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BenQ Bows 72W” DLP Rear PTV

BenQ used CES to unveil its first DLP-based rear-projection HDTV set for the United States market.

The television features a 72W-inch screen size and highly styled thin cabinet design modeled after some of the company’s flat-panel televisions. Cabinet depth is listed at 11 inches.

BenQ, which doesn’t expect to ship the first products until 2006, is still considering which of Texas Instruments’ DLP chips it will use in final production models, but it is possible the line will launch with models capable of 720p resolution, and will be followed with 1,080p versions, according to a company spokesman.

“We have a very good relationship with TI, because right now we are the second largest manufacturer of DLP [front projectors],” said Joey Lee, a BenQ spokesperson, explaining BenQ’s access to the latest TI technologies.

The set will use a light engine designed by BenQ.

In addition to the 72W-inch screen size, BenQ was said to be developing a 57W-inch version.

Pricing has not been established, but the products will be targeted at high-end custom installation retail distribution channels, the company said.

BenQ will produce the light engine and other core components in Taiwan, but due to the large cabinet sizes, final assembly will likely be established at a BenQ factory in Mexico, a company spokesman said.

In other introductions, BenQ displayed a fully integrated 46W-inch high-definition LCD TV.

The 46W-inch DV4680 will be similar to a model shown last year, but with an improved feature set, according to BenQ. The HDTV set is due to ship in March at a $9,999 suggested retail.

The screen features native 1,920-by-1,080p resolution. Panel brightness is listed at 600 cd/m2 and the contrast ratio is 800:1. Response time was said to have been improved to 8ms to eliminate image smearing in fast motion sequences. The horizontal and vertical viewing angle is 170 degrees.

Two speakers handle 15 watts each of audio power. Sound is enhanced through SRS TruSurround XT technology.

Other features include, ATSC and NTSC tuners, picture-in-picture, freeze frame, digital memory-card reader, Senseye video enhancement technology, 10-bit color processing, motion adaptive de-interlacing, 3D Y/C comb filter, Faroudja True Life video enhancement, noise reduction and cross color suppression, RGBY 4 color independent adjustment, Chroma bug correction and four picture modes (vivid/standard/movie/sports). Inputs include HD component and DVI-HDCP.

The company also showed two widescreen LCD TV lines, one for the volume-oriented distribution and the other for higher end specialty and custom install channels.

The volume distribution “DV” series of LCD TVs features the 26W, 30W-, 32W- 37W- and 46W-inch screen sizes.

BenQ also demonstrated a DVD recorder/DVR combo unit featuring a built-in TV tuner, 160GB hard drive and precise recording technology with “Smart Write Control.”

Model DE350 (shipping in February at a $549 suggested retail) features built-in loader (optical drive) technology that keeps the 90-degree writing angle on DVD recordable media by ensuring stability without any variance.

Included is an i.Link (IEEE1394) connection, to allow users to back-up videos/images onto a DVD disc or HDD.

The unit is compatible with DVD-Video, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, VCD/SVCD/Audio CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, and JPEG formats.

It includes an NTSC tuner, and features progressive scan component video output.