If you're looking for HD-Ready TV and you're on a budget, you might want to check out this deal on the Niko OTP-3211w. According to Amazon:
The Niko OTP-3211W 32-inch LCD TV stands ready to deliver intense, high-contrast images for movies, video games, traditional TV, and everything in between. The TV--which sports a maximum 1,366 x 768 resolution--is HD-ready, meaning all you need is an HD tuner to join the high-def revolution. Even without the tuner, however, the TV is still a video wonder, with such features as a dynamic 1,000:1 high-contrast ratio, extra-wide 170-degree viewing angles, and a fast 11-millisecond (gray to gray) response time that ensures smooth transitions and spectacular real-time graphics.
500 nits high brightness
1,000:1 (dynamic) high-contrast ratio
Super-wide 170/170 viewing angles
11-millisecond fast response time
Motion-adaptive 3D digital comb filter
Multiple video and audio inputs/outputs
Dynamic adaptive smoothing filter
Dynamic temporal fram-filtering noise reduction
Dynamic motion and edge-adaptive de-interlacing
Hi-fi surround sound speakers
Multiple language options
Wall-mountable with optional kit
While there's only a couple of reviews of the Niko OTP-3211W at Amazon, they're pretty positive. Check out all of the details at the link below.
Something that really amazes me is how many people I know who spend tons of money on new HDTV but don't have a home theater system. You just won't get the quality sound out of your TV speakers that you can get with even a low-end home theater setup. Well if you're looking for a higher-end system for a great price, be sure to look at the Sony DAV-FC9 DVD Dream System deal at Amazon:
Amazon.com Product Description:
With 650 watts of total power (100 x 5, plus a 150-watt powered subwoofer), the DAV-FC9 DVD Dream System is Sony's top-end home theater system, furnishing users with ultraprecise images and sound. The system comes complete with a receiver, five-disc DVD/SACD/CD changer, an AM/FM tuner, four front and rear floor-standing speakers, a center speaker, and an active powered subwoofer. The DVD changer is compatible with CD-R/RW, SACD, MP3, and JPEG (with slide show) formats, and its 480p progressive-scan output guarantees sharp image display.
For superior audio while watching movies, the Dream System offers Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding. Other audio features include an S-Master full digital amplifier, a bass enhancement function, and Sony's Digital Cinema Sound system, which re-creates the sound fields of three of the world's best-known cinema studios.
The DAV-FC9 is equipped for compatibility, with component-video and S-video outputs, a digital input for satellite TV, two analog AV inputs and one output, two video signal inputs and four outputs, and a 3.5 mm mini pin headphone jack. For convenience sake, the system features color-coded speaker connections, along with DVD/CD/SACD text that displays onscreen and a preprogrammed luminous remote control. The system comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
Currently Amazon has the DAV-FC9 under $250 which is an absolute steal. Click the link below for more details.
If you're in the market for a home theater system, you'll want to look at the Samsung HT-Q70 Home Theater System. With an XM Ready tuner and a five-disc CD channels this is a pretty loaded system for under $300. According to Amazon:
Amazon.com Product Description
The Samsung HT-Q70 home-theater system delivers 1000 watts (200 more watts than the HT-Q45) of big audio power through 5.1 channels, enhanced by Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, and DTS decoders. This full-featured unit offers the convenience of a five-disc changer, as well as improved USB host play, which enables you to plug and play your favorite portable digital devices without the nuisance of loading software.
Of course, this convenience is all accented by the DVD player's impressive progressive scan technology. The player supports loads of audio and video formats, such as MP3, WMA, MPEG (video), DivX, JPEG (photo files), and general audio support. Forget about the need to burn CDs or DVDs to enjoy music and video clips. The HT-Q70 gives you all the playback options you need so you can sit back and enjoy all your favorite media files, no matter what the format.
To top it all off, the HT-Q70 is XM Radio ready. With the HT-Q70 and your subscription to XM radio, you will be able to enjoy satellite radio service in CD quality sound. With the superior audio of Samsung and the static-free reception of satellite broadcasts, radio takes on a whole new dimension. This is the ultimate in complete home theater experience.
The DVD player's smooth progressive scan eliminates even the slightest hint of blur or distortion, and brings new realism to DVD movies and DVD video selections. Combine this with HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connectivity and you'll be impressed with this system's ability to transmit DVD video and audio signals simultaneously for an even clearer picture.
Good looking for a good price, the Samsung HT-Q70 should definitely be considered by those looking for a nice entry level Home Theater System.
The other day we mentioned the Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player was about to hit the streets but what if you're not ready to pay $1000 for an HD DVD player? Well then you might want to check out this deal on the Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player over at Amazon.com:
High definition playback delivers 720p/1080i resolution at a transfer rate higher than DVD or even HDTV, resulting in a more detailed, realistic picture. Advanced audio, including Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS® HD (core only), along with legacy formats including Dolby® Digital and DTS® bring an increased sonic realism to movie soundtracks. Backwards compatibility means you can enjoy your existing library of DVDs and CDs, and through the process of upconversion using HDMI, your movies are scaled to match the resolution of your HD display. An interface suite includes an abundance of audio/video connections as well as an ethernet connection for firmware updates and future internet delivered features.
Key Video Features
HD DVD playback (including Combo. Format Discs), DVD and DVD-R/-RW
DVD upconversion via HDMI™ Video Upconversion - 720p/1080i
Video Output: 1080i/720p/480p/480i
Key Audio Features
Built-in Dolby® Digital, Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS®, and DTS® HD (core only)
Advanced high-performance 32-bit SHARC® Digital Signal Processing
CD Audio Playback (CD, CD-R/-RW)
Slim design cabinetry
New improved remote design with glow keys and TV operation
HDMI 1.2a interface, component video, S-Video, composite video
All-in-all the HD-A2 is a pretty snazzy player that comes in around $400. Still a tad expensive but well worth it if you want to get the most of of your HD DVDs.
Last year we mentioned the Hasbro's ZoomBox Projector, a great projector for the kids. What's cool is all the buzz we're hearing from our readers over a device that allows your kids to play games and watch DVDs on a 60-inch diagonal picture right on their wall. According to Amazon:
Sit at home and stare at your wall! Play your favorite DVDs, CDs, and video games projected on a wall with the amazing Zoombox! This device has a built-in projector that displays your favorite electronic games and movies on your wall, on your ceiling, or any flat surface in an image that can be displayed up to 60-inches. With a built-in CD/DVD player as well as external hook-ups for camcorders, video games, VCRs, and more, the Zoombox is an all-in-one solution for your kid's home media needs. Plus with the headphone jack, they won't have to share the built-in speakers' sound with the rest of the house.
Technical Specifications: Creates a 60-inch diagonal picture when placed 8 feet from the wall or ceiling. For best results, use in a dark room on a light-colored wall or ceiling.
Resolution: 557 x 234 Includes: Zoombox Projector Lamp bulb 12V AC adaptor Instructions This amazing item assembles in seconds and can be projecting a movie on your wall in just minutes. Just plug it in, point it, dim the lights, and enjoy!
The thing to remember is that the ZoomBox isn't going to do much for your home entertainment system, but it's a great low-cost option to enhance your kid's game playing and DVD watching.
When it comes to a reasonably priced AV unit for your home theater system, you can't go wrong with the VSX-816-K 7.1-channel XM-Ready A/V Receiver from Pioneer. One of the coolest features is that the VSX-816-K is XM-ready. According to Amazon:
The VSX-816-K is an excellent choice for audiophiles looking for the best possible sound quality for their home theater. Advanced DSP combines with the unit's room-tuning feature to create a studio-like auditory experience closer to what the filmmakers and musicians intended their audiences to hear. Compensating for speaker distance and level, as well as the room's specific acoustics, the receiver equalizes the audio output of each speaker for optimum performance. When combined with the receiver's 100 watts of power to 7 channels, sound accuracy is better, and dialogue and action sequences are clearer, for a more enjoyable auditory experience.
When paired with an XM Satellite Radio Connect & Play antenna and XM subscription service (not included), the VSX-816-K will receive more than 100 channels of music, sports, news and comedy through XM. Music fans will be pleased to know that the VSX-816-K is the first A/V receiver to incorporate XM Surround broadcasts powered by Neural Surround for multiple channels of complete surround music.
You might want to check this deal out before it's gone.
If you're looking for a large screen DLP (Digital Light Processing) HDTV that won't break the bank, you'll want to check out this deal at Amazon on the Samsung HL-S5087W 50" 1080p DLP HDTV:
Amazon.com Product Description
Get the sharpest and clearest images possible from HD and standard TV with with the 50-inch Samsung HL-S5087W DLP television, which features a full progressive HD 1920 x 1080-pixel reslution digital format converter for all inputs (and true 1920 x 1080p picture from via HDMI). A contrast ratio of up to 10000:1 captures blacker blacks, crisper whites and images that burst into life. And the high-speed of the DLP chip, with millions of tiny mirrors that switch on and off over 15,000 times per second, delivers a precise, razor-sharp picture. It has a built-in analog/digital (NTSC/ATSC) tuner, offers both HDMI and component video connections, . It also features a smaller footpring than other high-definition TVs (with a "hidden speaker" thin bezel), fitting where many other large-screen HDTVs won't.
Detail enhancer: Many viewers complain of the unnatural effect that conventional uniform detail enhancement produces by relying on artificial amplification of the input signal. In contrast, DNIe automatically analyzes the portion to be amplified, detecting and re-processing any noise or defect to bring the viewer a startlingly sharp and lifelike image.
DLP (which stands for Digital Light Processing) uses an optical semiconductor to recreate source material with a fidelity analog systems can't match. While other technologies lose a certain amount of light in transit, the microscopic mirrors in a DLP projection system bring more light from lamp to screen. It also features better color uniformity over time--no burn-in, screen aging or color-shifting possible. It's the leading display technology for products like small portable conference room projectors and professional venue entertainment systems.
This Samsung DLP television employs a Texas Instruments DLP chip that is comprised of millions of microscopic mirrors. The DLP chip is faster than any HDTV technology, with the mirrors switching on and off 15,000 times a second to deliver a razor-sharp picture for fast moving images. It also offers Samsung's Cinema Smooth Gen 7 1080p Light Engine, which creates a picture with no visible pixel structure for a captivating, theater-quality experience. You'll get up to a 10000:1 contrast ratio with outstanding colors and deep black levels.
The Samsung HL-S5087W is currently on Amazon for under $2000 so you might want to check the deal out.
Since we mentioned Amazon and TiVo's movie download announcement yesterday, we thought now might be the time for you to consider getting a TiVo. Amazon has a few nice deals going on:
Amazon.com Product Description:
The TiVo Series2 DT does something that only DirecTV TiVo users have enjoyed up till now--the ability to record two shows at once. This dual-tuner (DT) TiVo Series2 is the first standalone DVR that's optimized for households with cable television. Now, you'll never have to miss any of your favorite shows--even if they're on at the same time. It also offers the same entertainment services as other TiVo Series2 DVRs, including digital music, digital photos, remote scheduling, and hassle-free favorites recording. All this and the famed luxury of being able to pause and view instant replays of live television, too. TiVo DVRs record television programming directly to an onboard digital ATA/IDE hard drive, eliminating the hassles of videotape (imprecise tape searching, head cleaning, steadily degrading picture, fuzzy sound, etc.).
This TiVo Series2 DT model (TCD649080) offers an 80-hour recording capacity. It offers the ability to simultaneously record programming from two basic cable channels, or one basic cable channel and one digital cable channel. It also includes built-in Ethernet and USB ports, making it easier than ever to add the TiVo box to your home network. This enables you to take advantage of the TivoToGo feature, which allows you to transfer programs from the TiVo box to a Windows-based desktop or laptop PC so you can watch your favorite programs on the go or while others are watching live or recorded programing on the TV.
So put away those old VHS tapes and enter the 21rst century!
I've mentioned it before but I'm really a big fan of wireless headphones. In fact, I prefer to watch TV with headphones because it gives me the ability to block out outside noises and really become involved in what I'm watching. The key to to wireless headphones is to find a pair that can really handle the sound output from your TV or home theater system. One of the best sets of headphones you can look at is Pioneer SE-DIR800C HDPH Dolby Digital 5.1 Wireless Headphones. According to Amazon:
Amazon.com Product Description
Don't let a sleeping family keep you from your new action adventure movie, DTS 5.1 concert, or online video game tournament by setting up these Pioneer wireless surround sound headphones. The SE-DIR800C phones, which connect to any 5.1-channel source--including a DVD player, game console, digital cable box, or satellite receiver--are equipped with Dolby Headphone technology, which produces up to five virtual loudspeakers in your head by directing and reflecting the sound from each channel. The effect is a stunning surround experience, far more dimensional than with typical headphones, and, some say, even better than with a high-performance surround speaker system. The audio is natural sounding and doesn't cause "listener fatigue" as do many other headphones. The phones also work with a variety of surround formats, including Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Surround.
Most conveniently, the SE-DIR800C phones are completely cordless. The small wireless transmitter connects to your source (DVD player, game console, etc.) and broadcasts a clear, strong signal via infrared technology to the headphones. Thanks to the wireless technology, you won't snag a headphone cord on furniture, your dog, your glasses, or anything else.
The phones feature a trio of "virtual room" presets from which to choose. The options actually reproduce the sound of a playback system in up to three different listening environments based on the acoustic measurements of real rooms. The small room setting (DH1) re-creates a small, well-damped room with very little reverberation that's perfect for both movies and music-only recordings, while the medium room (DH2) is a more acoustically live (or "wet") room that's well suited to both formats as well (with moderate reverberation). Meanwhile, the large room setting (DH3) offers a bigger sound, more like the audio within a concert hall or movie theater.
You just can't go wrong with headphones that incorporate Dolby Digital Surround Sound. Be sure to check out the deal at Amazon.
When it comes to brand names, I've had pretty good luck with ViewSonic products. In fact for the price, I'd have to say they're one of the best electronic manufacturers out there. Amazon has a nice deal on the ViewSonic N3760W 37" LCD HDTV that you'll want to check out:
The ViewSonic N3760W NextVision Widescreen LCD TV delivers perfectly pleasing HDTV. This beautifully-designed 37" widescreen LCD television brings optimum entertainment to any home. The new DNX Image Processing technology, combined with a super-fast 8ms response time, gives you full-color, true HDTV in 1366 x 768 resolution. Along with its high brightness and contrast ratio, the SRS ZT Audio sound makes you feel like you're in the action of your favorite movies and shows. An HDMI interface ensures long-term compatibility and the widescreen aspect ratio lets you watch DVDs and HDTV broadcasts the way they were meant to be seen. Turn your living room into a complete entertainment center -- you'll never want to leave home again.
Viewing Angles - 178 degrees, vertical and horizontal Anti-glare hard coating on glass surface NTSC/ATSC Tuner Twin 10-watt SRS TruSrround XT speakers Inputs - RGB analog, TV/cable, composite (RCA), YPbPr/YCbCr, S-Video, 3.5mm mini stereo Connectors - 15-pin mini D-sub (VGA), HDMI TV Modes - MTS, TV/CATV, auto scan, set channel, channel delete, label, favorite, fine tune OnView PC Controls adjust contrast, brightness, H & V positions, aspect ratio, text/graphic mode, fine tune, color temperature Long life 50,000 hour light source 3-pin power plug; operates on 90-240V AC; Consumption - 220 watts Compatible with PCs up to 1360 x 768, PowerMac G3 to G5 up to 1280 x 1024 Dimensions(WxHxD) - 37.93 x 28.74 x 11 (960 x 730 x 280 mm) Weight - 68.2 lbs. with stand