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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
Toshiba never really went anywhere, but they’ve kept a low profile for the past couple of years. No longer. The company’s Ultra HD 4K models, scheduled to roll out this summer, are a step back into the game.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 2 comments
Samsung’s new Auto Depth Enhancer, on its 9000 and S9 Ultra HD sets, analyzes different areas of the screen and adjusts their contrast separately to provide a greater illusion of depth with 2D sources. In a side-by-side comparison with one of Samsung’s 2013 sets, it definitely worked. There was a bit of the cardboard cutout 3D look, but since the depth enhancement, while appealing, was subtle, this wasn’t bothersome.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 1 comments
I tried to get a glimpse of Samsung’s curved 105-inch 2.35:1 widescreen TV on the show floor, but in the Samsung booth was packed and the area around the set inaccessible. But I got a later look at a closed-room Samsung demo. On the left here, to provide a size perspective, is Samsung’s Mike Wood—a one-time regular at Home Theater who has now forsaken balmy Southern California for the cold, windswept snowdrifts of the Garden State, where Samsung has its U.S. headquarters. On the right is current Sound & Vision editor in chief Rob Sabin.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
While curved HDTVs appeared to be the order of the week at CES, particularly among Korean giants LG and Samsung (see above), Sharp stuck with flat screens for its impressively wide 2014 lineup of both Ultra HD and standard 1080p HD (the operative industry word for the latter now appears to be “Full HD”).
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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: Jan 07, 2014 1 comments
The Holy Grail of 3D has long been 3D without glasses—technically known as autostereoscopic 3D. But past CES demos of this technology have been notable duds.

The only way to do 3D without glasses is to process the image so that the images to each eye are isolated. But this has a side effect. You can see the 3D when viewed straight on. Move off center by a few degrees and the 3D disappears, taking some image quality with it. Move a bit further off-axis and the 3D returns. And so on—and off. The result is you get 3D only in a limited range of viewing zones, and poor image quality in others.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2014 2 comments
Ain't it the truth!
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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: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Vizio also announced five new Ultra HD sets in its P-Series. These UHD designs will have 64 zones of local dimming and will be available in 5-inch increments from 50-inches ($999!) to 70-inches ($2600). They will, of course, have all of Vizio’s smart TV features.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
LG isn’t just talking HDTV picture quality this year. Like other manufacturers, it’s now it’s into everything but the kitchen sink—actually they may be into that as well. In any event, if you can plug it in or it runs on batteries, LG probably makes it.

Even in TV, various forms of Smart TV and how they can light up your life are front and center this year with every TV maker. But quality HDTV and Ultra HD are my beats today and I’m sticking to them.

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