You should know by now that analog signals will be shut off February 17, 2009. We've been harping on it over the past year and tried to make everyone well aware that coupons were available to save you $40 off your converter box purchase if you happened to need one. However, if you haven't already applied for a coupon you may be out of luck. The government program in charge of doling out the coupons was originally allotted $1.34 billion, but the fund is set to run out in early January. This means that Congress will need to release additional funds or late coupon redeemers might not get their money back. We'll have to see what happens, but in the meantime you can check out our digital TV transition guide and see some alternative options.
If LG Electronics plans to blow everyone away at CES, this Trumotion 480 Hz LCD TV might just be the product to do it. At the beginning of 2008 120 Hz sets were impressive, nevermind 240 Hz panels, but 480 Hz? Wow. LG claims that its 'scanning backlight' can turn on and off quickly enough to enable the fast refresh rate complemented by a 4 ms response time. Other than what we have here, we won't find out any more details until CES, but expect LG's Trumotion 480 Hz LCD TV to be available for purchase in the second half of 2009.
In 2008 select LG Blu-ray players received streaming Netflix capabilities. LG, not content to rest on its laurels, has now partnered with YouTube and CinemaNow which will both stream to networked LG Blu-ray players that'll will be launched at CES in just over a week. CinemaNow content will include 14, 000 titles from major studios and television as well as a handful of independent titles and music videos. YouTube, as I'm sure you know, will allow you to access its database of millions of both premium and user-generated videos. LG's 2009 Blu-ray players will also be able to access streaming video from Netflix's growing library. Check out the release after the jump.
CES 2009 is just around the corner--or turn of the calendar--and LG is going all out bringing the LH95 to Las Vegas. The LCD set is supposedly under 1-inch thick thanks to its use of LED backlighting and features a 240 Hz refresh and an unlikely 2, 000, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Other than those details LG has been mum on the specs, but more than anything I'd like to know what the LH95 is going to cost.
SlySoft has once again updated its AnyDVD HD software to version 184.108.40.206 which "decrypts copy protection on all current Blu-ray movies." Starting in 2009 SlySoft will be moving to a subscription-based update model so if you buy in the next couple of days you'll save yourself a nice 20%.
Yet another unknown--sorta--Blu-ray manufacturer has come out of the woodwork in China. Hualu, better known as China Hualu Panasonic AVC Networks, has released 3 Blu-ray players in the country. The 3 players are the BDP0801, BDP0810 and BDP0821 priced at the equivalent of US$292, US$336, and US$365 respectively. The first two models are apparently entry-level models while the BDP0821 is fully Profile 2.0 capable. China has been holding on to its own CBHD format based on HD DVD, but without any Hollywood support Blu-ray is slowing making inroads into the country though players are still very expensive compared to North American prices.
While Bush isn't exactly a name too many of us have heard before in connection with Blu-ray, online retailer Argos has the Bush BD01 Blu-ray player for £97.86--the UK's first sub-£100 B-ray. Don't expect anything high-end for such a price--this isn't a BD-Live player nor does it work in NTSC regions--but it will playback Blu-ray discs and for that the price is right. It'll even upscale standard DVD's to full HD via HDMI, so if you're in the UK it might be worth your cash.
Yes it's true--Mitsubishi still has a number of rear projection sets on retail shelves. This year Mitsub's offerings have been overshadowed by its LaserVue laser TV line becoming available, but the company's 65-inch WD-65835 Diamond RPTV recently came under review at Home Theater Mag and did pretty well. While it did have a few issues with video processing and resolution clarity at maximum HD output, it nullifies these problems with superb color, excellent contrast and crisp blacks--especially for an RPTV. That said, if you're looking for something a little bigger heading into the New Year, the WD-65835 Diamond looks to be a solid buy. It's currently in high demand at Amazon where it's priced at $2, 399--probably the cheapest you'll find it anywhere.
The struggling home theater brand Philips dropped its plasma line earlier this year and now Japan's Funai Electric is taking over the company's DVD and Blu-ray business in North America--starting next month. Reuters reports that the deal will increase Funai's North American sales to the tune of $322 million, but most of us won't notice the difference--Funai will work under the Philips label. Apparently the takeover will come in the form of royalty payments rather than a lump sum of cash or stock. Bye bye, Philips.
Way back when in the days of HD DVD, China rolled out its own high definition format called CBHD. Based on HD DVD technology, China's format was supposed to be one of its in-counrtry products meant to keep the rest of the world out. Except--no surprise here--it looks like that strategy is going to finally fail. Taiwan, the biggest outside supporter of CBHD, has decided to pull its support in favor of Blu-ray. Since China launched CBHD, the format hasn't gained support from any Hollywood studios resulting in few titles. Furthermore, players cost upwards of $400, more expensive than Blu-ray players with more features and more available titles. Looks like another HD disc format is about to kick the dust.
I've never really understood why Vudu doesn't do a better job of publicizing its deals. Sure enough, yet another Vudu deal has slipped under the radar. Currently Vudu has a couple of Christmas specials happening. The price of the $299 Vudu box has been cut to $99 plus you get $50 in movie credits bringing the total price to $149. The company also has a wireless bundle that comes with the above plus the Vudu wireless kit for a total of $198.
The Vudu box can instantly stream 1080p flicks and store up to 50 standard definition movies on its 250 GB hard drive. The wireless kit allows you to connect your Vudu box to your home network and HDTV using a pair of 802.11g wireless adapters eliminating cable clutter. Whether or not the Vudu sale extends beyond Christmas isn't mentioned.
Good news for Roku owners: the Netflix-branded box will now stream high-definition video from, you guessed it, Netflix. The video obviously has to be compressed pretty substantially to be delivered over a typical broadband connection, so I have no idea what the video quality is like. But I'm sure the jury will be out in full force in the next couple of days.
The $99 Roku box will automatically receive the update over the coming weeks adding several hundred HD titles to Netflix's substantial movies library of over 12, 000. In the first quarter of 2009, it's expected that we'll see a few more HD additions to the Roku library, definitely something to be excited about. Check out the press release after the jump.
For the past year almost every article I've read regarding the DTV transition slated for February 17, 2009 has been hugely negative. The latest, titled "In Move to Digital TV, Confusion Is in the Air", argues that the lead-up to the transition is going about as well as a Nascar crash. Research analysts believe that 35 million televisions without a digital converter box could be affected by DTV 2009--if you recall, over-the-air analog signals like those picked up by rabbit ears will be nixed. Consumer associations are also concerned that while 40 million converter box coupons have been requested, only 16 million have been redeemed. Far less than 35 million definitely, but I wonder how many people just decided to spring for a newer digital tuner-equipped set given the falling HDTV prices we've seen this year?
Whatever the case may be, Congress recently approved a plan to allow analog signals to remain for 30 extra days for the sole purpose of broadcasting educational messages to consumers. And many are worried about the political upheaval that will occur after the February 17 apocalyse. But is DTV 2009 really going that badly? It remains to be seen, but from an end-consumer standpoint I'm of the opinion that a mountain is being made out of a molehill.
If you still have questions about the digital TV transition, check out TVSnob's guide book which covers all the bases to get you ready.
If you're looking for a sub-$750 1080p LCD TV, the Vizio VOJ37 may be the way to go according to a CNET review. Though at 37-inches, 1080p resolution doesn't look much different than 720p unless the content is coming from a PC, the color accuracy and grayscale of the VOJ37 is among the best of any LCD TV its size. The Vizio also has plenty of picture controls so you can tweak the primary colors to your liking. It is a little light on the blacks compared to other sets of its size, but not really discernible unless doing a focused, side-by-side comparison.
Aside from the picture, the Vizio VOJ37 has plenty of connections including a PC input and 3 HDMI slots so you should easily be able to hook up all your home theater components to the set. And if you're looking for something a little different style-wise, this set actually has a brown-and-gold strip across the bottom--not for everyone but unique. In dark lighting the strip looks black anyway.
CNET gave the Vizio VOJ37 3.5 stars out of 5--a 'very good' rating. It's currently available at Amazon for $749.99.
The world's first Blu-ray/DVD hybrid disc has appeared in Japan. You don't have to flip the disc either; it works as if it was a truly single later. But it's not quite. The Blu-ray and DVD discs each have a permeable layer with a different thickness. The lasers are programmed to read at a certain depth depending on which type of disc you want to use so both discs basically function as one. This may not sound like much, but if you typically buy a movie title on both Blu-ray and DVD you could see the potential dollar savings here. Apparently it's available in Japan currently but I would expect a technology like this to make its way to North America sooner or later.
Now this is a promotion. Until January 31, 2009, purchase one of 21 Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV models and receive either a free BD-HP21U Aquos Blu-ray player or $300 off the higher-end BD-HP50U Aquos Blu-ray player. Nice! The following models are eligible for this kick-ass holiday bundle:
The 65-inch LC-65XS1U-S, LC-65SE94U and LC-65D64U; the 52-inch LC-52XS1U-S, LC-52SE94U, LC-52SE941U, LC-52SE941U-R, LC-52SE941U-G, LC-52D85U and LC-52D65U; the 46-inch LC-46SE94U, LC-46SE941U, LC-46SE941U-R, LC-46SE941U-G, LC-46D85U and LC-46D65U; the 42-inch LC-42D85U and LC-42D65U; and the 32-inch LC-32GP3U-B, LC-32GP3U-W and LC-32GP3U-R.
Compact projectors seem to be all the rage these days. The latest model, CV-MP01, is very similar to 3M's MPro110 when it comes to specs, but it's quite a bit smaller. With dimensions of 40 x 57 x 59mm and weighing 90 grams, this handheld really redefines portable. The CV-MP01 is an LCOS projector with an LED backlight with a 10000 hour lifespan, VGA resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Looks like you'll be heading to Japan if you want one though.
overall TV sales are predicted to decline by 4% in 2009
LCD revenues are predicted to drop by 24% globally with a 17% increase in shipments
North American LCD revenues will decline by 24%
flat panel factories in Asia are running at 80% capacity
What's this mean? DisplaySearch says that once the digital TV transition is done and over with, demand for HDTV's will decrease. Usually that means supply will increase and prices will drop. But manufacturers have a leg up already and with cuts in production it's unlikely HDTV's will get any cheaper next year. The research firm estimates that LCD sets 32-inches and smaller will likely stay the same, while 42-inch and larger sets could decrease slightly.
I'm excited to see that SlingPlayer Mobile for Blackberry smartphones will be launching in public beta December 30. First announced way back in January, the software will be available as a free download for the following Blackberry models: Bold, Curve 8900, 8820, Curve 8320, Pearl Flip 8220 and the Pearl 8120 running on OS 4.5. There will be versions available for the United States, Canada, and the UK.
If you're not familiar with SlingPlayer Mobile, it's a software download for your mobile phone that lets you stream video content from your at-home SlingBox to your phone over a 3G connection or Wi-Fi. There are rumors that SlingPlayer Mobile for Blackberry will work on an EDGE connection as well, but I wouldn't expect a great viewing experience over a slower connection.
As a self-professed Crackberry addict, I'll definitely be trying this out come the end of December.
Philips Prestigo SRT9320 universal remote control is nothing short of beautiful. At the top end is a 2.8-inch color touchscreen with all your channels, logos and all. On the bottom end is a variety of hard keys that control every function. The SRT9320 is fully programmable without connecting to a PC--it comes with a USB connect for firmware updates--though CNET reports its much easier to use the PC for "multidevice macros". The Prestigo can control up to 20 different devices so I can see how a computer connection might simplify things here. Available in the first quarter of 2009, Philips Prestigo SRT9320 will set you back $249.
I didn't think Ironman's record breaking Blu-ray release had a chance against The Dark Knight and it appears I was bang on. While Ironman managed 500, 000 Blu-ray disc sales in its first week, The Dark Knight easily smashed it with 1.7 million sales in its first week--including rental sales. Furthermore, with DVD sales attached the total disc sales reached an amazing 13.5 million! If you don't already know, BD-Live Blu-ray owners will be able to chat with The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan tomorrow thanks to good ol' Profile 2.0 interactivity. I'm not sure if there's a limited amount of space available though--if that's the case you're probably out of luck. With the Blu-ray disc and Special Edition DVD copies of The Dark Knight, a digital copy was included and in the first week 300, 000 downloads were completed. An impressive number sure, but also confirmation that tangible media is still alive and well.
You can still get your copy of The Dark Knight from Amazonin time for Christmas if you order now!
The folks from Audioholics took Samsung's PN50A760 for a test drive finding it very similar to its LCD counterpart, and the previous 750 generation. It has the same stylish Red Touch of Color border, swivel-mount, side and back HDMI inputs (totaling 4), and variety of other features. The only real downside to the PN50A760 is its roughly 100-pound mass which could cause a bit of a struggle if you're planning on wall-mounting the display. A couple minor issues include a bit of image reflection from the border and sluggish response to the remote control.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use out of the box solution, the PN50A760 looks to be a good one. With proper interlacing and scaling, plenty of calibration options, and great overall performance it's a plasma to be considered.
Samsung's PN50A760 50-inch plasma is available from Amazon.
Draper, better known for its projection screens, has debuted Fine Art for FlatScreens. Designed to conceal your HDTV screen when not in use, Fine Art for FlatScreens consists of 39 pre-made Jacquard Woven Tapestries to choose from. It also has a PictureWeave option that allows a custom tapestry to be created from a digital photograph.
The tapestry is mounted on a motorized roller and rolled up and down using either a switch hidden behind a fascia or using a wireless transmitter. The included side and front fascia's can be painted or covered with either vinyl wall covering or wallpaper. There is also a hardwood fascia option.
Fine Art for FlatScreens comes in a variety of sizes varying in price from $835 to $1317 for pre-made hard-wired or plug and play units. PictureWeave tapestries cost $1140 to $1494 depending on the size and whether the unit is hard-wired or plug and play.
ViewSonic has released the 24-inch VT2430 LCD HDTV just in time for Christmas. The company's latest model sports 1080p resolution, 16:9 widescreen, 10, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, an integrated ATSC / NTSC / QAM TV tuner, and a variety of connections including HDMI 1.3a.
Colored black, the VT2430 is compact enough to work nicely as a secondary television, whether it be for the bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen. It features a nice price tag too--only $399--though you may find it for cheaper at Amazon.
Jamo has announced the A 804 wall-mounted speaker today. A fairly thin 3.9 inches deep, the A 804 has a glossy black exterior composed of aluminum, steel, and a high-density polymer. Inside is a 0.75 inch silk-dome tweeter with Jamo's WaveGuide--sound control via tweeter faceplate design--as well as a 4.5 inch midrange and a pair of 4.5 inch woofers.
Jamo claims the A 804 also optimizes low frequency sounds with built-in flow-optimized dual bassreflex ports. The speakers can be mounted vertically or horizontally making them suitable for center, side, and rear use. Slated for release in January 2009, the A 804 costs $449 for a single speaker or $2, 245 for a 5.1 channel unit. Amps aren't included.
IP-based set-top box maker Vudu announced today the rollout of Vudu RIA (Rich Internet Applications), a standards-based platform that allows developers to bring web-hosted applications to the HDTV. While RIA won't officially be opened to 3rd party developers until the first half of 2009, Vudu owners will immediately be able to access YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and an on-demand TV area with upwards of 120 channels. Users will also be able to access web-based television content from National Geographic, Nova and more.
The company says RIA is aimed at low-power set-top boxes and has an 300 MHz embedded processor with 128 MB RAM.
Amazon has tons of deals on Blu-ray player, Blu-ray discs and DVD box sets right now. Rarely will you have to pay over $300 for a BD Live-capable Blu-ray player and in a lot of case you'll only pay roughly $200. Plus there is a deal on right now where you'll get a free Blu-ray disc with the purchase of 2 others. If you're really a hardcore fan, you can get the BluCube netting you 20 Blu-ray discs for $75.
Christmas is right around the corner and if you're planning on ordering anything online now is the time to do it. There is nothing more stressful than relying on holiday shipping to get your gifts under the tree on time. I'll be updating with more deals all weekend. Here's some of the hot deals Amazon is offering up today:
All of these deals come with either free shipping, a $5 Amazon MP3 giftcard or both.
As someone who owns a Nintendo Wii, I can honestly tell you that I never put my wrist through the safety strap on the remote, nor do have any rubber skin casing either. That's why companies like TV Armor (check out my review) are in business. They provide risk-takers like me a way to protect our all important HDTV displays. If you don't have a TV screen protector, consider getting one especially if you have a Wii. At the very least remember to use the remote's safety strap. Why am I telling you all this? Check out the video above and you'll understand.
When Denon's DVD-A1UDCI Blu-ray player launches next February with the tag "universal" attached to the product name it'll be no surprise. After all, Denon produces premium products. But when a value brand like Oppo Digital does the same thing, it's a pure marketing play. That will be the case when the company launches the Oppo BDP-83 "universal" Blu-ray player December 20. It'll playback BD-Live Blu-ray in 1080p/24Hz, DVD video, DVD-Audio, and SACD so I suppose it does have universal functions. But I sure hope we don't see universal tagged to every Blu-ray player on the market next year.
Anyway, it'll launch in limited quantities between December 20 and January 16, 2009 priced between $499 and $599. I'm not sure what the official release date will be, but even with 1 GB of internal memory, USB and ethernet connections in addition to the features above, the BDP-83 doesn't exactly scream value to me.
Sling Media's SlingPlayer software has a version 1.0.7 update available, that while minor, improves video quality says the company. I take it by 'video quality' the reference is in regard to the new easy-switch feature between 4:3 fullscreen, 16:9 widescreen, Windowbox, Letterbox, and Pillarbox modes and one-click ability to hide the player controls. Makes sense because the other changes have to do with a new online registration feature and setup. You can get the update from Sling Media's website.
Digeo's long-awaited Moxi HD-DVR is soft launching over at Amazon. For now there is only a very limited number of $799 units available as it'll be officially launched at CES next month, but it could be worth checking out. The two big advantages the 500 GB Moxi box has is its attractive user interface and no subscription fees a la competitor TiVo. But since you can pay $300 for a lifetime subscription to TiVo, not to mention all kinds of streamed web content on the latter, it might be worth waiting to learn more at CES before dishing out the cash--unless you're one of the lucky few with cash to spare!
Samsung has been busy lately touting the supreme energy-efficiency of its HDTV's, but JVC's LCD TV's are the latest sets to beat out the new Energy Star 3.0 standards. According to a press release, JVC is tied for the most efficient set in the 32-inch class, swept the first four spots in the 40 to 42 and 46 to 47 inch classes, and had the top three most efficient LCD TV's in the 50 to 52 inch class. The company says that it beat the Energy Star 3.0 specs by 29 to 60 percent overall. This is great for JVC, but the fact remains that just days ago its TV's were rated among the most unreliable on the market.
The Wall Street Journal has decided to see what all the fuss over pico projectors is about by comparing Dell's M109S and Optoma's Pico PK-101. The term 'pico' not only denotes the small size of these projectors, but also the Texas Instruments chip they use, dubbed pico. While they're definitely much more portable than typical projectors, the projected image quality is the obvious sacrifice.
The 15-ounce Dell M109S only spits out 50 lumens of brightness, while the flyweight 4-ounce Optoma Pico PK-101 only manages 11 lumens. There are two ways to compensate: either darken the room or place the projector very close to the wall or screen you're using. However the Optoma device is marketed as a tool to project media from iPod's and other such devices, so it's meant for on-the-go use. Dell, on the other hand, says the M109S is a netbook/laptop companion that works well for quick work presentations.
As the review turned out, the Dell M109S is a higher quality product. That said, you'll also pay $449 for it, $50 higher than the Optoma's $399 price tag.
Sony's Bravia KDL-52XBR7 has come under the sharp eye of the CNET reviewers despite the fact it won't be released until December 15. And while 60 Hz refresh rates are the standard in HDTV's right now, the 52-inch KDL-52XBR7 is the first 240 Hz display on the market. However, according to CNET a 240 Hz refresh rate won't be discernible to most viewers. It's not that the KDL-52XBR7 isn't a great LCD HDTV. It is. For a non-LED-based LCD TV it has deep blacks, accurate color temperature and color decoding, good dejudder video processing, great design, and a variety of connections including 4 HDMI. On the negative side, you'll pay for industry innovation. The 240 Hz refresh rate will cost you $4, 199.
Panasonic's DMP-BD35K has been a popular Blu-ray player prior to Black Friday and after, and Panny is obviously try to push that popularity forward with this great deal. Until December 13, Amazon will let you grab the Panny B-ray player plus four Warner Blu-ray titles(out of 22) for a total of $209 plus free shipping. It gets better though. In addition you can grab a rebate form from Panasonic that will net you "Ratatouille" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" for free. Not bad for a Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player. Mainstream prices here we come!
Got Circuit City coupons? hhgregg is now accepting Circuit City coupons right through Super Bowl Sunday in 2009. Of course there is always a catch--the coupons can't be used online and are only applicable to 20% of the overall purchase price. But hey, what the hell, convenience right?
If you're a fan of the Slingbox, you'd probably be interested in Hava's Platinum HD extender. The box takes in your television's HD signal and compresses it to either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4--redistributing it through a built-in ethernet port--so you're able to view the content via other devices on your home network. Think your computer or even your iPhone. Of course the act of compressing the signal will downgrade the picture quality to DVD-like, but the Amazon-imposed price cut is worth it. Regularly priced at $150, the Hava Platinum HD extender will now cost you only $86.99.
Sony has confirmed that Playstation Home will launch in beta tomorrow. The Playstation 3-oriented virtual world will include spaces for both individuals and themed groups, or clubs. It'll also feature public spaces devoted to specific Playstation 3 games, in-world casual games, and a virtual goods marketplace where you can purchase clothing for your avatar, club spaces, and decorative items. The pricing isn't fixed however; it looks like it'll be dependent on your real world location. Playstation Home is free and won't require a firmware upgrade--just reboot your system once it goes live tomorrow, December 11.
Samsung is not only the manufacturer of some of the most popular HDTV lines around, VentureBeat reports that as of next year it'll also be one of the most energy efficient. HyunSuk Kim, vice president of research and development at Samsung, said at an event in San Francisco today that next year Samsung will be able to produce a 55-inch LCD HDTV that only consumes 150 Watts of energy. That's about the same as a 32-inch LCD HDTV today. Samsung was recently rated a seven out of ten on Greenpeace's scale, an impressive rating for a consumer electronics manufacturer. Just don't expect any 3D or 3840 x 2160 pixel displays to be energy efficient. We're talking about Red Touch of Colorhere.
I had heard rumors earlier this year that Sharp may be launching a line of LCD TV's with integrated Blu-ray players in Japan. But I didn't think for one second that they'd ever hit the United States. Looks like I thought wrong.
According to Mike Troetti, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America president, the company will be shipping 32- and 42-inch Blu-ray player-packin' AQUOS LCD TV's to the US in January 2009. The specs on the smaller model aren't clear, but the 42-inch model is expected to sport 1080p resolution, a 120 Hz frame rate, and a multi-slot mechanism for Blu-ray discs, DVD's, and compact discs.
They'll be a little pricey though. Try a little under $2000 for the 42-inch model. Sounds pretty cool in theory, but judging by price only an option if you're extremely constricted by home theater space.
Never have I seen a company announce a successor to a DVD player that is a BD Live-capable Blu-ray player, but that is exactly what Denon has done with the February 2009 release of the DVD-A1UDCI. Successor to Denon's DVD-5910 DVD player, the DVD-A1UDCI uses a revamped Advanced SVH Mechanism to provide high quality DVD video and Profile 2.0 Blu-ray playback. The player, a self-proclaimed 'universal', also offers DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD playback--both with digital audio output via HDMI or Denon Link with bass management.
Inside is a 10-bit Silicon Optix Realta chipset that'll upscale standard-def content to 1080p via HDMI. It also works with IP scaling. It has a ton more features, but the list is so extensive I'll let you check out the release after the jump. Just know you'll pay for the 'universal' Blu-ray player to the tune of $3, 800. Not exactly a mainstream Blu-ray price, is it?
Sony HDTV's are by far the most reliable according to a survey of 16, 000 HDTV owners at PCWorld. The survey rated each HDTV according to nine measures, from customer service to picture quality. Sony rated higher than average in seven categories, while LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung and Vizio each had two high scores.
Mitsubishi lagged in last, scoring below average in four categories and both Hitachi and JVC didn't fare much better. In the end, it's really no surprise that the most reliable HDTV's are also the most expensive. At the same time it's encouraging to see a budget manufacturer like Vizio ranking so highly.
Head on over to Amazon and purchase the ZeeVee Box--which streams internet TV content to your HDTV--and ZeeVee will send you a free remote. Plus for a limited time Amazon will give you a free Wired magazine subscription and a $5 credit to the Amazon MP3 marketplace with the purchase as well.
Sharp has launched the PG-F255W wide-XGA DLP projector. Built for enterprise applications, the PG-F255W has DLP BrilliantColor technology, can project 720p from HD sources, and 1280 x 720 16:10 resolution from PC's. It's fairly bright at 2500 lumens and has a 2200:1 contrast ratio so it's likely that the PG-F255W displays a fairly crisp picture, further enhanced by an extended color palette from previous models.
The 6.4 pound DLP projector also sports an ultra-quiet fan, an on-screen guide to aid in setup, closed captioning, and an included wireless remote with a built-in screen pointer. Available sometime this month, Sharp's PG-F255W will be priced south of $1000. Check out the full release after the cut.
Look at this miniature bundle of LCOS projection dubbed the Adtec AD-MP15A. Weighing only 147 grams and sporting dimensions of 27 x 58 x 90 millimeters, the Adtec pocket projector is exactly that. You can carry this little guy pretty much anywhere however don't count on much in the way of picture quality. With VGA resolution in 4:3, 15 lumens of brightness, and 200:1 contrast ratio, all's the AD-MP15A is good for is a stocking stuffer--in Japan of course where it'll be available later in December for 39, 800 Yen.
Speaking of giant displays, NewSight Corp, an American company I've never heard of, has developed a 180-inch 3D LED display. 3.84 meters wide, the 3D LED Video Wall as it's called is able to render images in 3D using something called the "parallax barrier" method which is interchangeable with LCD displays. The company outsources it LED manufacturing to China where they are built at a pitch of 6 millimeters and work identically to the those found in LCD displays. NewSight says that the optimal viewing distance is only 5 meters and they guarantee a 20, 000 hour LED life. They also said that the display works with other LED's and the new display can be combined in groups of four to form an impressive 360-inch LED display. No idea what the pricing is like though.
Open Air Cinema's 16-foot inflatable backyard movie screen isn't typical for TVSnob's coverage but I thought it was pretty neat when I saw it. Open Air usually caters to film festivals and big drive-ins so it's likely this is a high quality product, though don't quote me on that. It measures in at 16 by 9 feet or 220 inches diagonally and includes a blower fan so it takes virtually no time to set up.
The company says that the screen is made of wrinkle-proof ripstop nylon, colored matte white on the viewable surface but with a black backstop that blocks light and improves contrast ratio. Amazingly it'll stand up to 20 mile per hour winds as well. Once you're finished with it, you just reverse the blower fan and it shrivels down to a 20 pound mass of nylon that fits nicely in an included duffel bag.
It's a little pricey at $999, but well worth it if you're a big backyard dweller in the summer. Open Air also offers two other smaller screen sizes: a 12 by 7 foot screen costing $599 and a 9 footer costing $449.