Got a TV but you're not sure how to integrate it into a room? Well, if you got a lot of extra bucks lying around you might want to try install a TV lift into a wood floor. According to ElectronicHouse.com:
The homeowners had painstakingly chosen special white marble for the fireplace so the last thing they wanted to do was cover it up with a TV. Placing the set in a cabinet at the foot of the bed was considered as well, but that idea was ultimately deemed too intrusive for a room with such sleek, modern lines. Left with few other options, the crew at Audio Video Excellence looked to the floor—or rather, beneath the floor, for a solution. After a portion of the flooring had been carefully cut away, Audio Video Excellence installed an Electro-Kinetics TV lift into the floor and mounted a 50-inch Pioneer plasma TV to the top of it. Most of the time, the TV and lift hide out in the basement below the bedroom.
Very cool! You can see a few more images and the entire article at:
Looking to ease into an HD DVD player without breaking the bank? Then you'll want to check out the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player is now available for less than $300. CNET has a review of the HD-A2 that's pretty positive:
The HD-A2's performance on HD DVDs is excellent. Both HD DVD and Blu-ray offer superior image quality to DVD, and the HD-A2 does a fine job with HD DVD discs. That's not to say it's better than its competitors; we've found that nearly all high-def disc players offer virtually identical image quality. Movies like Aeon Flux, Mission Impossible: III, and The Hulk showed off the HD-A2's image quality prowess and we saw very little difference between the picture of the HD-A2 and the step-up HD-XA2 when both were in 1080i mode.
The biggest drawback of the HD-A2 is the lack of 1080p:
Many people in the market for an HD DVD player are probably wondering whether it's worth spending the extra money to step up to either the HD-A20 or HD-XA2--both which offer 1080p output. To be sure, both 1080i and 1080p offer exactly the same amount of detail, the only difference is that with a 1080i signal, your HDTV will need to de-interlace the signal. So the only reason you'd want 1080p over 1080i is if the HD DVD player offered better de-interlacing than your HDTV.
Even though the HD-A2 has been out for a few months now, this is still one of the best entry level HD DVD choices out there.
I have to say that if your refrigerator has a built-in TV, you're just too cool for words. Now if your fridge has built-in HDTV, I bow down to you. Yep you heard it right, the first fridge with built-in HDTV is on it's way according to this press release from LG Electronics:
Building on its award-winning Weather & Info TV Refrigerator, LG Electronics makes kitchens more innovative and entertaining with the introduction of the first-of-its-kind digital high-definition television (HDTV) Refrigerator. The new premium model is highlighted along with LG's full refrigerator line at the 2007 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, May 8-10 (Booth C3713).
The stylish new LG HDTV Refrigerator is a unique side-by-side model that incorporates LG's powerful fifth-generation ATSC-QAM-NTSC digital television tuner that delivers crisp digital broadcast and unscrambled cable images to the refrigerator's 15-inch high-definition LCD television screen.
Besides just TV, you also get some awesome features like:
Weather forecasts: The LG unit delivers personalized weather forecasts
based on a consumer's geographic area, along with the forecast for four
surrounding cities, via a wireless pager network.
Recipe bank: From chilled gazpacho soup to tiramisu, the
refrigerator's built-in recipe bank can help turn anyone into a chef
with 100 pre-loaded recipes from the Culinary Institute of America;
food categories include appetizers, soups, salads, meat/poultry,
seafood, vegetarian, side dishes and dessert.
Digital photo album: Users can upload their personal photo album via a
USB port in the dispenser area and select a slide show mode to display your favorite pictures.
Organization tools: Easily keep up with important items with these
helpful functions including date/time clock, calendar with anniversary
alarm and more
And how much moola for this type of luxury you ask?:
The LG HDTV Refrigerator, model LSC27990TT, will be available in the second quarter of 2007 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $3,999.
So if you like cold food and hot TV (yeah I know it's a dumb line but it's the best I could do!) be sure to keep an eye out for the LSC27990TT
There's a nice unconfirmed rumor circulating on the internet that Walmart may be offering an HD DVD player soon. According to Highdefdigest.com:
News that Wal-Mart was planning to sell a high-def disc player at the discounted price of anywhere from $50-$299 spread across the web like wildfire Friday, but at the end of the day, the unconfirmed report raises more questions than it answers.
The news first surfaced Thursday morning in a post on AVS Forum which cited a Chinese news agency as reporting that Wal-Mart has signed a deal to produce two million HD DVD players to be sold at a discounted price of $299 a pop.
There is some confusion if the Walmart plans to sell HD DVD or Blu-ray according to the article:
But as other online news outlets began to pick up the story on Friday (including perhaps most notably, Engadget), questions began to arise over which high-def formats (if any) the original Chinese report was referring to, as translations of the article show that it uses the phrase "Blu-ray HD DVD" or "Blue Light HD DVD" to describe the supported format of the reported disc player.
We're assuming that the format will be HD DVD but who knows. Any type of high definition player at Walmart should definitely be a bonus for the consumer and surely add some fire to the high definition format war.
When it comes to buying a new HDTV many first-timers go with a rear-projection TV because there a lot less expensive than flat panels (although flat panel prices continue to drop). The thing most people don't realize is how sleek and unboxy projection TVs are becoming. One such HDTV is the JVC HD-58S998 which has a cabinet that's only 10.75-inches deep and while that may not be sleek enough for some consumers, it's a great HDTV on a budget. According to a review of the JVC HD-58S998 at CNET:
From the front, the JVC HD-58S998 looks like a typically sleek, modern-day HDTV, and in fact it's one of the most attractive examples we've seen yet. We love that the bezel along the top and sides of the screen's edge measures a mere 1/3 of an inch wide (!), even thinner than that of the former thin-bezel champ, Mitsubishi's WD-65831. That sliver of a bezel allows this 58-inch set to occupy just 51.5 inches of width. As is par for the RPTV course, the area below the screen is significantly chunkier and glossy black, interrupted only by a big JVC logo and a cool-looking power indicator that can be disabled--a boon for home theater fanatics who demand a minimum of superfluous illumination. All told, the HD-58S998 is probably as compact as any 58-inch RPTV could be, measuring 51.5x37.9x10.8 inches, and weighing a feathery 115 pounds.
Overall the HD-58S998 got high marks except:
The biggest problem we had with the JVC's picture quality had to do with its uneven geometry. Ideally you want a grid displayed on a TV screen to have perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines, and with most microdisplays and all flat-panel sets, they come pretty close. With the HD-58S998 we reviewed, however, it was a different story. The most egregious issue was with horizontal lines in the top two-thirds of the screen, which curved upward toward the sides, the left more than the right, for an effect that kind of resembled a crooked smile. Other areas of the grid looked funky, too; vertical lines toward the edges bowed inward at the top and slightly outward toward the top middle, in contrast to the screen's lower third, which was mostly even.
So, the other day we were talking about LCOS TVs being a great opportunity to get a large screen TV for a reasonable price. What if we told you there was another projection technology coming that offered exeptional quality at half the price? Well, you might want to check out LaserTv technology from Novalux. According to RealTechNews:
Plasma was king until LCD got bigger and better. And just when you thought you could settle down in front of a huge LCD screen and enjoy some high-def peace of mind comes LaserTV. Developed by Novalux, LaserTV has this little calling card: it costs 50% less to produce, has double the color range, and uses 75% less power.
The article continues:
So here is where LaserTV fits, in the big picture (so to speak.) LaserTV is a projection technology, so if you like micro-thin flat panels, this is not for you. The technology replaces the spinning UHP lamp in the back of projection DLP and LCD TVs with laser-beaming hardware. The lasers are faster and use less power, and they create a picture that side by side, has blown away the best plasma, projection and LCDs sets currently on the market.
So just like LCOS, if you're looking for a sleek flat-screen then LaserTV probably isn't for you. If you can handle a larger projection TV that's affordable, the LaserTv may be right down your alley.
Hopefully LaserTV technology will be available sometime early next year. We'll keep you posted when we hear something.
Update:Mitsubishi is releasing the world's first laser TV, LaserVue, in 2008.
Looks like we might be seeing a sub $2000 56inch LCOS TV real soon. If you're not familiar with LCOS, it's basically a reflective technology similar to DLP projectors but uses liquid crystals instead of individual mirrors. According to CNET News:
MicroDisplay, a Fremont, Calif.-based company, will begin manufacturing a 56-inch liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) television this summer that will sell a few months later for between $1,300 and $1,500.
A type of so-called microdisplay technology, LCOS is a silicon chip covered in liquid crystals. Light is reflected off the chip and through a projector to produce an image on a TV screen. MicroDisplay plans to use its own proprietary liquid crystal-covered chip, which it has dubbed "Liquid Fidelity," in rear-projection televisions that it will sell to mass-market brands, such as Akai and Memorex.
One of the big advantages of LCOS is that the TVs cabinet depth is shrinking and they're more energy effecient:
Most rear-projection TVs now measure less than 20 inches deep, though many flat panels measure a mere 8 inches from front to back--MicroDisplay's will be 16 inches deep. Another benefit of rear-projection sets is that they consume half the power of flat panels, which can mean lower electricity bills for owners.
If you're interested in a large screen TV for a reasonable price you might want to start looking at LCOS from MicroDisplay.
If your in the market for an LCD HDTV, you can't go wrong with the Sharp Aquos line. Ecoustics.com has a review of the latest Aquos TV, the Sharp Aquos LC-52D92U 52-inch LCD HDTV. The review is pretty decent with quite a few images and full benchmark results. The review starts out:
The company's newest top-of-the-line sets are those in the D92U series, which includes the Sharp Aquos LC-52D92U 52-inch LCD HDTV. New features making their appearance in this series include a five-wavelength backlight (to enhance color reproduction), 120-Hz frame-rate conversion, and an Advanced Fine Motion display mode. Those last two features aim to eliminate lag from fast-moving images and to smooth them out by quickening the display's response time. It also has a conspicuously high 15,000:1 rated contrast ratio — a 50 percent jump over the spec for last year's models. Of all these improvements, that last one is the most immediately noticeable when you first turn on the set.
Overall the articles states:
The Sharp Aquos LC-52D92U 52-inch LCD HDTV is the kind of bigscreen flat TV that many folks would be glad to have in their homes. It delivers a crisp, bright picture with an impressively wide viewing angle, deep shadows, and strong contrast. Where the Sharp comes up short is its below-average handling of standard-def programs and pumped-up, unnatural-looking color. That first issue is one that I imagine many people could live with, but the second one is something that discerning viewers will find hard to overlook.
But first, a recap: Apple TV is a small device (7.7 inches square and 1.1 inches high) that’s destined for your living room. It attaches to a widescreen digital TV and, optionally, a home theater sound system. After you’ve hooked up an Apple TV and turned on on your TV set, you’ll see a menu of options that are similar to those you’d find on an iPod or in Apple’s Front Row software for the Mac.
In addition to connecting to your TV, the Apple TV connects to your home network, most commonly via 802.11 wireless networking. (Yes, the device has an Ethernet port on the back as well, if your network is wired rather than wireless.) Once that's done, Apple TV can act as a bridge between your computer—which has a hard drive filled with movies, TV shows, music, and photos—and your TV set.
Sounds pretty exciting huh? Of course to get the most out of Apple TV you'll want to invest in the right HDTV. Macworld.com has another nice article that discusses getting the right HDTV for Apple TV that starts out:
With so many HDTVs out there, how do you decide which is right for you? A good start is to first figure out your budget and the size of set you’re looking for. Once you have an idea of what you are willing to spend and how big you want your viewing experience to be, you’ll only be looking at a subset of the various technologies. Then decide which features are most important to you, and try to see a bunch of TVs in action at a few different stores. (We’ve got some recommendations below.) And if you don’t have a surround sound stereo system, it might be a good time to check those out too—most HD programming is delivered with 5.1-channel sound, as are the standard DVDs you already watch.
Overall the list of TVs is pretty small but we agree with their the top item on their list:
Vizio P42HDTV ($1,200): 42-inch plasma display has a bright screen with good image quality and a low-price, but has somewhat over-saturated green tones. Has HDMI and component inputs, integrated HD tuner, 10,000-to-1 contrast ratio, 1,024-by-768 pixel native resolution, and supports 720p and 1080i video.
Hitachi has just announced they're going to offer TVs with removable hard drives. Is it me or is that one of the greatest announcements ever? According to the press release:
TOKYO, March 20 - Japan's Hitachi Ltd. said on Tuesday it plans to sell the world's first high-definition TVs with removable hard drives.
Users can expand high-definition recording capacity with the new hard drives and Hitachi hopes the feature will boost sales and keep steep price falls at bay, executives said.
Hitachi has promised to bring its flat TV business into the black in the January-March quarter.
Japan's biggest electronics conglomerate will equip plasma TVs and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs with 250-gigabyte internal hard drives and removable 80-GB or 160-GB drives starting on April 20 in Japan.
We don't have anymore details yet but we'll keep you posted. Hopefully we'll also see some other manufacturers offer TVs with removable hard drives in the near future.