Best Selling HDTVs

March 31, 2006

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William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

March 31, 2006

The Best of the Blogpire

Cheapfunwines-2Another week and another Best of the Blogpire. Make sure and check out the latest from all of our blogs and also each blog now offers a mailing list and RSS feed for you to read your news from. Now on with the Best of the Blogpire!

Liquor Snob
- Reviewing Booze Is More Than A Numbers Game - Skorppio Vodka: Feel the Sting

Really Natural - Disturbing News About Organic Dairy Farms - Kashi TLC All Natural Snack Crackers Original 7 Grain

Critical Gamers - Warhammer Marches on PCs this Fall - Spice up your Scrabble with Wildwords

Single Serve Coffee - Review: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Fair Trade Island Coconut™ K-Cups from Single Serve Coffee.com - Reader Reviews: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker

Just The Chips - Texas Hold'em Odds - RFID goes all-in at the casino

Kitchen Contraptions - Cheese Scissors - Wine Preservation Steward

Shaving Stuff - Gillette Fusion Razors - 8 for $14.99 - Free Schick Quattro Midnight Razor

Whats All The Racquet - BROKEBACK BORG - THE FINAL CHAPTER! - What do Vince Spadea and Kevin Federline have in common?

TV Snob - Is That the HDTV you Really Want? - Amazon Now Listing the TCD649180 Dual Tuner Series 2 TiVo

Shirt Snob - Falling in Tank by Ya-Ya - Short Sleeve Top with Leather Band by Lauren Moffatt

GPS Lodge - New Navman GPS Receivers: iCN 720 and iCN 750 with Cameras - Garmin Launches GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478

The Cooking News - Recipe News: Taste of Home Recipes - Wine News: The effect of oxygen on wine

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 31, 2006

New Facts Just In - By the End of the Month, TVSnob Should Have A Gazillion Readers!

Here's some new math for you:

An estimated 800,000 to 1 million adults will buy HDTV (High Definition Television Sets) over the next year, according to a report by Continental Research on Digital TV.

Jon Beaumont, director at Continental Research, said: "Of all respondents aware of HDTV, 2% claimed already to have HDTV, 7% claimed to be very interested and 36% quite interested. From this data we estimate that between 800,000 and 1m homes will purchase an HDTV set in the next 12 months. Potentially one million converts to HDTV will certainly please the manufacturers at such an early stage in its evolution."

I don't doubt a lot of people will buy HDTVs over the next year but how did they come up with those numbers and how many people did they survey?

What do you bet the survey was commisioned by HDTV makers?

At Pocket-Lint

Compare Prices: HDTV

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 30, 2006

Panasonic Announces First Blu-Ray Player to Debut in September

Woo Hoo! High Definition DVDs are are almost here. According to PCPro:

Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic has announced that it expects to introduce its first Blu-Ray DVD player, the DMP-BD10, in September. Although pricing has not been finalised, the company says it expects to start selling the new machines at under $1,500 in the US.

The company says that it will also be introducing a high definition television set at the same time to accompany the DMP-BD10.

The Blu-Ray format will be able to hold over 50GB of data on a dual layer disc - far more than the current generation of DVD discs. However the new high definition plasma televisions which are currently being sold in anticipation of the launch of high definition broadcasts this summer will require higher capacity discs to show movies with the same crystal clear display.

Still, I think I'll wait till the price comes down quite a bit. What about you?

At PCPro

Compare Prices: Blueray

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 29, 2006

Cablevision Begins Testing of "Remote Access" DVR

Have I ever mentioned my love for my DVR? Oh yeah, I think I did Once! Anyway, it looks like the push to do away with the conventional DVR has started. According to RedHerring.com:

Cablevision Systems said Monday it will begin testing digital video recorder technology as a service that stores shows on Cablevision’s own servers.

DVR technology typically allows cable and satellite service subscribers to store programs on hardware devices that are usually incorporated into the set-top boxes in their homes.

But Cablevision will offer its 2 million digital cable subscribers the option of storing the programs in Cablevision’s facilities at the point where the TV signal originates.

The option, which the Bethpage, New York-based cable operator is calling remote-access digital video recorder service (RS-DVR), will allow customers with traditional set-top boxes to get all of the benefits of hardware DVRs without the additional monthly expense of an upgraded box.

I got no qualms about this type of cable service. As it is now, if my cable service goes out, my DVR is useless anyway. What would really be cool about the new service is if you can watch your recorded shows on any TV in the house, something that's impossible with the standard DVR service.

If anyone is in the Cablevision market and testing this service let us know.

At RedHerring.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Is That the HDTV you Really Want?

Lately I've been harping on this fact about HDTV, price isn't everything. While you want to comparison shop, is it really worth saving a few hundred bucks for a TV you won't be happy with? Here's an article at the Chicago Tribune that backs up what I've been saying:

A recent review on Cnet.com, for example, featured horrible phrases like black levels, native resolution, color temperatures, full calibration, red push, grayscale variation, overscan, DC restoration and defeatable-edge enhancement.

Nobody should have to learn what these words mean. Is it necessary when shopping for a high-definition television?

Two leading experts say no.

And they offer the following practical and sometimes surprising advice for when you decide it's time to buy a high-definition television.............Read More

While you should always look for a deal on the internet, be sure to go to you to your local electronics store and check out the TVs close up. Then go home and look for the best deal possible on the internet.

At ChicagoTribune.com

Compare Prices: HDTV

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 28, 2006

Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 27, 2006

Better act fast before you miss out on your chance to get "Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection - With Ape Head Packaging". Wow, DVD marketing is getting weird. I think I'll stick with "Quantum Leap" or maybe even "Northern Exposure". Yep, I got no sense of adventure!

Quantum Leap - The Complete Fourth Season

Northern Exposure - The Complete Fourth Season

Six Feet Under - The Complete Fifth Season

Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection - With Ape Head Packaging

King Kong (2-Disc Widescreen Special Edition)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 27, 2006"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 27, 2006

Check out the New TVSnob Mailing List

If you haven't figured it out by now, we love you! Because of that, we've been adding tools to make your TVSnob reading experience more enjoyable.

One of our newest tools is a great weekly update from FeedBlitz. As you can see from the following image, this email with the TVSnob Weekly Roundup shows up in your mailbox before you wake up each Monday morning. That way, you can keep up with everything you might have missed during your busy week.

Click Image for Larger View:

Because we love ya, we promise not to bombard you with email or sell your name to the blackmarket. We just want another way to communicate with our readers. We even promise some "subscriber-only" news and exclusives down the road. So hop over to the right sidebar and enter your email to join our mailing list.

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Amazon Now Listing the TCD649180 Dual Tuner Series 2 TiVo

If you want a dual-tuner TiVo and you just can't wait for the series 3 TiVo we told you about in January, we've got an option for you. It appears that Amazon and a few other sites are listing the TCD649180 Series 2 TiVo with these specs:

  • Dual Tuners
  • 180-hour recording capacity
  • Ethernet and USB ports for home networking

There's no support for HDTV but if you really want a dual tuner TiVo, you may want to jump on this when it's available. I say "when available" because the TCD649180 is listed but you can't purchase it yet. It should be available soon, so just keep checking back.

Heck, we can't even find an image on this baby yet. We do know the MSRP for the TCD649180 is $349.

At Gizmodo.com

View the TCD649180 Series 2 TiVo at Amazon.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

March 24, 2006

NBC Says Advertising More Effective on DVR Users

Ran across this today on MediaBuyerPlanner.com:

According to the analysis of the Nielsen Media Research data by Alan Wurtzel, president of NBC Universal TV Research and Media Development, the drop in TV ad effectiveness in homes with DVRs is less than 3 percent, while non-DVR households had a drop of 7 percent.

Television viewers' use of TV remote devices to avoid commercials by changing channels and muting is the main reason for the drop in ad effectiveness in non-DVR households, writes Mediapost.

I don't really doubt those statistics. What confuses me is why a major network like NBC is pointing the difference out. Maybe to charge advertisers more in areas where cable and satellite use is more predominate and the use of a DVR is more likely? Don't know what, but something's up.

At MediaBuyerPlanner.com

Image Copyright TiVo

Compare Prices: DVR

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Keep On Top of the Modern Board and Social Game Revolution at CriticalGamers.com

Criticalgamers BlogadIs your closet full of mid-century board game titles like Monopoly and Sorry!? Are you still answering questions about 1980's science and technology questions from a dusty version of Trivial Pursuit? The staff at www.CriticalGamers.com can help move you from the drab repetitive gameplay of yester-year into the entertaining world of modern Eurogames and social card games.

Blogpire Productions is pleased to announce the addition of www.CriticalGamers.com to our growing family of product- and category-specific Web logs. CriticalGamers.com will provide news and reviews of social board games, Eurogames, and card games. Critcal Gamer's goal is to weed-out the mediocre from the slew of modern table top game titles, and to keep readers posted on what's new and popular in the world of social gaming.

At CriticalGamers

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 23, 2006

Sweet Sixteen Starts Tonight on CBS

So the 2006 NCAA College Basketball Tournament resumes tonight. We're down to the sixteen best teams, so get ready for some great college basketball.

I'm sure they're be a lot of rooting against George Mason tomorrow night because they sure screwed up a lot of brackets this year. Who know's, maybe they'll win the whole thing this year (see what that does to your bracket).

The games are on CBS starting at 7:00PM EST tonight.

Image Copyright NCAA

Compare Prices: March Madness DVDs

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

NEC 42XR4 42-inch Plasma HDTV Review

For some people, it's not how much that new plasma TV costs, but how good the picture is. I mean, what good is it to save a $1000 and not be happy with the picture? So if you're willing to spend the money, you'll want to take a look at this review of NEC's 42XR4 42-inch Plasma HDTV from PCMag that starts:

The NEC 42XR4 ($3,995 list) is the most impressive a 42-inch plasma display panel that PC Magazine has tested to date. It doesn't include many extras, and its advanced picture controls demand professional setup, but with some tweaking, this TV's accurate and faithful video reproduction is a pleasure for the eyes.

and finishes:

The 42XR4 is a 42-inch plasma display that, post-calibration, delivered the most impressive imagery that we have seen from any plasma TV in its class. Subjectively, both DVD movies and HDTV appear pleasingly correct, with accurate colors and detailed imagery. The 42XR4 strikes me as a great plasma display that was designed for professional installation. The à la carte accessories and the advanced menu options (which can be hidden when not in use) are ideal for customizing the display to its owner. Yes, the 42XR4 costs more than most other 42-inch plasma displays, but I have yet to see a 42-inch TV come this close to image perfection.

Hmm! Another item for my wish list.

At PCMag.com

Compare Prices: Plasma HDTV

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Sling Media Announces SlingPlayer Mobile Beta

There's nothing better than being a mobile TVSnob. Back in January we mentioned Sling Media's plan to offer SlingPlayer Mobile for Windows Mobile PDAs, allowing Slingbox owners the ability to stream their television shows to their PDA. Now you download a beta version and according to Sling media:

Beginning April 26th, the retail SlingPlayer Mobile software will be available for $29.99 and includes a free 30 day trial. Slingbox owners who purchase and register their Slingbox prior to April 26th will receive a free license for SlingPlayer Mobile. There are no monthly or recurring charges for the use of SlingPlayer Mobile.

So if you've got a Slingbox and a PDA, you'll want to download the software and give it a shot. If you're considering a Slingbox, you might want to get one by April 26th so you can get SlingPlayer Mobile for free.

More at Sling Media

Compare Prices: Slingbox

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 22, 2006

For the Love of Mike! Start your Freakin' Shows on Time

**Rant Alert**

So last night I watched the "Shield" Finale. Basically the season ended the way I expected, lot's of trauma and sadness. Anyway here's the deal. FX was cool enough to put the "Shield" on twice in a row at 9PM and 10:30PM (seems to be the fad now to put premieres on multiple times in a row), which was pretty cool. While I almost never watch shows live (have I ever mentioned I'm a DVR junkie), I decided to catch the 10:30 episode.

So, Imagine my surprise when I flip to FX at 10:30 exactly and the last 2 minutes of the episode is playing out. I'm not going to give details in case you haven't seen it yet, but that last 2 minutes show all of the dead and alive participants (yeah, we knew somebody was going to die) in the same scene.

Stupid Freakin' FX!! Luckily I did one of the "Popeye" eyewinks so I could blur my vision and hit the mute button all at the same time, and being in as great as shape as I'm in, I pulled every muscle in my body. The problem was I couldn't change the channel because I was recording the show, so I had to glance at the screen every few seconds with my eyes almost closed to find out when the show was over.

Yep, I looked like a complete moron and have massive injuries just to avoid spoiling the end of a show. Thanks a lot FX! You'll be hearing from my attorney!

No more live TV for me. I'm going back to the DVR and I'll even get to skip all of the commercials, woohoo! What was I even thinking by watching live TV?

Rant done! Carry on.

Image Copyright FOX

Compare Prices: The Shield

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Dell Says Dell W5001C HDTV Better Than Panasonic's TH50PX500U HDTV (What Did you Expect Them to Say?)

You know, I normally don't trust a study commissioned by a company that says their product is better than everybody elses. According to Dell's press release:

ROUND ROCK, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 21, 2006--When considering picture quality and price(a), consumers chose Dell's (NASDAQ:DELL) W5001C plasma HDTV over Panasonic's TH50PX500U model in a four-city, head-to-head viewing competition.

The consumer preference study of 50-inch plasma HDTVs was conducted from November 2005 through February 2006 in Baltimore, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Following viewings of each TV, 308 consumers were asked their preference if the Panasonic and Dell TVs were priced $500 and $100 apart. The Dell won at only a $100 discount to the Panasonic.

Guideline Research, on behalf of Dell, conducted the Dell HDTV Challenge at shopping malls in the four cities. It pitted the competing plasmas against each other in viewings of indoor and outdoor, bright and dimly lit, and high and lower contrast scenes from a high-definition movie.

While I don't necessarily trust Dell, I think the results are pretty legit and mirror what we've been saying. The Dell and the Panasonic models are two of the best HDTVs out there and are a steal for the price.

The funny thing is that this survey took place over 3 months in 4 of the biggest cities in the US and they only surveyed 308 people? Maybe it's time for Dell to hire a new research company? I'm sure Dell could hire a research company to research the best research company. Ouch! I have a headache now.

More at Dell.com

Compare Prices: Dell Plasma

Compare Prices: Panasonic Plasma

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 21, 2006

Don't Miss "The Shield" Season 5 Finale Tonight!

Tonight's the season finale of the best show you've never watched (bet you never watched "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr" either - still not on DVD by the way!). We're talking about "The Shield" of course. If you thought NYPD Blue was intense, you can't imagine how intense "The Commish" with a shaved head can be. In fact, my wife won't watch the shield because she doesn't want to see "The Commish" killing people and stealing money. Yep, Michael Chiklis is a bad cop, or is he?

So even if you've never seen "The Shield" before, go ahead and watch the 90 minute finale tonight. It'll definitely be a roller coaster!

If you need to catch up, Wikipedia has a great overview of "The Shield":

The Shield is about an experimental police precinct set up in the fictional Farmington neighborhood ("the Farm") of Los Angeles, using a converted church ("the Barn") as their police station. Although Michael Chiklis has top billing with his portrayal of Detective Vic Mackey, the show has an ensemble cast that will normally run a number of separate story lines through each episode.

Detective Mackey is the leader of the Strike Team, a four-man anti-gang unit based on the LAPD's real-life Rampart Division CRASH unit. The Strike Team uses a variety of violent and extortive methods to maintain peace on the streets, while maintaining their own profits through drug protection schemes and robbery. Much like its inspiration, the Strike Team isn't above planting drugs on and coercing confessions out of gang members. Attempts to give the team a fifth member have frequently led to near-catastrophe for the group.

More at Wikipedia.org

Image Copyright FOX

Compare Prices: The Shield
Compare Prices: The Commish


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 21, 2006

No real exciting releases this week unless you're a "Gidget" or "South Park fan". Since I started watching "Over There" half way through it's opening season, I'll probably go a head and get the DVD. It's a tough show to watch but any good war show or movie usually is.

Gidget - The Complete Series

South Park - The Complete Seventh Season

Over There - Season 1

Justice League - Season One (DC Comics Classic Collection)

Bewitched - The Complete Third Season

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 21, 2006"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 20, 2006

Sweet 16 Showdown Set and Brackets Destroyed!

March Madness has to be my favorite sports time of the year. The funny thing is, while I'll watch any sports on TV that I can, I don't seem to watch a lot of basketball. That is until the NCAA tournament. A whole month of Cinderella stories and busted brackets, what more could you ask for?

So if you haven't been watching the most exciting sports event in March, be sure to catch the Sweet Sixteen on CBS starting March 23rd.


3/23 7:10
1 Duke
4 LSU

3/23 9:40
6 W Virginia
2 Texas

3/23 7:27
1 Memphis
13 Bradley

3/23 9:57
3 Gonzaga
2 UCLA 3/23

3/24 9:57
1 UConn
5 Washington

3/24 7:27
11 G Mason
7 Wichita St

3/24 7:10
1 Villanova
4 BC

3/24 9:40
3 Florida
7 G'town

Compare Prices: March Madness DVDs

Image Copyright NCAA

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Toshiba 32HLX95 LCD HDTV Review

Looking for a "clutter-less" HDTV? You might want to look at the Toshiba 32HLX95 LCD HDTV. According to
HomeTheaterMag.com:

Toshiba has a simple solution. Just remove the need for external sources by putting everything inside the TV. The new 32HLX95 features a built-in DVD player, a CableCARD slot, and ATSC and NTSC tuners that use the TV Guide On Screen program guide. Add in the pair of speakers mounted along the bottom panel to give the TV an even smaller footprint (or wallprint, as the case may be), and there's no need to connect any extra boxes if you don't want to.

Overall, they were pleased with the 32HLX95:

You'll need to save up a few more pennies to buy the 32HLX95, as its $2,500 MSRP puts it at the higher end of the LCD HDTV category. However, if you put a premium on the aesthetic benefits of a flat panel, this TV lives up to that promise better than most. Toshiba has freed us from the need for clunky source components. Now, if only they could figure out how to remove all those cables from the equation.

I guess for the price, I'd like to see a DVR instead of a DVD player, but maybe on the next model. Still, this is a pretty snazzy HDTV if you're looking for an "all-in-one".

At HomeTheaterMag.com


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 17, 2006

Philips Electronics to Fix 12,000 42-inch and 50-inch Flat-Screens Due to Overheating

It's kind of cool when a TV doubles as a bank like we spoke about this morning. It' not cool when a TV doubles as a grill. According to MSNBC:

Dutch company Philips Electronics will make house calls to repair almost 12,000 flat panel plasma TV sets in the United States because they are liable to overheating, it said on Friday.

Several incidents of overheating have been reported in the United States but Philips said materials used in the television sets were all flame retardant and there was no risk that they would catch fire.

this appears to only be an issue in the US:

The problem occurred in 42-inch and 50-inch sets. It is restricted to the United States, because the faulty capacitors involved are used only in the assembly lines for the U.S. market.

So if you own one of these TVs, keep an eye out for the repair guy. Kudos to Philips for doing the in-home repair.

At MSNBC.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Banking from the Boob Tube

And we thought TVs were just for watching. Well, if you live in China, you'll soon be able to bank from your digital TV according to Xinhuanet.com:

The southern city of Shenzhen plans to launch the first TV bank in China enabling users to make transactions on TV, said sources with Shenzhen Media Group.

The bank is expected to be operational by the end of June in the city of South China's Guangdong Province.

With the bank, a user can make payments and shop by pressing buttons on the remote control.

Just think, someday we won't ever have to leave the house (oh yeah, guess we need to earn the money to make transactions with on our TVs). I'm pretty sure we'll see this in the US no time soon.

At Xinhuanet.com


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 16, 2006

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Mar 06 - Mar 12, 2006

So, I wonder how long until FOX ditches the rest of their prime-time programming and goes staight "American Idol" every night?

Have you watched "The Unit" yet? It's a show about a secret commando unit headed by Dennis Haysbert (the ex-President on "24" and Allstate pitchman). While the stories seem a bit "stretched", Haysbert was a good casting decision and makes the show decent. You can check "The Unit" out on Tuesday nights. Also, I think if you watch the show, Allstate will give you an additional 25% off of your premiums.

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Mar. 06 - Mar. 12, 2006
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1American Idol (Wednesday)FOX17.218,960,000American Idol - The Best of Seasons 1-4 DVD
2American Idol (Tuesday)FOX16.718,444,000American Idol - The Worst of Seasons 1-4 DVD
3CSICBS16.618,347,000Season 1 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Season 3 DVD
4American Idol (Thursday)FOX15.417,014,000American Idol - The Worst of Seasons 1-4 DVD
5Grey's AnatomyABC13.915,372,000Season 1 DVD
6Desperate HousewivesABC13.615,007,000Season 1 DVD

Season 2 DVD
7Without a TraceCBS13.214,515,000Season 1 DVD
8HouseFOX12.513,801,000Season 1 DVD
9CSI MiamiCBS12.313,520,000Season 1 DVD

Season 2 DVD
10The UnitCBS11.612,784,000None

*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
1,102,000 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 (2) | social bookmarking

Toshiba Announces the et20 Projector with Integrated DVD Player

Somehow we missed the et20 projector from Toshiba that was announced at CEBIT last week. According to the press release:

HANNOVER, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 2006--Toshiba has announced the et20 projector with integrated DVD player, 5.1-channel audio system, and an exclusive Super Close Projection lens that will produce a 2-meter (diagonal) image from 1-meter and a 1.5-meter image from only 70 centimeters away. The projector will also feature the Realta HQV(R) video processor for delivering what's acknowledged as the industry's best image quality. The projector will have a retail price of EUR 1599 ($1900 US) and will be available in April 2006.

Sounds like a pretty awesome projector but geez it's ugly. I guess it's all about functionality over looks (that's what they say about me anyway).

At BusinessWire.com

Compare Prices: Projectors

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 15, 2006

TiVo Becoming More Family Friendly with KidZone


Here's a great new feature for TiVo owners with small children. Instead of searching for educational shows, TiVo will compile them for you. According to ABC News:

Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have for years required broadcasters to feature at least three hours per week of educational and informational programming for children. The shows are tagged as "E/I."

With an upcoming feature, parents who have standalone Series2 machines and subscribe to its service will be able to access a menu of such nationally broadcast shows, no matter what channel _ or hour _ they run.

TiVo will find shows tagged "E/I," adding them to a new restricted KidZone section where parents will be able to select the programming they wish to regularly record and playback for their children.

TiVo's KidZone parental-control feature, which will also include a list of shows recommended by three parent advocacy groups, will be launched at no extra charge midyear.

Nice! It 's also nice to see the word "free" attached to the service. We'll let you know when the service actually goes live in a few months.

At ABCNews.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

CNET Ranks the Top 12 HDTVs

Nothing sucks more than dropping $4000 on an HDTV just to discover it wasn't what you wanted. That's why it's important to do a little research and comparison shopping before you head down to the local "Best Buy". CNET has an excellent round-up of the top 12 HDTVs that starts out:

We review a lot of high-definition televisions here at CNET, but the list below represents the best of the best. It collects our current highest-recommended televisions arranged in order of overall score, regardless of TV type, technology, brand, or size. These cumulative ratings are the best indication of which HDTVs scored highest in each of the three major areas we rate: design, features, and performance. We don't expect this list to apply to everyone, however, so we've also created supplemental lists broken down by technology type, performance, and screen size. Choose from the lists below according to which criteria matter most to you.

There's some pretty nice entries on the list, including the entry level Panasonic TH-37PHD8UK, all the way up to the powerhouse projector InFocus 7210.

More at CNET

Compare Prices: HDTV

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Season 6 of the Sopranos Starts Out with a Bang.

Hey, just wanted to mention I finally got to watch the Sopranos season 6 opener. Wow, that episode has to be one of the most dramatic season openers yet. I won't give you any details in case you haven't had a chance to watch it yet.

And yes, the episode is now HBO's "On Demand" which is super cool, so you got no excuse not to watch it.

At HBO

Image Copyright HBO

Compare Prices: Sopranos DVDs

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 13, 2006

Columbo - The Complete Fourth Season

Murder, She Wrote - The Complete Third Season

MacGyver - Season Five

Barbie Mermaidia

Love's Long Journey

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 13, 2006"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 14, 2006

Pioneer Introduces the DVR-DT100 - The First 800GB DVR

If you need industrial strength storage for your TV shows and movies, the DVR-DT100 from Pioneer might be for you. According to Akihabara News, the DVR-DT100 has these sweet specs:

  • 800GB Hard Drive
  • 2 TV Tuners (1 Analog and 1 Digital)
  • Supports DVD-DL and RAM
  • Has an HDMI connector
  • Also available as DT90 with a 500GB HDD or DT50 with a 250GB HDD.

The only major issue with the DT90 is this statement:

But you will not be able to record videos in HD though.

Well, that's a bummer. No details on release dates or prices. We'll keep you posted.

At AkihabaraNews.com [via Engadget]

Compare Prices: DVR


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 13, 2006

LG Introduces the 71-inch "LG Royal" PDP - The TV You'll Never Own


I guess if you got money you might as well spend it, but a gold-plated Entertainment System seems like a little much and a bit gaudy. LG Electronics thinks there's a market for gaudy and according to AMEInfo:

The gold-plated 'LG Royal' limited edition product will be sold individually or complete with a home theatre package and a digital broadcast receiver. Only 1,000 sets of the Royal Gold 71-inch plasma are supposed to be manufactured and each plasma will be provided with an individual gold number plate

'The 'LG Royal' edition reflects LG's growing sophistication as both a marketing organisation and product innovator. LG is the genuine leader for premium digital products, and the 'LG Royal' series caters specifically to some of our most exclusive customers in the region. The 'LG Royal' 71-inch PDP TV edition is unique, and puts clear distance between LG and its competition in the region.'

The "LG Royal" is first being introduced in Dubai and expect it to show up in "Best Buy" when hell freezes over. No price information yet but do you really need to know (trust us, it'll hurt)?

At AMEInfo.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

My Fun and Soprano-less Night

Last night became Tornadoville here in the Midwest, so because I was stuck in a hallway with my wife, 4 kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 3 hamsters, I didn't get to watch the "Sopranos" last night. So I don't know if anybody on our poll got "whacked" yet. It looks like most people think Paulie will be the first to go, but I doubt it happened last night.

So no matter what you do, please no hints on what happened last night. No I mean it! LaLaLaLaLa, I'm not listening to you.

Image Copyright HBO

Compare Prices: The Sopranos on DVD

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 11, 2006

Who's Gonna Get Whacked First on Season Six of The Sopranos?

Here's a new poll for you. "Who's gonna get whacked?":

Who's Gonna Get Whacked First on Season Six of The Sopranos?
Anthony Soprano, Jr
Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Christopher Moltisanti
Silvio Dante
Paulie Walnuts
Junior Soprano
Johnny "Sack" Sacramoni
Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri
Janice Soprano
Other
powered by Vizu.com: See what the world thinks
William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 10, 2006

The Sopranos Season 6 Starts Sunday on HBO

Tony and the gang is back for season 6 of "The Sopranos" on Sunday. I'm guessing this will probably be the most dramatic season yet, especially since we still don't know for sure if "The Sopranos" will be back next year (indications look like it'll be back though).

I know that the Sopranos will be available "On Demand" 24 hours after it first airs in Canada. I don't know if that will happen on HBO in the US, but I suspect it will. How cool to be able to watch or rewatch the Sopranos without having to record it?

So who do you think will get "whacked" first? We'll put up a poll tomorrow to see what everybody thinks.

At HBO.com

Compare Prices: The Sopranos on DVD

Image Copyright HBO

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Samsung Unveils 82” LCD TV with LED Backlight

We know that the "who's got the biggest" war continues to go on with TV manufacturers, but here's a twist. Not only is Samsung showing an 82" LCD TV at CEBIT, but this baby has a built-in LED backlight. Now for those of you have ever watched an LCD know that TV watching angles can be an issue, especially in large rooms. Here's a brief clip of the press release:
Hanover, Germany - 9 March 2006 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the leading producer of televisions worldwide, today unveils an 82” LCD TV with LED backlight - the world’s largest of its kind –at CeBIT 2006. This new model offers dramatically improved performance and viewing angle while decreasing thickness and power usage. The 82” LCD TV with LED enlarges the color reproduction area by more than 33 percent compared to conventional LCD TVs. Dynamic Contrast technology, Samsung’s proprietary contrast enhancement technology, allows for a high contrast ratio of 7000:1. In addition, this 82” LCD TV with LED is a next-generation, environment-friendly product that does not use mercury. This new model provides TV viewers with a clear view from virtually every viewing angle, solving a long-running problem with LCD screens. At the same time, it is thinner and consumes less power than other comparably-sized LCD TVs with an LED backlight. Moreover, Samsung’s exclusive LCD TV circuit technology eliminates the need for a cooling fan, which can pull dust into the TV and create noise.
No price on this, but if you got a room big enough for this monster, you probably have the money ability to get a second mortgage for this (don't you love when people make assumptions?). At Samsung Press Center (Click the CEBIT 2006 button in the left sidebar) Compare Prices: Samsung Compare Prices: HDTV Image Copyright Samsung
William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Learn to Pick the Most Luscious Wines on the Planet for Under $20 at CheapFunWines.com

Cheapfunwines-1We're pretty excited here at Blogpire Productions to tell you about our new site - Cheap Fun Wines.

How many times have you shelled out ten bucks for a bottle of wine only to have your hopes dashed when you poured the first glass? The staff at www.CheapFunWines.com is here to help. They're goal is to find the most luscious bottles of affordable wine on the planet for under $20.

Kim and the staff at CheapFunWines.com love wine. There is little in life that’s more fun for them than pouring a new wine or revisiting an old favorite.

What they don’t love is wine snobbery. At www.CheapFunWines they'll promise to write about wine in plain English and make fun of people who don’t. That said, they don't profess to be a wine experts. They're totally wine beginners - each with a keen sense of smell, a decent palate, a passion to learn, and a sense of humor.

For the past six years, the staff at CheapFunWines.com has often trekked to wineries in Napa and Sonoma, trying dozens of reds and whites. Slowly, they've learned what they like (Full-bodied Cab and peppery Syrah) and don't like (Bombastic fruity Zin and overblown Chardonnay).

At CheapFunWines the staff won’t always be right. They won’t always use the proper wine vocabulary. But that’s OK. They're all learning together. So pop a cork and join them on a fun journey to a cheaper, better bottle of vino. And send them your favorites!

At CheapFunWines.com

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 9, 2006

LG Electronics to Announce 42-inch with Built-in DVR

CEBIT, the world's largest consumer trade show kicked off today in Hanover, Germany and we expect to see some cool TVs and devices to be announced in the next few days.

One announcement we're expecting tomorrow is the introduction of the LGE 42PC1RR, a 42-inch PDP (plasma display panel) with a built in DVR from LG Electronics. According to DigiTimes:

The HD-ready TV incorporates an 80GB hard disc drive (HDD) and has the capability of storing up to 40 hours of digital standard-definition programming. Features include a brightness of 1500 cd/m2 and support for the high definition multimedia interface (HDMI).

A DVR and Plasma in one, it's about time. We'll get you more details as they come in.

At DigiTimes

Compare Prices: Plasma TV
Compare Prices: DVR


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Putting the Philips RC9800i Through it's Paces

rc9800i.jpgSo I got my Philips RC9800i Touchscreen Remote review unit yesterday. While I'll save the details for our upcoming review, I have to say the 9800i definitely makes a great first impression. In fact I had to keep telling the boys to get away from the remote (it doesn't float in drool).

This is definitely the largest remote I've used but it definitely has a lot of features (you should see the manual!). Probably the coolest feature so far is the built-in Electronic Program Guide (EPG). Yep, I can actually see what time Oprah SportsCenter is on and click straight through from the guide. Pretty sweet! Okay, that's all of the teasing for now.

So I guess I'm going to have to watch an extra amount of TV so I can put the 9800i though it's paces. Life is so hard!

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

March 8, 2006

So What are 1080p TVs?

Hope you had a great holiday yesterday! The family and I sat around the bonfire (aka "burning trash pile") and shared our found memories of the other white meat. Anyway, back to reality. You've probably heard the buzz about the new 1080p format for HDTV, but do you really know what that means? Consumer Reports has a nice article that gives us a little more information about 1080p:

TV technology has taken another step forward with the introduction of so-called 1080p TVs. With a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, the highest so far, these TVs are the first with the potential to display all 1,080 lines in the most common high-definition format, called 1080i. (Until now, TV resolution has maxed out at 1366x768, requiring 1080i HD signals to be down-converted to match the TV's less-detailed display capabilities.)

That should result in the smoothest, sharpest TV images yet. And that's exactly what we saw when we tested nine 1080p sets recently. But by itself, the improved detail conferred by 1080p resolution does not guarantee excellent images. A TV must do well with other factors--including contrast, black level, and color--to achieve overall excellence in picture quality. Our tests proved the point. While all the tested 1080p sets were fine performers, only some have an excellent picture.

While I suggest waiting for the 1080p prices go down a bit, 1080p should definitely be on your "must-have features" list for your next HDTV.

More at ConsumerReports.org

Compare Prices: HDTV with 1080p

Image Copyright Consumer Union


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 7, 2006

It's a Holiday- Buy a Flat Panel TV

So you didn't go out and buy that new flat panel TV for the Super Bowl? Now the Olympics are gone and you still don't have your new TV?

Well it's never too late to buy your dream TV, because folks, today is a holiday and a holiday is a great time to buy a TV. Yep, it's National Crown Roast of Pork Day. Yum! Pork and HDTV, a match made in heaven. Anyway, I wanted to point out an article at Wired Magazine that does a great job breaking down flat panel TVs:

Bigger. Wider. Flatter. That's the vision of tomorrow's entertainment. And if you've already got a new high-definition flat-panel TV, you know exactly what we're talking about.

But HD flat-panels aren't just a bleeding-edge luxury anymore. They're about to become the household standard. While today's entertainment networks offer only a handful of high-def programs, the number of HD shows is rapidly growing. And if natural market forces weren't moving rapidly enough for your liking, the United States Congress has just given the technology a firm push forward. There's never been a better time to jump on the HD bandwagon.

The article breaks down these categories:

  • Digital deadline
  • LCD versus plasma
  • Enhanced versus high-definition
  • All about the hookups
  • Buy now, or wait?

Overall, a pretty decent read. Hey since it's a holiday, go ahead and take the rest of the day off. I'll cover for you!

At Wired News.com [thanks Jay]

Compare Prices: HDTV


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 07, 2006

Not many releases this week unless you count the 8 zillion "Harry Potter" releases. I think I might be leaning towards buying "Hogan's Heroes". Somebody drop us a comment and let us know if "Jarhead" is a good enough movie to buy on DVD.

Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Third Season

Jarhead - Collector's Edition (Widescreen)

The Cosby Show - Season 2

The Brady Bunch - The Complete Final (Fifth) Season

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Widescreen Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (Harry Potter 4)

ArrowContinue reading: "Amazon DVD Releases Coming March 07, 2006"

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Set TiVo Recordings with your Verizon Cellphone

MoCoNews is reporting this:

Tivo will now allow for the programs to be recorded with instructions through a Verizon Wireless phone in U.S…The TiVo Mobile service works with a small software program VZW customers can download to their handsets that will communicate back to their TiVo DVRs.

The icky part:

And it is expensive for what it is: less $5 a month, in addition to normal cellphone-service charges and TiVo subscriber fees, which are $12.95 a month.

So besides being expensive and only on Verizon, we still like the fact that DVR recording features are being offered by wireless providers.

If you want to set recordings and even watch TiVo on your cellphone, we'll re-point you to a post we did last year summer that mentions the DVR Everywhere service that offers those capabilities for free via Orb.

At MoCoNews [via Engadget]

Compare Prices: TiVo

Image Copyright TiVo

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Samsung DVD-HD950 HDTV-Compatible DVD Player Review

Ever since we mentioned the NeuNeo HVD2085 1080p Upconverting DVD Player, we've gotten a lot of emails from readers interested in upconverting DVD players. So, to help our readers out, we wanted to point you to a Samsung DVD-HD950 HDTV-Compatible DVD Player at HomeTheaterMag.com:

The war between competing next-generation, high-definition-quality DVD formats is still unfolding, a saga with more twists than an entire season of Lost. As I write this, manufacturers are still not offering specific product announcements or firm release dates. The problem is, HDTV is a reality right now. While the current over-the-air, cable, and satellite content is compelling and continuing to grow, I for one put the enjoyment of packaged media above all others, and I hate the thought that my HDTV's capabilities are often going to waste. What then to feed it?

One of the crop of 720p/1080i upscaling/upconverting DVD players might seem like an attractive solution. Additional video processing inside the player increases the output resolution to beyond even what's possible with progressive-scan players, bringing it to a level compliant with HDTV standards. Designed specifically to make the most of today's prevalent prerecorded home video format, these decks play standard DVDs, so you can continue to enjoy the vast selection of presently available titles without the need to buy any new software.

So, till there are HDTV DVDs on the market, upconverting/upscaling DVD players are a pretty inexpensive way to get the most out of your HDTV. If you're not sure what upconverting/upscaling is, check out this article at HighDefinitionBlog.com.

Read the Full Review at HomeTheaterMag.com

Compare Prices: Samsung DVD-HD950

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

CheapFunWines.com - New Blogpire Site launches

We have a cool new member of the Blogpire family and we wanted to give them a hearty TVSnob welcome! Cheap Fun Wines has just been announced:

(PRWEB) March 7, 2006 -- How many times have you shelled out ten bucks for a bottle of wine only to have your hopes dashed when you poured the first glass? The staff at www.CheapFunWines.com is here to help. They're goal is to find the most luscious bottles of affordable wine on the planet for under $20.

Blogpire Productions is pleased to announce the addition of www.CheapFunWines.com to its growing family of product- and category-specific Web logs. CheapFunWines.com will provide reviews of all kinds of wine, wineries and wine-related products. The site will also feature news about affordable wines, wine tasting results, occasional guest writers from around the globe, and random thoughts about wine.

Nothing beats a great movie on TV with a nice bottle of cheap of wine (and we're not talking Boone's Farm here)

So when you're done at TVSnob (don't leave yet!), you can read the complete press release at Blogpire or better yet surf on over to:

CheapFunWines.com

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 6, 2006

TiVo or Windows Media Center - Which One for You?

My brother-in-law bought a new computer the other day with Windows Media Center. The funny thing is he didn't even know what it was until I showed him how easy it was to record TV right on his computer. So if you're looking for a PVR, should you look at WMCE or should you stick with TIVO? Digital105 has a nice little article that discusses the differences between WMCE and TiVo:

There are two basic ways to enter the world of the Personal Video Recorder (PVR): through a dedicated hardware unit, like a TiVo or ReplayTV, or through a software-based PVR that runs on your home computer, like Windows: Media Center Edition (WMCE) or MythTV. In this article I will compare the most popular form of each platform, TiVo and WMCE, to help you figure out which one would be best for you.

Both TiVo and WMCE have the same basic functionality: after you tell them which programs to record, they find them, and automatically record them from your television source (antenna, analog or digital cable, or satellite feed). They both have the ability to create a "Season Pass" (TiVo's terminology) for a show, which will record all episodes of a show, or just new ones if you prefer. These "Season Passes" are in kept in a prioritized list, which determines which program will record if more than one are on at the same time.

The article has some pretty decent points but it would of been nice if they also mentioned DVR cable boxes as an option too. In fact, cable DVR boxes seem to be getting bigger because they're so well integrated so well into your existing cable service.


At Digitial105

Compare Prices: TiVo

Compare Prices: Media Center


William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 4, 2006

February 2006 Monthly Roundup for TVSnob

Yeah, I know we're already a few days into March, but it's time for our February roundup. We've been so busy lately finding you great TV related content that we're running slightly behind (are you buying that?). We had a lot going on in February like the announcement of the winner of our TVSnob logo contest. We also had some interesting stories, like the psycho genius who remodeled his condo to look like the Starship Enterprise (actually, I'd do it but my wife said no).

One of our loyal readers sent in a review of the NeuNeo HVD2085 player that you'll want to be sure to check out. We've also linked to a couple of other interesting reviews like the Philips RC9800i Touchscreen Remote Control and the Archos AV500 Mobile DVR.

So go grab a nice hot cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy a little catching up with TVSnob on this cold and icky weekend.

General News and Rants
Microchip 3-in-1 TV Tuner - A Cheap Chip for All Types of Devices
Fox Launching "My Network TV"
The Best of the Blogpire
TV-B-Gone: A Tool for the TV Vigilante
TVSnob Logo Contest - We Have a Winner
The Best of the Blogpire & ReallyNatural.com
DISH Network Adds Additional HD Channels
I'm Starting to Hate Radio Shack!
Get your TVSnob Logo Contest Entries In
TVSnob Logo Contest
Now That's What I Call a Television Addiction!
The Best of the Blogpire
Turn your Flat into the Star Trek Enterprise: Go Bankrupt
MacGyver and a Turkey Baster: Priceless
Pine Barrens + "The Sopranos" = Hilarious
Watch the Super Bowl Commercials Online (After the Game of Course!)
Does Continuous "Sopranos" Watching Cause Brain Damage?

Reviews, First Looks, and Tutorials
Sony Introduces TAV-L1 Slider HDTV
First Look: Toshiba's TDP-T95U XGA projector
NeuNeo HVD2085 - Reader Review
Philips RC9800i Touchscreen Remote Control Review
Step-by-Step: Buying a TV
Deal of the Day: RCA DVR10 High-Definition Digital Video Recorder
Tutorial: Stream Music Through your TiVo
Archos AV500 Mobile DVR Review

New DVD Releases
Amazon DVD Releases Coming February 28, 2006
Amazon DVD Releases Coming February 21, 2006
Amazon DVD Releases Coming February 14, 2006
Amazon DVD Releases Coming February 7, 2006

Weekly TV Rankings
Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Feb 13 - Feb 19, 2006
Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Feb 06 - Feb 12, 2006
Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Jan 30 - Feb 05, 2006

2006 Winter Olympics on TV
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Saturday, Feb. 25
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Friday, Feb. 24
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Thursday, Feb. 23
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Wednesday, Feb. 22
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 21
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Monday, Feb. 20
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Sunday, Feb. 19
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Saturday, Feb. 18
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Friday, Feb. 17
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Thursday, Feb. 16
American Idol Crushes the Winter Olympics in TV Ratings
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Wednesday, Feb. 15
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 14
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Monday, Feb. 13
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Sunday, Feb. 12
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Saturday, Feb. 11
2006 Winter Olympics TV Schedule for Friday, Feb. 10

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 3, 2006

Is FOX Going to Charge you $25 for an HD Movie?


Would you be willing to spend $25 to watch a high definition movie at home, 60 days after it's released? FOX is hoping so. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

News Corp. is betting that people will pay $25-$30 to watch Fox films at home in high-definition quality via cable and satellite TV 60 days after their theatrical release.

Speaking during the second day of the annual Bear Stearns Media Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., in a session available via webcast, News Corp. president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin said Tuesday the conglomerate has been "talking to the cable operators and satellite operators about the idea of a 60-day, high-priced high-def rental" offer costing $25-$30.

He later repeated the $25 price range as a possible model in a hint that this could be closer to the final price point but didn't specify what kind of revenue split was likely for the HD-to-home product.

The logic behind the pricing seems to be:

Sources also said Tuesday that the HD window would target consumption by families and groups. For example, consumers could get some friends together, have food and drinks and enjoy a home premiere, one source suggested. With movie tickets in New York costing well above $10, the pricing actually could be attractive to high-end users, another industry observer suggested.

The final logic sounds okay if you consider the costs of taking a family to the movies. But here's a possible conspiracy theory for you. To come out and say $25 a movie with no context scares the crap out of consumers. So before you think Mr. Chernin is insane, imagine what happens when this news of his $25 a movie hits the streets . Consumers will rebel against the concept and this will ultimately damage the plans of smaller companies that are trying to cash in on the early release of movies to TV concept. If you turn off consumers to the concept now, you can rid yourself of the competition. Then FOX can come in a few months later with a revamped plan that isn't so radical, endearing themselves to consumers without the nagging competition. Now I'm not saying that's what's happening, but it wouldn't be the first time we've seen things like this happen in Hollywood.

At HollywoodReporter.com [via TVPredictions.com]

Image Copyright Audio Ease

Compare Prices: Home Theater

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 2, 2006

Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Feb 20 - Feb 26, 2006

While the Olympic ratings were still pretty disappointing, at least they finished stronger than they started. Did you notice how CBS has only ranked in the top 10 only a couple of times in February? Bet you next week, CBS debuts a week-long series about ex "American Idol" contestants who like to dance, ski, and solve murders in their free time.

BROADCAST PRIMETIME- Week of Feb. 20 - Feb. 26, 2006
Rank*ProgramNetworkHousehold Rating**Total Viewers***Compare
Prices
1American
Idol (Wednesday)
FOX18.220,063,000American
Idol - The Best of Seasons 1-4 DVD
2American
Idol (Tuesday)
FOX16.918,631,000American
Idol - The Worst of Seasons 1-4 DVD
3Dancing
with the Stars (2/26)
ABC15.917,574,000None
4Winter Olympics -
Thurs. Prime
NBC15.817,366,000Winter
Olympics Gift Pack VHS
5Winter Olympics -
Tues. Prime
NBC15.517,047,000Winter
Olympics Gift Pack VHS
6Grey's AnatomyABC15.016,513,000Season
1 DVD
7Winter Olympics - Mon. PrimeNBC13.614,968,000Miracle
of Lake Placid VHS
8American
Idol (Thursday)
FOX13.314,688,000American
Idol - The Worst of Seasons 1-4 DVD
9Dancing
with the Stars
ABC11.212,308,000None
10Winter Olympics -
Wed. Prime
NBC10.011,004,000Winter
Olympics Gift Pack 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
1,102,000 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

March 1, 2006

NBC May Have to Issue Commercial "Rainchecks" Because of the Olympics

You know the Winter Olympic's ratings were pretty bad, when you hear news like this:

NBC Universal, the No. 3 U.S. network, may be forced to give advertisers free or discounted air time to make up for low viewership after its Olympic coverage twice failed to gain top ratings this week.

NBC sold about $900 million of ads for the games in Turin, Italy, aiming to dominate ratings as it has the previous seven Winter Games. The General Electric Co. unit promised advertisers it would make up for low ratings with television time at other events, and media buyers such as Andy Pappalardo said NBC's performance so far puts it at risk of triggering the agreements.

I think maybe we should start a class action suit against NBC and Nike for shoving Bode Miller down our throats during the Olympics. Personally, I'm a big Winter Olympics fan, but I found myself skipping a lot of the coverage because of all of NBC's hype and focus and the wrong athletes. The funny thing most people don't realize is that the US had one of it's best Winter Olympics with 25 medals. Oh well, bet somebody gets fired at NBC this week.

At Bloomberg.com

Image Copyright NBC

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Another Panasonic TH-42PX50U Plasma TV Review

We've recently brought you a review of the Panasonic TH-42PX50U from BusinessWeek. Now there's another review out from DesignTechnica that reiterates the positive review from BusinessWeek:

The TH-42PX50U is a pleasure to watch, easy to operate and packed with the essential connectors and features. It could use another HDMI input and front or side inputs for external sources, but overall it’s a great TV at a great price. Panasonic doesn’t list a lifetime rating for this TV in the specs, but if it did, those hours would be at the normal picture mode versus the vivid setting most people will opt for. The brighter setting will impact the life of the phosphors so buyers should keep that in mind.

Bottom line: Anyone seriously in the market for a TV today who thinks they can’t afford HD needs a price check. With plasmas selling for around $2,500 and big-screen CRTs starting under a grand, cost is no longer a significant barrier to HDTV. Congress’ recent passage of the budget reconciliation bill that cements an analog shutoff date for 2009 makes those price shifts all the more welcome.

The TH-42PX50U is a terrific value.

If you're seriously looking at Plasma TVs, be sure to check out the TH-42PX50U.

Compare Prices on the TH-42PX50U

William Hungerford Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking
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