HD Beat: Sony is betting large on LCD TVs. The company has one of the well-known brands and sub-brands in the CE world. BRAVIA, an acronym that stands for Best Resolution Audio Video Integrated Architecture, is the sub-brand that is out-selling many other brands and at very competitive prices. Sony's bet is 6 million LCD TVs by end of March 2007. S-LCD, its joint venture between Samsung, assuming from this announcement, is not able to supply as many panels as Sony wants. You have to understand that Samsung is competing fiercly with Sony in the LCD TV market. Also, there has been speculation that S-LCD, which is 99.99% run by Samsung employees, is supplying Samsung with superior quality panels compared to those sent to Sony. Prior to this announcement by Sony, the company procured smaller-than-32" LCD TV panels from Taiwanese suppliers and used S-LCD panels for 32" and larger models. That is about to change. Back in March, Sony announced that QDI would be supplying Sony. The search for an additional supplier of larger LCD TV panels might be over for Sony. AUO announced that it has landed 32" LCD TV panel orders from Sony with large initial quantities. 32" LCD TVs are the most popular due to pretty good prices of less than $1499 and sometimes less than $999. However, I would stay away from anything that does not have a 1920 x 1080 pixel format. I like future-proofing my $1000+ investments.
Back in mid-May, Sharp announced that it will increase production for 37" and larger LCD TVs from 14% in 2005 to 26% in 2006. Sharp said that it would compete aggressively by lowering prices by 20%-30%. The company also let it be known that it will be tapping AUO and CMO to supply additional LCD TV panels.
I am not too sure if I am thrilled with this announcement by either Sony or Sharp. Do you really want a Taiwan-made LCD in your mult-thousand dollar LCD TV that has a Sony brand? Would I want a Korean-made LCD in a Sony? I'm not too sure. Sure, LPL has one of the world's best displays and they use IPS. Samsung's PVA is nothing to snicker at either. Of course Sony has their TV electronics tinkerers that make pictures on a Sony that much better than most. Just like in automobiles, would I want a Hyundai engine in my BMW? I'm not so sure.