Top 3 3DTVs to Choose From for 2012
When it comes to buying an expensive TV, the options are virtually endless. Throw in the fact that most of the mumbo jumbo that is printed on the side of the box of each TV might as well be written in hieroglyphics, right? Well, since there are a number of 3DTV sets out there at the moment—with some better than others—I’ll come to the rescue and make your life a little easier.
If it’s time to buy, below you’ll find three of the best 3D televisions that money can buy.
1. Panasonic TC-P55VT30 – £1,351
Unfortunately, television sets don’t usually come with fancy names, which makes it a tad more difficult to walk up to a salesman and say “hey, do you have the TC-P55VT30 in stock, buddy?” Other than that minor detail, you’ll find that this Panasonic 3DTV is the cream of the crop. Most TV sets have a 480Hz refresh rate, but this puppy has a 600Hz rate. In addition to that, you also get a fine pair of active 3D glasses to go along with it. What does this mean in English? A much smoother picture and viewing experience. Other 3DTV sets that have 480Hz refresh rates and inactive 3D glasses often have a dizzying effect that makes people sick or unlikely to make it through a few minutes of watching, let alone an entire movie. And with a price tag of $2,149, it’s worth every penny. If you’re in the market for a 3DTV, you’re probably looking for the best anyway. You found it.
2. LG 55LW6500 – £1,098
With an equally funny name, this LG 3DTV is anything but! While obviously not as sharp as the Panasonic, this puppy is still a heck of a TV. What makes this TV different from the Panasonic is that is uses plasma technology. Some people don’t care too much for plasma, but it’s still a nice option for a new TV. While the refresh rate is a paltry 240Hz, it still manages to produce a smooth image. It also uses passive 3D technology, so while the glasses can be bought by the barrel for cheap, you may see some blur in some instances. That said, this is the best passive 3D set out there. Even if you hate 3D, you can turn it to 2D and watch your programs on a super sharp TV.
3. Sony XBR-HX929 – £1,533
A bit on the expensive side, but this Sony will one of the best-looking pieces of technology in your home. What’s cool about this TV is that the screen is made from Corning Gorilla Glass, which you often find on smartphones. This glass is very, very strong, but it also gives you a fine image. Not a bad touch! With LED backlighting, infinite contrast ratio (woah!) and extended warranty, it’s tough to argue that it shouldn’t be at the top of the TV chain. The refresh rate here is only 240Hz, but due to its super sharp picture, you probably won’t even notice. Another awesome thing? It’s frameless! All screen, baby. All screen.
About the author: Joe Petchonka writes for a number of technology blogs, but he also contributes his time and effort toward helping Queens used cars dealers in NY.
Blu-ray Sales Rise as DVDs Fall
For movie lovers it is no surprise that DVDs are on their way out. With Blu-ray’s quality in picture and sound, many have made the switch from their conventional DVD player to Blu-ray players. With the popularity of the PlayStation 3 console that also includes a Blu-ray drive; even gamers are seeing the quality these disks have to offer. This transition was proven by the number of sales in 2011.
In 2011 consumers spent $18 billion in buying and renting both disks and digital movies. Even though this is a 2% drop than in 2010, Blu-ray sales topped $2 billion. This is a 19% increase than the previous year. Unfortunately this can’t be said for DVD purchases which saw a decrease of 20% with only $6.8 billion in sales.
For many of us who enjoy great picture and sound, we know which of the two offers the best. Blu-ray had a slow start in sales due to the additional devices needed in order to play the disks. However, consumers are now seeing the value and future of Blu-ray and are starting to make that transition.
Aside from the better quality of viewing Blu-ray offers, the lower cost of Blu-ray players have made an impact on the increase in sales. As with any new technology, the first round is usually the most expensive. As time passed and prices dropped, consumers made the transition and traded their DVD players for Blu-ray players. The fourth quarter sales were up 47% in 2011 than in 2010. This shows consumer acceptance of the format and the quality that comes with it.
Another factor in sales of Blu-ray is the variety of content. In the beginning only a few select new releases were available in Blu-ray. With re-mastering, even the classics are now available in high definition along with most of the new releases. Blu-ray is now being released alongside DVDs for those who value their home entertainment.
Prices in HDTVs have also fallen to make them more affordable to consumers, especially during the hard economic times. Those who purchased new HDTVs want to get the most out of their viewing. For that, Blu-ray was the right option.
Will it last?
Even with sales increasing and beating out DVD sales, there still stand the question of whether Blu-ray technology will last. With streaming video becoming more popular and even preferred by many viewers, Blu-ray released too late to see its full potential.
High Definition video can now be streamed over the internet to your favorite mobile device or even your internet capable HDTV. This is expected to be the future of movie and TV and will phase out the use of disks altogether. Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu has seen an increase in subscribers in the past year. This has sparked a lot of debate on the future of Blu-ray.
Roger Carson is an independent filmmaker who compared different disc manufacturing offerings to find the best deal.
Has The BBC Missed a Trick?
The BBC recently announced its plans for 3D coverage of the London 2012 games with the projected features looking somewhat sparse. Have the BBC missed a trick here when they could be showcasing the advances in 3D viewing technology? Surely there can be no bigger stage upon which this could be demonstrated, not only to gain acclaim for their own technologies but also to promote 3D viewing as a whole?
Let’s take a look at what they have announced they will be broadcasting in 3D;
- The opening ceremony
- The live final of the men’s 100m
- Nightly highlights in 3D
- The final closing ceremony
Given the broad and diverse spectrum of sporting and athletic events which are due to commence, this really does little to help capture the imagination. OK, so a lot of us like to watch the highlights and will be able to pickup on some key moments in 3D but there really isn’t anything like witnessing an event as it happens, and the magic which 3D can, if used correctly, inject into this is something that really should have been taken full advantage of.
The BBC have talked about how they believe it is right for them to go ahead with this “3D experiment” during the summer games to give them data to access the use of 3D. This beggars the question of why then are they putting out such a small sample? Surely the application of a temporary 3D channel which showed the games in 3D throughout would give them a far larger and more reliable set of data to work with.
To say that this is missing an opportunity to help bring entertainment into the next level is a real understatement. Had the BBC planned to show the Olympics as we suggested above then there would undoubtedly have been a real surge in 3D TV sales and a new buzz created which may have helped to reignite the passion for 3D which is unfortunately lacking at present.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts below . . . . . . . . .
Beyond Three 3D TV – Holograms
3D TV – you ain’t seen nothing yet . . . . . .
It is the name of a James Bond movie: Never Say Never Again.
If you live long enough you get to see everything you never thought you would live to see. That’s me. My friend asked me to discuss beyond 3-D TV. Frankly, I turned as white as a sheet. To the best of my knowledge there are only four people alive (if they are alive) that are aware of the fact that in 1998 I was turned into a literal hologram.
The hologram image was exactly the height of a Barbie doll. The inventor of the process was thinking down the road the hologram might be able to wear Mattel clothing.
In honesty, this is an extremely difficult entry to create. It brings back a flood of memories. Memories of a long drive from Seattle to the far outreaches of Portland, Oregon and being exhausted.
Memories of the creator of the company known as Video Showtime. His name was Randy. I remember his wife as being a lovely person and I don’t remember her name. I knew Randy as two ships passing in the night in the 1980s when his company was Video Showtime. He wasn’t making holograms then. That was the mid-1980s.
Randy produced consumer-electronics video miracles that the broadcasters of the day could only dream of.
It was 15 years later, in the dot boom days of the late 90s when my off-the-wall thinking about hyper accelerated learning, based on the psychology of mass movement created a Vocational Technical Inst. called TcatU was enjoying mega-success. The beyond belief hyper performance output of that institution put Randy and I together in a secret laboratory outside of Portland Oregon.
And I was made a hologram. A living breathing hologram almost exactly like Princess Leah as projected by R2-D2 Star Wars. There was only three differences. My hair was longer, I didn’t have boobs and I wasn’t wearing white.
Oh wait. One other difference. My voice was projected in Mono, as the test did not have two microphones.
In short, it worked. Please keep in mind the hot CPU of the day was the Intel 586.
As I look at ARM processors with quad cores and Intel Xeon’s with considerably more horsepower than that…
Don’t tell me holograms are not the next step.
Never did I think I would live to see the day of consumer holograms. Never did I think I would never live to see holograms in any form, let alone me as one.
Certainly, I didn’t expect to see the day where I would be talking about a 5 Hour drive after a 16 hour day of teaching so I could be, longer haired male version of Princess Leah.
That was 15 years ago.
Given that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s coming beyond 3-D TV.
The Hidden Pitfalls of 3-D Video Without Glasses
3-D video has a hidden danger looming in front of it. Many readers of this article will blow this off. And you are free to do so, with the forewarning you will experience in the future, multiparty embarrassment.
Centuries ago Homo sapiens with brains were wired to be left-handed were considered a danger to society and harshly dealt with. Not death, excruciating and painful death, typically being burned alive tied to a stake.
Technology is becoming very close to an affordable mass reality of Autostereoscopy. In plain English this means the ability to view a video in a three-dimensional format without the need for lenses (glasses) to separate the recorded scenarios.
In the 1950s projecting a sci-fi/horror film using two projectors where the black-and-white film had one recording tinted red with the other recording tinted green allowed moviegoers to see monsters eating the city in a three-dimensional black-and-white format.
The moviegoer simply needed to put on a pair of glasses where a paper frame containing a tinted version of a relatively new technology of the day held in an inexpensive manufacturing process called: thin-film plastic (tinted food plastic wrap). Certainly you are probably laughing your butt off right now. Please keep in mind we’re discussing technology that is 60+ years old.
File this under “everything is relative”. Seeing a movie in 3-D in its day was a complete WOW! Television, even in black and white was a rare commodity. Movies in color and sound were now the new norm. So of course 3-D entertainment could command a higher dollar.
While Autostereoscopy is not new (3-D video without the need of glasses) all the various technologies have been limited to either a solo viewer or the parties sitting in a narrow angle of view.
This is going to change soon, thanks to technology. And here lies the hidden embarrassment. From a visual viewpoint there is a percentage of the planet that visually speaking is much like being left-handed.
This is not an observable experience. There is a percentage of the planet that was simply not born with binocular (stereo) vision. This group of people does not know what your world looks like. The concept of stereo vision is as alien to them as it is for you to visually train your mind to go see your life in real-time and the past (fourth dimension viewing). I am not speaking of remembering I am talking about the ability to have the past of your life projected to your eyeballs. That is functionally impossible.
Equally, it is functionally impossible for people not born with stereoscopic vision to see in stereo video (or life). They were not born with the ability (unless an eye injury removed the ability).
Feeling sorry for them is as equally stupid as feeling sorry for you that you cannot see the past. How can you miss when you have never known? These people get through life just like you do. They just do it differently. And Autostereoscopy tricks their vision and their mind into seeing 3-D. The results are never good. Their brains are suddenly given data it has never processed before. To a person with normal eyesight this is like you could see the past and present and the future all at once. Your brain is simply not built with the experience to handle that sort of data input.
Let us put a stake in the ground in the search engine world herein now. Autostereoscopy will be a medical issue for people without native 3-D vision. At best it will cause headaches. Borderline cases of epilepsy which suddenly manifests as acute. Lawsuits will begin.
Ah, the unintended consequences of progress.
Laser TV Technology: Set to Revolutionize the TV Technology
There are several display concepts that get discovered every now and then. However, many of them rarely make it past the prototype stage. Besides, those that succeed are usually too small and weak to beat the $100 billion Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) industry. However, there is a display start up by the name Prysm that is convinced that its Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) has the perfect integration of energy efficiency, picture quality and manufacturing simplicity that stand a chance to surpass the stiff competition.
The Prysm Company is based in San Jose and has caught the attention of the media especially because of the claims that the technology is more energy efficient. The Chief Technology Officer of the company claims that their technology only consumes ¼ of the power used by the LCD and also requires about 1/10 of the power used by the Plasma. The main difference between the two technologies is that LPD shines brighter.
The physics applied in saving power is simple according to the Hajjar the Chief technology officer. Other competing technologies normally require threshold power even for keeping the screen black However, lasers in LPD are allowed to rest when the screen darkens thereby saving power.
Light transmission technology in LPD is also straightforward. Beams of light composed of several UV lasers are transmitted by some movable mirrors to a screen made using plastic-glass hybrid material covered using colored phosphor stripes. The laser creates an image on the screen through scanning various lines from top to bottom. Then the energy acquired from the laser light triggers phosphor to release photons that in turn create image.
LPD has significant difference from the LCD which involves a backlight that can be made from either cold-cathode florescent of white LED light is directed to the optic layers including liquid crystals and color filters to make the image. Above 90% of energy is lost during this process. However, the conventional laser TV such as Mitsubishi LaserVue utilizes blue, green and red lasers and micromirror gadgets that combine and direct light. This technology is basically rear-projection display but its use has not been widely embraced as a result of the high price tag.
The LPD technology is almost similar to that used in the old-fashioned cathode ray tube (CRT). In the CRT, a magnet takes an electron beam to a phosphorous covered screen. But since LPD utilizes solid state lasers that are more compact and uses less power, it makes it possible for it to be made thinner and energy efficient and at the same time have same high quality of images.
The LPD technology is available especially as a result of the fast development of compact-state lighting. The fast development of LED as alternative lighting is enhancing development of LPD technology since the kind of phosphorous used in manufacturing LPD is similar to that used in coating LED light applications. The growth of LPDs is much dependent with the development of the LED lighting industry because it facilitates easy available of the raw materials. The availability of these raw materials on the shelf will save this company the hassle of having to construct semi-conductor fabrication plant like other display companies normally do. The construction of fabrication plant is normally expensive and takes a lot of time to get it running.
The reduced investment and production cost of LPD is crucial since it will allow the units to come at a lower price tag but high quality. These factors are the excellent requirements required by the best match to compete with the high muscled LCD. People are now looking for affordable high quality products and that is exactly what LPD is aiming to deliver.