When in doubt where to begin, start BIG...
There was still time for yet another Samsung world first: the premiere LED DLP TV. Again, pictures only tell a fraction of the story since the extended colour expression granted by the technology enables a 70 per cent wider colour gamut than a normal arc lamp. It takes a full 1920 x 1080p resolution, a WXGA PC Input and sports the same DNIe and SRS TruSurround XT as the others whilst also sporting two HDMI ports. No release date for this one but we can confirm the company wants to bring it to market ASAP.
By now Samsung had completely destroyed any sense I had of real world perspective, so I thought it best to quickly move on…
Dealing me a slightly better dose of reality was NEC. It chose not to extol with the fantasy but instead concentrate on here and now. Three HD ready sets made this point very clearly.
The PlasmaSync 61XR4 is a 61in plasma screen with WXGA (1365 x 768) resolution, though it can be forced up to UXGA (1600 x 1200). This isn’t enough to support a full 1080p broadcast (1920 x 1080) without compression but it does sport a sharp 870:1 contrast ratio, wide 160 degree viewing angle, 900 per cent digital zoom and dual HDMI input.
Lifetime is estimated at around 60,000 hours for moving video and it will come with a three year warranty. Most importantly, it should be hitting stores about the time you read this. So if you have a spare 6,000 euros to spend here’s something you could do with it…
Jumping a couple of sizes down we have the 50in 50XR5 and 42in 42XR4 (above), both these sets exactly match the capabilities of the 61XR4 and have similarly immediate release dates. Your living rooms (as well as your wallets) can be marginally smaller too with anticipated tags of 3,500 euros and 2,300 euros respectively.
Juggling a midway position between both Samsung and NEC was BenQ. It showed off two full 1080p capable LCD TVs due for release in Q3. Arranged together on a single display wall, the 46in and 42in LCDs not only support a 1920 x 1080 resolution but also employ a technology BenQ calls Senseye to refine the colour reproduction. Response times are extemely low at 8ms with audio taken care of via the D2Audio Sound Suite.
I pressed BenQ for a release date a little less ambiguous than Q3 and managed to squeeze a tentative September out of them. That may be a little too late for a certain ball related tournament, but from what I saw of each in action the sacrifice could be worth it.
I’ve only just scratched the tip of the tip’s close friend of the iceberg here so stay turned for more from the likes of LG, Panasonic, Hitachi, Chi Mei and others. Plus, if you’re going to splash out on one of these rather special TVs you’re going to need the next generation discs and players to get the best out of them. All the details on the first Blu-ray and HD DVD drives and players coming soon.