As the world's largest and most popular TV manufacturer, it's worth paying attention to the direction they take at the high end. This year, that high end is defined by their own 55-inch OLED TV, which it sounds like they intend to actually sell this year.
In a short blog post today, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a total reversal of the recent plans that so mildly inconvenienced and irked us. Instead of spinning off the physical media side--DVDs, Blu-ray, and now video games--into a whole new website to be called Qwikster, Netflix will now keep all that stuff under the Netflix umbrella. In other words: please calm down, customers. Nothing is changing.
Earlier this morning, Netflix sent out an apologetic email informing Netflix subscribers about a new development: Henceforth, decreed CEO Reed Hastings, the word "Netflix" will now refer to only the streaming video service. DVDs (and now video games) will be banished to another site, which will look identical to the old Netflix but which will be called "Qwikster" and be, for all intents and purposes, totally separate from Netflix.
This is dumb.
In the early 1950s, we grappled with a life-changing dilemma: to buy a color TV set, or not to buy a color TV set? In retrospect, the right answer seems obvious, but the hassle of switching systems in those days meant that viewing black and white images was more tolerable than shelling out the money needed to make the transition.
A brief history lesson for those of you unacquainted with that era: in October 1950, following years of squabbling between various corporations, the FCC finally authorized CBS' system of color broadcasts as the national standard. Despite their successful campaign, CBS ran into a number of problems once they actually starting implementing their technology. Firstly, 10.5 million black and white TV sets had been purchased nationwide, and none of them could receive color programs. Since viewership was limited, advertisers were hesitant to sponsor programs that practically no one would see. The venture was doomed.
It's become a refrain in this age of 24-hour news stations, media-starved talking heads, and hundreds of channels of stuff you don't want to watch. "Why won't they just shut up about (insert your least favorite abusive sitcom star, diminutive bepoofed reality star, brain-dead politician, or Donald Trump here). The talking heads may never shut up, but that doesn't mean you have to listen to them--and some enterprising Makers created an Arduino-controlled gadget that'll make that even easier.
A recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) made headlines when it revealed that the biggest energy drain in your house likely isn't the fridge, air conditioner, or heater--it is, unbelievably, the TV set-top box. These ridiculously energy-inefficient boxes, typically provided by your cable company, have received little scrutiny until now, which means the cable companies have had little reason to embrace readily available methods to decrease their energy use. We've put together a list of the best and worst existing set-top boxes, so you can at least know what you're getting.
Today at E3, Microsoft kicked things off with a keynote that was heavily Kinect-focused, as we hoped it'd be. Even better, the keynote addressed lots of the things I whined about in my last Grouse column, especially the need for an app store, better voice control, and more games. Kinect's looking good for the future--here's what's coming up.
Earlier this week, Stephen Colbert gave us a nice shout-out for Rebecca Boyle's post on the first robots to jump into the fray at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Seems like Colbert may have wanted to see some of Japan's own robotic earthquake helpers, or at least a contribution from somewhere other than perpetual Report punching bag France.
By Geoffrey Morrison Posted 01.07.2011 at 4:13 pm 0 Comments
LG and VIZIO announced today many new models with Passive 3D. This contrasts with Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Sharp who all announced new Active 3D models.
The main differences are that active uses comparatively heavy and expensive LCD shutter glasses. The advantage to this method is that you can have full HD resolutions with minimal modifications to the underlying television. The disadvantages are that potential for flicker, crosstalk, and the aforementioned glasses.
Logitech just announced the very first Google TV box, to be called the Revue. With video calling, a full QWERTY remote, and lots of apps, it's much more capable than the Apple TV (which is either "streamlined" or "barebones," depending on who you ask). But to get the full Revue package, you'd have to spend enough to buy four--yes, four--Apple TV units. Eeep.