LG.Philips LCD Drops LCD TV Panel Prices

Contrary to what AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) is planning to do with 32″ LCD TV prices, LG.Philips LCD (LPL) will lower prices on its 32″, 37″ and 42″ panels. This is great news! Not only will you be able to get cheaper prices on LCD TVs that have LPL’s 32″, 37″ and 42″ panels, you’ll be getting one of the best LCDs on the market–LPL uses Super In-Plane Switching (Super IPS) wide viewing angle technology that folks like Apple has been using for a long time. With Apple having to satisfy graphics designers and those that require the best color fidelity, it’s a testimony to LPL’s S-IPS technology. I for one will be getting a LCD TV with S-IPS. I wouldn’t call it crap, but panels using Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA) or Multi-domain Vertical Alignment (MVA) or even Advanced Super View (ASV) isn’t up to par with S-IPS. IMHO. Oh yes, the prices:

32″: US$330-$350
37″: US$530-$560
42″: US$710-$730

These prices would translate into set prices of around:

32″: US$990-$1050
37″: US$1590-$1680
42″: US$2130-$2190

Of course, we’ve already seen prices for 42″ LCD TVs drop to under $2000 at CostCo and other clubs, that work with less margins than Best Buy or Circuit City. If LPL’s panels are used for LCD TV sets that will be at CostCo, plan on sub-$2000 prices.

Source: DigiTimes

OLPC CM1: One Laptop Per Child’s Children’s Machine 1

So that’s the official name: CM1. Not very creative, but is simple and to the point. It’s for children. The display is a 7.5″ with 1200 x 900 resolution–a bit of an odd size and resolution, which added to the cost of manufacturing. It is just my guess, but sticking to a standard size and resolution would have made the display a bit cheaper. But the dual-mode capability of the display is probably what made it most expensive: one for video and one for 2D. Source: Engadget

NEC N902iX

Just a quick note on the displays that NEC is using on its N902iX flip-phone: 1″ external LCD with 120 x 90 resolution that can display 65K colors. The main display is a 2.5″ 345 x 240 (a bit weird, but NEC calls it QVGA+, the “+” adds 5 additional rows) and is able to display 262K colors. The main display has an oustanding color gamut of 72% NTSC. This is something that I haven’t seen on actual manufactured mobile phones. I have seen 72% NTSC display modules at trade shows however. Good stuff NEC. Source: Linux Devices

No Battery-Powered Dells on Qantas Airways

Dell and Qantas has come to an agreement: If Qantas passengers are boarding with a Dell notebook, security must remove the notebook battery (regardless of whether the battery was affected in the millions that Dell recalled) and tape the contact points. Only if you are a business class or first class flyer will you be lucky enough to have power outlets to use your Dell notebooks without the use of the battery. And a friend of mine upon hearing this news item replied, “Well, I won’t be flying Qantas any time soon…”

Source: Laptop Logic

Corning Executives Sell $23M in Shares

It always bothers me when company executives start to sell millions of dollars worth of stocks. They must know something that we don’t. Or maybe it is just a coincidence they all want to get that new $5,000,000 house and a new Porsche… at the same time. CNNMoney is reporting that insiders at Corning sold almost $28 million in company stock in early August. The reason? Because they were not allowed to sell shares in April.

Corning explained further that every quarter the company normally opens a window so insiders can sell their shares. Well, they didn’t do that in April because Corning knew that demand for optical fiber and glass used in LCDs was softening and the information was not disclosed to the open markets at the time. When Corning did disclose that information, Wall Street responded by pounding the stock 14%.

So in early August, the window was opened for the insiders. And the insiders took advantage and sold their shares… $28M worth. I’m still skeptical.

Although Corning has a very strong position in the glass for LCD market, maybe the fiber optics market wasn’t too congenial to Corning. Who knows.

Source: CNNMoney

[tags]Corning, LCD Glass[/tags]

LG Electronics Develops 60″ Single Scan Plasma Display Panel

There are two basic driving schemes for plasma display panels (PDPs): single scan and dual scan addressing. All the cells on the screen are addressed before the display phase is entered in single scan addressing and requires only one set of address drivers that saves costs. In dual scan, the screen is divided into two: top and bottom, and requires two sets of drivers at the top and bottom. Although the dual scan addressing technology has more cost associated with it, address time is reduced by 50% compared to single scan allowing for more time in the display phase that leads to an increase in the number of sustain pulses applied to the PDP in the display phase. This also leads to increased peak brightness as well as power consumption and a reduction in phosphor lifetime. Single scan technology allows manufacturing cost reductions of around 20% compared to the more traditional dual scan technology.

LG Electronics has developed the world’s first 60″ single scan PDP and will begin mass production in the fourth quarter of 2006. All 42″ and 50″ HD PDPs from LGE that shipped starting from the second half of 2005 used single scan technology.

Image source: FHP

Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma (FHP) also uses single scan technology and is
developing high-speed driving methods while costs are minimized. FHP’s
Alternate Lighting of Surface Method (ALIS) is based on single scan technology. FHP’s ALIS technology increases the number of video lines, incorporates a new pixel geometry and activates alternate display lines that result in sharper pictures, smoother object edges and higher brightness than traditional driving technologies.
As the screen size becomes larger, the difficulty in implementing single scan technology increases due to the limitations of addressing driver speeds.

Source: FHP, DigiTimes

Chunghwa Picture Tubes Order ITO from Samsung Corning

Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is used to put a transparent conductive coating for LCDs. And there are only a few companies that make ITO. In the oligopoly-like market for ITO, the limited number of suppliers set the price and usually very high. Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) ordered ITO from Samsung Corning. Samsung Corning has sent samples of ITO to AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). Most of the ITO suppliers are based in Japan with Nippon Mining & Metals and Mitsui Mining & Smelting owning about 43% each. Tosoh, a smaller player, has about 10% share. Samsung Corning is the smallest player with only a 5% share of ITO.

Samsung Corning was established in 1973 as a 50:50 joint venture with Corning, USA. Samsung Corning manufactures glass for LCDs, Braun tubes, ITO coating glass for LCDs, and rotary transformers that are used for VCR head drums. I’m pretty sure the rotary transformer business is experiencing a significant downturn. Just a guess.

Source: DigiTimes, Samsung

[tags]Samsung Corning, Samsung, Corning, Indium Tin Oxide, ITO, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, CPT, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, CMO, AU Optronics, AUO[/tags]

Philips 42PF7621D: European Green TV of the Year

The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) is the largest editorial multimedia organization in Europe with 37 member magazines from 19 European countries. The EISA judges pronounced Philips’ 42PF7621D 42″ LCD TV “European Green TV of the Year”. EISA judges were impressed by the low power consumption, which was 15% less than #2. And at the end of its life, the components that make up the 42PF7621D can be easily separated for recycling or safe disposal. Now, that’s really something: this type of design requires deep processing of how a product should be designed based on current production technologies that take into consideration how products are disposed of. Very ingenious.

Philips has a name for such products as the 42PF7621D: “Green Flagship Products”. These products perform better than #2 in these areas: energy consumption, weight, hazardous substances, lifetime reliability, recycling and disposal.

Although environmentally, the 42PF7621D is top-notch, when it comes to actual front-screen performance, there are some aspects still requiring improvement. For instance, the resolution is only 1366 x 768. Why not go all the way to 1920 x 1080 and still make it a Green Flagship Product? Brightness is a respectable 550 cd/m2 while contrast ration is 4,000:1. Of course, that spec is based on dynamically manipulating light to improve contrast. Viewing angle is a good 176 degrees. Because the 42PF7621D is a European version, the TV systems that it supports are DVB COFDM, PAL and SECAM but can also playback NTSC video. There are also two HDMI ports.

Source: Strategiy, Philips

Vizio GV42 and L42: 42″ LCD TVs

The GV42 42″ LCD TV has a 1366 x 768 resolution, 1600:1 contrast ratio (probably “active” not discreet), 8ms response time and a $1600 price tag. You’ll need a CostCo card to get it. If you don’t have a CostCo card but a Sam’s Club card instead, you can get a very similar L42. Vizio’s L42 has the same features but lacks a chip to enhance the contrast ratio and stays put at 800:1. But you save $100 since the L42 is only $1500 at Sam’s. Both have 178-degree viewing angles as well.

Table stands are a rip. We all know that and Vizio is nice enough to include one with the price. But like I’ve said many times before, why go so big if you don’t have the pixels to fill it with. Wait for 1080p. Your PS3 will thank you.

Source: Engadget

Toshiba REGZA WLT68 Series LCD TVs

There are three sizes that make the lineup for the WLT68 series: 32″, 37″ and 42″. These have scanning rates of 120Hz, double that of the conventional 60Hz, thanks to its Active Vision M100 LCD. The 32″ model will go on sale September 18 and the other two will follow on October 9.

The cool thing about these REGZA TVs is that Toshiba decided to include three HDMI ports, two more than just about anyone. I think Toshiba is making the right decision. Remember when PCs used to have a single USB port? How short-visioned was that?!? Now most computers have no less than 4 USB ports. Why? Because everything went USB in the IT world. Now, for the CE market, I am pretty certain that everything will go HDMI. Where are all of you peripheral makers with 4- or 8-port HDMI hubs?

Source: T3