OLED Update: LG to release 15″ model to limited stores in May

February 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Product News, TV Brands

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28feb10lg9n4hap334Critics at CES and other spots have raved about the prief looks they’ve had at LG’s upcoming OLED HDTV models, and perhaps it’s time for all of the drooling, envy and hoping to come to an end: it’s coming. Soon. Now that the Sony OLED is dead, this will take its place, no doubt.

The deep-pocketed among us humans won’t have to wait much longer to sate the need for an astounding 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 0.001ms response time (yes, that is not a typo).

LG has officially announced it’ll be releasing it’s 15-inch OLED panel into spots in Europe this May (with mid-summer availability projected in the US). As expected, it won’t be cheap: $2,725 USD in Austria, with around that much projected on US shores. Cutting edge ain’t cheap, as many who live there know already.

Sunday’s HDTV Deals

February 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Hitachi, Samsung

9230735_sbHere they are, it’s a fine Sunday, and we have more great HDTV deals for your consideration:

BestBuySamsung has been very much on the ball with HDTV technology of late, and here’s a Samsung 46” 1080p LCD HDTV for $969.99 with free in-store pickup as well for those near one. Fine deal on a monstrous beast of a TV.

OneCall – We don’t feature this company much, but this Hitachi UT47V702 47″ V Series UltraThin 1080p LCD HDTV for $899.77 with free shipping is a heck of a deal, indeed. Prices continue to fall, and you reap the benefits!

Thanks for checking out this installment of HDTV Deals!

Skype Your Life: New Samsung models to release with Skype access

February 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Samsung, TV Brands

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samsungtv-skypecall-2Panasonic and LG announced Skype-enabled TVs, but they won’t be the only ones featuring the popular teleconferencing service; Samsung also is getting into the act soon as well. Now that they’re finished with all of their legal affairs, it’s time to celebrate.

Samsung has announced its new 7000 and 8000 series HDTV sets will also include access, so you can “call” anyone with Skype right on your TV, which is always awesome. It seems HDTVs are becoming vehicles for delivering other services as well.

Using the embedded Samsung Apps service, it looks like it works with the new HD video processing webcams just like the other models do, so users can log in to or create an account, and then make video calls away from the PC.

Bear in mind: those HD cameras compatible with this service could run as high as $200, so be wary of this when you invest in this set for that purpose. Like the 3D, there’s an extra cost attached – for now anyway.

On Sale: Samsung’s First Full 3D HDTV

February 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Samsung, TV Brands

amazon.com-samsung-un55c7000-55-inch-1080p-240-hz-led-hdtv

Well it appears the 3rd dimension in HD is ready to take off, as the first new 3D entry from Samsung into the marketplace has now been released, at least on Amazon.

Samsung’s first Full HD 3D set is now shipping Stateside, and is available to purveyors of cutting edge TV everywhere. Panasonic has already done their work on this with Plasma, now an LED unit is out.

Amazon is showing a pair of 55-inch UN55C7000 TVs with 3D 240Hz motion technology with a hefty $3,299.99 price tag and free delivery too (nice of them to throw that in at least).

Bear in mind: it’ll be another $150 or so for the shutter glasses to fully switch from 2D to 3D mode view wise, which is a little annoying given this thing’s price tag. It’s a very nice HDTV even without the 3D, but make no mistake: that is this thing’s main selling point.

Dimension Ready: Sony announces 3D compatibility with new models

February 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Sony, TV Brands

sony-bravia-lx900-6deg-leftmdLast we’d heard, some of Sony’s retail locations had 3D displays (at least 3D capable ones) to show off, but no 3D software to run on them. For those who are excited about HDTV 3D, this bit of news is a good thing: Sony is ready. This isn’t the first 3D TV, but it could be the harbinger of things to come in the 3D world.

Today the company has stated that all 42 Sony Style stores are armed with LX900, HX900 and HX800 series BRAVIA models ready to show 3DTV, and equipped to make the best of it. We remain skeptics, but if a company like Sony is jumping on board, then perhaps it has a chance to succeed.

Many have already said: the only hope for HD 3D to be even moderately successful in homes is the ability to show off the technology easily, and this is a big step towards that. Here’s to hoping that Sony will really move forward with this new technology and bring to living rooms across the globe, and that our skepticism is proven faulty.

Battle Royale #2: Samsung vs. Vizio for HDTV sales supremecy

February 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Samsung, TV Brands, Vizio

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vizio2301It’s official: Samsung is the leading flat-panel seller in the US, according to a new study from research firm iSuppli, which tracks these kind of numbers. Vizio remains the #1 HDTV LCD seller in the US as well, which should be no great shock. Their partnership with various discount stores like Wal-Mart would easily net them this honor.

Samsung led in overall sales because it makes both Plasma and LCD flat-panel TVs, obviously, and their quality has greatly improved over the last year or two. iSuppli stated all flat-panel TV sales grabbed a 23 percent market share in 2009.

The numbers: Samsung had a 18.4 percent market share while Vizio was second with 16.8%. Bad news for Sony though: their market share dropped from 12.8% to 10.3%, a pretty sizable drop (probably mainly due to higher price).

The Battle Royale: 3D Monitors – Acer or Alienware?

February 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product Reviews

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22feb103doub35vc3D isn’t for everyone and can be an acquired taste, but if you’ve got your heart set on jumping that bandwagon and need to have your HD monitor be a 3D one, there’s a battle brewing, and its Acer vs. Alienware HD monitors going head to head in this new review from  Tom’s Guide, well known purveyors of all things HD.

The two 23″ 3D displays from Acer (GD235HZ) and Alienware (OptX AW2310) were compared side by side, and reviewed to determine the best gaming experience. We reported on an early big 3D model before, now comes the smaller version.

After some notes about the need for a pretty high end system to run 3D games (no, that 7-year old desktop in the garage probably won’t do the job) — and then they delve right into some righteous benchmarking and real world testing of the two HD panels.

The price is a big factor, with the Acer costing $399 and the Alienware going for a steeper $469, but the review seems to indicate the price premium is well worth it. Feel free to read more about the review right here: Link

Sunday’s HDTV Deals and Steals

February 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, LG, Samsung, TV Brands

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LG_LG-47LH90_400x400_sOnce again, our famous HDTV deals section is on the air, and broadcasting in full color. Here they are:

OneCall.com has the LG 47LH90 47” 1080p LED Backlit HDTV (Black) for $1475.98 – and with free shipping. Readers know we have nothing but respect for LG and their products, and this is about the cheapest price we can find anywhere online.

TigerDirect.com has the Samsung UN55B8000 55” 1080p LCD HDTV for $2499.99 – $300 off coupon code we’ll give you “UDD883″ = $2199.99 – with free shipping too? We’re always looking out for you, our readers.

Thanks for reading and see you all soon!

Love and Appreciation: B and O 55″ marvel collects review and glowing praise

February 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Product Reviews

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19feb10bang0703Now you know we always appreciate 55″ of 1080p goodness from anyone and it would draw attention on this blog no matter what, but when coupled with a LED-backlit display, 6ms response time, a 4,000:1 static and completely native contrast ratio (not dynamic), and includes an integrated Blu-ray player too, and includes some of the most cool design bits in any TV ever, well attention isn’t the word. Perhaps admiration is a better word. We’ve covered these units before, but never has a TV set a reviewer to drooling like this that we’ve heard of.

The BeoVision 7-55 from Bang & Olufsen was reviewed at Flatpanels HD recently and they simply glowed over it. The motorized stand and the Blu-ray player which opens by waving a hand in front of it (yes, that’s true), finishing by describing the execution as “truly beautiful.”

Picture quality had words like “extraordinary” and “fantastic” being used, so it didn’t scrimp on actual quality as well. The only thing holding us back: the $18,700 MSRP, which would make even the biggest fan of HDTV sweat a bit.

The review is here: Link

Moving Up: Mitsubishi upscaling technology makes 1080p obsolete

February 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

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4kx2k-mitsu-tvAccording to various trade reports, Mitsubishi has reached new heights with their upscaling technology, but as usual, there’s a catch.

First the good part: this new tech can be take vanilla 1080p material to 4K x 2K without breaking a sweat at all. This is huge (or could be) in the industry for the future, and will generate stunning picture on Mitsu TVs in the very near future, no doubt.

Now the less than great news: for some undisclosed reason, it does not work with Blu-Ray tech. Now that’s a crying shame, and the other downside being the rather high prices that this technology will command when its released. Hopefully though, this will lead to greater advances in upscaling technology in general over the next few years.

Thursday’s HDTV Deals Corner

February 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, RCA, Toshiba, TV Brands

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0084604270143_215X215Affordable is the word of the day, and these deals should make any HDTV shopper smile and be glad they read Screen Sleuth. Here they are:

Walmart.com has some very nice deals on good sized units, including the RCA Scenium 42” 120hz  1080p LCD HDTV for $698.00 – with free shipping too? Yes, indeed. RCA’s quality has improved quite a bit recently, and their prices were always pretty good. Reviews on there are impressive.

Walmart.com once again raises the bar for affordability and monster size with the Toshiba 46XV640U 46” 1080p LCD HDTV for $898.00 with free shipping as well.

Thanks for reading, and happy high-res shopping.

Look, No Bezels: LG launches “Skinny Frame” Plasma HDTV line

February 17, 2010 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, TV Brands

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lg-skinny-20100217-02-600Who says Plasma as a HDTV technology is dead? Panasonic isn’t saying, and apparently, neither is LG. They’re launching a new small bezel line of Plasmas with good stats that will be debuting soon.

They’ll appear first in their home market of Korea and will be called “Skinny Frame,” a reference to the tiny 25mm border around the panels — which honestly isn’t super thin these days. You can grab them in 50″ and 60″ flavors, and both include super fast 600Hz refresh rates, contrast adjustment based on lighting, and the ability to play photos and videos from a thumb USB drive too.

Very nice features all, but the price tags aren’t the cheapest either: 1,700,000 and 3,800,000 won ($1,150 and $3,325 USD respectively). Eventually we imagine these making their way to the states and other shores as they evolve.

XEL-1 Dead? Sony stops production of OLED TV model in Japan

February 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

xel-1-side-shotThe XEL-1 (known as one of the first widely produced OLED set) was 11″ of pure HDTV wonder, but the time has come for this model, it appears. It’s 2K price tag made it rather unattractive to many HDTV fans, who tend to like much bigger screens. The writing was on the wall for this one, and now Sony has lowered the axe on this one in Japan.

Sony announced today that it was pulling the plug on production for the XEL-1 in Japan, citing “sluggish demand” as the primary cause. It will remain a curiosity and collectors item, more than likely. Cost has been the main reason why OLED hasn’t appeared on more shelves around the world, and until that obstacle is overcome, OLED won’t make a dent. Hopefully, that will be sooner than later, if our report here is accurate.

There’s a rumor that Japanese censoring laws are another reason Sony pulled the model, but these are unsubstantiated rumors, really.

World of HDTV Potpourri Post

February 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

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HDTV-Football49ers-NYGHere’s a few notes from the world of HDTV to take heed of on this fine Monday:

  • There’s no doubt that the choices and amount of HD programming is increasing quite a bit, and TVpredictions.com has published its recommended list of HDTV shows to look out for. On there is of course the Winter Olympics, broadcast in HD all the way through for the first time ever. We second the recommendations on House and Men of a Certain Age, both very good shows. Go here to see the whole list.
  • We’ve heard of big TVs at low prices, but how about this monstrous beauty from Mitsubishi? If you can stand DLP (and its developed quite a bit from its beginnings, being pretty sharp and nice-looking these days), this 73″ behomoth could be just the ticket, and at an amazing price to boot.
  • It’s begun – Amazon has over 200 Blu-Ray titles for $10 or under, and this could be just the beginning really. It’s nice to see companies stepping up and making BR affordable, so us HDTV fans can have our favs in 1080p.

Thanks for reading, and have a fine Monday!

Sunday’s Valentine HDTV Deals

February 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Samsung, Sony, TV Brands

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s0288821_sc7It’s Valentine’s Day, a day of love, romance and kick-butt HDTV deals. There’s lots to watch nowadays in HD, so grab a loved one, and let’s get started:

Staples.com – These guys occasionally have some nice HDTV offers, and this is a case in point: The Samsung 2333HD-1 23” LCD TV for $259.98- $10 off coupon code we provide for you “29903″ = $249.98 with free shipping as well. Great for any side office setting or bedroom and a nice price too.

CompUSA has an amazing Sony deal: the Sony Bravia 40″ KDL-40S5100 LCD 1080p HDTV for $650 with no charge for shipping. How does a 30,000:1 Contrast Ratio and 6 HDMI ports sound to you? Music to our ears as well.

Feel free to check these out, and happy V-Day to all!

The Age of Dimensions is Here: Samsung begins releasing 3D HDTV lineup

February 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Samsung, TV Brands

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462081634Yes, we know you’ve been waiting, and now they’re here: this year’s 3D HDTV lineup from Samsung are available for for you to eagerly grab up at some internet retailers right now, and we’re greeting this news with a mixture of anticipation and wary skepticism.

The edge-lit LED and 1.1-inch thin C7000 lineup will come in 40- 46- and 55″ monster sizes, and will offer more in features than simply 3D, reportedly. Those include the availability of Samsung Apps, Internet@TV, support for Skype,  media streaming, and it’ll even adjust res and picture based on the source of your content, from a Blu-Ray all the way down to a Flash drive.

And the price won’t totally send you to the poorhouse, in a nice surprise. The UN46C7000 (scheduled to be released April 16) has a preorder sticker of $2,599 to be slapped on it, which isn’t horribly bad. The 40″ will go for $1,999 and the 55″ will run you $3,299. Bear in mind, they won’t come with the 3D shutter glasses necessary to view the 3D content.

HDTV Rampage: Shopper takes out his rage on 29 TVs at Wal-Mart

February 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

bat-shopper-walmartWe’ve heard of HDTV inspiring passion, venom, rumor and excitement. But…destructive rage? Perhaps this is a new one, but here’s a rather interesting story that crossed our paths and we just had to report it in the interest of humor. We’re all about the human condition on SS.

For no known reason at all (the accused is pleading the Fifth, for some strange purpose), Westley Strellis entered a Walmart near Atlanta yesterday, where he took a bat from the sporting goods area and then destroyed the screens of 29 HDTVs. He gave up after and was arrested, and will be charged with 29 counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree, totaling over $22,000 worth of stuff. Talk about a bad day, folks.

Maybe he wanted to watch the Super Bowl in HD, and couldn’t afford it, so no one else could do it either?

Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss68YWoihqs&feature=player_embedded

Panasonic Dust-Up: Black Levels shifting + “Nothing to fix”

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

3-13-09-panasonic-tc-p42s1It seems many Panasonic plasma HDTV owners are taking umbrage to the shifting (read: better) black levels on more recent models of theirViera line. First, going 3D, now this?

Owners are wanting more details on the “automatic control” and in an email exchange with CNET recently, the company revealed more about this slight fallout.

Those lucky Panny owners hoping for a  patch or action in response to the changes will be pretty annoyed, as VP Bob Perry says, “there’s nothing to fix.” They reserve the right to add or change adjustments to these levels as they see fit pretty much, and said they claim “trade secrets” as to why they can’t speak about it too much. Yes, its a bit of a cop out, but companies and software improves and patches all the time with little notice, so we can’t exactly be outraged. Improved control and black levels are a good thing.

He did offer the Viera Concierge Program as a peace offering, though, so watch for that soon.

Hotel Blues No Longer: HD expansion coming to many hotel chains

February 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

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12-16-08-chiciciconradhotStaying in a hotel room these days can be fun, if you get a nice flat panel HDTV to watch. Sadly though, many of these units are HD capable, but don’t have HD programming being piped into them, at which point having a HD flat panel loses its point. There may be some changes on the way, however, keeping blurry SD shows from being our only option.

USA Today explores the issue, reporting that execs from Marriott, Holiday Inn & Crowne Plaza hotels (and Hilton as well) stating their plans to grow and add HD services over the next year or so, with many rollouts expected to be be completed by the end of the year, give or take.

It will certainly make any lonely nights spent on business at a motel a much more pleasurable experience to look forward to.

3D News: Panasonic migrates Plasma to 3D

February 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

9feb10penaoub53Yet more HD 3D news, this time from the world of Plasma: Panasonic is apparently adapting their Plasma HDTVs for the glorious realm of 3D.

Finally making the transition are Panasonic’s (famous?) Viera 3D plasma HDTVs. The company has announced it will be launching two 1080p units late April in Japan, priced at ¥530,000 ($5,932 USD) for the monster 54″ P54VT2 and ¥430,000 ($4,813 USD) for its smaller 50″ brother, the P50VT2.

For your large amount of cash, you’ll be getting the trademark deep blacks and includes an outrageous 5,000,000:1 native contrast ratio, lots of inputs with four HDMI ports, and of course the 3D active shutter glasses are included. Will 3D Plasma be successful? Probably about as much as LCD 3D, however much that will be remains to be seen, we think.

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