Sunday HDTV Deals ‘R Us Rundown

November 30, 2008 by  
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We at Screen Sleuth aim to bring you some of best HDTV deals out there right now. Our Sunday rundown may be just the thing you need to complete your shopping list for the HDTV-lover in your life. May be subject to be out of stock at any time, needless to say. Here they are:

Sony 46″ Bravia 1080p for $1,199 from Vanns, free shipping: Link

Sharp 46″ 1080p “Black” LCD: $899 from Dell Home: Link

Sony 40″ HDTV with 1080p KDL40S4100 for $849 from Tiger Direct: Link

You can see that stores are beginning to deeply discount many models that previously never were discounted; Sony TV’s almost never went on any real kind of sale at all, and now they’re $200-400 off. Vendors need sales, and that’s being reflected in the deals being offered. Grab these while you can; many expire early in December or so.

Sad truth: 20% of HDTV owners don’t know the difference between SD and HD

November 28, 2008 by  
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According to a recent survey by Leichtman Research Group, about one in five HDTV owners believe they’re getting HD content when they aren’t, and there is a pretty big difference once you watch it, which makes it all the sadder. I personally know a few people who have fallen into this trap themselves, so I can say this is pretty accurate.

The data compiled by LRG is based on a telephone survey of 1302 U.S. households and marks the 6th consecutive year the survey has been run, with actually better informed results overall than some of the previous surveys, due to the penetration of HD in the marketplace.

The findings are not all that surprising given the general consumer confusion surrounding the terminology of 720p, 1080p and DVD/Blu-Ray and the real differences. Cable providers are still only in their infancy in regards to releasing HD services, and most companies only offer under 100 highly compressed HD channels that never live up to HD’s full potential; Dish Network is guilty of this sort of practice. 

42 percent of HDTV owners surveyed also noted that when they bought their sets they were told to get HD feeds (that’s less than half, which should be closer to 100%). So it appears retailer are also having some trouble with the concept as well. More than likely poorly trained salespeople (or big-box mass retailers) to blame for this low number.

Easy (yet pretty complete) guide to calibrating your HDTV

November 28, 2008 by  
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Gizmodo has posted a really cool guide to optimizing your HDTV for the very best picture possible (and of course you may not know they don’t come from the factory this way). It involves a THX-included disc of some kind, and a pair of blue glasses (for those who have some trouble with colors, which is about 10% of the population), and it only takes a few minutes.

Many HDTV experts recommend going through this procedure at least once for optimal blacks and contrast, especially with higher end pictures like DVD and Blu-Ray. Make sure to run the test in the kind of light you’ll normally watch TV in, and turn off any ambient optimizers included with your TV model.

It’s definitely something videophiles will want to read carefully.

Here’s the article: Link

Six common showroom mistakes when buying an HDTV

November 26, 2008 by  
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There will be many people going out shopping for a loved one (or themselves) for the holiday season, and grabbing an HDTV may appeal to many shoppers this year with the price drops. Here are 6 tips to help you make the best choice:

1. Make sure of what kind of content each set is playing in the showroom. 1080p, blu-ray, standard def, DVD, whatever. Some store draw you to the more expensive sets by playing different (and better-looking) content on them. Ask if you aren’t sure.

2. Ask how the sets are hooked up, or look yourself. Some stores vary the way they’re connected; composite-cable connections tend to not look as good as HDMI connections.

3. In bright stores, LCDs tend to look brighter (and more attractive) than plasma sets do–especially since most manufacturers ship them with brightness at its highest setting. Ask to adjust the brightness settings in the store.

See this article for even more tips on choosing the best TV.

HDTV is growing at a fast pace, research survey says

November 25, 2008 by  
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Just over one-third of U.S. TV households–around 40 million–have at least one high-definition television set, according to numbers from Leichtman Research Group, a US research survey firm.

The ratio has doubled compared to two years ago, the firm said. It expects it to double again in the next four years, where HDTV will become more or less the norm for most households and no longer a novelty.

The growth was attributed to consumer adoption and the “dwindling supply of lower-end non-HDTV sets being sold.” In other words, most companies don’t stock much standard-def stuff any more.

Purchase decision points included replacing a broken set (38 percent); better overall picture quality (22 percent); HD program quality (7 percent).

Other numbers of moderate interest, but pretty clear indications:
– 44 percent of households making more than $50,000 have an HDTV, compared with 20 percent of those making less than $50,000.
– 33 percent of HDTV owners have more than one HD set, and 25 percent of those plan on getting another one in the next year.
– 9 percent subscribed to cable or satellite when they bought an HDTV.
– 42 percent said they were told how to receive HD programming when they bought their sets.
– 58 percent of HDTV owners are watching hi-def shows on cable or satellite.

The survey asked 1,302 households of varying regions and income levels.

Make Your House A True Theater With The LG 60pg60 60″ Plasma HDTV

November 25, 2008 by  
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LG 60pg60 Plasma HDTV

If your intent on your media room having the biggest and best high-quality audio and visual experience, then you’ll need a full-HD big screen that produces smooth, fluid motion and vivid colors with crisp audio. This is exactly what you can expect when you have the 60pg60 plasma television set up in your home. With this LG HDTV you’ll have a massive 60″ screen that’s big enough to make watching everything a movie theater experience. However you’ll get more than just a big screen, because the LG 60pg60 provides an amazingly sharp picture thanks to it’s 1920 x 1080p resolution with 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and this Super Bright Panel can display subtle colors in true form even in brightly-lit environments without reflection. This plasma television was designed with dual XD engines that allows for a high quality picture that is stunning.

You’ll never be without great sound to match the picture because this plasma HDTV has Clear Voice technology that will automatically enhance and amplify voices in whatever you’re watching to maintain audible dialogue when background noises rise. This THX certified plasma television also has an AV Mode that optimizes the picture for viewing films, sports and gaming according to the audio and video content. Naturally you can expect to have plenty of inputs for connecting your home stereo to achieve a complete theater experience as well as being able to access digital content from your computers, digital media players and digital cameras. With the features that you’ll find in this plasma HDTV, what more could you want or need in the form a large screen television? Buy the LG 60pg60 60″ Plasma HDTV to fulfill your needs for the ultimate picture in a home theater system that you can enjoy during the holidays.

PC World releases their top 42″ HDTV picks list

November 23, 2008 by  
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PC World recently released their top picks for the best HDTV’s in the 42″ class, and notes and reviews about each one.

Picture quality, motion handling, etc, it’s all throughly tested for seven newer models (and they rate the top 50″+ models and the top 46-47″ models too in a separate posting).

This is an invaluable article for anyone going HDTV shopping this holiday season.

Read the scoop here.

The Sunday Price Buster Deal: Samsung 50″ Plasma HDTV for $797 from Best Buy

November 23, 2008 by  
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Here’s a great deal: the Samsung 50″ 720p Plasma HDTV for only $797.99 from Best Buy; one of the better deals i’ve seen on a name brand HDTV of this size.

Many companies are coming out with some great deals pre-Black Friday, which is developing into a trend of some kind.

This is an exclusive link you won’t find on their site, meaning you’ll only see it here on Screen Sleuth! This sale will end soon.

Link is here.

Saturday HDTV deal roundup

November 22, 2008 by  
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Gizmodo has a round-up segment posted today that includes a few great deals on HDTV units that should get any HDTV fanatic excited, including a Panasonic VIERA 42″ HDTV for only $660, which is a huge bargain, and a cool bundle from Amazon (who seems to be doing a lot of that lately).

Go here to read the whole article.

10 HDTV’s for every holiday budget – Forbes.com picks

November 21, 2008 by  
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Forbes.com has run a feature on their favorite HDTV picks for budgets of all kinds for the holidays.  The little snippets are interesting and informative, and it should help you give the gift of HD to a loved one quickly and easily (and affordably).

The slideshow starts here.

The Coby TF-DVD1992 19″ LCD TV With DVD Player Makes A Perfect Gift

November 21, 2008 by  
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Coby TF-DVD1992 19″ LCD TV/monitor With DVD Player

If you’re nervous that you won’t find the right gifts this year for friends and family; fear naught, because an LCD television with an integrated DVD player is something that everyone can appreciate and it won’t cost you as much as you think. You probably won’t have the money to buy everyone on your shopping list a massive 60″ flat screen television, but a smaller LCD can be extremely affordable especially when they can be had for under $300. If this sounds like a gift that your wallet can handle, then you’ll want to stock up on these 19″ Coby televisions.

The TF-DVD1992 is a truly great gift or an innocent indulgence for yourself as it not only works as a nice little television with a DVD player, but can double as a computer monitor while delivering an impressive 720p or 1080i HDTV resolution. As well as the impressive picture for any visual past time, this LCD TV also produces high quality stereo sound from the 5 watt per channel speakers. The Coby TF-DVD1992 comes with both digital and analog built-in tuners making it quite versatile on top of its other features, and it can be enjoyed as soon as you plug it in. With its efficient design, this Coby 19″ LCD television is perfect for a child’s room, the kitchen or on a computer desk, and it will provide hours of endless entertainment. It won’t matter if this year’s buying budget is small, because the compact Coby TF-DVD1992 19″ LCD TV/DVD Player makes the perfect gift for everyone, including yourself, with a price that you can afford.

Vizio announces new 55″ 120Hz LCD HDTV for $1,999, January release

November 21, 2008 by  
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Vizio decided to jump the gun on CES and announce some new home theater products today in a press release, including a 55-inch 120Hz 1080p LCD for just $1,999.99, another aggressive pricing decision that will once again pull the prices down for the Samsungs and Sonys of the world.

The model is officially labeled the VF550XVT1A, and features a strong 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, five HDMI ports, and SRS TruSurround HD and TruVolume audio technology, the latter of which is designed to smooth out the jumps in volume when you’re switching channels (a welcome addition). It will be available in January, just in time for Super Bowl viewing.

While 52-inch LCDs are quickly coming down in price below $2,000, bigger LCDs aren’t as common and are currently priced at least $500 more or so, even in Black Friday ads. We’ll need to see, however, if this Vizio can match a Bravia in picture quality. The jury is still out on that count.

Deal of the Day (or the week for that matter): Sharp 42″ 1080P HDTV for $799

November 19, 2008 by  
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Yes, you read the price correctly. It’s one of the better deals i’ve seen on a 1080P HDTV, and for that size in True HD, this is a steal. It appears Black Friday has come a little early for some companies, which is in this case Dell.

Ratings overall have been solid on the web for this model, the LC42SB45U, so far, with features set including 1080P Full HD picture, 6ms response time, their “Extra Dark” technology designed to deliver darker greys and blacks, and 3 HDMI connections.

Check it out here. Sale ends in a week or so.

Top 10 Tips to getting the best deal on Black Friday

November 18, 2008 by  
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TVpredictions.com has posted a very solid Top 10 list of tips about getting the most out of Black Friday, and getting the very best deal on an HDTV this holiday season.

Much of it is common sense (do your research, both in stores and online, make sure the special prices are actually good deals, buy quality models, show up early, etc), but some if it isn’t totally obvious (get a gift receipt, use the right credit card with the best incentives).

Deals will be hopping with the economic woes of people and companies, so these tips should give you a smart leg up going into the shopping season, including D-Day, Nov. 28th.

Read the article more in depth here.

Industry News: Zoran announces new integrated HDTV internals design

November 17, 2008 by  
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Today: Zoran Corp, a technology manufacturer, announced that its integrated SupraHD775 and SupraHD785 HDTV processors are shipping to DTV manufacturers supplying the cost-sensitive digital TV market in the U.S. It’s relevant here because this may effectively simplify manufacturing of HDTV’s, and help pull down the prices even further.
The new SupraHD(R) processors eliminate the need for separate components from the DTV system design by integrating the TV microcontroller and audio codec, among other complicated sounding things, along with a host of other functions including advanced audio processing and color management capabilities into a small single-chip solution, thus reducing company costs, which (hopefully) would be passed on to customers.
This tight integration level will reduce energy consumption, and thus help HDTV companies meet new Energy Star requirements, which is a very nice side benefit.
Read more details here.

Amazon: Buy a high-end 46″ Plasma HDTV, get a Blu-Ray player for free

November 15, 2008 by  
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Here’s a pretty cool deal from Amazon: Buy a well-reviewed high end HDTV from Panasonic, and get a Blu-Ray player for free.

Amazon.com is offering a limited time deal where if you buy the Panasonic Viera TH-46PZ800U 46 inch 1080p Plasma HDTV for $1,799.98 and the Panasonic DMP-BD35K Blu-ray Player is free (a $250-300 value). Free shipping too.

Features of the Panasonic Viera TH-46PZ800U Plasma HDTV include full HD resolution (1920x1080px), 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 24p, 3 HDMI ports, 4096 Shades of Gradation, and Viera LinK HDAVI Control, so it’s pretty loaded out and reviews are uniformly good, and the price is pretty competitive.

Here’s a link to the offer; check it out. Deal expires Nov. 24th.

Black Friday TV deals: Not quite the buyer’s paradise some hoped?

November 14, 2008 by  
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Black Friday is approaching (the day after Thanksgiving, for those who don’t know, considered one of the hottest shopping days of the year), and the planned ads for most retailers have been released already.

To be honest, the deals are good, but not really good. With the economy in a shambles, most thought the deals would be real burn down the house kinda deals. But that hasn’t really happened so far.

Here’s a link to a web site that tracks these ads, with the best TV deals listed: Link

Plenty of good deals though; a Insignia 47″ 1080P HDTV for $999 from Best Buy, and a Samsung 50″ Plasma for $899 from Circuit City are a few of the really good ones. Feel free to browse through the others.

You Can Have An Olevia 252TFHD 52″ LCD HDTV For Less Than You Think

November 14, 2008 by  
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Olevia 252TFHD 52in 1080p LCD HDTV

As you may have noticed; big, flat screen television prices have been dropping rapidly, which means you can get your hands on a bigger HD television for less than you might have thought. If you’ve been looking for an HDTV in the larger range of screen sizes, then you’ll definitely like what Olevia has to offer in the form of a beautifully designed 52″ LCD television. The 252TFHD offers more than just a big screen at an affordable price, because it also displays images brilliantly and smoothly in vibrant, true-to-life colors. As well as being able to view HD broadcast video on this Olevia LCD, you’ll actually see more as this television displays up to 37% more of analog broadcast images and up to 11% more of digital broadcast images with no visual distortion. Naturally with this Olevia television you’ll get all the necessary connection ports for cable or satellite television as well as home theater sound and the all-important USB connection for connecting portable digital media devices and for getting TV and updates from over the internet. Yes, this is truly a big screen television that can offer you everything you want with a clear onscreen image without blowing your budget since it can be yours for under $1300 from TigerDirect. So if you think that this is the television that will improve your home television viewing, then you’ll want to buy the Olevia 252TFHD 52″ LCD HDTV now to enjoy during the holiday season.

Everyone has an HDTV (almost): New Study

November 12, 2008 by  
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High-definition TV sales were humming nicely (until last month) when they hit a small stoppage. Still, the percentage of U.S. households with an HDTV has doubled over the last two years: An estimated one-third of all Americans now have an HDTV, according to a Leichtman Research study conducted recently.

And the HDTV shopping spree isn’t over yet, according to the survey. Among those with HDTV sets, 33 percent said they have more than one, and 25 percent are likely to buy another HDTV in the next year. So the growth will continue, good news for the industry and the future of the medium.

“About 40 million US households now have at least one HDTV set, and LRG forecasts that this number will double over the next four years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst, in a prepared statement. “While more people than ever before have HDTV sets, educating consumers on HD programming remains an issue.” An issue that still lags behind the adoption rate, no doubt.

Want the very latest and save money? Grab the Mitsubishi L65-A90 LaserVue 65″ DLP HDTV

November 12, 2008 by  
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Yes, they’ve available for pre-order; the LaserVue 65″ HDTV from Mitsubishi, which was discussed here a few weeks back. They use lasers for literally millions of colors, and a variety of other technologies for one of the best pictures out there, according to several early (glowing) reviews.

Includes 4 HDMI inputs, full 1080p resolution and an assortment of color and tint features to really display any TV show or DVD well.

You can pre-order yours for only $6999.99. Expensive, you say? Not when the suggested retail is around $8,000-$10,000 or so. They may come down a little over time, but what fun is that? Free shipping too (worth something, as the TV is 140+ pounds).

Link to pre-order and more info about the TV is here.

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