CEDIA 2009: LCD TVs get thinner, add wireless, new streaming services

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Based on the new TVs being shown this week at the CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) trade show in Atlanta, TVs continue to add features and services, shedding bulk and weight along the way. Here’s a rundown of some of the TV highlights:

Sony launched a new ultra-thin flagship XBR10 series of 1080p 240Hz LCDs with edge LED backlights. The XBR10 models, which arrive next month in 46- ($4,500) and 52-inch ($5,000) screen sizes. Sony didn’t say exactly how thin these sets are, but they appear to be about an inch deep—in part because they use a separate media box that houses the TV tuner. Source components are connected to the box, and audio and video signals are beamed wirelessly to the TV, obviating the need for cables. Like other newer Sony models, the TVs have built-in Ethernet connections (rather than requiring optional Bravia modules), and feature Sony’s adaptation of Yahoo’s Internet Widget platform to access a selection of Web-based content, including streaming movies from Amazon Video On Demand and Slacker Internet radio. Sony says it will add Netflix streaming later this fall.

LG Electronics was also at the show clipping wires, unveiling an LHX-series wireless set with an LED backlight, and two wireless LH-series sets with conventional backlights. Like Sony’s new sets, these models use a separate media box that sends audio and 1080p video signals wirelessly to the TV.

LG’s new wireless 55-inch LHX LCD TV also beams signals to the TV from a separate media console, but uses a full-array LED backlight with local dimming. (Click to enlarge.)
[PHOTO: Courtesy of LG]Available shortly, the 55LHX ($4,800) is an ultra-slim (1-inch deep at its thinnest) 1080p flagship model that uses a full-array backlight with local dimming to improve contrast and black levels. Also on board is LG’s TruMotion 240Hz technology, which combines a 120Hz refresh rate with a scanning backlight to achieve a 240Hz effect, and THX certification. The new LH85 models, available in 47- and 55-inch screen sizes, will be available later this fall, at prices of $2,400 and $3,200, respectively. All the new models are “ISFccc-ready [PDF] (they can be professionally calibrated by an ISF technician for optimum picture quality), and include a sensor that automatically adjusts brightness based on ambient room-light conditions.

LG also showed the previously announced super-slim 1080p SL80- and SL90-series models. The SL90 sets, offered in 42- ($2,100) and 47-inch ($2,600) screen sizes, use edge LED backlights and feature TruMotion 120Hz technology. The sets, just 1.15 inches deep, use a “seamless” single-panel design, where the panel and bezel are flush, making the front of the display look like one continuous panel. The TVs, which use a new antiglare film, will be available later this fall. SL80-series sets, already available in 42- ($1,600), 47- ($1,900), and 55-inch ($2,800) screen sizes, are 1.8 inches deep at their thinnest, and share the SL90’s single-glass design and new anti-glare filter. These sets, which use a slim-design lamp-based backlight, include LG’s TruMotion 240Hz technology. Both series include LG’s Picture Wizard set-up technology for adjusting key picture quality elements, such as black level, color, tint, sharpness and backlight levels, and ISFccc calibration.

Mitsubishi’s Unisen-series LCD TVs now have access to Vudu’s online movie-streaming service. (Click to enlarge.)

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Mitsubishi]
Mitsubishi used the occasion of the show to say that two new Unisen Diamond 249 series LCD TVs now have access to Vudu’s Internet-streaming movie service. Later this month, additional services, including YouTube, Flickr, Picasa and Pandora, plus HD video-on-demand, will be added to Vudu, the company said. Mitsubishi joins LG and Vizio, which have previously announced support for Vudu. The Vudu-enabled Unisen sets are the 46-inch LT-46249 ($2,600) and the 52-inch LT-52249 ($3,100). Both are ultra-thin 1080p models that include the company’s 16-speaker “integrated sound projector” audio system and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. They also include the company’s Variable Smooth 240 Film Motion anti-judder processing. For a limited time, buyers of one of the Vudu-enabled Unisen sets come with two months worth of free movie rentals or purchases (up to $50). We understand that Vudu’s higher-quality 1080p  HDX downloads, as well as HD and SD streams, will be available, though we’re not quite sure how the downloads will be stored.

by consumerreports.org

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Through out my years, Sony has been a passion of mine.

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