Deal or No Deal

Deal or No Deal?

Westinghouse TX-42F430S 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV with 4 HDMI ports for $849.99

How does a 42 inch, 1080p, LCD TV for under $900 with free shipping sound? The Westinghouse TX-42F430S is on sale at BestBuy.com for $849.99 with free shipping. With the exception of a few users who had problems with this TV, it gets favorable reviews for image quality.

The good news:  It includes 4 HDMI ports so you can hook up everything  read more »


April First Report From CTIA - No Fooling

It was opening day at CTIA today and no one was fooling around. I have to say this show is a lot easier to deal with than CES; much more manageable and less crowded. You could actually get a chance to check out the products at the booths and lunch in the press room didn't vanish at 11:45.

Speaking of the press room I ran into a Becky Waring, an old colleague who has a degree from MIT and has been writing a lot recently for PC World. She just finished a roundup of new wireless routers due to be published soon. One thing she told me that I wasn't aware of is how WiFi networks ca  read more »


Report From Showstoppers at CTIA

Retrevo is at the CTIA show in Las Vegas this week. CTIA is the big cell phone conference. Showstoppers is an event held at all the most popular tech conventions that brings the press and vendors together in a comfortable setting. The draw for journalists is easy access to the right people from companies with cool products. The attraction for companies is access to fish or rather journalist in a barrel. The fact that they always have great food helps lure in hungry journalists looking for a free meal. It's always a great place to see cool new stuff and meet interesting people.  read more »


Another DTV Conversion Casualty

While reading  Etan Horowitz's new tech blog for the Olando Sentinel I came across a reader's comment that mentioned another fallout from next year's digital TV conversion and that is all those analog-based TV audio receivers. I've had many multi-band radios that have had a TV band that let you listen to the audio portion of a TV show. All those old radios will stop receiving analog TV signals next year. They'll all have to switch to digital receivers for TV audio. Just in case you want to read more  read more »


HD DVD Players Still Worth Buying

Keep your eye out for firesales on HD DVD players. If the price gets low enough these players might still make excellent standard definition DVD players. For example, the Toshiba HD-A30 has an HDMI 1.3 port and upconverts to 1080p. You might even be able to pick up a player that comes bundled with some discs.


More Wii News

Apparently Wii-motes flying out of peoples' hands and damaging expensive TVs has become a big enough problem that Panasonic announced that some of its new plasma TVs will be strong enough to sustain a blow from a Wii projectile. We imagine that could come in handy for beer cans tossed at ball games too.

Speaking of the Wii-mote, of you haven't been one of the millions of people to watch Johnny Lee's Wii-mote hacks on Youtube and you want to see some clever engineering from a certified wiz kid then check out this video.  read more »


Best Place to Buy a Wii

Friends have asked us what's the best way to buy a hard-to-find Nintendo Wii. A quick poll of some expert gamers and shoppers including our own Robb Lewis revealed these tips. Craig Eastman of Gamepro Magazine fame, said it's all about timing a visit to a retailer like Target or Sears so you're there when the shipment comes in. If you're nice to the clerk in the games department, maybe he or she will tip you off. Norman Fong, techbargains deal wizard says, "Gotta get the Sunday ad on Saturday, see who's  read more »


Is It Time To Buy a Blu-ray Player?

Toshiba has thrown in the towel and it looks like Blu-ray will be the one and only high definition DVD format for the time being. Is it time to buy a Blu-ray player? Maybe not. 

The Blu-ray group has been a little behind on approving the Profiles that provide features like picture in picture commentaries, and intenet connectivity. Since the features haven't in place on the players the studios haven't been including them in the discs. To make matters worse it hasn't been possible to upgrade firmware on older players. All that should change but it should take another couple  read more »


Going Handsfree - It's the Law

Five states have passed laws making it illegal to hold a cell phone while talking on it in a car. The California law takes effect July 1, 2008 and will cost drivers $20 for the first offense.

Personally I haven't found an ideal alternative to holding my phone up to my ear. Aliph's Jawbone has the best repution for sound quality and noise reduction but there are universal complaints about the fit on your ear. At CES this year Jawbone ran a promotion that offered a free Jawbone with a trade-in of any bluetoo  read more »


HD DVD on the Ropes After Warner Announcement

The HD DVD camp is reeling from the Warner Brothers announcement to distribute Blu-ray only discs as of June 2008, . Warner is one of the largest DVD producers and could significantly change the balance in the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war. In reaction, the HD DVD group cancelled a big press event at CES. To make matters worse rumors have Apple's new Macbooks sporting Blu-ray DVD drives. This has got to have the Microsoft camp riled up and huddling with Toshiba to plan a counter attack. On the other hand I think it was Bill Gates who said this will probably be the last physical media format  read more »