TiVo Commercials Replace Commercials - The popular PVR provider TiVo has announced that they will be launching a new system that plays its own commercials, special offers and promotional messages when users are fast-forwarding thru a block of commercials on the TV channel they have recorded to the hard drive. An interesting move, since one of the big advantages of TiVo has been its ability to skip over commercials in recorded programming in a few seconds. Some of their millions of customers even agreed to a monthly or a single lifelong fee for the TiVo service. Viewers may soon find there are other ways to timeshift their TV programming.
Sales Figures Show Huge Consumer Appetite for DTV - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports a 40% increase compared to last year in factory-to-dealer DTV product sales, and figures for the first nine months of the year are up 71%, with more than 4.4 million DTV products sold. Since introduction of DTV in l998 over 13 million sets have been shipped into the U.S. marketplace, which translates to more than $20 billion invested in DTV. The CEA defines DTV sets as displaying active vertical scanning lines of at least 480 progressive (which therefore includes sets that were formerly called only DTV-Ready) - in other words, capable of displaying a DTV image if one feeds it such from a DTV tuner/receiver.
Double-Res DLP? - Hewlett-Packard has developed a technique improving the effective resolution of digital projectors by shifting an image slightly by less than the width of a single pixel; the overlapping images together create details finer than the original pixel width. It is said to use voice coils to shift a lens, creating a higher perceived resolution due to reduction of the screen-door effect by painting over the space between pixels.
Neither Stylus Nor Laser Required for Groove Playback - Two particle physicists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have developed a method to preserve the contents of priceless discs and cylinders by taking thousands of precise sequential photos of the groove and then stitching the images together similar to photo panorama software. They measure the shape of the undulations and calculate the route a stylus would have to take along the groove. The technique can be used on recordings that are badly scratched, cracked or even shattered. The two came up with the idea after hearing an NPR piece on the problems of preserving delicate recordings.