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.
When I wrote about Sherwood last week, the company was releasing a budget Blu-ray player. Now it's its high-end Newcastle line making news with an A/V receiver that costs about six times as much.
It's highly debatable that you can tell the difference between 720p and 1080p HD content in sets under 50 inches, much less in models less than 42 inches, but that isn't stopping HDTV makers from bringing 1080p to sets as small as 32 inches. Vizio continues the trend with two new lines of 1080p LCD HDTVs that are priced to trump the competition as the company almost always manages to do.
LCD TVs with built-in DVD players generally come in smaller screen sizes and are often budget-priced. That may change if you add Blu-ray to the equation, which Sharp is apparently planning to do this December with the U.
The first generation of CableCards was pretty much a bust, as cable companies didn't want anything to do with the devices, which could replace a set-top box by being installed in TVs or home theater PCs (HTPCs). The disinterest was due to the fact that the technology only allowed communication in one direction: from the cable company to the user.
The Sherwood name has been attached to electronics for more than 50 years, but it may get some new visibility with its announcement that it's releasing the $299.95 BDP-5003 Blu-ray player next month.
Best Buy must get some huge margins from its Geek Squad tech support service, because it seems like everyone wants to copy that model of overcharging noobs for help with tech installations and troubleshooting. Circuit City has Firedog, and Office Depot has Tech Depot Services.
Just in case you wanted a new Apple rumor that didn't involve updated MacBooks and building laptops out of aluminum bricks, here's an inevitable-seeming one from tech guru Jason Calacanis, who tells our sister site CNET UK that Apple is planning an LCD-based HDTV that would sport built-in networking and (naturally) Apple TV.Considering everyone is clamoring to stream digital content into the living room (or bedroom, etc.
This one may be just for the Lehman Brothers and AIG execs of the world, because I'm not sure anyone else can afford Game Cabinets' new $3,995 Intellitunes digital jukebox in this economy.What do you get for all that money?
Home theater fans who aren't satisfied with their HDTVs' built-in video processing and/or just can't get enough HDMI ports into their setups may want to take a gander at DVDO's new Edge, which combines technology from Anchor Bay to improve video quality while also doubling as an A/V hub. At $799, it costs as much as some new TVs, but for video snobs it's more affordable than other options (such as buying a whole new set with the latest processing tech).
While we all wait around until January for the Consumer Electronics Show, an event like CEATEC Japan can give us a taste of the future for home theater. And since ZDNet didn't offer to fly me over there to check it out first-hand (cough, next year, cough), I had to do the next best thing: Scour the Internet for the coolest technologies other folks got to stand in front of and drool over.