Jan 16 2014

News - Sharp @ CES 2014

If you followed TV news coming from CES 2014 you probably picked up on Sharp’s massive 85” glasses free 3D display. Everything I heard about it was positive so I made a special trip out to have a look; and was sorely disappointed.

Oct 30 2012

News - Sharp Prepping Anti-Glare Moth Eye Panels for TVs this Fall

Sharp Moth EyeSharp is introducing some interesting new technology for a select set of their TVs this year. Sharp will be releasing five Aquos Quattron 3D XL TV sets with a new anti-glare technology dubbed Moth Eye this fall. The new tech evidently uses tiny irregularities in the surface of the LCD panel to reduce glare from external light sources and improve black levels. LCD TVs have certainly come a long way in reproducing deep black levels in recent years, but there is always room for improvement.

 It's bringing five LCD TVs to market in Japan this fall with a new glare-reducing, contrast-enhancing panel called Moth Eye. The name stems from the properties of its namesake, whose tiny irregularities cut reflections and help the insect to see in the dark.  

The Verge


Oct 26 2012

News - Samsung and LG May Delay 55" OLED TVs Until Late 2013, LG Still Prepping $20,000 4K TV


Samsung and LG both made a splash at CES 2012 with 55" OLED TVs that they planned on bringing to market by the end of this year. Unfortunately, it sounds like both companies might be pushing off these new sets until late in 2013. Evidently the two companies have been squabbling over engineers and run into production issues that are slowing down the transition of their manufacturing facilities. 

Samsung and LG, the two electronics makers who promised us these exciting, mind-rotting devices, are said to be having worse-than-expected difficulties manufacturing the sets.


This would seem to be a particularly unfortunate setback for Samsung, given the company's public push to move away from LCD manufacturing to focus on OLED and the growing interest in 4K, or UHDTV, at the high-end of the market from companies that have continued to focus on LCD. LG can at least console itself by capitalizing on the latter trend with plans for a relatively inexpensive 4K LCD TV.

Sony's gorgeous 84-inch 4k TV costs an eye-watering $25,000. Now LG has announced the price of its contender and it's cheaper—but you could still buy a car for less.


Oct 19 2012

News - CEA Settles on Ultra High-Definition to Describe 4K or QuadHD TVs

Ultra HD

The Consumer Electronics Association has announced that the next generation of high-definiton televisions will officially be labeled Ultra High-Definition. Several TV manufacturers have already launched TVs running at resolutions higher than current HDTVs, and they have been marketed as 4K, QuadHD, or Ultra HD. The CEA is hoping that standardizing on a specific term and setting minimum standards will assist in educating consumers about why they should be excited to see these TVs start to filter down into the sub-$25K range. According to the CEA, an Ultra HDTV will need to have a 16:9 resolution, a minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, and offer at least one digital input capable of carrying an Ultra HD signal without upconverting. Of course, the real trick will probably be convincing consumers that they can see a difference in resolution. One need not look far to find a forum in which two parties are arguing about how big a TV needs to be before one can see the difference between 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080.

The Consumer Electronics Association has rubber-stamped "Ultra HD" as the designation for screen displays that quadruple the resolution of today's standard Full HD.

Where HD images are 720 pixels deep, Full HD offers 1080 and Ultra HD does 2160. This gives Ultra HD images a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (8.3 megapixels).


Oct 04 2012

News - LG Google TV Reviewed

 LG G2 Google TV

Google entered the new year with big plans for Google TV. The platform was moving from Intel Atom chips to ARM SoCs, Sony was returning as a hardware partner and throughout the year the list of manufactures kept growing as companies like Vizio, LG, and Hisense announced Google TV products. Although standalone boxes dominate the scene for media streamers, Google TV has, from the beginning, pushed to be added to manufacturers' TV sets. LG is one company that has taken Google up on this offer. The LG G2 Google TV is a 47" LCD TV with an edge-lit LED 1080p panel. It sports the usual collection of connections including HDMI, component, and RGB, but no doubt LG anf Google are hoping you will have little use for these connections as the star of the show is the integrated Google TV. Now, one could go melodramatic and point out that building your media streamer right into the TV may mean no separate box is necessary, but it also means putting your faith in the manufacturer to not only have a great media streamer, but also a great TV, because there is no going back. Obviously there is nothing to stop one from simply adding another, better media streamer, but if the comapnies responsible for the LG G2 Google TV can get both sdes of the equation right, then they might have a winner. I'm feeling pretty good about LG upholding their end of the deal.

All second generation Google TV devices would move to ARM silicon, including SoCs from Marvell (long a player in the video silicon space) and a surprise entrant, LG. Korea’s LG would also play a role in a big software change for Google TV, the first skinned implementation. Skins over Android are rarely something to get excited over, and can often be a detriment to performance, but the reality was that the bar was so low with Google TV that anything that could inch it up would be considered a blessing.


Oct 02 2012

News - Toshiba Unveils New Regza J7 and Z7 HDTVs

CREATEC 2012, Japan's annual electronics expo, is underway, and although CREATEC tends to cast a much wider net over the electronics and IT industry than a show like CES, it can still be a place for companies to take the wraps off the latest in consumer electronics. Toshiba took to CREATEC to show of their new Regza HDTVs, the J7 Series and the Z7 Series. The J7 Series is the more entry-level of the two lines, relatively speaking, ranging from 32" to 65". The higher-end Z7 Series only offers three models ranging from 42" to 55", but comes packed with a pseudo-DVR that automatically records up to 40 hours of content and offers up programming suggestions. I'm not sure the price difference is enough to justify a feature that fails to replace even the most basic HTPC or TiVo, but it is a differentiating feature.

 Regza J7 and Z7

 The J7 Series offers 32-, 40, 50- and 65-inch options, all of which boast 1080p resolutions save for the 32-incher. Pricing starts at ¥75,000 (about $961) and tops off at ¥370,000 for the largest model. The slightly higher-end Z7 Series includes 42-, 47- and 55-inch models, with pricing ranging from ¥180,000 to ¥370,000. 


Sep 20 2012

News - 4K or OLED Is a Strange Question

Sony 4K

I get that these sorts of posts are mostly about generating clicks via false dichotomy, but I don't understand the basis of pitting a display technology against a resolution. These concepts are in no way mutually exclusive - we can, and probably will have 4K OLED HDTVs before long. Of course both of these technologies are currently relegated to the high-end-gobs-of-cash crowd so even if they were competing, it wouldn't matter much to the rest of us anyway for the forseeable future.

While were on the subject of OLED I did want to point out something that I find really odd when reading what other people have to say about the technology - no one talks about the motion issues. Maybe it was because of BETA hardware, but all of the displays I saw at CES last year had major problems with colors bleeding as the image transitioned, almost like the pixels were too slow to keep up with the content. Either way, I'm excited to see the TVs that will be on display this go-round, hopefully there will be a lot worth fighting over Smile.

Jul 20 2012

News - Samsung Brings Top-End ES9000 TV to U.S.

Samsung will be launching their top-of-the-line ES9000 Smart TV in the U.S. in August. The 75-inch monster is expected to cost $9,999, which I am sure that many will agree is a mere pittance given that the TV will be launching with a special, Samsung-exclusive, gesture-controlled version of Angry Birds. Integrated into the .13-inch bezel will be a camera for capturing hand gestures and for Skype calling. Obviously TVs such as the ES9000 are not actually aimed at the mainstream consumer, but new features such as Sound Share and Smart Interaction along with the image quality improvements that come with being the showcase piece in a manufacturer's premier line of televisions, are all previews of what will be coming to mainstream sets in the future.

This TV does all things Samsung’s other top-line TVs do: 3D, media streaming, DLNA, built-in camera, dual-core processor, micro-dimming backlight and both gesture and voice control. Samsung is taking gesture control a step further by launching a new Angry Birds app that’s controlled entirely by gesture. To toss eggs at those pigs you just wave your hand - no controller needed. 

CE Pro

Jun 24 2012

News - Year-Over-Year LCD TV Shipments Fall for First Time, Samsung and Vizio Hold Top Spots

Samsung's decision to spin of their LCD unit into a separate company earlier this year was prompted by falling panel prices amid a worldwide component glut. The problem wasn't just the abundance of manufacturers pumping out lower quality, inexpensive panels, but falling demand for LCD TVs. That falling demand became even more evident in a recent NPD DisplaySearch report that showed LCD HDTV sales fell year-over-year for the first time ever. The market shrunk by a bit less than 3% from 2011 to 2012, and the market shrinkage seems to be accelerating with a drop of 8% in the first quarter of 2012. Samsung and Vizio were able to make lemonade out of the lemons that NPD was handing out thanks to another report from iSupply that showed Samsung holding onto its top spot as the global sales leader and Vizio leading specifically in the U.S. market. With margins and sales continuing to drop, it will be interesting to see at what point maintaining those sales leads actually become a drag on their bottom lines.

Global TV shipments fell by eight percent in the first quarter of 2012 and, compounding the bad news, total LCD shipments fell for the first time, by 2.53 percent. This time last year, total TV shipments had grown by one percent and LCD by eight percent.

The Verge

Jun 19 2012

News - Sharp Announces Worlds Largest LED TV, 55 Inches Feels Way too Small

Sharp 90 inch TV


For those of you who scoff at the thought of a TV smaller than 80 inch's, Sharp has kept you in mind with their latest flagship TV, 90-inch AQUOS LED TV. Dubbing it the "worlds largest LED TV" the LC-90LE745U weighs in at 142 lbs with a depth at just under 5 inches. It uses an aluminum screen bezel similar to the ones found in its Elite TV line-up. Sharp has also taken the time to include their standard smart TV software kit inside the 1080p capable TV, with access to Netflix, Hulu and Vudo among others. The folks over at Engadget were able to get a hands on look at the TV:


The company's also done a nice job of stuffing a good amount of software inside the 1080p-capable AQUOS, including apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Vudu. Additionally, Sharp is throwing in a pair of three-dee glasses, which should come in handy during your precious movie night with the family. Best of all, it's up for grabs now, but prepare your wallet to take a major hit, as you'll have to shell out $11,000 to get one of these in your living room.

Engadget HD

So for those of you looking to upgrade your current TV, and have $11,000 be sure to head into Best Buy or HH Gregg (sharp is currently only offering the TV for sale through brick and morter stores) and pick one up.


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