HDTVs (Spring 2010)CNET editor David Katzmaier shows you what features and TVs you should be looking for when shopping for a HDTV.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> David: Hi, I'm David Katzmaier from CNET and we're in one of your local big box retailers and I'm going to be talking about TV's today. As you could see there's a lot of choices out there. There's a lot of trends, a lot of new things happening in the TV market so I'm going to give you a little bit of advice about what to buy and what not to buy, so let's go take a look. Now, your first consideration when shopping for a TV is going to be screen size. Now, as you can see behind me there's a lot of smaller TV's on the market. You're going to want to use these in like a kitchen or a bedroom, something under 32 inches is good for that. Conversely when you want to get a TV that's big enough for the whole family to enjoy in the living room or the family room you want to step up to a 40 inch or larger TV, and with HD the bigger the better. Alright, when it comes to looking for one of these small TV's we found that the picture quality is very similar with these smaller screen sizes so don't be afraid to shop on price. Look for a brand that you trust, but, again, there's a lot of bargains to be had in the smaller TV's. Now let's take a look at some of the larger ones. ^M00:00:59 [ Background noise ] ^M00:01:04 >> David: One of the coolest new features we've seen on TV's this year is the ability to connect to the Internet. A lot of TV manufacturers call them App Suites. Samsung's apps is our favorite; this 670 Series back here has the ability to go out on the Internet and check the weather, you can get news, you can also get Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Voodoo, a whole bunch of other services, so it's a really nicely thought-out thing. It kind of looks like an iPhone app page here. Of course, there's other manufacturers that are doing apps as well as well as a lot of streaming services. Look out for WiFi, however, you're going to have to pay an extra $80.00 for a dongle but for the most part it's a really well thought-out and nice value-add. In case there's nothing good to watch on TV you can always watch the Internet. One thing they're also doing this year is making flat panel TV's a lot flatter. LED technology has a lot to do with that. These LED's allow the LCD's to get even thinner than before. Of course, plasmas are also getting a little bit thinner. But this LCD here is an LG LH8500 Series. It's one of the better performers we've tested this year. It has nice deep black levels and LED local dimming, which really gives the best picture quality. It's also really kind of slick on the outside here, so it's one of the nicer TV's we've tested. A lot of TV manufacturers also talk about energy savings this year that's because the Energy Star 4.0 is coming out and making these TV's mandated to be a lot more efficient. This Sony here is one of the more efficient ones we've seen this year. It's an EX700 and it has a cool feature that actually turns off the screen when you leave the room and turns it back automatically when you come back, so a really cool way to save power. Finally, there's 3D; this is a Panasonic 3D TV, Samsung, Sony's coming out with one later this year and all manufacturers are going to jump on the bandwagon soon. This is a lot like you'll see 3D in the theater with Avatar and whatnot but one of the big differences is the glasses, these guys are 150 bucks a piece and they use shutter technology as opposed to the passive glasses you find out there. But it does look really cool when you can watch the content. There really isn't much available. There's no 3D channels yet but there's some Blu-rays trickling into the market. If you want to be Mr. Future-Ready 3D's the way to go. That's a quick look at some of the trends we're getting in HDTV this year. If you want to check out some more information there's a lot of new things coming out this year. You can also check out CNET.com, CNET TV.com, I'm David Katzmaier. ^E00:03:12