By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Television displays based on LCD, DLP, LCOS, CRT and new sizes in plasma display panels were recurring themes on the floors of the recent CEDIA Expo.
Fujitsu showed its new 50W-inch HD-level plasma display ($14,999 suggested retail). The company is planning a 61W-inch model for the first quarter of 2002.
Hitachi said it will introduce 32W-inch and 37W-inch plasma display panels next year, and will replace the current 42W-inch model in November with a new version to carry a $9,999 suggested retail price.
Integra by Onkyo jumped into the video display business with the introduction of a 50W-inch HDTV plasma panel and outboard Faroudja-based video processor that will be sold as a system at a $23,000 suggested retail price. The display will be part of the brand's strategy of offering complete custom home theater outfits. Integra will also add a DLP front projector in the future, incorporating a version of Texas Instrument's HD-1 DMD 1024x768 chip.
Marantz showed a pair of DLP-based HDTV projectors, one front-screen and one rear-screen model. Both will use the HD-1 widescreen DMD chip with a DLP engine of Marantz design, using Minolta optics. The 55W-inch rear-projection model will be available in October at $15,999. In November, the front projector will be available with a $12,499 suggested retail.
Philips said it would add to its CRT rear-projection line with five models in two series slated to arrive this spring. The higher-end series will include two models in the 55W-inch ($2,899) and 60W-inch ($3,199) screen sizes. Both include a silver cabinet design and are expected to include DVI and HD component inputs. The three models in the remaining series include 55W-inch ($2,599), 60W-inch ($2,899) and 46W-inch ($2,299) screen sizes.
The company also showed a new direct-view 34W-inch HDTV model (due next year at a price to be announced) that will add the company's proprietary Pixel Plus picture-enhancement technology that is said to produce HD-like pictures from NTSC sources. Also demonstrated was a 36-inch 4:3 flat-faced direct-view HDTV monitor.
In new plasma display announcements, the company said it will offer a 32W-inch (1024x852) display in the second quarter of 2002 at a suggested retail price under $6,000.
Pioneer introduced three Elite CRT rear-projection TVs in 53W-inch ($5,900), 58W-inch ($6,900) and 64W-inch ($7,900) screen sizes. All three will be available in October and will include the company's PureCinemaII technology to upconvert NTSC pictures. The company also previewed a new 43W-inch HD-capable plasma display panel with built-in speakers. Pioneer will bundle the display with a media receiver incorporating an NTSC tuner. The receiver and panel will link through a DVI interface. Pioneer will show a 50W-inch version of the package.
Both will join the 50W-inch "FlexPlasma" PDP that was shown at its summer line show as part of the Elite line. Model Pro-1000HD will ship in October at $17,500. Plasma displays will now carry the PureVision sub-brand.
Runco unveiled three new "Gen 2" DLP-based front projectors based on Texas Instruments wide-screen DMD chip. Models will range in price from $8,995-$19,995. Also shown was a new LCD-based front projector using three 1.3-inch panels with a 1,366 x 768 resolution and 500:1 contrast ratio.
Sharp showed a new 50W-inch plasma panel that will be formally introduced next year.
SonicBlue's Sensory Science unit showed a 50W-inch 720p, rear-screen LCOS display prototype. The display uses Nikon optics and JVC's D-ILA chips.
Sony showed plasma monitors with built-in tuner and speakers in the 32W-inch and 42W-inch screen sizes.
Thomson announced that the RCA Scenium 50W-inch fully integrated rear-screen LCOS HD projector will ship this month at $6,999 suggested retail, starting on the West Coast, before moving east.
Yamaha said it will introduce a 50W-inch plasma display panel to join its DLP front projector in the video line. The PDP will display HDTV images, although exact specs and marketing plans were not available.
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