Best Selling HDTVs

July 13, 2009

LaCie LaCinema Rugged multimedia drive: Never watch a TV repeat again

LaCinema.jpgThere's plenty of good made-for-the-web video content available today. It's fair to say the web video industry has come a long ways in the past few years. If you're not part of the 20% of web video viewers who watch less traditional TV thanks to new media, at the very least it's great during the primetime offseason and its neverending repeats. But what's the best way to stream the content from the web to your HDTV?

LaCie's new LaCinema Rugged multimedia drive provides an easy solution without the need for any elaborate HTPC setup or monetary outflow. The $350 hardware hooks up to your PC or Mac via USB 2.0 and then accepts downloading video, audio and pictures. Most popular video codecs are accepted included H.264, MKV, WMV9 and MPEG4.

The 500 GB drive can hold up to 700 movies, according to LaCie, and it has a similar form factor to the company's Rugged Hard Disk--an anti-scratch aluminum outer shell, a shock-resistant bumper, and internal anti-shock absorbers.

At LaCie LaCinema Rugged

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July 1, 2009

Pioneer outs new Elite A/V receiver foursome

pioneerav.jpgIf you buy home theater equipment built by Pioneer, you're pretty well guaranteed quality gear. With the announcement of four new A/V receivers today, Pioneer has added to its Elite lineup and the pricing isn't bad either. The two top-end models, the SC-27 and SC-25, both have Class D amplifiers with ICEPower technology while the former is the first Class D to get THX Ultra2 Plus certification. The other two models, the Elite VSX-21TXH and VSX-23TXH, aren't as feature-rich but undoubtedly still high quality. The SC-27 and SC-25 will ship this month priced at $2000 and $1700, respectively, while the VSX models in order of mention above will ship in August for $700 and $900.

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June 26, 2009

Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K a must-buy, mid-range A/V receiver: CNET reviewer

vsx1091ahk.jpgIf you have $500 to spare and want to spend it on an A/V receiver with multi-room functionality, a recent CNET review of Pioneer's VSX-1019AH-K indicates it's a potential best bet. Of all the midrange receivers tested by the CNET crew, the latest Pioneer model is the "go-to choice for sound-quality conscious midprice receiver buyers." Recognize there is no mention of video here, but that's because the VSX-1019AH-K's performance in this area leaves something to be desired. At the same time, it's video performance is the best out of midrange receivers so far this year and good enough for 1080p upconversion if you don't have an upscaling DVD player. Other pluses: an included USB cable for the latest iPods, 4 HDMI slots, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, automatic speaker calibration and Sirius radio. In the end, Pioneer's VSX-1019AH-K received an impressive score from CNET given its midrange status--a 4 out of 5.

Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K--At Amazon for $447

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June 5, 2009

Never a miss a phone call again with the TV Silencer

tvsilencer.jpgWe've all missed a phone call because the TV's been too loud at one time or another. Some of us more than others depending on the quality of our hearing or aptitude for constantly misplacing the remote. The TV Silencer is a handy little gadget that eliminates the chance of TV-responsible missed calls altogether. Basically a programmable remote, the TV Silencer hooks to your landline and automatically mutes your TV and/or pauses your DVD player when it detects an incoming call. It also doesn't require a separate plug-in, batteries or recharging, because it pulls power straight from the phone line. Nice. You can grab a TV Silencer now for $44.95.

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

May 28, 2009

HDMI 1.4 specs announced; include 3D and 4K x 2K resolution support

hdmi.jpgHDMI Licensing, LLC unveiled what we can expect from the upcoming HDMI 1.4 standard today and it's some pretty impressive stuff.

First, an extra data channel will be added to HDMI cables for bi-directional communication over Ethernet. Second, an Audio Return channel will be able to send sound signals to any A/V receiver enabling home theater buffs to do away with a cable. Third, 3D over HDMI lists standard 3D formats enabling the standardization of inputs/outputs for 3D home theater devices. Fourth, 4K x 2K resolution support will enable four times the pixels of current 1080p resolution. 3840×2160 at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096×2160 at 24Hz resolutions will all be supported. Fifth, sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601 color spaces designed for digital cameras will be supported. Sixth, a new micro HDMI connector with 19-pins will be added supporting up to 1080p resolution from portable devices. It'll be roughly half the size of the current mini connector. Seventh, an automotive connection specification will be added specifically for HD content transmission to automotive entertainment systems.

While the new specs are great, they also mean that HDMI cables will become more confusing. Namely that there will be 5 to choose from:

  • Standard HDMI Cable - supports data rates up to 1080i/60;
  • High Speed HDMI Cable - supports data rates beyond 1080p, including Deep Color and all 3D formats of the new 1.4 specification;
  • Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet - includes Ethernet connectivity;
  • High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet - includes Ethernet connectivity;
  • Automotive HDMI Cable - allows the connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI device.

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May 15, 2009

GefenTV Wireless HDMI extender stream 1080p video up to 100 feet

GefenTV-Wireless-HDMI-extender.jpgExpensive but definitely cool, the new GegenTV Wireless HDMI extender is a great tool for the wireless home theater enthusiast. Sure it costs an earth-shattering $900, but the Gefen extender also streams 1080p video with Dolby 5.1 channel surround sound up to 100 feet. Sporting Amimon's top class 5 GHz wireless tech, the HDMI extender only supports video up to 30fps. But given the rapid pace at which Gefen spits out new wireless home theater products, a 1080p/60-supporting product for wireless Blu-ray streaming should be in the near future.

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May 13, 2009

Denon rolls out 9 A/V receivers in 2009

AVR4310CI.jpgDenon has added nine new A/V receivers to its home theater family this Monday. Four of the new receivers are additions to Denon's Retail Home Theater Series and include the AVR-590 ($349, June '09), the AVR-790 ($499, June '09), the AVR-890 ($799, June '09), and the AVR-990 ($1,499, July '09). The other five new receiver include the AVR-1610 ($379, May '09), the AVR-1910 ($549, May '09), the AVR-2310CI ($849, June '09), the AVR-3310CI ($1,499, June '09), and the AVR-4310CI ($1,999, May '09).

All of the receivers feature some changes from last years models. Lower prices is the obvious one, but Denon has also dropped Faroudja video processing in favor of Anchor Bay Technologies chips, and added HD audio on all of its models as well as analog upconversion. No doubt you can tell from the prices that each step up model adds an extra feature or two on top of what is sibling has. But for all the details, and trust me there is a lot of them, check out the release after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "Denon rolls out 9 A/V receivers in 2009"

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March 31, 2009

Samsung announces 2009 HDTV, home theater pricing and availability

samsung-series-7-7000-led-hdtvs-right.jpgSamsung has announced official pricing and availability of its 2009 home theater and HDTV products today. So here goes:

Samsung 2009 LED HDTV's

6000 Series

32-inch: $1599.99
40-inch: $2299.99
46-inch: $2799.99
55-inch: $3599.99

The 32-inch model will launch in June, while all other 6000 series models should now be available.

7000 Series

40-inch: $2499.99
46-inch: $2999.99
55-inch: $3799.99

The 46- and 55-inch models should now be available, while the 40-inch model will arrive in April.

8000 Series

46-inch: $3299.99
55-inch: $3999.99

Both sets will be available in May.

Samsung 2009 Blu-ray Players

Samsung BD-P1600: $299.99, available now
Samsung BD-P3600: $399.99, available now
Samsung BD-P4600: $499.99, available in April

Samsung 2009 Blu-ray home theater systems

Samsung HT-BD1250: $549, available now
Samsung HT-BD7200: $799, available in June
Samsung HT-BD8200 with HT-WS1 sound bar: $799.99 + $349.99, available in July and April, respectively

Samsung has also added a new home theater to its spring 2009 line. The HT-AS730 sports 5.1 channels pumping out a total of 650 Watts. It can also be upgraded to 7.1 channels by separately purchased speakers. It supports full 1080p video and has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio sound. Available next month, the Samsung HT-AS730 home theater will ship in April.

Furthermore, Samsung earth-friendly Series 6 650 and Series 7 750 LCD HDTV's are available today.

Read--LED HDTV's
Read--LCD HDTV's
Read--Blu-ray home theater systems
Read--Blu-ray home theater and sound bar

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March 21, 2009

Sony preps trio of HDTV stands with built-in speakers

sony-bravia-rht-g1550-hdtv-stand.jpgLet's face it. Not all of us can afford those fancy motorized home theater systems with the disappearing speakers. But most home theater hardcores don't want big speaker clutter, or the less wattage of the typical soundbar either. Sony's RHT-G HDTV stands try to remedy this by having multi-channel audio systems built right in. The RHT-G550 is made specifically for 32 to 40 inch sets offering 3.1 channels and 330 watts of power, the RHT-G950 is built for 40 to 46 inch sets, and the RHT-G1550 is built for 46 to 55 inch displays. The latter two stands pack in 5.1 channels, while all three have a trio of HDMI inputs as well as a digital media port for an iPod or other portable gadget. Sony hasn't alluded to when the speaker stands will be released or how much they'll cost, but the current RHT-G800 costs roughly $600 online with its own multi-channel speaker set.

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March 17, 2009

Onkyo bows entry-level HT-S3200, HT-S5200 HTIBs

Onkyo has spilled the beans on a pair of entry-level home theater systems for 2009--the HT-S3200 and the HT-S5200.

onkyo-hts5200.jpgThe more minimal of the two systems is the HT-S3200, a 5.1-channel system that cranks 110 Watts out of each speaker. The two-way front and center speakers each have a 3.25 inch woofer and 0.75 inch tweeter, while the smaller rear speakers each settle for a 3.25 inch woofer. The 110 Watt subwoofer has an 8 inch driver. The receiver features Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Audyssey Dynamic EQ, 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component video inputs, two optical inputs, and a single coaxial. Available in black only, the Onkyo HT-S3200 lists at $380.

One rung up the ladder is the Onkyo HT-S5200. This HTIB features 7.1-channels, each with 130 Watts of power. The two-way front speakers each have a 5 inch woofer and 1 inch tweeter; the three-way center channel has a pair of 3.25 inch woofers and a 1 inch tweeter; the smaller rear speakers each have a 3.25 inch woofer; and the 290 Watt subwoofer has a 10 inch driver. The AV receiver opts for four HDMI inputs, Audyssey 2EQ automatic speaker calibration, a minijack MP3 connection, 2 optical and 2 coaxial audio, Sirius satellite radio-ready and compatible with the included UP-A1L iPod dock. Available in black and silver color options, the Onkyo HT-S5200 is a bit more expensive with a list price of $600.

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