Gary Merson

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Gary Merson Posted: Mar 26, 2008 0 comments
The rest of the 07 crop.

In the November 2007 issue, I tested 74 HDTVs for their ability to process 1080i signals, the highest resolution standard found on most of the broadcast and cable networks. A number of the remaining HDTVs to be introduced in 2007 arrived too late for our November issue. We decided to follow up with some more displays. Due to space constraints, this article will refer to previous articles more than we normally do. On the bright side, all the articles mentioned (including the November 2007 test) are available on this site.

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Gary Merson Posted: Nov 15, 2007 0 comments
The 2007 HDTVs

This time last year, we tested 61 2006 HDTVs to learn how they process all the detail contained within 1080i, the most common high-definition broadcast format. It's the highest resolution format the majority of HD broadcasters and cable channels use, including CBS, NBC, CW, HBO, and Showtime. The results of our 2006 tests were quite disappointing; less than half of the HDTVs were able to properly process the interlaced broadcast signal to the TV's native, progressive resolution. This year, we have expanded our testing to include 74 HDTVs that range from 19 to 67 inches. We have added a new test for 1080p displays to judge their resolution with motion as compared to their stationary resolution. This test illustrates how all HDTVs lower the amount of detail you can see when the camera is panning or where there is action in a scene, such as on a football field. More on this later.

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Gary Merson Posted: Dec 31, 2006 0 comments
Can hot cathodes increase your viewing pleasure?

The battle of flat-screen technology is heating up, and LCD makers are fighting each other for technological superiority. As we reach the end of 2006, the production of 40-to-42-inch LCDs has grown, while pricing has reached parity with plasma displays in this size range. The list of competitive makers of LCDs in this size is exploding, creating a race to innovate. Enter Philips' latest flat panel, the 42PF9831D. This top-of-the-line LCD has a number of industry firsts, including Philips' own Aptura backlight. Aptura is designed to sharpen fast-moving images, solving one of LCD's common shortcomings. The 42PF9831D is a 1,366-by-768 high-definition display with Ambilight Full Surround technology, Philips' exclusive four-sided screen lighting system (more on this later). It also features Clear LCD signal processing—which works with the Aptura backlight for faster response time—CableCARD, a memory-card reader, and Pixel Plus 3 upconversion.

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Gary Merson Posted: Oct 11, 2006 0 comments
Earlier this year, we tested 54 2005 HDTV sets to learn how they process all the detail contained within 1080i high-definition signals. The results were disappointing. Slightly less than half of the models tested failed to properly deinterlace a 1080i high-definition signal, resulting in a loss of picture resolution. Thanks to our readers' response to dealers when shopping for high-definition TVs, a number of manufacturers took notice.
Gary Merson Posted: Jul 24, 2006 0 comments
One of the biggest complaints about high-definition televisions pertains to the poor way they handle standard-definition television signals (broadcast, over-the-air, cable, satellite) and SD DVDs. The culprit? Mediocre to poor source material and the herculean effort needed for an HDTV using as many as 1,920 by 1,080 pixels to calculate all the missing pixels when it upconverts a signal that is interlaced with only 720 by 480 pixels or less. In the words of President Bush, "It's hard work."
Gary Merson Posted: May 26, 2006 0 comments
HD DVD has (finally) arrived.

A new prerecorded video format is big news. It doesn’t come along every day. It’s been nine years since DVD was release, and it was 19 before that since LaserDisc. Enter HD DVD. Its higher transfer rate (35.5 mbps versus broadcast’s 19.4 mbps maximum) and advanced codecs (VC-1 and H.264) create a potential for audio and video quality to far exceeds broadcast HD, as well as containing a host of new features and capabilities. The first two models are the HD-A1 ($499) and HD-XA1 ($799). Both have the same performance; the step-up HD-XA model adds a better enclosure, a motorized door, RS-232, and a backlit remote.

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Gary Merson Posted: May 25, 2006 0 comments
What's the difference?

The next generation of prerecorded video content is here. The new machines use a blue-violet laser to read discs with far more storage capacity than current standard-definition DVD, and they can play high-definition content in full 1,920-by-1,080 resolution. The big attraction is the promise of the best picture quality you have ever seen on a display. The prerecorded, high-definition content offers pristine, near-perfect images with fewer artifacts (noise and blocking) than is possible today with broadcast or D-VHS content.

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Gary Merson Posted: May 04, 2006 0 comments

Wish your satellite or digital cable-TV provider offered more high-definition channels, or maybe just a better picture? Take heart: now rolling out, VERIZON FiOS TV delivers more than 350 standard-def channels as well as 20-plus high-def ones. FiOS TV - that's Fiber Optic Service - is already available in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Texas.

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Gary Merson Posted: May 03, 2006 0 comments
Which displays have it and which don't.

The current top HDTV broadcast resolution is 1080i (interlaced). Most television and cable networks use it, including CBS, NBC, the WB, HBO, Showtime, HDNet, The Movie Channel, Starz HDTV, and others. What happens to this HDTV signal when one of the latest digital HDTVs processes it? Does it take the full 1,080 lines of transmitted resolution, change the signal from interlaced to progressive (called deinterlacing), detect and compensate for motion, and send it to the screen, as it should? Or does the display's processor cheat you out of seeing all the detail within the broadcast?

Gary Merson Posted: Jul 10, 2005 0 comments
The Short Form
DIMENSIONS 14 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches PRICE $229 MANUFACTURER Pro Brand International, Continue Reading >

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