Best Selling HDTVs

January 29, 2008

No Large Screen OLED TV's From Panasonic Until At Least 2012

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Toshihiro Sakamoto, president of Panasonic AVC Networks Company, shed some light on what we can expect from Panasonic's high-def department in the next few years, in an interview with TWICE, an online consumer electronics magazine. Some of the highlights of the interview are old news, but Sakamoto provided clarification on a number of issues including the usage of Tru2way technology. So what can we expect from Panasonic?

1. Flat panel TV's still are the center of the 21st century living room and Panasonic tends to make HDTV more usable with technologies such as the VIERA Link audio/video operating system. All Panasonic HDTV's will now be under the VIERA brand name.

2. Panasonic will have a Tru2way-ready HDTV available sometime this year in collaboration with Comcast. Tru2way requires no set-top box and is controlled via one remote.

3. VIERACast, a VIERA IPTV, will enable access to YouTube and Picasa photo albums on your HDTV via Google.

4. Plasma displays in development will have about twice the brightness of current models and be ridiculously thin as their 24.7 mm thin plasma display showed. Sakamoto says plasma can compete with LCD even with larger LCD screens drastically dropping in price.

5. Panasonic's monster 150-inch plasma display shown at CES will not be available until after 2009 as a new factory must be built to house the building requirements for such large panels. The reasoning behind such a large TV: that's what consumers want and it's the perfect size panel to display 2160x4096 pixel resolution, 4 times 1080p.

6. Wireless 1080p signal transmission will be a prominent HDTV feature in the next few years.

7.
Panasonic is in talks with cable companies other than Comcast to use Tru2way and other DVR technologies.

8. We won't see any OLED TV's retailed for a few years yet. Panasonic feels they need their own specialized facility for the production of OLED and doesn't expect it to be available in larger screen sizes (32 inches and above) until somewhere in the vicinity of 2012-2014.

9. Panasonic is happy about Warner Bros. decision to exclusively back the Blu-ray disc format as it will accelerate the American format war, something that ended already in Japan.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 21, 2008

What Are The Best HDTV's For Your Super Bowl Sunday Party?

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The New England Patriots capped their perfect 18-0 season today with a 21-12 win over the San Diego Chargers to secure a spot in this year's Super Bowl while the Giants beat the Packers 23-20 securing their trip to Arizona. An absolutely remarkable achievement guaranteeing the Super Bowl will be a fast-paced, action-packed game this year. But the real question is what type of TV you're going to watch the game on. Fast-paced football games don't look great on just any high-definition television, so we'll point you in the right direction with some of the best LCD's and plasma's for an optimal Super Bowl viewing experience in 2008.


ArrowContinue reading: "What Are The Best HDTV's For Your Super Bowl Sunday Party?"

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 18, 2008

The HD Conspiracy: Apple, Microsoft, YouTube Make False Video Quality Claims

Apple, Microsoft, and YouTube all make claims of HD video offerings through the iTunes movie service, the Xbox 360, and YouTube.com respectively. We've talked about YouTube's claims before and the company later said they were misconstrued and they offer near HD-quality video on a designated part of their web video platform. We've never really looked into Apple's and Microsoft's claims, but George Ou of Real World IT blows the truth out of the water and exposes the HD conspiracy.

It all comes down to bit rates. Here's a good example. HD DVD has a bit rate of 28 mbps. Uncompressed 1080p video at 60 frames per second registers at 3000 mbps meaning that HD DVD needs to be compressed at 107 to 1 with the H.264 or VC-1 codec. Therefore, Ou argues that 28 mbps is the minimum bit rate to be considered high-def after loss of quality from compression.

Now consider these numbers:

1. Standard definition DVD's are usually 5 to 8 mbps MPEG-2
2. Apple's new HD movies service is 4 mbps-not even close to HD
3. Xbox 360 downloads are 6.8 mbps 720p VC-1-borderline HD
4. The only time 4 mbps 720p video will look better than 8 mbps MPEG-2 is if the screen is completely stationary or low-complexity video

Ou's conclusion: None of these service offer HD video by any definition, pardon the pun. The best these services offer is video that is slightly lower quality than an upscaled standard DVD.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Belkin Conserve Surge Protector: Save Money On Your Next Power Bill

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High-definition televisions, though still in their early years, are already infamous for their ruthless power consumption. A few of the major manufacturers are actually marketing HDTV's that are comparatively economical in their usage of power as a differentiating factor that actually makes their set better, regardless of picture quality. There are other ways to cut down on your HDTV's power-greedy ways, however, besides buying the latest and greatest "green" TV.

Would you believe a surge protector could be an effective solution? It can, but it can't be just any surge protect. It has to be a Belkin Conserve. The 8-outlet surge protector cuts down on your home theater's power consumption by reducing its standby power saving you money and helping our fragile environment. It comes with a wireless remote, with which you can complete shut off devices that consume standby power when not in use, saving you from a trip on your hands and knees into the dark abyss of wires behind your home theater or underneath your computer desk. For those devices that need to be on all the time, such as your set-top box, the Conserve features 2 "always-on" outlets.

The Belkin Conserve is slated for a summer 2008 release in North America for US $49.99.

Via press release

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Loewe "Connect" Multimedia TV: Eye-Catching, Wireless, And A DVR

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UK electronics manufacturer Loewe knows two very important things. One, as the television market becomes saturated with sets that have very similar features, design will become more important; and two, the living room must allow access to everything media, including the internet.

They've used this knowledge to develop a new "Connect" line of multimedia televisions offering a high-def picture, wireless connectivity, and internal storage space for storing all of your multimedia files such as video, photos, and music. The "Connect" even has DVR-capabilities, if you want to record programming received via a built-in digital tuner.

The set will come in 32-, 37-, and 42-inch models with color options including high gloss black, matt chrome silver, and white. The "Connect" will be available from Loewe January 30, 2008.

Via Tech Digest

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HDTV Rumor: Pioneer To Replace 42 Inch Plasma Models With LCD's

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Now You See It, Now You Don't

An email send to Sound And Vision magazine from a district sales manager at a Pioneer deal states that it will no longer manufacture 42 inch plasma sets in future generations, nor will it sell XGA sets. The email also hinted that Pioneer would replace the 42 inch plasma lineup with an LCD lineup of that size, though it wouldn't happen this year. Apparently, Pioneer's decision is due to LCD manufacturer Sharp acquiring a stake in the company.

Via Sound And Vision

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January 17, 2008

Battle Of The Brands: LG Looks To Design To Bump Up Sales

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LG Electronics believes that great HDTV picture quality doesn't cut it anymore. With all of the top HDTV manufacturers boasting excellent picture quality, the South Korean company feels the way to differentiate their product line in 2008 isn't through semiconductors, but through design.

"In the TV market, design will be a critical differentiator this year," says Simon Kang, president in charge of LG's digital display unit.

LG's flat panel releases at CES were eye-catching and part of the company's strategy to up flat-panel sales from 9 million in 2007 to 17 million in 2008, and grab a place among the top 3 manufacturers. By the end of 2007, they sat in 4th place, with only half the market share of top manufacturer Samsung. Big goals, but some analysts say that LG has unrealistic expectations.

"LG doesn't have [the] brand clout of its Japanese rivals," says Harrison Cho, electronics analyst at Seoul-based Mirae Asset Securities. "Such an enormous volume expansion isn't realistic."

LG won't be deterred however. The company says that its aesthetically pleasing sets practically guarantee that consumers are "bound to make a stop in front of our new products, making it easy for salesmen to start explaining their features," says Kang. And don't assume that LG's penchant for design means that their HDTV's are lacking in the feature department. It's new LG60 boasts a refresh rate of 180 Hz and a contrast ratio of 30000:1 putting it on par with the picture quality of better known manufacturers.

Via Business Week

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Sharp Intros TV Stand With Built-In Aquos Home Theater...In Japan

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Sharp has done something innovative with its AN-ACD2 home theater, to be released as part of its Aquos Audio lineup. The AN-ACD2 is actually a home theater built right in to a TV stand that'll support HDTV's 37 to 42 inches in size, and has a built-in gap for placement of your Blu-ray player or game console. It features a 150 W, 2.1 channel receiver, HDMI input, and 11 presets for fine-tuning your audio depending on what you're watching. Of course, like most cool new HDTV-related announcements, the Sharp AN-ACD2 home theater will first be released in Japan on February 1. No word yet on when this one will jump the pond.

Via Akihabara News

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January 16, 2008

AMD Powered Next-Gen Digital TV's To Be DivX Supported

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Digital media company DivX continues to attempt to "create a seamless media experience where consumers can enjoy high-quality video on any kind of device" by licensing their DivX video technology to semiconductor supplier AMD. AMD will use the DivX technology in certain Xilleon(TM) processors used to power a wide lineup of next-generation digital televisions.

CEO of DivX, Kevin Hell, said of the agreement, "Digital televisions are an increasingly important element of the 'three screens' that define the digital media experience today--the PC, the television and the mobile device, and we believe our agreement with AMD will help improve the media experience for consumers."

DivX has been on a role lately as they attempt to saturate the market with their video playback technology. They've signed a whack of deals since the New Year with the likes of Next New Networks, Vuze, Jaman, Broadcom, Veoh Networks, D-Link, and Ubicom.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Dolby Goes Green With HDR Guidelines

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Dolby's DR37-P High Dynamic Range Display

It's quite apparent that the greening of the home theater will be one of the big trends of 2008, and Dolby has jumped on the green bandwagon with a new set of guidelines for the design architecture of LCD televisions. High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is a set of guidelines that improve the backlight function in LCD's. You may or may not know that "first-generation" backlights provide uniform lighting for the entire television screen while newer backlights can provide much more localized lighting as they are divided into smaller light-producing regions. Because newer LED backlights only illuminate the pixels that need to be illuminated, a picture with greater contrast results and the television uses less electricity, hence the use of the term "green". LED-lit LCD's also don't contain any mercury, a toxic element pervasive in our landfills where it can seep into groundwater, contaminating that water which we drink.

Dolby also states that its HDR guidelines, which it will start approaching manufacturers with in the first quarter of 2008, require LCD sets to display black and whites in a "dynamic range of five orders of magnitude, akin to what the human eye can naturally perceive, providing truly life-like imagery of a scale never-before seen."

So there we have it. HDR should mean three things when implemented into the design of LCD TV's: improved contrast ratios, simultaneously high brightness levels, and 30% energy savings when compared to older CCFL backlight technology.

Via PC Mag

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