Recently I've spent some time with a Samsung 52-inch LCD TV, the better to review Freeview HD (here and here; also catch Ted Gibbons' review of Samsung's latest in July NZ PC World, on newsstand now).
Packing up the set, I couldn't help but admire the woman on the side of the box. Or, more specifically, her nifty little panel seat and foot rest that flows, step-ladder style, down from the main TV stand. I
actually went as far as emailing Samsung but, sadly, they don't bundle any cabinets with their TVs, let alone something with that wacky style minimalist chic (personally, in such a cut-throat market, I'd be upselling and bundling like crazy. It's actually really hard to find a long cabinet outside the Danish-built jobs that cost as much as a small car. Answers on the back of a post card).
For more on high definition TV, plus home audio, camcorders, cameras, GPS, iPod-era car audio and more, check out the second edition of our NZ PC World spin-off Gear Guide, which is on newsstands now, and packed with insider shopping tips and tech explainers to help you buy right.
One prediction made in Gear Guide (and, cough, on this blog) was that HDTVs would soon appear with Freeview HD decoders built in. Sony has been first off the blocks (see our news report here). Expect other major brands to follow before Christmas. I got the chance to preview Sony's new sets on Wednesday. As well as the built-in decoders, they also had the added convenience of digital optical out for feeding a surround sound broadcast to your receiver. With standalone Freeview HD decoders costing around $450, and weighing down your cabinet with yet another box (especially if you're running Sky TV as well) other TV makers need to shake a leg to catch up with Sony.