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 47-50-inch size range. Do you know if OLEDs in this size will be available soon?
-- L.H., Milwaukee
A. I don't know of any upcoming sub-50 inch OLEDs, but I finally found an LED-LCD TV with a great picture I could actually live with myself. Check out the Sony XBR900E series. A 49-inch version is only $899. sony.com
Holiday product highlights: This week I have two products to talk about. The first is the $699 Soundcast VG7, 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. gosoundcast.com
Next is the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven, which I wrote about in February of this year. This neat 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, retired people and couples, and ended up getting one myself because after I had it I could not imagine living without it. Go to http://tinyurl.com/donsoven to read my complete review with lots of pictures, and http://shop.panasonic.com/cio to see a detailed description of the oven.
I received a lot of email from readers expressing interest in the oven, with a fair number of them held back by the $599 price. They really wanted to buy one, but noted that $599 will buy you an entry-level, full-sized range and this is a countertop appliance. 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 than I would be otherwise, and I never burned food with it. I also found ways to tweak Panasonic's recipes to create recipes that match my own tastes and lifestyle. Currently I use it 4-5 times per week and even used it the evening I wrote this column, cooking enough chicken for 3 days and Brussels sprouts for two days.
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 quite confident you will love it. Drop me a line if you do, and I would love to hear your recipes, too!
(Contact Don Lindich at www.soundadvicenews.com and use the "submit question" link on that site.)
(c)2017 Don Lindich
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.