While Circuit City has pretty much crashed and burned, Best Buy has chugged merrily along. But the electronics retailing giant has just made a pessimistic forecast of its year-end earnings, which led many to think its Black Friday special were going to be something special.
Sean Portnoy covers HDTVs, Blu-ray, home theater equipment, and anything else that turns the living room into your media center.
Sean Portnoy is a former executive editor at Computer Shopper magazine and editor at CNET Networks.
Research firm DisplaySearch has released its third-quarter report on the state of the TV market, and it shows that the crummy economy is finally starting to erode sales growth for HDTVs. Manufacturers shipped 6 percent more sets to retailers than in the second quarter, while year-to-year growth is 12 percent.
One of the most popular posts since this blog started concerned whether people would use all-in-one PCs as their primary HDTVs. While all-in-ones from Sony may work for apartments or if you want an HDTV in your office, the fact is that a 24-inch or 26-inch screen isn't going to cut it in most living rooms.
It looks like Samsung plasmas are going to be one of the hot tickets this holiday season, as two leaked Black Friday ads are already listing these sets at sub-$1,000 prices. I posted a couple of weeks ago about Sears offering a 50-inch Samsung plasma for $899.
Like seemingly every other tech company, Sony has been trying various approaches to bridging the gap between the living room and the PC, whether it's the VAIO VGX-TP25E Home Theater PC or the KDL-52WL140 HDTV, which can stream media via its Internet Link module. Now it's released another device for this space, the VGF-HS1 VAIO home server, in a very low-key fashion on its Sonystyle.
A small but strong niche has built up around using projectors (either of the LCD or DLP variety) as the cornerstone of home theater setups instead of an HDTV. For those thinking about making the switch, Toshiba is attempting to idiot-proof the move with its new TLP-X200U projector, which comes with voice instructions that cover how to operate the device as well as announce to the user when lamps and air filters need to be checked.
With HD streaming still in its infancy, a lot of different approaches are being thrown against the proverbial wall as to how to best get your high-def content from the computer to your HDTV. Western Digital is offering a fairly low-tech method with its new WD TV Media Player unit, which serves as a midwife between a USB-based hard drive and your set (thanks to its HDMI port) for $129.
Last month, I asked if people would consider using an all-in-one PC as their HDTV. Now Dell is giving you another option to consider with its upgrade to the XPS One PC.
It's been a long, long time, but Mitsubishi has finally made its laser-based HDTV, the 65-inch LaserVue, available to the public, for a price that's laser-focused on bleeding-edge types' deep wallets: $6,999.As you can probably surmise, the LaserVue uses lasers as its light source, an innovation that Mitsubishi claims offers twice the color gamut of typical HDTVs and consumes only one fourth the power plasma TVs require and one third the energy LCD sets need.
Try as they might, big retailers can't stop their ads for Black Friday (otherwise known as the day after Thanksgiving and unofficial start of the holiday shopping season) from leaking online often weeks in advance. This year, Sears has the dubious distinction of being the first major retailer of HDTV and home theater components to have its plans placed online at Black Friday sites.