There has been a lot of concern and confusion over the difference between 1080i and 1080p. This stems from the inability of many TVs to accept 1080p. To make matters worse, the help lines at many of the TV manufacturers (that means you, Sony), are telling people that their newly-bought 1080p displays are really 1080i. They are idiots, so let me say this in big bold print, as far as movies are concerned THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1080i AND 1080p. See, I did it in caps too, so it must be true. Let me explain (if your eyes glaze over, the short version is at the end).
We had our 3rd bi-annual RPTV face off yesterday. It will be in the February issue, which you subscribers should be getting in about 7 weeks. As I mentioned previously, all the sets were 1080p. They ranged in size from 50 to 62 inches diagonal with an average price just over $4000. We had a panel of 5 judges rank each of the 6 TVs on a variety of factors and on a variety of material. What is perhaps most interesting is that the TV that came in last place this year was better than at least half of the TVs from the 2004 face off. TV competition is fast and furious, and the buyer/enthusiast profits the most from this. For example, the average full on/full off contrast ratio was right around 5000:1, a vast improvement over the digital sets from two years ago. And as far as CRTs go, well, CRT is dead. Sorry. We loved you dearly.
The people at Microsoft are complete idiots. No, that’s not exactly true. They’re charlatans. They are purposely misleading the public. They recently announced a software upgrade will be available soon that will allow the Xbox 360 to output 1080p.
Yesterday Sony invited a bunch of us down to the Sony Pictures lot to get briefed on the latest about Blu-ray. They had just announced that the first BD titles would be hitting the street May 23, with more on June 13. These first titles are:
Sorry, but I just can't get excited about the Xbox 360. I know many of you lump gamers together in some sort of homogenous, pasty, bunch, but in fact there are many sub-categories. In my mind, there are two main genera in the gamer family; console, and computer. I, am one of the latter.
CEATEC is an interesting show. The portion that deals with the stuff we cover is rather small. The rest of the show tends to be manufacturers that make the parts of the stuff we cover. I’ll take some pictures of those bits tomorrow.
Like I mentioned in my CEDIA report, JVC has a new front projector. It will be around $7000. In demo here at the show, they showed it beside their old $30,000 projector. No contest. It wasn’t even close. The $7k projector blew the old model away. Better blacks, better contrast ratio, better color, better detail. That’s twice I’ve seen this projector look good, and I can’t wait to get a hold of one (they’re saying early next year).
The most surprising demo at the show was a demo of a next generation Pioneer plasma that stole quite a bit of SED’s thunder. It had legitimate blacks (seemingly as good as SED). They’re claiming a 20,000:1 contrast ratio, and from the demo it sure looked like it could be close to that. I’d love to tell you more, but the entire presentation was in Japanese. I’ll put up some photos later of the Powerpoint, and you can try to translate them. At the earliest, it may be a model for next year. I’m sure we’ll hear more at CES.
As rumored, Toshiba/Canon showed off three 55-inch SED displays, proving without a doubt that they can make at least three SED panels. They looked as impressive as the oft-seen 37-inch, with a mix of pre-recorded (and motion filled) colorful images, and even a live action scene (with a camera on a person and puppet that was in sight of the audience). Here’s the bad news: They’re now saying the end of 2007, but with no definite pricing or quantity.