David Katzmaier and I have gotten e-mails asking a seemingly odd question: how high can plasma TVs go? These e-mails, from videophiles living in high-altitude places such as Denver and Santa Fe, are concerned plasmas either won't work for them, or will have a loud buzzing.
Turns out, they're sort of right.… Read more
At CES in January, Sony announced several LCD TVs with "Triluminos," a new backlighting method that they promise offered "rich, authentic color, and excellent red and green reproduction." Digging deeper, it turns out Triluminos includes an optical component produced by QD Vision, Inc. called "Color IQ" which uses quantum dots to help create light.
OK, so what are quantum dots?… Read more
Let's say you're at your father-in-law's house and he just got a new TV. You're stuck in a corner, having recommended the TV, and you're the only person who knows contrast from composite. What to do?
In an ideal world you'd have a setup disc on hand to set it up for him. Better yet, you'd have the number of a local calibrator instantly available and pop-in-law is willing to spring for a full calibration.
But that's not always possible. Here are a few tips that will help you get the picture settings on his TV close to ideal -- or at least closer than it was.… Read more
Do movies look weird on your new TV? Does everything have a hyper-real, ultra-smooth motion to it? Are you sure something is happening with the TV's image you don't like, but you can't figure out what?
Chances are, what you're seeing is called the "Soap Opera Effect," as descriptive a moniker as we get in tech, in that this feature makes everything on your TV look like a cheap soap opera.
Here's what it is, what it does, and how to turn it off.… Read more
Thanks to smartphones, tablets, and Windows 8, touching and swiping are commonplace ways to interact with TVs, computers, and mobile devices. But what if you want to do the same without touching the screen at all?
That's exactly the experience EyeSight Technologies, an Israel-based company that focuses on digital interaction, announced today that it's found a way to provide with its new fingertip tracking technology. The company calls this the "world's first commercial gesture technology to allow users to control digital devices with a fingertip" -- remotely, that is.… Read more
As we all expected, the big news at CES this year was Ultra HD 4K displays. It seemed that every TV manufacturer had one, ranging from massive LED LCDs to midsize LED LCDs to midsize OLEDs.
New TV? Old TV? New gear? Old gear? Are you sure all your settings are correct? Even if you're not planning on watching the big game, it's worth taking a moment to ensure you're getting the most out of your TV and assorted A/V gear.
Think of it like getting the oil changed on your car, or a visit to the dentist, except there's less chance of screaming and/or a tragic dental floss mishap.… Read more
The Aereo app on Roku boxes just became a much more potent alternative to traditional cable TV.
Aereo -- the Barry Diller-backed online video startup that streams local TV channels to multiple devices for a monthly fee -- had previously been available on Roku boxes, but it required an iPhone or iPad to use as a remote. But the updated app, which went live on Roku earlier this week, allows viewers to use an onscreen navigation with the standard Roku clicker.Disclosure: CBS, the parent corporation of CNET, is currently in active litigation with Aereo as to the legality of … Read more
Apologies for being a little tardy on updating our long-running list of must-have Blu-ray movies, but here it is, refreshed for 2013. This month's updates entries include "Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection," "The Avengers," "Finding Nemo," "Jaws," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "Titanic."
Though my face is at the top of the column, the list was compiled with input from editors John Falcone, Matthew Moskovciak, and David Katzmaier, who look at a lot of video content in their day-to-day testing of products. We also keep an eye on AVS Forum's Blu-ray picture-quality and audio-quality threads, and have always appreciated the site's tiered rating system.
This list is not set in stone, and we'll be adding and removing discs as new ones come out. As always, feel free to make comments and suggest your own personal favorites. They may get added to the list in the future. … Read more