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Today’s Show:

What’s Hot Right Now (2012 Time Capsule)

We often look back at the technologies and prices of years gone by with shock and amazement. Instead of simply trying to remember what things were like “back then” we thought it might make sense to put together a snapshot of the current HDTV landscape we can refer back to in the future.

As we do periodically we’ve decided to take some of the top sellers at Amazon across a variety of categories and get their prices. This will give us a good indication of what is hot right now and also what their prices are.


3D TVs

LG Infinia 55LW5600 55-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 120 Hz LED-LCD, $1282
The first 3D TV in the top 100 at Amazon is this top of the line 55” model from LG. Overall it ranks at #4 on the list. It has an LED light source, 120 Hz refresh rate and Internet apps built in. It is a passive 3D model that includes 4 pairs of glasses.

The 47” version of essentially the same TV, the LG Infinia 47LW6500 47-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 240 Hz LED-LCD HDTV, $1077, is a few spots down the list at #12.

Samsung UN55D8000 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D LED HDTV, $2058
Samsung holds the next TV on the list at #11. Feature for feature it is nearly identical to the LG that is nearly half the price. Sure the Samsung looks a bit cooler with the nearly nonexistent bezel, and it is an Active 3D unit and includes 2 pairs of glasses, which might account for a bit of the price premium, but it’s certainly on the pricey side.

We found 34 3D TVs in the top 100 made by LG, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and Sharp. There were 27 Active sets and 7 Passive (LG, Toshiba). They ranged in size from 40” to 70” and ranged in price from $699 to over $3400.

Plasma TVs

Panasonic VIERA TC-P50S30 50-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV, $799
This the first plasma in the top 100; it comes in at #22 overall. It is a 1080p plasma, but not a 3D model. It includes Internet apps and DLNA support.

Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ST30 60-Inch 1080p 600 Hz 3D Plasma HDTV, $1400
Sliding down to #30 on the list, this unit, also from Panasonic, steps up to 60” screen size and adds 3D. It also gets to double as the first 3D plasma on the list. It is an active 3D model but it doesn’t appear to include any glasses at all. It is also an Internet app loaded set and supports DLNA.

Samsung PN43D450 43-Inch 720p 600 Hz Plasma HDTV, $492
Again moving down a few spots to #35 we find our first non-Panasonic plasma set. This is a bargain unit for sure. It is a strange screen size at 43”, is only 720p, doesn’t include Internet apps and is not a 3D unit. Basically none of the new features, but a great price at under $500.

Overall we found 14 plasma TVs in the top 100, not a bad showing. They were mostly made by Panasonic and Samsung, with one LG unit in the list. They ranged in size from 43” to 65” and ranged in price from under $500 to over $2500.


Of course the vast majority of sets in the top 100 list were LCD.  Some of the notable sets were:

TCL L40FHDF12TA 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV, $319
This was the #1 TV on the list at the time we built this time capsule. Who knows where they brand came from, or where they’ll be in a couple years, but right now they’re flying high. The set is 1080p, but otherwise lacks any of the “newer” features. But that’s what you’d expect from a 40” TV for $319. It has 4 stars at Amazon so it must be pretty decent, and it includes a 2 year warranty in case anything goes wrong.

Sharp LC-70LE732U, $2389
This is the biggest set in the list, but not the most expensive by more than $1000. It slots in at #75. This full array LED LCD doesn’t do 3D, but it has Quad Pixel Technology, 120 Hz refresh, a USB port for media playback and Connected TV services with Built-in Wi-Fi. Seems like quite a deal for under $2500. Can’t wait to see what the price is like in a few years.

Sharp has a 3D version of this set in the list at #33. The AQUOS LC-70LE735U 70″ 3D LED-LCD TV is $2864 to upgrade to Active 3D.

Samsung UN65D8000 65-Inch 1080p 240 Hz 3D LED HDTV, $3488
This Samsung, on the list at #88, has the distinction of being the most expensive set on the list. We aren’t sure what exactly justified the cost premium, other than the Samsung badge on the front, but it does provide nearly every feature you can imagine.

Coby LEDTV2226 22-Inch 1080p HDMI LED TV/Monitor, $179
On the list at #46, this set from Coby isn’t the smallest, but it is the least expensive. Although it is only a 22” screen, it still sports 1080p resolution. No 3D or Internet apps.

The smallest set on the list is actually the Samsung UN19D4003 19-Inch 720p 60Hz LED HDTV, $181. It ranks in at #18.

Media Streamers

The Internet Apps and Movie Streaming services could shift a bit this year, so we thought we should also snapshot the top 10 media streamers. Roku dominates the top 10 with 4, Sony has 2, followed by Apple, WD, Logitech and TiVo all with 1 each. Yes all you haters, the Logitech Revue with Google TV is still on the list.

1. Roku LT Streaming Player, $49.99
2. Apple TV MC572LL/A, $98.00
3. Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player, $99.99
4. Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p, $77.09
5. Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player, $89.99
6. Sony SMP-N100 Streaming Player with Wi-Fi, $49.99
7. Roku 2 HD Streaming Player, $69.99
8. Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi, $60.86
9. Logitech Revue with Google TV, $140.99
10. TiVo TCD746320 Premiere DVR, $75.64

Download Episode #512


Posted by The HT Guys, January 5, 2012 9:47 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.