Forget the Age of Aquarius. We are now in the Age of Blue. What does that mean? I've no idea. It may be to quote the Old Bard, "Much Ado About Nothing." I spent several paragraphs last week on "Blue." I think its time to change the subject. In these lazy, hazy days of summer, Digital TV continues to proliferate as more programs succumb to high-definition. HD is coming to Basic Cable. I just read a few weeks ago that the Home & Garden Network (HGTV -- not to be confused with HDTV) is going Hi Def, and is being broadcast in HD on the DishNetwork. Personally, I'll be happy to see some other channels like USA and SciFi go HD, but that's up to their parent NBC. HD has even come to radio as HD Radio, but sadly this isn't high-def as it really means multi-casting on the same signal and not an improvement in audio quality.
Recently, I've been working on several stories regarding LCD TVs. Right now there are more than 50 brands at retail and growing. Some of the lesser brands leave the market to be replaced by others just as quickly. This Spring there have brand line introductions from Sony, Philips, Toshiba, Westinghouse Digital, Hitachi, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi among others. Clearly, the screen sizes between 26-in. and 37-in. are the "hot" screen sizes with the 32-in. model being the new 27-in. CRTs have been relegated to the dust bin as the whole world goes flat crazy. And, starting this year, there are many 37-in. LCD HDTVs with screen resolutions of 1920x1080. As well, many manufacturers have finally realized that most of these models 37-in. and under go into existing cabinetry, and are placing the speakers on the bottom instead of the sides. In some cases, the speakers are even detachable, which makes for a cleaner look, allowing the audio signals to be ported directly into an A/V Receiver or A/V Processor for the best sounding digital audio signals.
Last week, several manufacturers were in the City to visit with editors celebrating "Holidays in June." On June 21st alone, I met with Dolby, Tivoli Audio, Radio Shack and Niles. Dolby met with the press regarding Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD, and how they relate to both Blu-ray and HD DVD. They noted that since most people don't have A/V Receivers with HDMI switching capabilities, we should be using the 5.1/7.1 analog outputs in lieu of digital audio to get the full benefits of next-generation audio. Tivoli is finally launching their much announced music system that includes a clock radio, 2 stereo speakers, and a CD player. Niles Audio talked about complete home audio systems. Radio Shack announced a slew of products including carrying a complete line of AKAI LCD TVs. On the following day, Panasonic announced the formal introduction of their Blu-ray player, an A/V Receiver designed to work with their BD player, and speakers to complement the package.
Next week is July 4th. Wow! How time flies! Digital TV DesignLine is a year old. We officially launched in early June last year. I guess I should wish us all Happy Anniversary. Although, you can't have a web site without readers so if you can think of ways to make Digital TV DesignLine better, please let me know. If there are areas that need more coverage, let me know and I will try to obtain more info on those emerging technologies. So, stay tuned and hopefully year 2 will be much better than year 1.