Sean Portnoy

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

Latest Posts

Microsoft scuttles plans for TV subscription service over high fees

Microsoft scuttles plans for TV subscription service over high fees

There's been talk that Microsoft was working on a TV subscription service that would let consumers bypass pay TV providers and watch live programming on their Xbox 360 or other device. According to Reuters, that chatter was accurate, but any hopes viewers would have about a Microsoft TV have been dashed, as the tech Goliath has put the idea on the back burner.

published January 11, 2012 by

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Verizon FiOS plans to eventually kill off set-top box with home media server

Verizon FiOS plans to eventually kill off set-top box with home media server

Forget souped-up set-top boxes with fancy new UIs: Verizon hopes to eliminate them altogether with a new system that uses a home media server to distribute video to all devices around your house.In a new promo video, the company lays out plans to eliminate set-top boxes for its FiOS pay TV service and replace them with a centralized server and tiny, more energy efficient boxes that merely relay info from the server to your TVs.

published December 22, 2011 by

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DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

In recent briefings to media executives about its plans for an eventual Apple television, the company floated a number of ideas to shake up how you watch video in your living room. While some will seem familiar or obvious at this point -- Siri-based voice controls and iCloud integration -- integrating DVR capabilities hadn't been bandied about as much.

published December 18, 2011 by

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Turn it down! FCC approves new rules to quiet noisy TV commercials

Turn it down! FCC approves new rules to quiet noisy TV commercials

When you're not fast forwarding through commercials during shows recorded on your DVR, you may have noticed that some pesky ads try to blast into your brain by being 10 decibels louder than the show you're watching. Thanks to the FCC, you'll no longer have to scramble for your remote to quickly turn the volume down.

published December 14, 2011 by

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Before an Apple HDTV arrives, will new iMacs launch with built-in TV capabilities?

Before an Apple HDTV arrives, will new iMacs launch with built-in TV capabilities?

While the TV industry (and fanboys) waits to see when, and if, Apple decides to finally launch a long-rumored television, an analyst is predicting that TV functionality may wind up in Apple's computers first.According to AppleInsider, Wedge Partners' Brian Blair is forecasting that before an Apple HDTV is unveiled, its ecosystem -- Apple TV software and iCloud access -- could be built into new iMacs, which Blair believes will be redesigned for the first half of 2012.

published December 10, 2011 by

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Best Buy releases more HDTV deals from its Black Friday ad

Best Buy releases more HDTV deals from its Black Friday ad

Best Buy enjoys being sneaky with its Black Friday ads, waiting to serve up part two after you've had time to digest the leaking of the first part of the advertisement. This year is no different, as the electronics retailer has released the second half of its Black Friday sales, including several more HDTV specials.

published November 21, 2011 by

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