Like Benny I took a wander down to the verbosely titled ‘What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision/The Best of Stuff Show 2006’ in Hammersmith on Friday. As it turned out we had seen most of the technology before but there were some notable exceptions.
Despite all the Blu-ray/HD DVD talk and the possibility to play on a PlayStation 3 (we did that way back in May) the real show stealer was Fujitsu’s brand new range of high end LCDs and plasmas which received their UK premier.
Quirkily branded ‘AVIAMO’ – which fits in nicely with the Regzas, Bravias and Vieras of this sector – the series comprises a 37in LCD and two 50in and 65in plasmas. All three are beautifully crafted in piano black, have Full HD/1080p screen resolutions and employ the company’s latest processing engine: the AVM III.
Each model sports 2x HDMI ports, digital TV tuners with EPGs, a 24p/30p film mode and automatic ‘Contour correction’ for reducing the jagged edges on images. Strangely the 37 incher will not be wall mountable with Fujitsu representatives telling me market research showed them only panels of 40 inches and above were likely to be displayed this way (for the record, I disagree). Consequently only the 50 and 65in plasmas will feature VESA mounts.
Little else was divulged about the range but I can tell you that in operation they look nothing less than sublime. The 1080p LCD was incredibly sharp with no hint of motion blur and wonderfully rich colours though the plasmas are still the gold standard when it comes to blacks.
Official pricing isn’t available yet but Benny and I were told to expect an entry level of roughly £3,000 with the 50in and 65in rocketing up to £8,000 and £12,000 respectively when they debut in January 2007. So yes, expensive but from what I saw there could be a new sheriff in town.