Insight Media Announces the CES 2006 - "Best Buzz" Awards
Mine's Bigger Than Yours
Panasonic's 103-inch and LG's 102-inch 1080p Plasmas
But LG must have been more surprised to see Panasonic (www.panasonic.com) upstage their claim with the "World's Largest Full HD Plasma - 103 inches". But in addition to the bragging rights, Panasonic looks like it will actually commercialize the display for a few well-healed customers.
Mine's Faster Than Yours
BenQ FP93GX and FP93GX+
Mine's More Colorful Than Yours
Sony 82-inch LCD with LED BLU
The new specification, which will be formally issued this month, expands color gamut significantly - beyond the SMPTE-C and REC-709 HDTV color spaces. Video cameras complying with the specification will be able to record a color range that is very close to what the human eye can recognize, and compliant TVs will be able to reproduce visual images with nearly that same quality. Oh, and did we mention that Sony thinks the LED backlights will offer a lifetime of 100K hours?
Sharp 4- and 5-Color LCD-TVs
Sharp says its 65-inch LCD-TV is the world's largest available with the four-color phosphor system, but the technology is also offered in its 37- and 45-inch models. At 57 inches, Sharp offers an LCD-TV with a 5-color phosphor CCFL backlight. For this one, a second deep green phosphor is added to the four-color mix. Expect this technology to filter down to smaller screen sizes in the future.
Best New Enabling Technology
Luminus PhlatLight LEDs
How do they do this? It seems the secret sauces are in the LED device design, the photonic lattice layer (which is added on top of the LED device), and a good thermal management system. The advantage for projection systems is clear: more light out of the projection lens. Others agree. At CES all five public demonstrations of LED-based rear-projection TVs were based on LEDs from Luminus.
Luminus is offering two standard LED products: one with an 8.5mm2 die and the second with 18mm2. These two products are optimized for 0.70-0.75 inch and 0.80-0.85 inch microdisplays, respectively, and can be used with DLP, LCOS or 3LCD projection systems.
Novalux Lasers for Projection Displays
So why should we care about laser sources? For one, you only need about 6 Watts of laser light compared to 120 Watts of arc -lamp power to light up a projection TV. Lasers have long lifetime, instant on and fantastic color gamut. The downside is cost and speckle, and maybe safety.
Novalux's demonstration is significant as it shows a path to offering lasers at the right wavelengths, power levels and price points to enable the display market. This combination of features has not been available until now, so hitting both the device-development and business-development milestones on this path was very impressive. While much remains to be proved, the progress demonstrated at CES clearly got people talking and wondering: Is there a laser display in my product roadmap future?
NEC's Auto-Focus and Auto Keystone Technology
This idea is particularly useful for educators and those needing to move the portable projector on the fly, and don't want to have to spend time re-setting up the image. The projector uses a unique IR sensing technology developed by NEC that calculates the distance to the screen, and combines it with sophisticated algorithms that determine the correct image focus and keystone profile. The technology will show up first in NEC's LT30 and LT35 projectors.
Best New Display Category
LED-Based MDTVs from Akai, Samsung, HP, JVC and Sanyo
Why the excitement over LED-based MDTVs? How about long lamp life (20K vs 6K hours), instant on, wide color gamut and reduced thermal loads. With DLP systems, it also eliminates the color wheel and the associated possibility of rainbow effects. And, if prices can be comparable to UHP-based systems, what's not to like about this option?
This last point, pricing, is intersting. Akai is forecasting very aggressive street pricing of something like $1,700 for a 46-inch model, essentially the same as UHP-based sets. HP will offer its 52-inch 1080p model for about $2,500 - again, very aggressive. Samsung will offer the highest priced DLP set, a 56-inch 1080p model for about $3,000 - a good premium over UHP-based sets.
Meanwhile, JVC showed a prototype and has not deccided about commercialization. Nor has Sanyo, which showed a particularly impressive side-by-side comparison demo with a PDP-TV. As expected, the LED-based TV showed much better color saturation, especially in the reds.
SEDs from Toshiba/Canon
Folks were lining up sometimes five deep and out into the show isle to see the SED demo in the Toshiba booth - and they weren't disappointed. On display were three 36-inch panels with 1280 x 720 resolution and image quality that was second to none, boasting 10K:1 contrast, saturated colors and excellent grayscale and black levels.
Canon and Toshiba expect to begin production of 55-inch models with 1080p in 2006, but none were on display in the booth. There is no doubt that SED technology offers up a superior display. The as yet unanswered question is whether the technology can be manufactured in mass quantities and at a price that can compete with LCD and PDP displays. Stay tuned.
Best Kept Secret
Icuiti Personal Display
We liked the optics on this headset as it was easy to find the image and the colors looked good. Yea, the image is a bit pixilated, but it may well be very acceptable to the intended users. Look for this one from Icuiti (Rochester, NY) (www.icuiti.com).
BrightSide DR37-P HDR (High Dynamic Range) Display
Most Innovative Display Application
Best Portable Convergence Product
The Navigator Combo, which is the size and weight of two decks of playing cards, has an attractive 3.6-inch color QVGA screen. It offers touch-screen control, portable GPS, 20GB hard disk, music playback and FM radio, voice recording, image playback for photos, storage for eBooks, and over 800 available games. The Navigator Combo is being launched in Europe with European map sets in March. The US launch is targeted for later this year at an estimated MSRP of $699.
The next generation of the Navigator Combo will offer WiFi access, a 4.3-inch screen, Bluetooth capability for a wireless headset, and digital satellite radio. Do you think it can make the VCR stop blinking "12:00" too?
Full HD PDPs
Pioneer, Panasonic, Hitachi, LG, and Samsung showed they could achieve 1920x1080p resolution in PDPs at CES, offering products in various screen sizes. Many of these PDPs will offer a contrast of over 5,000:1 and high brightness of more than 1000 cd/m2 with 12 or more bits of processing. These TVs are awesome and will give any buyer pause when they see them. Many think the move was necessary to stave off the perceived pixel advantages of the other technologies. Now, the PDP makers have the answer. Go get em!
About Insight Media
Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info) provides a full array of market research, news, analysis and consulting services for the microdisplay industry, with special attention to projection and near-to-eye products. Tracking the complete supply chain from finished products and distribution to components, microdisplay-based products, technologies, trends and analysis is delivered through newsletters, technology reports, forecasts, conferences and custom consulting activities. Insight Media has developed a world-class team of industry analysts and associates to provide the most comprehensive coverage and analysis of the microdisplay industry has to offer.
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