JVC indicated its DTV product direction for the new millennium at a Times Square press conference last week when it unveiled a high-scan rear-projection monitor based on its D-ILA display technology.
The new set is called D'Ahlia (a variation on D-ILA) 3D Hologram and is a rear-screen projection set with a 61W" 16:9 screen. It is one of the first consumer-directed models to incorporate the D-ILA light engine that was co-developed by JVC and Hughes.
The company will sell the set (AV-61S901) for a $5,999 suggested retail when it ships in April.
The technology is said to produce a high-resolution image with 3D-quality image rendering. It is listed with a resolution of 3.3 million pixels and offers some of the highest brightness and contrast levels in the rear-projection field, the company said.
It will present both the 1080i and 720p HDTV formats in native scan rates and will also present 480p signal sources natively. Analog NTSC signals are essentially "line-doubled," said Michael Holmes, JVC color television merchandising manager.
The D'Ahlia will connect to an external DTV decoder box via HD component video inputs or tune directly to NTSC analog channels with its two-tuner analog PIP system. The set does not incorporate a digital tuner, so purchasers who wish to view HDTV signals on it will have to buy a set-top decoder from another manufacturer.
JVC does not currently market a DTV decoder box of its own, and Michael Holmes, JVC color television merchandise manager, said the company doesn't have any immediate plans to do so.
The D'Ahlia includes two sets of HD component video inputs (Y-Pr-Pb) that can be used with set-top boxes from Panasonic, Samsung and other companies -- most of which have delayed set-top decoder deliveries until first-quarter 2000.
The product does not include RGB via VGA inputs, meaning that anyone who buys RCA's DTC-100 decoder to work with it will need to buy an adapter system.
The broadband component inputs are also compatible with a host of DVD players now available with progressive-scan signal output. JVC has hinted that such a player may be on the way from its brand shortly.
Additionally, JVC is a primary supplier of set-top boxes for the EchoStar Dish Network satellite system. EchoStar has shown an adapter for its model 5000 receivers to receive HDTV broadcasts. However, Dish Network executives have stated they will not make HDTV equipment or service available to consumers until a digital interface solution has been adopted by multi-industry bodies.
JVC also used the event to announce its new billboard for New York City's Times Square area. The new billboard will feature a giant rendering of the globe, over clocks showing multiple time zones around the world, and a digital text board on which JVC will announce key events, programs or projects it will undertake throughout the year.