November 30, 2008
Online retailers are gearing up for what is traditionally the busiest online traffic day of the year tomorrow: Cyber Monday. Compared to the hustle-bustle and long lineups found on Black Friday, Cyber Monday requires nothing more than a little internet searching, a few keypad entries and the odd click of the mouse. Here's a look at some of the hottest online deals to expect tomorrow and where to find them:
What's on tap for tomorrow is an unknown at the moment, but it looks like Black Friday-like deals continue.
Unfortunately there is no Playstation 3 games available, but you can put together various bundles from your choice of 63 Nintendo Wii games, 21 Xbox 360 games, and a variety of Nintendo DS and Playstation 2 games. Here's the prices:
- Two GBA games for $15
- Two Nintendo DS games for $20
- Two Nintendo DS games for $30
- Two PSP games for $20
- Two Wii games for $30
- Two Xbox 360 games for $30
- Two PS2 games (yes, PS2) for $30
- Three PS2 games for $20
You can actually head over to Best Buy's website today and get the same deals you'll find there tomorrow. Some of the highlights include:
- 60-inch Mitsubishi WD-60735 DLP TV--$999.99
- 42-inch Sharp LC42SB45U LCD TV--$799.99
- LG BD300 Blu-ray player--$279.99
- Harmon Kardon 5.1-channel home theater--$299.99
- 46-inch Samsung LN46A500 LCD TV--$1099.99
- 46-inch Sony KDL46Z4100 LCD TV--$1499.99
These are all doorbuster deals with starting bids of $1:
- 2009 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Coupe
- Panasonic 1080p 65" plasma TV
- LG HDTV titanium refrigerator/freezer unit
(Image Credit: jessica.hawkins11)
November 30, 2008
Black Friday has come and gone, and despite concerns that retailers would face lower sales this year (some surely did) the overall numbers look good. Online traffic increased 11% from Black Friday 2007 according to research firm Pricegrabber.com. And overall revenues totaled $10.6 billion this year, a 3% increase over 2007.
Consumer electronics deals drove tons of people to purchase HDTV's and Blu-ray players online. In fact Blu-ray sales increased 147% from 2007 and Sony's BDP-S350 was the third most popular online product. While the HDTV market didn't see comparable growth, Samsung's LN52A650 LCD TV was the fourth most popular product online this year, followed by the Panasonic TH-42PX80U plasma in sixth.
November 29, 2008
Remember the Samsung 9 Series 55-inch LN55A950 I told you about way back in July? Home Theater Mag has put it to the test and they were impressed. So impressed that they recommended you not buy any other LCD HDTV. Well, unless you don't have $3700 to burn. Apparently this bad boy has black levels that rival Pioneer's plasma line, superb color reproduction and resolution, and crazy video processing. The only real downside--besides the price tag--was it's average off-angle viewing, something most of us don't care about too much. If you have $4000 to spare, and a penchant for LCD, the Samsung LN55A950 should be a serious consideration in your HDTV shopping list.
Samsung 55-inch LN55A950--$3696 at Amazon
November 29, 2008
JVC seems to be taking a hint from Apple and will be releasing a white version of their flagship DLA-HD750 1080p projector on December 25. The DLA-HD750-W Limited Edition has similar specs to its black-colored sibling including three D-ILA devices, 50000:1 contrast ratio, HQV Reon-VX video processing, 2x motorized zoom lens, 1080p resolution, 900 ANSI lumens of brightness and more. Of course, it's likely a white projector could have some problems with light reflection. Hence the Limited Edition. You'll be able to get your hands on one of 200 units being manufactured in Japan, priced at 756,000 yen (US$8,035).
November 29, 2008
Think you're watching high-definition television? Maybe you're wrong. A survey of 1302 United States households, conducted by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), has revealed that 18% of us think we're watching high-def when we really watching standard-definition.
According to PC World, and TVSnob seconds this, this is no surprise. Confusing HDTV specifications spit out by manufacturers, poor rollout of HD services by cable providers, and lackluster retail salespeople are all contributing to the problem. In fact, not too long ago a different study was conducted that found a large number of TV retailers employ salespeople that don't really understand what they're selling.
I think that the digital TV transition, just a few months away, has helped clarify the situation somewhat. I'm sure 6 months ago, the number of people watching SDTV thinking they were watching HDTV was much higher. I also wonder if this has had any affect on poor Blu-ray sales. Sure high pricing--which is finally coming down--probably plays the biggest part, but if potential buyers are so clueless as to what they're buying, why would they buy it?
If I was a marketer for Sony or any other Blu-ray manufacturer, I'd be all over this. What better way to educate the general public in the SD/HD difference than a good Blu-ray flick?
(Image Credit: vnoel)
November 27, 2008
Head over to Newegg.com and you'll be able to get your hands on an LG combo drive that plays back Blu-ray, HD DVD, and DVD's on your computer. At only $95 you'd be crazy to pass it up, even though it only burns DVD's.
Vudu has been extremely busy lately, rolling out a new high-end set-top box, HDX format, and even some great Black Friday deals. Now the company has announced the integration of Youtube video viewing, Flickr and Picasa photo viewing, and a couple of games--like Solitaire--into the Vudu platform. Format War Central has tried it out and says that the Youtube viewing is better than the Apple TV or the newest TiVo models.
Via Engadget HD
Xbox Live Marketplace is having a Black Friday sale of its own starting tomorrow and running through Monday. Titles formerly costing 800 points like Rez HD will cost only 500 points and plenty of cool titles are available for less than that. Plus there is additional downloadable content available for Guitar Hero 3, Forza, and Rock Band. Check out the full list of deals below:
Xbox Live Arcade Games
- Rez HD - 500 Microsoft Points
- Arkadian Warriors - 500 Microsoft Points
- Assault Heroes - 400 Microsoft Points
- Catan - 500 Microsoft Points
- Brain Challenge - 500 Microsoft Points
- Boogie Bunnies - 500 Microsoft Points
- Golf: Tee It Up! - 500 Microsoft Points
- GH3 Metallica "Death Magnetic" Full Album - 1000 Microsoft Points
- Forza - March Car Pack - 400 Microsoft Points
- Crackdown - Getting Busy Bonus Pack - 500 Microsoft Points
- Rock Band All That Remains Pack 01 - 290 Microsoft Points
- Lips - The Remedy (Jason Mraz) - 100 Microsoft Points
- Gears of War 2 - Last Day - 180 Microsoft Points
- Sonic Unleashed - 180 Microsoft Points
- Castle Crashers Premium - 180 Microsoft Points
HDTV manufacturer Vizio has a simple motto: "Where Vision Meets Value". Perfect words to comfort TVSnobs in an economic downturn, and perfect for those looking for hot buy's tomorrow, Black Friday. Yesterday Vizio announced that they'll be slashing HDTV's prices starting tomorrow and extending the savings into the holiday season. The company probably makes the best quality HDTV you can get for your dollar, so here's where you have to go to find the deals:
- VIZIO 19" HD LCD HDTV (VA19) $199.99 at Costco locations nationwide
through 12/7/08 with Member Only MVM Coupon
- VIZIO 32" Plasma HDTV (VP322) $437.00 at Walmart effective Wednesday,
11/26/08 -- new everyday low value
- VIZIO 37" HD LCD HDTV (VW37) $499.99 at Costco locations Black Friday
weekend while supplies last Friday-Sunday, 11/28-30/08
- VIZIO 32" Full HD 1080p LCD HDTV (VOJ32LF) $559.99 at Sears stores
nationwide thru Sunday, 11/30/08
- VIZIO 42" Full HD 1080p LCD HDTV (VS420) $698.00 at Sam's Club
locations nationwide now while supplies last for the Holidays.
Amazon has a variety of Black Friday electronics deals available already! Here's some of the highlights:
Sharp Aquos LC42D64U 42-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV
--$999.98 with free shipping ($500 savings)
Sony BDP-S350 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player--$214.96 with free shipping ($85 savings)
Sling Media Slingbox SOLO (SB260-100)--$134.99 with free shipping ($45 savings)
Epson PowerLite 77c 2200 Lumen Multimedia Projector--$499.99 ($300 savings)
Sony STRDG720 7.1 Audio Video Receiver - Black--$199.98 with free shipping ($200 savings)
HAVA Platinum HD TV Device--$89.99 with free shipping ($60 savings)
Sony HTCT100 Sound Bar with Sub-Woofer - Black--$199.99 with free shipping ($200 savings)
Samsung HT-X810 2.1 Channel Sound Bar Home Theater System--$499.99 with free shipping ($200 savings)
...plus a whole lot more at Amazon
November 26, 2008
Vudu, as promised, has unveiled the details of its Black Friday sale. The following titles will be available to own for only $4.99 each!
The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13 Rated)
The Chronicles of Riddick (Unrated Director's Cut)
Pitch Black (Unrated Director's Cut)
Unleashed (Unrated Director's Cut)
The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13 Rated)
The Chronicles of Riddick (Unrated Director's Cut)
Pitch Black (R-Rated)
Pitch Black (Unrated Director's Cut)
Unleashed (Unrated Director's Cut)
About a Boy
The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13 Rated)
The Chronicles of Riddick (Unrated Director's Cut)
End of Days
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Pitch Black (R-Rated)
Pitch Black (Unrated Director's Cut)
Unleashed (Unrated Director's Cut)
It's not the best choice of titles, but you'll save about $15 on each purchase.
Hitachi looks to be making an attempt to grab some high-end projector market share with their unveiling of the CP-X10000. With 7500 lumens of brightness, the 3LCD CP-X10000 sits in the professional projector range, and also features a 2500:1 contrast ratio, 10-bit digital video processor, ultra wide lens shift, and a handy 10000 hour filter. Its adjustable lens attachment allows for a variety of lenses and throw distances so it should work equally well in a giant theater or smaller conference room. And for a few extra points, Hitachi threw in closed captioning and an RS-232 network bridge. Unfortunately for interested parties, I can't find any pricing or availability information at this time.
November 25, 2008
Black Friday deals galore at Amazon! All week long! The Netflix-streaming Samsung BD-P2500 is $299.99 at Amazon, $100 off the regular price of $299. With Blockbuster's 2Wire MediaPoint STB release today, you need to support Netflix people!
Nintendo has chosen Black Friday as the day to release two limited edition DS bundles. The first, dubbed Mario Red Nintendo DS comes with a red-colored DS with Mario's 'M' logo emblazoned on it and a copy of New Super Mario Bros. The second, dubbed Ice Blue Nintendo DS, is not only blue but comes with a custom carrying case and copy of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day. I think I'd definitely be able to get some cognitive correction from the latter.
All joking aside, both bundles will be available this Black Friday, November 28, priced at $149.99.
TiVo lovers everywhere can now program the beloved DVR from their mobile phones. The company is launching a mobile website, usable on any carrier's network, from which any user can see TiVo's program listings. Only TiVo Series 2/3/HD owners will be able to control their program recording remotely though, which obviously makes sense. You'll find the site at m.tivo.com on your mobile phone currently, but still in beta, it's short a few features you'll see in a few weeks. Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile software already allows SlingBox owners to do this, but its unlikely they have the user base of TiVo. Oh, and by the way, stay tuned over the next few days for our full Slingbox PRO-HD review.
We've been waiting for Blockbuster's set-top box and it's finally here. Announced today, Blockbuster's 2Wire-manufactured MediaPoint STB is freely available for a limited time with the advance purchase of 25 movies, TV shows, foreign or classic films from Blockbuster On Demand (previously MovieLink). The package is priced at $99 and subsequent rentals will set you back $1.99.
The MediaPoint player doesn't require a Blockbuster subscription, supports HD via HDMI, and has both WiFi and Ethernet connections. It's a great move by Blockbuster, but competitor Netflix is way ahead. The company, with their Roku-branded media player, already has relationships with five set-top box manufacturers, and can stream on-demand content to select LG and Samsung Blu-ray players. We can't imagine Blockbuster will be able to close the gap anytime soon, if at all.
Via Home Media Magazine
November 23, 2008
Amazon is seriously cutting home theater gear prices with a full four days left until Black Friday. If you're more interested in avoiding the crowds than getting the absolute best deals, here's some great choices pre-Black Friday.
Samsung BD-P2500 Blu-ray player-$297 at Amazon, regular price $400
Sony STRDG820 7.1-channel A/V receiver-$222 at Amazon, regular price $500
Samsung HT-X810 Sound Bar-$548 at Amazon, regular price $700
Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E-$1000 at Amazon, regular price $1600
Former HD DVD supporter Onkyo has released their first Blu-ray player in Europe. The DV-BD606 boasts 1080p output at 24 frames per second, support for DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio codecs, Deep Color support, Bonus View for picture-in-picture, and an SD card slot for additional media playback. It'll also upscale standard-definition and DivX files and comes with a dedicated remote control. Available now in Europe, Onkyo's DV-BD606 comes in either solid black or black and silver color options for £399.99.
Onkyo via Pocket-Lint
November 22, 2008
Sony's VPL-HW10 uses the same SXRD technology formerly used by the company's rear projection HDTV line. While Sony cut out its RPTV line in favor of its popular BRAVIA LCD lineup, they still use SXRD in their front projectors.
Turns out they made a good choice, as a CNET review of the VPL-HW10 proved to be a good one. The VPL-HW10, with 1920 x 1080 resolution, produces deep blacks, good shadow detail, accurate color reproduction and sports tons of features. On the not so great side: slightly inaccurate red and green reproduction, manual controls, and a subpar 1000 ANSI lumen brightness level that doesn't cut it for larger screens.
Overall though, Sony's VPL-HW10 is the company's cheapest SXRD projector, and pulled off a strong enough showing to be deemed a "very good performer for the price, and therefore an excellent value."
Get the Sony VPL-HW10 at Amazon for $3265
VUDU is still battling hard through the economic downturn, earlier this week unveiling the XL2 HD media streamer. Not content to settle for the average home theater consumer, VUDU is sticking by its 'premium' strategy, pricing the XL2 at $1299. Just recently the company reached a milestone, expanding their HD content selection to 1100 titles, and claiming the "world's largest streaming HD library."
The XL2 is an aluminum rack-mountable unit designed for integration into most home theater setups. Features include a 1 TB HDD, IP and IR remote control input, routing/switching HD signals into 1080i output, and it can output its HDX and TruFilm streams at 1080p/24fps with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio.
In other VUDU news, I noticed on their forum this evening that the company will be featuring some sort of Black Friday promotion. Unfortunately it doesn't look to include sales on set-top boxes. The post reads:
Keep your eyes glued to your VUDU box because, starting next Tuesday, November 25th, VUDU will begin a limited time, Black Friday promotion featuring special pricing on select SD, HD and HDX Purchases! You read correctly, we will offer a handful of HD and HDX titles for purchase at very attractive prices. More details next week.
But hey, any sale is better than none.
November 21, 2008
BJ's Black Friday ad has been posted and if nothing else, the wholesale club is offering some half decent LCD TV deals that'll save you a few hundred dollars over online retailers. Here's some of the highlights:
Philips 42" 1080P LCD HDTV - $849.99
Samsung 32" LCD HDTV - $499.99
Samsung 46" 1080p LCD HDTV - $1099.99
Sharp AQUOS 52" 1080p LCD HDTV w/Coupon - $1399.99
Slyvania 22" LCD TV - $289.99
Sylvania 37" LCD HDTV - $599.99
Westinghouse 32" LCD HDTV - $449.99
Memorex Blu-ray Disc Player - $199.99
Walmart's Black Friday ad has hit the interwebs and despite the fact that deals this year look underwhelming in most stores, they actually have some good stuff. Keep in mind that Walmart opens at 5 AM and anything with a star is a doorbuster deal, so plan on getting there the evening before.
Emerson 32" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $388.00 *
Polaroid 42" Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV - $598.00 *
Samsung 32" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $498.00
Samsung 40" Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV - $798.00
Samsung 42" Widescreen Plasma HDTV - $698.00
Samsung 46" Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV - $1,098.00
Samsung 50" Widescreen Plasma HDTV w/ 2 HDMI Inputs - $798.00 *
Sansui 19" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $178.00 *
Nintendo Wii Video Game System - $249.24
Xbox 360 Arcade Bundle w/ Guitar Hero 3 Game & Guitar - $199.00 *
Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player - $198.00
Magnavox Blu-ray Disc Player - $128.00 *
While you won't be able to mount a DLP HDTV on your wall, $600 in cost savings may be a worthy sacrifice. According to HD Guru, his sources claim that Sunday, November 23, Samsung will be slashing the retail prices of its 2008 rear-projection sets up to $600! Sites such as Amazon already undercut retail prices by around $500, so if you're willing to forgo an LCD or plasma set of the same size you'll likely walk away with $1000 in your pocket.
Model/Size Lamp/LED New Price Old Price Savings
HL61A650/61" Lamp $1299.99 $1599.99 $300
HL61A750/61" LED $1699.99 $1899.99 $200
HL67A750/67" LED $1799.99 $2399.99 $600
HL72A650/72" Lamp $2199.99 $2799.99 $600
That's the new numbers according to the HD Guru. And just a hint: the 750 LED models are better; you'll never have to replace a lamp.
Via HD Guru
November 20, 2008
VIZIO is gearing up for the holiday season early, announcing a new 55-inch XVT LCD TV, 3 smaller models, a high definition soundbar and wireless subwoofer, and finally a 26-inch multimedia monitor for the gaming crowd.
The 55-inch XVT, model VF550XVT1A, features 1080p resolution, 120 Hz Smooth Motion Video, a 50000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 9 high-definition inputs (including 5 HDMI), and SRS Labs audio technology. It's 10-bit data input panel displays 1.7 billion colors, with a 5ms response time, and the XVT meets Energy Star's 3.0 specifications. Unfortunately you won't be able to get your hands on VIZIO's latest XVT until January 2009 when it'll retail for $1999.99.
The three smaller LCD HDTV's include the 19-inch VA19, 22-inch VA22, and 26-inch VA26. All three models feature a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, anti-reflective screen, and meet Energy Star 3.0 specs. The VA22 is VIZIO's smallest full 1080p LCD display, also boasting a 5000:1 contrast ratio. The three models are available now priced at $249, $349, and $449 respectively.
VIZIO's VSB210WS HD sound bar and wireless subwoofer, available in January 2009 for $349, has four 3-inch high efficiency mid/bass drivers, and a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter for each channel. The sound bar uses TruSound and TruVolume technology from SRS Labs. The subwoofer runs at 2.4 GHz, and has a 6.5-inch woofer that provides bass response.
For all the dirty details, hit the read link.
November 19, 2008
Amazon has a great pre-Black Friday deal on video games. If you purchase two titles from the qualifying list, you'll receive $25 off a future video game purchase. Add one more title and purchase three games and you'll receive $50 off a future purchase. This isn't one of those deals where all the qualifying titles are crap either; this list features the newest games out there!
According to CrunchGear, Wal-Mart will be selling a $128 Magnovox Blu-ray player come Black Friday on November 28. While the Crunch folks believe long line-ups and fist fights over the cheap Magnovox will signify impending mainstream success for the high-def format, I'm still not convinced. Nonetheless, it is a great deal.
Via CrunchGear (Image Credit: Cracker and Cheese)
November 17, 2008
A bunch more Black Friday ads have hit the interwebs and here's some of the highlights...
Sony Bravia L Series 32" HDTV - $599.99
Sony Blu-Ray Disc Player - $179.99
DVDs - 50% Off
Video Games - 30% Off
Samsung 23" HDTV/Monitor - $299.99
Westinghouse 26" Widescreen LCD HDTV - $299.00
Selected Video Games for Nintendo DS & Nintendo Wii - $11.00
Selected Video Games for Nintendo DS & Playstation 2 - $7.00
Selected Video Games for Nintendo DS, PS2 & Nintendo Wii - $15.00
Selected Video Games for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 - $30.00
Selected Video Games for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 - $39.00
Selected Video Games for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 - $49.00
Selected Video Games for PSP, Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PS3 - $20.00
Assorted DVD Movies (I am Legend, Notebook, Office Space, more) - $3.98
Assorted DVD Movies (Juno, 27 Dresses, Transformers, more) - $5.98
Assorted DVDs (Weeds, Hulk, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, more) - $8.98
Assorted DVD TV Box Sets (Office, 30 Rock, House, more) - $13.98
Disney DVDs (Cars, Nemo, Camp Rock, Enchanted, 5 more) - $11.88
DVD Movies (Kung Fu Panda, Iron Man, Indiana Jones) - $13.00
Free $10 Target Gift Card with $100 iTunes Card Purchase - $100.00
Free $5 Target Gift Card with $50 iTunes Card Purchase - $50.00
Today only, if you buy a qualifying Samsung HDTV from Amazon in combination with a Samsung BDP-1500 Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player, you'll receive $200 off the total price. Currently the BDP-1500 is priced at $204.47, so basically you'll be paying $4.47 for a great B-ray player. You won't find a deal much better than that!
Head To Amazon...
November 16, 2008
As I've promised you, we have a review of the Slingbox PRO HD, but first off we want to show you an unboxing just so you know what to expect. Thanks to Sling Media for their kindness in providing us with the Slingbox PRO HD and accompanying Slinglink TURBO.
The Slingbox PRO HD comes in a nice attractive black box,
that once opened reveals the Slingbox, an AC adapter, and a variety of connections including: 1 ethernet, 1 coaxial, 1 composite a/v, 1 stereo audio, 1 component video, 1 remote control IR, and 1-S-video.
Along with the Slingbox PRO HD came the Slinglink TURBO, which can network your entire home through electrical outlets. Coming with two separate boxes, the Slinglink TURBO comes in a box similar to the Slingbox PRO HD,
So I bet you thought I was going to give you a rundown regarding design, functionality, etc., etc.? I don't think so! You'll have to stay tuned until later this week when you'll get the full review.
Yes, that is right! Tonight Sears is having a pre-Black Friday sale from 6PM-9PM in store, and 6PM-6AM online. Some of the highlights include Panasonic's 42-inch TH-42PZ80U 1080p plasma for only $854.99, a Sharp AQUOS Blu-ray player for $161.99, and at least 10% off everything in-store. Run people, go there NOW!
That time has finally come again: the holiday season. And you can bet you'll find some sort of home theater-related product on your buying list. To make your life a little easier, we've looked back over 2008 and highlighted the products providing the best value for your money this holiday season.
Pioneer Elite Kuro PRO-111FD-undoubtedly the best performing plasma of the year, Pioneer's PRO-111FD is priced accordingly. A huge $4, 499, the PRO-111FD is suitable if you have cash to burn and are looking for nothing but the best.
Pioneer KURO PRO-111FD-$4499.00 at Amazon
Panasonic VIERA TH-50PZ850U-in terms of quality, Panasonic's 50-inch 850U isn't too far behind the PRO-111FD, but key here is its $2, 295 price tag will keep over $2000 in your pocket. Seems like a fair trade-off to me.
Panasonic VIERA TH-50PZ850U-$2295.00 at Amazon
Panasonic VIERA TH-50PZ800U-while it's black levels may be lighter than plasmas that cost more, Panasonic's TH-50PZ800U has a THX mode that improves the color accuracy and video processing enough to make up for it.
Panasonic VIERA TH-50PZ800U-$2050.95 at Amazon
Panasonic VIERA TH-42PX80U-if you're alright with sacrificing 1080p resolution for 720p, then the 42-inch PX80U probably provides the best quality/value for your buck in the marketplace right now.
Panasonic VIERA TH-42PX80U-$709.97 at Amazon
The LCD TV battle continues between Sony and Samsung. While some budget models, such as Vizio, provide great value for your money Sony and Samsung provide the best overall quality available.
Sony Bravia KDL-55XBR8-sporting the deepest black levels of any LCD TV on the market, and one of the best performing of the year along with its sibling XBR8 models, this 55-inch Bravia pairs high quality with a high price tag.
Sony Bravia KDL-55XBR8-$6999.00 at Amazon
Samsung LN52A650-not only do the A650's break the traditional model of black bezels with the Red Touch of Color, but they've been the among the most popular selling LCD TV's online since their release earlier this year. Why? Tons of features and excellent picture quality combined with a fair price.
Samsung LN52A650-$1928.99 at Amazon
Samsung LN46A550-take away the red bezel and lower the price a bit and you have Samsung's A550 series. The feature set isn't quite as extensive as Samsung's higher-end models, but the trade-off between price and quality is worth the sacrifice if you're working on a tight budget.
Vizio SV470XVT-Vizio is a brand name that pretty well guarantees great value for your dollar. In fact, last year while Samsung and Sony were asleep at the wheel Vizio was actually were the number one selling LCD TV in the United States. The 47-inch member of the XVT line is no exception, and while it obviously won't produce the dark blacks of more expensive models, it does produce an overall excellent picture quality with a 120 Hz refresh rate.
Vizio SV470XVT-$1370 at Amazon
Westinghouse VK-40F580D-granted we don't talk too much about Westinghouse home theater products around TVSnob, but the 40-inch VK-40F580D won our respect this year because only does it have perfectly respectable picture quality, but it has an integrated DVD player. All at a price point competitive with similarly sized LCD TV's with the same features sans DVD player.
Honestly, this editor is no longer sure about the long-term viability of the Blu-ray format. While prices are coming down in line with predictions made earlier this year (even a little more), most consumers seems perfectly happy with standard-definition DVD's or streaming. That said, I think it would be appropriate to think value-for-your-dollar if you're buying Blu-ray this year.
Sony's Playstation 3-while prices for standalone Blu-ray players are coming down now, and Profile 2.0 is beginning to change the game, the Playstation 3 still provides excellent value with Blu-ray playback and arguably the best gaming experience around.
Sony Playstation 3-$399.99 at Amazon
Panasonic DMP-BD35-of the standalone Blu-ray models, Panny's Profile 2.0 BD35 provides the best performance/value combination around. With excellent image quality and support for every audio codec, you can't go wrong with the DMP-BD35 if you're looking for a standalone model.
Panasonic DMP-BD35-$242.88 at Amazon
Panasonic DMP-BD55-it does perform slightly better than the DMP-BD35 for those with older receivers, but for most of us the cheaper model will do the trick.
Panasonic DMP-BD55-$320.67 at Amazon
Samsung BDP-S350-another Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player and a high-performing one at that, the only real downside to the BDP-S350 is that it doesn't support higher-end audio codecs like DTS-HD Master Audio. However, if you're looking for a cheap Blu-ray player, we'll bet you that very Blu-ray player that you won't find better deals this holiday season on any other.
Samsung BDP-S350-$244.96 at Amazon
LG BD300-there is only one reason why I'm convinced this is a great holiday buy. Aside from its Profile 2.0 capabilities, DTS-HD Master Audio support and good image quality of course. Why? Because it streams anything available on Netflix's Watch Now service. And remember, I've already dubbed Netflix Blu-ray's killer.
LG BD300-$322.99 at Amazon
Samsung's BDP2500/2550-personally I'm a bigger fan of the LG model, but I know if I don't include these Samsung models also capable of streaming Netflix flicks, the detail sticklers will call me on it. So here you have it, a couple more Netflix-streaming Blu-ray players.
Samsung BDP2500-$299.99 at Amazon
Samsung BDP2550-$489.99 at Amazon
It's not over yet folks. Stay tuned for the TVSnob 2008 Holiday Buying Guide for streaming products and other home theater peripherals!
Nearly a year after HD DVD officially kicked the bucket, Netflix has finally gone Blu-ray exclusive. Personally I think Netflix may one day be responsible for the death of Blu-ray as well, but as of December 15, 2008 HD DVD will go first. If you happen to still have any HD DVD's in your Queue, they'll be replaced by standard DVD's come the big day.
You're probably familiar with the name Honeywell although not in connection with HDTV's. Turns out that Honeywell has a 42-inch MT-HWJCT42B2AB Altura MLX LCD TV on the market that recently came under the eye of the CNET folks. As for the good? A relatively inexpensive $1064 MSRP, a 120 Hz refresh rate, and accurate primary colors. The bad? The cheap price tag accurately sums up the rest of the Altura's features including light blacks, inaccurate gamma, dejudder processing that doesn't turn off, poor off angle performance, etc., etc. Stay away from this one folks!
November 15, 2008
Stay tuned this weekend for some great things coming up. First off, TVSnob's 2008 Christmas Buying Guide will be hitting the site, highlighting the best home theater buy's of this holiday season. Second, Sling Media has been kind enough to provide us with a Slingbox Pro HD which we'll be eagerly reviewing.
(Image Credit: krisdecurtis)
Costco doesn't have a huge listing of product deals on Black Friday, but what they do offer are actually pretty reasonable deals compared to some of the things we've seen so far this year.
Sharp 32" 720p HDTV LCD - $499.99
Sharp 42" 1080p LCD HDTV - $200 Off
Sharp Aquos 52" 1080p LCD HDTV - $300 Off
Sharp Aquos 65" 1080p LCD HDTV - $300 Off
Skyline Tuscany TV Stand - $159.99
Vizio 37" 720p LCD HDTV - $100 Off
Samsung 23" Widescreen LCD Monitor - $259.99
Circuit City's Black Friday ad is out and while the deals aren't earth-shattering (doesn't seem to be a whole lot of those anywhere this year), you'll be able to save a hundred bucks here and there.
Element 18.5" Widescreen LCD HDTV (Model # FLX18511B) - $199.99 *
Element 37" Widescreen LCD HDTV (Model # FLX3711B) - $499.99
Mitsubishi 65" Home Theater 1080p DLP HDTV (Model # WD65735) - $1,199.99
Panasonic 42" Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV (Model # TH42PZ80U) - $899.99
Proscan 26" 720p LCD HDTV With Built In DVD Player - $399.99
Samsung 32" Widescreen 720p LCD HDTV (Model # LN32A300) - $499.99
Samsung 42" Widescreen 720p Plasma HDTV (Model # PN42A400) - $699.99 *
Samsung 46" Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV (Model # LN46A500) - $1,099.99 *
Samsung 50" Widescreen Plasma HDTV (Model # PN50A400) - $899.99
Sens 22" Widescreen 720p LCD HDTV / DVD Player Combo (Model # S2201DVD) - $299.99
Sharp 52" 1080p LCD HDTV (Model # LC52SB55U) - $1,499.99
Sony 40" 1080p LCD HDTV & Sony Blu-Ray Player Bundle (Model # KDL40V4100 and BDPS350) - $1,199.98
Sony 40" Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV (Model # KDL40S4100) - $899.99
Sony 46" 1080p LCD HDTV & Sony Blu-ray Player Bundle (Model # KDL46V4100 and BDPS350) - $1,499.98
Toshiba 32" Widescreen LCD HDTV (Model # 32AV500U) - $449.99 *
Element 5.25" 2-Way Dynamic Bookshelf Speakers - $19.99
Element Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speaker System - $79.99
Onkyo 5.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - $139.99
Onkyo 7.1 Channel Home Theater System - $399.99
Onkyo 7.1 Home Theater Receiver w/ Energy 5.1 Speaker System - $599.99
Samsung HT-Z310 5.1 Dolby and DTS Home Theater System - $149.99
Sherwood 200-Watt Stereo Receiver with Remote - $69.99
Sony STR-DG720 7.1 Dolby and DTS Home Theater Receiver - $199.99
Blu-ray & DVD
Samsung 1080p Upconverting DVD Player - $49.99
Samsung Blu-Ray Disc Player BDP1500 - $199.99
Sens 8" Portable DVD Player w/ Travel Kit & Case - $79.99
Sony High Resolution 8" Portable DVD Player - $149.99
Sony Progressive Scan DVD Player - $37.99
There's also a huge variety of Blu-ray discs, DVD's, and video games for virtually every system.
November 13, 2008
Best Buy's Black Friday ad has leaked. Here's of the TVSnob related deals...
60" Class 1080P DLP HDTV - $999.99
Dynex 19" Class 720P LCD HDTV - $199.99
Dynex 32" 720p LCD HDTV - $399.99
Dynex 42" 720P Plasma HDTV - $599.99
Insignia 47" 1080P LCD HDTV - $999.99
LG 32" Class 1080P LCD HDTV Includes Geek Squad TV & Video Setup - $699.98
LG 42" 1080P 120Hz LCD HDTV - $1299.98
LG 47" Class 1080P 120Hz LCD HDTV - $1499.98
Panasonic Viera 50" 720p Plasma HDTV - $899.99 *
Samsung 40" Class 1080P LCD HDTV - $799.99
Samsung 42" 720p Plasma HDTV - $699.99
Samsung 46" Class 1080P LCD HDTV - $1099.99
Samsung Class 720P LCD HDTV - $499.99
Sharp 22" 720P LCD HDTV With Built-in DVD Player - $349.99
Home Theater A/V
Init Black Metal Stand For TVs Up To 50" and 300 Lbs - $149.99
Init Dark Cherry 3-in-1 Stand - $249.99
Klipsch Exclude Icon V Series Triple 5.25" Floor Speaker (Single) - $299.99
Klipsch Exclude Icon V Series Triple 6.5" Floor Speaker (Single) - $374.99
Polk Audio 100-Watt 10" Subwoofer - $99.99
Polk Audio 5.25" Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - $49.98
Pinnacle PCTV HD Mini Stick - $59.99
Sony 3.1-Channel Surround Soundbar With Subwoofer - $199.99
Sony 5-Disc 1080P Upconvert DVD Home Theater System - $359.99
Sony 7.1-Channel 735-Watt Home Theater Receiver - $199.99
Insignia Blu-Ray Disc Player - $249.99
Samsung 1080P Upconvert DVD Player - $49.99
Samsung Blu-Ray Player - $199.99
Transformers Blu-Ray Disc - $9.99
Sony Blu-ray Disc Player - $249.99
Samsung 5.1-Channel Home Theater System With Built-in Blu-Ray Player - $599.99
LG Internal Blu-ray DVD+/-RW Drive - $99.99
AMF Bowling Pinbusters for Nintendo Wii - $9.99
Disney Princess Enchanted Journey for Nintendo Wii - $9.99
Game Party for Nintendo Wii - $9.99
Guitar Hero Game for Nintendo Wii - $24.99
Hannah Montana Spotlight for Playstation 2 - $9.99
Imagine Figure Skater for Nintendo DS - $9.99
Nintendo DS Special Edition Ice Blue w/Brain Age Game - $149.99
Nintendo DS Special Edition Red w/New Super Mario Brothers Game - $149.99
Saints Row for XBox 360 - $9.99
Sonic Rivals for Sony PSP - $9.99
Sony Playstation 3 80GB Package w/Ratchet and Clank Future Game + Casino Royale Blu-ray - $399.99 *
The Simpsons Game for XBox 360 - $9.99
Transformers for Playstation 2 - $9.99
Wonder World Amusement Park for Nintendo Wii - $9.99
XBox 360 60GB Console w/4 Games (Lego Indiana Jones, Kung Fu Panda, NBA 2K9, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground) - $299.99
3M has literally brought digital projection into the palm of the hand, launching the MPro110. About the size of a digital camera and weighing under a pound, the MPro110 can connect to any device with video pass-through (like a laptop) projecting a VGA image up to 50-inches. The unit uses an LCOS electronic imager, and 3M optics technology, has a quiet and long-lasting LED light source, and is the only handheld on the market with an integrated VGA input. Available at most major online retailers, 3M's MPro110 costs $359.
Everyone is waiting for the Best Buy ad, but we had hopes that Radio Shack would have something to offer as well. Not to much for TVSnob's actually.
AOC 32" 720P LCD HDTV - $399.99
AOC Envision 19" 720P LCD HDTV - $249.99
Home Theater A/V
Samsung Bluray Player - $199.99
Sherwood RX-4109 Stereo Receiver - $59.99
DuelShock PS3 Wireless Controller - $29.99
Gigaware Xbox 360 Battery Pack - $9.99
Recharge Station for Wii - $19.99
Xbox 360 Bundle w/ Controller, Headset, A/V Cable - $249.99 AR
November 11, 2008
Here's the Black Friday ads that have leaked so far. Anything with a star is a doorbuster, so you'll have to hurry. But discriminate. Many of these deals aren't what I'd call deals as you can find them at many an online retailer for less right now.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)
Samsung 42" PN42A400 720p Plasma HDTV - $699.00
Sharp 32" LC32SB24U 720p LCD HDTV - $499.00
Sharp Aquos 52" LC52D64U 1080p LCD HDTV - $1399.00
XBox 360 60GB Console w/Lego Indiana Jones, Kung Fu Panda, and Gears of War - $299.95
Sharp BDHP21U Blu-Ray DVD Player - $189.00
Pinnacle TV Stand For LCD TVs Up To 50" - $174.99
Powell TV Stand w/Glass Shelves - $39.97
Sharp 42" 1080p LCD HDTV - $779.00
Sony BDP-S350 Blu-Ray Disc Player - $249.99
Sony HDX275 Home Theater System - $229.99
XBox 360 Arcade Holiday Bundle w/Rock Band 2 Game - $199.00
Element 32" LCD HDTV - $399.99
Memorex 26" LCD HDTV/DVD Combo - $399.99
Samsung 42" PN42A400 720p Plasma HDTV - $699.99
Sylvania 20 in. Class Diagonal LCD DTV/DVD Combo - $249.99
Sony Blu-Ray BDP-S350 Disc Player - $179.99
3:10 To Yuma - $3.99
9 to 5 - $3.99
Fantastic 4 - $3.99
Flicka - $3.99
Marine - $3.99
Shrek 2 - $3.99
Various DVDs - $5.99-$7.99
2 Pack Wii Games - $16.99
3 Pack PS2 Games - $9.99
Animal Crossing Wii - $49.99
Guitar Hero III Bundle PS3 - $54.99
Guitar Hero III Bundle Wii - $54.99
Guitar Hero III Bundle Xbox 360 - $54.99
Limited Edition Ratchet & Clank PSP Bundle - $199.99
Mario Kart Wii - $49.99
Mario Super Smash Bros Wii - $49.99
Nintendo Wii - $249.99
PSP System - $169.99
Super Mario Galaxy Wii - $49.99
Wii Music - $49.99
Wii Play - $49.99
Element 37" LCD HDTV - $599.99
Panasonic 37" Full HD LCD TV - $749.99
Panasonic 42" 720P Plasma HDTV - $699.99 *
Proscan 32" LCD HDTV - $499.99 *
Samsung 19" LCD HDTV - $299.99 *
Samsung 32" LN32A300 LCD HDTV - $499.99
Samsung 40" 1080P LCD HDTV - $799.99 *
Samsung 46" 1080P LCD HDTV - $1099.99 *
Samsung 46" 1080p LN46A530 LCD HDTV - $1199.99
Samsung 50" 720p PN50A400 Plasma HDTV - $899.99
Samsung 52" 1080p 120Hz LN52A650 LCD HDTV - $2099.99
Sharp 26" LCD HDTV - $399.99 *
Sharp 46" Class Full HD 1080P LCD HDTV - $899.99 *
Sony Bravia S-Series 40" 1080p LCD HDTV - $999.99
Sony Bravia S-Series 46" 1080p LCD HDTV - $1299.99
Sony Bravia V-Series 40" 1080p LCD HDTV - $1099.99
Sony Bravia V-Series 52" 1080p LCD HDTV - $1799.99
Sony Bravia W Series 52" 1080P LCD HDTV - $1999.99 *
Sylvania 42" Class 1080P LCD HDTV - $699.99 *
Toshiba 40" 1080p 40RV525U LCD HDTV - $849.99
Vizio 26" LCD HDTV - $379.99
Vizio 37" 1080p Full HD LCD TV - $699.99
Vizio 42 in. XVT Series 1080p LCD HDTV - $999.99
Buy Any XBox 360 System And Get A Free XBox 360 Wireless Controller - $0.00
Guitar Hero On Tour Decades Bundle For Nintendo DS - $49.99
Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar Bundle For PS2 - $89.99
Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar Bundle For PS3 - $99.99
Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar Bundle For Wii - $99.99
Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar Bundle For Xbox 360 - $99.99
Gutar Hero III Bundle For PS3 - $54.99 *
Gutar Hero III Bundle For Wii - $54.99 *
Gutar Hero III Bundle For Xbox 360 - $54.99 *
Nintendo DS - $129.99
Nintendo DS Car Adapter - $9.99
Nintendo DS Figure Skater - $9.99
Nintendo DS Folio - $9.99
Nintendo DS Kirby Super Star - $29.99
Nintendo DS Mario Party - $29.99
Nintendo DS Master Chef - $9.99
Nintendo DS New Super Mario - $34.99
Nintendo DS Pen Stylus w/Protector - $9.99
Nintendo DS Petz Hamsterz 2 - $9.99
Nintendo DS Pokemon Ranger - $29.99
Nintendo DS System Glove - $9.99
Nintendo DS Traveler NDS 125 Bag - $9.99
Nintendo DS Traveler NDS 300 Case - $9.99
Nintendo DS Traveler NDS 700 Case - $9.99
Nintendo DS Traveler NDS 801 Case - $9.99
Nintendo Wii All Star Cheer - $29.99
Nintendo Wii Animal Crossing - $49.99
Nintendo Wii Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader - $19.99
Nintendo Wii Music - $49.99
Nintendo Wii Play w/Remote - $49.99
Nintendo Wii Rayman Raving Rabbids - $49.99
Nintendo Wii SpongeBob SquarePants Globs Doom - $29.99
Playstation 3 80GB Console - $399.99
Playstation 3 Blu-Ray Remote - $24.99
Playstation 3 Component AV Cables - $19.99
Playstation 3 DualShock3 Controller - $54.99
Playstation 3 Fallout 3 - $59.99
Playstation 3 Little Big Planet - $59.99
Playstation 3 Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe - $59.99
Playstation 3 Resistance 2 - $59.99
Special Edition Mario Red or Ice Blue DS - $149.99 *
Value Video Games - 20% Off *
XBox 360 Call of Duty: World at War - $59.99
XBox 360 Fable 2 - $59.99
XBox 360 Gears of War 2 - $59.99
XBox 360 Pro 60GB Holiday Bundle - $299.99
XBox 360 Wireless Controller - $49.99
XBox 360 Wireless Network Adapter - $99.99
XBox 360 WWE 2009 - $59.99
Belkin HDMI Kit - $34.99
Logitech Harmony Remote - $59.99 w/32" TV Purchase
Memorex DVD Player - $14.99 *
Samsung 1000 Watt Home Theater System - $159.99 *
Samsung HT-BD2E Blu-ray Home Theater System - $599.99
Sony BDP-S350 Blu-Ray Disc Player - $179.99 *
Sony DAV-HDX275 1000-Watt 5-Disc Home Theater System w/1080p Upscaling HDMI DVD Player - $249.99
Sony DAV-HDX576WF 1000-Watt 5-Disc Home Theater System w/Wireless Rear Speaker - $349.99
Tech Craft 48" TV Stand - $149.99
Tech Craft 58" TV Stand - 50% Off
Venturer 10" Flat Panel LCD HDTV - $99.99 *
Toshiba's ZV series, consisting of the 'world's first upscaling TV's' are set to launch in the UK November 29. Using Revolution+ technology, a cell processor algorithm, the ZV series can upscale standard-definition content to near high-def. Set for release in 42- and 46-inch models, Toshiba's Regza ZV's will feature 1080p resolution with support for 24 frames per second, Active Vision M100 HD 100Hz image processing with 5:5 pulldown sequencing, 10 bit color processing, 30, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, an integrated digital tuner, and NICAM Stereo/SRS WOW audio support. The glossy-black, swivel-supported Regza's will retail for £899.99 and £1199.99 for the smaller and larger models respectively.
November 10, 2008
If you have a significant other that likes to watch TV late into the night, while all you want to do is sleep (or vice versa), feast your eyes on LG's upcoming Bluetooth-enabled 7000-series HDTV. It can pair with Bluetooth-compatible headphones, so the late night TV viewer, can enjoy their show in silence. Additionally, the 7000-series can apparently transfer images to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. Wow! Too bad they're only slated for release in Europe for now.
Not only has Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, but Blockbuster has finally decided now's the time to rush out a set-top box in time for the holiday rush. As you probably know, Blockbuster's bricks-and-mortar retail sales have been smashed by Netflix and others, and despite the fact the company purchased MovieLink specifically to compete it's just been sitting around. But apparently the company has decided to get a move on, distributing a set-top box that allows for movie downloads from its MovieLink service in time for Christmas. Once again Blockbuster is far behind; Netflix not only has its own Roku box, they've been busy signing content distribution partnerships with bigwigs like Apple and TiVo. Too little, too late Blockbuster?
November 9, 2008
Released just last month, Sharps AQUOS LC-46D85U has already passed under the ever-critical eye of CNET's David Katzmaier, and while it received 3/5 stars, the two stars it didn't receive were a result of picture quality issues. Oh no! Turns out some backlight issues cause banding, black levels are on the light side, and it lacks dejudder video processing. But on the upside, color reproduction is good after calibration, it has numerous picture controls, five HDMI inputs, it's energy efficient, and it looks damn good. It also boasts a dejudder-free 120Hz refresh rate, so while it may not create cinematic brilliance, it could be exactly what you're looking for this hockey season!
November 8, 2008
We're really having a tough time figuring out why companies insist on releasing Blu-ray players sans Profile 2.0, but it just keeps happening. Case in point is Pioneer's new LX01BD, the company's latest HD home theater system with Profile 1.1 Blu-ray playback. Aside from that faux pas, the LX01BD does features 1080p playback resolution, a couple of HDMI connections with Deep Color support, two combined front speakers and two rear speakers, an integrated 5.1 channel amplifier, and a subwoofer/receiver with dual-drive subs. Designed specifically for Pioneer's KURO plasma HDTV line, the LX01BD features KURO Link enabling full control of the system from the TV's remote. Now we just have to wait on pricing and availability details.
November 7, 2008
So maybe Sanyo's PLC-XTC50L projector, the industry's first with an "Auto Lamp Selection System" isn't as cool as a voice-guided projector. But the system, which selects one of two lamps to project from based on user preferences, preprogrammed settings, or if one doesn't work, does result in maintenance free lamps and a doubling of the lamp's lifespan to 6000 hours. That's double the typical lifespan of a commercial projection lamp although we have a feeling that lifespan is a combination of the two lamps rather than specific to one. Nonetheless, it is an industry first, and the PLC-XTC50L also features Active Maintenance filter, short and long throw lens options, vertical and horizontal lens shift and automatic keystone correction. It'll be available in the UK for £4995 + VAT in January 2009.
Says ABI Research,
The need for healthy holiday sales in a bear market, competitive pressure from movie download services, and media speculation about the future success of the Blu-ray format itself has resulted in falling Blu-ray player prices across a range of current and older models.
Take that into consideration and it's likely you'll be able to find some hot Blu-ray deals come Black Friday and the following holiday shopping season. Of course, a couple of companies have gotten wise to the threat of download services. LG and Samsung both have partnered with Netflix to provide downloadable Netflix content directly to some of their players.
November 5, 2008
NAD Electronics is offering up a T587 Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player featuring BD Live, BD Java, 1080p at 24 frames per second, HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color, and xvYCC Extended Color. The high-end model has a variety of other connections as well including ethernet, composite, component, coaxial, external IR, and a front-panel USB port. Of course it features the latest Dolby and DTS lossless audio codecs, and can upscale DVD's. Despite NAD's credentials, we wonder if dishing up a Blu-ray player for $1499 is a smart business decision. It's definitely not looking to appeal to the mainstream consumer, that's for sure.
Via CE Pro
November 4, 2008
Toshiba's TLP-X200U wireless 3LCD projector, the world's first with voice guidance, is now available with an MSRP of $1739 with a three-year standard limited warranty. The IEEE 802.11b/g wireless network-compatible projector is extremely portable, suitable for large venues and home theater use, weighing in a 4.4 pounds and standing only 3 inches high. With closed caption and multiscreen functionality, the TLP-X200U pumps out 1024 x 768 XGA resoltution, 3000 ANSI lumens, and 600:1 contrast ratio, features automatic vertical keystone correction, amongst a variety of other handy features. Its connection options are impressive sporting a variety of RGB inputs and outputs, HDMI, composite and S-video inputs, RS-232 and USB ports, and both audio and video outputs.
November 3, 2008
It's big and it's expensive, but Samsung's 63-inch PN63A769 is stylish and has tons of features. It effectively reproduces primary colors and has a smooth dejudder mode, plus sports networking specs including interactive news, stock tickers, and even weather feeds. Unfortunately it falls short with its relatively light black levels, inaccurate grayscale, and a smooth mode that results in artifacts and doesn't work with 1080p sources. But despite it's flaws it still earned a 3.5/5 from the tough as nails reviewers over at CNET.
Got a Roku? Sometime before the end of 2008 Netflix will offer high-definition movie streaming to Roku owners via a free, automatic upgrade. According to Netflix, video will be streamed using something called "advanced profiles" encoding which will enable movies to hit your screen in high-def even though it'll make its way there at a relatively low bitrate. Don't expect a lot of HD content when it launches, but the Roku box is only $99 and will also be opening up to other content providers soon.
Via Business of Online Video
One of the big reasons the Apple TV's and Vudu's of the world are popular only among a small segment of home theater enthusiasts is they remain difficult to use. For the average home theater user anyway.
Today, Western Digital, known for producing storage products, is launching the WD TV HD Media Player. Rather than hooking your computer to your HDTV and streaming video and other multimedia files, it's a standalone box that accepts content from a separate Western Digital MyPassport portable backup drive.
The media player has two USB ports that will also connect to flash drives and flip video players, and connects to your HDTV via an HDMI cable. And it can playback virtually any type of multimedia file including most picture formats and H.264, DivX, and MPEG-2 video in 1080p resolution.
Nice and simple to use, the Western Digital TV HD Media Player costs $129, but compatible storage devices are sold separately.
November 2, 2008
Deal of the Day
Digital TV Transition 2009
Home Theater A/V
How to buy an HDTV
PVR & DVR