Bargains Spur Sales of Bigger HDTVs

Bargain prices drove double- and triple-digit sales increases for big-screen TVs measuring 40 inches or larger, according to an analysis of a Quixel Research study by TWICE magazine. The most significant growth was in the 55-inch-plus screen size segments for all technologies (LCD, plasma and rear projection). Sales of 55- to 60-inch LCD HDTVs jumped 139 percent from 2009 to 2010. Sales of plasma sets 60 inches or larger increased 58 percent.

New on VOD: ‘Unstoppable’

“Unstoppable” premieres today on Suddenlink Video on Demand (VOD). Directed by Tony Scott and starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson, “Unstoppable” is an action film about a runaway train carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals. A veteran engineer (Washington) and a young conductor (Pine), aboard another train in the runaway’s path, must devise a plan to stop it.

Where Suddenlink VOD is available, check out these and other titles by going to Channel 1. A Suddenlink digital receiver is required to access the VOD menu.

Disney Channel’s New Pre-K Format Starts Today

Disney Channel is giving its daily, multi-hour block of preschool programming a makeover, beginning with a name change. Today, “Playhouse Disney” became “Disney Junior.” With the new name comes a new emphasis on social values, a departure from the traditional, basic-education format to which young viewers and their parents might be accustomed.

A Los Angeles Times article explores Disney’s reasons for the change. The complete programming lineup can be seen on the Disney Junior page of the Disney Channel website.

Every March Madness Game Will Air Live

For the first time, every game of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament will be available live on cable and broadcast TV. Thanks to a new $10.8 billion, 14-year TV deal, Turner Networks (TNT, TBS and truTV) will air 41 of the 67 games. CBS will televise the rest, including the Final Four contests. Multichannel News details the game lineup for each network. The tournament begins March 15.

Three More Communities Get TiVo DVR

This week, we launched TiVo® Premiere DVR from Suddenlink in Amarillo, Canyon, and Tulia, Texas.

Suddenlink is the only multichannel TV service provider in these communities to offer TiVo Premiere. Last year, TiVo Premiere was rolled out in Lubbock, Midland, Floydada, and Plainview, Texas.

TiVo Premiere combines Suddenlink’s service with TiVo’s best-in-class user interface to offer access to thousands of hours of entertainment choices, including content from Suddenlink’s video-on-demand library and the Web (e.g., YouTube videos), all accessible through TiVo’s advanced search and discovery features.

Suddenlink plans to expand the availability of the device to additional markets this year.

Study Claims Bing Beat Google in Search Accuracy

For the second month in a row, Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo’s Bing-powered search engines outscored Google in providing accurate searches, according to research by Internet monitoring firm Experian Hitwise.

Still, Google maintained a sizable lead in monthly share of searches at 68 percent, with Bing-powered searches accounting for 27.4 percent. Some 70 other search engines made up the remaining 4.6 percent.

The news came as Bing and Google locked horns over search results, as reported by PC Magazine’s Chloe Albanesius, among others.

Share a Movie With Your Sweetheart

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Suddenlink Video on Demand (VOD) is offering a selection of romantic movies. Titles available range from iconic films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Casablanca” to more contemporary classics such as “Ghost,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” and many more.

Where Suddenlink VOD is available, check out these and other titles by going to Channel 1. A Suddenlink digital receiver is required to access the VOD menu.

NBA Cable TV Ratings on Record Pace

Both TNT and ESPN are on pace to turn in cable TV’s most-watched NBA season, according to USA Today columnist Michael Hiestand. Averaging 1.5 percent of cable TV households per game, TNT ratings are ahead of the top-drawing 1995-96 season, when Michael Jordan started peaking in popularity. TNT announcer Marv Albert attributes part of this season’s ratings uptick to the emergence of the Miami Heat as a league “villain.”

New On-Demand Titles

Three new films are available, starting today, on Suddenlink Video on Demand (VOD).

“Life As We Know It” is a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. Their ill-fated first date triggers a shared dislike, until they are forced to put aside their feelings to serve as the guardians of their mutual friends’ orphaned child.

Tyler Perry directs “For Colored Girls,” which offers poetic vignettes that collectively explore the lives of nine modern African-American women.

“You Again” is a comedy featuring Kirsten Bell, who returns home for her brother’s wedding only to discover that her future sister-in-law (Odette Yustman) is a nemesis from high school. Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis have supporting roles.

Where Suddenlink VOD is available, check out these and other titles by going to Channel 1. A Suddenlink digital receiver is required to access the VOD menu on Channel 1.

‘American Chopper’ Winds Down Tonight

Coming off its highest rated episode since 2004 (3.16 million viewers on Jan. 31), Discovery Channel‘s “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” wraps its contentious season tonight. The New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter explores how chronicling the bitter feud between father and son motorcycle builders has revved up ratings for the reality series. Regardless of how the season ends this evening, there’s more to come. Another set of episodes has been ordered.