This spring Sony released its mainstream Bravia LCD models, namely the 15-odd HDTVs announced at CES, and we've already reviewed two of them: the 32-inch KDL-32M4000 and the 46-inch KDL-46W4100. Today the company follows up by announcing the bulk of its high-end XBR-branded sets, which will be more expensive and offer a few key step-up features when they hit stores this fall. The main addition of note is an LED backlight, which is finally trickling down from the company's 2005 Qualia model and the $30K KDL-70XBR3. Below you'll find information on all of the new XBR-branded Bravia sets, from least to most expensive, and before you ask, no, Sony hasn't announced pricing.… Read more
If the industry press is to be believed, Tuesday's announcement that Sony would be producing TVs with Tru2way compatibility was a watershed event--the electronics world equivalent of the Magna Carta or the Treaty of Versailles. But let's step back a bit and examine what this really means.
Tru2way is a digital cable technology developed by CableLabs that's designed to be built directly into TVs, eliminating the need for an outboard set-top box. In theory, you'd be able to buy a Tru2way-compatible TV, bring it home, connect it to your coaxial cable, and instantly be able to … Read more
I'm trying to find the calibration settings you used during your review of the Pioneer PDP-5080HD, but I couldn't locate the Tips section of the review. Can you please share those? I'd like to try your settings to see how they compare to my current calibration. Thanks, William.
Here's the direct link to the settings for the Pioneer. For readers who don't know, I publish my post-calibration picture settings as a part of every HDTV review I write for CNET. Typically you can find a link to those settings in the body of the review, usually in the second paragraph of the Performance section. The settings are designed to create the best possible picture the television can provide in a darkened home theater. Before you ask, no, I don't publish settings for brighter rooms--for those situations, I suggest you use my color and color temperature settings in conjunction with a higher light output (i.e. increased "contrast," "backlight" etc) and see how it looks.
To find my post-calibration picture settings for your TV, the easiest way is to search CNET's Tips & Tricks database. Simply type your TV's manufacturer and model number into the search field, and if we've reviewed your TV and published our recommended settings, the tip should appear under the title "Dark Room Picture Settings." You can also browse HDTV recent tips.… Read more
Need to connect a cable box, Blu-ray player, Xbox 360 Elite, PlayStation 3, or other device to your HDTV? Don't let your local big-box sales weenie talk you into spending $60, $80, or even $100 on an HDMI cable. Instead, head to eBay, Meritline, Newegg, or the like and scoop up a no-brand equivalent for as little as 10 bucks.
HDMI cables, which carry digital audio and video signals, are insanely overpriced. That's the consensus of Ars Technica, CNET, The Consumerist, and yours truly. There's ample scientific and anecdotal evidence that dirt-cheap generics perform just as well … Read more
As the principal HDTV reviewer here at CNET, I get a lot of requests that read something like this: "Nice reviews guy, but seriously, where's the review of the LGanasamsorny KDL-42PZA450U/37 I saw yesterday at Best Buy? AVS Forum has a 732 page owner's thread up already, and I'd really like to know what you think before I drop my hard-earned ducats."
I try to answer as many of these questions as I can politely and directly, but it recently occurred to me that readers may appreciate a list of what reviews I'm working on now and which ones are in the pike. So here it is, along with a few notes.
It's no secret that the Japanese are into their high definition televisions--they've been able to watch HD for years now. They even had an analog transmission for HD in the late '80s, beating the rest of the world by some considerable margin. It's no surprise then that they quickly got bored of HD and came up with something called Super Hi-Vision, which is even better.
Super Hi-Vision pictures are made up of 33 million pixels, transmitted 60 times per second with a frame size of a staggering 7,680 x 4,320 pixels. Super Hi-Vision has … Read more
We detailed Panasonic's full plasma lineup earlier this year, but having just returned from a press event devoted to the flagship TH-PZ850U series, it feels incumbent to reiterate some of the cool new features of these expensive sets.
The coolest? A demo at the event proved that the 850Us can stream YouTube videos, right on the TV screen with no PC required. The TV's "Viera Cast" interface allows you to search YouTube by keyword, sort videos by popularity, or access your own list of favorite videos, for example. During the demo we were treated to a video of a laughing baby, the (no-surprise) current champ of the popularity list. According to Panasonic, the entire catalog of YouTube videos is available on the TV, although it may take a day or two for a new one on the site to appear on Viera Cast. The TV can also access Picasa, Google's photo sharing site, so you can view digital photos stored at your (or someone else's) Picasa account directly on the big screen.
Outdoor TV screens are hard enough to see as it is, and the last thing you need is to be squinting at a 32-inch LCD. Suntronic understands that problem, which is why it offers all-weather HDTVs in sizes up to 102 inches.
Not only are they large, but these tough-guy TVs can function in temperatures ranging from -40 to more than 120 degrees, have built-in heaters and air conditioners, and of course are waterproof. They also have ultra-bright LCDs that improve "sunlight readability," I4U News says.
Sure, these are generally designed for commercial uses, but there's no … Read more
It's official: The Philips 42PFL5603D consumes less power than any HDTV we've tested, regardless of screen size. The so-called Eco TV earned our nod for Best in Show at CES by hugging trees harder than any flat-panel HDTV yet. We based that decision partly on a Watts Up! power meter Philips had set up in its booth, which showed the 42-inch LCD sucking down electricity at a miserly rate between 60 and 80 watts (check out the video).
As proven by our somewhat more rigorous power consumption test, the Eco TV deserves a place next to your Prius, your low-flow toilet valve, and your almost-watched copy of An Inconvenient Truth. The display set new records among all of the HDTVs whose power use we've tracked, scoring an average of 91.23 watts in the default picture setting, 67.29 watts in the power saver mode--that's right, barely more than a standard incandescent light bulb--and just 0.33 watt in standby… Read more
The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950, a "hybrid" TV tuner (meaning it can tune in over-the-air digital broadcasts or standard cable), normally sells for $79. Dell's Home store has it for just $40.79 plus five bucks shipping. That's after a $20 mail-in rebate, but I reckon Dell's good for it.
Hauppauge tuners are widely regarded as some of the best in the business. The HVR-950 comes with DVR software but also works with Windows Media Center. (Also included: Elgato EyeTV Lite, meaning you can use the tuner with a Mac!) You'll have to supply the antenna … Read more