The headline on Dish Network's press release says "free high-definition DVR," but the fine print is a bit less exciting. The company introduced two new programming packages, called DishDVR Advantage and Dish DVR Advantage HD, that are said to reduce the cost of items purchased separately--as much as seven percent for the first package (woo hoo!). The "free high-definition DVR," a ViP-622 normally available for $199, is part of the HD version. For the reasonable cost of $69.99 per month, customers will receive the DVR, the satcaster's 30 national HD channels (more info), … Read more
In a major announcement at CES this year, DirecTV said it would expand its national HD channel offering to 100 channels by the end of the year, far surpassing the HD channel offerings of satellite rival Dish Network and of cable providers. The "100" number sounds suspiciously round to me, but the company's press release mentions it has "signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 major networks including: A&E, National Geographic, Bravo, NFL Network, Cartoon Network, SciFi Channel, CNN, Speed, Food Network, TBS, FX, the History Channel, HGTV, the Weather Channel, … Read more
Sony's gargantuan booth at CES 2007 covers a lot of real estate, and it's always packed full of onlookers soaking up the sights and sounds. But the flashy booth hides a dirty little secret: Aside from a handful of headline products, very few of the devices on display are actually new. Instead, the company waits until late February to announce a detailed product plan for the forthcoming year (at which time CNET will have in-depth coverage).
In the meantime, there are a few gems on display in the form of prototypes. Designed to showcase a technology or a … Read more
It wouldn't be CES without some giant TVs that nobody can afford, and Sharp has done its part with a gigantic 108-inch LCD TV. The 1080p-resolution set measures 93.9 inches high by 52.9 inches wide, so you'll probably need a mansion to go along with your new TV. There's not much more to say except that, unlike many of the giant TVs that are unveiled, Sharp announced at its press conference that this set actually will be available to consumers.
We had a chance to take a quick look at this set both at the … Read more
On Sunday at CES, a couple of CNET staffers and I attended a demonstration of Pioneer's newest plasma technology, and judging from the brief demo, the company has made some significant advancements. Pioneer had lined up five 50-something-inch displays, four plasmas, and an LCD; one of the plasmas utilized the new technology, which is designed to increase black level and reject ambient light reflections. After watching a variety of high-def feeds, I was convinced that the new plasma evinced some of the deepest blacks I'd seen yet in a flat-panel technology. I don't want to say more … Read more
JVC, purveyor of LCoS-based rear-projection HDTVs including the well-performing HD-56FN97, announced a pair of superslim models in mid-December, and showed them again at CES 2007. The sets are designed to "easily fit on most stands and furniture designed for flat-panel TVs" according to the press release. The 58-inch HD-58S998 (January, $3,300 selling price) and the 65-inch HD-65S998 (March, $4,200) occupy a mere 10.7 inches and 11.6 inches of depth, respectively. The company is marketing a stand (pictured at right) and a wall-mount bracket that allows these TVs to hang over the fireplace, plasma … Read more
Thousands of people pay thousands of dollars to have flat-panel HDTVs mounted on the wall with no visible wires. Samsung's FP-T5894W, the first mainstream large-screen "wireless" TV that I've seen, aims to make those wireless-looking installations a lot cheaper and easier. Like most "wireless" A/V gear, it does require one cord--to supply AC power--but that's it. The rack full of A/V equipment that accompanies any self-respecting plasma installation connects to the FP-T5894W's "wireless A/V center," which the company claims can sit up to 300 feet away from … Read more
Sharp's one of the biggest players in flat-panel LCD HDTVs, and today it announced four new series of the popular Aquos LCDs for 2007. While the 108-inch LCD might have stolen the show at Sharp's press conference, these four Aquos product lines will be of greater interest to anyone actually looking to buy a TV this year.
The D92U series represents Sharp's top-of-the-line flat-panel LCD models, consisting of the 42-inch LC-42D92U, the 46-inch LC-46D92U, and the 52-inch LC-52D92U. All of these LCDs are 1080p sets, which means they have a native resolution of 1,920x1,080 capable … Read more
If you've got $33,000 earmarked for a new television, then Sony's main CES announcement might pique your interest. If you don't, you'll have to wait until the company's February show to hear anything official about the company's 2007 products. Eschewing CES for significant product news is nothing new for the company, but the price point of its new flagship HDTV still represents a certain kind of bravado. At least Sony knows how to capture headlines from the mainstream press.
The $33,000 KDL-70XBR3 (did I mention it costs $33,000?) happens to be … Read more
DLP-based rear-projection HDTVs have always been a mainstay of Samsung's extensive HDTV offerings, and offerings at this year's CES are no different. To follow up on its release of the HL-S5679W--the first widely available DLP to be powered by LEDs and 2006 Best of CES winner in the television category--the company announced three new LED-powered DLP sets for this year. The 61-inch HL-T6187S, the 56-inch HL-T5687S, and the 50-inch HL-T5087S all replace standard bulbs with a trio of light-emitting diodes, which imbues them with a longer life span (20,000 hours before needing replacement, as opposed to … Read more