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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 19, 2007 7 comments
Like Poe's purloined letter, some stories lay in plain sight, unnoticed. On rooftops, no less. I'm talking about the return of the humble TV antenna in the age of HDTV. As Newsweek's Johnnie L. Roberts says so eloquently: "The irony is marvelous. Pushed into obsolescence by the technological advances of cable and satellite, antennas are re-emerging thanks to one of the most promising high-tech services of the digital age. High-def channels can be plucked out of thin air by antennas just like regular broadcast signals--no cable, no satellite dish, no monthly bill, no waiting for the cable man." OK, if you've got a Jon Stewart addiction, the dear old antenna will do nothing to help. But how many such addictions do you really have? If the answer is just one or two, try this exercise: Get your cable or satellite bill. Multiply what you're paying for television by 12. That's what you're spending every year for Jon Stewart. Still think it's worth it? Then multiply the figure by 10--that's the amount of cash you could have put in your retirement fund over a decade. And what with cable's constant rate hikes, the final figure will be considerably larger than this simple calculation. If free TV seems like a good idea after all, the Consumer Electronics Association maintains an antennaweb site expressly to help people like you save money every month. Consumer hints: All HDTV channels live in the UHF band, so make sure your antenna works well at those frequencies (like the Terk indoor model shown here). You'll need a TV, set-top box, or DVR with an ATSC (meaning digital) tuner. But the results are worth it. Broadcast HDTV operates at a higher data rate than cable or (especially) satellite. So over-the-air HD picture quality is more than competitive. Salut!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 04, 2010 0 comments
Are you tired of TV ads blaring at what seems like a much higher level than the program you actually want to watch? Relief is coming thanks to the CALM Act.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 16, 2011 0 comments
The yellow energy efficiency label already decorating store displays of air conditioners and refrigerators will also be required for TVs and cable/satellite boxes starting this year.

The familiar EnergyGuide label includes model, estimated yearly cost compared to similar models, and estimated energy usage for the particular model on display.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 25, 2015 2 comments
Major TV manufacturers are collaborating in field tests that would bring a new ATSC 3.0 television broadcast standard, which would include a new IP-based Ultra HD video standard and a broadcast- and streaming-friendly surround standard.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 07, 2010 0 comments
TVs sold faster in the first quarter of this year, reports DisplaySearch. And no wonder--prices are plummeting.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 04, 2011 0 comments
The ownership of TV sets has dropped from 98.9 percent of U.S. households to 96.7 percent, a decrease of more than two percent, according to Nielsen. The last time TV ownership declined was in 1992 following a recession.

Nielsen attributes the decrease to drooping incomes and alternative media. The research company derived its figures from the 2010 Census as well as a national sample of 50,000 people.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 21, 2008 0 comments
Brace yourself. Visualize a 32-inch LCD HDTV in a store. Then visualize a pricetag on it that says...$350. At least, that is what one analyst is predicting for the forthcoming holiday shopping season.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 12, 2007 0 comments
February brought bad news for plasma TV makers. Plasmas clocked their first year-over-year drop in sales with a 16 percent drop in dollar volume, according to the NPD Group. Pricing was down more than 35 percent with the average plasma selling for $1672. This is, of course, good news for consumers and we showed our appreciation by driving up unit sales 30 percent. Forty-two inch models are most popular though 50-inchers are gaining.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 21, 2008 0 comments
Manufacturers are shipping more more television sets than ever, according to the latest figures from DisplaySearch.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 31, 2006 3 comments
"I love the sound of breaking glass," Nick Lowe once sang, and the Avdeco HR420 is just the TV stand for him. A member of the AV Science Forum relates: "I happened to be sitting in the next room, when I heard a tremendous crash. I thought that a plane had hit my house, and I ran into my bedroom to see what happened. The top shelf of the Avdeco stand EXPLODED sending shards of glass to every corner of my bedroom. Fortunately for me, I wasn't sleeping at the time, or I would have been hit by flying glass." The Panasonic 50PX500U plasma that had been sitting on the stand weighs 114 pounds, less than half of the stand's rated weight limit of 250. Neither Avdeco or the dealer that sold the stand, Threshold Concepts have responded to the consumer's complaints. The model is still listed on the Avdeco website. It's not on the Threshold Concepts site, though other Avdeco glass-rack models are, with the comment: "The simplistic lines are subdued, yet make a strong statement." Indeed. Other AVS members weighed in with useful pointers: (1) Tempered glass is designed to fragment into pebbles when broken, which is actually less scary than the angular shards of broken non-tempered glass. (2) It's been known to shatter in response to changes in temperature even when nothing is resting on it. (3) Manufacturers who make a quality product may disagree, but maybe glass of any type isn't the ideal material for a TV stand.

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