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Recent Home Theater Editorials

The DVD / Blu-ray RentalGate Scandal

The DVD / Blu-ray RentalGate Scandal

You rent the latest summer blockbuster on Blu-ray to watch in the comforts of your home theater only to find when you pop in the disc, critical features such as deleted scenes, special R rated version and BD Live access have gone amiss. All the anticipation of seeing Moon Bloodgood's boobs in Terminator Salvation has just been crushed. Who do you have to thank for? The Movie studios and their relentless pursuit of making more profits at the expense of restricting your access. Read on to find out why.

You rent a new release Blu-ray disc to watch in the comforts of your home only to soon find special features, BD Live access and the "R" rated version of the movie missing. Read on to find out why.

— December 06, 2009 23:35 in Editorials

NBComcast - Destined to Fail No Matter What

NBComcast - Destined to Fail No Matter What

So, what happens when one of the largest cable operators in the nation makes a deal for one of the big names in TV and movie content? People start to get worried. There are a lot of legal hoops for Comcast and GE (the current owner of NBC Universal) to jump through before this deal gets finalized. Regardless of what you think about streaming media generally or Hulu specifically, the death of Hulu would be a huge hit for online streaming. So either the Comcast/NBC Universal merger fails for legal reasons or it is a "fail" for all of us.

So, what happens when one of the largest cable operators in the nation makes a deal for one of the big names in TV and movie content? People start to get worried.

— December 04, 2009 03:35 in Editorials

Full of AV Thanks

Full of AV Thanks

With everyone so full of thanks that they can barely stand it, an AV nut takes a stand. Here are 14 things he is "thankful" for. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we've been inundated with posts and columns giving thanks. The number of 10 BLANK things to be thankful for lists out on the interwebs is absolutely nauseating. This is the kind of nonsense that you can't help but click on just to read the "I can't believe you didn't mention X" comments underneath. Fanboys and forum trolls rejoice - this is your season. Reveal in ruining it for everyone else. Which has got me thinking...

With everyone so full of thanks that they can barely stand it, an AV nut takes a stand. Here are 14 things he is "thankful" for.

— November 25, 2009 05:40 in Editorials

CEDIA Bashes CA Ruling on Big TVs... So Do We

CEDIA Bashes CA Ruling on Big TVs... So Do We

CEDIA (The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) is outraged by the adoption of the unnecessary and harmful regulation regarding the California TV energy efficiency standard the CEC chose to adopt yesterday. Us? We're just amused. Despite continued efforts and data outlining the negative ramifications of the ruling provided by CEDIA and the Californians for Smart Energy coalition, the CEC chose to adopt regulations on the energy consumption of televisions sold in California. This regulation will have a significant negative impact on the sale and installation of flat-panel displays and the businesses in the residential electronic systems industry. Fear not as Audioholics has a solution for manufacturers - implement SCAM.

CEDIA is outraged by the adoption of the unnecessary and harmful regulation regarding the California TV energy efficiency standard. Folks, this is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

— November 19, 2009 17:30 in Editorials

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Sicker Than H1N1

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Sicker Than H1N1

The economy is dicey and NPD analysts say video game revenue is down 13 percent. But when the going gets tough, Activision Blizzard gets going – with what could be the top grossing entertainment blockbuster of the year, despite all odds. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the most hotly anticipated video game of the year. Some predict Modern Warfare 2 will break records as the top grossing piece of entertainment ever – period, beating out The Dark Knight’s $155 million weekend opener while topping sales of Grand Theft Auto IV.

The economy is dicey and NPD analysts say video game revenue is down 13 percent. But when the going gets tough, Activision Blizzard gets going – with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

— November 10, 2009 17:55 in Editorials

Don't Like Your Job at Blockbuster? Stab Yourself!

Don't Like Your Job at Blockbuster? Stab Yourself!

According to an article at The Smoking Gun, Aaron Siebers, a 27-year-old Blockbuster employee, decided that it would be better to stab himself than go work at Blockbuster Video. While in principle I can sympathize, it was a little odd to see someone actually carry out something like this in real life. Aaron was apparently skateboarding Wednesday afternoon when he fell and ripped his work pants. Since he knew he would be "written up" by Blockbuster for having ripped pants (or for wearing non-standard pants), he decided to stab himself in the leg and show up claiming he had been attacked by three Hispanic males.

According to an article at The Smoking Gun, Aaron Siebers, a 27-year-old Blockbuster employee, decided that it woudl be better to stab himself than go work at Blockbuster Video.

— November 06, 2009 03:10 in Editorials

Hands On Xbox 360, Facebook, Twitter, Last.Fm, Instant Streaming

Hands On Xbox 360, Facebook, Twitter, Last.Fm, Instant Streaming

There is a lot to be excited about with this new Xbox Live update scheduled... um... sometime (they keep changing it - currently slated for Autumn 2009 which, by my calendar, is right now). Is you are really hooked on social networks, Facebook and Twitter functionality is for you. If you've been looking for a way to stream Internet Radio into your home theater, you'll love Last.Fm. If you are an avid downloader of video content, you'll be excited not only by the 1080p resolution of the new Zune Marketplace, but also the ability to start the video while you are downloading (called Instant Streaming).

There is a lot to be excited about with this new Xbox Live update - Facebook and Twitter (ho hum), Last.Fm (hmm... not bad), and 1080p Instant Streaming (not that's cool). See what it's all about.

— October 29, 2009 10:10 in Editorials

Hulu - Its Own Worst Enemy

Hulu - Its Own Worst Enemy

One doesn't have too look too hard to find examples of businesses mismanaged into oblivion. Circuit City's recent inexplicable demise is a textbook example. Is Hulu next? It very well may be and here's why. So why is Hulu their own worst enemy? We all know the reason. Fear. They are afraid of losing advertising dollars. So now their solution is to monetize Hulu through subscriptions? Whatever marketing genius came up with that plan needs to return their degree to the Crackerjack box they got it out of.

One doesn't have too look too hard to find examples of businesses mismanaged into oblivion. Is Hulu next? It very well may be and here's why: They are afraid of losing advertising dollars.

— October 26, 2009 04:25 in Editorials

Wal-Mart Shrugged – DVD and Blu-ray Fell

Wal-Mart Shrugged – DVD and Blu-ray Fell

Never underestimate the power of Wal-Mart! The retail juggernaut has the power to destroy a product line’s sales by deciding not to sell it - or simply pushing it to the bottom shelf. Wal-Mart recently trimmed down its DVD shelf to free up space for better selling items. Now tremors are being felt across the entertainment industry. But is Wal-Mart contributing to a consumer paradigm shift or simply responding to one?

Never underestimate the power of Wal-Mart! The retail juggernaut has the power to destroy a product line’s sales by deciding not to sell it - or simply pushing it to the bottom shelf.

— October 08, 2009 04:05 in Editorials

3D Heart Attack

3D Heart Attack

We've been hearing more and more about 3D for the last few years. The real driving force behind 3D has always been to rake in more money. Will people pay a premium for a movie in 3 dimensions? Apparently yes. But for how long? 3D movies have inundated the public consciousness over the summer. Releases such as "Coraline" and "Up" have met with rave reviews while movies like "My Bloody Valentine" made money arguably only because of the format. The public is definitely aware of the format and is willing to pay extra for it. For now.

We've been hearing more and more about 3D for the last few years. The real driving force behind 3D has always been to rake in more money. Will people pay a premium for a movie in 3 dimensions?

— October 01, 2009 01:15 in Editorials

CA Energy Commission Seeks to Regulate Television Use

CA Energy Commission Seeks to Regulate Television Use

Two weeks ago, the California Energy Commission released regulatory language aimed at reducing electricity usage of television sets in the state. This news was greeted by modest media coverage, much of it hailing the commission for targeting Californians’ energy consumption. Soon thereafter, it was announced that California’s unemployment rate jumped three-tenths of a percentage point to 12.2 percent in August. What the media – and California’s regulators – fail to realize is that these are not two distinct stories, one involving environmental regulation and the other relating to California’s sputtering economy. Instead, they are two pieces of the same overarching narrative: Government over-regulation of California’s businesses is hurting an economy that is already suffering.

Government over-regulation of California’s businesses is hurting an economy that is already suffering. Two weeks ago, the CA Energy Commission said it wanted to reduce electricity use in TV sets.

— September 29, 2009 05:20 in Editorials

FCC Under Fire for Net Neutrality

FCC Under Fire for Net Neutrality

The fight for net neutrality is ON! Soon after the Federal Communications Commission announced it will formalize net neutrality rules – the FCC immediately drew fire from all sides. Republicans in Congress want to pull funding to the FCC while Comcast and AT&T promise an apocalypse of Internet traffic congestion and unsafe service will be the true cost of new regulation.

The fight for net neutrality is ON! Soon after the Federal Communications Commission announced it will formalize net neutrality rules – the FCC immediately drew fire from all sides.

— September 24, 2009 07:00 in Editorials

Apple Event 9-9-09: iPod vs. Zune: Round-Two

Apple Event 9-9-09: iPod vs. Zune: Round-Two

Someone call 911! Apple’s keynote invitation image looks like a crime scene victim’s chalk outline. Apple’s annual meeting tomorrow has a name that may invoke images of the Beatles, the band that loved the number nine but doesn’t like digital distribution. While blog-o-sphere rumors of what’ll be in store at the Apple event tomorrow are more elaborate than the Da Vinci Code, one thing is for sure: It’s Apple’s turn to strike back in the war to be your next MP3 player.

Someone call 911! Apple’s keynote invitation image looks like a crime scene victim’s chalk outline. Apple’s annual meeting tomorrow has a name that may invoke images of the Beatles, the band that

— September 08, 2009 15:15 in Editorials

The Twelve Biggest Industry Mistakes of the Digital Age

The Twelve Biggest Industry Mistakes of the Digital Age

When I think back through some of the more recent technology inventions and innovations that we are enjoying in this digital age I am often reminded of the somewhat ridiculous nature of who brings forth these products and services. After all, you'd think the market leaders would continue to lead, or that those involved in a particular industry would remain on the forefront and bring that industry to repeat pinnacle achievements and advances. But this is simply not the case for many companies. In fact, more often than not, large companies tend towards stagnation and are thus greatly reduced in size from large megaliths to mere shadows of their former glory.

More often than not, large companies tend towards stagnation. Others just make bad choices. Here are 12 of the best stories.

— July 28, 2009 01:00 in Editorials