To very few people’s surprise, Sony announced a “Baby-Ruby”, as in a baby brother to their 1080p SXRD front projector the VPL-VW100. What was surprising is the price: $4,999, lower than most people were expecting. They also claim it will take the 1080p/24, and display it at 96Hz. The 1080p SXRD chips carry over, this time in a smaller, yet still stylish, case. The model number is VPL-VW50. Oh, and it will be available this month.
Panasonic announced two new LCD projectors, the 720p PT-AX100U ($2,999) and the 1080p PT-AE1000U (no price yet) which you see here. The AX100 has an auto-iris and “Smooth Screen” technology to reduce the screen door effect. The AE1000 has a glass lens, auto-iris, 14-bit gamma correction, and a claimed 11,000:1 contrast ratio for the AE1000. Priced right, this one could be very cool.
Ok, I admit that I stole this week’s blog post from myself, but I’m still getting questions on this, so here it is. I’m also posting older Gearworks and Hook Me Up articles over the coming weeks so we have a better catalog of helpful articles that had been in the mag but hadn’t been posted here.
I love surprises. Ok, that's a lie. I hate surprises. How is giving me an attack of tachycardia (learned that one on House) anyone's idea of a good time. But, in the HT world, surprises are usually good. Take this $3,000 projector, for instance. By all accounts, it should be an average performing mid-to-low-priced HD projector. Then you look at the contrast-ratio measurement and see it's better than every other projector we've ever reviewed. Surprise!
No matter what type of display you're looking for, you're no doubt going to be comparing the specs and feature lists of each. Things like contrast ratio, lumens, 3:2 pull down, and others are a marketing departments favorite tools to make their product sound better than another. Take many of these with a grain of salt. Take others as an undersold but vital aspect of a product. To sort though them, here's what they all mean.
Thanks to incredible competition and technological advances, prices for all HDTVs have fallen considerably in the past few years. But what to look for and what to buy? That is the real question. The easiest way to approach it is by figuring out how you're going to use the TV, then casting off what you don't need while keeping what you do. Sound easy? It is.
I've gotten a number of really good questions on my last blog post about 1080i and 1080p. Instead of burying the answers at the end of the comments in the last blog, I figured I'd post them here and answer them. I edited them down for space and stuff (sorry).
Per screen inch, this is the most expensive TV we've reviewed in years. The early 50-inch plasmas were certainly more expensive (and obviously smaller), but, in the era of higher yields and vicious competition, it's rare to see any company come out with a model that unabashedly eschews the price wars. An obvious comparison would be one of a Ferrari, and Sharp would indeed love that comparison. For the extra money, does this 57-inch offer greater performance compared with the Camrys of the LCD world? The better question would be, does it offer enough better performance to justify its substantial premium?
There has been a lot of concern and confusion over the difference between 1080i and 1080p. This stems from the inability of many TVs to accept 1080p. To make matters worse, the help lines at many of the TV manufacturers (that means you, Sony), are telling people that their newly-bought 1080p displays are really 1080i. They are idiots, so let me say this in big bold print, as far as movies are concerned THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1080i AND 1080p. See, I did it in caps too, so it must be true. Let me explain (if your eyes glaze over, the short version is at the end).