Pioneer to Exit TV Business

A report in the Nikkei Japanese business journal claims that “Pioneer Corp. will pull the plug on its loss-ridden television business and shift its DVD player operations to a new venture with Sharp Corp. in a sweeping overhaul”.

This is very sad news if it is true. Pioneer (in my opinion and many others opinions) makes the best televisions in the world. Their Kuro HDTVs look better than any other TV in the world.

I really hope that Panasonic picks up the ball and starts making really good Plasma TVs. Although I don’t own a Plasma I do recognize that Plasma is a superior technology to LCD in terms of picture quality.

Report: Pioneer Exiting TV Business, Spinning Off DVD – Gearlog.

Apple Rumors: Blu-ray Drives in Macs, iWork ’09, iLife ’09, and a Networked HDTV

Although Apple’s invitation clearly stated that they will be talking about notebooks there have been several rumors lately that have cropped up and many of them coming from fairly reliable sources.

Kevin Rose said in the latest live Diggnation episode (not currently available for download) that Blu-ray drives would become an option for high end MacBook Pros. Kevin Rose has been incredibly accurate lately with his predictions and has also previously stated that Blu-ray support would be coming in version 10.5.6 of OS X.

There have been many predicting that we might see some early signs of iLife and iWord ’09 but I don’t really see much validity to these rumors and see them merely as wishful thinking.

Jason Calacanis is even saying that he knew first-hand that Apple has been working on a networked television.

“These LCD HDTVs will be fully networked, with the ability to stream all their iTunes content from your Mac or PC. In fact, Calacanis told me they’ll function like a standard TV with an Apple TV box, only without the need for the box.” –Nate Lanxon, CNET.

I’m pretty sure that if this was announced Apple would have to also announce new Cinema Displays because I don’t know if I would be able to deal with the outcry from customers complaining about how Apple is capable of releasing an HDTV but hasn’t been able to rev the displays in years.

This is how these events always go though, more and more rumors and speculation than the event could ever contain and because of that inevitably, people will be terrible disappointed. I on the other hand expect nothing more than new notebooks and to be honest, if that was all Apple was to show off I would be very satisfied. And besides, there is always Macworld.

Update: has posted some higher quality images of the MacBook and MacBook Pro cases. A couple of them are below and you can see the rest of them here.

HDfury2 Strips HDCP From HDMI Connections

HDfury2 is a brand new adapter that allows users of displays without HDMI (or with HDMI that doesn’t support HDCP) to watch 1080p content via VGA or Component video.

The device has a built in deciphering converter that makes whatever HDMI box that you plug into it think that it has an HDCP connection with the display. There is also an audio jack that channels analog and digital optical formats.

It works with both PAL and NTSC and will cost $249 when it ships next month.

Curt Palme

Hitachi’s 1.5″ Thick LCD HDTVs now Available in the US

Hitachi’s UltraThin 1.5 family that was shown off at CES is finally available in the US. The brand new and super thin HDTVs are available in 32″, 37″, 42″, and 47″. The TVs are priced between $1,799 and $4,699 and come with either a 1 year or two year warranty (depending on whether you get the Director’s Series or the Ultra Vision model).

The TVs come in 720p or 1080p (depending on which model you get) and each of the TVs (except the 32″ models) offer 120Hz technologies for smoother picture quality in fast motion.

Press Release

Categorized as HDTV

Future Shop Get In On The HD-DVD Player Trade In Bandwagon

Future Shop has announced that between March 7 and April 3, customers who own HD-DVD players have been invited to return their players to Future Shop and receive $100 off either an LG or Samsung Blu-ray/HD-DVD combo player.

Future Shop will even accept players that haven’t been purchased from Future Shop.

Unfortunately the offer is for a combo player but I guess if you’ve already began building a library of HD-DVD discs it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have a player that is capable of playing back those discs.

Currently the combo players are going for $499.99 at Future Shop so the $100 credit will bring the price down to $399.99, which is about the same price as a PS3 so it isn’t that bad of a deal since you won’t have to re-buy all of your already purchased HD-DVD discs.

Future Shop

Circuit City Accepting HD-DVD Player Trade Ins

Have you been screwed by another format war? Well Circuit City is here to help, if you purchased your HD-DVD player within three months of Toshiba’s announcement of the end of the format war and you also purchased your player at Circuit City, then you may be in luck. There have been some reports that Circuit City is letting HD-DVD player owners trade in their players for the full purchase price towards a Blu-ray player or a gift card.

This is a great move Circuit City if you have been affected by the format war and your player qualifies head on over to Circuit City and see if you can get them to let you return it.

One thing I want to mention about Circuit City, in the past year I’ve had two brand new consumer electronics stores show up in my area, firstĀ  was Best Buy, and when I heard that a Best Buy was coming in I was ridiculously excited but was then incredibly disappointed when I realized that Best Buy was a terrible store. Then Circuit City came in and every problem I had with Best Buy was exactly how I wanted it to be with Circuit City… fixed… Circuit City is a great store and I would go there and purchase products from them, even if they are more expensive than they are at Best Buy, just because the store functions so much better than Best Buy does.

DTV Coupons Start Arriving

In early January I posted about the TV Converter Box Coupon Program that would be giving out coupons worth $40 towards a digital TV converter box.

Last week reports started coming in that people started receiving their DTV coupons.

There isn’t much to report on here, I haven’t gotten mine yet but as soon as I get it I plan on purchasing one as fast as my car can take me to my local consumer electronics store (I’ll probably go to Circuit City).

But to tide all of you over until you get yours you can admire the picture above.

42″ 1080p LCD HDTV $799.99

This is a refurbished HDTV but let’s be honest this is an amazing deal. About a year and a few months ago I bought my Vizio 42″ 720p LCD for $1,300. The idea that you can get such a large TV for such a good price is mind blowing.

I’ve always been a fan of Vizio’s TVs they are an incredible value brand and I love mine. This one I’m sure is no different 42″ is the lowest you can go and still get value out of having it be 1080p so this is a great way to get HD in the home on the cheap.

I do suggest that since it’s refurbished to get the extended service plan, and it’s only $160 so even with the warranty it’s a bargain.


Left Over From CES (I Finally Got Around To It) – 9mm 50″ Plasma

Yes, I know, I know, This happened last week and you might already know about it, but I’m sure some of you haven’t heard about it and there are a few stories left over from last week in my inbox that I’m going to be writing about in the next day or so, this is one of them.

Pioneer announced a 9mm thick, 50″ Plasma at CES last week. We won’t be seeing these this year but this is just a peak into the future of flat-panel displays.


Vizio Announces a Slew of New HDTVs

Vizio, that wonderfully low-cost HDTV makers, have announced 30 new HDTVs for CES. The short version is that they have 32-inch Plasmas for $689 and 50-inch 1080p TVs for $1,399. Vizio is also announcing a new LCD line called “Envy” which is a much better designed line compared to their regular line of LCDs.

I’m not going to go through and list all of the new HDTVs but if you want to see Vizio’s entire line up of products you can check them out here.

via CrunchGear

Apply For Your Digital Converter Box Coupon

The conversion from analog to digital broadcast television is set to happen early 2009. But, what are you supposed to do if you rely on broadcast television but don’t have a TV that can receive digital signals? Apply for your Digital converter Box Coupon.

It only takes a minute or two and when the boxes go on sale you’ll get a coupon (or two) in the mail so you can head to your local electronics retailer and get $40 off a digital converter box. This way when the transition hits next your you’ll be peachy keen.