Sharp Prototype LCD TV: Superior

Sharp shared its vision of the future by showcasing a prototype LCD TV that is superior to current ones. Listed are some unique characteristics:

Size: 52″ LCD TV
Thickness: 20mm-29mm
Contrast Ratio: 100,000:1
Power Consumption: 140kWh/year (based on 4.5 hours of daily viewing)
Color Gamut: 150% NTSC
Weight: 25kg

Opinion
This prototype is very thin for a 52″ LCD TV. Sharp’s current model, LC-52D62U, has a depth of 5″ or 127mm. Contrast 127mm with just 29mm and we’re talking about really thin: about 1/4 – 1/5 the thickness. The contrast ratio is impressive at 100,000:1, but these numbers can be generated with area-focused luminance control (AFLC) or local dimming. AFLC can reduce the light generated from the backlight in dark areas and keep high light output for bright areas resulting in greatly increased contrast ratios. The improved color gamut of 150% NTSC is likely the result of LED backlights but until there are 150% NTSC content, the improve color gamut will likely generate over-saturated images. The LC-52D62U has a weight of 82.7lbs, compared to the prototypes 25kg (or 55lbs): quite a bit lighter, which will be nice if you plan on moving around your 52″ LCD TV. Most likely, lighter models will be a huge cost saver for Sharp due to lower transportation costs. Overall impressive, but nothing revolutionary. The only characteristic of the prototype that I can’t really comment on is the power consumption. What does a typical 52″ LCD TV consume per year based on 4.5 hours of daily viewing?

Source: Sharp

Update 2007.08.31
Engadget has some live shots of the 52″ LCD TV prototype from Sharp and it does seem to be quite thin. I think content is being delivered wirelessly, but that’s just my opinion. Have a look!

[tags]Sharp, LCD TV, Local Dimming, Wide Color Gamut, LED Backlight[/tags]

Foxconn to Build PC Assembly Plant in Russia

Edmund Ding, spokesperson for Foxconn Electronics, marketing name for Hon Hai Precision Industry, confirmed the company’s plan to set up a PC assembly plant in Russia. This is according to DigiTimes sourcing the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report. The report states that this assembly plant is a joint venture between Foxconn and HP with the investment valued at US$50 million. The assembly plant will be located in St. Petersburg, Russia and manufacture PCs as well as LCD monitors. HP contracts out the manufacturing of PCs and LCD monitors to other Taiwan-based integrators such as Asustek Computer and Elitegroup Computer System (ECS). The joint venture might strain HP’s relationships with Asustek, ECS and others, according to the report.

[tags]Hon Hai, Foxconn, HP, LCD Monitor, LCD TV, Desktop PC, Asus, Elitegroup Computer System, ECS[/tags]

Opinion
I’m not sure building a joint assembly plant with Foxconn is such a good idea for HP. There are benefits for sure. Foxconn is one of the largest integrators of LCD monitors and IT equipment in general and there is no sign of the company slowing down. However, siding with one large integrator might expose HP to that company more than the company might want. Remember Foxconn and Apple? It was to Apple’s benefit that Foxconn was one of many integrators that the company used. It would have been a different story if the majority of Apple’s goods were manufactured by Chinese laborers that suffered poor working conditions. Not that I am against the country of China, but Chinese companies’ practice of providing poor conditions to their workers and completely disregarding the environmental impact of manufacturing operations will only get worse before something catastrophic happens that will jolt the system toward improvements.

Source: Economic Daily News via DigiTimes via Witsview

Samsung SPD-42S5HD, SPD-42S5HDM, SPD-42P5HD, SPD-42P5HDM: 42″ PDP TVs with Problems

Samsung’s SPD-42S5HD, SPD-42S5HDM, SPD-42P5HD, SPD-42P5HDM PDP TVs are having problems where black/blue lines are covering portion or all of the PDP TVs.

AVING is reporting out of Seoul, South Korea that some Samsung 42″ PDP TV models are breaking down already, only after 2 years of service. One of the main problems that users have reported is the existence of black or blue lines that cover parts, half, or the entire screen and making the PDP TVs useless. Based on the report, there are more than 600 cases inolving the four models mentioned in the title sold between 2005 and 2006. On June 21, 2007, the Korea Consumer Agency officially requested Samsung to recall the four models and repair them at no cost to the consumers. The Korea Consumer Agency is a government organization that was established to protect consumer rights and interests. One interesting thing about Korea is that once you purchase a consumer electronics good there is almost no way you can return it. The problem has not been diagnosed according to AVING’s report. The Korean Consumer Agency is negotiating with Samsung to extend the warranty period to two years for the four failing models. This comes at a time when PDP TVs have been under great competitive threat from LCD TVs.

Source: AVING

[tags]Samsung, Plasma TV, PDP TV, Plasma Display Panel, 42″, Korea Consumer Agency[/tags]

Philips 32PFL9632D: 32″ LCD TV

Philips 32PFL9632D

Size: 32″ 16:9
Pixel Format: 1366 x 768
Frequency: 100Hz ClearLCD (double the typical 50Hz for European markets)
LCD Response Time: 3ms
LCD Brightness: 550 cd/m2
Availability: Europe
Tuner: DVB-T
Unique Technology: Ambilight, Perfect Pixel HD Engine
Ports: USB (photo slideshows), HDMI (3)
Speakers: Built-in (4)
Price: £999 ($1,977)

Opinion
The Philips 32PFL9632D looks simple and elegant. The piano-black border is surrounded by yet another border with small holes, probably for audio to come out from. There are four speakers, two more than usual. The 100Hz, which is double the frequency of European standards, will definitely aid in greatly reducing motion blur. I have changed the format of my postings to show quick stats at the top and my personal opinion on the bottom and a picture in the middle, if available. Hopefully this format will allow for faster and easier reading. Thanks to my brother, Don! Overall, I like the design and the LCD technology should provide good performance. The downside is the slightly high price of almost $2000. It is a downside considering brands such as Vizio is offering 42″ LCD TVs for half as much.

Source: Messe Berlin via Engadget

[tags]32″, LCD TV, 1366 x 768, 100Hz, Philips, HDMI, Perfect Pixel HD Engine[/tags]

Asahi Glass Fine Techno Taiwan (AFT): Some Information

DigiTimes posted an informative Q&A session with AFT’s chairman and president, Tetsuji Kakimoto. Kakimoto-san revealed a lot of information that I will succinctly summarize below:

Glass Capacity, Plans, Locations
-AFT can supply G10 glass out of Taiwan.
-Large plants: 4 in Taiwan, 3 in Osaka, Japan, 1 in Korea.
-Large plant capacity: 5 million m2 (5-6x Corning‘s plant capacity)
-Small plants: 3 in Yokohama, Japan.
-Backend process lines: 2 G4, 4 G5 (all in Taiwan), 2 G6 (Korea), 1 G7 (Korea), 1 G8 (Japan).
-Taiwan has most complete backend production facility for Asahi.
-Taiwan plants: 4 located in Yunlin Base of the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP). 3 of 4 are in volume production. #4 will enter volume production in Q4’07. Plants #1-#2 offer glass substrates with widths of 4.2-4.5m; plants #3-#4 up to 5m in width. #5 in planning stages and location to be either outside of the Yunlin base in Taiwan or Korea and will be decided by the Asahi Group in Japan.
-Plans for new PDP glass plant in Korea.
-No plans for China-based glass furnace.

Financial Investments
-Large furnace investments: NT$5 billion
-Backend line: NT$3 billion
-Total Taiwan investments: NT$50 billion.

Other
-30% of worldwide glass substrate market (includes PDP)
-Environment friendly glasses, free of heavy metals, including arsenic.

Source: DigiTimes via Witsview

[tags]Asahi, Corning, LCD Glass[/tags]