The Next Developments in HDTV – The leading manufacturers of TV sets are working on the latest advances in technology that will lure them more buyers, even if directed at the top-tier income levels. They want their TVs to stand out in the stores which are now beginning to show many look-alike products. (Remember that space-age Sylvania TV back in B&W days that had just a picture tube on a swivel gadget?) Flat-panel displays have definitely taken over, and constituted roughly 91% of TVs sold in North America last year. They are either plasma or LCD, with DLP designs in the minority because they are not the desired flat displays (though most people don’t end up hanging them on the wall).
Some of the new technologies: OLED displays – the pixels each made of organic material that emit light. Colors are more vibrant and natural-appearing with stronger contrasts. So far too pricey and the difficult manufacturing process hasn’t been perfected. Sony has an 11-inch OLED for $2500. Quad HDTV – offers a sharper image and can be divided into four different displays, but there is so far no quad content available. Huge Flat Screens – 103-inch and 108-inch models are out now and a 150-inch screen is on the way. 240 Hertz Refresh Rate – Most sets are now 60Hz and can suffer from jittery images on fast-moving objects. 120Hz improves that and is becoming more common, but 240Hz is the last word for those who can afford it. 3D HDTV – Definitely coming but fraught with many different approaches.
Live Vs. Recorded Demo at Home Entertainment Show – During the upcoming CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and T.H.E. high end show in Las Vegas, January 8 -11, another demonstration of music performed live and then via audiophile recording will be presented at the St. Tropez Hotel and Resort. Ray Kimber of Kimber Kable will record a seven-piece ensemble with specialized state-of-the-art DSD two-channel equipment, including a Sony Sonoma SAW, Millennia Media preamp and EMM Labs converters. Playback for Direct/AB comparison will follow immediately on VMPS speakers powered by Ampzilla amps, using cables from Kimber and power products from Audience.
Meridian Audio Purchases Sooloos – The British high end manufacturer Meridian has acquired the technically-advanced media-server and systems maker Sooloos. The acquisition was mutual and their operations will continue with minimal changes. The two will be exhibiting together at CES 2009. Both firms have a strong emphasis in the area of computer AV. Meridian’s Chairman Bob Stuart spoke of the synergy between the skills and experience of their respective teams which will enable them to build definitive high-end digital entertainment systems.
Two Important Statistics – DVD and Blu-ray sales of a given feature film generate on average 41% of worldwide studio revenues, vs. only 25% revenues from release in theaters. Roughly one-third of the TV households in the U.S., Japan and Western Europe now own HDTV sets.