CNET reader Ray asks:Will leaving my TV powered on (but on black screen) for an extended period of time do any damage or affect the picture quality?Good question.
Not all HD is the same. For that matter, just because you have an HDTV, that doesn't mean you're actually watching high-definition video. A variety of factors could be conspiring to create an image that's not nearly as good as what your TV is capable of.
Make sure you're getting the most from your TV with this guide.… Read more
Want a really big TV? Forget LCDs and plasmas -- get yourself a wall.
Just last night, while watching the incomparable "Planet Earth" on Blu-ray, I thought: "This is pretty nice at 55 inches, but it really deserves to be 10 feet."
Hence today's deal. For a limited time, BuyDig has the refurbished Optoma HD20 1080p projector for $649.99 shipped when you apply coupon code BGTaxRefund15. That's tied with the lowest price I've seen.
The HD20 delivers full 1,920 by 1,080-pixel resolution and has a contrast ratio of 4,000:… Read more
Recently I went shopping for a Blu-ray player. Call me old-fashioned, but there are some movies I want to see in full 1080p glory and hear in full 5.1-channel surround.
Plus, I'd just purchased my first 3D-capable TV and needed a 3D-capable player to go with it. (If you're in the same boat, be sure to check out my recent post, "Where to find 3D movies to watch at home.")
Given that I wasn't planning to buy another Blu-ray player for a long time -- possibly ever -- I wanted a decent model with features like Netflix streaming, built-in Wi-Fi, and, of course, support for 3D. I was also hoping for a price below $100.
My usual process for buying something like this is to browse sites like Amazon and Newegg in search of the models with the highest user ratings, then check the professional ratings at sites like CNET to see how well they match up.
Just one problem: I was hard-pressed to find a single Blu-ray player with uniformly positive user ratings. I perused models from LG, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and Vizio, and nearly every one had reviews that were all over the map.… Read more
The other day I wrote an article titled "When should I upgrade my HDTV?" The general thought was that TV performance, while not exactly hitting a plateau, had slowed enough that TVs even a few years old perform pretty close to the new models.
In the world of front projection, though, it's an entirely different story. The level of performance you can get for very little money is incredible. What were once considered "budget level" projectors now easily outperform $10,000+ models from just a few years ago.
Time to upgrade? Perhaps.… Read more
Ikea has long sold affordable and attractively styled stands for TVs and home-theater components, but now it's taking things up a notch, integrating both furniture and electronics in an all-in-one system under its Uppleva brand.
The base unit comes with a "smart" 1080p LED TV, Blu-ray player, and 2.1 virtual surround system that includes a wireless subwoofer that can be positioned anywhere in the room. You'll then be able to customize the TV size and cabinetry and even change the color of the frame for the TV. Prices are expected to start at about $950 for an entry-level unit and TVs will range in size from 26 to 46 inches, which may not be quite big enough for some folks -- in the U.S anyway. The displays are reportedly being supplied by Chinese manufacturer TCL.
No word on exactly when Uppleva entertainment systems will hit U.S. stores, but they're set to roll out this June in in select stores in Stockholm, Milan, Paris, Gdansk, and Berlin, with more stores in Sweden, Italy, France, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Norway, and Portugal added in the fall. A broader release is expected for 2013. … Read more
When should you upgrade your TV? Every year sees new models that are bigger, better, with more features and lower pries. When is that point were the performance difference of a new TV is worth the hassle and the cost?
To find out, we have to take a look at how much better the current models are compare to what you have.
So let's take a look.… Read more
Do you like to go to sporting events and shows? Most people like to get out to the ballpark or a concert every once in a while, but often rising ticket prices, service fees, and extra hassle keep people from buying tickets.
ScoreBig Daily (Free) is an app for iPhone that works with the ScoreBig.com Web site to get you good seats for events for much less than the original ticket price. As of today's launch of the app, ScoreBig only works with events in L.A. or San Francisco, but it will soon be available for most … Read more
If the inability to access video-on-demand (VOD) channels has kept you away from TiVo (and not its service fee), you may soon have to find another excuse. At least if you're a Comcast Xfinity subscriber.
An automatic software update will be pushed to TiVo Premiere users in the Bay Area starting today and over the coming weeks adding access to the Xfinity On Demand library. Additional markets across the country will get access in the coming months.
If your home media center feels fragmented and frustrating, there's good news: with a weekend or two of spring cleaning, you can make it all much easier to keep track of and enjoy. I've tried to keep this hardware-independent, though some tips assume you have networked storage or a particular operating system. Here are a few tricks and tips to get you started:
Music This is usually the toughest library for most people to manage. Depending on the tools you use, it can be hard to effectively manage more than 10,000 individual music files, and while some … Read more