Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

Sony’s sprawling CES press event was about. . . OK, it was about a lot of things. I took notes! According to the company’s overview release, it is “giving consumers more access to more content whenever and however they want it.”

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

Sharp kicked off the company’s 100th year with a slew of impressive CES product announcements. What you need to know is that the company is now all about really big screens — 60 inch or larger LED models to be exact.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

Dish Network would like you to know that most everything about the company is now new: new CEO, new DVR, even a new mascot (see video). To be sure, watching a CES press conference that kicked off with an executive cuddling a live baby kangaroo qualified for me as new.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments

LG packed info about lots of new stuff into its CES press conference: refrigerators, phones, washer/dryer combos — you name it, they announced it. But the appliances I came to hear about were the TVs.

Al Griffin Posted: Dec 28, 2011 0 comments

Much of the R&D effort for Panasonic’s TVs gets funneled into plasma technology — with excellent results. (Check out the TC-P55VT30 in our Editors’ Choice Awards here.) But as we found out this time last year upon reviewing the company’s TC-L42D2, it also makes sets of the LCD persuasion. Quite a few of them, in fact.

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 30, 2011 0 comments

Passive 3D and edge-lit- LED come together in Toshiba’s affordable TV. While other manufacturers of 3D TVs make the case for which is better — sets that use active- or passive-glasses technology — Toshiba’s long-term 3D strategy is to dump glasses altogether.

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 02, 2011 0 comments

It’s that time of year again when the undead walk the earth. But along with ghosts, vampires, and zombies, another partially animated entity haunts us: Blu-ray players in need of a firmware update.

Al Griffin Posted: Oct 19, 2011 0 comments

When they first arrived a few years back, LED-driven LCD TVs with a full array backlight made a big splash. Why? Because the backlight, a grid of LED lamp modules spanning the rear of the display panel, can be modulated via local dimming — a process that enables the set to track specific areas in the image, turning select modules on, off, or somewhere in between.

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 27, 2011 0 comments

As an A/V connection standard, HDMI has its downsides: limited cable length, glitches, slow switching, and version upgrades that make new gear incompatible with old stuff — the list goes on. But a major upside is that one interconnect can handle the jobs previously carried out by a thick wad of cables. In its most current version, HDMI 1.4, a single link will convey high-def video/multichannel audio, link devices to a local network (HDMI Ethernet Channel), and route audio signals from a TV back out to an A/V receiver  (Audio Return Channel). Sweet!

But any TV making the hook-up also needs to be plugged into a power socket. That means an additional wire, plus the logistical problem of locating a TV near an AC outlet — or, for a wall-mounted installation, of embedding one within the wall (a task that generally requires the services of an electrician). Wouldn’t it be great if HDMI also carried power?

HDMI can’t. But HDBaseT can.

Al Griffin Posted: Sep 20, 2011 0 comments

While Panasonic plasmas traditionally excel on the picture-quality front, they’ve lagged a bit behind other flat-panel TVs when it comes to style. Take last year’s VT25 series. The picture on those sets was hard to fault (the 50-incher we reviewed won our 2010 Video Product of the Year award), but when positioned alongside new, ultra-slim plasmas from companies like Samsung, the Panasonic’s 3-inch panel depth and thick gloss-black bezel rendered it caveman-like by comparison.

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