CeBIT 2006: Displays – Part Three

We told you it would be THE big technology this year... Pansonic, Hitachi, Vestel, Acer and LG round us off.

So clearly CeBIT is a show where feet become swollen, non-German speakers get frustrated and food and drinks are grossly overpriced. Something else had also become painfully apparent: it truly was the year of HDTV.

Everywhere you looked at CeBIT this year you simply couldn’t ignore the High Definition logos and Panasonic was doing more than most to illustrate this point.

Taking pride of place on its stand was a 103in full 1080p plasma screen. For those with good memories it beats the previous record holder from Samsung by a solitary inch but more importantly was running a loop of demos designed solely to illustrate the picture quality we can expect from this standard.

I’ve waxed lyrical about 1080p in depth already so I’m not going to cover old ground here, especially after seeing Chi Mei’s QuadHDTV which makes anything remotely real world seem low res by comparison. My one tip: if you can afford to push the boat out for 1080p over 720p and 1080i the results are well worth it.

If your wallet goes a long way Panasonic was also demonstrating just what this would look like in your living room with 50in and 65in full 1080p screens running only a matter of metres away. The fact that these sets can soon be in our homes, for me, made them more exciting than the 103 incher.

Over at Hitachi it had also managed to put up its own ‘World First’ banner. This time it was for the ‘World’s First Full HD Plasma’, like so many of this badges I have no idea if this is technically true but, nice as it is, we’ve moved on since then and the rest of the Hitachi stand seemed stuck in rut.

It was making a major song and dance about its flagship 42PD9700 being able to show native 1080i broadcasts but that suddenly feels so 12 months ago. Just as hyped was the 55PD9700, it may have been 55 inches but a 1024 x 1080 resolution doesn’t hold a candle to many of the other sets I’d seen at the show.

As Chi Mei had demonstrated, you don’t have to be a household name to make an impact at CeBIT and Vestel was making a highly impressive impact. The Turkish company demonstrated a raft of 1080p screens with stylish designs and fantastic specs.

The 55 incher above, for example, manages a 1920 x 1080 resolution, wonderful 1200:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness. It supports DVI/HDMI, component and DVB-T/iDTV. A PC can also be hooked up so just imagine playing Half Life 2 on that beast…

A quick word on Acer. The builder of just about everything has been making major strides in the last few months and displays are certainly a focus. That said, the company was surprisingly quiet on the HD front this year placing greater emphasis on its streaming media designs and Ferrari monitors all of which we’ve seen before. Just FYI…

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