It seems the Home Theater industry has a new “next big thing” every few months. We read articles and blog posts from authors who claim anything Apple releases will be the next big thing that will revolutionize something somewhere. Others think anything that comes out of Google will reshape the modern technology world. We’re going to go out on a limb and talk about something that doesn’t come from either company. We know, we know …crazy.
On the last two shows we discussed comments made by CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro stating that, "using huge swaths of wireless spectrum to deliver TV to homes no longer makes economic sense. Congress should pass legislation to allow for incentive auctions so free market dynamics can find the best purposes for underused broadcast spectrum, such as wireless broadband." In the CEAs findings they stated that only 8% of the US population EXCLUSIVELY receives their TV signals through the air. We feel that this number is artificially stated as low. The survey polled 1,256 adults but it did not say where the respondents were located. If the survey was done in rural communities that number may be as high as 25%.
An HDTV Widget is an application that runs on an Internet-connected HDTV, sometimes called a “Smart TV” or other home-theater device, like many Blu-ray players, a Roku, the Boxee Box or a Google TV, that offers functionality beyond the traditional TV watching experience. There are a plethora of these widgets, some useful, some not so useful. We’ve assembled our list of the best, or most useful, HDTV Widgets available right now.
Last September Apple released the AppleTV 2 and one of the things people complained about was that it was only 720p. We have talked on this program many times that resolution is not the most important specification of a good display or projector. Especially when you talk screen sizes less than 50 inches. There is study after study that says MOST people need to sit six feet away from a 50 inch TV to see the difference between 720p and 1080p.
DirecTV recently began testing what they’re calling a new “media center” that will allow customers to watch live and DVR recorded programming on any TV in the house without the need for a set-top box in each room. This new media center is built on a technology called RVU. But what exactly is RVU? There’s an RVU Alliance, but what do they do? What does “RVU” even mean?
When we bought our first devices that supported HDMI way back in 2006 the hot devices could handle the HDMI 1.1 specification. At that time the big deal was an AV receiver that would take next generation audio formats decoded on Blu-ray players and sent to a receiver that could accept PCM audio via HDMI. HDMI is still the only way to get next generation audio into a receiver.