Best Selling HDTVs

December 30, 2005

Deal or No Deal Becomes Instant Hit


I haven't seen Deal or No Deal yet, but it appears to be the next "Millionaire Show". During a five show debut last week, Deal or No Deal actually came in the Nielsen Top 10 twice. According to the BBC:

Gameshow Deal or No Deal has become a ratings hit in the US, after being shown in 40 countries including the UK. Five trial episodes were among last week's top 15 prime-time programmes in the US, prompting network NBC to commission a full series for March.

Hosted by Howie Mandel, US contestants must choose from 26 cases containing between one cent and $1m (£581,000).

According to NBC.com, the show works like this:

The rules are simple. Choose a briefcase. Then as each round progresses, you must either stay with your original briefcase choice or make a "deal" with the bank to accept its cash offer in exchange for whatever dollar amount is in your chosen case.

Once you decide to accept or decline the bank's offer, the decision is final.

Contestants are encouraged to ask friends or family in the audience for advice; however, only the contestant's answer will be considered binding and final.

I'm a Howie Mandel fan, so I'll be sure to check it out. If you've seen the show, let us know what you think.

At NBC.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (13) | social bookmarking

December 30, 2005

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Dec. 19 - Dec. 25, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Dec. 19 - Dec. 25, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1CSI: MiamiCBS13.314,645,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
2CSICBS11.712,904,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
3Two and a Half MenCBS11.212,294,000Two and a Half Men DVD
4Out of PracticeCBS9.810,777,000None
5Without a TraceCBS9.510,456,000Season 1 DVD
6Barbara Walter PresentsABC9.310,222,000None
7Deal or No Deal 12/21NBC8.49,261,000None
8Deal or No Deal 12/22NBC8.39,106,000None
9CSI: NYCBS8.29,042,000Season 1 DVD
10NFL Monday Night FootballABC8.28,745,00025 Years of MNF VHS

*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

December 29, 2005

HDTV Over Wi-Fi Demo at CES


You know, I'm just waiting for the day that streaming HDTV over Wi-Fi is a reality. It's getting closer with Ruckus Wireless planning a demonstration of their technology at the upcoming CES in January. According to their press release:

Ruckus Wireless will show how advances in wireless computer networking now make it possible to reliably transmit multiple HDTV, DTV and IPTV streams over a standard in-home 802.11g Wi-Fi network. With the new smart Wi-Fi technology developed by Ruckus Wireless, consumers can extend the freedom and flexibility of wireless to their in-home video systems, TVs and other set-top-boxes with the reliability and stability offered by wired alternatives. Demonstrations will include, for example, reliably transmitting high definition digital video content from a media center system over 802.11g to a media extender for viewing on a TV.

No details yet on cost or release date. We'll keep you posted.

At MobileTechNews.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 28, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming January 3, 2006

There's a couple of decent releases this week. Your can never go wrong with Archie Bunker and the fifth season of "All in the Family". For those of you who watch more British than American TV (got my hand raised), there's the "As Time Goes By - Reunion Special". Probably the most exciting item on the list is "Alien Nation - The Complete Series". As Newcomer Det. George Francisco would say:

"You can catch more honey with a pound of vinegar than with a pound of flies."

All in the Family: The Complete Fifth Season

As Time Goes By - Reunion Special

Have Gun Will Travel - The Complete Third Season

Alien Nation - The Complete Series

Gunsmoke - 50th Anniversary Edition, Volumes 1 & 2

Hunter: The Complete Third Season

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming January 3, 2006"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 28, 2005

A Little Help Hooking Up Those Home Entertainment Components

I probably should of put this up a few days ago but the 40 gallons of eggnog have made me a bit sluggish. Did you get a new home theater sytem, TV, DVD player, or some type of home entertainment component for Christmas? If you're like me, these things can get a little confusing when it comes down to what wire to plug into where. One of our favorite resources for setting up devices is the Audioholics Setup Center over at Audioholics.com. They have sections like Home Theater AV Hardware that's broken down into these handy categories:

  • Connecting a CableTV or Satellite System
  • Tips for Building a Home Theater in an Apartment
  • Ground Loops - Eliminating System Hum and Buzz
  • Basic Audio & Video Set-Up Guide
  • Receiver Setup and Connections
  • DVD Player Setup
  • Setting Up Your Home Theater System - Basics
  • DVD Audio Setup Tip #1

So put down the hammer and head over to Audioholics for a little help.

At Audioholics.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 27, 2005

CBS Comedy Bowl on TV.Yahoo.com


Want to watch a little CBS TV on your computer? TV.Yahoo.com is offering a few encore episodes of "How I Met your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men" during their "CBS Comedy Bowl". The nice thing is there's no registration and no commercials. Pretty sweet! If you've never seen either show, here's the descriptions at Yahoo:


HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is a comedy about Ted and how he fell in love. It all starts when Ted's best friend, Marshall, drops the bombshell that he's going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Lily, a kindergarten teacher. At that moment, Ted realizes that he had better get a move on if he too hopes to find true love.

TWO AND A HALF MEN is a comedy about men, women, sex, dating, divorce, mothers, single parenthood, sibling relations, surrogate families, money and most importantly, love. In other words, it is a comedy about life--more specifically, the life of two brothers, a son/nephew and the many women who surround them all.

More at TV.Yahoo.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Hockey Finally Made it to OLN!

So I've done a little complaining in the past about Mediacom not showing the NHL on OLN. When I talked to the local customer service about it, they said that Mediacom was trying to get the rights to hockey but they had no other details.

Imagine my surprise last night when I was flipping through the channels and saw the Stars playing the Blues. What a nice Christmas present! Wouldn't it be nice if cable companies sent us more information about what's going on and fewer messages about what's coming on pay-per-view?

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 26, 2005

TVSnob's December Roundup

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. We know this has been a pretty hectic month, so we wanted to recap our stories during the month of December. So grab a nice cup of coffee and relax while you do a little catch-up reading.

News / Articles

Reviews

New DVD Releases

Weekly TV Rankings

Tutorials

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 23, 2005

Are you Watching On Demand TV?

I was just watching CNN and they were talking about "On Demand" TV, the cable and satellite service that allows you to watch movies and programs when you want. CNN says thay a survey showed that about 2/3rds of the customers who had "On Demand" knew about it. The amazing thing is that only 1/2 of those 2/3rds ever use the service.

For someone who uses "On Demand" all of the time, it's hard to believe that many people aren't taking advantage of it. Maybe customers don't realize that much of the content is free? Each cable service is different but if you subscribe to digital services and movie packages like HBO, Showtime, etc., you should get "On Demand" free for those channels. "On Demand" also offers quite a few special interest shows, music , and more.

If you're not sure if you have "On Demand", just bring up your onscreen TV Guide and look for "On Demand" or "OD". If you don't get "On Demand", be sure to call your cable or satellite provider for details. Want to know what's on "On Demand"? Here are some of the "On Demand" websites:

HBO on Demand

Showtime on Demand

Starz on Demand

Cinemax on Demand

The Movie Channel on Demand

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Holiday Shopping: What to Look for in a TV

So you've finished all of your Christmas shopping and you've got just enough room on the card for that new TV? Before you run out and get the latest and greatest thing, you'll want to check out this decent article at StLouisToday.com. The article starts:

All of us grew up on analog TV; the first black-and-white broadcasts appeared in the 1920s, with color programs coming in the 1950s. But analog is, basically, a radio signal, and radio signals vary in strength. That’s why, for example, you still hear hiss even on the clearest radio program, or see flecks of “snow” and double images on TV shows.

Digital signals are transmitted using computer code, thus reducing broadcast interference. They also take up less space, or “bandwidth,” on a particular frequency, allowing room for several broadcast channels, instead of just one.

We might have stayed with analog if not for computers. Because we sit closer to computers than TVs, computer monitors have higher “resolution” — more dots or minute lines making up a particular image — to minimize eye strain. Now, with more people used to the better images on their computers, they want the same on their TV.

Overall, this is a pretty decent article to get you started looking for that new TV.

At StLouisToday.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 22, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming December 27, 2005

This weeks DVD releases has a few nice surprises. It's really nice to see Seaquest DSV on DVD after twelve years. There's also season four of the Shield which I'll be yanking out my credit card for. If you're a Chris Angel fan, you'll want to be sure to check out Mindfreak - Season 1.

If you still need a stocking stuffer for Christmas, don't forget a Gift Certificate for that someone special so they can buy their own DVDs.

The Shield - The Complete Fourth Season

America's Funniest Home Videos: The Best Of Kids & Animals

Seaquest DSV: Season One

Twilight Zone: Season 5 - The Definitive Edition

Criss Angel - Mindfreak - The Complete Season One

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

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 21, 2005

CBS Rules the World and I'm Sure They Won't Forget to Remind Us Every 5 Minutes!


So if you look at last weeks TV ratings, you'll see that CBS has taken 8 out of 10 spots. The amazing thing is that there were 7 crime dramas on the list. Doesn't that seem kind of weird this time of year? I guess people are trying to figure out the perfect crime to use on those obnoxious Christmas shoppers out there. I'm sure CBS will lay low and not even mention last weeks ratings success on every freakin' CBS show this week. I can dream can't I? ABC only had 1 show in the top 10. We won't even mention that NBC had no shows in the top 10 and only 1 in the top 20. No, that would be too cruel to mention!

If you'll notice ABC's only top 10 show was Monday Night Football. In fact the last few weeks, MNF has been in the top 10 even with a few mediocre games. The amazing part is that this is the last year of MNF on ABC after 35 years. Starting in 2006, MNF will be broadcast on ESPN. According to ElitesTV.com:

ESPN is also owned by Disney, so the production team and announcers may stay the same. However, 'Monday Night Football' has had slumping ratings in recent years with the advent of satellite dishes and digital cable with hundreds of channels to choose from. In the present television culture, it no longer made sense for ABC to spend so much money for an ever diminishing number of viewers. ESPN paid $1.1 billion per year for an eight-year deal to broadcast MNF.

Obviously ESPN makes sense because they can command higher advertising rates and MNF stays under the Disney umbrella. Still, for ABC, it seems like a bad time to get rid of the only show that people seem to be watching (the only other ABC show in the top 20 was NFL Monday Showcase which is a 7 minute intro to MNF). I can't really think of the last show I watched on ABC besides MNF. How about you?

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Dec.12 - Dec. 18, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1CSICBS11.512,725,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
2NCISCBS10.911,962,000None
3CSI: NYCBS10.811,911,000Season 1 DVD
4Without A TraceCBS10.211,273,000Season 1 DVD
5Criminal MindsCBS9.910,878,000None
6Cold CaseCBS9.810,828,000Cold Case DVD
7CSI: MiamiCBS9.410,343,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
8HouseFOX9.310,260,000Season 1 DVD
9Two and a Half MenCBS9.310,251,000Two and a Half Men DVD
10NFL
Monday Night Football
ABC14.89,994,00025 Years of MNF VHS

*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

Yamaha RX-V557 XM-Enabled Home Theater Receiver Review

rxv557I’ve been negotiating with my accountant (a.k.a. the wife) for some funds for a new home theater system. I’m really leaning towards the Yamaha RX-V557 XM-Enabled 6.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver. Robert over at Hometheater.About.com has a review that states:

The most innovative feature of the RX-V557 is the inclusion of an XM-Satellite Radio tuner in addition to a standard AM/FM tuner. With the addition of a compatible XM Satellite Radio antenna, and the required subscription fee, the consumer can enjoy an extensive offering of specialized music, news, and information channels. XM radio definitely has the potential to increase the flexibility of a home theater setup.

The sound quality of the RX-V557 is clear and well-balanced for an entry level AV receiver. One of the indicators of a good receiver is the ability to perform well in both stereo and surround modes. I found the audio quality of the 557 in both stereo and surround modes to be very good, making it acceptable for both extensive music listening as well as for home theater use.
At About.com
William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 20, 2005

Book of the Day: Editing Digital Video - The Complete Creative and Technical Guide

Shooting a lot of video this holiday season? Want to keep that video forever? Editing digital video can be a nightmare if you don't know where to start. Editing Digital Video : The Complete Creative and Technical Guide gives you the basic steps and tools for preserving those memories or make that ocar winning home-brew movie. According to the review at Amazon.com:

A "complete creative and technical guide" for editing digital video seems like an overly ambitious concept. It is surprising how well the authors manage to accomplish it. The goal of the book, stated in the 2nd paragraph is "to teach anyone, amateurs or professionals, how to edit on any digital video editing system and achieve results." As a first primer -- not superficial but focused on the introductory basics, this book makes a very good attempt in achieving that goal. While I filled the margins with notes on what I thought was left out, or opinions I did not necessarily agree with, I was surprised at the concepts I could not stop thinking about when I finished this book. It will now have a prominent, handy place on my bookshelf -- a treatment that most professional editing books do not get. I know this will make a handy reference and will be re-read more than once.

The book comes with a CD-ROM that is compatible with most editing systems, and offers step-by-step instructions using the source material when teaching basic concepts. The first chapter deals with basic concepts and defines editing, describes the hardware and software basics, and the concept of workflow. Oddly, the concept of offlining is not mentioned in describing workflows. This chapter describes why the term "Digital Video Editing" is used throughout the book instead of "Nonlinear Editing" (a distinction which I personally do not agree with) and offers six universal principles of "digital video editing" as part of the definition.

See the Editing Digital Video : The Complete Creative and Technical Guide at Amazon.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Do a Little Baking - Win an HDTV


Gizmodo has a cool Gingerbread building contest going on and the prize is a pretty sweet Sharp AQUOS 20-inch flat panel TV. According to Gizmodo:

Gizmodo is looking for a gingerbread architect. Instead of a little house built of bread and covered with cakes, with windows of clear sugar, build us something more Gizmodo-like. It has to be edible, that is the only rule. The prize: A Sharp AQUOS 20-inch flat panel TV (LC-20B8U-S). This beauty has a native resolution of native resolution of 1,024x768—not quite 720p, but it is HD-ready. It’s also got 2:3 pull-down, aspect ratio control and plenty of inputs (two component, one S-Video, two composite, one RF, one RGB, four stereo RCA pairs, and one stereo minijack).

I'm off to the kitchen! Now where do we keep the gingerbread flour?

More Information at Gizmodo.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Digital Television Mandate Moved to 2009

It looks like the push for all digital television has been pushed back to 2009. According to The Boston Globe:

The House yesterday approved legislation to complete the US transition to new, higher-quality digital television by Feb. 17, 2009, and to help consumers pay for the equipment needed to ensure their old televisions do not go dark.

Under a deal negotiated by Republicans in the House and Senate, up to $1.5 billion would be available to help some people buy converter boxes to keep their analog-signal televisions working when the transition is finished.

As you'll notice, the subsidy amount was dropped from $3 billion to $1.5 billion. While that's probably still too much, hopefully prices will be low enough that anyone can afford an HDTV and the subsidy for the converter boxes won't even be needed.


At Boston.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 19, 2005

Sneak Peek - NEC All-in-One Box

There's not a lot of details about this NEC Valuestar all-in-one that contains HD TV, DVR and PC, but it looks pretty impressive. According to Gizmodo:

The NEC HD TV-PC will run you about $2800, but its basically a Windows Media Center Edition 2005 with a start-up time of only 2 seconds for TV mode after a complete shut-down.

It's definitely a sweet looking device and if it's really only $2800, we'd say it's quite a steal. We'll get you more details when they come out.

At Gizmodo.com [via Akihabara News]

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Commercials That Annoy the Heck Out of Me: Radio Shack - Let the Begging Begin!

Have you noticed how annoying the actors on Radio Shack's commercials are this Holiday season? I'm talking about the commercials where an actor with ADD sits in front of a TV camera and begs for something for Christmas. These commercials are just plain annoying! These have my vote for the most annoying:

3: The guy who wants Satellite Radio so he and Beth can listen to "Coouuuuntry"
2: The moron who uses a "push to talk" phone to find out what his girlfriend is cooking for dinner
1: The high school dropout who's way to old to be begging (in the world's most annoying voice) his dad for an XMODS RC racer

Hey Radio Shack, how about add a little class and go back to the Howie Long commercials? Yep, it's definitely the end of the world when you're asking for Howie Long!

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 16, 2005

Steve-O from Wildboyz Wants to Make You a Better Parent


I think this is another sign of the Apocalypse! "Steve-O" Glover of MTV's "Jackass" and "Wildboyz" is casting for a new show that will makeover uncool parents. According to The Fayetteville Online:

Rutherford is looking for un-hip or strict parents who need a coolness makeover. The parents must be nominated by their children (ages 16-24). Plans call for Steve-O to transform the parents over a two-week period.

Steve-O is the star of his own show, “Wildboyz,” and was a member of the team that made Johnny Knoxville a star on “Jackass.”

Known for his wild stunts, Steve-O’s goal is to bring children and their parents closer together, Rutherford said.

I just love the line "Steve-O’s goal is to bring children and their parents closer together". If you've ever watched "Wildboyz" or "Jackass", you'd realize you're don't want Steve-O anywhere near your kids. Don't believe me? Read this bio from Mugshots.com:

Stephen Glover AKA Steve-O from the MTV show “Jackass” was arrested in 2002 on obscenity and battery charges for stapling his scrotom to his thigh at a nightclub, and his role in an incident in which a bouncer slammed a teen headfirst to the ground.

Ouccccchhhh!!! And that was one of his milder stunts. Probably just safer to try out for an Oprah makeover.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 15, 2005

Amazon DVD Releases Coming December 20, 2005

There's a few interesting DVD releases this week. Battlestar Galactica will be pleased to know Season 2 is out. Also just in time to make you feel like crap for all of your holiday eating guilts, "The Biggest Loser" is out on DVD.

The Biggest Winner - How to Win by Losing: Shape Up Complete (2-Disc DVD Set: Front & Backside)

The Amazing Race - The Seventh Season

Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0

The Biggest Loser Workout, Vol. 1

ER - The Complete Fourth Season

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

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Kids Voice Top Ten Concerns About Television to Linda Ellerbee and Nick News

Nickelodeon has announced they will air "Ten Things Wrong With Television" on Sunday, Dec. 18, 8:30 P.M. (ET/PT) hosted by Linda Ellerbee. According to Yahoo News:

Ellerbee and Nick News surveyed kids across the country about what bothers them about television and posted their responses on http://www.NickNews.com. In their responses, kids said the following things bothered them: TV stereotypes people; too much sex, violence and bad language; TV news is biased; so many channels and nothing to watch; TV shows don't reflect real life; TV makes me feel bad about myself; and TV news is too negative and scary; and there are too many commercials. The order of the kids' concerns will be revealed in the episode.

The sad thing is if you've watched Nickelodeon lately, you'll notice that they're starting to cross the line on many of the issues that kids mention. I can't help but feel that this show is designed to make parents think Nickelodeon is protecting their kids but I'm not so sure about that.

At YahooNews.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 14, 2005

63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees

The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will air January 16, 2006 at 8pm EST. Here are the nominations from The Hollywood Foreign Press Association:

Motion pictures

Best motion picture, drama - "Brokeback Mountain," "The Constant Gardener," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "A History of Violence" and "Match Point."

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture, drama - Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"; Maria Bello, "A History of Violence"; Gwyneth Paltrow, "Proof"; Charlize Theron, "North Country"; and Ziyi Zhang, "Memoirs of a Geisha."

Best performance by an actor in a motion picture, drama - Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"; Russell Crowe, "Cinderella Man"; Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"; and David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck."

ArrowContinue reading: "63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Dec. 04 - Dec. 11, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Dec. 04 - Dec. 11, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1CSICBS18.820,769,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
2Without a TraceCBS13.915,318,000Season 1 DVD
360 MinutesCBS12.413,699,000Best of 60 Minutes
Vol. 1 VHS
4Survivor: Guatemala FinaleCBS11.913,062,000Survivor Season 1
Outrageous Moments DVD
5Survivor: GuatemalaCBS11.612,837,000Survivor Season 1
Outrageous Moments DVD
6Law and Order: SVUNBC10.811,948,000Premiere Episode DVD
Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
7CSI: MiamiCBS10.211,275,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
8E.R.NBC10.111,086,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
Season 4 DVD
9Grey's AnatomyABC10.111,179,000Season 1 DVD
10NFL
Monday Night Football
ABC9.910,963,00025 Years of
MNF VHS

*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

December 13, 2005

Want Some TiVo Tips and Tweaks?

tivologo1A TiVo is a pretty powerful device, but like most types of technology you’re probably not getting the most out of it. PCWorld.com has a really nice article that helps you get the most out of your TiVo with tips like:

Progress Bar, Be Gone--Quicker

Annoyed with the lingering progress bar at the bottom of the screen? Make it fade out faster by entering the following button combination:

Select, Play, Select, Pause, Select

Be sure to check out all of the great tips.

Read Secret TiVo Tips and Tweaks at PCWorld.com

 
William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 12, 2005

Family TV Packages Coming to Cable

I guess the FCC's a la carte discussion scared cable providers. According to MSNBC:

Under pressure from the government, the nation’s two largest cable companies plan to offer packages of family friendly channels to give parents a new way to shield children from sex, rough language and violence.

Industry leader Comcast Corp., No. 2 Time Warner Cable and several other companies will start offering “family choice” tiers, most likely by spring, said Kyle McSlarrow, head of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the main cable trade group.

It's nice to see cable companies reacting but I'm guessing it might be a little late as far as the FCC is concerned. What do you think?

At MSNBC.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

How Much to Spend on a Home Theater System?

Is that 13 inch TV with the 40 pound VCR setting on top a little out of style for you? You might want to thing about a new home theater system. Robert over at HomeTheater.About.com has a nice in-depth FAQ to help you choose the components you need:

This is always the bottom line: How much does a home theater system cost? The following outlines some scenarios based on minimum requirements. The cost of your home theater depends on three factors:

1. What you have already that you intend to use?

2. What you need or want to buy to add to what you already have?

3. What you need or want if you end up starting from scratch?


How Much Do I Really Need to Spend on a Home Theater?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


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Ex-"Sopranos" Actor Faces Charges for Murder of NYC Policeman

Wow! This is tragic news. According to 1010Wins.com:

An actor who played a dimwitted aspiring mobster on "The Sopranos'' and another Yonkers man face murder charges in the death of an off-duty police officer who shot them as they fled a home they were breaking into, authorities said Sunday.

Steven Armento, 48, and Lillo Brancato Jr., 29, who remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, were known to neighbors as rabble-rousers with drug problems. The neighbors said that Brancato often fought with his on-and-off girlfriend, one of Armento's daughters.

The article continues:

Brancato got his acting break as a 16-year-old in the Robert De Niro-directed film "A Bronx Tale'' in 1993. He also played mob wannabe Matt Bevilacqua in a half-dozen episodes of the 1999-2000 season of "The Sopranos,'' eventually getting executed by fictional mob boss Tony Soprano. He appeared in a dozen other films, including "Crimson Tide'' and "Enemy of the State.''

Obviously here's another story about the tragedy of drug use!

At 1010Wins.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 11, 2005

Guess The TV Show Quote

Okay here's a quote from an oldie but goodie TV show. The only hint I'll give you is this show was a spin-off of one of the most popular cop shows of the late 60's to early 70's.

You just have to know how to arrest them and still make them like you. We call it technique.

Answer after the jump

ArrowContinue reading: "Guess The TV Show Quote"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 9, 2005

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Nov. 28 - Dec. 04, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Nov. 28 - Dec. 04, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1Desperate
Housewives
ABC15.717,344,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
2NFL
Monday Night Football
ABC14.816,316,00025 Years of
MNF VHS
3CSICBS14.515,968,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
4Grey's
Anatomy
ABC13.014,339,000Season 1 DVD
5CSI:
Miami
CBS12.914,232,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
6LostABC12.313,557,000Season 1 DVD
760
Minutes
CBS11.612,755,000Best
of 60 Minutes Vol. 1 VHS
8NFL Monday ShowcaseABC11.612,825,00025 Years of
MNF VHS
9Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS11.412,617,000Survivor Season 1
Outrageous Moments DVD
10NCISCBS11.312,412,000None

*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

Calibug - HDTV Calibration Tools on a USB Keychain

calibug

This is a really cool device. The Calibug is a USB device that lets you access HD quality test patterns instead of having to use a CD. According to eHomeUpgrade:

Just plug the CALIBUG to your USB port and you instantly have access to hundreds of HD quality test patterns. The only way you could get all these test patterns in the past was via a dedicated Test Pattern Generators/Sync Generators which cost thousands of Dollars. Your computer has VGA/DVI output, which is how you will get these HD patterns on your screen.

Pretty sweet. You can get either as a keychain or Swiss Army knife (boy, those Swiss think of everything!)

At eHomeUpgrade.com [via Gizmodo]

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William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Build Your Own MythTV Box

mythtvIf you're looking for a media center and you're comfortable messing around inside a computer case, you'll want to strongly consider building your own system. Oreilly has a really nice tutorial that walks you through building a media center running MythTV, the extremely popular GPL home media suite for Linux.

The tutorial is a multi-part article and starts with the hardware and most importantly the TV capture card:

This one is easy. The HD-3000 from pcHDTV is one of only two capture cards for Linux, and the direct descendant of what was once the only card available. I purchased multiple cards so that I could build a multiple-tuner system. Furthermore, Jack Kelliher, the founder and CEO of the company, is deeply committed to open source software's role in television.
Overall, this is a excellent article to understand what's involved in building your own media center box.

Read Building My MythTV Box, Part 1: Hardware

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

The Best of the Blogpire

Mailing List Promotion-1Another week and another Best of the Blogpire. We've got promotions all over the Blogpire including the chance to win a GPS at GPS Lodge! You can Sign Up for the GPS Lodge Mailing List & Win a Garmin eTrex Legend. Also there's lots of interesting November Roundups and Holiday shopping guides at all the sites. Enjoy!

GPS Lodge: Sign Up for Our Mailing List & Win a Garmin eTrex Legend, GPS Review: Garmin StreetPilot C340 Review by GPS Lodge, GPS Lodge: Monthly Round up for November 2005

The Cooking News: Wine News: Words on Wine, From Opposing Shores, Cooking News: Ever So Humble, Cast Iron Outshines the Fancy Pans, Coffee News: Coke set to launch premium coffee line

Liquor Snob: Holiday Egg Nog Recipe From Maker's Mark, Buzzing On Expensive Scotch, But At What Cost?, Make Your Own Simple Syrup For Cocktails

Single Serve Coffee: Review: LilyPod Microwavable Single Cup Coffee Pod Mug from Single Serve Coffee.com, November 2005 Roundup for Single Serve Coffee.com, December Mailing List Sponsor: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – Win One of Five Keurig B60s!

Just The Chips: Sega Casino for Nintendo DS, PSP World Series of Poker Reviewed, The Texas Hold 'em of Backgammon - Nannon

Kitchen Contraptions: IZ for your Kitchen, Vipp Super Wastebasket, Butter on Demand with The Butter Wizard

Shaving Stuff: Free TurboScrub at Heavy Duty, Panasonic ES8077S Vortex HyrdroClean, Old-School Shaving Supplies from Clubman Online

TV Snob: HDTV Education for Consumers Has a Long Way to Go, Apple and their Sneaky iPod Advertising on "The Office", Just Got Mediacom Phone Service

Shirt Snob: All Over Print Cashmere Hoodie by L.A.M.B., Review-Tees from High Hand Designs, Monthly Round Up-November

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 8, 2005

HDTV Education for Consumers Has a Long Way to Go

There's no doubt that HDTV can be confusing. One of the things we try to do at TVSnob is offer a little guidance and understanding about TV technologies before you go spend your hard earned money.

Obviously there needs to be more HDTV education from the HDTV industry. According to TechLiberation.com:

The Scientific Atlanta survey found that, yes, some 49 percent of households were not taking advantage of their HD equipment. About a quarter found that their HD set itself provided better reception, without taking the additional steps necessary to view HD. Eighteen percent said they didn’t even know needed additional equipment, such as a set-top box or antenna.

Here's the amazing part:

A quarter admitted they thought they were watching HD video because, after all, the programs said at the beginning that they were broadcast in HDTV.

This all has to a failure by TV manufacturers of not educating the consumer. Sometimes I think it comes down to the industry thinking it get's more customers based on people buying because of "it's the newest and best" and not because of the customer understands what they're buying. The sad part is HDTV is so awesome, once you know what it is, it's really hard to not go buy one whether the TV makers say you should or not.

At TechLiberation.com [via TechDirt]

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Apple and their Sneaky iPod Advertising on "The Office"


The other day I mentioned that NBC was adding more content to iTunes. What's interesting is while I was watching "The Office" the other night, There were several advertisements encouraging me to download the episode to my iPod.

Of course what was ingenious about that is the episode of "The Office" was about a gift exchange gone bad featuring an iPod. Even though it was blatant, the product placement was so relevant that I didn't even realize that I just spent 30 minutes laughing my butt of at an iPod commercial.

Damn, those marketers are good!

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 7, 2005

Just Got Mediacom Phone Service

If you noticed posting on TVSnob has been lean today, you can put the blame on Mediacom. Actually I'm pretty excited because I cut my phone bill in have today by ordering Mediacom's phone service. My new phone service is working great but now my cable internet (the phone connection and internet share the same modem) is sporadic.

Mediacom is working on the issue and hope to be back on the internet in full force soon. I'll eventually give you a review of the phone service for those of you looking at getting phone service from your cable company.

More at Mediacom Phone Service Webpage

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (10) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming December 13, 2005

There's not a lot of exciting new releases this week, but "Gilmore Girls" fans will be happy with the complete first 5 season pack. There's also a few "Simpson" releases for stocking stuffers. Enjoy!

Gilmore Girls - The Complete Fifth Season

Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Five Seasons

The Simpsons - The Complete Seventh Season (Collectible Marge Head Pack)

The Simpsons - The Complete Seventh Season

Frank Miller's Sin City (Recut, Extended, Unrated)

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

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 6, 2005

Connecting Your Media Center PC to Your HDTV

eHomeUpgrade | Connecting Your Media Center PC to Your HDTV

Thinking about hooking a PC Media Center to your HDTV? eHomeUpgrade has some do's and don'ts:

So you’ve decided to jump into the 21st century and setup your digital living room using a PC running some media center application like Microsoft’s Media Center. But when you go to hook up your PC to your new plasma HDTV the cables don’t match and you’re confused – what’s going on here? Well, using a PC in the digital living room has a few hang-ups so here’s my do’s and don’ts for hooking up your PC to your HDTV.

At eHomeUpgrade

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William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

iTunes Adds More Television Shows to it's Library

Apple has recently added more television shows to it's iTunes Music store this week. According to Thinksecret.com:

Programming from NBC consists of select episodes and clips from Law & Order, The Office, Surface, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Alfred Hitchock Presents, Dragnet, Adam-12, and Knight Rider. The Sci Fi channel meanwhile serves up Battlestar Galactica and Battlestar Galactica Miniseries, while USA Network is offering Monk.

Nice! I'm pleased with Apple's agressiveness going after TV programming just like they do with music. I'd still like to see a $.99 price tag instead of $1.99 but I ain't complaining.

At Thinksecret.com

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William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 5, 2005

I'll Take ESPN With A Side of SpikeTV!

I can't say I spend too much time paying attention to what the FCC does, but their latest idea is pretty interesting. According to News.com:

Cable TV prices are on the rise, but consumers complain there still isn't enough flexibility in the programming packages offered by cable providers.

That could change if the Federal Communications Commission and TV distributors Cablevision and AT&T have their way. Last week, FCC chairman Kevin Martin told a forum sponsored by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, which has been examining indecency on radio and television, that consumers could have more choice in what they view for cheaper prices if operators would sell content a la carte.

According to a new report from the FCC that has yet to be made public, a la carte pricing could actually reduce monthly cable bills for many consumers while also providing more control over what channels they watch at home.

Of course not all networks are pleased with the idea:

And here is where the problem seems to lie. Content providers like ESPN, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, say that a la carte pricing ultimately costs consumers more because it reduces the reach of certain channels, which decreases advertising revenue. It also increases marketing costs, which result in higher prices that have to be passed on to consumers. Even though the FCC's report supposedly refutes these concerns, ESPN and the NCTA stand behind their claims.

I can see both sides of the argument but still like the idea of only paying for channels I want. What I see happening is that the pricing of individual channels will be priced higher so that you'll waste money if you don't get a package deal. The only benefit is that might drive cable and satellite package prices down in general.

What do you think about a la carte pricing for cable? Leave us a comment.

At News.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

BCS Announces Major Bowl Games


Yesterday the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Games were announced. Since I'm a big Irish fan, I'm pretty pleased with the results. All four games will be on ABC and should make for a pretty exciting extended New Years Weekend.

Tostitos Fiesta - Jan. 2, 4:30 p.m.
Notre Dame (9-2) vs. Ohio State (9-2)
Tempe, Ariz. - ABC

Nokia Sugar - Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m.
West Virginia (10-1) vs. Georgia (10-2)
Atlanta, Ga. - ABC

FedEx Orange - Jan. 3, 8 p.m.
Penn State (10-1) vs. Florida State (8-4)
Miami, Fla. - ABC

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi - Jan. 4, 8 p.m.
USC (12-0) vs. Texas (12-0)
Pasadena, Calif. - ABC

More Bowl Matchups at CollegeFootballNews.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 2, 2005

Two Stars of Lost Arrested for DUI 15 Minutes Apart

According to the Washington Post:

Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros, who star on ABC's "Lost," were arrested within 15 minutes of each other in Kailua for allegedly driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Both failed field sobriety tests and were released Thursday on $500 bail each, police said. The actresses, who were in separate cars, were arrested after their vehicles were spotted weaving on Pali Highway, which connects Kailua and Honolulu, police said.

I didn't even know they were rescued?

At WashingtonPost.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Panasonic's 42-inch TH-42PX50U Plasma TV Review

If you're looking for a reasonably priced Plasma TV, you'll want to take a peek at the Panasonic's 42-inch TH-42PX50U Plasma TV. Business Week has a pretty positive review of the TH-42PX50U that states:

There's a war going on right now in the flat-screen digital TV realm, and consumers are likely to be the biggest winners as prices for full-featured high-definition TV sets fall rapidly.

That's especially true when you consider Panasonic's 42-inch TH-42PX50U plasma set. The unit, which carries a $2,800 price tag, has a native resolution of 1,024 pixels by 768 pixels. That lets it be tagged as a high-resolution model, even though purists will note you still do not get all the detail offered by newer 1080 models. Most consumers, however, won't be able to tell the difference -- and will be delighted with the amazing picture clarity that puts some of Panasonic's big competitors to shame.

Read the Review at BusinessWeek.com

Compare Prices on the TH-42PX50U

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 1, 2005

Cable TV Drawing Fire from the FCC

There's a lot of talk about the FCC cracking down on cable broadcasters because of content. According to the AP:

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is warning cable and satellite TV programmers to clean up their act.

Kevin Martin said programmers risk coming under sharper government scrutiny unless they give parents better tools to shield children from racy shows.

Like most people, I'm torn between protecting my children and losing my right to watch what I want. I ran across this article by Lisa J. Scott that I really agree with:

I don't want to live in a vanilla world. I want lots of reds and blacks and plaids and swirls of color. I want to chuckle at bad taste, and to turn off the television in disgust when I see crummy programming. Mostly, I want a window on the real world, with programming that reflects who we are, with all our warts. We are both noble and shameful, deep and shallow, thrilling and boring, sexual and asexual, fabulously talented and shockingly untalented. When our kids were young, we muted the colors of their world to pastels. The adult world has vibrant color.

I'm afraid of "federal decency standards." Your decency isn't necessarily mine. We can take sensible precautions, such as airing adult material at night, and having systems in place to block unwanted channels. (And that "off" switch, that the FCC's Martin dismissed so lightly? It works.)

But to impose the values of some onto the rest of us, to limit art so that no one has to see or hear anything that might upset him or her, is wrong.

So the big question is how do we protect our kids and still enjoy the best and worst of cable? I think a start is to mandate that adult shows not be advertised before 10 PM (both network and cable). How do you explain a "Nip Tuck" commercial to your child who's watching a syndicated rerun at 6 pm?

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Nov. 21 - Nov. 27, 2005

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Nov. 21-27, 2005
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1Desperate
Housewives
ABC15.817,446,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
2CSI-
Thanksgiving
CBS14.616,109,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
3CSI:
Miami
CBS12.713,986,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
4Grey's AnatomyABC12.613,865,000Season 1 DVD
5Cold CaseCBS12.213,490,000Cold Case DVD
6Without a Trace- ThanksgivingCBS11.913,152,000Season 1 DVD
7Law and Order: SVUNBC11.212,388,000Premiere Episode DVD
Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
8LostABC10.811,856,000Season 1 DVD
9NFL Monday Night FootballABC10.811,933,00025 Years of
MNF VHS
10Survivor:
Guatemala
CBS10.611,670,000Survivor Season 1 Outrageous Moments DVD

*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
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