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

Future TV tech from Hitachi on CES show floor

Future TV tech from Hitachi on CES show floor

Other than people rushing out to Circuit City thinking they're going to get some great liquidation deals (ha, ha), there's not too much new on the home theater front, so I figured I'd share some photos I snapped on the CES show floor at the Hitachi booth. Hitachi isn't much of a name in the U.

January 19, 2009 by in Hardware

CES 2009: I demo Panasonic's 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System

CES 2009: I demo Panasonic's 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System

One of the hottest tickets—literally—at CES this year is to demo Panasonic's 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System setup, which uses a 103-inch plasma and a Blu-ray player to give users full 1080p content for each eye that's then yoked together into three dimensions with a special set of glasses and 3D drivers for the plasma.

January 9, 2009 by in Hardware

CES 2009: Intel recruits Comcast, Samsung, Toshiba for its Widget Channel Internet TV initiative

CES 2009: Intel recruits Comcast, Samsung, Toshiba for its Widget Channel Internet TV initiative

While Yahoo has been grabbing headlines this week with its partnerships with TV makers like Samsung and Vizio to bring its Internet TV widget platform to new sets, Intel wants to make sure people remember that it also introduced the underlying API with Yahoo last fall at the Intel Developers Forum. Its strategy rests more (though not completely) on getting its Widget Channel platform into new set-top boxes, and it has a few partners of its own readying products.

January 8, 2009 by in Hardware

CES 2009: Samsung's new Blu-ray players and home theater systems

CES 2009: Samsung's new Blu-ray players and home theater systems

Samsung is beefing up its Blu-ray offerings with its announcement earlier today of two new Blu-ray players and three Blu-ray home theater systems, including the first Blu-ray sound bar. As with its HDTV introductions this afternoon, the company hasn't divulged price or availability yet, but they may be worth the price and wait if they perform as well as they are stylishly designed.

January 7, 2009 by in Mobility

CES 2009: Samsung's new plasma and LCD HDTV lineup

CES 2009: Samsung's new plasma and LCD HDTV lineup

Though it's given up the rear-projection market, Samsung is still hanging in there with plasma, as evidenced by its new lineup of sets announced this afternoon. They share a number of features with the new LCDs the company also introduced today—including those I didn't cover in my previous post.

January 7, 2009 by in Samsung

CES 2009: Samsung's new LED-based LCD HDTVs

CES 2009: Samsung's new LED-based LCD HDTVs

I'm in Vegas now for the next few days, and CES is kicking off with the usual Wednesday press conferences from the major electronics players. First up (for me at least) is Samsung, which is announcing a slew of new TVs and home theater products I'll be breaking up into several posts.

January 7, 2009 by in Hardware

Ace Computers to release $999 CableCard-equipped home theater PCs

Ace Computers to release $999 CableCard-equipped home theater PCs

One of the major impediments to the growth of the home theater PC (HTPC) market has been the lack of digital cable TV support. Yes, Clear QAM tuners can handle unencrypted digital channels, but only now that cable companies have started getting behind the CableCard standard can consumers use their PCs to view and record encrypted cable channels.

January 1, 2009 by in Hardware

Netflix Player by Roku adds streaming HD content

Netflix Player by Roku adds streaming HD content

For $99, the Netflix Player by Roku was already a pretty good deal for getting on-demand content from Netflix's Watch Now service streamed to your TV. Now Roku has upgraded the device to support HD streaming from Netflix, which should help it answer one of the chief criticisms leveled at the player: video quality that's lackluster on a high-def set.

December 22, 2008 by in Telcos

Intel to showcase Widget Channel Internet TV platform at CES

Intel to showcase Widget Channel Internet TV platform at CES

Another tech heavyweight is jumping into the battle over bringing the Internet to the living room. Intel will be showing off its new Widget Channel platform, which combines the new Media Processor CE 3100 with a software framework for displaying widgets of information on your TV, at next month's CES event.

December 19, 2008 by in Intel

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