Best Selling HDTVs

March 17, 2006

Philips Electronics to Fix 12,000 42-inch and 50-inch Flat-Screens Due to Overheating

It's kind of cool when a TV doubles as a bank like we spoke about this morning. It' not cool when a TV doubles as a grill. According to MSNBC:

Dutch company Philips Electronics will make house calls to repair almost 12,000 flat panel plasma TV sets in the United States because they are liable to overheating, it said on Friday.

Several incidents of overheating have been reported in the United States but Philips said materials used in the television sets were all flame retardant and there was no risk that they would catch fire.

this appears to only be an issue in the US:

The problem occurred in 42-inch and 50-inch sets. It is restricted to the United States, because the faulty capacitors involved are used only in the assembly lines for the U.S. market.

So if you own one of these TVs, keep an eye out for the repair guy. Kudos to Philips for doing the in-home repair.


William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 15, 2006

CNET Ranks the Top 12 HDTVs

Nothing sucks more than dropping $4000 on an HDTV just to discover it wasn't what you wanted. That's why it's important to do a little research and comparison shopping before you head down to the local "Best Buy". CNET has an excellent round-up of the top 12 HDTVs that starts out:

We review a lot of high-definition televisions here at CNET, but the list below represents the best of the best. It collects our current highest-recommended televisions arranged in order of overall score, regardless of TV type, technology, brand, or size. These cumulative ratings are the best indication of which HDTVs scored highest in each of the three major areas we rate: design, features, and performance. We don't expect this list to apply to everyone, however, so we've also created supplemental lists broken down by technology type, performance, and screen size. Choose from the lists below according to which criteria matter most to you.

There's some pretty nice entries on the list, including the entry level Panasonic TH-37PHD8UK, all the way up to the powerhouse projector InFocus 7210.

More at CNET

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March 9, 2006

LG Electronics to Announce 42-inch with Built-in DVR

CEBIT, the world's largest consumer trade show kicked off today in Hanover, Germany and we expect to see some cool TVs and devices to be announced in the next few days.

One announcement we're expecting tomorrow is the introduction of the LGE 42PC1RR, a 42-inch PDP (plasma display panel) with a built in DVR from LG Electronics. According to DigiTimes:

The HD-ready TV incorporates an 80GB hard disc drive (HDD) and has the capability of storing up to 40 hours of digital standard-definition programming. Features include a brightness of 1500 cd/m2 and support for the high definition multimedia interface (HDMI).

A DVR and Plasma in one, it's about time. We'll get you more details as they come in.

At DigiTimes

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William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 8, 2006

So What are 1080p TVs?

Hope you had a great holiday yesterday! The family and I sat around the bonfire (aka "burning trash pile") and shared our found memories of the other white meat. Anyway, back to reality. You've probably heard the buzz about the new 1080p format for HDTV, but do you really know what that means? Consumer Reports has a nice article that gives us a little more information about 1080p:

TV technology has taken another step forward with the introduction of so-called 1080p TVs. With a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, the highest so far, these TVs are the first with the potential to display all 1,080 lines in the most common high-definition format, called 1080i. (Until now, TV resolution has maxed out at 1366x768, requiring 1080i HD signals to be down-converted to match the TV's less-detailed display capabilities.)

That should result in the smoothest, sharpest TV images yet. And that's exactly what we saw when we tested nine 1080p sets recently. But by itself, the improved detail conferred by 1080p resolution does not guarantee excellent images. A TV must do well with other factors--including contrast, black level, and color--to achieve overall excellence in picture quality. Our tests proved the point. While all the tested 1080p sets were fine performers, only some have an excellent picture.

While I suggest waiting for the 1080p prices go down a bit, 1080p should definitely be on your "must-have features" list for your next HDTV.

More at

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Image Copyright Consumer Union

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March 7, 2006

It's a Holiday- Buy a Flat Panel TV

So you didn't go out and buy that new flat panel TV for the Super Bowl? Now the Olympics are gone and you still don't have your new TV?

Well it's never too late to buy your dream TV, because folks, today is a holiday and a holiday is a great time to buy a TV. Yep, it's National Crown Roast of Pork Day. Yum! Pork and HDTV, a match made in heaven. Anyway, I wanted to point out an article at Wired Magazine that does a great job breaking down flat panel TVs:

Bigger. Wider. Flatter. That's the vision of tomorrow's entertainment. And if you've already got a new high-definition flat-panel TV, you know exactly what we're talking about.

But HD flat-panels aren't just a bleeding-edge luxury anymore. They're about to become the household standard. While today's entertainment networks offer only a handful of high-def programs, the number of HD shows is rapidly growing. And if natural market forces weren't moving rapidly enough for your liking, the United States Congress has just given the technology a firm push forward. There's never been a better time to jump on the HD bandwagon.

The article breaks down these categories:

  • Digital deadline
  • LCD versus plasma
  • Enhanced versus high-definition
  • All about the hookups
  • Buy now, or wait?

Overall, a pretty decent read. Hey since it's a holiday, go ahead and take the rest of the day off. I'll cover for you!

At Wired [thanks Jay]

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William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 1, 2006

Another Panasonic TH-42PX50U Plasma TV Review

We've recently brought you a review of the Panasonic TH-42PX50U from BusinessWeek. Now there's another review out from DesignTechnica that reiterates the positive review from BusinessWeek:

The TH-42PX50U is a pleasure to watch, easy to operate and packed with the essential connectors and features. It could use another HDMI input and front or side inputs for external sources, but overall it’s a great TV at a great price. Panasonic doesn’t list a lifetime rating for this TV in the specs, but if it did, those hours would be at the normal picture mode versus the vivid setting most people will opt for. The brighter setting will impact the life of the phosphors so buyers should keep that in mind.

Bottom line: Anyone seriously in the market for a TV today who thinks they can’t afford HD needs a price check. With plasmas selling for around $2,500 and big-screen CRTs starting under a grand, cost is no longer a significant barrier to HDTV. Congress’ recent passage of the budget reconciliation bill that cements an analog shutoff date for 2009 makes those price shifts all the more welcome.

The TH-42PX50U is a terrific value.

If you're seriously looking at Plasma TVs, be sure to check out the TH-42PX50U.

Compare Prices on the TH-42PX50U

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

February 27, 2006

Sony Introduces TAV-L1 Slider HDTV

So, Sony has introduced a funky new slider HDTV called the TAV-L1. This magical box starts out like this:

And then morphs into:

According to

The upcoming TAV-L1 television is no ordinary goggle box. See, Sony’s latest HD set has one hell of a swish party trick up its sleeve that’s guaranteed to leave your house guests gawping with tech envy. In audio mode the unit looks like a stylish single-stand speaker, but tap the touch-sensitive front panel and the speaker grill seductively slides down to the floor to reveal a plush 32-inch HD-ready Bravia LCD display! We’ve seen it in action and frankly it’s agonisingly cool.

Plus, the speaker grille is interchangeable so you can customise it to suit your surroundings. Adding an extra sprinkle of chic to the proceedings is the smooth slot-loading CD/DVD player situated in the top of the telly. As for sounds, it’s discreetly equipped with 2.1 stereo, outputting 50w per channel, and is smuggling a hefty 100w subwoofer onboard.

The TAV-L1 will debut in the UK around May and should retail for around $6000UD.

Personally, I'm not that thrilled with the design. For the same price, you can get a larger screen HDTV and have a nice custom cabinet made if you really need to hide the screen.


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William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 16, 2006

DISH Network Adds Additional HD Channels

HTDude has pointed out that Dish Network has added these new HD channels:

  • ESPN2 HD
  • Universal HD
  • HD Locals
  • Family Room HD
  • Gameplay HD
  • Treasure HD
  • World Cinema HD
  • WorldSport HD
  • and Major Network Affiliates where available.

Add that to their existing 18 HD channels and you've got quite a few HD choices.

I swore I'd never go back to Dish network but now that they're starting to build a nice collection of HD channels, I might have to rethink that decision.


William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 14, 2006

Step-by-Step: Buying a TV

buytv1.jpgWith all of the choices and new technologies, it's getting a lot harder to decide what type of TV to buy these days. That's why we try to offer you as buying advice and tips as we do. We recently ran across a really nice TV Buying Guide from Consumer Reports that starts out:

A lot has changed in the past few years, and you have more choices than ever. Our step-by-step guide contains the essential information you need to find the TV that best suits your preferences and your budget.

The tutorial covers these topics:

  • TV types
  • Image quality
  • Screen size
  • Screen shape
  • Connections
  • Features

If you're in the market for a new TV, we highly recommend starting with this article at Consumer Reports.

More Info at

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William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 2, 2006

Super Bowl XL Going Super HDTV

There's just a few more days left till the Steelers get demolished play in Super Bowl XL. According to, this year promises to be one of the most spectacular Super Bowls ever for HDTV owners:

When ABC Sports cameras zoom in on the football for the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XL in Detroit's Ford Field at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5, more than 130 million viewers in the United States and perhaps 1 billion viewers worldwide will see the most technologically advanced Super Bowl ever.

"Sports is always at the cutting edge of hi-tech on television," said George Hoover, senior vice president of engineering at NEP Supershooters, the mobile division of NEP Broadcasting in Pittsburgh that will bring three trucks to Super Bowl XL. "Since the first super slo-mo cameras five years ago, the NFL is generally a driving force for new TV technology." NEP is bringing Supershooter 26, the HDTV rig used to shoot Monday Night Football on ABC for the past three seasons, to the event. NEP also is bringing in Supershooter 20, the HDTV truck used to shoot Sunday Night Football for ESPN.

The three-and-a-half hour pre-game show and the shorter post-game show will be shot in HD using Supershooter 18.

This next quote is so true:

Willox said HD itself now makes it possible to deliver those close-ups in greater details than ever before.

"In the old days, the cameras could barely penetrate the shadows under the helmets, so the players all looked like Darth Vader. Now, because of HD, you not only can see the sweat on their faces when watching at home, you see their state of being, which brings a whole new emotional level to viewing the game," he said.

For those of you who've never watched football (or any show as a matter of fact) on HDTV, you really can't believe how much better TV viewing can really be.


William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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