Unlike the entry-level models in Samsung's 2008 plasma lineup, the more-expensive 1080p versions are not 3D compatible. That's not a big deal in our book, since these sets have plenty of other appealing features that don't require a third-party glasses kit.
In the race to find that tiny inkling of a feature to differentiate one product from another, the lure of an easily recognizable term, like, oh, say, "3D," can overwhelm such petty concerns as actual real-world usefulness. Samsung introduced its first 3D-ready HDTVs last year in the form of a few DLP-based rear-projection models, like the HL-T5687S, but the company's 2008 PNA450P series are the first flat-screens to get 3D readiness. The series includes two models, the 42-inch PN42A450P and the 50-inch PN50A450P.
To get the extra dimension out of these models you'll need to purchase … Read more
Panasonic is expanding its selection of plasma screen sizes this year, introducing a 46-inch model that splits the size (and price) difference between the company's 42- and 50-inch plasmas. We'll tackle the whole announcement, which includes 11 new models, in this post, starting with the entry-level models. All of the panels are scheduled to debut in spring, and pricing was not announced.
One note first, however. We liked the company's antiglare screen from last year, found on the TH-50PX77U for example, but for 2008 Panasonic dropped it in favor of a new antireflective screen that's used throughout the line. We're anxious to test one of these models to see how the new screen performs.
Vizio may be known as the bargain brand found at Costco, but AV enthusiasts might want to take Vizio's new series of plasmas more seriously. Vizio announced two new plasma displays, the 50-inch Vizio VP504F and the 60-inch Vizio VP605F, both of which have HQV processing built into the panel. For those that don't memorize every home theater acronym, HQV processing is a third-party video chip that, in our experience, delivers excellent video quality for scaling lower-resolution sources--like DVDs--to the native resolution of the panel. Usually HQV processing is included in receivers or high-def disc players, but the … Read more
Pioneer consistently makes some of the best plasmas on the market, such as our current Editors' Choice PDP-5080HD plasma, and today it demonstrated two new "Project Kuro" technology concepts that are among the most exciting displays shown by anyone at CES. Unfortunately, neither will make it to market in 2008.
The first, designated the "Extreme Contrast Concept" plasma, is said to be capable of producing an "absolute black with no measurable light emitting from the television." The ability to produce a dark shade of black is one of the most important ingredients in picture quality.… Read more
Following the footsteps of last year's Best of CES winner in the TV category, Samsung's FP-T94W series, LG this year is introducing its own wireless plasma TVs. The series is called PG70, and it includes the 50-inch 50PG70 and the 60-inch 60PG70. Yes, you'll still need to connect the power cord, but all those pesky audio-video connections can be moved to a separate AV transceiver box that networks with the panel over the 802.11n wireless standard. Judging from LG's claims regarding its similar wireless LCDs, the box can be set up to 50 feet from … Read more
Thin is in for Hitachi.
The Japanese conglomerate will unveil a 50-inch plasma TV that measures only 1.5 inches thick at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.
The prototype TV is less than one-third of the usual thickness of a conventional plasma of this size, which ordinarily clocks in at around 5 inches or more, according to Bill Whalen, director of product development at Hitachi.
It will come to market in 2009, he added, and weigh around half as much as a standard plasma. Typically, a plasma of this girth might weigh 90 pounds, he added. … Read more
Hitachi is wielding a new weapon in the television market. Namely, automotive engineers.
The frame on the 35-millimeter-thick LCD TVs that the Japanese manufacturing giant will showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week is made out of a polycarbonate from the company's automotive division, according to Bill Whalen, director of product development at Hitachi. Because the TV is thinner than most LCD TVs that size, it requires a stronger, more rigid frame, which the polycarbonate made possible.
Most people don't know Hitachi has an automotive company. "But if you have a fuel-injection system … Read more
Japan Inc. will put on the hard sell at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.
Panasonic is expected to unveil a 150-inch plasma television during a keynote speech Monday by Toshihiro Sakamoto, president of the Panasonic Audio Visual Networks Company. (Matsushita Electric goes by Panasonic in the U.S.) Sakamoto, a new speaker to the CES keynote circuit, is also expected to unveil a number of other products during his speech.
Rival Hitachi, meanwhile, will show off a series of ultraslim LCD TVs that have yet to be exhibited in the U.S. The 32-inch TVs, shown first at Ceatec … Read more