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Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the buy-buy-buy-consume-consume-consume dept.

Television 307

The last time we talked with Dr. Poor (who is now a Senior Editor at aNewDomain.net), we ran out of time and didn't get around to discussing 3-D and ultra-high-def TV and whether they're worth buying. So here he is again on the Slashdot TV screen (which is *not* high-definition), talking about the TV marketplace. This is a perfect time for that discussion, since Dark Friday is only a few weeks away, and after that we move into the month during which TVs and a lot of other items sell at a lot higher rate than they do during the rest of the year. If you're thinking about buying a new TV for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, you might want to listen to what Dr. Poor has to say on the subject before you do.

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Dark Friday? (1)

donut1005 (982510) | about a year ago | (#45424402)

Why so gloomy sounding? Why can't it be called A Mix Of All Colors Friday?

Re:Dark Friday? (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about a year ago | (#45424870)

"how is your business doing this year?"

"not good. we're still in the red for at least the next quarter, how about you?"

"doin ok, just went into the dark based on retail sales thanksgiving weekend."

"pardon me... you what?"

"went into the dark. we're totally in the dark now, unless the accountant screwed up the books again."

"ooooooookkk...."

Re:Dark Friday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425026)

A mix of all colors but low on intensity value?

Re:Dark Friday? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#45425140)

Please reflect on your comment.

pointless (4, Interesting)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45424414)

theres no point in buying a 3dtv or a 4k ultra resolution tv when you cant watch anything on it with either... televesion is at best 1080p, and you can only get fake 3d tv. if you want to watch a 3d movie, you have to pay extra. if you want to stream movies, dont even think you will get 4k resolution any time soon. even if you could find something online with 4k resolution, you wouldnt be able to stream it without a gigabit internet connection.

Re:pointless (4, Insightful)

neurojab (15737) | about a year ago | (#45424676)

4k is indeed pointless, unless you literally have a full size movie theater in your house. How in the world can anyone make out individual pixels at 1080p on a reasonable screen size without getting right up to the screen? It's physically impossible.

And as for streaming being able to provide 4k before disc-based formats - HD streaming is good, but not close to blu-ray quality today at 1080p/24. This is due to bandwidth constraints. How is increasing the resolution going to help improve the bandwidth?

I would rather like to have a 4k desktop monitor (because I do sit right next to it), but I would not pay more for a living room TV that has 4k (because I don't).

Re:pointless (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45424854)

who do people like you fail to realize that when you look at a TV picture you're not seeing pixels, you're seeing light emitted from those pixels, and that light interacts with all the light from the surrounding pixels to project an image on your retina. just because you can't see an individual pixel does not mean that more, smaller pixels don't produce a more pleasing/realistic image. there are a lot of other important physical phenomena and interactions happening at tiny scales between all the photons that you're not aware of. it's the same with people who argue that a 44.1kHz is the best sample rate for audio because you can't hear frequencies above 22kHz. there are interactions and harmonics beyond just the audible range that shape the overall sound of music. do you really think that 100 years from now we're still going to be watching 1080p video with 16-bit 44.1kHz audio?

Re:pointless (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#45424940)

this is true, but there is no 4K media yet

a lot of movies are shot with 4K cameras but blu ray is still meant for 1080p at 30-40 Mbps. streaming is 1080p but 5-10 mbps.
sure they can do 4K streaming but the bit rate won't be better than it is now so there would be no point.

and even then people aren't going to replace their blu rays with the new disks

Re:pointless (4, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about a year ago | (#45425186)

this is true, but there is no 4K media yet

Nonsense.

My TRS-80 was displaying images exceeding 6K back in 1978.

Re:pointless (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45425470)

this is true, but there is no 4K media yet

There is no 4k media shot in the real world. Any decent contemporary rendering engine should happily enough render 4k output of whatever virtual world strikes your fancy. Even in real time, if you have the cash for a good GPU.

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425582)

35mm film is greater than 4K. What we don't have is playback media.

Re:pointless (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45425640)

35mm film is greater than 4K

[citation needed]

Besides which, many movies over the last few decade or so have been shot digitally at much lower resolutions than 4k, or scanned from film for compositing at 2k, or use CGI rendered at 2k or less. So, while recent movies might look better, many old ones won't.

Re:pointless (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45425644)

Cibachrome?

Re:pointless (1, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45425114)

just because you can't see an individual pixel does not mean that more, smaller pixels don't produce a more pleasing/realistic image

Yes, that's precisely what it means. (An "individual pixel is a set of lights already.)

it's the same with people who argue that a 44.1kHz is the best sample rate for audio because you can't hear frequencies above 22kHz. there are interactions and harmonics beyond just the audible range that shape the overall sound of music

No, you can't hear those. If you can't hear a sine-wave tone above 20 kHz you can't hear any waveform steeper than that either. That's just how it works - the math and physics are very clear here.

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425270)

There is a good reason why recording and playback at higher sample rates makes sense.
Physical/economic limits to how good you can make your anti-aliasing/reconstruction filter, and the fun modulation products you get from imperfect filters.
In between... agreed. You can't tell something recorded with good gear at 96/192/whatever kHz from the same recording downsampled to 44.1 and back up (with proper digital LPF and noise-shaping).

What about pets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425334)

OK, I am trolling a bit. However, LCD does let animals see and understand TV much better than CRT. Why not make better audio for animals :). I want to know my cats are getting the best quality when they run from hearing a doorbell on TV or hear a recognizable animal sound.

Re:pointless (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425616)

However once we reach around 2000 pixels per millimetre the pixels will can create an interference pattern which may be used to create holographic images.

However I have seen 8K demos that will blow you socks off, it isn't even in the realm of HDTV. You can watch a football match from a static camera angle for example; you can read the face of the players while you see the complete pitch.

But more interesting than 4K or 8K, is high frame rate video. I've seen a demo from the BBC showing a 300 fps system. That speed allows us to track moving images smoothly with our eyes (instead of the big steps moving images now have). This tracking allows our eyes to fully resolve a moving image and it becomes much sharper. It would be great for watching fight scenes etc.

Re:pointless (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45425664)

I prefer a good story. There are no amount of pixels that will improve the story.

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425190)

Wrong and wrong.

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425244)

do you really think that 100 years from now we're still going to be watching 1080p video with 16-bit 44.1kHz audio?

Broadcast TV ATSC standard is 48KHz already. What I don't understand is why music is mastered in 96KHz or 192KHz and we're not even getting 48KHz digital distribution yet. Even if that's not a big jump from 44.1, it's at least an even divisor. This is why I still buy all my music on CD. I lose nothing and I gain a tiny physical backup once I dispose of the case.

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425544)

because you're increasing the file size (which does still matter) for differences that are not discernible but to a handful of physical outliers across the entire species, and only then when they're trained to know what to listen for?

Same reason your toothbrush handle isn't made of molybdenum... there's just no need.

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425608)

I'm not talking about leaps and bounds further. I think Blu-Ray's HD audio standards come pretty close to the physical limits. Just generous padding, not outrageous sizes.

There's also the higher dynamic range of going beyond 16-bit, which is not just a limiting factor in movies, but also orchestral recordings.

Re:pointless (4, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45425688)

>What I don't understand is why music is mastered in 96KHz or 192KHz and we're not even getting 48KHz digital distribution yet

So that a low phase distortion rc filter can be used to remove the super-nyquist components before sub sampling.
You don't need more that 48KHz for playback. There is no benefit.

Re:pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425286)

> _it's the same with people who argue that a 44.1kHz is the best sample rate for audio because you can't hear frequencies above 22kHz._

Not the best sample rate, but that human ears cannot hear a difference between 44.1 kHz and anything higher than that. If there were harmonocs that could be detected by humans that weren't reproduced accurately with 44.1 kHz audio, humans would be able to reliably detect the difference between 44.1 kHz and high sampling rates. They can't. That's a physiological fact.

Re:pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425196)

So many people focus on being able to distinguish individual pixels which is not strictly relevant. With higher resolution comes the ability to more smoothly display color gradients and shadow details in my experience, which greatly enhances the realism of the image. If you're sitting close enough to even begin to see pixels, something is very wrong with your setup. Of course a 4K 40" or smaller TV is pretty silly unless maybe it's at the foot of your bed, but a 65" TV is far from a dedicated theater and in most applications the extra resolution very obviously improves the image at any reasonable seating distance.

Maybe this is semantics, but while we might not see streaming 4K options anytime soon (we don't even have streaming 1080p really if you factor in bitrate), we already have 4K downloads via the Sony FMP-X1 media player. Unfortunately it only works when connected to Sony 4K TVs, and requires you to download each ~25GB movie in advance. I would imagine that other content providers will adopt a similar delivery method long before a new optical medium is adopted.

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425466)

requires you to download each ~25GB movie in advance. I would imagine that other content providers will adopt a similar delivery method long before a new optical medium is adopted.

At a bitrate that's only half of a two-layer Blu-Ray, it's just not worth doing. You wouldn't even need new optical media for that, just an updated standard. But again, pointless - the quality difference just wouldn't be there at that size.

Re:pointless (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#45425206)

Or get an even bigger display. Traditionally price has relegated people to smaller size displays for their home theater, but seeing as even big ones are cheap now...

My PC monitor is actually a 55" TV. Sony KDL-55W802A to be precise, because in addition to its size it has a notoriously low input delay, lower than most monitors even. (And it has 3D, though I've rarely used it.) It's what I'm typing this post on now, actually. Big screens are pretty nice for getting work done, and low input delay makes it nice for games too.

Re:pointless (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#45425474)

IT is even pointless at that point unless you are sitting 5 feet from a 102" screen.

I have a 92" screen in my full blown theater and the front row seating at 10 feet from the screen I am at the edge of the human eyeball from being able to resolve that resolution. The back row can barely tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

You cant get around physics no matter how hard "videophiles" want to.

Re:pointless (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#45425478)

Have you actually seen a 4k TV in real life? I have seen a few and can see the difference with 1080p on a 55" screen from 3m away. It's not dramatic but definitely visible. Then again some people claim they can't see the difference between SD and 1080p either.

I'm in no hurry to upgrade, I just refute the notion that 4k can't be seen.

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425628)

Most of the 4K demo TV's I've seen in stores show video that's so compressed, the artifacts would be large even for 1080p. So it's quite possible that it's hard to tell the difference when the content is that bad.

Re:pointless (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45425702)

>I have seen a few and can see the difference with 1080p on a 55" screen from 3m away.

So I'm better off not seeing that, because right now I'm perfectly happy with my 720p TV. I don't want to have to want a better one.

Re:pointless (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#45425514)

How in the world can anyone make out individual pixels at 1080p on a reasonable screen size...

Why would you want to? Remember, the purpose of retina displays is so you won't see the individual pixels.

Re:pointless (4, Insightful)

wooferhound (546132) | about a year ago | (#45424962)

theres no point in buying a 3dtv or a 4k ultra resolution tv when you cant watch anything on it with either... television is at best 1080p, and you can only get fake 3d tv. if you want to watch a 3d movie, you have to pay extra. if you want to stream movies, dont even think you will get 4k resolution any time soon. even if you could find something online with 4k resolution, you wouldnt be able to stream it without a gigabit internet connection.

You already own content that can be viewed on a 4k TV. I'm sure that your Photo Camera pictures are much higher resolution than 4k and would come alive on a 4k television.

Re:pointless (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45425372)

my camera is 8MP... not nearly enough to get even close to 4k resolution. i also wouldnt buy an expensive tv just to show pictures

Re:pointless (4, Informative)

stdarg (456557) | about a year ago | (#45425438)

4k resolution is about 8.3MP so you're closer than you think.

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425480)

You don't think 3456x2304 (8MP) comes close to 4K (3840x2160 for televisions)?

Re:pointless (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425646)

I get it. You didn't realize that 4K is a theater standard and those refer to horizontal resolution. Perfectly understandable if so.

Re:pointless (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#45425084)

Agreed. Chicken and Egg.

Consumer: not enough 4K native content to justify 4K TV.
Content makers: Not enough 4K TVs to justify making 4K content.

Re:pointless (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#45425410)

All we need is someone to start releasing porn in 4K format, and the 4K TVs will start flying off the shelves. :)

Re:pointless (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#45425772)

All we need is someone to start releasing porn in 4K format, and the 4K TVs will start flying off the shelves. :)

Nope, sorry, but there are NO porn stars that are that pretty. I don't want to actually SEE all those human flaws.

Re:pointless (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45425712)

Great, so they can stop already.

Re:pointless (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45425378)

The problem is that too many manufacturers got addicted to the phat cash they made during the transition from SDTV to HDTV, and thought the gravy train was going to last forever. So the last few years have been one attempt after another (120Hz, "Smart" TV's, 3D, 4K, etc.) to recapture that magic (and those profits). They're not satisfied making the modest money they made during the later SD era, with people occasionally replacing worn-out or broken TV's. They want the BIG MONEY they made in the early-mid oughts when everybody was running out to buy a new big-screen HDTV.

Re:pointless (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45425448)

theres no point in buying a 3dtv or a 4k ultra resolution tv when you cant watch anything on it with either... televesion is at best 1080p, and you can only get fake 3d tv. if you want to watch a 3d movie, you have to pay extra. if you want to stream movies, dont even think you will get 4k resolution any time soon. even if you could find something online with 4k resolution, you wouldnt be able to stream it without a gigabit internet connection.

I'm 100% with you on '3d TV' being total bullshit (barring substantial advances in technology, to the point where no goofy glasses are required, and anywhere in the room I sit I can't tell that I'm not looking out some creepy window to another dimension).

However, I couldn't agree less about resolution: Yes, as you say, there is absolutely nothing except a couple of tech demos to watch at greater than 1080p, and more pixels aren't even visible at social TV viewing distances. This much is true. However, TVs and monitors are largely converged at this point (A 'TV' is a monitor with big pixels and a TV tuner, possibly shitty speakers built in, a 'monitor' lacks a TV tuner and has smaller pixels and maybe a DVI connector) and the PCs of the world (well, the world that might consider a 4k TV) have no problem spitting that many pixels across the screen. Possibly even several screens.

Basically the lousiest GPU you can buy, so long as it supports HDMI 1.4 or Displayport, can at least drive a 4k screen, probably even with basic-Windows-acceleration-effects, and screaming gamer gear should be able to even run relatively modern games at that resolution.

That is why I care about '4k'. Given the NTSC/ATSC switchover, broadcast TV could be at a standstill for another couple of decades, and Cable and Satellite seem to be competing to see who can deliver more channels of painfully compressed crap, and (necessarily low res/high compression) streaming might well doom superior-but-inconvenient optical media before Blu-ray 2.0 ever comes out; but that barely matters. All the 1080p material will still look good at 4k, assuming your upscaler doesn't suck, and even a modest PC will be pumping out sweet, sweet, pixels.

Re:pointless (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#45425592)

You won't need a gigabit connection. Netflix says 4k is around 15 megabits per second [ispreview.co.uk] .

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425726)

4k is not pointless, and there is content that you can watch that is 4k. I do it at home all the time. You just need to hook up a computer with decent video card. Gaming is awesome at that resolution especially strategy and RPGs since amount you can see clearly matters in those games. And games are not the only thing that benefits from 4k right now. I can interact with 4 computers through remote desktop on one screen with each having same pixel real estate as run of the mill monitor. Developing with 4k is so much better. I can have IDE open , virtual machine on which I can run tests against, browser window with help how to do something and what ever else all on one screen with out switching between windows.

And there are many other application of 4k that I can com up with

I understand that I use 4k tv as a computer monitor and not tv, but unfortunately 4k monitors are either too small (31.5 inches is way to small) or too expensive (Mitsubishi has one but it was 20K last time I checked)

I'm so happy with my 50" 4k TV that I will buy another one as soon they will have HDMI 2.0 or Display Port 1.2 and with size grater than 40" and bellow $2K (and I will use them both, but not on the same computer.)

"Dark Friday"? (2)

grub (11606) | about a year ago | (#45424440)


The article mentions "Dark Friday" but links to a wiki page called "Black Friday". What is that about? (I know about Black Friday in the US, just not sure why the Dark Friday bit)

Re:"Dark Friday"? (1)

djdanlib (732853) | about a year ago | (#45424688)

It's like your sig says.

Trolling is a art.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45425004)

The article mentions "Dark Friday" but links to a wiki page called "Black Friday". What is that about?

Many people refused to support the shopping event "Black Friday" on the grounds that it is racist towards people of other skin tones. The pollitically correct term is "Dark Friday", which is on the eve of "Darkie Weekend" during which most people don't have to work and can just laze about on their porches like monkies.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about a year ago | (#45425150)

Great. That means that in English cities you'll soon have to hail a "dark" taxi rather than a black one.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (1)

Havokmon (89874) | about a year ago | (#45425156)

The article mentions "Dark Friday" but links to a wiki page called "Black Friday". What is that about?

Many people refused to support the shopping event "Black Friday" on the grounds that it is racist towards people of other skin tones. The politically correct term is "Dark Friday", which is on the eve of "Darkie Weekend" during which most people don't have to work and can just laze about on their porches like monkies.

ROFL. That's most appropriate explanation I've ever seen.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (2, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about a year ago | (#45425366)

Dumbest thing I ever heard. The name is in reference to black vs red ink in accounting books showing positive or negative numbers. Black is a positive thing in accounting. Some people go out of their way to be offended by things that aren't relevant.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (3, Informative)

stdarg (456557) | about a year ago | (#45425472)

From the Wiki:

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or "in the black". For large retail chains like Walmart, their net income is positive starting from January 1, and Black Friday can boost their year to date net profit from $14 billion to $19 billion.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425386)

Modded Informative? Wow, someone's sarcasm detector is on the fritz.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#45425626)

It's called meta-humor.

Though it might also be meta-racism.

Not really sure.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425450)

Best needle to the PC retards in a really long time. Well done sir.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year ago | (#45425522)

We could call it gray Friday but then the aliens would bitch. Can't win.

Re:"Dark Friday"? (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about a year ago | (#45425760)

That was fucking beautiful. Funniest thing I've seen on slashdot in a long time. Thank you.

Ultimate buyer of HDTV? (2)

gadget junkie (618542) | about a year ago | (#45424616)

Here in Italy, the only form of broadcast HDTV content is via pay channels. I see them stealing a page out of the mobile phone companies, and include the TV in their contract, so that the early exit penalty would be paying off the TV. they get more consistent revenues, and the HDTV producers "Eat" the retailing margin, or they split.
Only problem, as a consumer, would be if they get the producers to include the ability "brick" the TV remotely (for non payment, for instance) and/or include some proprietary encryption.

Blame cable (1)

jonsmirl (114798) | about a year ago | (#45424624)

I used to have TVs all over the house. Now I only have two. The reason for this is the $15/mth rental on the cable box that is needed at each TV. Over three or four years the cost of this box rental exceeds the cost of the TV.

Re:Blame cable (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#45424864)

time warner rents cable card at $2.50 per month now, other companies more. the box will cost you $140 from samsung
depending on your company you can now stream your TV. FIOS/Time warner and AT&T will let you stream live TV on x-box and roku and maybe some other devices. samsung smart TV's now have time warner streaming as well

Re:Blame cable (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#45424876)

and you can stream a lot of channels now so you don't need a cable box for say the kids. HBO, disney channel and others can be streamed via apple TV, roku, x-box and other devices

Re:Blame cable (2)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45424998)

There are geeks who still have cable?

Re:Blame cable (2, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45425490)

I'm a geek who has tried cutting the cord several times now. And it's still just not there. It's better than it once was, but there is still a lot more that you CAN'T get than you can. And even the stuff you can get still comes with a lot of caveats, costs, and weird compromises.

Cutting the cord right now is fine if you're okay with accepting whatever content happens to be there. But it sucks if you're the kind of person who hears about a specific show and wants to watch *that* show (and not wait a year or more to do it). There are just too many shows that I like that either aren't available at all or would cost me $3 an episode to watch.

Re:Blame cable (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#45425724)

There are just too many shows that I like that either aren't available at all or would cost me $3 an episode to watch.

$3 per episode comes to about $6 per month ($3/episode * 24 episodes/year / 12 months/year). At that price, you can afford to buy a lot of TV shows online for the cost of cable TV.

Re:Blame cable (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425502)

Not all are senseless pirates.

Re:Blame cable (1)

wooferhound (546132) | about a year ago | (#45425046)

I have TVs all over my house and they receive free antenna TV. I run the antenna into the cable wires on the side of the house through a signal amplifier and can get 15 channels here in North Alabama.

Re:Blame cable (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about a year ago | (#45425106)

Ha! We get close to 80 OTA channel in the San Francisco area. But on 10-15 are in English :(

Re:Blame cable (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45425134)

I simply refused to install the damn cable box, and use the built-in QAM tuner instead. Of course, Comcrap* has started encrypting a couple of broadcast channels now, so I have angry letters to the franchisor, public service commission, BBB, FCC and FTC to write and an antenna to buy...

(*I only have cable TV to begin with against my will -- Comcast is the only high-speed ISP that works at my house, and internet+TV is cheaper than internet by itself. But if they're going to count me as a subscriber, then I damn well want to receive the service I'm subscribed to! And if it doesn't work with a standard QAM tuner, it shouldn't count as cable TV!)

Re:Don't call it Cable TV if it isn't (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year ago | (#45425302)

RE: if it doesn't work with a standard QAM tuner, it shouldn't count as cable TV!

Call it "Encrypted Cable TV"

Re:Blame cable (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#45425500)

They will encrypt all of them soon. Every single channel will be encrypted and they will force you to go to their craptastic box.

Re:Blame cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425388)

I re-scanned broadcast just last night, as a matter of fact. I got 64 channels, and yep, nothing was on which is why I decided to "entertain" myself with the little search bar.

I've noticed that many channels are displaying what looks to me like artifacts of color compression. It's particularly bad on flesh tones. It's hit and miss. Sometimes a woman's skin will look fantastic, then a few seconds later it starts to look like 16-bit Nintendo or something. This is different than the type of interference you get from atmospheric problems.

I think somewhere, somebody is really, really scrimping on bandwidth for broadcast. The effect reminds me a bit of "palette mapping" back in the bad old days. Anybody remember that? They've got a poorly chosen palette that barfs on flesh tones and sometimes other colors with shadows on them or subtle gradations in color.

Anyway, I re-scan and a lot of channels are multiplexing now. That's probably why they need to compress. Yeah great. 3X the crap I don't want to watch.

I think it's a slow, steady condemnation of broadcast into a budget ghetto. Make broadcast suck, make few people interested, then justify pulling the plug on free TV because nobody is interested.

Well screw that. I'm not paying. You, as a consumer can respond to this in two ways: play their game, or take the ball and go home.

Literally, take a ball or something, go outside and play. It's better for us anyway.

Re:Blame cable (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#45425392)

Just wait a year. 1000 Gpbs internet is rolling to all locations within 10 miles of a top tier research university nationwide. For only $10 a month.

It's part of the Internet 2 initiative.

Re:Blame cable (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#45425706)

citation? I live 2.5 miles from a top tier research university in a big city and have heard nothing about this. "all locations within 10 miles" is pretty much the entire city. I'm not sure who would pay for the infrastructure.

Re:Blame cable (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#45425776)

We're already building the infrastructure to tie together the campus locations. It's kind of how we build the Internet back when it wasn't public.

Various citations. Not going to do your work for you.

Holy unskippable ad! (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | about a year ago | (#45424630)

I've love to watch this video, but the 2-minute IBM advert is too much for me to handle...

Re:Holy unskippable ad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425044)

I've love to watch this video, but the 2-minute IBM advert is too much for me to handle...

That's why my big corporation doesn't buy IBM.

Transcripts? Summary? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#45424690)

Why is there no summary or transcript? Watching a video to hear a few words is a completely wasteful use of bandwidth and time.

Re:Transcripts? Summary? (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#45424762)

See the "Hide/Show Transcript" link just under the video?

Re:Transcripts? Summary? (3, Informative)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#45424850)

Oh, didn't see it. Oops.

Re:Transcripts? Summary? (1)

wooferhound (546132) | about a year ago | (#45425074)

Just click the ---Hide/Show Transcript--- link under the video . . .

Re:Transcripts? Summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425256)

At least it's not HD.

Video Games (1)

khr (708262) | about a year ago | (#45424842)

I'm thinking of buying an ultra-high def TV so I can hook up my old Atari 2600. Hopefully it'll look sharp.

Re:Video Games (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#45425000)

Be careful. Pong can burn in the phosphors and damage the TV set.

Re:Video Games (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#45425464)

Pong can burn in the phosphors and damage the TV set.

That doesn't matter if, like me, all you ever do on your TV is play pong. :)

SPAM SPAM SPAM (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45424872)

what is this doing hear

They could stop the hurting (1)

js3 (319268) | about a year ago | (#45424888)

by not creating products nobody wants

the HD bubble is over (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#45425348)

HDTV was a once in a generation thing. Once everybody's upgraded, you're not going to maintain sales levels like that. Too bad for you if you didn't figure that into you depreciation model for your billion-dollar factory.

They've tried gimmicks to bolster sales. 3D, actually at least requires they purchase a new set. "smart" TV is just plugging a common computer into their existing display, Samsung's come that realization and now sells an upgrade box for their sets.

Re:the HD bubble is over (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45425566)

Nobody needs a smaller 4K TV, but nobody wants their computer monitor stuck at 1080p forever. This will hopefully trickle back down to computer monitors.

3D is something that's been successful in theaters and even if it's not something everyone wants, that market is no longer going away like it did for the red/blue glasses. And it just so happens, I watched a film in 3D (Hugo) that I liked so much that I bought the 3D Blu-Ray. This despite not yet owning a 3D TV or 3D Blu-Ray player. There was a time when everyone was criticizing sound in movies - silent movies were just fine. And the same happened for color. Now, 3D isn't necessary or even appropriate for every film, but as an artistic storytelling or immersion tool, it's not a bad thing. Neither is HFR, but that hasn't stopped Peter Jackson from experimenting with it on The Hobbit series - which did help with sweeping panoramic shots, but still sort of fails elsewhere due to the loss of "natural" motion blur.

any LCD's work in day light? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#45424908)

i have a 3 year old Panny 42" LCD TV. no LED backlit and no smart TV, just a cheapo LCD
night time its awesome. in the day time the screen is too dark

will going to LED or some other model fix this?

Re:any LCD's work in day light? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45425064)

You can still buy plasma TVs. I love the tech - bright, great blacks, better color accuracy, wider color gamut. The only downside these days is higher power consumption (and thus heat). Samsung still makes a full line, and until OLED reaches mainstream I'd go with plasma (you can check them out side-by-side with LCD at a Best Buy or higher-end store).

Re:any LCD's work in day light? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45425082)

The most realistic graphical reproductions I've seen are quite expensive displays by thesbians performed live in my living room*. There are many issues with this new technology; Primarily the anti-time shifting DRM which prohibits replay without additional fees.

*If your parents own a theater, their basement is under the stage.

Re: any LCD's work in day light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425484)

Thesbians! Is that what they call lesbian actresses?

Re:any LCD's work in day light? (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about a year ago | (#45425104)

Buying dark curtains would fix it.

Re:any LCD's work in day light? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45425568)

Get a locally-dimmed LED-backlit LCD from any major manufacturer; typically these are measurably brighter than any consumer-level plasma display, and the local dimming means that the dark portions of an image won't get washed out when other portions are bright.

If you can find a display with customizable "Day" and "Night" picture modes, that would be best. A TV properly calibrated for watching in full daylight conditions will be too bright to watch in the dark, and vice versa.

Obnoxious 2 minute commerical for IBM crapware (2)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#45425122)

If I'm going to suffer through a 2 minute commercial lead-in for a "doctor" video it better be a doctor that can cure heart disease or cancer instead of one telling me I should buy a 3-D television.

3d (4, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#45425208)

One of the things about 3D is that the consumers have shown that they are not particularly interested in spending a whole lot more money in order to get 3D. And the installed base is growing but it is not growing fast enough to support the development projects by the broadcasters and the content producers. ESPN was singular for being way out in front on developing 3D content especially for live sports coverage. And they have actually pulled the plug on a lot of that activity now because I think, in part, they are just not getting the viewership for it.

Smart observation. But then...

And it is just a matter of time in my opinion for the installed base to get to the point where people are going to be able to take advantage of it and will want to take advantage of it,

WRONG CONCLUSION.

People do not want 3dtv. The market research shows this clearly, as he himself states. Then he does a 180 and starts pushing 3d. The fact that it's baked into every TV on Best Buy's shelves (for a significant markup, of course) is NOT A GOOD THING. Maybe TV sales wouldn't be so damn bad if TV manufacturers didn't keep trying to shove every damn bell and whistle in our faces for an extra $100. Just give us a big, pretty screen. That's all we want. No cameras in our TVs, no 3d, no internet bullshit. If I want internet on my TV I'll plug my computer into the HDMI port. If I want a camera I'll plug in a camera. If I want 3d I'll...wait, I'll never want 3d, because it's retarded.

3d or not to 3d (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#45425370)

I would buy a 3D printer that plugs into my TV, provided it used organic compostable food "plastics".

That would be cool.

It would go well with my 1000 Gbps internet connection that will be rolled out nationwide within 10 miles of all top tier research universities in North America. For only $10 a month.

All your 4D is belong to Cyber Monday (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#45425332)

Seriously, if you want to buy electronics you either do it on Cyber Monday or you do it in February.

Everyone knows that.

We don't care about 3D.

We also don't care about 4D.

Nobody cares what the "industry" wants us to buy.

The only reason we even bought 1080p HDTV sets in the first place was we were forced to.

There's no reason to upgrade again (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#45425506)

Sales spiked up during the HD transition because everyone was upgrading from SD to HD. The benefits were obvious and easily viewable.

Those days are over. I don't want fake 3d with stupid glasses. I don't need a TV with a camera that can Skype, my phone already does it (better). There's simply no reason why I'd need to buy another new TV, unless my current one dies.

Sorry TV makers, but this is the new normal. If you set up expecting things to stay in transition sales mode forever, than it sucks to be you.

That was pointless (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#45425606)

If you're thinking about buying a new TV for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, you might want to listen to what Dr. Poor has to say on the subject before you do.

Well, that was a piss-poor tie-in. Why would someone who's buying a TV possibly care what some pundit has to say? I don't care how sure he is that 3D is the future, I'm still not buying a 3D TV at any price.

And just what does he have to say? He's mostly giving us his take on what consumers are buying... So how should we use his projections of what we are buying, to decide what we want to buy? I'd prefer to just skip the unnecessary extra step in there.

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