T3: Samsung and Sony beware; the other big S in TVs is coming for the 3D crown. A new big-player entered the 3D TV market earlier this week as the Japanese electronics giant Sharp unveiled its inaugural line of LCD Aquos Quattron 3D TVs.
Sharp, who bucked the 3D trend earlier this year by instead unveiling its fourth colour (yellow) technology, has now entered the extra dimensional market with a range of four 3D TVs set to challenge the current 3D competitors, Samsung and Sony.
Sharp’s range will include 40, 46, 52 and 56-inch models that, thanks to the inclusion of Sharp’s LED backlight technology, are a staggering skinny 3.9mm thick.
Setting its new LV range of Quattron 3D TVs apart from those 3D models already on the market, Sharp are promoting its line as the world’s first four primary-colour 3D displays, adding yellow to the traditional red, green and blue for more brightly defined images.
Again setting itself apart from the competition and whilst Samsung are raving about their 2D to 3D image conversion, Sharp has flipped things on its head, boasting about its 3D to 2D conversion capabilities, presumably for when you want to get back to the good ol’ days.
Paired with AN-3DG10 glasses, expected to cost around £75 each, the 3D Quattron range has been launched alongside the arrival of the Aquos BD-HDW700 and BD-HDW730 3D Blu-ray players, both of which will lead double lives as hard-disk recorders capable of keeping hold of up to 2TB of data.
A UK release date for Sharp’s 3D range has yet to be announced but if we are honest, we can’t see the four-coloured 3D sets rocking up anytime soon.
Japan Corporate News: Sony Corp. has pulled the plug in Japan on sales of a next-generation flat TV due to sluggish demand, a setback for a product the company had trumpeted as a sign of its revival as an innovator.
Sony had stopped production of ultra-thin TVs using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology for Japan, just a little over 2 years since it launched its first set. It will keep selling the TVs in overseas markets.
OLED displays use organic, or carbon-containing compounds that emit light when electricity is applied. They produce crisp images and do not need backlighting, making them slimmer and more energy-efficient than LCDs.
DigiTimes: LCD TV development in 2010 is expected to focus on 3D displays, connectivity to the Internet, 480Hz frame rate and frameless design, according to Taiwan LCD TV makers.
In terms of 3D TVs, vendors including Samsung Electronics, Sony, Sharp and LG Electronics will launch 3D models in 2010. For LED-backlit models, Displaybank expects them to reach 32 million units in 2010, accounting for 20% of total LCD TV shipments worldwide.
LED-backlit LCD TV shipments in 2009 are estimated at 3.6 million units, with Samsung sharing 68%, Displaybank added.
DisplaySearch Blog: In December, I wrote about the most important challenges for the FPD industry in 2009. Now we are in 2010, the year of Tiger, which represents a vigorous spirit and a ferocious mind-either positive or negative.
If the energy of the Tiger fuels FPD market growth, then the whole supply chain will have a prosperous year. The downside risk is that panel or set prices fall in a ferocious way.
What are the top questions to be answered in the year of the Tiger?
- Panel prices are set to increase in January 2010, and it is likely that they will rise through Q1′10 due to the strong demand to build inventories. How long can prices stay strong?
- When will we see new fabs and capacities? Encouraged by strong demand, panel makers are starting to pull in their new fab schedules and capacity additions.
- Will there be more consolidation and alliances? If so, who will swallow whom?
- Most TV brands are targeting 30-50% LED backlight penetration in their 2010 business plan; will they be able to achieve that? How fast will LED backlight LCD TVs grow?
- E-book readers are a promising new application category, attracting new entrants and stimulating technology evolution. However, there are still doubts about consumer acceptance of these devices. Will e-book readers become an accepted consumer electronics device? Or it will be just a fad? Is color required for broad acceptance?
- 3D can provide inspiring and thrilling experience, but there are uncertainties about the availability of content, the technological readiness, and acceptance in the living room. Can we move away from the requirement for glasses?
- Except for Panasonic and Chinese makers, plasma panel makers have stopped investing in new capacity. Even Panasonic is shifting resources into LCD. What can change PDP’s destiny in 2010? Can plasma survive in the TV market? Or can it find a new niche?
- Among the many potential projects for Gen 7/8 fabs in China, which ones will eventually come true? How will they influence the 2011 supply/demand balance?
- Panel costs fell sharply in 2009 due to depreciation and changes in components. Will this reduction continue in 2010? How profitable will companies in the LCD supply chain be?
- Will the small/medium FPD panel price collapse due to the newly ramped Chinese Gen 4 fabs and the Korean/Taiwanese Gen 5 fabs shifting to the to the smaller-than-10″ production?
Certainly, there are many questions to be answered, such as the mini-note outlook, touch panel development, LCD monitor market maturity, Windows 7 influence, high transmittance technologies, glass substrate capacity constraints, TV specifications and roadmaps, mobile phones, pico projectors, 21:9 aspect ratio, and so on.
You certainly have your own list of questions for 2010: let us know what they are! At DisplaySearch, the most exciting part of our job is to help you explore the answers of all of these questions. Stay tuned, within this year, DisplaySearch will give you definite answers and in-depth analysis.
Electronista: We’re gearing up for CES 2010, which means the race to show off an even thinner “worlds thinnest” LCD TV panel is heating up — and it looks like LG’s taking an early lead by announcing a new 42-inch 1080p panel that’s just 2.6mm (.1 inch) thin.
The prototype LED-backlit 120Hz display weighs just under 8.8 pounds , but we don’t have any other specs on it just yet — but we’re sure we’ll find out far more 17 days from now in Vegas.
Oh Gizmo: Remember back when the Nintendo Wii came out, how there were reports of idiots tossing their Wiimotes through their fancy TVs?
Well that sort of thing is still an issue for people with LCD and Plasma TVs, and not just from flying game controllers. Since the screens are easily harmed, one company has decided to specialize in protecting these expensive pieces of equipment.
TV Armor is a simple way to prevent objects from impacting (and thus ruining) the screen of your HDTV. The solution is about as low-tech as it gets, consisting of a thin layer (¼-inch) of acrylic held on by Velcro straps. The acrylic is considered optical-grade so that it won’t reduce the quality of the image.
The TV Armor won’t win any awards in the looks department, but it isn’t hideous by any means. The acrylic blends in rather well, and the Velcro straps are barely visible. You’ll need to set back $69-$289 (47-198 euro) depending on the size of your TV. It’s a little salty, but far less than you paid for your fancy-pants TV no doubt.
DigiTimes: Global LCD TV shipments are estimated to increase 10-15% to 155 million units in 2010 amid a gradually recovering global economy, according to market sources.
The sources indicated that vendors are optimistic about the 2010 market and have started talking with LCD panel makers about panel supply for 2010. The sources noted that better-than-expected LCD TV sales in the North America market helped boost global LCD TV shipments in the first half of 2009 to 56 million units, and if MoniTV sales were included, the first-half shipments reached 64 million units.
With the second half of the year being the peak season for LCD TV sales, global LCD TV shipments for the entire 2009 may exceed 130 million units, the sources said. Panel supply remains tight due to glass substrate shortages, and current inventories for notebook and monitor panels are below two weeks, while monitor and notebook inventory levels in the end market are about 3-4 weeks, the sources added.
T3: Are you worried that your TV doesn’t quite fit in with your bold feature wallpaper? Thought not, but just in case you or your partner go all ‘Changing Rooms’ or ’60 Minute Makeover’ in the future, there’s a TV that can change with your mood, the Loewe Individual Selection TV range.
It’s still the same high-end Loewe full HD 100Hz LCD TV, sized from 32 inches upwards and offering 24p motion picture display, an optional DR+ hard disk recorder and Assist+ control, which allows you to operate everything from one remote.
But for devotees of interiors magazines, that might not be quite enough. So as well as all the tech, Loewe also offers up a choice of nine different coloured side inlay panels, including Ruby Red, Apple Green, High Gloss Black or Light Oak and a choice of either aluminium or High Gloss White housing colours.
So as the new wallpaper goes up, so can the matching TV panel. If you’ve gone for the matching Loewe speakers too, don’t worry, they’ll colour change too and there’s also a choice of five stands to pick from, should your attention to detail become ever so slightly obsessive.
No news on price, but when talking Loewe, you can usually double the starting price against your regular high street TV. If you’ve got that kind of money to play with, check the Loewe site for your nearest dealer.
DigiTimes: Global LCD TV shipments are expected to top 148 million units in 2010, up 16.5% from 2009, while shipments in 2009 will grow 21% on year to 127 million units, the Chinese-language Commercial Times quoted data from DisplaySearch as indicating.
LCD TV shipments from the world’s top-10 brand vendors are likely to expand 35% to 141.5 million units in 2010, accounting for 96% of the total global shipments, according to the paper.
In 2009, the top-10 vendors are expected to see their LCD TV shipments increase 25% to 104.8 million units and account for 83% of worldwide shipments, it noted. Samsung Electronics will lead viral vendors in annual shipments and see its LCD TV shipments climb 19% to 25 million units in 2009 and grow another 28% to 32 million units in 2010, the paper said citing DisplaySearch
DigiTimes: LG Display (LGD) is reportedly in talks with the Guangzhou government to set up a 7.5G or 8G LCD production plant at a high-tech industrial park in the city in southern China, according to a Chinese-language report on Caijing.com.cn.
The total investment of the LCD plant will be around 20-30 billion yuan (US$2.93-4.39 billion), noted the report, adding that LGD and the Guangzhou government may sign an agreement later in 2009 with terms of their cooperation to be finalized as early as in August or September.