Microtek Pumps Out the Plasmas

Microtek Lab, Inc. has announced two new lines of high-definition plasma displays aimed at the video enthusiast and home theater markets, respectively—but aside from the branding on the 42-inch and 50-inch units (one’s labeled Microtek and the other Cineon) and (of course) the price tags, you might have trouble telling them apart.

The Microtek branded displays are dubbed MHP1-HDI and the P50TX1A, the former being 42 inches and the latter 50 inches. Both sport silver cases and offer ATSC and NTSC tuner inputs, along with composite (2), component, S-video (2), VGA, and HDMI input, and support resolutions from 480i up to 1080i. The 42-inch MHP1-HDI sports a 1,024 by 768 native resolution (although the specs say 1,366 by 768 pixels), 1,300 cd/m2 brightness, a nice 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 173° viewing angle. The larger 50-inch offers an un-contradicted 1,366 by 768 resolution, 1,000 cd/m2 brightness, and 8,000:1 contrast ratio with the same 173° viewing angle. Both sets feature detachable 10-watt speakers and will be available with optional wall mounts. Prices: $1,499.99 for the MHP1-HDI and $1,999.99 for the P50TX1A; the company plans to show them at CES next week.

Moving over to the "Cineon" line, we’ll see the same 42-inch and 50-inch sizes, along with the same input options, brightness, contrast ratios, confused native resolutions, and viewing angles we saw in the units above—the difference seems to be that these go by the CP42HA and CP50HA model numbers, are available with piano black bezels, and will carry $1,599.99 and $2,199.99 price tags, respectively. "The Cineon high-definition plasma flat-panel TVs from Microtek are gorgeous," said Microtek product manager Parker Plaisted. "These HDTVs deliver outstanding picture quality that is tunable to each individual home-theater environment. And the slim elegant piano-black case compliments the screen by evoking an impression of framed art." Surely that’s worth a couple hundred dollars extra—even if you still don’t get 1080p!

Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.
Product Review

With the S10e and S10 Plus, do we really need the Samsung Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S10 is the middle child in this year’s Galaxy S10 range, between the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s no striking reason to buy it, but it’s still an excellent phone you’ll be happy with.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Home Theater

Kanopy privacy breach reveals which movies members have been streaming

Free video streaming site, Kanopy, has been inadvertently publishing millions of lines of web log data for days, according to a new security report. A bad actor could guess a person's identity and see what they've been watching.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Home Theater

How to connect your Roku device to your hotel room’s TV

Staying at a hotel, but can't bear to be parted from your favorite streaming shows and movies? Take them with you with our complete guide to using your Roku on the road when staying at a hotel.
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.