equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Categories in section: Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs
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Tuesday, 01 January 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Samsung LN-T4681F 46-inch LCD HDTV
Introduction Oh, dreaded backlight, what a bane you’ve been to manufacturers trying to perfect the evolution of the LCD as a home theater display technology. Sure, you provide the illumination required that produces an image on the screen, but you’re also responsible for LCD’s two primary drawbacks compared with other display technologies: black level and motion blur. Since LCD first crossed over from the PC to the TV screen, designers have experimented with technologies to reduce black-level and motion limitations. In-plane switching changed the orientation of the liquid crystals to block the light differently, in hopes that this would improve black level and viewing angle. The adjustable backlight lets you turn down the light’s brightness to get a better black level, while a flashing backlight can provide the break between frames that your eyes need to reduce motion blur. The hot ...
Saturday, 01 December 2007 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50-inch Plasma HDTV
Introduction If you follow the HDTV world at all, you’ve probably already heard about Pioneer’s new KURO line of plasma displays. Or maybe you’ve seen those disturbing new KURO ads on TV and wondered what the heck they’re talking about. You’re not alone. The buzz actually began at last year’s CEATEC trade show in Japan, where journalists got a glimpse of Pioneer’s redesigned line of plasmas, capable of rendering an astonishingly deep black. KURO, by the way, means “black” in Japanese. The buzz gained momentum when that same demo hit the states at CES 2007 and reached full stride at Pioneer’s line show back in May, when the company announced eight new KURO plasmas, priced from $2,700 to $7,500. The first models to hit the shelves were 42- and 50-inch 768p displays; not surprising to those of us who had seen ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Introduction It’s time to buy a new HDTV and, after much deliberation, you’ve decided on a 42-inch flat panel. Little did you realize that your decision would inspire so many new questions. Needless to say, there are a few flat-panel models to choose from in the 42-inch category. As you walk that crowded retail floor, I want you to stop for a minute, take a good long look at yourself in that reflective plasma screen or glossy LCD frame, and ask yourself this: Do I really need 1080p in my new 42-inch TV? It’s an important question, one that will ultimately dictate how much you spend on the TV. Choosing 1080p over 720p can add from $500 to $1,000 to the bottom line; yet, purely from a resolution standpoint, 1080p’s benefits in a 42-inch or smaller panel are questionable. At an average seating distance, you probably won’t be able to see the extra resolution compared ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Panasonic TH-103PF9UK 103-inch Plasma Display
Introduction To quote Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger, “I want a brand-new house on an episode of Cribs with a bathroom I can play baseball in.” It’s kind of a funny line, but also very true. As shows like MTV’s Cribs have shown us, there seems to be no limit to people’s need for more, especially when it comes their toys. So to you, my financially well-endowed reader, I say this: "I’ve got the toy for you." It is the world’s largest plasma screen, the Panasonic TH-103PF9UK, and at 103 inches diagonal, it will make that 50-inch plasma look about as big as the screen on an iPhone. Is it the best 1080p plasma screen money can buy? We’ll see, but there’s no denying it’s the largest and, as an editor of a publication with an 81-percent male readership, I know size matters. Retailing for $69,995, the TH-103PF9UK is one of the most expensive displays ...
Saturday, 01 September 2007 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Toshiba 52HL167 52-inch LCD HDTV
Introduction Is 52 the new 42 in the world of flat-panel televisions? Last year, the 42-inch flat panel was the marquee TV, offering the perfect convergence of size and price that consumers craved. As flat-panel pricing continues to drop, consumers will be able to move up to a larger screen size without moving up substantially in price. I predict the 52-inch panel will soon take center stage, thanks to new arrivals like Toshiba’s 52HL167. This product’s MSRP is $3,499.99, which is right on par with new, similarly sized panels from other big-name LCD manufacturers; however, several online retailers have already broken the magical $3,000 barrier with this big-screen LCD. The latest crop of LCD panels is especially interesting because many employ new technologies, like LED backlighting or a 120-Hertz refresh rate, designed to improve performance issues that plagued older LCD TVs. However, these technologies also add to the bottom line, which may be worthwhile for the ...
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