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Tom Keating
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Video Hardware & Software

Football Drives HDTV Sales

December 8, 2008

Home Entertainment Is Counter-Cyclical

December 5, 2008

A national survey, commissioned by Verizon, of 1,026 American adults has found that a majority (57%) plan to spend more time at home turning to their televisions instead of events outside the home during the economic crisis.

And while this would seem to indicate that American families are stinting on entertainment, in fact, the opposite may be true. Very curious indeed!

Recent advances in television technology have made "home enterstayment" a way for many families to stretch their entertainment dollars while increasing their entertainment options and time together.

"Staying at home no longer means your entertainment options are limited," said Shruti Joshi, director of marketing for Verizon. "As families continue to look for ways to manage their budgets, they're realizing that by staying home they actually have more choices, more control and more time together.

Blockbuster Goes All-in-One in Nevada

December 4, 2008

The Top Holiday Gift Choices? Is It Blu-ray? Or Not?

December 2, 2008

You've seen the recent blogs about how nine of the top 10 best-selling items so far this holiday shopping season are gadgets -- but how about them Ugg boots!

Seriously, we've seen how this is the season of Blu-ray and this isn't the season for Blu-ray. Honestly, what do you think?

For me personally, I'm still busy with DVDs, some PayPerView and even some old video cassettes if the movie is good enough -- but granted, those DVDs do look better!

So I'm not too close to plunking down greenbacks for Blu-ray, but if the hardware prices keep drop, drop, dropping and the software prices keep drop, drop, dropping, then perhaps I will take the plunge.

But how many gadgets can I stack up in an AV home theater system anyway?

And time for some new cables, too!

I told you it was going to be a Blu-ray Christmas!

December 2, 2008

I hate to say I told you so, but today's gadget report on Black Friday sales, once again proves my opinion that this Christmas will be a "black" Blu-ray Christmas! My opinion goes against conventional wisdom that Blu-ray won't succeed, and that streaming HD using Roku/Netflix, and cable providers offering HD content is now closing the window of opportunity for Blu-ray. I'm not buying that theory. Additionally, several other articles, including CRN's Consumers Not Planning a Blu-Ray Christmas article and Register Hardware's 'A Blu-ray Christmas?

Gadgets Help Drive Black Friday Sales

December 1, 2008

Despite one of the worst economic climates in decades, consumer spending on Black Friday hit $10.6 billion, 3% higher than the day after Thanksgiving in 2007, according to researcher ShopperTrak.

Gadgets accounted for nine of the top 10 most popular Black Friday products, PriceGrabber said.

Data from shows that online consumers are taking advantage of promotions on popular electronics, including LCD and plasma TVs, Blu-ray disc players, digital SLR cameras, laptops and video game consoles.

The most popular products on Black Friday:
  1. Nintendo Wii Console
  2. Ugg Australia 'Classic Short' Boot (how about that!)
  3. Sony BDP-S350 1080p Blu-Ray Disc Player
  4. Samsung LN52A650 52" LCD TV
  5. Nintendo Wii Fit
  6. Panasonic TH-42PX80U 42" Plasma TV
  7. Sennheiser HD 555 Headphones
  8. Canon EOS Rebel XSi Black SLR Digital Camera Kit
  9. Acer Aspire One AOA110-1295 Notebook
  10. Canon PowerShot A590 IS Black Digital Camera
And while we are at it, here are the Top 10 categories and percent growth over Black Friday 2007:
  1. Women's Boots - 203%
  2. Watches - 202%
  3. Blu-ray/HD-DVD Players - 147%
  4. Women's Sleep & Lounge Wear - 415%
  5. Games & Puzzles - 151%
  6. Women's Jackets - 110%
  7. Music - 96%
  8. Headphones - 103%
  9. Women's Dresses - 107%
  10. Women's Casual Shoes - 143%
More at and The Washington Post.

Black Friday Results are in!

December 1, 2008

It appears it just might be a Merry Christmas even with the doom & gloom surrounding the economy. I guess President-elect Barack Obama must be the Messiah, since he's already creating miracles and he hasn't even been sworn in yet. Or it could just be that credit card loving Americans just don't know when to quit spending & charging.

Check this out:

NRF Survey Finds Black Friday Gets Holiday Season Off to Energetic Start
-- Great Bargains, Pent-Up Demand Drove Shoppers to Stores, Web

Though the holiday season is far from over, retailers across the country are breathing a collective sigh of relief after shoppers headed to stores and websites in droves over the weekend. According to the National Retail Federation's 2008 Black Friday Weekend survey, conducted by BIGresearch, more than 172 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 147 million shoppers last year.*

Shoppers spent an average of $372.57 this weekend*, up 7.2 percent over last year's $347.55.

Cyber Monday Amazon Deals

December 1, 2008

Amazon has a special landing page listing all their Cyber Monday deals. Amazon doesn't call it "Cyber Monday" but rather the "Black-Friday-After-Thanksgiving-Sale", so this landing page should be good until Christmas. Maybe they were afraid Cyber Monday was patented, kinda like their one-click ordering patent.

Anyway, here's the current category breakdown on the Amazon holiday specials landing page:

There are some Blu-ray DVD players for sale, including a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player for $199.

It's Going to be a Blu-ray Christmas

December 1, 2008

Some experts are skeptical about whether consumers will buy Blu-ray DVD players this Christmas - I am not one of them. Many are saying it's going to be a "blue" Blu-ray Christmas. I disagree. I went shopping for a cheap Blu-ray DVD player on Black Friday, with one bargain special at Wal-Mart offering a $128 Blu-ray player.

Force Skype HQ Video Mode with any webcam

December 1, 2008

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