The Problem With The Big Bang Theory...
butmyopinionisright: I’ve been meaning to post something about The Big Bang Theory for a while now but it’s taken me ‘till now to really understand what it is about the show that makes me uncomfortable. I’m not exactly a believer in the whole “only write about the things you like, don’t trash the things you don’t” trend which seems to be plaguing comments sections in negative articles lately,...
Budget Bars: Soundbars from Vizio, Samsung, LG,... →
TVs are lonely. A beer-soaked barstool at 2 a.m. kind of lonely. They cry out for companionship, their tinny, bass-less voices difficult to hear, even harder to enjoy. When they were young, they held so much promise: high definition, good times, low cost. How quickly came the onset of disappointment? A search, a hope, a late-night call for help. Four suitors — less “Diamonds and...
Are letterboxed movies really 1080p? →
CNET Reader Doug Hagemeister asks: Hello! I was watching a movie on Blu-ray the other day filmed in the 21:9 aspect ratio and I realized that it technically wasn’t “1080p” since about 1/4 of the screen was taken up by the horizontal black bars (called “letter boxing,” correct?). Anyway, I was just wondering how many pixels were being used on the TV. Thank you! Ah,...
Undersea - My Book! →
In a world flooded and irradiated by a nearly forgotten cataclysm generations passed, all that remains of civilization clings to life in two war-torn, city-sized submarines. For fifty years, the only peace between them has come from separation. Now, young councilwoman Ralla Gattley has uncovered mysteries that will bring these two factions face-to-face, setting in motion events that will forever...
Welcome to StoryBundle! We’re featuring our first bundle, the Big Bang Bundle, where you can get seven fantastic ebooks at one low pay-what-you-want price. Our books have no DRM. None. That means you can read them on just about all the devices you own, no matter who makes it. You can check out each book by clicking the cover to read a preview and selected reviews.
The Greatest Speakers Ever Made. Ever. →
It’s rare, in the life of a reviewer, to have the privilege of critiquing a product so amazing, so game changing, so paradigm shifting as to completely remap the industry landscape. Such a productis the Liberty Freedom 1776 A-FY tower speaker from Lirpa Labs, the company founded by storied audio designer Dr. Loof Lirpa. “With all the economic turmoil caused by endless bailouts, excessive...
185 feet per second →
“At 126 miles per hour, I develop a whole new appreciation for Kraftwerk.” “Sure, there are many speed limits throughout Germany’s Autobahn system. Sure there is enough congestion to make 55 seem like speeding, but as you edge out into the countryside, there’s this moment. This moment where the traffic opens up, the beautiful diagonal lined sign appears, and you can push your...
iTunes vs Amazon Instant Video vs Google Play vs... →
I have been saying for ages that the only thing that matters in a tablet is the available content: What can I download to the device, and watch on a plane, train, automobuggie? Everything can stream Netflix, surf the web, etc. The number of downloadable TV shows and movies is by far the most meaningful difference between tablets. The assumption: iTunes and Amazon offer so much more content, the...
There and Back Again: A Journey to CES and... →
“Dawn breaks over this city like chlorine on a crime scene. A scything cleanse unable, perhaps unwilling, to purge the filth from the crevices. The harsh, sober daylight shines too bright on the inveterate gamblers, still desperately grasping at ever-elusive winnings and ever-abating hope.” “I’ll never truly like this city. It reeks too much of resolved failure and...
Haters Gonna Hate →
I don’t understand some people. Ok, a lot of people. Internet people, mostly. The type of people with the need to proselytize their views about meaningless crap. You know, like what I do. Only, not paid. These malcontents have a passion for posting vitriol wherever their sensibilities about good and bad companies/products/technologies are impugned. To which I say, WTF?
Active 3D vs. passive 3D: What's better? →
Curious about the difference between active 3D and passive 3D? So was I. So I wrote this.
What is OLED TV? →
By now you’ve probably heard about OLED, or organic light-emitting diodes. LG and Samsung both revealed potential models at this year’s CES, with the LG winning CNET’s Best of CES Award. Make no mistake, this is the most important advancement in TV technology in more than a decade, and a vast improvement over both LCD and plasma. Here’s why.
Why 4K TVs are stupid →
The latest TV technology buzzword is “4K.” This magical alphanumeric represents a quadrupling of the now-standard 1080p resolution found on Blu-ray and most HDTVs. Have no doubt, manufacturers are going to start pushing 4K (some already are). The thing is, though, you don’t need 4K, because in the home, 4K is stupid.
Why LED does not mean a better picture →
Don’t listen to the hype. Ignore the commercials. Leer skeptically at the salesman. There is no such thing as an LED TV, and “LED” doesn’t mean it’s any better than other TVs. LED is just a type of LCD, with strengths and weaknesses that make it better in some ways, worse in others, and rarely worth its price premium over other technologies.
LED LCD vs. plasma vs. LCD →
In this television technology trifecta, which comes out on top? The subject of countless debates and diatribes, the better question is: which works best? Or more precisely, which works best for you? When you cut through the hype and the fanboys, each tech has different benefits and costs. So to help you figure out which TV is right for your house, let’s take a look at each one.
Is plasma HDTV burn-in a problem? →
Based on some comments in my recent article on LCD brightness uniformity, it seems fair to do a piece on that big bugaboo of plasma HDTVs: burn-in. So what is it? Is it something to be concerned about? Can you fix it? Cutting through the hype and fearmongering in 3…2…1…
Is LCD and LED LCD HDTV uniformity a problem? →
Nearly every LCD TV on the market has a problem: uniformity. Certain areas of the screen are going to be brighter than other areas. On dark scenes, this can be visible and sometimes distracting. So what causes it? What can be done?
Contrast ratio (or how every TV manufacturer lies... →
Contrast ratio is the most important aspect of a TV’s performance. More than any other single metric, a set’s contrast ratio will be the most noticeable difference between two TVs. That is, if you could juxtapose them. Which you can’t. Or if you could compare their claimed specs. Which you can’t. Understanding what contrast ratio is and how to judge it will help you...
Why all HDMI Cables are the Same →
There’s lots of money in cables. Your money. Dozens of reputable and disreputable companies market HDMI cables, and many outright lie to consumers about the “advantages” of their product. Worse, the profit potential of cables is so great, every retailer pushes high-end HDMI cables in the hopes of duping the buyer into spending tens, if not hundreds, of dollars more than...
It's my website! It's AWESOME. →
I’m a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, California. I was Editor in Chief of Home Entertainment magazine for three years and Technical Editor of Home Theater magazine for the seven before that. I currently write reviews and features for CNET, Sound+Vision magazine (where I’m also Contributing Technical Editor), Residential Systems magazine, TheWirecutter.com, HDGuru.com, BigPictureBigSound,...
Why 4K TVs are Stupid (still) →
Some interesting comments still aren’t convincing. 4K resolution in TVs is still a dumb idea. Read this blog post by Geoffrey Morrison on TV and Home Theater.