Best Selling HDTVs

How to buy an HDTV

May 1, 2010

The best time to buy an HDTV

cash.jpgIt's always a tough call when deciding to buy a new HDTV or any other piece of pricey electronic equipment. When is the best time to buy? Now, next month, next year? Prices change extremely quickly in the HDTV market and you'll pay hundreds or dollars more or less for the same size HDTV from one month to the next.

With the global economy pumping up, LCD panel manufacturers in Asia are ramping up production. With an increase in supply comes excess inventory. HDTV demand hasn't quite gone full steam ahead leading to an excess of LCD panel supply. In order to restore the balance between supply and demand, HDTV manufacturers will pay less for those LCD panels and hopefully pass on the savings to consumers like you. This means lower prices.

Research firm iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel thinks this drop in prices could reach you and me by the end of the second quarter. A heads up if you're wondering when the best time to buy an HDTV will be in 2010.

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April 5, 2010

Should you buy a 2009 or a 2010 HDTV model?

Snake Oil Salesman.jpgShould you buy a demo TV at your nearest Best Buy (or other electronics retailer) or spring out the big bucks for a 2010 model? Well, it depends, according to the HD Guru. If you're looking for a higher-end model or something 3D-compatible, then you're stuck shelling out more for a 2010 model. But if you're okay with last year's features--which aren't all that bad, by the way--then you could probably swing a deal on a 2009 showroom model. But, points out HD Guru, just note how long that showroom TV has been running or you could pay a big price for an HDTV that has only 50% of its lifespan left!

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December 5, 2009

32-inch Sharp LC-32D47UT LCD HDTV reviewed

sharp-32d47ut.jpgMost home theater fanatics probably aren't all that interested in a 32-inch HDTV. Not only is the picture resolution, etc. less obviously better or worse on smaller screens, but bigger just tends to be plain ol' better. If you happen to be looking for something smaller, however, whether it be for a bedroom or other secondary viewing area, CNET says the 32-inch Sharp LC-32D47UT should be a possibility on your shopping list. Why? Not because of an extraordinary picture quality. In fact, compared to most entry-level LCD HDTVs, the D47UT could probably use some spicing up. But three HDMI inputs, two component video, and a PC input provide plenty of connectivity, and the black levels and energy efficiency are both worth mentioning as well. Plus, with a price tag of $390 you can't really complain about the dollars you're shelling out either.

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October 12, 2009

Really think it's an HD picture? Better check twice.

Snake Oil Salesman.jpgThis is interesting but not entirely surprising. A Dutch study has revealed that "framing" a TV viewer's expectations of picture quality can have a significant effect on how that quality is perceived. The study showed 60 participants the same TV image. However, half were told the image was HD quality, a claim backed up by posters and other verifying material placed around the display. The other half of the participants were told the image was standard-def DVD quality. The power of suggestion was very apparent, as the majority of those participants told they were seeing an HD image could notice a 'difference' from SD picture quality--even though they were being shown the same quality. Whether of not this would be as prevalent in North America in unknown. The PAL standard used in Europe is closer to HD than the NTSC standard used on North America. The difference in SD and HD picture quality on this side of the pond tends to be more obvious.

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October 5, 2009

Toshiba 55-inch X1 packs a 3 TB hard drive, records 8 channels at once

toshiba-55x1.jpgI hear Toshiba CELL REGZA 55X1 and the first thought that pops into my mind is WOW! The 55-inch LED-backlit set, announced in Japan, utilizes Toshiba's proprietary Cell Platform--a combination of the Cell Broadband Engine and Toshiba's image processing algorithms. Toshiba claims the technology enables the 55X1, which is mounted on a 3 TB hard disk drive, to provide a brightness rating of 1250 cd/m2, a dynamic contrast ratio of 5, 000, 000:1, and the capability to record up to 26 hours of programming from up to 8 channels--simultaneously. The 240 Hz 55X1 is shipping in Japan come the beginning of December, and is expected to reach the Americas in 2010. For a rather extravagant price, of course: $11, 115.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 20, 2009

Why you can't even GIVE AWAY your tube TV

crt-tv.jpgThe Washington Post has a great write-up about the evolution from the tube TV to the flatscreen--and why you can't even give away your tube TV once you upgrade.

Carroll offered his TV free on Craigslist and got some interest, but no solid taker. If nothing clicks for Carroll and Johnson, their options include the dump, which neither prefers, and Goodwill, which still accepts donations of TVs if they are digital-ready. Goodwill no longer takes models lacking a coaxial cable connection. And there is recycling. In Montgomery, where Johnson lives, the government pays e-Structors, an Elkridge company, 7.2 cents a pound to pick up clunker TVs and strip them for parts. The recession has driven commodity prices so low that the material inside the TV is worth less than the cost of recycling it.

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August 28, 2009

Toshiba 46-inch SV670U LED-backlit LCD HDTV gets reviewed

46sv670u.jpgThe prolific CNET reviewers have taken the 46-inch Toshiba SV670U LED-backlit LCD HDTV to task in their laboratories and given its cost, it looks like a good bet. The 46-inch set costs less than most sets using LED backlighting with local dimming, yet still manages plasma-like black levels, accurate color, and can separate its antiblurring and dejudder processing. The 240 Hz set also has plenty of connectivity options including 4 HDMI ports and a PC input, plus adds some silver into the usual plain black design of most other high-end LCD models. On the negative side, the 46SV670U suffers from some blooming, a poor off-angle performance, and a bit of an overactive backlight. But when all things were considered, including the relatively low price point, the Toshiba 46SV670U LED-backlit LCD HDTV scored a 3.5 out of a possible 5 stars from CNET.

Toshiba 46SV670U LCD HDTV--At Amazon
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July 13, 2009

LCD specifications are a load of crap, says study

bad-viewing-angle.jpgDisplayMate Technologies, in collaboration with Insight Media, have just released the results of a new study revealing that LCD specifications are nothing but a load of crap. Really.

The study pitted top 2008 Sony, Samsung and Sharp LCD HDTVs against a Panasonic plasma, and not surprisingly the plasma set outperformed all LCDs. This is notable because plasma is looking to be on the way out. Most new HDTV buyers are opting for lower-cost LCD sets.

A couple of the most interesting test results have to do with viewing angles and contrast ratio. Pretty well all new HDTVs these days come with manufacturers claiming a 176 viewing angle. But the test results revealed that picture quality on LCD sets deteriorates at 10 degrees (roughly the width of a person from center) and falls all the way to 50% for a person sitting at a 45 degree angle. In essence, everyone watching the same LCD TV is seeing a very different picture. The Panasonic plasma, on the other hand, didn't have a distinguishable decrease in picture quality until a 45 degree viewing angle was reached.

The same goes for contrast ratios. These days we see incredible dynamic contrast ratios of 1, 000, 000:1 and even 2, 000, 000:1. The study revealed static contrast ratios of 1000:1 and 2000:1 for all of the tested LCD HDTVs. The plasma set reached 3842:1.

This is just one study of course. But it just goes to show that specs don't mean everything and despite its cost, plasma appears to still be the superior technology--unless you're watching TV in direct sunlight. LCD's higher brightness helps in that regard!

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July 11, 2009

LG's 47-inch LH90 LED HDTV reviewed: LG's best ever, one of the best HDTVs on the market

lg47lh90.jpgCNET's latest HDTV review concerns the 47-inch LG LH90 LCD TV and not only is the set dubbed LG's best ever, but it's also honored as being one of the top performing LCD TV's on the market today. The depth of its black levels and its shadow detail rival most plasma sets around, something we don't see from an LCD TV very often. Furthermore, CNET says that the 47LH90 boasts excellent color accuracy thanks to tons of picture controls, excellent performance in bright light due to a matte finish screen, not to mention 4 HDMI slots.

On the downside are the sets lack of interactive features, a missing S-video slot, some overlap between anti-blur and dejudder processing, and of course the lack of discernible performance difference between its 240 Hz frame rate and those sets with a 120 Hz speed.

Overall, CNET gave the 47LH90 a 4 out of 5, honored it with a power saver award, and said that "despite a few flaws it's a worthy member of the flat-panel elite." LG's other LH90 models come in 42- and 55-inch display sizes and would perform identically. Moreover, LG's LH55 series shares many features with the LH90 line ensuring those sets would perform similarly.

LG 47-inch LH90 LCD HDTV


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July 8, 2009

Mitsubishi 65-inch WD-737 RPTV reviewed: "most screen for the least money"

wd737-rptv.jpgRear projection HDTVs are still hanging around and for those looking for alot of screen for relatively little cash, they can be a good purchase option. Of course you can't mount them on the wall and you won't enjoy the picture quality pump through the screens of most LCD and plasma sets.

CNET's recent review of Mitsubishi's WD-737, a 65-inch rear projection monster, confirms the quality tradeoff here, but also confirms the picture quality is decent enough to recommend it if you are indeed looking for the most screen for the least money.

The WD-737 sports accurate color and has enough picture controls to adjust any issues you may have, it has a reasonable 3 HDMI ports and almost no bezel. On the other hand, the screen can be grainy and the blacks lighter than most HDTVs, but you'll find that with most rear projection sets left on the market.

Personally, I don't think I'd buy a RPTV these days, big and cheap or not. But if that's what you're looking for, the Mitsubishi WD-737 doesn't look half bad.


Buy it now from Amazon for $1599.99 with free shipping!

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December 4, 2008

Sony HDTV's The Most Reliable, Mitsubishi's The Worst

pcworld(2).jpgSony HDTV's are by far the most reliable according to a survey of 16, 000 HDTV owners at PCWorld. The survey rated each HDTV according to nine measures, from customer service to picture quality. Sony rated higher than average in seven categories, while LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung and Vizio each had two high scores.

Mitsubishi lagged in last, scoring below average in four categories and both Hitachi and JVC didn't fare much better. In the end, it's really no surprise that the most reliable HDTV's are also the most expensive. At the same time it's encouraging to see a budget manufacturer like Vizio ranking so highly.

Via PC World

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October 27, 2008

Crashing Stock Markets Equals Super HDTV Buying Opportunities Ahead

black_white_tv_salesman(2).jpgBelieve it, a slumping Dow Jones Industrial Average may create a perfect buying opportunity to buy a brand new HDTV. Why? Mainly because retailers and manufacturers alike are scared that you're penny pinching will hurt them bad; leaving them no other viable option than to cut prices. Paul Gagnon of research firm DisplaySearch is predicting HDTV prices to move somewhere around these numbers in the weeks preceding Black Friday:

19-inch high definition LCD: $199
32-inch HD LCD: $399-$499
40-inch 1080p LCD: $799-$999
42-inch HD plasma: $599-$699
50-inch HD plasma: $899-$999

The question is whether it'll be the big names like Sony, Panasonic and Samsung that will lower their prices to these insane deals. Second-tier names are already pricing their sets at the above prices at Amazon and deal sites like SlickDeals or TechDealDigger, but real quality at those prices would be amazing.

Via Bits

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July 23, 2008

Salespeople Recommend LCD TV's Over Plasma, But Don't Really Know The Difference

salesman(2).jpgBeen shopping for a flat-panel TV lately? Chances are that if you have, you were helped by a salesperson without much knowledge of LCD or plasma TV's but still steered you toward an LCD model. According to a study by J.D. Power & Associates which used 2000 mystery shoppers over 6 months to compile data, more than 75% of the time salespeople will recommend an LCD TV over a plasma. Interestingly, more than 37% of salespeople say a big downside of plasma TV's is picture "burn"-in onto the display, a problem that hasn't been around for years. Another oft-mentioned plasma problem was light reflections from its glossy surface, a problem of relevance at least. Well aware of so-called problems with plasma displays, customers were steered toward more expensive LCD displays even though less than 25% of the time, salespeople pointed out advantages of LCD's such as being brighter and less power hungry than plasma's. Something to keep in mind next time you go TV shopping.

Via USA Today

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May 28, 2008

Sony Goes To Bat For Consumers: Look For A Sony Home Theater Sans Set-Top Box As Sony Adopts Tru2way

tru2way_CMYK_logo(2).jpgTru2way technology has been a big topic of conversation in TV tech circles this year, hence the primer we gave you a few days back, and not surprisingly today brought an announcement from Sony Electronics we figured would come sooner or later. Together with the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Sony announced that they would be working on developing a Tru2way-capable TV, able to receive interactive content and HD signal sans set-top box. Sony's decision involved signing a Memorandum Of Understanding that involves 6 major cable networks that serve 82% of the entire US cable-subscribing population-Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House Networks.

The agreement outlines how Tru2way products will be brought to market with "interactive services like video-on-demand, digital video recording and interactive programming guides" and "makes it clear that consumers will be able to enjoy a choice of differentiated two-way products at retail and through cable operators from a variety of consumer electronics and information technology manufacturers".

Sony's decision to sign the MOU likely means other major manufacturers will follow suit, meaning Tru2way products will be on shelves faster giving consumers a host of options beyond what is currently offered by cable companies.

Via CableTechTalk

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