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TVs

Samsung, Fox announce expanded 4K content deal

Building on a content deal first announced at CES 2014, Samsung and 20th Century Fox today revealed what the companies are calling a "New UHD Content Ecosystem."

Said to deliver a variety of 4K (aka UHD) content using the Smart Hub platform built into Samsung's 2014 4K TVs, the partnership "will also explore additional collaboration opportunities in multiple areas of innovation."

Specifics beyond those vague buzzwords, for example timing, delivery mechanism, bandwidth requirements and cost, were scarce. We'll try to pry more details about the announcement from Samsung at its press event today in … Read more

Samsung prices 2014 TVs at the high end, adds curved offerings

Today Samsung announced official pricing on its vast array of new 2014 TVs, including numerous curved and 4K/UHD sets first introduced at CES 2014 last January.

They ain't cheap.

Samsung's 4K models start at $2,499 for a 50-inch size. Compare that to Vizio, for example, which is charging $999 for its cheapest 4K 50-incher. On paper, the Vizio even has a picture quality advantage over the Samsung, offering full-array local dimming compared to Samsung's edge-lit variety.

Then there's the company's newfangled curved TVs. The entry price there is $1,999 for a 48-inch … Read more

HDMI vs. optical: Which digital-audio connection to use?

When it comes time to connect your shiny new sound bar or AV receiver, your two main choices are HDMI or optical digital audio.

The simplest advice is to go with HDMI when you can. But if you can't it's not the end of the world.

Here are the pros and cons of each.… Read more

Ultra HD 4K TV Cheat Sheet

Ultra HD, colloquially known as "4K," is the latest buzzword, and the latest push from TV manufacturers.

While your next TV might not be Ultra HD, the one after probably will be.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about this latest advancement in TV technology.… Read more

Vizio's cheap E-Series TVs are brimming with local dimming

In the wake, in more than one sense of the word, of Panasonic's decision to stop making plasma TVs, there's now a hole in the TV market. It's right at the intersection of picture quality and value, a massive axle-rending divot left by the uncaring snowplow of market forces.

Absent as-yet-unannounced new plasmas from Samsung, this year it's up to LED LCD to pave the pothole. I'm pessimistic that any can reach the levels of bang/buck that the Panasonic S60 and ST60 achieved, but products like the Vizio E-Series -- with its affordable, effective … Read more

A plasma lover's guide to LED LCD

If you're fan of plasma TVs, last year's announcement by Panasonic that the company was no longer going to make them likely came as quite a blow.

So now what? What do you do if you want a new TV but want the picture quality of a plasma?

This guide leads you though all the available options. Some good, some bad, some painful. Welcome to the TV world of 2014.… Read more

LG slashes curved OLED TV price in half

LG has announced it's halved the price on the 55-inch 55EA9800 OLED screen it released in July 2013, which will now sell for under $7000.

The curved 55EA9800 originally retailed for $14,999.95, and after an earlier price cut in August, LG is now offering the screen for $7999 with an immediate $1000 rebate as of today.

In January 2014 it appeared the company was clearing stock to prepare for new models when three UK retailers offered deep discounts to £3,000 ($4,910) on the screen.

However, the UK price has since aligned with the new US pricingRead more

4K TVs with passive 3D: Finally, a good use for all those pixels

3D may be all but dead, at least on TV, but plenty of 3D films are still coming out in theaters and on Blu-ray. "The Hobbit." "Pacific Rim." "Man of Steel." "Thor: The Dark World." "The Wolverine." "Cars." "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2." "Gravity."

And numerous TVs are available with 3D capability -- and include the requisite glasses -- to handle playing those movies in the home. Until now, however, they all demanded severe picture quality sacrifices when you donned the glasses.… Read more

Is now a good time to buy a TV?

The TV industry moves in a predictable yearly price cycle.

New TVs, first announced in January at CES, hit the market in February and throughout the spring, for prices close to the manufacturer's suggested retail price -- but not so close that Amazon et al can't still claim "20% off."

As the year progresses those prices typically fall a little, but the steep discounts don't set in until November, the herald of the holiday season. Often the prices fluctuate slightly throughout the holidays, until the traditional buying spree ends.

Then it's time for the … Read more

Where should I put my TV?

No matter what size or type of TV you're considering, ponder placement for a moment. Maybe that spot that's always been home for the TV isn't ideal. Maybe a slight shuffle of furniture will yield better picture quality, or allow for a larger TV.

I can't come to your home to help with ideas (sorry), but I can give you some dos and don'ts when it comes to TV placement, to point you in the right direction (i.e., toward the screen). … Read more