Plasma and LCD Displays

Philips 42PF9630A Plasma HDTV Review

philips 42pf9630a plasma hdtv Home Theater Mag has a new review of Philips’ 42-inch Plasma HDTV. And yes, with a native resolution of 1024×768, this baby is true HD.

This has the Philips bling feature of Ambilight, which is offered by no other HD set manufacturer.

This reviewer notes some black crush. Trying to compensate caused some digital noise, over which a weaker black-level was preferred.

Standard def upconversion could be better as well, other plasmas do a bit better job of it.

HDMI input was considerably better than over component.

This machine also has USV inputs – pop in your thumb drive and view photo slideshows or listen to playlists right away. That’s a great feature.

Even with all of its features, the 42PF9630A’s price is competitive with, if not better than, other 42-inch plasma HDTVs from the big-name manufacturers.

The 42PF9630A is a solid performer with appealing features, including a memory-card reader and USB ports that let you easily play music and view photos from your computer without setting up a network.

Full Review: Philips 42PF9630A Plasma HDTV

Pioneer PDP-4360HD Review

Pioneer PDP-4360HD Plasma HDTV Here is one of the new Pioneer Plasma Displays I mentioned last summer.

This machine looks like a strong contender, but it seems Pioneer is still having a small bit of trouble will black level performance. That coupled with the additional price the Pioneer brand brings, you may be happier spending your cash (or debt) on a Panasonic.

C/net tell us what they think about the PDP-4360HD:

The good: Extremely accurate color; able to reproduce deep blacks; solid feature package; sleek, glossy-black finish; excellent connectivity, including two inputs for HDMI and three for component video.

The bad: Blacks still not quite reference quality; minor visible low-level noise in dark material; high-quality inputs share input slots.

The bottom line: Pioneer’s PDP-4360HD offers improved black-level performance and excellent overall picture quality, but it costs a bit more than the competition.

Pioneer PDP-4360HD Reviews

Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1 Review

Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1Cnet takes a look at Sony’s 40-inch LCD Bravia HDTV. This 1366 x 768 native resolution HDTV is capable of displaying true HD, includes 2 component and 1 HDMI input, and sells for under $3200.

The rating? 7.7 “Very Good”

The good: Deep blacks and detailed shadows for an LCD; three component-video inputs; slick styling.

The bad: Expensive; poor color decoding with heavy red push; only one HDMI input.

The bottom line: While not quite as good for home theater as the best plasmas, the expensive Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1 puts on a pretty face and delivers an impressive picture.

Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1 Full Review

Panasonic TH-42PX500U Plasma Review

Panasonic TH-42PX500U Plasma HDTV Here’s a review of Panasonic’s plasma beauty, the TH-42PX500U.

She comes with HDMI, VGA and 2 component in. At a native 1024 x 768 resolution, she is not true HD, but she’s pretty close.

Review ratings:

Build Quality: 89
• Feels sturdy
• Seems solidly put together

Value: 95
• Just about the same performance, but significantly cheaper than its predecessor
• A plasma HDTV with good image quality

Features: 92
• TV Guide On Screen works pretty well
• The tuner works fairly well

Performance: 92
• Scaling is much improved
• It has the same great black level

Ergonomics: 92
• Backlit remote still doesn’t have direct input buttons
• Menus aren’t as pretty as last years’ but are easy to read

Overall Rating: 92
Keep the performance about the same but drop the price? Thanks, can I have some more? Once again, Panasonic has a great product at a great price, and, again, it’s more expensive than the competition but is worth the extra money. Now, if they’ll just increase the performance while reducing the price…

Panasonic TH-42PX500U Plasma HDTV

Philips 42PF9830A LCD Reviews

Philips 42PF9830A 42-inch LCD HDTV I just came across a couple of new reviews on Philips’ 42-inch LCD offering. Cnet and PCMag wrote these reviews within 2 days of each other, but offer different findings.

First up, CNET:

The good: Solid black-level performance for an LCD; video processing includes 2:3 pull-down; accurate primary colors; attractive styling; motorized swivel stand; built-in colored backlight.

The bad: No independent memory per input; color decoding accentuates red slightly; no dedicated PC input.

The bottom line: The Philips 42PF9830A is one of the best-performing LCDs we’ve reviewed, although it still doesn’t rival the better plasmas at this size.

Editors’ rating: 7.0 Very Good Cnet Review

And PCMag:

Impressive color accuracy with component video. Integrated bias lighting system (Ambilight 2). Tabletop stand with motorized swivel mechanism. Comprehensive scaling options.

Some A/V connections are difficult to access. Ineffective video processor. Noisy picture quality.

Bottom Line
The Philips 42PF9830A/37 is a 42-inch LCD HDTV that offers innovative features and an attractive design, but its picture quality suffers greatly from an ineffective video processor that has little effect on common image artifacts.

Editor Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Fair PCMag Review

“Our video processor tests with the challenging HQV Benchmark DVD earned the 42PF9830A/37 the dubious honor of being the worst-performing display to enter our labs. In particular, jagged-edge suppression and noise reduction with content containing motion were particularly ineffective, regardless of how we configured the image-processing features available in the setup menu. Our subjective evaluations, using DVD video and over-the-air HDTV, showed the above-mentioned artifacts, which significantly detracted from our viewing experience. The Philips FlatTV’s good color accuracy, image uniformity, and decent contrast ratio are meaningless if the viewer is constantly distracted by the flotsam of a subpar video processor.”

It sounds like this unit could use some work. If you’re interested in the ambilight feature and bling-0-matic motorized remote-controlled swivel, check this thing out in a store before buying.

Sheet of Plywood, Bucket of Paint and LCD HDTV – all at Home Depot

home depot logo
Maybe I’ve missed while on mission for those projector screen materials, but Home Depot now carries LCD flat panel TVs.

Seems like a perfect fit to me – DIY home theater, purchase what you need at America’s best DIY store.

They carry models for Sharp, Magnavox, Sylvania and Polaroid. Ok, so not the top of the line, but ya gotta start somewhere right?


Hitachi 42HDT52 Plasma Review

Hitachi 42HDT52 Plasma Display
We took a look at this Hitachi plasma with eCoustics a few weeks back, which was not a favorable one.

The guys over at Ultimate AV give this plasma a bit more credibility:

Stable, detailed, richly colored picture
Full feature set
Excellent remote

Mediocre black level
Inordinately high red push

There’s a lot to admire on this plasma. The feature set is complete, the price is good. The black level is not among the best I have seen, which is the only thing that keeps me from offering a high recommendation.

I still think you’ll get more bang for your buck with a Panasonic. But that’s just me.
Ultimate AV: Hitachi 42HDT52 Plasma Television – via HD Blog

Dell W3201C Review

Dell W3201CHere’s a review of Dell’s 32-inch LCD panel HDTV from Cnet.

This 1366 x 768 resolution piece can accept 1080p signals via HDMI, and displays HDTV proper at 720p.

The good: Accurate color; excellent selection of inputs; detachable speakers; slick external styling and menu system.

The bad: Relatively expensive; nondefeatable edge enhancement.

The bottom line: While we’d like to see its price drop a bit, the Dell W3201C’s impressive feature set and solid image quality definitely set it apart from the budget pack.

Overall, the Dell W3201C makes a compelling case for spending a few hundred dollars more than on no-name models, such as the Syntax Olevia LT32HV or the Maxent MX-32X3. The Dell’s copious selection of inputs, including two HDMI jacks, will definitely appeal to people with lots of gear, but people looking for the best bargain will probably still opt for one of the less-expensive no-name panels.

Dell W3201C Review

Sharp LC65D90U Aquos – World’s Largest LCD

Sharp Aquos LC65D90U 65-inch LCD Whoever says size doesn’t matter obviously doesn’t have a Home Theater. Sharp comes along and Bang! here’s a 65-inch LCD. Man, that’s just huge for an LCD.

This is a 1080p set with 4000:1 contrast ratio. The LC65D90U has a built-in HD tuner, has a response time of 12 milliseconds, is wall mountable, and features a detachable speaker assembly.

The Jones’ just can’t keep up with this kind of bling.

Unit is shipping now:



LG 42LP1DR The new 42″ LCD from LG, the 42LP1DR, is due out.

This ain’t your Daddy’s LCD HDTV, it features a 160GB hard drive for recording HD shows and movies. It also includes a card reader for pulling photos off of your memory cards.

160gb allows for 13 hours of HD content storage, or up to 63 hours of SD content.

Via Gizmodo