Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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Are you confused about HDTV?

February 28, 2007

In today’s Wall Street Journal Peter Grant wrote an interesting article highlighting American’s confusion over HDTV and those beautiful flat screen LCD and Plasma screens they just bought. It seems that half those who purchased HDTVs are not watching tv in high definition, and about 6million of those, don’T even know it.

To the tech savvy this may seem ridiculous, but if you take a moment and think back to about 10 years ago to the PC industry, most people had no idea as to what they could accomplish with a computer and therefor truly underutilized their computers and usually overpaid for hardware they really did not need. I write this because with HDTVs we are now embarking on the same kind  of  journey as we did with PCs 10 years ago.These new TVs have more in common with our PCs then our old analog tv sets. Most consumers don’t understand that TV is no longer plug and play… at least not for a while. Since makers are trying to make their Sets compatible with many types of technologies at the same time, we end up with too many settings and redundancies, much in the same way as Computer today, that most people just don’t understand.

The article mentions that Companies like best buy are trying hard to educate their clients about the technology, trying to reduce returns from disappointed clients, but I can tell you from experience that although they do have informed staffers on hand during critical times, most stores don,t have well qualified staff members that can simplify the technology since they dont really understand ti themselves.

Odds are, it’ll will get more complicated before it gets better, since as most of us know, that Computers still mystify about 50% of their owners and are nothing more then expensive email machines for a lot of consumers. And please… I don’t even want to get going on the problem of cabling these new TVs and our sound systems.

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PVR / DVR technology, should the CRTC control this part of my life also?

February 10, 2007

Unlike our american cousins when it comes to technology revolving around TV we have a little bit of catching up to do. When I wanted a Personal Video Recorder / Digital Video Recorder, I was faced with the same choices as most TIVO less Canadians, either A. Buy my Cable companies PVR without being able to burn any DVD’s of my favorite shows. or B.Purchase a PVR that is unable to tell me when my favorite shows are playing, but that is able to burn DVD’s when needed.

What I found ashame throughout this whole process, is that everyone more or less owns a VCR, and most of the time we used it in perfectly legitimate ways, for our own personal use. But with the advent of these new technologies, companies are behaving more and more like we were all criminals instead of avid TV watchers.

If the content is good, we will watch it, if the DVD is worth the money, we will buy it. The industry should stop making it hard for normal people to enjoy the technology. I wouldn’t be surprised that the Canadian Government’s new DRM legistlation will empower some agency to oversee what fair usage is… Lets just hoe its not the CRTC

Thats the end of my rant. More to come on this latter this week.