Sean Portnoy

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

Latest Posts

Now hear this: Toshiba's new TLP-X200U projector is first with voice guidance

Now hear this: Toshiba's new TLP-X200U projector is first with voice guidance

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.

November 5, 2008 by in Mobility

WD TV Media Player plays HD files from external hard drives on your TV

WD TV Media Player plays HD files from external hard drives on your TV

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.

November 3, 2008 by in Mobility

Mitsubishi's LaserVue HDTV is finally shipping

Mitsubishi's LaserVue HDTV is finally shipping

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.

October 28, 2008 by in Hardware

First Black Friday ads show up online: 50-inch Samsung plasma for $899.99

First Black Friday ads show up online: 50-inch Samsung plasma for $899.99

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.

October 27, 2008 by in Mobility

Vizio rolls out four new bargain-priced 1080p LCD HDTVs

Vizio rolls out four new bargain-priced 1080p LCD HDTVs

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.

October 21, 2008 by in Hardware

First tru2way HDTVs available from Panasonic

First tru2way HDTVs available from Panasonic

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.

October 15, 2008 by in Hardware

Hot rumor: Apple developing LCD HDTV with built-in networking, Apple TV?

Hot rumor: Apple developing LCD HDTV with built-in networking, Apple TV?

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.

October 11, 2008 by in Apple

DVDO unleashes Edge high-definition video processor/input hub

DVDO unleashes Edge high-definition video processor/input hub

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).

October 7, 2008 by in Amazon

CEATEC Roundup: Sony's 0.3mm OLED display, Sharp's solar-power TV, Panasonic's LifeWall concept

CEATEC Roundup: Sony's 0.3mm OLED display, Sharp's solar-power TV, Panasonic's LifeWall concept

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.

October 6, 2008 by in Hardware

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