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Month: February 2010

Sharp and Samsung Settle

February 12, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

Earlier this week, Samsung and Sharp announced the settlement of their long-running dispute over patents related to LCD panels. As is often the case when both side sue each other, they agreed to a cross-licensing agreement that will give each company access to the disputed intellectual property claimed by the other. Additional details of the agreement were not released. This is likely to be a good thing for the industry...

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Is This Any Time to Expand CE Stores?

February 11, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

In a story last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that consumer electronics retailer hhgregg is planning a massive expansion, starting with the mid-Atlantic region but then spreading throughout the U.S. The company currently has 127 stores and plans to add up to 45 more stores in the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. This is part of a plan to add as many as 600 new stores. The...

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Panasonic Plasmas Not So Smart?

February 10, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

In a story last week, CNET broke the news that Panasonic has admitted to problem with rising black levels on some Viera models of their plasma HDTVs. Apparently there have been many consumer complaints about the increase in black level over time on these sets. Black level is important because it is perhaps the key factor in display contrast, and a higher black level can make the whole image look...

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AT&T Supports SlingPlayer Mobile on 3G

February 9, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

Okay, maybe you don't want to watch some version of mobile TV that delivers content that has been boiled and strained. But would you want to watch your favorite shows on your cell phone or other 3G-capable device? That's going to be possible, now that AT&T has announced a deal with Sling Media (a subsidiary of the satellite TV service, EchoStar). According to the AT&T press release, the SlingPlayer Mobile...

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Movie Gallery Files for Bankruptcy

February 8, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

Last week, another bit of evidence appeared that supports the position that DVDs (and Blu-ray discs) should be put on the endangered list. Movie Gallery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it tries to find a way to deal with its growing debt. The company has more than 2,600 stores in the U.S. in the Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video, and Crazy Games retail chains. The company's restructuring plan calls...

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$68 Blu-ray Player

February 5, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

Okay. That's more like it. Walmart is offering the Magnavox NB500MG1F Blu-ray player for $68. Yes, there are lots of features that you don't get with this basic model, but it does have an HDMI connection and an SD card slot. And it's not even Black Friday! This brings Blu-ray into range for the average buyer. The difference in price between this and a DVD player is about the same...

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Rather Switch than Pay?

February 4, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

Brand loyalty remains an important part of many consumer markets in the U.S., but according to a new report by Strategy Analytics, subscription television service is not one of them. A recent survey found that more than 2 out of 3 cable subscribers would change providers if they were offered a 20% discount. For the smaller number of people who subscribe to television from a phone company, such as Verizon...

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Will Toshiba Call It Quits on LCD?

February 3, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

A report last week in Tech-On speculates on the possibility that Toshiba might exit the LCD business. The article quotes a senior executive vice president as saying ""Our LCD display business has been worsening, and we are in very difficult circumstances." He was referring to the LCD business of Toshiba Mobile Display Co Ltd (TMD). This originally was a joint venture with Matsushita (Panasonic), but Toshiba bought out the other...

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Another HD Cell Phone Video Camera

February 2, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

Last fall, I wrote about the Samsung Instinct HD cell phone that could capture HD video. Now comes news that SonyEricsson is following suit. The new Vivaz is a 3G touchscreen phone that can record 720p video using the 8.1-megapixel camera. (The phone originally was known as the "Kurara".) Apparently, the press release announcing the product may have be posted prematurely, as it appears that it has since been taken...

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Turn Down the Sound!

February 1, 2010 | Ibex Marketing

I have reported previously on the "Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act", or CALM, which has been passed by the House of Representatives and now is in the hands of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. However, we don't have to wait for federal legislation to do something about the large variations in sound levels between television programming and the commercials that are inserted throughout them. Last month, SRS...

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