Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

Jan 25, 2019

Saving Your TV

Many TVs come from the factory with the brightness level higher than it needs to be. Some folks like an ultra-bright picture, but it can soften picture detail and cause the TV to work harder to display all that light. Try adjusting the brightness level so the picture looks more realistic, displaying more detail. Your eyes will be happier and so will your TV. The reduction in brightness will add more hours to your set’s life.

The Contrast or Picture setting measures the difference between a TV's brightest and darkest colors. If the Contrast or Picture level is too high, it can force the TV to exert more power, reducing its total hours of use. To ensure this does not happen, set it to Standard or Movie Mode rather than Vivid or Dynamic. This will keep your Contrast or Picture level at a more efficient setting.

Aug 10, 2018

5G Requirements

Many have heard or seen phone companies touting their 5G tests around the country. 5G is required to be backward compatible with current technology at current speeds. So there is no need to worry about forced change. . . yet.

However, your current phone is not 5G capable and will not be. You will need to buy a new phone to have it connect to 5G. Motorola is pushing to have the first 5G phone available this month ($480 from Verizon). Others will follow and by early next year there will be more choices.

Also, your current modem/router will not work with 5G, nor will your PC. Intel is currently working with Acer, ASUS, Microsoft, Dell, HP, and Lenovo to deliver laptops and convertibles with the new 5G standard. Companies are working on 5G modems that will fit into phones, cars, smart-home devices and other device forms that have yet to be developed, like maybe carrying a puck type portable modem in your pocket.


Bottom line, if your phone works and your cable or streaming service works for TV now, do not be in a hurry to change all your equipment. Let others suffer the slings and arrows (and costs) of the new technology. Be patient and do not be first in line. It will take a few years to have 5G available everywhere. 5G phone service will be available before home 5G. When home 5G does, be prepared to spend big bucks and deal with learning new equipment. Incidentally, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are expected to broadcast in 5G with 8K TV resolution.

Mar 16, 2018

TV Compensates for Bad Quality

Just like with current TVs, which upscale the low quality cable pictures, 4K TVs upgrade the same pictures to an even higher quality.

However, until the US catches up with other countries and really delivers at least HD quality, we will all continue to buy TVs to compensate for the cable companies unwillingness to upgrade the signal. It is no wonder Netflix, and Amazon Prime are doing so well. They deliver quality pictures to let our 4K TVs show how awesome watching TV can be.

Feb 9, 2018

More 4K

Technically the new standard for over the air 4K is ATSC 3.0. This new broadcast standard is generally called "Next-Gen Broadcast TV" for simplicity sake.

There are some differences between the current (ATSC 1.0) antenna TV and the new Next-Gen TV. The new standard is internet protocol-based, which means it can carry internet content along with traditional TV broadcasts. The broadcast can also include 4K video and high dynamic range (HDR) content.
It also has higher-quality 3D multi-channel sound from content that supports it. All of which are more and better than what is available on normal (expensive) cable TV.

In addition to all those goodies, these new signals will be available on mobile devices as well as TVs.

Next-gen TV will enable enhanced emergency alerts, so consumers will receive more precise, localized warnings during natural disasters or fast-moving weather events.

The move to ATSC 3.0 is voluntary for broadcasters, unlike the Digital TV transition, when they were given a firm deadline for stopping analog broadcasts. Now each company gets to decide when to make the move, or not.

Traditional signals will still be free by law as now, but some additional services could be charged for as the new standard has two way communication built in. This presumes the FCC holds broadcasters to the same public interest obligations with the new broadcasts as they have with the current ones.

Of course, if all this seems to be too good to be true, it likely is. The new standard is not compatible with the current standard. Because all current TVs have ATSC 1.0 tuners, they will not be able to receive the new signals.

TV manufacturers will soon add both old (ATSC1) and new (ATSC3) into new sets. This will likely begin in late 2018 and 2019. LG is now shipping TVs in South Korea with both technologies built in. Someone will pay for this. . .

Also, another round of sticks and boxes for converting will come along, such new versions of Roku, FireTV, AppleTV etc., sticks and boxes.

So, the bottom line is that it will be immensely better to receive everything over the air, but it will likely not be free, and maybe not even cheap. This will be a major disruption for cable companies and change the whole digital landscape and players again.

The good news is that, since it is voluntary and costly to set up, it will be slow. We can enjoy what we have and do not need to dream of sugar plums for a few years. That is except for some techno geeks who just cannot wait to suffer more early adapter slings and arrows from new whiz-bang technology stuff. Oh, is my anticipation showing?

Dec 1, 2017

Top Online TV

Vizio took home the gold in Brand View’s latest analysis of 4K TV online selling. Brand View analyzed online performances of the top five most-listed 4K TV brands in the following sites: BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Crutchfield.com, and Frys.com.
In calculating the scores, Brand View used the following criteria:

Discoverability
*Can shoppers find the products on the digital shelf?
*Do the products return on the first page of results when searched for by category, or by keywords, such as “4K television” or “4K TV.”

Representation
*Is the brand name present and correct in product descriptions?
*Is key product information, including descriptions, images and videos, accurately listed on retailer websites?

Engagement
*Are shoppers engaging with the brand online?
*How do the product reviews and ratings represent the brand?

Although Vizio took top billing with an overall score of 3.6 stars, it was a tight race, with LG coming in a close second at 3.3. Brand View determines its overall rankings using a proprietary weighted method, not an average

Vizio 3.6
LG 3.3
Samsung 3.0
Sony 2.8
Hisense 2.3
Incidentally Toshiba recently sold its TV and visual solutions business to Hisense.

Jul 21, 2017

Streaming Movies and TV

2016 was the first year more movies were streamed than played on DVDs. Amazing, since DVDs were first invented in 1995 by  Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Toshiba. Of course, other formats had been around for a number of years before that. Hmm, over the hill at the tender young age of 22.
The first basic cable network, launched via satellite in 1976, was Ted Turner's superstation WTCG. A May 2017 study from Fluent LLC asked internet users about their cable and TV habits. Across age groups, 67 percent of people reported using a video streaming service, such as Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime video. Cable subscriptions, which peaked during 2000, was reported by 61 percent of responders.

Incidentally, during 2008, cable subscribers had 129 channels to choose from, and they watched an average of 17 channels in a given week. Five years later, they had 189 channels, and were still watching only 17.5. Their bills have doubled or more since 2000.

Jun 2, 2017

TV Watching

Nielsen’s fourth-quarter Comparable Metrics Report says that adults spent 509 billion minutes viewing on TVs during the quarter and another 63.6 billion minutes viewing on TV-connected devices. Viewing video on PCs accounted for 31.7 billion minutes, smartphone video 10.9 billion, and 4.4 billion  minutes on tablets.

Feb 10, 2017

4k UHD, HDR-10 (Dolby Vision), OLED, Smart TV

Since the last time I wrote about TVs some new acronyms have popped up. If you are buying a TV for the future these are important, but if you are buying a TV for short term, (the next few years) almost all of these are not important. The reason they are not important is because almost no one is broadcasting to take advantage of 4K, HDR-10, (Dolby), except some Netflix and Bluray DVDs.

Smart TV - These sets are good to have now and the majority of new TVs are smart TVs. They allow access to the internet from your home WiFi and provide access to Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and more without the need for a separate box.
Many Smart TVs give you a full web browser, so you can use a search engine or visit websites. Some let you play interactive online games.

4K UHD - these ultra-high-definition televisions offer four times the resolution of a standard 1080p HDTV. Instead of a screen that has about 2 million pixels, these televisions show about 8 million pixels.

HDR-10, Dolby Vision - I lump these two, High Dynamic Range and Dolby10 together, because they are competing technologies, kind of like the old Betamax / VHS argument. Some manufactures are using one vs. the other and some have both. HDR is currently winning, because it is open source while manufacturers must pay royalties to Dolby for its technology. Many advertisements refer to them simply as Dolby and HDR.

The first of the two major differences between Dolby Vision and HDR-10 is that Dolby uses 12 bits per color (red, green, and blue), where HDR-10 uses 10 bits per color. The second, Dolby Vision uses dynamic, or continuous metadata so that color and brightness levels can be adjusted per scene, or even frame-by-frame basis. HDR-10 uses static metadata that is sent only once at the beginning of the video. Both reproduce a wider range of brightness levels, higher contrast ratio, and richer colors. Contrast ratio is the measurement of the difference in brightness between the whitest white and the darkest black. When seen side by side with non-HDR content, HDR-enhanced video is incredibly bright and with vibrant colors. Samples show a very positive marked difference.

Some TVs use OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screens for a superior image and other benefits. Televisions packed with organic light-emitting diodes are incredibly thin, because each pixel is its own light source, so backlighting is not required. These televisions are more energy efficient than other TV panel types. Some LG TVs are as thin as four credit cards.
Quantum dot  or QLED TVs can match the contrast ratio of OLED. Quantum dots are microscopic dots about a fraction of the width of a human hair.Samsung uses the term Quantum Dot.


Bottom line, you can get 4K UHD, HDR (Dolby), OLED on one TV. Every 4K is UHD by definition. Almost all TVs are LED, but very few are OLED or Quantum dot. Most TVs are now Smart TVs.

Incidentally, DolbyVision is for pictures and Dolby Atmos is for sound.

Jul 29, 2016

TV Types

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is now entering the market, traditional light emitting diode (LED) TVs are benefiting from the extra performance. If you watch movies with the lights off HDR is fine, but the best HDR-equipped full back lit LED TVs can also look good in a bright room.

Among LED TVs, there are two backlight types: Direct LED (full-array) where a large back-light shines through the whole screen, and edge-lit where lights emit from the edges.

Organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs tend to shine, especially when the lights are off. This is because every pixel emits its own light. OLED is still the best, but if you want a TV above 65 inches you likely will be choosing an LED TV, unless you have a spare $30,000, which is the current cost of large OLED TVs.

Jul 15, 2016

TVs and Nits

Many new TVs come with a nit rating, such as the new Samsung HDR (High Dynamic Range) TV, which has 1,000 nits. Computer LCD screens emit up to around 300 nits. The term nit is believed to come from the Latin word nitere, to shine.

A nit is defined as a unit of light intensity and one nit is equal to one candela per square meter. A candela is the amount of light produced by one candle. Bottom line for TV watching, more nits equals brighter brights and darker blacks.

Jan 16, 2015

4K, 8K, LED, OLED, HD, UHD

There are a number of confusing TV terms being thrown around these days to catch our attention and drive us to toss out our relatively new flat screen TVs. I decided to decode a few of the terms so we can make an informed decision - and then rush out to buy something to get the 'first on the block' medal.

4K has about eight million pixels which equates to about four times more than a current 1080p TV. Think of your TV like a grid, with rows and columns. A full HD 1080p image is 1080 rows high and 1920 columns wide. A 4K image almost doubles both those numbers, so you could fit every pixel from your 1080p set onto one quarter of a 4K screen. Recent 4K TVs are the same thickness as a smart phone, less than two tenths of an inch thick.

Since 4K contains four times the information of High Definition (HD or FHD), someone came up with the name Ultra High Definition (UHD). The bad news is the Internet providers have not opened up the pipes enough, so many 4K users see a lag time (that frustrating spinning circle) when watching 4K content. Netflix and Amazon currently charge more for delivering 4K content.

Currently, 1080 resolution comes from the image height, while 4K (3840 x 2160) is derived from image width. If it was described the same way as now, 4K would be 2160p. Seems that was not enough of a difference to command the increased price so they changed the definition to make it seem better to the uninitiated.

8K (7680  x 4320) basically doubles the pixel height and width of 4K to about 32 million pixels. The 8K standard is currently for exhibitions and movie theaters. Since 4K will not become the norm for a few more years, 8K is many years away from the home market.

LED comes from Light Emitting Diode. LED TVs are really LCD TVs, but the difference is how the screen is lit. Traditional LCD TVs use florescent backlights, LED TVs use smaller, more energy-efficient LEDs. LED screens produce great color, but the brightness of the lights can also wash out blacks on the screen.

OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diodes have been around for years, but producing big screens using this technology has proven to be prohibitively expensive until lately. The OLED elements generate their own light so the technology is stunning, with vibrant colors, deep blacks, and bright whites.

3D TV continues to die a slow death, even though some manufacturers are still trying to convince us we need it. Think of 3D as Three Times Dead.

Bottom line, OLED is better than LED, 4K is amazing when you can see 4K content, both 4K and 8K are Ultra High Definition (UHD), both cost twice as much or more than HD, both require faster internet to be useful. Since there is little 4K and no 8K content, people who buy theses TVs are stuck explaining the picture deficiency and Ultra High Cost to guests. When content arrives, these TVs will be awesome and, by then, the price will be much more affordable. Last thing, when it comes to TVs, bigger is better, OLED is much better, 4K is awesome, but too expensive, for now.

Mar 26, 2013

Is TV Real or Fake

TV shows are using green screens more than we realize and it has been going on for years. It is becoming difficult to know what is real and what is not. Here is a LINK to some of the tricks that popular TV shows use to make us believe the shows are shot on location when they are not.

Feb 12, 2013

Sperm Study

Here is another of those studies that makes us wonder who thinks up this stuff. The British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at the lifestyles of 189 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 22, during a three-month period to establish a link between environmental factors and semen quality. Its finding - men who watch more than 20 hours of television a week risk halving their sperm count.

It said, while regular, vigorous exercise was shown to boost sperm count, excessive television-watching can counteract the positive effects of physical activity and can have a major impact on a man’s ability to reproduce.

Another study by researchers at the University of Sheffield and Manchester compared the lifestyles of 939 men with poor sperm quality with 1,310 men with normal sperm quality. It found “little evidence” that a high BMI, excessive alcohol consumption or recreational drugs were contributing factors to sperm quality. It also found that wearing boxer shorts rather than tighter underwear was linked to higher sperm levels. There was even evidence that high levels of physical activity might have a detrimental effect on quality and quantity.

Dr George Chavarro from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School at Public Health, senior author of the recent study said, “In general, very little is known about what influences sperm count.”  Too bad for us their fathers didn't watch more TV.

Feb 1, 2013

First Down Line

The big game will be played this weekend so I thought it might be interesting to review the technology behind the lines that TV adds to the field for down markers. Before the game begins, technicians make a digital 3-D model of the field, which is not flat. It is subtly curved with a crown in the middle to help water flow away. Each field is unique.

Technicians also put together two separate color palettes before each game. One palette contains the colors for the field’s turf to automatically be converted into yellow (or whatever color is used) when the line is drawn onto the field. All other colors, such as player and official uniforms, shoes, the ball, etc., go into the other palette. Colors that appear on this second palette are never converted. If a player’s foot is situated on the line, everything around it will turn yellow, but not his foot.

Each camera used for the game contains sensors that record its location, tilt, pan, zoom and transmit this data to the graphics computers. These sensors allow the computers to process exactly where each camera is within the 3-D model, along with the perspective of each camera so the lines can be added to the picture.

One version requires a four-man crew and costs about $25,000 per game to project the lines onto the field.

Jan 22, 2013

Wordology, Paladin

Someone who fights for a cause.

Some of you might remember the old TV western series 'Have Gun, Will Travel' with Richard Boone.

Jan 8, 2013

Two Shows One Screen

This week at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Samsung announced a feature that allows two people to watch completely different Full-HD content simultaneously on the same TV screen with corresponding audio and controls.

The two viewers must wear special 3D glasses, which come with personal speakers built in to deliver the stereo audio directly to them. Bringing people together to share. . . the couch. Hey, did you see that play? Shut up you're ruining my movie.

Dec 7, 2012

How Big is the Internet

Some experts say that the Internet is growing by an exabyte of data every day. To put that in perspective, an exabyte equals 250 million DVDs.

After an exabyte comes a zettabyte, which equals 1,000 exabytes. In 2011, no single data center could hold a zettabyte of information.

By 2016, Cisco predicts that data centers will be sending more 1.3 zettabytes across the Internet every year. That's the equivalent of sending all movies ever made across the Internet every 3 minutes.

The National Security Agency is building a $2 billion data center in Utah that will be the world's first to store a store a yottabyte of data. That's 1,000 zettabytes or 1 million exabytes (or 1 million billion gigabytes).

Over half of Americans have watched TV streamed from the Internet.

Aug 1, 2012

Equiso

This is one of the newest devices for your TV and is awesome. Details can be found on kickstarter.

The Smart TV is an HDMI dongle (left bottom of pic) that plugs into your television and essentially turns it into an Android tablet. You have access to apps, the web, and any video content you can stream and store on the device. it lets you play free YouTube movies and any other movies from the web. You can check your email, including replying, etc.

It includes a portable keyboard and the remote shoots a beam that makes it act like you are scrolling with your fingers. It is coming out soon and the price is slated to be only $69. I love technology and this is soon to be in my living room.

Jul 13, 2012

Facts About Television

The first time color TV sets outsold B&W was in 1972. That was also the first year that broadcast satellite TV began, although cable had been around for years before that. Only 20% of U.S. households had two or more sets at the time, and almost all portable TVs (usually the choice for a second set) were still black and white due to the technology involved for color. By 1979 no more black and white consoles were made. About six channels were available for watching and the average screen size was 22 inches.

During the 90s the average screen size was 27 inches and the 'giant size screens' were 40 inches. The average TV screen size is about 37 inches today and expected to average 60 inches by 2015.

Later this year super HiDef will be coming at four times the 1080p of today and the TV set definition will be 16 times greater by 2015, likely with prices to match.

Jul 11, 2012

YouTube Free Movies

Have you seen any free movies on YouTube? Check these out. LINK If you have a big monitor or can hook your PC to your TV, as you can do with most flat screens, this is a cheap alternative to pay-for-view.