This may very well be the summer of the stay-at-home vacation. With the cost of gas at record prices and household expenses growing fast we say why not just stay home this summer and watch HDTV? Look at it this way; a week-long road trip vacation is going to set you back at least $2,000. For that kind of money you can get a nice big LCD TV that you'll be able to enjoy all year 'round for years to come Summer Olympics HDTV Extravaganza Thereís no shortage of good HD programming this summer. That magical, good luck date of 8/8/8 (August 8, 2008) is almost here. NBC has promised to make this Olympics a high-def extravaganza using over 1,000 HD cameras to create thousands of hours of high-def programming. All swimming finals and some of menís and womenís gymnastics and beach volleyball will all be televised live in prime time. In addition to NBC, NBCU cable networks CNBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Oxygen will also televise Olympic events.
For a guide to all the high def Olympics programming check out this page on HD Sports Guide.A PDF file of the complete Olympic schedule for the NBC family of networks is available here.
Contributing to the high-def experience, will be high speed, high definition cameras named the Fastcam SA1 from San Diego-based Photron which is integrated into a new imaging system called SprintCam V2 from i-Movix, of Mons, Belgium. The SprintCam Live 2 HDTVcameras will be recording high definition images at 5,400 frames per second which will be available for immediate slow-motion replay. Photron boasts the FastCam SA1 records high speed action with precision imagery, has excellent color fidelity, great light sensitivity, and offers microsecond global shuttering. 2008 Summer Olympics in 5.1 Channel Audio Adding to the high-def experience, NBC has selected five Calrec Omega with Bluefin consoles as part of its coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. "This is the first time the games will be produced totally in high definition with 5.1 discrete channels of audio," said Bob Dixon, NBC's Director of Sound Design and Communication.
Dixon added, "Our new Calrecs will give us the ability to address all six channels at once, or divide them up quickly and easily so we can address the delay on the surround channels separately, or the EQ on the center channel only. This is exactly the kind of quick flexibility an operator mixing a live event in Surround needs."
Special HD Olympic Programming In addition to the thousands of hours of programming that NBC will be generating, other channels like MOJO HD will offer a 10-Part series of high-def profiles exploring the mindsets and motivations ofU.S. Olympic athletes, beginning July 28. Experts in each sport will be featured, detailing the psychological and body strength needed to compete including how to overcome injuries and setbacks and how these new competitors compare with previous champions. How to Buy an HDTV Set For Watching the Olympics It looks like it's going to be a 1080i experience for the HDTV Summer Olympics and there are many good values in 720p/1080i sets. Although 1080p offers the best future-proof product the process of deciding what to buy can be complicated. Retrevo.com of Sunnyvale, CA has a unique approach to helping consumers navigate the often difficult path of selecting high tech gear and gadgets.
Retrevo crawls the web for expert and user reviews, applies some sophisticated artificial intelligence including clustering, classification, and machine learning along with statistical analysis of large feature sets to come up with a graphical representation of price vs. features they call a Value Map.
Each dot on the Value Map represents a product that has been positioned according to "bang for the buck." Users can roll over a dot to identify the product and price range and the click on the dot for detailed information including manuals, reviews, and manufacturer's information.
A "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" representation indicates whether Retrevo's analysis engine thinks the product is a good value or not and also indicates the aggregated summation of expert and user reviews.
Retrevo crawls the web looking for reviews from experts and users and then summarizes the ratings. For example, this LCD TV got an average rating from amazon.com reviewers of 4.0 out of 5.
More Ways to Save Gas For more ideas on how to save gas this summer and beyond check out these tips from Retrevo. Drive carefully this summer or better yet don't drive and watch HDTV.