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CEA Panel Talks Future Of 4K, 8K, OLED Displays

San Francisco – “The Future Of Display Technologies” will be centered around 4K, 8K and OLED, according to panelists at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Fall Forum panel held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, here, on Tuesday afternoon. 10/17/2012 06:00:00 AM Eastern

San Francisco – “The Future Of Display Technologies” will be centered around 4K, 8K and OLED, according to panelists at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Fall Forum panel held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, here, on Tuesday afternoon.

Gary Yacoubian, president/CEO and managing partner of Specialty Technologies/SV Sound, moderated a panel with John Taylor, VP government and public relations for LG Electronics; Chris Chinnock, president of Inside Media; Alfred Poor, writer for HDTV Almanac; and Michael Hack, senior VP/general manager of OLED for Universal Light.

Taylor began by reflecting, saying that when one looks at 4K or 8K displays “one would never believe we went from CRT to flat panels, from analog to digital in such a short time.”

He added, “I personally believe 4K is the next big thing, as big a move as from standard analog to digital HDTV, but we have to help consumers and retailers understand what the next big thing really is. Consumers need to see the benefits,”

Pointing out that 4K is in its “early stages, the question, Taylor said,  is “what should we call it?”

That may be solved by the CEA 4K committee that is meeting on the subject at this event.

Hack reflected upon the past, saying that back in 1992 he was at a technical meeting where “half the engineers involved in a discussion about LCDs didn’t think screens up to 10 inches would be made.”

He noted that OLED has been around since the late 1980s, but got a big push in 2009 with cellphones since “Samsung did not have an LCD business, [so] it championed OLED in phones, in its Galaxy series.”

He said that Samsung and LG are now in a battle to come up with large screen OLED TVs, but are both using different approaches. “By 2013 we’ll have OLED in the market but prices will be high, and volumes will be low.” He did not predict when OLED will open up into the broader mass market.

Poor noted that large screen OLED TVs will be “sexy as hell. They will be as thick as the thickness of two credit cards.”

Taylor added, “The color is something you’ve never seen before and the thickness will be sexy.”

Chinnock acknowledged the thinness of OLED TVs, but wondered “how is this is desirable for the consumer? At two times, three times, five times the price [of smaller TVs]?”

Poor noted that OLEDs use “fewer raw materials than [LCD panels] and you can be packed and shipped more inexpensively than LCD. Pricing can be worked out eventually.”

Taylor is bullish on OLED saying, “Unit sales could be 50K the first year, 500K the second and maybe 13 million the fourth year. It is possible.”

The issue then turned to 4K and 8K formats and whether OLED could be put to the task to make those formats come to the market quicker.

Hack said OLED reacts quicker than LCD for 4K and 8K with “little image blur … it would be a natural. You could make it with plastic [versus glass] and it would be a better display than LCD.”

Poor noted that OLED will “lower energy consumption” compared with LCD. “OLED is a green story will be more important going forward.”

Taylor predicted that 4K is “a game changer … a dramatic improvement. When you see it, 4K becomes an aspirational purchase. It will drive people into stores … and they will see other technologies there, which help retailers.” However ne noted “content is not there yet so in the short term 4K [will be] an up-converted medium, a niche product ... that still provides wonderful pictures.”

Chinnock agreed saying that 4K content “is being mastered now, but we don’t have the HDMI connections, Blu-ray or broadcast content yet. But up-converted, it still looks absolutely incredible.”

Poor prefaced his comments saying he thought rear-projection would thrive against flat panel, but, he stated, “4K will be difficult to become popular in 15 to 20 years. Consumers have 1080p flat panels today yet they are still renting DVDs instead of Blu-ray on those screens. As gorgeous as 4K looks does it warrant a sea change in the market?”

Chinnock disagreed with that point, saying he is “optimistic about 4K, OLED, 3D” which will be part of those formats along with“a whole bag of new [display] technology developments.”

Taylor then inserted some marketplace reality into the conversation saying, “4K will be a niche product early on for $15K, $20K a set. But as prices come down and screens get larger, the average household will have 4K. And in the next four to five years there will be Blu-ray and broadcast content from satellite and cable providers.”

He added that while online retailing will continue to be vital in TV sales “retail demonstrations are needed, they need to see the technology with their own two eyes. Four of five consumers do research before they buy any CE product. Retailers must have a highly trained staff to sell such high-end displays, to explain the benefits. You can’t just put it in a grocery cart and go home. It must be installed with an upscale audio system. Online is important but brick-and-mortar is most important.”

Other format issues addressed included user interface, touchscreens, gesture controls, eye controls and who will “own that interface,” as Poor put it. “Will manufacturers get paid for that?” he asked.

The panel acknowledged though, that those issues can be addressed in the future, because initially, when 4K, OLED and, eventually down the road, 8K are introduced, they will be greeted with the same awe that these industry experts experienced when they saw these future panel formats for the first time.

San Francisco – “The Future Of Display Technologies” will be centered around 4K, 8K and OLED, according to panelists at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Fall Forum panel held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, here, on Tuesday afternoon.

Gary Yacoubian, president/CEO and managing partner of Specialty Technologies/SV Sound, moderated a panel with John Taylor, VP government and public relations for LG Electronics; Chris Chinnock, president of Inside Media; Alfred Poor, writer for HDTV Almanac; and Michael Hack, senior VP/general manager of OLED for Universal Light.

Taylor began by reflecting, saying that when one looks at 4K or 8K displays “one would never believe we went from CRT to flat panels, from analog to digital in such a short time.”

He added, “I personally believe 4K is the next big thing, as big a move as from standard analog to digital HDTV, but we have to help consumers and retailers understand what the next big thing really is. Consumers need to see the benefits,”

Pointing out that 4K is in its “early stages, the question, Taylor said,  is “what should we call it?”

That may be solved by the CEA 4K committee that is meeting on the subject at this event.

Hack reflected upon the past, saying that back in 1992 he was at a technical meeting where “half the engineers involved in a discussion about LCDs didn’t think screens up to 10 inches would be made.”

He noted that OLED has been around since the late 1980s, but got a big push in 2009 with cellphones since “Samsung did not have an LCD business, [so] it championed OLED in phones, in its Galaxy series.”

He said that Samsung and LG are now in a battle to come up with large screen OLED TVs, but are both using different approaches. “By 2013 we’ll have OLED in the market but prices will be high, and volumes will be low.” He did not predict when OLED will open up into the broader mass market.

Poor noted that large screen OLED TVs will be “sexy as hell. They will be as thick as the thickness of two credit cards.”

Taylor added, “The color is something you’ve never seen before and the thickness will be sexy.”

Chinnock acknowledged the thinness of OLED TVs, but wondered “how is this is desirable for the consumer? At two times, three times, five times the price [of smaller TVs]?”

Poor noted that OLEDs use “fewer raw materials than [LCD panels] and you can be packed and shipped more inexpensively than LCD. Pricing can be worked out eventually.”

Taylor is bullish on OLED saying, “Unit sales could be 50K the first year, 500K the second and maybe 13 million the fourth year. It is possible.”

The issue then turned to 4K and 8K formats and whether OLED could be put to the task to make those formats come to the market quicker.

Hack said OLED reacts quicker than LCD for 4K and 8K with “little image blur … it would be a natural. You could make it with plastic [versus glass] and it would be a better display than LCD.”

Poor noted that OLED will “lower energy consumption” compared with LCD. “OLED is a green story will be more important going forward.”

Taylor predicted that 4K is “a game changer … a dramatic improvement. When you see it, 4K becomes an aspirational purchase. It will drive people into stores … and they will see other technologies there, which help retailers.” However ne noted “content is not there yet so in the short term 4K [will be] an up-converted medium, a niche product ... that still provides wonderful pictures.”

Chinnock agreed saying that 4K content “is being mastered now, but we don’t have the HDMI connections, Blu-ray or broadcast content yet. But up-converted, it still looks absolutely incredible.”

Poor prefaced his comments saying he thought rear-projection would thrive against flat panel, but, he stated, “4K will be difficult to become popular in 15 to 20 years. Consumers have 1080p flat panels today yet they are still renting DVDs instead of Blu-ray on those screens. As gorgeous as 4K looks does it warrant a sea change in the market?”

Chinnock disagreed with that point, saying he is “optimistic about 4K, OLED, 3D” which will be part of those formats along with“a whole bag of new [display] technology developments.”

Taylor then inserted some marketplace reality into the conversation saying, “4K will be a niche product early on for $15K, $20K a set. But as prices come down and screens get larger, the average household will have 4K. And in the next four to five years there will be Blu-ray and broadcast content from satellite and cable providers.”

He added that while online retailing will continue to be vital in TV sales “retail demonstrations are needed, they need to see the technology with their own two eyes. Four of five consumers do research before they buy any CE product. Retailers must have a highly trained staff to sell such high-end displays, to explain the benefits. You can’t just put it in a grocery cart and go home. It must be installed with an upscale audio system. Online is important but brick-and-mortar is most important.”

Other format issues addressed included user interface, touchscreens, gesture controls, eye controls and who will “own that interface,” as Poor put it. “Will manufacturers get paid for that?” he asked.

The panel acknowledged though, that those issues can be addressed in the future, because initially, when 4K, OLED and, eventually down the road, 8K are introduced, they will be greeted with the same awe that these industry experts experienced when they saw these future panel formats for the first time.

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