I attended CES 2009 in Las Vegas at the beginning of January and reported that 3D TV was everywhere. Today’s Superbowl commercials for “Monsters and Aliens” illustrated my point. We were at a Superbowl party where we had the 3D glasses to watch the Superbowl commercials for the Disney/Dreamworks film and for Sobe drinks. Sitting close to the Sony 60 inch DLP HDTV, wearing our paper 3D glasses, objects popped out of the TV and came at us. The picture of the 3D glasses floated in mid air and the paddle ball came straight at us. Papers floated into the room from the screen. Yes, this was real 3D on our TV. We hooted and hollered. Some of the people at the back of the room sitting high up on director’s chairs did not get the same affect, but we in the front were hooked in.
Tomorrow night, on NBC, “Chuck” will show in 3D, and I’ll be there to see how the effects appear with live-action TV. I will be researching the number of technologies of 3D TVs and reporting on them in the future. WATCH 3D “CHUCK” PREVIEW
Here’s another viewpoint and the videos.
I was at a client’s house the other day working with the local Dish Satellite installer. He was using component cables and I asked him why. He said that he knew that HDMI cables were better but they were so expensive. I mentioned what I always hear…there’s inexpensive cables that people say don’t make a difference (I was being the devil’s advocate here because I’m aware of the differences). He said, “Those cables are junk. I can’t tell you how many times they’ve failed after a couple of months and I’ve had to go out and replace them. It costs me money. The only way to do it right is to get a cable that costs well over $30, and I can’t afford that so I’ll just hook it up with component cable…at least they’ll get HD.” This is a busy installer…there is a difference.
If you want to know details of this difference, Clint DeBoer wrote an amazing informative blog that is very complete and one of the most thorough pieces I’ve EVER seen on HDMI.
I keep harping on why to use quality HDMI cables. It’s because there is so much information on the web to the contrary and very little of it talks about real life experience. Working on consumer education with Monster Cable, and watching the testing, I am never disappointed at the verified quality of the cables. And quality is important to me. Again, if I’m spending money for better quality in a TV, I want it to perform at its best.
HDMI cable failed one day!
So, the HDTV LCD in my bedroom didn’t have near the quality of the other HDTVs in my house (yes, I have a few…I need them for testing). Then one day I turned it on and there was this weird solarizing effect. I didn’t touch it and it just appeared one day. A friend of mine had pictures like these too and I wondered if they were real. Well, they are. The cable just failed. Now I had to crawl around and replace it, and luckily I had a Monster cable to hook up. Night and day difference. So, that’s what the HD picture is supposed to look like! Using the cheap cable, I hadn’t even noticed that the TV could look better. Test all you want, it’s how the cable performs over time in my home that counts! And this is the second time that I’ve had a cheap cable fail (the other was installed by the Satellite company and it stopped working completely after less than a year).
Much better with a Monster HDMI
Lately I’ve been thinking about cables like car tires. When I go to buy new tires, the salesperson goes on about radials and tread patterns and lots of stuff that I don’t care much about. It’s when I hear the word “performance” that I listen. I have a decent car and live in the mountains so I want good handling. I’m not going to buy the cheapest tires, I want ones that will last, be backed by a reputable manufacturer and allow my car to handle to the best of its ability. And I know I wouldn’t buy the cheapest tires if I were to have a high performance car. The difference between cables and tires is that the price difference on quality tires is several HUNDRED dollars. The price difference for quality cables is at most a hundred dollars, and more likely only $50.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to rip my system apart to replace a cable that has stopped working, or worse, not realize that the quality has diminished and just complain that my TV isn’t looking so good.
I’m going to get it right the first time. And Monster has the Cable For Life, HDMI cable where I know I’ll never have to spend another dime for an HDMI cable if I get new equipment. Learn more about HDMI at the Monster HDMI learning Center .
Well, February 17, 2009 is the last day of analog TV broadcasts. There’s lots of information, buzz and rumor going around and I will be posting blogs to keep you up to date. I will be writing a series of blogs to make you familiar with the transition. Read ahead and if it doesn’t all sink in because of the jargon…know that I will cover each term later (like bandwidth, broadcast standard, digital and analog, frequency, tuners and more)or you can look them up here
First, what does the digital tv transition mean?
Since the early days of TV broadcasts a standard was created called NTSC so all broadcasters would send a signal that all TVs would be able to receive and show the programs.
With the invention of HDTV, and computers making it possible to send TV programming digitally (like the way the internet comes to your computer), digital television became possible.
The advantages were that you could get a much better picture and full digital surround sound that puts you in the middle of the sound. Another advantage was that there wouldn’t be interference from one channel to the next.
After the digital transition all local TV stations will send their programs digitally on the ATSC bandwidths (think frequency like tuning into a radio station– the ATSC bandwidth is on the UHF channel bandwidth like those TV channels above 13.)
Next up…Why should YOU care?
While I typically write simply for the technophobe, a recent post by Harryitguy, made me feel like I had a couple of things to say about HDMI. Harry and many of his commenters believe that there is no difference between cables when it comes to an HDMI cable. They claim that digital signals arrive at the TV just as they were sent from the source. And there are many complaints about high priced cables. I wanted to be sure that the facts were out there.
Recently I have done in depth research with HDMI, LLC (the HDMI licensing company) and a number of cable manufacturers for my column in Dealerscope magazine to come out in March.
Here are some facts about HDMI cables:
1. Digital may be digital, but 1s and 0s can be corrupted into bit errors
2. Bit errors cause video noise or other picture degradation
3. Bad Cable construction can make that video noise worse when the connectors have cheap solder points or weak solder points
4. Monster cable has a one piece connector that eliminates the bit error problems. Terk makes cables that have “noise traps” like you find on your digital camera cable, to capture any added interferance. And of course, any decent cable doesn’t want interferance to cause bit errors.
5. Really cheap cables can fall out of the connection, or bend pins.
6. Alterations in what material the cable is, and how it is twisted can affect the ability of the cable to transmit the highest quality picture.
Bottom line is, if you are spending a lot of money on a high quality flatscreen or any other high quality component, why would you skimp on cables to insure that quality is transferred and displayed?