Battle of the TV's
It wasn't too long ago (the early 90's) when a 32" widescreen was seen as a big screen. Then as plasma and flat panels became the norm in the 2000's 42" became the standard for a family TV. Is there now a shift to 50 and 55" screens? In this months What Hi Fi they reviewed a range of 55" screens around the £2500 price point from the main manufacturers. The two we were really interested in was the Samsung UE55F8000 v the Panasonic TXP-55VT65 both of which sit towards the top end of their respective ranges. For the full review see this months What Hi Fi but here are a few comments from the article:-
Panasonic TX-P55VT65 - 5 Star Award and Group Test Winner
"Class leading detail, well balanced colour palette, fantastic handling of contrast, remarkable clarity, natural depth to 3D image. A simply stunning tv, you'll struggle to pull yourself away from it"
Interesting to see that despite all the talk of plasma dying that yet again it takes the group test award thanks to a stunning performance that the LCD/LEd's couldn't match! Excellent black level detail and brilliant contrast!
Samsung UE55F8000- 4 star
"Fantastic smart features, natural colour, defined detail. Voice and gesture control gimmicky, expensive, whites could be punchier"
Finally we thought Daft Punk's new album Random Access Memories deserved a mention. Here at Pixll we've been fans of Daft Punk for a number of years and we were delighted when "Get Lucky" was released as its such a great track, although the music snob in us has been somewhat dissapointed by its ubiquitous airing- afterall you dont expect Ken Bruce to be cueing up Daft Punk on Monday morning at 10.00a.m :) On a recent trip to the seaside a friend of mine played the whole album in the car which I'd not heard and I'm glad to say I loved it. Its a bit of a departure from "Homework" and "Discovery" sounding a lot more "disco-like" but the addition of featured artists such as Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas and Giorgio Moroder is a stroke of genius. If you like your Dance/House/Disco go and buy it!
Thats all for now!
Feel free to call us on 0113 2509991 or e-mail email@example.com if you want to discuss any of the products mentioned above.
I've had a number of e-mails and phone calls regarding the above two panels availability so I thought I would put this post up here today. As of Friday 17th May the Panasonic TXP65VT65B plasma is available to order, we've managed to ship a couple of the screens this week. As for the Samsung UE65F8000 LED we are looking at the first/second week in June assuming you pre-order.
I would strongly recommend you call us on 0113 2509991 or e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on either of the models as this information will change daily.
Having been to watch the Manchester United v Manchester City derby last night I am feeling somewhat tired this morning nevertheless I wanted to keep you abreast of some of the newsworthy AV/Hi FI items I have come accross over recent days.
Although we haven't run any offers of the week of late we will be offering 3 tempting Pioneer Hi Fi/Acoustic Energy packages. Watch this space for more information as the week progresses.
In coming weeks we may have a sister company in place for Pixll. What will we be selling? Well it will be AV/Hi FI related but keep reading our blogs for more information.
The Home Cinema Centre
I noticed the Home Cinema Centre in Edinburgh will be closing its doors soon. We are very sorry to hear that. Their situation sounds very similar to our own when we owned a nationally recognised Sound and Vision franchise. We wish everyone there the best and hope that everyone manages to find new jobs.
PMC is responding to customer demand for its twenty series speakers by reallocating production capacity to increase output.As buyers are moving away from its long-running iseries models to the more recent models, it's bringing to an end production of the two-way 'i' designs, and concentrating efforts on the five-strong twenty series instead.
That means the end of the road for the DB1i, GB1i, TB2i and FB1i, with PMC managing director Miles Roberts saying that 'The two-way iseries products have been stunning performers for us since they were first produced, but sadly now is the right time to retire them from the portfolio.
'The FB and TB models have been in existence for over ten years and there are very few loudspeaker companies that can claim a sustained sales performance for products of this age - which is testament to their supreme design.
'The performance and styling of the twenty series have overshadowed the DB1i, GB1i, TB2i and FB1i, and our customers recognise this and are choosing to buy the new models.'
The other iseries models will continue in production
Panasonic to end plasma production?
I noticed this article and I'm still not entirely sure they have given a clear answer.
If you trawl through the various articles out there one thing is clear the Panasonic we know today wont be the Panasonic we see in three years time according to his plan. Plasma doesn't seem to be on their long term radar mainly because they are making such big losses from it and yet they still suggest they are committed to their tv division!?? As usual we'll wait and see.
Panasonic European Convention 2013
Ever since Pioneer upped sticks and pulled out of the plasma TV market the enthusiast has been looking for a replacement. The combination of heavy investment, hiring key Pioneer engineers and purchasing some of their technology made Panasonic the pretender to Pioneer's crown. Perhaps the initial expectations were unrealistic, after all it takes time to develop someone else's technology, even if you have lifted their talent and patents. Early views of Panasonic's new plasmas at CES 2010 looked suspiciously like the ninth generation Kuro but the AV enthusiasts crossed their fingers and held their collective breath.
After a number of false starts, Panasonic finally delivered on their early promise with last year's VT50 - the first consumer TV to win an AVForums Reference Status badge since the all conquering Kuro. However, despite the acclaim heaped upon the VT50 by just about every reviewer who saw it, there were still those who refused to recognise the usurper, clinging to the mystique of Pioneer's plasma swan song. Like Banquo's ghost, the Kuro just wasn't going to leave the banquet that easily and despite being four years old and no longer manufactured, supported or available to buy, some people felt that the Kuro remained the true reference point.
In a move likely to go down well with AVForums members, Panasonic have unveiled their 60 inch ZT60 'enthusiasts' Plasma TV. Steve and Phil were on hand to interview key Panasonic personnel about this year's product line-up, which includes a full complement of Plasma and LED LCD TVs for the UK market. You can read all about the Convention and watch all 6 of our videos in the report.
Pixll (Leeds) thought we'd bring you some more news from CES 2013. As usual we've trawled the net for the latest information on the show as we simply can't afford the time out to be there!
Its seems there has been a raft of press conferences from the industries big boys in the last couple of days all centred around OLED and Ultra HD 4k (or whatever you want to call it). This years CES is all about the TV. So whats new?
1. LG reveals first curved OLED
The LG EA9800 is supposedly the worlds first curved 3D(passive) OLED on display at their stand. The 55inch screens are on show delivering 1080p content and an impressive 5 degree viewing angle. The idea of the curved screen is to make the experience more immersive as the viewing distance from your eyes to the screen is the same at any point on the screen. Gimmick? Not sure?
2. Samsung then reveals its curved OLED
Anything you can do.......
Samsung also claimed that its curved OLED is the world first. Although we have no real spec or model numbers Samsung too said that the idea was to make the viewing distance from the eye to any part of the screen the same therefore providing depth to the content displayed and a more life like viewing experience. mmmm.
What other screens were on show?
Panasonic Launch 56 inch Ultra HD 4k OLED screen
While Samsung and LG were fighting over the first curved OLED Panasonic decided to go one better and not just bring out an OLED or a 4k tv but combine the two!! Like Sony a little earlier they are also claiming the worlds first prototype 56" OLED 4K tv. (more on the Sony below)
Their 56 Ultra HD OLED is a world first as the panel is produced using the RGB printing method. Is it me or is there a lot of "World firsts" at this years CES? Panasonic suggest this method of production to be suited to producing various sized OLED screens. Pana's screen measures just 8.9mm deep promises wide viewing angles and good colour reproduction. Its just a prototype at this point so no idea of pricing or dates yet but it will be launched in the future
What else from Panasonic?
32 new models- 16 plasma and 16 LED.
The most interesting range could be the new flagship ZT60 series. This will replace the VT50 series at the top of the consumer tree with the emphasis being on its own master studio panel and the focus being on picture quality not features. To confuse things there will also be a VT60 series which I am assuming will replace the existing VT 50 range . This new line up will be available from Pixll in feb 2013.
Also available will be the ST60, S60, X60 and a vast array of LED models .
Sony's 56" 4k OLED TV
Like Panasonic Sony brought their prototype 56" OLED TV. Click on the video for more info.
Sony launches 55" and 65" 4k Ultra HDTv's
The X9000A range uses the latest Sony 4k X Reailty pro processing engines to deliver 4k (3840x2160 resolution) content and upscaled full HD content on the 4k screens.
Sony's new tv's will roll out later this year although no word yet on pricing or a UK release date.
What about 4k Content?
Sony has also announced plans for the worlds first 4k content distribution service where Sony pictures and other distributors will be teaming up to provide customers with 4k content.
Sonys plan to release 4k blu ray mastered discs should happen in the Spring in the US, not sure about the UK yet.
Any other Screens mentioned? Yep, Loads!
Samsung unveil 85" Ultra HD LED F8000
Again we dont have spec as of yet but Samsung revealed their new flagship LED model the F8000. It should sport new connectivity and a new look SMART platform. I dont know how much thinner you can get than the current series but rumours have it this will be under 0.25 inches thick.Voice and gesture control is prominent with a new S-Recommendation feature which recommends things to watch based on your viewing history. Sounds interesting.
So, we've heard from Samsung, Pana and Sony what about the other brands?
Sharp announces Ultra HD 4K moth eye tv
Sharp launched 2 x new ultra HD televisions during its press conference.
The first set dubbed the ICC Purios cobines ultra HD with and integrated cognitive creation processor....what? Its basically designed to mimic how the human eye responds to light and perceives depth, texture and perspective.
One interesting selling point is that it is..yes you've guessed it another first! The worlds first THX certified Ultra HD screen. This will be an attraction to some.
Its second screen is part of the more familiar Aquos range and uses what they call a Moth filter.
Away from Ultra HD Sharp will also provide new screens across the 6,7 and 8 Series.
All Sharp's 2013 screens feture dual core processors, new web processors, new android and ios control apps.
What about TV sound?
One of the things Sharp is doing which I think is very important in the flat screen market is concentrating on tv sound. Flat panels are notorious for poor quality sound. Some of that is to do with the amount of space required to fit decent speakers to a tv particularly in light of the growing pressure to make screens thinner and thinner. I think there are also assumptions made that people spending £1500 + on a screen will also have a 5.1 system to supplement it.
Sharp is looking to fit its new screens with subwoofer technology and even source Yamaha's world class surround sound processing technology. I know cost as always prohibits things like this but the other tv manufacturers should be taking note.
LG has confirmed that its Hecto Laser projection tv will be shipping korea later this month and the US should see it after that. Pricing is estimated to be around £7500!
What is it?
A 100" two piece system of projector and screen with a throw of 22" and a claimed contrast ration of 1,000,000:1 and a light engine with 5 times the longevity of a conventional lamp projector. Picture quality is supposed to be equal to and reminiscent of a plasma display due to its colour pallet and usability in brighter room conditions. Hats off to LG for innovation but pricing (and size) will mean it has a very small market but then like a concept car I'm sure its there to display what the company can do.
What else from LG?
They have revealed two new Ultra HD 4k models, the 55" and 65". Both are passive 3D, boast more than 8 million pixels and use the Triple XD engine.
Toshiba has launched its first range of Ultra HD 4k tv's. They are releasing their L9300 range in summer 2013 and should come in sizes 58",65" and 84".
Away from Ultra High Def Toshiba will be releasing the L7300 , L7350 and L4300 premium LED ranges and the L2300 and L1350 in the smaller sizes.
Well there is a tonne of Tv information to get through there. As I say we've trawled the net so you dont have to but feel free to get in contact if you want any more information or want to chat about the new technologies which should start to emerge over the next year or two!
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Pixll is pleased to hear that OLED will finally be making its way onto the market. It will be nice to see some premium screens hit the market again. Anyone remember Pioneer?! However, be warned the prices will intially be high. Not since the early plasma screens hit the market have we seen flat panels cost so much. Mass production should see that price drop quite quickly but we will be watching with interest. Could this mean an LED type product with plasma screen like black levels!? Lets wait and see!
Samsung are talking about the end of 2012.
Pixll (Home Cinema and AV-Leeds)
As part of phase 1 of this project Pixll was given the brief by this Leeds based client to provide music throughout their open plan penthouse appartment. The speakers needed to be descreet, affordable but equally providing a good quality and level of sound. We were also asked to provide a basic TV solution without going to the lengths of full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. We opted for Sonos multiroom throughout (controlled originally by the CR200 but the customer now uses their IPad 3 and Iphone 4), Monitor Audio inceiling speakers, a Pioneer plasma, Yamaha AV Receiver with Sky HD. Video 1 shows the open plan living area (kitchen, dining area, lounge and seating area)
As part of phase 2 we were asked to provide access to music on the outside terraced area seen in video 2 below. A relatively simple job on the face of it, simply put some weather proof speakers up outside and wirelessly connect another Sonos unit! No problem! Well this part became more complicated by the fact that we were only allowed to use existing gaps in the ceiling where the existing speakers and spotlights were to "fish" new cable through from the terrace to the loft. Utlimately there was very little room to maneouvre but we acheieved it and the client was delighted. Some brief video below showing the terraced area which runs off the main lounge. More before and after still shots can be found in the Home cinema installation gallery.
Whilst we dont widely publicise that we sell most makes of tv mainly due to the issues of price and logistics etc we realise how important flat panels are to consumers despite reports from most manufacturers that profits are down and tv sales are dire. I noticed an interesting article on CNET which may be of help to some when chosing a tv. Read on for more info.