Best Selling HDTVs

July 29, 2009

Kodak outs Theatre HD Player--Wi-Fi enabled media streamer

kodak_theatre_hd_player.jpgKodak this morning announced the Kodak Theatre HD Player, an HDTV hook-in that allows you to display personal and web-based content on your high-def TV, all streamed over your home Wi-Fi network.

The Theatre HD Player optimizes Youtube videos for HDTV viewing and allows access to a ton of free online video feeds. It also enables you to stream your PC-based pictures and videos. Pictures are displayed in a collage view that you can organize by event, date or just look at randomly.

The player also includes a motion-sensitive "point and play" remote control, SD/MMC/xD/MS/CF and USB slots for loading personal media from your PC.

Kodak's Theatre HD Player is available from Amazon, Kodak.com, BestBuy.com, Buy.com, Frontgate.com and Sears.com for an MSRP of $199.99.

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July 29, 2009

Vudu signs deal with LG Electronics for broadband HDTV movie streaming

vudu-logo.pngVudu has announced a partnership with LG Electronics, incorporating its streaming movie service into broadband connect LG HDTVs. Vudu continues to sell its set-top box online and through bricks-and-mortar retailers like Best Buy, but is increasingly focused on partnerships in the consumer electronics industry. Earlier this year Vudu announced a similar partnership with Vizio. At the same time the company, which arguably offers the best movie streaming service on the market, will face big competition from Amazon and Netflix. Both companies are also working hard to establish partnerships with HDTV manufacturers.

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July 24, 2009

MediaGate MG-M²TV networked multimedia player out for $105

mediagate-m2tv.jpgMediaGate today announced the MG-M²TV networked multimedia player, the company's follow-up to the last-generation MG-800HD. The MG-M²TV has full support for a slew of video and audio codecs including Real media files, MP3, MKV, AVI and MPG. MediaGate is also planning to release an option 802.11n Wi-Fi dongle for wireless network streaming and access to online content portals in late August. At the moment, the MG-M²TV has a pair of USB ports and a 3-in-1 card reader that supports MS/MMC/SD cards. Oh, and of course an HDMI slot for sending that good ol' stored content to your 1080p HDTV. Available now, the MediaGate MG-M²TV has an MSRP of $119, but we found it for $105 here!.

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July 24, 2009

LG's LH90 LED-backlit LCD HDTVs shipping in the United States

lg90-1.jpgWe recently saw a review of LG's new LH90 LCD HDTV line and it was dubbed "LG's best ever" and one of the best families on the market. So I'm happy to see that the company announced Wednesday that the LH90 line has finally shipped in the United States. Available in 42-, 47- and 55-inch models, the LH90 series features 1080p resolution, LED backlighting, THX Display Certification, 2, 000, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 240 Hz TruMotion refresh, and Energy Star 3.0 certification. From smallest to largest, the LH90 series will set you back $1900, $2400 and $3200, respectively.

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July 23, 2009

Toshiba's in your kitchen with 19-inch Stainless Style LCD TV

toshiba-19lv612u-lcd.jpgToshiba's 19LV612U Stainless Style LCD TV/DVD combo solution is the company's attempt to enter your kitchen. The 19-inch set has a stainless steel look designed to complement kitchen appliances, a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, 720p resolution, HDMI and PC inputs, and fully complies with Energy Star energy-efficiency guidelines. Shipping in September, the Toshiba 19-inch Stainless Style LCD TV/DVD playin' combo has an MSRP of $349.99.

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Vivitek brings pricing pressure with $999 1080p projector

H1080FD.jpgVivitek has introduced some serious pricing pressure to the DLP home theater projector market with its $999 H1080FD. Scheduled for release in August, the H1080FD sports 1080p resolution, 1800 ANSI lumens of brightness, 5000:1 contrast ratio, a 12 Volt trigger output for motorized lifts and screens, a pair of HDMI inputs, and composite, S-video and component inputs as well. Vivitek also says it has new home theater and business projector families in the pipeline, so expect to see more from the company later this summer or in the fall.

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Sony announces pricing for 400-disc MegaChangers, high-end single-disc Blu-ray player

sony-cx7000es.jpgSony this morning announced the BDP-CX7000ES (ES=Elevated Standard) and BDP-CX960 400-disc Blu-ray Disc MegaChangers, along with the single-disc BDP-S1000ES Blu-ray player.

The flagship BDP-CX7000ES features 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema, simple integration with third-party automation system, RS232 and IR-in, 7.1 channel analog output, Sony's HD Reality Enhancer and Super Bit Mapping technologies, and 1080p upscaling from DVDs over an HDMI connection. The BDP-CX960 does without the RS232 and IR-in and ES standard. Both models offer Dolby TrueHD and Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio and High Resolution Audio, as well as bitstream output over HDMI. Overall, these two 400-disc MegaChangers can do pretty well any video-related task you can think of--but you'll pay. The BDP-CX7000ES will require you to shell out $1900 when it ships this August, while the BDP-CX960 will be $800 when it ships in the fall.

The single-disc BDP-S1000ES also boasts the ES badge with its incorporated Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n), plus 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema, 1080p upscaling, DLNA, plus most of the advanced features of the MegaChangers. Look for the BDP-S1000ES to also ship in August priced at $700.

The full press release is after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "Sony announces pricing for 400-disc MegaChangers, high-end single-disc Blu-ray player"

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July 22, 2009

The average American household has 2.86 TVs but only 2.5 people. Hmm?

family.jpgHow many televisions do you have in your home? I'll admit I have 2 and only 2 people live here (though my wife is pregnant and it will be 3 soon!). It's funny though because I think some of the best content available is actually found on the internet. A recent survey by research group Nielsen revealed that the average home in the United States has 2.86 homes and only 2.5 people. Doesn't make much sense, does it? In 1975 the average American had 1.57 TVs. That number grew to 2.43 in 2000 and despite the prevalence of web TV continues to grow.

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Working 1936 Marconiphone revealed to be the UK's oldest television


The digital TV transition apparently wasn't just meant to save spectrum for other things--it's also revealed the oldest working TV in the United Kingdom. A contest ran by Digital UK created to increase awareness of the DTV transition brought attention to the set, a 1936 Marconiphone owned by London-based Jeffrey Borinsky. He says he only keeps the set on for a maximum of two hours and has connected a Freeview tuner to it so he can get extra channels. When the set sold in 1936, the BBC was the only channel available so there isn't a channel changer on the set. Amazingly, in 1936 the Marconiphone sold for 36 guineas, the equivalent of £11,000 today. That's about the cost of a half-decent new car!

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DynaScan's DS0716 cylinder TV spins a perfect picture


DynaScan's DS0716 is undoubtedly the most bizarre television I've ever seen. Captured on film by the DVICE crew at Rockefeller Center, the DS0716 is a cylindrical set with spinning LED technology. Inside the outer display (2 millimeters between pixels) is a spinning drum with RGB LEDs, controlled by some sort of proprietary system as its spins to an accuracy of 1/100th of a degree. The DS0716 is a rental unit that is customizable. If you don't want the spinning display, you can opt for a static image or split it into a checkerboard display and increase the rotation speed. Sounds like it'd be great for parties--but only if you have cash to burn. Depending on what you want the DS0716 to do, it costs from $4000 to $14000 per week to rent--technician included.

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July 20, 2009

URC MX-5000 remote features haptic feedback and a $1500 price tag

urcmx5000-remote.jpgI've never had my fingers on a universal remote control with haptic feedback before, but if I ever do I wouldn't mind experiencing the MX-5000. The high-end universal from URC guides your fingers around its touchscreen with its haptic technology, and includes two-way communication via RF and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. With this compatibility, the MX-5000 is able to display information such as volume controls, media details and more.

The MX-5000 is aimed at the general retail market, but rather A/V professionals and installers. But URC claims it's simple to program and work with when setting it up with IP or RS-232. As for pricing, expect something in the vicinity of $1500.

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Universal brings Blu-ray to the iPhone with Fast & Furious Special Edition

bluray-iphone.jpgIt had to happen sooner or later--Universal Studios is bringing iPhone and iPod Touch controls to its two-disc Special Edition of the Fast & Furious July 28. According to Crunchgear, iPhone and iPod Touch owners will be able to control and navigate the Virtual Car Garage embedded on the Blu-ray set over a Wi-Fi connection. Users will be able to view each car in full 360-degree exposure and find technical specs for each car with a single click. Whether or not there will be additional features, Universal Studios hasn't said. But upcoming Universal Blu-ray releases will enable iPhone/iPod Touch owners to download bonus content to the portable devices, include access to other film info, and even feature Facebook Connect and Twitter integration so you can share your Blu-ray viewing with friends.

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July 19, 2009

Toshiba smartens up, plans to release Blu-ray player in Q4 2009

toshiba-logo.jpgRemember HD DVD? Yeah, neither do I. But way back when, in the Wild West era (relatively speaking :)) of home theater, it actually existed. Toshiba was the shotcaller behind the high-def optical disc format which competed head-to-head with Blu-ray--and eventually lost. But while virtually every other name in home theater has released some sort of Blu-ray player in the days since, we've heard nothing from Toshiba. Until now.

PC World is reporting
that Toshiba will release a Blu-ray player, and possibly a Blu-ray recorder, by the end of 2009. It's obvious that Toshiba has no choice. Blu-ray market share in Japan sits around 50% and worldwide, while not entirely mass market, is growing fast enough that Toshiba is losing big dollars everyday. Also, as most of us have full-blown home theaters these days, Toshiba really needs a Blu-ray player to complement its HDTV lineup or it'll risk losing market share in the TV market.

Details are minimal at the moment, but it's good to know that another player will be entering the Blu-ray market. Why? The competition should help drive down prices even more!

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July 17, 2009

Will LG release a 32-inch OLED TV by 2012?

lg_15-inch_oled_tv.jpgLast month we heard that LG could be releasing a 15-inch OLED TV as early as December 2009. But it appears the HDTV manufacturer isn't going to settle with that.

"The commercial success of OLEDs hinges on how it shows its superiority compared to existing liquid crystal display (LCD) technologies. We will focus on TV panels rather than cell phone panels because the larger the display, the more efficient the OLED technology", according to Kwon Young-soo, CEO of LG Display.

That said, he goes on to say that LG plans to release a 32-inch OLED TV by 2012. Don't get your hopes up though; we've heard these kind of OLED-related commitments before that never panned out.

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HANNSpree plush TVs are indescribable

hannspree-plushtv.jpgOh man, can some TV manufacturers come up with whacky ideas or what? HANNSpree has launched a line of plush toys with TVs embedded in them. Available in polar bear, giraffe, elephant and panda bear versions, among others, the HANNSpree plush TVs will be available at a later date for an unknown price. Do you really care about the details?

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Blockbuster to push digital OnDemand videos with custom Archos 10 netbooks

archos10.jpgThe other day Blockbuster announced a tie-up with Samsung to push its digital video download service, Blockbuster OnDemand. Today, the movie retailer says it'll also offer a custom version of the Archos 10 netbook. The 10-inch portable will have a shortcut to the Blockbuster OnDemand on its homepage and will also be cheaper than the usual Archos 10, retailing for only $300.

The Archos 10 has the usual hardware specs that accompany the majority of the netbooks on the market today including a 1.6 MHz Intel Atom CPU, 1 GB of RAM, a 160 GB hard drive, Windows XP and a webcam. The netbook does boast better software than most models though, with custom apps for online TV and audio consumption and photo-viewing.

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July 15, 2009

Steals and deals: Buy a Mitsubishi HDTV and get a free Vudu movie box

vudu-logo.pngMitsubishi is offering a free VUDU box with the purchase of its HDTVs from July 16 to August 10. The VUDU box streams movies straight to your HDTV in 1080p and probably offers the highest quality streaming content around right now. It regularly costs $149 plus you'll get a $50 credit for movie purchases as well.

Mitsubishi is apparently looking to offer something a little different that the traditional HDTV/Blu-ray pair promos that most companies are offering. Plus Mitsubishi doesn't offer streaming services directly through its HDTVs yet, so by offering a VUDU box the company gets around this problem. The company says this is only a promotion and it doesn't have any plans for a long-term partnership with VUDU, nor does it have any plans to incorporate the technology into its TVs.

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Steals and deals: Get a Playstation 3 for $100

PlayStation-3.jpgRight off the bat, looking at that title, you should know there will be some sort of catch. And there is...but it's not that bad. Here's how you can net yourself a brand new Playstation 3 for $100:

Step 1: Sign up for Sony's new Playstation Visa Card--it comes with no annual fees and is an instant approval application process (US citizens only though)

Step 2: Order an 80 GB Playstation 3 from SonyStyle.com (yes you have to pay the $399.99 upfront)

Step 3: Wait 8 to 12 weeks for Sony to send you a $100 credit (effective price now $299.99)

Step 4: While you're waiting (within 12 weeks of your application), charge $1500 to your new Sony Visa and Sony will issue you another $100 credit (effective price now $199.99)

Step 5: Charge another $1500 to your Visa before the 6-month ownership mark and Sony will grant you another $100 credit (effective price now sits at $99.99)

There you go--a $100 PS3!

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July 14, 2009

ASUS enters the HDTV market with the TV Monitor T1 Series (Europe only)

asus-t1.jpgASUS seems to have a foot in every consumer electronics market these days--including televisions. The company announced the TV Monitor T1 Series yesterday, a line of 1080p HDTVs/computer monitors available in 22- (22T1E), 24- (24T1E) and 27-inch (27T1E) display sizes. Specs include a 20, 000:1 contrast ratio, 5 millisecond response time, 300 nits of brightness, dual 7-Watt speakers, and a built-in digital TV tuner (DVB-T for Europe). Ports include a pair of HDMI, composite, component, VGA, S-video and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. As for pricing and a release date, ASUS hasn't spilled the beans yet, nor has the company said if an NTSC version will hit North America in the near future.

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Blockbuster OnDemand available through 2009 Samsung home theater hardware

blockbuster-ondemand.jpgI've long been calling for the death of Blockbuster, big cynic that I am and all. But a partnership announced today with Samsung is probably the best thing that's happened to the former video rental bigwig in a long time. And it could be a big step in proving my long-standing prediction wrong.

Blockbuster OnDemand, the company's streaming video service, will be integrated into Samsung's home theater products by this fall. As part of the agreement, Blockbuster OnDemand will be available through all 2009 Samsung HDTVs coming this fall, and have preferred placement on Samsung Blu-ray players.

Furthermore, Samsung Blu-ray products will be sold in Blockbuster's bricks-and-mortar stores as well as through Blockbuster online.

Blockbuster OnDemand allows users to rent or buy movies directly from Samsung products. It can be managed directly from the HDTV using nothing more than a remote. No PC integration or management is needed.

For those of you who have already bought early 2009 models, a firmware update will allow you to access Blockbuster OnDemand on Samsung LCDs and plasmas 650 and above, and LED HDTVs 7000 and above.

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Want to make some money? Start cranking out OLED displays

Samsung-omnia-2.jpgIf a recent OLED TV report by Displaysearch report predicting the future of the OLED market pans out, there is a pile of money to be made by HDTV manufacturers on the cutting edge of display technology.

Despite an OLED panel market of only $143 million in Q1 of this year, the research firm believes the market size will increase to $7.1 billion by 2016. Granted, that's a long way from now and in the meantime billions will be spent to develop manufacturing technologies that can pump out OLED displays efficiently.

Regardless though, the first quarter of 2009 will be the first time ever that active matrix OLED displays earn more revenue that passive displays. This has nothing to do with televisions though. AMOLED's have become popular among cellphone makers like Nokia and there are now 10 phones on the market using active matrix displays.

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July 13, 2009

LaCie LaCinema Rugged multimedia drive: Never watch a TV repeat again

LaCinema.jpgThere's plenty of good made-for-the-web video content available today. It's fair to say the web video industry has come a long ways in the past few years. If you're not part of the 20% of web video viewers who watch less traditional TV thanks to new media, at the very least it's great during the primetime offseason and its neverending repeats. But what's the best way to stream the content from the web to your HDTV?

LaCie's new LaCinema Rugged multimedia drive provides an easy solution without the need for any elaborate HTPC setup or monetary outflow. The $350 hardware hooks up to your PC or Mac via USB 2.0 and then accepts downloading video, audio and pictures. Most popular video codecs are accepted included H.264, MKV, WMV9 and MPEG4.

The 500 GB drive can hold up to 700 movies, according to LaCie, and it has a similar form factor to the company's Rugged Hard Disk--an anti-scratch aluminum outer shell, a shock-resistant bumper, and internal anti-shock absorbers.

At LaCie LaCinema Rugged

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LCD specifications are a load of crap, says study

bad-viewing-angle.jpgDisplayMate Technologies, in collaboration with Insight Media, have just released the results of a new study revealing that LCD specifications are nothing but a load of crap. Really.

The study pitted top 2008 Sony, Samsung and Sharp LCD HDTVs against a Panasonic plasma, and not surprisingly the plasma set outperformed all LCDs. This is notable because plasma is looking to be on the way out. Most new HDTV buyers are opting for lower-cost LCD sets.

A couple of the most interesting test results have to do with viewing angles and contrast ratio. Pretty well all new HDTVs these days come with manufacturers claiming a 176 viewing angle. But the test results revealed that picture quality on LCD sets deteriorates at 10 degrees (roughly the width of a person from center) and falls all the way to 50% for a person sitting at a 45 degree angle. In essence, everyone watching the same LCD TV is seeing a very different picture. The Panasonic plasma, on the other hand, didn't have a distinguishable decrease in picture quality until a 45 degree viewing angle was reached.

The same goes for contrast ratios. These days we see incredible dynamic contrast ratios of 1, 000, 000:1 and even 2, 000, 000:1. The study revealed static contrast ratios of 1000:1 and 2000:1 for all of the tested LCD HDTVs. The plasma set reached 3842:1.

This is just one study of course. But it just goes to show that specs don't mean everything and despite its cost, plasma appears to still be the superior technology--unless you're watching TV in direct sunlight. LCD's higher brightness helps in that regard!

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July 11, 2009

LG's 47-inch LH90 LED HDTV reviewed: LG's best ever, one of the best HDTVs on the market

lg47lh90.jpgCNET's latest HDTV review concerns the 47-inch LG LH90 LCD TV and not only is the set dubbed LG's best ever, but it's also honored as being one of the top performing LCD TV's on the market today. The depth of its black levels and its shadow detail rival most plasma sets around, something we don't see from an LCD TV very often. Furthermore, CNET says that the 47LH90 boasts excellent color accuracy thanks to tons of picture controls, excellent performance in bright light due to a matte finish screen, not to mention 4 HDMI slots.

On the downside are the sets lack of interactive features, a missing S-video slot, some overlap between anti-blur and dejudder processing, and of course the lack of discernible performance difference between its 240 Hz frame rate and those sets with a 120 Hz speed.

Overall, CNET gave the 47LH90 a 4 out of 5, honored it with a power saver award, and said that "despite a few flaws it's a worthy member of the flat-panel elite." LG's other LH90 models come in 42- and 55-inch display sizes and would perform identically. Moreover, LG's LH55 series shares many features with the LH90 line ensuring those sets would perform similarly.

LG 47-inch LH90 LCD HDTV


Product Name

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Panasonic to offer $50 TVs to emerging markets

brokentv.jpgHow does a big name HDTV maker like Panasonic make money in a recession? Sell a $50 TV of course. Okay then.

That's the plan on the part of Panasonic as the company begins to target emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, China, Vietnam, India, Africa and Latin America in an attempt to beef up its bottom line. By selling $50 TVs and other low-cost, basic appliances, Panasonic believes it'll add an extra $2 billion to its annual profits.

As Seeking Alpha points out though, a move like this could hurt Panasonic's global brand image as a high-end electronics maker. And you have to wonder what a $50 TV can actually do? How much would it cost to make? Would there be any profit margin on a $50 TV?

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July 10, 2009

Walmart outs a $98 Magnavox Blu-ray player

magnavox-nb530mgx-blu-ray-player.jpgWalmart has a history of carrying cheapie Blu-ray players and this strategy has pushed the retailer to be the number two seller in the United States behind Best Buy. The Blu-ray players Walmart sells aren't the best on the market: often they're second-tier models from makers like Magnavox and don't tend tend to have the interactive features of Profile 2.0 models. But a cheap Blu-ray player is a cheap Blu-ray player.

Walmart's latest deal is an in-store $98 price tag on the Magnavox NB530MGX, cut back from a previous price of $168. It's only Profile 1.1 so I mentioned above you won't have access to the BD Live interactive disc features. But I'm guessing people will flock to a sub-$100 player anyways. After all, it is an acceptably mainstream price for what amounts to still-nascent technology.

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July 9, 2009

Sony BRAVIA HDTVs the latest to get Netflix streaming

netflix_logo.gifNetflix this morning announced that Sony is its latest partner in the instant movie streaming business. As of this fall, Sony BRAVIA internet-connected HDTVs and older BRAVIAs compatible with the Sony Internet video link will be able to access over 12, 000 Netflix flicks directly from their high-def TVs. As Engadget points out though, it's disappointing that the Playstation 3 isn't included in this deal. In the future maybe?

The Netflix-Sony partnership is the latest in a line of recent partnerships with electronics companies. Other Netflix partners include Microsoft, Roku, LG, TiVo, Samsung and Vizio.

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Best Buy and TiVo partner up for promotional scheme

tivo.jpgBest Buy and TiVo are forming a partnership that will result in heavy TiVo promotion in all 1100 Best Buy stores in the United States.

As part of the deal, TiVo will develop a custom version of its digital video recorder for Best Buy that will allow the electronics chain to advertise its products and services to TiVo subscribers on their TVs. Subscribers will also be able to purchase items and receive tips and advice. Best Buy will finance a move to bring TiVo's search tools and software to its own brand of home theater products, Insignia, as well.

TiVo hopes the partnership will help people realize that the set-top is more than a way to rewind and record television shows. Newer TiVo boxes have broadband connections allowing subscribers to do things like order pizzas and Netflix movies, and buy tickets for movies and events. But TiVo has had a tough time educating consumers about the new features; not a good thing considering most cable companies now offer their own DVRs.

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July 8, 2009

Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray - More Info

oppobdp83.jpgI'm still totally against paying $500 for a Blu-ray player, but if you are willing to pay that much, Oppo's BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player is finally available to everyone and their mother. Yep, it is pretty feature rich: BD-Live, 7.1 channel surround sound, VRS de-interlacing, DVD-audio and SACD playback. But $500?

From High Def Digest: Supporting a huge range of optical disc formats including SACD, DVD-Audio, DVD Up-Conversion, MKV, HDCD, and more in addition to Blu-Ray support, the BDP-83 is truly a universal player. Boasting Anchor Bay's VRS technology to ensure the finest picture quality and a full 1080p, 60hz output, Oppo has their sights set high, and the individual analog 7.1 outputs send a rich Dolby TrueHD signal out to speakers.

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Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player finally, finally available

oppobdp83.jpgI'm still totally against paying $500 for a Blu-ray player, but if you are willing to pay that much, Oppo's BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player is finally available to everyone and their mother. Yep, it is pretty feature rich: BD-Live, 7.1 channel surround sound, VRS de-interlacing, DVD-audio and SACD playback. But $500?

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Mitsubishi 65-inch WD-737 RPTV reviewed: "most screen for the least money"

wd737-rptv.jpgRear projection HDTVs are still hanging around and for those looking for alot of screen for relatively little cash, they can be a good purchase option. Of course you can't mount them on the wall and you won't enjoy the picture quality pump through the screens of most LCD and plasma sets.

CNET's recent review of Mitsubishi's WD-737, a 65-inch rear projection monster, confirms the quality tradeoff here, but also confirms the picture quality is decent enough to recommend it if you are indeed looking for the most screen for the least money.

The WD-737 sports accurate color and has enough picture controls to adjust any issues you may have, it has a reasonable 3 HDMI ports and almost no bezel. On the other hand, the screen can be grainy and the blacks lighter than most HDTVs, but you'll find that with most rear projection sets left on the market.

Personally, I don't think I'd buy a RPTV these days, big and cheap or not. But if that's what you're looking for, the Mitsubishi WD-737 doesn't look half bad.


Buy it now from Amazon for $1599.99 with free shipping!

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Sharp intros AQUOS LE700 LED series

sharp-52.jpgSharp has announced its latest AQUOS LCD HDTVs for the United States--the 52-inch LC-52LE700UN, the 46-inch LC-46LE700UN, the 40-inch LC-40E700UN and the 32-inch LC-32LE700UN. Strangely, Sharp opted out of using local-dimming LEDs for these models. The key features of the LE700 AQUOS LED series include:

  • 10-bit 1080p X-Gen LCD panel
  • UltraBrilliant LED backlighting
  • 2, 000, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
  • dejudder on the 46- and 52-inch models
  • 120 Hz frame rate
  • 4 millisecond response time
  • 176 degree viewing angle
  • AQUOS Net internet connectivity
  • 4 x HDMI v1.3 with Deep Color
  • 2 x component inputs
  • 1 x RS232C
  • 1 x USB
  • AQUOS Link (one remote HDMI synchronization)
  • Energy Star 3.0 certified

The four LE700 AQUOS models are available this month, from largest to smallest priced at $2799.99, $2199.99, $1699.99 and $1099.99, respectively.

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July 7, 2009

Sony DVDirect VCD-MC6 lets you record HD video without a PC

sonyMC6dvdirect.jpgThis September Sony's DVDirect VRD-MC6 will be released, an upgrade from the previous VRD-MC5, that will allow users to record high-def and standard-def videos, as well as digital photos from cameras directly onto DVD. The device means that users can do this all without a PC connection.

In terms of form factor, the VRD-MC6 is roughly 60% smaller than the MC5, but has a 2.7-inch display as opposed to the old 2.5-inch version. The display can be used to preview videos and up to 6 JPEG files at a time. Carrying on with JPEG files, those stored on Memory Sticks, SDHC, xD, USB drives, Sony camcorders and digital photos, can all be written to DVD with the MC6 regularly or in slideshow format. Photos can also be used to create menu screens for video discs or users can choose from four preset backgrounds.

Sony Handycam camcorders with built-in hard drives or Memory Sticks can also transfer 1080i video to DVD or alternatively in AVCHD format. This allows users to playback video on Blu-ray players or Playstation 3 game consoles. Standard-def video can be recorded from other camcorders, DVRs and even VCRs via FireWire, composite and USB connections. The unit also maintains Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and aspect ratios.

Keep your eyes open at the end of summer for the DVDirect VRD-MC6 when it ships for $229.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 6, 2009

Samsung XL2370 LED monitor sports 5 million:1 contrast ratio, "finger-slim" design

xl2370.jpgGeez, even Samsung's computer monitors are beginning to rival second-tier manufacturers' full blown HDTVs. The just-announced XL2370, which seems like it should be 23-inches in size, is claimed to have a 5 million: 1 contrast ratio, 2 millisecond response time and 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. Furthermore, it has a "finger-slim" design (to what number that equates isn't mentioned in the press release), "Starlight Touch Controls", and the Touch of Color bezel which reflects less light and is also easier to recycle given its lack of harmful constituents. As for price, I'm not entirely sure about that either, though the XL2370 is due to ship in Korea this month, and Europe and other countries in August.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Panasonic using lasers to destroy CRT TVs

crt-tv.jpgTV manufacturers aren't just concerned about the performance of the products they put on the shelf these days. With stricter laws pertaining to recycling and the environment in place across the globe, efficiency in recycling centers has become a concern as well. At the Panasonic Eco Technology Center in Japan, workers have traditionally separated the front glass and back funnel of cathode ray tube TVs (CRTs) using an electrically heated wire. The method is time consuming and can also lead to stress fractures in the glass, making it useless for anything else. But the company claims it has perfected a new method that uses an automated laser to separate the two types of glass. Not only can it detect screen sizes between 14 and 36 inches, it can detect the aspect ratio of a set and adjust to one of 38 cutting modes. The new laser method has cut the time to process one CRT TV 3-fold, down to 50 seconds. This is definitely a good thing because Japan has yet to switch from analog TV signals to digital; it's expected to happen mid-2011, when the number of recycled CRT TVs is expected to double from last year to 650, 000.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Web video viewers kicking attention deficiency, becoming comfy with longer form content

hulu.jpgConventional wisdom in the web TV world has always been 'the shorter the better'. Most web video producers have always believed that viewers just didn't have the attention span for anything longer than a couple of minutes, but that appears to be changing. Credited mainly to the mainstream TV networks and sites like Hulu, some estimates state that 1 in 4 web video viewers watch 20-30 minutes shows like "Dancing With The Stars" on a regular basis. Or take Blip.tv for example. A year ago, 24 of the top 25 shows on its network ran under 5 minutes. Fast forward to today: the average video now runs 14 minutes. I have to wonder though, how many viewers hook up their computers to an HDTV for a bigger screen experience. As for me, I still prefer short form content on the web. I think it suits the medium better from a 'surfing' point of view.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 3, 2009

Toshiba continues to shun Blu-ray, brings two new HDD/DVD VARDIA recorders to Japan

toshiba-vardia-hdd.jpgStill no Blu-ray hardware from Toshiba; maybe the company is hoping HD DVD comes back to life. Who knows. One thing is for sure: Toshiba continues to crank out HDD/DVD recorders for the Japanese market. The latest two models in the company's VARDIA series include the 320 GB HDD RD-E304K and the higher capacity 1 TB HDD RD-E1004K, each with a 253 millimeter thin body, one network port and an HDMI slot. Available at the beginning of August, the two models in order of mention, will cost the equivalent of $500 and $650. As far as I can tell, neither model will ship outside of Japan.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Digital Vision intros ultra-simple GiGo Digital TV Recorder

gigo-dvr.jpgDigital Vision has announced the GiGo Digital TV Recorder, a simplistic DVR built to record Freeview programming to USB thumb drives in MPEG2 format. Envisioned to be placed in secondary rooms such as kitchens rather than the living room, the GiGo does without a built-in hard drive though Digital Vision says it does connect to large capacity external hard drives without issue. It has 3 USB slot, only one tuner and an electronic program guide. It isn't compatible with Freeview+, but users can watch one program while recording another. The GiGo will launch later this year for the rough equivalent of $115 and Digital Vision says it is also working on developing higher-end DVRs with internal drives and MPEG4 compatibility.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 1, 2009

Pioneer outs new Elite A/V receiver foursome

pioneerav.jpgIf you buy home theater equipment built by Pioneer, you're pretty well guaranteed quality gear. With the announcement of four new A/V receivers today, Pioneer has added to its Elite lineup and the pricing isn't bad either. The two top-end models, the SC-27 and SC-25, both have Class D amplifiers with ICEPower technology while the former is the first Class D to get THX Ultra2 Plus certification. The other two models, the Elite VSX-21TXH and VSX-23TXH, aren't as feature-rich but undoubtedly still high quality. The SC-27 and SC-25 will ship this month priced at $2000 and $1700, respectively, while the VSX models in order of mention above will ship in August for $700 and $900.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Philips finally prices 56-inch Cinema 21:9 HDTV

philipscinema219.jpgWe mentioned a rumored price for the Philips Cinema 21:9 way back when, but at the time we also heard a supposed June release date. That's come and gone and now a new price has officially been announced. Once converted from euros, the price will equate to roughly US$7400. The set, which will ship in the UK at some point, is the first to feature the 21:9 aspect ratio, enabling it to playback movies shot in widescreen format without those annoying horizontal black bars. Philips also manages to fit 8.3 million pixels on the 56-inch display, as far as I know the most ever for an HDTV. Unfortunately though, there isn't any indication the Cinema will ship to North America.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Azentech announced X-FI HomeTheater sound card with HD audio support

x-fi-ht-hd.jpgAzentech has just unveiled a new solution for Blu-ray HTPC lovers who aren't exactly awash in solutions for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio playback. The X-FI HomeTheater HD sound card, shipping later in July, isn't a complete solution; you'll still have to buy a separate video card. But assuming the price, which hasn't been announced yet, is reasonable, it'll be nice to get some true high-def audio to accompany that true high-def video.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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