Tag Archives | Sony

IFA: The First 200-Hz LCD TVs Are Here! But From Who?

I’ve been spending the day at IFA, the giant consumer electronics show in Berlin that’s Europe’s equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I’m having a good time, but one conclusion I’ve drawn so far is that CES has the edge when it comes to major announcements about flashy new technologies and jaw-dropping specs. CES isn’t CES without stuff like the world’s first OLED TV or world’s thinnest LCD or the world’s largest plasma. IFA, however, seems to be dominated by more mainstream products and technologies that are cool, but not cutting-edge. You could argue that that’s a good thing, since very few of us will buy the first OLED TV or biggest LCD or thinnest plasma. But it does make for a somewhat more subdued show.

One exception: There’s plenty of hoopla about the first 200-Hz LCD TVs, which run at a faster frame rate to provide smoother action with less motion blur. The company that’s first to market with this breakthrough is justly proud about it. Here’s a snapshot I took in Sony’s booth:

..and here’s one from Samsung’s booth:

Yup–both companies are claiming credit for being the first. (Sony and Samsung share some LCD production, which might explain the synchronicity here.) The dualing firsts kind of point out the silliness of specsmanship in general: Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much which company was first and which one was second. Unless, of course, you’re talking about marketing campaigns. (“The World’s Second 200-Hz TV” just doesn’t have the same ring.)

Is 200-Hz worth getting excited about? The jury’s still out. Samsung has a demo that showed 50-Hz vs. 200-Hz, but it was so obviously rigged that it wasn’t a useful data point: The 50-Hz video was more flickery than a Charlie Chaplin film. I didn’t see any similar comparison at Sony’s both. Both 50-Hz TVs did, indeed, display extremely smooth imagery, but I learned a long time ago not to pay much attention to TV demos at trade shows, since they almost always look gorgeous. What will matter is how much better 200-Hz looks with real-world data sources like cable and satellite TV and standard-def DVDs and Blu-Ray discs almost nobody ever uses those sources when showing off sexy new technologies.

More IFA tidbits to come, and full disclosure: I’m attending the show as a paid speaker at several panels.


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Are Macs More Expensive? Round Three: An All-in-One Free-For-All

So help me, I’m addicted to comparing the prices of Macs and Windows PCs. That’s okay, though–judging from site traffic, a startling quantity of Technologizer readers seem to be addicted to reading and discussing my comparisons. On Thursday, I contrasted a mid-range MacBook with custom-configured Windows laptops. On Saturday, I followed up by comparing the cheapest MacBook to cheap Windows laptops from Best Buy. And today? Well, today I’m in the mood to look at desktops aimed at consumers.

Apple, of course, makes no typical desktop PCs for consumers; we’re now in the second decade of the all-in-one iMac. The unified-monitor-and-CPU form factor never conquered the Windows world, but several major manufacturers offer units that combine that design’s space-saving virtues with a splash of Apple-like flair. What say we compare the current 20-inch iMac to some Windows-based iMacalikes?

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Are Macs More Expensive? Round Two: Survival of the Cheapest

On Thursday, I began my multiple-part look at the cost of Macintoshes by comparing a mid-range MacBook to some Windows laptops which I’d configured to be as similar to the MacBook as possible. Compared to those machine, I concluded that the MacBook was in the zone in terms of price and power, or, in other words, “not expensive.”

I also managed to stir up lots of controversy, in the form of dozens of comments and discussion elsewhere on the Web. So as promised, I’m back with another round of price comparisons, and based in part on comments to my original post by a reader named Michael, I’ve decided to stick with the MacBook and compare it to Windows laptops that happen to be on sale at Best Buy at the moment.

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Are Macs More Expensive? Let’s Do the Math Once and For All

[UPDATE: This is one of the most popular stories we’ve ever published, but with the arrival of the new MacBook on October 14th, it’s also obsolete. Read it if you like–but this new article compares the new MacBook to comparable Windows computers.]

It’s of those eternal questions of the computing world that never seems to get answered definitively: Does the “Mac Tax” really exist? Some folks are positive that Macs are overpriced compared to Windows computers; others deny it steadfastly. Almost nobody, however, bothers to do the math in any serious detail.

So that’s what I’m going to do. And since Apple manufactures multiple models, I’m going to do it one computer at a time, starting with the MacBook, the company’s consumer notebook.

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