The best TVs and accessories of 2010: internet-connected, 3D, ultra-thin
Thursday 30 December 2010
In 2010 consumers have seen TVs transform from static black boxes into wafer-thin designer pieces of furniture that can connect to the internet.
Driven by consumers' constant desire to connect with their social networks and their need for instant access to the latest news and information, internet connectivity was a major feature in TVs in 2010.
The 3D experience also arrived on TV screens around the world in 2010. Whilst the technology is still in its infancy, manufacturers attempted to make 3D TV an affordable luxury.
Here are some of the most innovative and ground breaking TVs (and accessories) on the market in 2010.
An ultra-thin 3D TV designed by an award-winning designer
Toshiba has teamed up with award-winning designer Jacob Jensen to create the WL700A LED series of designer TVs. The back-lit LED, 3D-capable TVs are Toshiba's thinnest yet and come with a frameless edge-to-edge glass screen. Features include "Autoview" automatic screen setting calibrations to match the available light conditions, "Intelligent 3D" to compensate for brightness and color loss when viewing in 3D mode, and built in DLNA capabilities that let users stream movies and music from selected smartphones and Toshiba-branded notebooks. Toshiba's 46" LED WL700A is priced at AU $3,299 (€2,420) and the 55" version costs AU $4,199 (€3,080).
The world's first Google-powered HD internet TV
Sony's Google TV is breaking down the borders between browsing the internet and watching TV, offering users the ability to consume (almost) all their multimedia on one device. The internet TV is built on Google's Android platform and uses the Google's Chrome browser for surfing the web. Expect to pay $599.99 for the 24 inch NSX-24GT1, $799.99 for the 32 inch NSX-32GT1, $999.99 for the 40 inch NSX-40GT1 and $1,399.99 for the NSX-46GT1 Sony internet TVs.
World's first glasses-less 3D LCD TVs
Toshiba's REGZA GL1 3D series sets are the world's first consumer TVs to offer the 3D experience without the need to wear 3D glasses. Two models are currently in production, the 20 inch (1,280 x 720p) 20GL1 and the 12 inch (466 x 350p) 12GL1 (while larger models are expected to arrive in 2011). The two devices are priced at 120,000 yen (€1,042) for the 12" model and 240,000 yen (€2,085) for the 20" model. Both are expected to become available in Japan on December 25.
A 3D TV that turns your living room into a cinema
Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum Series is the world's first cinema-proportion 3D TV. The 58" display is designed to provide a superb "cinema-like" viewing experience thanks to its 21:9 ratio. Philips claims the TV is the fastest LED TV currently available in the world with a refresh rate of 0.5ms. The Cinema 21:9 Platinum Series 3D TV is priced from €3999.
The world's slimmest full LED 3D TV
At just 0.88cm thin (and a 1.25cm bezel) the LG LEX8 is able to capture what the company says is the "sharpest 3D images on the market." The ultra-flat-screen TV uses LG's NANO Lighting Technology to reduce screen bulk and to disperse light more evenly and effectively across the display. The TV is scheduled to be released before the end of 2010 but as yet exact pricing and release dates have not been announced.
An internet-connected HDTV that can "instantly" convert 2D TV into 3D
Measuring less than the width of a pencil (an unbelievable 0.31 inches thin), Samsung's LED9000 3D TV was selected as the winner of the Best of Innovations CES 2010 award. The TV converts 2D TV into 3D images "on the fly" and will offer access to services such as social networking, live weather reports and a large array of other internet applications through Samsung's Internet@TV service. The 46" version is priced at $5000 and the 55" model sells for $6000.
Designer TVs that make a statement in your living room (even with the screen turned off)
Sony also recently entered the designer TV market with its high-end Bravia TVs (the NX800 and NX810). Despite the high price, the TVs have quickly become an object of desire for design-obsessed electronics lovers. With their distinctive minimalistic "Monolithic" design and metallic stand, the NX810 and NX800 are part of the the next generation of designer TVs. Additional features include on demand access to videos and TV shows, internet TV, and internet Widgets. The 60" Bravia NX810 series 3D HDTV is priced from $4,229.99 while the 52" Bravia NX800 is priced at $1,599.99.
A set-top box that provides a "full" web experience on your TV
Logitech's Google TV set-top box is set to bring internet-loving TV-addicts the Google TV experience on their current HDMI-ready TV. The Logitech Revue with Google TV is a companion box (and compatible wireless keyboard controller) that enables consumers to browse the web, stream videos from sites like YouTube, play Flash games, connect with friends on social networks and even show off photos on the biggest display in the house. Logitech Revue with Google TV costs $249.99 and is currently only available in the US.
A set-top box that lets you stream movies from your iPhone
In 2010 Apple turned their set-top box "hobby" into a thriving ecosystem with the release of an updated Apple TV. The device, which connects to users existing TV, provides access to a large selection of HD movies, TV shows and multimedia entertainment. Users can also stream multimedia content directly from their iOS devices, stream movies from Netflix's catalogue of releases and watch YouTube videos. Apple TV is priced at $99.
The world's first universally compatible active 3D glasses
The current cost of 3D TVs and accessories may force many new 3D TV owners to opt for a 'BYO 3D glasses' policy when they invite their friends over for a 3D movie marathon - but most 3D glasses on the market can only be used with the TV sets they are sold with. XpanD's X103 3D glasses are the first universally compatible active 3D glasses on the market. XpandD claims they will work with any display that is capable of showing 3D content. The glasses are available in 12 different colors for both adults and children and are priced from $109.
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