Sony's 3D ready NX800 LED HDTV series now shipping
Sony has announced the availability of its NX800 LED HDTV series. Features include edge-lit LED backlighting, Sony's Bravia 3 video processing engine, 240 Hz Motion Flow technology, Bravia Internet Video and widgets, Wi-Fi compatibility, a USB input, energy saving ambient light features, and a thin form factor with a 6-degree adjustable tilt mount. Available in the 46-inch KDL-46NX800, the 52-inch KDL-52NX800 and the 60-inch KDL-60NX800, the NX800 family is 3D ready and starts at $2299. The 60-inch version is available now while the 52-inch version is backordered until the end of the month, and the 46-inch version won't launch until mid-May.
Sony also announced the NX700 series, a bit of a step down with 120 Hz Motion Flow technology and a few less extras than the NX800. Of course you'll also pay less for the 40-inch KDL-40NX700 and the 46-inch KDL-46NX700.
Although the Nintendo Wii is great for parties, it doesn't have the same appeal as the Playstation 3 or the Xbox 360. Not only because it doesn't have the same great games, but because it doesn't have the quality 1080p graphics nor does it look like it will anytime in the near future.
A company called VDIGI looks to fix this issue with the first HDMI connector designed for the Nintendo Wii to offer 1080p video upscaling. In fact, not only can the VD-W3 convert video, but it can also convert audio as well.
Available from VDIGI's online store, the VD-W3 costs $75 though that doesn't include the HDMI cable itself.
BeoVision bringing 40, 46-inch 10 series to North America
High-end home theater equipment maker BeoVision is bringing its 3rd HDTV to the North American market this summer with the 40-inch BeoVision 10 HDTV. The set boasts an edge-lit LED design, 240 Hz frame rate, an integrated speaker, connections for a full surround sound system, and all the other fancy peripheral ports usually found on BeoVision models. The price for the 40-inch BeoVision 10, coming in summer 2010, will be $6248 for the screen only. Pay a bit more at $7675 and you'll also net an anti-reflective coating, a Beo4 remote and a wall bracket that can sit at a 45 degree angle from any wall. BeoVision is also said to be launching a 46-inch model later in 2010 as well.
LG's LX9500 LED-backlit LCD HDTV line, recently released in South Korea, is on its way to the United States in Mayin both 47- and 55-inch screen sizes. LG claims its LX9500 line has some impressive specifications--3D compatibility, 480 Hz refresh rate (what LG calls TruMotion 400 Hz), 10, 000, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and a tiny 0.6 inches thick bezel.
LG also will be supplying active shutter glasses to go with the LX9500 family which flutter at the same speed as the 480 Hz display. Unfortunately though, LG can't seem to compete with either Samsung or Panasonic on price alone. With prices expected to be in line with what is offered in South Korea, expect to pay well above $4000 for the 47-inch model.
Toshiba launches UX600, G300 and assorted other HDTV families
Toshiba has announced a whole slew of LED HDTVs today that don't include 3D conversion, but do include all kinds of wireless capabilities and web connectedness. The UX600 line is thin, below a 2-inch depth, and sports 120 Hz refresh, edge-lit LEDs, a Wi-Fi adapter for access to NET TV, DLNA support and access to Twitter and Pandora. The UX600 family will be available in 40, 46- and 55-inch display sizes for $1399, $1699 and $2499, respectively. The step-down G300 series includes all the features of the UX600 family minus the LED lighting, Wi-Fi and web TV, while the E200, C100 and CV100 focus on saving energy and price effectiveness at the expense of high-end features. All of the models will be available in the next couple of weeks. Check out the press release after the cut.
Sharp's quad-color LED HDTVs coming out this spring were out of my mind until I saw this hilarious commercial featuring George Takei. Whether or not the fourth color--yellow--makes any difference to the usual red, blue, green color scheme remains to be seen. And the line's thin form factor isn't really anything new. But this awesome commercial definitely differentiates the Sharp Aquos line from other HDTV families--and the four color format has a new name, Quattron.
If you're still not convinced that an HDTV is an improvement on your ancient tube model--how could you not--just ask a group of TV-watching octopuses. Researchers in Australia recently found that octopuses respond more "vigorously" to high-definition images than to standard-definition TV picture.
The thinking is that the intelligence of the 8 tentacled sea creature is beyond the pixelation of an SD image--fellow sea creatures just don't appear real enough I suppose.
Just imagine, every tank in your local aquarium having an HDTV for the sea creatures!
Google is attempting to invade our living rooms, according to an article today in The New York Times. According to the news site, Google is teaming up with Intel, Sony and Logitech to bring a web-like interface and experience to the TV set. With hardware provided by Sony, computer chips by Intel and peripherals like a remote from Logitech, the Google TV would run on Google's open source Android operating system and somehow utilize its Chrome browser. This all according to the article which wasn't confirmed nor denied (except by Sony) by spokespersons from any of the above mentioned companies. Is there anything Google won't touch?
Don't let the title mislead you. Yes, the James Cameron epic is coming to Blu-ray and DVD this April 22 via 20th Century Fox, but without any 3D features. Just plain old 2D Blu-ray.
But wait. Later this year--in November I hear--another Avatar release will happen. This one supposedly to be a multi-disc special edition with all kinds of new features.
But no 3D.
Yep, Avatar in full 3D won't be coming to Blu-ray or anything else until at least a year or 2 from now. Why? Because none of us have 3D TVs and likely a majority of us--not the readers of this blog of course--are even aware of the 2010 3D video explosion. Maybe there will be a market to support a 3D release in 2012.
Blu-ray has been holding Sony Playstation 3 sales back, according to Microsoft's director of product management Aaron Greenberg. The integration of a physical Blu-ray disc player and other powerful components kept the price of the PS3 up around $399 while the Microsoft Xbox 360 has sold for a much more reasonable $199. Price is likely the reason that the 360 has outsold the PS3 nearly 2 to 1. But is Blu-ray really the problem?
Since the Playstation Slim came around at a $199 price point, sales of the PS3 have jumped more than 30% year-over-year. Consumer psychology at work here? Maybe.
Playstation Move controllers revealed with advanced motion detection
Playstation gaming is set to become a little more complicated in the fall of 2010. Sony announced this week at GDC 2010 in San Francisco, the upcoming release of the Playstation Move controller and sub-controller.
Equipped with advanced motion detectors, the Playstation Move controller is supposed to be more movement accurate, controllable via active buttons and an analog trigger, plus deliver the shock-and-rumble feedback that's been around for ages.
The Move sub-controller is to be used concurrently for the manipulation of in-game objects.
Sony says at least 20 Playstation game titles will be released in 2010 that are to be played with the Move controllers. Check out the demo video below.
Asus Cine5 provides 5-channel surround sound to your PC
Asus has announced what it says is the world's first 5-channel surround soundbar, the Cine5. Built for a typical home PC as opposed to a home theater, the Cine5 uses patented Embracing Sound Theater HD technology to deliver full audio surround with precise sound location.
The Cine5 can create 5-channel audio from any down-mixed 2-channel source. Its integrated speaker drivers and bass reflex port provide 15 dBs more bass than similar sized speakers and its driver configuration reduces the load on each driver by 50% resulting in better high frequency sound.
The black glossy soundbar is simply placed under your computer monitor and you're set to go. Unfortunately there is no word yet regarding US availability or pricing.
Panasonic 3D gear now available at Best Buy Magnolia stores
3D alert! Best Buy Magnolia store shoppers can pick up Panasonic's 50-inch Viera VT20 HDTV, a BDT300 Blu-ray Disc Player and a pair of active shutter glasses for $2900, right now! Additional pairs of glasses, currently required for 3D video content viewing, will set you back a further $150 a pair.
To separate itself from the competition, Panasonic is basically paying for 3D programming for DirecTV HD customers in June, so picking up this package is one way to get ready for that if you're a DirecTV customer.
LG is attempting to grab the UK 3D market while Panasonic, Sony and Samsung scramble for market and mind share in North America. The company is getting ready to pop out its LX9900 3D TV line this May at roughly the same time as its BX580 Blu-ray player, all in hopes that customers will pick up the whole 3D home theater enchilada at the same time.
The LX9900 will be available in 47- and 55-inch display sizes, complete with 400 Khz TruMotion, 10, 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, DLBA, Bluetooth, a wireless AV link and, of course, the need for those 3D active shutter glasses. Pricing isn't official just yet, but word on the street is that the 47-inch version will cost in the region of £2500 - £3000 while the 55-incher somewhere in between £3600 - £4000. The Blu-ray player will sit around £350. As for package deals, no word on that either.
I expect we'll find out more before the May shipping date.
HP has announced the MediaSmart Expander for TiVo, a free application that enables TiVo HD DVR owners to transfer recorded content to HP MediaSmart servers, ultimately freeing up space on the TiVo's internal drive. MediaSmart Expander also allows users to manage content stored on the server and stream content to compatible devices such as PCs and gaming consoles. The application is compatible with MediaSmart Server EX90/EX495 and the Data Vault. While the app is free, the MediaSmart EX90 and MediaSmart EX495 servers cost $549 and $699, respectively.
My head is spinning with 3D goodness these days and when I see some of the attached price tags for new 3D TVs it spins a little quicker still.
Coming in April, Samsung's 55-inch UN55C9000 and 46-inch UN46C9000 LED-backlit LCD HDTVs will cost a completely outrageous $6999 and $5999. The company's other sets including its 7000 and 8000 series', and a variety of other plasma, LCD and CCFL-backlit will also ship in intervals running until this morning, though at cheaper prices. Thank goodness for that.
You can find out all the pricing information you could possibly want by following the links below:
Onkyo TX-SR608 AV receiver goes 3D with 6 HDMI 1.4 ports
Onkyo has pumped out its latest AV receiver, dubbed the TX-SR608, a 7.2-channel, THX-Select2 Plus hub of hardware that sits comfortably with the plethora of other Onkyo home theater gear. So what kind of features does this bad boy sport? Try three-stage Darlington output topology which increases power from 90 to 100 Watts, Audyssey DSX dimensional sound processing, Dolby PLIIz capability, Faroudja DCDi cinema video processing capable of upscaling inputs to 1080p over an HDMI output. Connections include 6(!) HDMI 1.4 (capable of passing 3D video) and a PC input. Shipping in April, the Onkyo TX-SR608 AV receiver will set you back a cool $599.
In 2010, 3D will be the buzzword that rules them all and when 3D is combined with size, a company by the name of HDI will rule them all. Rolling out a monster 103-inch 3D, laser-based TV in April, HDI will likely charge around $10, 000 a pop--when a mass quantity is purchased. The company has also stated that smaller models--like in the 46-inch form factor--are on tap soon as well. You know, for normal people like us.
Best Buy will be rolling out 3D Panasonic HDTV gear this Wednesday, according to HDGuru.com. The equipment will launch as part of a special promotion at 250 Best Buy outlets across the United States and will include a kick-off at the Union Square location in New York City. The initial hardware available will include the Panasonic TC-P50VT20 plasma 3D HDTV and DMP-BD350 3D Blu-ray player. By March 21 the big-box electronics retailer will also have Samsung 3D gear available in over 900 stores. It appears that the Panasonic equipment will initially only be available for demonstration purposes and will require active-shutter glasses. The Samsung gear will be available for purchase (it's also up for pre-order at Sears) and will include a 3D copy of Monsters vs. Aliens and a pair of glasses.
The folks from FlatpanelHD recently took Panasonic's new G20 plasma--the 42-inch version--for a test drive and were blown away. The successor to the G10 series features 5, 000, 000:1 contrast ratio, 8 bit video processing, THX certification and a ton of inputs. Not surprisingly, given the G20 uses Pioneer's old KURO technology, the test results were nice. If you're looking for fork out a bit of cash for some quality technology, the G20 is a catch. On the other hand, if you've already purchased a G10 you're doing quite well too. The G20 didn't really improve on its younger sibling in the black level or networking categories.
Sears is accepting pre-orders for Samsung's new 3D HDTVs in an attempt to associate its name with the new home theater technology in the consumer consciousness. The 46-inch UN46C7000WFXZA and 55-inch UN55C7000WFXZA will be the first to ship this month and pre-orders are available from the Sears website. The company also has a message indicating that Samsung's 3D Blu-ray players and 3D glasses will be shipping soon as well.
The retailer will provide consumer education online and in stores regarding 3D home theater technology, not surprisingly with a focus on price. Most of us in the consumer world are already convinced we won't be able to afford nascent 3D home theater technology. The 46- and 55-inch sets will sell for $2600 and $3300, respectively, and while the pricing is expensive, it's also cheaper than I expected.
Soon after being cherry-picked by the folks at Walmart, Vudu has rolled out yet another feature--Twitter and Facebook integration. Now Vudu users can update their Twitter and Facebook statuses with info about the movie they are watching and their impressions. Other Vudu-using friends can then jump on the bandwagon and join in the movie-watching fun. I'm not sure if I would necessarily use this feature but social networking integration is something companies seem to have to do these days. For looks if nothing more.
TiVo fans everywhere are rejoicing today with the announcement of the company's new Series4 Premiere and PremiereXL DVRs, due out in early April. The new boxes have a completely new high-def interface built with Adobe Flash--a huge improvement--and new partnerships have been inked with Pandora and FrameChannel, both of which will complement the current Netflix and Amazon On Demand integration. Streamed content will have a bigger spot in the homepage limelight as will locally stored content when it comes to search and navigation. In fact, the Premiere and PremiereXL will boast 320 GB and 1 TB built-in storage for 45 and 150 hours of HD video storage, respectively. Both units will also have CableCARD and eSATA slots for memory expansion.
Also of note is the full QWERTY Bluetooth remote, THX certification for the PremiereXL and an optional wireless-N adapter. Shipping in April, the TiVo Premiere and PremiereXL are expected to cost $299 and $499, respectively.