HDTV. Where do we go from here?

Colin Tang

Just looking through the backlog of news I have accumulated and came up with a few surprises.

1. Westinghouse shows off 52 inch QuadHDTV with super high-resolution of 2160p (3840 x 2160 pixels) at the recent CES 2007. In absolute numbers, the device is running a stunning 8.3 megapixels – four times more than 1080p TVs (1920x1080p). Unfortunately you are not going to get more detail with current 1080 material. The picture may look sharper with the smaller pixels, but this will depend on the scaling algorithm.

2. Bigger is better? Sharp Aquos 108-inch wins war of the inches. This is one LARGE LCD screen.

3. A recent survey in the USA claims that more people would rather watch the Super Bowl on an HDTV than actually going to the event in-person.

4. Another study (CTAM 2006) shows consumers are buying “HD-ready” sets without a means to get high-def programming. The study says that about half of HDTV owners don’t know that they need a set-top box or an antenna to get HD programming.

5. SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) inherits the best features of CRT with mini electron guns igniting the phosphors on the display. The latest news could spell trouble with Toshiba breaking up the pact with Canon, leaving it to deal with a violation of licensing agreement. Dead on arrival anyone?

6. LED backlighting for 2007 LCDs. Promises of better contrast and wider colour gamut. We don’t like wide gamuts, we want controllable gamuts.

7. Olevia 747i LCD has a Silicon Optix Realta HQV video processor!!! Also comes with 6500K calibrated colour temperature. Would like to get my hands on one of those.

8. 2007 LCDs will have 120 Hz refresh rates. Most of them will have some sort of motion compensated frame interpolation – creating new frames from thin air – to reduce motion smearing. I didn’t like the initial applications of this tech but it may get better.

9. Apple is trying to conquer internet HD downloads with Apple TV after cornering the music world. But with limited video formats and restriction to i-Tunes, it is not going to be easy.

10. Panasonic announced a prototype 1080p on 42 inch. Traditionally, making plasmas at this size and resolution was difficult because the plasma cells couldn’t be made smaller. Looking forward to it.

11. Super Hi-Vision, also known as Ultra High Definition Video or UHDV and UHD is a digital video format, currently proposed by NHK of Japan. The new format with a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320 pixels. UHDV is so life-like it could cause motion sickness if the camera moves too much.

That’s it for now. I like where we are heading.