We take a look at some home video products set to be introduced later this year. Time to start saving your money because there are some cool things coming down the pipeline!
HP was at CES in full force, touting their expanded HDTV line. It should be noted that the company is dropping the Pavilion name in regards to TVs, and all TV models include integrated ATSC, NTSC and QAM tuners. HP has added new LCD HDTVs in both 32-in. (LC3260N) and 37-in. (LC3760N). Both models sport a super-fast response time of 6m/second and a whopping 6000:1 contrast ratio. A second 37-in. model (SLC3760N) adds to their advanced digital media package that brings photos, music and videos from your PC. HP has also added two new plasmas in 42-in. (PL4260N) and 50-in. (PL5060N), which deliver over a billion true colors and contrast ratios at 10,000:1.
HP also is adding four new Micro-Display DLPs to its 2006 line: A 52-in. (id5220n and id5280n), a 58-in. (md5883n) and a 65-in. (md6583n). The latter three models feature a screen resolution of 1080p, and digital cable ready with CableCARD. The id5280n features LED backlighting that uses a light emitting diode in lieu of a high-powered lamp and no color wheel. The new 58-in.and 65-in. models have increased the contrast ratio to 12,000:1. Rounding out the HP line are two Digital Entertainment Centers that record in playback HD signals in 250GB (z556) and 300GB (z558) hard-disc sizes. http://www.hp.com/
HP Zappa 65
While AKAI was a prominent audio brand several years ago, it?s a newcomer to the TV business. At CES, AKAI introduced their 2006 line of display products for a total of 24 HDTVs (eight plasmas, 10 LCDs, two rear projection CRT-based and four DLP-based rear projection TVs). Lastly, the company introduced six LCD TV/DVD combos in screen sizes ranging from 27-in. to 32-in. models (four HDTV and two monitor-only) models. The highlight of the AKAI 2006 line was two LED light-based DLP in 46-in. (PT46DL27L) and 52-in. (PT52DL27L) sizes. Both models will use the Texas Instrument xHD4 chip with DarkChip3 that offers a full 1920x1080p resolution, and no color wheel. Pricing was still not set at press time. http://www.akaiusa.com/
Even though RCA is a shadow of its former self (as the TV part of the company is now owned by TTE Corp.), the company plans to bring out several new HDTVs in 2006, with the bulk of the displays being flat-panel LCD HDTVs. However, the company is not forgetting its roots by offering two 27-in. CRT TruFlat SDTVs at prices starting at $300. An SDTV will receive and decode digital HD signals and convert them to standard definition. RCA will also offer a new 61-in. CRT-based rear projection HDTV and two new 50-in. HD DLPs at screen resolutions of 720p. RCA will also offer two 42-in. plasma HDTVs. One model, P42WHD500, features a wooden picture frame surrounding the screen. That?s really neat! Rounding out RCA?s HDTV line will be nine LCD HDTVs in screen sizes ranging from 26-in. through 37-in. and prices starting at $800. Five of the models will be LCD HDTV/DVD models. All flat-panel displays include HDMI inputs. http://www.rca.com/
While Sampo is not in the consumer space these days, the company that had made its flat-panels, Maxent, is alive and well, and introduced several new display models at CES in screen sizes ranging from 26-in. to 50-in. Except for the 42-in. and 50-in. plasma TV models, all of the other displays are LCD TVs, with prices starting at $1,199 for an integrated 32-in. HDTV. A highlight of their plasma TV line is Maxent?s new 42-in. HD-ThunderPanel that offers a screen resolution of 1024×768, brightness levels at 1200 cd/m2, contrast ratios greater than 3000:1, and a beefed up sound system with 15-watts times two and a 30-watt subwoofer. All speakers are bottom-mounted for ease of use in placing the display into cabinetry. http://www.maxentusa.com/
Philips launched a new line of LCD displays at CES that feature the company?s proprietary Ambilight technology, Clear LCD, and PixelPlus3. All of the new LCD and plasma TVs will be in 32-in. through 50-in. screen sizes and become available between May and July 2006. Prices range from $2,299 for a 32-in. LCD display to $3,999 for a 50-in. plasma model. All of these models will be Digital Cable Ready featuring CableCARD. Also, Philips will be expanding its MiraVision Mirror TV line to include both 32-in. and 42-in. LCD monitors?sans tuners. Philips will be adding two new plasma HDTVs in both 42-in. and 50-in. screen sizes. Both models will feature Philips?s improved two-channel Ambilight or Ambilight Surround at either $2,999 or $3,999. http://www.philips.com/
Philips Ambilight Surround
Sony had numerous announcements and offerings at CES. First, Sony will be shipping six new Bravia LCD TVs in screen sizes ranging from 32-in. to 46-in. between now and May, with prices starting at $1,299. Sony also unveiled their VAIO Digital Living Room System: XL-2 PC head unit with optional XL-1B disc changer. According to Sony, this is a new standard in digital content management, as it allows the user to conveniently control all of your media, from photos to recorded HDTV shows. The XL-2 includes dual NTSC and one ATSC tuner and a massive harddrive, along with an optional 200-disc CD/DVD changer.
Sony XL-2 Digital Living Room System
Sony also had four Blu-ray Disc offerings at the show as well. Their stand-alone BD player (BDP-S1) will be available this summer, providing a full 1080p resolution. Sony will also offer an external Blue-ray Disc computer drive that will support both 25GB and 50GB BD Media, featuring 2X BD recording capability. Sony will also offer blank BD Media. The other BD product will be PlayStation3, which is expected to be out during the spring?I?m thinking May (to coincide with E3, which is held in LA in May). While pricing is unavailable for PlayStation3, the rumors on the show floor were around $600.
Sony also announced several new products in all categories including HTiBs, DVD players, digital cameras, and portable audio. One of Sony?s most interesting new products was their Portable Reader System, is a compact eBook-type item. It can hold up to 80 books in its internal memory, and can hold more through an optional MemoryStick or Secure Digital flash memory card. Its rechargeable lithium-ion batteries will last for about 7,500 page turns. http://www.sony.com/
Norcent, while relatively a new brand, offers a full line of LCD and plasma displays beginning with 20-in. LCD displays and going up to 50-in. plasma models. Prices begin around $499 for an integrated 26-in. LCD HDTV, all the way up to $3199 for a full-featured 50-in. HDTV plasma model. For 2006, Norcent has added a new product line called Vion that comprises both LCD and Plasma TVs in screen sizes ranging from 20-in. LCD models to 42-in. plasma models. Vion models are housed in sleek all-black cabinetry. Most models include both ATSC (HD) and NTSC (SD) tuners. All new models will be available in Spring 2006. http://www.norcent.net/
Westinghouse Digital has become a leading second tier brand. It continued to introduce intriguing and innovative models at CES. Westinghouse introduced two HDTV/DVD LCD TV combos in screen sizes of 32-in. (LTV-32w4HDC at $1,499) and 40-in. (LTV-40s1HDC at $2,299). These 1366×768 resolution displays feature an innovative front-loading DVD drawer, as opposed to other models in industry that are side-loaders. Besides adding new 26-in. to 42-in. HD LCD TVs with an improved response time of 8m/s, Westinghouse also showed an ultra-high resolution 56-in. LCD HDTV. This spectacular model touts a screen resolution of 3840×2160, which is four times greater than 1080p, and features a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a brightness level of 600-nit. Introduction of this revolutionary model may come later this year, which will first be offered in the commercial sector. http://www.westinghousedigital.com/
JVC?s 2006 HD-ILA (a version of LCoS technology) line of rear projection televisions will encompass six models in 52-in., 56-in., 61-in., and 70-in. models. Three models, available in March, will feature 720p screen resolution (HD-52G787 at $2,799, HD-56G787 at $3,499, and HD-61G787 at $3,499). Three additional 1080p models will be available in July (HD-56FN97 at $3,499), HD-61FN97 at $5,499, and HD-70FN97 at $5,499). All six HD-ILA models will include 2-HMDI connectors. Also, JVC will introduce five new LCD HDTVs. Two models in 40-in. (LT-40FN97 at $3,799) and 46-in. (LT-46FN97 at $4,599) will feature screen resolutions of 1080p. The other three 768p HD LCD TVs will be available in May in 26-in., 32-in., and 37-in. screen sizes. http://www.jvc.com/ (Sorry no images at this time)
This was another leading second tier and Internet-held private session in a hotel suite at CES. Olevia unveiled several new LCD HDTV models for 2006. They will offer a monitor-only line sans tuner called the Select Series, which encompasses four models in 23-in., 26-in., 27-in., and 32-in screen sizes. All four models offer 1366×768 screen resolution and HDMI connectivity. The main Olevia line features six fully integrated HD models with both ATSC and NTSC tuners, in screen sizes ranging from 26-in. to 42-in. All models in the main line include screen resolutions of 1366×768 and response times of 8m/s. Most models offer a contrast ratio of 1600:1 and brightness levels of 800 cd/m2. The two top-of-the-line models feature a screen resolution of 1920×1080 along with brightness levels of 800 cd/m2 and contrast ratios of 1600:1, along with fast 8m/s response times. Two models are in 42-in. (LT42HVI at $3,499) and 47-in. (LT47HVI at $3,999) screen sizes. Later this year, Olevia will be offering LCoS rear projection HDTVs sourced from its sister company, Brillian. http://www.olevia.com/
Syntax Olevia LT42HVI