2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Televisions (list)
There’s never been a better time to get a new TV to place in your living room, den or bedroom. Today’s TVs don’t just offer bigger screens, but there’s also high-definition to make the picture stand out like it was real. Then add image enhancing technologies and Internet-capable features and you’ll wonder what reason there could be to ever leave the house.
VIZIO E320i 32” Smart LED TV
A widescreen lightweight chassis is what you see at first glance, but then you’ll confront a 720p resolution that’s vibrant, thanks to a LED-lit display. Insert a thumb drive to access stored music or photos — you can leave the drive in and easily carry the VIZIO from one location to another. But if you’re going to access Netflix or the other online applications provided, an Ethernet cable from your home theater’s router will need to be plugged into the back.
Amazon has it for $485.
Sceptre E465BV-FHDD 46-inch 3D LED HDTV
46-inches is the new “42” inch size for displays, and this Sceptre provides a more than big enough screen when it’s time to watch a movie or TV show. The set has 1080p high-resolution and plenty of inputs for attaching to video source devices. There’s simplified, yet sophisticated controls for fine-tuning video and audio response to your liking. But don’t look for Internet capabilities — instead concentrate on the addition of a polarized screen for 3D viewing (4 pairs of glasses/1 pair clip-ons). As is the case with many TVs on the market, the “street” price will be significantly less than that of retail.
Amazon sells it for $621.
SunBriteTV Model 3260HD All-Weather Outdoor LCD Television
A 32-inch 720p flat-panel TV might seen underwhelming, but how many can you take outside without any worries about what can happen? A protective chassis and waterproofed connections enable the SunBriteTV to perform outdoors regardless of weather conditions. Connect it to a video source kept safely away while you watch — the front panel is designed to keep sunlight from interfering with the picture more efficiently than that of a conventional HDTV.
It’s $1,295 at Amazon.
Sony Bravia HX750 46-inch Internet LED TV
This 46-inch Sony comes with all the bells and whistles, from a 10 watt audio sound system to a smooth looking display that comes courtesy of 240 Hz, aided by the MotionFlow XR 480 technology. Dynamic edge LED backlighting plays a significant role in enhancing blacks, and the 1080p resolution ensures fine detail throughout. The use of “active” 3D means that viewing stays at full resolution, and Internet-related applications run the gamut from video streaming to “widgets” like weather forecasts and social media. Built-in WiFi frees you from having to be within range of a cable for connecting to your home network.
You can grab it at Amazon for $998.
Mitsubishi Diamond 842 82-inch 3D DLP Home Cinema TV
Mitsubishi eschews flat panel technology for DLP so as to provide a Full HD 1080p resolution to its 82-inch display. This includes 3D viewing as well, since “active” technology is used as opposed to a polarized screen. Even so, the chassis is more compact and manageable than those large DLP tube-based sets of yesteryear.
The lighting is evenly lit from edge-to-edge, even at an extreme angle to the set. There’s also a wide range of Internet-related applications and destinations that can be accessed using a wired connection (or wireless via the optional adapter).
Amazon has it for a nice discount at $1,698.
Samsung ES9000 75-inch LED TV
Samsung maintains a thin and svelte chassis, even as the 75-inch screen threatens to overwhelm your living room or bedroom (or you). The Full HD 1080p resolution is maintained throughout on what is an evenly lit and sharp-as-a-tack screen — including when playing 3D since an “active” system is used (liquid-crystal shutter glasses required).
Samsung’s “Smart Hub” provides a wealth of destinations to visit and apps to use, and both gesture and voice control let you suit controlling the TV the way you want to. Interesting additions include a pop-up video camera for use with Internet apps, and the ability to “swap out” the processing CPU for an upgraded/enhanced version at a later time.
You can pick one up at Amazon for $8,998.
Sony XBR-84X900 84-inch 4K Ultra HDTV
HD goes overboard as 4K replaces 1080p with 4 times the resolution and the most realistic image ever made available for the home. Everything about this Sony is high-end, from the highly detailed and beyond-sharp screen that is evenly lit from edge-to-edge (using Gorilla glass for a durable and bezel-reducing effect) to the 50 watt audio system straddling the display’s sides.
A polarized 3D system still provides higher resolution than a 1080p “active” 3D system can, and the wide assortment of apps and online destinations can be accessed via wired or wireless connectivity. The Sony processing engine compares what’s on screen with a comprehensive database to ensure the best possible visual results.
The retail cost is $25,000 and you can buy it at Sony.