When it comes to plunking down your hard-earned cash on a new HDTV, now is becoming one of the best times to invest. According to an article at Biz.Yahoo.com:
Demand for bigger televisions with sharper images and top-quality audio is exploding. Manufacturers are rushing to meet the demand, which dovetails nicely with congressionally mandated deadlines for a switch from traditional analog TV signals to digital TV signals coming in a few years.
As is the norm with technology, prices have dropped on high-definition, plasma and flat-panel TVs, so they've become much more accessible to the average consumer. And while the technology is still evolving, and will likely become cheaper still, experts believe that now is not a bad time to buy if you're in the market for a new TV.
This is a pretty standard article but not a bad read if you're thinking about a new HDTV.
Just as we were getting used to the current HDTV technology, Mitsubishi has decided to throw us a curveball. According to a new press release:
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. demonstrated the world's first laser-based, high-definition television at its 2006 National Dealer Line Show today. The Mitsubishi laser HDTV utilizes separate red, green and blue semiconductor lasers in an exclusive implementation together with Texas Instrument's 1080p DLP(R) HDTV chip. Mitsubishi's laser technology enables a completely new look in large screen television, both in high-performance picture reproduction and sleek, lightweight, and compact design.
Mitsubishi's laser HDTV offers a significant leap in color performance, both in intensity and in the range of colors which can be reproduced. This unique laser light source offers an expanded color depth and the widest color gamut possible from any display source, including LED-lighted displays. In fact, Mitsubishi laser-based HDTV technology produces a color gamut far exceeding (1.8 times greater) that of normal LCD televisions.
Of course they announce this right after you plunked down $5000 on that new HDTV, right?. No worries, it'll probably be a while till we see this technology hit the street and we doubt it'll be in most consumer's price range in the beginning anyway.
Are you ready to start looking for a Plasma TV? Well, here's another buying guide from ABCNews to get you started.
Resolution is another factor in the cost and image quality of a plasma display. For pixel-based display devices like plasma televisions, native resolution refers to the number of unique pixels provided along the display's horizontal and vertical axes. For displays 50 inches and larger, the native resolution matches or slightly exceeds the resolution delivered in a 720p HDTV broadcast signal. Pioneer recently announced its PRO-FHDI 50-inch plasma display, which will offer 1080p native resolution (1,920 by 1,080 pixels), effectively doubling the number of pixels offered by current 50-inch panels. The more pixels a display offers for its screen size, the closer to the screen a viewer can sit without noticing the display's pixel structure.
There's nothing here we haven't told you before but we wanted to give you a little refresher material.
HDBeat has a little info on a new HD DVR from DirecTV:
DIRECTV quietly announced a new HD DVR at EHX this past week. Despite my constant drilling, the DIRECTV representative couldn't satisfy my curiosity. He did indicate that the reason this device wasn't at CES was because it's not a consumer device. He did on the other hand tell me that it will have 750GB of capacity and run between $1500 and $2000.
Does a 750GB DVR make you drool as much as me? What's funny is DirecTV is going for a bigger and badder DVR while cable companies are looking to do away with DVRs as we know them. Wonder who'll win the battle?
At HDBeatCompare Prices:DVRCompare Prices:DirecTV
An estimated 800,000 to 1 million adults will buy HDTV (High Definition Television Sets) over the next year, according to a report by Continental Research on Digital TV.
Jon Beaumont, director at Continental Research, said: "Of all respondents aware of HDTV, 2% claimed already to have HDTV, 7% claimed to be very interested and 36% quite interested. From this data we estimate that between 800,000 and 1m homes will purchase an HDTV set in the next 12 months. Potentially one million converts to HDTV will certainly please the manufacturers at such an early stage in its evolution."
I don't doubt a lot of people will buy HDTVs over the next year but how did they come up with those numbers and how many people did they survey?
What do you bet the survey was commisioned by HDTV makers?
Lately I've been harping on this fact about HDTV, price isn't everything. While you want to comparison shop, is it really worth saving a few hundred bucks for a TV you won't be happy with? Here's an article at the Chicago Tribune that backs up what I've been saying:
A recent review on Cnet.com, for example, featured horrible phrases like black levels, native resolution, color temperatures, full calibration, red push, grayscale variation, overscan, DC restoration and defeatable-edge enhancement.
Nobody should have to learn what these words mean. Is it necessary when shopping for a high-definition television?
Two leading experts say no.
And they offer the following practical and sometimes surprising advice for when you decide it's time to buy a high-definition television.............Read More
While you should always look for a deal on the internet, be sure to go to you to your local electronics store and check out the TVs close up. Then go home and look for the best deal possible on the internet.
For some people, it's not how much that new plasma TV costs, but how good the picture is. I mean, what good is it to save a $1000 and not be happy with the picture? So if you're willing to spend the money, you'll want to take a look at this review of NEC's 42XR4 42-inch Plasma HDTV from PCMag that starts:
The NEC 42XR4 ($3,995 list) is the most impressive a 42-inch plasma display panel that PC Magazine has tested to date. It doesn't include many extras, and its advanced picture controls demand professional setup, but with some tweaking, this TV's accurate and faithful video reproduction is a pleasure for the eyes.
The 42XR4 is a 42-inch plasma display that, post-calibration, delivered the most impressive imagery that we have seen from any plasma TV in its class. Subjectively, both DVD movies and HDTV appear pleasingly correct, with accurate colors and detailed imagery. The 42XR4 strikes me as a great plasma display that was designed for professional installation. The à la carte accessories and the advanced menu options (which can be hidden when not in use) are ideal for customizing the display to its owner. Yes, the 42XR4 costs more than most other 42-inch plasma displays, but I have yet to see a 42-inch TV come this close to image perfection.
You know, I normally don't trust a study commissioned by a company that says their product is better than everybody elses. According to Dell's press release:
ROUND ROCK, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 21, 2006--When considering picture quality and price(a), consumers chose Dell's (NASDAQ:DELL) W5001C plasma HDTV over Panasonic's TH50PX500U model in a four-city, head-to-head viewing competition.
The consumer preference study of 50-inch plasma HDTVs was conducted from November 2005 through February 2006 in Baltimore, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Following viewings of each TV, 308 consumers were asked their preference if the Panasonic and Dell TVs were priced $500 and $100 apart. The Dell won at only a $100 discount to the Panasonic.
Guideline Research, on behalf of Dell, conducted the Dell HDTV Challenge at shopping malls in the four cities. It pitted the competing plasmas against each other in viewings of indoor and outdoor, bright and dimly lit, and high and lower contrast scenes from a high-definition movie.
While I don't necessarily trust Dell, I think the results are pretty legit and mirror what we've been saying. The Dell and the Panasonic models are two of the best HDTVs out there and are a steal for the price.
The funny thing is that this survey took place over 3 months in 4 of the biggest cities in the US and they only surveyed 308 people? Maybe it's time for Dell to hire a new research company? I'm sure Dell could hire a research company to research the best research company. Ouch! I have a headache now.
Looking for a "clutter-less" HDTV? You might want to look at the Toshiba 32HLX95 LCD HDTV. According to
Toshiba has a simple solution. Just remove the need for external sources by putting everything inside the TV. The new 32HLX95 features a built-in DVD player, a CableCARD slot, and ATSC and NTSC tuners that use the TV Guide On Screen program guide. Add in the pair of speakers mounted along the bottom panel to give the TV an even smaller footprint (or wallprint, as the case may be), and there's no need to connect any extra boxes if you don't want to.
Overall, they were pleased with the 32HLX95:
You'll need to save up a few more pennies to buy the 32HLX95, as its $2,500 MSRP puts it at the higher end of the LCD HDTV category. However, if you put a premium on the aesthetic benefits of a flat panel, this TV lives up to that promise better than most. Toshiba has freed us from the need for clunky source components. Now, if only they could figure out how to remove all those cables from the equation.
I guess for the price, I'd like to see a DVR instead of a DVD player, but maybe on the next model. Still, this is a pretty snazzy HDTV if you're looking for an "all-in-one".