JVC was showing off a new 1080p projector. They claim a 10,000:1 contrast ratio without the use of an iris. They’re not sure on pricing yet, but they’re expecting sub-$7000 (as in $6,999.99 probably). Look for it around February.
Perhaps even cooler than the $999 720p Optoma (see below), Mitsubishi revealed a $4,495 1080p projector, called the HC5000BL. It’s going to use the Reon VX chip from Silicon Optix and have a claimed 10,000:1 contrast ratio with a dynamic iris. No DLP here, it has 3 LCDs inside. They’re hoping to ship later this month.
Optoma announced they are shipping their HD81 1080p front projector. Hopefully they’ll be shipping one to us soon. It has a 16 step auto-iris and a separate input box with a Gennum VXP chip for scaling, all for $6,999.
Planar showed off a prototype LCD panel that is the coolest thing I’ve seen so far at the show. It’s a normal LCD panel with 800 individual LED backlights that are on an active matrix back plane. What that means is that each LED is individually addressable depending on the video signal. Want a section of the screen to be dark? Dim the backlight in that area. The result is a fantastic legitimate contrast ratio, and actual blacks (cause the light is off). The picture above is just what the backlight is doing with the LCD “off.” It’s at least a year away from a real product, but it looks amazing. More on this in the future.
Toshiba today announced their next generation HD DVD players, which has to be some kind of record. After all, the first generation of players has only been out for 6 months. The HD-A2 is $499 and will be out in October. It’s still 1080i. More interesting is the HD-XA2, at $999. This one (shown) is 1080p and HDMI 1.3. It will be available in December.
Toshiba also debuted their Cinema Series Pro line of LCDs, in 42 and 47-inch varieties. They’re both 1080p, have 12-bit processing, and an 8ms response time. It sports a RJ-45 connector to connect the TV to a PC to view pictures and apparently get your email. The 42LZ196 will be $3,399 and the 47LZ196 will be $4,599. Both are available this month.
Sharp showed a new line of LCDs sporting a new bezel design; piano black with silver. The 42-inch (LC-42D62U), 1080p model has a claimed 6ms response time and a 1300:1 native contrast ratio at a price of $2,499. Also in the line are a 46-inch LC-46D62U ($3,499), and a 52-inch LC-52D62U ($4,799). Both of these larger panels are 4ms. They will have 1080p inputs and will be available in October. The XV-Z20000 projector (we saw at CES 9 months ago) is coming out this month in all its 1080p glory for $11,999.
For those not excited about projectors (see below), Sony unveiled a 52-inch LCD, the KDL-52XBR2. It’s 1080p of course, and sports a 1300:1 “on-screen” contrast ratio. It’s $6,500, but if you don’t like silver, the KDL-52XBR3 is $300 more and has a black bezel. They’ll be available in November. Also, the BDP-S1 Blu-ray player should ship late October.