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Canon cans SED HDTV

sed.pngCanon has decided to put a stop to the development of SED HDTVs for home use. SED, or surface-conduction electron-emitter, displays were a bid on the part of Toshiba and Canon starting in 1999 to create an alternative to the then expensive LCD and plasma displays. Setups hampered the technology since then, including a lawsuit and the departure of Toshiba. Compounding things has been the rapid decline in the prices of both LCD and plasma TVs in the past few years.

SED technology, which uses the same electron firing technology as CRT TVs, but at the pixel level, was supposed to be able to create the resolution and contrast of tube TVs, but with the thin design and other advantages of today's HDTVs.

Canon will still develop the technology for business and medical uses.

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May 12, 2010

Panasonic shows off 152-inch, $500, 000 3D plasma HDTV

pana-152.jpgYesterday in New York City, Panasonic was flaunting the world's largest plasma television, its 152-inch 3D model. Built to order for those with a ton of cash to burn, the 152-inch TV features 4k x 2k resolution, the equivalent of 9 50-inch displays, weighs 1500 pounds and costs somewhere in the region of $500000. Quite a bit north of the company's former largest 103-inch model.

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Kaleidescape outs M500, M300 Blu-ray servers

m300-m500.jpgCalifornia-based Kaleidescape has announced the M500 and M300 Blu-ray players. Both are a little different than usual in that they copy Blu-ray content to a server from which they draw it upon playback. The M500 itself can playback Blu-ray, DVD and CD audio straight from a disc or server, but the M300 can only draw from the server itself. Both units, however, require a physical disc to be present that corresponds with the content being drawn from the server (piracy issues, you know). Combine both units together and you have the "world's first" multi-zone server for Blu-ray content. In the future, the company is also working on a disc boot loader enabling a large number of discs to be kept present within the system. Shipping May 18, the M500 and M300 will have rather expensive MSRPs of $3995 and $2495, respectively.

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May 11, 2010

Playstation Move controller gets a Canadian price tag

move-price.jpgThe much-anticipated Sony Playstation Move controller isn't going to launch until sometime during the holiday season of 2010, but pricing details are already beginning to leak. Rumors have placed the full package, including the camera, around $100 in the past. Now Gamestop Canada is reporting a price of $59.99 for the controller meaning a full price of $100 could be accurate. Things can change over the next six months, however.

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Microsoft inks LG partnership for 3D Xbox 360

lg-xbox-360.jpgWithout much buzz whatsoever, it appears that Microsoft has entered into a partnership with LG to sell its Xbox 360 3D gaming capabilities alongside LG's 3D 55- and 47-inch LX9500 LED HDTVs. This partnership will only extend as far as the borders of South Korea for when it goes public in June, though plans are for an extension to the entire Asia-Pacific region. No word on a move across the pond to North America, nor is there any mention of new hardware for the Xbox 360 to ensure cooperation with LG 3D TVs.

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May 4, 2010

Energy Star 4.0 specs get tough on HDTVs, 5.0 will be even tougher

energystar.jpgTo acquire the new Energy Star 4.0 blue badge, HDTV manufacturers will have to do a bit more than the past few years in proving dedication to environmental and energy-saving matters. In fact, now that the new standard is effective, HDTVs will only be able to max out at 60% of 3.0's energy consumption standards. That means a 50-inch HDTV will only be able to consumer 153 Watts compared to the old 318. Furthermore, 4.0 sets can only draw less than a Watt when in sleep or standby mode.

Really this is no big deal. Many of bigger names in HDTV like Samsung and Vizio already have sets on the market that meet the Energy Star 4.0 standard. On May 1, 2012, however, Energy Star 5.0 will come into effect making things even tougher. Manufacturers still aiming for the blue badge will have to cut Wattage for a 50-inch HDTV to only 108 Watts.

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PS3, PSP owners now have extended warranty options

ps3-warranty.jpgPS3 and PSP owners hoping their devices make it long past warranties will have a little extra security today. For a little extra money, of course. PSP extended warranties will cost $29.99 for a year, or $39.99 for 2 years. Accidental damage premiums will add another $10 onto each of those price tags. 1 year and 2 year extended warranties for the PS3 are a little more expensive: $44.99 and $59.99, respectively. Then again, extended warranties for electronics are one of the most profitable scams around...

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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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1 in 8 Americans could ditch pay TV in 2010

rusty-dish.jpgAccording to a new study by the Yankee Group, 1 in 8 American plan on cutting back or completely ditching pay TV in 2010. I'm surprised the number isn't higher but the fact that it exists isn't. With the proliferation of online TV services such as iTunes and Netflix and the ever-increasing prices of cable and satellite services, who wants to pay $100 or $200 every month? Not me. Look for this number to be higher in 2011.

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April 29, 2010

Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray player reviewed

BDP6900-angle.jpgBIgPictureBigSound had a chance to review the Samsung BD-C6900 Blu-ray player, Samsung's first 3D BD player on the market. For a first-to-market product the BD-C6900 appears to have few problems. The biggest issue seems to be noise as the disc cover on the top of the unit is translucent, eliminating some of the noise protection of a completely solid unit. Other than that problems tend to be related to the newness of the technology. For instance, the C6900 only has one HDMI connection and its version 1.4, leading to compatibility problems with some A/V receivers. No big deal.

And the good outweighs any bad by far. The unit loads just as fast as the fastest units on the market, has a very intuitive user interface, simple 802.11n Wi-Fi connection and a great picture. Worth $400? Not to me, but to the hardest of the hardcore audio/videophiles out there...probably!

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