Warner Brothers forgot to include the advertised iPod-compatible digital file on its Blu-ray copy of “Speed Racer.” It’s now offering an online trade, where owners of the disc can exchange their PlaysForSure authorization code for an iTunes store redemption code. (When filling out the form, for “Support Request Type” select “Authorization Code and Licenses”.) [warnerbros] (Thanks to Sabler!)
Best Buy, Circuit City, and Sears are all contesting the FCC’s recent fines against them for not properly following analog transition rules in their stores, reports Ars Technica. Last week, Best Buy submitted a 41-page response (PDF) that claimed among other things that the FCC has no authority to fine them.
The FCC handed out a whole basketful of fines to electronics retailers today: $1.1 million for Sears and Kmart; $992,000 for Wal-Mart; $712,000 for Circuit City; and amounts between $168,000-384,000 for Target, Best Buy, CompUSA, and Fry’s Electronics. What made Christmas come so early? They were all failing to warn consumers that analog-only TVs and tuners will stop working on their own when the digital switchover comes next year.
Netflix has been asking its members about their Xbox 360 usage habits as it considers whether to stream movie rentals over the device. Are you a Netflix subscriber who owns a 360? Were you surveyed?
Now you don’t have to dress up in corporate casual-wear and spend half the day screaming in a studio audience to get something free from Oprah, because for the next day she’s giving away digital versions of Suze Orman’s new book “Women & Money” on her website, from now until 8/7c February 14th. Downloads are available in English and Spanish versions, PDF only.
If you use Leopard on a Mac and plan on buying e-books, be very careful—according to the various complaints on this thread, Adobe’s Digital Editions still doesn’t work on Leopard, and yet most places selling Digital Editions e-books won’t warn you of this, leaving you with activated books you can’t return but also can’t read.
Well, at least he’s being honest—Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson announced at CES today that the 2009 switchover from analog to digital television (still a year away) poses “one of the biggest risks our industry has,” whatever that means. “The number of converter boxes that is going to be required could put tremendous pressure on us.” Oh, you mean because you’ll have to have them in stock? Interpretation: if you’re going to need a converter box or two, you’d better plan on buying them elsewhere.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, half of US homes already have digital televisions. If you’re not one of them, you’ve got a year to switch—or make sure you hit up this site next Tuesday to get a coupon for a converter.
Fox and Apple have reached a deal that would allow movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store. No official announcement yet, so no details on pricing, date, or how the rentals will work.
There’s still no official FCC strategy for the nation’s switchover to digital television in February 2009, reports the General Accounting Office. We guess this will be one of those let-the-private-sector-sort-it-out “initiatives.” [Reuters]
Cablevision is trying to scare consumers into signing up for basic cable service ahead of the planned transition to digital television. After February 17, 2009, consumers will need a $60 converter box to receive television signals over-the-air. The transition to digital will significantly improve the quality of over-the-air television, but that isn’t stopping Cablevision from funding a scare-mongering campaign to rustle up new business.
CONSUMER ALERT: This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal CommunicationsCommission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at: http://www.dtv.gov.
The FCC supposedly has undercover agents working in stores and surfing the web to make sure stores aren’t selling obsolete TVs to hapless rabbit-ear using folks. Meanwhile, Best Buy has stopped selling analog TVs outright.
Okay, we’ll say it, and understand that we’re writing this post on an old iBook: the iPod line is starting to look tired. Sure, that Touch is elegant in the same way as the iPhone—but its capacity is similar to the Nano, and what if don’t want to carry around a Kubrick-style slab of minimalism? There are now some really nice alternatives out there if you’re willing to walk away from the perks of being a member of the Apple camp.
Where would we be without photos? We’d have no blackmail, no things to cut up after a divorce, no US Weekly, and no pictures to stare at on The Consumerist. And now that there are digital cameras, anyone can take ’em. But like emails, thesis statements, and that Great American Novel you’ve been working on for years, they’re prone to digital oblivion if you don’t take some precautions. The Associated Press has four basic tips that you should already be following to keep your digital pics safe.
FCC Takes Action To Prevent Cable Companies From Dropping Digital Broadcast Networks From Analog Cable
In 2009, broadcast channels are going to switch over to digital, freeing up a large swath of bandwidth that will be sold to the highest bidder. At that point, says the FCC, cable companies were going to drop broadcast networks from analog cable.
The FCC will require retailers to warn consumers that certain television models will not work without additional equipment after the conversion to digital television in early 2009. The FCC nicely asked retailers to help educate the public, but concluded that voluntary efforts are “not working.”
Congress has ordered broadcasters to shut off old-style analog TV broadcasts by Feb. 17, 2009, and replace them with sharper digital ones. When that happens, millions of households with pre-digital TVs that rely on antennas will need to have purchased and installed digital converter boxes that will cost a minimum of $60 each.