Sunday’s Tempting HDTV Deals

January 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Magnavox, Panasonic, TV Brands

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41MRuVgqjTL._AA260_Yet more Sunday HDTV offers to tempt and oogle at:

Target occasionally has some really cool prices on gear, such as this Magnavox 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV for $449 (!!), after our coupon code WH2TEBMD and $35 shipping = $484. For a 1080p TV with 15K:1 contrast ratio? Pretty amazing.

6ave.com is a vendor similar to TigerDirect in that they have lots of electronics for great prices, such as this Panasonic TH46PZ80U 46” 1080p Plasma LCD HDTV for $898.00 with free shipping as well. Goes to show you; prices are definitely trending downward, even for the larger sizes, and that Plasma definitely is not dead yet.

Thanks for joining us, and have a happy Sunday.

Drooling (Sort Of): Mistubishi to introduce 149″ OLED TV?

January 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Mitsubishi, Product News, TV Brands

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149-inch-oled-mistuYes, you read that headline correctly: Mitsubishi has been preparing a monstrous 149″ OLED TV for display at ISE 2010, which starts next week. Now there are a few rather glaring caveats to this unit.

First of all, its based off a modular design, where you can “snap” OLED blocks together, which is good and bad. The bad side of this is that resolution is fairly low at 1,088 x 640, which means these units would be good for digital signage and that’s about it really, but in theory, these could grow as large as you like. And what an impact this would make on prospective customers!

Not to mention, this could have definite impact on the consumer industry at one point, due to the fact that we feel OLED is the future of HD, and any development in its direction is a good thing in the long run.

Perspective: The Real Reason Blu-Ray Will Win The Race

January 29, 2010 by  
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blu-ray_logoWell-respected research firm InStat issued a study saying that Blu-ray player sales will still be lagging behind DVD players in the year 2013. Is this true? Probably not. And its very easy to see why, from our perspective: there won’t be competition. Within 18 months, some big name companies will stop making DVD players. That’s correct. And news like this strengthens our case.

It’s a bold prediction, we realize, but the benefits of BR (not to mention most units play regular DVDs anyway) outweigh any backwards compatibility of older DVD units. By then, BR players will be very cheap (probably $50-60) and there won’t be a point in producing DVD players any longer.

So this isn’t a huge reach really; it’s what many AV guys know but won’t necessarily come out and say. We have no such reluctance; we’re ready to embrace the future of HD and home entertainment (as far as physical media goes anyway), which is Blu-Ray. And you can tell your friends you read it here.

Price Slash: Apple to cut cost of SD/HD TV shows on iTunes to a dollar each?

January 28, 2010 by  
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apple-lets-rock-015440Yes, the Apple rumor mill, always flowing right before a big announcement (and then the iPad was announced, of course) had another rumor begin to churn up: prices of SD (and possibly HD) TV shows on iTunes may be cut to as low as $1 very soon. HD shows on iTunes have been a nice boon for the portable TV market, but their rather high prices have kept many on the sidelines in this case. I’d love to watch these episodes on this monster TV though.

SD versions are rumored to be cut first, with HD versions next to follow should that work well. All of this is per the Financial Times that Apple has been wanting to do this for awhile now. For digital distribution to really work, it has be as close to cost and convenience as DVD box sets are now, and this moves closer to that goal, for certain.

We’d love to see HD versions of shows be a buck or slightly more, that would get us to follow the big white Apple much more closely.

First On The Train: Samsung 3D HDTVs first in production

January 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Samsung, TV Brands

3d-panelaWe’ve written quite a bit about HDTV, 3D and the upside and doubts we’ve held about how popular it’ll become in the long run, but it appears a company is taking a gamble and producing a 3D HDTV in mass amounts – Samsung. According to published reports, they’re launching big-time production on a new line of 3D HDTV models in just a few days.

No concrete info on details like sizes, dates, prices, that sort of thing — but here’s what we’ve heard and suspect: the line will consist of 40-, 46- and 55-inch LCD models with their crispy new 3D 240Hz motion technology to support 3D images and movies, and 3D blu-ray discs are already being produced.

Even with 2D imagery, the new quicker response time should make any TV viewing better, but at the same time, will you run out and buy a new TV to support home tech that’s really in its infancy? We aren’t too sure either. We’ll update you as we hear more.

Niche HDTV Fashion: Bang and Olufsen releases larger, gourmet version of 46″ HDTV

January 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News

beovision10-01-25-2010Bang & Olufsen is a high-end audio/video company who we’ve covered a few times on SS, and now they’re releasing a 46″ version of their BeoVision10, a 40″ model with similar feature set. Bigger as always better (usually) in the HDTV world, we always say.

It won’t come cheap, as you might expect from a fancy gourmet brand name, but it’ll make a statement, no doubt, with its brushed aluminum frame, 200Hz refresh, and LED backlight, along with great, bangin’ sound built-in. We’d compare this type of TV favorably with this Sony model feature wise.

Here’s a eye-opener though: the 40-incher cost just under $10,000 when it was released, so decide for yourself what the (unannounced as of yet) price will be. Probably $12-14K we’d guess. It’ll hit “selected markets” sometime in April (in Europe at first, most likely), according to the company’s reports and rumors circulating around.

Widget Or Not To Widget?: A Perspective

January 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

yahoowidgets19lg600Internet/Widget connected HDTV – are they worth the time? CES ’09 definitely displayed these type of TVs, but demand and buzz around these kind of TVs had cooled a bit this time around, as performance of currently released models were a bit disappointing according to our report.

The Vizio XVT 55-inch model, which was to have extensive internet connected features was delayed as well, so we figured the enthusiasm for these type of TVs had dampened somewhat. We’re not predicting death for this kind of tech (it’s the future in some form, no doubt) but is technology at a point NOW where it can be supported seamlessly? We’re not too sure, and from various reports we’ve read on the web, many others aren’t either.

What do you think? Anyone out there using this kind of TV has anything good to say about it? Comments welcomed.

Big Game Price Dives: HDTV Super Bowl Sales, Sears and Free Blu-Ray

January 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

searsIt’s that time of year: The Super Bowl. It’s also the time of year some retailers discount HDTV units to sell them to folks wanting to view the big game on a BIG HD screen, which we’re all in favor of, obviously. Prices on HDTVs are already pretty low so far this year, as we’ve reported. Sears is one of those making a big push in this direction.

Sears is launching a big game sale on HDTVs, including an 8% instant savings on sets 46″ or larger, for those of you with a hankering for really big screens. The sale also includes a chunky $150 savings on a Zenith 42″ Plasma HDTV; instead of $649, it will be priced at $499. That’s big-time coin, folks. Other retailers have somewhat similar plans, rumors are reporting.

And another feature we especially like: Sears will include a Blu-ray player free of charge with select Samsung HDTVs you may buy from Sunday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, February 6, so those ready to take the plunge may want to stop by Sears and take a look.

Sunday’s Sweet HDTV Deals

January 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, LG, Panasonic, TV Brands

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L49-3726-main01-amTwo more great deals for your perusal this Sunday (we last brought you great HDTV deals on a Sunday as well):

TigerDirect.com – Now readers of ours know of our great respect for LG stuff, and this is quite a deal: The LG 37LH20 37” 720p LCD HDTV – Glossy Black for an eye-popping $479.99 – with free shipping. These are sturdy TVs with great pics, and Tiger has been around a long time now, so they’re as reliable as it gets. Grab this one up!

6ave.com – Sometimes this vendor offers some really great prices, and this is one of them: the Panasonic TCP42G10 42” 1080p VIERA HD Plasma TV for $798.00 (use the ‘See price in cart’ thing) – and we include a 6% off code “BONUSBUY” you can use which brings your total to $750.12 with free shipping too. Great deal!

Feel free to visit us for more great HDTV deals in the future.

More, More: HDTV content ramping up recently

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

yvfc01dsc_0043f0zDo any of you have doubts about how seriously networks are taking HD content and ramping up availability of it? Take a look at last night’s highlight HD shows, via this link. That’s a serious boatload of HD for one evening, and that isn’t even all of it. Sports, drama, comedy, reality shows, they’re all represented strongly here.

Many critics have stated the lack of adoption in some groups is due to lack of choice or availability of shows in HD. That is rapidly changing, as many shows are now filmed either in HD or designed to be upconverted easily to HD resolution. It’s a testament to the fact that HD is here to stay, and its in demand and isn’t going anywhere any time soon, contrary to what Nintendo thinks.

Now all we need to do is make HD choices on cable systems more consistent by region, and we’re in business.

Bravia Overload: Sony to launch new line of LCDs

January 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Sony, TV Brands

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sony-ex-20100120-600Sony has been pretty active the last few weeks with developments, and now Sony is announcing a large new line of HDTV Bravia TVs of the LCD ilk, with all shapes and sizes entering the fray, including smaller sizes and (gulp) exterior colors.

Low end is the EX300, with 22, 26, and 32-inchers models with 1,366 x 768 reses, and are available in white, pink, brown, and black. Announced price ranges (in Japan first, mind you) will be ¥70,000 – ¥90,000 ($770 – $990 USD), which fits in with their typical price points.

The EX500 is the middle ground, and will sport a ¥130,000 ($1,400 USD) price tag, and will be a 40″, 120Hz, 1080p model, while the bigger and fancier EX700 units range from 32 to 52 big-time inches and will cost you between ¥120,000 ($1,300 USD) and a rather swollen ¥300,000 ($3,300 USD). These models do give you extra goodies like LED backlighting, thinness (an ultra-slim 22mm), and network features, which means YouTube streaming, plus widgets too.

These are expected to splash down in Japanese waters around February 25, and across the pond eventually as well. You know you want a pink one, admit it.

Record Year: Blu-Ray dominance growing in the physical media market

January 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

blu-ray_logoNo matter how you look at it, HD and Blu-Ray specifically had a great year, both in terms of pure numbers and market penetration. It’s a good sign for the future of the medium, which should continue to grow as good broadband internet isn’t available everywhere in rural areas to support streaming. Especially in light of larger companies launching wider support for Blu-Ray.

Here’s some very nice numbers to peek at: the households with a Blu-ray player are up 76 percent, to 17 million or so, and were up 44% over the five week holiday season (mainly because of the deep player discounts of Christmas time, no doubt).

Physical discs will probably never be quite as dominant as they once were, but hey, those numbers have to be encouraging for BR media supporters. We predict it will be 2-3 years before Blu will be the de-facto medium over DVD at the retail level, at least as far as new purchases go.

5M:1 Contrast Ratio? Panasonic’s upcoming models claiming just that

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

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18jan10ihvs4t5t4rvczPlasma (as we have reported is a dying technology but is still being built) has been making a bit of a comeback it seems, and Panasonic in particular isn’t done working on it just yet, it appears. The latest models, debuting recently, claim 5M:1 native contrast ratios and super deep blacks, are a real eye-opener in terms of what Plasma can really do in the hands of a company that believes in it.

The Viera G2 line arrives in just a few weeks, and it promises some pretty gaudy stuff in terms of features, which we look forward to greatly. It will include full 1080p HD, in addition to 3 HDMI ports.

Prices may be less pretty though, as the 50″ top of the line model is expected to sell for $3,500 USD, and $2,400 for the smaller 42″, so these aren’t the super bargains you see on many HDTV shelves these days. 46″ models should appear as well, expected in the $2,800-3K range.

Monday’s HDTV Deals Madness

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Sony, TV Brands, Vizio

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hot-dealsWe love our deals, as evidenced by posts we’ve made like this HDTV deals post, but here we’re really looking for great offers. See below:

Walmart.com and Vizio have a very good thing going, and it continues with this great deal: The Vizio VO420E 42” Class Eco (energy savings is always good!) 1080p LCD HDTV for $648 – with free shipping too? Indeed. A year ago this type of TV was $900+ easily, so you can appreciate the recent advances in technology that have made it affordable on nearly any budget.

Crutchfield.com has a pretty amazing Sony deal (and these are among the most expensive of all 40″ class HDTVs): How about a Sony KDL-46S5100 46” Bravia Series LCD HDTV for $779.99 – $20 off coupon we have supplied for you “3A825″ (Exp 01/31/10) = $759.99 with free shipping as well. Deals and more deals, how do we do it?

Watch for more deals in the weeks to come, and thanks for reading!

Nintendo Chief: Wii Users Don’t Want HD?

January 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

15jan10lzlxcbreraSome corporate bosses are pretty out of touch with what most users really want. Take Nintendo (America division) leader Reggie Fils-Aime, who has stated for record that users don’t want Wii and Netflix streaming for Wii (coming soon) to be in HD. Really? Users don’t require or want it? On what planet did this person come from? We’ve covered Fils-Aime and his unusual viewpoints before, but this episode is even more galling.

While the Xbox 360 and PS3 can do HD content and even HD streaming with Netflix, Reggie says that “there really is no loss for the Wii consumer” due to the fact that “the vast majority” of Netflix content isn’t HD anyway. Never mind the fact that HD is slowly taking over standard def as a favored choice in most markets, but Wii users prefer SD. Strange, weird and not true at all of the users we know, but hey, he’s the boss for a reason we suppose.

HDTV Deals: Weekend Edition

January 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Sceptre, TV Brands, Vizio

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hot_dealsHere’s our famous HDTV deals, something to watch a smartly-priced Blu-Ray movie on this season. Here we go:

Newegg has shattered the price barrier for 40+” TVs it seems: How about a Sceptre 40″ 4.5ms 1080p LCD X400BV-FHD for the amazing price of $500 – with free shipping too? Say it isn’t so! It goes to show you the direction prices on sets are moving.

Dell Business has some great deals on HDTVs at times, and this one is pretty good: The Vizio VT470M 47” 1080p LCD HDTV for $1099.00 – $200 instant discount via our link = $899.00, and free shipping as well. Tough to beat!

Feel free to check these deals out, as they expire at some point, needless to say.

FCC: Spectrum reclaimation plan not happening (for now)

January 14, 2010 by  
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fcclogo-2It’s been reported on various sites that the FCC was planning to scoop up unused or old-school broadband spectrum (left over from old over-the-air analog broadcasts that barely exist anymore) and reclaim it for HD usage and other applications. Of course, this would interfere with over-the-air broadcasts if you’re in an area where you have trouble getting a digital signal, so some broadcasters resisted the change.

OK, broadcasters, you win: the spectrum is safe, at least for now. The FCC’s ultimately backed off the plan this week, based on statements published recently.

The director of the FCC stated it was only a proposal, not a set plan, and that they wish to initiate “a scenario that establishes a voluntary marketplace mechanism so that broadcast TV stations have a choice in how they want to use their spectrum.” So stations could choose to let it go or keep it on their own. This could improve the quality of wireless signals and HD picture and channel selection as well, but could lead to fragmentation as some station sell it all off in some areas, and some choose not to.

It’s a big mess, and hopefully they sort it out soon, for the good of HD lovers everywhere.

You’ll Get a Kick Out of This: Fox to launch new all HD Soccer Channel in March

January 13, 2010 by  
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hdtv_soccer ball coming out of tvSoccer is actually one of the most popular sports in the world (or ‘football’ as its actual called in many countries),  and it’ll get a channel in HD all its own this March: Fox announced it will start up a new soccer channel In HD, according to an Associated Press report.

The new channel will get started on March 1 and will be titled Fox Soccer Plus. Not the already existing Fox Soccer Channel, which is also expected to go mostly (all?) HD very soon as well. Soccer fans rejoice!

Matches/coverage will include the European Champions League, England’s Premier League, the English Football Association Cup and the Italian Serie A, among other competition. Hey, we’re all in favor of new HD content, regardless of its popularity, the more the merrier, in our book.

Color Your World: New technology may change the realm of LED backlighting for good

January 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Technology News

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11janx98yv3rc10OLED (at least consumer versions of decent sizes without huge price tags) may be awhile to reach the mainstream market, as we all know. But the upstart company Nanosys is now showing off a new LED coating method that could have huge ripples on the future of HDTV watchability.

The goal: to make color saturation in LED-backlit screens better. The techie details are pretty geeky and difficult to digest, but here’s the basics: It works by applying nanoparticles to a blue LED light to give it the desired color. It thereby delivers greater and richer color, without making the units use more electricity to do so. It’s pretty cool indeed, and could make LED-backit displays even better than they are now, at a fairly low cost point.

We’ll keep an eye on this technology and how it develops.

Big, Big, BIG: Blu-Ray sale at Best Buy (brought to you by the letter ‘B’)

January 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals

Best Buy is having a huge BR sale right now, with prices on mainstream movies as low as we’ve ever seen them, pretty much. Dark Knight for $14.99 on Blu-Ray?

thedarkknighsaleblu-ray

Yep, it’s true, as you can see. Lots of other favs too; The Matrix, Fargo, etc for $10-15 brand new. Hard to foresee prices going any lower on big time BR discs anytime soon, so jump on this while you can. Now word on when this sale will end, but it will, and you’ll be sorry if you’re a BR completist (which a few of you reading this are, no doubt).

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