Here They Come: Chunk of LG and Sony 3D HDTV units get prices

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Product News, Sony, TV Brands

Comments Off

This is the typical time of year when activity with new unit releases start to pick up greatly, and this year is no exception it appears. Sony and LG have jumped into the arena with lots of upcoming release news, and they mostly involve new 3D HDTV units, something we have mixed feelings about, but their basic specs sound pretty good too.

CES’s premium 3DTV crop is preparing to ship out, with Sony’s HX929, HX820 and HX720 series of LED LCD screens and LG’s Infinia PZ750 plasmas now priced at Amazon for pre-order and they look really good.

3D-Display-info.com reports that Sony’s local dimming Bravia TVs start at $2,099 for a 46-inch HX720 with the famous Gorilla Glass we’ve written about, all the way up to $3,799 for the monster 55″ XBR-55HX929 with a LED backlight. Quite drool-worthy.

Meanwhile, the 50″ LG PZ750 with built-in Smart TV tech starts out at a decent $1,599, while a gigantor 60″ version of the same set will go for $2,100 or so (also reasonable). Watch for these to appear for purchase quite soon.

No Glasses, Ma: Samsung shows 55″ glasses-free 3D HDTV prototype

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Samsung hasn’t been at the forefront of no glasses 3D HDTV as some other companies in recent years, but they’ve come out in favor of it in a big way at the FPD China trade show recently — or a test model of one, anyway, and in the next few years, it could be a game changer.

According to Tech-On!, which is a leading Chinese tech blog/news service, the 55″ monster is able to do nine different viewpoints for glass-free 3D viewing (that’s 9, folks), and it can be switched into 2D mode at any time as well for those of you non-3D scrooges, which works by changing the optical refraction index of an LCD panel that sits on top of the main LCD that’s actually used to display images. It’s a big potential step forward for a technology we’ve had our doubts about.

Right now, the demo model uses a direct-lit CCFL backlight, although Samsung indicates that would be replaced with an LED backlight before it actually hits the market, and Sammy is saying that a full-blown market version of this one is around 2-3 years away as of now.

Release Meter: Samsung puts out prices on new 3D HDTVs

March 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

CES brought us early details of these models, and we’ve been tracking the progress of these 3D HDTV displays from Samsung ever since, first they were TVs, then they turned into monitors, then it turned out they were monitors with optional TV tuners built-in — and now their first pricing and availability announcement, which has not brought any big surprises.

South Korea is the debut market for the 950 and 750 Series, both 27-inchers with differing designs, which in the 950′s case is asymmetric and in the 750′s is all about the super thin bezel.

A 1,000:1 contrast ratio, super fast 2ms response, 1080p resolution, and a whole bunch of input ports await the buyer of either one, but not cheap: the 27TA950 will go for 890,000 KRW (almost $800 USD) and the 27TA750 sports a 840,000 KRW price tag (over $750). Not exactly super value types, but MSRPs have a habit of changing rather quickly once they’re released on the open market.

Good List of Bad Things: 10 Dumbest HDTV Ideas

March 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Now on occasion we like to read the lists provided by TVPredictions.com, and this one is a doozy of a read: The 10 dumbest things to happen in the world of HDTV over the last decade or so. It’s an amusing and all too accurate list, in our opinion.

The ones we agree with in particular: 3D HD it appears, Voom (decent idea, poor execution), and the quick fall of HD DVD from Toshiba (Blu-Ray clearly had the upper hand when they released it, meaning instant doom for the format and those who chose it, of which I personally know several).

Read the whole list here in all its glory, and marvel in the dumbness.

Big Target: LG and Samsung want to sell 15 million 3D HDTVs this year

February 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Yes, we’ve frequently spoke about the limitations and low expectations of the 3D HDTV format, but LG and Samsung (two companies we appreciate and admire) plan on trying to aim on selling 15 million combined HD 3D units this year, if a recent projection report is accurate. Here’s more scoop for your reading pleasure:

Here’s one way to solve a chicken-and-egg dilemma: crank out 15 million chickens. That’s seem to be the plan for Samsung and LG, anyway — Samsung plans to sell 10 million 3D TVs this year, up five times from the two million it sold last year, while LG plans to sell some 5 million. Now, it’s unclear whether this increase in sales will come as a result of consumer demand for 3D or simply because almost all new TVs will be 3D-capable, but we’re hoping that pesky 3D content problem will get a lot better once more people can actually view it — assuming anyone actually wants to wear the glasses, that is.

We really like LG, but given the sales of 3D over the holidays (read: poor), we aren’t optimistic about their projections.

3D Gamble: LG betting big time on 3D HDTV with new units

February 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Product News, TV Brands

LG is taking a huge gambit: betting that 3D HDTV will hit it big as the experience evolves and prices go down. We’re usually big LG fans, but this move we aren’t too sure of really in the long run.

The flat-panel company announced at the most recent CES that it was separating from other TV makers to implement its own FPR technology for 3DTVs and now they’ve started shipping in Korea, starting with the LW5700 pictured here. Here’s a quick breakdown of the technology, and it could mean a bit of a new approach for the 3D medium at home.

Their new approach involves putting a special film over the LCD screen (sorry, no plasmas, Panny fans) which allows users to grab up their cheap “flicker free” passive 3D glasses and not the much more expensive active shutter 3D glasses. This could cut the cost of owning a 3D TV quite a bit.

LG’s gambit will migrate to the US in mid-March or so, and we’ll see how well it does. No prices or details released as of yet.

New Channel: 24/7 HDTV 3D channel to be added soon, 3net

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

We have frequently lamented the future of HD 3D, but yet another seeker of 3D fortune has sprung up, and we aren’t sure what to think really. It could be a huge success, or with its limited viewership (DirecTV only at first apparently), it could crash and burn. Read on:

The number of 24/7 broadcasting 3D channels in the US will go from one to three next week, now that Sony, Imax and Discovery have announced the launch of their channel, 3net, on DirecTV alongside its existing n3D channel and ESPN 3D, which will start looping its sports videos 24/7 on Valentine’s Day. Scheduled to go live at 8 p.m. Sunday night on channel 107 it promises fresh debuts all month with a new show added to the rotation every night at 9 p.m. It’s big promise is to “offer viewers the largest library of native 3D entertainment content in the world by the end of 2011″ although any 3D TV owners who don’t have DirecTV would probably just be glad if it got added to their channel lineups anytime soon.

We’ll keep you updated as this goes along. No predictions yet, so we’ll where it leads.

Surprise, Not Quite: Glasses-free 3D HDTV selling slowly in Japan

February 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Comments Off

Yes, we’re all truly shocked indeed….glasses-free 3D HDTV units released by Toshiba, their GL1 line, is selling pretty slowly in Japan right now. We weren’t super jazzed about it at release time when we covered it, but there you go. More here:

In truly surprising news, it appears that a combination of high prices, small sizes and a somewhat questionable viewing experience have caused Toshiba’s new GL1 line of glasses-free 3DTVs to sell more slowly than the company expected. In their first month of availability the 20-inch set, priced at 240,000 yen ($2,940), sold around 500 units while its 12-inch cousin sold even less than that, despite projections both would sell at least 1,000 units. Don’t think Toshiba’s letting its hard work go the way of the old Sony XEL-1 OLED TVs just yet, as we saw at CES, it’s still committed to bringing autostereoscopic 3D in larger screen sizes to the masses despite the potential technological hurdles like providing more viewing angles for the 3D effect.

Once larger units come out at reasonable prices, that will be the real test, we think.

Blu-Ray News: Tron Legacy to be released in fancy editions

February 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

Comments Off

We like to cover fancy new releases of current movies, where there seems to be a big boom in ultra-slick releases for the HD format, and this one is no exception. Take a read on this special edition of  Tron: Legacy (and check out the cool pics as well) and mention of release day 3D version too:

Looks like Disney’s going all in on that promise to offer Tron:Legacy on Blu-ray 3D day-and-date with the standard release, while it hasn’t been announced officially Amazon already has three separate editions available for preorder. Pictured above is the five disc limited edition with Tron: The Original Classic Special Edition and special identity disc packaging, while the others are a five disc set minus the special case and a four disc combo pack that drops the 1982 original. No word on price or release date, but DiscDish mentions the original will also be available in its own two-disc pack if you’re not a Daft Punk/Olivia Wilde fan.

Personally we liked the ’82 version a bit better in terms of actual filmmaking, but hey, this new one looked awful good as well.

They Love It: Japan crazy about 3D Blu-Ray

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Comments Off

Hey, we have one market that can’t get enough 3D HD: Japan, it seems is head over heels about the format. Here’s the skinny about this:

Finally, we find a market that is truly enthusiastic about 3D. Tokyo-based researchers BCN, cited by CrunchGear, report that a cool 57 percent of all Blu-ray recorders sold in Japan last month had 3D playback functionality built in, while 23 percent of all 40-inch-plus TVs sold had the ability to relay stereoscopic imagery. Both those numbers are major leaps in popularity within the nation itself and also easily dwarf penetration rates for 3D hardware in other parts of the world. 3D has apparently grown a lot more affordable in Japan, but lest you think these data are just a symptom of people upgrading their equipment without regard to its third-dimension skills, word is that there’s still a chunky 30 percent premium associated with adding 3D to your BR recorder purchase.

We’re glad someone is getting mileage out of the 3D trend in home theater, here’s to hoping this follows in the US at some point.

Hands-On: Glasses-free 3D from StreamTV, dubbed the Elocity

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Technology News

Glasses-free 3D will probably be the only way HDTV 3D will survive in the years to come, and great strides are being made to make it more glasses-free. CES 2011 has a worthy new entrant in StreamTV’s Elocity line, and feel free to peruse the details:

There’s been no shortage of glasses-free 3D at CES but we can’t say we expected Stream TV, makers of those Elocity tablets, to be showing off wares of its own. While the company is promising lots of spectacle-free TVs with parallax screens in the next year, at its booth there was just a 42-inch 1080p 3T1 panel on the show floor.

The description does go on to say the display is a bit grainy and not quite the same as with the glasses (much the same story with many other 3D competitors this year featuring no glasses), but its a step in the right direction, for certain. We’ll keep an eye on this as the technology develops.

Article: HDTV 3D doomed to failure?

January 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Comments Off

It seems we aren’t the only avenue that loves HDTV but isn’t very rosy about the future of 3D as a medium that will be around for years and years to come. Large blog site TVPredictions feels even less optimistic about its future, as much as we honestly would love to stand behind it and will it to succeed.

Among its points, it states that 3D HDTV is not convenient to use, which is one of its three points to success. Read:

At this time, 3D TV does not add convenience to anyone’s life. To watch 3D TV at home, you have to buy a new TV — at a price higher than non 3D TVs — new expensive 3D goggles if you have more than one person in your family; a 3D Blu-ray player if your TV provider does not offer 3D channels; and you have to buy all these things after you likely just purchased a new TV to be ready for the 2009 Digital TV transition.

We actually agree with its arguments, but hopefully as the tech evolves it will become easier to use. Read more about this article’s pointed opinions here.

HDTV 3D Newness: Vizio to release passive-glasses HDTV 3D model line

January 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Product News, TV Brands, Vizio

Vizio is jumping into the fray of the 3D HDTV battle with their newest line release, The Theater 3D lineup. Its Vizio’s attempt to stay up with the current HDTV trends, and it looks pretty good, we have to say. Here’s more details:

We doubt we’ve seen all of Vizio’s 2011 product lineup yet, but the latest information is that it’s expanding upon the one Theater 3D TV model currently available with an entire line — promising to offer 3D with passive glasses in sizes from 22- all the up to 71-inches. There are 21 models detailed in the press release after the break including LED edge lit LCDs, direct LED backlit models, ones with the Yahoo! Widgets VIA package and a couple of the new Google TV-powered models. No word on price or ship date yet, but the company is quick to point out that putting the 3D processing into the screen means cheaper movie theater-style 3D glasses with ostensible greater brightness and less flicker, plus compatibility with Oakley’s “optically correct” specs.

Advancements are good, even if they are being geared towards a technology that isn’t exactly lighting up the shelves around the globe.

More LG Goodness: Really Big HDTV, 3D style to debut at CES

December 30, 2010 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, TV Brands

Comments Off

To continue our LG theme, here’s yet another nugget about a really BIG 3D HDTV to debut for a peek at CES 2011, how’s 72″ grab you? Read on:

LG swore up and down that it would be bumping its smart TV investment to kick-start 2011, and lo and behold, it looks as if this is one New Year’s resolution that’ll be kept. The aforesaid company has just revealed that it’ll be bringing the planet’s largest LED-backlit 3D LCD HDTV to CES 2011 next week, with the LZ9700 handling both 2D and 3D content and offering TruMotion 400Hz to smooth out Cam Newton’s faster-than-fast evasion techniques. As you’d expect, this set is also outfitted with the company’s Smart TV functions, giving owners access to TV apps, games, language classes, etc. The company’s also talking up its Magic Motion Remote Control — a diddy we’ll definitely be anxious to put to the test once we land in Vegas. There’s no mention of an expected price, but it’ll be available starting in “early 2011″ for those who passed on HDI’s 100-incher.

Now this looks like it could pretty neat news for those of us who like our HD experience really large.

LG Goodness: Maker to release flicker-free HD 3D set at CES?

December 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Product News, TV Brands

We’ve always touted the goodness that is LG in terms of quality and being ahead of the pack much of the time, and this is just another example of this at work: It seems they’re going to be making a big 3D HDTV splash at the upcoming CES 2011 with a major development in 3D hi-def. We’ll let Engadget fill us in:

Oh LG, you infernal tease. Instead of politely revealing its full set of plans for CES 2011, the Korean company keeps gently peeling away the layers of ignorance, with today marking its pre-announcement of a new Cinema 3D TV set. The LW6500 opts for passive 3D glasses, in place of the currently popular active shutter goggles, which has garnered it a couple of industry certifications to say that its 3D is guaranteed, definitely, totally flicker-free. Aside from that, you get a neat brightness booster to ensure that switching on the third dimension doesn’t dim the picture unduly, while the rest of the specs and extras on this 200Hz panel seem mostly unremarkable. We’ll be casting our eyeballs over it at CES next week, which will be followed, we’re told, by a rollout in select markets shortly thereafter.

We like the news, mainly because one of the major issues with some sets has been flicker or inconsistent image performance with 3D stuff.

Glasses-Free: No glasses needed for Toshiba GL1 3D screens to be released soon

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, Toshiba, TV Brands

We’ve spouted about 3D and possible limited future in the limelight, but one thing that may change the equation is the rise of glasses-free 3D viewing, such as the soon to be announced Toshiba GL1. More here:

The panacea of glasses-free 3D displays (or content) might not yet be upon us, but Toshiba’s doing its best by putting the two models in its Regza GL1 family up for sale in Japan. Tomorrow marks the debut of the smaller 12GL1, spanning a 12-inch diagonal and offering the unconventional resolution of 466 x 350. That’s expected to be priced at ¥120,000 ($1,431), exactly half of the ¥240,000 ($2,863) asking price of the 20GL1, which will follow it swiftly with retail availability on December 25th. The latter display has the decency to come equipped with a more civilized 720p resolution and 550:1 contrast ratio, although, as you can see above, neither panel can be accused of being unnecessarily thin or space-efficient. Still, this parallax barrier stuff is the best we’ve got for the moment — and as usual the best we’ve got resides in Japan only.

While not cheap, this could be where the future of 3D HDTV rests. We’ll keep an eye on it of course.

3D Fever (Not Quite): CE Exec says 3D HDTV is ‘overhyped’

December 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

Now we’ve rung the death bells for 3D HDTV a number of times, but even many in the industry whose opinions are quite respected don’t have a lot good to say about the 3D revolution sweeping over the land (and theaters as well).

See this article for his pointed (and in our opinion, somewhat accurate) observations, including this: “In an interview Thursday, Shapiro argued that the technology has been over-hyped compared with more fundamental developments like high-definition TV, a huge driver of industry sales for much of the past decade. Giving those digital TVs the capability to simulate 3D images, by comparison, is more of an enhancement than something altogether new, he says.”

We agree its probably little more than a fad unless the technology improves, and rapidly. Even 3D sales during the holidays so far has been lackluster to say the least.

See here for more commentary on the subject.

Monster 3D: Vizio 65″ 3D HDTV announced for release this month

December 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News, TV Brands, Vizio

We’ve heard of big 3D HDTV units, but this is one of the largest of the consumer units we’ve reviewed (and about the cheapest for its size as well and it comes with four pairs of glasses) and its from Vizio. More details for your reading pleasure:

If the current crop of active shutter 3D televisions isn’t your style and you’d prefer some cheaper specs, say hello to VIZIO’s new 65-inch Theater 3D Razor XVT3D650SV LED set, its biggest TV yet. Previously spotted lurking about on the manufacturer’s website, this set uses cheap polarized glasses like the ones in most movie theaters unlike the more expensive (and, according to the press release, more prone to dimming and flickering) active shutter glasses used on most televisions today, including a few of VIZIO’s own. Beyond that, it’s a 120Hz edge lit LED LCD set that comes with four pairs of glasses and also includes VIZIO Internet Apps and SRS TruSurround integrated speakers. The downside for the cheap glasses however, is that most of the cost is in the display itself ratcheting the price up to $3,499 when it arrives on Sam’s Club shelves this month.

We’ll attempt to cover this monster unit in a review when it gets released later on.

No Glasses Ma?: Eizo releases first glasses-free 3D LCD

December 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News

Comments Off

Technology marches forward at all times, and in the world of HD 3D, it marches pretty darn quickly, it appears. Eizo has given us a glimpse at a glasses-free 3D future, and we like it so far. Read onward:

Eizo has released a spec sheet confirming the 1920 x 1080 resolution and 23-inch size, also detailing how it works. The monitor uses a directional backlight and a time lag to effectively hit each eye individually through the same pixel, enabling that high resolution in a small panel but still delivering glasses-free performance. Eizo pledges no moiré, color distortion, or other issues typically seen in glasses-free displays, but this tech will surely not come cheap when it ships in the second quarter of 2011. How do we know? Anticipated applications for the FDF2301-3D include scanning electron microscopes and semiconductor inspections.

Yes, it will mostly be used for scientific applications, but no law against it being used by those with thicker pockets for fun.

More Less Than Rosy 3D News: Retailers reporting ‘light’ interest in HDTV 3D

December 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

Uh oh: This is not good. Recent reports released by retailers indicate a decided lack of interest in 3D HDTV as an overall medium, with sales up until now of the units being described as ‘light’ in assorted reports.

Twice Magazine states that Best Buy Home guru Adam Zwickler says interest in 3D TV was “light” during the big Black Friday weekend blowout.

A Sears official also stated the same, saying that the new 3D sets drew very little attention, according to Twice’s article. If they can’t sell them this time of year, what future can it honestly have?

It goes to show you: we can sometimes be right, and sometimes be wrong, but the customer is the final judge, and if these numbers hold up this holiday season, HDTV 3D as a medium will be in a world of hurt. It may rebound, but it doesn’t look good so far.

Next Page »