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Sony's laser TV using Novalux technology at CES

The key benefits of the Laser Light Engine

Laser hardware replaces lamp and color wheel to deliver superior picture

Traditional UHP technology with lamp and color wheel
Laser TV will be here within a year to best plasma and LCD picture quality

Plasma and LCD represent the two main technologies of choice for today’s high definition televisions, but by this time next year a third technology called laser TV will emerge in hopes of bringing the best picture quality yet.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Novalux Inc. is one of the main developers of the upcoming laser TV technology, and promises that its products will deliver appreciable benefits over plasma, LCD and CRT televisions. When compared to plasma and LCD, laser TV technology boasts half the production cost, double the color range, and three-quarters less power consumption.

Laser TV technology is suited for projection (either front or rear), and is likely to become the replacement for the UHP lamp currently used in today’s projection displays. Novalux unveiled its technology last fall by demonstrating a Mitsubishi 50-inch rear-projection with lasers side-by-side with another Mitsubishi plasma television, with the special-made laser TV producing a richer image.

While Mitsubishi products were used as a part of the demonstration, the Japanese electronics company played no part in Novalux’s event. Rather, the use of a standard consumer Mitsubishi television was to prove that lasers could be fitted into existing rear projection cabinets.

“We took the off-the-shelf Mitsubishi projection TV and removed the lamp and color wheel, stuck our lasers inside the box, and then we had our TV,” explained Greg Niven, vice president of marketing at Novalux, also adding that the retrofitted projection TV was for demonstration purposes, and that upgrading existing sets would be cost prohibitive.

Mitsubishi has since then been planning a laser TV product, though Niven was unable to comment on the whether or not the Japanese electronics giant is using Novalux technology. Sony, however, has publically displayed Novalux-powered laser TV technology at its booth at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, though the company has yet to formally announce a laser-based product.

“At CES we had a laser TV beside a plasma TV, an LCD TV and a traditional UHP lamp TV,” said Niven, speaking about Novalux’s showroom in at this year’s CES. “So that’s four TVs lined up running our own produced high definition content, and I mean, it was a no brainer. The laser TV had a way, way better picture than any of the other conventional technologies.”

One area where laser TV may give up to the flat panel technologies plasma and LCD is in profile. The thin profile of flat panels allows users to hang their televisions on a wall, like a picture or painting. Rear projection televisions, by nature, are thicker than flat panels, but thanks to recent developments in the DLP market and the weight savings of laser technology, clever manufacturers may be able to put laser TVs on the wall too.

“The one that Sony had on the show floor was one that they built themselves using our lasers, and it was a thin cabinet TV—maybe 8 to 10-inches—thin enough to mount on the wall,” Niven added.

Novalux is currently in discussions with various OEMs for bringing TVs to market using its lasers and remains confident that its technology will hit consumers within a year’s time. “We now have over four design wins in laser TVs for four different brands that are scheduled for launch in 2008,” said Niven.

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By Mitch101 on 4/4/2007 11:06:22 AM , Rating: 3
This is very interesting tech because there would not be any bulb replacement and no fear of rainbow effect or color wheel stray. Im a sensitive person to color wheels. I would imaging the lasers utilize less heat over the bulb method as well increasing the life span.

In simple less heat and moving parts is a good thing.

I wonder what kind of laser output is required to produce a bright enough picture to put plasma out?

RE: Interesting.
By Fnoob on 4/4/2007 11:22:41 AM , Rating: 5
I wonder what kind of laser output is required to produce a bright enough picture to put plasma out?

Technically, probably a "Class 1" laser device. The company I work for has been using these for about 8 years for digital imaging. The laser itself does not generate much, if any heat, however the SHG (2nd Harmonic Generator) and the AOMs (Acoustic Optical Modulators) for each color do get rather warm. Nothing like a plasma display though, which can heat a small room in winter...

There are definite advantages in point resolution and color gamut using a laser over either LCD or Plasma. What I am most curious about is how they will manage to make this cheaper than a simple bulb. We are migrating away from laser driven devices in lieu of LED exposure systems to cut costs in half. Seems backwards from a cost standpoint to say laser will make the manufacturing cheaper.

RE: Interesting.
By abhaxus on 4/5/2007 1:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing like a plasma display though, which can heat a small room in winter...

This is a common misconception. A current generation 42" plasma (actually, last year's panels, haven't done it with this year's panels) consumes about 180-200W of power as opposed to a 46" LCD which draws around 200-250W. Plasmas are no longer the energy hog they once were. I had to see it myself to believe it, but we hooked both up to a power supply with wattage readings and those were the numbers.

RE: Interesting.
By Fnoob on 4/5/2007 2:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I would expect a 46" LCD panel to consume more than a 42" Plasma, as it is substantially larger. However, heat dissipation is a matter of efficiency. Just because your 'test' showed a larger LCD drawing more power than a smaller plasma, it has nothing to do with my comment. Next time try measuring the thermal output of each (hopefully identical sized units). I think even with current plasma panels you will find that they radiate far more heat than an LCD. Or better yet, I could perform the opposite test for you right now... I have a current gen 46" LCD and a 42" Plasma in my office - and yes, the plasma is HOT whereas the LCD is just barely warm. The fact that the LCD may draw more power is irrelevant.

RE: Interesting.
By Hoser McMoose on 4/5/2007 3:58:42 PM , Rating: 3
Just as a note: energy in = energy out, always. So if two TVs consume the same amount of power then their heat output is going to be damn near identical. The only other type of power going out is light (about even between all TV technologies and less probably less than 5% of total power) and sound (independent of the type of TV and less then 1% of total power). Basically everything else is heat.

Of course, I'm not sure that the original numbers are correct. Panasonic lists their 42" Plasma (TH-42PX600U) at 399W, while Sony lists their 46" LCD (KDL-46S2010) for only 120W.

Note that an ACTUAL small space heater (the $20 kind people like my mom like to have under their desks to keep their feet warm in the winter) will use about 1500W. Just to keep things in perspective.

RE: Interesting.
By cheetah2k on 4/9/2007 4:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
and 1500W being about the max amount you can draw from 1 wall socket!

RE: Interesting.
By masher2 on 4/5/2007 2:16:34 PM , Rating: 3
> "This is a common misconception..."

The Panasonic 58" Plasma draws 665 watts. A typical 60" LCD or DLP usually takes about 250w.

RE: Interesting.
By Eris23007 on 4/6/2007 2:54:55 PM , Rating: 3
Do people just mod masher2 down because he's masher2???

Why does this post deserve a low mod rating? It's hard data, hard evidence. The only way it could be argued to be potentially questionable is because he doesn't cite a source.

It's ridiculous to mod someone down just because you don't like them. Attack the argument, not the person - ad hominem is bullcrap.

RE: Interesting.
By bldckstark on 4/4/2007 12:23:09 PM , Rating: 1
I thought the problem with DLP was that a few people could see a rainbow effect, which was essentially the mirrors moving around under the light. If this is the case this wouldn't change with the lasers. The mirrors are still used.

RE: Interesting.
By saratoga on 4/4/2007 12:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Depends how its implemented. You can build DLP systems without the effect, and with it. Same here.

RE: Interesting.
By masher2 on 4/4/2007 12:54:43 PM , Rating: 5
The rainbow effect isn't due to the mirrors; its due to the color wheel. The problem is that, whereas an LCD display generates colors by mixing RGB values simultaneously, a color wheel generates reds, then greens, then blues, a tiny fraction of a second apart. So your eye not only has to perform a spatial translation, but a temporal one as well.

Most people aren't sensitive to the effect, especially with a fast-spinning color wheel (4X or faster), but a few see it regardless.

RE: Interesting.
By cingkrab on 4/4/2007 1:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and DLP TVs that use LEDs in place of the traditional colour wheel/light should eliminate the rainbow effect. The laser should not present the effect either.

RE: Interesting.
By masher2 on 4/4/2007 1:10:16 PM , Rating: 1
LED (or Laser) illumination won't eliminate the rainbow effect, but it should reduce it sharply.

RE: Interesting.
By Moishe on 4/4/2007 1:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
Not that the rainbow effect is a big deal where modern systems have 4x color wheels, but... as far as I can tell, LED or laser (without a color-wheel) would eliminate the rainbow effect. This is backed up by sources online. The effect is because of the color wheel. With LED or laser color (3 separate color lights) there is no spinning, wheel lag, or delay. The red and blue LED turns on and off at the same time. There is no need to shine light on the red and then wait for the wheel to spin around to blue and then shine light on the blue for the same pixel again.

I have a new(er) DLP HD projector and it's really very nice. I only want more pixels so that I can get a bigger screen without SDE.

RE: Interesting.
By masher2 on 4/4/2007 1:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
Rainbowing isn't due to any of those factors...its due to the brain having to integrate monochrome images temporally. If you take a fast "freeze-frame" snapshot of a DLP image, its a single color only...whichever color is illuminating the chip at the time.

With a tricolored LED or laser, you still have the same problem. You can't display three colors at once and still form the image...the individual mirrors can only form a single color component at a time. The only way to eliminate it totally is to display three different colors simultaneously...and that requires three DLP chips.

However, electronic solutions can obviously scan at a much higher rate than a mechanical wheel, and so should eliminate the effect sharply.

RE: Interesting.
By luhar on 4/5/2007 11:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
I presume that there is either a focal issue or maybe just cost issue with using three DLP chips? My bet is focal, as LCoS sets have three chips often and they should have similar cost issues. My RP TV is three LCD panels. The reason I went with LCD was at the time I could still see the rainbows (2x wheels I believe). Seems to me that there shouldn't be an issue with 3 DLP chips so you can simultaneously display all three colors.

RE: Interesting.
By masher2 on 4/5/2007 12:14:08 PM , Rating: 3
It's just a cost issue...3 DLP chips are pretty pricey.

RE: Interesting.
By InsaneGain on 4/5/2007 1:22:50 AM , Rating: 2
I can see the rainbow effect from a DLP projector with a 4X color wheel with a 92" screen. I notice it if I move my eyes slightly, and I can actually see the separate red green and blue components on the edges of the image. It would be eliminated if the system used a separate DLP chip for each color, but those are very expensive. I would think that laser could still cause a rainbow effect because the DLP chip would still have to reflect the 3 colors one at a time. It would then be a matter of switching the lasers and the chip quick enough that no human eye can detect the component colors individually.

RE: Interesting.
By DocDraken on 4/9/2007 6:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
Same here. Doesn't seem to make any difference with if it's 2X, 4X or 5X color wheels for me either. I haven't seen a home DLP projector that doesn't have the rainbows or color separation for me yet. Drives me crazy. It's a bummer since they have very nice black levels and colors. On the other hand LCD projectors are really getting very good. Like the new JVC D-ILA 1080p..

quote / unquote
By HWAddict77 on 4/4/2007 9:43:05 AM , Rating: 5
Okay. The Dr. Evil pic is nothing short of brilliant. I laughed.

RE: quote / unquote
By marvdmartian on 4/4/2007 9:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
Well, hey, all he wants is some frikkin sharks with lasers on them, you know?? LOL

I'm all for laser tv's......especially if it can help to drive down the price of existing lcd & plasma sets even more than they already are!! ;)

RE: quote / unquote
By Hyperlite on 4/4/2007 10:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
thats a good point. its not like plasma and LCD tech is fully matured. this will encourage advancement in those fields while continuing to drive prices down.

RE: quote / unquote
By chiguy2891 on 4/4/2007 9:50:28 AM , Rating: 5
but the real question is, can it be fitted onto a shark's head?

RE: quote / unquote
By Griswold on 4/4/2007 10:21:41 AM , Rating: 2
It may cost ONE MILLION dollars!

RE: quote / unquote
By nerdboy on 4/9/2007 10:31:42 AM , Rating: 2
or 1 billion, gagillion, fafillion, shabolubalu million illion yillion...yen

RE: quote / unquote
By Ytsejamer1 on 4/4/2007 10:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
You gotta love the pics they put up. Whenever there is anything with "laser beams" in the news, you know that Dr. Evil pics are going to make their appearance. I laughed as well...funny stuff.

RE: quote / unquote
By audiophi1e on 4/7/2007 2:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
yeah. i love the little Dr. Evil picture. we'll attach "laser beams" on sharks. I LOVE IT

Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By TheDrD on 4/4/2007 10:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
Can't Wait to get dem Lazar flat panels. I'll make the jump from CRT

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By TheDrD on 4/4/2007 10:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
Whoops what are the chances of see this tech in our computer monitors?

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By HaZaRd2K6 on 4/4/2007 1:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hate to be a nitpicker, but the word is actually "Laser", not "Lazer". It's an acronym for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". Thus, "Laser" and not "Lazer".

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By semo on 4/4/2007 2:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
if i understand correctly, "light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation" is a better description of a device that emits a highly focused beam of light and has a more comical abbreviation.

what we should all be discussing is if this just hot air or a real competitive technology. are those displays really going to be less expensive and offer better performance. sounds too good/soon to be true for me.

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By Schrag4 on 4/4/2007 1:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
Just buy a 70" laser TV and use it as your monitor!!!

Seriously though, as a PC gamer, that's my dream! I think a 70" monitor plus a beefy surround sound system would beat sitting close to a 19" monitor and wearing headphones any day. I can't afford an HD TV just yet though.

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By theapparition on 4/4/2007 3:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
Despite what you may think, a 1920 x 1080p picture on a 70+ is not that impressive to use as a computer monitor. Take the example of a razor sharp 24” monitor with a 1920 x 1200 resolution (20.35”x11.45”, 233sqin screen area) vs. a 72” 1920 x 1080 (62.75”x35.3”, 2215sqin screen area). That TV is close to 10 times the area. Text looks fuzzy when the pixels are so far spaced. No one would be happy running 640 x 480 on a 24” monitor, and you wouldn’t be happy running 1920 x 1080 on a big screen. Going larger it’s even worse. 100” projection is very muddy.

Does look great for movies, though.

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By Schrag4 on 4/5/2007 10:54:32 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that text wouldn't look as good (although it shouldn't be that bad at 1080...), I'm talking about gaming though. You really don't have to read much text while gaming, and if you do, it's usually displayed in a larger font so you can see it quickly. Text in games with any kind of action (FPS, RTS) is usually reserved for 'tool tips' or other info that you would memorize and no longer need once you play for a while.

I mostly play FPS games, which I think would look just fine on a big screen. Also, I think racing games would actually look much much better on a big screen. I think my brain would be better tricked into thinking I'm actually flying down the street at high speed if the screen was bigger.

I have no experience, though, so my opinion shouldn't count. One of my friends recently got a 60" DLP and has it connected to his gaming laptop. I'll have to go over there sometime and give it a whirl.

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By masher2 on 4/5/2007 10:59:24 AM , Rating: 2 son certainly enjoys playing console games on the 103" screen in our media room, even though the resolution is only 1280x720.

RE: Mmm Lazer Flat Pannels
By johnsonx on 4/7/2007 7:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
my son certainly enjoys playing console games on the 103" screen in our media room

Will you adopt me?

I've got a wife and 3 kids... you'll adopt them too, right?

Thin laser?
By GoatMonkey on 4/4/2007 11:22:31 AM , Rating: 2
The picture at the top looks like it's a panel from that angle. The article says that the displays being shown are rear projection. Is that just a weird picture of a rear projection that makes it look like a panel?

RE: Thin laser?
By Fnoob on 4/4/2007 11:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
They are just hiding the fact that the wall has a large cut-out recess in it which makes it look like its flush mounted. Trickery!

RE: Thin laser?
By masher2 on 4/4/2007 11:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
Its a rear projection, but (due to the elimination of focusing optics and color wheel) is considerably thinner than your standard RP.

RE: Thin laser?
By GoatMonkey on 4/4/2007 1:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
I see. That one in the picture is actually a Sony. Most of the article is talking about a Mitsubishi rear projection though.

It looks like laser could be a contender for a while. Long term my money is still on OLED though.

RE: Thin laser?
By Fnoob on 4/5/2007 2:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
No really, I was at CES and it really was carefully mounted into a cutout in the wall. It looks flush mounted, but unless you want to cut a hole in the sheet rock in your living room... this baby is gonna stick out about a foot+. It did however, look quite schweet. The aspect ratio seemed a bit odd, more like 20:9 instead of 16:9 - not sure whats up with that.

What about the viewing angle?
By jmunjr on 4/5/2007 2:50:59 AM , Rating: 3
I don't care how good a picture it has if it doesn't have at least a 170+ degree viewing angle I won't have any interest.

RE: What about the viewing angle?
By LatinMessiah on 4/5/2007 12:31:09 PM , Rating: 3
Try sitting directly in front of the TV for a change. ;)

By cheetah2k on 4/9/2007 4:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
His room might be Trapezoidal ;-p

Comparison to 3 chip DLP
By MrTeal on 4/4/2007 12:37:25 PM , Rating: 3
It seems from the photos that the 3 laser setup uses some sort of DLP style chip to focus the light. It compares it a traditional DLP with a color wheel, but doesn't mention any comparison to 3 chip DLP. I wonder what the quality increase would be there?

I wonder how long it'll take this tech to move into DLP HT projectors. Replacing the bulb with lasers would signifigantly cut down on the amount of heat generated, and might let you get away without a noisy cooling fan.

RE: Comparison to 3 chip DLP
By masher2 on 4/4/2007 12:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
> "...but doesn't mention any comparison to 3 chip DLP"

A good point. At a guess, I'd put my money on the 3-chip DLP. Even with the color wheel out of the picture, I don't see how a single color source is going to eliminate temporal artifacts.

RE: Comparison to 3 chip DLP
By Oregonian2 on 4/4/2007 9:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
Probably not completely, but I'd think the lasers could "rotate" colors a great deal faster than a physical wheel to make the effect substantially less visible.

Half the cost for double the price
By arazok on 4/4/2007 10:05:45 AM , Rating: 2
When compared to plasma and LCD, laser TV technology boasts half the production cost

That piece of information will make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I pay double the price of a comparable plasma.

RE: Half the cost for double the price
By paydirt on 4/4/2007 11:15:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well, why would you have to be a "first adopter"? If they price it more than plasma, then simply wait until the prices come down.

Was thinking about getting a Sony SXRD (LCD), but now I think I will wait until lasers hit the market & prices decline significantly.

By Schrag4 on 4/4/2007 1:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they have to recupe the R&D costs somehow. If prices do eventually fall far enough I might take the HD plunge finally. My guess, though, is that if these TVs are so much better than regular LCD/Plasma/DLP sets then the cost to produce them won't really matter. What I mean is, if they're better than existing TVs then why not charge more than existing TVs for them? Or at least the same price?

If laser TVs ended up costing consumers the same as LCD or DLP or Plasma, would you pass on the laser TV just because it 'costs more than it should'? I think not. It will be up to competition between manufacturers to drive prices down.

still crappy rear pro
By margon on 4/4/2007 6:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
This may improve the brightness and off axis viewing but in my estimation rear projection has the shortcoming of producing a distorted image. Using mirrors to throw a 65" image over such a short distance at such a steep angle is going to inherently involve significant compromises. Lasers can't solve that problem.

RE: still crappy rear pro
By Fnoob on 4/5/2007 2:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. Lasers do have "fall off" in light intensity at the edges due to the inverse-square law.

RE: still crappy rear pro
By masher2 on 4/5/2007 3:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
Eh? The inverse square law applies to all forms of light, not just lasers. And the viewing angle of a display has nothing to do with the inverse square law _or_ would expect this display to have at least the same viewing angle as a normal DLP.

By czmars on 4/4/2007 8:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hanging a TV on a wall is way overrated, TV's look better on a stand. I don't mind having a slightly thicker tv if the picure is better, as long as it's not distorted by the reflecting mirrors.

RE: Thickness
By Oregonian2 on 4/4/2007 9:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty nice sometimes. We just replaced a 27" CRT TV (wife was hearing a high pitch noise, probably the HV vibrating somewhere) with a 32" LCD (720P) TV that I mounted to the wall on an articulating arm. This is in our bedroom, so old one was on top of a nice oak dresser. New one is about a foot or so above it (and back a little). We've regained most of the top of the dresser as well as being able to easily move where the thing "points" which is something handy in that room.

I'd agree with you for the much larger ones though.

Why are RP lamps so FN expensive?
By Fnoob on 4/5/2007 2:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Its a frikkin light bulb for cryin' out loud.

This is like selling us a $79 ink cartridge for a $39 inkjet. Crafty marketing bastards. $400 replacement lamps! Bah!

By danBH on 4/6/2007 3:37:06 PM , Rating: 2
Most of you are missing the real point here. The main advantage of this technology is the increased color gamut that this would allow.

Color science 101:

With any three color, additive system (RGB), your color gamut is going to be the triangular set of colors that can be produced with your three chosen primaries. The better your primaries are, the larger your triangle will be, and thus the more colors you can reproduce. Both DLP and LCD technologies rely on filtering desired wavelengths out of a white light source. Your color gamut will thus be limited, by the quality of both the light source and the filters, to the best three primaries that can be extracted from that light source.

Lasers, on the other hand, produce a single wavelength of light, so you have much more flexibility in selection of your three primaries, with the understanding that certain wavelengths are more difficult (expensive) to produce than others. The ability to select better primary colors directly translates to a larger color gamut. And to sum it all up in the simplest terms possible, a laser system is (in theory) capable of displaying colors that your typical CRT, DLP, LCD, plasma, etc. is simply incapable of producing. Wikipedia has a pretty decent writeup on color gamut of displays. Feel free to read it.

Laser TV for TV only ?
By maroon1 on 4/11/2007 3:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
Will they release a laser Monitor for computers ?

RE: Laser TV for TV only ?
By Xietsu on 4/12/2007 7:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
They already have had some out, let alone more to come.

weight and size
By idontneedaname on 4/4/2007 11:33:04 AM , Rating: 3
Id like to know if this will come in insane sizes like 100"+ for resicential and how much it would weigh :D

When they say front projection, do they mean projectors?

costs to consumers?
By kattanna on 4/4/2007 12:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
what im waiting for is what these will actually cost

the tech looks great so far

By BirdDad on 4/5/2007 1:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
as far as I know LCDs and plasmas don't use color wheels-these are found on DLPs

viewing angles
By goku on 4/5/2007 7:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Still going to have shitty viewing angles..

By noteboom on 4/6/2007 3:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
Note that 1/2 the price is in relation to LCD and Plasmas, NOT DLP's which are already nearly 1/2 the price. Basically, it's a new light source for DLP's and they will be brighter, won't have a color wheel, and won't need a replacment bulb every 18 months. I think this keeps DLP technology alive for a little while longer, but prices on LCD's will continue to fall dramatically. Personally, I will make a choice before the new technology arrives.

LED light sources
By noteboom on 4/6/2007 3:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
Someone mentioned LED's as cheaper alternatives. I've compared the DLP's with LEDs to the traditional bulb. The LED light engines are awful. You get dull muted colors. The Best Buy salesman said few were buying the new technology even though it was heavily promoted. I noted that they also had to have the set in their dimmest room. Unless they can double the LED brightness, I wouldn't touch a HDTV with them.

Price benefit
By scrapsma54 on 4/8/2007 2:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
When compared to plasma and LCD, laser TV technology boasts half the production cost, double the color range, and three-quarters less power consumption.

that makes rear and front projection much a bang for the buck.
low Production cost=low cost per unit per 30 unit stock.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself
By cheetah2k on 4/9/2007 4:56:37 AM , Rating: 2
Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi!

Laser tech was originaly developed by an Australian company.

Sorry, i just had to say it!

By speed99 on 4/6/07, Rating: 0
Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By masher2 on 4/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By bhieb on 4/4/2007 9:58:19 AM , Rating: 1
Not really. At the most basic level there are 3 components of a display. The color source, light source, and screen. The only difference between LCD and DLP is the color and light source. This also is a new color and light source. It doesn't just replace the bulb, note they said they removed the bulb and color wheel from the existing DLP. So it does appear to be a new display technology.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By masher2 on 4/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By Wolfpup on 4/4/2007 10:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
Unless I'm completely misunderstanding this, this replaces the LCD (or CRT, or DLP) component in a projection TV, it doesn't complement them.

I'm probably being silly, but the idea of having lasers shined into my eyes sounds a bit creepy...

Oh well, I have no interest in projection TVs anyway. Just give me a good LCD panel.

By Phynaz on 4/4/2007 10:20:25 AM , Rating: 2
Take a look at the picture, the DLP component is still there.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By Moishe on 4/4/2007 10:26:29 AM , Rating: 3
I think you're mistaken.
Light shines on the LCD or DLP chip and reflects/projects the image that the chip is producing. The light is just a light whether it be a bulb or lasers.

DLP is an array (grid) of super-tiny mirrors (pixels) that reflect light either to the screen (pixel on) or to a light absorbing material (pixel off).

The benefit is less power, more focused light. More focused not only because it's a laser but because it's no longer required to pass through the color wheel which probably has a minuscule blurring effect. I'm guessing that using lasers they would get a red pixel by using only the red laser (and so on).

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By glomag on 4/4/2007 12:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
Don't LCD's just use a white lamp and create colors by filtering? (there is no LCD projection chip) I thought that was what made them so thin in the first place. If this is true then this new laser projection would not be able to be integrated into LCD and would only be a competitor.

By Moishe on 4/4/2007 1:36:39 PM , Rating: 3
How LCDs work
Look at pages 2, 4, and 5.

LCDs do not produce light. LCDs are backlit or reflective.

LCD color is produced by having a red, blue, and green subpixel for each pixel and the appropriate color combination gets activated on the chip.

How DLP works:
DLP is an array of mirrors. The spinning color wheel is synced with the DLP chip so that they can get color.
i.e. red and blue makes purple, but technically with a DLP the red and blue are not on at the same time. It just happens so fast that our eyes cannot tell the difference.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By derwin on 4/4/2007 12:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
All a laser is is a beam of light at a very specific wavelength. You can make a laser as weak or powerful as you want. If its weak enough (not a lot of light is required to make an image on a TV - your current set doesn't burn your eyes) you wouldn't know the difference between a laser, and LED or light from a LCD.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By vanka on 4/4/2007 3:49:03 PM , Rating: 3
A laser is not just a light at a very specific frequency; it is light at a specific frequency whose photons are also all traveling in the same direction in "lock-step" with each other. This means the crests and valleys of the waves line up and provide constructive interference to each other. A 60-watt light-bulb provides barely enough light to read by, while a 60-watt laser can cut through steel because all of the light is concentrated on one limited area instead of being scattered all over. So the laser in Laser TVs may not even have to be low powered as long as the light from the laser is scattered; I'm guessing that the lasers will be low-power to save energy and keep costs down.

By LatinMessiah on 4/5/2007 12:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
What he said.

By geddarkstorm on 4/6/2007 5:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
A laser is Plane Polarized Light . That is what a laser is. From any normal light source (or say the sun), light is rotated in all directions. Remember, light is two dimensional in its waveform plane (with a perpendicular magnetic plane), but this plane can rotate to any angle in physical space. A laser simply screens the light so only that light which is on the exact same axis and angle will be projected. As you said, this gives incredible constructive reenforcement to the waveform, which there in increases the intensity (constructive or destructive waves increase or decrease the amplitude of eachother respectively; which means for light that it increases or decreases the intensity respectively due to the fixed nature of the speed of light through any given media (light is fastest in a vacuum, but slows down uniformly through any other media depending on density)).

Frequency is the energy and therefore color of the light. This alows lasers to give very defined, very rich color, as a laser alone can create "pure" color (i.e. light of an absolute wavelength and only that length. Deep red, for instance, is around 700nm, so with fine tuning a laser can give flawless color) where no other wavelengths can bleed in to interfier with the vibrance.

The laser isn't being shined into our eyes directly, but reflected and then sent through a screen, which will cause optical rotation and somewhat of a vibrance loss due to refraction and the physical properties of the mirrors and screen. You are not seeing a true laser anymore, but the laser lightsource allows high intensities for little energy while at the most pure colors that can be modulated at the femtosecond time scale. A laser, therein, also has the potential to go through a massive range of wavelengths via simply modulating the voltage or ampiers applied to the circuit.

Therefore, laser technology in displays has incredible potential, and it'll be interesting to see how it's fully implimented. The laser alone doesn't dictate the quality of image though, but the chip it's being shinned onto, and the level of imperfections in each reflector, lense, and screen.

By vanka on 4/6/2007 7:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct in saying that the waveform of light is two-dimensional (the cross-section of it can be thought of as a "+"), but to call laser light polarized light is a gross simplification. As you have said the light waves from the sun are not aligned in any way (any alignment is pure chance); but when they are it's called polarized light. This polarization happens naturally all the time; such as when you see the glare off a body of water or a car hood on a sunny day. When light waves hit a body of water the reflected light is usually aligned - polarized - in the horizontal plane; that is why polarized sunglasses block horizontally polarized light.

Laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) on the other hand is very different. First proposed by Einstein, laser makes use of lights interaction with subatomic particles. Light is very hard to categorize, when it is traveling through a vacuum it exhibits the properties of a wave, but when interacting with matter it seems to possess the properties of matter. Einstein observed that when a photon (a "particle" of light - a simplification) hits an electron, the electron becomes excited and jumps up to a higher energy level (shell) in its atom. But it is unstable at this new energy level and releases the photon - not necessarily of the same frequency. This is the principle on which florescent lighting works on, the bulbs are coated with florescent material that when bombarded with UV light releases visible light. Now the electron, depending on the atom its in, may not release the photon quickly, which is why glow-in-the-dark toys are possible. Einstein theorized that if an electron that was already excited hit and absorbed another photon it would immediately release both photons of the same frequency, in the same direction, and "in-step" (crests and valleys line up) with each other.

Polarized light does not have to be of the same frequency or travel in step, while laser does.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By paydirt on 4/4/2007 11:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
Huh? No, as I read it Laser is a competitor to any rear projection TV currently available. The only part where it will have difficulty competing is for the consumers who want thin TVs.

It costs 1/2, 2x the color, uses 1/4 the power. Hmmmm...

By paydirt on 4/4/2007 11:11:52 AM , Rating: 2
...AND I'll go so far to say that this may REALLY financially hurt the LCD makers who are investing (and have invested) billions of $$$ to ramp up their production.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By masher2 on 4/4/07, Rating: 0
By bhieb on 4/4/2007 12:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
No it is not merely an illumination sourse it also generates the colors. If it were just a light source and you took out the DLP color wheel the color would be all jacked up. So it is more than just a bulb, however it still requires some whay to turn on and off the colors (hence the mirrors and or LCD chip).

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By Natfly on 4/4/2007 12:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Just out of curiosity, how would this work with LCDs? I thought the liquid crystal is what generates the image/colors, how would you go about using lasers with liquid crystal? It seems to me that this is just a new color source for projection displays.

By masher2 on 4/4/2007 12:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
> "Just out of curiosity, how would this work with LCDs? I thought the liquid crystal is what generates the image/colors..."

No, the LCD generates the image only. The pixels in an LCD panel are actually composed of three RGB subpixels, each with a color filter behind it to generate the appropriate color from the white light source.

> "It seems to me that this is just a new color source for projection displays..."

There are LCD projection displays however, along with standard LCD flat-panels. You wouldn't use this with an LCD flat panel...and indeed, even in the case of an LCD projection display, it would have less value. It's real strength appears to lie in the DLP marketplace.

By teldar on 4/4/2007 2:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Just out of curiosity, how would this work with LCDs? I thought the liquid crystal is what generates the image/colors, how would you go about using lasers with liquid crystal? It seems to me that this is just a new color source for projection displays.

I think the easy answer is that LCD creasted the picture, but not the light. LCD's need a light source to be seen. Monitors have ccd (cold cathode) or increasingly, led light sources.

This would replace the light source for LCD and the color wheel as well for DLP. It should also be able to be a light source for LCOS like the ILA and SXRD tv's by JVC? (don't feel like checking who makes ILA) and Sony.


By Fritzr on 4/8/2007 6:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
To clarify what's going on. There are three ways to get a visible picture.

Front Projection -- projector sits in front of screen and shines a light on it. You see the reflection. Laser is not as safe with this type since the projected light is not shielded.

light panel -- The image is generated in the screen. The screen may also be the lamp (CRT, plasma, LED) or may rely on a light source to make the image visible (LCD)

Rear projection -- projector sits in back of screen and shines a light on it. You see the light from the illuminated screen material. This blocks direct viewing of the laser light so there is little danger in viewing an undamaged laser illuminated screen

LCD is a transparent screen.
For LCD light panel you put a light source behind the panel and view it directly.
For LCD projection (either type) you put a very strong light source behind it and a screen in front of it. The light is color filtered by the LCD and illuminates the screen with the image. Slide projectors use a film positive in the same way.

So substitute a laser for the light source and you can build a laser LCD projection TV by shining the laser through the LCD image onto the screen.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By Xietsu on 4/7/2007 3:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
His notation has no connotation for care in regard to complimenting. Your perspective is from the consumer, his is from the seller. Yes, it isn't a competitor in the sense that this will supplement those available to witness this in their luxury, but it is in the fact that it will 100% compete with the existing DLPs and LCDs. This is the denotation focused on here.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By masher2 on 4/7/2007 5:42:51 PM , Rating: 3
> "is in the fact that it will 100% compete with the existing DLPs and LCDs."

You're still missing the point. When TI introduced the new Darkchip 3 DLP chip, it wasn't billed as a "new competitor" to DLP, but rather just a refinement of existing sets.

That's what this is-- a refinement to existing DLP technology. It doesn't "compete" with DLP in any way, shape, or form. If this technology takes off wildly, it will increase DLP sales, not counter them.

By Xietsu on 4/8/2007 9:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
Lol. No it won't. It then isn't DLP, it is laser DLP. DLP can't, if not just won't, be retrofitted with this technology. It will 100% compete with the existing DLPs and LCDs. Looks like that positive mod was an accident; oops on whoever that was ;].

By saratoga on 4/4/2007 12:24:24 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not disputing the benefits of the technology. But the fact remains this isn't a competitor to DLP or LCD, its a complement to them. This won't be Laser vs. LCD, it'll be Laser+LCD, or Laser+DLP.

Actually, it can be implemented both ways. The prototypes I've seen actually used a different display system then DLP. Rather then having an array of mirrors as in DLP, they used a single pair of mirrors that moved a single laser beam (which contained components combined from red, blue and green lasers) across the screen, effectively scanning out one image as in a CRT. The image was then drawn onto the screen by modulating the intensity of the 3 component laser sources. The mirrors were "dumb" (scanning at constant speed independent of the image shown). Since the laser was extremely bright, and swept very quickly, it looked like a stable imagine and not a rapidly moving point.

However, as you pointed out, you can also do this as in DLP or LCD without using the two mirror setup.

By thatguy39 on 4/5/2007 4:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
How can so many people read this article and just plain get it wrong? Boy-o-boy do schools need to work on reading comprehension.

By rushfan2006 on 4/4/2007 12:14:15 PM , Rating: 3
Regardless of all that has been said...

Let me get this straight....we are filling this thread with a debate on how this technology is marketed?

You gotta be friggin' shitting me.

Folks will nit pick anything it seems.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By anonymo on 4/4/2007 10:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's just an alternative method of illuminating standard LCD or DLP RP sets. completely eliminates the problems with rear-projection sets (lamp and colour wheel), making laser RP (if competitively priced with LCD & DLP RP sets) the best choice for televisions on the market. As long as you have the space for a rear-projection set (which right now fall roughly between 15" and 30") why would you get anything else?(barring unforeseen issues with this laser technology)

Guess we'll all have to wait and see.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By TheDoc9 on 4/4/07, Rating: -1
By wallijonn on 4/4/2007 12:32:35 PM , Rating: 4
There's no direct comparison to lcd and plasma, look how washed out the picture is, looks like a standard dlp to me.

He should have mentioned that it has an over 100,000:1 contrast ratio.

By lumbergeek on 4/4/2007 9:59:05 PM , Rating: 4
"look how washed out the picture is"

Are you really judging the picture quality based on the little photo at the top of the article? That makes you a salesman's dream come true. Let me show you a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By gramboh on 4/4/2007 12:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
The stupid mainstream market will probably still demand LCDs because it is 'cool' that they are flat.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By vanka on 4/4/2007 4:49:43 PM , Rating: 1
So you think government should mandate laser TVs? </kidding> The market will demand what it wants or needs. If laser TVs are too expensive, the mainstream market will go with LCDs or plasma; leaving the niche market to laser. Remember the mainstream market usually buys what it can afford, not necessarily what it wants. Also no other technology has really been able to compete with LCD in the 20-35 inch HDTV market; I really don't see laser changing that.

RE: Is this the best spokesman they could find?
By Creig on 4/5/2007 9:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
People used to say the same thing about LCDs when they were first introduced.

By Davelo on 4/7/2007 3:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's simply the next inovation in TVs. I welcome the competition. I'll be looking at these laser TVs when they come out and compare bang for buck against their lcd and plasma competition. Supposedly these laser TVs will bring down prices for all widescreens. It's a boon for the consumer.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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