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Men and women want high-definition televisions for their holiday gift

Tech gadgets are increasingly becoming hot coveted items, as found by a Solutions Research Group. More than three-quarters of the 1,200 American men and women surveyed had at least one digital lifestyle products on their holiday season wish lists.

By far the most popular item on everyone’s tech list is a flat-screen high-definition television, making up 35 percent of mentions in the subgroup. Interestingly enough, those very same that put HDTVs on their lists may not use the technology to its full potential. Only 6 percent listed Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD players and only 2 percent intended to get HD boxes from their cable or satellite company.

Some of those HDTVs, however, maybe used for high-definition gaming. For men’s top 10 lists, the PlayStation 3 led all consoles at sixth spot, with both Xbox 360 and Wii taking ninth and tenth, respectively. When considering women’s wishlists, the Wii was the only games machine in the top 10, listed at eighth. With both genders combined, the Wii became the most desired console at eighth, just one spot ahead of the PS3.

Common wants for both men and women were HDTV, laptop computers, digital still cameras, digital video cameras, desktop computers, GPS car navigation systems, Nintendo Wii and cell phones.

Despite the broad appeal of its products, Apple did not show up on the overall top 10 list. The iPhone was specifically named for 15th place, with the MacBook at 11th. Women appeared to prefer Apple computers more than men, placing the MacBook at ninth place.

For more on the Digital Life America – Holiday 2007 Edition report, see the full news release (PDF).



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RE: HD content
By Oregonian2 on 10/10/2007 3:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
My experience disagrees. Their DVDs will look a LOT better. Even our cheapie bedroom 32" Olevia HDTV connected to a Sony upconverting plain-DVD player looks a LOT better than even a high end 32" Sony XBR SD TV with a DVD player connected (our current family room TV). Content in a regular 2-layer DVD may not be to full HDTV capability, but it's more than will normally be visible on an SD set.

Note: the internal "upconverting" in the Olevia stinks. It's processing section is underpowered. Having the DVD player upconvert to the TV's native 720P (and using an HDMI connection) yields superior results.

Note2: The article is spot on. We're looking at Panasonic Plasmas for the family room in our Christmas shopping (58" 750 series if we can find anybody selling it locally). We'll upgrade our DirecTV then though. We do know about that. :-)


RE: HD content
By jkresh on 10/10/2007 3:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
its true that dvd's look better on hdtv's then standard deff (as a dvd's resolution is slightly higher then standard definition.) The issue for most new hdtv users is that unless there set (or cable box, or receiver) has a good scaler (and cheap ones generally don't) regular tv will look worse then it would on a standard set.


RE: HD content
By kinnoch on 10/10/2007 7:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
I recently got a Sony XBR2 at Magnolia Hi-Fi and I was pleased to see that they were showing off a lot of SD television. I didn't have a TV so I was interested in getting an HD TV that could handle SD Broadcasts well for now, and then over the next year or so handle all the HD upgrades I will get. Magnolia's SD presentations let me weed out the TV's that didn't upscale SD broadcasts well.


RE: HD content
By Odeen on 10/11/2007 2:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. Technically, the resolution of SD is 480 lines, 60 frames per second, interlaced. The resolution of NTSC (American) DVD's is 480 lines, 60 frames per second, interlaced. The reason that DVD's can look better on HD sets is that DVD's can be deinterlaced into 24 FPS or 30 FPS, matching original film or video capture and then displayed using progressive scan on an HDTV or EDTV set.


RE: HD content
By themadmilkman on 10/11/2007 2:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the resolution of DVDs is 720 x 480, assuming that they're widescreen. A normal 4:3 set that doesn't have some sort of squeeze mode will not be able to display that full amount of info in the right aspect ratio.

I believe that's what the GP post was getting at.


RE: HD content
By goku on 10/10/2007 8:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Sony upconverting plain-DVD player" that's why... And the big problem is, how many people really know about upconverting DVD players??


RE: HD content
By Spuke on 10/10/2007 8:49:57 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And the big problem is, how many people really know about upconverting DVD players??
About the same amount of people that know about HD DVD and Bluray.


RE: HD content
By Oregonian2 on 10/11/2007 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
Probably more. If you go to Costco and buy a DVD player, there's a reasonable chance it'll be an upconverting one unless you buy the $39 one. Upconversion is the new standard feature, I've noticed.

Also one thing I mentioned but didn't focus on is that the connection from the upconverting DVD player is HDMI. Just having the path from the DVD disc all the way to the actual display driver in the TV will be digital is a boost in quality. Skips entirely the D->A->cables->A->D step which I think is a weak link in even a regular DVD to HDTV set connection through traditional interfaces. As well as my thinking that traditional CRT based SD TV's not being able to resolve the full NTSC resolution anyway.


RE: HD content
By mathew7 on 10/12/2007 3:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
Digital cables are also analog, the difference is that the ADC/DAC converters work differently.
The pure digital connection is one of the falsely marketed things. Sure, with HDMI/DVI you will get the best picture quality, but only up to 5 meters (10 meters with quality cables). After that the degrading is exponential, because interference affects the low bits the same as high bits (player could send 0x35, receiver may get 0xF5...huge difference). Although analog connnections are affected by interference, the degradation is more linear, because the interference affects the signal level (like in previous case, player sends 0x35, receiver gets 0x48....big difference, but not as big as in previous case), but even in the serverely degraded (long) connection, you still can interpret the image. So for long cables, analog is the best.
It's just like the air conditioning vs. windows down: up to a speed windows down is best for fuel consumption.
PS: I'm not sure about the 5/10 meters distances. I know I have a 5 meter HDMI cable and it works good between my Geforce and HDTV. But it's a thick cable compared to what else I saw.


RE: HD content
By Oregonian2 on 10/15/2007 6:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Digital cables are also analog, the difference is that the ADC/DAC converters work differently.


Yes they are analog in the purest physical-layer networking sense. But in terms of ADC/DAC's and the image content, no they're are pure digital with the information encoded into 1's and 0's. The video is not converted between digital and analog to be put on the cable (and then back again in the TV). It's only analog in the sense that all digital signals are in reality analog even if the information being transferred isn't. I've been a mostly digital EE for thirty years, and I fuss with pico-seconds in my timing and am aware of the analog aspects in the controlled impedance and terminated transmission lines I use. It's analog transmission of digital signals in which video is encoded -- its not the analog transmission of video.

quote:
Sure, with HDMI/DVI you will get the best picture quality, but only up to 5 meters (10 meters with quality cables). After that the degrading is exponential, because interference affects the low bits the same as high bits (player could send 0x35, receiver may get 0xF5...huge difference).


Digital cabling works for the distances for which it was designed (although one certainly can buy cheap junk that doesn't meet spec). Personally, our longest HDMI cable is about 1.5 meters long.

In any case, should it be needed, FEC coding likely would eliminate any data errors even if there are analog ones.

"Digital" per se, can go long distances. Video is sent digitally to geosynchronous satellites and back (DirecTV, etc) for instance. No cable at all -- wireless. Just a matter of using the system designed for the task at hand. In the case of regular DVD players with built in upconverters (that this thread is about), I think putting the DVD player within reasonable high-quality HDMI cable distance of the set will be practical in the vast majority of cases.


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