Special: Thursday Deals Galore

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Sharp, Toshiba, TV Brands

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amazing-dealsHere’s a few extra Thursday deals for you:

Newegg.com – How about a Toshiba REGZA 40” 1080p LCD HDTV – Black for $899.99 with free shipping. Nice price on a very nice TV set for anyone; $200 off is always a good thing.

Dell Home – Here’s a Sharp LC19SB24U 19” 720p LCD HDTV for $299.00 – $60 Sale Discount = $239.00 with free shipping too. Another very nice Dell deal we’re bringing you.

Always a pleasure for us to bring you more HDTV deals.

The Future is Here: Sony releases its internet-connected Z550 line

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Product News, Sony, TV Brands

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sony-kdlSony is doing some things right these days: It recently announced its net-smart BRAVIA W-Series, and now has a new jewel in their crown: The Z550 line of TVs.

Coming in 40, 46 and 52 inch variations, these fine sets have their newest fancy Motionflow 200Hz technology for ultra-smooth action scenes, their BRAVIA Engine 3, a full HD 1080p panel, an integrated MPEG-4/AVC HD tuner, a power-sipping ‘Energy Saving Switch’ built in and their much-touted AppliCast.

This allows your Sony to connect to a wide variety of internet services, RSS feeds, and other fun net stuff through your TV’s Ethernet connection. Pretty awesome, to say the least. The future we’ve been talking about all this time is finally here.

No word from Sony about pricing or availability in the US, but we’ll keep an eye out for you.

A Happy Habit: Tuesday HDTV Deals

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, LG, TV Brands

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tagslotsalepriceYes, we certainly are bringing you more savings more often here at SS, and so the parade continues here on Tuesday. We’re hoping to bring you deals at least 3 times a week at Screen Sleuth.

Here they are:

Newegg.com has the LG 42LGX 42” Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV for $1199.99 – $100 off coupon code “TV4211″ (Expires 04/30/2009) = $1099.99 with free shipping. Count on SS to bring you some great coupons and deals on a great TV.

Walmart.com – The Sansui 26” Widescreen LCD HDTV w/Built-In DVD Player for $448.00 + free In-Store delivery too. Wal-Mart usually has great deals on HDTVs, even if they aren’t top-shelf brands all the time. Amazing deal.

Thanks for taking a ride on the SS Deals Express this afternoon, and have a fine Tuesday.

Review via CNET: The Panasonic TC-P50X1 Plasma

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

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20090427-panasonic_tc-p50x1The reviews for Panasonic’s line of 2009 plasmas keep coming in (mostly positive to date), and CNET recently turned its rather eagle-eyed critical attention to the 50″ TC-P50X1 model and the 720p resolution in its non-NeoPDP panel.

The lack of the much celebrated NeoPDP contrast didn’t keep the set from scoring well on black levels (a usual strength of Plasma) and brightness levels, and even delivering a picture that held up well to 1080p HDTVs.

On the downside: color accuracy problems and a picky series of faint gray lines running through the screen which sounds like exactly the sort of defect that’s hard to not see once you’ve seen it (they weren’t sure if this was just this model or a defect in the unit design itself).

If you site 10 ft. or further away, you probably won’t see the artifacts and things will be just fine. Take a look at the review and see for yourself what you think.

Tonight’s HD Schedule: The Evolution Begins

April 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News

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house_tv_showNow take a look at this schedule for tonight’s HD content. It’s a larger list than we’ve seen in a while, and this should only be the beginning really.

Recommended Viewing: A new episode of House (always a great, reliable show), season finale of Heroes (another interesting show), and a new CSI: Miami, all in glorious HD (assuming your provider carries all these in HD, which they should since these are all major networks).

Or if you’re a sports fan, back to back NBA Basketball series games are on tonight in 1080i HD for your viewing pleasure.

We’re excited not only by the prospect of entire evenings filled with HD content, but entire TV schedules filled with HD within the next few years. Whatever you choose to watch, enjoy.

Thought: Will 3D make people upgrade to Blu-Ray rather than HD?

April 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Technology News

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mitsubishi-3d-blu-ray-playerSome think 3D is the way to rescue Blu-Ray from the “obsolete in 5 years” pile, while some think it already has a decent enough foothold to survive.  ZDNet writer Robin Harris thinks the former is true, and makes a decent case for it. But we’re not convinced.

Forgetting for a second that we don’t think BR needs “saving” to begin with, the point of that article is that the recent Panasonic demo passes up previous tech displays and shows why 3D represents the future of BR, rather than just the upgrade to 1080p HD that the current BR generation gives users.

Recent 3D displays have been impressive for us too, but inconsistent standards, costs that are still way too high, and the rather clumsy, dorky glasses needed to make most 3D look right tells us that BR may have to stand in its current form for at least another 1-2 years.

Special Delivery: The Sunday HDTV Deals

April 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Philips, Samsung, TV Brands

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amazing-dealsHere they are, out usual assortment of great HDTV deals on this sunny Sunday afternoon/evening/morning, whenever you’re reading this:

Dell Home – Great offer from Dell! The Philips 42PFL5704DF7 42” Widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV for a song. How about $999.00 + free 2nd Day Shipping with $99 coupon code “ZBC8LPSBMMRB28″ (Expires 04/30/2009) + $200 Instant Discount = $799.00 with free shipping. Very nice deal indeed.

AbesofMaine – Big time deal here: The Samsung 52” 1080p LCD TV Black + Free Wall Mount included for $1615.18 – $10 off $75 coupon code “FRIEND10″ (Expires 12/31/2009) = $1605.18 with free shipping too. 70,000:1 Contrast Ratio. Nice deal with something to put it in your wall with too, tough to beat.

Feel free to glance at our deals and have a great weekend.

Unveiling: Flip Video Ultra HD

April 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Product News

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flip-video-ultra-hd-unboxBest Buy has announced the inside track to a new HD camera that promises a very high-quality picture, and as an HD fan, we’re drooling (just a little) over this one.

Cisco recently bought out Pure Digital for many millions, and this appears to be the early fruits of that partnership: The Flip Video Ultra HD — which appears to be the sequel to the standard Ultra — will begin to fill local stores shelves in the US, starting with Best Buy, it appears very soon.

Big features include a HDMI output (important for best quality), 120 minutes of record time (double the previous camera’s 60 minutes), a rechargeable battery built-in and AA battery support if needed too.

The price is listed as tentatively $199.99 and full specifications are still to be announced. We’re looking forward to this unveiling, which should make HD filming available to the masses.

A Good Trend: HD sports galore tonight

April 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News

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9-29-08-kobe-dunkingIn looking at the HD schedules on TV the last few months, we’re seeing a very welcome trend of increasing HD sports on TV of late. More and more sporting events are either available locally or nationally on TV, and that trend is only growing. It’s a sports lovers dream, as cable systems and satellite providers gear up to provide more HD coverage.

Tonight for example: Lots of playoff NBA games, hockey games, and baseball games, all in gorgeous HD. Where once there would maybe be 1-2 games a night on in HD, now there 2-4 on average per night.

As an HD lover myself (and a fan of baseball and basketball and football) this is a trend I welcome, and hopefully there will come a time when 3-5 games per night in HD will be a common thing.

Opinion: Anyone reading this still watching SDTV?

April 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Technology News

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hd_vs_sdIt’s been reported here quite a bit: many popular events, shows and the like on many networks are now being produced and broadcast in HD. The NFL Draft, most sports these days, Food shows, Discovery Channel shows, The Simpsons, soon South Park and most (if not all) broadcast shows from major networks.

So who among our readers have made the complete switch to HD for most of their TV watching? This writer certainly has (about 90% of what I watch is now HD or “converted” HD formats like older Law & Order, etc) made the switch and loves it. SD looks positively ugly now to me, and i’ll only watch it if no comparable HD feeds are going for a show.

Let us know your views on this subject.

HDTV Deals of the Day – Weekday Edition

April 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Sony, ViewSonic

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tagslotsalepriceWe’re starting to feature these deals more often, and that makes us feel quite useful to all of you, our loyal readers.  We usually have these only on the weekends, but this is a special weekday edition.

Here’s two more selected great deals:

Buy.com – The Viewsonic 47” 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV – Glossy Black for $994.99 with free shipping. Great deal on a well-received TV in slick glossy black.

B&H Photo Video – Amazing price on this model! The Sony BRAVIA V-Series 40” 1080p LCD Flat Panel HDTV – Black for $874.95 with free shipping too – how do we find them? (Their order system has a glitch and will be back up at 9PM Saturday – probably high response for this offer!).

Feel free to glance at these, and have a great day/night, whichever it happens to be in your neck of the woods.

Out On A Limb: Akamai predicts more HD video online

April 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News

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20071030-akamai_hd_webSure, Akamai helped put together a IDC whitepaper finding smooth playback and high res is important to the majority of online audiences — services it provides, of course, but the results are pretty much common knowledge anyway. This article is relevant mainly because the more HD expands to various audiences – both online and offline – the better positioned it’ll be in the future.

Last year a survey they conducted (also rather self-serving) found 75% of broadcasters wanting to do HD online and in the last year, we’ve had a huge revolution in HD content on the net, from the Olympics to the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and cable/satellite providers adding more selection in HD like DirecTV, DISH and Comcast.

The gist of this report: Publishers need to release and continue to advance HD streaming to keep up with the the Joneses, video quality is really key to a user’s experience, and HD means users will be happier. We could’ve told you that, minus all the legwork that went into this paper.

HD News: ESPN prepping first HD NFL Draft coverage

April 23, 2009 by  
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espn_nfldraftHD is spreading all over the place on established shows and events, and the latest one to be produced and broadcast in HD: ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage, welcome news to those who want to follow the NFL or their favorite teams as they select the players who will impact their squad’s future.

It will alos be broadcast in widescreen, with lots of little windows of information all over the place, and even 21 remote cameras following potential players on both days for continous coverage all the over the place.

Make sure to catch ESPN’s coverage on Saturday morning, and watch the future of HD in sports and events.

Promises Kept: DirecTV adds high-quality HD films to their On Demand service

April 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Product News, Technology News

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6-30-08-dod-bannerDirecTV’s promised HD On Demand movies earlier on, and now they’re starting to add more and more movies in that format, fulfilling their promise. But as with many things DirecTV, it’s a mixed blessing based on input from customers so far. Many are complaining that the VOD menus are poor and very unintuitive.

They’ve come through with some of the 1080p titles, releasing Quantum of Solace in both HD and 1080p today. This film really benefits from the sharper format, being a kick-butt action title and all.

They’re also released 7 other Bond films until May 7: Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldeneye and Goldfinger.

They’re claiming the highest HD resolution available for this type of platform (and that includes the OD leader, Comcast), but we’re not too sure; companies tend to make many claims. Any of our readers tried these new movies and can testify to this quality?

Good News: LG announces support for 1080p DivX and new TVs on the way

April 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Product News, TV Brands

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LG has always supported DivX lgtvsvery well in all of of its assorted TVs and players, and that continues with their press release today announcing full 1080p DivX support in its new line of products. Good news for supporters of the technology.

The main news in this release seems to hint that their new line of Scarlet back-lit LCD TVs will be debuting in the marketplace in late April to late May, which is enough to set our salivary glands to overdrive.  That’s isn’t too far away at all, and since the current Scarlet line is so nice, these should be even better.

LG certainly is on a nice roll of late with their TV’s. I own their 42″ LCD model myself, and it’s a solid and quite beautiful TV set that gives a gorgeous picture with no trouble at all.

Press release in full here.

Earth Day Treat: NASA releases HD views of the Earth

April 22, 2009 by  
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earth_hear_041808Wouldn’t it be cool to view the Earth from up above, in HD no less? NASA is offering that very service to people here on Earth Day to celebrate the occasion.

NASA has been doing this for a years now, so it’s become a fairly regular event. There’s a NASA channel on some satellite/cable systems you can tune into, or you can catch the YouTube video here if you don’t happen to have that channel available.

The views are truly breathtaking to behold, proving once again that the Earth is a wondrous place.

Lasers, Photonics and Liquid Crystals, Oh My!: Next-gen LCD panels may use lasers

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Mitsubishi, Technology News, TV Brands

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liquid-crystal-lasers-20090412-355If you thought Mitsubishi’s LaserVue high-priced but beautiful-screened behemoths were the be-all and end-all in laser usage in HDTV, hold your horses.

Mitsubishi is going on with their line, but the brightness and color depth offered by that HDTV are just the very tip of the iceberg, researchers at the Centre of Molecular Materials and Photonics at the University of Cambridge say. The technology can go even further than Mitsu took them with their LaserVue marvel – and at a cheaper price.

They say that liquid crystals in concert with a single, laser source would give the same gorgeous picture the LaserVue can do, but even more cheaply and more reliably. We think it’ll be awhile before this happens, but it looks like lasers and LCD together will play a big part in your flat panel experience in the future.

Big Time Sponsorship: Sony to supply HDTVs for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Sony, TV Brands

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cowboystadiumIn news that should shock no one really (Sony supplies TVs and electronics for many sport stadiums), Sony has signed up as bigtime HDTV sponsor for the Dallas Cowboys football team, and will be installing more than 3,000 LCD HDTVs throughout the shiny brand new stadium.

The entire system which features anywhere from 19″ to huge 70″ monster monitors is RS-232 controlled and workers from the main control room (Sony outfitted of course) can toass any information, video or whatever on any LCD instantly. It’ll be one of the largest setups of its type anywhere in the US.

Of course, even the best HDTVs may not distract from the Texas sized attraction that is the Cowboys, but Sony will rest easy knowing if they are distracted, they’ll be staring at a Sony unit.

Shake the Monday Blues with our Quickie Deals

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, Sanyo, TV Brands

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amazing-dealsGot the Monday Blues? Well, take a look at our great deals and cast those blues away – and save some cash too on a HDTV of your dreams.

Here’s the rundown of today’s deals:

Walmart.com – How about a Sanyo 18.5” LCD HDTV W/ Digital Tuner for $184.00 + free In-Store Pickup too? Amazing!

PC Connection -  How about this for a great deal…The Panasonic Viera X1 Series TC-P42X1 42″ 1080p Plasma HDTV for $750 with free shipping, with 30,000:1 contrast ratio. One of the best deals we’ve seen on a TV like this.

Just part of our friendly service to bring you more amazing deals to brighten your back to work day.

Report: LG to release 32″ OLEDs by 2010?

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Technology News, TV Brands

lgroadmapoled_041909LG may have Samsung and Sony beat in the OLED wars, it appears; they’re projecting a 32″ OLED HDTV by 2010 or so. That beats their two rival companies by a year or so, and puts them firmly in the driver’s seat for dictating the future of the HD TV format, it would seem.

This “tech road” from DigiTimes is a diagram of how LG and the OLED format have evolved.

They’re saying 15-inch OLEDs by the end of this year, and 32″ to come next? The battle has swung LG’s way for now, but pardon us if we wait and see an actual product on the shelves before a winner is declared; too many times we’ve fallen for false marketing promises on the HD front, only to see delays.

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