Today was press day at C.E.D.I.A. While it's always hectic, it still doesn't match press day at CES. In total, there were nine press events today, but not all of them affected DTV. My first meeting today was with the HD DVD Promotion Group, who mentioned that there are now more than 300 titles available on HD DVD with more on the way for the volatile 4th quarter. They claim that there will be 1,000 titles by year's end. According the HD DVD Group, Warner Home Video's 300 has sold more than 100,000 copies. And, if you believe the HD DVD camp, they have a 62-percent market share over Blu-ray's 38-percent. Supposedly, these numbers come from NPD. Although, I asked the HD DVD representative to share those numbers with the press. We'll see if they comply. Ironically, later in the day, Sony also offered up NPD numbers, which were very different than the HD DVD Group. So, who's right? I have no idea.
JVC's press conference centered on D-ILA front projector technology and LCD displays. The company opened the press conference by showing the press a movie clip and animation of their new 1.27-in. 4K chip D-ILA that offers a screen resolution of 4,096x2000. The image quality was quite impressive. JVC is also working on 8K chips, and hope to offer a home projector with a resolution of 1440p. JVC unveiled two new D-ILA projectors (one for the pro market and one for the consumer market. Both of these new 1080p projectors will feature a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1. Impressive! JVC also showed off their new 2nd generation Clear Motion Driver II Technology with a 120 frames per second (120Hz) rate, and conducted side-by-side comparison tests against Sony and Toshiba. The end result that the JVC image quality in fast scenes was superior to the competition. Was it a fair test? I don't know. I would have to conduct it myself with Sony's top-of-the-line Bravia, and Toshiba's new Regza Cinema Series.
Toshiba was next up on the schedule today. Their press conference was centered on a Star Trek theme. Star Trek " The Original Series will be released in HD DVD in November. In fact, the 10-disc set will offer HD DVD Combo discs with HD DVD on one side and DVD on the other. With a fan base of 9.0 million+, it is hoped that it will boost HD DVD player sales. Toshiba announced three new HD DVD players with the entry-level 1080p model (HD-A30) @ $399. According to Toshiba, the best selling CE product on Amazon was the HD-A2 HD DVD player. Toshiba also announced new REGZA LCD TVs with a Super Narrow Bezel (SNB), which is less than 1-in. wide, and will feature a 10-bit panel. These models also include xvYCC, 14-bit video processing, and dynamic backlight. Sadly, there was no mention of SED.
While Sharp officially announced its BD-HP20 Blu-ray player for the U.S. market, which will be priced at $549.95, the company also discussed its new D64 Series of LCD HDTVs. However, Sharp really wanted to talk about the future by showing off a 10th generation glass substrate that was claimed to be the world's largest with a dimension of 112-13/64-in. by 120-5/64-in. There can be six 57-in. panels from this glass substrate. This panel will be built at Sharp's newly announced factory for the 21st Century at Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture. The manufacturing complex will produce LCD panels and thin-film solar cells.
Other press conferences were held by the 3LCD Group, who claims that they are the leading front projector technology, and Sony. Besides Sony offering entirely different Blu-ray vs. HD DVD figures from NPD, the company announced new Blu-ray products.
Stay tuned. There will be more coverage tomorrow from the show floor.