Rich Warren: UHDTV video issues solved [dash] for a hefty price

Recently I mocked the new ultra-high-definition televisions, which deliver twice the resolution of existing HDTV, meaning UHDTV is comparable to movie theater quality. My barb concerned the lack of ultra-high-definition videos and movies for UHDTVs.

Sony owns a major movie studio. Problem solved. Thus, if you buy the new Sony XBR-84X900 UHDTV for $25,000, Sony will throw in hours of UHDTV video and movies loaded on a hard drive inside the TV. Hey, what's a $100 hard drive when you're paying $25,000 for a TV? Enjoy.

Then again, movie theater quality is in the eye of the beholder. I recently viewed "Lincoln," a wide-screen movie, at the Beverly in Champaign. Screen trailers and signs in front of each auditorium boasted the DLP digital projection system.

Digital projection offers some advantages over film, especially lower video noise, which means no scratches or defects. Depending upon your preference, digital projection looks smoother and more TV-like. Film buffs consider this a negative. The biggest negative occurs when the camera pans, the picture blurs and loses detail. By the end of the movie, my head ached. Digital projection increases profits for studios and theaters, so there's no going back to film. It can be improved to eliminate such artifacts as the blur, but it requires higher resolution and better and more expensive projectors.

Speaking of Digital Light Projection, Mitsubishi, as well as other companies, used this Texas Instruments technology in its rear-screen projection TVs. Mitsubishi helped popularize those TVs in the late 1970s, when a projection set, either front or rear, was the only way to see a truly large picture. The company enjoyed boom times in the late 1990s until the mid-2000s with its rear-screen projection sets.

So it's a milestone that Mitsubishi announced Dec. 3 that it would no longer manufacture rear-screen projection TVs and that its existing stock is nearly sold out (don't look for any close-out bargains). They can't compete with flat-panel TV prices.

Vizio offered the best Black Friday bargain with a full-featured 70-inch E-Series LCD TV with LED backlighting for $1,700. For those of you preferring not to spend a day or two camped outside a big-box store, rest assured that TV prices dip in February just before new models begin appearing. You'll probably grab a better bargain after the holidays.

A few weeks ago. I advised a reader not to wait for OLED TVs. The current timeline indicates large-screen versions will arrive in mass-market quantities in two to three years. Samsung showed models at the September electronics show in Berlin.

According to Business Week magazine a lot of industrial espionage is taking place from and between Korean companies, which hold the lead in OLED production. Initially, the prices of OLED TVs will be far higher than competitive LCD-LED sets. While OLED looks phenomenal, it's not perfect and manufacturers continue trying to mitigate flaws and improve overall picture quality.

As the market floods with new tablet computers offering a wide range of features, prices and application stores, one reputable brand arrives with a major negative. All Amazon Kindle tablets display advertising from Amazon. Not the kind of ads you see from a Google search or when using free apps, but ads even before you can use an app or read a book.

That's why Kindle tablets cost less than the competition. In the fine print, most models permit buying your way to ad freedom for a substantial fee.

While displaying advertising is perfectly legitimate, Amazon should not cloak it under the name "special offers."

It all depends on how annoying you consider Amazon's "special offers" ads. Apple may be avaricious in its own way, but the iPad only displays ads to which you agree when downloading apps.

Rich Warren can be emailed at hifiguy@mchsi.com.

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KOR wrote on December 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

Once again you fail to mention all the details. I wonder if you have ever even used a Kindle of any flavor.