Wednesday’s HDTV Deals

March 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, Sharp, TV Brands

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392174Yet more amazing deals we scour the internet to bring to you, so feel free to stare, gawk and generally be amazed:

Sears.com has a very nice Panasonic TC-P50C2 50” Viera 720p Plasma for $719.99 with free shipping too, and that’s a heck of a deal for a company whose specialty seems to be of the Plasma persuasion. Check it out.

PcRUSH.com has an LED wonder, the Sharp AQUOS LC-40LE700UN 40” 1080p LED HDTV for $814.96 with free shipping as well, and that’s one of the lower prices for this we’ve seen around. Great reviews, great price, no strings.

Thanks for joining us, and see you all later!

B and O Strikes Again: 46″ marvel released, get your wallets ready

March 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News

100329-beovision-01Who would have thought that their 40″ HDTV would suddenly become a smaller sister? Well, this is now the case, as Bang & Olufsen have announced the upcoming release of a high-priced, super-slick 46″ monster to their lineup. We’ve covered this company before, but nothing much touches this one.

Considered the Bentley of HDTVs, this one has a lot going for it: the BeoVision 10-46, a crystal clear LED-based, 240Hz LCD panel and “sophisticated motion compensation technologies” that sport “a yet unseen level of smoothness”, according to the company. Sounds good to us.

Can you handle all this sophistication and smoothness? Maybe, maybe not, but maybe we’ll find out soon.The company is giving a April 14 release date in Denmark, and will be available this summer at the low, low price of only $9,940 USD or so. If your wallet can handle it, go for it.

Channels In Three Dimensions: ESPN HD 3D to launch in June

March 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

directv_detailYes, even channels are jumping into the 3D trend, ESPN 3D in HD scheduled to launch on DirecTV in mid-June or so.

DIRECTV also said it would launch three dedicated channels for 3D programming in June as well. So much for our prediction about 3D being a short-lived trend; it appears in one form or another, its here to stay.

The company stated: “The three channels will include a 24-hour 3-D channel which will feature movies and documentaries. Another 3-D channel will provide Video on Demand programming while a third 3-D channel will be a ‘sampler demo channel’ that will feature a variety of content. The sampler channel will be free.”

Sounds interesting; we’ll see how long these channels actually last. Yes, we’re still skeptical, we hope we’re proven wrong, though. Because HD 3D is very cool. And with Wal-Mart carrying them they’ll get coverage, no doubt.

Shoot it in HD: Panasonic HD camcorders to release in US

March 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News

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panasonic-hd700-camOccasionally we cover other HD related devices, and this one sounded particularly good: a new line of HD camcorders from Panasonic soon to make their debut on US shores.

Spring has sprung here in the US 50 states, which means that every single camcorder will begin to be tuned up for family gatherings, little league events and weddings. Panasonic is getting in on that action, with their HDC-TM700 and HDC-HS700 1080p 3MOS camcorders set to bow in around mid-April or so, and at $999.95 and $1,399.95, respectively. So these aren’t your father’s video camera for certain, but viewing that cherished family moment in full 1080p HD many years from now, isn’t it worth the cash?

We’ll update you as news leaks further about these.

Saturday HDTV Deals ‘R Us

March 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, LG, Sharp, TV Brands

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A2911752Once again, we bring you some of the best HDTV deals on the web:

Dell has a monstrous glory in the Sharp AQUOS LC65E77UM 65″ 120Hz HDTV (LCD) for $2,599 with free shipping as well. Great stats, huge size, and AQUOS brands tend to get very high ratings on image quality too. Great deal! Make sure to click to “see the sale price”.

PCConnection.com has a deal that makes me a little ill. Not because its bad, but because its pretty much the TV I bought a year and a half ago for twice this price (mine is 1080p though): The LG 42LH200C 42” 720p Widescreen LCD TV for $599.95 + small shipping charge = $621.90 out the door Shipped, which is amazing, simply put.

Thanks for joining us this fine weekend, and may you have an HD-quality day.

LG and 3D: LG’s first 3D HDTV is released

March 26, 2010 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, TV Brands

25mar10oub2t4lglxWell, here’s a way to make those 3D TVs attractive — no bezel and make it crazy thin. That’s pretty much what LG did, it appears, as they prepare to release their own take on 3D HDTV technology. It should play this pretty well, we assume.

The newly minted LX9500 at 22.3mm it still makes the majority of laptops jealous. Paired to a minimal 16mm bezel, it makes for quite the living gorgeous furniture/accessory, whether turned on or off.

The new LED-backlit TV will offer the usual full 1080p res and a 400Hz refresh rate as well, which is just fine for those active shutter glasses. A 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio is given to round out the impressive stats.

Reports peg this unit will sell for 4.7 million Won ($4,134 USD) launch price for the monstrous 47″ model in Korea, and it’ll head over to US shores around May or so for around the same price point, with a 55″ model being available by then as well.

Wally World in 3 Dimensions: Wal-Mart to carry 3D HDTVs?

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

philips_52-inch_3d_displayWal-Mart has stated it will carry 3D HDTVs in select stores later this year, according to a Home Media Magazine article. This isn’t necessarily a surprise, but a welcome confirmation that HD (and 3D) acceptance has grown wider, which should be welcome news to those that think 3D HD in general is just a fad.

Although the retailer is not committing to adding the new sets to ALL stores (probably the bigger volume stores, more than likely), the decision to carry them at some stores arrived as a welcome harbinger of things to come in the industry.

A Wal-Mart spokesman was quoted as saying: “Though plans will likely include only select stores, Wal-Mart has not officially announced when we will sell 3D TVs, where, and what brand or brands we will carry.” So a big fat zero in terms of details we’re afraid, but considering the amount of doubt we’ve expressed on this blog regarding the future of HDTV 3D technology, we wanted to carry both sides of the coin. Indeed, it may here to stay in one capacity or another.

New Fever: Toshiba releases specs for new HDTV line

March 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News, Toshiba, TV Brands

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20103ux600-4600Toshiba hasn’t always been considered top of the heap in HDTV technology, but they, their new lines might change things a little bit, for the better. They announced a slew of new HDTVs due in stores this month.

The 120Hz UX600 takes top dog status with its edge-lit LEDs and under 2-inch thickness (fairly standard in the biz now for new designs), plus the bonus of a WiFi adapter for access to all the NET TV features with VUDU and DLNA support, included with purchase. Very cool, assuming speed wise it’ll be better than some of HDTV net stuff we’ve seen.

The 40-, 46- and 55-inch versions retail at $1,399, $1,699 and $2,499, respectively, so not cheap, but net functionality and thinness come at a price.

The 120Hz G300 series is available in the same sizes but without the LEDs, WiFi, Net TV and slim “Air Lagoon” styling the price maxes out at $1,599 for the biggest screen, which is fairly wallet friendly.

All of these should be available via online vendors (and stores) by the end of the week or so.

More?: Comcast possibly to compress HD further

March 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Technology News

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Comcast_logoIt’s been rumored (and only rumored) that Cable supplier Comcast is looking for methods to compress HD channels even more than they already do, according to various sources. Because this isn’t quite true anymore.

Their HD is already fairl compressed, and there are other alternatives to this sort of action: weaning off analog channels, deploying SDV and still others move VOD to IP or they could start using more efficient codecs like H.264 for their signals.

As supporters of HD in general, we oppose this sort of thing on principle. Hopefully, Comcast rethinks this sort of action, even though it may result in more choices and channels being carried to subscribers, because the more compression, the lower the quality. We like HD because it looks sharper and clearer, not similar to analog channels because of excess compression.

Portable HDTV: Updates and Tragedies

March 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

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panasonic-portable-20100318-600Portable HDTV in general is a decent idea, but it never really caught on in the States for some reason. Maybe price, features, lack of channels, whatever the reason. It also seems to discourage companies from bringing newer HDTVs you can take with you stateside, needless to say.

so we’re left wishing for new offerings like the Panasonic DMP-HV100 and DMP-BV200, recently announced and ready to roll soon. Both are 10.1-inch HD sets that have 1024 x 600 resolutions (great for carrying along in the car with you) and, while either can tune DTV OTA, they can also connect wirelessly (with an WiFi dongle connected) to a Panasonic DVR and stream content to the screen.

The 200 model can also act as a sort of large PMP, playing back a variety of media formats from an SD card, so it has several uses, which we always like. No release date or prices announced, but sadly, for now no US release is planned. It’s sad indeed we may never see models like this in a US store, so let companies know if you want to see things like this here!

Saturday’s HDTV Deals

March 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Sharp, TV Brands

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0082405600240_215X215More amazing deals on this fine Saturday for your consideration:

Sears.com has the well-reviewed and well-regarded Sharp LC52LE700UN AQUOS 52” LED 1080p LCD HDTV for $1299.98 and includes free shipping too. Great deal (the best we’ve seen for this exact model, in fact).

Walmart.com has an amazing offer on their own Element ELDHW421 42” 1080p LCD HDTV for $499.00 with free in-store pickup as well. Astounding how low prices have gone, even if this isn’t a Sony or LG exactly.

Caveat Emptor: Best Buy’s “bundle” isn’t always a great deal

March 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Industry News

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bbuy3dad031710600It’s no shock that Best Buy is wanting customers to grab up Samsung’s 3D HDTV and its Blu-ray player together (they go together like peanut butter and jelly, sorta), but buyers in the know should make sure they’re really saving money before they plunk down their wallet.

Next week’s ad does feature the UN55C7000 at a decent price that happens to be $300 lower than the MSRP, and grabbing the display and player all at once gets a free Starter Pack throw in with two pairs of 3D glasses and the Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-Ray too, so at first glance it appears to be a very nice offer.

Now look at the $3,419 package at the lower right and its “$780″ claimed savings. Now that deal includes their $150 Geek Squad install to set up the TV and its little goodies. If you’re an experienced HDTV person, and don’t want to pay for Best Buy’s “extras”, feel free to skip this and set up your own TV. More money for more blu-ray discs and glasses, we say.

So make sure to read all the fine print on any HDTV bundle, to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of.

Wednesday’s Wonderful HDTV Deals

March 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, TV Brands

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89-187-104-S01Here they are, more great deals on fine HDTV products from various sources:

Newegg has a fine Panasonic TC-P50X1 50″ VIERA 720p Plasma TV for $700 + $20 shipping = $720 total. We’ve covered ad nauseum how great Panny Plasmas are, so grab this one for a song.

BestBuy has the Insignia NSLBD32X10A 32” 1080p LCD HDTV With built-in Blu-ray Player (awesome!) for $599.99 with free in-store pickup too, if you happen to be near one. One of the cooler deals we’ve seen.

Thanks for reading, and please do return!

Legal News: Dell sues 5 companies over LCD price-fixing

March 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

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dell-logoLooks like Dell is jumping into the legal ring, and many in the industry are celebrating the PC giant’s guts, even if they’re predicting it will be a long battle with few real victors. We’ve covered court related joy before here at SS, but this one may be huge.

The company has filed a lawsuit in a San Francisco court today against four LCD makers – Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, and Seiko Epson – and Taiwan-based HannStar as well. The crime they’re accusing the companies of, you may ask? The much-chronicled, much-discussed and reviled LCD price fixing scandal.

At least two of the companies mentioned (Sharp and Hitachi) have already come out and admitted involvement and paid fines in other cases, so it doesn’t appear they have a big defense really. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.

Cheap 1080p: Blu-Ray player selling for $70 at Target

March 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

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target-philips-blu-rayWe knew it would happen, and now it has: A Philips Blu-Ray player is now selling for under $70 at Target stores. That’s cheaper than some DVD players right now, and its a bargain for easy entry into the world of 1080p HD glory. Maybe pair it with one of these fine TVs?

For those 70 schillings you’ll be getting DivX support, a SDHC card reader, BD Live, and HDMI CEC convenience. While a quick search returns a group of mixed reviews (image quality is only ok), for $70 are you really going to complain too much? We didn’t think so.

It seems Blu-Ray is making inroads to becoming cheap enough for everyone to consider owning. And to think a year ago, players were still averaging around the $300 mark or so…makes you wonder how sane early adopters really are.

3D Shootout: Panasonic vs. Samsung, via Consumer Reports

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product News, Product Reviews, Samsung, TV Brands

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ces20103deverywhere28lg600Both Samsung and Panasonic started selling 3DTVs (as you may have heard if you have read this blog in the past two weeks or so, as we’ve covered it extensively) this week, and the reliable folks at Consumer Reports bought both and started testing them, comparing and contrasting the two companies offerings.

Initial impressions seem to confirm the overall feeling and tenor of other reviews we’ve covered in that Panasonic’s 3D has the edge in delivering the best HD 3D experience. Their words: “in the 3D mode, its (Panasonic’s 50-inch VT-20 series) lack of crosstalk and great black levels really made three-dimensional images pop.”

It seems plasma tends to deliver better overall experience with 3D related apps, due to its contrast and black levels, and we agree with the overall community in proclaiming (so far anyway) that Panny is the king of the hill with home 3D right now.

First Shot: 3D Blu-Ray disc to be released in April

March 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

ice-age-3d-posterNow we finally have the first of (hopefully) many, for those who have invested in this 3D trend: the very first HD Blu-Ray 3D disc will be released in April, it looks like.

Fox said in a statement last week that it will release Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on 3D Blu-ray,  making it the first 3D release to be officially put onto shelves. Fox further said that the 3-D edition of Ice Age will be a free gift to anyone who buys the 50″ Panasonic 3D HDTV and 3-D Blu-ray player together, which retails for a combined price of $2,900, so some sort of two-digit free gift should be the least of what’s offered.

Fox did not announce any sort of price range for the 3D disc. Probably $30-40 would be about right; any more than that would definitely keep some away for awhile.

First Review: The Panasonic 3D HDTV

March 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

ces2010---image---full-hd-3d-systemWe always look forward to the very first reviews of a new model or technology, and even more so with a tech we’ve sorta been leery about anyway. The very first reviews of the new Panasonic 3D HDTV models are out, and here’s the scoop.

While the rest of us wait to see if its worth the trouble, Gary Merson and HD Guru took a trip to Panasonic’s NJ headquarters to see what they could see.

Here’s a little snippet of his impressions:

The good news is that the 2D picture quality was better than last year’s model and in fact the black level reading was one-half of the V10′s out of the box performance. So as if getting a better HD picture for less money wasn’t enough, Gary says the the 3D image (is) outstanding with considerably more brightness and pop than the motion picture theater 3D movie experience.

So it appears early impressions are quite positive. How excited it makes you depends on where you fall in the 3D viewpoint, but hey, it sounds like a good start in terms of bringing theater quality 3D home.

Thursday’s Thrilling HDTV Deals

March 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, RCA, Toshiba, TV Brands

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R104-4200-main02-amMore great HDTV bargains for your reading pleasure:

Circuit City has the new, improved and decently spec’ed RCA Scenium 42” 1080p 120hz LCD HDTV (L42FHD2X48) for $650 with free shipping as well. For a TV with those specs, that is an amazing price, indeed.

CompUSA has a fantastic deal on the Toshiba Regza 47ZV650U 47″ 240Hz 1080p LCD HDTV – how about $900, and with free shipping? It always boggles our minds how low prices have gone these days.

Thanks for joining us and see you all later!

Prices: Samsung 3D HDTV MSRP list range from pretty good to crazy

March 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Samsung, TV Brands

smasungledprices2010-1268149869Take a look at this graphic, and you’ll see two things: Samsung’s price list (MSRP anyway) for their new line of HDTVs, mostly 3D compatible. The other thing you’ll at the top is that $7K price tag, which is more than a little crazy.

What does that $7K buy you? Their top of the line, ultrathin 9000 series LED-lit LCD HDTV, with touchscreen, video displaying remote control and full 3D capability. That’s a lot of bang if you have extra in your budget, and you can watch content like this in style.

Also included in this lineup are a few new Plasma HDTV models, so it seems companies aren’t willing to discard the technology quite yet, a good sign for videophiles the world over indeed.

Most of these will be released in April/May of this year, and are in the $2K range or so, which isn’t terrible for a nice LED backlit 3D compatible TV, we’d say.

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