digital - Cleverdis
2005
IFA
NEW DIGITAL
SOLUTIONS
THE ULTIMATE REFERENCE GUIDE TO DIGITAL VISUAL SOLUTIONS AND DIGITAL CONVERGENCE
SPECIAL
EDITION
Spotlight on
innovations 2005
DIGITAL
CONVERGENCE
changing our lives
ALL
ABOUT
HDTV
2nd to 7th September 2005
Cleverdis
by
Hall 26 / 217
ARTISTIC SERIES FLATRON
L1940P
26mm
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
PREFACE
The electronics industry needs major trade events in Europe and North America to inform professionals
and consumers of the state of the art and functionality of various new technologies such as HDTV.
This being said, it is not easy for trade buyers, private consumers, exhibitors or press to choose where
to go, due to the multiplicity of shows around the world.
In the consumer electronics field, Cleverdis believes that there are two not-to-be-missed events:
CES Las Vegas in the USA and IFA Berlin in Europe. Just like the CeBIT show, IFA is still sometimes
perceived as a “German” show. Through its presence and the partnership established with IFA, Cleverdis
aims to participate in the globalization of the show and to give it a more European vision.
This European Cleverdis Guide “IFA Special” in English language has this goal.
We hope this publication assists in informing and educating buyers, helping them in their decisionmaking process, and also resellers, for whom we hope this Guide will help to “grow the pie”.
Gérard Lefebvre
Publisher
EDITORIAL
Welcome to the HD World
We’re entering a time when we’ll all be seeing things a lot more clearly than before. We’ve already
entered the Digital Era. Today, we enter the era of High Definition. High Definition TV and Video (and
games) will totally change the way we look at things. At this year’s IFA Berlin, HDTV is under the
spotlight. It is fitting that Berlin is the setting for IFA, given that Berlin is also the first place IN THE
WORLD to move to all-digital TV. It has to be said however that while terrestrial TV here has gone
digital, HD signals are only slowly becoming available via satellite (see articles in this Guide). What is also
happening at the moment is that people are becoming confused. Very confused. When buying a TV
before, there was only one choice of technology – the good old Cathode Ray Tube. Today, we still have
CRT TVs, but added to this we have a plethora of choices among flat screen TV’s, including LCD and
Plasma (and other new technologies emerging), and high definition rear-projection TV’s based on no less
than three main types of micro-display technology – LCD, DLP and LCoS. Retail sales-people are finding
it harder and harder to obtain reliable and unbiased information about how to explain to their customers
what the differences are between these technologies, and indeed, given the different screen technologies, just how important image processing has also become! This guide aims to cover most of the main
digital technologies on show at IFA, spotlighting digital and HD TV. We hope you’ll be able to use this
Guide as a reference or resource book when buying or selling new digital technologies. If everyone pulls
together to make an effort in terms of learning (and teaching) about the true benefits of these different
“digital solutions”, we believe the future will be brilliant!
Richard Barnes
Editor in Chief
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With the participation of: Tatiana Gerassimato (tatiana.gerassimato@cleverdis.com), Bruno Mathon (bruno.mathon@cleverdis.com), Anne Michalczyk (anne.michalczyk@cleverdis.com),
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Bettina Spegele (bettina.spegele@cleverdis.com).
© CLEVERDIS 2005 - Registration of Copyright August 2005 - ISSN pending
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be used to professional or commercial ends. While all efforts have been made as to accuracy and pertinence of content and data contained in this publication, CLEVERDIS may in no case be held responsible for the consequences, whatever their nature may be, that may result from the interpretation of this data or content, or any eventual errors therein.
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belong to companies which are their respective proprietors. The publishers and editorial staff decline all responsibilty as to opinions formulated in this publication by those interviewed or cited therein. Their opinions are entirely their own, and are included with the understanding that they contain, to our knowledge, no malicious intent. The inclusion of all texts, photographs and other documents supplied by those included in the encyclopaedia
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New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
1
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1
INNOVATION:
IFA SPECIAL
CHAPTER 2
TELEVISION &
ENTERTAINMENT
3 / INTERVIEW: Jens Heithecker, Messe Belin
“The IFA success story”
4 / INTERVIEW: Roland Stehle, GfU
“IFA, behind the scenes”
7 / INTERVIEW: Peter Weber, Panasonic -“IFA,
As seen from an Industry Pro...”
9 / Innovation IFA Spotlight
15 / The 2006 FIFA World Cup
17 / The flat screen revolution
19 / Selecting a flat TV
21 / The Naked Truth about LCD TV’s
22 / GUEST EDITORIAL: HDTV adoption in Europe
26 /
28 /
29 /
30 /
CHAPTER 3
DIGITAL
CONVERGENCE,
DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
32 /
33 /
34 /
36 /
50/ The Digital Home for Work & Play
52 / INTERVIEW: Sascha Hancke, Fujitsu Siemens
37 /
Computers “Digital Home” concept
53 / PERSONAL COMPUTING:
53 > The PC as a Fun Machine
55 > INTERVIEW: Stan Oh, LGe
57 / PERSONAL COMMUNICATION:
57 > Buying a Mobile Phone: About 3G, GSM,
GPRS, UMTS and all that stuff...
60 > PDA’s, The World in your Pocket
38 /
39 /
41 /
43 /
62 / DIGITAL IMAGING:
Digital Cameras, how to choose…
44 /
47 /
48 /
49 /
2
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
An overview by Meko
What do you need to know about HDTV
INTERVIEW: Frank Bitterhof, Megascreen “HD ready or not, here they come”
INTERVIEW: Yves Faroudja
“Display quality criteria”
Astra hosts premier HDTV preview channel
The Berlin case
INTERVIEW: Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat S.A.
“HD, an important growth vector for satellite
broadcasting”
INTERVIEW: Ki-II Kwon, LGe DTV Europe Team
Native HD recording formats:
Blu-ray & HD-DVD
ADVERTORIAL: VideoSeven offers future
customers approved technology with
excellent conditions
Rear-Projection TV:
The bigger brother for a smaller price...
What do you need to know
about front projectors
New projector categories launched in 2005
ADVERTORIAL: Hitachi - High Definition Home
Cinema that stands out
LCD & Plasma technology
3LCD technology
DLP technology
New technologies LCoS & SED
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1
INNOVATION: IFA SPECIAL
3 / INTERVIEW: Jens Heithecker, Messe Berlin - “The IFA success story”
4 / INTERVIEW: Roland Stele, GfU - “IFA, behind the scenes”
7 / INTERVIEW: Peter Weber, Panasonic - “IFA, as seen from an Industry Pro...”
9 / INNOVATIONIFA Spotlight
15 / The 2006 FIFA World Cup
INTERVIEW
The IFA
success story
with Jens Heithecker • Messe Berlin
Cleverdis: Tell us about the main
companies present at the IFA.
How do they see the show?
Jens Heithecker: For a start, Intel
has attracted a great deal of
attention with its statement that the
IFA is now the most important of all
trade fairs anywhere in the world for
this IT company, which will
accordingly be staging its largest
presentation ever at any trade show.
Also participating in the IFA Previews
were Blaupunkt, Casio Europe,
Daewoo, Fujitsu Siemens Computers,
Grundig, Hitachi, Intel, LG Electronics,
Loewe, Nec, Panasonic, Philips,
Phocus Electronics, Pioneer, Sharp,
Toshiba and Yakumo.
Cl.: What is new or different this
year at the show?
J.H.: We decided for a new
approach to the IFA already in the
year 2003: The IFA appears in six
segments and achieves a clarity that
is embraced by the industry and
commerce. In 2005 we will hold on
to this concept. The IFA being the
spearhead of Consumer Electronics
fairs showing the latest innovations
www.cleverdis.com
and products has made progress in
its development as well.
This year companies are making use of
the IFA as intense as never before and
they invest more into their presence at
this fair. A number of companies
extended the area of their fair stands
between 15 and 20%. Another plus of
the IFA: There is a constantly growing
volume of sales being generated
throughout this top event, which
accounted for 2.4 billion EUR in 2003
alone. This figure is a convincing
argument for many exhibitors to also
expand the area reserved for their
traders and purchasers.
Cl.: How many visitors generally
come, and how does that place
IFA among other trade shows?
J.H.: We are expecting an immense
number of visitors again this year. At
IFA 2003 an attendance over 270.000
visitors was recorded. Out of that
more than 100.000 were registered as
trade visitors. This is proof once again
that IFA is the world´s leading
Consumer Electronics trade fair. The
IFA 2005 is the display window of the
Consumer Electronics sector offering
a variety of innovations that stands out
JENS HEITHECKER
Director of the IFA Competence Center
Jens Heithecker holds a degree in
Economics and Marketing at the
Berlin Technical University. He joined
Messe Berlin in 1998 and worked in
various positions as marketing
consultant
(1998-2000)
and
manager of the Corporate Development Department (2000-2001).
IFA senior project manager since
2001, he was first named Deputy
Director (1st January 2003) and then
Director (1st October 2003) of the
IFA Competence Center Information
& Communi-cation.
Messe Berlin GmbH
Messedamm 22
D-14055 Berlin
Tel: +49 (30) 3038-0
www.ifa-berlin.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
3
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
as well as the best chances of
comparison in the market. At the IFA
companies present themselves in a
compact way. The IFA has an
worldwide reputation equal to all the
other huge CE-fairs like CES (USA)
and the CEATEC (Japan) which is
demonstrated by the number of
registered journalists, the number of
visitors and the extend of the
exhibition area.
INTERVIEW
IFA - Behind
the scenes
with Roland Stehle • GfU
Cl.: IFA is a fair for both experts
and public – What services does it
offer its trade visitors?
J.H.: Since the trade visitors are the
actual VIPs of the IFA, we have
compiled a list of exclusive services
which is to facilitate networking, to
further our trade visitor’s respective
interests and to enable them to work in
a professional surrounding. We will be
giving a warm welcome to our trade
visitors at the 800sqm trade visitor
reception area located in hall 2.1., close
to the main entrance south.
There will be keynotes by four
internationally acclaimed top managers
of leading CE-companies on a daily
basis. They will present their company,
its strategies and products. As keynote
speakers we expect Fumio Ohtsubo,
President of Panasonic’s AVC Networks
Company, Rudy Provoost, CEO Philips
Consumer Electronics and president of
EICTA, Don MacDonald, Vice-president
and General Manager of Digital Home
Group, Intel Corporation and Kai-Uwe
Ricke, CEO Deutsche Telekom AG.
Cleverdis.: This dynamic growth
of the CE sector is also taking the
form of technological developments. What can visitors to the IFA
2005 expect to see?
Roland Stehle: Visitors – whether
members of the public or from the
trade – will be delighted with the
enormous range of new items. From
new mobile applications to attractive
LCD and plasma screen technology,
and high definition television HDTV,
all the latest developments can be
examined in detail here at IFA.
Cl.: Tell us about some of the key
innovations…
R.S.: There are many exciting
innovations this year, including the
world’s smallest PC at the heart of
in-car entertainment systems, LCDTVs, whose technology and styling
can be individually configured, and
the smallest projector in the world,
no larger than a cigarette packet.
HDTV will be the most important
development for the next few years
and will have a corresponding
influence on the worldwide TV
industry. This year’s IFA will be
launching this new television age.
Cl.: Tell us more about HDTV at
IFA…
R.S.: Visitors to the IFA first made
the acquaintance of HDTV twenty
years ago during the fair’s Technical
and Scientific Programme. High
definition television is the ultimate
4
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
© Photo: IFA Source
Of course, we will offer a fascinating
and top-quality entertainment programme for our regular visitors as well.
At the beginning of the IFA 2005, on
1 September, we will present, together
with Radio Fritz, ARD and Sennheiser,
the IFA Sommergarten Open Air,
featuring international music stars.
Beginning at 5.30 p.m. reggae star
Gentleman and The Far East Band will
enthuse the audience with his Hip-Hop
grooves, Blues and R’n’B just like
Patrice & Sashamani Band, Orishas and
Culcha Candela. The IFA Summer Open
Air will be followed by the traditional
firework display at the Funkturm.
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
technical method of achieving better
picture quality. This subject is again
on the agenda, having undergone
many refinements in the intervening
period. Around the world analogue
receiving, studio and transmitting
equipment has been replaced by
digital technology. At the present
time it is the displays in particular
which
are
available
in
an
unprecedented range. Many of them
already bear the logo “HD Ready”.
But simply, HDTV is only really
available if the equipment bears a
R.S.: The digital video camera is
celebrating a significant anniversary:
Ten
years
ago
camcorders
underwent a revolution with the
introduction of a tiny cassette,
ensuring an unprecedented boom for
this market. This was the start of the
DV format, popular ever since with
fathers, film students and television
reporters. Nowadays just about every
aspiring amateur filmmaker owns a
DV camcorder, which can be bought
for as little as 450 euros. IFA 2005 is
presenting a whole array of
Roland STEHLE
Public Relations
Owner of the Editorial Office Stehle,
Roland M. Stehle is director of the
press and PR department of
Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und
Kommunikationselektronik GmbH
(gfu) in Germany since January
2004.
© Photo : IFA Source
Between 1985 and 2000 Mr. Stehle
assumed several leading positions
at Grundig AG’s press and PR
department.
label stating “HD ready”. They mainly
take the form of plasma and LC
displays, as well as DLP front or back
projection units.
Sets using HDTV picture tubes, LCoS
or OLED technology are either
already available or have at least been
announced. Powerful computers can
also be provided with HDTV satellite
receiving cards and the relevant
software. New DVD formats, HDDVD and Blu-ray, will also be on show
at the IFA 2005. Their large memory
capacity makes them particularly
suitable for high definition television.
Cl.: Digital Video Cameras are
also going to be very much under
the spotlight at IFA. What are the
main trends here?
www.cleverdis.com
innovations in this field too. With the
introduction of new equipment and
storage media the camcorder is no
longer just associated with the older
generation but is joining the ranks of
lifestyle
products.
And
the
manufacturers have not only made
vast improvements to the operation
and design but also to the picture
quality of these new high definition
camcorders. The enhanced quality is
immediately evident, marking a
significant leap forward, surpassing
that of 1995, when the changeover
from analogue to digital video
recording took place.
Cl.: Tell us about the new trends…
R.S.: The first trend is that of
“Movie-style extras”. The latest
www.gfu.de
generation of camcorders offer
functions previously only found on
movies on DVD. For example, an
increasing number of them can
record pictures in the 16:9 format,
which can then be shown on a wide
screen without bars on LCD and
plasma televisions. Multi-channel
sound recording is another new
development: a built-in microphone
or the relevant add-on devices can be
used to produce enhanced spatial
sound. For the viewer at home not
only the pictures but also the sound
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
5
© Photo: IFA Source
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
is of cinema quality, provided it
comes through a surround-sound
system. And for those who want
simplicity, video images can now be
recorded on an eight-centimetre miniDVD, which can be played back on
any home DVD player without
requiring any subsequent processing.
The second trend is that of data
storage cards and much more
besides… Some camcorders no
longer use a tape for storing pictures
and sound. Instead they operate with
data storage cards, built-in hard drives
or small, removable hard drives, socalled microdrives. A 6 gigabyte
microdrive can store up to 90 minutes
of movie in DVD quality, and larger
capacities
have
now
been
announced. The advantage of tapefree storage: the camcorders can be
made even smaller and more stylish.
The third trend concerns High
Definition Video (HDV). As we
mentioned before, the television of
the future is known as HDTV (High
Definition Television) and has already
become reality for video film-makers.
The second generation of the new
HDV camcorders can be seen at IFA,
and they are even smaller, lighter and
cheaper than their predecessors.
These HDV units can store pictures
with a resolution up to four times
higher than that of normal
6
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
camcorders, offering an incredible
degree of sharpness and brilliance.
Cl.: Digital technologies are of
becoming an increasingly important
part daily life in peoples’ homes.
How is the digital home evolving
and how is this reflected at IFA?
R.S.: It’s simple. Take a look at the
back of a modern hifi system or AV
receiver and you are likely to see a
rectangular
socket
that
was
previously only found on computers,
known as an ethernet connection.
This is the key to audio and video
enjoyment throughout the house,
because it enables consumer
electronics equipment to be
connected to any PC. The computer
in one’s study can then be used as a
media server, sending digital pictures
of a recent Caribbean holiday to the
television in the living rooms, or MP-3
music to a mini-player in the kitchen.
At the IFA, manufacturers will be
demonstrating that home networking
is no longer a luxury affordable only
by the more affluent among us.
Media receivers are also now much
easier to connect up and operate.
Thanks to technologies such as UPnP
(Universal Plug and Play) devices can
recognise one another and then carry
out the necessary configuration. As a
consequence even those who are
totally unfamiliar with the workings of
computers soon become enthusiastic
users of these networked systems.
All that remains for them to do is to
install the cables, always assuming
that they do not already have a
wireless home network. Almost all
manufacturers now offer not only the
traditional cable system but also
devices that transmit the signals via
radio waves. These mainly use the
current WLAN standard 802.11g,
giving them a theoretical data rate of
54 megabits per second.
By way of comparison: up to 100
MB/sec. is possible on cable
networks, and it should also be
remembered that thick walls and
interference from other sources such
as cordless telephones will tend to
reduce radio data rates. In practice a
rate of 54 megabits may be lowered
to as little as 6 MB or even less if
someone else in the house is
connected to the internet or using the
hard disc to access the latest MP3
hits.
This is simply not enough to ensure
perfectly steady video images in DVD
quality. The answer is to install the
necessary cables to ensure constant,
high data rates.
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
INTERVIEW
IFA- As seen from
an Industry Pro…
with Peter Weber • Panasonic Europe Ltd.
Peter Weber is, on the one hand, chairman of the press working group
for the industry association, whose subsidiary GfU is the organiser of
IFA. At the same time, he holds a senior position within Panasonic,
whose President, Fumio Ohtsubo, is keynote presenter at this year’s
show. We asked Mr Weber what, from a spectator’s point of view, would
be different about this year’s IFA…
Peter Weber: We are continuing
with the successful six segments
that we did in 2003, so there is not
really such a big change. The change
that we introduced two years ago
has been accepted globally and it’s
understood that IFA has a clear
profile - concentrating on the six
main segments of the industry.
The international trade visitors and
media understand this concept and
they like it. So we will have more
exhibitors and more floor space in
Berlin as we can see it now. We will
also have a much bigger resonance
internationally with trade visitors
coming from abroad and media
coming from all over the world.
Cleverdis: Obviously Panasonic
is very much involved in all these
different areas of the consumer
electronics industry. When we talk
about High Definition images, it’s
obviously important to cover all
aspects, from acquisition, through
to storage and delivery…
P.W.: Panasonic is already very
successful in supplying HD equipment
to broadcast stations throughout
Europe and we also have sold to
many post production houses in the
last years. On the HD side, the change is already happening. What is
missing now is the broadcast link,
www.cleverdis.com
but this is also changing in Germany,
because we will have the pay-TV
operator Premiere starting three different HD channels in November.
There are HD programmes starting
in Spain, France and the UK and we
are very optimistic that this will start
a new wave.
For us, the hardware manufacturer,
it is very important that we provide
product for the consumer so that he
can receive all these broadcasts.
Cl.: Do you think that Europe is
going to catch up with the USA
and Japan?
P.W.: For some time we will be a bit
behind the Asian market, and the US
are the leaders in HD introduction,
but I would say that in five years we
will also have wide HD coverage in
Europe.
Peter WEBER
Manager Corporate Communications
Panasonic Europe Ltd.
Member of the German Journalist
Association DJV since 1972 and deputy chairman of IFA press working
group, Peter Weber graduated with a
University degree in Social Science
from Bochum Ruhr University,
Germany.
During the course of a 27-year career
in the IT sector, he has worked as a
journalist and a communication and
marketing specialist for various wellknown companies such as Sony
(Cologne), Thomson
Consumer
Electronics (Paris) and Scandinavian
Electronics (Hamburg/Reykjavik).
In January 2002 Peter Weber joined
Panasonic where he took on the post
of the Press & Communications
Manager at Panasonic Marketing
Europe, Wiesbaden. Since April 2004
Mr. Weber is Manager of Corporate
Communications at Panasonic Europe
Ltd., London/Wiesbaden.
Cl.: How would you describe this
period, or epoch that we’re going
through?
P.W.: It is definitely a transitional
period and there are two aspects to
this: one is that we are still transferring from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratios
and especially with the introduction
of PDP and LCD flat panel displays;
we are seeing a big progress in market penetration for 16:9 receivers.
Panasonic Ltd. Europe
Hagenauer Straße 43
D-65203 Wiesbaden
Tel: +49 (611) 2354-0
www.panasonic-europe.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
7
© Photo: Panasonic
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
This is one of the very important
steps because the broadcasters are
still transmitting a lot of content in
4:3. This said, we are making very
rapid progress now regarding the
introduction of 16:9 television. In
high definition, as I said, there will be
a very strong movement in the next
years. It’s starting now. For example,
the soccer world championship will
be recorded in 16:9 HD only, so
broadcasters
transmitting
in
standard definition will have to down
convert it, but the offer is available…
the content is available. And I think
with the Olympics in Beijing in 2008,
which will also be recorded in HD
only, this will see a breakthrough in
Europe. And the more content we
have, the more people will be able to
receive a picture of outstanding
picture quality, the faster the movement will be.
Cl.: How import is the education
of not only the public but also
retail sales people?
P.W.: It’s very important. Although
consumer education is less important, because “seeing is believing”.
We therefore have to make sure a
clear signal is received in the retail
outlets so people can really see the
picture quality of HDTV and compare
it with standard definition. Then the
choice is easy. We especially have to
8
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
educate the retailers as to the
advantages of high definition and
how these products should be
presented. We can do this on an
individual company by company
basis, which is already done. Some
of the major players in the consumer
electronics industry are compiling
presentation packages, but this
should also be a task for the industry
as a whole. We at Panasonic for
example, are offering either a
satellite dish to receive signal by
satellite, or a hard disc recorder for
retailers if they don’t have the opportunity to receive a satellite signal in HD
quality. We plan to equip thousands
of retail outlets with HD hard disc
recorders so they have source material with which they can demonstrate
the superiority of HD signals.
Cl.: How does one differentiate
between brands and between
technologies? There still seems to
be a quantum leap to be made
before link before retailers are
able to explain the real difference
between LCDs and PDPs etc…
P.W.:That’s correct. There is not only
a very basic technology difference
but also a difference in picture quality
and production quality and of course
there is also the magic discussion or
topic, of how many pixels do you
have? What is the resolution of the
screen? And one of the very important aspects on which we have to
educate our retailers is that the
resolution is important, but it is not
all that counts. Like with many
electronic products, the most
important question is how the signal
is processed: is this high class
processing or a combination of
cheap components? You will always
have very cheap TV sets on the market
using a certain display technology
and the difference is defined by the
electronic components and the software that it’s using and the circuitry
you are using… and this is something the retailer needs to explain.
Right now the only way people can
judge is by watching the TV picture
reproduction and then looking at the
prices.
You may have cheap LCDs which
only combine a standard definition
LCD panel with very cheap electronics, and you have a high resolution
PDP or LCD panel combined with
state of the art electronics with the
most advanced signal processing
ICs and LSIs and then the difference
is visible. But here in particular, you
need good presentation in the retail
outlets.
Cl.: Panasonic has risen to #1 in
the European Plasma market.
What has been the reason behind
this rise?
P.W.: Panasonic has invested in R&D
in plasma over more than 15 years.
We are an intellectual property and
R&D driven company. Last year we
spent $5.7 billion just on R&D and
that makes a big difference.
In addition, we are doing everything
in-house. In September we are
opening our fourth Plasma panel factory which will be by far the biggest
in the world with a monthly output of
250,000 panels bringing us to a
yearly capacity of 4.8 million panels.
We are not only manufacturing the
panels; also for other companies,
we are developing and manufacturing the system LCIs. We are
developing most of the electronics that we use in our products
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
so we do have an advantage over
some of our competitors.
INNOVATIONIFA
Spotlight
Cl.: What about the LCD roadmap?
P.W.: We have a joint venture
company with Toshiba for LCD
manufacturing, but this was only a
response to small screen sizes.
We were sourcing LCD panels from
other companies but were combining them with our technical know
how, our components, electronics,
so we have very good quality LCD
TV screens. We are ranking either
fifth or sixth in the world market.
We formed a joint venture together
with Hitachi and Toshiba which will
start operations in the factory in the
second quarter next year. Then we
will be able to manufacturer our own
LCD displays in 26 & 32 inch.
Cl.: One important point in respect to IFA is the question of
home networking.
This has been a hot topic for several years but what we have seen
up to now is a variety of isolated
industry solutions, company propriety solutions, island solutions,
but this is not what is in the interest of the consumer.
What is Panasonic doing about
this?
P.W.: Panasonic are working with
other companies also in other industry areas such as telecoms and IT,
to find the one solution.
For example, we developed a system
LSI that is able to work with different
standards, and this could be the
core of future products linking all the
different worlds. This LSI will be
available next year when we can
build it into products.
And, also on the networking site we
are working on different options
such as power line connections,
coax cable, broadband and wireless
LAN.
We are combining all these different
approaches and in the end we will
have a networked house where
everything is working together.
www.cleverdis.com
When people come to a show like IFA, it is in most cases to see what
innovations are happening and how they can make life easier or more fun.
For this reason, we dedicate the following pages to a selection of key innovations at the show. They’re not presented in order of importance or by
product categories, but in alphabetical order by manufacturer’s name, in
order to avoid any jealousies or confusion! Much of this information has
come from the IFA PreViews, organised before the event. You will also
occasionally find some innovations at the show that are not in this section,
due to the fact that embargoes by the manufacturers meant we couldn’t
announce the products “just before” the official start of the show. In any
case, this highlight section will whet your appetite! Congratulations to the
companies that are truly innovating. You are what makes the show.
BLAUPUNKT
Nashville DAB 35
enables
in-car recording: Digital Radio technology offers new features
EPSON
The new Nashville DAB 35 features an
attractive entry-level price, and – just like the
successful Woodstock DAB radio line – it is
able to record and play back DAB programs at
any time on the road at the touch of a button:
a feature that is unique to the digital radios
from Blaupunkt. Memory cards such as the
SD (Secure Digital) or the MMC (Multi-MediaCard) can be used as recording media. Like
the CD-audio/MP3 drive integrated into the
car radio, they make it possible to play back
music in MP3 format.
Along with DAB reception, the Nashville DAB
35 CD/MP3 tuner is also able to pick up the
FM, MW and LW wavebands. The Nashville
DAB 35 digital radio can also be outfitted with
a telephone hands-free system and is able to
control an optionally connected CD player as
well as – with the corresponding interface –
an iPod, i.e. an MP3 player. The operating
panel is removable, thus affording effective
protection against theft.
IFA: Hall 26 / 118
Discover Epson’s product
innovations in this guide
from 2. September or at
the Epson booth.
IFA: Hall 5.2 / 201
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
9
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
INNOVATIONIFA
Spotlight
EPSON
HITACHI
IFA: Hall 26 / 118
Hitachi Highlights Home Cinema
On show for the first time in Europe at IFA 2005 is Hitachi's new Cine Master PJTX200, the next generation high definition ready home cinema projector.
Discover Epson’s product
innovations in this guide
from 2. September or at the
Epson booth.
With High Definition offering up to 4
times more resolution than Standard
Definition picture technology, it uses the
latest and most advanced technology to
deliver super-sharp, high-resolution big screen images.
With HDTV broadcasts starting in Europe at
the end of 2005, Hitachi is also
demonstrating the very best in High
Definition panel technology with its Picture
Master HD Ready flat screen TVs. Also
featured is Hitachi's top-of-the range Movie
Master DVD camcorder and its Memory
Master super-multi-format DVD/Hard disk
recorders.
Other new products from Hitachi will
include
the
new
PJ-LC9
home
entertainment LCD projector, three new
LCD TVs and a new 42-inch plasma TV.
IFA: Hall 23 / 107
GRUNDIG
Grundig Fields
Two New 42-inch Plasma Models
at IFA
The new Xephia 42 PW 110-5510 Top and Apollo 42 PW 110-7505 Top offer a wide
range of technical features and exclusive design. The 106 cm Plamatron displays
in 16:9 format have an announced effective contrast ratio of 3000 : 1 and
luminous density of 1000 cd/qm. Individual settings for picture sharpness,
increased colour contour focus and a digital comb filter provide additional
assurance of the finest possible image. A wide range of connection options
guarantees great flexibility.
The Apollo 42 features a high-quality brushed silver frame, with integrated
loudspeakers in black below. The stand is also in silver, with a black front panel. The Apollo
will be offered in the price category of up to 1,800 € .
The Xephia 42 has a contrasting frame in silver and black, and removable silver loudspeakers on either side. It is avai-lable in
the price category of up to 1,600 € .
Grundig LCD – Back in Black
And the LCD segment is expanding to include another new design family. The Vision 32 LXW 828510 Top and Vision 26 LXW 68-8510 TOP attract attention through their elegant black exterior.
The unusual design is enhanced by the glass pane in front of the LC display. Thanks to HD-ready
and DVI-capable features, these LCD TVs in 16:9 format are ready to meet the future.
IFA: Hall 23 / 201
10
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
INNOVATIONIFA
Spotlight
JVC
LGE
No Tape. No Disc – JVC’s new
Everio G Series allows you
to record for over 35 hours on
your camcorder!
LG Electronics Present
Just as we are seeing with music –
where the progression from tape to disc,
then disc to Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
devices have revolutionised the way we
listen to music – now HDD is now the
hottest property in the world of
Camcorders.
The launch of the Everio™ C Series
already heralded a new era in the way
we used our camcorders in 2004 – highquality, long-time recording and instant
access into those recordings. And all
using a small, removable 4GB
Microdrive as the engine of the product,
there is no need for tapes or discs.
Affordable LCD-TV Series
at IFA
LG Electronics plans to lead the
popularization of LCD TVs by offering its
new “affordable” high quality LCD TVs,
the LX2 series, to the general public.
The LX2 series are high-quality
medium-sized, 26” and 32”, LCD TVs
which offer one of the best picture
qualities available in the market at a
competitive price. They offer all the
specifications seen in high-end
products such as a 178° viewing angle,
8ms response time and LG’s picture
enhancing chip the XD-Engine™ while
providing convenient functions such as
auto brightness adjustment and Picturein-Picture.
New 42” Plasma by LGE
Presenting the 42PX4RV, which
boasts what’s claimed as the
highest picture quality in its tier
with LG’s innovative technologies.
These
include 10,000:1 contrast
and 1,500cd brightness. The
42PX4RV also comes with a film
filter, which eliminates glare and
double images, and the new XD
engine, which converts analog signals
to HD grade picture quality.
LG of course have a number other cool
items on show at the IFA, including a
new DVD Recorder which can stock
hundreds of hours of film:
the RH-7900MH (Integrated hard disc:
250 GB).
This unit can record up to 345 hours of
film in standard quality, DivX, Mpeg4,
JPEG, DVD+-R/RW, ….
LG also boast the world’s smallest MP3
Player of the world: MF-FE505WF
IFA: Hall 11.2 / 101
NEC
Cool New “Near Wall” Projectors
by
NEC
The new Everio G Series takes that
concept and moves it on to the next
stage. By increasing the capacity of the
HDD, this extends the length of time for
which you can record. Thus, making it
even-more user-friendly.
Plus the G Series retains the wide
connectivity that the MC Series had,
meaning you can connect the camcorder
up to your TV, VCR, DVD Recorder or
your PC to watch, edit or archive your
recordings forever. Leaving the HDD on
the camcorder empty once again for
your next recordings.
IFA: Hall 7.1C / 101
www.cleverdis.com
Those who had to do without spectacular home
cinema in the past because their living rooms
were too small will be delighted by the
WT610 and WT615 projectors,
recipients of the Plus X
Award.
The new mirrored reflection
projector has the shortest throw
distance on the market, with the
ability to project a 40-inch image
at a distance of 2 inches from the
screen, or a 100-inch image from 26
inches away.
IFA: Hall 26 / 317
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
11
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
INNOVATIONIFA
Spotlight
PANASONIC
Panasonic Introduces
Digital Photography
16:9 Aspect CCD
Into
Panasonic has introduced a wide-aspect digital camera to
its line-up… the DMC-LX1. The LX1 is the first digital still
camera featuring a CCD which supports a 16:9 wide screen
width to height ratio (aspect ratio).
“We set a new standard in compact digital camera photography with our optical image stabilizer. Now, we are introducing a
unique 16:9 aspect ratio and a powerful 19x zoom in this field. I believe our bold steps will hasten the evolution of digital still
cameras to respond to a wide range of consumers' tastes,” Mr. Shunzo Ushimaru, Director, Corporate Marketing Division for
Panasonic Brand in Japan, commented. IFA: Hall 5.2 / 103
PHILIPS
Philips Cineos Flat TVs with
Pixel Plus 2 HD and Ambilight 2
Ambilight 2 – According
to research by the TUe,
in a (dark) home cinema
room lighting condition
(7 lux room lighting
level), Ambilight can
reduce eye strain in 6090% of cases.
The active Ambilight –
relaxed setting also gives the possibility
to add a new overall positive psychophysiological experience to certain
types of film/ programmes.
The DVP9000S - Philips'
Philips has recently introduced the
third-generation Pixel Plus, called Pixel
Plus 2 HD.
Pixel Plus 2 HD builds further on the
strengths of Pixel Plus 2 and in the
constant search for perfection has
improved performance in four different
areas. The processing power is
doubled, allowing the system to adjust
each incoming pixel to better match the
surrounding pixels. It also uses fully
digital (10-bit) processing, eliminating
noisy digital-to-analogue and analogueto-digital conversions. Pixel Plus 2 HD
automatically detects and reduces
MPEG artefacts, and incorporates an
enhanced Digital Natural Motion
processing to reduce motion artefacts
even further. The end result is a much
sharper and crisper picture with
increased depth impression and more
lifelike colours.
12
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
most advanced DVD/SACD
player to date.
The DVP9000S will let users watch
DVDs in either 720p or 1080i high
definition thanks to up-sampling
technology.
It also uses the premium Faroudja
FLi2300 image enhancement that upscales standard 576p DVD images to
720p or 1080i resolutions, and
progressive scan material is also
enhanced by TrueLife technology,
which Philips has recalibrated to
enhance 720p and 1080i images using
Philips’ Digital Crystal Clear DCDi
technology.
Philips Wireless Music
Center
Philips Electronics’ new Wireless Music
Center (WACS700) was first unveiled at
the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) in Las Vegas. Featuring a stylishly
designed base and up to five satellite
stations, the Wireless Music Center
offers consumers a complete solution
for digital music storage, management
and distribution.
The WACS700 has the ability to convert
audio CDs into MP3 music files, store
them on a 40 GB1 hard disk (up to 750
CDs of music) and wirelessly stream
music to up to five Wireless Music
Stations, at the same time, anywhere in
the home.
The streams may be the same music in
every room, five different music
selections or any combination in
between.
IFA: Hall 22 / 101
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
INNOVATIONIFA
Spotlight
PIONEER
6th
Generation “HD ready’
‘PURE Vision Black”
Displays
Pioneer Introduces
Pioneer is introducing new “6th gen” 43
and 50-inch plasma displays at IFA. Their
“HD ready” Pioneer ‘PURE Vision Black’
plasma TVs have been redesigned from
scratch to make optimal use of the
completely new PUREBLACK panel
with a Crystal Emissive Layer that
engineers a major advance in picture
quality
by
enhancing
colour
reproduction
and
black-tone
performance. And with PURE Drive 2HD
complete digital video processing
technologies
complemented
by
Pioneer’s i-CLEAR Drive (delivering
better detail in darker areas), Pioneer
claim
that
their TVs
produce
unprecedented levels of realism.
IFA: Hall 17 / 101
PHOCUS
High definition recording on
“standard” DVD and hard disk
Using
DivX
compression,
Phocus offers
an
innovative
solution to recording in High Definition.
Phocus claims to have been the first
brand on the European market to
integrate DivX in its DVR (eds: We have
seen another machine on the market,
and more will follow).. Many more
functions are available, like recording a
program while watching another
recorded video from DVD or your hard
drive, copying from DVD to the hard
drive and vice versa, programming up
to 8 recordings with optional PDC
support. DVD clips and Home Videos
may also be edited.
Phocus is the fastest growing brand in
the European market of LCD, PLASMA,
COMBO and DVR technology.
IFA: Hall 26 / 307
www.cleverdis.com
SAMSUNG
Samsung Outdoor camcorder
Who wouldn’t like to film his or her own
bungee jump? No problem with the VPX110L by Samsung. The sportive
camcorder
comes
with
a
waterproof secondary lens, which
may be fixed to the head or wrist
with the included strip. The VPX110L itself is only as big as a set of
cards and with a weight of just 143
grams hardly a burden for even the
most active athlete. Samsung’s
miniature camcorder records its
motives in MPEG4 format and reaches
the full DV-PAL resolution of 720 x 576
pixels at 25 full images per second.
The camera with its ten times optical
zoom saves up to 30 minutes of video
on its one gigabyte memory card. The
VP-X110L is now available for 799,99 €.
IFA: Hall 20 / 101
SHARP
LC-65GE1 AQUOS 65V-Inch Digital
High-Definition TV, Claiming World’s Largest LCD Model
Sharp Introduces
While at CES and CEBIT we saw an ongoing battle between LG and Samsung for
the “biggest” plasmas and LCD TVs, now it’s the turn of Sharp to jump on the
bandwagon!
They claim their 65 inch High Definition LCD TV is the world’s largest at time of
printing. Remains to be seen if Samsung or LG will have brought something bigger
to the show, but in any case, this massive full spec High Definition TV is very
impressive, and certainly innovative in a number of ways. In addition to outstanding
features deriving from its high-resolution, low-reflection Advanced Super View LCD
panel, the LC-65GE1 also reproduces high-speed full-motion video such as sports
programs with bright, clear, easy-to-view images thanks to Sharp’s QS (Quick Shoot)
Technology that improves moving video responsiveness.
Sharp has also developed a new Four-Wavelength Backlight that adds the
wavelengths of “crimson” to blue, green and red for faithful reproduction of pure
red colours. In addition, Sharp’s High-Aperture Speaker System and highly rated
1-Bit Digital Amplifier deliver clear, natural, high-resolution sound.
Interfacing: The LC-65GE1 is
standard-equipped with an HDMI
(High-Definition
Multimedia
Interface) input jack, a digital
interface that allows input of
images and audio from peripheral
equipment through a single cable
connection. Plus, a DVI (Digital
Visual Interface) input jack enables
connection with a PC or a DVD
player for high-quality image
viewing.
IFA: Hall 3.2 / 101
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
13
Get Smart !!
2 ESSENTIAL
PUBLICATIONS FOR YOUR
EUROPEAN VERTICAL MARKET
COMMUNICATION PLAN
2005/2006
SMARTreport Hotel Edition
SMARTreport Digital Signage Edition
How are buyers in the Hotel Industry
getting “Smart”?
Through our SMARTreport of course!
The European Digital Signage market
is hotter than ever! What’s the best way to talk
with the big buyers?
With our SMARTreport of course!
For more information on how to participate,
call or email now!
For more information on all
Cleverdis publications:
www.cleverdis.com
Contact: Raphaël Pinot (+33) 442 77 46 15
raphael.pinot@cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 1 / INNOVATION • IFA SPECIAL
New TV Technologies to Result
in Breath-taking Coverage
The 2006 FIFA
World Cup
HIGH DEFINITION TV AND
DOLBY SURROUND SOUND
High Definition TV, Dolby Surround
Sound and individual cameras
following the star performers are just
some of the innovations in store for
households around the world.
The task of providing images from
the event belongs to HBS, a company
created in 1999 after the 1998 finals
in France, and now the exclusive
producer and distributor of images
for all FIFA competitions.
“Continuity and innovation” are the
bywords for HBS boss Francis Tellier.
Three innovations in particular will
see the light of day during Germany
www.cleverdis.com
And to give the viewing public the
sensation of being right there in the
stadium itself, HBS has opted to use
Dolby Surround Sound.
good, though. I don't think we'll have
to make too many changes to
them.”
With HBS ready, football lovers the
world over can sit back and start
looking forward to the greatest
televised sporting event of the 21st
century.
® Photo: Fifa
Every cheer from the crowd will be
captured by 30 microphones installed in all 12 of the FIFA World Cup
venues, before being mixed by
sound engineers and pumped
through speakers in homes across
the planet, with viewers owning
“Home Cinema” systems set to
hear the benefits especially.
The first tests conducted during the
FIFA Confederations Cup have
proved absolutely conclusive. The
results were astounding.
CONFIDENCE GAINED FROM
TEST RUN
® Photo: Fifa
In the run up to next year’s event,
the FIFA Confederations Cup has
been serving as the best possible
dress rehearsal – and not just for the
teams and organisers. Much like
FIFA, the Local Organising Committee,
volunteers and everyone else associated with the event, Host
Broadcast Services (HBS) has been
testing out its technology to ensure
that Germany 2006 is the greatest
spectacle the world has ever seen.
2006. High Definition TV is the first
of them, with the 16:9 Widescreen
format originally conceived for watching films due to make the transition to the world of football.
Naturally, all these technologies
bring huge logistical demands with
them.
Once again, however, that does not
seem to worry anyone at HBS.
“That's the great advantage of the
FIFA Confederations Cup”, enthuses
Englishman Peter Angell, director of
production at HBS. “Without this
competition, we would have had to
take great risks at the 2006 FIFA
World Cup Germany. Our plans look
® Photo: Fifa
At IFA 2005, we’ll be seeing and
hearing about the amazing new
technologies that will enable broadcasters to deliver stunning images
never before possible from the 2006
Football World Cup.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
15
17 / The flat screen revolution
19 / Selecting a flat TV
21 / The Naked Truth about LCD TV’s
22 / GUEST EDITORIAL: HDTV adoption in Europe
An overview by Meko
26 / What do you need to know about HDTV
28 / INTERVIEW: Frank Bitterhof, Megascreen
“HD ready or not, here they come”
29 / INTERVIEW: Yves Faroudja “Display quality criteria”
30 / Astra hosts premiere HDTV preview channel
32 / The Berlin case
33 / INTERVIEW: Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat S.A.
“HD, an important growth vector for satellite
broadcasting”
32 / INTERVIEW: Ki-II Kwon, LGe.
“...we hold the principle of providing top quality
products to our customers with reasonable prices”
36 / Native HD recording formats: Blu-ray & HD-DVD
37 / ADVERTORIAL: VideoSeven offers future
customers approved technology with
excellent conditions
38 / Rear-Projection TV:
The bigger brother for a smaller price...
39 / What do you need to know
about front projectors
41 / New projector categories launched in 2005
43 / ADVERTORIAL: Hitachi, High Definition Home
Cinema that stands out
44 / LCD & Plasma technology
47 / 3LCD technology
48 / DLP technology
49 / New technologies LCoS & SED
CHAPTER 2
IFA: TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
The flat screen
revolution
The arrival of plasma and LCD screens has transformed the TV world. Henceforth, a modern TV screen is
flat… and “design conscious”. Bid farewell to the cumbersome old “box”: not really something that brought
a touch of esthetic to our lives. The flat TV market is exploding, as evidenced by the major space dedicated
to flat TVs in virtually all major retail outlets.
Beyond the technologies, for the consumer, the main points of interest are firstly the form factor and
secondly the image quality. The latest innovations in LCD and plasma technologies have meant that both are
now perfectly adapted for all kinds of use, not only in the professional setting, but also at home. The TV
becomes the center of a larger “entertainment” center – either home cinema or part of a multi-media system
incorporating internet and other PC-based activities.
A PLETHORA OF USES
© Photo: Pioneer
Depending on usage, it’s now
possible to choose a flat screen
from a very large range of sizes,
with image diagonals from 15” to
www.cleverdis.com
more than 60”. One can also find
screens adapted to all budgets and
environments, at home, in retail, or
in the office. Digital “convergence”
in this sense has been paralleled by
another kind of convergence – that
which is happening between
traditional commercial and domestic
uses of display products. A while
ago, the computer monitor went
with the computer in the office, and
the TV was a thing you watched at
home. Then computers started to
become widespread at home, and
by the same token, people started
using their desktop or laptop
computer to watch multimedia
presentations. Now, the convergence is almost total, and we can no
longer really just talk about
“consumer” and “professional”
applications. In these pages, we will
attempt to give you some pointers
for how to choose screens
depending on your usage. Smaller
sized LCD multimedia screens are
becoming widespread in retail
shops and in the home, thanks to
the fact that they can be placed
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
17
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
check-out or in line at the bank.
This use of LCD screens is also
bringing fantastic Return on
Investment for shops using them for
promotions and advertising. The
possibilities are virtually endless. In
this guide, we’re not going to try to
go into all the different permutations
of what you can do with screens,
but will try to give some general
guidelines about applications and
what you should base your purchase
decision on.
16:9 FORMAT BETTER
ADAPTED TO WATCHING
MOVIES
The onset not only of HDTV, but
especially of the 16:9 (widescreen)
form factor is being pushed along by
the fact that this format is much
better adapted to watching DVD
movies. We’ll be seeing more and
more TVs and multimedia monitors
in this form factor as more and more
people want to watch DVD and HD
source material in widescreen
format.
PRICES
Prices continue to descend, and will
do so for a number of years, as
more large scale factories are
opened (both plasma and LCD) and
economies of scale combine with
heavy competition to drive prices
down.
By the same token, plasma prices
continue to plunge, with 42”
screens now available for just over
€1,000. Just a few years ago, the
same plasma screen would have set
you back more than €10,000.
© Photo: Philips
virtually anywhere and can receive
both PC and TV images. These
displays are therefore being used in
many places where no-one ever
thought displays could be used until
now. Until the onset of LCD TV
technology, who would have ever
thought of putting a TV in an
elevator? The mental image of a big
old cathode ray tube TV in an
elevator is in fact quite humoristic.
Who would have thought to put a TV
into the face of a fridge? Now it’s
the latest thing if you want to out-do
the Jones’s. Another factor that
makes the smaller LCD TV so
popular is that you can pick it up and
carry it easily from one room to
another. In a shop, you can hang
them just about anywhere, and in
fact that’s what people are doing,
making our lives much more bright
and cheerful when waiting at the
18
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Selecting
a flat TV
Plasma screens tend to dominate in
terms of published specs compared
to LCD, the contrast of plasma falls
faster than LCD as the ambient light
increases. This means that in a room
with normal daylight conditions, an
LCD screen will often have better
real contrast than the Plasma.
VIDEO PROCESSING
The flat TV set constitutes one of the essential components of a modern
home multi-media system. Despite a major drop in prices, its purchase
still represents a considerable investment for consumers, especially
when they’re looking at renewing the principal television set in the
home.
IMAGE SIZE
From where the viewer is seated, a
distance of 3 to 5 times the width of
the screen base is necessary for
good visual comfort. In fact, it’s
better to be too far away from the
screen than too close. It should be
noted however that you can sit
closer to a high definition screen
without eye strain than one with
standard resolution.
So according to the size of the room
and the place in which the viewers
will be seated, one can define the
maximum size of the screen. For
example, a room where the distance
between the settee and the screen
is ten feet should not generally be
equipped with a TV set of more than
42 inches.
facturers announce their screens are
“HDTV compatible” which does not
mean the set is HDTV, but means it
has standard or enhanced resolution,
and while able to receive HDTV
channels, effectively down-grades
the HDTV signal.
LUMINOSITY AND CONTRAST
A combination of luminosity and
contrast influences the visual impact
of the screen. Associated with the
clarity of the image, good contrast
makes it possible to better
distinguish details. However, beware
of the spec sheets!
What’s published by the manufacturers only corresponds to
contrast levels in “ideal” situations
(i.e. a pitch-black room). Thus, while
The quality of the LCD or Plasma
panel only assures the final quality of
the image, but does not guarantee
its overall quality. The signal
processing is indeed paramount,
because it allows for the provision of
an optimized digital signal to the
screen.
Video processing makes it possible
to improve the following characteristics of the image (see also
article):
• Fast moving images (eradicating
trailing effect)
• Homogeneous colors (absence of
swarming),
• Respect of curved lines (absence
of “staircase” effect).
In addition, video processors known
as “scalers” make it possible to
adapt the resolution of the signal to
that of the screen. This is extremely
important in screens where the
incoming signal does not have the
same number of pixels as the
screen. When there are around 400
lines arriving and 1080 on the
RESOLUTION
www.cleverdis.com
© Photo: Sony
Expressed as a number of pixels horizontal and vertical - the
resolution defines the quality of the
image that’s displayed. The more you
raise the resolution, the more dots
there are on the screen and
consequently the definition of the
image on the screen is better.
What many are now claiming is
“true” High Definition TV is that
which has 1920 X 1080 pixels on the
screen (1080p). But there is
nevertheless another “intermediate”
HD format: 1280 X 720.
Screens offering these resolutions
are ideal for watching HDTV, but
beware, because some manu-
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
19
© Photo: Philips
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
screen, simple math says you can’t
make a simple conversion. To make
a nice, smooth picture, there is a
hell of a lot of calculation involved.
Multiply that a hundred times a
second and you get an idea of the
processing power needed.
Integrated processors are therefore
often inadequate. This also explains
why, when you have a great picture
in the shop, you get home and the
standard TV picture looks trashy.
Ask the people in the shop if they
can advise on scalers. If not, read
this guide attentively!
CHALK AND CHEESE
PLASMA AND LCD
REFRESH RATE
A certain minimum response time is
required for the viewer not to get
visual fatigue, and in LCD screens,
it’s important in order not to get
“trailing effects”. The criteria are
indeed different when comparing
LCD screens with Plasma or
Cathode Ray TVs. The refresh rate is
expressed as the time it takes for a
display’s image to be refreshed per
second. This rate is expressed in
hertz, so a refresh rate of 75 Hz
means the image is refreshed 75
times per second.
It is believed that 70 Hz or higher is
necessary for the human eye not to
perceive a “flicker” effect. When
purchasing a monitor or TV, the
minimum refresh rate is therefore
75 to 85 Hz. New technology CRT TV
screens run at 100 Hz, ensuring
even more visual comfort, and much
smoother transitions for fast moving
pictures on the screen. While 75 Hz
is a minimum for CRT, an acceptable
20
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
refresh rate for LCD is perceived as
being 16 milliseconds (why did they
go and confuse things by changing
measuring standards?). In terms of
Hertz, that only makes around 62
Hz… so where’s the catch? The
thing is that in technical terms, an
LCD pixel doesn’t turn “off and
on”… it just changes state…
whereas on a Plasma or CRT screen
(as will also be the case with SED
screens), each impulse is like a light
switching on and off, then on again
and so on.
In other words, in CRT and Plasma,
the individual pixel unit, made up of
red, green and blue dots, has a
discharge, followed by a lapse,
followed by another discharge, etc.,
whereas the LCD screen has a flow
of digital information arriving at its
pixels, meaning it can change from
one shade of blue to another
without the pixel turning “off” in
between. This is why there’s no
“flicker” effect on LCD.
VIEWING ANGLE
Do you have a room where people
will be watching the screen from
broad angles, or are most people
watching the screen from within a
limited angle?
If the latter is true, and you’re
looking to buy an LCD TV or monitor,
be very careful about the viewing
angle. Panel suppliers are now
generally making screens that have
a very good viewing angle (see LCD
techno section – description of SIPS and MVA technologies), but
many screens still on sale in shops
are “old tech” and have a poor
viewing angle.This is a non-issue
with Plasma and CRT, and will also
not be a problem with new SED
screens.
LIFESPAN
Today, the lifespan of Plasma and
LCD screens borders on 60,000
hours of effective operation, which
corresponds to nearly 14 years’
operation if used 12 hours per day.
The question of lifespan is thus not
a criterion of great interest for the
general consumer. In addition,
lifespan generally refers to the time
it takes for the screen to get to half
the level of luminosity of when it
was brand new. As most new
screens have a high initial level of
luminosity, this is a moot point.
MULTIMEDIA CAPABILITY
Do you want to use your new LCD
TV as a computer monitor?
Remember that not all LCD TVs are
instantly compatible, which sounds
stupid, but it’s true.
As digital convergence becomes
more and more a part of our daily
lives, it’s important to consider what
you may want to do with your
“digital visual interface” in the next
few years. If you’re looking for a flat
screen TV for your bedroom, and
you already have your PC sitting on a
desk in the corner there, why not
combine the two? Think of that
BEFORE buying, so as not to be
sorry afterwards. Wouldn’t it be
better to have a great new screen
for your PC at the same time as
having internet and all the other
multimedia capabilities of your PC
on the TV? Remember, convergence is the word!
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
The Naked Truth
About LCD TV’s
One of the biggest problems with choosing an LCD (or Plasma) TV is that consumers are given so many
different sales pitches in different stores – generally by poorly informed sales staff – causing these potential
buyers to either throw up their hands in disgust… or just buy whatever comes in a nice package. Don’t get
us wrong. It’s generally not the fault of the sales people that they are badly informed. So little impartial, easyto-use information exists on the market that they have little chance to be able to educate themselves. We
hope this guide will in part solve this problem.
FALSE! There are many different
companies manufacturing TFT-LCD
panels. There are in fact FIVE main
ones: Samsung/S-LCD, LG.Philips
LCD (both are based in South
Korea), Sharp (Japan), and CMO and
AUO (China). In 2004, Sharp was the
biggest manufacturer of LCD TV
panels, producing just over three
million units. LG.Philips LCD, CMO
and Samsung each also produced
more than 2-million units. In 2005,
Samsung and LG.Philips LCD are
battling it out for the number one
position as TV panel manufacturers,
both
projecting
more
than
5.5-million TV panels, while Sharp
will produce around 5-million, as will
CMO. AUO should produce around
3-million this year.
… Anyway, the panels are all
the same … they’re just LCD.
WRONG AGAIN! Several different
techniques are used to make TFT
LCD panels. While it’s not important
for you to know the intimate details
of technologies such as S-IPS (i.e.
LG.Philips LCD), or S-PVA (i.e.
Samsung), it is important to know
that YES, there are quite major
www.cleverdis.com
differences in the way different
manufacturers produce their panels,
and YES this does affect things like
viewing angle, contrast ratios and
response times. If you do wish to
learn more about how LCD panels
are made and what the advantages
are of different technologies,
Cleverdis has put at your disposal, in
PDF form, on our web-site
www.cleverdis.com, various publications and special reports on the
topic. These may be downloaded
free-of-charge as a service to the
public. To this end, we strongly
recommend to retail sales staff to
download our European Flat TV
Guide.
years. Added to this, LCD TV’s have
a life expectancy that largely
exceeds this. In a couple of years’
time, when your friends are buying,
and watching glorious HDTV
pictures, you’ll be fuming and
cursing the salesman who sold you
a standard definition TV. Of course it
will mean a second sale for him, as
you come back to buy another TV in
a couple of years… but what a
waste!
HDTV is not important –
anyway, there’s nothing
available to watch!
Sales people that tell you this will do
so for one of two reasons:
a/ They simply don’t know that many
High-Definition
channels
are
planned for Europe for the coming
years;
b/ They want to offload the standard
definition TV’s they have in stock
before stocking-up with new HD
models.
In either case, they are doing you a
disservice by not advising to go for
an HDTV. Think of it this way. Most
people buy TV’s to last around ten
© Photo: Sony
SOME COMMON
UNTRUTHS…
LCD panels are generally all
made by the same
manufacturer… it’s just the
electronics and casings that
change…
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
21
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Guest Editorial
HDTV adoption
in Europe
At the DisplayForum conference in
Den Haag in September 2003, Bruce
Berkoff, the Executive VP of leading
LCD maker LG.Philips LCD, said that
three things are driving the changes
in the world TV market to High
Definition:
• The availability of large and relatively low cost flat panel displays.
• The switch of TV worldwide from
analogue to digital.
• The adoption of HDTV.
As yet, although these conditions
apply in markets including Japan and
the US, they don’t yet apply across
Europe.
The first point, the availability of
large high resolution displays, is a
very critical one. In the 1980s and
early 1990s, European TV engineers
developed pioneering high definition
TV technologies based on 1150 line
formats (around four times the
resolution of standard PAL and
SECAM TV standards). However,
almost the only TV display in use at
the time was the cathode ray tube
(CRT) which has been the dominant
TV display since RCA developed the
shadow mask colour CRT in 1948.
When consumers were shown the
1150 line system on the CRTs of the
time, which were being pushed to
the limits of the technology, they
were unimpressed with the quality
and didn’t see the point of spending
a lot more money to get this new
system. The engineers decided on
this basis, not to proceed with
development or the implementation
22
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
of HD. There were two basic reasons
why these displays were not good
enough. First, it was very hard to
make CRTs that were bright enough
for TV applications but had sharp
enough focus for high definition.
(Although high resolution CRTs were
available for monitors, they don’t
have to have as much brightness as
TV tubes). With Liquid Crystal
Displays (LCDs) especially and with
Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) to a
lesser extent, and with the microdisplay-based rear projection TVs based
on LCOS, LCD or DLP, brightness is
almost independent of resolution
and definition.
Secondly, the level of detail that the
human eye can see depends on the
viewing distance from the screen.
High definition shown in the early
1990s on CRTs for TV had dots that
were so small that at normal viewing
distances, the level of detail was
simply not resolvable for most
people. Bigger CRTs would have solved the problem, but CRTs have not
been developed above 40” – partly
simply because of bulk. A 40” CRT is
so deep that it won’t go through a
normal door!
So, there was no real point in having
high definition TV unless the size of
the screen is bigger than traditional
TVs.
LCDs and PDPs are now available in
very large sizes. At the time of writing, Samsung has shown PDPs with
102” diagonal, while 71” PDPs are
commercially available, although
ABOUT
An Overview by
MEKO
Meko is a specialist market
research consultancy and publisher whose topic is 'moving
pixels'. The company combines
technical and product understanding with practical experience of
the world of high technology marketing. Meko's aim is to be the
major source of advice and data
for companies that are involved,
or interested, in the European display market. Clients include virtually all the significant monitor
makers in the European market
and most of the major PC and TV
vendors.
“If it produces moving pictures,
they're interested in it!”
expensive. LCDs have been shown
at up to 82”, while 65” displays are in
the market in some parts of the
world. Furthermore, 50” – 60” Rear
projection TVs based on microdisplays such as DLP or LCD are priced
at levels that make them accessible
to many people.
At a conference in Korea in July,
Samsung said that it hoped to get
LCD panel prices down to a level
that would allow LCD TV sets to sell
in the European market at prices
down to half the level that they are
today or less. Even a 40” LCD TV
could cost well under $1,000 by
2007.
www.cleverdis.com
© Photo: Philips
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
LCD TV will be the biggest selling
flat panel technology in Europe in
the future, partly because of the
wide range of sizes that use the
technology. PDP, in contrast will
really be strong in the TV market in
the size range of 50” and above in
the near future.
So, the first of the conditions
discussed by Berkoff is already in
place, if only because the display
industry is very much a worldwide
one and Europe can get the benefit
of HDTV developments in the US
and in Asia which are driving the
sales of large displays.
One of the disadvantages of these
great new digital display technologies is that they are very precise and
‘analytical’. This can mean that they
look fantastic when driven with a
digital HD signal or from a good
source such as a DVD, but when
they are displaying an analogue
broadcast signal, they show all the
faults in the signal in a way that was
masked by the older analogue CRT
technology.
www.cleverdis.com
DIGITAL
The switch to digital is not as simple
in Europe as it is in some of the
other markets such as the US, partly because of the sheer number of
broadcasters
and
programme
makers. Although many European
consumers can receive digital
transmissions by satellite, cable or
in some cases by terrestrial
broadcasting, the vast majority do
not use digital technologies.
The UK has seen good penetration
of ‘free-to-air’ digital broadcasting
and Berlin has famously switched to
digital, but most of the rest of
Europe is not there yet and there are
a range of forecasts of from 2010
onwards as the likely date of a switch over to digital.
Having said that, early reports from
France, which started digital
terrestrial broadcasting in March
2005, show that set top box sales
and digital adoption is happening
rapidly.
Italy is a pioneer in this area and
hopes to have 100% coverage of
Italy with digital TV by the end
of 2006.
HDTV AND BANDWIDTHS
HDTV resolutions will typically take
around 20MBits using MPEG2 but
the same quality is achievable with
just 6-10MBps using these new
codecs, opening up the possibility
that if broadcasters switch to the
new techniques, they can have
almost as many channels of HD quality as they previously had of standard definition. The disadvantage is
that a new set top box or decoder is
needed and these, and the encoders needed for transmission, are
only just becoming available in the
market. Despite this, the French
government has opted to support
MPEG4 for HD transmissions.
Satellite and cable TV operators
don’t have real restrictions on the
bandwidth available (although wider
bandwidth costs more) so will be
the first to introduce HDTV content.
These companies already have relationships where their customers pay
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
23
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
satellite operators, there are good
revenue-related reasons to switch.
There may be additional costs in
terms of source material, transmission and also in making high
definition set top boxes available to
their customers, but it’s possible to
see how these issues can be overcome.
© Photo: Philips
For terrestrial broadcasters and
nationalised channels, the picture is
somewhat different. If there’s no
direct customer relationship with the
viewer, PPV becomes a more difficult proposition.
on a monthly basis, so paying more
for HDTV is likely to be a relatively
straightforward option. Premium
content such as movies, live sports
and live events such as concerts that
viewers already pay for are the
obvious areas where HD can start to
generate revenues quite quickly on a
‘Pay per view’ (PPV) basis.
Experience in the US has shown that
once consumers switch to HD channels, they become very discerning
about picture quality and don’t want
to switch back to standard definition.
This means that broadcast channels
that don’t offer an HD option are
quickly under pressure from declining audiences. So, for cable and
Advertisers, who generally fund
these channels will have increased
costs to create advertising in high
definition, but may not have bigger
audiences. It’s tough for these
broadcasters to develop a model to
justify a switch to HD except as a
means of avoiding audience loss.
The TV Marketplace
Whether you’re looking to buy a TV in the near future, or you’re a TV retailer, either way it’s a good idea to get a good
understanding of the market – what the trends are at the moment, and what the future looks like. Specialists in
research in this field, UK-based Meko have compiled all the essential information you need in the following article.
Our thanks to Pete Gamby and Bob Raikes of Meko for their input…
Meko's forecast for the European TV
set market goes out to the
beginning of 2008 and covers each
of the product types by size and by
country.
For the biggest markets in Europe,
sales of larger FFCRT sets (above
30") have been hit hardest by the
decline in LCD TV pricing so the
forecast for this type of set is not
promising. Samsung and LG.Philips
Displays have said recently that they
plan to co-operate in slim CRT
making. This could boost sales for
the larger set sizes but Meko has
actually cut back its shipment
estimates for 32" and larger FFCRT
this time although the share by size
increases above 29" over the
forecast period.
In its latest forecast, Meko did not
24
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
dramatically adjust its LCD TV
forecast in terms of share by size.
Sales of sets at 20" and below will
dominate in the short term but with
sales of 26" and larger taking the
lion's share of the market by the end
of the forecast period.
There is still no expectation that
very large LCD sector (45" and
above) can take significant share in
Europe. As has already been proved
in the plasma market, there is little
scope for such large screens in the
general smaller properties in this
region of the world.
Sales of >25" LCDs will be more
than 5.4m units in 2007.
Meko has a bullish forecast for
plasma TV sets and shows a strong
seasonal increase for Q4 in each of
the forecast years. Much of this
continued growth is dependent on
price reductions and there's no
evidence to suggest that the plasma
panel makers are unwilling to try to
compete with the LCD suppliers.
The plasma market is still and will
continue to be dominated by the 42"
screen size products. This screen
size will increase its share of the
market from around 80% at the
moment to nearly 85% by the end
of the forecast period.
The other "advanced TV" set type is
rear projection. There is declining
number of suppliers and with the
already small size of the LCD-based
rear projection set market, Meko is
anticipating it to drop to zero by the
beginning of next year.
Sales of CRT-based rear projection
sets are also in decline but it is
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CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
expected that DLP (and other reflective display types in time) will help
this sector to grow overall.
At present, sales of integrated digital
TV sets are proving very tricky to
estimate as many manufacturers are
unable (or unwilling) to disclose shipments by model. However, despite
an increasing number of models
with integrated digital becoming
available, the data that is being
reported suggests that the share of
sales for this type of set is still in
single digits.
Meko's data suggests that the share
of set sales for integrated digital TVs
is very low and probably reaches
only 5% to 6% in the UK but is as
low as 1% for Europe as a whole and
across all technologies. Extrapolating
that data, combined with the forecasts for overall penetration rates
against the overall set market forecast shows that analogue set sales
are extremely unlikely to be overtaken by digital TV set sales before
2008. This assumes that the majority
of countries do not confirm analogue
switch over dates and schedules
until at least 2007.
So why is the share so low today?
The example of the UK market is
perhaps a relevant one.
With a TV set to household ratio of
nearly two to one, there are potentially 40m installed TV sets in the UK
that are analogue. Many of these will
LCD Forecast Sales - Share By Size Europe
100%
90%
80%
70%
45 inch Wide
42 inch Wide
37 inch Wide
32 inch Wide
30 inch Wide
26 inch Wide
23 inch Wide
20 inch
17 inch Wide
17 inch
15 inch
60%
50%
Actual up to Q1 05,
forecast later
40%
30%
© Source: Meko
Away from the traditional main room
viewing market, the take up of PCbased TV viewing (and more importantly, recording) is also helping to
drive digital take up. Tech-savvy
users can get all the benefits of a
fully functional PVR with the addition
of a digital tuner card to an existing
household desktop or notebook PC.
As home-networking becomes more
widely adopted, this may help to
convert more analogue sets to "digital" viewing since a PC can provide a
composite or S-video signal via a
SCART socket to an analogue set.
Unlike the situation in the US, there
cannot be Europe-wide legislation
implemented to mandate set
makers to provide digital-capable
sets and this will hamper more rapid
adoption in Meko's opinion. The EU
may try to implement something for
its member states and has recently
announced that it would like its
members to drive for a co-ordinated
2012 switch over.
20%
10%
0%
Q2 04 Q3 04 Q4 04 Q1 05 Q2 05 Q3 05 Q4 05 Q1 06 Q2 06 Q3 06 Q4 06 Q1 07 Q2 07 Q3 07 Q4 07 Q1 08
All TV Forecast Sales - Share By Type Europe
100%
be 21" and smaller. This means there
is a huge potential market for set top
boxes still to be fulfilled whilst the
price for a replacement, integrated
digital TV is still high and while there
are so few sets at or below 21" with
that feature.
A recent report from Ofcom suggests that "around 1.1m [digital
tuners] have been bought for use on
second sets by viewers who already
have digital (either Freeview or Sky
or cable) on their main set". The regulator also reckons that nearly 25% of
FreeView STBs are bought for this
purpose.
80%
From the set makers point of view,
the marketing of digital TV will more
or less be taken care of by the broadcasters. After all, the last thing they
will want is for 20% of the population of Europe to wake one day to a
blank TV screen!
60%
Actual up to Q1 05,
forecast later
40%
© Source: Meko
20%
0%
Q2 04
Q3 04
www.cleverdis.com
Q4 04
Q1 05
CRT
Q2 05
Q3 05
Q4 05
Flat Faced CRT
Q1 06
Q2 06
LCD
Q3 06
Q4 06
Plasma
Q1 07
Q2 07
Q3 07
Rear Projection
Q4 07
Q1 08
One strong conclusion offered by
Ofcom in a report last year was that
the announcement of a firm switch
off date would be a key driver for
digital TV adoption.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
25
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
What you need to
know about HDTV
BACKGROUND
The decision to work on a new TV
standard goes back as far as the
1964 Olympics, when the Japanese
public broadcaster NHK decided to
examine the idea.
In 1980, an HDTV standard was
agreed in Japan, known as
MUSE/Hi-Vision. Since this time, the
debate has been raging in Europe
and the US as to what standard to
adopt in HDTV. When, in 1993, the
FCC decided to back a digital TV
standard, the possibility was opened-up to allow for HIGH DEFINITION TV. The US DTV standard was
a variant of the Japanese approach
(1080 lines – interlaced). Since then,
Europe has launched into the market, with satellite networks finally
getting off the ground, primarily
pushed forward by Astra with Euro
1080.
DO I NEED ONE?
HDTVs will become a “must have”
item, offering picture quality many
times that of plain old analogue TV.
On the other hand, sources of HDTV
26
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
broadcasts are still very limited, so
you have to take that into account.
That being said, as a TV will no doubt
last you a number of years, you’ll be
kicking yourself in a couple of years,
when many broadcasters will be
broadcasting in HDTV.
The other system is called 1080i.
HDTV programs are all broadcast in
16:9 (wide screen) aspect ratio.
WHY BUY AN HDTV?
The “i” stands for interlaced, which
means half of the lines are drawn in
one 1/60th-of-a-second pass, then
the other half of the lines are drawn
in another 1/60th-of-a-second pass,
to draw the “full” picture every
1/30th of a second.
The “p” stands for progressive,
meaning lines of information are
sent to the display in sequential
order to create the picture.
Buying an HDTV is very much a lifestyle choice. People who are highly
“entertainment” oriented (movies,
DVDs, video games) have been
among the first to buy HDTVs. Many
people are also tending towards
“cocooning”, creating the “movie
experience” at home, with longerterm cash saving also being perceived from this. Also, people replacing
their old TVs don’t want to be seen
as buying “old” technology.
WHAT’S HDTV?
Plain Old analogue television based
on the 480 usable line standard, and
digital transmission can be done at
the same resolution. HDTV primarily
has 2 standards: the “720p” system,
which uses a 720 line, 60 Hz
progressively scanned signal.
WHAT DO THE “I” AND “P”
STAND-FOR IN 720P AND
1080I?
WHICH IS BETTER?
1080i (1920 X 1080) delivers 2 million pixels 30 times per second,
while 720p (1280 x 720) delivers 1
million pixels 60 times a second.
Some think that 720 progressive has
better compression. Others say it’s
more important to have more pixels.
What’s clear for now is that both
systems will coexist. In any case,
both systems are compatible with
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CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
HDTV “COMPATIBLE”
A TV set that can receive a digital,
HDTV-quality signal but cannot
display it in a true HDTV resolution is
HDTV compatible. Some HDTVcompatible sets receive the HDTV
signal and convert it down to 480p
(enhanced definition TV). Some sets
capable of displaying 720p or 1,080i
may have only a 4:3 (standard)
aspect ratio, and thus cannot display
a widescreen picture at full resolution.
© Photo: Pioneer
HD SET-TOP BOXES
almost all HD set-top boxes and HD
satellite receivers.
CHOOSING A TV OR
MONITOR
There are four main types of
echnology available: plain old CRT,
projection TV, Plasma and Liquid
Crystal Display. Projection TV is
becoming popular in larger sizes
because it offers the best value for
your money. This being said, PDP
and LCD offer the advantage of a
“thinner” footprint. For greater than
50-inch platforms, the industry
considers projection TV to be the
first choice for image quality and
value per screen inch.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN HDTV AND DTV?
DTV refers to Digital TV, while HDTV
refers to High Definition TV. The
onset of digital broadcasting and
digital media in general is basically
what has enabled High Definition TV
to become within reach in Europe.
HDTV has existed for years in Japan
in analogue form, but failed to catch
on either in Europe due to cost and
infrastructure issues. So to be clear,
all HDTV programs today are digital,
but not all digital programs are HDTV.
www.cleverdis.com
WIDESCREEN
HDTV programming is in 16:9 format, rather than the traditional 4:3
format of standard TV. This being
said, the simple fact that a picture is
16:9 (wide screen) does not mean
it’s HDTV. HD concerns only high
definition 720p and 1080i/p pictures.
HDTV “READY”
When you see TVs that are labeled
“HDTV Ready”, this essentially
means buying the TV alone won't
bring you HDTV pictures. You will
also need to obtain a digital set-top
box. Similar to a cable box, this is a
tuner that receives the broadcast in
digital form and feeds it to your TV. A
fully integrated HDTV (with an HD
tuner inside) will cost more than an
“HDTV ready” unit.
If you’re only planning to watch high
definition video material from a
source other than broadcast, you
won’t need the set-top box, so you
may be best off buying an HD Ready
set.
On the other hand if your prime reason for purchasing an HDTV is to
watch broadcast TV, it’s best to buy a
set with the HD electronics
built-in.
The HDTV television set-top box or
receiver is generally referred to by
cable companies as an HD Digital
terminal or HD set top box. It’s
important to note that a regular digital terminal will allow you to receive
digital signals but will not allow you
to receive HDTV signals. Be careful
to make sure that your HD set-top
box has all the necessary cross
conversions your TV needs. For
example, if the TV accepts only
1080i and 480p, and the box delivers
720p, you won't be able to watch
those programs!
Other times, the box may be able to
handle live video, like newscasts,
but not movies. Technically, live
video (1080i) has 30 frames per
second in broadcast mode, while
movies have 24 frames per second,
but the set top box always sends
(approx.) 30 frames per second to
the TV.
HD PROGRAMMING
The main requirement in receiving
HD programming is having an HDTV
program to watch! The fact that you
are watching an HDTV channel does
not necessarily mean you are watching true HDTV programming.
Much of the programming on the
HDTV channels may just be regular
standard definition programming
that has been up-converted to
HDTV. What this means is that the
program has been “digitally enhanced”, using a computer, in order to
be rebroadcast in HDTV.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
27
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
INTERVIEW
HD ready or not,
here they come
with Frank Bitterhof, Megascreen Home Cinema
for transmitting HD images from the
picture source to any HD display...
FRANK BITTERHOF
General Manager
of Megascreen Home Cinema
Frank Bitterhof is general manager
of Megascreen Home Cinema, a
Berlin home theatre company, and
author of various articles dealing
with Home Entertainment and High
Definition issues. An early DVD
adopter (1997) he has now
specialized in HD, but sees a large
number of obstacles in the way to
(European)
HDTV and High
Definition in general.
www.megascreen.de
Cleverdis: In November, Germany's
PREMIERE HD starts the second
European HDTV Pay TV program,
ahead
of
BRITISH
SKY
BROADCASTING (United Kingdom)
and CANAL PLUS (France). You are
excited and look forward to it, yet
you predict trouble.
Frank Bitterhof: Some displays
will remain black, because their
digital inputs don't support high
definition
content
protection
(HDCP). And some that do will show
distorted pictures because Euro
HDTV images (running at 50 Hz)
were
not
an
issue
during
manufacturing. To be able to watch
any HD program content at all, the
consumer will have to use traditional
video connections - which water the
HD picture resolution down to
standard TV resolution. This will not
be the eye-catching HD as promised.
Cl.: But component video connections are the international standard
28
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
F.B.: ...and are now abolished at the
“request” of Hollywood's major
program providers. Video piracy has
become such a colossal concern that
only digital video interfaces like
HDMI or DVI complying with HDCP
copy protection are authorized to
reveal true HD images of movie
programs.
Cl.: But this is bad news for early
adopters of HD screens who lack
proper digital video inputs
F.B.: Exactly. Those consumers will
have to purchase a suitable display
first before they can benefit from
true HD picture resolution - or accept
standard resolution from HD via the
analog video connections.
One way or the other, they will
dislike this.
Cl.: How does the industry propose
to remedy the situation?
F.B.: The
leading
consumer
electronics manufacturers have
agreed on the HD ready logo to
highlight an HD and future compliant
display. Since Spring, coming
European HDTV broadcasters like
PREMIERE HD and BRITISH SKY
BROADCASTING urge consumers to
pay attention to the HD ready logo,
prior to the purchase of a new flat
screen.
Technically, it is not that difficult to
understand: 16:9 picture format +
minimal vertical pixel resolution of
720 + one HDCP compliant digital
video input (HDMI or DVI) + Euro HD
display capability of 50 Hz.
Cl.: The HD ready logo solves the
problem once and for all?
F.B.: It resolves the basic problem.
And, although it is too early for it to
have
achieved
household
awareness, the HD ready logo is the
truly official one that gives the
consumer the assurance he needs.
However, an upcoming issue is the
number of available digital inputs. In
the case of a demanding consumer
the digital input is already occupied
by a compatible DVD player. He
could switch the DVD player to the
analog component video input of the
display to make space for the Pay TV
HD-DVB receiver, but won't like it.
Next comes the Blu-Ray Disc and/or
High-Density DVD player, where are
you going to hook one of those up?
Fortunately, the latest surround
amplifiers feature several digital
video inputs. But Flat screens with
two or more digital video inputs will
have a practical advantage.
Cl.: Do you consider the market
chances for movie-based Blu-Ray
Disc or High-Density DVD to be
inferior to those of live-action HD
broadcasting?
F.B.: Not necessarily. But it requires
the program providers to learn from
the lesson with Super Audio CD and
DVD-Audio. Both started with
audiophile appealing high end
stereo, but featured multi-channel
surround too late to attract general
interest.
Since 1990 movies are shot in the
Super 35 camera format where the
captured image equals the 16:9
viewing format. Yet, the image
arriving on the majority of movie
DVDs is not the one in 16:9 Full
Screen, but the theatrical letterbox
image. High-end videophiles don't
mind but consumers worldwide
despise letterbox bars – this is an
opportunity Blu-Ray Disc and HDDVD should seize.
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
INTERVIEW
Display quality
criteria
with Yves Faroudja
Cleverdis: When looking at directview TV’s, particularly LCD versus
CRT technology, what are the main
considerations to be taken into
account?
Yves Faroudja: The basic choices
to be made by a potential buyer are
of course firstly based on aspect
ratio… either 3:4, or 16:9… Then
comes the question: HDTV or not
HDTV… All sets nowadays must
have Video, Yuv, and S-VHS inputs,
and even in 50 Hz countries, CRT
TVs must display at a 100 Hz rate
(through frame doubling), manual
aspect conversion from 3/4 to 16/9,
or vice versa, and Zoom functions.
Cl.: What about image quality?
What are the main concerns here?
Y.F.: A good pre-processor should
have, for all devices, 3D PAL/NTSC
decoding, Non-linear enhancement,
De-interlacing including reverse
telecine
and
diagonal
lines
interpolation modes. In addition, for
LCD devices, Scaling, Motion
blurring correction ( Often only partly
done) and Colour correction.
But pre-processors cannot correct:
• Errors of all kinds made during the
signal source generation (Studio
processing). This is probably the
greatest source of degradation of
image quality.
• Errors due to excessive compression and transmission path.
• Limited angle of vision ( LCD )
• Poor black level ( LCD )
Y.F.: The different elements of image
quality are resolution, flicker,
colorimetry, black level, uniformity,
overall contrast, motion blurring, and
angle of vision ( LCDs ). It has to be
underlined that CRT TVs are still the
best in terms of picture quality and
cost. Their limitations are only due to
mediocre pre-processors, not from
the CRTs themselves. Their main
inconveniences are bulk and weight.
In Direct-view LCD-TVs main
advantages are their flatness and
weight.
Resolution
is
good.
Requirements for pre-processing
include de-interlacing (if required),
and flicker is limited. However, the
colorimetry may be false, the angle
of vision may be limited, and black
level may not be black enough. The
intrinsic motion blurring of the LCD
may not be properly compensated.
Cl.: We hear people talking a lot
about the importance of preprocessors. Tell us about these…
www.cleverdis.com
YVES FAROUDJA
• Lack of uniformity.
Cl.: Mr Faroudja, it could be said
that you are one of the visionaries of
the industry… How do you see the
future of this market?
Y.F.: In the future, I see LCDs taking
a bigger and bigger part of the
market, but CRTs will stay with us
for a very, very long time, as well as
analogue transmission standards.
I believe that the remaining defects
of some LCD displays ( Black level,
angle of vision, colorimetry, blurring,
etc) will be corrected in the device
itself, which will make the task of the
pre-processor far easier.
I also believe that the use of HDTV in
TV sets will significantly grow, side
by side with usual standards, but
unfortunately, mostly under interlaced form.
As the man who added “”line
doubler” to the video lexicon (not
to mention “quadrupler”), Yves
Faroudja has been instrumental
in the advancement of display
technololgy. A graduate of Paris
University Ecole Superieure de
l'Electricite, he co-founded
Faroudja Laboratories in 1971.
The company went public in
1997, and in 1998 it merged with
Sage, with the resulting entity
(Sage) being sold to Genesis
Microchip in 2000. Among Mr
Faroudja's inventions are circuits
licenced to be used in home
VCR's
and
artefact-free
NTSC/PAL encoders/decoders,
and since the 90's his company,
Faroudja Inc., has developed
line-doublers / multipliers.
Mr. Faroudja's work has led to
the awarding of three Emmy's
from the US National Academy
of Television Arts and Sciences
including a lifetime achievement
Emmy Award. He is the holder
of more than 50 US and foreign
patents.
Since 2001, his main interest
has been in the improvement of
image quality in Flat Panel
Displays (FPDs).
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
29
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Astra Hosts Premiere HDTV
Preview Channel
© Photo: SES Astra
Specialised retailers
push for HDTV
demonstrations in
their outlets
High definition television or HDTV
has been the word on almost
everybody's lips for over a year now
and is also the main theme of IFA in
Berlin, particularly in Hall 26, the
exhibition hall for HDTV and home
cinema. Market experts regard
HDTV as the driving force for the
switch-over to digital in Europe,
30
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
particularly as the corresponding
16:9 flat screens are becoming more
popular among consumers, and the
leading Pay TV operators in Europe
have announced that they will launch
regular HDTV channels via the
ASTRA satellite system in the next
12 to 14 months - and Premiere will
be first with their new HDTV
programme package “Premiere HD”.
A special Premiere HD trailer can
now be seen on the ASTRA HD
demonstration channel with brilliant
colours and sensational sound
providing an excellent sample of
“Premiere HD” with its three full 24hour programmes that will feature
films, sport and documentaries. The
www.cleverdis.com
© Photo: SES Astra
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
www.cleverdis.com
display the conventional formats
720p and 1080i, in both 50 Hz and 60
Hz. And of course, it will be possible
to receive all other Premiere
programmes and all digital free-to-air
TV and radio channels with the new
receivers.
HDTV is gaining greater acceptance
in specialist retail since, according to
a recent trade survey, 15 per cent of
all specialist retailers said that they
are actively showing HDTV in their
outlets. Furthermore, ASTRA has
installed over 500 special HDTV
presentation islands in specialist
outlets in cooperation with various
market partners from the retail and
the hardware industry which give
those interested the opportunity to
experience HDTV live everywhere in
Germany.
© Photo: SES Astra
“ASTRA HD” demonstration channel
is available for specialised retail
outlets or at home 24 hours a day for
those with suitable reception
equipment (frequency 12.4410 GHz;
vertical, SR 27.5; FEC 3/4) everywhere throughout Europe.
Alexander
Oudendijk,
Chief
Commercial Officer and Senior Vice
President of ASTRA commented on
the launch of HDTV by Premiere:
“We are delighted that Premiere has
not only decided at a very early stage
to broadcast its HDTV bouquet via
ASTRA and to be a trendsetter in
Europe, but is now also taking the
lead as far as HDTV is concerned and
going live with first high definition
content.”
The official launch of Premiere HD
programmes
via
ASTRA
in
November 2005 will create an
entirely new television experience
and generate excitement in people's
living rooms all over Germany. The
football world cup is already
confirmed in HDTV format on
Premiere. The broadcaster is to
show all 64 games in amazing HD
picture quality.
In time for the start of Premiere's
HDTV channels, digital receivers
suitable for Premiere HD will come
to the market. The boxes will be
equipped to receive signals sent via
satellite and already work with the
new compression standard MPEG
4/H.264 and DVB-S2, which is a
further development of the DVB-S
standard hitherto used for digital
satellite reception. In addition, the
HDTV receivers will be able to
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
31
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
The Berlin case
In Berlin, Germany, the transition from analog to digital television (DTV)
culminated in the shutoff of analog television signals in August 2003.
This early and rapid completion of DTV transition has sparked interest
among policymakers and industry participants around the globe.
BERLIN AS A TEST MARKET
While Digital “Islands” are sprouting
in other areas of Germany, Berlin
was the pioneer in all-digital
terrestrial TV. Berlin officials and
industry participants engaged in
extensive planning for the rapid DTV
transition in the Berlin test market.
Government officials and industry
participants implemented the DTV
transition largely for the purpose of
improving the viability of terrestrial
television. Several elements of the
DTV transition apply throughout
Germany.
DIGITAL TV ISLANDS
© Photo: Berlin Tourismus (www.berlin-tourist-information.de)
Germany is implementing digital
transition within specified “islands,”
which
are
typically
larger
metropolitan areas, because officials
thought that a nationwide DTV
transition would be too big to
manage at one time. German DTV
transition focuses exclusively on
terrestrial television, not cable and
satellite television. The Media
Authority in Berlin specified other
components of the DTV transition
for the Berlin area, including a short
(10 month) simulcast period,
financial and non-financial support
provided to private broadcasters,
subsidies provided to low-income
households, and an extensive
consumer education effort.
THE DTV MASTER-PLAN IN
GERMANY
In Germany, the Digital Broadcasting
Initiative establishes a nationwide
framework for digital broadcasting.
The federal government established
the Initiative in 1997, and the federal
Ministry of Economics and Labour
and the Länder (or states) chair and
deputy chair, respectively, the
Initiative.
Other members of the Initiative
include representatives of the
federal and state governments;
public and private broadcasters;
content providers; cable, satellite,
and terrestrial operators; equipment
manufacturers;
and
consumer
groups. The Initiative develops
strategies for digital broadcasting,
including terrestrial television and
radio, cable, and satellite service.
The Initiative set a deadline for the
DTV transition of 2010. This date is a
strategy or recommendation, and is
not set hard in German law.
HDTV NOT AN OPTION
The German government has
decided to adopt standard-definition
digital television, instead of highdefinition digital television. The
government and industry officials
cite several advantages of standarddefinition digital versus highdefinition digital for Germany. First,
the equipment that consumers must
purchase for standard-definition
digital is generally less expensive
than the equipment necessary for
high-definition digital. Second, with
high-definition digital, broadcasters
must install more costly equipment
and incur higher transmission costs
than would be the case with
standard-definition digital. Finally,
German officials believe that
terrestrial television with a standarddefinition digital signal is more
competitive with cable and satellite
than it would be with a highdefinition digital signal. These
officials explain that the increase in
competitiveness
of
terrestrial
television derives from its mobility
and the increased channels available
with standard definition digital.
Standard-definition
digital
technology allows multiple channels
to be shown with the same amount
of spectrum that was previously
used to transmit one analog
terrestrial channel. Thus, terrestrial
television in Berlin now offers nearly
as many channels to viewers as they
receive on their cable systems. This
greater number of channels
combined with the mobility of
terrestrial television--a feature not
available with cable or satellite that
enables consumers to take their
television to their boats and garden
homes--was seen as a factor that
would make terrestrial television
more attractive relative to cable or
satellite service.
MORE CHANNELS
The number of channels available
through terrestrial television has
increased from 11 to 27 and now
includes an electronic program
guide.
32
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
INTERVIEW
with Giuliano Berretta • Eutelsat S.A.
“HD - an important Growth Vector
for satellite broadcasting”
by the arrival of the next generation
of HD DVD players and the growing
interest in home-cinema.
Giuliano Berretta
Cl.: With the current vast movement towards converging networks, how can satellite operators
protect their strong market share
for digital television?
CEO of Eutelsat S.A.
Eutelsat S.A.
70 rue Balard
F-75502 Paris Cedex 15 - France
Tel.: +33 (1) 53 98 47 47
www.eutelsat.com
Cleverdis: Does the high-definition revolution represent, for
Eutelsat, a vector for growth
which is as important as the arrival of Digital TV in 1995?
Giuliano Berretta: Rather than
speaking of a revolution, I would call
HDTV a logical evolution of digital
services and high-speed communications, and of consumer appetite
for an improved viewing experience.
This being said, HDTV is incontestably an important vector for growth
and we estimate that more than 100
television channels will be broadcasting in high definition in the next five
to six years, with up to 10 completely
or partially HD channels up and
running before the end of 2006.
Considering that in Europe the
average replacement cycle of TV
sets is close to ten years, and that
HD displays should represent 50 per
cent of the value of TV set sales in
2006 and 50 per cent in volume
from 2007, the penetration of HD
displays should approach eight per
cent of European households from
2008. Take-up should also be driven
www.cleverdis.com
G.B.: Today, the worlds of broadcasting, telecommunications and information technology share the common
objective to attract the public in
multiple environments: a living
room, the hairdressers, in front of a
computer, in an airplane or in a park,
with content delivered to a 160cm
television screen or a portable
telephone 40 times smaller.
In this changing environment,
satellite retains three valuable
assets: ubiquitous coverage, a
capacity to distribute all types of
content of all sizes and in all
formats, and its economic advantage
for broadcasting content simultaneously to a high number of users.
This applies to broadcasting television programmes, distributing
video-on-demand to PCs, broadcasting content to mobile phones, and
feeding Wi-Fi hot spots in maritime,
railroad and air transport.
When looking at HD, things are even
clearer. Satellite is the only technology able to broadcast HDTV
without any restraints relating to
bandwidth capacity, compression
format or territories covered. These
features motivated Japan to launch
its first satellite HD offering. In the
United States, some 50 HD
channels are broadcast by satellite,
in comparison to 20 via cable and
less than 10 via other terrestrial
networks. The logic of Eutelsat is,
therefore, to ensure we are on the
launch calendar chosen by each of
our broadcast clients, in MPEG2
or MPEG4.
Cl.: It is surprising to see a satellite operator welcome MPEG-4,
which aims at reducing by half the
bandwidth needed to broadcast a
channel!
G.B.: Experience over the past 25
years has shown that in the broadcasting sector, improvements in
compression
ratios
optimise
bandwidth and reduce transmission
costs, making satellite broadcasting
accessible to new players and new
channels. Call it the ”virtuous circle”.
We faced exactly the same question
in 1995 with the advent of digital
television. This led to an impressive
growth in the number of thematic,
community and local TV channels.
As a result, the number of television
channels on our satellites has risen
from 50 to 1700. We expect a
similar phenomenon over the
coming decade, in which we will
continue to live with simultaneous
broadcasting in analogue and digital
for the major channels, because a
broadcasting standard is above all
conditioned by the equipment in the
households.
Eutelsat has the in-orbit resources
to accompany the launch and
development of Europe’s first HD
channels, in particular through our
leading HOT BIRD™ neighbourhood, with its 800 television
channels and 535 radio stations. The
transition from analogue to digital,
as well as the introduction of
MPEG4, will enable us to develop
the offer, while continuing simultaneous broadcasting of existing
programmes in standard definition.
Eutelsat is therefore perfectly
positioned to deliver the necessary
capacity for HDTV whose overall
success will be determined most of
all by the value placed by viewers on
this new quality television.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
33
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
INTERVIEW
...”we hold the
principle of providing top quality
products to our customers with
reasonable prices” with Ki-II Kwon • LGe
Ki-Il Kwon
Vice president of DTV Europe Team
www.lge.com
Cleverdis: LG Electronics has
stunned the world with its innovative products and state of art technologies. What is the hot issue of IFA
showcase this time?
Ki-Il Kwon: With a goal of becoming
the global top display company by
2010, DD Company will take up
almost 50% of LG Electronics Booth,
located at hall 11.2, to showcase
breathtaking
HD(High-Definition)
pictures realized by its latest DTV
products. LGE plans to communicate
why its products will lead the future
Digital TV market by presenting high
quality visual contents with its most
innovative HD display products. To
elaborate, LGE’s premium HD-Ready
flat panel display products, including
the world largest commercialized
71-inch full-HD plasma TV, awardsweeping prestigious PY2 plasma TV
and stylish LP1 LCD TV, will all exhibit
impeccable, vivid and dynamic
pictures. As the owner of the US
digital broadcasting transmission
standard, VSB(vestigial Side Band),
LGE will also emphasize its market
leading digital broadcast transmission
technology. LGE will communicate
the value of this technology by introducing selected plasma TV and LCD
TV models with integrated digital
tuners, which enable consumers to
34
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
Cl.: LG Electronics is developing
numerous innovative and creative
products for use in the global
market. With the show at IFA of the
world largest commercialized
71-inch plasma TV, the 50-inch plasma TV, the 55-inch LCD TV, LG set
itself apart in terms of broad application possibilities. Tell us more
about each of the products.
K.K.: World Largest Commercialized
71-inch Plasma TV. The world’s first
and largest commercialized product
of its kind, 71PY10, is sold as a package with a home theatre system
and a set-top box at the most expensive price in the world.
LGE overcame technological difficulties to successfully implement 1080p
full high-definition and 16:9 screen
into the world’s first 71-inch PDP.
The technology was considered
impossible for PDP displays when the
company began to develop it. This
breakthrough was a great impact on
the flat panel display industry.
• 50-inch Plasma TV
The eye-pleasing PY2 series is one of
the most prestigious plasma TVs in
the market which boasts amazing
design, realistic picture quality and
various convenient functions.
The eye-grabbing design differentiates PY2 from the
very first glance. Its gloss
black color and clever
design, that perfectly hides
the powerful speakers, has
already been acknowledged
with design awards such as
the iF Design Award and
Reddot Design Award.
Functions such as X-Studio
offers true joy to the consu-
mers. X-studio allows users to easily
enjoy digital photos or MP3 music by
simply inserting a memory card in
slot which supports 9 different
memory cards with just 2 slots.
PY2 series originally made its name
in US and Korea with its integrated
HDD Digital Video Recorder, which
can record 13 hours of HD broadcast
and 63 hours of normal broadcast.
Unfortunately the HDD DVR has been
excluded from the European model
for numerous local issues
• 55-inch LCD TV
The LP1 series was developed to
satisfy the ever increasing demand
for larger premium LCD TVs.
Achieving this goal, the LP1 series
offer the largest commercialized,
55-inch, LCD TV in the market and
demonstrates the pinnacle of LGE’s
TV technology with its superior
picture quality, stylish design and
many other premium features.
The jazzy style and cutting-edge technology of the LP1 series has already
attracted the industry’s attention by
sweeping world renowned awards
such as the CES Innovations Award
and iF Design Award in 2005. LP1 has
also been recognized for its superb
quality by the renowned HiFi Test
Magazine of Germany which selected
LP1 as the best LCDTV among nine
tested brands.
© Photo: LGe
enjoy digital broadcasting without the
need of separate set-top-boxes.
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
modernity, simple design and so
forth. We are also maximizing the
quality and durability of the products
while offering competitive prices and
diversified products. We are also
positioning the products as highly
reliable, credible, practical, and
intimate
© Photo: LGe
Cl.: What perception does LG have
concerning consumers needs? And
to satisfy customers, what is the
investment plan for the future in
terms of R&D and design?
Cl.: What other key products are
showcased in IFA?
K.K.: PX4 and PX5 series will represent affordable plasma TVs. They
present clear and vibrant picture
quality and user friendly functions
such as X-studio, which allow users
to enjoy digital photos on the screen.
These two products also come with
integrated digital tuners, for selected
countries, that eliminate the need of
separate digital tuners.
The LX2 series will represent affordable LCD TVs and raise the standard
of analog based LCD TVs with its premium quality. The 26LZ5RV, a LCD TV
with an integrated DVD Player, will
add some spice to LGE’s LCD TV line
up by providing a medium sized but
compact TV that can playback DVDs
Needless to say, there are other
purchase-decision factors such as
screen contrast, resolution and so on.
One sure thing is that customers can
enjoy a variety of LG flat panel
products according to their tastes.
Cl.: With plenty of cool gadgets, LG
Electronics is building a global
brand. Tell me about LG Electronics
brand strategy.
K.K.: Based on our vision of establishing the global top brand, we are
positioning LG Electronics as a
company that is undergoing fast
innovation to offer practical benefits
to customers.
We are developing innovative
products to make them offer many
functional and emotional benefits
such as reliability, user-friendliness,
K.K.: LG Electronics is always
concerned about the needs and
benefits of customers. Also, we hold
the principle of providing top quality
products to our customers with
reasonable prices.
There are many countries in Europe
and they all have different cultures
and characteristics. Thus we will
differentiate our products according
to such differences. Furthermore,
since the market is always changing,
our pricing will also change according
to market demands and customers’
expectations.
On the other hand, to meet the
customer’s needs, we are always
investing in R&D and design.
For example, LG Electronics is
currently operating 11 R&D centers
including 3 design labs worldwide,
and will increase our R&D engineers
from 2,000 to 4,000 by 2007.
© Photo: LGe
Cl.: Will sales of the 55-inch LCD TV
conflict in any way with those of
your 42-inch and above plasma
sets?
K.K.: We do not think that there will
be much conflict between LCD TV
and plasma display because the
needs of customers are different. In
other words, various customers’
needs would be met through different devices with their distinctive
features and prices. The 55-inch LCD
TV, valuing close to a middle class
sedan, focuses on the affluent that
are tech-oriented and value picture
quality, whereas 42-inch plasma display targets those who prefer large
screen TVs for an affordable price.
www.cleverdis.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
35
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Native HD recording formats:
Blu-ray & HD-DVD
Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD Formats
allow storage of entire films in
native HD format on one disc
(without compression such as
MPEG4 or DivX).
ABOUT BLU-RAY DISC
Blu-ray Disc is the next-generation
optical disc format being developed
for high-definition video and highcapacity software applications. A
single-layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up
to 25 gigabytes of data and a doublelayer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 50
gigabytes of data.
© Photo: Cleverdis
THE ASSOCIATION
The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is
responsible for establishing format
standards and promoting and further
developing business opportunities
for Blu-ray Disc — the nextgeneration optical disc for storing
high-definition movies, games,
photos and other digital content. The
BDA has over 100 members. Its
Board of Directors consists of Dell
Inc.; Hewlett Packard Company;
Hitachi, Ltd.; LG Electronics Inc.;
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation;
Panasonic (Matsushita Electric);
Pioneer Corporation; Royal Philips
Electronics; Samsung Electronics
36
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
Co., Ltd.; Sharp Corporation; Sony
Corporation; TDK
Corporation;
Thomson; Twentieth Century Fox;
and Walt Disney Pictures and
Television.
Blu-ray will be able to scale to 100
GB in 2007 using four-layer
technology and later up to 200 GB
with eight layers, according to a
statement from Sony officials.
ABOUT HD-DVD
The HD-DVD format competes with
Blue-ray technology and is mainly
backed by Toshiba, NEC, and more
recently Sanyo. Both approaches are
based on blue lasers with shorter
wave length than their red
counterparts to read data stored in
higher density on discs. The HD DVD
disc standard is being developed at
the DVD Forum, which represents
over 230 consumer electronics,
information technology, and content
companies. HD DVD innovations
include higher resolution video and
audio available on a suite of disc
capacities adaptable for longer or
shorter programs – along with
advanced navigation, web connectivity, and new consumer options.
HD DVD supports such essential
features as advanced content access
DivX® HD:
One Fifth
the Size of
Broadcast HD
Commercial high definition
(HD) DVDs are still far from
being widely available, yet
DivX HD technology is enabling
people everywhere to create
full quality HD video content
right now.
With the free DivX codec,
which includes the DivX®
Certified HD Profile, anyone can
produce HD movies for
convenient playback on an
HDTV with any one of the
growing line of DivX Certified
HD DVD players.
Additionally, the remarkably
efficient compression of DivX
HD makes DivX HD files
approximately one fifth the size
of broadcast HD, enabling easy
and fast Internet distribution of
DivX HD videos.
and robust content security
technology, which are critical to the
studios. A single, dual-layer HD DVD
ROM disc, which has a 30-gigabyte
capacity, can hold as much as eight
hours of high-quality, high definition
movie content.
Important – Backward
compatibility
© Photo: Cleverdis
HD DVD is based on the same
physical disc structure as DVD,
which secures easy backward
compatibility with today's DVD, and
enables manufacture of highly
reliable hardware and discs at a
reasonable cost.
www.cleverdis.com
© Photo: V7 Videoseven
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
ADVERTORIAL
V7 Videoseven
offers future
customers approved
technology with
excellent conditions
When at the IFA show, whether you are looking for good-quality LCD monitors or TVs or if you are interested in projectors: V7 Videoseven from Dornach near Munich is a reliable partner. The V7 Videoseven brand stands for high quality products with a convincing price-performance ratio. This makes V7 Videoseven one of the Top 3 manufacturers
in the consumer channel of the German LCD market. While having a range of differentiated product specifications
adapted to different target groups, all V7 Videoseven products have one point in common: the end-user gets top
technology for excellent prices. V7 Videoseven appliances have been awarded several prizes and include only highquality components.
RELIABLE PRODUCTS FOR
EVERY DEMAND
With V7 Videoseven, a brand of the
worldwide leading IT-Distributor
Ingram Micro, resellers can be sure
of ease of cooperation with the
manufacturer. A sales and distribution network covering more than 100
countries guarantees global sales
opportunities and a worldwide service network. The LCD product range
can be divided into three categories:
The “Value Line” offers well-equipped entry level appliances at very
low prices, while the “Professional
Line” is destined for Business users.
The Dornach-based company is
especially proud of its rich
“Entertainment Line”. With fast refresh rates, trendy design and top level
electronics, gaming fans gain full
benefit from these products.
CONVERGENCE AND “HDREADY” OPEN UP SALES
OPPORTUNITIES
IT and consumer electronics – two
worlds are steadily moving towards
www.cleverdis.com
each
other.
Always at the
cutting edge
of this development, V7
Videoseven
provides the market with products
adapted to this development. For the
channel, this opens up access to
new buyer target groups.
Talking about incentives to buy: For
the World Cup 2006, we are anticipating a boom in demand for TV sets,
especially for attractively priced LCD
TVs. A number of TV stations will
broadcast the event in HDTV quality.
With the V7 LTV 27CH and the V7
LTV32H, V7 Videoseven launches
TVs that are not only HD enabled,
but that have the highly demanded
“HD-ready” label. The stylish, silver
design is beautifully adapted to any
number of home or other settings.
The very attractive pricing of the V7
LTV32H even further increases the
attractiveness of V7 Videoseven’s
new flagship product. No matter
whether you are football fan or not:
In the times of new lifestyles and
changing living environments, many
people are thinking about exchanging their bulky old CRT TV, or about
buying a stylish second TV.
The LCD TVs of V7 Videoseven live
up to the expectations for that beautifully designed replacement. Having
entered the LCD TV market in 2003,
the V7 Videoseven portfolio today
includes models ranging from 20” to
32”. And even larger models are
planned: By the end of 2005, 37”
and 42” models will also be available
on the market. Another innovation in time for IFA – is the V7 S19 PS.
This new LCD monitor convinces
though its high luminosity and
contrast ratio and a reaction time of
8 ms. It also has a DVI-D signal input.
VISIT US AT IFA
At our booth 2007 in Hall 01.2
everybody can convince themselves
of the quality of the V7 Videoseven
product news and have a personal
conversation. V7 is looking forward
to your visit!
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
37
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Rear-Projection TV
When you’re looking for a big screen
for a reasonable price, rear-projection
TV can give you the size that you
want -- CRT screens generally top
out at 40" or so, and at that size, they
are huge and heavy.
Plasma screens can be bigger than
that and still manageable, they are
much more expensive. Or maybe
you need to equip a classroom or
conference room for multimedia
presentations.
A rear-projection TV gives you great
flexibility and is usually much better
than the standard combination of an
overhead projector and TV/VCR.
Often less than 8” thick, the new
generation of rear-projection TVs is
snapping at the heels of plasma
when it comes to image quality and
design. While you still can’t hook a
projection TV on the wall, it has to be
said that when it comes down to it,
not all that many people really want
to hang a TV of that size on the wall
anyway. As it turns out in fact, only
around ten percent of people who
buy plasma TV sets want to hang
them on the wall. Doing so implies
installing a support for the TV as well
as putting the cables through the
wall for a clean installation.
For this reason, most people place
38
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
the unit on stand or piece of
furniture made for the purpose.
The main attraction for a “flat TV” is
in fact it’s esthetic “look”. With the
new generation of projection TVs,
this issue has been somewhat
absorbed, with some new units
even able to be placed on benchtops. The principle of the rearprojector is extremely simple. The
unit integrates a video-projector
which, thanks to a system of
mirrors, projects the image on the
screen.
The quality of digital projection
technology (based on what’s known
as micro-displays) has been
advancing in leaps and bounds,
meaning that not only has the
design of these units (previously
based on tri-tube CRT) improved,
it also means the image is now crisp
and clear, with good contrast levels.
Constructors have developed new,
highly compact systems of lenses
and mirrors – a veritable technological miracle – managing to
“create” the same effect as a five
foot throw distance in less than 10
inches.
TECHNOLOGIES
There are currently several different
projection technologies used in
© Photo: LGe - Screen Incrust Photo: Cleverdis
the bigger
brother for
a smaller
price...
projection TVs – 3LCD, DLP and
LCoS.
The biggest seller of sets in the USA
is Sony — using 3LCD technology.
Others, like Thomson use DLP.
LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon)
models give excellent images, but
are priced above 3LCD and DLP,
putting them in between these
technologies and plasma in terms of
price and image quality.
Some might even say that an LCoS
rear-projection TV will give a better
picture than plasma, with very clean
images and vivid colors.
The only remaining disadvantage is
that of viewing angle, which still
remains a bugbear.
VIEWING ANGLE
If you don’t need to have a very
broad viewing angle for your set,
micro-display-based HD Ready rearprojection TV is now definitely a
good alternative.
From what we’ve seen, 3LCD and
DLP-based models are of excellent
quality, while LCoS models are
simply stunning. Take the time to
consider different models. The best
way to decide is to compare different
sets yourself.
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CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
What you need
to know
about front
projectors
travel frequently for whom weight
and bulk are essential buying factors.
Micro Portables are projectors used
for environments which may only
require occasional movement of the
projector from place to place. They
typically weigh between 4 and 6 lbs.
Their “portability” refers more to the
simplicity of set-up (primarily in the
simplicity of adjustments etc.),
which makes it easier to move them
from one room to another,
depending on the user's needs.
ULTRA PORTABLES
The use of multimedia projectors is evolving rapidly, as more and more
people discover the amazing big screen experience. From watching
movies at home or playing video games on a 20 foot screen to giving
compelling presentations that captivate the audience, projectors are
becoming an integral part of life. There are several criteria that should
be considered when looking to purchase a new projector. The following
information should help you determine the projector that will be the
perfect fit.
VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF
VIDEO-PROJECTORS AND
THEIR WEIGHT
There are three main categories of
video-projectors: Pico portables,
Micro portables and Ultra Portables.
Choosing the correct category
should be your first consideration
when selecting the right projector
for your needs.
PICO PORTABLES
Pico Portables are projectors which
are generally less than 4 pounds in
weight. The efficient design of DLP™
Technology has created this
category and, in fact, it is the only
technology found in projectors under
3 lbs. These projectors are intended
primarily
for
those
needing
portability such as professionals who
©
Ph
ot
o:
Be
nq
Lastly, Ultra Portables, while still
mobile, typically range from 6 to 11
lbs. and are generally more powerful
and of a larger size. They are usually
intended to remain in a single room:
in this case, compactness is not
necessary, nor is total simplicity of
controls. These projectors are
characterized by their image quality
much more than their portability.
BRIGHTNESS
The brightness of a projector is
measured in ANSI Lumens. This
refers to the brightness of the
projector. As the brightness of the
lamp increases, oftentimes, cost
does as well. Brighter projectors
may also consume slightly more
energy and release more heat (and
thus, creating an increasing need for
cooling which could increase the fan
noise).
Essentially,
the
brightness
necessary for the projector's
operation is proportionally a function
of the ambient light in the room it
will be used. In a situation of halflight or in the dark, 500 to 800 ANSI
Lumens can be sufficient.
A brightness level of between 800
and 1500 ANSI Lumens constitutes
an acceptable average in the case of
using a projector in normal ambient
light for rooms of average size. For
rooms of a larger size, the longer
projection distance increases the
need for higher lumens, since it's
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New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
39
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
necessary to obtain a more
significant image size. This is why
ultra portable projectors generally
have an output beginning at 2000
ANSI Lumens, with the most
powerful of them exceeding 6 7,000 ANSI Lumens.
Various resolutions (ex: for a 4:3
image):
CONTRAST RATIO
KEYSTONE CORRECTION
Put simply, the contrast ratio
corresponds to a ratio of luminosity
between the clearest part of the
projected image and the darkest
part or white versus black. In theory,
we speak of white and black, but the
operation mode of a projector (use
of a luminous ray to project the
image) makes it difficult to approach
perfect black.
Theoretically, a projector is best
positioned just opposite the screen,
so as to project the image without
deforming it. Indeed, if a “skew” in
the image is projected, the normally
rectangular
image
becomes
trapezoidal. Keystone correction
makes it possible to mitigate this
induced deformation, by rectifying
the image and restoring its
rectangular form. Nearly all
projectors on the market have
vertical keystone correction, with a
few that propose horizontal
correction as well. This feature is
particularly valuable when a
projector is moved from location to
location.
RESOLUTION
This refers to the number of pixels in
the projector’s matrix. It is
expressed in the same manner as
that of computer monitors (see
table below). Logically, the higher
the resolution, the better the
definition of the image.
The greater part of current-day
projectors are SVGA or XGA, the
first of course being cheaper than
the second. Here again, the choice
of resolution must be related to its
use: if it is not absolutely necessary
to project detailed images, SVGA is
perfectly suited; if it is a question of
projecting more complex images
(video, texts in small characters,
etc.), XGA will undoubtedly be
preferable. As for SXGA projectors,
they offer the highest image
definition but are also typically the
most expensive and should be
reserved for applications requiring
very high image definition.
40
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
WIRELESS CAPABILITIES
640 X 480 pixels VGA
1024 X 728 pixels XGA
800 X 600 pixels SVGA
1280 X 1024 pixels SXGA
ZOOM AND FOCAL DISTANCE
The traditional distance between the
screen and the video projector is 2.5
times the size of the base of the
screen on which the image is
projected. Nevertheless, the space
constraints can bring one to position
the machine closer or further away,
according to the situation. A zoom
thus makes it possible to adjust
image size, the better the zoom, the
more room one has to maneuver the
installation of the projector. In
addition, if the distance from the
screen is reduced, the use of a
short-throw lens will make it
possible to project an acceptable
image size, in spite of the lack of
space.
“Wireless” projectors are currently
seeing strong development. The
absence of a video cable to connect
them to the computer has the
advantage of simplicity: it is no
longer necessary to be close to the
projector to control its presentation.
If, for example, various presenters
use the projector, it becomes
possible for each to take turns in
having the control of the machine.
Sim2 Domino 30H Ultra portable
Epson - EMP - TW 600
Hitachi PJ-TX 200
Toshiba TDP S20U Ultra portable
NOISE LEVELS
The ventilator used for the cooling of
the lamp makes a noise, this is
variable depending on the model
you choose. Typically, fan noise is
more of an issue for projectors
designed for home entertainment,
© Photo: Epson
The contrast ratio is an important
criterion for projectors that are
generally used for projecting detail
images, eg. video images, as the
contrast emphasizes them. On the
other hand, if it is a question of
projecting “data” images (graphics,
diagrams, etc), this criterion is less
essential.
but is rarely a factor otherwise.
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CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
New projector
categories
launched
in 2005
Just when we thought we had
enough
different
projector
categories to remember, two new
categories were launched earlier this
year at the CES show in Las Vegas.
Texas Instruments, manufacturers of
the DLP™ chip (at the heart of many
a modern projector) announced two
entirely new categories of DLP™
projectors: INSTANT THEATER and
POCKET PROJECTORS.
HP, Optoma, and Radio Shack
Cinego are introducing Instant
Theater
DLP-based
projection
© Photo: Cleverdis
© Photo: Panasonic
Instant Theater projection products
from HP, Optoma and Cinego
combine DLP projection, DVD
player, and sound system in one
single unit; and new Pocket
Projectors from Mitsubishi and
InFocus will allow on-the-fly
projection from gaming applications,
cell phones and other mobile
devices, all from a micro projector
that fits into the palm of your hand.
The DLP Pocket Projector – the first
of which will be released by
Mitsubishi this summer, offers a
never before seen micro form factor
utilizing an LED light source to
enable a whole new category of
portable projection, allowing on-thefly fun viewing movies, digital
camera pictures and games from
almost anywhere. With dimensions
of just 121mmX47mmX97mm and
weighing only 400g, the Mitsubishi
Pocket Projector can easily fit into
your pocket. It also features instant
on-and-off, and quick play for true
consumer
convenience
and
flexibility.
www.cleverdis.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
41
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
products that offer consumers the
entire home theater experience with
just one product purchase. Avoiding
the confusion of hooking up
components,
Instant
Theater
products give consumers DLP
projection, DVD player, and sound
system in one compact, affordable
unit.
ALL IN ONE PROJECTORS
Following HP's lead, CES saw the
introduction of new "all-in-one," or
"instant," projection systems. This
new category combines the
projector, DVD player and audio
system in one integrated unit. Place
it on your desk or coffee table, plug
in power and a DVD, and project the
video.
4000:1.
According to Optoma, “This pure
digital DVD projector has the
inherent advantage of having been
perfectly preset from the DVD disc
to the projected image, resulting in
optimized DVD viewing with
guaranteed colour accuracy and
distortion free pictures like never
before. Gone are the issues of
complex compatibilities, confusion
about which connectors to use,
challenges of cable matching, the
hazards of cable lengths or cable
electromagnetic shielding.
This machine is preset to deliver the
best DVD results from this
astounding technology.”
While targeting the Home Cinema
market, we at Cleverdis believe
there are numerous office and
educational applications for a unit
such as this. It will no doubt be the
first of a new wave in this category.
Due for release in US this summer.
Keep watching the Optoma website
for more details!
The Radio Shack product Cinego
features
1000
lumens,
two
speakers, and a resolution of 854 x
480, so it is perfectly matched to the
wide-aspect resolution of the DVD.
As an integrated product, there are
no A/D conversions, so image
quality will be better.
© Photo: Cinego
The Optoma unit, the DV10
MovieTime, features 1000 lumens,
two speakers, and a resolution of
854 x 480, so it is perfectly
matched to the wide-aspect
resolution of the DVD. But as an
integrated product, there are no
A/D conversions, so image quality
will be better. Optoma added a
dynamic iris to boost contrast to
© Photo: Cleverdis
Optoma DV10 MovieTime and
Radio Shack Cinego
- Cool New ALL IN ONE Units
42
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
ADVERTORIAL
High Definition
Home Cinema
That stands out
FOLLOWING THE HIGHLY
ACCLAIMED PJ-TX100 HOME
CINEMA PROJECTOR,
HITACHI IS LAUNCHING ITS
NEXT GENERATION CINE
MASTER PJ-TX200 3LCD
PROJECTOR AT IFA 2005.
High Definition ready (720p) and
delivering a formidable 5000:1
contrast ratio, the elegantly
designed 16:9 projector sets a new
standard in performance.
While maintaining all the design
features that made its predecessor a
hit, Hitachi has added new advanced
core technologies to push the
PJ-TX200 performance even further.
Coupled with all the benefits of
3LCD technology, including true
colour accuracy, no colour break up
and perfect moving pictures, the
Cine Master PJ-TX200 uses Hitachi’s
unique dual digital iris, a Super ED
Lens and 10-bit digital image processing for the best possible picture
quality in home cinema.
With the new Cine Master PJ-TX200
customers no longer need to choose
between picture quality and
contrast. The combination of an amazing 5000:1 contrast ratio with High
Definition
performance
and
10-bit digital colour processing
means that you customers get the
very best viewing experience
without compromise.
Horizontal and vertical lens shift and
a wide range zoom (x2) lens mean
the projector can be set almost
anywhere in the room and still
deliver a perfect picture.
www.cleverdis.com
A luminous remote control for
low-light use, several preset picture
modes (Normal, Cinema, Music,
Sports and Dynamic) as well as four
“My memory” settings that store
customised viewing settings (for
colour, Gamma, colour temperature,
aspect, etc.) are part of the package.
Extensive connectivity options,
including HDMI, mean it can be
connected to practically any device.
The PJ-TX200 uses Hitachi’s Super
ED lens system that comprises
4 Extra-Low Dispersion lenses in
combination with aspherical lenses
to reproduce 720p High Definition
images with greater accuracy and
with improved colour reproduction.
Full 10-bit digital image processing
ensures smooth and natural uniformity of colour transitions, which is
particularly important when showing
HTDV quality movies. The dual iris
system and 9 - point Gamma control
also offer excellent colour balance
and black level adjustment.
Hitachi is also launching the PJ-LC9
multi-purpose home entertainment
projector at IFA 2005.
Hitachi Digital Media Group is part of
Hitachi Europe Ltd. It provides
leading-edge digital solutions for the
home including a complete range of
home entertainment 3LCD projectors, High Definition Plasma and
LCD TVs, Hard Disk/DVD recorders
and DVD camcorders.
For further information please visit
Hitachi
Digital
Media’s
website at:
http://www.hitachidigitalmedia.com
CINE MASTER
PJ-TX200
• 5000:1 contrast ratio
• High Definition
• 10-bit digital colour
processing
• Advanced Dual Iris
• Super ED lens system
• Horizontal & vertical lens shift
• 9 – point Gamma adjustment
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
43
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
LCD & Plasma
technology
When it comes down to it, a customer should buy a TV based primarily
on whether they LIKE the picture and the look and features of the set
itself. It is however important for you, whether buying or selling LCD or
plasma sets, to have a basic understanding of the technologies
involved.
BASIC LCD TECHNOLOGY
Liquid
crystals
are
organic
compounds consisting of long
rod-like molecules which, in their
natural state, arrange themselves
with their long axes roughly parallel.
In their natural state, LCD molecules
are arranged in a loosely ordered
fashion with their long axes parallel.
However, when they come into
contact with a grooved surface in a
fixed direction, they line up in parallel
along the grooves. The first principle
of an LCD consists of sandwiching
liquid crystals between two finely
grooved surfaces, where the
grooves on one surface are at 90
degrees to the grooves on the other.
If the molecules at one surface are
aligned north to south, and the
molecules on the other are aligned
east to west, then those in-between
are forced into a twisted state of 90
degrees. Light follows the alignment
of the molecules, and therefore is
also twisted through 90 degrees as
it passes through the liquid crystals.
When a voltage is applied to the
liquid crystal, the molecules
rearrange themselves vertically,
allowing light to pass through
untwisted.
A typical twisted nematic (TN) liquid
crystal display consists of two
polarising filters with their lines
arranged perpendicular (at 90
degrees) to each other, which blocks
light trying to pass through. Inbetween these polarisers are the
twisted liquid crystals. The light is
44
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
polarised by the first filter, twisted
through 90 degrees by the liquid
crystals, finally allowing it to
completely pass through the second
polarising filter.However, when an
electrical voltage is applied across
the liquid crystal, the molecules
realign vertically, allowing the light to
pass through untwisted but to be
blocked by the second polariser.
Consequently, no voltage equals
light passing through, while applied
voltage equals no light emerging at
the other end. Light is generally
supplied from a fluorescent backlight with a diffuser that distributes
the light evenly across the surface of
the screen.
TFT (Thin Film Transistor)
In the TFT display, the controlling
transistors are metallised directly
onto each sub-pixel as so-called “thin
film transistors”. With direct control
at the sub-pixel, TFT displays are
almost 10 times faster than the
original STN models.
VIEWING ANGLE
IPS and S-IPS
Super IPS TFTs are based on IPS
technology (In Plane Switching) and
greatly extend the viewing angle in
many directions. This is because the
rod-shaped crystals are aligned
parallel to one another in every
operating state, lying between
identical
horizontally
aligned
polarisation filters.
MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical
Alignment)
As with the S-IPS, MVA liquid
crystals are perpendicular to the
polarisation filters when deenergised and with increasing voltage tilt
over into a parallel position.
There is less loss of brightness than
with IPS. MVA’s often has a higher
maximum contrast, but usually vary
more with viewing angle.
They do however have two
disadvantages. They are traditionally
more expensive than S-IPS and are
not able to display black as well as
IPS cells.
PVA (Samsung, Sony, etc.) is similar
to MVA.
BASIC PLASMA TECHNOLOGY
As with other matrix display devices
(e.g. LCD), a PDP (Plasma Display
Panel) is comprised of a great
number of cells, but in a PDP these
area filled with red, green and blue
phosphor. A voltage is applied
between two transparent electrodes
on the front glass plate of the
display. The electrodes are separated
by an MgO dielectric layer and
surrounded by a mixture of neon and
xenon gases. When the voltage
reaches the “firing level”, a Plasma
discharge occurs resulting in the
emission of ultra violet light. This UV
light then excites the phosphor
NORM
HORIZONTAL RESOLUTION
X VERTICAL RESOLUTION
VGA
640 x 480
SVGA
800 x 600
XGA
1024 x 768
SXGA
1280 x 1024
UXGA
1600 x 1200
HDTV
1920 x 1080
HDTV plus 1920 x 1200
QXGA
2048 x 1536
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CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
THE EVOLUTION OF LCD FABS
LCD factories are evolving over time. Let’s look at the difference
between the different "generations" of factories, and how this affects
the quality and price of panels: Three main factors are important to
take into account:
TIME - Historically, there has been an average of about 2.5 years or
so between fab generations (allowing equipment makers time to
incorporate new technology).
SIZE - Glass substrate area is a major determining factor in terms of
size. However, one generation can include multiple substrate sizes (i.e.,
Gen 5 includes 1000 x 1200, 1100 x 1250, and 1100 x 1300). A new Gen
level usually doubles the substrate area from the previous generation.
material at the back of the cell and
emits visible light. Each cell has red,
blue or green phosphor material in 3
sub-pixels, which combine to make
up a pixel. The phosphors are in fact
of the same kind used in
conventional cathode ray tube (CRT)
televisions and standard computer
monitor displays. The intensity of
each colour is controlled by varying
the number and width of voltage
pulses applied.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS
Over the past few years, a counter
current against plasma technology
has been founded on factors such as
“Burn In” and overall screen life
expectancy, not to mention power
consumption. We have been told by
some resellers that customers will
occasionally shy away from buying
plasma, preferring TFT-LCD as a flat
screen technology for these
reasons. It is true that in a public
display setting, where screens are
TECHNOLOGY - A new fab must employ new technology that
substantially speeds up turn-around-time (TAT). For example, the
“one-drop fill” technology, which we were the first in the world to
employ in a Gen 5 factory, has increased the speed of filling a large
TFT cell by around 100X vs older technology. In terms of how fab
generations influence the price of panels, the main factor to consider
is glass usage efficiency – essentially, certain “mother glass” sizes
(the size of the big sheet that the panels are cut from) can produce
certain panel sizes with less wastage. One good example of this is
the production of 32” LCD TV panels: whereas two 32” panels could
be produced from one substrate on most Gen 5 lines, meaning
significant glass wastage and slow output, Gen 6 can efficiently
produce eight 32” panels from one substrate. This reduced wastage
can be considered to “enable” mass production of 32” panels by
making production fast and cost efficient.
left on all day with static images,
plasma can have some major
disadvantages. However in a home
setting, when using the screen to
watch TV or DVDs, plasma is now
not only satisfactory, but should last
many years, though with reduced
clarity in rooms with the light on.
The main considerations to take into
account when helping buyers
decide should be:
• Refresh rate (here, if possible,
manufacturers should give the
response time for a pixel to go from
one level of grey to another level of
grey - much more indicative than
white to black and back again).
LCD used to be a poor performer in
this area, however new S-IPS and
MVA screens are much more
acceptable, and newer over driving
circuitry (ODC) seems to make it a
non-issue.
• Viewing angle (Here, what's important is to avoid major colour shifts
when changing the viewing angle.
For this, plasma and CRT are great,
however new TFT technologies like
S-IPS make LCD TVs equivalent.
• Electronics - While various LCD
TV's have precisely the same
panels (from a vendor like
LG.Philips LCD, Samsung, etc.),
the quality and intelligent
assembly of the electronics that
process the incoming signals are
vital when it comes to making a
good picture.
• Definition - It is much easier to
produce HDTV screens using LCD
than with plasma. See the Glossary
for correct explanations of HDTV
and Enhanced Definition (ED)-very
important when advising customers, as ED is not HD, and is much
lower resolution than many expect.
• Contrast - In a dark room, contrast
is generally similar between an LCD
and a plasma screen, although LCD
has the disadvantage that the
backlight is always on, and no matter
how good a job the polarizers do,
some light always creeps through.
By the same token, the phosphors
in a plasma screen, just like in a
standard TV, have a slight "afterglow"
effect meaning contrast is not
perfect either. In a room with almost
any light, LCD has a definite
contrast advantage.
© Photo: LG Philips LCD
• Brightness - Plasma has better
theoretical peak brightness than
LCD, while "average" brightness
(across the screen) is better with
LCD, and thus real images are
usually brighter on LCDs.
www.cleverdis.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
45
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Technologies Explained...
3LCD
A Brand is Born!
It was at the CES show in Las Vegas
in January that the official announcement was made.
Leading Projector Manufacturers
Fujitsu, Hitachi, Panasonic, Sanyo
and Sony joined forces with Epson
to educate the market about
benefits of three-panel liquid crystal
display technology, launching the
brand “3LCD”. Not long after, the
official logo was also launched in
Europe and the rest of the world.
3LCD TECHNOLOGY
DOMINATES
“ 3LCD is clearly the dominant
microdisplay technology worldwide when you look at the total
number of customers who have
purchased
front
and
rear
projection products so far," according to Dr. William Coggshall,
Pacific Media Associates.
"Based on our calculations, over nine
million projection products using
3LCD technology have been
purchased to date, surpassing any
other microdisplay technology on the
market, and that figure continues to
grow at a rapid pace.”
So what’s different about 3LCD?
According to the group, “Using
Three Projection Panels Instead of
One, 3LCD Delivers Brilliant Pictures
with Natural Image Quality, RazorSharp Detail and Rich Colour that is
Free of Colour Break-up.”
www.cleverdis.com
CORE BENEFITS OF 3LCD
PRODUCTS AS EXPLAINED BY
THE 3LCD GROUP
BRIGHT IMAGES
3LCD projectors divide the light
emitted from the lamp into the three
basic colours of red (R), green (G)
and blue (B), and then shine each
colour light through separate liquid
crystal panels (HTPS type) that give
shape and movement to the final
image on the screen. Light efficiency
is excellent because the three basic
colours are projected the whole time
the projector is on. This ensures that
users watch an image that is both
bright and sharp. Many 3LCD
business products currently on the
market are capable of achieving
brightness ratings as high as 5,000
ANSI lumens and above.
NATURAL IMAGES
With 3LCD projectors, the three
basic colours of red (R), green (G)
and blue (B) are carefully controlled
and then recombined to ensure
accurate colour reproduction to the
single dot level. And because 3LCD
allows
true
expression
of
intermediate colours, users can
enjoy lifelike reproduction of dark
and shadow sections.
Full-time
colour along with 12-bit processing
also makes some 3LCD products
capable of producing up to 68.7
billion colours. 3LCD products also
provide a broad range of neutral grey
tones. In fact, one of the latest
3LCD-based front projectors on the
market produces up to 10 quintillion
steps of greyscale gradation.
are gentle on the eyes. "No Colour
Break-up" – since this technology
simultaneously projects three fulltime red, green and blue images,
there is no colour break-up or
"rainbow effect" to potentially cause
viewers eyestrain or visual fatigue.
CONTRAST
In addition to these advantages, the
3LCD group also boasts of excellent
contrast ratios. They claim dozens of
models routinely reach 1000:1 or
more.
Most
recently,
3LCD
technology has been able to achieve
up to 6000:1.
At the launch of 3LCD, Jim Hall,
director,
Business
Projector
Marketing and Product Management, Epson America said, “Every
major microdisplay technology
realizes picture quality improvements by employing a threeimager design. Some technologies
reserve this design for only their
highest end products, but 3LCDbased display manufacturers
ingeniously pack this powerful
imaging maxim into every tiny
3LCD projection engine they
build.”
© Photo: Cleverdis
“The 3LCD projection system uses
three LCD (High-Temperature
Poly-Silicon) panels for bright and
natural images that are gentle on
the eyes”
GENTLE ON THE EYES
Since colours are reproduced with
three LCDs, the images reproduced
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
47
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
©
Technologies Explained...
ts
men
stru
s In
a
x
e
to: T
Pho
DLP™
TECHNOLOGY
DLP™ technology uses an optical semiconductor to manipulate light
digitally. It enables televisions and video projectors to create an entirely digital
connection between a graphic or video source and the screen in front of the user.
THE DMD CHIP
ADDING COLOUR
The white light generated by the
lamp in a DLP™ projection system
passes through a color wheel as it
travels to the surface of the DMD
panel. The color wheel filters the
light into red, green, and blue, from
which a single-chip DLP™ projection
system can create at least 16.7
million colors. The on and off states
of each micromirror are coordinated
with these three basic building
blocks of color. For example, a mirror
responsible for projecting a purple
pixel will only reflect red and blue
light to the projection surface; our
eyes then blend these rapidly
alternating flashes to see the
intended hue in a projected image.
© Source: Texas Instruments
At the heart of every DLP™
projection system is an optical
semiconductor known as the Digital
Micromirror Device, or DMD chip,
which was invented by Dr. Larry
Hornbeck of Texas Instruments in
1987.
The DMD chip is probably the
world's most sophisticated light
switch. It contains a rectangular
array of up to 1.3 million hingemounted microscopic mirrors; each
of these micromirrors measures
less than one-fifth the width of a
human hair.
When a DMD chip is coordinated
with a digital video or graphic signal,
a light source, and a projection lens,
its mirrors can reflect an all-digital
image onto a screen or other
surface. The DMD and the
sophisticated
electronics
that
surround it are what we call Digital
Light Processing™ technology.
A DMD panel's micromirrors are
mounted on tiny hinges that enable
them to tilt either toward the light
source in a DLP™ projection system
(ON) or away from it (OFF)- creating
a light or dark pixel on the projection
surface. Each mirror switches tilts
(on and off) up to several thousand
times per second. When a mirror is
switched on more frequently than
off, it reflects a light gray pixel; a
mirror that's switched off more
frequently reflects a darker gray
pixel.
48
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 2 / TELEVISION & ENTERTAINMENT
Technologies Explained...
New technologies
© Photo: Brillian
LCoS & SED
LCOS
LCoS stands for liquid crystal on
silicon.
LCoS is similar to LCD, but consists
of a liquid crystal layer that sits on
top of a pixelated, highly reflective
silicon substrate. Instead of being
between two layers of glass as in
LCD, the electronics to control the
pixel is below the silicon substrate.
This silicon and glass assembly is
combined to create a panel
sandwich and is packaged for use in
a projection subsystem.
At the time of writing, LCoS
microdisplays
are
primarily
manufactured in 1280 x 768 (720p)
configurations.
By placing the wiring area and
switching elements under the silicon
layer, there is no black matrix area –
so the image is almost seamless.
Pixels on LCoS panels can be made
smaller than is possible with other
microdisplay technologies (DLP and
LCD), without compromising picture
quality.
LCoS displays easily can be scaled to
1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels)
and beyond, while also decreasing
the size and cost of the microdisplay
and other optical components in the
light engine.
SONY ENTERS LCoS MARKET
Sony first announced plans for front
projection products using liquid
www.cleverdis.com
crystal on silicon projection TVs in
2003/2004. In September 2004, the
company announced that HDTV
products would also be forthcoming
in 2005. A 70-inch LCoS-based
1080p rear-projection TV will be
Sony’s first LCoS product. It is priced
at $10,000 and will be the
cornerstone of Sony’s high-end HD
strategy. LCoS-based systems are
proliferating. JVC, with its 70-inch
product, is the first to achieve LCoS
RPTV production volumes of
thousands of units per month.
Other players in the LCoS industry
include Aurora, Brillian, eLCoS,
Microdisplay Corp., Prokia, SMIC,
Spatialight, UMO, and others.
Brillian, for example, is offering 65inch 720p and 1080p system
configurations based on its Gen II
LCoS™ technology.
SED
Just when we thought we’d gotten a
grip on basic panel technologies,
Canon and Toshiba throw a spanner
in the works with a brand new large
screen technology that will be pitted
directly against Plasma.
Surface-conduction electron-emitter
display, or SED, is purported to have
the brightness and contrast of CRT
displays, but use two-thirds less
power than plasma TVs and one third
less than LCD TV.
FIRST MODELS ROLL-OUT IN
2005
The first model to hit the streets will
be a 54” TV, scheduled for release in
September 2005. First models will
have 1080p (HDTV) resolution. The
very first product was announced at
CES Las Vegas in January 2005.
While panels will be “high end”,
prices will also be “high end” to
begin with. This new technology will
not, in the first year of production, be
licensed to other companies.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The SED consists of a glass plate
mounted with electron emitters and
with pixels similar in number to
those of a CRT electron gun.
Positioned next to it is another glass
plate coated with a fluorescent
substance. Between the two glass
plates is a vacuum. The key here is
the extremely narrow slit (several
nanometers wide) made from
ultrafine-particle film. Application of
voltage in this narrow slit creates a
tunnelling effect that causes the
emission of electrons. Some of
these electrons are accelerated by
the voltage applied between the
glass plates and collide with the
fluorescent-coated glass plate,
causing light to be emitted.
Since it is a spontaneous light
display similar to a CRT, it maintains
levels of brightness and colour
performance, as well as a wide angle
of visibility, also on a par with a CRT.
Larger screens can also be produced
by simply increasing the number of
electron emitters in accordance with
the required number of pixels.
Unlike CRTs, SEDs do not need
electronic-beam deflection. As a
result, it is now possible to create
wall-mounted
large-screen TV
displays that are only several
centimetres thick.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
49
HOW “ALL DIGITAL” IS CHANGING OUR LIVES
50
52
53
53
/ The Digital Home for Work & Play
/ INTERVIEW: S. Hancke, Fujitsu Siemens Computers - “Digital Home” Concept
/ PERSONAL COMPUTING: The PC as a fun machine
/ INTERVIEW: Stan Oh, LGe - “...FLATRON f ENGINE enables the most savvy users
to fine tune their LCD monitors to their personal preferences.”
57 / PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Buying a Mobile Phone
60 / Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) - The world in your pocket
62 / DIGITAL IMAGING: Digital Cameras, how to choose...
CHAPTER 3
DIGITAL CONVERGENCE
DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
The Digital Home
for Work and Play
The era of the “digital home” is
seeing the PC moving from its traditional place in the “home office” setting into the living room - communicating wirelessly with all other electronic devices in the home.
Imagine all your digital devices:
televisions, cameras, video players,
computers, etc., all interconnected
without need for wires, allowing
access to your entire multimedia
files. Films, holiday snaps, your
favourite songs, etc., all being available for viewing or listening at your
leisure. Multimedia convergence is
now upon us, and has opened the
way to multiple applications, be they
work or play, within the domestic
universe: the digital home is born! It
is no longer a dream, nor is it even a
concept in development, but very
much a reality, already available to
the general public.
With media devices having each
adopted digital language - originally
the language of information technology; it was only natural that the
50
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
computer would one day step into
the dance of digital leisure.
Although, to integrate perfectly
within the domestic setting, the
computer has greatly evolved: ergonomic and easy to manipulate; it can
be used by everyone in the home,
including the most uninitiated in the
workings of technology. But, first
and foremost, the computer’s quality lies in its function at the heart of
the digital household system to
which all the digital devices are
connected; it knows how to recognise each one in a split second following connection: the transfer of
multimedia content has never been
so simple or rapid!
A LEISURE CENTRE
Introduced by Microsoft, this major
PC evolution towards central
domestic storage functionality and
the diffusion of data is the final step
in the march towards the all-digital
era and the advent of the digital
home. The question of whether or
not to choose a digital device is
becoming obsolete, if it wasn’t
already: from here onwards, holiday
photos will be stored in the computer’s digital photo album, where they
will be very easy to find, and then
viewed on the living room television.
The same can be done for films, be
they camcorder productions, recorded from a television channel or
bought as a DVD. And music, of
course, is not to be forgotten. With
the explosion of mp3 files that we
can download from internet sites
such as iTunes, or reformat from our
own CD collection: the Media
Center is also there to centralise the
music, which then becomes available via the installation in the living
room, or other rooms in the house,
and can even be transferred to a portable mp3 player for nomadic use.
In a certain light, the Media Centre
is similar to a satellite or cable decoder. The system is operated using a
remote control and the documents
(images, films or music) are selected by navigating a menu. However,
there is one fundamental difference:
the data is yours and they are avai-
www.cleverdis.com
©Photo: Akimbo
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
room to function together: for
example, the Media Center can be
installed in the office and, via WI-Fi,
send the images or music chosen
from the television or Hi-Fi in the
living room. Furthermore, it can also
be placed in the living room, which is
clearly justified by its usage for leisure activities: plugged directly to the
television, the computer will then
exist only in name, whilst serving
nearly exclusively for storage and the
repartition of documents.
The printer, in the same way, can be
placed in another room (the office for
example) and wirelessly linked up to
the Media Center: you can also
select images from the television,
such as your favourite holiday
photos, and print them out from your
arm chair in the living room.
DOMESTIC USES
lable on-demand, without the
constraints of the TV or radio programme. Moreover, thanks to its
integrated double tuner, the Media
Centre can record films and programmes that are then available, ondemand, for a later viewing. As with
a DVD player/recorder with integrated hard drive, it not only allows you
to watch one programme whilst
simultaneously recording another,
but also programme other recordings,
and even ‘pause’ a television emission
and pick it up at your leisure.
Furthermore, via the Windows XP
interface Media Center
edition, the user can access
the simple to use functionalities
through the interactive menus that
are entirely intuitive.
THE WIRELESS REVOLUTION
Veritable keystone of the digital
home, the Media Centre also benefits
from the development of wireless
technologies. Using “Wi-Fi” dispenses with the cables linking up
the devices which considerably
simplifies the latter’s daily use.
In this way, the devices no longer
need to be installed in the same
Thanks to the Media Center, digital devices like television sets, digital still
and video cameras, computers, etc., are inter-connected thanks to Wi-Fi,
and share all the multi-media content of the home.This fruit of multi-media
convergence opens the way to multiple applications and leisure
activities.According to Microsoft, “Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
is an operating system that enables you to enjoy the best in home
entertainment, personal productivity, and creativity on your home PC in an
easy, complete, and connected way.
With Media Center Edition 2005, you can store, share, and enjoy all of your
photos, all of your music, all of your home video, and even recorded TV in
one sleek and easy to use place. Computers powered by Windows XP
Media Center Edition 2005 are called Media Center PCs. They are complete
Windows XP-based PCs enhanced for home entertainment. These
computers represent the evolution of home PCs into digital media hubs that
bring together all your entertainment choices and allow you to access them
via remote control.
www.cleverdis.com
Besides its use for leisure, the
Media Center can also offer home
automation functions. Through interface connections, it can operate the
lights or manage the central heating.
Rather than being a classic household management system, often
limited and sometimes illogic (imagine the central heating turns itself off
one day per week; the very day that
you have taken off work because you
are suffering from the flu…), the
Media Centre supplemented with an
‘intelligent’ module studies the
behaviour of the home’s inhabitants
so it can adapt the household management accordingly. Moreover,
thanks to new methods of communication via networks, the Media
Centre can be controlled at distance
with, for example, a SmartPhone or
a PDA: programming the recording
of a TV show or regulating the
central heating at distance becomes
child play.
With the rise of the digital home
comes an ensemble of new applications that appeal to everyone,
applications that will be developed
over time according to ones own
requirements. The vocation of the
computer has never been to complicate life, but to simplify it… a dream
that is no longer a utopia.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
51
CHAPTER 3 / THE DIGITAL HOME
INTERVIEW
“Digital Home”
Concept
Sascha Hancke
Head of Consumer Products
Fujitsu Siemens Computers
Germany
Sascha Hancke, 39, since 2002, is responsible for Marketing and Sales Germany at
Fujitsu Siemens Computers, the leading
European IT manufacturer.
During this time the market share for
consumer notebooks grew from number
six to market leader in this segment. Since
April 2005 to date, Hancke has been
responsible for building up the flat screen
business in Europe.
Before
entering
Fujitsu
Siemens
Computers Sascha Hancke, who studied
at the Technical University of Aachen, was
a Member of the Board, Sales and
Marketing at hancke & peter IT Service
AG. He was responsible for all product
sales and services at hancke & peter,
today called arxes information Design AG.
The company, during this time, became
one of the leading national Project- and
Services- providers in the national system
vendor market and have to date more then
1.700 employees.
As a member of DLNA (Digital Living
Network Alliance) Fujitsu Siemens
Computers believes that the collaboration
of manufacturers is a key success factor in
providing customers with seamless
product interoperability and is an imprtant
step in shaping the digital future.
FUJITSU SIEMENS COMPUTERS
Rathausplatz 3 - 7
61348 Bad Homburg
Tel. (Germany): 01805 - 372 100 (12ct/min)
www.fujitsu-siemens.com
52
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
with Sascha Hancke • Fujitsu Siemens Computers
Cleverdis: Nowadays everybody
is using the term "Digital Home".
But what does it exactly mean?
dealership, too. This mainly means
education, promotion, and installation support.
Sascha Hancke: It is the seamless integration of audio, video, and
photo data usage in your daily life.
Secure access to all the digital
content you own – from all rooms,
with ease of use.
Cl.: With new connected home
services and devices, consumers
are changing the way they
interact. Could you tell us in which
way the digital home changes our
daily lives?
Cl.: What are the key issues and
technologies associated with
delivering connected home entertainment?
S.H.: Let’s recall one famous sentence: information at your fingertips.
Which means in the new context,
access to your music, your photos,
your videos AND every other
information
(internet
access)
anywhere at home just a mouse
click away, or you might even use
your 10foot interface.
Living Home solutions from Fujitsu
Siemens Computers make information, communication, entertainment,
and home control easier and more
attractive to use.
S.H.: Wireless LAN is key, and of
course the different media streaming
and media center software technologies.
Moreover, centralised storage is the
one main thing you should think
about in terms of security and administration.
Cl.: Which factors have until now
slowed down the acceptance of
digital home solutions and what
has been done to improve acceptance?
S.H.: Today, customers are experiencing dealer channels which are
not suited well: two different departments in the store, the IT and the CE
department – not really working
together.
We do a lot to have a convergence
not only in technology but in the
Cl.: How is convergence between
different devices progressing?
How do manufacturers deal with
problems of compatibility?
S.H.: We are a member of the
DLNA (Digital Living Network
Alliance), and interoperability and
integration of different vendors will
be key to the success of the
manufacturers who want to play an
important role in the digital future.
So we do only use standards like
WLAN or MS media center.
www.cleverdis.com
PERSONAL COMPUTING
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
Information Technology
The PC as a Fun
Machine
Amongst the notable changes today,
the design is without doubt the
most evident. PC manufacturers
have made great efforts, but it is
incontestably Apple that has made
the computer the most seductive:
fluid lines, crafted textures, the
different Macintosh models are
attracting an increasing number of
aesthetics fans. The pleasant work
environment is a welcome bonus,
although completely different to that
of the PC world. However, the Mac’s
incompatibility with most games
and the high price tend to dissuade
potential buyers.
Moreover, while the ergonomics
and design are beyond compare, the
figures can only speak for themselves: the PC by far outsells the
Macintosh.
In the PC domain, we now find
complete configurations for well
under $500, which often prove
sufficient for the requirements of
the general public. The price
difference compared to the high-end
models can be essentially explained
by the quantity of memory in the
hard drive, the power of the
www.cleverdis.com
graphics card or the speed of the
processor: it is then down to each
person to decide as to their own
requirements in view of these
criteria. Some are still asking questions on the utility of a computer.
Today, it represents a real family
investment, giving great “Return on
Investment” and useful for everybody. You can do everything (or nearly)
with your PC: work or leisure.
FROM GAMES
TO THE INTERNET
Games, evidently, take up large
amounts of time, whatever the age
or sex. There are multiple types of
games: those to let off steam such
as “Doom”, those to relax such as
“Myst”, those for the lovers of role
games, strategy, simulation and the
controlling of characters in games
like “The Sims”. Added to this is the
range of educational games for the
younger users. Moreover, the PC
today enables you, for example, to
visualise the photos or personal
videos.
A growing number of computers,
portable or not, come with connectors compatible with
the whole range of
memory cards for digital still cameras (DSC).
Therefore, with a
DSC, you can view
your holiday snaps on
a larger screen. In the
same way, if you are
equipped with a digital
camcorder, transferring films to the computer is possible in a
few clicks. Aimed at
those who have an Analogue camcorder, several manufacturers propose an input making it possible to
convert to a digital format.
You are then free to record onto a
DVD, transportable and readable by
any living room DVD player.
The computer can even rival traditional devices such as the Hi-Fi or the
television, and sometimes replace
them. Thanks to available software,
of which most are free, the PC
becomes a musical and video jukebox.
This now possible exchange between
the previously very closed world of
the computer and that of the living
room has a name: convergence.
But, it is without any doubt the arrival and the popularity of the Internet
that has strongly stimulated the
equipping of households with a PC.
With very reasonable monthly
subscriptions for a basic DSL
connection, all the family can now
access cultural information, play
games, communicate via email or
on-line chat, not forgetting on-line
shopping with prices at particularly
attractive prices.
© Photo: Apple
For a long time kept in the shadows
due to its mundane characteristics,
the computer, or more correctly the
PC, was considered just a simple
piece of office equipment. Only the
erudite dared to venture forth and
use one. For the others, it was
something to be left well alone for
fear of inadvertently messing up the
system. Its lack of style and class
gave all the more reason for it to
stay in the office, thus not compromising the living room decoration.
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
53
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
PERSONAL COMPUTING
ON THE ROAD
© Photo: Cleverdis
In the past few years, we’ve already
seen a marked trend towards
people working remotely – at least
part of the time. They’re “teleworking” from remote offices – a trend
that has been accentuated with the
increasing number of wi-fi hotspots.
People now work from coffee
shops, pubs, airport lounges and
hotel rooms or lobbies.
IN THE OFFICE
Another revolution is happening
within large corporate offices,
where more and more people are
able to get up and walk from one
desk to another, carrying their information in a laptop computer.
54
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
In both cases – on the road and in
the office, the Tablet PC is finding
itself a home. Many new vertical
markets are opening up for the
Tablet PC – markets where up until
now, work was often inefficient
because it was still carried-out with
pen and paper. Studies by Microsoft
have found that task efficiencies can
be improved by up to 62% thanks to
benefits enabled by the Tablet PC
(e.g. Through the reduction of time
spent searching for handwritten
paper-based information).
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
It is relatively easy to calculate the
return on investment through
workers being “mobile enabled”.
If a company has blue collar or white
collar workers in the field, undertaking activities that waste time such
as filling in papers, driving to the
office to get their workload for the
day, then going out, filling-in their
papers after every job, and having to
drive back to the office at the end of
their working day to deliver them
and have them manually transcribed
and put into the system.
By allowing these people to fill-in a
job ticket on a Tablet PC and having
it sent automatically to the system,
two processes have been eliminated. One is all the paper work, and
the second is that of transcribing
everything into the system which is
usually done by someone else, and
often with errors. The time that
would have been wasted for the person to drive to and from the office
has also been eliminated. This all
means
considerable
savings.
Typically, ROI for these applications
occurs in less than 18 months, and
can occur in as few as three or four
months depending on the value of
the hard assets.
KEY VERTICAL MARKETS
There are some fields where mobile
and wireless solutions have been
adopted much earlier than others.
This is the case, for example, in
logistics. Fleets of trucks driving
around with deliveries and loads to
pick up were among the first to use
new technologies to optimize truck
routes, fuel consumption, loading
and drop-off points.
While utility companies get much
closer to “one and done” (one visit
and the job is done), it also helps
them redesign how they distribute
parts and schedule jobs. Now, the
parts go to the repair people rather
than the repair people going to a
centralized warehouse. Not only
does it streamline the process, the
Return on Investment is evident.
© Photo: Eurovia
The past two years have seen a
major revolution in the PC industry
with the arrival of laptop PC’s that, at
affordable prices, albeit more than
desktop models, can basically do
everything the latter can. The mobile
revolution has changed the way
people live and work, making it possible to work itinerantly in a highly
efficient manner. While it’s clear that
the good ol’ desktop computer is
not going to disappear, it is estimated by Gartner that by 2007, more
than 40% of workers in Europe will
be using mobile and wireless computing – a market of more than 20million people.
© Photo: Acer
...the Mobile Revolution,
how mobility is changing the face
of business
www.cleverdis.com
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
INTERVIEW
“...FLATRON f ENGINE
enables the most savvy
users to fine tune their LCD
monitors to their personal
preferences.” with Stan Oh • LGe
© Photo LG FLATRON L1980Q
Stan Oh
Cleverdis: LG monitors have
swept various design awards this
year. Tell us about the screens that
won the awards and why you
think they have been recognized
in this way.
Stan Oh: The FLATRON L1780U
grabbed the Reddot Design Award
2005. The FLATRON LX80Q series,
including the FLATRON L1780U,
features a unique double-hinged arm
that allows the monitor to fold to just
over two inches in height, rotate
from landscape to portrait view, and
bend 180° backwards allowing a
person sitting across from you to
view the screen. Thanks to the
included advanced software forte
Pivot (landscape to portrait) and forte
Mirror (bend 180°), the image
automatically adjusts to accommodate the position of the screen.
www.cleverdis.com
In addition, the LX80Q
series is fueled by LG’s
exclusive FLATRON f ENGINE, the world’s first picture
enhancing chip for LCD
monitors.
Finally,
the
FLATRON L1980Q and
L1780Q, based on the
same design of the
FLATRON L1780U, come
with an ultra fast response
time at 8ms, which is now
the main request among
multimedia users.
The FLATRON L1981Q, the
family model of LX80
series, was honored by PC
World (U.S.A) with a 2005 World
Class Award for the 19” LCD category. The recognitions have been a
golden opportunity to demonstrate
the excellence of LG’s LCD monitors
in both design and function.
Also the beautifully crafted “LX40
series” received the 51st “iF Material
Design Award” from the International Forum Design (iF) for commitment to design and technical
excellence.
The FLATRON LX40 series sports a
curvaceous elegant design. The
unique design of LX40 series is
different from other LCD monitors
available in the market. The black and
white coloring with gentle curves
and sweeping angles gives a calm
and soothing design effect for the
user. The LX40 series becomes
Vice President
Stan Oh joined LG Electronics in 1984.
After progressing through various management positions and in particular, in
recognition of the brilliant success of
LGE’s OEM business when Oh worked in
LGE’s U.S. operations, he was named as
Vice President of LG Electronics in 2000.
Oh has been in charge of LGE’s brand and
OEM display business since 2001. Oh is
recognised as an internationally leading
strategist and a visionary business leader
in the OEM and corporate markets.
About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics (KSE: 06657.KS) is a global
leader in providing cutting-edge, convergent
electronics, information and communications products designed to meet the
diverse needs of fast-changing consumers. With consolidated sales of US$37.7
billion and overseas sales of US$ 32.6
billion (86% of total sales), LG Electronics
employs more than 70,000 employees in
76 subsidiaries located in 39 countries and
operates four business units including
Mobile Communications, Digital Appliance,
Digital Display and Digital Media.
LG Electronics Digital Display Company
provides core technologies for cuttingedge digital products and is a world leader
in digital display products including Plasma
TVs, LCD TVs and Monitors, and HDTV
(high-definition televisions).
LG Twin Towers
20, Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu
150-721, Seoul - Korea
Tel.: +82 2 3777 1114
www.lge.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
55
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
wide, especially function and the
design.
© Photo LG FLATRON M2040A
At the heart of LG LCD monitors is
FLATRON f ENGINE, the world’s first
picture enhancing chip for LCD
monitors. An exclusive technology
developed by LG Electronics,
FLATRON f ENGINE has the ability
to enhance brightness and color
independently of each other,
resulting in the most true to life
images available in LCD monitors
today. Included with our premium
line of LCD monitors is ForteManager.
much more than a monitor, it comes
close to art itself. As such, the
FLATRON LX40 series is superior in
both design and function as these
latest LCD monitors offerings from
LG perform as good as they look. It
is equipped with the first picture
quality enhancing chip for LCD monitors, the FLATRON f ENGINE,
enabling users to optimize picture
quality according to each type of
work environment.
ambient bright sensing technology,
which controls the brightness in
response to the surroundings. This is
a key point of differentiation from our
competitors’ models.
Cl.: What other features differentiates your products that you think
important to underline?
S.O.: There are many outstanding
aspects that make LG LCD monitors
have outstanding reputation world-
This colour management software
enables the most savvy users to fine
tune their LCD monitors to their personal preferences.
Not to be overshadowed by their
impressive technology, LG is
dedicated to offering customers
LCD monitors that look as good as
they perform. Highlighted by the
recently launched LX80 series and
LX40 series demonstrate LG’s
focus on design and attention to
detail.
The FLATRON L1740PQ and
L1940PQ are capable of implementing the industry’s fastest response
time at 8 ms, thus optimizing for
video viewing and games
S.O.: We have adopted LG.Philips
LCD S-IPS technology so our
FLATRON LCD monitor shows rich
picture performance with the widest
viewing angle in its class and fast
response time. These are the most
important factors in an LCD monitor.
S-IPS technology provides better
color fidelity, uniform contrast and
superior mechanical reliability. It is a
proven fact in the industry that S-IPS
are superior in overall viewing angle
performance, resulting in an enhanced viewing performances.
Together with this wide viewing
technology, LGE plans to include
56
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
© Photo LG FLATRON L1740PQ
Cl.: Your wide viewing angle technology is called S-IPS. Tell us what
benefits this brings to consumers.
www.cleverdis.com
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
Buying a Mobile Phone
About 3G, GSM,
GPRS, UMTS
and all that stuff…
Mobile communications have become so essential that today, if you
forget your mobile phone charger at home when you’re on a business
trip, it’s worse than forgetting your toothbrush!
TODAY’S WORLD AND 3G
Today 3G is finally here. Mobile
telephony allowed us to talk on the
move. The internet turned raw data
into helpful services that people
found easy to use. Now, these two
technologies are converging to
create third generation mobile
services.
To upgrade up to 3G is like moving
from a VW Polo to a Porsche GT. In
simple terms, third generation (3G)
services combine high speed
mobile access with Internet
Protocol (IP) based services. This
doesn’t just mean fast mobile
connection to the Internet, but more
so,
entire
new
ways
to
communicate, access information,
conduct business, learn and be
entertained - liberated from slow,
cumbersome
equipment
and
immovable points of access.
believes that mobility will become
the norm for many communication
services. We’ll be able to make
video calls to the office and surf the
internet, or play interactive games
with friends at home - wherever we
may be.
But 3G is not just about applications
that require high speed data rates.
It’s about convenience and speed of
access.
The packet based IP (Internet
Protocol) technology that will form
the core of future services will mean
we can be on-line constantly: e-mail
messages with file attachments will
download to hand-held terminals
instantaneously; at the push of a
button we’ll be connected to our
company network. We’ll have this
“anytime access” with charging
geared more towards how much
information we are sending than to
how long we are connected.
There will also be a growing need
for mobile users to interact with
machines, and for machines to
interact with other machines, over
radio connections – reporting faults,
ordering new stock, or relaying
location details whenever required.
Companies outside telecoms today
will take advantage of 3G to develop
innovative new services.
WHAT WILL 3G MEAN
TO USERS?
www.cleverdis.com
© Photo: Sony Ericsson
With access to any service
anywhere, anytime, from one
terminal, the old boundaries
between communication, information, media and entertainment will
disappear. Services will truly
converge.
"Mobility" will be offered with many
services that we currently regard as
"fixed" – indeed, Mobile operators
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
57
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
ROLLOUT
NTT DoCoMo already launched the
world's first commercialised thirdgeneration
"FOMA"
mobile
communication service on October
1, 2001. "FOMA" is the name used in
Japan for NTT DoCoMo's 3G
service.
The question of 3G deployment is
not a technical issue, but a
regulatory and economic one.
Subscriber demand is the key factor:
user expectations for mobile
services are being raised, and for
any successful 3G license bidder
time to market will be critical. The
way 3G is rolled out in a particular
market will depend entirely on the
business plans of the mobile
operators,
and
the
license
requirements imposed by the
regulatory authorities.
Mobile network operators gained
vital
business
and
market
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
experience through providing highspeed mobile data services introducing
packet
switching
networks such as GPRS (General
Packer Radio Service). Now that the
new WCDMA, EDGE and cdma2000
wideband radio interfaces are being
standardized and commercially
available, the market is already be
attuned to the possibilities of 3G.
THE SPEED
3G enables users to transmit voice,
data, and even moving images. In
order to realize these services, 3G
improves the data transmission
speed up to 144Kbps in a highspeed
moving
environment,
384Kbps in a low-speed moving
environment, and 2Mbps in a
stationary environment.
(our thanks to www.3gnewsroom.com/ for the above
information)
HISTORY
The “first generation” of analogue phones was followed by
digital technology – known as
GSM, or so-called 2G. In order to
enhance 2G, manufacturers
started throwing in fun things like
WAP (oh so slow). Then came the
faster GPRS standard (48Kbps).
This was imaginatively and unofficially dubbed 2.5G - a stepping
stone that prepared the world for
the true multimedia experience
of 3G, with MMS at the heart of
things. The Japanese were early
adopters of 3G technologies with
users making video calls with
NTT DoCoMo's FOMA services
as far back as 2001.
MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE
The arrival of multifunctional
telephones also multiplies choice
criteria. We can understand that a
potential buyer might be slightly lost
when faced with the multiplicity of
devices and their possibilities
currently on the market. To make the
best choice, the golden rule is more
important here than any where else:
precisely define your requirements
before selecting the range of
telephones best adapted to the
utilisation.
AUTONOMY: THINK BIG
The presence of multiple functionality should not make us forget this
basic fundamental criterion: How
long can the device function before
recharging is necessary?
On this point, manufactures speak
of autonomy ‘in stand-by’ and ‘in
58
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
conversation’, two modes that don’t
really take into account reality due
to the fact that we telephone intermittently.
Furthermore, it should be known
that a large screen consumes energy to display the data that we wish
to consult or take snapshots. Those
expecting to use their telephones
intensively should, therefore, “think
big”. So much so, that if the telephone’s energy levels are down, it may
be impossible to access data stored
in the device, which can be extremely frustrating.
THE SCREEN: NOW AN
ESSENTIAL CRITERION
As long as the telephone is used
only for talking, a small monochrome screen is sufficient to display the
composed number or the name of
the recorded contact. But additional
functions require a larger screen
© Photo: Sony Ericsson
Essential stuff
to know when buying
capable of displaying colours. Here,
we think of photos taken by the
CameraPhone, but also the multiple
functions linked to the management
of an address book, an agenda, or
the consulting of emails.
The bigger the screen, the greater
the possibility to display information
simultaneously, thus rendering the
device easier to use.
MULTIMEDIA FUNCTIONS
Certain devices enable the playing
of mp3 music, and even the viewing
of video sequences. The quality of
the sound and image, as well as the
www.cleverdis.com
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
quantity of available memory, or that
which is likely to be added-on, will be
a more important consideration for
those wishing to use these multi
media functions on a frequent basis.
DIGITAL PHOTOS
SMARTPHONES
With SmartPhones, you can consult
email and benefit from an agenda
and address book similar to those of
PDAs. However, depending on the
models, and the operating system
that they use (Microsoft Windows
Mobile, Palm OS or Symbian), there
are certain differences with regards
to these functions.
In general, when considering the
general ergonomics (navigation by
pen and/or buttons) of the device in
terms of the access and utilisation
of these program-mes, each user
will have their own well defined personal preferences: so do not hesitate to perform a rigorous test of the
operating system before making
your final choice.
© Photo Siemens
For telephones with the camera
function, the quality of the camera
(expressed in numbers of pixels)
determines the resolution, and
therefore the level of details of the
shots.
Most devices now offer a VGA resolution (800x600 pixels), although we
find some Camera-Phones offering
more than a million pixels. Amongst
these devices, some come with a
video function capable of capturing a
video sequence several second in
length.
SOME IMPORTANT TERMS TO KNOW
GSM (or “Global System for Mobile Communication”)
This is the main standard currently on the
market, it is thanks to this system that telephone conversations are possible, but it is
not well suited for functionalities such as
Internet access, image sending, etc.)
norm is not used. We will talk in the future,
therefore, of GSM compatible GPRS.
UMTS (or “Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)
A standard available in France since the
beginning of this year. Within GPRS, it
functions in ‘packet’ mode and offers a
transmission speed theoretically impressive:
200 times that of a first generation GSM, 35
times that of a modern computer and 10
times that of GPRS…the UMTS, therefore, is
the ultimate solution for a mobile Internet.
Receiving video or high speed Internet
surfing is no longer a dream.
GPRS (or “Global Packet Radio Service”)
This opens the way for the multimedia itinerant. In theory, its flow rate (debit) reaches
more than 10 times that of GSM.
The innovation behind this is the transmission of data by ‘packets’, in other words, this
system follows the logic of data volume
rather than the duration of the transmission:
in practice, this means that you can stay
connected to the Internet without receiving
a huge bill at the end of the month, because
you pay only for the quantity of data
transmitted. This said, it is only a
supplementary ‘layer’ to the GSM network
because during a conversation the GPRS
i-MODE (or “Information Mode”)
Hailing from Japan, i-Mode is considered as
a kind of third generation system. It offers a
download speed comparable to that of a
modem and also functions by way of
“packets”.
TECHNOLOGY
PDA PHONES
1G
These are basically PDA’s, based on
either Palm or Microsoft Operating
Systems, with a phone added into
the package. These are becoming
increasingly popular due to advanced GPS functions, enabling, via
Bluetooth or Cable, to connect to a
GPS antenna, and to navigate your
way around Europe without getting
lost!
2G
www.cleverdis.com
Advanced Mobile Phone Service
CDMA
TDMA
Code Division Multiple Access
Time Division Multiple Access
Global System for Mobile
Communications
GSM
PDC
3G
FEATURES
AMPS
• Digital voice service
• 9.6K to 14.4K bit/sec.
• CDMA, TDMA and PDC offer one-way
data transmissions only
• Enhanced calling features like caller ID
• No always-on data connection
Personal digital cellular
Wide-band Code Division
Multiple Access
Based on the Interim Standard
CDMA-2000
-95 CDMA standard
Time-division synchronous
TD-SCDMA
code-division multiple-access
W-CDMA
• Analogue voice service
• No data service
• Superior voice quality
• Up to 2M bit/sec. always-on data
• Broadband data services like video
and multimedia
• Enhanced roaming
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
59
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s)
The World
in your
Pocket
ers
put
Com
WHAT WERE IN THE PAST
SIMPLE ELECTRONIC AGENDAS, THEY ARE NOW MULTIMEDIA MONSTERS!
First appearing several years ago,
personal assistants, or PDA’s,
started out as electronic agendas –
not much more complex than the
paper version, but already very useful: they enabled the user to carry
numerous contact details (name,
addresses, numbers for telephones,
mobiles and fax, etc.) in an electronic
format, as well as being used for
time schedule management.
These basic functions constitute the
fundamental and the raison d’être of
these devices, but they have been
hugely improved and enriched
thanks to a massive technological
progress in electronics.
The few kilobytes of available memory have become hundreds of megabytes; the tiny monochrome screen
has been transformed into a real
60
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
MULTIMEDIA 4 EVER!
The real revolution in the PDA sphere
is without a doubt their opening up
to the multimedia universe: be it
images, sound or video. Current
PDAs thus today constitute a
perfectly adapted nomadic solution.
Thanks to their integrated media
player, they have been transformed
into veritable portable digital players.
And for video sequences, today’s
screens offer a particularly eyecatching image quality for what is
quite a small device: by this token, in
good conditions you can view an
entire film on full screen by turning
the screen to “landscape” mode,
which rotates the page to the
horizontal format.
A number of PDA’s also include (just
like mobile telephones) digital cameras that can take snaps of life going
on around us.
© Photo: Fujitsu Siemens Computers
ns
me
Sie
tsu
Fuji
o:
hot
©P
colour tactile tablet,
taking up nearly the
whole surface of the
device, while the
processors used in
the
most
recent
models render them more
powerful than the PC of less
than10 years ago.
www.cleverdis.com
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION DEVICES
The idea that the PDA is, in theory, a
complement to the mobile phone,
with the usage of the latter being
essentially limited to simple nomadic telephony, is no longer given.
In effect, while we are currently
witnessing the evolution of the
mobile phone to a PDA by becoming
the SmartPhone, the PDA itself is
evolving towards the mobile phone
by becoming the “PDA Phone”.
principle and secondary functions…
and this, for those who are still
interested by the difference!
PDA’s today are also “communicators” in terms of the use of IT and
data exchange protocols: Wi-Fi and
BlueTooth are fundamental tools of
modern PDAs, notably enabling the
wireless synchronisation of information contained in the devices with
those in the computer. It also means
that you can connect to the Internet
when in the range of a Wi-Fi “hot
spot”.
The screen is, of course, smaller
that that of a PC but this difference
aside, the usage is identical: consultation of emails, navigation of the
Web, and download of data are
performed in the same way.
APPLICATIONS
THAT SIMPLIFY LIFE
A veritable modern Swiss Knife, the
PDA enriches new applications.
As with computers, they can have
their own peripherals - most notably
a GPS receiver. Linked up to the
PDA via BlueTooth, this enables you
to find your route thanks to geographic location by satellite. Coupled
with mapping software, this system
indicates your position and tells you
which direction to follow to arrive at
the chosen destination. Moreover,
the use of wireless protocols allows
you to naturally integrate the device
into the digital home: data
exchange, sending images to the
printer and even, with the right
software, total home automation
through the PDA.
© Photo: Fujitsu Siemens Computers
In other words, a number of the
latest models allow you to telephone
with your PDA! With this concurrent
development, the difference between
the SmartPhone and the PDA Phone
is liable to be become nothing more
than a point of view: only with close
scrutiny can we distinguish their
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
www.cleverdis.com
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
61
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
Digital Cameras,
how to choose...
The digital camera market has
reached maturity and has found its
leaders. At the same time, the
appearance of norms such as the
PictBridge standard (which allows
digital cameras and compatible
printers to dialogue with the aid of a
common protocol thus guaranteeing
the quality of the final result) is
witness to the consolidation of a
sector that has found its bearings.
This is excellent news for the consumer who, from now on, has a
choice of quality products, and,
therefore, can worry less about
making a purchasing mistake. With
this in mind, it is important to first
ask yourself which category of
camera you’re looking for.
THE ULTRA COMPACTS
Pleasure, design and minimal
encumbrance characterise these
cameras designed to follow you
wherever you go. The most recent
models are true masterpieces of
ergonomics that offer, in spite of
their very small size, an extremely
impressive performance.
The smallest weigh no more than
120g, and the majority weigh less
than 200g. With the tendency being
to increase the size of the LCD
screen, certain models offer a
diagonal measure of more than 5,
even 6 cm; this allows very easy
viewing of the shots.
THE COMPACTS
Without counting the highest quality
products reserved for enthusiasts
and professionals, we can define
three major categories of cameras
dedicated for the general public: the
ultra compacts, the compacts and
the ‘bridges’.
The compacts represent the largest
slice of the market: a compromise
between price, size and performance.
They dispose of a range of functions
wider than those of the ultra
compacts (which often have
either a limited or
absent optic zoom,
and
do
not
always integrate
an optic sight,
DIGITAL IMAGING
DIGITAL REFLEX
CAMERAS
While remaining costly and more
suited to true amateurs of the art,
digital reflex cameras recently ducked
under the 1000 Euro mark, and are
now even selling, in some cases, for
less than 900 Euros – including the
lens. The primary advantage with a
digital reflex camera comes through
the fact that one can easily change
lenses, going from ultra wide angle
right up to massive telephoto and
zoom lenses. In addition, the optics of
these cameras is generally superior to
the “bridges”.
The disadvantage lies in the size of
the cameras compared to other digital
models on the market. It is very
important to note as well that a good
lens may well cost more than the
body of the camera itself, so shop
around and get to understand pricing
mechanisms before taking the leap.
It is often better to opt for a “brand
name” lens (wide angle, zoom or
telephoto) rather than a “no-name”
aftermarket
lens
which
may
disappoint in terms of photo quality.
thus resulting in the requirement to
centre the image using the LCD
screen). Weighing not much more
than the ultra compacts (the average
ranges between 200 and 250 g),
they are, however, rather more
voluminous.
THE “BRIDGES”
© Photo: Canon
For the well-informed users, the
bridge is the perfect compromise
between the compact camera
and the high-end reflex camera.
The non-detachable optic generally
offers many centring possibilities:
from zoom to wide angle, the wide
field of possibilities will satisfy most
photography lovers.
The image quality is today also
exceptional, so much so that as the
user masters the camera, they can
take advantage of numerous manual
adjustment possibilities.
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/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
www.cleverdis.com
DIGITAL IMAGING
© Photo: Nikon
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
Heavier (400 to 500g on average)
and more voluminous, they are more
for the enthusiast than for the “daily
snapper”.
image (like you would do on your
computer), followed by an artificial
enlargement by interpolation: this
leads to an inevitable loss of definition.
NUMBER OF PIXELS
STORAGE CAPACITY
Around 5 million pixels on average,
today’s digital cameras allow for
images of a sufficient definition for
quality printing (5 Mega Pixels suffice
for print-outs up to an A4 format).
The pixel race is not necessarily
indispensable, especially for simple
leisure usage; nevertheless, those
wishing to touch-up their shots on
the computer should consider
cameras with more Mega Pixels (the
better the definition, the more
modifiable the image, allowing one
to crop or reframe photos digitally).
All the standard memory cards are
of equal quality: their purpose is simply to store digital information which
is, by definition, inalterable.
Furthermore, if the card provided has
a capacity which is too limited for
your usage, you need only to buy a
new card with a larger capacity
(measured in MB).
AUTONOMY
THE ZOOM
We are all familiar with the frustration of having no battery left at the
end of the day when an occasion
presents itself to take ‘the’ photo!
If the zoom is an important criterion,
opt rather for an optical zoom rather
than a digital zoom. The digital zoom
simply centres on a part of the
The autonomy, therefore, is a very
important element to take into
account, and which can vary considerably from camera to camera. A
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replacement battery, however,
remains a practical solution. Using
the LCD screen to view the photos is
very energy consuming: beware,
then, not to exhaust you batteries in
this way if you intend to take other
shots in the frenzy!
ERGONOMY
When considering the compacts and
ultra compact, the general ergonomics of the camera is a fundamental
criterion: before everything, the utilisation of the camera should be a
pleasure. Look for a menu that is
simple to navigate coupled with
quick response functionality buttons
allow for very pleasant handling and
usage.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER
In all cases today, it is generally
the optics and electronics that
will govern the quality of your
photos rather than the number
of pixels!
New Digital Solutions / September 2005 /
63
CHAPTER 3 / DIGITAL CONVERGENCE - DIGITAL LIFESTYLES
Glossary
Active Matrix Display: a technology
used in flat panel liquid crystal displays.
Active matrix displays provide a more
responsive image at a wider range of
viewing angle than dual scan (passive
matrix) displays. Also known as “thin
film transistor” (TFT) display.
ANSI Lumen: An ANSI Lumen is a standard unit of brightness as defined by the
American National Standards Institute.
Aspect Ratio: The ratio of image width
to image height.
DTS: Digital Theatrical System, used for
digital encoding and decoding on six
channels developed by DTS - much
richer, but much more voluminous than
Dolby Digital.
DTV: Digital TV - a broadcast standard,
which will ultimately replace analogue
television broadcast signals we receive
today.
Cinch: Type of standard one pin plug
generally used to transport both video
and audio signals. This interface is also
known as RCA.
CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and
black): a scheme for combining primary
pigments. The C stands for cyan (aqua),
M stands for magenta (pink), Y is yellow,
and K stands for black.
Coaxial cable: A cable in which one
conductor is accurately centered inside
another, with both conductors carrying
signal - primarily for the transmission of
high frequency, such as digital signals or
television.
FPD: flat panel display
HDTV: High-Definition Television (see
section in guide).
Interlaced Display: a display in which
the lines are scanned alternately in two
interwoven raster scans.
In-Plane Switching (IPS): This technology was developed by Hitachi and NEC
with the intention of correcting TN + film
issues. IPS expanded LCD viewing
angles 170 degrees but it did not correct
response time and color contrast deficiencies.
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display - The active
matrix LCD is also known as a thin film
transistor (TFT) display.
LCOS: Liquid Crystal on Silicon.
Composite Video: The composite video
signal is one where the luminance and
chrominance are mixed together.
Component Video: Video transmission
that uses three separate video lines: one
for luminance (black & white), and the
remaining two for colour.
Contrast Ratio: The ratio between the
darkest and lightest spot projected onto
a screen by a projector or visible on a
screen.
CRT: Cathode Ray Tube, used in directview TV monitors, computer desktop
monitors and “tri-tube” projection
devices.
LED: Light-emitting diode a semiconductor device that emits visible light when
an electric current passes through it. In
most LED’s the light is monochromatic.
Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment
(MVA): wide angle LCD technology
developed by Fujitsu.
NTSC: National Television System
Committee. NTSC is used almost exclusively in North America.
Dot Pitch: Measures the sharpness of
an image on a display.
64
/ New Digital Solutions / September 2005
RCA: Type of standard one pin plug
generally used by the general public to
transport both video and audio signals.
This interface is also known as Cinch.
Resolution: the number of pixels contained on a display monitor, expressed in
terms of the number of pixels on the
horizontal axis and the number on the
vertical axis.
RGB: Video signal in which the chrominance is totally decoded in three primary colors – Red (R), Green (G) and Blue
(B).
Saturation: along with brightness and
hue, one of the three aspects of color in
the red, green, and blue (RGB) scheme.
SECAM: Abbreviation of Système
Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire – a
TV standard generally used in France.
S-IPS: Super In-Plane Switching – TFT
technology developed by Hitachi and primarily marketed today by LG.Philips
LCD.
S-PVA: Super Patterned-ITO Vertical
Alignment (S-PVA) technology is also
used to achieve extra-wide viewing
angles.
S-Video: Term generally used when
speaking of S-VHS or Y/C
TFT: thin film transistor. See “Active
Matrix”
UXGA (Ultra XGA): 1600 x 1200 pixels.
VESA: Video Electronics Standards
Association
OLED: Organic Light Emitting Diode
PAL: Phrase Alternation Line – a type of
television signal, used in most parts of
the World outside the USA.
VGA: Video Graphics Array a display
mode introduced by IBM in 1987 that
allowed a choice between 16 colors at
640 x 480 pixels or 256 colors at 320 x
200 pixels.
Pixel: short for "picture element the
basic unit of programmable color on a
computer display or in a computer
image.
Widescreen: A television with an aspect
ratio of 16:9.
DLP: Digital Light Processing (see DMD)
DMD: Digital Micro Mirror Device, video
projection technology developed by
Texas Instruments. (See section in guide
on Front Projection)
Progressive
Video
Output
or
Progressive Scan: Video signal in which
all the lines making up the image are displayed one after the other, from top to
bottom in one single sweep.
DVI: Digital Visual Interface
FED: field emission display
Chroma noise: Bleeding, or smearing
of strong colors, an effect common to
VHS videocassettes and laser-discs, but
absent from DVD’s.
Plasma Display Panel (PDP): a display
in which each pixel on the screen is illuminated by a tiny bit of plasma or charged gas, somewhat like a tiny neon light.
WXGA: Wide XGA (see XGA).
Pixels per inch (ppi): a measure of the
sharpness - the density of illuminated
points) on a display screen.
XGA: Extended Graphics Array - 1,024
by 768 resolution in 65,536 colors.
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ISE 2006:
THE 4 ESSENTIAL
PUBLICATIONS FOR YOUR
COMMUNICATION PLAN
CLEVERDIS SPECIAL REPORT
CLEVERDIS EUROPEAN GUIDE
The “customised” publication to support
your presence at ISE
European Guide: our flagship publication.
Release: ISE, 1st February 2006
Reservation Deadline: 30. December 2005
SMARTreport DYNAMIC DIGITAL SIGNAGE
SMARTreport Dynamic Digital Signage:
the best way to talk with your buyers.
Release: ISE, 1st February 2006
Reservation Deadline: 16. Dec. 2005
Reserve now your customised
Special Report and your advertising
positioning in the European Guide
Special ISE or in the SMARTreport
Dynamic Digital Signage.
Contact Special Report, European Guide & Who’s who:
Bettina Spegele – Tel: (+33) 442 77 46 17
e-mail: bettina.spegele@cleverdis.com
Contact SMARTreport :
Raphaël PINOT – Tel: (+33) 442 77 46 05
e-mail: raphael.pinot@cleverdis.com
WHO’S WHO AT ISE
Release: ISE, 1st February 2006
Reservation Deadline: 02. Dec. 2005
For more information
on all Cleverdis publications:
www.cleverdis.com
“Not to be missed”
Trade Shows for
Professionals and
Consumers
5-8 January 2006
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
www.cesweb.org
1-3 February 2006
Brussels Expo
Brussels, Belgium
www.iseurope.org
9-15 March 2006
Hanover, Germany
www.cebit.de
7-9 June 2006
Orange Country Convention Center
Orlando, Florida,
USA
www.infocomm.org
3-8 September 2007
Berlin, Germany
www.ifa-berlin.com
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