“All the 3D at the show had one thing in common: It’s lousy.” Is It Really That Bad?

We are going to be entering into an era, where the television manufactures are going to try to convince us that 3D is going to be the next big thing. At a recent electronics show held in Berlin,  the largest televisions companies showed off their latest offerings of 3D devices. There were 3D games, 3D Blu-Ray players, 3D broadcasts, 3D LCD sets, 3D plasmas plus 3D projectors. But one reviewer from Technologizer made an interesting observation and in his review stated:

All the 3D at the show had one thing in common: It’s lousy.

But he went on to say that not all of what he say was equally lousy:

I’m not saying it’s all equally lousy: Some of it (especially at Panasonic’s booth) was at least somewhat better than I expected. Much of it was unusually blurry–some of the sets that required glasses looked only slightly better than Fraunhofer’s no-specs technology  demo. None of it rose to the level of being good, and I came away thinking that the level of hoopla was bizarre given the lackluster products being hyped.

3D TV occupies so much IFA real estate because the electronics industry thinks that teeming masses of people are going to be willing to buy new TVs and don uncomfortable, expensive glasses in order to watch three-dimensional content. I think consumers are smarter than that. I think will prove to be a fad–or, at least, a mistake.

As a medium, 3D remains remarkably self-trivializing. Virtually nobody who works with it can resist thrusting stuff at the camera, just to make clear to viewers that they’re experiencing the miracle of the third dimension. When Lang Lang banged away at his piano during Sony’s event, a cameraman zoomed in and out on the musical instrument for no apparent reason, and one of the company’s representatives kept robotically shoving his hands forward. Hey, it’s 3D–watch this!

But there was this one statement that I personally believes says it all:

The more  3D TV I saw at the show, the more irritating it all got. I’ve been writing about technology for twenty years, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an alleged Next Big Thing that’s left me so cold.

The one thing we all need to remember is that 3D has been around for some 60 years. It never really took off before. Why is it going to take off now? Next, it is going to come down to economics. I personally not going to throw out my 2D plasma HDTV’s to buy 3D, when these sets I bought are only about 3 years old. I don’t care if 3D HDTV sets serve me breakfast in bed. I just don’t have the interest. I am enjoying 2D HDTV very much and believe it puts SD to shame. Just my two cents.

Comments welcome.

Source – Technologizer

A 3D Camcorder For Consumers

There should be an image here!Being in the market for a new camcorder myself, I have to admit that trying to understand why anyone in their right mind would spend money on a 3D camcorder is difficult to get my head around.

Here are the facts: the new Panasonic HDC-SDT750 HD sounds like a dream come true from the perspective of a quality device with the kinds of functions one would want from such a device. And of course, going with HD as an option is a given these days. But 3D, seriously?

Worse is what sounds like a possible performance hit when using the 3D lens. Some hit on how well things float along is fine, but it again leads me to wondering why anyone would want to go 3D with a pro-sumer camcorder? Am I just too old fashioned in my thinking?

[Photo above by anamobe / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:Panasonic HD]

Cost Of The First Panasonic & Samsung 3D HDTVs To Be About $3,000

The prices for the first 3D HDTVs is going to be pricey. Panasonic has confirmed that a 50″ 3D HDTV with a 3D Blu-ray player and one set of glasses will retail for about $2,900. Extra 3D glasses will cost you another $150 per pair according to the company. Samsung says their deal on a 46″ 3D HDTV, with a 3D Blu-ray player and two pairs of glasses will be $3,000 and includes a 3D movie.

There is good news. The HDTVs can switch between 3D and 2D, which doesn’t require glasses to view. LOL

Panasonic recently announced that the company will be partnering with Best Buy once the 3D sets hit the stores. But it makes one wonder just how many of these new 3D sets will sell at such high prices?

I know I will be waiting for prices to drop and also to see just how popular 3D will be for home use.

Comments welcome.


Panasonic VIERA X1 42-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV Only $624.33 + Free Shipping

If you are looking for an HDTV that offers a dynamite picture at a reasonable price, take a look at this Panasonic. The price is right and Amazon offers free shipping to your home. Plus there is no sales tax which adds further to your savings. Are these great TV’s? Yes they are since I own two of the sets and haven’t had any issues with either of them.

Amazon describes the TV’s as:

The VIERA Difference
Panasonic VIERA TVs combine high picture quality, smart networking, environmental friendliness, and stylish design. The X1 Plasma series features:

  • 720p Resolution
  • Contrast Ratio: 30,000:1 Native; Infinite Black Panel
  • 720 Lines of Moving Picture Resolution
  • 600Hz Sub-field Drive
  • VIERA Image Viewer
  • VIERA Link
  • AR (Anti-Reflective) Filter
  • Game Mode
  • 3 HDMI Inputs

Panasonic VIERA X1 Series TC-P42X1 42-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV for only $624.33

Panasonic VIERA S1 Series TC-L32S1 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV $379.99

One day only sale on a Panasonic VIERA S1 Series TC-L32S1 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV for only $379.99

This is a one day sale being offered at Amazon for a 32 inch 1080p LCD HDTV which is being described on the Amazon web site as:

Technical Details

  • 31.5-inch LCD HDTV panel with full 1080p HD resolution
  • Motion Focus Technology reduces motion blur and improves resolution
  • Wide 178-degree viewing angle ensures clear images even when viewed off-angle
  • SD card slot and Viera Image Viewer make photo sharing easy
  • Four HD inputs: three HDMI, one component

But hurry. The sale is for today only!

Panasonic VIERA S1 Series TC-L32S1 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV for only $379.99

Panasonic HDTV On Sale – 26″ $289.99 & 32″ $395.88

If you are in need of a smaller HDTV, Amazon is offering the Panasonic 26″ 720p model for only $289.99. The 720p will provide you with an acceptable resolution since there is little differnce between a 720p or 1080p on smaller TV sets. Amazon describes this HDTV as:

Technical Details

  • 26″ LCD 720p HDTV
  • Included universal iPod dock provides a convenient way to enjoy music, videos and photos on your VIERA HDTV
  • VIERA Image Viewer lets you share your digital photos with friends and family directly from SD cards
  • VIERA Link lets you control your compatible Panasonic DVD recorder, Blu-ray Disc player, home theater sound system and HD camcorder, all with a single remote and helpful on-screen menus
  • Two HDMI inputs and PC input

Panasonic VIERA X1 Series TC-L26X1 26-Inch 720p LCD HDTV Only 289.99

Need a bigger HDTV? How about a Panasonice HDTV 32-Inch for only $395.88. Same spec’s as the above but with a bigger screen.

Panasonic VIERA C12 Series TC-L32C12 32-Inch 720p LCD HDTV $395.88

Panasonic Viera 26-inch 720P LCD HDTV Only $299.99 + Free Shipping

I am a fan of the Panasonic HDTV’s whether they be LCD or Plasma. Panasonic is always highly rated on reviews and this set is no exception. On the Amazon site the reviewers give this set 5 stars 65 out of 90 reviews and 4 stars 20 out of 90 reviews. That is impressive.

On the Amazon site they describe the HDTV as:

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

From the Manufacturer (April 23, 2009)
The 26-inch Viera TC-L26X1 LCD 720p HDTV is ideal for lovers of music and videos. The iPod Entertainment Kit lets you control and play back your iPod (not included) music and videos. Also the Viera Image Viewer provides a better way to share your digital photos, just put your SD memory card into the memory card slot, and your digital photos are instantly displayed. With Viera Link, you can control your compatible Panasonic DVD recorder, Blu-ray Disc player, home theater sound system, and HD camcorder, all with a single remote and helpful on-screen menus.

So break out your iPod and hook it up to the docking station included with the HDTV. Priced at $299.99 this HDTV is a winner.

Comments welcome.

Panasonic VIERA X1 Series TC-L26X1 26-Inch 720p LCD HDTV

Panasonic 42″ 1080p Plasma For $649.99 – Sears Has It

You may recall that last week I had mentioned about not forgetting Sears when looking for electronics. Today I received an advertisement from Sears offering the following HDTV for a great price. The HDTV is a Panasonic 42″ 1080p Plasma on sale for $649.99. On their web site Sears provides the following information about this HDTV:

Product Description

Striking in its beauty and elegance, bold in its functionality, this 1080p VIERA® television from Panasonic brings your favorite programming to life. You’ll be mesmerized by its clear, crisp picture and its true-to-life motion reproduction, and its added features will only impress you more. Whether offering all-in-one control of your components from a single remote or digital photo viewer that turns your TV into a large, slideshow-running digital picture frame, the VIERA® S1 Series steps up to the challenge of offering more. 40.6 x 26.1 x 4.2 in., 57.4 lbs. (40.6 x 28.0 x 12.9 in., 59.6 lbs. with stand)

  • Full-Time 1080p TV – The S1 Series produces crisp images and eliminates motion blur by maintaining full TV lines of resolution even in fast moving scenes.
  • VIERA Image Viewer™ – Turn to this feature for a better way to share your digital photos with friends and family.
  • VIERA Link™ – Control all compatible audio and video devices via a single remote and helpful on-screen menus.
  • Neo PDP (Plasma Display Panel) Technology – The S1 Series utilizes advanced up-to-date plasma technology to bring you the best picture, complete with brighter images, a 40,000:1 native contrast ratio and an Infinite Black Panel.
  • 600Hz Sub-Field Drive – An improvement on the 480Hz Sub-Field Drive of previous models, this feature provides more sub-field possibilities for your display, allowing for a more true-to-life presentation.
  • Game Mode – Game Mode minimizes the time lag when displaying game images on the plasma screen. Ultimately, this mode ensures that your gaming experience will feature an extremely clear image with no annoying motion artifacts.
  • AR (Anti-Reflective) Filter – Cut down on glare and light reflection with this exclusive Panasonic feature.
  • 100,000 Hour Panel Life – Don’t worry about fading or loss of image quality. With the S1 Series’ long panel life, you’ll be enjoying your plasma television for many years to come.
  • Inputs – HDMI™ (3), Composite (2), Component (2), S-Video, Audio (5)
    Outputs – Digital Audio

I was surprised when I read a comment [I am not sure if it was here at The Blade or on some other site], that stated Plasma TV’s were only good for a couple of years. My understanding from what I have read is that Plasma TV’s have a life span of 15 to 20 years.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Previous Sears article

Current Sears advertisement

Why Are Panasonic & Samsung The Best HDTVs?

As many of you know, this past month I have written a few articles about sales on HDTV sets, including DLP, LCD and Plasma HDTVs. I have also shared the fact that I personally prefer plasma HDTV sets to either LCD or DLP. Recently I wrote an article about the differences between 720p and 1080p performance, which many of you agreed with, that the differences are minimal. [720p and 1080p article is here.]

As we all know, any review about any product or brand is usually the opinion of the author. But when I read a recent article over at CNET about the best HDTVs for 2009, I noticed an amazing fact. In their rating of the top 10 HDTVs, 9 of the positions were either Panasonic or Samsung brands.The numbers as reported by Cnet was 6 Samsung sets, 3 Panasonic sets and 1 Pioneer set. The number 1 position was taken by a set from Panasonic. These ratings didn’t come as a surprise, since I personally believe that both Samsung and Panasonic make great HDTVs, in either LCD or Plasma.

The CNET article stated:

Samsung and Panasonic have consistently exhibited the best picture quality among LCD and plasma models, respectively, the sole exception being that pesky Kuro again. I review plenty of other brands throughout the year; they just rarely outperform those two.

I concur with the CNET review. Both Panasonic and Samsung provide the best picture and bang for the buck of any HDTV sets available. I would highly recommend either a Panasonic or Samsung to anyone who is looking for an HDTV this holiday season.

Comments welcome.

Source – top 10 HDTVs for 2009

CNET Crave

How Big Is The Difference Between 720p and 1080p?

I just finished reading an article over a CNET in which the writer was comparing the difference between 720p and 1080p. But before I cite the article itself, let me share with you what I believe the real difference is. About $200! LOL

First of all there are other aspects of a HDTV that are actually more important. Here are a few:

How important is resolution?

Although resolution separates HDTV from standard-definition TV, it’s not as important to overall picture quality as other factors. According to the Imaging Science Foundation, a group that consults for home-theater manufacturers and trains professional video calibrators, the most important aspect of picture quality is contrast ratio the second most important is color saturation, and the third is color accuracy. Resolution comes in fourth, despite being the most-cited HDTV specification.

I am a plasma person and own two plasma TVs in our home. Both are Panasonic Plasma sets at 42″ and both are 720p sets. The reason I bought 720p was because I knew that the picture quality of this size screen would rival a 1080p set. Also there was one other important point. Cost. At the time I bought the 720p sets the price for a 1080p for the same Panasonic Plasma 42″ was $400 more.

Despite the obvious difference in pixel count, 720p and 1080i both look great. In fact, unless you have a very large television and excellent source material, you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between any of the HDTV resolutions. It’s especially difficult to tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p sources. The difference between DVD and HDTV should be visible on most HDTVs, but especially on smaller sets, it’s not nearly as drastic as the difference between standard TV and HDTV.

Currently HDTV is only broadcast in 720p over Dish Network which is our main source for TV watching in our home. About 5% of the TV use is for DVD movies also at 720p. For those who opt to go with Blu-ray players and watch a lot of Blu-ray movies, my all means go with the 1080p. Just my two cents.

The article I am citing also states this:

The truth about 1080p

In the last couple of years, HDTVs with 1080p native resolution have taken over the market at nearly every price and size point. But as we’ve been saying all along, once you get to high-definition, the difference between resolutions becomes much more difficult to appreciate.

So why is resolution cited most often? I haven’t a clue. If you do, please share your opinion with us.

Comments welcome.

CNET HDTV article is here.

FWIW – I just went over to the Best Buy site and you can buy a Panasonic Plasma 42″ 720p for $599. The same set at 1080p is $799. The bottom line for any shopper is it worth $200 more for a 1080p HDTV? You decide.

Walmart One Day Sale Starts This Saturday, November 7, 2009 @ 8:00am

Walmart is having a one day sale on electronic items, starting this Saturday at 8:00. Quantities are limited at most store so check online if your local store will be participating. Some of the items that Walmart will be offering are:

HP 15.6″ Pavilion G60-519WM Entertainment Laptop PC with Intel Celeron Processor 900 & Windows 7 Home Premium for $298. Includes 3 GB of RAM.

Sony Blu-ray Disc Player, BDP-S360 for $148.

Xbox 360 Arcade Console w/ Bonus* $100 eGift Card $199.

Magnavox DVD Player 1080P Up-Conversion, DP170MGX $29.

Sharp 42″ LCD 1080p 60Hz HDTV, LC42SB45UT $498

Panasonic 46″ 1080p Plasma TV for $788.

Take a look at the Walmart site and see what you think.

Comments welcome.

Source Walmart Sale Site.

Panasonic 50″ Plasma + Blue Ray + 7.1 Home Theater For Only $1399!

I was checking the Best Buy web site yesterday, Sunday October 4, 2009, when I spotted their weekly advertisement and decided to see what deals were available. I spotted what I believe is a great value at a great price. The package included a Panasonic 50″ 1080p Plasma HDTV plus a 7.1 home theater with BlueRay for $1399.98.  According to the advertisement the price also included free delivery and hookup.

Here is what was included:

Ensure stunning depictions of high-action films and video games with this 50″ flat-panel plasma HDTV featuring a true 1080p display and a 600Hz refresh rate.

What’s Included

  • Panasonic VIERA / 50″ Class / 1080p / 600Hz / Plasma HDTV
  • Tabletop stand, 4-device remote
  • Batteries, power cord
  • Owner’s manual

Product Features

  • From our expanded online assortment; not available in all Best Buy stores
  • Built-in HDTV tuner
    Add HD-capable antenna to receiver over-the-air high-definition broadcasts, where available. Optional set-top box required for high-definition cable or satellite programming.
  • 49-9/10″ screen measured diagonally from corner to corner
    Everyone will have a great view of the show or game.
  • 1080p display
    Provides the highest quality progressive-scan picture possible from a high-definition source.

The Home Theater includes the following:

With a built-in dock for your Apple® iPod® and VIERA CAST support, this 7.1-channel home theater system acts as a complete multimedia centerpiece to your entertainment center.

What’s Included

  • Panasonic Blu-ray Disc player
  • Passive subwoofer
  • 2 front speakers, 1 center speaker, 2 surround speakers, 2 rear surround speakers
  • Remote
  • Owner’s manual

Product Features

  • Powerful sound
    1000W (125W x 2 front speakers @ 3 ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD; 125W center speaker @ 3 ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD; 125W x 4 surround speakers @ 3 ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD; 125W subwoofer @ 3 ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD).
  • Multiple surround sound decoders built in. Learn more about surround sound home theater
  • Built-in surround sound decoders
    Include Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS and DTS HD MasterAudio for surround sound support.
  • Blu-ray Disc player
    Supports BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, BD-R DL, BD-RE DL, DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, DVD-RAM, CD, CD-R/RW, CD-DA, WMA, MP3 and JPEG formats for a wide range of media options.
  • Delivers greatly enhanced video performance with standard DVDs
    By upconverting their video resolution to HDTV-compliant 720p, 1080i or 1080p via the HDMI interface.
  • Check out the advertisement and see what you think. Sales ends on October 10, 2009.

    Comments welcome.

    Best Buy ad

    Vizio HDTV – Deal Or No Deal?

    On 11-18-08 I wrote an article [here] about some buying tips for purchasing a HDTV this holiday season. One of the comments I received from Carolyn M., praised the Vizio HDTV’s she owned. I have seen the Vizio sets in Wal-Mart and have noted the inexpensive pricing for the sets, whether they be plasma’s of LCD’s.

    So with this in mind, I roamed around the Internet to see what comments were being made about the Vizio models. But first, a little history about the Vizio company. Vizio is located in Irvine, CA. and during the past few years has made quite a name for themselves in the HDTV market by offering their sets to companies such as WalMart, Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale, Sears, Circuit City, Dell and Target stores nationwide along with authorized online partners. The company basically assembles parts from various suppliers and than distributes the assembled sets to the stores and partners listed above.

    On the Vizio site they provide they following warranty information:

    VIZIO provides a “ONE-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY” (measured from the date of retail purchase) against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship to the original purchaser of a new VIZIO display obtained from an authorized VIZIO U.S. reseller and used in the fifty (50) United States or Puerto Rico. If the display fails to conform to this limited warranty, VIZIO will, at its option and sole discretion, repair or replace the display.

    In addition Vizio offers on site warranty coverage as well for certain models:

    On-Site Warranty Repair generally, but not always, is performed on displays which are thirty (30) inches and larger.

    Here is what I also learned about the cost of extended warranties. For sets under $1,000 retailers charge the following: Over at Sears they wanted $299 for a 3 year extended protection plan and Best wanted $199.99 for 4 years of protection. The best extended warranty, IMHO, is from Wal-Mart. They offer a 3 year exnted warranty for only $88.33. Or a 2 year extended warranty for only $59.88.

    Wal-Mart also offers a 42″ Vizio Plasma 720p HDTV for $697.00. I just purchased a Panasonic Plasma 720p HDTV from Amazon for $765 with free shipping and no tax. So comparing the two models they are priced competitively when you add tax to the Visio model.

    Oh, there is one difference. Contrast ratio. The Vizio is 30,000 to 1. The Panny is 1,000,000 to 1. This is just something to keep in mind when you go shopping. I also noticed that the 42″ Samsung Plasma being offered on turkey day at K-Mart is the older model last 3 digits are 400 with a lower contrast than the 450 model. So watch what you buy.

    So share your opinion with us if you own a Vizio, Samsung or Panasonic plasma or LCD HDTV. Share your experiences with us, whether bad or good.

    Comments welcome.


    Tips For Buying The Right HDTV

    As we approach Black Friday and the holiday buying season, many of you will be looking to purchase a new HDTV. Many of you will be unsure which brand, model, resolution [720p vs 1080p] or size to purchase for your viewing needs. Add to this the possibility that some stores may not be displaying the same picture on every set that they have on display. So where do you start.

    The first thing I would do is to ask family, friends, fellow employees or anyone who has recently purchased a HDTV and ask how they like the brand they bought. Next, go to a local retailer that has a well stocked base of different brands and makes and take a look for yourself. Finally, decide on how much money do you want to spend.

    When you go into a retail store that has HDTV’s on display, try and take a peek behind the set or on the side to see what kind of connection they are using. If it is a coaxial connection, this may not show the full potential of the TV. Whereas a connection using a HDMI cable connected to a Blu-ray player will look the best, the picture you receive at home may not look as good when connected to a standard DVD player.

    720p vs 1080p difference you can see, or can you? Most people will argue it comes down to size. The theory goes if you are opting to buy a set over 50″ in size, a 1080p TV may provide you with a better picture. On the flip side, if you are purchasing a set under 50″, a 720p set may be just fine. Also be aware that currently only Blu-ray supports 1080p, though in a few years it is being said that Dish and Direct will be providing 1080p broadcasts,

    I have a general rule that I personally think is simple to follow. There are three distinct technologies currently available for HDTV that also adds to the confusion. They are DLP, LCD and Plasma. As with any technologies, each of these have their plus and minuses. My rule. Buy the technology that you like the best. :-) I am personally partial to plasma sets for one simple reason. Plasma provide the best viewing angles no matter where you are seated. LCD and DLP tend to fade when viewed from an angle. But that is just my opinion.

    Finally which brands would you look at? Again this is just my two cents. DLP, get a Samsung. LCD buy a Sharpe and for plasma it’s a Panasonic you should look at.

    What do you think? What do you recommend when asked?

    Comments welcome.