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LCD Televisions Proliferate

A growing trend among TV set makers is the use of LCD panels or varies sizes and types to drive either stylish direct-view ultra-thin lifestyle television sets, or new rear projection digital television monitors with exceptional brightness and color saturation levels.

The following is a look at what a few of the companies will be showcasing in LCD TV systems:

Audiovox will expand its under-counter LCD TV line from one to four models. Key additions include the VE640 ($525 suggested), which offers a 6.4-inch LCD, AM and FM tuning, and hands-free phone. It is currently shipping. The VE1040 ($950) adds a 10.4-inch LCD, built-in DVD player, AM/FM stereo, digital clock and hands-free phone.

Daewoo will show a 50W-inch HDTV level plasma display panel and a 60W-inch LCD-based rear-projection set.

The DTV products to be showcased include the DSC-30W61N, which is a 30W-inch 16:9 PureFlat direct-view HDTV set with built-in ATSC tuner, AC-3 Dolby Digital decoder, amplifiers and a five-band audio equalizer. It is currently available at a $1,795 suggested retail.

Sampo will feature a pair of LCD TV sets in the 15-inch and 17-inch 4:3 screen sizes. Both include built-in NTSC tuners, and will accept HDTV signals via RGB inputs for display at a 720p native rate. Screen resolution is listed at 1024×768 for the 15-inch LME-15S1 and 1280×1024 for the 17-inch LME-17S1.

Sanyo Fisher’s presentation technologies division will introduce a HDTV-level LCD-based front projector designed for dual-duty in home theaters and conference rooms. Model PLV-60HT, which carries a $8,995 suggested retail, is a portable unit featuring XGA-level output with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution.

It offers both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio compatibility, enhanced brightness (1,200 ANSI lumens), data and audio connection options. Contrast is listed at 700:1.

Connections to a DTV set-top box can be made through a component video terminal driven by a Digital RGB Matrix IC that allows the connection of DVD players (Y/Cb/Cr) and HDTV signal sources (Y/Pb/Pr) on a single input.

Also included are a 3D digital progressive scan converter and Sanyo’s “Digital Realized Interpolation Technology (DRIT) scaling system, digital keystone correction and digital zoom.

Sharp will unveil a slate of video products starting with 4:3 LCD televisions in the company’s AQUOS line. Models will be available in the 13-inch (LC-13B2UA), 15-inch (15B2UA) and 20-inch (20B2UA) screen sizes. All models feature Advanced Super View (ASV) panels with 170 degree viewing angles, a high contrast ratio (500:1), black TFT coating for reduced glare, and a sleek, stylish design.

The line will be expanded with the first two 16:9 widescreen AQUOS LCD sets — the 22W-inch (LC-22SV2U) and 30W-inch (LC-30HV2U) screen sizes. The 30-inch AQUOS will be an HDTV-compatible (WXGA) monitor, featuring a separate Audio/Video Computer system with component audio, video and computer (PC) input/outputs. The 22-inch model (WVGA) has high-quality interlace-to-progressive scan image scaling with 3:2 pull down. Pricing and availability on both models will be announced in the first quarter of 2002.

Zenith’s LCD TVs will go from two models to five in 2002. In addition to the current 15-inch and 20-inch screen sizes, the line will add a 10-inch 4:3 model, and a flagship 30W-inch 16:9 HDTV LCD monitor. The 30W-inch, which is due in the third quarter at a price to be announced, boasts a pixel count of 1280 x 768, and will include a DVI digital input and matching mini-tower speaker option.