New Stuff Galore: Toshiba shows off its 2011 lineup with lots of goodies

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Product News, Toshiba, TV Brands

Comments Off

Press for new lineup announcements is always a fun thing for us, as we marvel at companies and all of their evolutionary advances, and such is the case for Toshiba’s HDTV advances announced recently via reports on blogs and tech publications. Engadget HD has a nice little roundup of the line coming soon to a store near you:

Toshiba’s focus at CES was glasses free 3D displays, but it highlighted more conventional HDTVs today at an event in Rome. Its new TVs and laptops all tie in to Toshiba Places, which sorts out access to different types of apps for video, social networking, music and other areas and is ready to launch this month. Separating Toshiba from the competition is a slew of new technology and the top of the line 55ZL1 model checks all the boxes: Seven core CEVO CPU for image processing, a Pro-LED512 panel that is the world’s first with 512 zones of dimming among 3,072 LEDs, Personal-TV facial recognition that picks up on which user is watching then personalizes to their preferred settings and active shutter 3D glasses. The edge lit LED VL863 series will come in 47- and 42-inch versions featuring LG’s FPR passive glasses 3D and four pairs of glasses, while the 32- through 46-inch UL863 drops 3D for built-in WiFi and Personal-TV. The SL863 series is the final step down, nixing built-in WiFi.

Prices? Nope, not part of the story here, but we expect fairly competitive prices considering Toshiba isn’t usually any higher than most of the comparable technologies from other companies. The Pro-LED512 panel in particular excites us as leading edge LED technology that should bleed into other designs in the future.

A First: Samsung to produce transparent, no-backlight 22″ HDTV LCD soon

April 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

Comments Off

This we’re getting from a trusted source and blog Engadget is also reporting this: Samsung is about ready to produce a breakthrough product that could be the first in a wave of “transparent” HDTV LCD monitors with very high resolution and low power requirements. Read on:

They said they would do it, and by golly it’s nearly here — Samsung just revealed that its assembly lines are starting to churn out see-thru computer screens that don’t require power-sucking backlights to function. Unfortunately, it looks like the amazing AMOLED variety is still on the drawing board, but ambient light-powered LCDs are on the way, with Samsung offering a 22-inch, 1680 x 1050 resolution panel with a 500:1 contrast ratio to begin with. Sammy suggests we’ll see it in HDMI and USB-compatible monitors and suspects it’ll be used in advertising and teleconferencing first — which suggests this display won’t come cheap.

Price and exact availability aren’t out yet, but we’re thinking late this year/early next as an estimate.

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.

Fancy Utility: Evoluce to release 46″ HDTV with 3D ‘sensor’

March 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

Comments Off

Every once in awhile we like to cover a story about fancy unique uses of HDTV from off-the-wall companies you may or may not have heard of, and this is just such a story. How about a high-res 46″ screen with a 3D spatial sensor built into it? Evoluce (a company known for their high end utility displays) is releasing just such a unit.

You say it sounds like a Wii or Kinect repurposing for a really high price? Well, the company claims that’s not what this is, and we have to take their word for it.

It’s obviously not designed for mainstream home use, but Evoluce does see lots of potential for the unit in public spaces like museums for example, as well as in office and education settings.

Cheap? As we stated earlier, not so. Look for prices to start at €3,995, or about $5,600 USD, which puts it pretty firmly in the business use arena.

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

March 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

Comments Off

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.

New News: Sharp pushing out 3 new Blu-Ray players

March 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Product News

Sharp hasn’t been standing pat lately, as they’re jumping into the new release fray with 3 new Blu-Ray players soon to be released, with tons of the very newest features, including the much valued 3D. Read on with this section of the features from Engadget HD:

Each one is Blu-ray 3D ready with currently standard features like DLNA, Netflix, VUDU, Pandora and YouTube access built in, but are priced a step above the average deck these days. The lower end BD-HP25U lacks the included WiFi and IP control of the higher end models (dongle optional) while the BD-HP35U (pictured above) lacks only the RS-232 control port of its BD-HP75U counterpart. The BD-HP25U ($249) and BD-HP35U ($299) are shipping now while the BD-HP75U ($329) is due to arrive March 14.

Price and feature sets are fairly competitive with Sony, LG and other companies, though maybe slightly higher in terms of MSRP, so make sure you shop around if you end up considering these.

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.

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.

Big and Cool Department: Mitsubishi shows off a huge curved OLED display

February 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

Comments Off

Yes, Mitsubishi loves to show off their wares and muscle via cool large displays that aren’t available in homes (and probably wouldn’t fit in the average living room anyway), and here’s yet another case of that principle at work with this latest creation, a huge OLED screen meant mainly for large gatherings, malls, etc.

Display companies like Mitsubishi still don’t make a big-screen OLED we can buy, yet look at this, a curved display created by the company that looks to be about four feet tall and maybe 10 feet around. Okay, so a 3mm pixel pitch wouldn’t look too great standing anywhere within about 20 feet of the thing, but that’s why it’s designed for malls and big stores, places where its 1,200 nit brightness can shrug off ambient light. It was unveiled at ISE 2011 and surely it won’t be long before they’re all over Las Vegas.

Good points raised by the report, but then again, this won’t be something you’ll be 1 foot from anyhow. It’ll be neat to see how this gets used.

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.

Panny Parcel: Panasonic 2011 HDTV line debuts in Japan

February 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

Comments Off

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.

BR Release News: Star Wars saga to arrive on Blu-Ray in September

January 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Product News

It’s been rumored, long-awaited and breathlessly talked about by Star Wars fans around the globe, and now thanks to CES, its official: The Star Wars saga will be released on Blu-Ray in September 2011.

It will be issued 3 different ways:

Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray (9-disc Set includes all six films)
Star Wars: Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes I-III)
Star Wars: Original Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes IV-VI)

We highly recommend the 6 pack of movies, and it will also include over 30 hours of special features, and exclusive never before seen deleted scenes and bonus footage. This sounds very impressive indeed, and we’ll be early in line to grab these. Prices will top out at $139.99 for the whole shebang, which isn’t too bad really considering how awesome these will look on BR.

Busting Out: Sony announces 27 new HDTV units to be released

January 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Product News, Sony, TV Brands

We like big line announcements, and this one from Sony is a doozy. For a time when HDTV shipments are actually down, Sony is upping the ante with their recent release of info for 27 new or modified HDTVs being released to a store near you in 2011. Witness:

The 2011 lineup of Sony Bravia HDTVs is quite extensive with a total fo 27 models spanning nine lines. All but the five most inexpensive models feature internet streaming services while 16 of the higher end models being 3D capable. Most of the great streaming services we’ve come to expect are there, but in addition you can now watch Time Warner Cable VOD without a set-top-box as well. A few of the lines are compatible with a special Sony 720p camera (CMU-BR100) for use with Skype, while others feature Gorilla Glass. The XBR-HX929 Series sits at the top with a new local dimming technology called Intelligent Peak LED Backlight, and is also one of the lines that supports the new Media Remote application for iPhone, iPod Touch or Android, which includes full remote capabilities as well as a keyboard. The 929s will be available in April in 46, 55 and 65-inches, with the others hitting the street sometime between February and May.

That 65 incher will be something to behold we’re quite certain. We look forward to reporting on these as they’re released.

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.

Elite Hi-Def: Pioneer’s new line of Blu-Ray players finally available

December 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Product News

Comments Off

Pioneer is recognized as one of the leading voices in the plasma/hi-def revolution, and releases of their Elite equipment are always highly anticipated by the gadget geeks out there. So its with great pleasure we bring you this news:

After debuting quietly at CEDIA Pioneer’s 2010 line of Blu-ray players is finally available for purchase, including the low end BDP-430 and its two Elite cousins, the BDP-41FD and BDP-43FD. Other than the obvious addition of Blu-ray 3D compatibility, key upgrades from 2009 include WiFi readiness with optional dongle, streaming from YouTube (after a firmware update), Netflix and Pandora, an expanded continue mode to make sure you start The Twilight Saga: Eclipse right where you left it and the return of Pioneer’s iControlAV remote app for iOS devices. Starting price? $299 for the BDP-430, $399 for the BDP-41FD and its home automation-friendly RS-232 port, while $499 is required to bring home the “armored chassis” of the BDP-43FD.

Not cheap, but sometimes the old adage “you get what you pay for” really is true.

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

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

Comments Off

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.

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.

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.

Next Page »