Introduction to HDTV Reviews

The television has become a major appliance right along with the stove and refrigerator. When it comes time to upgrade, the choices can be daunting. Technology moves at warp speed and no one wants their new purchase to become obsolete overnight. We’re covering all the latest features like Ultra HD resolution, wide color gamuts like Rec.2020, HDR and smart TV. Many panels have built in software that streams content from the Internet (Smart TV) eliminating the need for cable service or even a Blu-ray player.

We run a battery of tests on each display that directly relate to visible differences in image quality. Our benchmarks include tests for contrast, color accuracy and video processing, with every result explained in terms you can see on-screen.

With the demise of plasma, our focus is on LCD and OLED displays. HDR and Ultra HD are technologies on the rise and we’re covering every new innovation with each review. Copy protection is another hot topic. Terms like HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 are now part of the language every new TV-buyer must learn. Our HD and Ultra HD TV reviews will help you make a purchase decision. Once you get that new panel home, we can help you set it up for maximum return on investment.

HDTV

Dune HD – Base3D and TV-303D High Definition Media Streamers

Streamers have been around for quite a few years. It took them quite a while to reach maturity. When this field was at its infancy, HD was just starting to get popular and Streamers offered a way to play back a DIVX or TS file without requiring a Home Theater PC in your living room. The beginning was very slow and tedious, early streamers were buggy and often had serious image, sound and build quality issues. Typically, you had to place your content in a hard drive inside the unit, or even burn a DVD containing your desired content - not exactly something that most people are prone to do.

SunBriteTV 5560HD 55” Outdoor All-weather LCD HDTV

If you have been to any recent home and garden shows, you may have noticed the increase in outdoor entertainment areas. These usually consist of a covered patio, comfortable seating, fireplace/firepit, and anywhere from just a grill to a full outdoor kitchen area with pizza oven. Sounds like a home outside of your home. But where's the TV? SunBrite has the answer.

Samsung PN51E8000 51″ Plasma HDTV

Not long ago plasma and LCD were in a fierce competition for the flat panel market, but LCD has dominated sales the past few years. While the general public has moved to LCD for brighter images and more size choices...

Sony 46HX929 46″ Backlit LED-Array HDTV

All LED LCD TVs are not designed the same. Manufacturers have two approaches they can take with an LED design: An edge-lit design that is thin and functions like a conventional CCFL backlight, or a backlit LED-array that isn't as thin, but allows for precise control over lighting individual areas of the screen. In this review, we take a look at the Sony 46" backlit LED-array HDTV, model 46HX929.

Toshiba 55ZL2 4K LCD 3D Display

When Toshiba announced the idea of a glasses-free 3D display, I was less than enthusiastic. I have been seeing lenslet based 3D glassless displays for a few years (mostly in the B2B and Digital signage spaces) and they were far from ready for consumer prime time. Now, Toshiba has announced their 55ZL2, which is a 55" LCD 3D display that has 4K native resolution. It's a first generation produce. How did it work with 4K video material, and does native 4K resolution improve the clarity of 1080p?

Toshiba 50L5200U LCD TV

Toshiba is targeting value with its L5200U line of LED LCD TV's.   The 50L5200U is a 50" 1080p set featuring a 120Hz panel with ClearFrame™ technology for crisp images and smoother movement.  Like most LED-edgelit TVs, the Toshiba employs a dynamic lighting system (DynaLight®) that adjusts output based on the image content.

Sharp LC-60LE835U 60″ LED LCD 3D HDTV

Along with competitively priced gargantuan panels the other thing Sharp is generating buzz for is their Quattron technology, which is the inclusion of a fourth yellow sub pixel in the pixel matrix. Sharp says adding this yellow sub pixel not only creates a wider color gamut (especially in yellows, greens, and cyans) but also makes the panel both brighter and more efficient due to the amount of light that passes through the yellow filtered sub pixel. Since the Sharp panels are getting very good Energy Star ratings there probably is some very smart engineering going on under the hood. Here, we review the Sharp LC-60LE835U 60" LED 3D HDTV.

Toshiba 55SL417U 55″ Edge Lit LED LCD HDTV

With all the hoopla surrounding 3D, the other big innovation in HDTVs has been largely forgotten – LED backlighting. For an image-quality geek like me though, this is a far more significant advance in technology. LCD panels can now play in the same black-level arena as plasma TVs. In some cases, they even exceed. As anyone schooled in imaging science will tell you, dynamic range is the single most important factor in perceived image quality. Let's take a look at this Toshiba 55" HDTV with edge lit LED backlighting.

Toshiba 55WX800U 55″ LED Edge Lit LCD 3D HDTV

At the Consumer Electronics Show last January, every television manufacturer had at least one 3D-capable display in their booth. Over the next few months, new models trickled into the marketplace. Now that CEDIA has come and gone, the floodgates are officially open and every brand has at least one and in some cases multiple models to choose from. I attended CEDIA with the primary goal of securing as many 3D TVs as possible for review. Toshiba was kind enough to be the first to provide me a sample, the flagship 55WX800U Cinema Series 55" LED Edge Lit LCD HDTV.

NuVision NVU46FX5LS 46″ LED LCD HDTV

NuVision is a company that hand-builds LCD flat panel HDTV displays. So, instead of a mass produced TV, you get one that has a lot of fingers putting things together and then having tests run on that particular unit to make sure it meets all specifications. It uses top quality parts through and through. As a result, NuVision's 46" HDTV, the NVU46FX5LS, at $4,499 MSRP, costs more than mass produced models from other brands that could be as large as 65". So, what is it you would want to know about such a TV? The performance. Read our review to see what we found.

NuVision NVU65FX5 65″ LCD Flat-Panel HDTV

PRICE DROP AS OF 1-18-10. When shopping for an LCD panel, NuVision is not one of the first manufacturers that come to mind. Sold only through a network of CEDIA-member dealers, NuVision is firmly in the category of boutique brands. Their line of televisions are "built by connoisseurs for connoisseurs" to quote their website. Here, we review the NuVision 65" NVU65FX5, which is their 65" LCD Flat-panel HDTV. At an MSRP of $10,499 ($9,999 for black bezel version), it is a pricey HDTV. Read our review to see if it cuts the mustard at the checkout counter.

VIZIO VF551XVT 55″ LCD LED HDTV

VIZIO has introduced a 55" (diagonal) LCD HDTV (1080p) that uses 960 LEDs in 80 control blocks as the backlighting. The control blocks change their brightness according to the brightness of the part of the scene that they responsible for illuminating. The result is absolute black, where there is supposed to be black. We measured a contrast ratio of nearly 300,000:1. It also has 240 Hz refresh rate (120 Hz plus backlight scanning) which allows for interpolated frames in between actual frames, and this delivers smooth motion during panning or objects moving across the screen. Best of all, it is available (street price) at $1,899 which is not an increase over last year's technology at the same screen size.

Panasonic 65PY700 65″ 1080p Plasma HDTV

A typical display will go quite easily into my house. When I call up the local importer, they are usually quite inclined to lend me their displays. The 65PY700 was no exception, but it did require quite a bit of work to verify that it would fit into my test lab area. The hallway and staircase leading up to the second floor are quite tight, and I've never actually tried a display larger than 55" in height . . .