Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Super Bowl Won't Be Broadcast in 3D?

There has recently been some news that was released that might have quite a few football fans disappointed. If you were getting excited about seeing the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steeler’s Super Bowl showdown on February 6 on a 3D TV, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that won’t be happening. Super Bowl XLV will not be broadcast in 3D.

Consumer Reports have confirmed that Fox Sports, the executive rights holder of the Super Bowl game this year, will not be offering viewers the opportunity to watch the big game in 3D. So don’t plan on running out and buying a 3D TV for the game, unless you simply want a new TV for the Super Bowl and happen to want 3D as well.

So, why is Fox not broadcasting the biggest game of the year in 3D? Well, honestly, it’s really not a huge surprise. Over the past year, there has definitely been a low adoption rate of 3D HDTVs. That low adoption rate is really one of Fox Sports main reasons for not broadcasting the game in 3D. The network stated, "Unfortunately, given current levels of adoption, there is no business model that makes sense for producing a show as complex as the Super Bowl in 3D at this time. 3D requires an entirely separate production at significant expense without generating incremental revenue to offset the additional costs. We prefer to focus all our energy on doing the best possible HD production possible, which this year features more than 40 cameras," said the network.

In the past year more than a million 3D HDTVs were sold, which wasn’t as many as the TV industry had hoped, but it still shows that 3D is definitely beginning to integrate itself into the home. 3D is an industry that continues to expand. In 2010 there were a lot of very successful 3D movies in theaters including Toy Story 3 and Alice and Wonderland. In 2011 there will be at least 16 3D films in theater, and most, if not all of them, should be released on DVD in 3D as well. TV channels are also slowly beginning to broadcast in 3D. As of February 14, ESPN 3D will begin broadcasting 24/7 in 3D.

Fox Sports obviously didn’t feel that broadcasting Super Bowl XLV in 3D was important or profitable enough, but you can’t help but wonder if things might be different if ESPN had gotten the broadcasting rights. Oh well, I guess we will never know.

So, no you can’t watch the big game in 3D, but if you’re still looking for a 3D TV, here are a few of the top 3D HDTVs available.

Panasonic TC-P54VT25
$2,795 from

Panasonic offers a variety of different features with the TC-P54VT25. It has an incredibly vibrant display and offers very realistic 3D and 2D images. The only thing that I can really be critical about when it comes to this 3D HDTV is that there is no 2D to 3D conversion, but besides that, it is an excellent option.

LG 55LX9500
$3,399 from

LG created a masterpiece when it comes to the 55LX9500. It is incredibly thin and has excellent picture quality. The problem with the 3D TV by LG is that it doesn’t come with a pair of active shutter glasses, which really stinks. Another issue is that it is very expensive, but if you can get around that, it is a wonderful choice.

Sony XBR-60LX900
$4,249 from

Sony’s XBR-60LX900 3D HDTV is a fantastic TV. It offers excellent SD and HD content display, as well as having very nice 3D effects. It also is extremely thin and quite chic. The issue is that like the LG 55LX9500, the XBR-60LX900 is very pricey and may simply be too expensive for buyers.

Samsung UN55C9000
$3,499 from

The UN55C9000 3D TV from Samsung is a great TV. It is incredibly thin and light for a 55-inch TV. The issue with the TV is that the 3D images simply are not as immersive as were expected, but it’s still a fantastic option if you’re looking for a 3D TV.

It’s kind of disappointing that the Packers and the Steelers big game won’t be available in 3D, but even though you won’t need a 3D TV for the game, that doesn’t mean you should put off looking for one if you’ve been thinking about making the jump to 3D. These four 3D HDTVs are the top of the line. They are some great options that you should definitely look into.

Computer Service Now

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sony's New 65-inch Bravia 3D TV

Sony Bravia XBR-65HX292The hot word at CES 2011 was undoubtedly 3D. There wasn't a booth you could walk into without hearing or seeing something about 3D. Even companies that had no 3D products whatsoever were using it to draw people in. If there was one company, however, that was severely showing off their 3D technology, it was Sony. Their new Bravia line of displays is what they were mainly touting which includes 27 new models of LCD panels.

The biggest and baddest of the group is definitely the Bravia XBR-65HX292, an LED backlit LCD panel with everything you could want in a t.v. Sony has decided to go with local dimming as opposed to edge lit LED technology which makes for a slightly deeper display. Sony calls it Sony's Intelligent Peak LED which gives you the ability to turn the backlight off in specific areas. This gives your LCD panel plasma-like contrast and black levels. Sony matches this with their MotionFlow XR 960 backlight control which precisely synchronizes the dimming with the liquid crystal movement in order to reduce motion blur.

This display also has an integrated Wi-Fi receiver so you don't have to use a wired connection, although the display does have Ethernet ports. Through this you can have access to Sony's Bravia Internet video and Qriocity. Sony's Bravia Internet Video Platform comes with Sony's Video on Demand and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity as well as Pandora, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Video on Demand, YouTube, Slacker Internet Radio, Crackle and Video on Demand powered by Qriocity is a premium video streaming service that gives you instant access to hit movies, where Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity is a cloud-based music streaming service that allows users to have access at any time to a catalog of over 6 million music tracks from all the major labels.

Customers can also use Skype if they want to, but they will need to buy a camera and microphone separately. Sony's camera and mic will allow you to enjoy free widescreen Skype-to-Skype video calls anywhere. However, the one thing everybody is talking about is the 3D. A lot of people were talking about the new polarized glasses, but this display will be using Active Shutter glasses. Unfortunately, these are sold separately and will probably be pretty expensive. Most Active Shutter glasses on the market today are at least $100.

One interesting thing in this new display is the X-Reality PRO Engine. According to Sony, "The X-Reality PRO Engine is a two-chip digital video processor that optimizes high definition content, compressed HD signals, standard definition and other sources including low resolution Internet content. Utilizing a vast database of "ideal" signal patterns developed by analyzing and indexing an enormous library of film and video, the X-Reality PRO Engine compares incoming signals pixel-by-pixel with ideal scenes to display vivid and detailed images."

It is still unclear as to what this is or how it will work, but it may be something you or your installer may want to turn off. This display is custom installation friendly and has key features like rear IR-input and a two-way RS232c connection for easier integration with third party control systems. It can also stream media from a USB port. Sony's Media Remote app is also pretty cool. It gives you simple operation and allows you to search for internet content. A media bar is also included which resembles the one for the PS3, and the new UI provides uninterrupted viewing by disseminating the video and placing key menu functions along the bottom and side of the picture frame.

Overall this new display looks really good. Sony is known for making top of the line devices and their displays are usually something to talk about.

Source: Audioholics
Computer Service Now

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Boxee Box Soon to Feature Vudu and Netflix

On Friday, December 31, Boxee announced that it has had to delay the release of Vudu and Netflix on its Boxee Box until later in January. The company had been saying that they would release the services by the end of the year, but obviously that hasn’t happened.

So, some people may be confused and ask: what is Boxee? According to the Boxee website, “Boxee is the best way to watch movies, TV shows and clips from the Internet on your TV.” Of course, a device is necessary for you to use Boxee’s services to perform all of these actions. They continued saying, “You can buy a device powered by Boxee or build your own Boxee using a new or used computer.”
A Boxee Box is defined on the Boxee website as “the first major device powered by Boxee on the market. It’s an all-in-one box specialized to run Boxee and it comes with a useful QWERTY remote -- all eliminating the need to use a computer to run Boxee on your TV.”

Boxee chief executive Avner Ronen apologized to Boxee users about the delay of Vudu and Netflix services via a blog post starting with, “We’re sorry that VUDU and Netflix will not be available on the Boxee Box until January.” Ronen continued saying, “I know many users will be upset. I am disappointed that we couldn't make it happen in time for the end of the year. However, I'd ask that you put your faith in us.”

"While both services are up and running in our offices on the Boxee Box, we need some more time to test each application to make sure they are ready for launch," he continued.

Fortunately, the company says that Vudu should be available sometime this week, but a “brand new version” of Netflix is not set to be released until the end of January now.

"I'd like to think you chose Boxee because we offer something different, in our approach, in our commitment, in our passion, in the way we communicate (whether its good stuff or bad), and in how quickly we move on the stuff that matters most to our users," Ronen wrote.

The Boxee Box first started shipping in early November. At that time, services like Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu Plus were all missing from the lineup of services. Now, obviously, Vudu will be available in the next few days and Netflix is on the way, but there has been no set date for when Hulu Plus will be made available on the Boxee Box. Boxee has said that they are currently working with Hulu, but so far there is not a firm date. Unfortunately, the December firmware update didn’t really provide any answers for Boxee users either.

The December update did, however, fix a few bugs and add a few new features. Some of the added features included the ability to scroll through files now organized A-to-Z, an option to enable hourly scans of connected content (like USB content), more filters and browsing options to assist with searches, and new adjustments that the user can utilize to improve visibility when they are wearing 3D glasses.

As I mentioned, the update also fixed quite a few bugs that plagued the Boxee Box. It’s a very long list of fixes, but it included fixing issues that popped up concerning hidden wireless networks, fixing the aspect ratio of DVD playback, and fixing de-interlacing problems that occurred when watching 1080i content.

Ronen wrapped up the blog post saying, “Looking back at 2010, it’s hard to believe so much has happened in just 12 months. We are going to be at the CES Show next week and are really excited about 2011. For us it’s going to be about continuing to improve the Boxee software, getting Boxee on additional devices, bringing more content (both in the US and internationally) and making Boxee available on more screens.”

The Boxee Box is currently available for $199 at,, and various other sites.

I believe that Boxee might have had some issues when it first released the Boxee Box and even now, due to the fact that the device didn’t feature several of the main services that other providers like Apple TV and Logitech’s Revue with Google TV already had. I think they should definitely do much better when these services are added to the Boxee Box. Hopefully, that won’t be too much longer.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Computer Monitor Causes Airport Scare

Newark International AirportA security scare a couple of weeks ago shut down certain parts of the Newark Liberty Airport. Parts of the airport were shut down and evacuated when a checked bag set off a radiation alert. But the holiday travel fiasco only got worse when bomb squad teams were called in to Terminal A at Newark Liberty to investigate a suspicious piece of luggage.

According to passenger Chris Burdette, "They just said there's a security breach of some nature, and we just got piled into that line back there and all we saw was emergency vehicle after emergency vehicle going by, but nobody was telling us what was going on."

Passengers were forced to evacuate the terminal and some were even forced to stand outside in the cold for more than an hour. "We came in a taxi. They just dropped us in the middle of nowhere and we just had to stand there in the cold for 40 minutes," according to Joan Dugan, another passenger at the terminal.

But what caused the scare? According to reports, police flagged a passenger's checked bag due to the fact that it was emitting radiation. However, it was later discovered that the bag simply contained a computer monitor. The weird thing is that computer monitors usually emit only small amounts of radiation. Within an hour the police gave the all-clear.

According to Stan Shores, another passenger, "This is the second time this has happened to us in two consecutive Christmases. It happened to us in Minneapolis so it can happen anywhere." While the delay was frustrating to many and scared many passengers, a lot of people came to the consensus "better safe than sorry".

According to Federal Authorities, the investigation into what exactly happened is still ongoing. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stated, in between pat-downs, that the monitor was going to the same destination as its owner and that there was never any danger.

Source: CBS New York
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