This year at the Consumer Electronics Show, LED TVs were all the rage. Really a type of LCD TV, manufacturers have been spinning the term LED to mean a more effective and energy efficient set, and usually that is actually the case (however misleading the marketing). But in the future, LPD could be the initials describing the type of display we watch the Super Bowl on.
Short for laser phosphor display, LPD is the product of San Jose-based Prysm, a startup that appeared out of the woodwork yesterday, but has been around since 2005. LPD displays only use 1/4 of the power LED or LCD displays use, can be manufactured in any size or shape, have higher resolution than LED/LCD and don't suffer from motion blur.
From a technological perspective, LPD displays are similar to CRT TVs. Cathode ray tube TVs have use an electromagnet to to control an electron beam that runs across an electo-sensitive phosphor field. LPD display use a laser that turns on and off as the beam runs across a field of phosphor stripes. However, LPD displays are much more energy efficient.
The company says it'll have more announcements soon, but let's keep on eye on LPD. It could be the future of HDTV.
Toshiba's showing at CES 2010 in Las Vegas today was impressive. The company announced the Genesis ZX900 Cell TV line with 55- and 65-inch models, and three new Blu-ray players. All of Toshiba's new gadgets are 3D playback compatible.
The ZX900 line uses Toshiba's Cell Broadband Engine (like the one in the Playstation 3) which, Toshiba claims, features 143 times more processing power than other TVs on the market. Combined with Kira2 LED panel technology, Net+ Resolution with Compression Noise Canceling, AutoView RGB powered by an ambient light sensor, and a few more proprietary company technologies, the ZX900 line has the "best possible picture in any lighting condition."
Other features include 802.11n Wi-Fi, Wireless HD (enabling the set to connect to a separate set-top box eliminating wire clutter), a ClearScan 480 Hz frame rate, 3D playback, a built-in Blu-ray player, a 1 TB HDD for content storage, and Net TV streaming including content from Vudu, Pandora, CinemaNow and Netflix.
The sets are expected to ship with a brushed black aluminum bezel sometime in 2010 for an undisclosed price. There is also an Illusion line that will include 46-, 55- and 62-inch models available later in 2010.
Toshiba's new Blu-ray offerings include the BDX2500, BDX2700 and BDX3000. All three are capable of playing back 3D content and have internet access with streaming support for services such as Vudu. Other common features include 1080p/24fps playback, BD Live, and onboard decoding for Dolby True HD or DTS Master audio through analog 7.1 channel outputs or HDMI. The BDX2500 will be "wireless ready" via an optional USB wireless dongle. The BDX2700 includes built-in wireless connectivity out of the box and the BDX3000 "features a fresh new design, 3D capabilities and a wide range of added features, with details to follow closer to launch date."
The BDX2500 and BDX2700 will ship in spring 2010 priced at $199.99 and $249.99, respectively. The BDX3000 is expected to ship in the third quarter.
We're finally starting to buy flat panel LCD HDTVs again, according to a research report released by DisplaySearch today. The report states that 3rd quarter shipments of LCD HDTVs rose for the first time in a year, and predictions for the 1st quarter of 2010 indicate that TV sales could surpass those of 1st quarter 2009, the first gain in 6 quarters.
Total TV shipments will grow to 218 million units next year, compared to 205 million units this years. The market share of LCD HDTVs will also increase from 140.5 million units this year to 170 million units next year.
Demand will be especially strong in North America in the 19-32 inch display sizes thanks to dirt cheap prices. In fact, 2009 brought an average 9 percent price decline on all TVs and prices will drop even more in 2010. That also meant a drop in revenues this year a full 10 percent from $112 billion to $101 billion.
I find the stats for frame rate market share especially interesting. According to the DisplaySearch research, 100/120 Hz frame rate displays will soak up 26 percent of the market in 2009, but 200/240 Hz displays will only account for 5 percent of the market. Amazingly, things won't grow too much by 2013. 120 Hz display share will grow to 31 percent while 240 Hz share will increase a bit more to 20 percent.
Plasma, and believe it or not, CRT TV sales will also remain a factor. 14.6 million plasma TVs will ship in 2010 due to growing demand centered in China. 32 million CRT sets are expected to ship--but where and to who, who knows?
If 3D TV takes off, 2010 will be the year. It's been a long time coming and the success of Avatar over Christmas has really brought the idea to the forefront of mainstream consciousness. At CES next month, I expect there to be a ton of 3D-related products announced. I didn't think satellite cable providers would be first to jump on the 3D bandwagon in 2010, however.
Apparently though, DirecTV will bring the United States its first 3D HDTV channel next year. The satellite which will make this possible will be fully operational by March and existing set-top boxes will only require a firmware update to support 3D. The problem lies in the fact that not too many people have 3D-capable HDTVs. That'll be a requirement for the DirecTV content to work.
Next week we'll see 3D HDTVs on display at CES from Sony, Samsung, Mitsubishi, LG. Expect price to remain an issue for a few years to come.
LG Display released an ultra-thin 5.9 millimeter LCD panel back in May of this year, and while that was impressive, it's positively thick compared to the 2.6 millimeter panel it claims it has now created. The panel measures 42-inches, weighs less than 4 kilograms (making it ideal for wall-mounting), sports a 120 Hz refresh rate, and uses an edge-lit LED backlighting system and optical film technology to bring the thickness down. The 1080p panel will be on display at CES 2010 in Las Vegas next month.
ZDNet is reporting that Sony has partnered with 3D tech firm RealD to bring 3D technology to Sony Bravia HDTVs and the Playstation 3 Blu-ray player. The latter we've heard about already, mentioned with the release of the Blu-ray 3DTM 3D viewing standard, but the addition of the Bravia line is new.
By adding RealD technology to its products, Sony will enable viewers to watch compatible media in 3D, with the help of special glasses, of course. I would expect some serious product announcements at CES 2010 this coming January in Las Vegas, followed by a massive 3D home theater trend that will take up a heck of alot of headlines during the rest of the year.
Would you bet the working life of a 60-inch HDTV on the outcome of an NFL football game? I personally wouldn't, but Wayne A. Spring definitely would. Last weekend he offered his TV up to gunfire if the New Orleans Saints beat the Washington Redskins. Lo and behold that's exactly what happened. I won't bore you with anymore textual details--simply watch the video above in its entirety!
It's unlikely the 23-inch LG LM230WF4 computer monitor will be available for sale in North America anytime soon, but it's still worth mentioning because it is the first of its kind to offer both 3D capability and 1080p resolution in the same LCD panel. Using a 3D controller and copper bus line, the LM230WF4 show both 3D and 2D images, has 400 cd/m2 brightness, a 3 millisecond response time, and 1000:1 contrast ratio. As with most 3D technologies in these early days, this LG monitor requires shutter glasses. No word on when and if the LG LM230WF4 will ship, and if so, for how much.