Syntax-Brillian and AEG: Digital Signage

AEG and Syntax-Brillian Corp., a manufacturer and marketer of LCD and LCoS™ HDTVs and digital entertainment products, announced a marketing partnership that feature the company’s Olevia™ brand throughout AEG-owned assets across the nation. To name a few of AEG properties: L.A. Live, STAPLES Center, the Los Angeles Kings, Red Bull Park, Sprint Center, Citizen’s Business Bank Arena and the Amgen Tour of California. The agreement extends through 2010 and will highlight the Olevia™ brand through signage, brand exposure and integration of Olevia™ TVs into AEG-owned public spaces. The central component of the partnership was the sponsorship opportunities and elements which will be highlighted at L.A. Live, the four million square foot $2.5 billion development across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center. L.A. Live features a 54 story/1,000-room convention center, Club Nokia, a 2,200 capacity live music venue, a 15-screen Regal Cineplex, broadcast facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant, residential and office space and the 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre.

AEG, a sports and entertainment presenters, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Forum (as exclusive booking agent for sports and entertainment programming), Toyota Sports Center, Anaheim Arena (as preferred booking agent), NOKIA Theatre Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and Toyota Park.

I think this is a “brilliant” move by Syntax-Brillian as it will bolster its brand to potential customers that matter: folks who love sports. Of course, we all know that they will need to defer purchasing decisions to the wife, if married.

For more information: BusinessWire

LG Electronics 60PT1: 60″ Plasma TV with Wood Triming

LG Electronics (LGE) is introducing a 60″ plasma display panel (PDP) TV with a wood bezel or frame. LGE is releasing only 1000 such units in the South Korean domestic market in March.

Continued research to improve flat panel display (FPD) TV into its surroundings is the likely reason why LGE is releasing such a unique product. Concerns regarding the use of wood would include: expansion and contraction due to moisture or lack thereof, changes in color, lower resistance to sharp objects relative to aluminum or plastic, etc. I am assuming LGE did its best to ensure long-term quality of the wood on the 60PT1.

Source: Gizmodo, Ubergizmo

AU Optronics, Chunghwa Picture Tubes Slow New Fab Investments

AU Optronics (AUO) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) have decided to slow investments toward new fabs in Taiwan. AUO originally planned to invest NT$400 billion (about US$12 billion) but has trimmed that number down to NT$254 billion. CPT will reduce the number of new LCD fabs from four plants to just two in Taiwan.

We are entering a phase in the LCD industry where capacity growth will slow. This will in turn mean that price declines will also slow down. With LCD TVs expected to grow to about 70 million units in 2007, there will need to be adjustments in the forecast.

Source: Reuters

Panasonic TH-50PF9UK: 50″ 1080p Plasma TV

Panasonic’s TH-50PF9UK plasma display panel (PDP) TV sports Full HD 1080p capability with a pixel format of 1920 x 1080. Unlike other “1080p capable” PDP TV sets, the TH-50PF9UK is truly a real Full HD PDP TV. The contrast ratio is 5000:1, viewing angles are 160 degrees and response time super fast, like any PDP TV. Just a quick note on PDP TV response times: there is really no meaning in measuring PDP TV response times because they are so fast. The TH-50PF9UK comes with VGA, DVI and other inputs and has a tuner than is compatible with NTSC, PAL and SECAM. Unfortunately, the TH-50PF9UK lacks a ATSC tuner.

c|net’s article states the TH-50PF9UK as only the second 50″ PDP TV to sport a 1920 x 1080 pixel format with Pioneer’s Pro-FHD1 to be the very first. The article compares the two but gives the highest praise to the Pro-FHD1 for outstanding picture quality. Overall, c|net gave the TH-50PF9UK a 8.3 mark out of 10.

Source: c|net

Chi Mei Optoelectronics to Invest US$1.5 Billion on New Fab

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), the second largest LCD manufacturer in Taiwan, is planning to borrow NT$52.5 billion (about US$1.59 billion) to construct a next generation LCD fab in Taiwan. The amount is NT$12.5 billion more than originally planned. The loan will be financed by 20 banks including Bank of America, HSBC Holdings, Bank of Taiwan, Chinatrust Commercial Bank and First Commercial Bank. The large amount of investment toward a LCD fab suggest that it will be a G7 or larger fab.

Source: The China Post

LG Electronics Prada: KE850 Mobile Phone

On January 18, LG Electronics (LGE) announced the Prada phone, also known as the KE850. As the name suggests, the Prada phone was codesigned with Prada. According to LGE, the Prada phone is the first to ship with a control system completely based on touch. From the looks of it, there are three buttons on the bottom. The Prada phone will most likely be the subject of comparison to Apple’s iPhone, but there are many differences according to an article by Electronista. LGE’s Prada phone has a 3.0″ LCD with a 240 x 400 pixel format versus the iPhone’s slightly larger 3.5″ LCD with a bit more pixels at 320 x 480. I do like the Prada phone’s simple icon design and the black and white colors.

There is no built-in storage like the iPhone but rather gives you the option to expand via microSD. MPEG4, H.263 and H.264 video formats are supported and on the audio front AAC, MP3, WMA and RealAudio formats are good to go. For capturing photos and videos, the Prada phone lets you play with 2 megapixels, the same as the iPhone. Launch date is February for the lucky folks in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. No luck for the US.

Samsung SDI to Invest in Production Capacity

Samsung SDI, a South Korean plasma display panel (PDP) manufacturer, will invest 710 billion won (about US$758 million) to increase production capacity in 2007. The production capacity will be used for PDPs as well as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This is response to Matsushita, who took over the #1 position from Samsung SDI in 2006. The new PDP plant was originally slated to begin operations in May 2007 but I do not have update information regarding the schedule. The new PDP plant is most likely to have a production capacity of 250,000 42″ equivalent PDPs per month increasing SDI’s annual production capacity to 7.3 million units in 2007.

Source: Yonhap News, Hardware Help

TPO Displays 1.8″ LTPS Mobile Display

TPO Displays announced on January 25 a 1.8″ LTPS sporting a pixel format of just 120 x 160 to 128 x 160 also known as QQVGA or Quarter QVGA. The 1.8″ display can display up to 262,000 colors with standard CPU and RGB interfaces. Size was minimized by incorporating one of the smallest driver ICs and is currently in volume production.

Research and development is racing toward making mobile displays smaller and thinner enabling for slimmer mobile phones. Although this trend will continue there will be a point when the human hand will consider it too thin and begin to feel uncomfortably thin. Of course there is the challenge of keeping very thin devices durable as well.

Source: The Mobile Phone Directory, DigiTimes

Hitachi P42T501: 42″ Plasma TV

Hitachi’s P42T501 is a 42″ plasma display panel (PDP) TV that sports a pixel format of 1024 x 1080. The pixel format does not show it, but the P42T501 has a 16:9 aspect ratio. PDP TVs have always had pixel structures that are not squares but rectangles. The P42T501 features the Picture Master HDII image processor to increase sharpness and improve color. Contrast ratio is 10,000:1 thanks to its dynamic contrast electronics. There are two HDMI inputs as well as the ability to rotate 30 degrees either to the left or right. Finally, there is a SD card slot and a USB connection. Source: