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

January 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product Reviews

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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 3D Review and Roundup: Engadget’s Guide to the 3D Units

December 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product Reviews

Engadget HD recently published a complete roundup of the major glasses and HDTV units that can do 3D, and it makes for a very nice read, even if its about as cynical of its future as we have often been. Four brands face off in this competition: Panasonic, Sony, Mitsubishi and LG.

This round up includes this great segment: “Right now, there’s barely enough 3D content to support more than a couple of hours viewing per week, much less support a full viewing conversion to all-glasses, all the time..” – which is the truth. If its a growing medium to be compared to a lifeform, it’s barely out of the womb and taking its first breaths really.

See the article right here: Link

Best Ever?: Review of the Panasonic TC-P65VT25

June 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

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We always respect certain reviewers and sites, and CNET usually does a nice job of completely reviewing new HDTV units that come onto the scene. In this case, they’re calling this new Panasonic model ‘the best 2D model we’ve ever reviewed’, which is quite a statement indeed.

Here’s more about the review from a few blog sources:

When it comes to TV reviews, we have to give a node to CNet and its David Katzmaier for being one of the best around; so when he says it is the best TV he’s ever tested, we officially want one. The new Panasonic VT25 line didn’t rule every category though, and of course their are concerns that the black levels will prematurely degrade like last year’s — CNet intends to continuously test the VT25 to keep Panasonic honest. Now we know you’re wondering about how it compares to the legendary Kuro and while it lit up the light meeter at a crazy low .004 ftl, the PRO-111FD Kuro is still the winner at .001 ftl — interestingly the similarly speced G20 line only managed .007 ftl. Whether this difference is noticeable at home is up for debate, but Kuro still reigns king as far as the light black meter is concerned.

We always enjoy a little comparison shopping, so to speak, so keep your ears and eyes peeled for more updates on this review down the road.

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

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

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

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

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

First Review: The Panasonic 3D HDTV

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

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

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

Here’s a little snippet of his impressions:

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

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

Plasma still breathing: Review of the Panasonic G20 HDTV

March 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

samsung-g20-20100302-600Here we were, writing off Plasma as a dying technology. It appear to be alive and kicking seeing Panasonic’s latest HDTV release, the G20.

FlatpanelsHD, a well-known HD guru site, took a 42-inch model fresh out of their big new plant we reported on earlier, and ran it through a gauntlet of very thorough tests. The 1080p panel, which includes a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio destroyed all of the tests, delivering deep blacks, fine viewing angles and rich colors that are the hallmark of Plasma HDTVs, with little to really complain about.

That said, the improvements here over the G10 series are slight for the most part, with black levels and network stuff about the same as the previous incarnation, so if you want the very latest in charged gas HDTV fun, look no further.

The Battle Royale: 3D Monitors – Acer or Alienware?

February 22, 2010 by  
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22feb103doub35vc3D isn’t for everyone and can be an acquired taste, but if you’ve got your heart set on jumping that bandwagon and need to have your HD monitor be a 3D one, there’s a battle brewing, and its Acer vs. Alienware HD monitors going head to head in this new review from  Tom’s Guide, well known purveyors of all things HD.

The two 23″ 3D displays from Acer (GD235HZ) and Alienware (OptX AW2310) were compared side by side, and reviewed to determine the best gaming experience. We reported on an early big 3D model before, now comes the smaller version.

After some notes about the need for a pretty high end system to run 3D games (no, that 7-year old desktop in the garage probably won’t do the job) — and then they delve right into some righteous benchmarking and real world testing of the two HD panels.

The price is a big factor, with the Acer costing $399 and the Alienware going for a steeper $469, but the review seems to indicate the price premium is well worth it. Feel free to read more about the review right here: Link

Love and Appreciation: B and O 55″ marvel collects review and glowing praise

February 20, 2010 by  
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19feb10bang0703Now you know we always appreciate 55″ of 1080p goodness from anyone and it would draw attention on this blog no matter what, but when coupled with a LED-backlit display, 6ms response time, a 4,000:1 static and completely native contrast ratio (not dynamic), and includes an integrated Blu-ray player too, and includes some of the most cool design bits in any TV ever, well attention isn’t the word. Perhaps admiration is a better word. We’ve covered these units before, but never has a TV set a reviewer to drooling like this that we’ve heard of.

The BeoVision 7-55 from Bang & Olufsen was reviewed at Flatpanels HD recently and they simply glowed over it. The motorized stand and the Blu-ray player which opens by waving a hand in front of it (yes, that’s true), finishing by describing the execution as “truly beautiful.”

Picture quality had words like “extraordinary” and “fantastic” being used, so it didn’t scrimp on actual quality as well. The only thing holding us back: the $18,700 MSRP, which would make even the biggest fan of HDTV sweat a bit.

The review is here: Link

3D News: Panasonic migrates Plasma to 3D

February 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

9feb10penaoub53Yet more HD 3D news, this time from the world of Plasma: Panasonic is apparently adapting their Plasma HDTVs for the glorious realm of 3D.

Finally making the transition are Panasonic’s (famous?) Viera 3D plasma HDTVs. The company has announced it will be launching two 1080p units late April in Japan, priced at ¥530,000 ($5,932 USD) for the monster 54″ P54VT2 and ¥430,000 ($4,813 USD) for its smaller 50″ brother, the P50VT2.

For your large amount of cash, you’ll be getting the trademark deep blacks and includes an outrageous 5,000,000:1 native contrast ratio, lots of inputs with four HDMI ports, and of course the 3D active shutter glasses are included. Will 3D Plasma be successful? Probably about as much as LCD 3D, however much that will be remains to be seen, we think.

Wire Thin: LG to claim “world’s thinnest LCD HDTV” with new release

December 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, LG, Product Reviews, TV Brands

12-21-09lgpanelCES 2010 is gearing up to be quite the big show indeed, and its only about 2 weeks away.The race to the thinnest LCD  TV is still going on, but LG appears to have to taken the lead with the release of their 42-inch 1080p panel that’s just 2.6mm (.1 inch) thin. That’s 1/10 of an inch, boys and girls. I don’t see anyone beating that anytime soon.

The prototype LED-backlit unit is super-light too, weighing in at just 8.8 pounds. No other specs release, but those alone are enough to set our mouths drooling. For now, with the release of this unit, they can claim the title of the “World’s Thinnest” LCD HDTV. We’ll have to sit back and see if anyone else at CES can best this record, and it won’t be from lack of trying, no doubt.

Reviewed: The Sony 400-disc Blu-Ray Disc Changer

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Product News, Product Reviews

400-disc-sony-blu-ray-changerPeople are lazy. It’s a fact, and gadget makers know it too. Exhibit A: the Sony 400-disc Blu-Ray changer recently reviewed by Electronic House. It’s $1,900, its huge, and you’ll basically never need to change discs again, pretty much. An HDTV lovers dream, perhaps.

The review highlights: video quality was rated “excellent” and on-screen navigation was very easy; basically, the setup is pretty much plug ‘n play, which is how it should be, really these days.

On the other hand, no Netflix and DLNA integration, no WiFi, or even built-in for BD-Live functionality might be gamebreakers for some.

Do you, our readers, think you’ll eve own 400 BR discs? Is this something you would ever consider buying? Read the complete review here: Link

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Sales: DisplaySearch shows Plasma to best LCD in some tests

July 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Knowledge Base, Product Reviews, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TV Brands

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20090409-panasonic_tc-p50g10The past year or so has been pretty rough on Plasma, and yet we’ve said there are times and usages that Plasma beats LCD. And now the tests of a company whose specialty is TVs has backed that up. The  “old” gas capsule technology is considered outdated in many circles, but test results don’t lie.

The lineup of 2008 top of the line LCDs from Samsung, Sharp and Sony were carefully calibrated and compared against a top-end Pansonic plasma TV.

Here’s the full details of the test, but the gist is: the plasma set beat all of the LCDs in contrast, color accuracy and black level, and in some cases, it wasn’t even close. That should be alarming for those who know that Plasma is on its way out for most companies, but it appears maybe it could be another Beta vs. VHS kind of situation (Beta was also clearly superior in sound and picture quality, but lost the cassette tape wars anyway and faded away).

Hands-On Test: Yahoo Widgets on the Samsung 7000 HDTV

May 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product Reviews, Samsung, TV Brands

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yahoowidgets04mdYahoo Widgets were definitely a very big deal at recent CES that ended, and everyone left with the feeling that we’d be seeing them pop up on TVs very soon, and they would change the way we viewed a traditional TV set.

Engadget spent some time with a test unit Samsung 7000 series, and were rather disappointed at the results, it seems. The connection was rather laggy and slow, and the USB “dongle” they used to get the Wi-Fi to function didn’t really work properly.

Here’s a quote from the article:

Unfortunately something has changed in the past five months and now that we have it in our home to play with, it just doesn’t seem the same. The one word we’d use to describe the difference is “laggy” — the demos at CES were down right snappy, but even in our hard wired tests connected to the internet via a 20Mbps FiOS connection, the widgets loaded so slow we’re not sure we’d actually even use ‘em.

It’s not a surprise; initally technology like this had teething pains and didn’t always work great right away. It’s the nature of the beast with exploring new terrain like this. Hopefully they’ll patch it up and get it working better over time.

AVForums Review: Panasonic THX 50″ TX-P50V10 Plasma

May 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

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20090515-panasonicAnother day, another Plasma review, this time from AVForums. And this has THX built in, so you know it’ll look and sound right.

Panasonic’s newest and coolest plasma TVs with the NeoPDP panels are grabbing a nice, solid rep across their price ranges, and now it’s this series’ chance to continue that trend at the more high end price ranges. And continue the trend it does, as this review was quite positive.

Rising from the G10 series, the 50″ TX-P50V10 (available mostly in the UK right now) AVForums reviewed did quite well indeed. The “sheet of glass” design looks mighty cool and grabs the eye, but the THX picture adjustments built in came through with flying colors.

According to the review, the THX setting out of the box did very well, enough so that the reviewer gave it a thumbs up over the G10 right away. Also important to note: 24p material was handled the right way, which alsdo hopefully means that Panasonic’s 96Hz refresh in the US models will put the prominent 3:2 artifacts to rest for good.

Overall, the review was glowing and further proof that videophiles may still favor Plasma over LCD for awhile yet. More detailed review is here.

Review from TrustedReviews: The Panasonic TX-P42G10 42″ Plasma HDTV

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

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20090513-panasonic_tx-p42g10HD Guru gave Panasonic’s NeoPDP-added G10 plasma a rave review a little while ago, and many weren’t exactly sure what to think. After all, isn’t Plasma dead? Now with the review of the 42″ TX-P42G10 from their high-end series, HD experts TrustedReviews have added another reference point for you.

The highlights: rated a solid performer, but didn’t blow them away really, emphasizing Plasma’s strengths: black levels, motion performance and viewing angles.

The most interesting thing: the review itself is rather reserved, yet the set rated 9 out of 10 for many categories, including image quality. It appears Plasma isn’t dead at all, and Panasonic’s newest line offers plenty for Plasma lovers everywhere.

Review via CNET: The Panasonic TC-P50X1 Plasma

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

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20090427-panasonic_tc-p50x1The reviews for Panasonic’s line of 2009 plasmas keep coming in (mostly positive to date), and CNET recently turned its rather eagle-eyed critical attention to the 50″ TC-P50X1 model and the 720p resolution in its non-NeoPDP panel.

The lack of the much celebrated NeoPDP contrast didn’t keep the set from scoring well on black levels (a usual strength of Plasma) and brightness levels, and even delivering a picture that held up well to 1080p HDTVs.

On the downside: color accuracy problems and a picky series of faint gray lines running through the screen which sounds like exactly the sort of defect that’s hard to not see once you’ve seen it (they weren’t sure if this was just this model or a defect in the unit design itself).

If you site 10 ft. or further away, you probably won’t see the artifacts and things will be just fine. Take a look at the review and see for yourself what you think.

Vizio VF550XVT CNET review verdict: Not impressive

March 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Product Reviews, TV Brands, Vizio

11-20-08-vf550xvt1aCNET’s review on the 55-inch Vizio VF550XVT1A LCD hit the online stratosphere,  and overall it got a rather middling thumbs down, in one of the surprises (and disappointments) of recent big company releases.

Complaints include poor side angle visibility, light black levels, weird soundbar and motion juttering issues. For $2,000, we’d expect a bit better, especially since their recent other models have fared pretty well. Menus on-screen were also harshly judged, with complaints that too much scrolling was necessary to see everything.

A step backwards overall, according to the review, so you may want to invest your 2 grand elsewhere for best effect. As usual, we’ll keep a lookout for new reviews posted about other TVs in the future. Yet another service we offer you, our reader, at Screen Sleuth.