Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 11, 2013 0 comments

Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving, and the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s a day when hordes of Americans head out to the local mall or Walmart, ready to fill their carts and, if necessary, take you out should you stand in the way between them and a good deal. TV maker Vizio has traditionally released a new model or two just in time for Black Friday — often at prices well below the norm for sets in their category/screen size. The E601i-A3, a 60-inch edge-lit LED LCD, was one such special, having reportedly sold for $699 on that day — a price that is, well, insane. But now that the E601i has bobbed back to a more real-world, though still very affordable, $999, it’s time to check out how it stacks up against the competition.

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 09, 2013 0 comments

Need a good reason to buy a projector? How about this: Of all the video-display types, projectors provide the biggest image for your buck. Rear-projection TVs, which were once available in screen sizes up to 92 inches, used to be an even more affordable big-screen option, but the last manufacturer with a stake in rear-projector manufacturing, Mitsubishi, recently closed up on that biz.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 23, 2013 0 comments

Our main take-away from the 2013 CES was that this is going to be the year when OLED and 4K-rez “Ultra HD” TVs finally arrive. And by “arrive” I mean sitting in the store, waiting for you to buy ‘em. While this development is no doubt promising, you can also count on the advanced sets scheduled to hit stores later this year being expensive.

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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: Jan 07, 2013 0 comments

Breaking with tradition, Sony’s press event at CES was a celeb-free affair. No Will Smith, no Taylor Swift, no that guy who acted in the most recent Spider-Man movie. The star of the show was clearly the company’s new Xperia Z smartphone, but I’m not going to talk about that. What I am going to discuss is 4K, aka “Ultra HD,” as the rest of the industry seems to be calling it. 

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 07, 2013 0 comments

For me, LG’s CES press conference was an anti-climax: The company had already announced its 2013 TV and Blu-ray/audio offerings in a conference call a few weeks prior to the event. The upside was I didn’t have to take many notes —something that’s not always easy to do at 8 a.m. when you’re jet-lagged. Here are the highlights.

Smart TV

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 02, 2013 0 comments

Samsung is about to make good on a promise to make Smart TVs even smarter.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 02, 2013 0 comments

 

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 20, 2012 0 comments

If 2011 was the year that tablets took over, 2012 was unquestionably the year of the headphone. The market for headphones has exploded, and Sound+Vision has stepped up its coverage to handle the flow, with reviews of new ‘phones, along with related gear such as portable and desktop speakers, amps, and DACs appearing on a weekly basis at soundandvisionmag.com.

Al Griffin Posted: Dec 18, 2012 0 comments

When it comes to picture quality, LCD TVs ?with a full-array, “local dimming” LED backlight tend to outperform their edge-lit LED brethren by a not insubstantial margin. We’ve covered the particulars of LED backlight tech before, so I won’t get sidetracked in explaining it here, but the finer control afforded by a full-array design allows for improved contrast and, for the most part, better uniformity when displaying dark images. Sony was among the first TV makers to push full-array for LCD, and then mysteriously put the tech on hold. But it roared back in 2011 with the XBR-HX929 line, a series that pushed full-array to new heights. The newest such sets to arrive from Sony are the HX950 series, which started shipping in late 2012. Can they match, or even exceed, Sony’s vaunted HX929 TVs?

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