One of the most anticipated TV product releases of 2007 was the Sony XEL-1 OLED TV, of which 2000 units recently hit shelves in Japan. While most of us obviously won't be seeing one of these for a long while, we've found some great photos that show the XEL-1 from box to operational. Check them out.
You'll have another relatively low-cost HD DVD player option this Christmas. Venturer has released the SHD7000 HD DVD player, costing $199, and to be carried exclusively by Wal-mart. The player hit the shelves yesterday, so we're waiting anxiously for word regarding the player's performance. While some would argue that the $199 Toshiba HD-A2 would be the better buy due to its higher-quality brand name, the SHD7000 has many of the same features as both the HD-A2 and Toshiba's HD-A3 models. It outputs to 1080i through an HDMI input, hooks up via ethernet for internet-based updates and special movie features, and supports high-quality sound technologies Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD in 5.1-channel surround. Those living in the UK will be able to get their mitts on one after December 29 through the QVC shopping channel.
Office Depot is running an online contest from now until December 23 with a tech gift giveaway everyday. Just head over to Gift-of-the-Day Giveaway site, enter your email and birthdate and play the game. Some important giveaways for TVSnob's include an Olevia 37-inch LCD December 3, a Sharp 37-inch LCD December 11, an Olevia 42-inch LCD December 15, and another Sharp 37-inch LCD December 21. Office Depot definitely seems to favor LCD over plasma. You can even set up email reminders to make sure you play the day's your favorite prizes are awarded.
Corel Corporation, known for its graphics, productivity, and digital media software, has announced that its WinDVD Blu-ray playback software is the first software package to receive BD-Video Profile 1.1 certification.
When the newly certified WinDVD software becomes available in early 2008, the picture-in-picture functionality required for the certification will enable users to watch a high-definition movie on their computer screen while at the same time watching a separate high-def window in the top corner of the screen featuring the director's commentary.
Definitely not mind-blowing, but handy nonetheless.
Nighthawks will probably remember this annoying test pattern from some years back, a familiar site for those that did their channel surfing during the wee hours of the night. This colorful test pattern, used during the night hours when channels were off the air or when experiencing technical difficulties, has been immortalized in a series of handmade television necklaces. Apparently a lot of people miss the colorful screen, because the $12 necklace is currently sold out!
As I watch nearly every mom and dad I know running around looking fruitlessly for a Nintendo Wii to give their kids for Christmas, I found it interesting that the Playstation 3 outsold the Wii in Japan this past month. This is the first time the PS3 has outsold the Wii in Japan since the consoles were released last year. For the month ending November 25, the PS3 sold 183217 units while the Wii sold 159193. Why all of a sudden the PS3 seems to be overcoming its slow start isn't certain, but could be due to the mid-range 40 GB model released recently with its $100 price cut. We do know that the Blu-ray camp is probably celebrating right now.
Gadget blog Shiny Shiny has put together a resourceful guide to putting together the best high-def home theater system via their sister site HDTV UK. It explains everything from the different types of HDTV's, decoding all the spec numbers for screen resolution, brightness, and contrast ratio, as well as video connections and sound specs. Definitely something you should check out whether you're new to the HDTV buying scene or a self-declared expert.
CNET has compiled a huge chart of the power consumption of HDTV's covering the gamut of LCD's, plasmas, and RPTV's. It even tells you how much you pay annually for that power consumption. One thing of interest I noticed was that while almost all of the plasma TV's scored "poor" for power consumption, the only good plasma rating went to the Vizio 42-inch P42HDTV.
Want to start your own cable network? Not crazy about dealing with the FCC? A company called NetTVWorld is working on a technology that will allow you to broadcast your own television channel over the internet. Using a NetTelecaster box, which will set you back about $5000, is only equipped to broadcast 10 streams at once, but is designed to utilized P2P networks to increase that number to around 20000. One major problem is the NetTelecaster can only stream one show at a time. But just imagine a television channel devoted to nothing but TV's. The ultimate TVSnob's dream!
I for one am still not a huge fan of sitting in my office chair to watch a full-length movie on my PC. However, I may enjoy it more if I have a few ice cold brewskis to numb the back pain. If this sounds like you, you might get some use out of the CoolIT Systems USB Beverage Chiller. Just plug this little miracle into your PC's USB port and within seconds it cools to 45 degress Fahrenheit, the perfect drink temperature. You can get your hands on one for $24.99 at CoolIT Systems.
The various Zune players from Microsoft were hot sellers this past Black Friday, but those that purchased the Zune 80 will be disappointed to learn the results of battery life tests conducted by CNET. Microsoft rates the Zune for 30 hours of audio playback with the Wi-Fi turned off, but CNET found in lab tests the players is only capable of about 22 hours. With the Wi-Fi feature turned on, battery life is further reduced to 18.5 hours. It would be interesting to see the results of battery life tests for solely video playback. What do you think, 5 hours?? While this is disappointing, it'll really tick off those that bought the Zune 80 to know that the iPod Classic 80 GB player plays back a remarkable 45 hours of audio on a single battery lifetime!
A movement by the Electronics Takeback Coalition called Take Back My TV is encouraging TV manufacturers to take back and recycle old models rather than let them sit in the garbage dump and pollute the earth. With 30 million digital TV's expected to be purchased in the United States by the end of the year, and the earth making it clear she doesn't appreciate the mess we're making here, this is very important. Take a look at the video above. Hopefully it'll stoke your conscience a bit.
For those who don't believe a movement like this would ever be taken seriously be the big manufacturers, you'll also be interested to know that Sony USA has already signed the Take Back pledge with the ultimate goal of recycling one pound of material for every pound sold.
VH1 is launching their third television series make exclusively for mobile devices. The Misadventures of Bob Paparazzo follows the goings-on of overweight and deviant photographer Bob as he chronically fails at capturing images of b-list celeb. The animated series, which features actually headshots on animated bodies is planned to air each Monday with a new episode.
Head over to Amazon.com and take advantage of the amazing price offer of $70 off the Halo 3 Legendary Edition for the XBox 360. Regularly priced at $129.99, Halo 3 is now available for only $59.99. And that also includes free shipping. This is only for the remainder of today though, so head over there now!
Save $400 on the purchase of the 720p Samsung HPT4264 42" Plasma HDTV, a full 27% off the regular price of $1500. That means you pay only $1099.98 and shipping to your doorstep is free. The HPT4264 features an amazing 15000:1 contrast ratio and 18-bit video processor for a world-class picture with remarkable clarity and deep blacks. Samsung Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) Video Enhancer refines video inputs from built-in ATSC and NTSC tuners producing a huge 549 billion colors. Lending itself to the ultimate home theater setup, the HPT4264 features plenty of inputs including 3 HDMI, 3 S-video, 2 component video, and 1 composite video. It even features both PC and USB connection for your HTPC needs. Definitely a nice dollar savings on one of the most popular plasma HDTV's of 2007.
In the Japanese incarnation of the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war, it seems Blu-ray has taken control. High definition recorders account for about 20% of retail video recorder sails in Japan, and HD DVD video recorders tend to only account for about one-fifth of that 20%.
Take a look at the chart above and you can see this means that Blu-ray is outselling HD DVD almost 5 to 1. Before everyone gets all heated up though, these numbers can be deceptive. Remember that Blu-ray has been around much longer than HD DVD in Japan (HD DVD only began selling in Japan around November of 2006) and is nearing maturity in its product life cycle. Take a look at Japan-based manufacturers and you'll find much more support for Blu-ray than HD DVD as well. In the end, there is nothing worthy of ammunition for either camp with this release, but may the battle continue anyways.
I always get a kick out of the fact that every once in a while, a new article starts floating around the blogosphere outlining the reasoning behind the ongoing failure of the Apple TV. Personally I've always believed that it's just ahead of its time. Not so much the technology itself, but Apple's continuing need to keep it proprietary. I mean, why would someone buy an Apple TV just to watch free YouTube garbage and the odd video you have to pay for from iTunes. There's just not enough good content available when your pickings are that slim at this point in time. Maybe a few years down the road, things will be different. Not now though.
The latest "why the Apple TV sucks" article is courtesy of Jason Mick at Daily Tech. The reason he penned the article is because not surprisingly sales of the Apple TV have been less than stellar so far this holiday season. Once again though, he outlines why.
1. It's just "a hobby" for Steve Jobs.
2. Small market segment and consumer ignorance as most users don't have enough computer content.
3. Those that do don't even know the Apple TV exists or if they do, don't know how it works.
4. Apple's insistence on keeping the device proprietary eliminates the majority of the good video content on the web.
5. Apple has refused to create a rental or subscription service to use with the TV, apparently because the consumer does not want them. (Smartass comment inserted by TVSnob editor: this is precisely why Netflix is such a success and the Apple TV sucks)
If you're into HTPC and you're colorblind, we may have just the solution for you. Eizo has announced the FlexScan SX2461W-U 24-inch LCD monitor display that helps colorblind users distinguish colors. The monitor uses something called Color Universal Design technology that helps users distinguish between problems colors such as red, green, and yellow using different color schemes and shapes. With a contrast ratio of 850:1 and a brightness of 300 CD/m2, it may not offer the viewing pleasure of your big-screen LCD HDTV, but if you're colorblind it's one of the best solutions around. The display also features a couple of HDCP DVI ports so you can use the one monitor for two computers. The SX2461W-U is expected to be available in December for $1275, typical for a regular 24-inch LCD monitor.
Toshiba, in collaboration with CBS Home Entertainment is offering a free Star Trek "Phaser" remote control with the combination purchase of Star Trek: The Original Series First Season HD DVD/DVD Boxed Set and any Toshiba HD DVD player. The offers good on purchases made before the end of February 2008. The "Phaser" remote control is a 3-in-1 universal remote with Toshiba HD DVD playback ability and has an approximate retail value of about $70. Plus it just looks cool, which is the most important part!
Here's an interesting factoid for you that will make you think about the future of television. Despite the fact that digital televisions are advancing at a remarkable rate in terms of their picture quality, connectivity, and design sense even as prices are decreasing, video-enable mobile phones will outsell digital TV's by for next year. That's according to Multimedia Intelligence, a company that has estimated that 300 million video-enabled phones will ship in 2008 resulting in a whopping $76 billion in sales! It's gotta make you wonder: will the traditional home theater fade as the convenience of mobile television increases?
This one's for the fairer of the TVSnob's lurking out there. The Sony S Series 20-inch HD Ready television in fuchsia pink! The pink Sony features a 20-inch widescreen, HD Ready, 1366x768 pixel resolution display utilizing Sony's famed Bravia engine for a rich, colorful picture. It also has a built-in digital tuner, a 4000:1 contrast ratio, and Virtual Dolby Surround/BBE VIVA enhancer sound technology for a clear, interference free sound experience. One downside is the single HDMI input which definitely diminishes the Sony's integration with home theater components, but with the small screen size, this display would be better suited for the bedroom or possible wall display in a recreation room secondary to your living room home theater. Find this model at the Sony Style UK website for 445 pounds.
We're not particularly interested in checking this out, being ANOTHER online TV service and all, but you might so we'll give you the details.
Currently in private beta (meaning you may have to wait to check it out anyways), SyncTV, an offshoot company of Pioneer Electronics, offers a la carte television channels for online subscription viewing. The company has reported that the monthly channel subscription rates run from $2-4 and feature "home-theater quality" videos integrating surround sound capabilities and picture quality at least comparable to that of DVD's and in some cases high-def.
Shows are also available for download at $2 per episode and run on both Macs and PCs. What channels are offered is not known at the moment, but the only mainstream channel of note is Showtime.
It can apparently play on five separate devices within the home, and 10 portable devices, not including the iPod, and third-party devices for the SyncTV service should appear in the first half of 2008.
Black Friday is done and over with and now comes time for analysis and reflection. Of course this would have been better done this morning but computer problems dictated otherwise for me. Better late than never though, right?
Have you been to CircuitCity.com on your Black Friday HDTV hunt yet? If not, that's okay, because their Black Friday deals will continue into tomorrow. You'll save up to 20% off select HDTV's for the remainder of today and tomorrow. Select models include:
Olevia 247TFHD 47-inch LCD HDTV-$1099.99 after $500 in savings
Mitsubishi WD-Y577 57-inch DLP-$1199.99 after $700 in savings
LG 47LC7DF 47-inch LCD-$1499.99 after $500 in savings
Samsung LN-T4053H 40-inch LCD-$1199.99 after $400 in savings
Mitsubishi WD-73734 73-inch DLP Rear Projection-$2699.99 after $900 in savings
Magnavox 52MF437S/37 52-inch LCD-$1999.99 after $700 in savings
Olevia 232T 32-inch LCD-$479.99 after $20 in savings
All order over $24 include free shipping, so you will be good to go with your HDTV purchase plus you'll pay no interest for 18 months on all models except the Olevia 232T.
There is no time to site around and surf the web looking for Black Friday deals today. Do that and the best deals will be gone before you ever have time to take advantage of them. We've tried to make things quick and simple for you here by providing a guide of all our Black Friday-related postings from the past month or so you have more time to use the deals rather than look for them. Just click on the links to find what you're looking for. They're listed in order from newest to oldest.
Until mid-December, if you sign up for Verizon's fiOS television service, you'll receive a free 19 inch Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV. Or if the smaller size doesn't catch your fancy, you can opt for a $200 gift certificate from Best Buy. The one major drawback to this deal is that it is only available currently in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and parts of Indiana. The rest of the US is SOL.
Calling all Apple fans! If you haven't already heard, Apple will be featuring a special one day Black Friday sale online and in their retail stores. Though being Apple, the company calls it a "special one-day shopping event". So typical of the company to go against the grain. The sale starts online November 23 at 12:01 AM PST and is set to run until 11:59 PM PST, or until supplies last. What deals are available is a secret and there will be no mention until the sale starts, but we do know there will be free shipping on all purchases.
Save $500 on the Sony Bravia XBR KDL-46XBR4 46" 1080p LCD HDTV right now at Amazon.com and have it shipped to your door for free! The Bravia, one of the hottest models of the year, features a 10-bit color processor, 16:9 aspect ratio, and a full HD 1080p LCD display. A world-class 102 Hz frame rate combine with the 10-bit display and processing recreates a smooth, vividly colored picture that you'll have trouble distinguishing from real life. The Bravia also supports the x.v.Color standard and features the newest HDMI 1.3 interface so it can be integrated with any home theater component out there. The Bravia Engine Pro Full Digital Video Processor upconverts all signals to 1080p so you can even watch your old DVD's in high def. The too-good-to-be-true picture aside, the Bravia is one of the best looking HDTV's on the market with a glass frame and thin black bezel that can be interchanged with other colors to match your home's decor. Definitely one of the best Christmas presents you could buy a friend or loved one!
Here's a quick Black Friday update for you. I've had to keep it brief because computer problems last night prevented me from doing this in a timely fashion. Anyways, here you go.
Almost all items featured in the Black Friday in-store sales at Best Buy, CompUSA, and OfficeMax are online now and will sell-out fast.
The Wal-mart Thanksgiving Specials featuring the Magnavox 47 inch 1080p LCD TV for $1298 and the Philips 42 inch 1080p LCD TV for $1196 are also online now.
Circuit City has a number of items available online now including the Olevia 47 inch 247TFHD LCD TV for $1099.
Buy.com has a huge amount of movies available for around $4.75 and a few electronics deals. Beware of the Slingbox Pro and HD Connect Bundle package for $230. Head over to Amazon.com and you'll find it for cheaper!
J&R has a boatload of DVD's available starting at $3.99.
Newegg.com is featuring a Hyundai 46 inch 1080p LCD TV for $999.99.
Head over to the Consumer Reports blog to see their version of the best Black Friday HDTV deals. A helpful feature in their summary is they only list brands that have had one or more recommended models in the magazine's ratings over the past year. Interestingly the best plasma HDTV deals are all made by Panasonic, while the LCD recommendations are manufactured by Olevia, Vizio, Sony, and Sharp. The lone rear-projection HDTV recommendation comes from Mitsubishi. Definitely take a look at this because remember: the best deals aren't necessarily the cheapest ones.
Following a popular trend in the lead-up to this year's Black Friday, Amazon.com will be featuring some pre-Black Friday sales tommorow to kick things into gear. All of the sales involve computer peripheral products, so home theater PCers should take a look at the list below. All prices include whatever mail-in rebate may be offered and everything includes free shipping except for the LCD monitor specified. Remember: these sales are on tomorrow at Amazon.com!
Hauppauge HVR-950 HD TV Stick: $39.99
Hauppauge HD TV Stick Mac: $82.99
Kensington Ci70 Wireless Desktop $30.99
Kensington SlimBlade Media Mouse $29.99
Kensington SlimBlade Notebook Set $57.99
Microsoft Ergo 40000 Keyboard $34.99
Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 4.0 Mass Steel Blue $14.99
Microsoft Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000- Vista SE Black $22.99
Microsoft Mobility Pack 4PL-00001 (LifeCam NX-6000 and Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000) $69.99
Klipsch Promedia Ultra 2.0 PC Speaker System- Silver $59.99
Starlogic 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor $299.99 (no free shipping)
Media Keyboard Elite $8.49
Cordless Desktop LX300 $19.99
MX5000 Keyboard / Mouse Combo $63.99
Save $500 on the Hitachi P42H401 42 inch plasma at Amazon.com. Regularly priced at $1500, right now you'll pay only $999.98. The Hitachi plasma feature full 1080p resolution, a 16-bit color processor, built-in ATSC and NTSC tuners and QAM compatibility. Custom setting match the picture settings with accompanying ambient lighting conditions so you get an optimal picture and contrast quality no matter the lighting conditions. Normally 16:9 widescreen, the Hitachi has automatic 3:2 film enhancement for theater-like movie viewing. The well-connected set includes 3 HDMI inputs allowing you to connect all your home theater equipment. So, if you're looking for a flexible set offering incredible picture clarity and contrast quality and a dirt-cheap price, this is your buy!
HTPC fans may find this article at the Consumer Reports blog analyzing the PC deals announced for Black Friday. For each store, they give a quick rundown on each model available including whether or not it is actually a good deal, and then provide a bunch of useful links to related articles on their website. It's always good to be an educated and informed consumer, so give it a look.
The full Best Buy Black Friday flyer is now available at the Best Buy website along with the doorbuster deals including the Panasonic TH-42PE7U 720p plasma for $899.99, rumored to be an exclusive model for the Black Friday sale but apparently spotted in early November at a few Canadian Costco outlets for $1489.99. Sounds like a deal. Other doorbusters include the eMachines T3638 Desktop with 17" Widescreen LCD Monitor & 3-in-1 Printer for $199.99 and a Dynex 32 inch LCD for $449.99. It's important to remember that most Best Buy HDTV specials only guarantee 15 units per store and limit purchases per customer to 1. Better plan on packing a thermos and some sandwiches because you'll be spending the night in line.
Also right now, in a deal distinct from Black Friday, you'll get a Sony upscaling DVD player for free with the purchase of select HDTV's (I'm not going to list them here, because there's 99 different qualifying HDTV's).
Spend alot of time in the kitchen? Then this 20 inch stainless steel LCD TV may be for you. We're not sure of the exact resolution, but the HDTV features a TheatreWide LCD screen offering 5 picture size options, 3D digital comb filter, 16:9 aspect ratio, HDMI input, PC compatibility, built-in surround sound and a waterproof remote. The swivel stand is removable in case you'd like to mount it somewhere that doesn't take up your counterspace, but it's stainless steel body ensures it'll fit into any modern kitchen is an aesthetically pleasing way. Now you can look forward to slaving in the kitchen after a long day at work!
Gizmodo has come up with a Black Friday Plan, basically a listing of the best deals in each electronics category from GPS to HDTV, so you don't have to spend hours digging through the online Black Friday circulars trying to separate the real deals from the fillers. They do a good job of summarizing the existing circulars, but that unfortunately puts an emphasis on Best Buy, Walmart, and Circuit City for nearly all the best deals on the Gizmodo list. Definitely check it out, but we're pretty sure the best of the best deals will be found online.
Sometimes it's tough to tell whether or not Black Friday "discounts" are actually good deals at all. Each store tends to have one or two hot items that they heavily advertise to bring people in the door, boasting huge discounts on tons of inventory. The problem ends up being that the only substantial discounts are on the one or two items and everything else is just Black Friday filler. Many a Black Friday deal can be found online at a cheaper price for the majority of the entire year.
This is where SecretPrices.com saves the day. While there are a few sites devoted specifically to getting their hands on Black Friday circulars and then posting them on the web, SecretPrices.com has just launched their Black Friday site for the second year in a row with the intention of providing shopper's with the tools necessary to compare Black Friday deals with each other and with identical product offerings online. The SecretPrices.com Black Friday database contains over 5000 Black Friday deals at the moment and allows you to search and organize them by store, brand, or product category. The site's algorithm hunts the web for deals on a product you're thinking of purchasing Black Friday and finds all of the prices from each retailer that carries it. It then compares the Black Friday price with the prices found online and will notify you if it's found a price lower the Black Friday "deal".
The site also integrates coupon codes and a latest deals page so you can save every last cent you deserve.
Get 30% off, saving $540, on the Toshiba REGZA 42HL167 42" 1080p LCD HDTV. Regularly priced at $1800, you'll pay only $1262 and have it shipped to your door for free. This 42 inch widescreen TV features a 16:9 aspect ratio, full 1920x1080 pixel resolution, built-in NTSC, ATSC, and QAM tuners, and both PC and HDMI inputs. Excellent pre-Black Friday 42 inch deal! To see the featured sale on Amazon.com, just click on the TV above.
Should you buy a 1080p HDTV? A Tech.co.uk article from a couple weeks back lays out the positive and negative aspects of a 1080p purchase.
Those that believe 1080p HDTV is not worth buying argue that the fundamental specification for HDTV start at 1280x720 pixels or 720p and that marketing calling 1080p sets "full HD" are misleading. They are adamant that 720p is a valid high-def format. In addition, without any actual 1080p broadcast signals, there is no need to use a 1080p resolution to watch high-def programs and until HD DVD and Blu-ray gain more popularity, DVD is still the most preferred optical disc format, only outputting 720p/1080i at its very best. They would also argue that unless your screen size is 50 inches or more, you really can't tell very much difference between 720p and 1080p. The real difference is seen when viewing an interlaced picture versus a progressive scan picture.
There are also those that believe forking out the extra money for 1080p HDTV resolution is worth it. How do they justify it? 1080p is state-of-the-art, and 1080p fans believe your money should go the newest and highest quality equipment around. They can't imagine purchasing a 720p set that's been around for a few years now when they could get their mitts on one that's 1080p and only released a couple of months ago. They would also argue that the average TV set is our homes is getting larger and only 1080p can fill a bigger screen with a sharp, high-def picture. You can tell the difference between the two resolutions in the larger screen size, and even the pro-720p fans would admit this. Additionally, 1080p sets don't feature some of the side effects of interlacing, namely jagged edges, more so in larger screen sizes. The pro 1080p camp also agues that Blu-ray and HD DVD players will soon gain more popularity than the DVD format and since 1080p output is an option with the newer high-def players, buying a 1080p HDTV that takes advantage of that output makes more sense. The newest HDMI 1.3 socket can carry up to 1440 lines in progressive scan to your HDTV making 720p resolution look like standard-def by comparison and finally, evolving digital compression techniques make 1080p broadcasts very likely in the near future.
Almost seems like two sides of the same argument, doesn't it?
For the hardcore laptop user, gamer, and those that would rather watch HD video on their computers rather than their HDTV's, Nvidia has just announced the ultimate mobile GPU for you. The GeForce 8800M GTX and GeForce 8800M GTS, which Nvidia claims are the fastest notebook GPUs, feature both DirectX 10 and DirectX 9 compatibility to support both new and older games alike. For the high-def video fan, the GPUs include the PureVideo HD engine for quality high-def playback as well as PowerMixer technology which, according to Nvidia, provides an optimal balance between laptop performance and battery life.
The GeForce graphics processors can be currently found in the Alienware Area-51 m15x and Area-51 m17x, and more laptops utilizing the technology are expected from Gateway, Sager, and Eurocom in the near future.
With HDTV prices dropping drastically this year and Black Friday coming very soon, HD is the buzz once again. By the end of 2007, it's expected that over half of American households will own a digital TV set (of which not all are high-def), compared to 26% at the end of 2006, and forecasted to be 67% by the end of next year. Not only is price pushing sales along, but the upcoming transition of broadcast signals from analog to digital is helping fuel the fire as well. So far HD DVD and Blu-ray players, though the focus of much attention due to their ongoing "format war", have not had much affect of digital TV sales although that's expected to change over the next couple of years. Most interestingly though, retailers who sell HDTV's cite increased picture clarity on DVDs as the number one reason consumer's purchase high-def boxes!
There is so much consumer electronics info on the web, it can make your head spin somedays. Finding reliable information and good deals is tough. You really never know what you can rely on. The first piece of advice I'd like to dish out is that you can rely on TVSnob, so keep coming back! The second piece of advice I have for you is in regards to a new search engine devoted specifically to consumer electronics called Retrevo. The beta search engine aggregates all of the information, how-to's, and best deals found on the web for any consumer electronics search term you enter.
I tried to enter a more general term, HDTV, and it pulled up fairly quickly in-depth information on 956 models, including the best current deals for each one and aggregated all of the related consumer education articles on the web. This is really an incredible resource. They even have a blog to keep you updated on the latest news in the electronics industry.
If you plan on going anywhere other than TVSnob for your TV fix, I would definitely head over to Retrevo.
Freelance tech journalist Don Reisinger has put together an excellent article detailing how you can watch HD without forking out the dough to buy an HDTV. If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer, take a look at his tips and tricks for pulling in all the free high-def video content you can. And remember, you can always stream it to your TV.
Sanyo will be releasing a waterproof, portable TV, model LVT-WD40, in Japan on November 21. The widescreen-format portable features 480x272 pixel resolution and EPG display via a built-in antennae, which from the Japanese-to-English translation I was able to discern is not waterproof. I'm not sure how that works. The display is waterproof, but the antennae pulling in the video content isn't. I'm hoping the translation is off on this one. The portable uses a lithium ion battery for power with a life at standard screen brightness of about 6 hours. While you're charging it, you can also use an AC adapter as your power source. We don't recommend using the adapter in the shower however. All in all, this portable which will retail in Japan for 50000 yen or $450 US seems a little flawed, not to mention dangerous.
Impress via Gizmodo
The long-awaited Wal-mart Black Friday circular has finally made its way online and frankly I'm disappointed. The best TV deal looks to be a Polaroid 42 inch 1080p LCD for $798, with the majority of prices not much different from typical sales found on Amazon.com. The Polaroid is the only full HD resolution television on sale with all other models only featuring 720p. Additionally, only one plasma will be featured. A Philips 50 inch 720p plasma HDTV for $1397. Assorted DVD's are available for $2.96 with some of the newer releases costing $5.88 and full season's of hit TV shows such as 24 are priced just south of $20.
For those of you that enjoy watching TV on your computer screen, the Acer 20 inch widescreen LCD monitor will be priced at only $168. The RCA 1000 watt home theater system will go for $150 and the Sound Video Rocker Chair with built in speakers and ports to connect to your gaming console will go for only $30. Click on the picture above to check out the entire circular.
I haven't seen many home theater setups that beat this. Named the best home theater installation at the CEDIA 2007 conference in Florida, Enterprise NCC-1701D is taken straight out of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It features motion-activated air lock doors that employ sound effects from the TV series, a Crestron TPMC-10 controller with a "Red Alert" button to make all of the LED lights in the theater flash red, and finally a Kaleidescape hard-drive based storage system utilizing 8 servers with a total of 3816 DVD's. This is one of the largest storage systems ever seen in use as of yet in home theater installations. Amazing.
HDTV expert Gary Merson tested 74 HDTV's ranging from 19 to 67 inches for their ability to correctly deinterlace 1080i signals and also whether they correctly converted 24 frames-per-second film-based content to the TV's respective native display rate without sacrificing picture detail. Overall this year's HDTV's did a whole lot better than last year's with a 64.86% pass rate for proper deinterlacing compared to last year's woeful 45.91%. The failure rate for proper 3:2 processing is a horrible 81.09%. Plasmas as expected displayed the best motion detail with flat-panel LCD's bringing up the rear with a disturbingly low score. Check out the entire review and explanation behind it here, with a helpful chart included.
In a breakthrough that could one day mean we could download movies on our computers by the hundreds in a mere matter of seconds, researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have found a way for existing fiber optic cables to carry data at a rate of hundreds of terabits a second. And this all by slightly altering standard QAM protocols.
I've never really looked into QAM, or quadrature amplitude modulation to be more specific. I have a basic understanding or it and how it applies to today's TV technology, but a quick look at the Wikipedia entry on the topic has moved me to conclude that I won't be explaining it here. I don't need to anyways though, because the important thing is that this is the first time QAM-based methods have worked successfully with fiber optic cables. Until now, it has been the domain of wireless connections.
By using a laser, the Japanese researchers have found a way to allow data to be piped down cables using QAM methods at sickly speeds. Will we be seeing these type of downloading speeds on our home PC's anytime soon? Probably not, but remember those dial-up modems we once used. That wasn't long ago. In 5-10 years, it could very well be feasible to see an entire Netflix library moved to our enormous hard drives in a matter of seconds. Wouldn't that be something!
Another Wal-mart Black Friday ad leak courtesy of a "Walmart Electronics" employee known by the tag "Vonscoot" states that a secret sale featuring the 80 GB PS3 for $499 also includes 10 free Blu-ray movies instantly! All you have to do is purchase the PS3 and then choose any 10 Blu-ray movies priced under $30 and employees will override the price of the movies to $0. Add up the numbers and you get up to $300 worth of Blu-ray movies for free with the $499 PS3 purchase. Wal-mart stores that already carry Blu-ray will have additional titles shipped to them and the small number of Wal-mart stores that don't carry Blu-ray at the moment will be stocked up especially for this sale. The sale actually begins on November 24 at 8:00 AM and runs through to 11:59 PM on November 25. And don't forget the ongoing Blu-ray promotion that gets you an additional 5 free Blu-ray discs with a mail-in rebate. That's 15 free Blu-ray movies with the purchase of a PS4!
Admittedly there may be a disconnect between television and the content of this article, with the exception of a comment made by BlackRimGlasses blogger and Head of Technology at Warner Bros. Records Ethan Kaplan, but it's still too ridiculous not to write about.
A news article in Australia's Herald Sun highlighting the discovery of 110 million-year-old dinosaur named Nigersaurus taqueti, has raised some eyebrows after being submitted to Digg.com and inspiring a plethora of brutally racist comments, many of which have been "Undugg" so many times as to reach a level as to not being worth reading on the site anymore.
However, Digg has not forcefully censored or removed the article as of yet even with visible comments such as "I wonder what made this thing extinct? AIDS?", "I betcha if it was called "crackerraptor" there would be a big stink.", and "Strangely the spinners and gold leaf paint were still intact." As for the naming, the skeleton of the dinosaur was discovered in the African country of Niger which is pronounced a little differently than the word leading to all the jokes. I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about.
The TV connection, or should I say HD DVD connection, comes in right about at this point. Ethan Kaplan had this to say:
"This is what Digg has become? Racist jokes and bad science? And they banned the key for decrypting HDDVD but let this shit on here? Bad form."
I would have to agree, but look at it from the other side and you'll realize there's money lost from releasing the key to decrypting HD DVD but none lost from trampling all over those of a specific race or culture. I guess that's why they say "money makes the world go round".
Save yourself a cool $880 off the regular price of the Westinghouse LTV46W1 46 Inch LCD HDTV and pay only $1420. Compared to the regular price of $2300, the extra savings can go a long way in outfitting your home theater setup with a whole range of other cool gadgets. The LTV46W1 features 720p resolution, 5 inputs for connection to your game console, media PC, cable, satellite, or DVD player (this is where the $880 in your pocket comes in), as well as a fully integrated ATSC/NTSC tuner for pulling in all of your HD content. The A-grade panel manufactured by Samsung enables the display to be only 5.5 inches thick allowing for easy wall-hanging or easy integration into existing furniture such as your bedroom armoire. In addition, a 178 degree viewing angle, 8 ms response time, 3D video processing, and 3:2 pulldown means the Westinghouse will allow for a crisp,clear, and smooth picture from anywhere in the room whether you're viewing cable or movies. Definitely an excellent deal, especially if you're looking for an HDTV allowing you the flexibility to be placed where you want, and the financial savings to buy all the cool toys you'll be able to plug into it's array of inputs!
The TiVo Series 3 is an incredible 55% off at Amazon.com right now. Regularly priced at $800, the DVR is initially 30% off with savings of $241, but then includes a $200 rebatebringing the price down to $358.59 including free shipping!
The Series 3 is THX-certified, has a 300 hour recording capacity or 25-35 hours of high-def content, connects to your home network via built-in USB or ethernet ports, and can record 2 live digital cable channels at once...while you watch a pre-recorded show. The TiVo is also compatible with analog cable and over-the-air HD transmissions and has a high-def output of 1080i. Did I mention it looks nice?
Also consider a $100 TiVo gift card to go along with the TiVo Series 3 if you're planning on giving it as a gift.
Being in the middle of a stressful move and a bit of a transitional period in our lives, my wife and I decided to attempt to destress tonight and went to see American Gangster with a couple friends of ours. And despite the movie being about the cracking of an international heroin distribution chain, I couldn't help but see the parallels between the film and the Hollywood Writer's Strike.
When it comes right down to the very core of things, the Writer's Strike comes about as a result of inefficiencies in the film distribution chain. Or depending on which angle you view it from, efficiencies on the studios' part. Creative content from the writers' moves up the chain to the big studio's and networks with lightning speed, but on the way back down has so many stops to make on the way to the final consumer, you and me, that the writer's end up with pennies for their work. Or in the case of internet downloads, absolutely nothing.
In American Gangster, we see the same situation with the national Drug Enforcement agency entering the drug distribution chain, accepting bribes from dealers and cutting and then selling confiscated product back onto the street in weaker concentrations. As a result, the big boys running the drug biz in Harlem are left unable to brand their product or reap the financial rewards from having sole control over its sale.
As web video evolves, and more effective monetization of said video is created via user-friendly advertising or whatever the case may be, content creators will be able to cut out the middlemen that cut into the profits they should gain from the use of their product. Frank Lucas did exactly this in the movie, by going directly to the source of the drug supply and via a connection in the American military stationed in Vietnam, having it shipped directly to his doorstep. This means he makes one payment to the supplier, receives nearly 100% pure heroin which he can then brand as a top quality product and sell for less than the weaker products of his competitors, because he gets it direct. Hopefully this will be the business model that evolves from web video. No middlemen, efficient distribution chains, and greater payouts for the original creators of the content.
On the other hand, financial rewards reaped from more effective business models can lead to greed. In Frank Lucas' case, this greed rewarded him with 15 years in jail, but only after he went back to the drawing board with his new middleman, the prosecutor and later defense attorney, and came up with yet a new plan.
This seems to be the nature of business cycles as well. Don't be surprised if the Hollywood Writer's Strike leads to revolution in the film industry and fundamentally changes how we receive and watch film and TV. And fundamentally changes how it's created and how the creators are compensated for it. But then again, don't be surprised if the industry cycles back once again and the middlemen find a new way to enter the picture that once again entices the content creators. It's the nature of business and the business of film is no exception.
We know there are some real hardcore TVSnob's out there who believe in the maxim, "bigger is better". Knowing that, we've tried to hunt down some big screen bargains for you today, for those who are looking for an HDTV over 50" in size.
Pioneer KURO 60 Inch Plasma
Save $1700 at Amazon.com if you purchase the legendary Pioneer KURO PDP-6010 60" 1080p plasma TV. Regularly priced at $6500, Amazon has chopped off 26% lowering the price to $4800 with free shipping. The KURO features full 1920x1080 high-def pixel resolution, intense blacks and incredible picture detail due to a newly developed cell structure within the plasma panel, 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs with CEC control, 3:3 pulldown for perfect playback of movie material, and ATSC/NTSC tuners with a CableCard slot. Just imagine the Super Bowl party you could host with this beautiful box.
Sharp Aquos 52 Inch LCD
This is huge. Save $1128(!) on the purchase of the Sharp Aquos LCD52D64U 52 Inch LCD HDTV right now! That is a huge amount of money. It works out to 35% off the regular price of $3200 meaning you only pay $2070. Wow! This model features full 1080p resolution, a world-class 10000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 4 ms response time for a clear, smooth picture with intense blacks and blinding whites as well as every shade in between. It includes plenty of inputs as well, including 3 HDMI, 2 component HD video, and 3 composite, making it a sure-hit addition to your home theater.
Mitsubishi 73 Inch DLP HDTV
If you're looking for something really big, the Mitsubishi WD-73733 73 Inch 1080p DLP offers savings of $800 off the regular price of $3200, meaning with the 25% savings you pay only $2500 with free shipping! You can also pay for this purchase in 18 monthly payments with no interest if you wish. This monster features full 1920x1080 high-def resolution with Tru 1080p processing as well as a variety of Mitsubishi technologies such as PerfectColor, Plush1080p, TurboLight180, x.v.Color, SimplayHD, and Deep Color making this a theater-like experience with an infinitely greater picture quality. Finally, 3 HDMI 1.3 inputs make this this real deal for a high-def home theater system.
Head on over to Amazon Customers Vote to have a shot at this ridiculous deals starting November 22. For each of the 6 featured categories vote on the product you'd like to purchase at the pricing offered. Starting November 22, the product with the most votes from each category will be offered at the featured price to random voters. Each category has a buying day and you have to head back to the site to see if you were chosen to be able to purchase the product at the sale price. Runner-ups will also be offered discounts, just not to this extent.
Amazing! 1000 units of the Nintendo Wii for $79, 1000 units of the 40GB Playstation 3 for $139, and 1000 units of the Xbox 360 Arcade for $99. These prices blow out any Black Friday deal you'll find in a bricks-and-mortar store. As of this morning, the Wii had 55% of the votes in this category. Head back here November 22 to see if you were chosen for one of these great deals.
Head over to Forum War Central, where you'll find a round-up of all the Blu-ray and HD DVD player deals to be had on Black Friday. The best deals so far are the Toshiba HD-A3 for $169 at Sears and the Sony Playstation 3 with Blu-ray player included for $319. We don't this is anything amazing yet. Watch for the big name retailers to pull out the big cards in the next week or so.
As new information comes down the pipeline, we'll continue to update you with stuff you can use to maximize your Black Friday shopping opportunities. This is important, so listen up:
Best Buy doors open at 5 AM on November 23 and doorbuster deals will be sold from opening until 12 noon. To keep things as organized as possible, doorbuster deal tickets will be handed out by Best Buy employees starting at 3 AM on November 23. That means if you're looking for the blow-out flat panel HDTV deal, you're going to be spending the greater part of the night in line.
The New Yorks Times reported this morning that NBC has acquired web series "Quarterlife", the much-talked about video series chronicling the existential angst of a group of twenty-something creatives. It is planned for the series to be aired starting next February in 60 minute episode format on NBC. Until then, 8-10 episodes will continue airing on MySpace TV and at the Quarterlife website and will continue to broadcast on the web first even after the episodes move to TV.
This is an absolutely revolutionary move in the continuing evolution of the television industry. This is the first time a series created solely for web viewing has been acquired by a major network to be broadcast on television and could spark a new wave of content creation and distribution innovations that could fundamentally change how the show's we watch are created and aired. Writer's Strike aside, exciting times for TV!
20th Century Fox seems to be moving in the right direction with the November 20th DVD release of Live Free or Die Hard. The movie comes bundled with Fox's new Digital Copy technology which allows owners to duplicate 2 copies of the film for personal use. A huge drawback though is that the technology only works with PC's and Microsoft's Playsforsure-approved media devices, so iPod users, most importantly, are out of luck. The technology requires no additional software on your computer, and one copy can go to your hard drive and the other on a Playsforsure device by using a 16-digit serial number included with the DVD. Keep in mind that there is nothing to stop a user from copying the movie multiple times from the hard drive.
Warner Home Video is doing something similar with the December 11th release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixby offering a digital download that will be packaged with the DVD. Personally I think this is an intelligent business decision on the part of Fox and Warner, but Jupiter Research VP Michael Gartenberg believes "it's just not enough" and that "if it doesn't work on the iPod, then it doesn't exist". It may not be a substantial change in the stand on piracy, but it shows the studios are beginning to adapt and move to a place that meets the consumer's needs more effectively. This definitely won't happen overnight. Kudos to Fox and Warner from this TVSnob.
Save 37% off the regular price (or $558) off the Toshiba REGZA 37HL67 37 Inch 720p LCD TV right now at Amazon.com. The REGZA, regularly priced at $1500 and now only $942.14, features ATSC, NTSC, and QAM digital tuners, 1366x768 pixel resolution, a 12-bit digital processor, a response time of less than 8ms, and digital noise reduction. The PixelPure processor creates over 4000 levels of color gradation and when combined with the fast response time of the CineSpeed panel, a smooth picture results free of judder and banding. It also uses a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio to enable you to watch movies the way they were meant to be watched in the theater. Plenty of connections are available including 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component video inputs, and a PC monitor input. 3D sound is created by SRS WOW, a combo of SRS 3D, TruBass, and Focus sound-expanding systems. Definitely an excellent HDTV deal for the TVSnob on your Christmas list.
With the Playstation 3 soon to support DivX codec, everyone's been wondering whether or not the Microsoft XBox 360 would soon follow suit. At a recent earnings call for DivX, CEO Kevin Hell was posed the question by JP Morgan analyst Paul Coster, "Just a minor point here, but there was a recent Microsoft conference where I believe their media extender now incorporates the DivX codec on it, is that correct? Can you confirm that and does that mean we’re soon going to see Xboxes with DivX on them?”
Hell replied that DivX is indeed talking with Microsoft, but so far no product is licensed or certified yet and he could discuss no further details than that. Sony seems more in tune with the customer in terms of their gaming consoles, as Microsoft seems more intent on protecting their empire by trying to peddle their proprietary WMV format. That means a lot of red tape for Hell as he attempts to get Microsoft to allow DivX support on the 360, but we're sure it'll eventually happen. If not, we'd definitely question Microsoft's business strategy.
The Consumer Electronics Association has conducted a study revealing that 22% of Americans will "do nothing" in response to the digital crossover from analog transmissions scheduled for February 17, 2009. Those surveyed only included analog TV owner's who had free over-the-air broadcasts, of which 23% said they would subscribe to a satellite or cable service, 33% said they would use the government-issued $40 coupon to purchase a digital-to-analog converter so they could continue using the analog TV with digital signals, and 23% plan to purchase a new digital TV. Of course the remaining 22% include those consumers who don't plan to react at all.
The Consumer Electronics Association has estimated that between 22 and 28 million American households will require a digital-to-analog converter to be ready for the crossover and a huge segment of the estimated population won't be ready when early 2009 rolls around. Given that, prepare to be inundated with ads reminding you to get ready for the big day for the next year.
GigaOM Network's NewTeeVee Conference yesterday seemed to be a hit. Even though I could neither be there or watch the live feed on new video-streaming platform Mogulus, I've been busy sifting through the live-blogging done during each of the keynote sessions and patiently waiting for Mogulus to split each speaker into his or her own stream on the platform so I can actually watch the feed. Right now, the entire conference just keeps playing over and over making it nearly impossible to watch the parts you want to see without sitting in front of the computer screen for 12 hours straight.
From the info I've had the chance to sift through, I've found quite a few interesting nuggets, but the one that seems to have the blogosphere abuzz the most is the announcement by YouTube's Steve Chen that we can expect higher quality content from the platform in the next 3 months or so. At the conference yesterday, Chen stated that YouTube was more focused on making the platform's video content available on a global scale and that improving on the currently horrible 320x240 pixel resolution was not a huge priority. That's the impression I got from the live-blogging by NewTeeVee's Chris Albrecht. In fact, Chen even stated that the video quality is "good enough right now". CNET's Rafe Needleman stated however, that Chen told him YouTube is currently testing a streamer that detects the user's connection speed and then provides higher quality content if the user wants it and the connection supports it. He also stated that a concern of YouTube's is that the video buffering will take longer fundamentally changing the user experience. One of the great things about YouTube is that buffering is currently almost instantaneous. Chen then apparently said that higher quality content would be available in the next 3 months.
Personally, I don't think high-def video resolution is a necessary for YouTube. The majority of the content is user-generated and the professional content found on the platform is often the victim of copyright infringement and is eventually removed. Making YouTube a global platform would be a smarter strategy. Also of note is the fact that archived videos are stored in the format in which they are uploaded, mostly 320x240, making streaming them in any type of high-quality video format virtually impossible.
The Sony Playstation 3 will soon support the DivX codec video format, coming soon with a new PS3 update. DivX CEO Kevin Hall has stated that the "technology will expand the multimedia functionality of PS3 by enabling users to enjoy access to the broad library of content in the DivX digital media format". Of course this means pirated content, but come on; while the networks duke it out over DRM and pennies, DivX is giving consumers exactly what they want.
LG decided to tease TVSnob's everywhere with a few details about it's new 52" 52LG71 LCD TV. The full HD box is the first 1080p set to utilize Wi-Fi. Via an 802.11 link, the LG pulls in HD content via a local wireless network meaning the TV doesn't need any separated media center or extenders to function. The company was pretty mum regarding details other than that, but it's expected that the panel will feature a 120Hz refresh rate and other state-of-the-art LG technologies. The 52LG71 will most likely be officially unveiled at the 2008 Consumer Electronic's Show in January.
We've been waiting for a mind-blowing announcement from the Blu-ray camp regarding Black Friday price cuts or something of that nature ever since the $99 Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player, but we didn't expect this. Philips and Lite-On Digital Solutions have announced a $199 Blu-ray player, the DH-401S. The unexpected part of this announcement is that the cheap Blu-ray is actually an internal drive for your PC that plays back Blu-ray discs, DVD's and CD's.
This definitely seems to be an indirect attempt at a price cut to compete with the growing market share HD DVD is basically buying on account of their awesome pricing deals of late. Marketing manager Christine Hsing stated "consumers now have an affordable way to view the brilliant picture quality Blu-ray technology offers right on their personal computers" and the "BD-ROM can serve as a playback device to their HD TVs by connecting an HDMI cable from the PC to the TV. This would save consumers hundreds of dollars on the purchase of a standalone Blu-ray player solely for that purpose". We all know that Blu-ray can't compete with HD DVD on price this year, but this is a rather subtle and innovative attempt at making seem otherwise in the minds of consumers.
Just hook up the DH-401S via an HDMI cable to your HDTV and voila. Blu-ray can now compete with HD DVD on price, which is important since price forms the basis for the entire format war.
Update: Digitimes has listed the price of the Blu-ray at $186 US.
We know we've already said we won't cover the Hollywood Writer's Strike in depth because it's really not needed, but so many creative minds on strike come up with some great stuff? Why can't writer's be compensated for internet downloads of their content? Because the major networks aren't making any money from the internet (for more on this, watch the short video below). strikingwriter2007 uploaded this classic entitled, Voices of Uncertainty, to YouTube and I encourage you to click play and watch the network big wigs eat their words.
Want the writers' point of view on the reasoning behind the strike? Check out the clip below from the Writer's Guild Of America.
The Hitachi UT LCD Series first announced in Japan 3 weeks ago consist of a 35 mm thin LCD monitor and separate media center consisting of a TV tuner, connectors and S-iVDR slot. The S-iVDR slot is used to record TV programs on SD/MMC cards and the media center connects to the monitor via HDMI or a wireless transmitter. 32, 37, and 42 inch models will make up the UT series with the 32 inch model available before year-end and the larger models available next year. Available in red, white, black, and blue, the UT series is the latest in a trend seeing high-def panels becoming thinner and thinner. The Sony XEL-1, has set the standard with it's 11 inch, 3 mm thin OLED TV. The UT series, which has not yet been priced, will be available in blue, black, red, and white.
Leaked Black Friday ads for Office Depot and CompUSA are circulating the web and we've pulled some of the best TV-related deals from them so you know what to look for.
CompUSA will feature the following TV deals:
32" LCD Flat-Panel 720p HDTV - $449.99
Flat Panel Starter Kit - $99.99
LG 26" LCD Flat Panel 720p HDTV - $749.99(nothing special)
LG 47" LCD Flat Panel 1080p HDTV - $1999.99(nothing special)
Olevia 537H 37" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $599.99(good deal)
Samsung 46" LCD Flat Panel 1080p HDTV - $2399.99(could be nothing, could be great; all depends on the model)
Samsung 50" Plasma Flat Panel 720p HDTV - $1399.99(good deal if the model is HPT5054 or above)
Sharp Aquos 46" LCD Flat Panel 1080p HDTV - $1699.99(good deal if the model is LC46D62U or above)
Also look for 22 and 24 inch Acer widescreen LCD monitors for $169.99 and $249.99 respectively, the Bose 3-2-1 Series II DVD Home Entertainment System for $899.99, 20% off all Sling Media products, the Epson PowerLite S4 SVGA 3LCD projector for $349.98, the Logitech Harmony 670 universal remote for $89.99, and the Hauppauge HVR950 HDTV USB 2.0 tuner with PVR for $29.99. There is just a huge variety of deals in every conceivable area of electronics including tons of computer deals. Be careful though, we've tried to pick out the best stuff for TVSnob's here, but there are items listed that can be found cheaper elsewhere, Black Friday or not. Take for instance the Samsung Blu-ray player priced at $399.99. You can find it on Amazon right now for $369.99 with free shipping and 5 free Blu-ray movies.
Office Depot will feature the following TV deals:
Olevia 37" LCD HDTV - $649.99(same model as CompUSA for $50 more?)
26" LCD HDTV - $399.99 Olevia 42" LCD HDTV - $699.99(looks to be a great deal) Sharp Aquos 42" LCD HDTV - $899.99(looks to be a great deal)
Westinghouse 32" LCD HDTV - $499.99(maybe, maybe not; depends on the model)
Also watch for the Phillips virtual surround sound home theater system w/DVD Player for $179.99, the Toshiba 15"4 2GB 160GB widescreen laptop for $499.99, and last but not least, the Archos 705 80GB Portable Media Player with Wifi for $399.99. The 705 hasn't even been shipped yet, but the 704, originally priced at $550 has just been slashed to $399, making the 705 price seem like a deal.
Okay analog fans. Even if you don't want to spring for that digital TV to get ready for the big February 17, 2009 digital crossover, you're going to have to spring for a digital converter if you want to continue using your analog TV. The RCA DTA800 digital converter announced at the CES conference at the beginning of the year and originally slated for release before Christmas has been delayed to January 2008, but it's a required post-Christmas purchase for you. Remember though that you get a $40 rebate on the purchase from the US Department of Commerce. If you're deadset on keeping the antique you call a TV, head here to keep updated on the release.
With the Hollywood Writer's Strike continuing and the time drawing nearer for primetime TV to consist of nothing but repeats, the pressing question among media minds is whether or not webisodes are ready for primetime. One of the issues with series' produced solely for web-viewing is the length. Viewers watch TV primarily for the stories and telling a story in less than 5 minutes is, needless to say, challenging. I've finally had the chance to check out the first 2 episodes of Quarterlife, produced by TV veterans Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, and though the storyline consists of the typical coming-of-age teen angst found in shows cast with teens and twenty-somethings, there is an engaging story. The episodes, each about 10 minutes in length, are formatted a little differently than most web TV series'. Each episode was initially produced to be about 60 minutes long and then split into 6 separate webisodes. If the creators find that the audience can and want to engage for lengthier time periods, the pieces can then be reassembled fairly easily.
Not surprisingly, rumor has it that NBC is considering acquiring Quarterlife for it's strike programming. It is just a rumor though, as neither the network, nor the show's creators have commented on the authenticity of the rumor. But if it is true and it happened, it would be a momentous step for web TV. It would technically make it mainstream.
I'm still of the opinion that internet TV will not win out over traditional television anytime soon. Nobody wants to sit in front of their computer screen to watch an hour long show and the money just isn't there yet to entice content creators to produce engaging content. The real money will be made by the TiVo's and Sling Media's of the world that understand web TV's success is in bringing it to our actual TV sets. The low overhead costs to produce web shows, the ease of distribution, and the flexibility in content and storyline given to the creators without a giant bureaucratic network breathing down their necks is what makes it interesting for both the creators and the audience. Shows can be more risque and experimental pleasing the viewers and the ease to produce and distribute the content for the writer's and producer's are attractive features. An artist wants nothing more than to be able to spread her wings. That's the potential of web TV. Completely creative control over content by writers and producers, and content much different than typical primetime TV filling a giant unmet viewing niche. But it'll all still have to be transferred to our good old HDTV's. That part won't change.
Right now, internet advertising methods probably won't cut it for most Hollywood writers, directors, and producers. There is nothing effective enough to compete with a nice 6-figure Hollywood salary. But watch over the next few years, as internet advertising evolves into utilizing more effective revenue models, and creators realize the flexibility the internet offers them in terms of really exercising their creative muscles, they will begin to flock in increasing numbers to the net producing varied and engaging content. Then webisodes will be ready for primetime.
Reality TV is dead (personal opinion of course!), and it's been dead since the first season of Survivor ended. Unfortunately though, unscripted shows are largely unaffected by the Writer's Strike and will act as primetime filler while we wait for the writer's to get what they're asking for. USAToday has compiled a sad and sorry list of the garbage we'll have to deal with in the months to come.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer may have declared the ongoing HD DVD/Blu-ray format war a "stalemate" and may not think it "means much", but we here at TVSnob know it means a whole lot. Competition means price decreases for you, the consumer, which is why Mr.Stringer said what he did. Blu-ray can't compete with HD DVD players in terms of price this year at least and it's been a severe blow to their side.
Knowing competition is a good thing for those that actually purchase the players, we've decided to make Stringer play the game a little longer and keep fanning the format war flames.
The European HD DVD Promotional Group has released some interesting stats that should get hot-head forum users yapping again. According to the group, European HD DVD owners have bought an average of 3.8 HD DVD movies, compared to the an average 0.6 Blu-ray movies purchased by Blu-ray owners. And before anyone decides that the numbers must be skewed because they were released by an HD DVD-biased group, the stats were actually compiled by independent research firm GfK.
Do you have anything to say Howard?
Update: Blu-Ray Disc Association's European Chariman Frank Simonis quickly responded to the above announcement claiming that the numbers are a "gross misrepresentation of data", and denounced the HD DVD camp for "manipulating" the numbers and not suppling "access to the original source of their numbers". I thought it was clear that the numbers come from an independent study conducted by GfK, but maybe not.
TVSnob's of the world will be pleased to hear that Wal-mart will be focusing on LCD and plasma TV sales this Black Friday. Wal-mart is not expected to officially release their Black Friday circular until sometime next week (as early as Monday), but CNNMoney.com has managed to dig up a few nuggets of info. Doorbuster HDTV deals to sell between opening at 5 AM and 11 AM include:
The Consumer Reports Electronics blog has decided based on Black Friday prices and its own product reviews, that the best deals released so far in Black Friday ad leaks are Panasonic 42-inch plasma models. If you plan to head to best buy, they recommend looking for Panasonic’s TH-42PE7U model, priced at $900, or the TH-42PX75U at Circuit City for $1000 (We don't think the Circuit City deal is anything special as Amazon.com has the same model for $1099).
If you're going to go for it though, pull out your camping gear because you'll need to be at the front of the line when doors open at 5 AM Black Friday. Bringing along a can of pepper spray probably won't hurt either because Best Buy only guarantees 15 of the Panasonic plasmas per store and Circuit City has only stated that quantities will be limited. Competition will be fierce I'm sure.
Update: To those of you looking for Viore tuner deals, Woot.com had them on sale this morning for $39.99 plus $5 shipping, but sold out pretty quickly. I've emailed them to see if I can get my hands on a few for my readers. It is available for $49 at ecost.com, but hurry, there are only 4 left.
Tech writer Rick Broida from CNET.com has found an awesome deal over at ecost.com: the Viore Portable HDTV Tuner for your PC. An absolute steal at only $55 for the next couple of days, the Viore Tuner allows you to download unlimited shows from the web in 1080i for free! The USB tuner plugs into your PC or laptop and using an included ATSC antennae, it streams HD content to your PC. It only works with Windows, so Mac users are SOL, but using Window Media Center you can even record TV shows for later viewing on your brand new HDTV PC.
Here's a deal running from November 18-21 where any in-store item at K-mart is 20% off. Found by the folks over at the Blu-ray forum, they applied the price discount to the PS3, which has a Blu-ray player, and priced it at $319. The XBox 360 Premium will go for $279, and the discount could also be applied to LCD's, plasma's, or standalone HD DVD or Blu-ray players. Just print out this posting, cut out the coupons and you're good to go!
Blu-ray via Gizmodo
Planning on a few electronics upgrades this holiday season? Planning on junking some old electronics and want to save a little money on your Christmas shopping? Then head over to Costco!
The retailer has teamed up with Greensight Technologies in order to pay you to recycle you old electronics! But here's the catch: they only pay in Costco store credit, which isn't a bad thing as Costco has a great and varied selection of stuff. Just not as good as cold, hard cash.
Right now the recycling program will take your old laptops, desktop PC's, LCD monitors, mp3 players, camcorder, and more and if you want to know how much store credit you could expect for your trade-in, the partners have a webpage set-up that'll let you calculate the trade-in value of your item based on it's model and features.
The NBC Direct beta has gone live over the weekend. The free service from NBC allows users to download full episodes of popular shows such as 30 Rock and The Office. Being located in Canada, I couldn't access the service when I attempted to give it a try, similar to Canadian exclusion from NBC's video platform Hulu. From what I've heard so far though, the service sucks.
Setting up your computer to use NBC Direct is a pain as it only works with the latest version of Internet Explorer, with .NET framework, and the latest Windows Media Player update. Mac users can't use the service and even parts of the US apparently can't access it either. Show episodes which are available for 7 days after they originally air are deleting from your computer 48 hours after you begin to watch them and of course they all contain advertising. I'm not exactly sure what NBC hopes to accomplish by eliminating so many potential viewers from their new platforms, but if they hope they will be supported by ad revenues, this is definitely not the way to do it. Not a problem for this Canadian though. There's always BitTorrent and YouTube. Nothing like ad-free NBC content.
It looks like Apple may be getting ready to launch a movie service on iTunes sometime in the near future. In the latest iTunes 7.5 update, blogger Evan DiBiase noticed a few changes in the code from the last iTunes version. These following 8 lines were found in the coding of iTunes version 7.5 and definitely speak volumes about Apple's plans for the future:
GET VOD ACCOUNT SELECTION LIST
I would assume VOD stands for video-on-demand, and I'm sure Apple TV owners would be very pleased if a new service is being planned for them. One of the problems with the Apple TV is the lack of movie content on iTunes, so this would be a smart move on Apple's part. There has been no announcement by Apple regarding an iTunes movie service and no response to this find either, but the question remains whether or not Apple can find a price point that would actually attract consumers when it is so easy to find free movie content on the web already?
The Evan Series Via TechCrunch
Intel is to announce a new family of microprocessor chips today that they say will improve the quality of current video formats and speed the availability of high-def web video. The new family, made up of 16 microprocessors will first be used in servers and high-end desktops and will be available as the Intel Core 2 Extreme and Intel Core 2 Duo early next year.
The new chips use 45-nanometer technology, switch more quickly, and use less energy to function. A set of 46 instructions called SSE4 will be added to the new chips to allow more effective video compression and Intel feels applying the technology to web video applications and quality will be the best use for the 45-nanometer technology over the next few years. Wouldn't it be nice to watch a nice, clear, high-def YouTube video?
For those of you contemplating purchasing a TiVo for yourselves or someone else this Christmas (or if you've purchase on in the past month), you'll be happy to know that TiVo has changed their pricing structure for the holiday season to offer some nice discounts. This is how it works:
1 year monthly service: now $12.95/month (originally $16.95)
1 year prepay service: $129 (originally $179)
2 year prepay service: $249 (originally $279)
3 year prepay service: $299 (unchanged)
This offer applies to new TiVo owners who purchased their TiVo's in the past month through to February 2, 2008. Existing customers won't see any direct changes on their bills, however TiVo is offering you a return of the lifetime service fee if you purchase another TiVo on the same account.
For those who have multiple TiVo's on the same account already, TiVo is making permanent changes to the pricing structure affecting you. You can now choose between a $9.95 monthly fee or a prepaid yearly fee of $99 per DVR.
Head over to the TiVo homepage to take advantage of this fantastic deal.
I've been busy trying to put together the holiday guide which was posted today (more to come), so I've been a little behind on keeping you up to date with the goings-on in the world of television. So here's a quick, to the point recap:
Warner Bros. Television is currently negotiating with Hulu to bring WBTV content to the News Corp./NBC joint platform according to The Hollywood Reporter. The majority of the content would come from the Warner Bros. library as they own the rights to a fair proportion of that material, but some newer shows could make it online as well. WBTV Group president Bruce Rosenblum stated that "it's more likely than not that we're going to make a deal".
In other Hulu-related news, Peter Kafka of the Silicon Valley Insider took a shot at the platform over some Saturday Night Live iPhone ads, a one of which never was aired on the show due to time restraints. They were nowhere to be found on Hulu or YouTube, although they were apparently hidden on the 5th page of videos on the SNL website. By far the most views these hilarious clips have got is thanks to techie blog Gizmodo. The clip that never aired has been viewed over 100000 times since the blog got their hands on it yesterday. No word yet whether NBC has taken action yet or not.
Do you want to be on TV? We haven't covered the Hollywood Writer's Strike here at TVSnob as we feel there are already plenty of sites doing a fine job of keeping us up to date, but TV networks are most likely to soon give the green light to more reality shows and non-scripted programs as primetime shows run out of original material and begin broadcasting reruns. Startup GotCast, currently in beta, is set up as a meeting point for casting directors looking for talent, and aspiring actors who can set up a profile page with personal info and uploading images and video. Take advantage of the strike, this could be chance!
For all of you Lost fans suffering from strike-induced withdrawals, ABC.com will begin airing Lost minisodes today. The minisodes are mini-stories, collectively called "Missing Pieces" and tonight's episode, "The Watch", is based on Matthew Fox's character.
Apparently Google is working on a project that could revolutionize the way TV is watched over the internet, according to The Observer. Google has been secretly talking with with Simon Fuller, the British entrepreneur behind the Spice Girls, Pop Idol, and American Idol. Talks have been going on for about a year now, and some are speculating that Google's plans involve generating original content in order to compete with major broadcasters. Sources close to Fuller have said that the plan will "change television in much the way iTunes changed the way music is disseminated". One has to wonder whether Google's intention to bid on the 700 Mhz spectrum next January 16 is in any way related. Speculation so far is that Google would use the airspace to develop a wireless-network, especially after the recent announcement of the Android platform and the Open Handset Alliance, so it could go either way. This is definitely a story to watch closely.
The variety of plasma brands, models, size ranges, and prices is becoming nearly impossible to navigate for the average holiday buyer looking for a flat panel plasma TV. Knowing this we've searched far and wide, sourcing some of the best consumer reviewers and reviews in the United States to come up with a guide detailing the best plasma purchases for this 2007 holiday shopping season.
Pioneer KURO PDP-6010FD 60" 1080p Plasma
A full 23% off the list price of $6500 at Amazon.com brings one of the best TV's of all time down to $4989 and is shipped to your door for free. That's over a huge $1500 in savings! The Kuro features full 1920x1080 pixel resolution, a state-of-the-art, advanced cell structure for impossible blacks and amazing detail, and a ully integrated ATSC and Dual NTSC Tuners with a built-in CableCARD Slot. It also includes 4 HDMI inputs making this the perfect centerpiece for your home theater setup. The one major problem with this is the price, although this is a hot deal for a 60" plasma! Continue reading:"Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007: Top 7 Plasma HDTV's of '07"
LCD's have come a long way in the last couple of years. Faster refresh rates and response times have greatly eliminated motion blur and artifacting so common in earlier models, and while plasmas on average probably still have slightly better picture quality, LCD's have greater come down in price making them more economical purchases per dollar for the quality you receive. To make your holiday LCD shopping a little easier, TVSnob has come up with the top 7 LCD TV's for purchase during this 2007 holiday season.
Sony Bravia XBR KDL-46XBR4 46 Inch 1080p LCD
Sony's 10-bit 16:9 Full HD 1080p Panel features the one of the deepest blacks in an LCD ever according to CNET.com and it's not surprising. The 10-bit display with 10-bit color processing means an extremely large color palette for true-to-life color and smooth transition from one color to the next. This results in a detailed, vibrant picture that is so good it seems real. Featuring the renowned Bravia Engine, the KDL-46XBR4 has an HDMI 1.3 interface and upconverts all video signals to 1080p. 24 frames-per-second video support and a 120hz refresh rate means you'll have an incredibly smooth picture with very little judder. Three HDMI and one PC connection makes this the perfect home theater centerpiece, and despite its amazing functionality, the Bravia's magnificent design almost trumps it. Its uniques floating glass frame is surrounded by a black bezel with interchanging colors to the TV can be integrated into the viewing room's decor. The most amazing part of it all is that you'll only pay $2788 for the Bravia this holiday season, a full 23% or $812 off the list price of $3600! And it's shipped to your door for free! Continue reading:"Holiday Buying Guide 2007: Top 7 LCD HDTV's Of '07"
These days, home theaters are just not complete without a media streamer or set-top box to both bring web TV content to your HDTV, or HDTV content to your PC. It always helps in our busy lives to be able to record favorite TV shows for viewing at a later time, and fast forwarding and rewinding live TV and skipping through commercials. Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to streaming video, so we've compiled a list of media streamers that are not only cost efficient, but give you the most portability, flexibility, and ease of use.
Microsoft XBox 360 Pro
The Xbox 360 Pro Value Bundle has built-in support for 1080i HDTV, supports 16:9 format, and 3 USB slots can be used to stream digital media content from your PC, mp3 player, or digital camera. The Pro Value Bundle also comes with a 20GB detachable hard drive, wireless controller, Xbox Live headset, HDMI port, AV and Ethernet cables and two games, Forza 2 and Marvel Alliance. Definitely a multimedia deal at only $350. Continue reading:"Holiday Buying Guide 2007: Media Streamers"
The Blu-ray/HD DVD war is going strong and we love it here at TVSnob. We are of the opinion that good old fashioned competition lowers prices, which is what we want for you this holiday season. Low prices aren't everything though, especially when it comes to high-def players. There is no point in "saving" a bunch of money only to find out your Blu-ray or HD DVD player is a dud. So we've compiled a list via our own research and that of some of the world's best consumer product reviewers, leading you to the best buys this 2007 holiday season, combining both price and value.
The PlayStation 3 is hands-down responsible for the sales lead Blu-ray has over HD DVD at the moment. Too bad the majority of owners don't even know their machine has a Blu-ray player! The new 80GB Motorstorm Pack, in addition to its state-of-the-art video gaming capacity, also contains a Blu-ray player. Enhanced by IBM's "Cell" processor and exclusive Nvidia graphics processor, the PS3's Blu-ray connects to your HDTV through an HDMI output, bringing 128-bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution to your screen. Currently $499.99 including free shipping, the PS3 comes with the game Motorstorm and 5 free Blu-ray movies using this rebate until January 31, 2008. Continue reading:"Holiday Buying Guide 2007: HD DVD And Blu-ray"
There are those home theater fanatics who still appreciate the projector despite it's typical large hit on the pocketbook and the fun of setting it up and calibrating it. For those willing to go for it though, they're rewarded with the most theater-like experience outside of the movie theater around. This list is for you. TVSnob's 5 recommended projector buy's this holiday season.
SharpVision XV-Z20000 Projector
Damn expensive, but a damn fine projector. Prepare to take a hit with the $9980 price tag, but after you've dealt with it, prepare to be wowed by this front projector from Sharp. Utilizing DLP 0.95" DarkChip3 1920 x 1080 technology from Texas Instruments in addition to Sharp's Computer Video & Integrated Composer (CV-IC System III) technology, the SharpVision will electrify you with full 1080p, 12000:1 contrast ratio, 1000 ANSI lumens and a 100 inch screen throw distance. Continue reading:"Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007: Projectors"
This is a fantastic deal. In my opinion, everyone needs a TiVo or some type of related set-top box. With jampacked work and family schedules these days, it's impossible to get your all important shows in every week, and miss one, and you can't understand the storyline for the remainder of the season. Plus, it's alway handy to just skip through commercials. Right now, purchase a Tivo TCD649080 Series2 80-Hour Dual-Tuner Digital Video Recorder, regular price $250, for 60% off, for $99.00 and a TiVo $100 Gift Card, obviously for $100. That's a regular combined value of $350. However, here's the fantastic deal part. Click on the TiVo Series 2 link and when you purchase the TiVo, click on the Buy Both And Save button midway down the page. You'll receive the combined purchase for an additional $100 off, meaning you receive the TiVo and the $100 TiVo Gift Card for only $99! Overall you save $250 on a regularly $350 purchase! And by the way, shipping is free!
If you're moving to HD this holiday season, you'll find you need HDMI cables at some point. You'll also find that they are fairly expensive. But you won't beat this deal anywhere unless you can find them for free! HDMI 2M super high resolution cables which regularly sell for $69.99 are a full 98% off at Amazon.com right now! That's not a typo either. 98% off equates to only $1.32 for the 6 foot long cables. Wow! The cables are designed to carry digital-only signals from source to display and are compatible with HDTV, digital cable, DVR, PS3, DVD, home theater, all brands of electronics, and even your Sony Playstation 3. There is a full money back warranty on all purchases.
Save 50% off the regular price of $200 for the Logitech Harmony 880 refurbished remote controlpaying only $99.99! The Harmony also ships to your door for free with Super Saver shipping. Although refurbished, the Harmony comes with a one-year warranty, the same one you'd receive if you purchased a completely new model. It makes dealing with your complicated HDTV and PVR systems as easy as clicking a button. Choosing between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio for switching between watching a movie and watching TV is quick and easy, the user interface is functional and visually pleasing, and an included docking station keeps your remote charged at all times. Configuring the Harmony to your home theater utilizes one of the simplest processes in the HDTV world and it's compatible with both Mac OS and Windows.
This projector is built exclusively for the gamers of the world. The InFocus IN1 Gaming Projector projects a 640x480 screen on a 100-inch diagonal with a maximum range of 210 inches. The sound quality is awesome, it comes with Wii and Xbox cables, and oh yeah, you can use it for television and DVD as well. Powered by Texas Instruments DLP Technology, the InFocus IN1 Gaming Projector boasts a 1500:1 contrast ratio, max brighness of 500 lumens, and is capable of SDTV, EDTV, HDTV, NTSC, PAL, and SECAM. It is available for pre-order right now from InFocus (to be shipped in January 2008), but if you go through Woot.com you'll get 20% off the projector and all it's accessories.
Introducing the Platinum-Luxe Elite sleep system from Hollandia International, or as it's probably more popularly known, the $35000 bed. Yes, that's right, this bed costs only $35000. We won't discuss the benefits of the mattress here, other than it's apparently very soft and comfortable, but we will mention the two individual 13-inch back-sliding supports and telescopic headrests which allow you to find the perfect reclining position. And the reason that optimal lean-back-and-relax spot is needed? You need to be comfortable for all those hours you spend watching the Sony Bravia 32" LCD built-in to the bed. It also includes the better parts of an entire home theater setup, with a five DVD/CD changer, a five speaker surround sound system, a subwoofer beneath the bed and an iPod docking station. It wouldn't surprise me if those than can afford this somewhat expensive bed now are the unemployed paupers of the world in the future. I mean, would you bother getting out of bed and going to work?
Gizmodo did an excellent review of the Monsoon Hava Titanium HD via a comparison to the Sling Pro. The Monsoon features component HD support and Wi-fi via USB, and like most set-top boxes allows you to pause, rewind, and fast forward programming. It also supports simultaneous viewing from local and remote connections, allows you to record to your hard disk and burn to DVD. Video playback is generally smooth with some artifacting. Downsides include slow response time for the on-screen remote, sub-par sound quality, and it only works with Windows meaning Mac users are out of luck.
The Sling Box Pro (only $191 at Amazon.com) on the other hand requires a $50 attachment for component HD (only $40 at Amazon.com) support and only supports Wi-fi via power lines. However video quality on the Sling is better and the user interface is better designed from a visual standpoint and is easier to use. Response time for the Sling Pro is vastly superior and sound quality is much better as well. Not to mention it works with both Windows and Mac software.
Prices are comparable with the Monsoon costing $249, more expensive than the Sling Pro, but also not requiring a $50 investment for component HD. Overall though, the Sling Pro was found a be a better deal.
I would have to day that leaving out the model for each TV listing is one of the most annoying things I've ever encountered! It really makes it hard to figure out the significance of each deal. They could be great, or for older models, they could be something you could find online any day of the week all year long!
Here are some other electronics deals to expect from Circuit City:
SanDisk 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo - $19.99
Sandisk 2GB Ultra II SD Memory Card - $17.99
Sandisk 4GB High Capacity SD Memory Card - $27.99
SanDisk 4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo - $34.99
SanDisk 4GB USB Cruzer Micro Drive with ReadyBoost for Vista - $21.99
SanDisk SD Memory Card - $6.99
Aiptek 5 In 1 Multi Functional MPEG Camcorder - $49.99
Aiptek HD Camcorder with 2.4" LCD - $119.99
AT&T 5.8GHz Cordless Phone - $99.99
Audiovox Satellite Radio Receiver - $19.99
Coby Portable AM/FM Radio - $7.49
Element 7" Digital Picture Frame - $49.99
Element 9" Widescreen Portable DVD Player - $99.99
Garmin Portable GPS - $199.99
Garmon Nuvi 350 GPS Navigation System - $299.99
Griffin Technology iPod FM Transmitter & Charger - $39.99
Hitachi Mini Hard Drive Hybrid Camcorder - $299.99
iHome Under-Counter Clock Radio w/iPod Dock - $49.99
Interactive Radio Control Helicopter - $19.99
JVC MiniDV Camcorder - $179.99
Magellan Roadmate 1200 Porable GPS - $124.99
Memorex Portable Speaker for iPod - $24.99
Midland Pair Of 22 Mile 2 Way FRS Radios - $16.99
Mio Portable GPS Navigation - $99.99
Nexxtech Power Adapter for USB MP3 Players - $7.99
Oregon Scientific Weather Hub Station - $9.99
Panasonic Dect 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone - $49.99
Panasonic MiniDVD Camcorder - $199.99
Panasonic MiniDVD Camcorder - $219.99
Philips Neckband Headphones - $4.99
Playstation Portable Core System - $169.98
Samsonite Large Camcorder Bage - $5.99
Samsung MiniDVD Camcorder - $199.99
Smartparts 9" Digital Photo Frame - $69.99
Sony 30GB Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder With 40X Optical Zoom And Bag - $529.99
Sony 40GB HD Hard Drive Camcorder - $999.99
Sony 8" Portable DVD Player w/Portable DVD Player Bag + $50 Circuit City Gift Card - $189.99
Sony Full HD 1080p Blu-Ray Player - $399.99
Texas Instruments Solar STI-30XS Multiple View Scientific Calculator - $7.99
Uniden 5.8GHz Extended Range Cordless Phone - $39.99
VTech 5.8 GHz Coreless Phone System with Digital Answering - $9.99
Dual 3 Way Multi Purpose Speakers With Mounting Brackets - $14.99
Gusdorf Black And Silver TV Stand For TVs Up To 32" Wide - $49.99
Onkyo 5.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - $149.99
Onkyo 7.1 Channel 1000W Complete Home Theater System - $399.99
Phase Linear CD/MP3/WMA Player - $49.99
Phase Linear DVD/CD/MP3/WMA Receiver - $249.99
Phillips Progressive Scan DVD Player - $29.99
Polk 50W 10" Powered Subwoofer - $99.99
Polk 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System With 8" Powered Subwoofer - $199.99
Samsung 5.1 Channel 800W Home Theater System - $149.99
Samsung Blu-Ray Player w/8 Free Movies - $377.99
Sony Platinum Dream Home Theater System - $329.99
Toshiba 1080p HD Upconverting DVD Recorder - $99.99
Zenith 5.1 Channel 200W Home Theater System - $67.99
Zenith DVD VCR Combo - $49.99
Z-Line Flat Panel TV Stand For TVs Up TO 40" Wide - $79.99
Compaq Presario Laptop w/Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor and 1GB RAM - $299.99
HP Pavilion Laptop with AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-53 + 15.4" Display - $549.99
HP Pavilion Media Center PC with AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 5200+ - $499.97 AR
HP Pavilion Media Center PC with AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 6000+ - $769.97
Sony VAIO Laptop with Intel Centrino Duo Processor & Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5240 - $899.99
Toshiba Satellite Laptop with AMD Athlon 64 X2 Duel Core - $399.99
Toshiba Satellite Laptop with AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-58 - $749.97
Acer 22" Widescreen Monitor - $169.99
Samsung 24" HD LCD Widescreen Monitor - $329.99
Starlogic 19" LCD Monitor - $129.99
Apple 4GB iPod Nano - $149.99
Coby 1GB MP3 Player - $19.99
Creative Labs Zen V 8GB MP3 Player - $99.99
Element 1GB MP3 Player w/FM Tuner - $22.99
Microsoft Zune 4GB MP3 Player - $149.99
SanDisk 2GB MP3 Player with FM Tuner - $37.99
SanDisk 2GB Sansa c250 MP3 Player - $49.99
Verge iPod Nano Sports Armband - $7.99
SanDisk 2GB USB Cruzer Micro Drive - $7.99
Sandisk Mobile Mate 5 In 1 Reader/Writer Memory Stick - $4.99
Seagate 500GB External Hard Drive - $79.99
Western Digital 1TB My Book Essential External 3.5 USB Hard Drive - $199.99
VisionTek ATI Radeo HD2400 Pro 256MB 16x PCIe DX10 Graphics Card - $49.99
Assassins Creed for XBox 360 - $59.99
Assorted Video Games - $4.99
Assorted Video Games - $9.99
Guitar Hero II Bundle for PS2 - $59.99
Guitar Hero II Bundle for XBox 360 - $59.99
Guitar Hero III Bundle for PS2 - $89.99
Halo 3 for XBox 360 - $59.99
Limited Edition Daxter PSP Entertainment Pack - $199.99
Madden 08 for Playstation 2 - $14.99
Mario Strikers Charged for Nintendo Wii - $49.99
Nintendo DS Lite w/Best Friends Game - $139.99
Nintendo DS Lite w/Zelda Game - $139.99
Sony Playstation 2 w/Free Controller - $129.99
Sony Playstation 3 40GB Console w/Free Controller & 5 Blu-Ray Movies - $399.99
Super Mario Galaxy for Nintendo Wii - $34.99
XBox 360 Pro w/Free Wireless Controller & Two Games - $349.99
Definitely some decent deals, especially in the larger screen sizes. Nothing that really blows my mind though.
Here are the other TV-related deals:
Harman 5.1 Channel 300W 1080p Home Theater Receiver - $199.99
Philips 5.1 Channel DVD System With iPod Dock - $99.99
Phillips 1080p Upconvert DVD Player - $49.99
Samsung 1080p Blu-Ray Disc Player - $399.99
Samsung 1080p Upconvert DVD Player - $74.99
Song 1080p Blu-Ray Disc Player - $499.99
Sony 3 Disc 380W Hi Fi Shelf System - $99.99
Sony 5.1 Channel 1080i Upconvert 5-Disc DVD Home Theater System - $199.99
Sony 5.1 Channel 500W Home Theater Receiver - $99.99
Toshiba 1080i HD-A3 HD-DVD Player - $199.99
30-Day XM Service Card with purchase of Roady XT Tuner Boombox and Car Kit - Free
AT&T DECT 6.0 Cordless Set - $99.99
Colbie Caillat Coco CD With Free DVD - $9.99
Dynex 7" LCD Digital Photo Frame - $49.99
Dynex 9" LCD Digital Photo Frame - $79.99
Dynex Paper With 6' USB Cable - $17.98
Gaming Chair With Wireless Sound And Lights - $79.99
Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS - $169.99
Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS - $399.99
Garmin StreetPilot C550 GPS - $329.99
Geek Squad Complete Wireless Networking Package - $99.99
JVC 30GB Hard Drive Camcorder - $329.99
JVC 30GB Hard Drive Camcorder + Bag + Tripod - $349.99
Logitech 15-Device Universal Remote - $149.99
Logitech Portable Speakers for iPod - $59.99
Midland 2-Way Radio Pair - $24.99
Panasonic 2-Pack MiniDV Tapes - $3.99
Panasonic 5.1 Channel 1080p Upconvert DVD System With iPod Dock - $389.99
Panasonic 5.8GHz Digital Cordless Set - $59.99
Panasonic MiniDV Camcorder with 32x Optical Zoon and Optical Image Stabization - $149.99
Philips Pink 7" Portable DVD Player - $89.99
Sanus Systems 2 Piece TV Kit - $39.99
Sanus Systems Flat Panel HD Performance Pack - $79.99
Sony 12" 200W Powered Subwoofer - $99.99
Sony 30GB Hard Drive Camcorder - $549.99
Sony 30GB Hard Drive Camcorder + Bag + Extra Battery - $599.99
Sony 5.25" 2 Way Bookshelf Speakers - $24.98
Sony Blue 8" Portable DVD Player - $189.99
Sony Bluetooth Headphones - $129.99
Sony DVD Camcorder Package - $319.99
Synergy III 8" 2 Way Dual Woofer Floorstanding Speakers - $222.99
TomTom One LE GPS - $119.99
Uniden 5.8 GHz Digital Cordless Set - $89.99
Vtech DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone - $49.99
AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology Laptop - $629.99
AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology Laptop With Webcam And Printer - $729.99
Compaq Intel Pentium Dual Core E2140 Desktop With 17" LCD Widescreen Monitor - $399.97
eMachines Desktop Computer With 17" LCD Widescreen Monitor - $199.99
HP Intel Vii Core 2 Duo E4500 Desktop With 19" LCD Widescreen Monitor - $679.99
HP Laptop 160gb HD+ 1gb ram + DVD-RW + Targus Bag + Wireless Mouse + Epson All-In-One Printer - $549.99
HP Laptop 160GB HD + 1G RAM + DVD-RW Burner - $449.99
Sony Laptop With 1GB RAM and 160GB Hard Drive - $499.99
Sony Laptop With 1GB RAM And DVD RW 8587772 - $399.99
Toshiba Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo 17" Laptop With Headphones And HD DVDs - $899.99
Toshiba Intel Centrino Duo 17" Laptop - $799.99
Envision 19-in Widescreen LCD Monitor - $99.99
Envision 22" LCD Widescreen Monitor - $149.99
Samsung 22" LCD Widescreen Monitor - $199.99
Assorted DVD's - $2.49
Assorted DVD's - $4.99
Assorted Full Season TV Show DVD Sets - $14.99
Assorted New Release DVD's - $6.99
HBO Full Season TV Show DVD Sets - 50% Off
Spongbob Squarepants DVD Titles - 50% Off
PNY 4GB Portable USB Flash Drive - $27.99
SanDisk 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive with ReadyBoost - $14.99
VisionTek HD2600 Pro 512MB DX10 Graphics Card - $99.99
VisionTek TV Wonder 600 USB Stick HDTV Tuner - $59.99
Assorted DVD Video Games - $9.99
Assorted XBox 360 Video Games - $19.99
Brunswick Pro Bowling for Nintendo Wii - $19.99
Mystery Case Files Ravenhearst PC Video Game - $4.99
Nintendo DS Lite Legend Of Zelda Bundle With Free Starter Kit - $149.99
Nintendo DS Lite Nintendogs Bundle With Free Starter Kit - $149.99
Rapala Tournament Fishing for Nintendo Wii - $19.99
React Legacy Wireless Guitar For PS2 - $39.99
Select PC Video Games - $9.99
Select PC Video Games - $24.99
Select Video Games - $4.99
Select Video Games - $9.99
Select Video Games - $14.99
Sonic Secret Rings for Nintendo Wii - $19.99
Sony PlayStation 2 Guitar Hero II Video Game - $24.99
Sony PlayStation 2 New Brunswick Pro Bowling Video Game - $4.99
Sony PlayStation 3 40GB Game Console With Free NBA 08 Game - $399.99
Sony PlayStation 3 Madden NFL 07 Video Game - $9.99
Xbox 360 The Incredibles Video Game - $4.99
Xbox 360 Tony Hawk's Projects Video Game - $14.99
Xbox 360 With Guitar Hero II And Controller - $349.99
If you're looking for a high-end audio solution for your home theater, but want to pay a low-end price, look no further than the 5.1 channel Sony DAV-FX900W 5-Disc DVD Dream System. Save a nice 45% of the regular price of $900 at Amazon.com and pay only $494.97 and have it shipped to your door for free!
The DAV-FX900W home-theater system includes a 5-disc DVD/CD changer, wireless rear speakers, and even XM satellite radio connectivity. 5.1 surround sound and and HDMI output makes this the perfect addition to your Christmas HDTV purchase, enabling professional sound quality in your living room. The HDMI output can upscale standard DVD's to 720p/1080i and one simple cable connected to your TV is all it takes to make the most of this top-of-the-line system. The receiver features Digital Cinema Sound Technology, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding, dts Decoding and Digital Cinema Sound technology resulting in the best sound quality around with a full 1280 W of raw power. Inputs and outputs besides HDMI include one S-video input, two analog audio inputs, a coaxial audio digital input, one rear component video input, one component video output, two composite video inputs and one composite video output. Amazing technology and an amazing price! If you're buying an HDTV this Christmas or even if you already own one, seriously consider picking this up. At basically half-price, this is a Black Friday deal without the mass hysteria of Black Friday!
Some more Black Friday deals made their way online this morning. Here they are:
Linen 'n Things has The Sharper Image 8 in 1 Univeral Remote for $29.95. The remote features a touchscreen display with blue backlight, and controls up to 8 of your home theater devices including your TV. They also have this cool interactive multimedia boom chair for $99.99:
Built-in surround sound rumbles through you as you play video games, watch movies, and listen to music.
hhgregg has the following electronics deals:
20% off TVs, Appliances, Camcorders, Audio & More - 20% Off
GPX 8.5" Widescreen Portable DVD Player - $79.97
Panasonic 50" 720p Plasma HDTV with 2 HDMI Inputs - $1399.20
Samsung 50" 1080p Widescreen Plasma HDTV - $2399.20
Samsung 58" 1080p Widescreen Plasma HDTV - $3359.20
Sony Bravia 46" 1080p Widescreen LCD Projection HDTV - $1039.20
Sony Bravia 50" 1080p Widescreen LCD Projection HDTV - $1199.20
GPX Progressive Scan DVD Player - $9.97
Harman Kardo DVD Home Theater w/ HDMI Upscaling - $499.97
JVC 1200-Watt 5.1 Home Theater w/ iPod Dock - $249.97
JVC Progressive Scan DVD Player / VCR Combo - $39.97
Klipsch 5.1 Speaker System with 10" Subwoofer - $449.97
Nostalgic 4-in-1 CD Music System - $69.97
Onkyo 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver - $239.97
Panasonic 1200-Watt Wireless Home Theater System - $399.97
Phase Linear Multimedia DVD/CD/MP3/DivX/iPod Receiver - $249.97
Samsung DVD Recorder / VCR Combo w/ HDMI Output - $149.97
Sony DVD Single-Disc Player w/ 1080p Upscaling HDMI Output - $79.97
Toshiba HD-A3 HD-DVD Player w/ 7 Free HD-DVDs - $149.97
Toshiba Progressive Scan DivX / DVD Player - $39.97
Toshiba Progressive Scan DVD Recorder w/ 1080p Upconversion - $99.97
Under-Counter CD Player with Remote Control - $17.97
Epson MovieMate 50 Portable Projector - DVD & Music Player
Flat Panel 19" LCD HDTV - $188.20
Hitachi 50" Widescreen Plasma HDTV w/ 3 HDMI Inputs - $999.20
Samsung 19" Flat Panel LCD Widescreen HDTV - $328.20
Sony Bravia 37" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $799.20
Toshiba 23" LCD HDTV with Built-in DVD Player - $559.20
Toshiba 32" REGZA Widescreen LCD HDTV with DVD Player - $799.20
Toshiba 50" 720p Widescreen DLP HDTV - $899.20
Toshiba REGZA 26" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $599.20
Toshiba REGZA 32" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $699.20
Toshiba REGZA 42" 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV - $1249.20
Toshiba REGZA 52" 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV - $2199.20
Widescreen 37" 720p LCD Flat Panel HDTV - $599.20
Widescreen Flat Panel 19" LCD HDTV - $239.20
And finally, AAFES (The Army And Air Force Exchange Service) has a few as well:
Compaq 15.4" Laptop w/AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor & 1GB/120GB/DVD Burner - $399.00
Compaq AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Desktop w/1GB/160GB and 20" LCD Monitor - $499.00
Philips HD Upconverting DVD Player with HDMI Output - $54.95
Assorted DVDs (Alligator Eyes, Nightstalker, Maximum Overdrive) - $2.00
Assorted DVDs (Are We Done Yet, Casino Royale, Ghost Rider) - $9.99
Assorted DVDs (V for Vendetta, 300, Departed, Blood Diamond) - $7.99
HCT 42" Widescreen Plasma HDTV with NTSC/ATSC Tuners - $699.00
Sharp LC-42D43U 42" Widescreen LCD HDTV with NTSC/ATSC Tuners - $799.00
Sylvania 20" PureFlat Stereo Color TV w/Digital Tuner - $99.99
Nintendo Wii Accessories (Wheel, Charge & Play, Cooling Stand or Sports Kit) - $14.95 Nintendo Wii Jelly Grip Accessory - $8.95
25-Pack of Imation DVD-Rs - $4.99
25-Pack of Imation DVD+Rs - $4.99
50-Pack of Imation CD-Rs - $4.99
10-Pack of Duracell AA or AAA Batteries - $4.99
12-Pack Of TDK VHS Tapes - $4.99
Audiovox 10" Portable DVD Player - $84.00
Audiovox 12" Kitchen LCD HDTV with DVD Player - $199.00
Audiovox iPod Docking CD Music System - $49.00
Casio Keyboard - $69.00
Crosley 4-in-1 Stereo System - $72.00
Jensen iPod Docking Alarm Clock - $29.00
Kodak USB Charger - $7.99
Magellan Maestro 3100 Auto GPS - $149.00
NextPlay iPod Docking Alarm Clock - $29.00
Phillips Compact DVD Player - $25.00
Polaroid Video Camcorder - $69.00
Trutech 7" Digital Photo Frame - $49.00
Uniden 5.8 GHz 3-Handset Phone - $44.00
Western Digital 500GB External Hard Drive - $87.00
Magnavox 5-Disc Home Theater System - $79.00
Westinghouse 22" LCD Widescreen Monitor - $167.00
24 - Season 5 DVD Set - $14.98
300 DVD - $5.98
A Christmas Story DVD - $5.98
Annie DVD - $3.98
Assorted DVD's - $15.00
Batman Returns DVD - $3.98
Blades of Glory DVD - $9.98
Blood Diamond DVD - $3.98
Casino Royale DVD - $9.98
Click DVD - $3.98
Family Guy - Volume 3 DVD Set - $14.98
Family Guy - Volume 4 DVD Set - $14.98
Hairspray DVD - $15.00
Happy Feet DVD - $5.98
Hot Fuzz DVD - $9.98
House - Season 1 DVD Set - $14.98
House - Season 2 DVD Set - $14.98
Ice Age DVD - $5.98
Knocked Up Unrated DVD - $9.98
Live Free or Die Hard DVD - $15.00
Monk - Season 4 DVD Set - $14.98
Monster House DVD - $3.98
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation DVD - $5.98
Night at the Museum DVD - $9.98
Open Season DVD - $5.98
Ratatouille DVD - $14.00
Rescue Me - Season 3 DVD Set - $14.98
Santa Clause 3 DVD - $15.00
Seinfeld - Season 8 DVD Set - $14.98
Shrek the Third DVD - $14.00
South Park Season 10 DVD Set - $14.98
Surf's Up DVD - $9.98
The Departed DVD - $5.98
The Devil Wears Prada DVD - $5.98
The Gilmore Girls - Season 6 DVD Set - $14.98
The Goonies DVD - $3.98
The Holiday DVD - $3.98
The Notebook DVD - $3.98
The Office - Season 1 DVD Set - $9.98
The Office - Season 2 DVD Set - $14.98
The Polar Express DVD - $5.98
The Pursuit of Happyness DVD - $5.98
The Shawshank Redemption DVD - $3.98
Wedding Crashers DVD - $3.98
Apple 8GB iPod Nano - $199.00
Olevia 37" 1080i Widescreen LCD HDTV - $549.00
Trutech 19" 1080i Widescreen LCD HDTV w/DVD Player - $199.00
Action-Packed DVD Games (Misc Titles) - $20.00
Atari Flashback 20 Game System - $17.00
Big Brain Academy Wits Degree For Wii - $28.00
Boogie For Wii Or PS2 - $38.00
Call Duty 4 For Xbox 360 Or PS3 - $48.00
Gears of the War for XBox 360 - $38.00
Guitar Hero III Bundle for Playstation 2 - $85.00
Halo 3 Special Edition XBox 360 System - $399.99
Heavenly Sword (PS3) - $48.00
NBA 2K8 for XBox 360 or Sony PS3 - $28.00
NCAA08 Football for XBox 360 or Sony PS3 - $38.00
Net Jet Online Gaming System - $12.00
Nintendo DS Lite Starter Kit - $28.00
Pirates of the Caribbean for PS2 or Nintendo DS - $17.00
Pirates of the Caribbean for XBox 360, PS3, or Wii - $28.00
Project Gotham Racing 4 for XBox 360 - $48.00
PS2 Psyclone Wireless Guitar - $38.00
PSP Core System - $169.99
Saints Row - $17.00
Skate for Xbox360 or PS3 - $48.00
Smarty Pants for Nintendo Wii - $28.00
Special Edition Nintendo DS Lite Bundle - $149.99
Spiderman: Friend or Foe for XBox 360 - $38.00
Star Wars II For PS2, DS, or XBox 360 - $17.00
The Orange Box for XBox 360 - $48.00
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground for XBox 360 or PS3 - $38.00
XBox 360 Wireless Headset - $48.00
Coby Headphone and Earphone Combo Pack - $4.99
Curtis 2.1 Channel Home Theatre System - $29.99
Emerson Handheld iPod/DVD Karaoke Microphone - $14.99
Hot Wheels Ultimate Race Kit - $19.99
iPod Certified Flat-Panel Home Speaker System - $299.99
JVC VHS-C Camcorder - $119.99
Magellan Maestro 3100 Navigation System - $129.99
Nextar Digital Photo Frame - $39.99
Timex Ironman iControl for iPod Watch - $99.95
TracPhone Motorola Prepaid Phone - $14.99
WeatherHandler Digital Compass - $19.99
Zenith DVD Player - $39.99
Pan's Labyrnth DVD - $7.99
300 on DVD - $7.99
Blades of Glory DVD - $9.99
Blood Diamond DVD - $7.99
Casino Royale DVD - $9.99
Catch & Release DVD - $5.99
Disturbia DVD - $9.99
Eragon DVD - $9.99
Fast and Furious DVD - $3.99
Friday Night Lights DVD - $3.99
Ghost Rider DVD - $9.99
Gridiron Gang DVD - $5.99
High School Musical 2 Soundtrack CD - $7.99
Hitch DVD - $3.99
Ice Age DVD - $5.99
Ice Age The Meltdown DVD - $9.99
Just Friends DVD - $3.99
King Kong 2-Disc Special Edition DVD - $3.99
Lord of the Rings DVD - $7.99
Monster House DVD - $5.99
Nanny McPhee DVD - $5.99
Smokin' Aces DVD - $5.99
Spiderman 2 DVD - $3.99
Spiderman DVD - $3.99
Superman Returns DVD - $7.99
The Covenant DVD - $5.99
The Departed DVD - $7.99
The Office Season 1 DVD Set - $9.99
V for Vendetta DVD - $7.99
Wedding Crashers DVD - $7.99
Xmen 2 DVD - $3.99
Mach Speed Indigo 1GB MP3 Player with Earbuds - $14.99
Zune 4GB MP3 Player - $149.99
Zune 8GB MP3 Player - $199.99
Olevia 32" LCD HDTV - $419.99
RCA 27" TV - $229.99
Sylvania 20" Flat Screen TV - $134.99
Sylvania 20" TV/DVD/VCR - $249.99
Guitar Hero II Bundle For XBox 360 - $59.99
Nintendo Wii - $249.99
PlayStation 2 Three-Pack Of Games - $8.99
Stay tuned for plenty more updates over the next two weeks!
Check out the Nintendo DS Tuner in action with the new WanSeg TV Tuner DS, due out in Japan on November 23. Oh, by the way the video is in Japanese and I have no idea what is being said, but you get the idea from the visuals.
Toshiba will be inserting an HD DVD into the Satellite A200 laptop models which will retail starting at $1775, however the player can only read HD DVD discs whereas it can write to DVD and CD. This is a continuation of the HD DVD/Blu-ray battle in the laptop arena which started when Sony put Blu-ray in its VGN-AR series and Toshiba followed up by adding an HD DVD to its Qosmio laptops. This drove up prices above $3000 for these models, so the A200 price tag is dirt cheap by comparison. The Satellite A200 also includes a 1.73 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 graphics engine, and an HDMI connection to hook up to your HDTV if the 15.4 inch screen size feels a little small. Toshiba plans to eventually include HD DVD in all their Satellite and Qosmio series laptops, though no target date has yet been announced.
A new study by the Leichtman Research Group has revealed the following stats for the United States that we at TVSnob find disturbing:
-nearly 40% of HDTV owners are not watching HD content on their TV's
-about 20% of HDTV owners think that they are watching HD content when they are not
-40% of HDTV owners think they own HD DVD players when the actual number is less than 5%
Can you say consumer education anyone? It's funny how when a new technology reaches the "tipping point" where it becomes mainstream, people flock to either use or purchase it when their only reasoning for doing so is market mania. It's the same principle behind "booms" and "busts" on the market indexes. This is something I'll never understand, but TVSnob does want you to have the best home theater experience you can, so we'll make sure to feature some "consumer education" articles over the holiday shopping season. In fact, if you have any questions now just leave them in the comments section.
The Blu-ray/HD DVD format war has continued to heat up lately, but over at the AVS Forum, one of the most popular audio/video forums on the web, it apparently got a little overheated. The Blu-ray/HD DVD forum is closed to posts until the end of the week after the ongoing debate became, well, threatening:
We have seen members attacking other members not only in debate, which is the right way, but with physical threats that have involved police and possible legal action. This type of behavior is just not welcome here PERIOD. To the extent that some of you have gone to support either format is just, well, disgusting and has no place on this site.
This is an excerpt from a letter from AVS Forum explaining the forum closure. Hopefully the offending parties don't land in the slammer. Imagine explaining your crime to your hardened cellmate named Big Daddy!
I guess the Blu-ray folks are a little upset by the recent HD DVD deals at Wal-mart and Best Buy which apparently resulted in the sale of 90000 units over the weekend, most of them the HD-A2. However, rumor is going around that Toshiba is losing over $500 on each model priced at $99. The HD-A1 costs $674 in parts per unit, never mind other manufacturing costs, so the more expensive HD-A2 would probably cost more. That would add up to a huge $45 million loss over the weekend, so they may have just been trying to clear off the shelves for upcoming models. Then again, these numbers all come from "unnamed sources", so their accuracy can be questioned. $45 million seems to be a huge hit to take over one weekend. But maybe the HD DVD camp feels strongly enough in the quality of their newer models that the publicity alone was worth the financial loss. Who knows? I'm sure the story will continue to emerge.
Do you want 1080p resolution but not a huge screen? Then try saving over $400 when you purchase the Sharp Aquos LC32D62U 32" 1080p LCD HDTV for only $998, as compared to the regular price of $1400. Features include full high-def 1080p, 10000:1 dynamic contrast ratio with Enhanced Picture Contrast Technology, a lightning-fast 6ms response time, and a 176 degree wide-viewing angle. Tuners are built-in, and 2 HDMI and 2 component video inputs are included. Take this one while it's hot! Oh, and don't forget your HDMI cables currently 50% off!
Amazon.com has a pre-order page up for the Archos 705 Wi-Fi portable media player. The 705 comes in 80GB and 160GB capacities priced at $399 and $499 respectively. The Archos content portal lets you download movies, video, and music that playback on the PVP's 800x480 7-inch touchscreen. The Wi-Fi connection also lets you surf the web or check your email and an Opera plug-in lets you use video sites right on the web. Finally, an optional DVR station lets you use the 705 as a bridge from your PC to your TV in order to view web-based video content. This is pretty much the best of the best when it comes to portable video players, so look for it when it's released November 27.
It seemed pretty clear last week by comments made by Dan Silverberg, Warner VP, that the company had chosen not to renew their Blu-ray license and sell HD DVD exclusively. Apparently that's not the case. Warner is now saying that Silverberg's comments were "misquoted and misconstrued", they will continue to support both formats and they have no upcoming plans to move exclusively to one camp or the other. We'll see about that at the CES conference in January 2008.
Amazon.com has a $200 rebate deal on right now if you purchase select Toshiba LCD TV/HD DVD player combos. The three LCD TV models are all 1080p Toshiba Regza LCD's in 42, 47, and 52 inch sizes. The three HD-DVD players are the Toshiba models HD-A3, HD-A30, and HD-35. Take a look at the descriptions, prices, and links below:
The Toshiba Regza series features full high-def 1080p resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Cinespeed technology puts the puts the screen response time at below the 8 ms industry standard and coupled with 6 TheaterWide modes and a Game mode make the Regza's perfect for action-packed video and video game performance. Three HDMI inputs fit the display perfectly into your home theater and an HDMI PC connection lets you browse the web on your high-res widescreen! The PixelPure 3D digital video processor, Toshiba's 3rd generation technology, runs at a speedy 333 Mhz with 14 bit internal processing and is capable of providing 4096 image grades for a smooth, natural picture. Crisp, clear audio is provided by a SoundStrip 2 speaker system and SRS-WOW 3D surround through built-in speakers. This is the perfect model for a home theater system, especially if you're a avid movie fan or have gamers lurking around the house. Really the only choice you have to make is which size you want! Links and prices for the TV's are below, but make sure to first scroll down the screen to pick which HD/DVD player you want to choose.
Not only do these Toshiba HD DVD players look good, they bring an exceptional picture to your Toshiba LCD as well. The HD-30 and HD-35 models all feature CD, DVD, and HD DVD playback, support for 1080p/24 frame video, and HDMI-CEC capability giving you plug-in-and-play convenience. The player's will also upconvert standard definition DVD's, support pretty much all surround sound audio standards. The one major difference the HD-A3 model has, besides being more affordable, is that it only outputs video up to 720p and 1080i, though we're sure you still won't be disappointed. Check out the links below:
Save a huge $1000 on the CCFL-backlit Samsung LNT4671F 46" 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV paying only $2399 compared to the regular price of $3400. The LNT4671F features Auto Motion Plus 120 Hz technology and 8ms response time reducing image blur to nothing for a smooth, crisp picture even during fast-moving action scenes. You'll find some of the deepest blacks around on this beauty which boasts an impressive 25000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and exceptional sound quality is delivered by SRS TruSurround XT™ technology through 2 hidden side speakers and 2.2 channel dome speakers. Of course we can't forget the full high-def 1920x1080 pixel resolution. Wow! Imagine what you could do with that extra thousand dollars in your pocket!
Not every digital media player can play all file formats as of yet and it's a real pain in the ass trying to find programs that allow you to convert one format to another so you can play your chosen content on your media player. But this will save you some time. Lifehacker.com has compiled a list of the top 10 free video rippers, encoders, and converters. Browsing through these programs, you can find a way to convert pretty much any file format to any other file format, all for free!
Those of you who would actually consider watching TV on your mobile phone might be interested in CBS's first original, animated "mobisode" debuting on November 12. I say you might be interested because the first original CBS series made exclusively for mobile viewing will be Danny Bonaduce: Life Coach.
If you know who Danny Bonaduce is (ex-child star from The Partridge Family) you know he's a more than slightly troubled adult. Addictions, arrests, and downright bizarre behavior pretty much sum up good ol' Danny. So you may find it entertaining. The animated series, featuring Danny lending his voice to a cartoon Danny will air in eight 3-5 minute episodes on the Sprint Nextel and AT&T networks and can also be found at the CBS website.
Toshiba has announced the launch of the new Vardia RD-A301 HD DVD Recorder which will be released in Japan in mid-December, just in time for Christmas. The cool thing about this model is that it can record high-def content to regular DVD's thanks to HD Rec technology which stores up to 2 hours of transcoded high definition video on a tradition 4.7 GB DVD-R disc. This represents extra money in your pocket from not having to buy expensive blank HD DVD's. It can also transcode MPEG2 high-def broadcasts to the more efficiently compressed MPEG4 format meaning you can store more content on your discs or on the recorder's 300GB built-in hard disk drive. One issue with the new Vardia is that recorded DVD's can only be played back on the same player, but then again how many people have multiple HD DVD players and recorders? It will retail in Japan for $100000 Yen or $875 US.
XBox 360 owners, who according to Microsoft as a population tend to be avid sports fans, will soon be able to access ESPN content via the XBox Live Marketplace. High-def versions of ESPN shows such as Madden Nation will cost $2.40 and "timely" HD sporting events will set you back $4.50. Of course by "timely" I mean already aired, so unless users are HD-disabled, we can't see why they'd pay! But hey, I suppose it is an untapped market with no competition and people CAN be conned into pretty much anything. We'll see I guess.
Best Buy looks to be continuing the pre-Black Friday deals on November 11 from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM at select stores. Stores will be stocked with a minimum of 30 Nintendo Wiis for $250. They'll also be selling an yet-unknown 46-inch 1080p Samsung LCD TV for $1999. A quick look at Amazon.com and prices on 46-inch Samsung's mean this could either be a fantastic deal or just a ruse to get you in the door. Here's the current prices at Amazon for 46-inch Samsung LCD's:
These are the Samsung models on Amazon and their prices as of now. As you can see, Best Buy could have an amazing deal or it could be nothing. I'd like to think after the $99 Toshiba HD-A2 that they would go all out. Could you imagine getting an LED-backlit, full HD LCD for $2000, half-price? Probably wishful thinking, but with HDTV's topping the Santa's wish list this year, the smartest retailers will be the ones that go all out.
Looking for a floor-standing speaker system? Check out this hot deal on Boston Acoustics VR2BLACK Vr2 Dual 6.5 3-way tower speakers. Regularly priced at $425, they are on sale right now for only $250 per unit and shipping is free. The Boston Acoustics are perfect for the home theater enthusiast looking for quality sound typical of more expensive speakers. High sensitivity levels require less than half the amplifier power used in other products to reach similar sound levels and each speaker features dual woofers resulting in deep bass, low distortion and exceptional clarity. The speaker design also feature heavy cabinets which eliminate resonance and include MagnaGuard magnetic shielding to prevent video interference. This is an excellent deal and you won't find it anywhere else!
Are you looking to get the kids HD-ready? If you are, you'll like this Disney LCD from Uniden. The 20 inch HD-ready LCD features 720p resolution, 2 built-in 3 watt speakers, TruSurround TX and TruBass audio, 2 HDMI ports, and a cute design that you're kids will love. The Disney LCD costs the equivalent of $780, but is only available in Japan at the moment. Unless you're prepared to pay more for shipping than the price of the TV, maybe wait until next Christmas to show this one to your kids!
Save a cool $580 today on the Samsung HLT5076S 50" UltraSlim 1080p DLP HDTV, paying only $1119 as compared to the usual $1700 price tag. The 50 inch UltraSlim features full 1920x1080 pixel resolution utilizing the Cinema Smooth 1080p Light Engine, an impressive 10000:1 dynamic contrast ratio delivering exceptional color performance, and robust sound from theSRS TruSurround XT audio system. Gamers will be delighted by the HLT5076S's Game Mode, which brings the game to life and eliminates motion blur. Home theater enthusiasts will be impressed by the 3 HDMI connections allowing integration with a set-top box, Blu-ray player, HD DVD player, or game console. Additional inputs include 2 S-video, 2 composite, and 2 component making this DLP TV ideal for a top-of-the-line home theater setup. Definitely an impressive deal here, plus with Samsung's Slim technology you'll be treated to more picture than frame, and looks mean a great deal! Don't pass this one up!
Barack Obama, who guest starred as himself on Saturday Night Live last night, was definitely funnier after the show than during it. And here's why. Liz Gannes from NewTeeVee decided to see if she could find the clip on NBC's new platform Hulu, only to find nothing. Not that it matters much, since most of us don't have beta invites and those outside of the US can't access that platform anyways. Digging further, she realized that she couldn't find the Obama SNL content on open Hulu distribution partners AOL or MSN either. The official NBC.com Saturday Night Live video index: once again, nothing. But where she did find the Obama clip was on Obama's YouTube station BarackObamadotcom! Now if you remember, NBC pulled their content from YouTube a couple of weeks back in anticipation of the Hulu launch and they've been pulling a heck of alot of clips uploaded by users in the past few days. Will NBC order Obama to remove the video today? Now that would be funny!
Panasonic is expected to release their latest Blu-ray player, the DMP-BD30. The player will be first to market with the upgraded Final Standard Profile, or Blu-ray Profile 1.1 specification, and because of the upgrade will support enhanced features such as picture-in-picture (PiP), audio mixing from a primary and secondary source, and an added SD card slot that will display AVCHD video and JPEG photos giving users the convenience at viewing their shot in full 1080p resolution before uploading them to their computers.
Panasonic has also added some of their own unique features such as support for HDMI 1.3B, moving the player's step gradation to 12-bit higher contrast and more accurate color output. The player will also feature 24 frames-per-second playback meaning a smooth picture even during fast-paced video action, 7.1 surround audio standards and CEC control allowing the Blu-ray to control a TV through HDMI. It looks like the player will retail for $499 upon its release.
There is a big incentive right now for our readers from France to purchase a Sony LCD TV and either a Blu-ray player or PS3. That's because Sony will refund you up to 500 Euros ($720 US) with the purchase meaning that you're getting the PS3 for free. Depending on the model, you're refunded between 250-500 Euros and the 60GB PS3 costs 500 Euros in France. Absolutely awesome deal! The deal with started November 1 last until January 15, 2008. Now we just have to see a deal like this in the US to compete with the dirt-cheap HD DVD deals. Smartin' up Blu-ray or you're going to get buried!
Interesting Body Designs Tend To Be The Only Way To Stoke Interest For PC's In Japan
USAToday reported that the Japanese PC market is shrinking thanks to demand for technologies such as flat-panel TV's. PC shipments have fallen for 5 consecutive quarters in Japan, and the popularity of mobile technologies in the country is eliminating the need for PC's altogether. The Japanese are way ahead of us in mobile internet usage and with digital cameras and movies downloaded straight to TV's, the personal computer can be largely bypassed. Not surprisingly the most popular exhibits at consumer electronics shows in Asia are HDTV displays while computer technologies tend to be largely absent of traffic.
Japan has a history of setting technological trends. Is this something to be expected in the Western world?
Back in 1988 when Writers Guild Of America workers walked off the job for 22 weeks, cable TV was given a chance to shine. And that it did, with unknown channels such as HBO and TNT becoming huge hits continue to maintain their popularity today. With the Writers Guild set to strike again tomorrow, the logical question would be whether this is an opportunity for web TV to be today's cable.
It would make sense that writers would flock to the web for work and video platforms such as Revver and Dailymotion would welcome the increased traffic and potential revenues. The only problem is the WGA strike rules, which are considerably murky to say the least, say writing for the web during the walk-out is against the rules.
Members who break these rules are liable to be penalized and writers who aren't yet members of the guild may be forbidden from ever joining. However, the WGA has designated some online video companies as signatory as others as not, possibly setting the stage for writers to head for the non-signatory platforms. Some also question whether this rule is actual policy or just posturing as the WGA has never had reason to police writing for the web before as it is still just a blip on their radar screen. And furthermore, if it is policy, it may very likely chance as the the workers move further into the strike.
Whether or not writing for the web could even be policed is arguable in itself because the ability to film content on the web unscripted is very simple when compared to filming for network television. One example used by Rob Barnett of My Damn Channel questions whether or not "a man on the street asking funny questions and getting goofy responses" is considered written or not.
At the moment it seems the politics of it all make it hard to say what will happen a few months down the road. But definitely keep an eye on web TV, we may see an upward climb.
Pay only $1699 for the Sony KDL-40XBR2 40 Inch Bravia XBR 1080p LCD TV
today, saving a full $800 off the regular price of $2500! The Bravia features a 16:9 aspect ration, full 1920x1080 high-def resolution, digital tuner, and 3 HDMI inputs. Not to mention the Live Color Creation backlight system delivering high contrast, excellent picture clarity, and deep blacks to your TV screen. Theater-quality sound is produced bySRS® TruSurround® XT audio and Dolby Digital encoding adding an awesome realism to your viewing experience. This is not a deal to pass up, but if you want this Bravia get it quick, because they are flying off the shelves!
Ever wonder how to set up your PC server so you can stream video to your Playstation 3 or Xbox 360? Check out this cool article by the DIY adventurist, Robert Green, showing how to set up and configure your home network using Windows Media Player 11 or Simplecenter to do just that. He also includes a list of other compatible softwares you can use to set up your game console media center.
Robert Green's DIY via TVHarmony
What will Blu-ray do now that HD DVD prices are dropping so drastically? Follow suit? Even though Blu-ray trumps HD DVD sales more than 2-1 currently, the majority of those sales are thanks to the Playstation 3 and surveys have indicated that the majority of PS3 owners don't even know that the game console has a Blu-ray player.
Sony Electronics president Stan Glasgow announced on Friday that Blu-ray prices should drop to around $399 but not to expect prices much lower than that. He also seemed confident in the fact that 170 companies back Blu-ray while only 2 back the HD DVD format. Currently prices for Blu-ray players start at about $499 and move up from there, so the forecasted drop is significant, but nothing compared to the sub-$100 HD DVD deals available now.
One thing is for sure: the holiday season of 2007 will be more about war than peace for Blu-ray and HD DVD.
There is a great deal on the Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player over at Amazon. The player which regularly retails for $300 is available right now for only $189 or 37% off! The HD-A3 features HD DVD and CD/DVD playback, 720p/1080i resolution, upconversion for standard definition DVD's and comes with The Bourne Identity and 300 movies. You also get five free HD DVD's if you send in this mail-in rebate. I won't say much more because there are only 2 available, so quick, head over to Amazon!
With Best Buy offering the Toshiba HD-A2 yesterday for $99 to compete with Wal-mart's "early Black Friday" savings on the same model, it's not surprising that Best Buy stores sold out as quickly as Wal-mart. Those who tried via Best Buy's website BestBuy.com had a small chance of getting their hands on this great deal, but the vast majority were given backorder notices. But what does this mean given that the HD-A2 is now a discontinued model?
All those who received a backorder notice will receive the higher-end Toshiba HD-A3 player instead which retails for about $300! It gets better though. The HD-A3 comes packaged with two HD DVD's, The Bourne Identity and 300, and if you use this mail-in rebate you'll receive another 5 HD DVD's for free! Check out this letter emailed to all Best Buy customers who received the backorder notice:
Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,
You are receiving this email because you recently ordered a Toshiba HD DVD Player (model # HD-A2) from www.bestbuy.com and your order was placed in a backorder status while we awaited additional inventory. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has discontinued this item and we are not anticipating receiving any more inventory.
Because we value your business, we will be fulfilling your order with the next generation Toshiba HD DVD Player (model # HD-A3) that is replacing the HD-A2 in Toshiba's lineup of HD DVD Players. There is no need for you to do anything to receive this upgraded model. We will simply fulfill your original order and your packing slip will be updated to show you received the HD-A3 and serve as your order receipt.
If you are not interested in receiving the Toshiba HD-A3 as a replacement for the discontinued HD-A2, you may return the unopened item to your nearest Best Buy store or simply contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at (888)-BestBuy for more information about how to return the product for a complete refund.
Please accept our apology for any inconvenience. We look forward to your next visit to Best Buy.
When Hulu first went online in beta I had applied to be a beta tester only to find out the service wasn't available in Canada. When a backdoor was found that allowed access into the platform without beta tester verification, I thought I'd be a badass and give it a try, only to find a message telling me Hulu wasn't available from my location. Definite drawback to the service. So my only option has been to look around online for reviews from those living in the US and draw my conclusions from there.
Some of the upsides so far deemed by testers is the platform's ease of use and its effective ad structure which tailors ads to the length of the content. For example, 15 second ad spots for shorter clips and 30 second ad spots for entire episodes. A $100 million investment from Providence Equity Partners plus access to monies from its partners Fox, NBC, Sony Pictures Television, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer means it has the funds to take the appropriate measures to make the platform succeed. Also notable is the fact that Hulu's success, if it happens, could cripple Apple's attempt at profitable distribution of Hollywood movies over iTunes. Music to all the Apple haters ears out there. Can you say iBrick anyone!
Hulu Greeted Me With This
Some of the downsides include frequent 404 errors and gateway timeouts as the platform adjusts to steadily increasing traffic and content, the fact that it can't be downloaded or used outside of the US, lack of community features, and the inability to embed newly released videos outside of Hulu. It also could be argued that by pulling NBC content from YouTube and iTunes, the network has drastically decreased the amount of people viewing their content meaning less ad revenues and most likely less profits.
From the perspective gained from reading others reviews of Hulu, it's hard for me to make a decisive judgement, but I can give some thoughts. The fact that Hulu does not embrace user-generated content seems to be point that critics like to pinpoint, but the fact that it uses only professionally-created content makes it an exclusive platform that can can make YouTube look as amateur as it is. This could potentially take YouTube right off its list of competitors. Not enabling viewing outside of the US has dramatically reduced the distribution potential of the platform and I hope this is only temporary as the site adjusts to increasing traffic and handling more content. Even for a beta, this is the first I've ever seen exclusion of the majority of the world population for a test. Also, a lack of community features will probably reduce the stickiness of the site. Most people don't want to watch TV on their computer screens at this point in time, they want to watch it on their traditional TV's. And not enough potential users of Hulu have adopted the hi-def technologies and set-top boxes required to stream the Hulu content from their PC's to their TV's. Community engagement would be one feature that would make alot of users stick around. I'd imagine though that this would be a feature included once the platform goes public.
It remains to see whether or not Hulu will ultimately succeed, but one thing is for sure: they have the money necessary to be around for a while.
Better known as a computer company, Eizo has launched a new Foris HD LCD TV series featuring 2 new LCD models. 24 and 27 inches respectively, the models feature 3 HDMI inputs, digital tuner, and full 1080p resolution. Not to mention aesthetically pleasing design. I wouldn't mind having a TV with this kind of innovative look in my home theater. The Foris HD series will be released in Japan at this point with the 24 inch model selling for the equivalent of $1478 US and the 27 inch model for $1652 US.
Consumer Reports: Panasonic's 50-inch TH-50PZ700U Plasma TV Best Model Ever Tested
When you go out and buy a flat-panel TV this holiday season, here is an important tip to remember: do not buy an extended warranty!Consumer Reports released a report yesterday that found LCD and plasma TV's rarely require repairs during the first 3 years of their lifetimes, a time covered by standard warranties. LCD and plasma sets overall have a repair rate of only 3% and the majority of those repairs are free because they fall under standard warranties. The very few consumers who did pay for repairs paid on average $264 for LCD sets and $395 for plasmas. Factor in the $300 or so you'll probably pay for the extended warranty and the <3% chance you'll have to pay for a repair, you can see why you shouldn't purchase the extended warranty.
The report which will be featured in the December issue of Consumer Reports' magazine also rated brands and models based on their overall reliability. Panasonic's 50-inch TH-50PZ700U plasma model was deemed by Consumer Reports to be the best flat-panel ever tested and overall Panasonic LCD and plasma sets had the lowest rates of repair falling under 2%. Other brands with better than average rates of repair included Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and JVC in LCDs and Pioneer and Samsung in plasmas. Among the less reliable brands included Dell (who no longer manufacture TV's), Hitachi and Phillips' plasma models.
Not surprisingly, rear-projection TV's, especially those using digital light processing (DLP) technology were much more repair-prone averaging an 18% repair rate. This is most likely due to the use of a bulb in rear-projection sets and bulb replacements accounted for 25% of overall repairs. Because bulb replacement typically falls under standard warranty, Consumer Reports once again recommended that buyers do not purchase the extended warranty for rear-projection sets and if they chose otherwise, to make sure the extended warranty costs less than a replacement bulb or no more than 15% of the TV's purchase price.
When the doors opened at Wal-mart this morning at 8 AM, the $98 Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player was long sold out across the United States. Because store employees handed out numbers to hard-core's waiting outside the doors in the chilly morning air to avoid a mad rush at opening time, the HD-A2's had already been given away across the country by 6 AM. Incredible! The things people will do for a great deal!
Not only has HD DVD made inroads in the battle against Blu-ray with extreme deals on players in the last few weeks, but apparently Warner Bros. didn't renew their Blu-ray license this past Wednesday. There has been talk by WB vice-president Dan Silverberg about adopting one format or the other going into this year's fourth quarter, but as of Wednesday there had been no publicly announced decision made. With WB not renewing the $40000 license, it seems they have chosen HD DVD.
The editor over at hi-def.com has put together a list of why WB would probably chose HD DVD over Blu-ray and it's quite convincing. Here it is:
1. WB has consistently put more support behind HD-DVD than Blu-Ray. Batman Begins and V for Vendetta are perfect examples of titles released on HD-DVD months before Blu-Ray. The Matrix is still ONLY available on HD-DVD because the Blu-Ray player profiles did not have mandatory support the advanced features of PiP and True HD. These features are mandatory on ALL HD-DVD stand-alone players.
2. Cost of Manufacturing - Blu-Ray yields are bad. Apparently 2 or 3 of 10 are good. The cost per disk is also high. Blu-Ray is over 5.00 per disk vs 1.00 to 1.50 for HD-DVD.
3. Cost of implementing interactive features such as PiP (overlay for commentary or tech specs/GPS like Miami Vice or Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift) and Web Interactivity is much cheaper. To program these features for Blu-Ray one must use a programmer who MUST write near a hundred lines or more of code. To implement HDi which is similar to HTML, one does not need to be a programmer which means less cost per disk.
4. Incompatibilities - Many early adopters of Blu-Ray will have issues with playback in the future due to Blu-Ray hardware being very different from manufacture to manufacture because the specs were not mandatory till TODAY. New players that are released after today will probably be ok but old players could see unexpected problems. Beware..
5. HD-DVD Player Price - We all know that player prices are dropping like crazy. Tomorrow the A2 can be had for 98.00 and you can buy the A2 from Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City and Walmart (starting Saturday) for under 200.00. LOW PRICES is ALWAYS the beginning of mass adoption and with most consumers not taking full advantage of their HDTV's, these cheap players are the perfect opportunity to acquire the latest and greatest for cheap.
6. WB has already said that Home Players sales are the sales that REALLY matter and that PS3 title sales cannot be predicted because you do not know how many PS3 owners will buy movies. When someone purchases an Toshiba HD-DVD or 360 HD-DVD Player you know those consumers WILL buy movies or they would NOT have made the purchase at all. The PS3 is a game machine first then Blu-Ray Player second. For Blu-Ray to make a huge dent with PS3 consumers would need to purchase more than one (PS3) or you will have people fighting over watching movies or playing games (in many households, not all). Nielson and other stat trackers do not count the PS3 as part of the Home Player sales.
Now, everyone is locked on the 2 to 1 software lead Blu-Ray has over HD-DVD. This means nothing when the format is FAR more expensive to produce content for and with the PS3 the Blu-Ray camps has like a 10+ to 1 hardware lead when it comes to players. With such a large hardware lead their lead should be much more but it is NOT as the PS3 is not really producing the numbers these studios expected. In fact, if it were not for the PS3, Blu-Ray would be dead ALREADY!
TVSnob we'll update you on this when we know more.
We know here at TVSnob that there are alot of Futurama fans that read our blog, so we thought we'd feature the Bender's Big Score trailer. Look for it to be released November 27 on DVD. Also to look forward to on November 27 is a Futurama feature article in Wired magazine.
It looks as if Blockbuster will soon be going under. After the company's third quarter results were released Thursday which revealed a 5.7% revenue loss and a net loss of $35 million, Blockbuster chairman conceded that the battle with Netflix is over. He feels that the huge focus on competing with online vendor Netflix did more damage than good and rather than focus on Total Access membership which includes their online distribution service, the company would focus once again at total memberships.
This basically means that sooner or later, barring something drastic, the movie retailer will go under. There is no reason for consumers to flock back to brick-and-mortar stores with the ease of Netflix accessable from their homes and with Blockbuster closing down 526 stores in the past year and layoffs coming up to offset $45 million overhead costs, the proof seems to be staring us right in the face.
Polaroid Japan, of camera fame, is set to sell a 20 inch LCD HDTV, the FLJ - 2036B, featuring HDMI, analog and digital tuners, and a 1366x728 pixel resolution. It also features a 700:1 contrast ratio, 16:9 aspect ratio, a panel response rate of 8 ms and a horribly ugly body design. Polaroid thinks it looks nice though, claiming owners will have the "luxury of a black body". Whatever that means, but I did have the Polaroid Japan site translated from Japanese! One upside of the FLJ-2036B is the price: the equivalent of $435 US. Slated for release early this month, expect it to be sold solely in Japan.
I don't know how many Oprah Winfrey fans actually read this blog, but I'm sure there is a few. That few may like to know that the talkshow superstar has launched her own channel on YouTube. The Oprah Show will feature some of the best clips from the televised talkshow, but the majority of the content will center around backstage footage not typically seen on TV.
Winfrey says that the purpose of the online channel is to increase community engagement in the talkshow by utilizing the already huge YouTube community with the ultimate goal of interest in the show increasing. Also, November 6, The Oprah Winfrey Show will be featuring YouTube creators Chad Hurley and Steve Chen along with some of the self-made YouTube superstars of the past couple of years.
Got some time to kill? Maybe on the bus home from work or school? Try out mobiVJ, a service from mobiTV that allows you to view a variety of music stations on either your LG Trax or Motorola RAZR V3xx cell phone. The mobiVJ service, available through AT&T features stations such as The Mic, V40, Shift, Chaos, Maxx Sports, and even Fashion TV.
Samsung announced yesterday that they have discovered how to make LCD panels from ordinary glass plates, dramatically slashing the cost of production. The big question for consumers is whether this cost-savings will translate into price reductions on Samsung LCD HDTV's.
LCD's are usually made with non-alkaline glass that is resistant to the high temperatures and chemicals used in the production process. The new discovery uses soda-lime glass and a much lower temperature meaning less risk of color change. This is the reasoning behind the use of high quality glass in the current production process.
Research company DisplaySearch estimates that the new production process would lower the average price of a 32 inch LCD display by 6%, not a huge difference in the consumer's pocket but definitely a huge competitive advantage for Samsung. The process won't be ready for use in mass production for 4-5 years, by which time OLED displays will play an important role in the HDTV market and offer a better picture quality, so it remains to see whether this is a big discovery or not.
Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV may hit the US before the end of the year! Engadget HD reported today that at a New York meeting of the Sony Club, Sony Electronic president Stan Glasgow reportedly said that "OLED could come [here] before the end of the year". Whether or not this happens depends on foreign demand and panel supply. With panel supply a little worrisome this holiday season, we're not sure yet whether this will happen, but it's definitely better than the original news: that the model would only be released in Japan this year.
Mitsubishi has designed a 2 meter tall, 7.5 meter diameter, 340 degree panoramic display. Built for a private customer the display boasts a pixel resolution of 27 million pixels (which only works out to 720p) and utilizes synchonized rear-projection displays in each of 17 panels. The system uses Texas Instruments Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology and the buying price is 150 million yen or about $1.3 million. Wow! Although the company won't reveal the customer or the intended use of the display, they hope to market it to museums as a virtual reality display or to be used for traffic simulations.
As promised, Wal-mart kicks off the holiday shopping season tomorrow with some incredible deals. The doors open at 8 AM to some great deals for TV fans out there. Although HD DVD broke the $200 mark with the Toshiba HD-A2 at Circuit City and Amazon.com just a week ago, it's old news already. Wal-mart will be selling the same model tomorrow for only $98.99 while supplies last. Stores will have a minimum of 10 players each but get there early as at a price like this, they'll be gone in minutes. Also featured is a Sanyo 50-inch plasma HDTV for only $998.00 and select HD DVD titles for $14.96, dirt cheap by HD DVD standards. Check out the deals for yourself here.
Update: Best Buy is matching Wal-mart's price on the HD-A2, but check out your local store as online stock is not surprisingly already sold out.
Pay only $99 today for the TiVo TCD649080 Series2 80-Hour Dual-Tuner Digital Video Recorder and have it shipped for free! That's huge savings. Regularly priced at $250, you're saving a full 60% off of the list price. The Series2 can record up to 80 hours of programming from 2 channels at once, and USB and ethernet ports allow you to transfer programming to your PC or stream photos and digital music to your TiVo. And if you miss something on a live broadcast of your favorite program, you can always pause, rewind, and replay live TV. Definitely a requirement for today's home theater at $99, you don't have an excuse not to make TiVo your latest addition!
The maker of the AnyDVD software, Slysoft, claims to have broken the BD+ advanced copy protection found on Blu-ray discs. Sony said earlier this year that the protection should be good for ten years, but CEO Giancarlo Bettini of Slysoft says that the BD+ hack software should be available from his company by the end of the year. Also notable is the Bettini pointed out that the more restrictions and protections put on software, the lower the sales. But then again, Blu-ray's blowing HD DVD out of the water anyway!
Check out the Extreme hot tub from Coast Spas, featuring a 17 inch LCD TV, Sony stereo sound system, DVD player and 8 seats for you and all of your friends. Also has LED headrests, towel warmers, and funky underwater lights. And it only costs a whopping $16000! Black Friday at Coast Spas anyone?