Thursday, July 30, 2009

Samsung Unveils New 8500 Series LED HDTV

Samsung just unveiled a new model in their expanded LED HDTV lineup with the all new 8500 series. Samsung came up with the innovative idea of using white LED as a backlight source for their TV's. The 8500 Series is capable of having an incredible 7,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio that provides extreme detail and image depth. It has a Wide Color Enhancer Pro which ensures that colors are constantly vibrant. And Samsung's Ultra Clear Panel works hard to make images clearer and brighter regardless of the rooms ambient lighting.

This latest model of tv is also compliant with the Energy Star v3.0 ratings. The 8500 Series includes an Optimized Energy Savings mode which adjusts backlight and the quality of the picture and it does this without having to sacrifice overall viewing experience. This series incorporates an ultra-quick 2ms panel response time which is combined with Samsung's latest version of Auto Motion Plus frame interpolation technology which has a true 240Hz refresh rate. This drastically improves the playback of fast-paced content.

The 8500 Series also features Samsung's Medi@2.0 suite. This allows users to access content from more sources. Developed in association with Yahoo!, Internet@TV - Content Service provides onscreen access to popular content on the web from sites like Yahoo!, Twitter, USA Today, YouTube and many others. The widgets-based interface and scrollbar can be activated with the push of a single button. It runs along the bottom of the screen which makes browsing for the latest content and programs easy.

Users will be able to have access to the growing library of widgets. Samsung's Medi@2.0 suite allows wired and wireless DLNA compatibility which allows you to enjoy your music, photos and videos from your network PC directly on your television. Also included for entertainment are things like pre-loaded photos, games, artwork and recipes. There is also two USB 2.0 connections which can be used for playing a multitude of photo, audio and video files from portable devices including external hard memory.

The 8500 series measures only 1.6 inches deep and features Samsung's Touch of Color bezel. This series provides consumers with flexibility and style in an HDTV. There are two versions of the 8500 series, a 46-inch and a 55-inch both of which come with a built-in tuner and an assortment of multimedia connections. You can also hang these models with Samsung's ultra-slim wall-mount solution. It reduces the gap between the TV and the wall to a tiny 0.6 inches.

Both TV's have full HD 1080p, down-firing speakers with integrated woofer, SRS TruSurround HD, 4 HDMI (HDMI-CEC) version 1.3 inputs on the side, 1 component input on the back, 2USB 2.0 inputs on the side, 1 Ethernet connection on the back, 1 optical audio output on the side, and 1 PC input on the back. The 45.9-inch model will run you around $3,600 with the 54.6-inch running you around $4,500 and both are available this August.

Remember that if your organization is holding a special event, or exhibiting at a trade show, that Monitor Rental companies can provide short term AV hardware nationwide.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Acer's G24 Gaming Monitor

Acer G24 Gaming MonitorIf you are in the market for a gaming monitor, then look no further than the Acer G24. The G24 is a decent 24-inch monitor that is perfect for gaming but not really much else. It has a bright, glossy, reflective screen with a smooth bright orange bezel. It has a 25 degree backward tilt which is basically the monitor's only ergonomic perk. The monitor also doesn't include screen height adjustment, pivoting or panel swiveling. It comes with three connection options which are DVI, HDMI and VGA which all support a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1,920x1,200-pixel native resolution. All of the connections are located on the back right side of the monitor close to the neck and are easy to access although some may complain that the HDMI slot is too close to the neck.

The display comes with a 14.2 inch wide base with two 7 inch long "toes" that extend from the neck at 45 degree angles. Due to the wide base and 16 pound weight, the monitor is fairly grounded producing minimal wobble when struck. However, if you do not like the foot stand or you prefer the wall mounted approach, then you can do so by utilizing the removable foot stand and the four screw holes to be used in conjunction with a VESA wall mount. The power button is represented by a small blue LED light in the bottom right-hand corner with the button directly underneath it. There are five buttons on the left side of the monitor which represent the monitor's left arrow button, right arrow button, menu button, auto button and an "e" button. The "e" button displays the available presets when pressed which include User, Standard, Movie, Text and Graphics. The main difference between these presets is their differences in brightness and color temperatures. The rest of the OSD includes color temperature controls, brightness and contrast.

Reports have come in, however, that trying to navigate the OSD is complicated and frustrating. The different categories on the OSD are not represented by words but rather symbols. Each symbol is aligned horizontally along two rows and can be navigated to by using the arrow keys on the front of the monitor. A symbol of a sun represents the controls for brightness and contrast which you can also get to by using the arrow keys. You select each option by pressing the menu button once you have highlighted the desired symbol which brings up another menu. From this point you chose one of two different options aligned vertically. Select the bottom option via the arrow and menu key, then use the arrow key and menu button again to select the brightness option and then use the arrow key again to select adjust your brightness. Most people find this method old fashioned and ultimately frustrating.

But where this monitor really excels at is games. The display's super-high-gloss screen and high brightness make games look really impressive. The high gloss really makes the colors pop and results in vibrant images. Games also feel a bit faster an more responsive then they do on some other monitors. For the optimal viewing angle you are going to want to be directly in front of the monitor about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. The Acer uses a TN+Film panel, which adds extra gloss to the screen. However, this extra gloss doesn't make well for using the monitor for non-entertainment purposes. Heavy backlight bleeding and reflections in the super glossy paneling make it hard to watch movies unless directly in front of the monitor. Like mentioned before, this monitor is great for gaming but isn't recommended for much else than that. You can get this monitor for a price somewhere between $359 to $399.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Panasonic's New TC-L37X1

panasonic TC-L37X1Panasonic’s new 37-inch TC-L37X1 LCD HDTV might have a convenient iPod docking station for simple browsing and playing of your iPod through the TV’s remote control, but the average contrast and mediocre picture size setting that for go image detailing are certainly a draw back.

The iPod dock is certainly a feature that drew me in to look closer at this TV. It is a separate module that connects to the TV through a mini USB port located at the back of the set. When you dock your iPod, the TV immediately launches to shortcuts to select stored music and video files. All of this is easily controlled through the TV’s remote control.

The TC-L37X1 also features several HD-compatible video inputs. It has three HDMI inputs, one component video port, and a VGA port that will support the screen’s 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution. The TV also includes an SD card slot that can be easily used for display a digital photo slideshow.

This HDTV has a 12,000:1 contrast ratio and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The biggest problem that has been discovered with this TV is it’s dark-room contrast. It features a fairly bright black level at .17 candela per square meter (cd/m²). Most great HDTV’s produce .03 cd/m² or less of a black level. In normal daylight though, the screen produces a bright picture that provides a very good picture contrast.

The TC-L37X1 itself has a slick, clean design. It features a glossy black bezel, rounded corners and smooth edges, and concealed bottom-firing speakers. The remote has large, easy to see buttons, and it’s design allows for a firm grip.

The Panasonic TC-L37X1 has its ups and its downs. Its up to you whether or not you think its worth it’s price tag of $799.95. It does feature the iPod dock and has a variety of HD-compatible video inputs, but the dark-room contrast issues certainly are something to take into consideration when shopping around for a new HDTV.