Month: November 2007

Samsung Ships 81 Series with LED Backlights

November 30, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
A press release from Samsung highlights the fact that the company is now shipping its 81 Series of LCD HDTVs in time for holiday shopping. One key feature of these models is that they have LED backlights. Instead of the usual cold-cathode fluorescent lamps -- CCFLs -- the backlights for these models use an array of LEDs. This arrangement makes it possible to selectively dim the backlight in different regions...

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What’s on Tonight?

November 29, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Gemstar-TV Guide International and Comcast released results of a national study about consumers and "interactive program guides". These are the electronic guides available from television services, from cable and satellite to the free over-the-air broadcasts. And few will be surprised to find that these guides have become almost as indispensible as the remote control. 80% of survey respondents say they always use the program guide to decide what to watch....

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Laser TV a No Show?

November 28, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
What was missing on Black Friday? I didn't see any rear projection models with solid state lasers as a light source. This design is supposed to be the answer to why rear projection sets don't sell. Lasers will eliminate the costly projection lamp and never need to be replaced. Lasers also require simpler optics, so the case can be thinner and the expensive optics can be streamlined. The result is...

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Changing Times for Cable

November 27, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
It's hard enough to play in a fiercely competitive game, but even harder when they go and change the rules. That's the problem being faced by cable companies in the United States. When cable services first started, the federal, state, and local governments worked out a carrot-and-stick arrangement to encourage them to make the investment required to create the business. In most cases, cable companies were allowed to string their...

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High Def DVD: The Votes Are In!

November 26, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
For the second year in a row, Amazon has run its "Customer Vote" promotion. This pits three popular products against each other, offered at crazy discount prices. Different choices are offered each day over a week. Amazon visitors then vote for which one they would like to buy. Hundreds of voters who picked the winner are selected at random and given the opportunity to buy it at that discounted price....

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Truth Patrol: It’s Not 1080p

November 23, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Today is Black Friday, the day we all get excited about incredible deals on all sorts on consumer electronics. But just because we get excited, it doesn't mean that we should let accuracy fly out the window. And that goes double if you're part of the technology media whose mission is to help separate fact from fiction for consumers who are confused enough already. So, you can imagine how I...

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Free HDTVs from Verizon

November 22, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Anyone in the magazine business can tell you; the hard part is getting someone to subscribe. Getting renewals is much easier. That's why magazines offer crazy deals for new subscribers. And that also explains the hundreds of dollars you can get as a bonus if you sign up for satellite service when you buy your new HDTV. Well, Verizon has gone a step further with their new FiOS television service...

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Look Ma! No Wires!

November 21, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Okay, maybe it's not "no wires", because this new LCD TV from LG Electronics still needs to be plugged into a power outlet. But you don't need to connect it to your set top box or DVD player, at least not with cables. The 52LG71 has high-speed WiFi 802.11n wireless connectivity built right in, so you can transmit HD content fast enough to keep up. The company has not released...

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A Really WIDE Screen TV

November 20, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
What size flat panel TV do you want to find in your stocking this holiday? (I hope you have a big stocking!) Maybe a 42", or 50"? How about one of those 103" monsters you see on some of the network sports sets? Or are you thinking really big? How about 140" diagonal? In case you're having trouble thinking about how big that is, try this: it's a bit larger...

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High Def DVD: What Goes Down…

November 19, 2007 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
It may be true that "what goes up, must come down," but the opposite is not true in consumer electronics these days. Once a price goes down, it pretty much stays down. Case in point: the new Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player. This is the replacement for the HD-A2 that caused so much excitement in recent weeks. Circuit City knocked the price down to $199.99, and then Wal-Mart and Best...

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