Samsung SyncMaster 220TN, 225UW: Video Calls, VoIP Calls

Samsung SyncMaster 220TN

Size: 22″
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1050
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Connectivity: USB (4)
Special Features: Embedded Networking/Video Call Software, Built-in Camera, Microphone, Speaker, PC Not Required

Samsung SyncMaster 225UW

Size: 22″
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1050
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response Time: 5ms
Connectivity: USB (2), VGA, DVI-D
Special Features: Microsoft Unified Communication ID Management, VoIP Calls via Built-in Camera, Microphone, Speaker, PC Required


Samsung‘s 220TN LCD monitor is a very interesting development as it does not require a PC for you to make video calls. You will need an Ethernet connection though, which shouldn’t be a difficult requirement for most. My wish is for smaller LCD monitors to have built-in cameras, microphones and speakers too.

Source: Samsung

[tags]Samsung, LCD Monitor, Wide LCD Monitor, 22″, 1680 x 1050, VoIP, USB[/tags]

Fujitsu Siemens SCALEOVIEW Q22W-1: 22″ LCD Monitor, Loaded

Fujitsu Siemens SCALEOVIEW Q22W-1

Size: 22″
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1050
Input: USB, D-Sub, DVI, S-Video, Composite, HDMI with HDCP, DVI with HDCP
Special: Camera (30fps), microphone (2)
Price: £299 (US$600)

The 22″ SCALEOVIEW Q22W-1 will be launching on August 30, 2007 according to Fujitsu Siemens. The name SCALEOVIEW is a bit lacking in professionalism, but the features of this 22″ wide LCD monitor seem to very focused on communication and entertainment. With the high-quality camera built-in (and good video chatting software) the user can easily video chat and there are microphones to boot. The DVI and HDMI inputs allow for this monitor to be used as the display for DVDs, HD-DVDs, Blu-ray disks, PS3 and about anything else that has video out. The panel is most likely a TN type with a wide viewing angle film to improve the limited viewing angle from just TN alone. At £299, it is very expensive and a Dell Ultrasharp 20″ wide might be a better value: even though you are losing 2″, you are not losing any screen real estate as the pixel format is identical and you get better LCD technology: S-IPS from LG.Philips LCD or PVA from Samsung.

Source: Pocket-Lint

[tags]Fujitsu Siemens, 22″, LCD Monitor, Wide LCD Monitor, 1680 x 1050, DVI, HDMI, HDCP[/tags]

Philips AUREA 42PFL9900D: 42″ 1080p Ambilight Spectra LCD TV

Philips AUREA 42PFL9900D

Size: 42″
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080
Engine: Perfect Pixel HD
Frequency: 100Hz Clear LCD
Response Time: 3ms
Brightness: 550 cd/mw
Contrast Ratio: 1200:1, 8000:1 dynamic
Viewing Angle: 176/176
Colors: 4 trillion
Input: HDMI (3)
Speakers: 2 sets of 12 microdrivers, 2 integrated subwoofers
Other Technology: HD Natural Motion (motion blur free 1080p), Ambilight Spectra, Active Frame (126 LEDs in frame)

Philips is well known for its Ambilight technology that expands color from the video you are watching to outside of the TV. The added visual experience becomes quite obvious when Ambilight is turned off. The new AUREA series from Philips advances Ambilight called Ambilight Spectra and to it Active Frame and a sensorial halo is added. The Active Frame generates a soft kaleidoscope of colors similar to what you are watching and enhances the immersion effect. Philips uses 126 LEDs around the frame to generate the light.

Other notable features include 100Hz double frequency that substantially reduces motion blur. A version geared for the US will require 120Hz. Philips’ Perfect Pixel HD is a technology that processes each pixel “to better match the surrounding pixels”: an artifact and noise smoothing algorithm.

The 4 trillion color statistic is most likely a color processing number resulting from a 14-bit processing method. As far as I know there is no mass manufactured LCD panel that has 14-bit sub-pixels. Currently, at the LCD panel level, most sub-pixels have 8-bit grayscale levels generating 16.78 million colors while the most advanced versions have moved to 10-bit with a 1.07 billion color capability.

Source: Philips, Aurea Leaflet (PDF), More Pictures from IFA

[tags]Philips, AUREA, 42″, 1080p, Full HD, 1920 x 1080, LCD TV, 100Hz, Dynamic Contrast, HDMI, Wide Color Gamut, LED, 10-bit LCD[/tags]

Verizon Center: HD LED Indoor Scoreboard

LEDs Magazine: ANC Sports Enterprises and Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision Systems will be installing a high definition 4-screen LED scoreboard wall using 6mm pitch LEDs at Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. The LED video wall will be the very first indoor high definition LED display scoreboard.  The LED scoreboard will measure 14 feet, 5 inches high by 25 feet, 2 inches wide, with a total area of 365 square feet and a pixel format of 1280 x 736, that’s 720p capable. Nice.

Seoul Semiconductor vs. Advanced Optoelectronic Technology: 3 Strikes

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) dismissed a patent invalidation action filed against Seoul Semiconductor (SSC) by Advanced Optoelectronic Technology (AOT), a Taiwan-based LED manufacturer and relates to Seoul Semiconductor’s white LED patent in Taiwan. According to SSC the company has also won patent cases against Itswell and Mediana Electronics in Korea regarding its white LEDs. SSC alleges that AOT has been infringing on its patent on a white LED manufacturing method in Korea since 2002 and in August 2005 the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of SSC, concluding that AOT had infringed on SSC’s white LED patent technology. In November 2006, the Intellectual Property Tribunal in Korea turned down AOT’s claim to invalidate SSC’s Korean patent registration. And now, TIPO has rejected AOT’s claim to invalidate SSC’s Taiwan patent registration. The patent registration process has already been completed by SSC in China, Japan, Taiwan and the US. White LEDs can be used for flashlights, general lighting, automotive lighting, mobile phone keypads and flashes.

Source: LEDs Magazine

[tags]Taiwan Intellectual Property Office, TIPO, Seoul Semiconductor, Advanced Optoelectronic Technology, White LED, Itswell, Mediana Electronics, LED, Intellectual Property Tribunal[/tags]

Acer to Acquire Gateway for $710 Million

Today, August 27, 2007, Acer announced that it will purchase all of Gateway’s outstanding shares for $1.90 per share and has been approved by the boards of directors at both companies. The two companies are expecting the deal to be completed by the end of this year, of course, given that the US government approves. Acer moved first and Lenovo can’t buy Packard Bell. Gateway has the right of first refusal if a company desires to purchase shares in Packard Bell’s parent company, PB Holding Co. SARL.

Acer + Gateway: 18.6 million PCs in 2006
Lenovo: 16.6 million PCs in 2006
Acer in US: Increase of 164% Y/Y in Q2’07 with 888,000 PCs sold, 5.2% share of US market
Gateway in US: 965,000 PCs sold in Q2’07 with 5.6% share of US market
Acer + Gateway in US: #3 behind HP and Dell 

Sounds good on paper but will require a lot of work. Just as it was with HP purchasing Compaq, the Gateway purchase by Acer will require a tremendous amount of work aligning work culture and strategic goals. We should also note that this is the second major PC company that is being sold to an Asian company recently, IBM’s PC division was sold to Lenovo not too long ago. I’m not anti-Asian, but I don’t like seeing Asian companies gobbling up US companies as I would like to see US companies stay US companies since I live in the US. It will be sad to see Gateway go. I remember a long time ago flipping through PC magazines that had Gateway advertisements with cows. Those were cool.

Source: PC World

[tags]Acer, Gateway, IBM, Lenovo, Packard Bell[/tags]

Honeywell Licenses LCD Patents to Hitachi

Honeywell announced the licensing of LCD patents related to increasing the brightness and image quality to Hitachi and Hitachi Displays.  There are two patents involed: one is #5280371 “Directional Diffuser for a Liquid Crystal Display” and #5041823 “Flicker-Free Liquid Crystal Display Driver System”. These patents can be applied to increase LCD brightness and flicker-free operations in digital cameras, mobile phones and notebook PCs. Since 2004, Honeywell has filed lawsuits against 65 electronics companies for infringement of patent 5280371 and 11 companies for infringement of patent 5041823.

Source: DigiTimes via Witsview

[tags]Honeywell, Difusser, LCD Patent, Hitachi, Mobile Phone, Notebook PC, Digital Camera[/tags]

Sharp in Moscow

Sharp established a sales unit in Moscow, Russia. Previously, the German-based sales unit was responsible for sales in Russia. Russia’s LCD TV is growing quickly and Sharp wants to improve the sales of its AQUOS line of LCD TVs that are manufactured in the company’s new TV plant in Poland. The AQUOS line geared for the Russian market will include 46″, 57″ and others. Sharp has a goal of selling substantially more than 1.4 million LCD TVs that it posted in 2006 in Europe.

There is definitely a first-mover advantage when it comes to establishing a brand. Sony has been the brand to beat in the US for a while and with massive investments in product quality, design, competitive pricing and marketing, Samsung has challenged and won against Sony in recent years. It took Samsung a lot of resources to accomplish this task. Sharp has not been so lucky in the US. Recently in the news were reports that suggested lower pricing power by Sharp compared to Samsung and Sony where consumers were willing to pay hundreds more for similarly equipped LCD TVs compared to Sharp. With Sharp moving aggressively into Russia, the Russian consumers might have a different brand preference developing over the next few years. However, I would bet Sony, Samsung and especially Philips will have something up their sleeves to combat Sharp in Russia.

Source: The Japan Times

[tags]Sharp, Moscow, LCD TV, Samsung, Sony, 46″, 47″[/tags]

Samsung Next Generation Bordeaux LCD TVs in Taiwan

Brand: Samsung
Model: Bordeaux (next generation)
Sizes: 32″ and 40″
Pixel Format: 1366 x 768
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (8000:1 dynamic)
Brightness: 500 cd/m2
Viewing Angles: 178/178
Response Time: 8ms
Ports: HDMI (2)
Pricing: NT$46,900 (US$1422, 32″), NT$74,900 (US$2271, 40″)

Samsung recently introduced its next-generation Bordeaux LCD TVs in Taiwan and hopes to see about 15,000 to 20,000 in sales this year. These next-generation Bordeaux LCD TVs have been available in the global market since March 2007 and a 46″ model will be released in 1H’08.

Samsung’s newest Bordeaux LCD TV (LN-40F81BD) with 1080p and 120Hz

I’m not sure why it took so long for Samsung to introduce LCD TVs that have been available to the global market since March. I know the Bordeaux line of LCD TVs are very popular in Korea. There are a few caveats though. The 8ms response time is not the best that I have seen and without a 120Hz frequency there will most likely be some video blur. The pixel format of 1366 x 768 should be plenty for a long time to come as 1080p content is very hard to come by and in some cases have been shown not to be all that better than 720p. Finally, the price of around $1400 for a 32″ LCD TV seems to be quite high. I would think $999 would be tops in the 32″ category as of now. The $2271 price for the 40″ version is also too high: $1499 would be more inline with pricing trends. Samsung’s own LN-T4061F sports a pixel format of 1920 x 1080 (1080p) and goes for just $1358 via Pricegrabber. I do know that CE prices are generally higher in Asia than in the US but the difference here seems to be substantial.

Source: DigiTimes via Witsview, Samsung Korea

[tags]Samsung, LCD TV, Taiwan, 1920 x 1080, Full HD, 1080p, 120Hz, 1366 x 768[/tags]

Teco to Invest $20M in Syntax-Brillian

Teco Electric & Machinery will invest US$20 million in Syntax-Brillian. Teco is an appliance manufacturer based in Taiwan and Syntax-Brillian is a US-based TV manufacturer. With the $20 million, Teco will own 3.5% equity share in Syntax-Brillian. Another stakeholder is Kolin, also Taiwan-based, that holds 7% of Syntax-Brillian. Kolin is the integrator that makes the Olevia-branded LCD TVs for Syntax-Brillian. Syntax-Brillian also has LCoS-based TVs. By pooling resources from three companies, Syntax-Brillian hopes to gain success in the likes of Vizio, a competitor that is also an US-based TV manufacturer.

Vizio is based in Irvine, California and captured 12% unit share of flat panel TVs in Q2’07 making it the top brand in the US according to market research company DisplaySearch. Vizio has been selling TVs only since 2003 mainly through Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Sears. Vizio is not found at Best Buy but its TVs are seeked out due to very low prices. For instance, Vizio offers two 32″ LCD TVs with one that costs $600 and the other for $650. As mentioned before, Vizio’s overhead is low with just 85 employees, mostly in technical support or engineering. Syntax-Brillian will need to be just as lean and competitive to survive.

Some statistics for Syntax-Brillian:

Shipments: 600,000 in 1H’07, 1.2 million goal for 2007
Future products: Digital photo frames

Gaining valuable funding by liquidating some of your equity is a time-honored method of continuing and expanding your business. James Li is the CEO of Syntax-Brillian and he is, I’m sure, a very smart person. A competitor, Vizio, has stollen the top spot from Samsung in the US TV market in Q2’07. Like Vizio, Syntax-Brillian is a lean company that moves quickly and focuses on providing high quality products at very competitive prices. Teco also manufactures LCD TVs and sells them under the Teco brand in Taiwan and the three companies can share experiences and know-how to succeed in the TV business.

Source: DigiTimes via Witsview, USA Today

[tags]Teco Electric, Syntax-Brillian, Vizio, LCD TV, CostCo, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Kolin[/tags]