Today’s HDTV Schedule

August 31, 2009 by  
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ult4ESPN (720p) has Monday Night Football with Vikings/Texans at 8 p.m.
ABC (720p) presents CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock at 8 p.m.
ABC Family (720p) has The Secret Life of the American Teenager at 8 p.m. and the season premiere of Greek at 9 p.m.
Showtime (1080i) has the season finale of Weeds at 10 p.m.
USA (1080i) has WWE: Raw at 9 p.m.
TLC (1080i) has Jon & Kate Plus 8 at 9 p.m. and Ultimate Cake Off at 10 p.m.
A&E (720p) has Hoarders at 10 p.m
HBO (1080i) presents Youth Knows No Pain at 9 p.m.
History (720p) airs Clash of the Gods at 10 p.m.
ESPN2 (720p) has Primetime at the U.S. Open at 7 p.m.

What jumps out at me: Monday Night Football (oh yeah!), Jon & Kate (why am I still watching that thing?), Hoarders (one of the most heartbreaking shows on the air today), season finale of Weeds, and Ultimate Cake Off (just kidding).

Plenty of choices for nearly any type of TV appetite.

Mainstreaming: Blu-Ray and retail price levels dropping, and looking to the future

August 31, 2009 by  
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blu-ray-discBlu-Ray wholesale pricing is dropping slowly, according to VideoBusiness. And this is nothing but good for BR and the future of the HDTV format.

Rentrak reports indicate an average of a 10% drop in pricing on new releases to $23.47 and 30% lower pricing on catalog titles to $17.23. Retailers are no doubt thrilled about that development.

Some retailers are still saying they’re too high, hoping to see BR flicks priced just a few bucks above their DVD cousins. We’re hoping to see that someday soon too, but not in the next few months, probably. The day that does happen, though (and players sink a little more), DVD will be in trouble among the HDTV owning crowd (and that crowd grows every month).

What do you think, readers? What price point will it take for BR to gain more mainstream acceptance and retail numbers?

HDTV schedule for August 30th, 2009

August 30, 2009 by  
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madmen_072608AMC (720p) has Mad Men at 10 p.m.
NBC (1080i) airs Bears/Broncos Sunday Night Football at 8 p.m.
Syfy (1080i) presents High Plains Invaders at 9 p.m.
MTV (1080i) has America’s Best Dance Crew at 9 p.m.
History (720p) has Pawn Star$ at 10 p.m.
HBO (1080i) lines up True Blood at 9 p.m., Hung at 10 p.m. and Entourage at 10:30 p.m.
ESPN (720p) has Braves/Phillies baseball at 8 p.m.

A nice selection of TV tonight, including some NFL football and MLB baseball to tickle your sports bone, and a new True Blood, Hung and Entourage for those lucky enough to get HBO in their homes.

The excellent Mad Men comes on AMC as well, a new episode for your enjoyment.

There’s really something for everyone tonight, pretty much, as the HDTV world continues to expand its lineup of quality programming available every night of the week.

OLED News: LG preparing to release a 15″ model to Korea soon

August 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Technology News, TV Brands

15_oled-tv_o_440LG decided to release the results of its OLED labor with new photos of its sharp 15-inch screen, and Reuters is now reporting this release will happen very soon into the marketplace, seen to herald the release of even bigger OLED screens in the near future.

The company will be displaying the new creation at the IFA trade show middle next week, and expects to begin offering the TV in Korea in mid-November this year. We’re plenty excited, even if we know this is just the beginning of the OLED journey.

Price is unknown at this point, with Sony’s 11-inch XEL-1 still going for $2,500 or so in the US, expect prices to be pretty high right now, probably in the $3,000+ range.

LG expects to ready a 40-inch OLED very soon, but don’t expect to see that in your neighborhood electronics store anytime soon.

Freaky Friday HDTV Deals

August 28, 2009 by  
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curtisIt’s Friday, and time for more tantalizing HDTV deals to peruse:

6ave.com РVery nice deal on the Curtis LCD3202A 32in LCD HDTV for only $359 Р$18 off via coupon code we provide: AFL5 + free  shipping = $341, which is pretty nice for a TV this size.

Dell Home – Dell sometimes has some very nice sales, including this one: the Vizio XVT 42in SV421XVT 240Hz 1080p LCD HDTV for only $999 – 15% off coupon code we’ve kindly provided you with: 6FWJ247J1P44CK = $849 w/ free shipping too. Hard to beat that!

Thanks for joining us, and have a happy tomorrow, where we’ll (hopefully) see you here!

HDTV schedule for August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009 by  
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footballCBS (1080i) has Patriots/Washington football at 8 p.m.
MyNetworkTV (720p) has WWE SmackDown at 8 p.m.
USA (1080i) drops in Monk at 9 p.m. and Psych at 10 p.m.
Syfy (1080i) has Eureka at 9 p.m.
History (720p) has the season finale of Lock n’ Load at 10 p.m.
TLC (1080i) has What Not to Wear at 9 p.m. and Making Over America with Trinny & Susannah at 10 p.m.
ESPN2 (720p) has 2009 Olympus U.S. Open Series Tennis at 7 p.m.

Not exactly a loaded night, but a few nice titdbits: more NFL football (no other way to watch but in HD in our estimation), a new Monk and Psych, finale of Eureka, tennis and finale of Lock ‘n Load too.

Enough programming to keep you occupied on a warm summer’s night of viewing, we suppose…should improve for the weekend though, including the next-to-last True Blood episode of the season.

HDTV Deals and Steals: Abes Edition

August 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Samsung, TV Brands

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amazing-dealsIt’s that time again; more HDTV bargains and offers galore from Abes of Maine, a venerable electronics company online and the folks at Samsung. Here they are:

Abes Of Maine - has a very nice offer indeed: The Samsung LN40B550 40in 1080p LCD HDTV for only $845 – $15 off via our Coupon Code: DNEWS15 + free shipping = $830 shipped, and a Free Flat wall mount too? Gosh, really hard to beat that, folks.

Abes Of Maine - has a monster TV for your consideration at a very nice price: the Samsung PN58B550 58in Plasma 1080p HDTV for only $1,858 – $10 off coupon code we supply you with: LOYALTY10 + free shipping = $1848 shipped. Free Flat wall mount with this one too makes for a really cool offer.

Join us tomorrow for more cool deals!

Say What: FilmFresh releases movies in legitimate DivX format, but not in HD?

August 26, 2009 by  
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filmfresh_divxDivX Certified devices have been popping out of the woodwork for years now, including HDTVs, DVD & Blu-ray players, but no major (legal) content in the format has been available from the big studios. Until now that is.

FilmFresh.com, a new DivX upstart, has signed up content from Paramount, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. & Sony Pictures with new release and archive movies for purchase as DivX downloads. Sounds good, until you get down to the nitty gritty, which is bound to make HD lovers a little annoyed.

For now, the movies will only be available in standard definition only. Now here is the issue that gets HD supporters riled up: SD content and movies are on their way out, and to base a whole new company around them is a mistake. Still, for those that can stand SD, it opens up a new way to get a lot of new movies into your greedy hands.

HD TV schedule for August 24th

August 24, 2009 by  
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cake-bossESPN (720p) has Monday Night Football with Jets/Ravens at 8 p.m.
TNT (1080i) has the summer finales of The Closer at 9 p.m. and Raising the Bar at 10 p.m.
Showtime (1080i) has Weeds at 10 p.m. and the season finale of Nurse Jackie at 10:30 p.m.
ABC Family (720p) has The Secret Life of the American Teenager at 8 p.m. and the summer finale of Make it or Break it at 9 p.m.
USA (1080i) has WWE: Raw at 9 p.m.
TLC (1080i) has the season finale of Cake Boss at 10 p.m.
Discovery (1080i) premieres Out of Egypt at 9 & 10 p.m.
Travel (1080i) has Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations at 10 p.m.
HBO (1080i) presents Which Way Home at 9 p.m.
A&E (720p) has Intervention at 9 p.m. and Hoarders at 10 p.m
ESPN2 (720p) has Little League World Series at 8 p.m. and Tigers/Angels at 10 p.m.

How’s that for a block of cool HD entertainment, folks? Wrestling, football, season finales of some good shows, cool documentaries, and the ever-entertaining Cake Boss (pictured) and the fascinating Hoarders show comes on.

Monday Night Football and Hoarders will make up my evening’s viewing; how about you? Sound off on what your favorite HD shows are.

Acceptance: Japan lagging in Blu-Ray availability?

August 24, 2009 by  
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tsutayajapan_chronovoreA Reuters blog posting from Japan states that Blu-ray DVR sales are strong, yet movie discs have been hard to find in rental stores and larger retailers, perhaps indicating that Japan’s support of BR isn’t as strong as it could be yet. This is a little alarming, even if not surprising; even their economy is struggling a bit, and prices aren’t cheap for BR discs and burners.

With Redbox and Netflix posting strong results this past quarter in the US,¬† it’s likely video rental stores here don’t have a complete report yet. Any readers here want to report if this is true in US rental stores? Is Blu-Ray being embraced by all the major/minor stores yet here in the states? It seems even Wal-Mart is pushing BR more strongly than ever, so it may be very different at the retail level.

Post your thoughts.

Opinion: What HDTV option do you care least about?

August 23, 2009 by  
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samsung-series-8-850-plasmNow here’s an interesting poll for our readers: what HDTV feature are you least concerned about when shopping for a new unit these days?

Maybe its Hz (scan rate for action type movies and the like), or built-in internet widgets (our own bet is most don’t care about this right now), or perhaps contrast ratio? Whether the unit is 1080p or 720p? Does it have to be wire thin in profile?

Shoppers all have their own priorities, but it would be nice to find out what our readers care about, and what they aren’t concerned with, that way we can gear our own coverage to match up with our reader’s needs.

Speak out and be heard!

The Crown Ever Shifting: Vizio still tops in HDTV sales, but Samsung closing in

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Samsung, TV Brands, Vizio

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isuppliq2No matter the legal rigamarole, lawsuits, etc, Vizio kept shipping out LCD HDTVs in huge amounts during the second quarter, making up 21.7% of the overall market, according to manufacturers reporting company iSuppli. But their HDTV crown is worn on an uneasy head these days, as competition is slowly closing in on them.

Samsung is now hot on their heels, with a jump from 17.8% in the 1st quarter to 21.3% in Q2, mainly because of their new LED backlighting sets they released, accounting for 2.2% of all LCD sales.

They also note many more customers buying new models to replace older models, something companies always salivate about, as a growing trend. Let’s hope this trend continues.

Round 2 – Plasma vs. LCD: Plasma emerges as a surprise winner

August 21, 2009 by  
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20090718-lcd_vs_plasma_smWho knew? We wish we could say we did, but we didn’t — the second quarter of 2009, Plasma was the only big screen (40″ or higher) TV technology to show growth in the US market. We’ve always said in some ways Plasma was superior, but this we didn’t expect.

Compared to the first quarter of the year, plasma was + 31% in volume and 35% in earnings according to research firm Quixel’s report. That a big boost, by any standards.

Take the much-covered DTV transition and add in the slipping economic climate, and you have the perfect storm for decent looking 720p, 42″ sets to increase 40% in sales overall.

We like Plasma as a technology, but we also know this could be a short-lived comeback as LCDs continue to mature technologically and dominate the bottom line price wise, but it is good to know people are using their eyes to judge a TV’s value and not just the price tag.

We’re Off To See The Wizard (In HD): Wizard of Oz HD to return to theaters

August 21, 2009 by  
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wizardofozRemember the magical classic The Wizard of Oz? It’s one-part acid trip, one part fantasy and one-part musical joy, and with the 70th Anniversary Blu-ray release upcoming that’s supposed to be beautiful, The Wizard of Oz is returning to the big screen in high definition transfer for a new generation of audiences.

On September 23 at 7 p.m. over 400 theaters will be showing the remastered version on their screens, plus the never seen “To Oz! The Making of a Classic” featurette as well for your education about the classic film.

For those that think old films can’t benefit from high definition, take a look at this one.

Tonight’s HD TV Lineup: Variety rules (and that ain’t always good)

August 20, 2009 by  
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meet_the_browns-showYes, there’s a lot to see on TV tonight, folks. HDTV lovers should be quite proud of the variety of programming in store for them.

Reality shows (America’s Got Talent, Toddlers and Tiaras, Man vs. Wild), sports (baseball and soccer), dramas (Dark Blue, Leverage); you name it, you can probably see it in glorious HD. And…well, there’s Meet The Browns on TBS, in 1080i res for some strange reason. Our personal opinion: one of the least funny sitcoms around.

Here’s the complete (more or less) listing of programming: Link

Sails Away: BBC America HD launches…sort of

August 20, 2009 by  
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picture-8Finally, after a long and painful wait, BBC America HD has been launched on Time Warner Cable in New York, so you’ll be able to catch your favs in HD quite soon.

This news comes as part of a channel reorganization that also unleashed HSN HD, Headline News HD, Outdoor Channel HD and Turner Classic Movies HD onto subscribers in a pretty good package of additions for HD lovers.

Primeval, Dr. Who and Torchwood are among the geeky favs we want to see, but no word as to exactly what will air in which format, so we’ll keep wishing and hoping this shows up on more cable systems as time goes along.

Tuesday’s Thrilling HDTV Deals

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, LG, Philips, TV Brands

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hotdealsiconHere are yet more great deals on HDTV units:

Target - Here’s a great price on a good size HD monster: The Philips 47in 1080P LCD HDTV – 47PFL3603D for only $950, $150 off is always nice.

NewEgg - Yet another nice deal on a 47″: the LG 47in 16:9 2.7ms 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV 47LH50 for only $1199 + free shipping. Tough to beat that, especially for how great a TV LG makes.

Come back soon for more price-shattering deals on HDTVs.

Today’s HD TV Guide for August 18th

August 18, 2009 by  
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hdtvABC Family (720p) has 10 Things I Hate About You at 8 p.m. and Ruby & the Rockits at 8:30 p.m.
SyFy (1080i) has Warehouse 13 at 9 p.m. and ECW at 10 p.m.
TNT (1080i) has the season finales of HawthoRNe at 9 p.m., and Saving Grace at 10 p.m.
TLC (1080i) has 18 Kids & Counting at 9 p.m. and the series premiere of Masters of Reception at 10 p.m.
Discovery (1080i) has Swords at 9 p.m. and The Colony at 10 p.m.
NBC (1080i) has America’s Got Talent at 9 p.m.
A&E (720p) has The Cleaner at 10 p.m.
FX (720p) has Rescue Me at 10 p.m.

    It’s a nice crop of HD TV for tonight, including the season finales of Hawthorne and Saving Grace, which stand out as highlights. Does anyone still watch all those 25 kids and counting things anymore, especially after what happened with Jon and Kate? It all seems so fake.

    The Cleaner is a good watch too, and Rescue Me is a reliable favorite now.

    Blu-Ray Release Highlight: The Last Starfighter

    August 17, 2009 by  
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    thelaststarfighterNow here’s a release that tickes me, mainly because I grew up watching this movie: The Last Starfighter was released on Blu-Ray this week, and we’re pretty jazzed.

    For those of you who haven’t seen it, it captures the adventure of Alex Rogan, a young kid at a trailer park bored with his life and feeling like there should be more out there. He gets his wish by becoming a galactic savior for an alien universe, and much explosions and mayhem ensue.

    It’s funny, sad and interesting with layered characters and decent effects (for the time anyway). It captured that video game boom from the 80′s pretty well, and it’s now in HD for the first time. We can’t wait to grab it, and it comes out tomorrow at many retail locations.

    Big Plans Scuttled?: Sony may put off OLED plans until next year

    August 17, 2009 by  
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    sony-drive-xel-1_001Remember when we said fancy, bigger new OLED screens were coming from Sony soon? Well, according to released Wall Street Journal sources, the company has delayed their venture into OLED for a bit due to slipping sales.

    They were shocked at their inability to sell $2,500 11″ OLED sets (can’t imagine why), CEO Howard Stringer has decided to delay the rollout of OLED screens to focus in reducing the cost of existing LCD screens and getting more units into Wal-Mart. A slightly sad day for HDTV lovers.

    Now that LG has announced similar plans for next year, only Samsung remains as our OLED hope for this year, but we aren’t holding our collective breaths for that to happen at this point.

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