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News and Editorial

April 21, 2009

Time-Warner is offering a Blu-ray upgrades for some of its HD-DVD products.

For further details, visit red2blu.com.

March 27, 2009

Gear: California legislators are formulating a plan that would restrict the energy consumption of TV sets sold in the state, a first for a major U.S. jurisdiction. With big screen TVs becoming more and more prevalent, combined with the inherent inefficiencies in some designs of flat panels (notably older plasma), electricity consumption by TVs as a proportion of total electricity consumption in the state has been rising; regulators wish to curb that trend by pushing manufacturers to make more-efficient panels and displays faster than they have been, as well as requiring the elimination of inefficient display modes like "torch" brightness (intended for store display use and often inadvertently used by end consumers, to the detriment of both their viewing experience and their equipment).

Proponents of the proposed regulations point out that the regulations would not ban big screen TVs from sale in the state, and would save consumers money while reducing the need for extra electricity generating capacity in the power-short state (as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions): "... Significant energy savings can be achieved by requiring energy efficient screen settings which do not materially impact the overall picture quality...." Opponents, notably consumer electronics manufacturers like the Plasma Display Coalition, claim that California consumers will be blocked from obtaining many popular TV models, and will circumvent the restrictions by buying online from dealers out of state, hurting local retailers and depriving the state of tax revenue.

The proposed standards would be phased in in two stages, the first beginning on January 1, 2011 and the second on January 1, 2014. A draft can be downloaded here.

March 20, 2009

Site: The site is now rewritten using CSS, and, for you Mac users, renders properly in Safari. Another rework may be coming, time permitting.

February 26, 2009

DVD: At long last, Zabriskie Point, Michelangelo Antonioni's epic portrait of Sixties America, is coming to R1 DVD.

Release date is May 26, with a run time of 112 minutes and an MSRP of $19.97.

January 4, 2009

Site: After nearly ten years, the old Homestead-based Forum has been retired in favor of a new phpBB.