Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

The Future Samsung TV May Bend and Twist

Samsung has been flaunting its flexible OLED displays for quite some time, but until now the technology
seemed to be geared toward smartphones rather than TVs. While the Korea-based manufacturer has been teasing the idea of a virtually unbreakable handset for more than a year, there’s no indication as to when this technology could launch.

According to the pantent, future Samsung TV owners would be able to bend or rotate a portion of the screen or the entire display depending on your viewing preference. The remote would communicate with the TV via Bluetooth

Panasonic TC-PVT60 series

The product: 
The VT60 is an excellent plasma with perhaps the best image quality you'll see this year not powered by light-emitting diodes. It is a shade better than the Kuro we've been using as a reference these long years, it beats the Samsung F8500 in critical dim-room viewing situations, and it's demonstrably better than the ST60. It boasts industry-leading black levels, illuminating shadow detail, and rich, saturated colors.

Panasonic TC-PST60 series

The product: 

The ST60 gets the nonilluminated remote that shipped with step-down models like the UT50. Tweaks for 2013 include are mostly improvements (dedicated "Netflix key, better labeling, and a few extra keys) but there are exceptions. "Apps" and "Home," both part of the Smart TV suite, get too-prominent keys while "Menu" is tiny. More than a few times I accidentally hit "Home" instead of the Up cursor.
The TV has two separate menu systems -- one

The LG 55LA8600

 LG had announced a pair of five-figure TVs already, one OLED and another 4K, but among models mortals can afford, its flagship 2013 series of LED-based LCD TVs is the LA8600. Available in a 60- and 55-inch size, it will feature all of the latest tricks including an onboard, retractable camera.

Unlike Samsung's camera, LG's won't initially support gesture control. LG says it will be used mainly Skype integration and possibly other camera-specific apps.

Aside from the camera, the LA8600 is basically identical to the LA7400 series [NEEDS LINK]. Both feature a 240Hz refresh rate, an edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming, passive 3D and all of the company's latest Smart TV features.

The Samsung PN51E7000

What you should know: 
Samsung has still been a solid contender. Both the Samsung E8000 and E6500 were excellent televisions, coming a close second as a brand to the Panasonic ST50 and VT50.
The Samsung is available in three sizes, and all should perform similarly. Using Amazon as a guide, the 51-inch is currently $1,000 and offers the best value. The 60-inch is twice the price at $2,000 while the slightly larger 64-inch is $2,700. In comparison, the 51-inch E6500 is actually more expensive at about $1,200 currently, so we'd suggest going for the E7000 at this size instead.

What it offers: 
This upgrade enables users to give their TV the newest hardware and software but Samsung has yet to announce any prices or details for the kit.

The advantage: 
It has improved black-level performance by 10 percent for 2012.

The unfavorable: 
The E7000 does miss out on the advanced features of the E8000 as it doesn't include the camera.


The Slingbox 350

What you should know: 
Slingbox is a personal video broadcaster. It takes any video signal you send into its AV inputs -- such as your cable/satellite box or DVR -- digitizes it, and streams it to you, live and in real time. Think of it as Netflix, but instead of streaming a catalog of on-demand title, you're streaming your TV programming, in real time.
Streaming alone is impressive, but the Slingbox (and its remote viewing software) lets you also remotely control the source TV, via on-screen controls (for PCs, phones, and tablets) or the hardware remotes of the streaming video boxes (like Boxee and WD TV).
The Slingbox 350 is a black box that’s about the size of three standard DVD cases stacked on top of another. The box has a diamond mesh design.

What it offers: 
Slingbox 350 is an excellent way to watch your TV or DVR video content anywhere.

The advantage: 
Slingbox 350 streams video from your TV or DVR (or any analog source) to your PC, tablet, smartphone, and some streaming boxes at resolutions up to full 1080p HD. IR blasters are built into the box’s body, eliminating the need for annoying extra external wires. There are no monthly charges or fees.
The unfavorable: 
Smartphone- and tablet-viewing apps cost extra. Unlike the step-up Slingbox 500 model, this one lacks Wi-Fi and HDMI support. It duplicates some of the features found on TV anywhere apps you may already be using. As always, streaming capabilities are only as good as your home bandwidth.

The price:
$173.38 to $179.99

The Toshiba 40E220U

What you should know.. 
The Toshiba 40E220U is a sub-$500 television with a lot to offer the bargain-minded consumer. It has fairly deep black levels, a better selection of inputs than most competitors, and rich, vibrant colors. Image processing is quite good, with a crisp picture and very good off-axis performance.

What it offers.. 
The Toshiba 40E220U is a value-for-money television offering decent contrast and bright, vivid colors.

The benefits. 
Unlike the smaller 32C120U, the 40E220U has a full 1080p screen resolution, but there's no further added functionality beyond that TV's fairly basic feature set. If you're interested in multimedia playback, though, the Toshiba can play back JPEG images and MP3 tunes via the USB port.

The advantage: 
The Toshiba 40E220U features crisp images with a decent amount of contrast. The TV offers a good value and is one of the better units under $500. Colors are well-saturated.

The unfavorable: 
The TV shows uniformity problems and some of the colors are inaccurate. Shadow detail is lacking compared with the cheaper TCL P60.

The price:


The Sony KDL-46EX645

This is an edge-lit LED TV that lacks local dimming, but does come with Sony's MotionFlow XR 240 engine. While that number may lead you to believe this is a 240Hz TV, the native panel refresh rate is actually 120Hz.
The advantage: 
The relatively affordable Sony EX645 offers deep-enough black levels for the money and commendable color saturation. The design is attractive and the menu system is easy to use.
The unfavorable: 
We detected a couple of uniformity issues, black areas can look blue under lights, and shadow detail isn't up there with the better TVs. The SEN portion of the Smart TV interface is so slow that it's kind of a waste.
The offer:
 Sony has upgraded its EX645 series TV with onboard wireless providing even better value given its predecessor's already solid picture quality.

The Philips PFL5907

Philips' latest development is Smart Cloud, which means that the installed apps are updated automatically, with no need to root around in an app store yourself. Unfortunately the addition of Smart Cloud icons does confuse the interface a little. The App Gallery function is confusing, too, as it seems like it should be an App Store, but it simply gives an even more limited selection of apps than what's offered by the front page.
The standout apps here are Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora; Amazon is the main video service missing. While Philips has the obligatory Facebook and Twitter apps, it does lack a Web browser or the handy Skype. If you're a puzzle game fan, though, the free inclusion of Bejeweled 2 should keep you busy for a time.

The advantage: 
The Philips PFL5907 LED TV has impressive picture quality for the price, anchored by relatively deep black levels, good shadow detail, and a natural color palette in most areas. 

The Panasonic TC-P42X5

The X5 is Panasonic's cheapest TV and doesn't have any of what is consider "modern" features like smart TV or even 3D. This is a 720p set, as most of the entry-level plasmas are, and so features a resolution of 1,024x768 pixels. The TV has a 600Hz subfield drive, and while most plasma have it these days, it bring it up in the absence of any other significant features.
Panasonic is one of the few companies who include an SD card slot on its TVs, and does so here, to make it easy to look at photos and videos from cameras.

The advantage: 
The cheap Panasonic TC0PX5 series displays plenty of shadow detail and has better black levels than some LCDs at the same price or higher. The TV is able to properly display interlaced content from Blu-rays as well as the correct cadence for 24p content.

The Vizio E320i-A0

The 32-inch LED-based LCD, which Vizio says will cost about $300 at Wal-Mart and Costco when it goes on sale in October, is the cheapest smart TV I know about (at press time the online price shows as $370 from Vizio directly). That's about $50 more than the Toshiba 32C120U, but once you add a Roku or other device that price advantage evaporates. And in a bedroom setting where a TV this size is most at home, there's usually less room for external boxes, and less budget to add the universal remotes that make using such boxes just as easy as an integrated smart TV.
The advantage: 
The Vizio E320i-A0 32-inch LED-based LCD TV is a superb value, bringing Smart TV and solid picture quality in the same price range as many small TVs with neither. The Smart content selection is excellent and responsiveness was very good. Image-quality highlights include relatively deep black levels and good color. With its thin bezel, the set has a more compact, sleeker look than competitors.

The unfavorable: 
The Vizio's picture falls short of some entry-level TVs', with subpar shadow detail, and shows some discoloration in dark areas. Its Smart TV interface design seems a bit dated.

The offer: 
For people seeking integrated Smart features, the Vizio E320i-A0 is the strongest value we've seen yet among 32-inch TVs.

The LG 50PA6500

LG's cheapest 1080p plasma does some things right, particularly colors, and some not-so right, the worst being LCD-like black levels that lead to a less "present" picture. The LG PA6500's biggest problem, though, is that its competition is too good. At 50 inches, the entry-level
Samsung E450 is cheaper and a better performer despite its lower resolution; if you insist on 1080p, the slightly more expensive
Panasonic U50 is the way to go. Meanwhile the 60-inch PA6500 is among the least expensive TVs you can buy at that size, but we'd still recommend paying extra for the much better picture quality of theSamsung PN60E550.

The advantage: 
The LG PA6500 is an inexpensive plasma with natural-looking colors and solid bright-room quality. Image processing is a highlight, with correct 24p response mating well with the full 1080p resolution. This LG has a living-room-friendly appearance and it's easy to use as well.

What is in Toshiba 32C120U

Advantage: The 32-inch Toshiba 32C120U LCD TV is dirt-cheap. Its picture stacks up well overall against that of other 32-inch sets, with relatively deep black levels and uniformity along with solid bright-room quality.

Unfavorable: In color accuracy, the Toshiba 32C120U is worse than many entry-level TVs. Design is also a low point, with a generic exterior and subpar remote.

Offers: If you want the cheapest small TV with halfway-decent picture quality, look no further than the Toshiba 32C120U.
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