Thursday, December 14, 2006

The HDTV hunt continues

I stopped by Ultimate Electronics in Burnsville on the way home from work tonight to get a gander at a few more HDTV models. I was pleased to see they had one of the new Samsung HL-S5679W units on display. It's a 56 inch LED-based DLP rear projection. LED in DLPs is quite new. I was excited after reading about it because the LEDs are supposed to last for 20,000 hours. That's 6+ years if you watch 8 hours of tv every single day. The CNET review I read of this one raved about the color reproduction, but knocked off points for poor black levels and a "hot spot" or a spot on the screen noticeably brighter than the rest. Well now I've seen one in action, and sitting next to a Toshiba and a JVC bulb-based DLP, the Samsung's picture was underwhelming to say the least. The brightness was extremely uneven. I stooped down, looked from different angles, and tried every which way, but could not get a good viewing angle on the thing. Not impressed. So draw a line through that option.

NuVision, evidently a relative newcomer in the states in the tv market, also has an LED-based 52 inch DLP, but I have yet to see one in action for myself. I've heard good reviews on this model, but I'm hesitant to drop 4 digits on a first generation product from a company whose history of quality I'm not familiar with.

One thing I got out of my window shopping tonight was that some of the other tv models that haven't rated all that great in CNET's reviews looked just fine to me (I'm reading other sites, Consumer Reports, but I just trust CNET more on consumer electronics reviews--they are picky, but not ridiculously so like some hardcore videophile reviews). I also loved the picture on the Samsung 1080p LCD flat panels and was blown away by the picture on the Sony flat panels. But those sell at a premium.

Time will tell. Soon, my pretties. Soon.

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