamBox.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Where's the Friggin' Hockey on The Tube?

Remember last year when the NHL decided to endear itself to fans by staging a year long lockout/strike? Well, you can say that pretty much killed hockey as we know it in the US. You know hockey is in bad shape when ESPN doesn't renew it's TV contract and the NHL negotiates a deal with OLN. Yeah, I never heard of OLN (Outdoor Life Network) either.

Since I still have a place in my heart for a good fight on the ice, I decided to try watching a few games on OLN. While my onscreen cable guide shows games I wasn't really interested in, I decided to check the games out. Guess what? Over the last 2 months I've tried to watch at least 5 or 6 games and ended up on some type of hunting show. Where's the hockey? I haven't been able to find any hockey on OLN yet even though it's supposedly on. I can't imagine it's a "blackout" situation since the games aren't even close to being regional.

I have no idea what's going on with OLN. Even the viewers who are lucky enough to get hockey aren't too impressed. According to TheGlobeAndMail.com:

But the main failure of the telecast was the location of the play-by-play camera. It was too high, up in the lofty cheap seats of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

What viewers saw were little men skating around below them. They were too far away, particularly for new viewers.

So anyway, I'll use my strong investigative skills to find out for all you readers I haven't bored to death, to where our hockey is.

Ummm, if anyone knows what's going on with OLN and the NHL, please leave us a comment (Investigative work sure is hard!).

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 19, 2005

Best of the Blogpire

We've been sifting around all of the sites for simply the best we could find. With the holiday week coming up here in the US, we're pretty sure you'll need some ideas not just for conversation but also for the gift giving season. Check out some of these other sites and amaze your relatives with a vast array of coffee knowledge, gps insight, cooking grace, wine snobbery, and of course TV chit chat.

Gpslodge 150 MacnnGPS Lodge.com: Fine Drive announces the Finedrive 400 and Finedrive 500 - "Hey Fool" you need Mr. T on your GPS - Route 66 Announces the Mobile 7 GPS Package for Mobile Phones - Garmin Fishfinder 340C, 160C, 140 and the 90; Announced

Single Serve Coffee.com: simplehuman Single Cup Pod Brewer $129.99 at Amazon.com - Review: Senseo Forbidden Fruit Raving Reds Coffee Pods - Review: Green Mountain Fair Trade Gingerbread K-Cups from Single Serve Coffee.com - New Melitta One:One Microwaveable Coffee Pod Mug Brewer - New Mr. Coffee® Home Café Single Serve Coffee Maker

Just The Chips.com: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player - World Poker Tour TV Handheld - XBOX World Championship Poker 2

Kitchencontraptions 150 MacKitchen Contraptions.com: Modular Kitchens from Henrybuilt - Panik-Design Oven Gloves - Smell-Away Electric Griller - Thermal Brew Coffee Maker - Digital Dinner Plates

Shavingstuff 150 MacnnShaving Stuff.comWhat Would I Look Like If I Shaved My Head? - 20% Off at Sephora - No Minimum - The Conair Chrome Hot Lather Machine - High-End Handles from The Art of Shaving - Get to Know Your T-Zone

Tvsnob 150 MacnnTV Snob.com: What's Next? CSI: Las Cruces - Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Nov. 7-Nov. 13, 2005 - "My Name is Earl" Lives! - I'll Take that Plasma TV on the Wall and a Side of Fries - I Paid My Freakin' Cable Bill, Leave Me the #%^Alone!

Shirt Snob.com: Tokyo Pop Embroidered Shirt by 3J Workshop - The Short Sleeve Belted Sweater - The Beaded Butterfly Top by LaROK - Cap Sleeve Sun Top by Lotta Stensson

Liquor Snob.com: Shotgun Party Beer Opener 2.0 Review - Reason #312 to Drink Liquor Straight - Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow - Reyka Vodka: Tastes Like Iceland - Not To Sound Like Your Mom...

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 18, 2005

Quote of the Day

Besides being a great writer, Kurt Vonnegut is quite an observer of society:

Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative. - Kurt Vonnegut

How true!

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 20, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases coming November 20, 2005:

Seinfeld - Season 5

Seinfeld - Season 6

The Golden Girls - The Complete Third Season

Leave It to Beaver - The Complete First Season

C.S.I. Miami - The Complete Third Season

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 20, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 17, 2005

What's Next? CSI: Las Cruces

If you look at the previous post on last week's Nielsen Ratings, you'll notice that CSI and all of it's offshoots are taking over the world. CSI, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY all ranked in the top 10.

What I wonder is how long till the show dilutes itself like Law and Order has with all of it's offshoots? I'm a much bigger fan of Law and Order than CSI, so it amazes me why CSI is always on top. If you're a CSI fan, leave us a comment and let me know what I seem to be missing.

And for all of you "Wings" fans, the Las Cruces reference in the title is to remind you of "Das Plane", the funniest Wings episode ever with the line "Maybe it WAS Las Cruces!" Go ahead and chuckle, you know you want to. We won't look!

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Nov. 7-Nov. 13, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Nov. 7-13, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***
1CSICBS18.220,087,000
2Desperate
Housewives
ABC15.817,440,000
3NFL
Monday Night Football
ABC14.315,719,000
4Without
a Trace
CBS13.815,197,000
5Grey's
Anatomy
ABC12.513,819,000
6CSI:
Miami
CBS12.313,538,000
7CSI:
NY
CBS12.313,574,000
8LostABC12.013,215,000
9Cold
Case
CBS11.112,200,000
10NCISCBS11.012,176,000

*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

November 16, 2005

"My Name is Earl" Lives!


I'm a big fan of "My Name is Earl", so I really expected it to fail. My liking a show does something to the cosmic balance and immediately causes that show to get canceled. I'm probably the reason that shows like "Brisco County Jr"., "Bakersfield PD", and eventually "Arrested Development" never really made it. Yep, I loved those shows!

Anyway back to the point. According to the FutonCritic:

NBC has ordered two additional episodes of its hit freshman comedy "My Name Is Earl," bringing its season total to 24 episodes.

To date this season, "Earl" has averaged a stellar 12.94 million viewers, making it television's most-watched new comedy. Overall, only "Two and a Half Men" (14.89 million) ranks higher among all half-hours this season.

Wow! I probably just jinxed Earl. Better add him to the list.

Item 263: Get Earl his job back

At FutonCritic.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

I'll Take that Plasma TV on the Wall and a Side of Fries

I'm always looking for the best deal on Plasma TV's but I never thought of going to the Golden Arches for my dream. Some ambitious consumer/thief decided he was impressed with McDonald's TV offerings. According to Record Online:

Town police are looking for a man suspected of stealing a $3,000 plasma television around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday from the McDonald's on North Plank Road. The TV was installed during a recent remodeling of the restaurant's interior, Town of Newburgh Detective Sgt. Margaret O'Neill said.

Here's the part I really like:

Police could not get a more specific description of the vehicle from witnesses. The theft was caught on videotape, and police are trying to have the tape enhanced.

Hmm! $3000 on a Plasma TV while apparently using an inferior security system. Sounds like McLogic to me.

At RecordOnline.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 15, 2005

Congress Wants to Spend $3 Billion to Help You Watch TV

Here's something that's sure to cause an uproar among taxpayers. According to the Washington Post:

The Senate's budget bill, which passed last week, contains a $3 billion subsidy for owners of televisions that are not ready to handle the eventual transition to digital television.

The subsidy would go to pay for converter boxes, which would take the digital signal from the broadcasters and convert it so that it can be displayed by analog TVs. Televisions hooked up to cable or satellite would not need the converters, nor would televisions capable of receiving a digital signal.

"There are enough low-income Americans that would have difficulty coming up with the $40 or the $50 for a conversion box, so we want to help them out on a one-time basis," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe L. Barton, Texas Republican, who is pushing for finishing the transfer to digital broadcasting.

"Since it's a federal law that we're saying you have to broadcast digitally, and we have lots of TV sets in this country that are still good that aren't digitally capable, I think it's reasonable to have a modest subsidy on a one-time basis," he said.

I'm not against some subsidy to help people, especially in rural areas, but $3 billion? Let's just put the subsidy towards making HDTV even cheaper so everyone can buy one!

At WashingtonPost.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 14, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 13, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases coming November 13, 2005:

Frasier - The Complete Seventh Season

Friends - The One with All Ten Seasons (Limited Edition)

Stargate Atlantis - The Complete First Season

Charmed - The Complete Third Season

Madagascar (Widescreen Edition)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 13, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

IBM Announces a $1000 3D Video System

One of the most painful memories of my childhood was my parents refusal to take me to see "Jaws 3D". Besides missing out on the great Jaws storyline (okay, I just wanted to see blood in 3D), I was amazed that my parents refused to embrace 3D technology, which was going to be in everyones home in just a few years. Flash ahead 20 something years, it looks like 3D in our homes is getting close. According to Physorg.com:

International Business Machines, a worldwide leader in technology innovation, has announced a new and affordable 3D video system that works with normal DLP (Digital Light Processing) televisions. Before now, 3D video systems would set you back at least $1,800 while the price of IBM’s new system is expected to be only $1000 – if only a grand sounds cheap to you.

the biggest issue though:

On the downside, you still need 3D glasses to correctly view the image and practically no video is shot in 3D as it requires more expensive cameras, but as price drops and general interest rises, this is sure to change.

Some sports TV networks have expressed interest in filming NFL games in 3D. To shoot in 3D, TV networks would need to install expensive 3D cameras and image processing hardware.

It's really hard for me to see 3D becoming popular simply for the fact that people are going to have to wear silly glasses that gives you headaches, but who knows?

At Physorg.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

AOL and WB to Offer Vintage TV Free and On-Demand

In my humble opinion, you can never get too much "Welcome Back Kotter". According to MSNBC:

America Online and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution are launching a broadband network that will give a new lease on life to a slew of vintage TV series.

Dubbed “In2TV,” the network will serve up “Welcome Back Kotter,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Pinky and the Brain” and “Growing Pains” among a host of other Warner-owned shows that viewers can watch in their entirety, for free and on-demand, beginning in January.

The article continues:

In2TV’s initial six channels are LOL TV, featuring such shows as “Kotter,” “Chico and the Man” and “Perfect Strangers”; Dramarama TV, showcasing such series as “Sisters,” “Falcon Crest,” “Spenser: For Hire” and “Eight is Enough”; Toontopia TV, with “Freakazoid,” “Brain,” “Histeria!,” “The New Adventures of Batman” and other animated series; Heroes and Horrors TV, a home for “Lois & Clark,” “Babylon 5,” “Wonder Woman” and more; Rush TV, featuring such shows as “La Femme Nikita,” “Kung Fu” and “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.”; and Vintage TV, a showcase for “Growing Pains,” “Alice,” “F Troop,” “Maverick” and other classics.

Where the heck is "ALF"? Oh well, there's still some decent shows coming. We'll keep an eye on the service and let you know when it's live.

At MSNBC.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 11, 2005

I Paid My Freakin' Cable Bill, Leave Me the #%^&# Alone!

Guess what I did yesterday? Yep, I paid my cable bill. Same thing I've done since the start of the ice age. So my question for the cable company is "How many commercials are you going to run telling me to stop stealing cable"? I'm sure all of you cable customers know what I'm talking about.

While I understand that cable theft is an issue, I have a problem with cable companies casting a net to "speak" to the criminals, but at the same time dragging paying customers into the net. I wonder how many cable thiefs having "repented" and straightened up due to Bob Costas scolding them?

Rant done! Carry on.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

November 10, 2005

Pay $16.95 Per Month for TiVo Service and Get a TiVo Box for Free


TiVo has come up with a lot of new marketing promotions lately, but their newest one might be the one that appeals to the masses. If you sign a 12 month commitment and pay about $4 extra a month, you'll get a free Series2 DVR. The online deal includes free shipping, so not too bad a deal if you want TiVo and you only got a few bucks in the bank this month.

See the Deal at TiVo.com [via PVRBlog]

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

VIERA TH-65PV500: Plasma TV with Built-in SD Slot


Want a Plasma TV with a few extra bells and whistles? How about the VIERA TH-65PV500 from Panasonic, a 65-inch HDTV with a built-in SD card slot? According to MobileMag.com:

There is a very interesting feature on this model. It can record TV directly onto an SD or PCMCIA card in the MPEG4 format. You can then replay the recordings on the TV itself, or on any portable video players that supports the format. That means you can watch Lost in vivid color one night, and then catch it again on the bus on the way to work the next morning.

At $12,000 I really need this baby to make my morning coffee, but maybe I'm a little too demanding?

At Mobilemag.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 9, 2005

Blogpire Founder Jay Brewer Featured in Mass High Tech Journal

Since TVSnob is a part of Blogpire Productions, I wanted to mention a feature on Blogpire and our founder Jay Brewer in the Mass High Tech Journal:

Can web logs make money? Ask Blogpire Productions chief executive officer Jay Brewer — and the analyst community — and you will get an unqualified “yes.”Arlington-based designer Brewer launched into the blogosphere a year and a half ago with a blog focused on single-serve coffee brewing machines. His company has grown from a single blog, singleservecoffee.com, to 11 titles on niche products that cover coffee brewers, poker chips, T-shirts, GPS receivers, TVs, kitchen gadgets, fast food, cooking news, liquors, tennis racquets and shaving products.

Full Article at Mass High Tech

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

CBS and NBC to Offer Video on Demand (at a Cost of Course!)

There are a couple of big announcements on the network TV front this week. According to CNN:

NBC Universal, which includes NBC and a number of cable networks, will make some of its hit shows available, commercial-free, for 99 cents through the video on-demand service of the nation's largest satellite-television operator, DirecTV.

and

CBS is partnering with Comcast, the nation's largest cable television operator, to make a number of its programs available to some Comcast customers in a video on-demand format. It will also charge 99 cents to watch a version of such shows as "CSI," "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race," for a week after their original airing, although they will include commercials.

While it'll be nice to have more options, I'm not sure of the logic of charging for network TV content? Remember, DirecTV has a $30 million campaign going to promote their new DVR. If you can get a DVR from Comcast or DirecTV, it seems more logical to record your shows to me. Maybe I'm just thinking too hard? I also like the fact that you still get the commercials on the CBS shows.

Besides time limits, there's also quite a few other restrictions:

Even if you're a Comcast digital customer, you won't get the chance to watch "CSI" on-demand if you live outside of the major metropolitan areas where CBS also owns the affiliate. And many of NBC's most popular shows, including "Law & Order," "The West Wing" and "ER" won't be immediately available because NBC does not own the video on-demand rights to those shows.

So in essence, the networks:

  • Want us to pay for content that was free to begin with.
  • Want us to pay for the shows instead of recording to DVR.
  • Make us watch commercials during the show we just paid for.
  • Limit the amount of time we can view shows we paid for.
  • Limit what we can buy based on where we live.

Remember, It wasn't too long ago that network broadcasters started changing the start times of shows to screw with our DVRs. No wonder there's a reason I barely watch network anymore!

At Money.CNN.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***
1CSICBS17.919,678,000
2Desperate
Housewives
ABC15.316,867,000
3Without
a Trace
CBS13.314,628,000
4Grey's
Anatomy
ABC12.113,356,000
5NCISCBS11.312,498,000
6NFL
Monday Night Football
ABC11.012,140,000
7Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS10.912,059,000
8Cold
Case
CBS10.611,724,000
9CSI:
NY
CBS10.611,694,000
10Criminal
Minds
CBS10.411,434,000

*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

November 8, 2005

Xbox 360 Shopping Guide


Well, there's only a few weeks left until the official release of the Xbox 360. For all of you out there that are drooling over this baby, you'll want to check out a great article at XboxInfo.com that answers some questions like:

Which Xbox 360 configuration should I buy?

If you wish to play online, play original Xbox games or store content such as music or images, buy the Xbox 360 Premium Pack, as it comes with a bundled hard drive.

If you don’t wish to play online, download content from Xbox Live or play original Xbox games, the Xbox 360 Core System is a good way to start, but you will need to buy a Memory Unit (US $39.99) to save game progress.

Read the Xbox 360 Shopping Guide at XboxInfo.com


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 7, 2005

Set TiVo Recordings Through Yahoo's Website

Yahoo and TiVo have announced a new partnership that will allow you to set up recordings for your TiVo Series2 box from the TV.Yahoo website. The press release at Yahoo states:

This offering from the two companies enables Yahoo! TV users to request, via TiVo's scheduling technology, recordings of their favorite TV shows on their TiVo Series2(TM) devices from anywhere they access Yahoo!. Subscribers with a TiVo Series2 box and a standard Yahoo! user ID may use the service starting today.

the PR continues:

"Working with Yahoo! is another way for us to deliver the best way to watch television and give viewers control of the television experience," said Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo Inc. "Beginning today, we're giving Yahoo! users -- whether they're at the office or away from home -- the ability to easily schedule recordings for later viewing."

Yep, another great service to help us avoid work when we're at work!

At Yahoo News

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

HDTV in Plain English

As HDTV prices continue to drop, a lot of potential buyers are curious how HDTV really works. ProjectorCentral.com has an older but still relevant article that explains HDTV in plain english. The article states:

So how many more scanlines do you get? Well, there are two popular HDTV formats in use. One is called 1080i, and the other is 720p. But don't worry, there are no format wars to worry about. All digital projectors and digital HDTVs take both formats. The fact is that ABC, ESPN, and Fox broadcast in 720p, while CBS, NBC, HDNet and others use 1080i. Both formats produce great pictures that are a leap forward over regular television.

Definitely an article you'll want to read before you take the HDTV plunge.

Read HDTV in Plain English

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 6, 2005

"Ultimate Fighter 2 Live" Results

Here's the results from "Ulimate Fighter 2 Live" on Saturday Night:

Main Card – Live on Spike TV:

Welterweight Bout
Kit Cope (2-2) vs Kenny Florian (6-2)
170 lbs./6’0” 170.5 lbs./5’10”
Las Vegas, NV Boston, MA
Results: Florian won by tapout at :37 of the second round (rear naked choke).

Welterweight Final Bout
Luke Cummo (6-1) vs Joe Stevenson (29-6)
169 lbs./6’0” 170 lbs./5’7”
Long Island, NY Las Vegas, NV
Results: Stevenson won by unanimous decision (28-29; 27-30; 28-29).

Heavyweight Final Bout
Brad Imes (5-0) vs Rashad Evans (11-0)
250 lbs./6’7” 224 lbs./5’11”
Bettendorf, IA Lansing, MI
Results: Evans won by split decision (29-28; 28-29; 28-29).

Main Event:

Welterweight Bout
Nick Diaz (11-3-0) vs Diego Sanchez (16–0)
170 lbs./6’0” 170.5 lbs./5’11”
Stockton, CA Albuquerque, NM
Results: Sanchez won by unanimous decision (27-30).

"Ultimate Fighter 2 Live" will be re-aired on Spike TV Monday, November 7 at 11:00pm ET/PT.

At UFC.tv

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 6, 2005

Here are a few of the new DVD releases coming November 6, 2005:

Remington Steele - Season Two

Beavis & Butt-head, Vol. 1 - The Mike Judge Collection

The Partridge Family - The Complete Second Season

DuckTales - Volume One

Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos (Episode 57)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming November 6, 2005"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 4, 2005

Ultimate Fighter Finale This Saturday Night

I've mentioned before that I'm not much of a reality tv fan, but I'm pretty hooked on the "Ultimate Fighter" on Spike TV. "Ulimate Fighter 2" just wrapped up it's 2nd season and is airing a live finale on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 9:00pm ET/PT. If you missed any of the episodes this season, Spike TV will air a 12-hour marathon from its hit series on Saturday, November 5 from 9:00am-9:00pm featuring all 12 episodes from The Ultimate Fighter 2.

Just in case you missed any episodes, I won't tell you who's in the finals but it should be pretty exciting.

In case you have know idea what the Ultimate Fighting Championship is, according to Wikipedia:

Ultimate Fighting Championship is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization. Fighters in the sport use combinations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, and many other martial arts. The UFC is currently owned and operated by Zuffa Entertainment, LLC.

More at UFC.tv (spoiler alert - Saturday's finalists are mentioned at this site)

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 3, 2005

So What's the Difference Between DLP vs. LCD?


So you've finally broken down and decided to get your rear projection big screen HDTV. So what type of screen do you get? SoundandVisionMag.com has an in-depth article that compares DLP and LCD screens. The article states:

One key similarity between the two sets is the native resolution of their display chips: 1,280 horizontal x 720 vertical pixels. But LCD and DLP RPTVs use very different processes to display pictures. Most DLP (Digital Light Processing) sets have a single chip and a rotating filter that chops white light from a lamp into a sequence of red, green, and blue beams. The beams are reflected from the chip, which contains hundreds of thousands of tiny mirrors. These mirrors pivot thousands of times a second to control the brightness of the pixels and are synchronized to display a red, green, or blue projection that the eye blends into a full-color image.

In an LCD (liquid-crystal display) projection TV, light from a single lamp is directed to a trio of miniature LCD panels that process the red, green, and blue light components separately. The pixels in each panel contain a liquid-crystal material that regulates the amount of light passing through them by twisting and untwisting in response to electrical voltages. After exiting the LCD panels, the three colored beams are combined by a prism and projected onto the screen by a lens.

This is an excellent article you'll want to read before you spend your hard earned money on your HDTV.

Read DLP vs. LCD at SoundandVisionMag.com

Compare Prices: DLP

Compare Prices: LCD


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 1, 2005

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Oct. 24-30, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Oct. 24-30, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***
1CSICBS15.416,983,000
2Without
a Trace
CBS14.215,668,000
3Fox
World Series Game 4
FOX13.014,281,000
4CSI:
Miami
CBS12.914,214,000
5NCISCBS11.712,899,000
6Fox
World Series Game 3
FOX11.012,134,000
7Grey's
Anatomy
ABC11.012,082,000
8Two
and a Half Men
CBS10.811,912,000
9Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS10.611,661,000
10Commander
in Chief
CBS10.211,228,000

*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

NBC Nightly News Going Online

Starting next week, You'll be able to watch the "NBC Nightly News" online. According to MSNBC:

NBC News announced Monday that "NBC Nightly News" will soon become the first and only network newscast to be offered free on the Internet in its entirety.......

For those viewers who cannot watch the nation's No. 1 network evening newscast when it airs in their local broadcast market, they will now have the opportunity to view "NBC Nightly News" on the Internet beginning at 10 p.m., ET/7 p.m. PT at Nightly.MSNBC.com. "NBC Nightly News Netcast with Brian Williams" will be the same program that aired earlier in the evening on NBC, including breaking news updates. Past broadcasts will be archived on the site.

at MSNBC.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Don't HDTVs Come With Built-In Coffee Makers?


We've mentioned it before, but buying an HDTV can be confusing to say the least. PCWorld.com has one of the best articles you'll find on the misconceptions of HDTV. One of the misconceptions they discuss:

"The higher the screen resolution, the better the image quality of an HDTV."

Most HDTV sets today are 720p displays, but a few vendors are beginning to offer 1080p sets--either LCDs or rear-projection micro-display (LCD, LCoS, DLP) models. As yet, no 1080p plasmas are available (though some have been announced in very large sizes). These sets will clearly do the best job of handling 1080p content--when it arrives. But today's HDTV shows are shown in either 720p or 1080i format: nobody broadcasts in 1080p because of bandwidth issues. Movies may someday be available in 1080p on optical media, but Hollywood hasn't settled on the next-generation hardware standard (Blu-ray or HD-DVD), much less chosen a content format.

Lack of 1080p content is one reason some vendors are holding off on introducing 1080p sets. But those that are selling 1080p sets point out that some HDTV is broadcast in 1080i, and that such content arguably looks better on a 1080p set because less scaling is involved. (On the other hand, 720p content has to be scaled up for a 1080p set.) Here again, though, the capabilities of the human eye come into play: You'll probably notice the superior resolution of 1080p only if you sit very close to the set--or have an extremely large set.

The other myths the article tackles:

  • "An HD set is all you need to get high-def programs."

  • "The bigger your HDTV set, the better it will look."

  • "You have to relinquish the fluid motion of a CRT screen when you move up to HDTV."

  • "Burn-in will wreck your plasma HDTV within a year."

  • "Bright LCDs look beautiful everywhere, and they use much less power than plasma or CRT sets do."

  • "These pricey TVs look so great out of the box that it's a waste to pay a small fortune to have a professional calibrate your set."

  • "All true HDTV programming looks equally great."

  • "Standard-definition TV is unwatchable on HDTV."

  • "I'll have to toss all my current analog sets when the digital conversion kicks in."

This is definitely a must-read article for anyone considering HDTV.

Ten HDTV Myths at PCWorld.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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