Flat-panel TV stand from Sanus

Filed Under: Plasma and LCD Displays

sanus plasma stand
This Platinum model PFFP2b flat-panel TV stand from Sanus looks great. I thought, yeah! Great one! Until I saw the price. Over 500 bucks? Come on! Gimme a break. I think I could rent a welder, buy some steel stock and make my own for a fraction. And plus, I’d have fun at it. Hey this is a DIY site you know…

[UPDATE] Looks like this jewel can be had for a little over 3 Benjamins:

Seriously though, it does look like a solid stand with a neat tilt feature. If your flat screen needs a stand, and you’ve got a spare 500 300…

HD Beat

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Philips 50PF9830A Plasma Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

Philips 50PF9830A
Part of Sound and Vision’s Plasma in Steps article – the Philips 50PF9830A is reviewed. Let’s take a look at their findings, shall we?

The specs on this 50 inch plasma:

1366 x 768 Resolution
Inputs – HDMI, component, CableCARD, ethernet, flash card and USB
Built in HDTV tuner
Ambilight 2 whizbang yeow backlight technology (Sorry, I just don’t get it.)

Unit lists for $5300, street price for us homeys is around 4500 or less!

Pros
•Crisp-looking HDTV pictures.
•Sleek, attractive design.
•Swiveling TV stand.

Cons
•Single custom picture preset for all inputs.
•Mediocre shadow detail.
•Dark scenes look patchy.

BOTTOM LINE Crisp HDTV pictures, stylish looks, and a bunch of cool features like Ambilight 2 backlighting and a swiveling stand make the Philips 50PF9830A an appealing option for your flat-TV needs. The set’s overall image quality falls a solid notch below the other two models tested here, however, and the lone Personal picture preset for all of its video inputs was disappointing. But you can’t argue with the price, which is among the cheapest I’ve seen for a 50-inch plasma set.”

Sound And Vision Magazine: Plasma in Steps (popups)

Via HD Blog

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ColorVision SpyderTV Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Misc - Other

SpyderTV HTGuys just took a look at the ColorVision SpyderTV.

If you’re like me, and you think anything is worth doing to the utmost perfection – at almost any cost, this thing is for you, too.

It basically attaches to the HDTV screen and detects when your set is optimally adjusted, taking a lot of guesswork out of the process. They ain’t cheap, at around 250 bucks, but it’s one of the tools of the trade, if you’re in it to win it.The entire calibration took about 30 minutes and was simple to do.

The experience consisted of making a selection on your DVD player, starting a measurement, and then making an adjustment on the TV. There is no subjectivity to the process. The only limitation is that the only inputs that can be calibrated are those that you can connect to a DVD player (same is true for the DVE DVD). What you can do for the inputs that you can not connect a DVD to is start with the settings from the DVD input and then make adjustments by eye if necessary,

The SpyderTV is an easy way to get the best picture out of your TV.

SpyderTV Review

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Tiger Woods Xbox 360: A Closer Look

Filed Under: HD Gaming

tiger woods xbox 360

I can feel the anxiety mount with gamers worldwide, as the 360 launch looms nearer. Get some game goodness beforehand:

IGN takes an in-depth look at the upcoming release for the new bling box for HD gaming.

To be honest, I’m someone who has grown tired of the Tiger series the last couple of years…the game is just too easy. But the advancements made to the six courses (undulations, realistic terrains), combined with all of the advanced Tiger 06 swing mechanics that now really make a difference in terms of ball placement and positioning really have me anticipating a return to the greens with the Xbox 360.

Besides, where else can I aim a wood right at a crowd of onlookers and swing away for a good laugh? It’s like the Colt 45 of videogames…works every time.

IGN: Tiger 360: A Closer Look

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Panasonic TH-42PX50U Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

Panasonic TH-42PX50U

Sound and Vision Mag take a look at this Panny Plasma as well as a couple other models. I prefer to stick to one model per topic here, so I’ll cover each separately.

Ok, this thing, first off is 1,024 x 768 resolution. That ain’t HD. It’s better than EDTV and most people probably won’t see a difference. If that’s cool with you, then your decision is cool with me. Just know what you’re getting. (1280 x 720 is the minimum for HD quality specs.)

Now, on to the rest.

Features of this 42″ model:

HDMI, component, cableCARD inputs
Built in HD tuner, built in speakers.

Unit lists for 3 grand, street price less than 2600. See above for best deals.

S&V Lowdown:
Pros:
•Crisp HDTV and DVD picture.
•Clean video processing of standard TV programs.
•Wide array of picture adjustments.

Cons:
•Expensive.
•Limited shadow detail with some programs.

BOTTOM LINE
With its clean, natural-looking picture, reliable built-in HDTV tuner, and, most important, affordable price (for a plasma TV, that is), Pana­sonic’s TH-42PX50U is a great option for plasma on a limited budget. If a 42-inch screen is big enough for you, this is a set that I can easily recommend.”

On the vanity side (yes I know), I like the stand. I prefer black, though…

Full Review: Plasma in Steps (WARNING – popups)

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‘Episode III’: Better at home than in the theater

Filed Under: Media - Movies - Games

star wars iii revenge of the sith
Awright, the last Star Wars release is available today! Star Wars, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is reported to be a great dvd with over 6 hours of extras.

I have to be honest – I never saw it in the theater. I know, I know – but I CAN’T go there anymore! Why should I pay 15 bucks per head, to sit it crummy seats with my feet on a sticky floor, listening to thousands of popcorn munch echoes, only to miss the best part of the flick when I need to go relieve myself?

I am spoiled, I don’t think I’ll ever go to the box office again. Really, though, why should I?

DVD extras – just another reason to wait for the home release, baby.

Article

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Panasonic PT-AE900U 3LCD Projector Review

Filed Under: Front Projectors, Home Theater Reviews

panasonic pt ae900u
Our Home Theater brethren over at AA, I mean Audioholics, have taken the Panasonic PT-AE900U for a thorough test drive. Here is what they found:

Pros
* ZERO screen door effect from real viewing distances
* Excellent contrast
* Deep, rich colors
* Consumer adjustment of RGB gain, cut and gamma
* Backlit LEARNING remote
* Finely adjustable color temperature
* 3000 hour lamp life
* Can move OSD position

Cons
* Requires calibration out of the box
* IR sensor on front only
* Overscan enabled by default
* More optical zoom would be welcome
* Friends may show up unexpectedly to watch movies
* No 12 V trigger

Conclusion

Settling back in and enjoying the Panasonic PT-AE900U I realized that this just might be one of the best price-for-performance projectors I’ve seen in a long time. By far, the best attribute of this product is the Smooth Screen technology that puts the nail in the coffin for screen door effect. Add to those decent blacks, exceptional color reproduction and a slew of features like lens shift and user-calibration of RGB brightness/contrast/gamma levels and you’ve got a winner for its $2200 street price. I would have no problem recommending this projector to anyone in the < $2500 budget range looking for an excellent front projection system." Looks like a winner, these guys can be trusted.

Panasonic PT-AE900U 3LCD Projector Review

And another review by ultimateAV here :PT-AE900U Review

Via HDBlog

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Xbox 360 Games Released by End of 2005

Filed Under: HD Gaming

xbox 360 games list - releases
Joystick has a list of games that is supposedly from a GameStop system printout. They list 41 games, but I shortened it here to the ones listed to come out by the end of this December.

(In my shallow reality, I can’t look farther forward – actually I want this stuff NOW!)

# Perfect Dark Zero Regular Edition: 11/07/05
# Kameo Elements of Power: 11/09/05
# Quake 4: 11/15/05
# GUN: 11/15/05
# Call of Duty 2: 11/15/05
# FIFA Soccer 2006: Road to World Cup: 11/15/05
# Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland: 11/15/05
# NBA 2K6: 11/15/05
# Need for Speed: Most Wanted OLC: 11/15/05
# Madden NFL 2006 OLC: 11/15/05
# NBA Live 2006 OLC: 11/15/05
# Tiger Woods PGA Tour OLC: 11/15/05
# Condemned: 11/15/05
# Ampled 3: 11/15/05
# Perfect Dark Zero: Collector Tin: 11/17/05
# Project Gotham Racing 3: 11/17/05
# Dead or Alive 4: 11/18/05
# King Kong: Peter J (STREET 11/22): 11/18/05
# NHL 2K6: 11/21/05
# Ridge Racer 6: 11/22/05
# Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: 12/05/05
# Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Coll Ed: 12/05/05

I am bummed to say I see that Ghost Recon: Advanced War Fighter has been bumped to Feb. Maybe Call of Duty 2 will make up for it.

41 Xbox 360 games & their release dates – Joystiq

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Cinego D-1000 Review

Filed Under: Front Projectors, Home Theater Reviews

cinego D-1000

Htguys take the Radio Shack Cinego D-1000 for a spin. Though they had some trouble with their demo unit, but they give it good marks overall.

Overall the Cinego was a great piece of equipment. It rendered an excellent DVD image, and the external subwoofer really added to the audio to give it that extra punch it needed. As a portable home-theater-in-a-box system, it was a lot of fun.

It would work great for outdoor movies, or as an impromptu movie player anywhere, anytime. For $1300, you really can’t beat it’s ease and simplicity. There’s virtually no setup required, just plug it in, plug in the subwoofer, connect one cable between them and you’re ready for action.

There are more advanced features, such as component video inputs and digital audio outputs, but they really aren’t necessary.

If you try one of these, be sure to buy it at your local RatShack and keep your receipt. They usually have easy returns, but be ready in case you need to send Guido in.

Full Review

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Sony KDS-R50XBR1 50-inch SXRD HDTV Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Rear Projection

sony kds-r50xbr1
HDBeat reader, Thom McCann, writes a personal review of his new 50″ Sony SXRD HDTV. I love reader reviews – no hype, no crap. They may not always be as technical as we sometimes like, but I’ll take authenticity over fanfare or specs any day.

At $3999, this set is on the expensive side for a rear projection system. It was $500 more than the equivalent Samsung. If not for the simple fact that it fit on my existing TV stand, then this review might have been about the Samsung HL-R5078W. All in all, the Sony SXRD 50 (it also comes in a 60 inch screen) is an awesome HDTV with a large range of features and high quality screen. I might just keep it.

I’ve read a lot about how great the picture on this set is. The only problem I have with this piece is the plastic frame around the screen which houses the speakers.

To me, it looks like Sony took the set chassis and mounted it to an outer speaker frame designed for something elese.

Being a straight-freak perfectionist (yeah the pictures in my home get adjusted regularly), I don’t think I could handle this.

Nonetheless, a great HDTV.

Full Review

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