Hitachi: Hybrid LCD Display

Hitachi LCD + LCD Projector Hybrid Prototype Display

Size: 47″
Contrast Ratio: 8,000,000:1
Projection Depth: 30cm (11.8″)
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080 (VA-type LCD), 1280 x 720 (LCD rear projection)
Brightness: 700 cd/m2

This is probably the first display that combines a regular LCD display and LCD projection technology. That alone is very unique. On top of that Hitachi is claiming a 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio which is quite nice, but someone surreal. What does all that contrast ratio mean, especially when you are talking about numbers in the millions? Great picture, I guess.

Hitachi has stated that this marvel of a display has not been scheduled for volume production but can be commercialized quickly if there is demand. Tell me the price and I’m sure we can find out how much demand there can be.

Depth is an issue, to some extent, when talking about rear projection TVs. This Hitachi hybrid, using a short focal-length projector can have a depth of just 30cm or 11.8″. I mentioned “to some extent” because I actually like a bit of depth. With a LCD or PDP TV, you get a thin display, but unless you’re going to hang it on the wall, the thinness is all but wasted. Why? You’ll need to put that thin display on a… something, a something that is most likely much deeper than the display. You do this to put other stuff you need such as your Tivo, DVD player, PlayStation 3, Slingbox, cable box, Apple TV, etc. With a nice and thick rear projection TV, I can just put it on top, and away from the kids.

By using this same technology, Hitachi also developed what it calls a depth-fused 3D (DFD) display in collaboration with NTT IT’s Cyber Space Laboratories. DFD enables 3D by layering two images with differing brightness and has less strain on the eyes than competing 3D technologies such as using parallax barriers.

Source: TechOn

Update 2007.10.02

Engadget is reporting that Hitachi is showcasing its hybrid LCD display at FPD International in Japan. You can look at some of the pictures they have hosted. The pictures (from Harry Potter, I do not know which one) do not show very well the superb contrast ratio but even with a great digital picture our own displays would be the limiting factor.

[tags]1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080, 47″, Hitachi, Hybrid TV, LCD Rear Projection, LCD TV, NTT, VA, Vertical Alignment[/tags]

Next Generation LED

PHYSORG.com is reporting information regarding LED advances from scientists in India. Their study can be found in the American Chemical Society’s The Journal of Physical Chemistry, September 9 issue. The Indian scientists is reporting an advance toward a white LED that produces pure white light that is suitable for interior lighting. Current white LEDs are not perfect, with slight variations in color and unstable light output. Any light source needs to have a stable color and uniform light output. D. D. Sarma and Angshuman Nag have successfully developed a new LED based on a new phosphor coating. The phosphor is made of a cadmium sulfide and manganese mixture, a semiconductor nanocrystal. The resulting white LED produces a stable shade of white light that remains constant over time. Sarma and Nag are working to improve efficiency for use in everyday applications.

Source: American Chemical Society via PHYSORG.com

Technorati Tags: ,

Lenovo ThinkVision L220x: 22″ WUXGA LCD Monitor

Lenovo ThinkVision L220x Technical Specifications

  • Size: 22″ Wide
  • Pixel Format: 1920×1200
  • Response Time: 6ms
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2
  • Viewing Angle: 178/178
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Input: USB (4), DVI with HDCP
  • Availability: November 2007
  • Price: ~$550

Slashgear: Typical 22″ LCD monitors have a pixel format of 1680×1050. And that seems fine with most of the users that purchase 22″ LCD monitors. Why? Well, the price is right. The price is right because the LCD technology used is of the TN variety that makes the cost of manufacturing those panels much cheaper compared to IPS or VA. The second, but a lesser known reason, is that the pixels are much larger than 20″ LCD monitors with the same pixel format. Consumers are more comfortable viewing slightly larger fonts. As consumers age in general, they will continue to prefer larger fonts. But isn’t it strange that the more pixels you have the fonts have to get smaller? We definitely are living in a high-tech world, and in a Microsoft Windows world. Windows simply does a horrible job of getting more pixels to work in generating a more usable user interface. If you increase the “DPI” setting (who uses “dots per inch” on a LCD anymore?) in Windows, the fonts do get bigger, but the overall “look and feel” becomes a bit less than desirable. Apple seems to do a lot better job in making fonts a bit more readable, but even Apple’s fonts used in the UI is less sharp than what I want. Imperfection is what we must live with. And that leads us to Lenovo’s ThinkVision L220x.

A 22″ LCD monitor with a 1920×1200 pixel format on Windows will have fonts that are terribly small relative to regular 22″ monitors. So most consumers won’t like it, is my guess. Young consumers, hardcore gamers, niche markets that require more pixels, will definitely welcome this monitor is my first thought. But then, why? There are many 24″ LCD monitors with a 1920×1200 pixel format and for not much more money. Also Lenovo is “Made in China”. Do you really want to spend that much money on a “Made in China” device? Sure, there are some things made in China that are generally okay to purchase such as Apple’s iPhone and… pins? But as far as I know, Apple’s engineers swarm around Chinese manufacturers making sure that everything goes well in the beginning of a new project. That’s why it’s important to get the first generation new stuff from Apple. I think I have gone off tangent too much with this blog post, but this new monitor is not going to do very well is my personal opinion and the bottom line.

Update 2008.04.28: I must admit, there must have been external factors contributing to my generally negative impression of products that are made in China. I think I know why. I have three children and two of them love Thomas the Train. When I heard that James (the red one) had lead in its paint, that almost blew my top off! When my first born was younger, there were many times when he had James in his mouth. I had learned that these toys are now manufactured in China. Needless to say, my impression of Chinese made products dropped like a rock. Now I hear contaminated drugs, foods, etc. coming from China. There just does not seem to be an end. But not everything coming out of China is bad. My beloved iPhone is a case in point. The build quality is rock solid and I’ve had it for about 10 months without any problems.

So, let’s get back to the ThinkVision L220x.

The ThinkVision L220x should be a solid product if IBM standards were used to manufacture it. When I think of IBM, I think of ThinkPads. When I think of ThinkPads, I think of rock-solid quality. There are some reviews that point to a slight decline of quality from the days when IBM was in charge to when Lenovo took over, but overall quality still seems to be an important factor at Lenovo.

According to LCD Tech, Lenovo’s ThinkVision L220x incorporates Samsung’s LTM220CS01 LCD panel. This panel is a S-PVA LCD with a viewing angle of 178/178, a response time of 6ms GTG, a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a brightness of 300 cd/m2. What this tells me is that the front screen performance of the ThinkVision L220x will be very strong. Although my personal preference is IPS, PVA has come a long way and is very good for general purpose LCD monitors.

It has been difficult tracking down the L220x for sale, but a quick check at PriceGrabber.com brings up the lowest price of $434.91 (plus tax and shipping) from PROVANTAGE, a merchant with 2057 reviews and an average of 5 of 5 stars.

Sony, Sharp, Hitachi Displays: R&D to Reduce LCD TV Power Consumption

On September 14, Sony, Sharp and Hitachi Displays announced a joint technology study aimed at reducing LCD TV power consumption. The three companies are targeting 2011 to develop technology that will reduce power consumption to less than 50% of current levels. One current effort that has been undergoing in the notebook market has been the transition from CCFL backlights to LED backlights to reduce power consumtpion and profile. In my opinion, a thinner and lighter device positively impacts our environment and productivity as it requires less materials to manufacture (less polution) and less effort to lug around.

Source: Japan Today

[tags]Sharp, Sharp, Hitachi Displays, LCD TV, Power Consumption, LED Backlight[/tags]

Luminoz: Rear Projection Depth Just 12cm

Luminoz Inc. manufactures projection screens and developed a screen that reduces a rear projection TV’s depth to just 12cm. The company is targeting commercialization in 2008 and currently is collaborating with Japanese companies. Luminoz’s screen requires no large mirror, a required element in today’s rear projection TVs. Also today’s screens put a lenticular and Fresnel lens together while the company’s can be made with just a single sheet that integrates three layers: curve lens, black block layer, diffusion layer. The curve lens replaces the mirror and Fresnel lens. The black block layer is the black stripe replacement while the diffusion layer knocks out the lenticular lens. The black contrast ratio is increased from 70% to 90%.

This is good news. I have been waiting for rear projection TVs to get a bit thinner. I don’t need it too thin since I want to put my DVD player and other devices on top of it. If the TV is too thin, then you’ll need to get a thicker cabinet that costs money, requires setup, etc.

Source: Tech On

Technorati Tags: ,

Toshiba TDP-EX20U: Short Throw DLP Projector

Toshiba TDP-EX20U DLP Projector

Size: 40″-100″ projected screen size
Projection Distance: 1.9′ – 4.9′
Display Technology: 0.55″ DLP
Pixel Format: 1024 x 768
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 native (16:9 cropped)
Brightness: 2300 ANSI lumens
Wireless: 802.11b/g
Color: 8-bit, 16.7 million colors
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
Special Feature: PC-less USB drive-based data input
Price: $1599

 

The pixel format of 1024 x 768 should be 1366 x 768 so it can multi-purpose in use: work and play. There are two features that stand out: wireless and PC-less. Setup requires no cables and can be accomplished via a 802.11b/g connection. This is a definite plus as you won’t need to watch the juggling of a long twisted thick cable among presenters. The PC-less feature allows for presentations to be made via a USB drive, but the format must be in JPEG, not PPT. So, though the feature is good, the implementation is terrible. I know of no professional who makes presentations in JPEG format. Maybe it is geared for the home where you simple want to show off some pictures you took. Maybe, but maybe not. You see, the process is not all that simple. To get the JPEG files onto a USB drive this is what you need to do:

  1. Connect digital camera to PC.
  2. Import JPEG pictures into PC.
  3. Connect USB drive to PC.
  4. Export/copy JPEG pictures to USB drive.

So clearly the feature of PC-less JPEG presentations are flawed. You can bypass steps 3 and 4 by directly connecting the PC. A notable mention is the short-throw feature that allows for a 60″ image from just 3 feet away. However, I wonder why. If you have a small room that require a short-throw projector, the experience of watching a 60″ image from just several feet away might not be all that great. Overall, this projector is a bunch of technologies put together without much thought to the user experience.

Source: DigiTimes, TMCnet, Toshiba

[tags]Toshiba, DLP Projector, 1024 x 768, 802.11g, JPEG, USB, Short Throw[/tags]

Sony PRS-505: eBook Reader

An image of Sony’s updated eBook reader, the PRS-505, surfaced on Engadget that linked to Abt Electronics. However, the page on Abt Electronics is gone. The new unit seems to have a few changes, but still too many buttons. In a world of touch, all of these buttons make it look a bit old even before its release.

  • The power button has moved from the side (left bottom) to the top. This is an improvement. But. It is still a slide-on slide-off design, similar to the PSP and other Sony electronics gear. I personally like my iPhone’s simpler button.
  • The forward/back page buttons move from the left to the right. True, most are right-handed and this seems to be the right move. But. There are 10 other small buttons right next to those and I foresee at least a few accidental pushes of the 7 and 8 buttons.
  • I would recommend taking a page out of Apple’s UI design and simply integrating the menu button into the center of the directional pad.
  • There’s so much more to fix… and this device can be so much more…

The PRS-505 can be a revolutionary device: replacement for textbooks, manuals, and books in general. It’s just that Sony seems to be having a bit of a problem with the user interface. I say, go touch, and get rid of most of the buttons. Also, put in a solar cover so it automatically recharges. I hope Sony got rid of the power input and simply used the mini-USB as a charge connection. Before Abt Electronics took the page down, it seems as though Engadget got a glimpse of the price: $299.

Source: Abt Electronics via Engadget

Technorati Tags: , ,

Update 2007.10.02

Engadget is reporting that the PRS-505 is official and will be available sometime this month for $300. There are two color choices in addition to silver: dark blue. The USB mass storage mode is a very nice step toward increasing the usability of the PRS-505. I wonder if Sony packed in a good PRS-505 printer driver so you can print anything you want into Sony’s eBook format, copy it over, and carry it with you anywhere you go. Now that would be nice. Just $300 and available now.

Oooh, there are accessories! Let’s start off with the luxurious premium leather covers that are a very reasonable $40 in black or pink, and some less-than-premium ones (only good for PRS-500, weird) for $30. Then there’s a LED reading light you can clip on to your PRS-505 for reading at night for just $15.

I like nice leather. Wish there was a soft premium leather cover for the iPhone by Sony. Haha.

This book light might be just good enough for regular books. I don’t think I’ve seen a Sony-branded book light before, so as long as it’s not made in China, the quality might be top notch.

And finally, you can engrave your Sony PRS-505. If Sony would have just watched what Apple did with its iPod line, this would have happened a long time ago.

[tags]Sony, eBook, Electronic Paper Display, Bistable Display, E Ink[/tags]

NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX: 22″ LCD Monitor with HDMI

NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX

Size: 22″
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1050
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Response Time: 5ms
Viewing Angle: 80/80/85/85 (U/D/L/R)
Input: VGA, DVI, HDMI with HDCP
Sound: Integrated speakers
Price: $380

The NEC LCD22WMGX is one of few LCD monitors that have an HDMI input. This is a good thing. Now, when I think of HDMI, I think of consumer electronics such as TV. When I think of TV, I think of my living room or family room. The office comes to mind, but it’s not at the top of the list, by far. So, when I look at NEC’s new 22″ LCD monitor, I think office first: the design is very bland and although there is a picture of a cute yellow fish, I’m not convinced that this monitor should have anything to do with HDMI. Of course,if you wanted to covertly connect a gaming console (PlayStation 2 or 3, Xbox 360, etc.) while making sure that your officemates think you’re a proper worker with a proper worker’s monitor, then maybe the LCD22WMGX can do the trick. Not for me. I want something a bit more modern looking with a bit more bling. Oh, one more thing: the price. $380? That’s just too much.

Source: NEC, Electronista via Engadget

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Toshiba TL12W01-D: Surface Mount LED

Toshiba America Electronic Components announced its TL12W01-D surface mount LED geared for residential and commercial lighting applications in addition to high-bright LCD backlights. The TL12W01-D has a dimension of 10.5 x 5.0 x 2.1 mm and generates 30 lumens with 250mA. Samples are available now.

LED backlighting is gaining traction for notebook PCs. Apple is the first big-named company that came out with LED backlighting for 15″ and larger notebooks. Apple’s 15.4″ MacBook Pro sports a LED backlight that allows the LCD to conserve some power. Typically the LCD consumes the most power on a notebook PC and is often the target of power consumption reduction. Alienware’s new notebook that touts dual 64GB SSDs is of notable news since SSD is expected to reduce power consumption compared to regular HDDs. Hopefully we can have notebook PCs running for 8 hours with a normal battery soon with all of these advancements. Maybe Toshiba can make that happen.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]LED, LED Backlight, Toshiba, Residential Lighting, Commercial Lighting, Backlight[/tags]

Sharp AQUOS D Series LCD TVs

Sharp AQUOS D

Size: 32″ (LC-32DS3), 37″ (LC-37DS3), 42″ (LC-42DS3)
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080, 1080p, Full HD
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
Brightness: 450 cd/m2
Frequency: 120Hz
Input: HDMI (3)
Price: Between €1650 (US$2277) and €2350 (US$3244).

Akihabara News: The Sharp AQUOS D Series LCD TVs come in three sizes: 32″, 37″ and 42″. There are also three color choices: red, white and black. Sharp wants you to have a second LCD TV, specifically an AQUOS D Series, with most of the bells and whistles of the first one: 120Hz and 1080p. With a 120Hz frequency motion blur should be drastically reduced, allowing you to enjoy your sports channels in 1080p (if you’ve got an up-converter).

Maybe the AQUOS D line is more affordable than the company’s other line of LCD TVs, but with prices that start higher than $2000 for a 32″ is not very affordable at all, despite the 1080p and 120Hz features. The 1080p and 120Hz features alone would make these LCD TVs somewhat high-end. I would change the marketing on these so the consumer expects high performance and high price, not low price. Or, Sharp should decrease the D Series LCD TVs by quite a bit.