Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 12, 2013 8 comments
Q What are the pros and cons of having a 2013 Panasonic plasma TV such as the TC-P55VT60 professionally calibrated? And what should I look for in a calibrator? —Scott Oakley / via email

Al Griffin Posted: Sep 05, 2005 0 comments

Unlike oxygen, food, or water, surround sound isn't necessary for survival. But if you recently upgraded to a slim, big-screen HDTV, you're probably feeling a need to update the audio part of your system with something equally tasty. Home theater used to mean huge tower speakers or chunky satellites paired with subwoofers that took up as many cubic feet as an SUV's gas tank.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 14, 2013 0 comments

If one thing was clear at CES 2013, it was that Smart features on top-of-the line TVs had advanced substantially over those found on last year’s models.

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 20, 2003 0 comments
Most new A/V trends are slow out of the gate. It seemed like forever before high-definition TV got off the ground, and audio formats like DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD are still struggling for recognition. By contrast, radical advances in computer technology seem to take the world by storm at least once a year. First there was the Web, which bleary-eyed users accessed via sluggish dial-up modems.
Al Griffin Posted: Mar 21, 2014 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Slick, speedy interface
3-TB hard disk for seemingly limitless recording
TiVo iOS app streams content in or away from home
Minus
Primitive Amazon Instant Video app

THE VERDICT
TiVo’s next-generation DVR makes TV watching a truly connected experience.

Last summer, after a nearly nine-year relationship, I showed my cable company–supplied DVR the door. Our life together had become increasingly untenable. My main gripe was that its limited-capacity hard drive put me in the constant position of having to delete old recordings to make room for new ones. It also had no connection options to link to a wired or wireless home network. These days, any component that can’t link to the Internet and communicate with computers, phones, and tablets is as good as junk. (We’ll give turntables a pass—for now.) Furthermore, my old DVR whirred and wheezed like the geezer it was, often emitting its loudest groans during music-listening sessions where I had no choice but to pull the plug.

Al Griffin Posted: Apr 02, 2006 0 comments

By now, LCD technology has all but taken over the small-screen TV category. You can still buy a small traditional tube set, but most folks looking for a TV to stick in a bedroom or kids' play area will find LCD more appealing. The main reason, of course, is the space-saving flat-panel screen.

Al Griffin Posted: Sep 30, 2009 0 comments

Sometimes, basic is the best way to go. Take the newest crop of LCD and plasma TVs: many new models are jam-packed with features that most viewers aren't likely to care about or use - everything from YouTube access to preloaded cooking recipes (I'm serious!). For its 650U series LCDs, however, Toshiba chose to keep things relatively simple.

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 09, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,099

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate color (after adjustment)
Good screen uniformity
Affordable price
Minus
Half-baked Cloud TV user interface
Not-great remote control

THE VERDICT
Smart TV shortcomings aside, Toshiba’s LCD offers very good picture quality at a low price.

With plasma TV tech seemingly on a path to early, unwarranted extinction, prospective TV buyers unwilling to spring for OLED soon won’t have much choice other than to purchase an LED-backlit LCD TV (aka “LED TV”). And while the performance of such sets has improved quite a bit over the years, the better ones are still expensive for what you get—particularly in comparison with same-sized plasmas. So, what’s a quality-conscious consumer to do? Roll over and get eat the high prices? Not necessarily.

Al Griffin Posted: Jan 21, 2010 0 comments
Key Features
$2,300 (list) tacp.toshiba.com
• 46-inch, 1080p-resolution screen

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