Pixll (Leeds) thought we'd bring you some more news from CES 2013. As usual we've trawled the net for the latest information on the show as we simply can't afford the time out to be there!
Its seems there has been a raft of press conferences from the industries big boys in the last couple of days all centred around OLED and Ultra HD 4k (or whatever you want to call it). This years CES is all about the TV. So whats new?
1. LG reveals first curved OLED
The LG EA9800 is supposedly the worlds first curved 3D(passive) OLED on display at their stand. The 55inch screens are on show delivering 1080p content and an impressive 5 degree viewing angle. The idea of the curved screen is to make the experience more immersive as the viewing distance from your eyes to the screen is the same at any point on the screen. Gimmick? Not sure?
2. Samsung then reveals its curved OLED
Anything you can do.......
Samsung also claimed that its curved OLED is the world first. Although we have no real spec or model numbers Samsung too said that the idea was to make the viewing distance from the eye to any part of the screen the same therefore providing depth to the content displayed and a more life like viewing experience. mmmm.
What other screens were on show?
Panasonic Launch 56 inch Ultra HD 4k OLED screen
While Samsung and LG were fighting over the first curved OLED Panasonic decided to go one better and not just bring out an OLED or a 4k tv but combine the two!! Like Sony a little earlier they are also claiming the worlds first prototype 56" OLED 4K tv. (more on the Sony below)
Their 56 Ultra HD OLED is a world first as the panel is produced using the RGB printing method. Is it me or is there a lot of "World firsts" at this years CES? Panasonic suggest this method of production to be suited to producing various sized OLED screens. Pana's screen measures just 8.9mm deep promises wide viewing angles and good colour reproduction. Its just a prototype at this point so no idea of pricing or dates yet but it will be launched in the future
What else from Panasonic?
32 new models- 16 plasma and 16 LED.
The most interesting range could be the new flagship ZT60 series. This will replace the VT50 series at the top of the consumer tree with the emphasis being on its own master studio panel and the focus being on picture quality not features. To confuse things there will also be a VT60 series which I am assuming will replace the existing VT 50 range . This new line up will be available from Pixll in feb 2013.
Also available will be the ST60, S60, X60 and a vast array of LED models .
Sony's 56" 4k OLED TV
Like Panasonic Sony brought their prototype 56" OLED TV. Click on the video for more info.
Sony launches 55" and 65" 4k Ultra HDTv's
The X9000A range uses the latest Sony 4k X Reailty pro processing engines to deliver 4k (3840x2160 resolution) content and upscaled full HD content on the 4k screens.
Sony's new tv's will roll out later this year although no word yet on pricing or a UK release date.
What about 4k Content?
Sony has also announced plans for the worlds first 4k content distribution service where Sony pictures and other distributors will be teaming up to provide customers with 4k content.
Sonys plan to release 4k blu ray mastered discs should happen in the Spring in the US, not sure about the UK yet.
Any other Screens mentioned? Yep, Loads!
Samsung unveil 85" Ultra HD LED F8000
Again we dont have spec as of yet but Samsung revealed their new flagship LED model the F8000. It should sport new connectivity and a new look SMART platform. I dont know how much thinner you can get than the current series but rumours have it this will be under 0.25 inches thick.Voice and gesture control is prominent with a new S-Recommendation feature which recommends things to watch based on your viewing history. Sounds interesting.
So, we've heard from Samsung, Pana and Sony what about the other brands?
Sharp announces Ultra HD 4K moth eye tv
Sharp launched 2 x new ultra HD televisions during its press conference.
The first set dubbed the ICC Purios cobines ultra HD with and integrated cognitive creation processor....what? Its basically designed to mimic how the human eye responds to light and perceives depth, texture and perspective.
One interesting selling point is that it is..yes you've guessed it another first! The worlds first THX certified Ultra HD screen. This will be an attraction to some.
Its second screen is part of the more familiar Aquos range and uses what they call a Moth filter.
Away from Ultra HD Sharp will also provide new screens across the 6,7 and 8 Series.
All Sharp's 2013 screens feture dual core processors, new web processors, new android and ios control apps.
What about TV sound?
One of the things Sharp is doing which I think is very important in the flat screen market is concentrating on tv sound. Flat panels are notorious for poor quality sound. Some of that is to do with the amount of space required to fit decent speakers to a tv particularly in light of the growing pressure to make screens thinner and thinner. I think there are also assumptions made that people spending £1500 + on a screen will also have a 5.1 system to supplement it.
Sharp is looking to fit its new screens with subwoofer technology and even source Yamaha's world class surround sound processing technology. I know cost as always prohibits things like this but the other tv manufacturers should be taking note.
LG has confirmed that its Hecto Laser projection tv will be shipping korea later this month and the US should see it after that. Pricing is estimated to be around £7500!
What is it?
A 100" two piece system of projector and screen with a throw of 22" and a claimed contrast ration of 1,000,000:1 and a light engine with 5 times the longevity of a conventional lamp projector. Picture quality is supposed to be equal to and reminiscent of a plasma display due to its colour pallet and usability in brighter room conditions. Hats off to LG for innovation but pricing (and size) will mean it has a very small market but then like a concept car I'm sure its there to display what the company can do.
What else from LG?
They have revealed two new Ultra HD 4k models, the 55" and 65". Both are passive 3D, boast more than 8 million pixels and use the Triple XD engine.
Toshiba has launched its first range of Ultra HD 4k tv's. They are releasing their L9300 range in summer 2013 and should come in sizes 58",65" and 84".
Away from Ultra High Def Toshiba will be releasing the L7300 , L7350 and L4300 premium LED ranges and the L2300 and L1350 in the smaller sizes.
Well there is a tonne of Tv information to get through there. As I say we've trawled the net so you dont have to but feel free to get in contact if you want any more information or want to chat about the new technologies which should start to emerge over the next year or two!
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Here at Pixll we regularly get asked about the latest innovations in the AV world, particularly 3D (I appreciate its not that recent!). Should I buy a 3D tv? Whats it like? Is it worth it? I've heard its uncomfortable to watch? These are all questions I regularly get asked. My response is always the same "have you seen any 3D content? Would you use it? What do you want 3D for?"
Many of these consumers go on to buy the 3D displays anyway, use the 3D fuctionality for the first two months and never touch it again. I am generalising hugely here but I guess my point is that 3D (in my opinion) hasn't been the revolutionary leap forward we had all hoped for when it was unveiled at CES a few years ago.
So if 3D isn't the next big thing what is? Over the last year or two we keep hearing the phrase 4k or Ultra High Defintion, so what does this mean? I found a good article in Techradar explaining what 4k/Ultra High definition is:-
Today's 1920 x 1080 resolution Full HD TVs present us with an image of around 2 million pixels. But a new generation of screens are coming that deliver an 8 million pixel image.
The technology used to be referred to as 4K, but it'll be known going foward as Ultra High Definition, or Ultra HD (UHD). These Ultra High Definition TVs have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (give or take), and can offer unprecedented picture clarity.
But their introduction will prove complex in the extreme. Introducing an Ultra HD TV isn't like adding LED backlighting to an LCD. It's about orchestrating a seismic shift in the broadcast and entertainment infrastructure, not to mention rewriting the consumer electronics handbook.
Ultra HD basics
So why would you want an Ultra HD TV?
High definition already comes in a variety of flavours, from 1280 x 720 upwards. All offer more picture information than the standard definition formats that came before. The more pixels that make up an image, the more detail you see and the smoother curved and diagonal lines become.
A high pixel count also allows images to go larger before they break up. Ultra HD is already making big inroads into the world of digital cinema.
Of course, perceived picture resolution is as much about viewing distance as resolution. What's the real difference between 720p and 1080p? The answer is about 2 metres. Increase the pixel density and you can sit closer without the pixel grid becoming obvious.
Some engineers dispute that you can see a difference between 2K and 4K on any screen less than 100inches. Go larger and the subtle nuances that make up a 4K picture become easier to appreciate.
Ultra HD ON THE WALL: The Sony VPL-VW1000ES home cinema projector was the first true consumer Ultra HD device – yours for £18k
The first genuine Ultra HD consumer product to hit the streets was the Sony VPL-VW1000ES, a home cinema projector that borrows technologies originally developed for the brand's digital cinema projectors. Indeed, the VPL-VW1000ES conforms to the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) specification.
NO CONTENT: The Sony VPL-VW1000ES offers a single HDMI input for Ultra HD, but there's no native Ultra HD video content available
Not to be confused with JVC's DLA-X70R and DLA-X90R '4K branded' projectors, which actually deliver a Full HD picture but use pixel-shifting panel technology to produce a more texture image, the Sony VPL-VW1000ES has a native UHD (4096 x 2160) 8.8 million pixel SXRD panel, to deliver true super-high resolution.
The VPL-VW1000ES can accept Ultra HD content over HDMI and display it natively, as well as upconvert any incoming source. Just as well as there's no commercial 4K native content available.
Toshiba first with Ultra HD TV
When it comes to TVs, Toshiba was first out of the gate. The Toshiba 55ZL2 TV has a 4K 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution screen, and uses a heavyweight multi-core CEVO Engine processor to upscale Full HD sources to its Quad HD panel.
Since then, all the other major brands have announced and demonstrated Ultra HD TVs using both LED and OLED technologies.
A lack of native 4K content is certain to impede the introduction of 4K TV in the early years. But there are huge strides that need to be taken before 4K screens become usable for super high resolution telly-gazing.
Tapping into Ultra HD content
The good news is that there is Ultra HD content available in the vaults of the Hollywood majors. Increasingly movies are mastered at 4K resolution, both for commercial distribution and restoration projects. Hollywood has also begun shooting movies in Ultra HD and beyond.
Peter Jackson's upcoming 3D production of The Hobbit, for example, is being shot on RED Epic digital cameras, capable of 5K resolution.
BEYOND Ultra HD: Hollywood is already moving beyond 4K. Director Peter Jackson is shooting The Hobbit on RED Epic digital cameras, capable of 5K resolution
Quite whether studio bosses actually want this level of picture quality in the hands of consumers remains to be seen. The Blu-ray disc specification currently does not support UHD, although it's not a stretch to imagine at some point the format will accommodate it, via highly-efficient codecs and/or greater storage capacity. Naturally Ultra HD Blu-ray discs would also require a new generation of BD hardware.
At present there is no way to get native Ultra HD video into the likes of the Sony KD-84X9005. While the latest HDMI cable specification is compatible with an Ultra HD bitstream, there is no industry standard for the output of a Ultra HD video signal over HDMI from a playback device. So while modern HDMI cables are fat enough to take the signal, there's no way of pouring it in.
A new standard needed
Sony's projector marketing manager Tak Nakane says his engineers are currently developing a converter box able to accept native Ultra HD via a bank of four HDMI/SDI inputs. This convertor would then output the Ultra HD signal via a single HDMI to the projector.
CONVERT IT: Sony's Tak Nakane says his team is working on a converter box able to deliver Ultra HD via a single HDMI output
Currently the only devices to offer 4Ultra HD play-out are ultra high resolution PC graphics cards, which typically use a quartet of SDI or HDMI outputs to deliver 8MP of video.
Explains Nakane: "For 4K native content to be used, the HDMI specification must be modified to allow a super high resolution player to output 4K. There is no other solution available at the moment."
The picture's brighter for digital photographers though. A firmware update planned for the PS3 will allow it to display digital still images at 4K resolution over HDMI. Strange as it may seem, the first enthusiasts to benefit from the technology look likely to be photographers and not cineasts.
Pixll (Home Cinema Leeds) Noticed this post on What Hi Fi.
Toshiba has ceased production of its Regza LCD tv's in Japan due to falling demand, reports the BBC.
The Japanese manufacturer said it has ended manufacturing at its plant in Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture. Toshiba has other LCD factories in Poland, Egypt, Indonesia and China.
The company is due to hold a press conference later today.
The global TV manufacturing business is going through unprecedented turmoil right now, with Sony and Panasonic – among others – racking up huge financial losses on their TV operations.
Fierce competition from South Korean companies LG and Samsung has added to the woes of the Japanese TV makers. Hitachi has also said it will halt domestic production of television sets