Sean Portnoy

Contributor

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.

Sean Portnoy is a freelance technology journalist; currently, all work that Sean does is on a contractural basis. Sean has also written corporate communications documents for CA.Sean does not accept gifts from companies he covers. All hardware products he writes about are purchased with his own funds or are review units covered under formal loan agreements and are returned after the review is complete.

Latest from Sean Portnoy

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Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

Major movie studios continue to take baby steps toward offering new films to cable subscribers via premium on demand while the flicks are still in theaters. The biggest test to date will come in a few weeks, when Comcast will bring the new Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller potential blockbuster Tower Heist to a pair of test markets just three weeks after it debuts on movie house screens.

October 9, 2011 by in Telcos

Hulu considers turning itself into an online cable operator

Hulu considers turning itself into an online cable operator

While Netflix is thriving as it turns itself into more and more into a paid online streaming service, Hulu is struggling internally to figure out what direction it will take, according to the Wall Street Journal. One idea being given serious consideration: turn Hulu into a "virtual cable operator.

January 26, 2011 by in Telcos

Is CableCard dead? FCC weighs alternatives.

Is CableCard dead? FCC weighs alternatives.

In theory, CableCards don't seem like a bad idea: Instead of using a set-top box provided by your cable company, you can slide a small card into a device like a PC or TiVo and use that to control your programming options. The first cards were hobbled by their inability to communicate in both directions—able to transmit to the device but not to send signals back from it—which made features like on-demand viewing unavailable.

December 5, 2009 by in Telcos

"HDTV" experiment proves believing is seeing

"HDTV" experiment proves believing is seeing

The result isn't really that surprising, but it's still an interesting finding. According to a recent Dutch experiment, it turns out that the power of suggestion once again can make unsuspecting test subjects talk themselves into seeing something that isn't there—literally, in this case.

October 11, 2009 by in Telcos

AMD announces ATI Theater HD 750 "HDTV on a chip"

AMD announces ATI Theater HD 750 "HDTV on a chip"

Some owners of home theater PCs (HTPCs) want as much of the same experience as a typical cable user as possible, which means they need to install CableCards into their systems to access scrambled digital channels and the like. For those whose TV needs are less demanding, a PC with a TV tuner can get you unscrambled cable channels and over-the-air HD stations.

June 2, 2009 by in Telcos

Monster vs. Vampires: Cutting down home theaters' wasted energy

Monster vs. Vampires: Cutting down home theaters' wasted energy

You may best know Monster Cable as the company that produces the $80 HDMI cables that Best Buy tries to sell you as being superior to the $10 ones you can find online. But with its GreenPower products, Monster is more concerned with the wasted energy being sucked from electronics components than with sucking money out of your wallet.

May 3, 2009 by in Telcos

DirecTV releases iPhone app to taunt us cable customers

DirecTV releases iPhone app to taunt us cable customers

If its superior number of HD channels isn't enough to elicit some envy from cable subscribers, DirecTV is rubbing it in a little more with the official release of an iPhone app that basically lets you control your DVR from anywhere.More specifically, you can search for shows up to two weeks in advance, then record them onto any DirecTV DVR in your home, either as a one-time recording or a season's worth.

March 30, 2009 by in Telcos