Review Types Archives: Video Hardware

Video Hardware Review

TCL P-Series UHD TV Review

I’ve been recommending TCL Roku TVs for friends for a while now because they’ve always offered fine picture quality with the ease of integrated Roku streaming. I even have two of them around my house for secondary displays because they just work well. With the new P-Series displays, TCL has gone from offering “good enough” picture quality to offering an image that is just outstanding for the price. At $600, the 55” TCL P-Series is easily the best value in a TV today, and should be at the top of your viewing list. (more…)

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Sony 65″ A1E OLED TV Review

The A1E is Sony’s entry into the world of OLED displays. Using a WRGB panel from LG, Sony has paired it with their own video processing and an innovative new design that uses the screen as a speaker. This design seeks to distinguish their OLED displays from the options that LG offers, important as the Sony models have to cost more since they are buying the panels from LG. With two of us here having purchased the Sony OLED as a reference display, we obviously feel it represents one of the best displays on the market today, but it is the best option for most people today? (more…)

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Sony X900E TV Review

The Sony X900E UltraHD TV is a new model to their lineup for 2017. It features a full array backlight with 45 zones of local dimming (9×5 I believe, but am not certain), HDR and wide color gamut support, a true 120Hz refresh rate, and integrated streaming through Android TV. With one of the only full array local dimming backlights on the market, it is primed to compete directly with the Vizio P65 in performance and price. Can the Sony dethrone what has been the best value in a HDR TV this past year?

We’re testing something new here and writing the review as we test. Expect text to update over the course of a week or so as we make final conclusions. (more…)

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Sony VPL-HW45ES Projector Review

The mid-range projector market is mostly dominated by three brands: Sony, JVC, and Epson. With JVC starting at $4,000 and Epson moving the 5040UB to $2,700, it leaves the Sony VPL-HW45ES as the only $2,000 projector from those companies. It offers wonderful black levels with a great contrast ratio, accurate colors, flexibility for installation, and plenty of light output for a superb on-screen image. For the price, you won’t find a better projector out there today. (more…)

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BenQ HT6050 Projector Review

The BenQ HT6050 is a DLP projector with excellent out of the box color and good installation flexibility for a DLP at an attractive price point. Sharpness isn’t as good as other DLP projectors, and the calibration menus can be hard to use – but for the right installation, the HT6050 is an exciting and approachable option.

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LG 2017 OLED Hands-On Review

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the updated 2017 OLED TVs from LG. While this isn’t a full review of the new TVs, I couldn’t test apps well because of slow Internet speeds for example, I did run through the image quality of the updated TVs with objective and subjective tests. This year every OLED has the same panel and same SoC, so image quality between the different models should be identical. Based on what I saw with the W7 and E7 models, the 2017 LG OLED models offer the best image that I have seen on a TV to date. (more…)

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Epson 5040UB Review

For years Epson and Sony have battled it out in the $2,000 projector space. This year Epson moved up to a higher price point with the $2,699.00 5040UB. In doing so they’ve added an impressive amount of value to their offering. Compared to the prior 5030UB the new model has motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift with memory positions, optical shift for enhanced resolution with 4K sources, support for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, the ability to display HDR and WCG content, and LAN control. All these updates put the Epson 5040UB into a value proposition that no other projector currently occupies. After proper setup and a calibration, the Epson 5040UB puts out a fantastic image and offers a great value. (more…)

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Roku Premiere+ Review

In 2016 we finally got the UltraHD TVs we’ve been waiting for. Not just offering resolution, but offering expanded color gamuts, dynamic highlights, and a visual experience that goes beyond what we’ve had before. The Roku Premiere+ is the media streamer for those UltraHD displays. The Roku 4 only really offered added resolution, while the Premiere+ adds full HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 support for wide color gamut and HDR, removes the noisy fan, and costs less. Notably for Vizio and projector owners, it can do Amazon Instant Video with UltraHD resolution, HDR, and WCG. It is the best media streamer today if you want the widest selection of UHD content with HDR and WCG along with the easiest interface. (more…)

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HDHomeRun Connect Review

I recently reviewed the Vizio P65-C1 and liked it to the point that I kept it. There was one drawback for us: no integrated TV tuner. As a household that ditched cable years ago, we rely on an OTA tuner to watch live sports, presidential debates, and other programming. We had an old TiVo HD with a tuner laying around, but since we no longer paid for service it worked as a dumb box with no channel guide at all. Instead of buying another standard tuner to use with the Vizio, I decided to try out an HDHomeRun. (more…)

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Vizio P65-C1 Review

Over the past decade, Vizio has managed to transition from a TV company that makes a great value TV to one that makes a great TV. This year that transition is finally complete with the updated P65-C1, which is the best looking LCD set I’ve used this year. To get a picture that beats the Vizio, you’ll have to spend way more than $2,000 to do so and even then it still might not be as good. The P65-C1 is so good for the price, and overall, that I bought one for my new AV room to serve as my reference UltraHD display.

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