JVC HD-70FH96 70-inch HDTV

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Rear Projection

JVC HD-70FH96 70 Wow, this JVC HD-ILA is one big, bad HDTV. A 70 inch rear projection set with 1920 x 1080p resolution (umm yeah that’s true HD), 2 HDMI inputs and great picture quality all for under $4400!

Pros
•Reproduces deep blacks.
•Fully resolves 1080i signals.
•Rich, accurate colors.

Cons
•Occasionally visible screen texture.
•Picture memories not fully independent.

The Bottom Line
It’s hard to sweat the small stuff when an HDTV performs as well as the JVC HD-70FH96. This giant HDTV manages to combine the high resolution of 1080p with most of the other characteristics that make a great-looking image. Its biggest shortcomings — a clunky user interface and the couple of missing features noted above — shouldn’t deter anybody who values picture quality above all else.

If you’re looking for big rear-projection bling, this JVC could be your ticket.

Sound and Vision – First Look Via – Gizmodo

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NeuNeo 1080p DVD Player Review

Filed Under: DVD Players, Home Theater Reviews

NeoDigits NeuNeo hvd2085 Well, NeoDigits bragged to our Audio-imbibing friends over at Audioholics, and they decided to write a review of the NeuNeo 1080p upconverting DVD player.

I’ve already covered a NeuNeo review here and an avs review mention here. But, our thorough, HT-loving brothers at AA (hic) are a source of wisdom to count on.

Pros
– True 720p/1080i/1080p upconversion via component video outputs
– HVD support for true HD DVDs

Cons
– Poor deinterlacing capability
– No flag-less 2:3 error detection
– Fisher Price remote control
– Cheap aesthetics
– Soft Picture
– User manual missing key graphics in diagrams

Conclusion

We received an email from NeoDigits some time ago which prompted this review. In it they bragged a little bit about how this player didn’t have the ‘macroblocking bug’ because it didn’t use a Faroudja chip for video processing. While this is certainly true, the downside is that it also failed most of the video tests we ran it through. I think I’d prefer the macroblocking bug personally. Still, no Faroudja player I know of outputs 720p, 1080i, or 1080p from its component video outputs. Actually, I am not aware of any player that outputs 1080p at this point save Denon’s new $3,800 flagship DVD-5910Cxi with 1080p upgrade. The performance of the HVD2085 is akin to many HTPCs I’ve seen – great picture resolution, provided you don’t ask them to do anything fancy. If you’ve absolutely got to have a 1080p source or you have an older analogue projection system that can take HD over component but not HDMI, I suppose $249 isn’t too much to ask.

If you are interested in these types of features, I highly recommend you check out the Oppo OPDV971H:

NeuNeo 1080p DVD Player Review

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Pioneer PDP-4360HD Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

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

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Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1 Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

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

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Serenity DVD Released This Week

Filed Under: Media - Movies - Games

serenity dvd release
Awright! I’ve been waiting on Serenity to make it to DVD! A quick hop from the theater made it an easy wait.

Sci-Fi is one of my fav genres and I’m looking forward to this tale:

“Captain Malcom Reynolds finds himself running from a skilled Alliance operative who wants River Tam, and who will stop at nothing to get her; meanwhile, River’s capabilities become more clear to the crew of Serenity.”

Rated 8.1 out of 10

Rent Serenity at netflix online. Free 10 day trial – movies sent to your mailbox with a free return mailer include. Great service!

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Panasonic TH-42PX500U Plasma Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

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

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The Great Raid – DVD Released This Week

Filed Under: Media - Movies - Games

The Great Raid DVD release

An awesome DVD released this week is The Great Raid. This is a very compelling story and, from what I understand, very authentic and accurate.

The story goes like this: “Taking place during World War II, 500 POW’s have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them.”

Rating 7.1 out of 10 at the imdb.

Rent The Great Raid at netflix online. Free 10 day trial – movies sent to your mailbox with a free return mailer include. Great service!

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Hitachi Ultravision HDPJ52 Projector Review

Filed Under: Front Projectors, Home Theater Reviews

Hitachi HDPJ52 ProjectorHere’s a fresh review of Hitachi’s LCD 720p projector offering, the HDPJ52.

This is a native widescreen 1280 x 720 HD projector with component, VGA and HDMI inputs.

The lamp life is 2000 hours, and replacement lamps run 250 bucks.

A manual iris is included, and seemed to be a welcome addition for HD gaming, ad the extra brightness made a big difference.

In comparison to the BenQ PE7700, here is how the HDPJ52 fared:
“When viewed individually, both the PE7700 and the HDPJ52 have excellent contrast and black level, while shadow details are clearly visible. However, once seen head to head, the superior performance of the HDPJ52 becomes clear. While black levels are comparable, the HDPJ52 holds a clear edge in shadow separation and overall contrast performance.

With regards to color, the HDPJ52 clearly overtakes the PE7700. Color is rich and natural, with better saturation. Whether watching animated material or live actors, scenes seemed to pop off of the screen, and objects looked vibrant and life-like.”

And compared to the Epson PowerLite Cinema 550:
“The HDPJ52 and Cinema 550 are both impressive projectors at the leading edge in terms of price/performance. The Cinema 550 can put out more light at the sacrifice of some image quality, which makes it more suitable for multipurpose home entertainment. However, the HDPJ52 offers home theater performance that rivals the 550 and incorporates some features the 550 does not have. Depending upon your needs, either one of these projectors is capable of making you extremely happy with your selection.”

And there you have it, looks like Hitachi may have a winner on their hands.

Full Review at Projector Central
Via HDBlog

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Microsoft Xbox 360

Filed Under: HD Gaming

xbox 360 reviewWell, the Xbox 360 launch has come and gone. While many scramble around to try and grab their own 360, a few hundred thousand of us have been able to score one. I got lucky Monday of last week, and haven’t had much to say here since – I’ve been busy playing! Yeah well, Christmas came early for Home Theater Dude, what can I say?

Anyway, Home Theater Mag wrote a quick piece about the new console and a few of the games. It’s a decent read for HT buffs if you don’t already know the score on this next-gen piece of HD gaming goodness.

By the way, if you haven’t been able to find a 360 yet, there are some shipment dates and other info at Xbox 360 Maniac. I followed the recommendations for Target and was able to get one last week, as the store opened.

Home Theater: The Xbox 360

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Philips 42PF9830A LCD Reviews

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

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:

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

Cons
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.

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