LCD TV REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2009 0 comments

At last year's CEDIA Expo, Sharp unveiled it's first LCD TV with LED backlighting and local dimming. Not only that, it's ultra-thin—about 1 inch at the top and side edges, thickening to 2 inches in the middle. The image it produced on the show floor was stunning, with deeper reds and darker blacks than most LCDs are capable of.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2009 0 comments
Price: $12,000 At A Glance: Superb blacks • Exceptional resolution • Inaccurate color

Ultra Black and Ultra Thin

Less than two years after I accompanied a group of American journalists on a visit to a new Sharp factory, the company has developed yet another new plant. This one can support an even larger mother glass. On that same visit, we also witnessed examples of the company’s cutting-edge R&D, including new, ultra-black technology.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 06, 2009 0 comments
Price: $2,600 At A Glance: Excellent detail, blacks, shadow detail • SRT sharpens DVD material surprisingly well • Mediocre video processing • Poor onboard audio quality

Upscale Performance

With the format war behind it, Toshiba is concentrating on improving the look of standard-definition content on high-def displays. A new upconversion-enhancement technology called Super Resolution Technology (SRT) is now available in some of Toshiba’s latest LCD HDTVs, including the top-of-the-line Cinema Series. The largest of this series is the 52-inch 52XV545U reviewed here, and 46- and 42-inch versions also available.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 03, 2009 0 comments
Price: $1,800 At A Glance: Superb color and resolution • First-rate standard-def video processing • Mediocre blacks and shadow detail

From Sharp Minds

Sharp is a prime mover and shaker in the flat-panel business. The company has been dedicated to LCD technology from the beginning of the beginning—all the way back to the earliest LCD pocket calculators.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 18, 2009 0 comments

Vizio is the little company that could. Founded only six years ago, it has risen to be ranked number two in US flat-panel sales. How can this be? A combination of good performance and low prices, that's how.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 17, 2009 0 comments
This review is part of a four-way Face Off. Read the introduction and conclusions of the Face Off here.

Two of the LCD sets in this Face Off, including the Samsung, produce black levels that were unheard of in LCD flat panels until recently. Like the Sony in this group, the Samsung LN55A950 uses clusters of multicolored LEDs as a backlight, together with local dimming of the individual clusters as required by the program material. The LN55A950 is the larger of Samsung’s second generation of LED local-dimming sets.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 17, 2009 0 comments
This review is part of a four-way Face Off. Read the introduction and conclusions of the Face Off here.

Despite the market penetration of LCD flat panels—they significantly outsell plasmas—LCD technology has two serious shortcomings. Off-axis viewing is one—we’ll get to that a bit later. The other is how they handle blacks and deep shadow detail. But a new design technique, LED backlighting with local dimming, promises to change all that. (See sidebar on page 37.) Both the Sony and the Samsung use it.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 21, 2009 0 comments
Price: $3,299 At A Glance: Unique audio design • Inaccurate color tracking • Blacks measure better than they look

LCD Picture, Widescreen Sound

Many of today’s flat-panel HDTVs can look amazingly good. But when sets frequently offer similar features that differ mainly in name, it’s hard for any particular model to break loose from the yada, yada, yada sameness of the pack. That is, unless the manufacturer can convince the consumer that its Super Dynamic Image Enhancer is something he’s just gotta have.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 29, 2008 0 comments
Price: $5,000 At A Glance: State-of-the-art black level and shadow detail • Superior color and HD resolution • 480i video processing could be better • Poor off-axis viewing

XBR Goes LED

LCD flat panels now dominate the television marketplace. But despite their popularity, they have been notably inferior to the best plasma sets in the depth of their blacks and the quality of their shadow detail.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 19, 2008 1 comments

Many companies have gotten into the LCD TV game over the last few years, hoping to capitalize on the high demand for flat panels. But most are newcomers compared to Sharp, which was among the first to offer LCD TVs in Japan way back in 1988. Since then, Sharp has remained ahead of the curve in terms of manufacturing and environmental concerns, investing billions of dollars in new plants and processes.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 04, 2008 0 comments

With the format war behind it, Toshiba is now concentrating on improving the look of standard-definition content on high-def displays. A new upscaling-enhancement technology called SRT (Super Resolution Technology) is now available in some of Toshiba's latest LCD TVs, including the top-of-the-line Cinema Series.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 24, 2008 0 comments
Price: $4,999 At A Glance: Exceptional black level and shadow detail• Accurate color & superb resolution • Superior video processing • Limited acceptable viewing angle

Light Me Up, Dim Me Down

Last year, Samsung launched its first generation of LCD flat-panel sets with LED backlighting, the 81 Series. These sets were exciting in a number of ways. LEDs offer potentially superior color performance compared with conventional fluorescent backlights and also provide lower energy consumption.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 19, 2008 1 comments

As you may well know by now, LED backlighting is the Next Big Thing in LCD TVs. Samsung's <A href="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/flatpaneldisplays/samsung_ln55a950_lcd_tv/"... and its 46-inch sibling are the company's second-generation offerings, and others are following suit.

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Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Nov 17, 2008 0 comments

Samsung's LN55A950 seems destined to generate controversy among the videophile community. Some will insist that it's the best-looking LCD TV on the market; others will say, well, otherwise. Both arguments are likely to revolve around the LED-backlighting technology that differentiates this high-end model from nearly all other currently available LCD TVs.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 10, 2008 0 comments
Price: $2,600 At A Glance: Excellent image depth • First-rate resolution, particularly in HD • Frame interpolation can’t be defeated • Colors are pleasing but not accurate

120 Hertz and All That Jazz

It hasn’t been that long since JVC left the rear-projection business. Its LCOS designs were among the best on the market—which is appropriate for a company that still makes LCOS front projectors.

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