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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 01, 2006 0 comments

While it may not have the head-scratching cosmic significance of the classic choice between Goobers and Raisinettes, or even the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format war, the LCD vs. plasma question remains a hot topic. The casual shopper may simply want a flat panel TV no matter what the technology, but the serious videophile wants to know more.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Topping off Vizio’s 2014 offerings will be the company’s new Ultra HD Reference Series. The big news here is the inclusion of Dolby’s new High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. The Reference Series panels are capable of 800 nits of peak lunimance (just under 234 foot-lamberts).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 11, 2009 0 comments
This review is part of a five-way Face Off. Read the introduction and conclusions of the Face Off here.

Price: $900 At A Glance: The price is right • Good detail • Mediocre black and shadow detail

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 18, 2012 2 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $2,000 At A Glance: Wide, wide image on wide, wide movies • Outstanding detail and good color • Bright, punchy 3D • Minor issues need sorting out

It was just a year or so ago when I first noticed that most of the movies I looked forward to experiencing on my home theater projection system were ’Scope films—productions with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 or 2.40:1. Comedies, documentaries, art-house fare, and virtually all HD broadcasts are mainly limited to 1.85:1, 1.78:1 (16:9), or 1.66:1 (European widescreen). Classic films, of course, are 4:3.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 19, 2011 0 comments
Price: $3,700 At A Glance: Excellent 2D performance • Excellent black level and shadow detail • Cheaper, lighter, passive 3D glasses

Vizio steps up with the first passive 3DTV, but will the world take it sitting down?

Since the advent of 3D for the home, the specter of pricey active shutter glasses that cost as much as $150 each has hung over the technology like a dark cloud. Many potential buyers are put off by the prospect of buying enough glasses to outfit the whole family, not to mention the houseful of friends who’ve come over to watch Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil in 3D. (Yes, Virginia, there is a Hoodwinked! sequel in the pipeline. Not many remember that the computer-animated Hoodwinked! was produced in 3D, probably because not many remember Hoodwinked! at all.)

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 08, 2010 3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $2,200 At A Glance: Outstanding resolution • Accurate color • Superior off-axis performance

LED Goes Main Street

I’m a 3D fan to a point. But after a steady diet of four (or was it five) 3D flatpanel reviews in a row, the opportunity to take a brief vacation from those ubiquitous 3D glasses was a pleasure, even as three more 3D sets lay waiting in the wings for our probing eyes and meters. Vizio plans to release its own 3D sets soon, possibly even by the time you read this. But for now, the 2D XVT553SV is the company’s premier offering.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
For 2014 Vizio announced three new lines of HDTVs in a bewildering range of sizes. The big news is that all of the new sets, including the cheapest 23-incher in the budget E-Series, will have full array LED backlighting with local dimming. The only compromise is in the number of LED zones behind the screen. The E-Series will have 16—not a lot, but at least potentially better than the edge lighting used in most other sets at equivalent or higher prices). The more upscale M-Series (shown in the photo) will have 32 zones.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 17, 2006 3 comments

After an extended absence, our popular opinion poll is back!
<I>
To check it out, either click on the "Vote" section in the link line just below the <I>Ultimate AV</I> logo on the top of our home page, or go directly there from <A HREF=" http://cgi.ultimateavmag.com/cgi-bin/displayvote.cgi">here</A>.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 13, 2012 2 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
When I was a wee lad, I was taken to a movie about a boy and his dog. It was a Lassie movie, I believe, although I was too young for that to mean anything. According to my mother, however, I cried so hard they could hear me in the back of the balcony. (All theaters had balconies in olden times.)
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 30, 2008 0 comments
HDTV for a song?

Modern display technology is becoming ever more complex. When I bought my first color television at Jurassic Electronics, it was a small 19-inch CRT job from Zenith. Remember Zenith? That set soldiered on for more than 20 years, the last eight or so performing second-string bedroom duties to a sleek new 25-inch Sony Profeel with a (drum roll, please) separate TV tuner. Both sets were CRTs. Remember CRTs?

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