Forest of Hi-Def: Bambi to arrive on Blu-Ray next year

December 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News

The much-beloved classic Disney masterpiece Bambi will finally be getting the full 1080p treatment in March of next year, it appears, if rumors are to be believed. We always try to keep an eye on noteworthy releases on Blu-Ray, and here’s the skinny on one:

Disney’s officially put a date on the Diamond Edition release of Bambi, which will arrive March 1, 2011 in Blu-ray/DVD combo pack edition HD download, or SD download — DVD only packages arrive April 19th. There’s plenty of exclusive Blu-ray features, including never before seen deleted scenes, 7.1 audio track, a deleted song, a peek inside Walt Disney’s meetings where the concept of the film came to be, and an interactive game. The biggest addition is that this disc will debut Disney’s new “Second Screen” feature on computer or iPad which promises to sync with the film and pull in even more interactive features.

We applaud this effort to move animated classics like this into the hi-def world, so that future generations can enjoy them with increased clarity.

Big Time Blu-Ray release day: BTTF and Aliens among the jewels

October 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

It seems at least a few days a year, major movie properties get their due on Blu-Ray, and that’s the case as of Oct.26th, as two major movie anthologies get their releases on the HD disc medium, along with a slew of other major and minor movies. The volume of titles is pretty rapidly expanding now for BR, and it shows little sign of slowing down.

Among the releases, complete with our own previous coverage of the titles on the links:

Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy (Universal)

Alien Anthology (Fox)

Sex and the City 2 (New Line)

And that’s just the tip of the release list. We always appreciate companies who take the time to remaster classic films for 1080p, as they really benefit from the increased resolution. It’s a trend we hope continues well into the future.

First Black Friday Report: Sears fires the first shot

October 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

It looks like Sears will be launching the first salvo in the holiday price wars this year with an early “sneak peek” of some great Black Friday deals, but about a month earlier than most other chains. Here’s a few of the deals they’ll be hawking:

Vivitar X029, 10 Megapixel Optical Zoom Camera — $49
RCA 40-Inch, 1080p LCD HDTV — $499
PlayStation 3 160GB Entertainment System — $299
Nintendo Wii Bundle, including Wii Sports and Motion Plus — $199

What catches our eye immediately is that very cool price on a 40″ 1080p TV for $499….anyone can now afford to put a decent sized HDTV in their living room and enjoy HD and Blu-Ray content the way it was meant to be seen.

We’re hoping more sets get added, but that alone is a reason to keep a look out for Sears on October 29 and 30 (the two days of the sale), and it seems to also indicate the BF wars may be starting early for other companies as well.

HD Stream: Netflix to offer 1080p HD movie service

October 17, 2010 by  
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It seems even larger companies like Netflix have latched onto the 1080p HD bandwagon: they plan on launching a full HD movie service on the PS3 very soon (as of the 18th or so). More details here:

The company said more devices would get Dolby sound and 1080p movies “over time.” Netflix’s instant streaming service is also available on Blu-ray players, PCs, Apple TV and the XBox 360.

Netflix did not say which movies — or how many — would be available in 1080p, a format that purports to offer a sharper picture. Blu-ray movies are also in 1080p, but many industry analysts believe that a streaming 1080p video does not deliver a picture as good as the high-def disc.

However, Netflix said that PS3 owners would no longer have to insert a disc in the console to view its library of movies and TV shows.

To get Netflix’s streaming service, Netflix subscribers must pay a minimum of $8.99 a month. The fee allows subscribers to rent hard discs via the mail as well watch movies instantly over the Net. But the company is reportedly considering launching a streaming-only subscription plan in the near future.

We like and appreciate the idea, even if a full Netflix subscription is necessary to get ahold of it. More 1080p sources are always a good thing in our book, however.

Opinion: Are 720p resolution HDTVs worth it?

August 14, 2010 by  
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There’s an ongoing debate in some circles about the benefits of 1080p vs. 720p HDTV units, and which is worth considering. Is the extra cost (although not very much these days) for a 1080p worth it, or will many even be able to tell the difference?

Some say those with average or poor eyesight can’t tell the difference between the two reses, and small surveys and such seem to support this idea. Also important is how far you plan to sit away from the TV; if you’re 8′ or further from the set, you may not be able to tell any difference. If you’re 6′ or closer, you’ll probably see it even if your vision isn’t great.

So how about all of you? Is 1080p an important feature for you these days (especially with the lowering of Blu-Ray prices), or does it not really matter?

The Untruth: DirecTV, HD and “fudging” the numbers

March 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

directv_detailIt seems like DirecTV just keeps digging themselves a bigger hole. They’re already rated ‘F’ at the BBB for various violations of conduct, advertising and charging customers without their permission with sneaky contract terms, but now they’re not being altogether truthful about the content of their HD.

From TVpredictions.com:

But now DIRECTV has outdone itself. In the March/April issue of AAA Magazine, the satcaster has a four page ad promoting its service. The ad features a chart comparing its benefits to Dish and cable TV operators.

In the chart, DIRECTV says that “most” of its movies are in 1080p and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
That’s right. The chart asks if DIRECTV, Dish and cable have “most movies in 1080p and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.” Under the DIRECTV header, the answer is ‘Yes.” Under Dish and cable, the answer is “No.”

However, sitting next to the ’1080p’ type in the chart is a little number “1,” which means that the statement has a footnote somewhere in the ad. And if you look at the bottom of page two of the ad, the ‘number 1′ footnote says: “Limited PPV titles available in 1080p.” Limited PPV titles doesn’t sound like “most movies,” does it? Yes, that’s right. DIRECTV is contradicting its own claim in its own ad! However, the footnote is on a different page than the chart — and the footnote is in print so small that you almost need a magnifying glass to read it.

What a creative way to make yourself look good – and bad – in the same ad. The world of HDTV isn’t always a pretty one. Won’t make you this angry, but still…it would be nice if the company could compete without ad trickery.

HD Goodness: YouTube to begin streaming 1080p HD video

November 14, 2009 by  
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YouTubeHD-verticalAcquired a new Full HD camera and want to post your masterpieces to YouTube, but they don’t support the Full 1080p experience? Now it will (starting next week), because YouTube has announced the move from 720p to 1080p video support, and now you can watch HD on those great essays and insightful video commentaries YouTube is famous for.

It’s been a long time coming, as many users have clamored for the feature to be supported for awhile now, and they’re finally listening and allowing 1080p videos to be posted. Not a ton at first, but within a few months we expect half the videos posted to be HD, always a trend we support here at Screen Sleuth.

More details on the change here (along with pics).

Low Cost 1080p: Hannspree 25″ 1080p HDTV

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Hannspree, Product News, TV Brands

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myphoto-141080p has usually been very expensive in the past, usually a 25% premium or so over 720p. Well, that gap has closed the last few months or so, and it closed pretty quickly with this new release from Hannspree.

Hannspree has just announced its new 25″ HDTV for the US market (after being available overseas for awhile). This very budget-friendly units supports 1080p and a 2ms response time, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and very solid viewing angles.

It also includes two HDMI ports and a PC audio jack, along with other connectors, so its pretty complete. The ST251MKB will be soon be available at retail (starting at Costco) for $399, which is among the lowest for a 1080p this size.

Monday’s HDTV Deals and Steals

June 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Samsung, TV Brands, Westinghouse

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hot-dealsYet another installment of some of the best of the best deals on HDTVs on the web. Without further ado:

Newegg.com – How about a nice deal on a Westinghouse LVM47W1 47” 1080p LCD HDTV for $799.99 – and free shipping. It’s amazing how far decent 1080p panels have come down in price.

OfficeDepot.com – A great deal on the Samsung SyncMaster 23” Widescreen High-Definition LCD HDTV for $279.99 with free shipping too – now that’s a very nice deal to fill a bedroom or study with a fine TV for a small chunk of change.

Stop by again soon for even more great deals on the HDTV of your dreams.

Opinion: 1080p online streaming vs. Blu-Ray – which is better?

June 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Technology News

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1080pA fairly simple question for our users: which works best for you and which do you think will be more successful in the long term?

Video streaming has been threatening to destroy DVDs and discs for years now, and now that 1080p HD streaming is starting to emerge as a viable format for a few sites now, that threat may be more alive than ever now. This summer several sites will launch 1080p live streaming with surround sound, so the question really comes into focus.

Do you favor live video streaming, or Blu-Ray discs as the format for the future? Let us know in the comments section.

3D Preview: The LG Ultra-Bright 3D HD Monitor

May 27, 2009 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, TV Brands

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lg-3d-full-hd-displayWe’ve spoken about the 3D “revolution” with respect to HDTVs a few times, but now LG is giving it a shot, so maybe it might turn into something worth looking at (and investing in).

LG’s been known to dip their toe in the 3D pool a little bit, and while we’re still waiting to see the 3D panels they said were shipping this year possibly, we now know they’re pretty close to doing so.

In South Korea, the company has put on display a new Full HD 1080p 3D panel with what it says is the most brightness of any panel in its class. The company says glasses are still required, but this design allows the glasses to be thinner and less bulky than previous designs, which is a good thing to hear.

No firm date on any releases, but it looks to be sometime this year.

BD-Live for Blu-Ray: Huge disappointment so far?

May 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Technology News

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disney-bdliveBlu-Ray and pure HD 1080p discs were quite a revolution for HD fans, but the interactive BD-Live feature now showing up on a few discs so far has been slow to access and content-starved, and have been overall a disappoinment, it’s safe to say.

The latest Iron Man disc for example took a lot of time to load (even on newer and faster BR players) and wasn’t worth the wait, according to many comments we’ve seen and read. It’s a shame that the BR people aren’t putting more time and work into this feature, as it could really be something to beat the special features of typical DVD’s.

Live HD on-demand new features on the fly and other goodies could really be good, but so far, it hasn’t really materialized like many thought it would. How about you, our readers? Anyone here have BD-Live experiences to share, good or bad?

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

April 27, 2009 by  
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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.

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?

Go Big At An Affordable Price With The Westinghouse TX-52F480S 52″ LCD HDTV

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under Westinghouse

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Westinghouse TX-52F480S 52″ LCD TV and HDTV

Just because you want to go big with a new HD television, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to be a big spender. You can watch everything on this large 52″ LCD television for under $2000 that delivers the sharp high-definition images you expect. This Westinghouse HDTV comes with a digital tuner, so you’ll be sure to get the crisp 1080p resolution you want, and with a dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000:1 you’ll see every image in great detail. You’ll also be able to adjust the brightness on the TX-52F480S that allows for optimal viewing in both day and night time lighting. Along with the great picture you’ll be seeing on this Westinghouse LCD television, you’ll also hear great sound thanks to the built-in 2 channel 10 watt stereo speaker and 15 watt subwoofer. Just like most all of today’s new televisions, you’ll have access to multiple ports to connect your other home video and audio systems as well computers and other digital devices giving you more media options. When you’re ready to go for that big television with an affordable price then buy the Westinghouse TX-52F480S 52″ LCD HDTV and see how much better everything looks in high-definition.

Get The AOC Envision L42H761 42″ LCD HDTV For Less Than $1000

July 2, 2008 by  
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AOC Envision L42H761 42″ LCD HDTV

If you’re looking for an LCD television but are worried that you’ll never find one in your price range, then you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty flat screen televisions that are very affordable. Even on a limited budget you won’t have to settle for a small screen, because you can buy a 42″ widescreen television for under $1000. The Envision L42H761 is a full HD capable television that delivers 1080p resolution and provides you with wide angle viewing, so you’ll enjoy watching everything from just about any position in your room. This AOC LCD television has a sleek design with advanced connectivity features that will fit in perfectly with any existing home theater system in both style and capability. As television broadcasts and will be going digital next year, you’ll be ready for the switch as this 42″ AOC Envision comes with a built-in digital tuner. With the L42H761, you’ll also be able to connect your computer, game consoles, digital cameras as well as DVD and Blu-ray disc players that will allow for you to make better use of this digital television than could ever imagine with your old TV set. If it sounds like you’re getting a lot of high technology in a thin television that measures only a few inches deep at an exceptionally low price, you’re right and you won’t find this deal in your local store. So if you’ve been waiting to get your hands on a new flat screen television for under $1000, then you’ll want to buy the AOC Envision L42H761 42″ LCD HDTV and see how stunning television can be when you’re watching in HD.

Full HD 1080P With The Philips 52″ 52PFL3603D/27

June 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Deals

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Philips 52PFL3603D/27 52? Full HD 1080P LCD HDTV

Philips 52″ Full HD 1080P LCD HDTV with Built-in Tuner, 52PFL3603D/27

Wal-Mart has a great deal on this 52 inch Philips HDTV. For under $2000 you get 1920x1080p resolution and Pixel Plus HD which really brings out picture details and brings depth and clarity to on-screen images like you wouldn’t believe. The response time is quick – 5 miliseconds – which makes it a perfect for hard-core gamers. The sheer size of the screen combined with it’s response time makes it a gamer’s dream at a very reasonable price. In fact this really is the sweet spot of the market where price meets performance.

This Philips set receives conventional analog broadcasts and digital broadcasts including HDTV programs and where available ATSC and QAM tuner. You can connect to all your other media devices using its 3 HDMI inputs and also gets a respectable 3000:1 contrast ratio that will support dark blacks and bright whites in addition to a spectacularly rich full spectrum of colors.

Additional features that round out this great value for a TV with a great price point.

  • Viewing angle: 160 (H)/160 (V)
  • 3/2 – 2/2 motion pull down
  • 3D Combfilter
  • Active Control + Light sensor
  • Dynamic contrast enhancement
  • Progressive Scan
  • Equalizer: 5-bands
  • Output power (RMS): 20W
  • Dolby Digital (AC-3)
  • Built-in speakers: 2
  • VESA wall mount compatible: 400 x 400 mm

Philips 52″ Full HD 1080P LCD HDTV with Built-in Tuner, 52PFL3603D/27

Everything Looks Better On The Sony BRAVIA KDL52XBR5 52″ LCD HDTV

June 1, 2008 by  
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Sony KDL52XBR5 52 1080p LCD HDTV

With so many quality flatscreen televisions available, it can sometimes make for a hard decision on which HD television to buy. You can never go wrong when purchasing a Sony LCD television, as they’re known for having a high-quality on screen image that produce bright colors which are complemented by deep and intense blacks. The BRAVIA KDL52XBR5 is yet another HDTV that makes everything look better, and it will blow you away with its incredibly crisp picture that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. You won’t miss a single detail as this 52″ screen achieves an amazingly sharp 1080p resolution, and it’s perfect for viewing both regular and high-defintion programming as well as Blu-ray discs. The spectacular image that you’ll see on the Sony BRAVIA KDL52XBR5 is due in part to its high contrast ratio of 18000:1, along with its wider color reproduction thanks to the Live Color Creation that uses an advanced signal processing for clearer blues with a broader range of greens. For an exceptional home theater experience you’ll want to pair this television with a Sony surround sound system to take full advantage of its digital entertainment possibilties. So when you’re ready for a television that makes everything look better, buy the Sony BRAVIA KDL52XBR5 52″ LCD HDTV and see how good television can be.

Watch An Extraordinary Picture On The Toshiba Regza 46RV530U 46″ LCD HDTV

May 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Toshiba

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Toshiba 46RV530U Regza Full-HD LCD – FREE SHIPPING

When you have an extraordinary flatscreen television you’ll have an extraordinary viewing experience, which is exactly what you’ll see on this LCD TV. You’ll see true high definition programming as it was intended on this Toshiba that delivers 1080p resolution for a clear and more true to life color and clarity. The Regza 46RV530U uses the advanced DynaLight image processing that controls the backlighting by monitoring and adjusting the brightness of each video frame to deliver a consistent on screen image with deeper darks and brighter colors. You’ll also experience a smoother color and image transition thanks to the over 4000 levels of gradation and this CineSpeed won’t blur during fast action sequences, even when you’re using it for video game play. With this Toshiba Regza there’s never a bad seat, no matter where you’re sitting, as this 46″ television has a wide viewing angle which is perfect when you have a large group of people over to watch any sporting event. When you’re ready to take your viewing up to full high defintion, buy the Toshiba Regza 46RV530U 46″ LCD HDTV and experience extraordinary television viewing.

See How Clear Television Can Be On The Panasonic TH65PZ750U 65″ Plasma HDTV

May 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Panasonic

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Panasonic TH65PZ750U 65 1080p plasma HDTV

It’s hard to deny yourself the luxury of high-defintion television programming, especially when you can be watching your favorite shows and movies on a huge 65″ widescreen TV. After you see the amazing images that this Panasonic Plasma television delivers you won’t want to wait another day of going without this HDTV and the images that this 1080p television delivers. The TH65PZ750U is a Full HD plasma television that ensures you’ll be watching crisp and clear scenes with bright colors and deep dark blacks. Thanks to the high 5000:1 contrast ratio, the Panasonic TH65PZ750U is able to achieve wider range from black to white which produces increased visual depth and true to life images that are brighter and clearer. With the easy to use Pro-Setting Mode, you can precisely customize the picture quality to your personal preferences with detailed adjusting of the tint, brightness, contour emphasis, gamma compensation and black expansion. Along with the incredible picture, you also hear amazing sound from the integrated 31-watt speaker system that has a twin woofer and twin tweeter speaker system that produces virtual 3D surround sound. If you’ve been waiting for a television that lives up to your high defintion expectations with the speakers that complement the picture with clean sound, then you’ll want to set yourself up with the Panasonic TH65PZ750U 65″ Plasma HDTV and see how incredible television can look.

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