Texas Instruments and Customers Introduce 3-Chip 1080p DLP Projectors

On September 14, 2006, Texas Instruments (TI) featured a prototype SIM2 HT-5000 3-chip 1080p projector at CEDIA Expo 2006. Digital Projection (TITAN 1080p-250) and Runco (Video Xtreme Series) were also demonstrating 3-chip 1080p DLP projectors. DLP set makers are incorporating BrilliantColor technology that uses 6-color processing for better color saturation and a 50% increase in brightness in mid-tone images. There will be ten DLP makers that will announce 1080p products: Digital Projection, InFocus, Marantz, Optoma, Panasonic, Planar, projectiondesign, Runco, Sharp, SIM2.

SIM2 HT-5000

The SIM2 HT-5000 3-chip 1080p front projector has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, uses TI’s 0.95″ 1080p DarkChip3 DMD chips, and has a contrast ratio that exceeds 5000:1.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, SIM2

Unity Opto Technology Develops RGB LEDs for Autos

Taiwan-based Unity Opto Technology, a LED manufacturer, developed RGB LEDs that can be used to illuminate from the side of a LCD or from the back. Unity also began shipments of its backlights for 7″ automotive displays and 12″ notebook PC displays. The company is also stating that it has entered the car dash lighting market. For the first eight months of this year ending August, Unity has generated NT$1.48 billion or US$45 million in sales, which is a 4.4% Y-over-Y increase from 2005.

Unity already manufactures and sells automotive tail-lights that have 22 LEDs (MAL-C065R). The company also sells many LED chips that are based on InGaN, AlInGaP, AlGaAs, GaP, and GaAsP.

Source: DigiTimes, Unity Opto

Samsung LN-S3251D: 32″ LCD TV

Samsung’s new LN-S3251D is a 32″ LCD TV that has a retail price of $1,800. Adrienne Maxwell over at Home Theater seems to think that the $1,800 is a great price and wonders if Samsung cut any corners. Well, let me break it to you: $1,800 for a 32″ LCD TV is about $600-$800 too expensive in my book. You should be able to get a decent 40″-class LCD TV for that price. For about $2000 or so, you should be able to get a 40″-class LCD TV with 1920 x 1080 resolution! Continuing with the LN-S3251D… it has two HDMI ports, a VGA connection, and tuners: ATSC and NTSC.

Actually, Amazon has it for less than $1200 and that’s about where the price should be. The resolution is a limited 1366 x 768 with brightness at 500 cd/m2. Amazon’s specification adds “super-fast” to a response time of only 8ms. Contrast ratio is a respectable 4,000:1 (this is dynamic contrast ratio) with a 178-degree viewing angle. Most consumer-grade LCD TVs have 8-bit sub-pixels that generate 256 colors, each for RGB. But to make sure that these colors are processed accurately, they are processed using 10-bit algorithms and such is the case with Samsung’s LN-S3251D. The overall design looks pleasing enough, but I would strongly recommend getting something slightly bigger so you can enjoy beautiful pictures at a full 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Source: Home Theater, Amazon, Samsung

Pioneer Elite PRO-940HD, PRO-1140HD, PRO-1540HD Plasma TVs

Elite PRO-940HD: 42″, 1024 x 768, $4,000
Elite PRO-1140HD: 50″, 1365 x 768, $5,500
Elite PRO-1540HD: 60″, 1365 x 768, $8,000

Pioneer Elite PRO-1140HD

Technologies that these three plasma TVs have:

First Surface PRO Color Filter: Improves contrast ration via a newly designed glass and provides more detail in dark scenese.

Redesigned Deep Encased Cell Structure: The red and blue phosphors have been improved resulting in more brightness.

Crystal Emissive Layer: This layer is bonded directly to the plasma glass that results in more panel efficiency (brighter) and results in better contrast.

Home Media Gallery: These three Elite plasma TVs are the first to have this feature that allows connection to a home network via Ethernet or USB and gives direct access to movies, music and photos that are accessible on the network.

Other features include a built-in NTSC and ATSC tuners, two HDMI inputs, CableCARD, and 60,000-hour lifetime (20 years at 8 hours per day). When all is said and done, these “Elite” plasma TVs are not all that elite. First of all, the PRO-940HD has a resolution of 1024 x 768–this isn’t even HD. How can you display 720p HD content that has a resolution of 1280 x 768 on this? You can’t, unless you scale it down. PRO? Laughable. Also, if you really want an elegant interface that links up a HD TV to networked multmedia, wait for Apple’s iTV.

Source: eHomeUpgrade

Philips 42PF9731D, 42PF9831D LCD TVs

Philips introduced two 42″ LCD TV models during CEDIA, the 42PF9731D and the 42PF9831D. Both have a dynamic contrast ration of 4,500:1, brightness of 550 cd/m2, and a limited resolution of 1366 x 768. At the 42″-level, I think almost everyone expects the resolution to be 1920 x 1080. What’s up Philips?

Philips 42PF9831D

The two units, on the other hand, sport more-or-less useless stuff like a 7-in-1 media card reader. Other than geeks, who shoves media cards into their TVs? I know of no one. There are two HDMI ports. Both of these units have AmbiLight. MSRPs are $2,699 for the 42PF9731D and $3,499 for the 42PF9831D. The more expensive 42PF9831D is probably because it has a AmbiLight Full Surround capability, instead of just Ambilight Surround.

Source: Digital Trends

Pioneer PDP-607HX, PDP-427HXD Plasma TVs

Both PDP-607HX and PDP-427HXD plasma TVs sport 1366 x 768 resolution. What a shame. In the world of 1920 x 1080 resolutions, what is 1366 x 768? Every type of content under the sun will need to be scaled and scaling means the video is just a tad bit less than ideal.

Pioneer PDP-607HX

On to better stuff: New P.U.R.E. Black Panel and New P.U.R.E. Drive II. Yes, these are new. The Black Panel allows for higher contrast and the Drive II is a new video processor that makes the video look better. The PDP-607HX, the 60″ plasma TV, will be priced around $6,770 in October while the 42″ PDP-427HXD didn’t have a MSRP, but will be available at the end of September. IMO, the 60″ unit seems quite a bit overpriced for a resolution-limited plasma TV at such a large size.

Source: Gizmodo

Philips X-line, C-line and G-line LCD Monitors

C-line is the entry-level boring line. G-line is the “multitainment” monitor line and the X-line is the performance line. So don’t waste your time with the C-line unless you’re really strapped for cash. You have to give it to Philips to come out with another bastardized word like “multitainment”. Can’t they have simply stuck with entertainment? Anyway… on to the monitors. The X-line comes in 17″, 19″, 19″ wide, 20″, and 20″ wide sizes with Philips’ SmartImage Lite, an image enhancement technology with presets for video playback, web browsing, etc. and the monitor adjusts brightness, contrast and sharpness to make the picture look the best. Personally, I like to control these settings. These X-line monitors also come with Philips’ Perfect Panel warranty that guarantees a defect-free display.

The 20″ model, the 200XW7, has a resolution of 1680 x 1050 (although Philips puts that at WSXGA, it’s actually a WSXGA+ panel). The 200XW7 features the Super Ergo Base that allows it to tilt, rotate and swivel up to 90 degrees.

Both X and C models provide less than 5ms response times (on-off). Not the fastest, but certainly fast enough for most applications including some 3D gaming. The X and C lines have both VGA and DVI inputs and the X-line comes with USB connections.

IMO… Too many names and too many lines. Just come out with one set of great monitors that can do everything. There isn’t much room for three lines in this razor-thin-margin market. Check out what Apple is doing: make the design great, procure great LCD panels, and sell it simply: they just have a total of three models! Of course, lower prices than Apple would be better.

Source: Philips

Samsung Corning Precision to Produce G8 Glass in 2007

According to DigiTimes, the source of either accurate information or inaccurate rumor, is reporting that Samsung Corning Precision (SCP), a joint venture between Samsung and Corning that makes LCD glass primarily for Samsung, will be producing G8 glass 2,200mm x 2,500mm to support S-LCD’s (a joint venture between Samsung and Sony) new G8 LCD fab that will be up and running in the fall of 2007. S-LCD’s G8 glass size will enable it to focus on 46″ and 52″ LCD TV panels. Both S-LCD’s G8 LCD fab and SCP’s glass plant will be located in Tangjeong, South Korea. Monthly capacity for S-LCD’s G8 plant will be 50,000 glass substrate input per month. Corning is also the primary supplier for Sharp’s new G8 LCD fab that is already running in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Sharp’s G8 motherglass size is 2,160mm x 2,460mm.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]Samsung Corning Precision, SCP, LCD Glass, G8 Glass Substrate, S-LCD[/tags]

LG.Philips LCD Develops Fast Mobile Phone Display

On September 14, 2006, LG.Philips LCD (LPL) announced the development of a TFT LCD for next-generation mobile phones. The 2″ LCD panel has a 16ms response time that is 36% faster than other TFT LCD panels for mobile phones. Typical mobile phone displays have 25ms and due to the multimedia capabilities of these phones that need to process video, faster response times will generate a better viewing experience, much like how it is in the LCD TV world. LPL’s press release does not go  into detail about the technology that is used to get faster response times, but it is most likely the use of low-viscosity liquid crystals (LCs) or a low-power over-driving circuitry. Just a hunch.

This development is welcome news in light of low color gamuts, slow response times, bad viewing angles, and low brightness among other less-than-ideal properties of mobile phone displays. Mobile phones in most of the world (except for the US at the moment) will morph into an all-in-one device that will be used for watching all sorts of content from TV to movies, to a payment device you can use to pay for transportation and groceries. With advances in services, the display must be able to handle various types of information that require higher performance in terms of video and resolution.

Source: LG.Philips LCD

Samsung Plasma TV Plant in God, Near Budapest, Hungary

Last week, Samsung started construction of a EUR 72 million plasma TV factory in God, near Budapest. The plant will occupy 22,000 m2 and create about 550 jobs. The factory will take about 1/2 year to complete with a target date of April 2007. One-third of the factory’s capacity will be used for Samsung only and the rest of its capacity will be sold to other TV manufacturers.

As Western Europe’s HD adoption increases the tax hit will become increasingly more painful for TV brands that manufacture outside of that region. Samsung, LG.Philips LCD, Toshiba, Sharp, IPS Alpha, etc. have all either announced, is constructing, or started operations in Europe.

Source: The Budapest Times