For many of us—especially those with kids—programming the DVR to record shows and movies until it's crammed to capacity is a regular ritual. But how many of those shows do you actually ever watch? Probably not as many as you think. According to a recent study by Motorola Mobility, those of us in the U.S. never watch 41 percent of the programs we record on our DVRs.
If you're still kicking back on your sofa and passively watching TV, you may be missing out. Thanks to a growing assortment of "second-screen" apps that run on tablets and smart phones, you can now engage with other viewers, almost like they're sitting right next to you on the couch, while your favorite show is airing.
Q: You've said that image burn-in is not an issue with the newer plasma TV models during normal viewing. Does that include tuning to a music channel for long periods of time? The onscreen info on those channels doesn't change that often.--Marvin Shuman Randolph, NJ
The 2013 Major League Baseball season gets under way on March 31, with the Houston Astros taking on the Texas Rangers. For millions of Americans, the return of baseball means tuning in to ESPN, Fox, MLB Network, and regional sports channels to watch their favorite team in action.
Free video on demand is a great idea in theory—but often it hasn't offered much to watch. And most of free VOD content has been SD (standard definition), a letdown for anyone used to high definition. But recently things have improved, at least for TV programming. The situation varies by provider, but based on conversations with friends and relatives, I'd say free VOD is generally getting better. Here's what you need to know:
When Intel's move into the TV service arena was first announced last year, there was a lot of speculation that it would be the first TV service to offer a la carte pricing, finally "unbundling" TV programming by letting viewers subscribe only to individual channels, or even individual shows, they actually watched. But if la carte programming was Intel's original intent, that idea has apparently been pushed to the sidelines after the company's discussions with many of the industry's largest content providers.
Starting tomorrow, March 26, Xbox Live is holding a sale on downloadable games and content. Both paying and free Xbox Live subscribers can take advantage of the lower prices—most games are 50 percent off, and a few are even free. The sale runs until April 1.
Looking for a home-theater setup that would satisfy Dr. Evil? LG Electronics hopes so: Next month it will start selling an 1080p projector that uses a lasers as light source, paired with a special 100-inch diagonal screen.
In an announcement that makes Sony's $25,000 Ultra HD TV look like a good deal and LG's $17,000 UHD TV look like an absolute steal, Samsung this morning said you can pre-order its own ultra-large Ultra HD TV later this month, provided you have $40,000 and a really understanding significant other.
Have you been laying around your living room thinking that your smart TV isn't smart enough? Samsung's 2013 TV lineup includes an updated smart TV platform that features a redesigned Smart Hub interface, new ways to search and discover content, plus improvements to its gesture and voice control.
Thanks to a winning combination of solid performance, lots of content, and affordable prices, Roku streaming media players have become a favorite choice of many staffers at Consumer Reports—including me. That's why we were especially interested in taking a first look at the company's newest model, the $100 Roku 3, which replaces the Roku 2 XS at the top of the company's lineup.
If you were bummed when Netflix split its hybrid streaming/disc-by-mail service into two separate (and higher-priced) offerings, here's something you may like: Redbox Instant, which combines unlimited streaming with one-day disc rentals via kiosks. I gave Redbox Instant a spin when it was in a private beta and required an access code to register; yesterday the service had a soft launch, so you can now get your own one-month free trial.
If you've ever wondered why Netflix movies look better at your friend's house than in your own living room, Netflix has launched a new website that compares Internet speeds from various broadband providers.
For those of us fortunate enough to have both lots of wall space and deep pockets, a new wave of pricey Ultra HD TVs—with four times the resolution of a regular 1080p sets—promise ever bigger screens and more detailed pictures than you can get with current HDTVs.
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