Peter Putman

Peter Putman  |  Oct 15, 2004  |  0 comments

If you've been following the plasma marketplace, you've surely figured out that there's a lot of product re-selling and "private labeling" these days. It's not unusual for five or more companies to be selling the same 42- or 50-inch plasma panel, albeit with different-colored trim plates and bezels. Some re-sellers even go so far as to put their own processing electronics inside, but these days, that's largely the exception to the rule. There's no end to the companies who are offering plasmas for sale, but only a handful of them actually make the things.

Peter Putman  |  Jul 18, 2004  |  0 comments

Back in the day (well, around 1999, to be exact), Sony's introduction of the VPL-VW10HT front LCD projector was big news. It was the first widescreen front LCD projector with true HD resolution—three 1.35-inch, 16:9 panels with 1366x768 pixels. It was a breakthrough product, one that Sony at first priced perhaps too low at just under $7000.

Peter Putman  |  Jul 04, 2004  |  0 comments

Mitsubishi's PD-5030 Diamond-series 50-inch-diagonal plasma monitor represents the company's long-awaited step into flat-panel TVs, ostensibly to expand their product line beyond the CRT rear-projection sets that for years have been their hallmark. Mitsubishi also makes 61- and 42-inch plasmas, and even a few LCD sets in smaller sizes.

Peter Putman  |  Dec 01, 2003  |  0 comments
"Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day! Monday Night Football's in HD, everything's going my way. . ." (With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein.)
Peter Putman  |  Nov 16, 2003  |  1 comments

During a panel discussion at the recent Home Entertainment 2003 show in San Francisco, a few of the panelists (including me) indicated that, despite all the new flat-screen imaging technologies found in front projectors, rear-projection TVs, and plasma and LCD monitors, our preference was still for images created by CRTs. A manufacturer's representative on the panel retorted that CRTs were fine in their day, but that his company was in the business of providing the nearest thing to a theater experience in the home—and CRTs just don't cut the mustard anymore.

Peter Putman  |  Oct 27, 2003  |  0 comments

As the US stumbles forth into the age of digital television, Zenith is pretty much sitting in the catbird seat. That's not because Zenith and its parent company, LG Electronics, make a slew of HDTV-ready monitors, integrated HDTVs, plasma displays, and LCD TVs (they do); nor is it because they're one of two major manufacturers of ATSC set-top receivers (they are). It's because Zenith holds the patents on the 8VSB modulation system employed for terrestrial digital television. As each new Zenith receiver and integrated HDTV comes to market, the company is pretty much in the lead with the latest 8VSB demodulator chipsets.

Peter Putman  |  Oct 13, 2003  |  0 comments

Reviewing Optoma's H56 DLP front projector has been an issue of karma for me. The H56 has crossed my path several times in the past two months, the first time at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show, where news of its debut was lost in a sea of PR from other companies. At the time, I paid it little attention.

Peter Putman  |  Sep 09, 2003  |  Published: Aug 01, 2003  |  0 comments
CBS and ABC raise the bar for live HDTV.

High-definition television has certainly moved along in fits and starts since the first digital-TV stations came on air in 1997. There's been a steadily increasing flow of prime-time programming and movies, a tantalizing season of Monday Night Football, increasing amounts of sports coverage, and numerous PBS documentaries and nature programs. Along the way, there have also been some compelling programs, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Masters and U.S. Open tennis, the NCAA Final Four, and three Super Bowls. More than a few prime-time shows have grabbed us by the throat, including NYPD Blue, C.S.I., JAG, Alias, ER, and Law & Order.

Peter Putman  |  May 14, 2003  |  0 comments

The struggle to displace CRT front projectors from their lofty perch continues in the home-theater world. Cathode-ray tubes still produce the most lifelike images, with wide gray scales and excellent contrast, but they require a fair amount of setup, calibration, and periodic maintenance to keep looking their best.

Peter Putman  |  May 12, 2003  |  Published: May 13, 2003  |  0 comments
One man's quest for the ultimate Super Bowl party included HDTV in every room.

It started out innocently enough, back in January 2000. ABC had concluded a season of Monday Night Football broadcasts in their 720p HDTV format and was putting the icing on the cake with an HD telecast of Super Bowl XXXIV from Atlanta, Georgia. Since I had watched a few of the MNF games in HD, I decided to set up a front projector and an HD monitor and invite some friends and neighbors over to give 'em a taste of sports in high definition. The game turned out to be a big hit. Over 30 folks attended and marveled at the widescreen images from my Sony VPL-VW10HT projector and Princeton AF3.0HD monitor. Never mind that I had to jury-rig an antenna on my rear deck and run coaxial cable into my basement to feed a single Panasonic set-top tuner, then use a video-distribution amplifier to run two component video feeds into my living room and my basement theater. Everyone was amazed at the picture quality and gorged themselves on a feast of wings, subs, pizza, chips, dip, and assorted desserts.