# Wednesday, 13 December 2006

HD TV in the UK

Everything you need to know... fully revised and updated

Buyer's Guide Christmas is a-coming and the consumer electronics industry is out to sell you a brand spanking new HD TV. But is now the right time to buy? In this fully revised and updated report, Reg Hardware guides you past the gotchas...…

 [via The Register]

Seems about right to me. So, the  question is, while 'mainstream' punters are buying this stuff by the shed load (and note again, Freeview wont get HD till 2012 and only then if the BBC gets a ton more money to pay for an Ofcom license) why are the TV platforms and content developers mostly ignoring it and spending all their time, intellect and capital chasing the Internet?

My son won a 32" HD TV, I won a Samsung Q1 - they are glued together with Sky Anytime PC from which I get SD films - why not HD ? I don't even seem to be able to pay for HD films on Sky Anytime so they are chasing the Internet at one end but not really closing the loop.


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# Thursday, 07 December 2006


What is WPF/E really?.  

In a few newsgroup posts on our forums, I’ve seen some confusion about what WPF/E CTP enables and what it doesn’t.  This is probably a result of the snappy codename we’ve chosen, but I’ll attempt to add some clarity.  WPF/E is a subset of WPF, but the subset was chosen in a careful way to enable web scenarios that are not possible with HTML alone.


On the team, the way we think of WPF/E is this: WPF/E is a browser plug-in that augments the set of functionality provided by HTML to provide media, animation and vector graphics with the same programming model that the HTML DOM exposes.  This CTP of WPF/E is not a UI technology that replaces HTML, it augments the capabilities.


HTML elements can be created, accessed and modified using javascript running on a web page.  WPF/E elements can be created, accessed and modified using javascript running on a web page.  HTML is easy to search since it is sent to the user as plain text.  WPF/E is also sent to the user as plain text.  HTML samples and tricks are shared organically because the page source can be easily viewed.  WPF/E allows for the same thing. 


HTML provides flow text layout, text input, tabular and flow layout panels, and a simple set of UI controls.  WPF/E provides media playback, vector graphic drawing and animation support.  The two sets of capabilities compliment one another.


This is not to say other parts of WPF will not be incorporated into WPF/E in future CTPs and versions of the product, because we are definitely planning on growing our WPF subset and the overlap with HTML features.  Very important things like text input, layout, resources, data binding and of course, CLR integration are all WPF features that our team is scoping for integration with WFP/E.  I’m just trying to frame the approach we’ve taken with the initial CTP of WPF/E.  Extend the browser and give users the most consistent development model we can. 


 [via Mike Harsh's Blog]

Says it all - and IMHO, they have got it, from this description, right. Keyword: augment. Put that lot in a suitable container and its best of both worlds stuff. Interesting to note that Yahoo widgets might well have a problem wrapping it, MS Sidebar etc won't.

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# Wednesday, 06 December 2006

IE (6) is not a unicode application - or why margins are wrong in IE 6.

Here's an interesting one if you are not in the USA and still using IE 6. In Control Panel, go to Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options and then Regional and Language Options. In the Regional Options tab choose English (United Kingdom), click customize (yeah, note the z) and ensure measurement is metric, now on the Advanced tab set the "Language for non-Unicode programs" to English (United States).

And finally, go to IE, then page setup - note that your margins are wrong. Print preview and they are badly wrong and print and they are badly wrong (essentially it is taking a cm margin as inches, so 2cm margin gives a 2 inch margin). Put the Advanced tab setting to Enlish (United Kingdom) and all will be well.

This problem seems to be fixed in IE7.

[update - fixed a couple of typos <sigh>].


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# Tuesday, 05 December 2006

climate change

... an entire WPF/E DevCenter

P.S. Regardless of whether humans caused global warming or whether it's part of a natural cycle, it's happening and we're going to have to deal with it. [via Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet]

Hmmm, I change this to "... whether humans caused global climate change  ...". I still have the book on my shelves from the 1970's when the prediction was the next mini-Ice Age by 2050. Quite how "climate is a constant (which we can return to)" has become the orthodoxy between then and now I really don't know. Anyway, however Chris likes to put it - nice to see there are others in the world who think essentially likewise.

And or course, interesting to see whether WPF/E is going to cause a climate change in the world of video playback and adverts (which is after all, all that Flash is used for <g>).

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