Al Griffin

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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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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 12, 2012 0 comments

Sound+Vision has enthusiastically reviewed nearly every music server put out by Olive since it first launched. But the company’s newest offering, the One music player, looks to be its most interesting product yet.

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 20, 2012 0 comments

Anyone shopping for a new set over the past year is likely to have encountered the term “Smart TV.” But what is a Smart TV? And why exactly should you want one? These are relevant questions because Smart TV is the latest marketing juggernaut to hit premium sets. Unless you make an effort to learn about Smart TV, there’s a chance you’ll end up paying for features that you don’t want or need.

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.

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