B and O strikes again: 85″ Plasma HDTV launches, and we wish our bank accounts were larger

April 21, 2011 by  
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It seems our friends at Bang and Olufsen have struck again with yet another high-priced delight for the senses with their 85″ Plasma HDTV soon to launch in Moscow (and then around the world soon after we assume). Our brethren at Engadget will explain this marvel in detail:

Bang & Olufsen’s new BeoVision 4-85 isn’t just another run-of-the-mill 3D TV for the unwashed masses. It’s a really pretty 3D TV, for the refined and the opulent. The 85-inch plasma screen comes encased in a high-grade aluminum frame, and combines anti-reflection coating with automated image controls, to guarantee crystal clear, Full HD viewing at any time of day. B&O’s first foray into the 3D/Full HD realm also features a BeoLab 10 central loudspeaker, which uses Acoustic Lens Technology to deliver consistently high-frequency sounds, regardless of where you’re sitting in relation to the speaker. And, much like its 103-inch brethren, this 85-incher comes with a motorized stand, which automatically elevates and tilts the screen to ideal viewing position whenever the system is turned on. Once you’ve finished marveling at the BeoVision 4-85′s robust design, you can turn it off and watch in awe, as the display magically lowers itself to “within inches” of the floor (where, incidentally, you’ll also be able to find your jaw).

No word on price ranges, but we’ll just assume your wallet will be quite empty after getting ahold of this thing.

Plasma News: Could the Kuro’s days be numbered?

March 15, 2011 by  
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We’ve said it before: the Pioneer Kuro line of Plasma HDTV units are among the best in the industry, but the industry is rapidly closing the gap with small leaps in technology being seen recently. Now Panasonic advances have possibly dethroned Kuro from the king of plasma screens.

At an event in New York City last week they announced a breakthrough in dark levels on Plasma units, telling the press that Panasonic’s new VT30 line will match the black levels of the 2009 (that’s 2 years ago!) Pioneer Kuros. The key (after reading through all the mumbo jumbo) is the new and improved louver structure of the filter that blocks reflective light from coming in, which in turn blocks ambient light — and Kuro fans around the globe moan in sadness as its king possibly falls.

We’ll have to wait to see if this indeed comes to pass, with the odd note that it took 2 years before a company caught up in this category to where Pioneer was previously.

On The Comeback Trail: Plasma?

February 23, 2011 by  
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We’ve been on and off supporters of the Plasma HDTV format for awhile, and for awhile thought it may be dying, but pre-Super Bowl sales would tell a very different tale, as the numbers suggest.

View the rather obvious numbers: Research firm NPD Group states unit sales of Plasma sets skyrocketed 45 percent during the 1 week period leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, which was played on February 6, and real revenue from Plasma sets jumped 11 percent this year compared to last year’s big sports week, which is a statistically significant number indeed.

We have been a little cautious about the future of Plasma, but it appears buyers are deciding the format’s future for us, and we like the guts of buyers right now in pulling out their wallets for what is considered underdog technology right now.

Panny Parcel: Panasonic 2011 HDTV line debuts in Japan

February 4, 2011 by  
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Panasonic usually releases new lines and news about upcoming models first in Japan, and the latest news has been released to great anticipation with news of fabulous Plasmas and HDTV recording to USB drives, among other developments. Read on:

Panasonic’s found time to show off its latest series of HDTVs in Japan, including the new top 3D-capable VT3, GT3 and ST3 generation plasmas, and DT3 LCDs, . As one might expect, the feature list is predictably similar to the US models with the next iteration of 3D panel technology, including a few Japan-specific features like VOD services and recording TV to USB drives.According to AV watch it looks like the starting prices have gone down slightly YoY as well, with the new 50-inch VT3 predicted to arrive March 18 for 380,000 yen ($4,654) down from 430,000 yen ($5,267) last year. The lower end GT3 series and new DT3 3D LCDs should arrive a week earlier on March 11, though we’ll probably have to wait until much closer to launch again to find out precisely what the predictably lower US pricing will be this time around.

We’ll of course cover any new notable releases individually if warranted. These new models look pretty cool overall.

Big Game, Big TV: Consumer Reports picks the top 5 HDTVs for Super Bowl viewing

January 30, 2011 by  
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Consumer Reports is well-respected for their in-depth articles on a variety of topics, including HDTV units. They’ve released their top selections for Super Bowl viewing fun, including a Sony, a Panasonic, and an LG.

We agree with the list for the most part, and notice two of the five units are Plasma technology, proving that Plasma units aren’t quite as dead as previously thought. The Sony we think is priced a bit on the high side for the screen real estate you get, but the picture is excellent, according to numerous reviews, and of course you all know of our respect for everything LG in the HD department.

Here’s the link to the article itself, and happy Super Bowl TV hunting to all of you, dear readers.

HDTV Predictions: 2011

January 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

Everyone has an opinion regarding what direction HD will go in for the future. One thing is for sure: HD is here to stay for years to come, and it will just keep growing as the economy slowly recovers from its doldrums and people’s wallets begin opening again.

TVPredictions.com has published its top 10 predictions for 2011 and HDTV in general, many of which we agree with. In particular, their stance on 3D HDTV and (lack of a) future right now, the expansion of Blu-Ray as a medium in general, and DirecTV shuffling their offerings to channels with more friendly lease rates, to the detriment of viewers, no doubt. The slow emergence of Plasma as a contender in the HD race wouldn’t surprise us either.

Read more here: Link

Fresh HDTV Deals for the New Year

January 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Deals, Samsung, TV Brands

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Why not ring in the new year with some really great HDTV deals designed to make any hi-def fan swoon? Here we go:

Abes of Maine has a very nice Samsung PN58C550 58″ 1080p Plasma HDTV for $1285 and we include a $15 off with coupon code “LOYALTY15” = $1270 with free shipping too? Yes, indeed, only here will you see this great price.

Walmart.com has a great deal on a huge TV from a relatively unknown brand: a Proscan 55LC55S240V69 55” LCD 1080p 240Hz HDTV for $999.00 with free in-store pickup. Amazing price for the size and features, decent reviews too.

Thanks for joining us and have a happy new year!

Next Gen Goodness: Panny’s next Plasma line records to SDXC memory cards?

December 22, 2010 by  
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We have talked glowingly about Panasonic’s Plasma line of HDTV units, and with good cause: they’re among the most advanced and cool plasma sets out there right now. Even more so with this latest news:

Panasonic’s plasma sets get most of the attention, and perhaps rightfully so, but it’s actually the company’s new LCD lineup for Japan that can help you make use of your woefully neglected SDXC cards. In addition to compiling terrestrial HDTV footage on a standard external hard drive, the Panasonic Viera G3 and X3 can record to a new SD card slot as well, archiving up to five hours of 1080p footage on a ‘standard’ 64GB SDXC card. We put ‘standard’ in quotes because while that’s presently the typical capacity for that particular designation of flash, it’ll still cost you upwards of $200 to get in on the ground floor, and that’s a pittance compared to what Panasonic’s charging for its own. Who said magnetic storage was dead? If Tokyo’s where you hang your hat, expect both the G3 and X3 series to hit stores near you in February of next year.

We’re always a little sad the best items always usually start in Japan vs. US shores, but assuming it does well, it’ll arrive here too at one point.

First Time For Everything: LCD shipments to decline for first time ever

December 13, 2010 by  
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No, it isn’t the end of the world, just a sign of the times: According to iSuppli, a shipping research firm, shipments of LCD HDTVs in the U.S. will drop for the first time ever, and this is confirmed by The Wall Street Journal.

iSuppli states that LCD shipments this year will be 31.9 million TVs, a 1.2 percent drop from 2009. The reasons are obvious: The economic troubles and a slightly slower drop in prices than originally expected.

In other interesting notes, iSuppli also indicates that Plasma makers have done a much more effective job of communicating the benefits of their hardware versus the LCD makers, which we sort of agree with. Many inside analysts think Plasma offers a better picture than LCD overall. That’s subjective of course, but even so, many critics also feel the same way as a whole.

But the Wall Street Journal states: LCD’s recession “represents a shocking reversal for a U.S. LCD TV market that has expanded robustly during every year since volume shipments commenced in 2006.” But iSuppli thinks that LCD will rebound in 2011, when the economy improves, which we also agree with.

More Madness: Best Buy’s Dark Friday Sales Unveiled

November 13, 2010 by  
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How does a Toshiba Blu-ray player for $59 sound? Or how about a Panasonic 50″ 1080p Plasma HDTV for just $699? Sound like something you’d wait in line at 5am for? That’s just a sample of the Black Friday deals at Best Buy based on leaked info available on the web.

Here’s even more insanity available for your perusal:

Coby 15-Inch LCD HDTV — $99.99
Dynex 24-inch 1080p LED HDTV — $189.99
Insignia 42-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV — $369.99
LG 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV — $379.99
Panasonic 46-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV — $499
Panasonic 50-inch 1080p Plasma HDTV — $699.99
Samsung 32-inch 720p LCD  HDTV — $329.99
Samsung 55-inch 1080p LCD HDTV — $1499.99
Sony 46-inch 1080p LCD HDTV — $698.99
Toshiba 55-inch 1080p LCD HDTV — $969.99

It’s clear this holiday season that retailers are slashing to (pretty much) the bare bones, and will take few prisoners to grab your HDTV dollar.

Black Friday HDTV Fever: Sears reveals big time deals

November 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Industry News

We’ve covered Sears BF previews a few times now, but this time we’re bringing out the big guns: the official Black Friday of HDTV deals scheduled to go up on that fated day. There’s some really nice prices, including a 42″ Zenith HDTV for $399 (!!). It seems Sears wants to really get your attention if you’re in the market for a TV, and these prices might just accomplish that.

Here’s some more prices:

LG 60″ 1080P 600HZ Plasma HDTV – $1,499.99
Panasonic 32″ 1080P 60HZ LCD HDTV – $399.99
Panasonic 37″ 1080P 60HZ LCD HDTV – $469.99
Panasonic 46″ 720P LCD 600HZ Plasma HDTV – $499.99
Panasonic 50″ TC-P50S2 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV – $799.99
Samsung 32″ 720p 60Hz LCD HDTV – $329.99

Samsung 40″ 1080P 60HZ LCD HDTV – $497.99
Samsung 50″ 720p 600Hz 3D Plasma HDTV – $899.99
Samsung 55″ 1080P 120HZ LED HDTV – $1,499.99
Samsung 55″ 3D 1080P 240HZ LED HDTV – $2,199.99
Sony 40″ Bravia 1080p 60Hz LCD HDTV – $549.99
Zenith 42″ 720P 600HZ Plasma HDTV – $399.99

A 46″ Plasma for $499? Insane. A 60″ LG Plasma for $1499? Pretty cool indeed.

Still Here: Runco releases new Plasma HDTV offerings

September 25, 2010 by  
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Runco is a company that’s been around for a bit and usually offers large high-end offerings for professional use, but does offer consumer level products as well through various sources, and is poised to release some very cool new screens to the general (if ones with deep pockets) public. Read on:

Runco’s continuing to develop its plasma HDTV offerings with the new Vistage series. Available in 63-, 58- or 50-inch sizes, the 1.7-inch think panels also include the company’s latest scaler, the DHD-LS. Unlike that projector we just mentioned, these do 3D with the addition of active shutter glasses and an IR emitter, courtesy of an add-on pack shipping early next year. We got a quick glance at the screens which promise contrast and black levels “previously unachieved in the industry” and while they did look amazing, you may not be able to decide if cashing out for between $6,000 and $10,000 for one of these screens is worthwhile — until you find out you can outfit the back of the panel with decorations including your college logo of choice.

Official release is scheduled for the end of the year, according to various sources.

THX Jazz: LG announces fancy new Plasma HDTV units

September 12, 2010 by  
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Remember when we said Plasma was almost dead? Well, perhaps its death may have been exaggerated a tad bit, it seems…as LG announced the launch of fancy new Plasma units coming soon – with THX certification. More details below:

LG is touting its plasma PX950 as the first THX-certified 3D HDTV, and while we didn’t run into it at IFA, the company held a press gathering this week in New York to make up for it. So if this set meets THX’s rigorous demands — 400 bench tests and 1,000 data points spread out over 30 test categories — how does it look to the average consumer? Well, LG certainly has done a lot to prevent ghosting — that is, image doubling from sync issues with the glasses — and we were able to enjoy some pretty extreme horizontal viewing angles.

We heard some rumors about blurring with high-speed images at the showing though, so buyer may need to beware, perhaps. No firm prices announced yet, but we’re expecting a several hundred dollar premium over the normal Plasma HDTV unit.

Wednesday’s Wacky HDTV Offers

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, TV Brands

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We always love a good deal, don’t we HDTV fans? Well, here’s a nice little selection of offers for your perusal:

BuyDig.com has the Panasonic TC-P42G25 42″ Viera G25 Series Plasma HDTV for $909 with free shipping as well. Use the Add to cart to see the sale price. Very nice deal on one of the newer, neater Pannys out there right now.

Walmart has a Proscan 47LED55SA 47″ LED 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV for $799 with free shipping, which is amazing considering the size and its decent ratings too. Check it out!

Thanks for reading and keep on visiting us for more HDTV deals and developments.

8K Goodness: NHK Plasma prototype to change the playing field

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News, Technology News

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That’s the thing about technology; it’s always advancing, never staying in place very long. Especially these days, it seems. An 8K Plasma HDTV screen, you say? There’s actually a working semi-prototype out there right now. Feel free to read:

NHK has been working on 33 megapixel, 8K Super Hi-Vision displays for quite some time now. As the story goes, in 2005 the group’s Science and Technology Labs estimated a necessary 0.3mm dot pitch for plasma screens in the 100-inch category to achieve the necessary 7,680 x 4,320 pixels for display. At the time, the best plasma could muster was 0.9mm, but now the researchers have created a prototype 58-inch screen with 0.33mm pixel pitch. Ergo, four such prototypes stacked together should create a 116-inch window to the world that just about displays 8K video.

No word on when this will be available in the marketplace, but hey, advances like this are worth waiting for. Kinda makes that 1080p seem sorta puny, doesn’t it?

Bigger is Better: Panasonic shipping out a 152″ 4K Plasma screen later this year

June 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

Yes, we always love to cover really big screens with our reports, and Panasonic is definitely filling that void this week with their upcoming monster unit, the 152″ Plasma wonder of the world, described here on an Engadget blog (pic also courtesy of them):

Say goodbye to the former king of Panasonic plasmas, the old 103-inch that toured the country and took center stage in presidential elections is old news, moved aside for a new family of commercial displays including the 152-inch 4K resolution 3DTV towered over all at this year’s CES. Just in case 4096 x 2160 is too much resolution, there are 103- and 85-inch 1080p versions available as well, but seriously, look at that thing. You know Mark Cuban is going to buy one — why shouldn’t you?

Price will probably be in the $500K range or so to start out with, but don’t let that stop you if you’re a TV lover. (We’re – sort of – kidding). You’re welcome to oogle the picture here if you wish.

The Future is Soon: Samsung readying 42″ OLED trials in 2011?

May 16, 2010 by  
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It appears dreams of large OLED panels in the marketplace may be coming true quite soon…sooner than we even expected, if certain news sources are to be believed. Where once an 11″ panel was the biggest anyone could get, and they cost a fortune, read this story and try not to get drool on your keyboard:

Now OLEDNet claims that Samsung Mobile Display — you know, the cellphone AMOLED guys — is purchasing equipment in preparation for bringing its 5.5 generation facility on-line in the first half of 2011. That should give Samsung the ability make 42-inch AMOLED TVs on a trial basis by the end of the twenty-eleven. But with relatively cheap LCDs steadily closing the gap on OLEDs size, contrast, and power savings advantages, well, we’ll believe it when we see the first big screen OLED TVs in our living rooms.

Good point, now that technology has evolved to a point where contrast features with Plasma and LCD aren’t too far away from OLED, it isn’t the huge news many had expected it would be. We’ll see how it shakes out… if it actually happens.

Now That’s Big: 13 ft. Plasma Graces Japanese Airport

April 29, 2010 by  
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Engadget has spotted a really huge curved Plasma screen been used in an airport in Japan that may signal the beginning of many applications for Plasma screens. The marvel of HDTV engineering is shown in the pic, and discussed a bit here:

Sure, we’ve seen 125-inch and a 145-inch curved plasma displays, but there’s a new size champ in town: the international departure area at Japan’s Kansai Airport was just graced with this 200-inch waterfall of a curved plasma. That’s right around 13 feet by 10 feet in size.

Amazing indeed…and its just the beginning really of some really cool usages of the medium. Due to its design, plasmas tend to be more flexible than LCD designs, and its death is officially premature, we can safely say now.

Saturday’s HDTV Sale Mania

April 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Samsung, Toshiba, TV Brands

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We love us some great HDTV deals, and here’s some more for your review:

Newegg – Now here is a well-reviewed TV with 1080p for (almost) a song: The Toshiba Regza 40XV648U 40″ 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV for $750 – and we even provide you with a $100 off with coupon code “EMCYRZT57” (Expires 4/22), so this bad boy will only run you $650. Who loves you, baby?

ButterflyPhoto – Here’s the best offer on this monster unit we’ve seen: the Samsung PN63B550 63” 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV, and they even throw in a Free 5pc TV Hook Up Kit for $1969.00 with free shipping too? Yep, the price is not a misprint.

Thanks for reading and feel free to check out the offers on the page.

The Fight Is On: LCD vs. Plasma

April 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

Let’s face it: 2009 was a pretty bad year for Plasma in general. Prices went lower (a good thing), but how else could you describe a year where the ‘king of plasmas’ exits the marketplace for good, purposely?

It was hard enough when Kuro lovers learned that Panasonic would be manufacturing them instead of illustrious Plasma makers Pioneer, and its a good thing Panasonic, Samsung and LG continued on and didn’t hang their heads when Vizio joined the Plasma quitters club  — Panasonic even opened the biggest ever Plasma plant in 2009 which should continue the Plasma tradition for quite awhile to come.

We aren’t sure who will win the HDTV format wars for the next few years, but its looking apparent that LCD has huge favor with many large companies, and Plasma will have an uphill battle to regain its lost market share.

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