Tag Archive: Television


I am not the one who believes in doing things the old school way. Any and every little issue, whether it be a little scraping in the wall to any issue in an electrical appliance of mine, I prefer to give it a shot myself rather than straight away calling a mason or technician. Most of the times, it works but sometimes the end result is dreadful. Just ask the landlady about my Diwali lights debacle and you will have a fit of rage on exhibit!

And I have stayed honest to the philosophy when it comes to buying new products. Take for example my new LG LM6700 Cinema 3D TV which has been bought an exact 7 months 22 days and 11 hours ago J The whole TV purchase process was one hell of a rollercoaster ride for me. My slim CRT panel had undergone bypass surgeries I don’t know how many times and the need for change (or to be more specific an upgrade) was apparent. As much as I didn’t want to part with my old generation idiot box, the upgrade had loomed on the horizon and this demise just made it inevitable. The crying shame is that the CRT wasn’t in a condition to be kept anymore and one fine day we parted ways L

Now began the surveying process for the new TV. I had been so crushed with all that had happened during the past few days that my heart wasn’t yet set straight on sorting out this new dilemma of mine. I breezed through quite a few brand showrooms and multi-retailer stores without much of a purpose as I wasn’t yet clear on what I wanted. But with the kind of moolah I was going to spend on a new TV, I needed to get my head around the whole deal. And that is when the real work began as I first understood the three available display technologies namely LCD, LED and Plasma at the time. Since the TV needed to be kept in a brightly lit room, the Plasma was ruled out immediately. And with the dimensions the room had; anything less than 50” would look farcical. And since LCD models in these screen sizes are deceptive as quite a few which claim to be full HD turn out to be HD Ready and as a newbie, that was a risk I wasn’t willing to take so I singled out on going for an LED TV.

I might have been unaware of how TV’s have progressed, but the frequent showroom demos and visits bought me up to speed with it all. TV’s now were not only capable of providing stunning picture quality but also double up as a PC with their Smart TV functionality. Add to the fact the phenomenon of 3D visuals had already caught up with brands with most in the range of newest models were in fact Smart 3D TV. This changed the whole outlook I had and I resurveyed the models I had singled out for their 3D capabilities and Smart TV functions. It was a direct tussle between Sony 46” HX850, Samsung 46” ES6800R and LG 47” LM6700. Now here is when things got tricky as the 3D technology in LG’s TV was different to that of Samsung and Sony’s. That is when I hit a roadblock again to understand all about the Active and Passive 3D technologies. After a check on that, it was clear that passive 3D is the preferred and more comfortable option when viewing 3D for longer time periods so LG had an extra brownie point on that front.

But 3D was not going to be the deciding factor as picture quality and Smart TV functions held equal weightage for me. That also turned out to be engaging as the HX850 turned out a tad bit better on the PQ front but was nowhere near Samsung and LG in terms of its Smart TV dashboard. Plus, the Touchpad Remote and Magic Motion Remote from Samsung and LG respectively were an added plus.

With every important aspect of a new age TV clear to a layman like myself, the only thing left was a thorough comparison and then making a choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved some of features in both Sony and Samsung, but LG for me was the consistent performer across all the important parameters which made my choice a wee bit easier. Close to 8 months on, my LM6700 adores the main wall of my living room and I am glad that this purchase was made after proper research and not haphazard selection because that would have been annoying when there is a plethora of informational resources to learn and understand from before shelling the bucks on a TV these days!

Advertisements

3D and Fashion – A Natural Union

I think 3D technology in televisions is still evolving and developing beautifully, though a lot of people are skeptical – and wonder whether 3D TVs are just a fad – that will pass out with passing seasons. It is not that 3D technology is something new – it started to catch public imagination right at the start of the 20th century, and its popularity has increased ever since. The 3D technology has been successfully incorporated into the popular medium of television only recently – and its application has rapidly expanded to include other mobile devices too – laptops, Smartphones and handheld gaming consoles.

Vu Couture TV - The Designer 3D TVOne can easily say – 3D TVs are in fashion, and how! Vu Televisions recent became the purveyor or luxury televisions in India – with the launch of a “Vu – Tarun Tahiliani Counture TV”, developed in association with the well known fashion designer. The sumptuous looking 55 inch screen 3D TV is decked in Swarovski crystals – and looks like a great piece of bling for those who like to live life king-size. Not only is this TV good looking, it has got some serious specs to boot – on par with some of the best 3D TV models around. I can see one problem though – anyone seeing this TV will be so busy admiring the crystals in the TV frame – he will simply miss the picture! On a serious note, I think this is a trend of inculcating great luxury in selected products, and will only grow in the future.

The onslaught of 3D in the fashion world is spreading still further. I remember reading an article about a group of designers who are taking the advantage of 3d visualization process not just to speed up their designing process but also take their fashion design into next level. Jimmy Choo, Hugo Boss and Gucci are some of the leading designers that have inculcated 3D elements into their designs. While some of their designs look stunning, some look just average – but that is just my outlook! But what I really could appreciate was the willingness of these designers to experiment with 3D, and create new fashion statements that could create great buzz, and excite fashion lovers like me.

I think that design and 3D form a natural union. With the help of 3D, fashion designers could really bring out the details, textures, volumes and shapes of fine crafted garments and other accessories. I am very much sure that soon, more big brands and famous designers – in India and abroad alike – will turn to 3d technology to showcase their creativity and products.

Just last evening in a general chat, my nosy neighbor caught hold of me on my way upstairs to boast about his HTC Evo 3D Smartphone that he had recently acquired. He blatantly plagiarized what major manufacturers claim and advocated that this Smartphone of his is the best investment he has made and it’s capable of replacing his laptop, PC, camera as well as TV. His staggering statements reminded me of how Samsung too believes that their Galaxy Tab is a one-stop technology companion which can do much more than all the standard devices.

Now in spite of being a technological enthusiast, I do not believe in half-witted ideology that a single device can compete and surpass the functionality of multiple devices. Simply because an engine is never greater than the sum of its parts; it’s those parts which render and identity to that engine. Nevertheless, I am open enough to understand an approach. A Smartphone or a Tab is a computing device which allows you to make calls, click images and record videos, enjoy media as well as surf the internet. Basically, it’s a full on recreational device (the focus is on recreational here.)

And that is where its limitedness gets highlighted. Apart from making calls which is the most clichéd USP of a mobile device, a Tab or Smartphone only marginally compensates for the features of other devices. Let’s start with a PC first. Your PC is nothing short of your home entertainment hub. You store a massive amount of media on it and with its memory expansion option there is no shortage of storage space. And the professional use of PC’s and laptops is not restricted to just sending mails and maintaining excels. Fields like programming and graphic designing require complex and heavy software for operation. Even the more personal aspect of gaming can only be enjoyed on a full-fledged gaming setup. Needless to say, a Smartphone or Tab does not even come close to be applicable in this regard.

 

 

Next comes the TV. Before I even start a comparison, we need to understand that with the advent of digitalization and multiple service providers queuing up; TV entertainment has acquired a whole new definition. And with addition and introduction of new and HD channels, the big screen couch potato experience has just gotten better. A Tab or Smartphone may play channels through an internet application and with the low amount of users, software and firmware updates seem farfetched thus reducing the whole experience.

And last but not the least is the good ol’ camera. Now I have to say that phones have come scarily close to a conventional digital camera and provide the additional portability benefit. And with Nokia bringing models like Pureview 808 in the marketplace, the stance of smart phones is bound to strengthen in the coming times. But unfortunately, there is still a large hurdle to come over as far as extensive use in concerned. Any enthusiast would swear by his DSLR any given day!

Now my emphasis here is not to insinuate hatred towards a Tablet or a Smartphone, but to highlight that they are fine computing devices which at best are “Jack of all trades, Master of None”.

Be it a layman consumer or an experienced head, the ever increasing options in brand names and technologies has made it impossible for us to make a cohesive choice when purchasing a new TV. And the biggest challenge is to comprehend the product features in accordance to the price at which it comes. The fact is that there are simply too many questions in mind that you ultimately end up getting swayed by brand popularity and end up purchasing a TV which might be technologically inferior. Let me address a few of the questions that generally pop up during this process –

1)      LCD, LED or Plasma: This question is one for the enthusiasts. Experts consider Plasma as the best performer as the color output and dark levels are much superior to LCD’s and LED’s. Even though it’s relevant in comparison to the older models, the new generation of LED’s with advanced panels (IPS and S-VA) are capable of producing brighter, more vivid pictures with equally comparable blacks. Now the concern that comes is whether display technology is a major thing to ponder over then I would say yes. LCD is the standard that has replaced a traditional CRT in Indian households (at least most of them). LED was the next step with panels being lit with LED’s rather than fluorescent tubes and majority of LED’s now are edge lit. The thing that needs to be understood is that step up to an LCD is a basic upgrade, to a Plasma is enhanced picture quality while an LED achieves a strong balance between looks and visual output.

2) Picture Quality: This is the single most important factor that needs to be tested before you narrow your options. There is no so called best TV in that regard. My advice would be first have a mental picture of the TV set up in your place and then check for screen gloss, color output and black levels, frame rate and input lag while gaming through a console.

3) HD or 3D? : Another dilemma you may encounter while looking for a TV is its 3D-capability. Naysayers will have you believe that 3D is nothing more than an expensive gimmick while neutrals may have the view of 3D being a good add-on feature. Now my opinion on 3D is that it is in fact an extra layer of cream which enhances your viewing experience. Moreover with an increased focus on ultra HD and 3D content these days, it can be said to be a future-proof investment when purchasing your TV. However, the most important part is that most 3D TV’s are in fact full HD. So would you like the extra cream with your coffee?!

 

 

4) Active vs. Passive 3D? : This is another one of those never-ending debates that refuses to cease and desist. What is the benefit and flaws of either one of them? Well in simple terms, active 3D works on analogue camera shutter mechanism and requires its battery-powered 3D glasses to do the tedious 3D generation work. Passive 3D on the other hand has a thin film attached to its screen and lets your brain configure the 3D for you. The two major issues of flicker and crosstalk (image ghosting) are absent in passive 3D systems which makes for easier viewing. Another misconception about passive 3D is that it is not full HD. Do check the views of HDTVTest to get a more clear idea on this.

5) Idiot Box or Smart TV? : Now this is one factor which is entirely dependent on personal preference. If one simply views TV as just that then a basic HDTV should suffice. But with the various connectivity options like Wi-Fi, WiDi, DLNA and Smart Share at disposal, a Smart TV is now very close to becoming a centralized display and operation hub for almost all the smaller gadgets you might possess. So whether it’s a smart network through a single interface or the current use of smart gadgets is entirely your call. A cheaper alternative (barring the connectivity options) for making your basic TV Smart would be going for a Smart TV Box.

6) Price and After Sales service: Last but not the least is the price factor. With the expansion of consumerism in India, the pattern of product purchases have become very conscious and cautious at the same time. The only feasible suggestion is to put some time and effort to understand the best deals available in your area as well as scour through forum and review sections to get a fair idea of a particular brand’s after sales service and customer grievance solution time.

For some, upgrading electronics like TV might be a piece of cake but for most of us it is a long-term investment. One needs to try and understand what he realistically expects out of his TV and then only proceed with the buying process.

%d bloggers like this: