Spring is normally the season for product introduction, and this Spring is no different. This past week alone Samsung and Westinghouse Digital launched their new 2007 TV line. As well, Onkyo started shipping its first A/V Receivers that feature HDMI 1.3a bringing their audio products firmly into the high-definition TV universe. While Denon had originally announced HDMI-enabled 1.3 A/V Receiver late last Fall, those models have not shipped as yet. By using HDMI 1.3a, the new Onkyo A/V Receivers are capable of receiving and decoding Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
At the beginning of the week, Luminus Devices, Inc. announced that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has begun shipping its new 6-model line of Slim Depth LED Engine Widescreen DLP HDTVs with 1080p resolution, which feature Luminus' patented PhlatLight LED technology. The new models are illuminated using a single PhlatLight PT120 chipset, which was specifically designed and optimized for use with the Texas Instruments xHD5 1080p DLP chipset. The PT120's red, green and blue LEDs combine to produce pure, accurate sequential colored light and cycle at 2.9 KHz, 48 times faster than traditional television frame rates, creating a smooth, stable color and superior motion quality. PhlatLight LED technology is a high-powered, energy-efficient LED illumination used in place of a UHP or arc lamp, the traditional light source found in most projection TVs, and eliminates the color wheel entirely. Reportedly, televisions powered by PhlatLight technology produce 40 percent more color than traditional lamp-based TVs due to the technology's unique ability to individually create pure, primary colors. Besides the six Slim Depth LED-based DLP HDTVs, Samsung also introduced 11 additional DLP sets for 2007. All new models for 2007 feature reduced depth cabinetry, and all but 4 models include 1080p screen resolution. DLP rear projection HDTV screen sizes range from 50-inches to 61-inches.
In terms of LCD TVs for 2007, Samsung introduced a total of 17 new models ranging in screen sizes from 19-inches to 52-inches. All models feature a built-in ATSC tuner, and offer side AV inputs for added convenience. Several models feature a 178-degree viewing angle panel and an 8,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for a true cinematic HDTV picture. Samsung's new wide color mapping algorithm optimizes a color's hue to that of the NTSC standard, resulting in more natural colors. Larger-screen models also include three HDMI-CEC connections and USB 2.0 make it easy to connect to the entire range of digital peripheral devices and the unique swivel stand lets users adjust the viewing angle to suit their needs. Samsung's newest premium LCD TVs (40-, 46-, and 52-inches) offer higher picture quality and new advanced features, including full 1080p high-definition (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) resolution, compared to the standard high-definition specification of 1,366 by 768 pixels. Reportedly, Samsung's enhanced picture clarity by combining its proprietary Digital Natural Image Engine (DNIe) video processing with a new super clear panel to deliver a 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and truer, more lifelike black tones for superior picture quality.
Samsung is also offering 4 new plasma HDTVs for 2007, of which 2 are 1080p models. Samsung's first plasma models with full HD 1080p resolution, and are available in 50-inch and 58-inch screen sizes. The 1080p models include Natural True Color with advanced 18-bit processing, 15000:1 contrast ratio, and Ultra FilterBright Technology. At the same time, the models include the company's TrueWide "invisible side speaker" cabinetry design. Samsung has also adopted an innovative new Auto Wall Mount system for select 2007 plasma (42- and 50-inch) and LCD (40-, 46- and 52-inch) HDTVs. The system allows users to adjust the angle of the TV using a remote control. The display can be tilted from 15- to 20-degrees in multiple directions and a safety sensor prevents the TV from touching the wall or anything that may interfere with the display while in motion
Lastly, Samsung is shipping its 2nd generation Blu-ray Disc player. The BD-P1200 features 24 movie frames per second playback capability. Most movies are filmed at 24 frames per second, and now some Blu-ray discs have the capability of playing back at this frame rate. Setting the Movie Frame (24Fs) feature to ON allows the consumer to adjust the BD-P1200's HDMI 1.3 output to 24 frames per second for picture quality to match that of a theater experience. The 24Fs feature can only be turned on in 1080i or 1080p HDMI output resolution modes. A key new feature is the BD-P1200 is the Silicon Optix Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) processor, offers true 1080i to 1080p HD de-interlacing, so it can deliver the best HD images possible — even from non-Blu-ray disc formats.
Following the Samsung introduction this week, Westinghouse Digital launched their 2007 line of HDTVs, LCD HDVT/DVD Combos, smaller LCD HDTVs, and computer monitors. The highlight of the Westinghouse introductions their new line of 1080p LCD HDTV's, the TX Series. The Westinghouse 1080p TX TVs are available in 42-in., 47-in. and 52-in. screen sizes, and include an ATSC video processing platform that utilizes a new chipset that offers images without the artifacts and noise. The TX TVs incorporate the latest Westinghouse proprietary technologies such as: 1080Pure offering 1080p resolution out of all HD connectors; SpineDesign intelligent cable access; DayBright panel technology for stunning daytime or nighttime viewing; and Autosource technology, intelligent engineering that automatically turns the TV on and adjusts it when an external source that is detected. The built-in stereo speakers and subwoofer ensure a captivating sonic experience.
Lastly, Onkyo introduced 4 new HD-ready A/V Receivers. These new THX Certified Onkyo A/V receivers will feature HDMI 1.3a compatibility, including internal decoding for DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus. Each will also feature a sophisticated set of internal video processing capabilities with either Farouda DCDi technology or the top two of the models (TX-SR875, and the TX-NR905) offering the first inclusion of Silicon Optix's Reon-VX HQV processing in an A/V receiver. HQV's true 1080i-to-1080p HD deinterlacing delivers the sharpest, most detailed HD images possible by employing per-pixel motion-adaptive algorithms and a sophisticated multidirectional diagonal filter that ensures video free from jagged edges. The powerful HQV processing engine also provides per-pixel motion-adaptive noise reduction, detail enhancement, and advanced scaling, delivering premium-quality upconversion of SD material.
In the coming weeks, there will be new introductions from Pioneer, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, and Optoma among others. So, stay tuned.