3D

BDPS470

Great deals in Audio Video clearance section

Check out our clearance section for some great deals!

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Not on the site yet…Sony BluRay for $59.99!

- Sony BDPS470

So, What is 4K TV resolution anyway?

In a nutshell, 4K refers to approximately 4 times the maximum resolution of current high-definition (HD) displays. Today’s hi-def displays top out at 1080 x 1920 pixels of resolution, often referred to as “1080P”. At this time, there’s no agreed upon standardized definition of 4K (therefore the “approximately” 4x resolution). The HDMI organization (the people who set the specs for the popular HDMI audio/video cable in use today) recently added two of the 4K formats to its latest specification: “Quad HD” (3840 x 2160 pixels) and 4K/2K, also called 4K x 2K (4096 x 2160 pixels). Quad HD matches the 16:9 ratio (screen shape) of modern television screens.4K video resolution comparison

The graphic here shows proportionally the amount of picture information in various formats. You can quickly see how much more picture information there is with the “4K” formats. Four times the resolution sounds amazing, and it does provide the clearest details we’ve ever seen, but for most people this doesn’t really become noticeable unless you’re either sitting very close to the screen or if your screen is very large (more than 80″).

That’s 4k in a nutshell.

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Active Shutter vs Polorized 3D glasses?

Active Shutter Glasses:

This technology has been adopted by most consumer electronics firms like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, etc. With this technology, an HDTV will display one image to your left eye and one image to your right eye. Since the effective frame rate is halved, these HDTVs need to have double the refresh rate of HDTVs (60 Hz). This is why you will find that all 3D HDTVs have a minimum frame rate of 120 Hz (most have a frame rate around 240 Hz or even 480 Hz). You will need a pair of active shutter glasses if you buy a 3D-capable HDTV in 2010 and onwards.

Passive (or Polarized) Glasses:

The display shows two overlapping images and the glasses have polarized lenses. Each lens is polarized so that it can see only one of the two overlapping images.

The only drawback is that viewers will need to sit directly in front of the display to get the full 3D effect. If the viewer is sitting on the side, the 3D effects will be less pronounced.

TV’s for a “Super” Super Bowl Party

Panasonic 152 inch TV

For the most immersive Super Bowl / Home Theater experience, a front projection system (separate video projector and large screen) remains the ultimate video display technology, especially for private Home Theaters where you can control the lighting environment. But, what about more casual spaces, such as your Family or Great Room that doubles as a Media Room where you want to watch the TV in a brighter environment? It is in these situations that a large flat panel TV is a great choice, and maybe the fairly standard 65″ size isn’t cutting it. Well, we have some solutions for you…

To kill the suspense, I’ll tell you right now the largest flat panel TV on the market is the 152″ plasma TV offered by Panasonic (which is mighty huge!). Here is the rundown on large flat panel TV options available today.

First, the incredible Panasonic TH-152UX1 plasma TV. This 152″ diagonal screen size TV weighs nearly 1300 pounds and has the surface area of about nine 50″ flat panel TV’s (hint, you will want to brace your walls to handle the weight). It boasts more than 4 times the pixels of conventional high-definition displays with its 4096 x 2160 resolution. It is 3D capable and has a slightly wider aspect ratio of 17:9 which complies with the DCI standard for digital cinema. The picture height is nearly 6′. A TV this large doesn’t come cheap, it is $499,995.

Largest TVThe previous screen size champ until the 152″ came along is the 103″ plasmas available from Panasonic. It has a slightly larger picture than four 50″ displays. Like the 152″ TV above, you can get 3D at this screen size, and trust us, 3D looks much better on larger screens. 3D is meant to be viewed on larger screen sizes…the 3D effect really loses its punch when viewed on smaller TV sizes unless you sit very close to the TV. Panasonic also manufactures an 85″ plasma TV, also available in a 3D version. To give some perspective, this TV is roughly the same size as four 42-inch displays. This TV weighs around 260 pounds and is about 3.9″ thick. Like most TVs these days, this one is made with glass that minimizes glare on the screen surface. Prices range from approximately $25K to nearly $40K for the top-end 3D ready model. Like all Panasonic plasma TV’s, the picture is excellent.

In September of 2011, Sharp released their Largest flat panel TV yet at 80″. This TV has surpassed its recent predecessor, which was a 70″ TV. The Sharp flat panel 80″ TV features LED backlighting and has built in WiFi. This allows users to access Netflix through the TV.

Mitsubishi tops out at 92″. Smaller versions are available in 73″ and 82″ screens, and all are 3D ready. The only “catch” with the Mitsubishi’s is that they are rear-projection technology (think of the “big screens” that existed before the plasma TV boom). They are deeper (18″ – 25″ deep) and the picture is great. They are cost-effective for a large picture, though.

There’s still have time to order and install your BIG TV choice by the Super Bowl Sunday. Call Brett our HDTV expert to discuss the perfect solution for your room @ 979.268.6010

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Ammo to “Show Off” your 3D Theater!

So here goes, 3-D demos to rock your socks off…

Monsters vs. Aliens – view minutes 43:34-47:04 – This bright clip shows off the true benefits of cinemascope (the wider 2.35:1 aspect ratio screens) and exceptional color performance. Be sure to check out the Golden Gate bridge against the blue sky.

Alice in Wonderland – Trailer from Disney Digital 3-D Blu-ray Showcase disc – This clip literally jumps off the screen. No movie can match the color saturation in Wonderland. Check it out.

Grand Canyon Adventure, River at Risk – minutes 11:58-13:48 – The Grand Canyon in 3-D, what else can I say? Spectacular.

Bob’s Big Break – animated short – This is the pre-quel to Monsters vs. Aliens and can be found in the special features of that 3-D Blu-ray. This is a great demo since you can show a story from beginning to end as opposed to picking a scene from the middle of a movie.

Step Up 3-D – First Dance Scene – This is a teenybopper dance movie but a good demo of live action 3-D combined with good audio.

Avatar – hidden scene – Go to Disc 3 and find the hidden menu to the right of “Live Extras”. Select “You’re not in Kansas anymore” and strap in for some of the best 3-D ever produced.

Although 3-D has not quite taken off like the industry has hoped it would, these demos might make believers of the 3-D skeptics.

If you are in the process of building, dreaming about, or designing your own private theater, Audio Video builds and designs private screening rooms and home theaters in Central Texas.

The skinny on 3D TV

The industry is very keen on 3D being a total TV revolution. They are hopeful that it will be as big as the HDTV revolution.

A recent trade magazine article stated “3D is alive and well…” the author’s reasoning is that although sales are way below targets, the manufacturers are still investing heavily in the technology. In my opinion, hopeful manufacturers does not signify buy in from the market.

We are selling a lot of 3D TVs, and here is why: most top models from the major manufacturers are 3D capable. Since many of our customers are interested in the best picture quality, we sell them TVs that include 3D capability.

In summary, at this point I think 3D is still a novelty, but only time will tell.

A few downfalls to 3D are:

  • Glasses are annoying
  • Very little content available
  • Some consumers find 3D nauseating
  • Even on a 65″ TV the screen size is too small for 3D to have a dramatic effect

I have seen the demo broadcasts of sports in 3D and in my opinion, they have a long way to go.

Tron: Legacy now available in Blu-ray 3D

For the most part, the five discs in the Tron: Legacy box and their associated features are impressive, if predictable. Both films look fantastic, and each comes with a bevy of behind-the-scenes information, commentaries and other innovative features.

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One film was meant to break new ground, and became celebrated for its concept. The other took that concept and gave it a fresh look (and notably, an incredible soundtrack from Daft Punk). Instead of breaking new ground, “Tron: Legacy” became a popcorn film, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

3D Camera is Headed to Space

Panasonic announces the AG-3DP1, a Full HD 3D Camcorder that is planned to fly to space on 28 June 2011. The AG-3DP1 is equipped with dual lenses and two full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD.

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It can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in AVCHD PH mode, and offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes.

Star Wars 3D confirmed for 2012

The entire Star Wars saga is being converted to 3D and will be in theaters sometime around Valentine’s Day 2012.

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The first film to be featured in full 3D will be “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace“, followed by the five other episodes, each one year after the other.

You may also find interesting the “12 Scenes From Star Wars I Need to See in 3D” list from Big Shiny Robot here.

Is Best Buy’s Buy Back Program Worth It For TVs?

Best Buy logo.jpgBest Buy’s commercial featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber was one of the higher-rated commercials during the big game, but how should we rate the Buy Back Program it promotes?

Launched last month, the Buy Back Program allows consumers to receive gift cards in exchange for laptops, netbooks, tablets, post-paid mobile phones, and televisions returned to Best Buy. The catch is, you have to buy the Buy Back Program option when you purchase your new device. The upfront cost depends on the product, and the amount of money you get back depends on the length of time you owned the product and the condition it’s in. All returned merchandise must be in “good working condition and include all original parts.” Best Buy will purchase the product anytime within two years for laptops, netbooks, tablets, and mobile phones…and four years for televisions.

Sounds simple enough, right? Not really. Our friends over at HDGuru.com have posted an excellent breakdown of cost and other caveats specifically related to TVs. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re considering opting in for the Buy Back Program during your next TV purchase.

By Adrienne Maxwell