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LG Quitting on Plasmas: Fact or Fiction?

LG signSuspicion is that rumors are flying about the possibility of LG leaving the market as a plasma producer. LG’s vice-president, Lee Gyu-Hong, has been reported as saying that the future is uncertain for LG in the plasma sector. If LG does pull out of the market, they would be following the recent resignations of Vizio and Pioneer plasma. These changes would leave all the work to only three major manufacturers on the plasma market – Panasonic, Samsung, and Hitachi. Is this a sign of doomsday for the plasma TV or will the lack of competition cause Panasonic, Samsung, and Hitachi to rack up in sales? It seems that manufacturers are pulling away slowly as profitability decreases, going from six major brands to a possible three in the timespan of a few months!

Shortly after this rumor of LG’s withdrawal hit the media, there was a contradictory response from George Mead, Marketing Manager for Digital Displays at LG Electronics UK. He said reportedly that the UK division of LG did not intend to withdraw from the plasma market at all, although there were discussions going on at LG about the major changes going on currently in the plasma market. Other specifics from his conversation seem to support the idea that LG is doing well in the UK, but what about the US market? LG’s recent release of the LGH9000 plasma television, which uses a wireless HDMI connection, leads us to believe that LG, as a company, will persevere. Is it possible that LG would continue to prosper in other markets while withdrawing from the US market, like Phillips did last year?

As a Pioneer dealer and Samsung dealer, Advanced Technology Services wants to continue to support our customers through this time of change in the plasma market. We will continue to offer superior customer service to those who have purchased Pioneer televisions from us. Please comment on our blog below or contact us via our website with any questions, thoughts, or concerns.

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February 28, 2009 Posted by | HDTV, Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flat Panel TVs: Is Buying Cheap Brands Worth Saving Dollars?

no-walmartBig distributors like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Costco are turning out less expensive flat-panel televisions almost as quickly as milk and eggs. While this might be a slight exaggeration, it seems that as the price of these TVs declines, the quality does the same. When is it worth it to save the money, and when should you be worried you are actually wasting dollars on a low-quality product?

Surely you are looking for the best bang for the buck, even if it means you may have to make a slightly larger investment for a better return on your money. If you are not penny-pinching, it is best to go for a better quality product from your local audio video dealer, like us, Advanced Technology Services. If you are penny-pinching, maybe it is not the right time to be buying a flat-panel television!

panasonicRemember that most of the televisions sold on discount in large distribution-style stores are often stripped of the best features that can be found with the devices that we, as a Toshiba and Pioneer Elite dealer, sell and service on a consistent basis. These TVs in stores may also be made by brands you are not familiar with. The products and brands we sell have passed the test of time. Sometimes, finding positive feedback and reviews for many of these new, cheap, no-name brands is tough.

It is important, when choosing the right television, to listen to the audio, check out the connections, and put your “hands-on” the product you are buying, in addition to just seeing the screen. It’s a big purchase and you should be completely satisfied with your choice! We are happy to demonstrate the product you are interested in buying, answer any questions, inform you of the products offerings, and provide product support after your purchase.

If you are looking to build a new home theater system or a RV satellite system feel free to give us a call or email anytime!!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | HDTV, Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pioneer releases long-awaited Elite KURO Signature Series

By Joanna McDonald

Everyone, from the amateur home-theater enthusiasts to the guys who review the latest and greatest technology for a living, has been blown away by Pioneer Elite KURO Signature Series Monitors. The word kuro means “black” in Japanese, and they aren’t kidding. Hometheatermag.com’s Geoffrey Morrison mistook the monitor for being off the first time he saw it: “One had that subtle and comforting glow that any flat panel has when displaying ‘black.’ The other panel was clearly off. Then an image appeared–on both screens. It was a ruse; the other panel wasn’t off at all. It was on. The black level was that good-CRT good.”

pioneer-elite-kuro-signature-hdtvPioneer has released only two sizes, the 50-inch PRO-101FD and the 60-inch PRO-141FD. They were specifically designed for custom home-theater installations with a cash-rich consumer in mind (not very many of us, these days), and the price tags—$4,500 for the 50-inch and $7,000 for the 60-inch—ensure that they’ll stay true to their Elite name.

The black level in these monitors is .004 ft-L. That’s .002 foot-lamberts lower than the previous record, held by the Sharp LC-52D92U, and that’s an LCD. It’s the deepest, purest black you can buy in a flat-panel right now.

Home-theater gurus will love the multitude of features Pioneer makes available. Five of the seven picture modes can be completely adjusted. There’s a room-lighting sensor that automatically adjusts the picture to look its best for the conditions. Color, noise, brightness, contrast, and detail can all be adjusted. Six high-definition and five standard-definition aspect ratios allow you to fine-tune for just the right picture. The menu setup is a little different; it minimizes the picture to the right side of the screen, but allows you to preview any adjustments you make to the picture. Internet connectivity allows the picture to be adjusted remotely, among other things

The styling of the unit itself is what you’d expect from a high-end flat-panel: glossy, streamlined black frame and non-swivel base, detachable speakers on either side of the display, a simple gold “Elite” embossed on the bottom of the frame like a code—if you know, then you know what it is. As a Pioneer dealer I would recommend you check one of these out!

January 8, 2009 Posted by | HDTV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Getting the best picture on your HDTV

Have you purchased a new HDTV only to get it home and be disappointed by the quality of the picture? Is it just not quite as crisp, clear, and vibrant as it was at first sight? Is the surround sound puny compared to the boom you felt at the store? If your electronics salesperson did not explain the importance of HD feed alongside the purchase of an HD television, Advanced Technology Services is here now to repair the damage. HDTV and an HD feed go together like bread and butter. You can’t have one without the other and be satisfied.

These six “need-to-knows” will provide answers your problem:

1. An HDTV set requires an HD feed

You won’t get an HD picture on your new set unless you contact your provider for a set-top box and/or a satellite dish upgrade. Be sure to ask about HD-specific plans and the offering of HD channels. If you use an over-the-air antenna, a high-def tuner box may be a necessary purchase.

2. SD is still common for most programs

Most major broadcast networks display news and a prime-time show in HD, but the majority of other programming is still broadcast in standard-def. The SD signal is not able to be converted to HD signal for an HDTV, so these programs must be watched in their original format. Many programs are broadcast secondarily in HD on a different channel from the original. These channels will be found further down the list in the triple digits.

3. An HDTV will display an SD signal with poor quality

Be prepared: The HDTV screen multiplies the low-quality of the SD signal in the same way a low-megapixel picture distorts when you zoom in on it. The small screen size of your old tv hid these imperfections, but your larger-than-life flat screen is meant for bigger and better things.

4. SD screen size is not wide screen like HD

That short and stout picture you can’t get rid of comes from an SD screen size (4:3) that is being stretched to fit an HDTV with a 16:9 ratio. This can be easily fixed by adding sidebars to the SD channels through the settings menu.

5. Proper configuration is essential for HDTV, cables, and set-top box

Even if you have an HDTV and HD feed, incorrect wiring set-up can prevent the HD signal from being viewed as it should be. One of the following 3 inputs must be used: DVI input, HDMI input, or the component video input (RCA type – which is often red/blue/green). Check your television’s display and output settings as well to insure that 720p, 1080p, or 1080i is selected, whichever is correspondent to your HDTV’s resolution.

6. Standard DVDs are not converted to HD by an upconverting DVD player

Upconverting DVD players do not change SD signal into HD, they simply adjust the screen size to 1080i or 1080p. The quality of the picture will not improve just because it is viewed on an HDTV. If the original source is SD, you will be viewing an SD picture. Blu-ray and HD DVD players are the only DVD players that produce a true HD signal.

If you are still shopping for an HDTV, these manufacturers are all producers of high-end sets that will tickle your fancy:

Samsung Mitsubishi Pioneer Pioneer Elite Toshiba

December 31, 2008 Posted by | HDTV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments