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  • Nov 17, 2018

    TV Prices Drop and 360 Cam Tech Advances Before Black Friday | #183


    Popular Technology Radio is back as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday draw closer, promising amazing deals on everything from 360 cameras to TV sets. First off, Mike Etchart contrasts the prices of TVs today with the plasma sets of 20 years ago, and gets us ready for CES and NAMM in January 2019. Then, Editor-at-Large for The Wirecutter, Geoff Morrison, tells us why heavily discounted televisions during the Black Friday weekend aren’t the amazing deals we’ve been lead to believe. Next, we dive into rock-bottom prices of the television market due to the natural progression of manufacturing technology. As the battle to the bottom continues, Mike and Geoff discuss how Japanese, Korean, and Chinese manufacturers compete for brand recognition in the American market. Changing topics, Geoff describes why the Insta360 ONE X is the best camera on the market. Closing the show, we discuss LG’s monopoly on OLED TV manufacturing and why Samsung can’t get a foothold in this market. Tune in and get ready for Black Friday!


    ·[00:00:00] Mike Etchart, Back in the Pilot’s Seat

    ·[00:07:10] Discount TVs, Not As Good As You Think

    ·[00:12:30] Asian Manufacturing Power Shifts

    ·[00:19:51] Lack of Name Brand Recognition in China

    ·[00:28:22] The Wirecutter Loves Insta360 ONE X

    ·[00:35:51] LG’s Monopoly On OLED TVs


    [00:00:00] Mike Etchart, Back in the Pilot’s Seat

    After a long hiatus, Popular Technology Radio is back! What better time for Mike Etchart to head up the show than right now with the biggest shopping weekend of the year on the way, Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Mike recounts how much the television industry has changed in 20 years; from the $14,000 40-inch plasma sets of yore to the $399 65-inch 4K screens of today. Also, tune in to find out about events Mike will be headed to in January, like CES and the NAMM show.


    [00:07:10] Discount TVs, Not As Good As You Think

    As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, we turn our attention to one of the biggest segments of the weekend – televisions. Editor-at-Large for The Wirecutter, Geoff Morrison, gives us a warning: while flash sales of $100 televisions are attractive, that low priced TV probably wasn’t very good in the first place. If you’re looking for a deal on a good television, Black Friday probably isn’t the place for you; but if you just need a decent, inexpensive TV, this could be the best weekend for you to pull the trigger on that purchase. Even the cheapest modern TVs look amazing when compared to sets from 10 years ago. Learn more about why you should brave the lines to outfit your house now.


    [00:12:30] Asian Manufacturing Power Shifts

    All of this talk of $400 televisions has Mike wondering, how razor thin are the margins on these products? Freelance Writer for CNET and Forbes, Geoff Morrison, explains that the margins on TVs has historically been very small, and that surprises people, considering the traditional multi-thousand dollar price tag. Advancement in manufacturing technology, like Chinese manufacturers’ ability to make larger and larger sheets of mother glass (huge sheets of glass which individual screens are cut out of), has created a race to the bottom in television pricing. Find out how Chinese brands are slowly dispelling the stigma behind products made in their region, much like the Japanese and Koreans before them.


    [00:19:51] Lack of Name Brand Recognition in China

    20 years ago, you’d garner troubled glances if you announced intent to purchase a Samsung or LG television. Now you’d catch those same concerned looks if you said that you didn’t want these two brands on your living room wall. So what changed? The Wirecutter’s Geoff Morrison describes how through name brand recognition, and building a good product, Japanese and Korean companies were able to shed the misconception of low-quality surrounding them. Now, Chinese brands have begun to do the same, except without any of the brand recognition (aside from TCL, who’s done a great job creating recognition). Will TCL break out to become the next LG or Samsung? Also, find out why it isn’t easy as it would seem for Apple to assemble their products in the United States.


    [00:28:22] The Wirecutter Loves Insta360 ONE X

    One of the reasons so many companies manufacture in China is because everything is there. Supply chains, design houses, factories, and a host of other resources exist in the country and have helped make them a global manufacturing powerhouse. Overtime, they’ve learned to do things faster, smarter, and better, and now one of the best 360 camera companies resides in the region. The Wirecutter’s Geoff Morrison fills us in on the Insta360 ONE X and its ability to shoot very high resolution video of either a 360 sphere or a rectangular portion of that sphere using greatly improved hardware and software. Thanks to the internet, improvements based on consumer feedback are implemented much quicker than they used to be. Find out why the Insta360 ONE X is The Wirecutter’s top pick for best 360 cameras this year.



    [00:35:51] LG’s Monopoly On OLED TVs

    Should we, as consumers, still be interested in OLED TVs? Well, as it stands, they are still the most advanced televisions out there. The Wirecutter’s Geoff Morrison explains that if you’re looking for the best of the best, OLED TVs absolutely have the highest picture quality, but a high end LCD can still make an amazing image. The problem with OLED is that no one but LG has been able to successfully mass produce OLED screens while Samsung has not been able to get their version of OLED working properly. This hasn’t stopped Samsung from working on other projects, like Quantum dot and MicroLED, though. Also, find out why you shouldn’t worry about getting an 8K television for a very long time, if ever.



    Explore More with Helpful Links:

    ·Contributor: Geoff Morrison | Editor-at-Large/ Freelance Writer, The Wirecutter/ CNET/ Forbes

    ·Website: CES

    ·Website: NAMM

    ·Website: Insta360 ONE X

    ·Website: LG

    ·Website: Samsung


    This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at



    Host: Mike Etchart
    Producer: Dave Milligan
    Production Asst.: Joanne Bolden
    Audio Engineer: Cody Castleberry
    Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
    Contributor: Geoff Morrison

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  • Popular Technology Radio

    Listen Live on Saturday 10am-11am PST, 1-2pm EST

    POPULAR TECHNOLOGY RADIO provides you with the most authoritative insight and information on today’s emerging technologies and products in a fast paced and entertaining one-hour weekly show. Mike Etchart, along with a gang of tech experts and gadget geeks, bring you a wide array of topics including the latest news and information on in-home and hand-held technology, music, photography, entertainment, gaming and more.

    Get expert advice on stereo components, home recording equipment, smartphones, computers, digital imaging, dashboard apps, and exciting new gadgets. Plus, you’ll hear the latest industry buzz, rumors, and cold hard facts. POP TECH RADIO helps you make sense of the barrage of choices available in the marketplace; Mike provides you with vital, comprehensive advice from leading experts. 

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