New Tech Report: Chlorine + OLED = Miracle?

April 16, 2011 by  
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Research is always finding old materials and ways to use things to make stuff better and work more efficiently, and in this case, its a substance that’s been around pretty much forever, but was never used like this.

Chlorine? Yes, it isn’t just for keeping your clothes white and your pool clean very soon. Soon, layers of it just a single atom thickness could play a huge role in OLED making, which is something we never could have predicted, to say the least.

Researchers in Canada at the University of Toronto have found that this minute amount of pool cleaner can double the efficiency of displays while knocking down complexity and driving down production costs (the best part for consumers, who love the advantages of OLED but shy away from the price tag for now).

The procedure itself is simple, involving UV light, Cl and other various other ‘sooper secret’ tech, the team was able to chlorinate standard electrode panels found in regular everyday OLEDs without having toxic gas floating around. Our prediction of inexpensive OLED’s on Wal-Mart shelves in the next few years may actually become a reality even faster now.

Hands-On: Glasses-free 3D from StreamTV, dubbed the Elocity

January 12, 2011 by  
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Glasses-free 3D will probably be the only way HDTV 3D will survive in the years to come, and great strides are being made to make it more glasses-free. CES 2011 has a worthy new entrant in StreamTV’s Elocity line, and feel free to peruse the details:

There’s been no shortage of glasses-free 3D at CES but we can’t say we expected Stream TV, makers of those Elocity tablets, to be showing off wares of its own. While the company is promising lots of spectacle-free TVs with parallax screens in the next year, at its booth there was just a 42-inch 1080p 3T1 panel on the show floor.

The description does go on to say the display is a bit grainy and not quite the same as with the glasses (much the same story with many other 3D competitors this year featuring no glasses), but its a step in the right direction, for certain. We’ll keep an eye on this as the technology develops.

Fancy Techy News: Hybrid FPA tech developed by Sony to make LCDs look better

December 3, 2010 by  
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Technology in the world of LCD and HDTV enetertainment is always marching forward, and in this case, Sony has come up with some pretty fancy light footwork to make the LCD experience even better. Courtesy of Engadget, here’s the lowdown:

Sony has announced a new LCD display technology called Hybrid FPA (field-induced photo-reactive alignment), which it claims provides a bevy of improvements for LCDs in the areas of response time, contrast, panel stability, and production speed. For those of you who slept through display science in school (no shame), this boils down to Sony finding a better way to wrangle unruly liquid crystal molecules (LCMs) into more optimal alignments — which is important since this affects how light passes and therefore how images are resolved. The new technique builds on earlier work, which focused on the vertical alignment of LCMs via an alignment layer. As the left diagram shows, through pre-tilt positioning at the substrate layer, LCMs were forced into a more stable vertical state, which made shifting them quicker and more precise while requiring less voltage. In other words, images resolved faster and more evenly, resulting in “cleaner” whites and blacks with less motion blur. Hybrid FPA simply improves the situation by aligning LCMs even more vertically, which produced response times of less than 3ms in tests.

No word when this tech will be available, but hey, it all sounds great if you’re a 3D HD lover.

Seeing the Light: LG to release a new HDTV with ‘Nano LED’ feature

August 30, 2010 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, Technology News, TV Brands

LG is one of our fav companies out there now in the HDTV world, and now they’re releasing a HDTV model with some cool sounding new tech that should serve to make HDTV more fun and brighter to watch, it seems. Read on to see more details:

Now that LED backlighting has trickled down to nearly every HDTV lineup, it appears the big manufacturers will have to find new ways to differentiate their products, like LG’s upcoming LEX8 television. Set to debut at IFA in Berlin before going on sale in Germany and Korea next month (no word on the US), LG claims that thanks to a ‘thin film of miniscule dots positioned in front of a full array of LEDs’ its Nano Lighting technology — perhaps of the Nanosys variety it licensed earlier this year — makes for a clearer, smoother picture, with the slimmest and narrowest outline of any LED TV, ever, at just .88cm thick with a 1.25cm bezel.

Prices/exact availability hasn’t been released yet, but we aren’t expecting super soon – or super cheap.

Nano Fever: New tech allows cheaper and better LCD HD screens

August 28, 2010 by  
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It seems technology waits for no man, and that applies to HDTV as well, it appears. Read on to find out why this is the case:

Pixel density enthusiasts, pay close attention, because science is ready to blow your minds — the University of Michigan has developed an LCD technology that can display their logo in a space just nine microns high. By creating a filter made of microscopic metal gratings with differently sized holes just a few hundred nanometers wide, researchers discovered they could precisely capture wavelengths associated to red, green and blue light, producing pixels roughly eight times smaller than those in the iPhone 4′s famous screen, and entire images that could practically fit inside a single dot of Kopin’s microdisplay.
What all that jargon means is clearer and sharper HD imagery at a cheaper price than ever in the long run, which is the ideal situation for companies and consumers alike. It shouldn’t be long for much of this to seep into production models near you.

128GB of Joy: Blu-Ray BDXL Spec Released

June 27, 2010 by  
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We all know space is everything in the kind of stuff we can fit on BR discs to make the experience even better, and fit even more special features onto discs, not to mention the possibility of burning more content onto discs (for those lucky enough to have Blu-Ray burners).

Here’s more details about the news from Engadget:

Looks like the Blu-ray Disc Association has published the final specs for the monster BDXL disc, opening the way for manufacturers to start introducing the technology in their optical drives. Not too much here that we don’t already know: aimed at institutions and folks who need to archive lots and lots of… stuff, BDXL discs are available in either triple layer 100GB (re-writable or write-once) or 128GB quad layer write-once flavors. Of course, with all these layers (or layuhs in Brooklyn) the laser in the Blu-ray drive you already own won’t be able to do the trick, so start saving your change for a hardware upgrade once these things become commercially available.

We don’t like the fact it may not be compatible with existing players, but 100GB-128GB on a single disc we definitely like. More to come later.

A Year Later: The Digital Transition

June 19, 2010 by  
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It seems like the digital switchover was on our pages every other day for a few months, and now its been a year since the changeover officially happened. The good news: many made the switchover pretty seamlessly. Many either bought a new HDTV and/or got cable/satellite, so most were fairly unaffected by the change, and we’re reaping the rewards in terms of more new HD channels and content.

More thoughts courtesy of Engadget:

The electronic shopping site Retrevo has been thinking about it though, and has put a survey out to its users and compiled the results of over 200 respondents. Now you know how much we love consumer surveys about electronics, but in this case the numbers look to be in line with our expectations. Overall people think the transition was a good thing, but that number is exactly 1 percent lower than those who say they were unaffected — figures. 19 percent of respondents bought a new TV and 13 percent just got cable or satellite instead. Seems likely enough. But our favorite is the 9 percent who bought a converter box but then never bothered to even hook it up; real nice use of tax payer funds.

The odd number is that 23% don’t think the transition was a good thing. What a strange thought. Digital is the future of most everything, so you would assume those are just people annoyed at having to get with the times.

Widget Wonders: Google Maps and Facebook coming to Samsung HDTVs

June 14, 2010 by  
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We’ve often pondered the future of interactive widgets built into HDTV units these days, and if they have any sort of chance in the mainstream marketplace. Here is yet another example of something cool (via Engadget blog) coming to Samsung HDTVs that should merit some notice, yet at the same time set some to wondering: will it really matter in the long haul? Here’s more:

We still don’t know if Samsung will put Google’s Android into its TVs, but it has recently launched Google Maps and Facebook as a part of its existing Samsung Apps platform. There aren’t a lot of details in the press release (included after the break) but buyers of most of the 2010 line HDTVs, Blu-ray players and HTIB systems should have access to them. We’ve seen demos of how Samsung Apps can tie phones and TVs together easily, but can a mere Google Maps app match the Google TVs ability to push info back and forth from device to device? The Facebook app on Xbox 360 is moderately useful if only as a way to browse photo albums on the HDTV, so we’ll also be waiting to find out if it will at least match that functionality.

We like the ‘cool’ factor, but still have yet to decide if the widgets will ever really catch on long term.

8K Goodness: NHK Plasma prototype to change the playing field

June 11, 2010 by  
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That’s the thing about technology; it’s always advancing, never staying in place very long. Especially these days, it seems. An 8K Plasma HDTV screen, you say? There’s actually a working semi-prototype out there right now. Feel free to read:

NHK has been working on 33 megapixel, 8K Super Hi-Vision displays for quite some time now. As the story goes, in 2005 the group’s Science and Technology Labs estimated a necessary 0.3mm dot pitch for plasma screens in the 100-inch category to achieve the necessary 7,680 x 4,320 pixels for display. At the time, the best plasma could muster was 0.9mm, but now the researchers have created a prototype 58-inch screen with 0.33mm pixel pitch. Ergo, four such prototypes stacked together should create a 116-inch window to the world that just about displays 8K video.

No word on when this will be available in the marketplace, but hey, advances like this are worth waiting for. Kinda makes that 1080p seem sorta puny, doesn’t it?

2D/3D Hybrid: New Toshiba prototype allows new dimensions of entertainment

June 6, 2010 by  
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It seems Toshiba is up to some new twists on the 3D HDTV genre, according to recent trade show reports. We always like new stuff to report to you, our readers, so here’s the scoop, according to a recent blog post on several blogs:

One of Toshiba’s favorite hobbies is to tease the general public with prototype autostereoscopic technology, and that’s exactly what we have here today; demoed at SID 2010, this screen can display 2D and 3D images simultaneously on the same 12-inch screen, no glasses required. How it does that is rather complicated, especially when translated from the Japanese, but it sounds like Toshiba’s sandwiched a special panel with gradient-index lenses between a high-speed polarizer and the typical color LCD.

We like the sound of that, as it could enable those with 3D quality vision to see the screen the same as those who don’t possess this ability, a real step forward for usability and flexibility. We’re guessing it’ll be awhile before this is applied to anything at the consumer level, but its nice to know companies don’t rest coming up with new stuff.

OLED, Printed: DuPont develops new screen technique

May 18, 2010 by  
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Right now, LG is the big OLED boy in town, with their 15-inch OLED TV, but at about $2,500 retail, not many people will have this in their living rooms, dens or wherever.

Now the promises of costs dropping thanks to ‘printed’ displays may be coming to pass, as chemical company DuPont has joined up with Dainippon Screen to fashion a printing technique that can line-feeding a 50-inch display in just two minutes or so. That’s 120 seconds to you and me, and that’s pretty exciting stuff, indeed. It’s been compared to a ‘high precision garden hose’ of the electronic persuasion, “moving” over the display’s surface and ‘printing’ the display on the screen.

DuPont Displays President William Feehery says the method is being worked on to scale it up to displays up to 50″ and will eventually be able to compete with LCD’s on cost with a 15-20 year span of life. It isn’t 100 years (as was promised by a few manufacturers) but that isn’t bad at all, folks. We’ll update you, of course, as this technology develops.

Now That’s Big: 13 ft. Plasma Graces Japanese Airport

April 29, 2010 by  
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Engadget has spotted a really huge curved Plasma screen been used in an airport in Japan that may signal the beginning of many applications for Plasma screens. The marvel of HDTV engineering is shown in the pic, and discussed a bit here:

Sure, we’ve seen 125-inch and a 145-inch curved plasma displays, but there’s a new size champ in town: the international departure area at Japan’s Kansai Airport was just graced with this 200-inch waterfall of a curved plasma. That’s right around 13 feet by 10 feet in size.

Amazing indeed…and its just the beginning really of some really cool usages of the medium. Due to its design, plasmas tend to be more flexible than LCD designs, and its death is officially premature, we can safely say now.

More?: Comcast possibly to compress HD further

March 22, 2010 by  
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Comcast_logoIt’s been rumored (and only rumored) that Cable supplier Comcast is looking for methods to compress HD channels even more than they already do, according to various sources. Because this isn’t quite true anymore.

Their HD is already fairl compressed, and there are other alternatives to this sort of action: weaning off analog channels, deploying SDV and still others move VOD to IP or they could start using more efficient codecs like H.264 for their signals.

As supporters of HD in general, we oppose this sort of thing on principle. Hopefully, Comcast rethinks this sort of action, even though it may result in more choices and channels being carried to subscribers, because the more compression, the lower the quality. We like HD because it looks sharper and clearer, not similar to analog channels because of excess compression.

Special Specs: HDMI 1.4a standard fully detailed, now with 3D

March 5, 2010 by  
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ultralink-hdmi-cable

The new HDMI spec needed some tweaking to ease standards and compatibility with old players and boxes was a given, and today all the skinny was released to all HDMI followers and companies. We last reported on this here.

The new standard includes special blu-ray compatibility stuff, along with implementation of Full HDTV 3D in the mix as well. We’re quite pleased to see the standard growing and developing with the times, even if it may mean a new round of firmware updates, fixes and equipment upgrades, in some cases. The HDTV world craves growth and expansion.

HDMI has all the latest details and nerdy numbers in their press release, for those of us (you know who you are) who enjoy that sort of thing right here: Link

HDMI News: Version 1.4 + 3D = New public spec + Us scratching our heads

February 7, 2010 by  
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ces-2009-3d-ready-fuhzion3D is here, it’s happening, and it won’t go away, regardless of whether we want it to or not — but the good news at least is there won’t be home 3D format wars or any stuff like that to muddy the water even further, such as the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war that fractured HD home disc entertainment for too long.

Most manufacturers are using the active shutter glasses model, delivery will occur on cable, satellite, and 3-D Blu-ray, and now the HDMI group has made available the 3D part of the HDMI 1.4 spec so that all companies can make their gear fully compatible. At least that part of the equation they’ve gotten right; a format war would have further reduced the chance of 3D ever catching on in a home environment. And we already talked about how Samsung is getting in on the 3D action soon enough.

HDMI 1.4a is due to release later this year, but that also will be released publicly. How about it…any of our readers plan on getting in on the 3D “revolution”?

Color Your World: New technology may change the realm of LED backlighting for good

January 12, 2010 by  
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11janx98yv3rc10OLED (at least consumer versions of decent sizes without huge price tags) may be awhile to reach the mainstream market, as we all know. But the upstart company Nanosys is now showing off a new LED coating method that could have huge ripples on the future of HDTV watchability.

The goal: to make color saturation in LED-backlit screens better. The techie details are pretty geeky and difficult to digest, but here’s the basics: It works by applying nanoparticles to a blue LED light to give it the desired color. It thereby delivers greater and richer color, without making the units use more electricity to do so. It’s pretty cool indeed, and could make LED-backit displays even better than they are now, at a fairly low cost point.

We’ll keep an eye on this technology and how it develops.

Wide Open Spaces: Sony and Panasonic try to expand storage on Blu-Ray discs even further

January 3, 2010 by  
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blu-ray-discSeething at only 25GB per layer on a Blu-ray disc for storage? Not enough for your HD pleasure? It’s appearing Sony and Panasonic agree with you, and have been busy working on ways to boost capacity on discs in a never-ending quest for more, more, more that seems to be the normal operating procedure for tech companies nowadays.

They’ve come up with a way to perhaps do so (not a surprise) called Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation (or i-MLSE — the “i’ is just because its cool to put i in front of things these days, it seems), which is a way to avoid and predict the way discs are read to prevent errors, which in turn allows for more space on the discs themselves.  You’d have to be an engineer to understand it, we’d guess.

Sony and Panasonic are saying the ultimate payoff is that this method may allow up to 33.4 GB per layer, and it may only require a firmware update to allow the feature to work on current Blu-Ray players. Rollout hasn’t been given any sort of date, but expect the technology on discs to begin appearing “soon”, according to both companies.

Inside Stuff: HDMI 1.4 spec getting refreshed in prep for HD 3D

December 24, 2009 by  
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hdmiThe march for HD 3D to gain steam keeps on going, it seems, with broadcasters around the world wanting to bring 3D HD home for 2010 or so.

Even the HDMI standard 1.4 spec is being updated as we speak to make sure 3D compatibility between sets and receivers/players remains at the top of the list for importance, something we can appreciate, but we still aren’t sold on 3D HD as something as all that important to the future of the medium.

As a side note, some broadcasters are rallying for HDMI and the spec to fully msupport “Top/Bottom” 3D transmissions that are in the wind waiting to be used, which give up resolution to save bandwidth by placing left/right images into a single frame.

Will 3D be supported on generally available commercial hardware anytime soon at a reasonable cost? We’re thinking 2011 or so for that to happen, but who knows. With the pace of things today, anything is possible.

Wireless HD Coming Closer?: WHDI 1.0 Debuts

December 8, 2009 by  
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whdi-householdWill true wireless HD become a reality at some point in time? Perhaps, though the death of FlyWire’s dealt it a serious setback, its beginning to sound like it may actually happen sometime soon, if recent reports are to be believed.

Amimon, the company with some very pricey wireless HD options available via WHDI, has just launched the official 1.0 specification of its wireless protocol.

Also if reports are accurate, the company has a few big players on board their wireless ship, so hitting 1.0 could begin to signal the release of set-top boxes, equipment and the like to possibly bring wireless HD 1080p material to a much wider audience, and that’s a good thing. You can bet we’ll keep a lookout at the next CES for more stuff using the 1.0 specs, and the future of HDTV has (officially) begun.

LG: “OLED will cost less than LCD in 2016″

October 30, 2009 by  
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15_oled-tv_o_440-cropYes, LG stated that at a recent show in Japan about electronics, and while we’re excited at the prospect, let’s not carve this into stone just yet.

Won Kim, VP of LG OLED sales and marketing group spoke about its OLED plans for the future, and they make interesting food for thought, if little else.

So far: LG will put out 20-inch (and perhaps larger) OLED panels in mid-2010 based on their current roadmap, 30″ in mid-2011, and 40-inch OLED panels in 2012.

While 40″ OLED units will still be “fairly expensive” (read:  a bloody fortune) in 2012, Kim states that in 2016 OLED panels will actually cost less than LCD TVs do now. That seems a bit aggressive, but hey, we’re rooting for LG to make good on this prediction. It’ll mean good things for HDTV lovers everywhere.

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