Canon, Hitachi Agreement: Canon wants Hitachi Displays

On February 27 a formal contract between Canon and Hitachi was announced. Based on the agreement, Canon will acquire 24.9% shares of Hitachi Displays, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi. Hitachi Displays manufacture small/medium LCD panels. The 24.9% equity acquisition will be completed by March 31, 2008 and will be valued around JPY43.2B. Canon is also planning to acquire the shares of current shareholders Hitachi and Matsushita. When that is complete, Canon will then make Hitachi Displays a Canon subsidiary.

Canon is at the top of its game in the camera market and most of its cameras require an LCD. Having complete control over Hitachi Displays that manufacture small/medium LCDs would allow Canon to be more vertically integrated, hopefully leading to more innovation and lower cost of manufacturing.

Source: BusinessWire via Engadget

[tags]Canon, Hitachi, Hitachi Displays, Matsushita, Display Manufacturer[/tags]

Samsung 16″ 1080p LCD for Notebook PCs

Samsung Electronics is bringing a bit of CE to IT with a new 16″ LCD geared for notebook PC applications. The 16″ will have a 16:9 aspect ratio, instead of the standard 16:10. And that means the pixel format will be 1920 x 1080 rather than 1920 x 1200. When watching 1080p content the notebook will not need to scale and nor will you see top and bottom black bars when viewing 1:1. Targeted to consumers? Absolutely.

Samsung’s original plan was to introduce the 16″ 1080p LCD panel in Q1’08 but due to delays in verification and changes in specification, Samsung is pushing back the availability to Q3’08. But, I guess Acer and HP was easy on Samsung as they are slated to introduce 16″ 1080p notebook PCs in 1H’08. Acer will receive its panels in April. The 16″ 1080p panels can be manufactured in any one of Samsung’s many LCD fabs. For instance, Samsung can cut eighteen 16″ 1080p panels one one glass substrate at its Gen. 5 line.

Pricing will be a bit higher than the 15.4″ 1920 x 1200 LCD panel by about US$60-$70. That’s a lot for just 0.6″ more. But Digitimes is reporting that 16″ 1080p notebook PCs will be of the high-end variety, most likely to be touting a Blu-ray drive for 1080p viewing pleasure. Isn’t it great to have the high definition optical wars over?

Currently really high-resolution notebook PCs are not very popular. Not really because of price, though that can be a hindrance, but because the fonts are too small. Unless you have the eyes of a teenager that have not been damaged by too much PS3 playing, it will be difficult to see any menus or icons on a 15.4″ 1920 x 1200 screen. So, in the world of notebook PCs, only 4-6% have these 15.4″ high-resolution screens. And 16″ 1080p screens are expected to capture even less market share than that.

AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) will be launching a slightly larger 15.6″ LCD panel geared for notebook PC applications in June. And Asustek, a bigger than before brand thanks to the Eee PC, will be launching a 15.6″ notebook in 2H’08.

Confusion. Although new sizes can be exciting and it certainly can be for those that are eager to view Blu-ray 1080p content on their notebook PCs, the general notebook PC-buying consumer will be in utter confusion for a while. Let’s see, you have 15.0″ 4×3, 15.4″ 16:10 (and at multiple pixel formats), 15.6″ 16:9, 16:0″ 16:9, 17″ 16:10 (multiple pixel formats), 19″ 16:10, 20″ 20:10. Wow. And I didn’t even list the small sizes. If I were in the market for a new notebook PC, I wouldn’t know where to start. Actually, I’m lying. I’d just get one from Apple.

Source: Digitimes

[tags]Samsung, Display Manufacturer, Notebook PC, 16″, 1080p, 16:9, 1920 x 1080, Full HD, AU Optronics, AUO, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, CMO, PS3, PlayStation 3, 16″ Notebook PC, 16:9 Notebook PC, 1080p Notebook PC, Asus, HP[/tags]

Sony to Invest in Sharp

On February 25, The Nikkei reported that Sony plans to invest JPY100B (US$926M) in Sharp’s Gen. 10 TFT LCD plant. Sony is expected to have a news conference later on Tuesday. Sony has had experience in investing in LCD fabs to secure panel supply. With Samsung, Sony invested 50% of the cost of a Gen. 7 fab and called it S-LCD. Sony was able to procure 50% of all S-LCD output for use in its LCD TVs.

This is a natural step for Sony as its LCD TV business grows. Establishing two sources for LCD TVs allows Sony more negotiation power over price and a consistent supply.

Source: CBC News

[tags]Sony, Sharp, Display Manufacturer, LCD TV, S-LCD, G10, G7[/tags]

Pioneer to Cease 42″ PDP Manufacture

On February 25, Pioneer announced that it will cease manufacturing 42″ plasma display panels (PDPs) and instead procure from Matsushita Electric Industrial or Hitachi. 42″ manufacturing from Pioneer’s Kagoshima prefecture will stop around March 2009. The focus will be on 50″ and larger plasma TVs that will be manufactured at Pioneer’s other plants. It might be news to some, but Pioneer also offers LCD TVs with LCD panels that are procured from Sharp. In this business year, Pioneer is targeting to sell 480K plasma TVs. The Kagoshima-based plant was purchased from NEC but Pioneer is wanting NEC to purchase it back.

The strongest players in the plasma TV market are Matsushita, Samsung SDI and LG Electronics. Pioneer and other small players will eventually need to find a strong niche, be absorbed, or bow out.

Source: Reuters

[tags]Display Manufacturer, 42″, PDP, Plasma Display Panel, Plasma, NEC, Matsushita, Samsung SDI, LG Electronics, LGE, LG, Pioneer, 50″[/tags]

LG Flatron L206WU: Driven by USB

LG Flatron L206WU

Size: 20″
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1080
Contrast Ratio: 5000:1
Response Time: 2ms
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Viewing Angle: 170/170
Input: DVI-D, VGA, USB
Availability: TBD
Price: TBD

6895-l206wu.jpg

LG’s Flatron L206WU is a special wide LCD monitor. All you need is a USB port to drive it. And six others! You can add up to six additional LCD monitors via USB with no degradation to picture quality, according to the company. Once the L206WU is set as the primary monitor, it automatically self-configures for optimal settings.

I would like to see everything gone except for a USB port. That would simplify the supply chain and reduce the costs of manufacturing LCD monitors. It would make life easy for notebook PCs as well since all they would need are USB ports. So, for instance, Apple‘s Macbook Air could have had an additional USB port instead of a mini-DVI.

Source: Trusted Reviews

[tags]LG Electronics, LGE, LG, USB, 20″, 1680 x 1050, LCD Monitor, DVI[/tags]

Toshiba REGZA ZF Series LCD TVs

Toshiba REGZA ZF Series LCD TVs

Sizes: 42″, 46″, 52″
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080
Contrast Ratio: 30,000:1 (dynamic)
Frequency: 100Hz Active Vision M100HD Picture Processing
Input: HDMI (4)
Design: Surface Tension
Availability: April 2008 in UK
Prices: TBD

The ZF Series LCD TV is the top-of-the-line REGZA by Toshiba. The bezels are ultra-thin at just 0.9″ wide. The slim profile of the ZF series look very nice and I look forward to even thinner bezels and thinner depth in the near future.

The dynamic contrast ratio of 30,000:1 should provide some great pictures as well as the double frequency 100Hz. Looking at the 100Hz specification, the ZF series LCD TVs are sure to be bound for Europe and other regions where 50Hz is standard. In the US it is 60Hz, so now show for the ZF in the US. Full HD or 1080p capability is becoming standard for any LCD TV starting from 40″ and the REGZA ZF series have a pixel format of 1920 x 1080. Even 32″ is getting on the 1080p action.

Source: TechDigest, HDTVOrg

[tags]42″, 46″, 52″, HDMI, LCD TV, Toshiba, 100Hz, 1920 x 1080, Full HD, 1080p[/tags]

NEC and TPV to Collaborate in India

NEC Displays Solutions (NECDS), a wholly owned company of NEC Corp (Japan), will collaborate with Hong Kong-based TPV Technology to sell NECDS’ LCD monitors in India through TPV’s sales and service network. NECDS’ 15″, 17″ and 19″ LCD monitors will be sold and the company expects to sell 500K monitors in the next three years and generate $50 million by 2009. Most of the components are expected to be sourced from Japan and then assembled in China.

Source: Sify

[tags]NEC Display Solutions, NEC, TPV Technology, LCD Monitor, 15″, 17″, 19″[/tags]

Sony to Procure LCD TV Panels from Sharp

Reuters via Engadget: Sony is in final stages of negotiations to procure LCD TV panels from Sharp as early as April 2008, based on a news report by Reuters. S-LCD, a joint venture between Samsung and Sony, currently supplies most of the high-end LCD TV panels that Sony needs. The lower-end and smaller panels are procured from Taiwan-based suppliers. This is good news for Sharp as the company has been developing customers for its LCD panels and Sony as a customer is as good as it gets. Sharp is currently in the process of building the world’s largest LCD fab that is expected to commence production by March 2010. The Gen. 10 factory has a price tag of $3.55 billion.

Sony has an aggressive goal for FY2008 (starting in April): 20 million LCD TVs. Of that, approximately 3-5 million 40″-equivalent of those will likely be supplied by Sharp. This is in light of another announcement in December by Toshiba that stated it would procure LCD panels from Sharp.

Sharp’s LCD technology is based on VA. The company has enhanced the original design and is called Advanced Super View or ASV. ASV technology has been incorporated into small mobile phone displays and into the largest LCD TVs. When Sharp-based Sony LCD TVs come to market, it would be very difficult to tell the difference between ASV and PVA, a Samsung display technology.

Young Optics to Ship Pico Projector

Young Optics Incorporated (YOI) announced shipment of its pico projector by Q2’08 – Q3’08. YOI’s pico projector TI’s DLP chip and RGB LED as the light source. The pico projector is rated to consume less than 1 watt with a brightness of 7 lumens, according to the company. YOI expects the pico projector to comprise 3% of the company’s revenues for 2008. On the other hand, YOI is decreasing its emphasis on RPTV optical modules and instead focus on high-end optical engines for video walls.

Pico projectors solve the problem of small screens that are attached to mobile phones. But, and this is a big but, pico projectors require some sort of surface for the projected image. For instance, if you are on a subway and want to view your YouTube video via the pico projector that is built-in, how would you go about setting it up? Or, if you’re in a business meeting and want to share your presentation that you smartly stored on your mobile phone, would you force three or more corporate officers to crowd around a tiny screen?

Maybe there are other, more useful, purposes for the pico projector, but I am having a difficult time figuring out what that could be.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]Young Optics Incorporated, Pico Projector, Front Projector[/tags]

ASUS MK241H: 24″ LCD Monitor

Asus MK241H Specifications
Size: 24″
Aspect Ratio: 16:10 (4:3, 1:1, Full modes support)
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1200
Brightness: 450 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 (dynamic)
Viewing Angle: 170/160
Response Time: 2ms (GTG)
Display Colors: 16.7 million
Color Gamut: 92% NTSC
Webcam: 1.3MP (rotatable)
Input: HDMI, DVI-D with HDCP, VGA, Audio-In
Other: Built-in microphone, earphone, 2W x 2 stereo speakers

Asus MK241H 24

asus_mk241h.jpg

The Asus MK241H LCD monitor looks like a solid design. I like the dual metallic-gray and black treatment. The bulging webcam could have been better integrated into the overall design though. The combination of DVI-D and HDMI makes the MK241H a versatile display allowing it to act as a TV (i.e. connected to a Blu-ray player) or a monitor (i.e. connected to a PC) or both!

Update 2008.06.04 1:18PM PST
The specifications have been updated to reveal that the MK241H has a dynamic contrast ratio of 3000:1, a super fast 2ms response time and an enhanced color gamut of 92% NTSC thanks to WCG-CCFLs. The MK241H sports a TN LCD panel that limits your viewing angle, but if you’re always glued to the center of the LCD then you’re just fine.

Source: Impress via Engadget, AVING

[tags]ASUS, Asus MK241H, 24″, 1920 x 1200, LCD Monitor, DVI, HDMI, Dynamic Contrast, WCG-CCFL, Wide Color Gamut CCFL[/tags]