Sharp Releases Full HD AQUOS LCD TVs from Kameyama

On August 31, Sharp announced Full HD AQUOS LCD TVs with panels made from its G8 Kameyama Plant No. 2. The worldwide launch of these models will be on October 1, 2006. Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No. 2 is the world’s first G8 TFT LCD fab that works with glass substrates with dimensions 2160 x 2460 mm. The Full HD AQUOS LCD TVs will have 1920 x 1080 resolution. Sharp will currently establishing five LCD TV production plants around the world to supply worldwide markets. Sharp’s Mexico-based LCD TV production will begin this September. Poland will be up and running by January 2007 to supply the European market.

The details on the new models were found in another press release, and there are a total of six Full HD AQUOS LCD TVs. There are two sets: one set has the speakers on the side and the other set has speakers on the bottom. Sharp is serious about Full HD. The model numbers for the side-speaker design are:

LC-42GX2W
LC-46GX2W
LC-52GX2W

The bottom-speaker design model numbers are:

LC-42GX1W
LC-46GX1W
LC-52GX1W

These models have a newly developed Black Advanced Super View Full-Spec HD LCD panels that has 2000:1 contrast ratio, a response time of 4ms. One of the weak points of LCD TVs were performance in high ambient light situation. Sharp is touting a 650:1 “living room contrast ratio”. I could not find out the details, but it seems Sharp is moving toward specifications that don’t mean much in terms of details, but a specification that is more important to the average consumer, even though they wouldn’t know what it would mean to them at their own living rooms. Go figure. There are two HDMI ports for your super-expensive Blu-Ray drive PlayStation 3 and whatever else you would need the extra HDMI port for in the future.

Source: Sharp

One Laptop Per Child 2B1, not CM1

The One Laptop per Child Organization’s ~$100 notebook PC has another name: 2B1, a change from its other official name: Children’s Machine 1, or CM1. The 2B1 can create its own mesh network enabling connection between two computers without needing an Internet connection. Sharing an Internet connection is easy as long as one 2B1 has an connection to the Internet.

As mentioned before, the 2B1 is equipped with a 7.5″, 1200 x 900 resolution TFT LCD display. There are two modes for the display: full color transmissive mode or high-resolution reflective grayscale mode. In reflective mode, the backlight will not be operational, bringing down energy consumption to just 0.2 watt from 1 watt with the transmissive mode. The 2B1 has a 400MHz AMD Geode processor, 128 MB of DRAM and 512MB of SLC NAND flash memory. Good news for the OLPC guys as both the Nigerian and Thailand governments have ordered one million of these great bargain notebook PCs.

Source: Voice over IP weblog

Philips’ Entertaible

Board games will never be the same again. In good ways and bad. Philips revealed a 32″ horizontal, multi-touch LCD gaming platform that is fully integrated in a 10cm height enclosure called Entertaible at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA). What an interesting name for a conference… Funk Auss Tell… Those Germans.

I think the folks in the picture are having way too much fun with this Entertaible-based board game. “The multi-purpose platform enables a new class of gaming that combines electronic games with the social interaction of board games. Entertaible is based on new technologies enabling simultaneous multi-user interaction, object detection and recognition.” I’m not sure if it’s a new class of gaming: it’s just boardgames on a flat horizontal screen.

The cool thing about this Entertaible is the multi-touch feature. “Entertaible uses proprietary digital shape recognition and multi-touch sensing to interpret the moves of several players simultaneously generates a highly interactive, intense gaming experience. The simultaneous tracking encourages players to make their moves in real-time by dispensing with the need to wait for their turn, and allows participants – with practice – to plan moves in advance and react immediately to the actions of the other players. The use of physical objects like pawns and bats to directly manipulate the virtual world enhances the sense of magic.”

The other day I was having coffee with a friend and decided that we would play chess. I can imagine us playing chess on this Entertaible at a cafe in the distant future.

Source: RTO Online

Dai Nippon Printing to Build Color Filter Line for Sharp

DNP will invest 24-25 billion yen to build a color filter (CF) production line for Sharp. The CF plant will be located inside Sharp’s factory in the Mie Prefecture. DNP was established in 1876 as Japan’s first full-scale printing company and has grown to be the largest-scale all-inclusive printing company in the world.

In a related announcement back in June 2006, DNP said that it developed a Multi Primary Color Filter with yellow, cyan in addition to RGB. The addition of yellow and cyan dramatically increases the color gamut of LCD TV modules and will being mass production from the fall of 2006. The reproduction of the colors yellow, gold and turquoise was very difficult prior to this development. DNP will provide a 4-primary color CF (RGB+Yellow) and a 5-primary color CF (RGB+Yellow+Cyan) depending on what the customer wants. The CFs can be integrated into LCD TVs, LCD monitors, notebook PCs and other mobile devices. The 4-primary CF will up the color gamut from a typical 72% NTSC to 95%. The 5-primary CF will go up to 100% NTSC. Brightness is also enhanced by 35% according to DNP. To reduce manufacturing cost, DNP will use inkjet printing technology to produce the CF.

Source: MarketWatch, DNP

Humax LP32-TDR1: 32″ LCD TV with PVR

Humax, short for Human Maximum? Who knows. But it’s a name that I am not very familiar with. Maybe that will change in the near future. And its LP32-TDR1 will sure help bring that about. The LP32-TDR1 is a 32″ LCD TV with a 160GB Personal Video Recorder (PVR). Not much is known but it will come with 2x Freeview TV tuners, inputs such as S-Video, 3x AC inputs, 2x SCARTs a HDMI port and sell for about 900 pounds (~US$1700) in Europe.

I’m guessing the display is a 1366 x 768 resolution low-end type with the typical specifications in the range of around 500:1 contrast ratio, 170+ degree viewing angles and a 8ms typical response time. The color gamut would be a run-of-the-mill 72% NTSC. Personally, I don’t like integrated anything. The reason is simple: you have to send in the entire box if something goes wrong with any one thing. What if the PVR’s firmware got messed up? Well, you’re hosed with a TV that doesn’t work. I like my CE gadgets to be separate. That’s why I like my iPod–it does music well. Who really wants to view pictures or video on it anyway. I think it was a terrible move by Apple, but I’m just a peculiar guy and there are many more non-peculiar guys out there, so from a financial point of view Apple did the right thing by providing picture and video viewing capabilities on its tiny screen. Back to Human Maximum Humax… don’t get it–get separate boxes that each do one thing well.

Source: Engadget

Automotive LED-based Displays

Currently, most if not all automotive displays use the typical CCFL as the light source. This will change, like most displays will, to having LED backlights. Taiwan’s Ligitek Electronics will start shipping LED backlights for 7″ and 9″ LCDs for use in autos in October. But don’t hold your breath. Usually, a component such as a 7″ LCD panel for a car will take at least 1-2 years for qualifications.

The move to LED backlights in automotive applications is a bit different in nature to the same shift in TVs. Because LEDs are a solid-state device, it is more stable. Also the longevity of LED backlights are far better than CCFL. Unfortunately the color will probably stay the same since the LEDs in use are white-LEDs with yellow phosphors that do not improve the color fidelity. Thermal issues are a problem, but with an engine that is many ordors of magnitude hotter, it should not be much of an issue here either. IMO.

Source: DigiTimes

Epson EMP-1715: USB Front Projector

Epson EMP-1715 LCD Projector
Pixel Format: 1024 x 768
Display Engine: HTPS LCD
Brightness: 2700 ANSI Lumens
Color: 8-bit, 16.7 million
Dimension: 10.8 x 7.6 x 2.7″
Weight: 3.8lbs

The EMP-1715 wireless multimedia projector is the world’s first USB Plug-and-Play projector weighing 1.7kg with a height of 68mm and a footprint of 273mm x 193mm. Brightness is at 2700 ANSI lumens, which is pretty bright. The EMP-1715 also has an Ethernet connection option as well as the ability to run PC-free using only USB flash drives or iPods. Wireless security is enabled via WPA in either EAP or PSK encryption protocols.

I like the fact that you do not need a PC to use the EMP-1715. The universal USB plug is a great idea and I don’t know why it took so long for something like this to come out. I can just imagine using the next-generation video iPod: hook it up via wireless connection to the EMP-1715 and start watching HD content straight from the iPod… nice.

Source: Ubergizmo

[tags]Epson, USB, Front Projector, Wireless, 1024 x 768[/tags]

Samsung 1.98″ VGA LCD

Samsung’s 1.98″ 640 x 480 LCD uses a-Si glass and the company’s Amorphous Silicon Gate (ASG) technology. The extremely high-resolution 400dpi LCD can display 16 million colors, which is quite substantial for such a small size. Other specification includes a 300:1 contrast ratio, and 75-degree viewing angles.

Samsung’s ASG technology allows gate driver ICs to be incorporated directly on the glass making the overall module much thinner and allowing for slimmer mobile phone designs.

With mobile TV’s popularity most likely to increase in Asian countries where the dominant mode of transportation is via subway, bus, taxi, train, etc. (that does not require both hands and eyes to be concentrating on the road), this new Samsung development will sure to be greated with open arms (and wallets) when it gets incorporated into every-slimmer mobile do-everything phones.

Source: Laptop Logic

HP LP2465

HP’s LP2465 is a 24″ wide LCD monitor with 1920 x 1200 resolution: 16:10 aspect ratio, 13ms pixel response time, 6ms Gray-To-Gray (GTG) response time, 178-degree viewing angle, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2. The cheapest price for the LP2465 is around $750 w/o shipping and handling. But that seems way too expensive considering a 22″ wide LCD monitor albeit with less resolution will be at least $350 cheaper. Heck, I’d take two 22″ wide LCD monitors. For instance, Acer’s AL2216W is about $400 retail in the US.

The LP2465 has some good features though (not enough to warrant the great big price however): dual DVI inputs, upstream USB port, and four downstream USB ports. Actually, I don’t like cables dangling from my monitor, so let’s scratch that from the “good feature” list. Response time is a decent 6ms GTG and will allow you to enjoy most 3D games without experiencing too much motion blur. Dell’s Ultrasharp 2407WFP is a much better value (same panel source: Samsung) but with video input that allows you to hook up your PlayStation 2, DVD player or other video sources.

Source: PC Magazine

Samsung SyncMaster 931C: 97% NTSC Color Gamut

Most LCD monitors use regular CCFLs that hasn’t seen performance increases in decades. Because of that, they are kept to a 72% NTSC color gamut. 72% seems to have been enough for most people because until recently nobody cared. So what happened recently? LED. LED folks began to package those little solid-state light sources into display backlights. And boy do they look good: almost 100% NTSC color gamuts that make colors really nice. The US flag on a typical 72% NTSC screen would have dull reds compared to those from a LED-backlit display. Words cannot describe the colors and neither can a picture because most likely you’re reading this from a 72% NTSC screen. Now, because of competition from LEDs, the lazy CCFL folks are starting to make things better.

Samsung announced its SyncMaster 931C, a 19″ LCD monitor on August 18 that delivers a 97% NTSC color gamut and stated that the monitor “reveals colors never before seen on an LCD monitor this size.” I haven’t seen the monitor, but I would agree based on what I’ve seen on LCD TV screens based on LED backlights.

Other specifications stand out too: 2000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 2ms gray-to-gray (GTG) response times, MagicBright and MagicTune for environment-dependent display tuning. These are specs that you’d see on a higher-end LCD TV. It looks like the differentiation between LCD monitor and LCD TV has been blurred even more by Samsung’s 931C. It also looks very stylish in black with a aluminum-like finish on the bottom of the case. I wish I could see this in action.

Source: Samsung