Buying the right HDTV is actually much harder than simply walking into a store and laying down some plastic - and certainly much harder than it should be. There are quite a few cautions but also quite a few things that you can do to prepare yourself. Virtually identical issues apply to buying computer monitors, so keep the following info and tips in mind the next time you're in the market for a monitor as well.
We're still not sold on 3D for the living room (and outside of Avatar, we haven't been super impressed with 3D in movie theaters, either), but one thing we love are large screen displays. Mitsubishi pairs both of these with its latest LaserVue display, a monstrous 75-inch 3D-capable TV.
That's a ton of real estate, and it's not even Mitsubishi's largest 3D display. For those of you willing to roll with DLP technology, Mitsubishi also announced an 82-inch 3D DLP Home Cinema set complete with a 16-speaker array capable of outputting 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
"3D at the cinema is large, immersive entertainment, and the optimal way to replicate that experience in the home is with Mitsubishi’s mammoth LaserVue and 3D DLP Home Cinema TVs," said Frank DeMartin, vice president of marketing, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America. "We have one of the largest 3D TVs at 82-inches, and now with the addition of our new 75-inch 3D-ready LaserVue TV with Cinema Color, Mitsubishi 3D TV owners can now feel fully immersed in their favorite 3D movies, 3D games and 3D broadcasts at home."
You'll still need to wear a pair of dorky glasses, which Mitsubishi provides as part of its 3D Starter Pack ($400). Inside the kit are two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses, a 3D emitter, 3D adapter with remote, an HDMI cable, and a Disney Blu-ray disc filled with 3D trailers.
Citing Taiwan-based television manufacturers, news and rumor site DigiTimes says that technological developments of 240Hz LCD TV panels have progressed to the point where volume production is expected to begin in the second half of 2010. Combined with LCD shutter glasses, these two technologies are fast becoming the mainstream technology for 3D displays.
This has 3D TV vendors cautiously optimistic about the future. On one hand, there's some concern whether 3D TV demand will continue to grow, as early indications suggest. Despite the questionable future, several industry heavyweights are planning to push 3D into the mainstream. Samsung, for example, has set a goal of shipping 2.6 million 3D TVs in 2010, while Sony will shove 2.2 million units into the market. Panasonic won't be quite as busy, setting a goal of 1.1 million units, while LG Electronics plans to ship 1 million units.
It's no secret that tablets are gearing up to become as popular as netbooks, but would you have guessed that the current and upcoming demand would push shipments of touchscreen displays up by 5,000 percent in 2010? First of all, that's not a typo, and secondly, that's the exact number market research firm iSuppli is predicting.
"The rising popularity of slates is setting off a conflagration in touch screen technology, firing up not only the long-dormant tablet computer market but also all-in-one PCs, desktops and monitors," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitors and sustainability displays for iSuppli.
It's going to be a touchy-feely tech world in the coming years, iSuppli suggests. Global shipments of touchscreen tablets and tablet-like devices is expected to rise to 8.9 million units in 2010, up from only 176,000 in 2009. After than, touchscreen shipments will jump seven-fold by 2013 and reach 63.9 million units, iSuppli says.
Tired of hearing about 3D? Get used to it folks, this is one fad that shows no sign of going away, and instead continues to pick up steam. It's infectious, and the latest to catch the 3D bug is Lenovo, which just announced its first 3D laptop, the IdeaPad Y560d.
"Fun is a notebook that brings multimedia to life—and the IdeaPad Y560d does this in a dramatic fashion with a truly unique 3D viewing experience," said Dion Weisler, vice president, business operations, Lenovo. "While 3D technology has been around for ages, it has not been readily accessible to consumers within the home. Lenovo is helping bridge this gap by delivering consumers a 3D experience on a familiar PC platform that can be viewed and enjoyed when and where they want."
The IdeaPad Y560d measures 15.6 inches and, like just about every other 3D product on the market, requires special glasses to see objects in three dimensions. In addition, Lenovo says its TriDef technology will allow users to view standard 2D videos and photos in 3D.
Lenovo didn't talk up the hardware specs in great detail, saying only that there will be both SSD and HDD options, an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, an ATI Radeon HD 5730 graphics chip, optional Blu-ray drive, HDMI, and of course Windows 7.
Look for the 3D IdeaPad to ship in late June starting at about $1,200.
It's bad enough having to don a pair of goofy looking spectacles just to enjoy 3D visuals, and if they don't fit right, it just rubs salt in the wound. Enter RealD, which today announced kid-sized 3D glasses so your children can look every bit as dorky as you do when watching Toy Story 3 or any number of other 3D movies in the theatrical pipeline.
"The little ones will be able to comfortably enjoy the great summer movies coming out in RealD 3D wearing glasses designed just for them," said Joseph Peixoto, President of Worldwide Cinema at RealD. "Kid-sized RealD 3D glasses are made to the same high-quality standards as adult size RealD glasses with each individually packaged in sealed bags ensuring they are clean and fresh for every moviegoer."
You can find Real3D 3D-equipped theaters by visiting www.RealD.com/theatrelocator, and then take a bit of solace knowing that this is all temporary. At some point -- and hopefully not all that far off in the future -- we'll look back at wearing special glasses for 3D visuals and laugh, much like we do already.
Toshiba over the past few days has been busy launching a bunch of notebooks in the Taiwan market, including the 10-inch NB250 netbook, 13-inch to 15-inch Satellite L series notebooks for mainstream folks, high-end Satellite A series, and a pair of ultra-thin Portege models, one built around Intel's Pentium U5400 processor and the other sporting a Core i3 330UM chip. All of these are expected to ship stateside starting later this month.
Amid all the new notebook launches, there's chatter that Toshiba is readying a dual-screen something-or-other by the end of the June. Reports appear mixed on whether this will be a notebook, tablet, or hybrid. Whatever it ends up being, the Guidebook, as the codename goes, will feature two 7-inch displays, says DigiTimes.
Earlier leaks and rumors also have the Guidebook pegged with some sort of Windows OS on the software side and Nvidia's Tegra platform for the hardware. It was originally rumored that the Guidebook would be developed by Compal, but new reports suggest Toshiba is working on this one in-house.
Boutique system vendor Origin PC introduces what the company claims is the world's first customizable 3D gaming laptop, the EON15-3D. Sure, there are other 3D laptops to choose from, but according to Origin, none that can be fully custom tailored to Joe Sixpack's liking.
Starting out at $1,950, the 15-inch EON15-3D features Core i5 and i7 processors, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 285M GPUs, Blu-ray burners, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, up to 750GB of hard drive space, SSD options, programmable gaming buttons, touch sensitive access buttons, HDMI out, and Windows 7software.
Like it or not, 3D gaming (and movie watching) still requires wearing a pair of dorky glasses, at least as far as the mainstream is concerned, and the EON15-3D is no exception. Accompanying the 3D-capable display is a pair of wireless Nvidia 3D Vision active-shutter glasses.
AUO, a leading TFT-LCD panel maker following the mergers of Acer Display Technology and Unipac Optoelectronics Corporation in 2001, and with Quanta Display Inc. in 2006, is gearing up for the Display Taiwan 2010 convention with some nifty screen technologies, not the least of which is the largest projected capacitive multi-touch LCD anywhere in the Milky Way.
Measuring 32 inches, AUO says its relatively ginormous multi-touch panel will come capable of recognizing ten touch points simultaneously. AUO also claims that so-called "ghost points" -- areas that are falsely registered during the detection process -- won't be an issue.
Keeping with the world's largest theme, AUO will also be showing off the largest commercialized 3D TV panel measuring 65 inches. Viewing 3D content on the 65-inch display will require wearing polarized 3D glasses, though AUO also plans to showcase other 3D display technologies in smaller form factors, including glasses-free barrier and lenticular lens types.
An all-in-one PC for around $1,000? From Sony? And carrying the Vaio brand? As unlikely as all that sounds (collectively, anyway), Sony's Vaio J Touch All-in-One PC brings multi-touch to the masses for a lot less than what you might expect..
Sony's press release says pricing starts out at about $900 for the Vaio J series, though the pre-order product page shows the base model checking in at $1,100. That nets you a 21.5-inch full HD multi-touch screen display, Intel Core i3 350M (2.26GHz) processor, 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray drive, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a memory card reader, and other odds and ends.
Starting at $1,550, Sony will bump you up to an Intel Core i7 620M processor (2.66GHz), 6GB of memory, and Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics with 512MB of dedicated video RAM.
Both models are expected to ship on or about June 25, 2010.