Sharp may look like it’s in trouble, but that’s not stopping it bringing new displays to the market, including today’s announcement of the AQUOS Quattron 3D XL TV line. Behind the mouthful of acronyms, these LED-backlit LCD panels are the first to feature Sharp’s Moth-Eye technology, designed to reduce glare and pump out bright colors, as well as a deep black. The company’s ‘four primary color’ tech is partly responsible for the rich output, which squeezes a yellow sub-pixel in with the standard R, G and B. All the panels run at 1,920 x 1,080, as you’d expect, sport a 10 million to 1 contrast ratio and use five speakers to deliver audio. Prices aren’t fixed, but the 46-, 52- and 80-inch models will be released in Japan on December 15th, while the 60- and 70-inch variants will come slightly earlier, on November 30th. You’re going to have to be quick on launch day, though — only 10,000 units are expected to be available in the first month.
LG Electronics has reported its earnings for Q3 2012, notching its third straight quarter of positive income with a net profit of 157 billion won ($138.57 million) and “solid” performances from its home theater and mobile businesses. Revenue is down from the same period last year, but seeing as it’s actually making money this time around it’s probably still reason to celebrate. On the mobile side of the aisle it reports an operating profit of $19.42 million with slightly higher sales than Q2, mostly thanks to those LTE smartphones it’s been rolling out. Its home entertainment biz noted a rise in LCD sales, with 3D TVs and LED-lit models growing from last quarter in most markets. Looking towards the future it’s obviously going all-in on the Optimus G (although our interests run towards the Nexus G that should debut next week), and also looks for its Ultra HD television to raise its standing as a premium brand.
Here’s yet another 84-inch 4K TV, this time from LG. The company’s 84LM9600 was announced last week and has already started shipping in Korea, but it’s here at IFA and poised to hit the market worldwide. Priced at about $22,105, this display is big in every way. You get a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 — four times the resolution of existing full HD panels — and what LG calls “3D sound” thanks to 2.2 integrated channel speakers. 3D is courtesy of the company’s passive glasses technology. So how does that all look?
We spotted the set during LG’s booth tour today. At first it seemed like “just another” 84-inch 4K TV (the form-factor seems to have exploded within the last week), but this flavor is rigged for three-dimensional viewing as well. You’ll need to view 2D content in order to take advantage of the full resolution, and the picture in this mode seemed to be on par with the competition, based on our quick peek at IFA. And how about 3D? The passive picture was consistent with the company’s other sets, just, well, much much larger. Will you be making room for this massive set in your living room? You might want to take a closer look in our hands-on photos below before pulling out that credit card.
Just in time to completely blow away that puny flat screen you nabbed for your dorm room, LG has announced its 84-inch ultra high definition LCD TV is ready to ship in South Korea. The company put its first UHDTV up for pre-ordering last month, at a price of 25 million won, which currently converts to about $22,105 US. The 84LM9600 does 3D with LG’s Cinema 3D passive glasses technology, however its ultra high pixel count means you’re still watching in 1080p even with the resolution loss since it starts at 3,840 x 2,160, and also features “3D sound” with integrated 2.2 channel speakers.
The bad news of course is that finding actual 4K res content is practically impossible, despite recent work on standards and even some testing by broadcasters. Still, plug this into a BDP-S790 Blu-ray player, certain PS3 apps or just output the latest video you’ve shot and it should be worth the price of admission, assuming you’re one of the (presumably) well-heeled Korean VIP customers that managed to snag one so far. If you’re not then don’t worry — the press release (included after the break) reveals you’ll have your chance once they start shipping worldwide in September, we plan to get our eyes on a production model at IFA 2012 in Germany.
Back in late November last year, Lenovo’s Chinese folks teased a certain IdeaTV or LeTV for launch this year, and now we finally get to see it in its full glory. Dubbed the K91, we’re looking at a 55-inch IPS 3D HDTV running Android Ice Cream Sandwich (a first for smart TVs, yet not quite a Google TV), and inside it sits a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon APQ8060. Dig a little deeper and you’ll also find 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage, SD card expansion, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10M/100M Ethernet, HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity (which is much needed for an external hard drive to store video content). As you can see in the pictures, the K91 will come with some Lenovo cloud services, including an app store (but the TV will have over 100 apps preloaded, anyway) and video-on-demand, along with voice control and facial recognition (mainly for child lock, we presume) using its five-megapixel webcam. As always, we’ll get back to you as soon as we get information on dates and prices.
LG let us know at CES 2011 that it had 4K LCD televisions in the pipeline, but unfortunately they didn’t make it out this year. Expect for that to change in 2012, as the company just announced it’s bringing an 84-inch “ultra definition” (3840×2160) TV to Las Vegas to go along with its 55-inch OLED. It has all of LG’s Cinema 3D and Smart TV features built-in, including support for that upgraded Magic Motion remote and voice control. There’s no official word yet on when we’ll see these on shelves or at what price, but it certainly looks production ready compared to other prototypes that have been displayed over the years. While we don’t have easy sources of 4K-res video content yet, one of the reasons LG is making the jump first is for 3D. Its Cinema 3D tech uses a Film Pattern Retarder (FPR) screen and passive glasses that result in lowered resolution, but with those extra pixels there’s no question about whether viewers are still getting at least an HD picture. So far 4K at home is the domain of Sony and JVC’s high-priced projectors, but we’ll see if any other companies (we’ll check off Toshiba right now) show off upgrades in size and resolution of their HDTVs this year. Check the press release after the break for a few more details.
LG’s FPR 3DTVs already featured lighter, cheaper passive 3D glasses than their active shutter competition, but next year the company will push its advantage even further with these new models. The three options available include the F310 (at right, above) which it says weighs 20 percent less than last year’s default and are curved more for a better fit, the F320 (left) clip-on design for glasses-wearers and Alain Mikli-designed (the guy who made Kanye’s shutter shades, among other high-end eyeglasses) F360 half-rim frames (middle). It also rolled out a press release trumpeting new Smart TV features for 2012, but beyond the updated remote and confirmation of Intel WiDi integration, it’s pretty short on details. We’re not seeing any Google TV tie-ins here, LG is focusing on its homegrown ecosystem which it says now offers 1,200 apps (of course, that probably includes the thousand or so recently added via its deal with Chumby). There’s no word on pricing for the glasses, but after this and announcing a 55-inch OLED prototype, we’re wondering what else the Lucky Goldstar folks will have up their sleeves at CES.
Toshiba is finally ready to bring its 55-inch, 4K res 3DTV home in Japan, and buyers will have their first chance to part with 900,000 yen ($11,578 US) on December 10th. The 55X3 (ZL2 in Europe) still doesn’t have a North American ship date, but we can still drool over its high res display and autostereoscopic (no glasses) 3D screen that adjusts for its viewers’ location based on face tracking technology, although that results in a resolution drop down to 720p. Our last time getting eyes-on with a prototype panelwas at CES and we probably won’t see it again until we’re back in Las Vegas in a few weeks, let’s hope all that CEVO Engine technology Toshiba’s plugged in for image processing makes it worth the wait… and the price.
While LG’s 2011 HDTV lineup has been largely a success so far — we found a lot to like in the LW5600 we reviewed and quarterly earnings seem to justify its 3D and LED technology — some wouldn’t be satisfied without an LED backlit (rather than edge lit) option. That issue is solved now with the new LW9800 series, shown off here in Korea as the LW980S. Announced in two sizes, 55- and 47-inches, both feature “Nano LED” local dimming with as many as 2,300 sources in the larger one and 480Hz motion technology. They also include other LG standard features like Cinema 3D, Magic Motion gesture remote control and its Smart TV menus as well as built-in WiFi, but the big draw here is the deep blacks and a claim of the industry’s highest 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Check the press release after the break for a few more details while we wait to get our eyes on the new models in September at IFA 2011.
We knew you were dying to know what Sony was planning with those stereoscopic multiplayer display patents last year, so we took a look at Sony’s new PlayStation-branded 3D display, just for you. True to its schtick, the stereoscopic display simultaneously displays two separate full screen images, hidden behind the smoke and mirrors of active shutter 3D technology — while suffering only a minimal amount of ghosting. The dual-full-screen trick will only work with PlayStation 3 games specifically programmed to make use of the feature, and although none have been announced yet, we wouldn’t be surprised if pack-in title Resistance 3 is compatible. Staff couldn’t say if the games featured in the demo video, Motorstorm Apocalypse and Wipeout, would be updated to support this feature. While the demo units we saw performed their trick reasonably well, visible ghosting and flat, muted colors give us some reservations about that competitive $499 price tag.
Jack Tretton just announced PS3 gamers can get into the 3D game for much less this fall when the company launches a 24-inch monitor and active shutter LCD glasses under the PlayStation brand. $499 gets the monitor, a pair of glasses, an HDMI cable and a copy of Resistance, while additional pairs of glasses — which are compatible with TVs from other manufacturers and can be used to give two split-screen gamers their own full screen view — are $69. That’s a competitive package to be sure, but many will likely still need to be convinced slipping on the specs is worthwhile, and competitors like Vizio are slipping passive 3D glasses TVs in with similar price points and similar features.
Update: Sony has issued a press release (included after the break) with full specs: it’s a 1080p edge LED lit LCD with two HDMI inputs, stereo speakers, an integrated subwoofer and claims to be the first display at this size with “quad speed frame sequential display technology”. The glasses charge via USB and will be available at the same time as the screen this fall.
Other manufacturers may say they’re living large with their latest HDTVs, but Mitsubishi’s “Go Big” slogan is supported by the biggest displays available for 2011. It’s finally revealed details on the models, with new features including a clearer screen and 16 speaker soundbar with support for a wireless subwoofer on its top of the line 840-series that includes the 92-inch model (pictured above) we saw at CES. The other big addition for 2011 is support for Mitsubishi’s iOS remote control app in the LaserVue TV as well as the 740 and 840 series DLPs. If you don’t need those features, a built in IR emitter for 3D glasses or Stream TV Vudu Apps then look at the lower end 640-series rear projection sets. Still, no matter what the trim level, the new Mitsubishi is strictly a 73-inch and over TV manufacturer so it’s definitely going to be big, whether it’s the 840 series that ships in July or any of the other models that will be available this month. Specs and MSRPs are in the press release after the break, from the 73-inch 640 series for $1,599 all the way up to the $5,999 92-inch.
Remember Dimenco? A four-man splinter group of former Philips employees, the company has been hard at work refining its glasses-free 3D display tech and today some of the earliest fruit of its labor is going on sale. Nissho Electronics in Japan is beginning sales of a 52-inch LCD panel that can pump out full 1080p of 3D vision without requiring any headgear from the viewer. Initially, this big lenticular display will target businesses, who’ll be among the few to be able to afford the ¥1.7 million ($20,820) asking price. Other specs include a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response time, 700 nits of brightness, and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 3D on this TV is actually described as a unique “2D + depth” implementation, which can also be used to convert 2D images in real time. Great, now take a zero out of that price, ship it westwards, and watch the sales really take off.
While strolling around Shenzhen earlier today, we decided to stop by at the China Optoelectronics Display Expo to feast our eyes on AUO’s “world’s largest” 71-inch 21:9 3D LCD panel. Phew, what a mouthful, but this 240Hz ultrawidescreen is indeed larger than the sub-60-inch offerings from Vizio, JVC, and Philips. But is it any good? We put on our passive 3D glasses and found the experience to be surprisingly comfortable and effective (even at about 40 degrees from the center before we hit the wall), though the glossy screen’s reflection of the neighboring booth was slightly off-putting. This would probably be less of a problem at your humble abode, anyhow.
In terms of availability, AUO told us that China-based TCL will be the first to pick up this beast of a panel, and the final product should be out in August. Apart from that, we couldn’t squeeze out further info about other brands, so you best be writing to your nearest dealership to import this exotic cinema TV. More eyes-on pics in the gallery below.
Following its pledge to make 3D TV experience more affordable, Samsung’s just announced a price drop on the rest of its active shutter glasses lineup. As you probably already know, the entry-level SSG-3100GB went from $129.99 down to just $49.99 last month; and now we have the better-looking SSG-3300CR plus SSG-3300GR reduced by $50 down to $129.99, along with the swanky SSG-3700CR (pictured above) getting a $70 discount to just $149.99. Of course, these premium spectacles are still far from affordable compared to their passive counterparts, so it’ll be interesting to see if Samsung’s attempt to lure more 3D viewers will work at all. Ultimately though, we’d love to see other manufacturers follow suit — bring on the 3D price war!
Toshiba’s focus at CES was glasses free 3D displays, but it highlighted more conventional HDTVs today at an event in Rome. Its new TVs and laptops all tie in to Toshiba Places, which sorts out access to different types of apps for video, social networking, music and other areas and is ready to launch this month. Separating Toshiba from the competition is a slew of new technology and the top of the line 55ZL1 model checks all the boxes: Seven core CEVO CPU for image processing, a Pro-LED512 panel that is the world’s first with 512 zones of dimming among 3,072 LEDs, Personal-TV facial recognition that picks up on which user is watching then personalizes to their preferred settings and active shutter 3D glasses.
The edge lit LED VL863 series will come in 47- and 42-inch versions featuring LG’s FPR passive glasses 3D and four pairs of glasses, while the 32- through 46-inch UL863 drops 3D for built-in WiFi and Personal-TV. The SL863 series is the final step down, nixing built-in WiFi. Prices weren’t listed but the new models should be shipping soon, until then you can find more details in the press releases linked below — no word on the US-bound models yet.
It’s coming a little late in the game since many of these models have already started shipping, but Samsung has finally seen fit to reveal prices and approximate shipping dates for its 2011 HDTVs (both LCD and plasma), Blu-ray players, and home theater in a box systems. There’s no surprises as far as features from what we saw at CES, both plasma and LCD HDTV lines have new slim bezeled models, with new LED lighting tech for the LCDs and “Real Black” panels for the plasmas that have grown an inch in size this year. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray players have predictably gotten slimmer and faster, booting up in just three seconds. 3D and Smart TV features are standard on the majority of the new products this time around, check after the break for more details on what’s new and how much they’ll cost to start out.
Samsung's QWERTY flip Smart TV remote is official along with new TV apps and Megamind Blu-ray 3D pack-in (updated: hands-on!)
Samsung’s 2011 product showcase is underway in New York City and while most of these products we got a peek at during CES, it’s only finally ready to show off the new QWERTY flip remote for its smart TVs. The QWERTY TV remote is looking a lot sleeker in its glamour shot than it did in the FCC tests weeks ago, and is available in the box with all D7000 and D8000 model HDTVs, or as an add-on compatible with the D6300 line and above (no mention of the Smart Touch remote or Google TV devices in the press release we received.) Samsung’s also putting a lot of stock in its new lighter 3D glasses and officially announced the new 3D Starter Kit that includes two pairs along with a copy of Megamind and all the Shrek movies on Blu-ray 3D, along with prescription-ready models for kids and adults. Finally, an app market is nothing without apps, and there’s two new ones to announce today with HBO GO making its debut on the TV and MTV Music Meter. Check the details (Update: now including MSRPs!) in the press release after the break and the gallery for a few pictures.
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Samsung’s promised 3D video streaming service has gotten the official go-ahead in the company’s home nation today, bringing to fruition a content partnership with DreamWorks Animation and breathing new life into many 3DTV sets. The machine-translated press release isn’t entirely lucid on what content will be provided when, but it looks like movie trailers, music videos and children’s education films will start things off, before full-length features and more are added later on. All the new on-demand media will be accessible via the 3D application on Samsung’s Smart TV platform. The United States and Europe are next on Sammy’s roadmap for this VOD rollout, but don’t fret if yo live elsewhere, the service will be available all around the world in due course.