When it comes to buying an HDTV, one of the most important things to consider is size. Obviously, you want to buy the biggest screen you can afford but you also have to be sure that the room your TV is in is big enough for comfortable viewing. Digital Home Canada has a nice article that helps you figure out the right size TV for your room:
Perhaps the most common question that we receive on Digital Home Canada from readers who about to by a high definition television (HDTV) is what screen size they should buy?
Since there is no right size to buy, the Digital Home advisor provides readers with guidelines on what screen size is right for them.
When deciding what size of HDTV to buy then Digital Home recommends the first four steps you should undertake are to:
measure the overall dimensions of your viewing room;
decide where you want to place the television;
measure the available area around where you will be placing the television while allowing room for additional components and speakers; and
determine how far will you be sitting from the front of the screen
The article also has a handy table that helps you figure these things out:
For example, the chart tell us that a 50" widescreen is 24" high, 43" wide (televisions are always measured diagonally) and as a screen area of 1,032 square inches. The optimal viewing for high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) programming on a 50" television is about 8 feet and 16 feet respectively. If you are watching an up converted progressive scan DVD the ideal distance will probably be somewhere in between those two distances.
The article is pretty informative and well worth a read.
We've talked about DVD upscaling in the past, and in it's simplest form, upscaling is a way to get maximum pixels from a standard DVD onto your HDTV. Our friend Robert over at HomeTheater.About.com has a nice article that really explains upscaling:
With the advent of high definition television, the development of components to match the resolution capabilities of HDTV are becoming more important. As a solution, more and more DVD players are equipped with "upscaling" capability to better match the performance of the DVD player with the capabilities of the today's HDTV's.
He goes on to say:
Upscaling is a process that mathematically matches the pixel count of the output of the DVD signal to the physical pixel count on an HDTV, which is typically 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080i - and, some cases, 1080p).
720p represents 1,280 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 720 pixels down the screen vertically. This arrangement yields 720 horizontal lines on the screen, which are, in turn, displayed progressively, or each line displayed following another.
1080i represents 1,920 pixels displayed across a screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down a screen vertically. This arrangement yields 1,080 horizontal lines, which are, in turn, displayed alternately. In other words, all the odd lines are displayed, followed by all the even lines.
1080p, on the other hand, represents 1,080 horizontal lines displayed sequentially. This means all lines are displayed during the same pass. 1080p is the highest quality HD display format.
So if you're not ready to invest in HD DVDs or Blu-ray, you might want to consider an upscaling DVD player to get the most out of movies on you HDTV.
Mitsubishi Electric has completed construction of the world’s largest high-definition video screen at a horse track in Tokyo. The screen employs Mitsubishi’s Aurora Vision LED technology and measures 11.2 meters (37 feet) x 66.4 meters (218 feet), giving it a surface area of 744 square meters (8,000+ square feet), or the equivalent of 3 tennis courts.
The OPPO DV-970HD is a DVD player that will upconvert signal output to either 720p/1080i via its HDMI output. If you own an HD-compatible TV with HDMI (or DVI) input, you can watch DVDs in higher resolution. This works well with Plasma/LCD monitors and DLP video projectors. This unit has all video outputs and features you would expect, and then some, including: CD/CDR/CDRW/MP3/JPG playback and the addition of DVD-Audio, SACD, and DIVX playback.
Overall, Robert really liked this player:
The OPPO DV970HD is a "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". This DVD player delivers great video and audio. HDMI connectivity and upscaling enables the DV970HD to deliver an excellent picture on an HDTV. Other features, such as DVD-Audio, SACD, and Divx playback add great audio and video flexibility.
If you are looking for a new DVD player to use with that new flat panel HDTV and surround sound system, make sure you check this one out. The OPPO DV970HD is a great DVD player for under $200.
So if you're looking to get the most out of DVDs on your HDTV, be sure to check this review out.
Looks like Olevia has some pretty awesome LCD TVs coming out. According to their press release:
Syntax-Brillian Corp. (Nasdaq: BRLC), a manufacturer and marketer of LCD and LCoS(TM) HDTVs and digital entertainment products, today announced the launch of a new line of cutting-edge LCD TVs under the company's award-winning Olevia brand.
The impressive new collection of Olevia LCD TVs -- consisting of the "3 Series," "5 Series" and "7 Series" -- features world-class technology, state-of-the-art image processing and video quality that far surpasses any comparably priced product in the market, and has been designed and engineered to elevate the Olevia brand to top-tier status among its peers. Led into the market by the Olevia 5 Series, Syntax-Brillian's latest line of TVs is the company's first complete product offering since the completion of its merger in late 2005.
"The new Olevia 3, 5 and 7 Series TVs feature the latest in video-processing technology and handpicked, state-of-the art components from world-class suppliers," said Vincent Sollitto, CEO of Syntax-Brillian. "Syntax-Brillian's expertise in TV technology, supply relationships and focus on quality in design and production have combined to create new Olevia LCD TVs that stand out as among the best in their class in the world."
When you have to reinforce your walls to hold your big-ass TV, that's livin'. According to Reuters:
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., the maker of Panasonic brand electronics, said on Monday it hoped to start selling the world's largest plasma television by early next year.
Measuring 2.4 metres by 1.4 metres and weighing 215 kg, the 103-inch panel is bigger than a double-sized mattress and almost as heavy as an upright piano.
The world's largest consumer electronics maker has yet to set the price but Matsushita's 65-inch plasma TVs, its largest available now, sell for about $7,500 in Japan.
The plasma panel used in the Matsushita TV will be just one-inch larger measured diagonally than a 102-inch model developed by Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. (006400.KS: Quote, Profile, Research). The South Korean company has not launched the model commercially.
For you non-metric types, over 450 freakin pounds for a TV. Yowza! Since this baby will probably run close to $20,000, I'm not going to worry about reinforcing that wall just yet.
I just love fancy made-up words like Miravision. Yep, it's just like it sounds, a mirror that doubles as a flat-screen TV from Philips. We gave you a sneak peek of Modea Mirror TV with Miravision technology in a video back in May and now Philips has more details on their website. Philips says:
Philips Modea Mirror TV with Miravision technology is a unique product that combines the practical qualities of a stylish mirror with the benefits of a high-resolution LCD television that will continue to delight you.
Slim, stylish design to complement your interior
Unique Miravision concept: A mirror when off, a TV when on.
Compact and slim design that fits in every room
A customisable frame to match your interior design
Breathtaking natural pictures
High definition LCD WXGA display, resolution 1366 x 768p
HD ready for the highest quality display of HDTV signals
Split screen for dual video/PC display
Progressive Scan for razor sharp and flicker free images
PiP allows watching a second source simultaneously
Advanced connection to your audio/video products
DVI-D provides the best digital picture
Convenient for custom installation
RS232 interface for remote management
Prepared for recessed installation
My wife better watch the next time she tells me we need a new mirror!
We've already talked about how much confusion the new Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats are causing. Now we're starting to see various opinions on whether you should upgrade or not. According to JSOnline.com:
Phillip Swann, a TV technology analyst who runs tvpredictions.com, says betting on one or the other this early could be a waste of money.
"Look, you've got a situation where the industry has said, 'We've got two formats.' They've even hinted that both of 'em can't survive, one will survive. So if you pick the wrong one, you'll have an obsolete machine and obsolete movie titles.
"So why on earth would anybody do that?" Swann said. "There's no reason, unless you've got money to burn, you just go out and buy new devices regardless of whether you'll use them a year from now or two years from now, and you just do it because you like to be the kid on the block with the new toy."
He says the viability of one system over the other may not be apparent until next year.
I can't say I really disagree with his opinion but as always, it's not the technology that will decide if people jump on these new formats, but price. Consumers are a lot more willing to take a risk on a new format if it doesn't break the bank. So I'm guessing we'll see very little buzz on Blu-ray and HD-DVD until we see the prices of the players go down by about 2/3rds.