Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Home Entertainment

Don't Throw Out Those Old TVs Yet

December 22, 2005

The Senate approved legislation yesterday that puts the U.S. one step closer to an all-digital television world. At the same time, the legislation creates a federal program that is designed to help all of us pay for new equipment so that our existing analog television sets can still work after Feb. 17, 2009, the “hard date” for transition.

Included in the legislation is a program that would give each household up to two coupons worth $40 each to pay for converter boxes to keep analog sets working after broadcasters surrender their analog licenses on Feb. 17, 2009.

Taiwan & Korea lead in the Adoption of Consumer Technologies

December 21, 2005


According to a Park Associates report, U.S. consumers lead the world in consumption of television-related products; Asian consumers lead in computer products. Some other interesting insights as well, including the fact that Taiwan and South Korea lead the world in the adoption of consumer technologies, according to Global Digital Living (GDL), a new international study from Parks Associates.

GDL surveyed over 10,000 households in 13 countries and ranked nations according to their proclivity to adopt and use MP3 players, video-on-demand (VOD), home networks, computers, online services, and similar advanced technologies. The United States proved the most receptive to TV-related technologies (such as DVRs and digital cable) but fell behind Taiwan and Korea in the adoption of computer-related technologies.


Roxio's Media Creator 8 Does All Things Digital

December 14, 2005


Roxio’s Easy Media Creator 8 now makes it possible to do all things digital within a single software suite -- organize, edit, share, preserve and enjoy digital music, movies, photos and data.

Creator 8 seamlessly merges the capabilities of Roxio’s complete line of well-established, full-featured digital media applications, including Creator Classic, PhotoSuite and VideoWave, with powerful Sonic technologies and applications including the next-generation MyDVD, which has been redesigned to deliver the perfect balance of power and ease. 

The new MyDVD Express guides new users through the quick completion of authoring projects, while the full-featured MyDVD application offers advanced capabilities and controls for creating sophisticated multi-menu projects.

Let’s take a look at some of the features that I found particularly useful.  DVD Music Disc is a revolutionary way for users to access and enjoy up to 50 hours of Dolby Digital quality music in the comfort of their home.  DVD Music Disc allows users to put as many as 65 albums onto a single DVD for playback via a set-top DVD player.  The resulting DVD Music Disc can include original album artwork, DVD menus and easy navigation that is automatically organized by track, artist, genre, album and even year.

Sony No Baloney? Indeed!

December 9, 2005

Holiday Gift Shortages: Xbox 360 & iPods Top This Year's Model

December 5, 2005

What's Up with TiVo?

November 30, 2005

I remember not so long ago when anyone who had TiVo couldn't wait to tell anyone who didn't have TiVo how great the system was -- watch TV when you want to, skip over commercials, record shows easily, blah, blah, blah.

Now TiVo's plans to partner with some the world's largest advertising agencies to offer TiVo users the ability to search for -- and watch -- commercials that they are interested in seeing seemingly turns the TiVo model on its head.  Granted, there must be some way to make people watch commercials.

This reminds me of the old days in Europe when there were certain TV channels that actually showed nothing but commercials.  I never understood why anyone would want to watch them, but given the state of today's TV programming, maybe the commercials are better than the shows?

AOL’s Internet Indie Video Programming

November 26, 2005

Cisco Bets on Set-Top Boxes

November 18, 2005

Clark, I Mean DISH, Texas

November 17, 2005

In a classic publicity stunt, EchoStar Communications has persuaded the town of Clark, Texas, to legally change its name to DISH.  In return, every household household within the city limits will receive DISH Network's satellite TV service for free, including America’s Top 60 programming package for 10 years, free standard installation and a free digital video recorder satellite TV receiver.

Clark Town Commissioners voted to rename the town Tuesday evening at a packed town hall meeting.  Clark, first incorporated as a town in 2000, is located 25 miles north of Ft. Worth and has a population of 125 (avid TV viewers I would image).  Town signs will be changed to reflect the town’s new identity, including the signs at the town hall, the town entrance and all of the city limit signs.

DISH is the first city to agree to the "DISH City Makeover," part of recent re-branding efforts and a new advertising campaign trumpeting “Better TV for All.” from DISH Networks.

AOL Goes To the Pods

November 15, 2005

It seems like if you blink, you miss another deal between online and content providers.  Not wanting to miss the bandwagon, AOL has announced a deal with Time Warner to offer "vintage" shows, such as "Wonder Woman" and "Kung Fu," over the Internet for free.  Just like the good old days of TV, when advertising paid the way and we could watch for free (what a concept!).

While "free" is always compelling, I don't know how many people really want to watch TV on their computer monitors (sounds like a good concept, but is one that just never gained traction); wait, what about podcasts!.  Plus, while these shows might have been cool on "TV Land" rerun heaven, they just might not be cool enough today.

Another case of wait and see ...

 

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