Vizio has begun shipping its new lineup of "leading edge" XVT (Xtreme Vizio Technology) Series HDTVs with Full Array TruLED LCD HDTV technology, a fancy term that Vizio promises is all that and a bag of the most delicious chips on the planet.
"VIZIO is solidifying its position as a technology and performance leader with the introduction of the new generation of XVT HDTVs," said John Schindler, VIZIO VP New Products. "Our dedication to high performance drives us to use the best commercially available technology. Each of our XVT TruLED sets uses a Full Array with local dimming that produces an unquestioned superior picture. Many competitive manufacturers have decided to use only Edge Lit technology in their flagship products, but edge lighting results in an inevitable compromise in performance."
The way Vizio pitches its new lineup, the company's TruLED HDTVs trump even the competition's most expensive models with uniform brightness across the entire screen, a much better off angle viewing area, and "vastly superior black reproduction."
Other features include 10,000,000:1 contrast ratios (dynamic, of course), dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, and up to 240Hz refresh rate (55-inch XVT553SV, 47-inch XVT473SV, and 42-inch XVT423SV models).
Prices range from $700 for the 32-inch XVT323SV on up to $2,200 for the 55-inch set.
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.
You can't get through a discussion about next-generation TV sets without bringing up the topic of 3D, but maybe we have it all wrong. Perhaps we should be talking about Internet-connected TVs instead. Quite frankly, we're a little surprised this hasn't been given more attention already. Nevertheless, ABI Research predicts that by 2013, some 46 percent of flat panel TVs will come with an Ethernet port, up from only 19 percent today.
"New features will include media guides/browsing, Web browsing, and more tightly integrated social and information-based datasets," said industry analyst Michael Inouye.
Internet-connected TVs will also open the door for new ways to advertise and cross-market products.
"TV makers no longer want to build 'dumb screens,'" says Inouye. "Rather than simply selling boxes, TV makers themselves could try to secure part of the revenue generated by ads their devices present."
Things just got a whole lot tougher for HDTV makers, or at least those hoping to slap an Energy Star label on the box. That's because the new Energy Star 4.0 standard has officially gone into effect, and passing muster is no easy task.
As part of the new standard, the maximum amount of power an Energy Star TV can consume has dropped by about 40 percent, and any television manufactured on or after May 1, 2010 must meet this requirement in order to qualify for an Energy Star 4.0 logo. Models that are only 3.0 compliant can still qualify for the logo, but they must have been manufactured no later than April 30, 2010.
The newly stringent requirements come as a welcome change to environmentalists. Under the outgoing 3.0 specification, a 50-inch HDTV could consume 318 watts when turned off and still qualify for the Energy Star logo, but under the 4.0 specification, that same set would not be allowed to consume any more than 153 watts to be considered Energy Star compliant.
This means that several TVs will drop from the EPA's online list of compliant televisions, but at the same time, several manufactures are already looking ahead with Energy Star 4.0 compliant models slated for a 2010 release, including ones from Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Vizio.
Looking further ahead, Energy Star 5.0 will go into effect on May 1, 2012 and reduce power requirements even more. TV sets 50 inches and larger will be able to consume no more than 108 watts when 5.0 goes into effect.
Like it or not, 3D is destined for your living room, and there's a race to get there first (just ask Panasonic and Best Buy). But how much can you expect to plunk down on a fancy new 3D television set?
Samsung answered that question today by announcing the availability and pricing info for its next-generation lineup of LED HDTVs, including several 3D-capable units. The least you can expect to pay for 3D, at least for a Samsung set, is $2,000, which buys you a 40-inch HDTV. Pricing goes up from there, all the way to $7,000 for a 55-inch set due out in April.
"Our commitment to innovation has always been strong. We’re not only delivering elegant design and eco-friendly energy consumption, but we’re adding a new dimension to superior home entertainment through a broad lineup of 3D LED TVs," said John Revie, vice president of Home Entertainment for Samsung Electronics America. "We are passionate about this year’s LED TV lineup as we once again raise the bar on technology innovation by delivering a superior TV experience and leadership in the HDTV space."
While Samsung announced 27 new models in all, 8 of them will come with built-in 3D (C7000, C8000, and C9000 series). All of these include Samsung's Real240Hz refresh rate technology and are compatible with major 3D format standards, the company said.
See here for a full list of details and new models.
Philips has unveiled a new HDTV lineup at its annual Winter Media Event in Barcelona, Spain. The new 7000, 8000 and 9000 series LED HDTVs boast a smarter version of the company's Ambilight technology and can adjust hues based on the wall behind them.
The company plans to sell a 3D upgrade kit for TVs in the 8000 and 9000 series. The kit will contain a pair of active-shutter glasses and a wireless transmitter. A 3D upgrade pack for its unreleased Cinema 21:9 TV is also on the cards. The company now hopes to begin shipping the 21:9 TV during summer 2010. The prospect of 3D on a HDTV with a 21:9 aspect ratio is worth the wait.
Since multiheaded graphics cards have become commonplace, it's no longer technically difficult to attach a second (or third, or fourth) display to your PC. However, whether you're looking for a way to fly through your work so you can have some fun or are wanting to immerse yourself in 3D surround gaming, we've lined up ten ways to make your multiple displays work hard and play even harder. Join us after the jump for details.
Boy has it been a tough year or so for those who took the plunge into HDTV territory back when bulky rear-projection units were all the rage. Since then, skinnier, brighter units have emerged, many of which cost less than their chunky counterparts.
The latest thin-framed HDTV to emerge comes from LG, who just announced a line of plasma sets measuring a scant 25mm thick (for those who shake an angry fist at the metric system, we'll save you the Google conversion - 25mm breaks down to just less than an inch thick).
That's right, LG chose to go plasma for its 'Skinny Frame' line, as the company has dubbed them. LG says the new HDTVs come capable of a 600Hz refresh rate with 1080p support. They also come with three HDMI ports and a single USB port.
LG's releasing these first in its home market of Korea. The 50-inch model will run about $1,500, while the 60-inch unit checks in at about $3,325.
Does your notebook or desktop lack HDMI output? If so, hooking up to your HDTV can turn into a hassle, especially when it comes time to route the audio. Or at least it used to be. Altona's upcoming VGA to HDMI scaler-converter called the AT-HDVieW looks to solve this problem in one fell swoop.
The AT-HDVieW comes with three cables protruding out the back, including audio, VGA, and USB. Why USB? It's there to power the device, while the other two connectors extract audio and video from the host PC and coverts them to an HDMI signal. The built-in scaler makes sure the image looks correct on your TV, no matter what resolution your PC is running.
It supports resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, and unlike some HDMI devices, this one comes with an HDMI cable (6 feet).
It’s chicken-and-egg time again. Right now the question is playing out in 3D television. There’s no content because there’s no TVs; there’s no TVs because there’s no content. Someone has to go first, before the others will follow. Panasonic has decided to be one of those first-goers, announcing it will soon start shipping its first 3D plasma HDTVs.
The VIERA VT2 series was introduced at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The series is expected to contain four sets ranging from 50-inches to 65-inches. The two available now are the 50-inch TH-P50VT2 and the 54-inch TH-P54VT2. Each has 1080p resolution, and a contrast ratio of 5 million to one. Both digital and analog tuners are built-in, as is a 20W 2.1-channel speaker system. Each set has four HDMI ports, a VGA output, a D4 (component) output, and an Ethernet port. They also feature Panasonic’s VIERA CAST IPTV functionality and are THX certified.
The 3D effect is realized through the use of active shutter glasses, which are included with the set. (No word on how many pairs with each set, or whether other pairs will be available as an option.)
The new sets are due for release in April in Japan. No mention of a release date for the United States. And they won’t come cheap: the 54-inch model is priced about $6,000 (¥530,000), and the 50-inch model about $4,900 (¥430,000).