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Rounding Up HD News: Satellite Setbacks, Hailing the Hybrid

Mar 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

DirecTV, Dish Say Satellite Setbacks Won’t Dim HD Plans
U.S. satellite television leaders DirecTV and Dish Network both said recent satellite-launch setbacks won’t hurt their plans for high-definition channel expansion. DirecTV’s newest satellite, which would expand its national HD channel capacity to 150 from 100, was delayed twice before being scheduled for a launch Wednesday. Dish, whose most recent launch sent its satellite to the wrong orbit, said this week that it has two more satellite launches planned for 2008 that will enable the company to provide 100 national HD channels by the end of the year.
LG Electronics’ Hybrid HD Player Hailed
LG Electronics’ Super Blu high-definition DVD player received the Consumer Electronics Association’s 2008 Mark of Excellence Award for best video component. The player, which was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2007 and can play both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, was selling for as low as $550 on Amazon.com this week, about $150 more than the cheapest Blu-ray player.
Vudu Set-Top Boxes Get Coded by Clickers
Vudu, which makes set-top boxes that allow its inventory of movies to be downloaded directly to television sets, said Philips and Universal Electronics are among remote-control device-makers that will include codes for Vudu boxes. Through Vudu’s new XL box, which retails for $999, the company has an inventory of 5,000 standard-definition films and 100 HD movies.
Sharp, Sony May Unveil the Incredibly Shrinking HDTV
Sharp and Sony are among high-definition television makers that may boost the production of smaller, cheaper HDTVs because of a softening U.S. economy, Web site TVPredictions.com reported, citing Nikkei Business Daily. A Sharp executive said more 26- to 40-inch HDTVs may be produced because sales of larger-screen sets started to fall last year, the Web site said, citing the Japanese newspaper.

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