Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 14, 2010 0 comments
Last week, Sony invited hundreds of journalists to soundstages on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City California. The event: a kickoff of its new 3D component lineup, plus announcements of upcoming 3D software.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 26, 2007 2 comments

With Sony's recent announcement that it is discontinuing production of all rear projection sets, both LCD and SXRD, in favor of its flat panel LCD Bravia line, the video display landscape is becoming noticeably thinner. Yes, many major companies—Panasonic, Samsung, and Mitsubishi among them, continue to turn out rear projection televisions. But is the handwriting on the wall for this type of display?

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 22, 2004 0 comments

It's a new world. Though many of us lament the passing of the CRT as the premier video-display technology in most manufacturers' catalogs, that passing is happening rapidly. One of the favored alternatives is LCD, in both flat-panel and rear-projection designs. The latter, which use small LCD panels in conjunction with a projection lamp and optical path, are at present the more economical of the two—particularly in the larger screen sizes.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 28, 2002 0 comments

The cathode-ray tube, or CRT, has been the mainstay of direct-view sets since Philo Farnsworth exclaimed, "Uncle Milty, come here, I need you!" And when projection television entered the scene, the trusty CRT stayed the course. While new technologies are beginning to make inroads on the market, virtually all of today's rear-projection sets still use three separate CRTs to produce an image. Despite its challengers, the CRT still provides the best combination of quality and affordability a consumer can get in a one-piece set. But CRT sets are complex, fussy, and, when used in the large screen sizes consumers now demand, massive. A typical 60-inch-diagonal RPTV can weigh 250 lbs and take up more space than a large refrigerator.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 17, 2005 0 comments

Viewing a good movie in a darkened room is an immersive experience. The image and sound command your full attention. Nevertheless, large numbers of potential buyers avoid projectors because they don't want to watch television and video in a completely darkened room. Many are infrequent moviegoers whose reference viewing environment is a domestic space, not a darkened theater. (There's an audio equivalent to this. I know audiophiles&mdash;<I>audiophiles</I>&mdash;who prefer watching movies with mono sound because they've been watching movies on their television so long that they consider surround&mdash;or even 2-channel stereo&mdash;to be a distraction!)

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
Sony realizes that without 4K content, a 4k Ultra HD set isn't fully complete. There is, of course, the movie server the company has offered recently and continues to offer, with 120 movies now available for download onto it. There's also the promise, not yet in place, for downloading or streamimg 4K material from a range of Internet movie sites.

But perhaps the most interesting potential source may come from you, via Sony's new FDR-AX100 4K Handycam Camcorder. With 14-megapixel resolution, a Zeiss lens, Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization, and more, for $2000 you can record and play back your own timeless videos, either exasperating or thrilling friends and family alike with your inner Steven Spielberg.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
The VPL-VW600ES SXRD projector is Sony’s latest 4k home theater projector. It offers a full 4096 x 2160 resolution, a claimed peak brightness of 1700 ANSI lumens, and a stated 200,000:1 contrast ratio (with Sony’s dynamic Advanced Iris 3). Its HDMI 2.0 inputs will accept 4K sources at up to 60 frames per second.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 16, 2005 0 comments

Spring is traditionally the season when major consumer electronics manufacturers hold their annual line shows, showing new products that will be introduced during the year. With a late winter snowstorm raging in the northeast, Sony held their 2005 get-together in warm, sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 8.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 28, 2012 4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $2,600 At A Glance: Deep, uniform blacks • Superb out-of-the-box color and crisp detail • Head-tilt 3D crosstalk

The most popular, current approach to designing an LCD HDTV with LED lighting is to position the LEDs around the periphery of the screen and rely on diffusors to spread the light out uniformly. Sometimes (but not always) the brightness of the LEDs is also altered dynamically to help the LCD pixels create deep blacks, where needed.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 07, 2013 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,300 At A Glance: Rich black level and good shadow detail • New color technology • Bright, punchy 3D

The new KDL-55W900A is Sony’s newest, top-of-the-line, non-XBR set. All of the XBRs, going forward, will be Ultra HD (4K) sets, but the KDL-55W900A, as all of the KDL designs, is firmly in the standard HD, 1920 x 1080 camp. It’s an edge-lit design with local dimming, but its marquee feature has nothing to do with contrast and black levels. Color is the plot here, and Triluminos, a term Sony has used in the past (see sidebar), promises a wider color gamut.

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