There's a lot to like about the KDL-NX720 series. Sony's least expensive TV with that lovely Monolithic styling, it still costs a mint but will reward investors with some of the best 2D images we've seen on any LCD with an edge-lit LED backlight. And despite lacking an app store and Vudu, Sony's Internet selection is chock-a-block with video from sources both mainstream and otherwise. As long as you don't care about its picture quality in 3D, the Sony KDL-NX720 series competes well against the best edge-lit LED TVs on the market.
Today at the CEDIA trade show in Indianapolis, LG announced the availability of the 55LW9800, its best 2011 LED-based LCD TV and the first on the market to combine a full-array LED local dimming backlight and passive 3D.
The 55LW9800 is the successor to the well-reviewed LX9500 from 2010, a full-array model with active 3D. LG had announced high-end local dimmers for the U.S. market at CES in January under the LW7700 and LW9500 series names, but subsequently said it would scuttle those sets--which used active 3D technology--in favor of a TV with passive 3D.
The 55-inch 55LW9800, shipping … Read more
Today at the IFA trade show in Berlin, LG announced the European availability of the LW980S, its highest-end 2011 LCD TV.
We expect a similar announcement of a U.S. version soon, perhaps at the CEDIA trade show in Indianapolis next week.
While those sets were superb, we complained about the unusual uniformity issues we saw, which manifested as bands of uneven lighting that were visible in some material. LG told us that the 2011 … Read more
Tech is going through a late-summer cleanup: Apple's killing rentals, Google's dissolving Slide, and now Facebook will discontinue its deals product, the company said today in a statement released to Reuters and other outlets.
The Facebook Deals product, which offered discounted coupons for local businesses, had launched only four months ago. Its shutdown follows Facebook's discontinuation earlier this week of its location-based check-in feature for mobile users in favor of broader place-tagging tools. Here's Facebook's statement:After testing Deals for four months, we've decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. We … Read more
AmazonLocal, the online retail giant's Groupon knockoff, is bringing its deals to the Big Apple and several other cities.
According to The New York Times, the daily deals from Amazon will begin tomorrow in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The first offers will include 50 percent off tickets to a new Cirque du Soleil show and a 74 percent discount for a month of Bikram Yoga classes.
Zaarly is essentially a reverse Craigslist app that lets you post requests for goods or services to nearby users in hopes of getting one (or more) of them to oblige.
Here's how it works. Log into Zaarly, post something you want, how much you're willing to pay for it, and when you need it by. Then, nearby users will respond if they've got the goods or they're willing to provide the services. Whether you're looking for furniture, someone to pull weeds in your backyard, or a pick-up truck to borrow for the evening, Zaarly seems … Read more
If you thought all LED TVs were created equal, you're underestimating the power of confusion as a marketing tool. In their continuing efforts to compete against the picture quality advantages of plasma-based flat-panel TVs, makers of LCDs TVs have introduced numerous new technologies. The most successful in our opinion is full-array LED backlighting with local dimming. When you see the words "LED TV" in an ad, it definitely refers to an LCD TV with an LED backlight, but what type of LED backlight and how it's configured make all the difference.
In the article linked below … Read more
The first so-called LED TVs were local-dimming models, where the LEDs behind the screen could be dimmed or brightened in different areas to correspond to darker or brighter areas of the picture. The result was excellent contrast, on a level no other LCD-based TV could muster. Since 2008 when these TVs debuted, they've remained uncommon and expensive while so-called edge-lit models have populated store shelves and living rooms with abandon.
The XBR-HX929, Sony's most expensive and, we're willing to guess, best-performing TV of 2011, is also the company's only local dimmer. It boasts that excellent contrast … Read more
A subgroup of the Anonymous hacker group has launched two WikiLeaks-type Web sites where insiders and other hackers can expose sensitive information from governments and corporations.
The LocalLeaks.tk site is for information related to corruption and wrongdoing at a local level, while the HackerLeaks.tk site is for any other stolen data.
The HackerLeaks site, which launched on June 25, got its first submission on Tuesday--a list of personal details of Orlando, Fla., officials--though the data was posted to the LocalLeaks site, according to Forbes, which reported on the sites on Thursday. The Anonymous hacker group has shut down … Read more
Thanks to digital technologies, we have more media sources than ever to get our news from, but when it comes to covering town halls, school boards, courts, and other local news, they mostly suck.
That's the takeaway message (though definitely not in those words) in a behemoth of a report (PDF) released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission.
The 460-plus page report, titled "The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age," is two years in the making and was led by Beliefnet co-founder and former U.S. News and World Report National Editor Steve Waldman.
If forced to sum up the entire report in a single tweet, it would probably be "The Internet has revolutionized how we gather and consume information, but meanwhile local news has been damn near suffocated." Or, as Waldman and company put it on page 262:There were about 13,400 fewer newspaper newsroom jobs in 2010 than there were in 2006, dropping from 55,000 positions to about 41,600. Over the years, newsmagazines, local commercial radio, and local TV have reduced their newsgathering staffs, as well. At the same time, Internet sites, cable news, and public radio have created new journalism jobs.
So, the Net picked up the slack for the shrinking old media then, right? Not so, says the report. It goes on to estimate that there are roughly 5,000 less reporters covering local "accountability" beats today than there were in 2000, and even back then there weren't nearly enough to cover everything. All told, the report estimates that the number of local beat reporters would need to be more than doubled to do the job right, at a total cost of about $1.6 billion--or $265 million if we just wanted to get back to 2000 levels.… Read more