Audio News for September 12, 2005

by | Sep 12, 2005 | Audio News | 0 comments

All Video News

Resolution Leap in HDTV
— Now that sales of digital television are
surpassing soon-to-be-obsolete analog TV (sales up 45% over last year),
electronics manufacturers are taking the next step in getting the very
most of all the pixels a HDTV signal can deliver to viewers. 
Among the improvements over the first HDTV sets are sets with DTV
tuners built into them, rather than the early “HD Ready” sets which
required an external standalone DTV tuner. Another is the explosion of
public interest in thin flat-screen sets — plasma, LCD and somewhat
thicker DLP. The first generations of the new technologies couldn’t
equal the picture quality of the best original CRT sets, but by now
they do. There was initial excitement about Liquid Crystal on Silicon
(LCoS) technology, but too many pixels tended to fail, and that has now
been abandoned in favor of variants called D-ILA (by JVC) and SXRD (by
Sony).

The big leap, however, is from a “native resolution” of 1080i or less
(many flat screens are only 750 or less and 1080 broadcasts have to be
down-converted) to 1080p (for progressive). This means that the HDTV
set can instantly display an entire image 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels
without having to alternately interlace lines to create it. (That’s
more than two million pixels!) Never mind that none of the HDTV
stations is yet broadcasting a 1920 x 1080p signal, and that the new
hi-def DVDs coming out this fall won’t be that hi-res either. The later
second generation of Blu-ray or HD-DVD probably will be 1080p, and
meanwhile the new sets upconvert lower res pictures to the supreme
hi-res level just as many high end CD players now upconvert 44.1K CDs
to 192K or higher. Sony was the first to move into 1080p with their
70-inch Qualia 006 at $13,000. Now they have more reasonably-priced
versions, and Mitsubishi, Samsung, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard have
also introduced 1080p sets using Texas Instruments’ DLP technology,
with pricing from $3K to $8K.

Flat Screen Prices to Drop by Year End — According to a leading
Asian home appliance retailer prices of flat-panel TV displays are set
to drop by as much as 30% by the end of this year. Plasma flat screen
displays are considered at the top of the TV world — people love the
idea of hanging the screen on the wall just like in sci-fi
movies.  But in-fashion items like this are not cheap; even the
cheaper LCDs start at about $1200 for a 40-inch display. Average prices
of flat screen sets have already dropped 15% in six months. So if a
flat display is in your future, save your money until the end of this
year.

FCC Urged to Stick to Timetable for DTV Tuners in Sets — The
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Consumer Electronics
Retailers Coalition (CERC) have urged the FCC to keep its current
mandated timetable for including a DTV tuner in all TV sets
manufactured after July 1, 2007. Philips and Sharp provided the FCC
with factual data as to why it is too late to modify product,
production, financial and personnel resources to incorporate DTV tuners
in a TV sets 13 inches and larger any earlier than March of 2007. There
has been general agreement that the original shutoff date for analog
television of December 2006 cannot be met, and current Congressional
discussions are centering on a hard shutoff date on or about January 1,
2009.
 

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