BenQ MP510: SVGA DLP Projector

BenQ’s MP510 is a front projector that uses DLP technology. The MP510 is available in the South Korean market for 698,000 KRW or about US$750. The box itself is a glossy white and has a 160W lamp with a lifetime of 2000 hours (3000 hours if used in economic mode) with a brightness of 1500 lumens. Contrast ratio is a respectable 2000:1. Inputs include VGA, Component Video, S-Video and Composite Video.

With a “MSRP” of US$750, I would guess street prices will be around $650, which will make the MP510 quite a bargain. Of course, HD fans will need to pass since the 800 x 600 resolution will not be enough for HD content. However, for DVD, SD, and simple PC-based presentations, the resolution is capable. In terms presentations, the MP510 even has a presentation timer.

Source: Aving.net

Viewsonic Vista Certified

Viewsonic announced that its LCD monitors that shipped since December have been Vista certified. Viewsonic’s Vista certification applies to the new VA-series, VG-series, VP-series and VX-series LCD monitors. Chi Mei has applied for Windows Vista Premium certification will be acquiring Vista certification sometime next week. Chi Mei stated that Vista will help stimulate demand for wide LCD monitors. Microsoft’s new Vista operating system (OS) will certainly aid in selling wide LCD monitors, but I don’t think it will be the main reason. Wide LCD monitors have been selling well and quite a bit prior to Vista’s introduction. I think they have gotten it all wrong: strong sales in wide LCD monitors will stimulate the Vista adoption. That’s if Vista really does make use of high resolution graphics in wide format.

Source: Witsview

Sampo LM-42A1: 42" 1080p Plasma TV

Sampo introduced its LM-42A1 plasma TV that is capable of displaying 1080p video content. The LM-42A1 has wireless connectivity via 802.11a/b/g and a virtual keyboard. The built-in DVB-T tuner can receive digital and analog TV signals. With a PC connection, the high-resolution plasma TV can be used as a computer monitor. Most 1080p-cable plasma TVs at the 42″ size has a pixel format of 1024 x 1080. Just make sure if you’re in the market for a 1920 x 1080 display that you check the pixel format of 1080p-capable 42″ units. I am unsure of the LM-42A1’s pixel format.

Sampo also recently launched its LM-42HW35 42″ XGA plasma TV with a resolution of 1024 x 768. The LM-42HW35 is only available in the Taiwanese market and is priced aggressively at NT$49,900 or about US$1,530. Sampo is making sure to have good quality as the plasma display panel (PDP) is reportedly sourced from Japan. The PDP has a brightness of 1,000 cd/m2, a contrast ratio of 3,000:1 and can display 3.6 billion colors, which tells me it is a 10-bit color display.

Source: FPDisplay

Sampo LM-32H1: 32" LED-based LCD TV

Sampo’s LM-32H1 is a 32″ LCD TV that eschews standard CCFLs for LEDs. With a LED-based backlight system, the LCD panel is only 30% the thickness of typical LCD TV panels. The lifetime of the LM-32H1 is expected to be 100,000 hours, double that of typical CCFL-based LCD TVs.

The technology is impressive, especially by a lesser brand such as Sampo. But if you’re going to put so much technology in it, make sure to have a good camera and a good photographer. The image of the TV probably does not do the LM-32H1 much justic. That said, if the price of the LM-32H1 is under $1500, I think they will be a big hit; much more than that and I think consumers will just get the larger 37″ or 40″ LCD TVs. Price premiums for advanced technology has a limit, especially if it isn’t backed by a strong brand name.

Source: FPDisplay

Sony Depends More on Taiwanese

Sony will outsource more LCD TV integration to Taiwanese companies in 2007. TPV Technology and Delta Electronics are expected to secure 32″ LCD TV integration business from Sony in 2007. Sony’s fiscal year ends in March 31, 2007 and the company expects to ship six million LCD TVs. Most of the high-end LCD TVs are built by Sony while entry-level 32″ and 40″ models are made by TPV. Models that are 20″ and smaller are being integrated by Amtran Technology.

Outsourcing the integration of a LCD TV might not sound like such a big deal. That is, until something bad happens. And Sony should know. Most of Sony-branded batteries are not “integrated” by Sony at all but are made in Taiwan, China and other places where labor costs are much lower than Japan. This is precisely the reason why Sony is outsourcing its LCD TV integration. But what happens when quality suffers as it did for its batteries? Incremental savings in cost might put a smile on the CFO’s face, but when they start blowing up, figuratively speaking, with quality problems, the cost savings might not be worth it. I for one will be looking very carefully to make sure I get a Sony that is Made in Japan.

Source: FPDisplay

Coherent License Laser Technology to OSRAM

On December 20, 2006, Coherent, Inc., a Santa Clara, California-based photonics-based solutions provider, announced that it has licensed its Optically Pumped Semiconductor Laser (OPSL) technology to OSRAM GmbH. This allows OSRAM to develop and market RGB lasers using OPSL technology for integration into applications such as projection TV (“Laser TV“), pocket projectors and handheld devices. One of the main barriers for laser-based sources for backlights is cost. With OSRAM’s manufacturing scale the cost of lasers are poised to drop. What questions me is how in the world will three lasers be incorporated into a handheld device? There is something really interesting cooking in the world of lasers.

Source: Coherent

V7 R22W02: 22" Wide LCD Monitor

V7, formerly known as Videoseven, introduced its R22W02, a 22″ wide LCD monitor. The aspect ratio is 16:10 (Engadget incorrectly states it at 16:9, as does V7’s own press release) with a resolution of 1680 x 1050. The contrast ratio is 700:1, which is very impressive, with a brightness of 300 cd/m2. The R22W02 will be exclusively distributed via Ingram Micro.

There are many 22″ wide LCD monitors being introduced these days and V7’s R22W02 might be just another 22″ in the crowd, except that it will probably have one of the lowest prices: expect a sub-$349 price. A quick check on www.shopzilla.com reveals a price range of $310.88 – $343.39. V7’s press release states that the R22W02 has a long panel life of 40,000 hours, but I must disagree that it is long. Average LCD panel lifetimes are rated around 50,000 hours, so the R22W02 will last 20% less–not something to brag about.

Source: Engadget, PR Newswire

Mitsubishi WD-73831: 73" 1080p DLP TV

Mitsubishi’s WD-73831 is a 73″ DLP TV that uses Texas Instrument’s largest 1080p DLP chip with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The WD-73831 uses the company’s TurboLight180 lamp system that uses a 180W lamp. Contrast ratio is improved using a dynamic contrast system. In terms of inputs, there are S-Video, Component, DVI, HDMI, and IEEE 1394 (also known as FireWire or i.Link).

The WD-73831 also has a CableCard slot and TV Guide On Screen. There is also a multi-format memory card reader that allows playback of digital photos and music. Even though I am a fan of DLP, for very large application in the 70″ range, I prefer LCoS as is used in Sony’s 70″ SXRD model.

Source: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi XL650U: UXGA LCD Projector

Mitsubishi’s XL650U is a LCD projector with a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200. The XL650U’s brightness specification is surprising high at 4,200 lumens. Other specifications include a 600:1 contrast ratio, two DVI inputs and wired networking. This unit doesn’t come cheap at $5,995, but the unusually high resolution of 1600 x 1200 is probably one of the reasons why. The LCD is used is a 0.8″ high temperature polysilicon (HTPS) LCD. The XL650U should be available now as it started shipping in December.

1600 x 1200 resolution on a 20″ LCD monitor requires a bit of focus. Imagine working on a 50″ or much larger screen via a projector like the XL650U. You get 1600 x 1200 resolution but with fonts that are much more readable. Since 1280 x 720 resolutions (720p content) can easily fit into the XL650U maximum resolution, watchin 720p HD content should not be a problem.

Source: Engadget, Projector Central

LG DA70-GPFANX: PC TV Combo, “TVPC”

LG’s DA70-GPFANX is a LCD TV with a built-in TV. On the TV side, the specifications are as follows:

CPU: Celeron M 430
HDD: 160GB
RAM: 1GB DDR2
GPU: Intel GMA950
WiFi: Yes, unspecified
Optical: Slot-loading DVD (speed unknown at the moment)

The LCD specifications are:

Response time: 8ms
Brightness: 500 cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 800:1

Overall dimensions are 720 x 470 x 99 mm or 28 x 18.5 x 3.9 inches. LG’s DA70-GPFANX will be on sale in South Korea for about 1,850,000 won or about US$2000. I have a few reservations regarding PC TV combination devices. First of all, let me start off with my experience in using a Toshiba TV that has a VCR built in. I’m sure everyone is familiar with how this story will end: Yes, the VCR is dead and I have not fixed it. What will happen if something were to happen on the PC side? If and when that happens, you’ll end up with just a very expensive LCD TV. Another glaring limitation is longevity: Unless there are easy (any?) ways to upgrade the PC side of this combo device, the usefulness will be somewhat limited. However, the things we can do on the Internet does not require the latest and greatest PC specifications, so browsing, IMing, emailing, etc. should be easy enough for the DA70-GPFANX. On a side note, is it just me or is LG getting a bit more aggressive in terms of, say, exciting a certain portion of potential customers via photographic marketing?

Source: Engadget, Aving.net