Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sony’s 55” BRAVIA XBR LCD Flat Panel

Where do you start when you talk about a TV as nice as this? The Sony Bravia XBR is one of the best LCD Screens out on the market to date. It comes with the most features I have ever seen inside of a television and the specs for this LCD television are almost off the charts.


TRILUMINOS RGB Dynamic LED Backlight – aligns individual clusters of red, green, and blue LED’s to help produce a significantly higher purity of primary colors, resulting in more accurate color reproduction. Also BRAVIA will suppress unneeded backlight LED’s to allow a deeper black and to preserve power.

Motionflow 120Hz Technology- allows the picture to stay clean and not judder when watching fast paced video such as sports and action movies. To learn more about this see our 120Hz vs 60Hz post.

10-bit Processor and 10-bit Panel- creates a greatly improved color spectrum and allows the BRAVIA to display billions of color. You will also notice smoother color transition and avoid a picture with a “paint by number” look.

The specs on this Television are very robust with a 1,000,000: 1 contrast ratio, 4 HDMI inputs, 2 HD Component Inputs, and a PC input. The television is also capable of playing blu-ray movies at their standard resolution of 1080p and at wide screen with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Now the cost of a television with this many features, $6,199.00 and that its on sale price!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dell Releases New UltraSharp 1909W Monitor

Dell seems to have broken the trend of their notoriously overpriced monitors this week by coming out with the UltraSharp 1909W Monitor. This 19 inch flat panel monitor boasts a 16:10 display with a resolution of 1440 x 900 and a 5ms response rate. It also comes with a decent contrast ratio of 1000:1 and 300cd/m2 brightness.

As expected with the lower price range the have opted to not add in as many ports this time. The 1909W does come with both VGA and DVI output and includes 4 USB plug-ins. You can pick up a Dell Ultrasharp 1909W now at for a total cost of $239.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gateway HD2201

Gateway HD 2201The Gateway HD2201 is one of the best monitors in the 22 inch range. The monitor has all the essentials and a great price to match it up. The gateway HD2201 is priced around $240 which makes it a very budget friendly monitor. It comes with all the essential connectors including HDMI, DVI, and even HDMI which is a great bonus. The monitor also comes with an On Screen Display. The display buttons are flat, touch sensitive, and glow with a deep blue when touched. The On Screen Display though is nothing more than a neat way to adjust the settings on the monitor. There is also an optional speaker bar that you can buy for $40 that comes with reported good sound and comes with a headphone jack and a volume dial.

Now lets not forget the actual specs of this monitor. Here is a quick spec sheet
Cost: $240
Resolution: 1650x1050
Response Rate: 5ms
Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, DVI
Monitor Color: Black & White

The specs are really nice on this monitor with such a low cost. The Gateway HD2201 really looks great when it comes to showing colors and you can truly notice a better image than most 22 inch screen in its price range. In the end the Gateway HD2201 is really worth looking at when you are considering your next monitor. CNET even gave it the best buy award when it comes to 22 inch monitors.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

60 Hertz vs. 120 Hertz

120Hz vs 60HzMany of you have probably already seen the new Televisions advertising 120Hz. Even though the number is double that of the previous televisions playing at 60Hz does it really make it twice as good?

A quick explanation of Hertz is the refresh rate at which the screen reconstructs the image per second or better known as frames per second (fps). So a television with 60 Hertz can display 60 different images per second. A television with 120 Hertz can display 120 different images per second.

The problem with such high framerate per second is that television broadcasts at only 30 frames per second. So with a 60Hz refresh rate it will simply repeat the image twice every second and with 120Hz it will repeat the image 4 times every second. So assuming you have to completely identical tv's, one playing at 120Hz and one playing at 60hz, you will not be able to tell a difference.

The difference between 120Hz and 60Hz comes when watching a movie. A movie is only shot at 24 frames per second compared to a video shot at 30 frame per second. A video has no problem being converted because it can simply be doubled, but a movie cannot just double because it would be 48fps and not 60fps. So they have to use a 3:2 pulldown. In a nutshell, 3:2 pulldown is an algorithm that displays some of the frames 3 times and some of them twice in order to map the film's 24 fps to 30 fps. With the 3:2 pulldown motion artifacts are introduced in fast moving scenes. With 120Hz though they can completely skip this element because 24fps goes evenly into 120hz 5 times. So essentially you are seeing each frame 5 times per second and it can completely phase out the 3:2 pulldown all together. For a more in depth article about the 3:2 pulldown visit:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dell Releasing New23-inch SP2309 LCD Monitor

Dell is coming out with another impressive monitor. The new power house monitor is called the SP2309. So far only the specs and the price have been revealed on Dell’s website, but no word on a release date yet. The specs on the LCD monitor are amazing for a 23inch monitor. It comes with 2048 x 1152 native resolution, 80,000 to 1 contrast ratio, 98% color gamut, 2 millisecond response rate, and a 2 megapixel camera. It also comes with the normal VGA / DVI / HDMI inputs.

Retail price on the monitor is $379.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Television Prices drop 22 percent in September 2008 compared to September 2007

With the holiday closing in fast it is no surprise that tv prices are dropping, but according to a recent survey by display search television prices are dropping a whole lot faster. According to the survey television prices in September dropped an incredible 22 percent. That’s almost a fourth of the cost gone in a total of one year!

The drop sounds a little too good to be true if you ask me. The survey said that the greatest drop came in 52 inch LCDs, with an average drop of 30 percent worldwide since last September. The lowest drop came in 20 inch LCDs, with an average drop of only 4 percent in the North American region. North Americas drop rate was a little below average with a drop rate of 16 percent.

Hopefully with this news combined with the amazing holiday sales and the economic uncertainties we you will be able to finally afford that giant big screen tv you have always dreamed of having.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Samsung Releases New Series 9 LCD Televisions

The new Series 9 is Samsungs new flagship line of televisions. They are literally the best LCD Televisions you can buy. The series includes a 46 inch model that costs currently $2,899.99 on Amazon and a 55 inch model for $4,229.95 on Amazon. The technical names are Samsung LN55A950 and Samsung LN46A950. So what makes these televisions so special anyway? Well here is a quick look at the specs:

Native Full HD (1080p, 1920 x 1080) resolution
4ms response time
120Hz refresh rate
LED-backlit technology that makes the darkest blacks ever for a LCD
A said contrast ratio of 2,000,000 to 1
4 HDMI ports
Energy Stat compliance

The series nine also comes with all the features you expect out of a television at this price. You can basically plug anything into it and it has a bunch of features to let you stream movies from your computer onto it. The real story here though is this new back-lit technology that allows such amazing contrast ratios. Pretty much what the new back-lit technology does is on a normal LCD you constantly have the back LED’s bleeding through the blacks so you are not able to get a great contrast ratio or true black. With the back-lit technology though, the television is able to turn off the LED’s in certain areas so that you can receive true blacks. It’s a really nice feature and is the main selling point of the television. The television also looks great and it is said to be really sturdy so you wont have to worry about your new $4000 TV falling if someone accidently bumps into it. Overall the TV is a great Plasma TV alternative and is a must buy if you want the best picture possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bought A LCD? Don’t Let Techie Talk Freak You Out

Here is what those statistics, numbers, and specs mean on the side of the box
Color Gamut
Your eyes can see a huge array of colors and depths compared to a computer or a TV. A color gamut is the different colors that can be seen on a TV or computer. The standard range of the color gamut for LCD displays is 72 percent, but many recent innovations in technology have allowed displays to produce up to 100%. Basically, the higher the color gamut range, the more colors your display will be able to accurately create.

Color Depth
An LCD's color depth defines the number of levels that each primary color can render:

An 8-bit panel, the red, green, and blue colors can each render 256 times, for a total of over 16.7 million possible color combinations.

With 6-bit LCD panels, which are becoming increasingly more common, the red, green, and blue colors can each render only 64 times, making a total of 262,144 colors.

In order to compensate for this huge gap between the 8-bit and 6-bit panels, manufacturers use techniques such as dithering and frame-rate control to claim up to 16.7 million colors on their LCD, making it hard to distinguish between an 8-bit or 6-bit display.

Most desktop LCD monitors use backlights made of cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL). However, the use of LEDs for backlights is growing. LED backlights use a grid of either white or mixed red, blue, and green to create the backlight. LED backlights Display brighter more defined colors but are more expensive than their CCFL counterparts.

Ideally LCD displays should come with at least one DVI port, which is the current standard for LCD displays. However, newer and better digital interfaces, such as HDMI and DisplayPort, are becoming available. HDMI or DisplayPort offer greater bandwidth than DVI, which can be crucial to LCD displays looking to hold a resolution higher than 1920x1200

This basically means that if your LCD display doesn't support HCDP (High Definition Copy Protection), you won't be able to watch HD DVD or Blue-ray movies in full resolution.

Contrast Ratio
Contrast ratios are all hype from the manufacturers who each use a different standard for testing, so there is little to no basis for comparison. Because of this manufacturers have also taken to reporting dynamic contrast ratio's as much higher and seeming more impressive than standard contrast ratio's.

Pixel Response Time
Pixel response time is how long a pixel takes to change from one color to the next. As pixel response times improve, the clearer and sharper your video will be as motion occurs.

For more information click here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Keep Your Screen Clean Without Harming Your Monitor

Screen CleanerMoshi's new screen cleaner is by far the safest way to clean your screen. The product is called neato and it is a screen cleaner that utilizes advanced microfiber technology. It comes in two parts, with one part for wiping dust and the other part for lifting away fingerprints and grease. According to Moshi's website"its effectiveness lies in the fact that neato is comprised of Terahedron, known for its superior cleaning capabilities and microfiber filaments that will not scratch your display."

The screen cleaner works just like your cleaning towel for your classes except its about 10 times better and does not require you to use any solvents that might damage your screen's anti-reflective coating. Neato also comes with a sticky side that allows it to be stuck on the back of your monitor that way you don't loose it. You can purchase Neato here for only $16 or to learn more about the product visit Moshi's website product page here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Best Television for $400

Buying a new television to me is like shopping for a car. There are so many brands and types out there that it can seem very over whelming. The fact is you can make shopping for a TV a very easy and enjoyable experience if you do it right. For starters I would never ever recommend going to somewhere like best buy and buying the first TV that you see is on sale. If something is on sale it is usually not a good thing because more than likely the television is crap and is not selling well so they are forced to cut prices in order to increase demand. So remember when looking for a TV always start with the internet and not with Best Buy or Walmart.

Samsing LN22A650 Flat Panel HD TVWell now that we have that cleared up lets get back to what this article is about. Buying a budget television, in this cause a $400 Television. Why $400 well that is the budget that I now have to buy my moms next new TV. We thought it was finally time to upgrade from our 5 year old Panasonic TV in the living room and try to upgrade to something a little bigger and better. I first started looking for my new television at the website Now on Amazon there is a lot of TV’s, 1,995 to be exact, but you can reduce the amount of choices pretty quickly by putting in your price and display size. After going through a few televisions I could quickly saw that my budget was going to turn into a big problem. For $400 there is literally no flat panels or HD TV’s over the size of 22” that are any good. So after looking a while I found the Samsung LN22A650. This new Samsung is most likely the best 22” Flat Panel with 720p that I can get right now. The price is exactly $400 with free shipping, how perfect is that? The only problem is of course it is only 22 inches big, which is a really big problem because our current television is 30 inches. Also the seating distance from our television is approximately 6 feet and the recommended size is at a minimum of 26 inches for 6 feet.

CRT/Tube TVSo now I had to look in the complete opposite direction for my television. Instead of going to for high quality 720P HD Flat Panel TV’s I decided to look for a dying type of television the CRT/Tube TV’s. I really did not want to settle with old technology, but my budget left me no choice, there is simply no way you can buy a big flat panel TV for $400 in today’s market. So now I decided to look for some CRT/Tube televisions. There was one big problem though, CRT/Tube televisions are almost impossible to find today. On there is 1,046 Flat-Panel TV’s, but only 48 CRT/Tube TV’s, seriously only 48! Same thing if you check any stores websites. BestBuy has 4, Circuit City has 1, and Walmart has 7 CRT/Tube televisions. I seriously felt like I was shopping for an antique, I really believe no company makes CRT/Tube televisions anymore. I finally decided to try the only place I knew would be filled with old CRT/Tube televisions and that was Ebay. I am not a big fan of Ebay because I like to know I am buying my product from a reliable source, but I knew this would be the only place where I could find the best deals on old CRT/Tube televisions. Going to Ebay was definitely the best choice because it brought up more than enough results to satisfy me. There was a total of 298 Standard CRT’s listed and also 1,734 Not Specified TV’s. Currently I am still looking on Ebay for the right television, but if you are in the market for a big TV for around $400 it looks like Ebay CRT/Tube televisions are the way to go. Just make sure to do your research first and you should be fine. If you are looking for a $400 television for your bedroom though I would have to recommend the Samsung LN22A650 Flat Panel HD 720P television. A 22 inch screen will be more than big enough for a small viewing distance in a place like the bedroom.

As always there is never the perfect television for everybody. The right TV for me might not be the right TV for you. Just remember always shop around and make sure to keep in mind a few key things, your budget, viewing distance, and trusted name brands.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Using a Plasma Display for a Computer Monitor

Plasma MonitorPlasma television has always been the best TV to go with when wanting to watch a movie or that big football game in HD, but what about using a Plasma TV as a monitor for your computer. Does it have what it takes to beat out an LCD computer monitor?

Well the fact is no a Plasma TV used as a monitor will not have a better resolution than an LCD Monitor. Do not get your hopes down though because even though an LCD screen supports higher resolutions than your Plasma TV you will be hard-pressed to see more detail on an LCD Monitor over a Plasma Screen. One reason you might opt to use your Plasma Screen is the fact that Plasma Screens average around the size of 40 inches compared to an LCD screen that averages around 20 inches. A Plasma TV is a great alternative to watching movies on a laptop screen. There has been many times where I have gone over to a friends house with my laptop and my friend has wanted to watch a movie that I had on my laptop. The problem was that no one in there right mind would want to watch a movie with more than one person on a laptop screen. So a quick fix for the problem was i hooked up my laptop to his Plasma TV he owns. A simple way to connect your laptop to your Plasma Screen is an HDMI Cable because most laptops have an HDMI output and if that does not work you can buy an HDMI to VGA Cable. An HDMI output can also carry audio along with the video signal so instead of listening to a movie on your crappy laptop or computer speakers you can experience the movie in surround sound or through your Plasma TV’s speakers.

Of course everything great does come with a couple drawbacks. In return for getting a brighter and richer screen with your Plasma TV is that you have to sit a little bit farther away from it than you would normally have to sit on a normal computer monitor. In return for getting a bigger screen is that the screen will be stretched in order to convert the screen over from the computers resolution to the Plasma TV’s resolution.

So the benefits are there for getting a Plasma Screen as a computer monitor, but so are the drawbacks. I personally love the site of a computer hooked up to a plasma television for a movie and such, but for everyday computing nothing is better than a 20” LCD monitor.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

World's Thinnest LCD TV is only 9.9mm thick

Sony has announced a new world record thin LCD TV that is only 9.9mm thick! The new TV is called Sony KDL-40ZX1. The specs for this TV are just as impressive as its size. The KDL-40ZX1 comes with a 40 inch screen, a weight of 26 pounds, 3000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p cability, 120hz MotionFlow, and it also comes with a Wireless HD base station. A wireless Plasma Screen opens up the opportunity for you to mount it on a wall.

Heres the spec list for the wireless HD base station:
"The ZX1’s wireless base station supports 3 HDMI, 2 component, a S-Video, and a VGA input. An AV mouse, USB, LAN and even standard phone port is also supported! The USB port will allow you to hook up your Sony camera and display your photos in full HD." source: SonyInsider

If wireless is not for their is also a wired version of the TV, but on you only get 1 HDMI port. Also worth noting is that with the wireless version only 1080i is available compared to the 1080p version with the wired set-up.

Now how high does the world's thinnest TV with Wireless HD base cost, a grand total of $4,500. Pretty hefty price if you ask me, expected release date for the new Sony KDL-40ZX1 is November 10th.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to our Monitor Blog

Having noticed that display technology is with each passing day becoming driven deeper and deeper into specific verticals such as Plasma, LCD, DLP, etc. we wanted to help bring it all together again and get back to basics.

Those basics being that consumers and corporate users of all types want quality display output at an affordable price. This Monitor Blog will endeavor to review and explain any and all forms of monitor and display technology and help put into perspective which of the myriad of options on the market make sense for any given application.

We hope you find our articles enjoyable, we encourage you to comment, and if you have any information you would like posted here please feel free to e-mail us at


Andy Wendt
Xponex Media Services