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Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 16, 2010 0 comments

For some, 3D TV’s arrival came on a bit too suddenly. Avatar was still lighting up theater screens when the first 3D sets checked in to tempt us with the promise of stereoscopic golf tournaments — as if that alone was reason enough to buy a new TV. But while it’s easy to dismiss the whole matter as a marketing-driven phenomenon, even the most cynical consumer would be foolish to not at least consider the possibility that they might one day want to watch things in 3D.

Al Griffin Posted: Oct 16, 2012 0 comments

For a company whose supposed emphasis is LCD TV manufacturing, LG sure makes some good plasmas. Its 50PZ950, which we reviewed in the September 2011 issue, earned a Certified & Recommended stamp, both for its accurate, eminently tweakable picture and for its innovative Magic Motion remote-controlled “Smart” GUI. New for 2012 is the 50PM9700, which follows in its predecessor’s footsteps by being THX 3D-certified, Smart, and also Magic Motion remote-controlled. There are a number of other differences between the two models, but here’s one that immediately stands out: At $1,299, the 50PM9700 sells for about $300 less than the 50PZ950.

Al Griffin Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments

The Short Form

Al Griffin Posted: Jan 27, 2011 0 comments

When I first checked out one of Mitsubishi's Unisen "Immersive Sound" LCD TVs (the LT-46153, reviewed here), I was struck by the ingenuity of mounting a full-featured soundbar into the set's cabinet. And when I eventually connected a subwoofer to the TV, powered it up, and let a movie rip, I was floored by the room-filling sound - something you don't expect from a flat-panel model.

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 20, 2012 0 comments

Two years ago, I found myself listening to Monitor Audio’s flagship Platinum Series towers in the company’s CES demo room and thinking, Who drops 10 grand on a pair of speakers, no matter how good they sound?

Al Griffin Posted: Jun 05, 2012 0 comments

One argument made by naysayers when 3D TV first arrived was that the feature would jack up prices for flat-panel sets. That did prove sort of true at first, but 3D was quickly folded into the general feature package for most TVs, leaving set prices to continue their downward trajectory. Case in point: Panasonic’s new TC-P55ST50. The first Panasonic 3D TV I reviewed 2 years back had a 50-inch screen and cost $2,600. But the company’s new P55ST50 3D plasma has a larger, 55-inch screen and costs around $1,600. Depending on how the rest of this review plays out, that could mean we have a serious bargain on our hands.

Al Griffin Posted: Sep 10, 2010 0 comments

Along with Samsung, Panasonic has been pushing hard to bring 3D TV to both early adopters and regular folks who happened to catch Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3, or one of the other recent 3D blockbusters at their local multiplex. But whereas Samsung is neutral when it comes to displays, offering 3D TVs in LCD and plasma flavors, 3D for Panasonic is all about plasma. The company’s initial VT20 Series sets were made available exclusively through Best Buy.

Al Griffin Posted: Aug 20, 2008 0 comments

Last year's lineup of Pioneer Kuro plasmas established a new benchmark for flat-panel HDTV performance, with the sets serving up deep-black backgrounds that were unlike anything we'd seen on a plasma or LCD model before - or since (See the review of the PRO-110FD in

Al Griffin Posted: Aug 23, 2012 0 comments

There are two stories to tell about Samsung’s new E8000 line of plasma TVs. The first, and likely the more compelling one for S+V readers, is that the E8000 continues Samsung’s streak of putting out plasmas that meet videophile standards for color accuracy, contrast, and shadow detail. The second is that the E8000 is one of the company’s flagship “Smart TV” lines. This basically means that every Smart feature you can think of has been tossed in, including voice and gesture control, face recognition, Web browser, interactive fitness training — the list goes on.

Al Griffin Posted: Jan 30, 2012 0 comments

I won’t assume that everyone will know what I’m talking about when I drop the word “Kuro,” but longtime Sound+Vision readers may recall a line of high-end, and accordingly high-priced, Pioneer Elite plasma TVs that we heaped praise upon back in the day.

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