HDTVs energy efficiency improvements by 2011

That new HDTV of yours? It may be thin and light and lovely, but it ain’t saving you any money. The state of California knows this and has created new energy efficiency standards applying to any sets sold after January of 2011. The initial regs state a maximum of 1 watt of consumption when “off” and, when on, a maximum of .2 watts per inch of screen area plus an arbitrary 32 watts. Two years later, in 2013, things get even tougher, that formula dropping to .12 per inch with a 25 watt base modifier. There are plenty of TVs that already meet the 2013 criteria, most of them smallish LCDs, so it’s not an impossible dream. The bad news? An inability to sell non-compliant sets in CA could result in lost tax revenue. The good news? Reduced energy bills and a smaller hit to our fragile environment. The really good news? Any set greater than 58-inches is exempt, so go big, broheim.


HDI’s laser-driven 3D HDTV

HDI Ltd. Begins Manufacturing of High-Definition Laser-Driven 2D/3D Televisions
Low-Cost, Extremely Energy Efficient 100-inch Diagonal Displays Fast-Tracked for 2010

October 28, 2009 – Los Gatos, CA – HDI Ltd. announces it has entered into a manufacturing agreement to mass produce their proprietary 100-inch diagonal Laser-Driven 2D/3D Switchable Dynamic Video Projection Televisions. HDI Ltd.’s 2D/3D switchable system delivers a stunningly superior 2D image, with a 50% greater resolution than today’s digital cinemas, and derives its greater-than-high definition stereoscopic 1920 x 1080p “3D” image quality from two RGB laser-illuminated Liquid Crystal on Silcon (LCOS) micro display imagers. At full 1080p HD, the HDI Ltd. screen refreshes at 360 fields per-second on each eye, the fastest refresh rate on any mass produced television or projector.

HDI Ltd. has completely eliminated the adverse effects, such as migraines, dizziness, nausea, and motion sickness, long associated with inferior and expensive shutter glasses and substandard 3D technology. HDI Ltd. delivers the most immersive, comfortable, and natural 3D viewing experience in the world with low-cost and light-weight proprietary polarized glasses. Technology journalist Richard Hart called HDI Ltd.’s picture quality, “the smoothest yet, and smoothness means no headaches,” and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers, stated, “Without a doubt, the best demonstration of 3D technology I have ever seen.”

In addition, HDI Ltd. displays draw 80% less power than existing 2D plasma displays of the same size, offer a 95% reduction in manufacturing pollution, and a 100% reduction in harmful chemicals and radioactive components currently used in existing televisions. At 10-inches thick, HDI’s 100-inch diagonal display weighs 75% less than equivalent Plasma and LCD displays, and is anticipated to have a street price potentially 60% less than current 2D flatscreen Plasma and LCD displays.

HDI’s September 2009 announcement of their potential new standard for switchable 2D/3D television technology came on the same day several major manufactures announced plans to release new energy-guzzling plasma televisions with 3D capabilities via shutter glasses, all of which featured price tags as much as 100% or more than current 2D televisions.

HDI Ltd. quickly caught the interest of the consumer electronics industry and, as reported on Variety.com, top execs, engineers and S3D experts from six of the eight leading television manufactures recently crowded together into HDI Ltd.’s tiny Los Gatos lab to see their prototype 100-inch, rear-projection S3D television.
David Cohen of Variety.com reported, “HDI’s approach shows the promise of laser-driven 3D TV could be a reality surprisingly soon,” and Sean Portnoy of ZDNet said, “We could be looking at a Holy Grail of sorts for the next generation of television.”

According to co-founder Ingemar Jansson, “The first production-run of 100-inch HDI Ltd. 2D/3D switchable displays should quickly put product into a multitude of B2B and public demonstration venues.” He’s mum as to when leading American retailers will be able to put units into homes, but stresses that the simplistic and inexpensive design and manufacturing techniques required to produce HDI Ltd. televisions, “will have product in the marketplace faster than one would expect,” and adds, “either with the HDI logo or that of another leading manufacturer.”

Offering a thought on the fact that California appears poised to be the first state to ban power-guzzling big-screen TVs, Jansson states, “In light of the energy efficient products emerging from companies such as Apple, the lobbying efforts of the Consumer Electronics Association strikes me as almost criminal in promoting antiquated technologies that the ‘Grid,’ and the planet, simply cannot sustain.”

Panasonic Full HD 3D World

The new PDP and glasses evolved from Panasonic’s world-first Full HD 3D Plasma Home Theater System1 that was developed in 2008 and comprised of a 103-inch PDP and a Blu-ray Disc player. The prototype PDP has a 50-inch screen, which is expected to become the most popular size for home theaters.

This 50-inch PDP uses Panasonic’s newly-developed high-speed 3D drive technology that enables rapid illumination of pixels while maintaining brightness. The panel also incorporates a crosstalk reduction technology allowing for minimizing double-image (ghosting) that occurs when left- and right-eye images are alternately displayed. PDPs have excellent video response with full moving picture resolution2. The new panel offers even improved performance, achieving clear, high-quality and high-resolution images in 3D. The high-precision active shutter glasses incorporate Panasonic’s technology that precisely controls the active shutters with the left- and right-eye images shown on the PDP.

All these technologies work in tandem with each other to create Full HD 3D images that deliver an immersive, movie-theater-like experience in which the viewers can feel as if they were part of the scene. They represent Panasonic’s concept of 3D products: “Bringing the movie theater experience into the living rooms.”

Panasonic has been working to develop its original Full HD 3D technology3 to create synergy between PDPs, which excel in moving picture resolution and color reproduction, and Blu-ray Disc players, which are able to faithfully reproduce high quality Hollywood 3D movies. Panasonic continues to work on developing 3D products to allow its customers to enjoy the immersive 3D world in their living rooms, targeting to launch the products in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. in 2010. (Subject to approval of the 3D Expanded Standard.)

Features of Panasonic’s Full HD 3D System

Panasonic’s full HD 3D system uses the full HD x 2 frame sequential method and takes full advantage of the unique properties of the most advanced PDP device such as high-speed illumination and color reproduction to create immersive, true-to-life and high-quality full HD 3D images.

The 3D experience occurs because the left and right eyes recognize different images. In September last year, Panasonic developed the Full HD 3D Plasma Home Theater System, comprised of Blu-ray Discs onto which 3D video consisting of left- and right-sided 1080p full HD images is recorded, a Blu-ray Disc player to play them back, and a PDP display to show them.

Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) image processing occurs on both the left- and right-sided 3D images in every single process – from recording, playback and display. With a special pair of glasses, the viewer is able to experience 3D images formed with twice the volume of information as regular full HD images, and enjoy them together with high-quality surround sound.



3D Home Judgments on the Technology


With the the big 3D push coming in 2010, I planted my eyes on three types of 3D technologies displayed at CEDIA (home theater expo) that you may have in your next TV…and passed some judgments without pulling any punches.

It should be noted, all designs require glasses.

Panasonic’s 3D Plasma Concept
The Tech: Plasma with Active Shutter (alternating left eye, right eye progressive frames)


As a baseline reference to get our bearings, I took yet another look at Panasonic’s 103-inch plasma display that we’ve seen twice before. My original impressions stand. It’s decent—and definitely the best technology of the three that we saw at CEDIA. Why? There’s virtually no flicker in the image because of plasma’s instantaneous response times/ability to push legitimate high frame rates. Plus, it probably helps that we’re talking about a 103-inch display (that has its own trailer). The bigger a 3D display, the better the illusion. But glasses aside, it’s not what I’d deem a perfect experience. You see ghosting around some objects. And…OK, I still can’t ignore the damned glasses. It creates an inherent distance from the image inducing an unintentionally ephemeral viewing experience.

Sony’s LCD Concept
The Tech: 240Hz LCD with Active Shutter (alternating left eye, right eye progressive frames)


Even Panasonic will tell you that 240Hz is the baseline speed needed for an LCD to pull off 3D. But you know what? 240Hz isn’t enough. Watching Pixar’s Up, the color and sharpness are both great, but there’s an absurd level of flicker that’s nominally better than on old timey crank projector. And on this normal-sized LCD, it’s incredibly obvious when 3D objects break the illusion by reaching the TV’s frame. Granted, we’re not talking about a final product here, but the specs seem pretty much identical to what consumers can expect to see in the high-end display market next year.

JVC’s GD-463D10 LCD
The Tech: Polarized filter (two images are interlaced on the screen, each eye sees half the data, glasses don’t need power)


Of the three technologies here, JVC’s is the only final product that’s actually available now. And it costs $9,153. It’s also easily the worst of the three—completely unwatchable, in fact. The interlaced 3D means that the resolution takes a huge hit. But it’s worse than just a 1080i picture. Your brain can almost make out these lines. I could say more about the tech, but I honestly couldn’t stand to look at the screen for more than 10 seconds at once. Oh, and the kicker? For nine thousand bucks, you still only get two pairs of the cheap, polarized glasses. Sorry kids, Mommy and Daddy are watching TV tonight.

There’s no doubt that some home theater enthusiasts will go out and plop down $5k or more on a commercially available 3D display when they enter the TV lines of major manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic in 2010. But I’m hoping, really hoping, that the public can resist the gimmick until the technology is perfected. To me, that means when we don’t need to deal with these silly glasses at all. But for whatever it’s worth, plasma is definitely looking like the clear front runner in execution.


Verdicts in the battle of Plasma vs. LCD vs. OLED.

hasn’t the world pretty much moved beyond rear projection?

This means three HDTV display technologies seem primed to race for all the marbles: plasma, LCD, and OLED.

At this year’s CES, both plasma and LCD have bragging rights to some new-and-improved’s, while OLED is just new and improved in general. So what are their strengths, weaknesses, and likelihood to be the reigning HDTV-display technology?



With OLED (organic light emitting diode), a stack of organic polymers, including both emissive and conductive layers, is deposited on a substrate containing a thin-film transistor (TFT) array. An electrical charge passing between the bottom electrodes and an additional transparent layer on the surface of the display stimulates the emissive organic layer, which in turn creates light.


If you’ve not seen a prototype OLED TV or Sony’s new compact model, it’s hard to fully understand the impact of the picture. I’ll sum it up in one word: contrast — or rather Contrast, with a capital ‘C.’

Like plasma, OLED is a self-emitting display technology that requires no backlight or projection lamp. But unlike most plasmas we’ve seen to date, an OLED doesn’t need to keep its pixel cells partially fired up at all times to be ready to respond to the signal. That’s because OLED cells respond so quickly, they can be fully turned off until needed. Signal response time in an OLED is measured in microseconds (a far cry from the several millisecond response times in today’s LCDs). Bottom line: Blacks on an OLED should be pretty much as black as black can be, which makes for a bright and dynamic picture with depth that has to be seen to be believed. Add to this a wafer-thin form factor that will have your interior designer drooling, and you can make a good case that OLED is the future of HDTV.  At its core, the manufacturing process is simpler than LCD or plasma, which could eventually make OLED the most economical display type. OLEDs also promise dramatically reduced power consumption, and much faster screen response times than either LCD or plasma. With a depth of only a few millimeters, OLED is by far the thinnest display technology available — its ultra-slim form factor makes it akin to an architectural element like glass or mirror. Also, variations on the technology, such as transparent OLED, hold the promise of cool, futuristic stuff like video displays that transform into a window-like surfaces when switched off. Other OLED benefits include punchy contrast and color, wide viewing angle (a characteristic it shares with plasma technology), and low power consumption.

How about ridiculously expensive and prohibitively small, for starters. I’ve not seen an OLED prototype from any manufacturer beyond 31 inches diagonal, and the only commercially available product right now — Sony’s XEL-1 — measures a mere 11 inches and costs $2,499! I suppose you have to start somewhere, but I wouldn’t anticipate big, affordable OLEDs anytime soon. While the XEL-1’s $2,500 price tag will limit its appeal for now and manufacturing OLEDs involves several patented technologies, which might require costly license fees. Still, large-scale production could eventually lead to OLED displays actually costing less to build than their LCD and plasma counterparts. Whereas plasma and LCD are both mature technologies snagging sizeable chunks of the current TV market, OLED technology has barely busted out of the lab. OLED displays can be found in digital cameras, GPS units, and portable media players, but the only consumer OLED display you can buy today is an 11-inch monitor from Sony that costs $2,500 — about the same as an average 52-inch LCD or plasma TV! Two reasons why OLED manufacturing lags behind the other flat-panel options are low yield (only a small number of panels actually make it past the quality-control stage) and differential aging (the blue pixels in an OLED display tend to lose brightness at a faster rate than red and green ones, which means OLED TVs have a limited lifespan compared to LCD and plasma — technologies spec’d to last two decades or more).

Great promise, and probably the eventual winner in the HDTV technology sweeps, once sizes grow and prices drop. But recent advances in plasma and that technology’s cost-size advantages in today’s world (see below) could give OLED a serious contender for the long term, at least in picture quality. And LCD has heavy market forces behind it. Despite its modest size, Sony’s 11-inch XEL-1 could be the start of something really big. OLEDs redefine how thin a display can be, and their low power consumption will be a clear plus point in an increasingly green conscious world. A critical assessment of OLED’s performance potential will have to wait until we get one into our testing facility. Until OLED’s technical issues get ironed out, it will continue to be aimed at the portable electronics, as opposed to home theater, market. But once its hurdles are overcome (and you can be sure TV makers are working feverishly on it), OLED’s wafer-thin form factor and crisp, punchy picture quality will likely let it trounce competing flat-panel technologies. Plasma and LCD are hereby put on notice.


Employs an enormous array of tiny cells of ionized gas (plasma), which activates each cell’s colored phosphor.


Plasma sales have been fading as of late against the LCD jauggernaut, but it’s not due to lack of image quality. Of course, this has to be qualified: When I talk about plasma HDTVs these days, I refer primarily to those coming from Pioneer — a company whose current sets are so far above the competition, they clearly define the state of the art.

That said, Pioneer continues to vastly reduce — and promises now to eliminate — the aforementioned “idle brightness” that keeps plasmas from delivering totally black blacks. The most talked about demo at this year’s CES, by far, was of Pioneer’s prototype ultra-black panel offered as proof-of-concept, followed by the company’s 9mm wafer-thin prototype. Pioneer says it will bring out TVs that combine both features, probably within a couple years. If they can, there may be life yet in this old dog, even in the face of OLEDs slow march to presumed dominance. Plasma displays continue to define picture quality standards, especially when it comes to darker images and shadow detail. The best examples can deliver a sense of color accuracy and consistent screen brightness from corner to corner that LCDs have a hard time matching. As Sound & Vision’s recent Plasma vs. LCD TV comparison test made clear, plasma still retains a distinct performance edge over LCD. Picture contrast, screen and grayscale uniformity, viewing angle — plasma TVs consistently rate better than LCD on all these key parameters. So for the foreseeable future, I will continue to nudge quality-conscious consumers seeking a new flat-panel set toward plasma.

Heavy and power-hungry come to mind, though it remains to be seen if a super-thin plasma will still carry a big weight. And truth be told, image burn-in will always remain at least a mild concern with plasma TVs despite advances in this area. Manufacturing a display with cells small enough to deliver the 1920 x 1080 “Full HD” resolution demanded by many specification-driven customers can be costly. Power consumption has been improving with each generation, but still lags behind LCD displays. Plasmas tend to look less punchy than LCDs in a brightly lit environment. For a given size, plasma sets are usually deeper and heavier than an LCD.  While plasma offers a lot to satisfy demanding videophiles, those with more general viewing habits may find fault with the technology. Although the plasma “burn-in” issue has been seriously over-hyped by misguided sales folk, it’s true you can potentially damage a plasma TV if you use it mostly to play videogames or continuously watch channels like Bloomberg TV (that are crammed with static onscreen graphics) with the contrast and brightness settings cranked up.

Today’s best flat-panel images come from today’s best plasmas, and it remains an evolving technology from which the best is yet to come. Unfortunately, though, recent plasma advances may simply be too little, too late. I won’t fully discount it yet, but beyond the most demanding consumers willing to pay top prices, plasma is likely to cede the market to LCD.  Plasma continues to rule the roost in the 50-inch-and-up category, and remains the technology of choice for many videophiles. Early generation concerns regarding burn-in and panel life are now largely solved. When used in a controlled home theater environment, plasma delivers superior picture quality over competing flat-panel technologies. For the most part that’s something that won’t change dramatically. But unless plasma-makers manage to successfully reduce panel depth (Pioneer displayed a [3/4]-inch deep prototype model at the recent CES, indicating that progress is being made in that area), it may have a tough time going forward as new technologies like OLED shift into the big-screen TV marketplace.


A matrix of thin-film transistors applies voltage to liquid crystal-filled cells sandwiched between two sheets of glass. When hit with an electrical charge, the crystals “untwist” to filter light coming from behind the cells. Each pixel comprises a red, green, and blue cell.


Image quality is advancing rapidly among LCD flat-panels lately, especially with the advent of LED-array backlights that can dim “locally” behind dark areas of the screen to achieve deeper blacks. Response time, color accuracy, picture uniformity (the ability to deliver consistent brightness and color across the screen), and horizontal viewing windows have (for the most part) also improved notably in the latest generation of sets. But the biggest thing LCD may have going for it is that manufacturers are banking on it as the future of mass market television, and have invested mountains of cash in new automated plants that will drive volume up and prices down. LCD boasts the widest range of screen sizes, from compact tabletop 13-inchers, to 65-inch-plus room fillers. 1080p resolution is common even in mid-sized models, though the benefits of 1080p with screens under 50 inches are debatable. Most LCDs have matte screen surfaces that are less susceptible to reflections in a brightly lit room, and power consumption is typically less than similarly sized plasmas. LCD picture quality has undoubtedly come a long way in the past year. When you combine that development with the reasonable prices LCD sets command, the technology’s broad appeal is understandable.

LCD is also the bright-room TV champ, edging out plasma by a nose when it comes to retaining picture contrast in well-illuminated spaces. And with new developments like LED-backlit LCD panels and ultra-fast refresh rates (180 Hz prototype models were shown at this year’s CES), picture performance just keeps getting better and better. Going forward, we’ll also see a shrinking of LCD cabinet depth: Hitachi just introduced a series of 1 1/2-inch deep models at CES, and it also displayed an even thinner 3/4-inch prototype with a 32-inch screen.

Despite the new backlight technologies, LCD’s blackest blacks remain a notch below the best plasmas or any OLED, so it can’t quite equal those technologies in contrast and image depth. Narrow viewing angles on some models can also still be a problem in rooms with a broad swath of seating, though the best LCDs in this regard have very wide viewing windows. Many LCDs lose contrast when you’re seated off-axis. While prices are competitive in the 47-inch-and-under range, larger LCDs tend to cost more than equivalent plasmas. Some models are susceptible to motion blur and judder. LCD is currently riding the marketplace popularity wave, but its long-range prospects could be limited. That’s because, unlike self-emissive technologies like plasma and LCD that generate their own luminance, LCD display require a backlight. As Hitachi’s engineers demonstrated at CES, that backlight can be squeezed into a strikingly thin, 3/4-inch deep frame. But I can’t imagine LCD sets ever getting much thinner than that.

With plasma strong technically but fading in the market, and OLED still really a gleam in our collective eye, we can probably count on LCD to eventually take over as the volume leader for HDTV sales. LCDs sales dominance has been marching steadily up through the size ranges, and they now control most of the market below 50 inches. Their bright and punchy picture is a real asset on a brightly lit sales floor, even if that doesn’t always translate to a better picture in the typical home environment. We’ll be watching to see whether OLED can become a serious challenger. LCD delivers a one-two punch of solid picture performance and affordable price. For those reasons alone, LCD TVs are going to find their way into millions of homes over the next few years. But as other technologies — most notably OLED — manage to grow their screen sizes while retaining a wafer-thin form factor, LCD may ultimately get displaced — much in the same way current flat-panel TVs consigned bulky CRT models to the consumer electronics landfill.


Difference between 1080i and 1080p

While high definition has become a reality for many consumers, the technical jargon associated with this exiting new technology is causing much confusion. Just as we were beginning to understand the differences between Blu-ray and HD DVD along comes a new high-definition format, 1080p.

But why do we need another high-definition format anyway? Many of us have bought our HD Ready screens and were ready to sit back and enjoy this new viewing experience, but now we are all wondering if we bought the right kit in the first place.

Many of the more recent HD Ready flat screens feature a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. This will display the commonly used 720p and 1080i formats, although 1080i/1080p signals will be downscaled to fit. To display 1080i/1080p signals in their entirety, you’ll need a screen with a resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels, coined ‘Full HD’ by the marketing men.

However, just because a screen has 1,920×1,080-pixels it does not necessarily mean that it will accept 1080p input – so check before you buy.

Remember, 720p, 1080i, 1080p are formats in which ‘Sources’ of high definition content are presented for viewing on a particular output device such as your LCD/Plasma screen. The source could originate from your TV cable provider for example, or your xbox 360. To restate the point, 1080i/1080p needs a screen resolution of 1,920×1,080-pixels to display in its entirity, but you don’t have to have a screen with this resolution to display a 1080i/1080p signal – lower resolution screens downscale the signal to fit.

Taking a step back, 720p and 1080i were initially set out as the two key standards for High Definition content, with Sky HD, HD DVD and the Xbox 360 supporting these formats. Any TV that supports 720p and 1080i is classed as HD Ready. Let’s take a step back for a moment and take a quick look at the development of TV technology to see how we arrived at these standards.

In a CRT display (the TV you grew up with), a stream of electrons is generated by a gun, and is scanned across the face of the tube in scan lines, left to right and top to bottom. The face is coated in phosphors, which glow when hit by the electron stream. A method of scanning was required that would reduce the transmitted TV picture’s bandwidth and work in accordance with the electricity supply frequency (50Hz in the UK and Europe and 60Hz in the US). The result was interlaced scanning.

A method of reducing bandwidth was required because early sets were not able to draw the whole picture on screen before the top of the picture began to fade, resulting in a picture of uneven brightness and intensity. To overcome this, the screen was split in half with only half the lines (each alternate line) being refreshed each cycle. Hence, the signal is interlaced to deliver a full screen refresh every second cycle. So if the interlace signal refreshes half the lines on a screen 50 times per second this results in a full screen (or frame) refresh rate of 25 times per second. The problem with interlacing is the distortion when an image moves quickly between the odd and even lines as only one set of lines is ever being refreshed.

As TV screen technologies have progressed another system called Progressive Scan has also been developed. With progressive scanning the frames are not split into two fields of odd and even lines. Instead, all of the image scan lines are drawn in one go from top to bottom. This method is sometimes referred to as ’sequential scanning’ or ‘non-interlaced’. The fact that frames are shown as a whole makes it similar in principle to the way film is shown at the cinema.

At this point it is worth considering what we mean by resolution in relation to TVs;

Resolution: HD-Ready TVs need to be able to display pictures at the resolution set by the new standard. Resolution can be described either in terms of “lines of resolution,” or pixels. The resolution you see on your TV depends on two factors, namely the resolution of your display and the resolution of the video signal you receive. Because video images are always rectangular in shape, there is both horizontal resolution and vertical resolution to consider.

Vertical resolution: This is the number of horizontal lines that can be resolved in an image from top to bottom. The old familiar CRT TV displays 576 lines, while Digital HD television operates at a resolution of either 720 or 1080 lines. This is the most important resolution as it is most noticeable to the human eye.

Horizontal resolution: This is the number of vertical lines that can be resolved from one side of an image to the other. Horizontal resolution varies depending on the source. The number of horizontal pixels is not quite so critical as vertical resolution as it is not as obvious to the human eye during normal viewing.

An analogue TV signal in Europe, where the PAL standard is used, has 625 horizontal lines of which 576 lines are displayed and the image (or frame) is refreshed 25 times a second. This is the standard we have been used to for years.

A High Definition Digital TV signal delivers significantly more picture detail and audio quality than a standard signal, producing pictures that are significantly better, sharper and clearer;

720p: 1,280×720 pixel resolution. High-definition picture that is displayed progressively. Each line is displayed on the screen simultaneously, therefore it is smoother than an interlaced picture.

1080i: 1,920×1,080 pixel resolution. High-definition picture that is displayed interlaced. Each odd line of the picture is displayed, followed by each even line, and the resulting image is not as smooth as a progressive feed. 1080i is therefore a more detailed picture suited to documentaries and wildlife footage, but less suitable for action-oriented material such as sports and movies.

1080p: 1,920×1,080 pixel resolution. High-definition picture that is displayed progressively. Each line is displayed on the screen simultaneously, therefore it is smoother than an interlaced picture. This is the ultimate high-definition standard — the most detailed picture, displayed progressively.

There are two main formats for HDTV, namely 720p (i.e. a 720 line picture progressively scanned 50 times a second) and 1080i (1080 lines interlaced at 50 cycles per second). The picture resolution of a high definition digital TV is about 4 times greater than a typical 576 line TV picture.

not having a screen which is able to display 1080p may not be important to you. However, there are exceptions, and if you are a serious game player you will probably already know one of them, or to be precise two of them. The xbox360(with a little tweak) and the  playstation 3 produce output at 1080p. Also, the new High Definition DVD format, blu-ray has also been designed for 1080p ouput. Is the difference worth the extra investment? Maybe, something you will have to judge for yourselves …



HDMI Type D (Micro) connector

Molex Inc. has introduced the next generation HDMI* Type D (Micro) connector, recently announced by the HDMI Licensing Committee, to meet the digital interface requirements of consumer electronic products.


The HDMI Type D (Micro) connector is the industry’s first miniaturised connector solution for delivering high definition video and images from mobile devices to flat panel screens. The connector, which meets all the electrical and mechanical specifications of the HDMI Specification 1.4, will provide significant benefits to the digital still camera and mobile device markets.

The HDMI Type D connector standard was developed by the HDMI Consortium.  As an integral part of this team for the HDMI Type D concept, Molex was responsible for proposing the connector design and connector specification.

“The new HDMI Type D Micro Connector is designed to meet the needs of portable devices by providing these products with a fully functioning, smaller 19-pin connector.  We are pleased to see companies like Molex leading the way by providing the market with these new, innovative HDMI solutions,” says Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC.

The new Type D (Micro) connector is abouthalf the size of the current Type C (Mini)HDMI connector on the market today. Despite its smaller size, the new Type D version delivers equivalent mechanical strength and electrical characteristics.  Mobile phone and consumer manufacturers have expressed strong interest in this new technology that will enable users to display higher definition video, photos and other content from their mobile devices onto full-size flat panel TV screens.

“In addition to our recent Emmy® Award win for the HDMI Type A connector, our next generation Type D connector is further evidence of Molex’s leadership in innovative I/O technology development,” said Scott Sommers, group manager, new product development, Molex Incorporated.  “Molex continues to drive market innovation with the world’s smallest I/O connector, providing consumers with higher definition video and images.”


What’s the best plasma to pick up in 2009?


We’re not going to pretend this question hasn’t been asked before, but it’s a new year and there’s a few new competitors for the plasma throne. Looks like our friend Akshay was all about LCDs until checking out this article, and now he’s ready to look at plasma for his next flat panel HDTV. The only question is, which one? The Panasonic G10 or V10 series? Find a Kuro on closeout? We’ll let him set the mood:

“Ok, now to the main point – I’m looking to buy a HDTV. I have been trying to read reviews online and have been stuck with the basics — Plasma or LCD. I was going through some Engadget HD archives when I found this article and decided to ask for some advice from the experts. I was leaning a bit towards LCD, especially the Samsung lineup interests me a lot. Then I read an article which easily proved that Plasma is somewhat a notch higher than LCD even though its phasing out.

Ever since I read this, I’m wondering which technology to opt for, given all the factors including picture quality, viewing angles, pricing, marketing gimmicks, etc. If I were to go with Panasonic, which model would be a really good one? My budget is around $1700 (LCD or Plasma). Any lil bit of help/advice from your team would be highly appreciated as I really respect what and how you guys manage engadget! I’m looking to buy it in Aug end/Sept time frame.”

We know at least a few plasma TV owners are reading this, reach out via the comments and let us know which one will fit Akshay’s budget best.