Q: We’re buying a new television and, like yourself, we think OLED is the best choice for picture quality. We would like one in the 47- to 50-inch range. Do you have any specific recommendations?
A: I am a fan of OLEDs, but I’m also aware that, while prices are coming down, they still tend to be expensive, and when you start talking about spending thousands of dollars for a TV, the conversation changes. At the same time, I’ve never been enthralled with LED-LCD TVs. That being said, I have found an LED-LCD TV with a great picture and a much more palatable price. Check out the Sony XBR900E series. A 49-inch version is only $899 (sony.com).
There are a couple of products that I’ve briefly mentioned in the past that I’d like to revisit. The first is the $699 Soundcast VG7 (gosoundcast.com), which I briefly mentioned two weeks ago. It is a premium-quality indoor/outdoor Bluetooth speaker with 360-degree sound dispersion. It’s the most critically acclaimed Bluetooth speaker in its class, with its high-end sound, heavy-duty construction, space age styling and easy operation. It can be moved around easily with the top-mounted handle and could serve as the only music system for a lot of people.
The other is the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven, which I wrote about earlier this year. This clever appliance uses a single dishwasher-safe grill pan to cook an entire chef-quality meal for two to four people. You put the meat in the middle of the pan, with the vegetables and potatoes surrounding it, and the pan distributes the heat to cook everything thoroughly and evenly. The small interior is airtight and circulates the moisture as it cooks to create more succulent, flavorful food. It can cook a complete meal in 23 minutes without preheating, and it includes a cookbook with recipes for entire meals as well as entrees, side dishes and desserts. It also is masterful with frozen pizzas, baking them quickly without preheating, and finishing them with a nicely browned crust with grill marks.
I found the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven to be an especially useful product for single people, busy people and retirees. After testing it, I ended up getting one myself. Go to tinyurl.com/donsoven to read my complete review with lots of pictures, and shop.panasonic.com/cio to see a detailed description of the oven.
I received a lot of e-mail from readers expressing interest in the oven, with a fair number of them held back by the $599 price. They were interested in buying one but noted that $599 is a steep price for a countertop appliance seeing as how there are full-size ranges available at that price. The best guidance I could offer was I used the countertop induction oven much more than the oven in my range, probably using it 50 times for every time I use my range’s oven. It definitely made me a better cook, and I never burned food with it. I also found ways to tweak Panasonic’s recipes to create recipes that match my own tastes. I still use it four or five times a week.
For those of you who were interested in the Countertop Induction Oven but wanted a lower price, your time has come. Through the end of the year Sam’s Club has it on sale for only $399. The offer is online only and can be found at samsclub.com. If you get one, I am confident you will love it. Drop me a line if you do, and I would love to hear your recipes, too.
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.