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Image courtesy Arasor
You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have TVs with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

While the majority of us are enjoying (or dreaming of) brand new HDTV LCD or plasma displays to go along with our next-generation machines, a small group of companies are on the cusp of finalizing a technology that will make even the newest TV sets of today seem absolutely dim.

Australian company Arasor and US company Novalux demonstrated the world's first Laser Television. The mere incorporation of lasers in any product is cool enough, but the real benefits of putting laser technology into TVs could mean half the production cost, double the color range, and a three-quarters less power consumption when compared to the LCD and plasma TVs of today

“If you look at any screen today, the colour content is roughly about 30-35 per cent of what the eye can see,” said Novalux chief executive Jean-Michel Pelaprat. “But for the very first time with a Laser TV we'll be able to see 90 per cent of what the eye can see... All of a sudden what you see is a lifelike image on display.

Those who saw the demonstration noted that the Mitsubishi-built prototype appeared brighter and clearer than a comparable 50-inch plasma. The prototype was only 1080i capable, but 1080p sets should be ready in time for Laser TV's launch in late 2007.

There may be some confusion, however, as Laser TV technology is suited for projection (either front or rear) rather than flat-panel. Instead of being a completely brand new way to create an image, laser TV takes DLP projection to a level that's capable of surpassing that of plasma. As a result of its projection roots, Laser TVs will likely be slightly thicker than LCD and plasma.

We will focus on this exciting new technology in a future article. In the meantime, visit iTWire for additional notes on the laser TV presentation.



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hmm
By Hyperlite on 10/11/2006 1:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
"...could mean half the production cost, double the color range, and a three-quarters less power consumption when compared to the LCD and plasma TVs of today"

wow. the downside being its going to be huge.




RE: hmm
By creathir on 10/11/2006 1:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
6" vs. 2"...
Doesn't bother me...

- Creathir


RE: hmm
By Knish on 10/11/2006 1:33:51 PM , Rating: 1
Depth is the only real downside to DLP: everything else about DLP is better than LCD and Plasma. There are a few sub 12" deep DLPs out there (RCA has one I think), but this technology definitely has potential to go after DLP if anything.


RE: hmm
By SirHomeALot on 10/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: hmm
By Sahrin on 10/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: hmm
By yanman on 10/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: hmm
By JazzMang on 10/11/2006 10:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you have never been to a movie theater or seen a film photograph...

please think about what you are saying.


RE: hmm
By Samus on 10/12/2006 12:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
two words about DLP quality: color wheel

for me, its the nail in the coffin for an otherwise fine technology.


RE: hmm
By bionic on 10/12/2006 4:12:39 AM , Rating: 2
You DLP knockers seem to be incredibly badly informed. DLP is currently the leading technology used in Digital CINEMA settings - yes cinema, not home theater. Search for "Digital Cinema" in Wikipedia, or google it.


RE: hmm
By heulenwolf on 10/12/2006 9:33:18 AM , Rating: 4
I've seen movies in theatres using digital projection. Its not that great. Do you suppose movie theatres don't use plasma or LCD screens because they can't be made that big? How in the world would you transport such an object even if it could be made? C'mon.


RE: hmm
By johnnyMon on 10/12/2006 12:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
I would go further - current DLP cinema projection systems are utter crap. I've seen two, both in Los Angeles, which is at the forefront of the film business. Not the latest generation which I don't think is out yet (called "4k"?), but both were being used by big theater chains. It's like watching a bad HDTV set. You can see the pixel elements/screen door effect, but much worse, it's unclear and hazy. No comparison to even an average film projection system. I refuse to see any more DLP theater films with this current generation of projection system.


RE: hmm
By Lazarus Dark on 10/12/2006 12:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
err...johnnymon, I don't know what youve seen but I am spoiled by digital theaters and hate seeing movies on film reel now. I don't notice any pixels or screen door except maybe when smallish text is on the screen. I find films to be very distracting with all the scratches and dust and imperfections in the reel. If I want to see a movie thats not offered in digital I have to see it on the first day its released so I get the least scratches.

When I saw Star Wars Ep II in digital I was blown away. The fourth time I went to see it a month later, I accidentally went to the film version instead of the digital. I couldn't even watch it, it was horrible, I walked out. In addition to all the scratches, it also seemed much dimmer to me (that could be just my perspective).


RE: hmm
By GoatMonkey on 10/12/2006 1:45:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Star Wars Ep II in digital I was blown away. The fourth time I went to see it a month later, I accidentally went to the film version instead of the digital. I couldn't even watch it, it was horrible

That's funny, I felt the same way about either version of the film, complete crap.


RE: hmm
By The Boston Dangler on 10/16/2006 10:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
zing!


RE: hmm
By johnnyMon on 10/12/2006 3:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
I trust your impression Lazarus and can only say you must have seen a newer generation digital projection system than I have. So this encourages me as to the future, which is undoubtedly digital. But having suffered through two of these systems before, and my favorite theater having the best German projectors and great screens with new film prints (the Arclight, and it has premium ticket prices to match), I'm going to wait until I know for sure our other theaters have the quality of gear you've seen before I give it a chance again.


RE: hmm
By rushfan2006 on 10/12/2006 4:11:24 PM , Rating: 3
To each their own I guess..but I find your post on digital verse film theaters amusing.

Like many people, I've gone to tons of movies over the years, in fact my gf and I enjoy going to the movies so we go quite often. Unless a film reel is so scratched and damaged that it is blatantly noticeable for a good portion of the movie, I don't see how the slight imperfections of film here and there make or break a movie. If its just a perfectly clean picture and color depth that wins over a movie with you -- then your opinion, as far as critiquing whether a movie is good or not, is worthless.

A bad movie isn't made better by HDTV like clarity on a 20 x 10 screen, anymore than a great movie is made horrible by a few nicks and scratches here and there. Its the writing, its the acting, its the directing, its the storyline, the chemistry of the actors...etc...

Finally, your "film" theaters must really suck btw....because honestly out of about 25-28 years of watching movies from when my folks brought me to drive-ins to today....I can't remember a SINGLE time...I said (or ANYONE I saw the movie with)...made those damn scratches sucked....



RE: hmm
By rushfan2006 on 10/12/2006 4:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
A bad movie isn't made better by HDTV like clarity on a 20 x 10 screen, anymore than a great movie is made horrible by a few nicks and scratches here and there. Its the writing, its the acting, its the directing, its the storyline, the chemistry of the actors...etc...

By the way with the above statement I'm solely referring to a movie theater....of course when you BUY a movie on DVD you expect it to be a clean viewing. I'm talking about the traditional movie going experience.






RE: hmm
By peternelson on 10/13/2006 6:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
4K is out now. Sony make it.

A good 2K digital cinema projector like the Christie is excellent, I have seen it with my own eyes.

Of course you have to have good content to project on it.


RE: hmm
By Zoomer on 10/19/2006 9:47:27 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry to burst your bubble, but many film reels are now produced at or near the cinema from a digital system to reduce transport costs.



RE: hmm
By JeffDM on 10/12/2006 9:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
DLP cinema displays are three-chippers, that's part of why they are expensive. Most home DLP units are single chip, so they need a color wheel.


RE: hmm
By jsp1 on 10/12/2006 10:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
Each technology has it's pros and cons, but 1 in 9 people (myself included) will see a rainbow effect when viewing DLP screens. I consider this problem to be a "show stopper" because someone at your superbowl party will not be able to watch...


RE: hmm
By GoatMonkey on 10/12/2006 1:47:40 PM , Rating: 1
There is that, and the viewing angle sucks. If you are directly in front of it, the thing looks great, but at any angle it gets completely dark. That may be what this laser tv technology can fix though. If it is bright enough at angles, then it could take off.


RE: hmm
By Chernobyl68 on 10/12/2006 4:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
both of these issues are getting better. Most new DLPs have much better viewing angles, and there are now LED sets and Multi-chip sets that are supposed to eliminate color wheel rainbows.


RE: hmm
By glennpratt on 10/15/2006 8:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's why color wheels spin faster or are getting replaced with LEDs. I can see the rainbow occasionally when I look away from the screen very quickly. (It's happened maybe twice on my girlfriends parents set over the course of years, and I found it amusing.) On our projector, we have never had a compaint from way more then 10 guests. It's survived a super bowl party just fine.


RE: hmm
By podknocker on 10/15/2006 3:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

DLP and all this rear projection stuff does not reproduce a quality image.

The viewing angle is horrendous and contrast is none too clever either.

It's ideal for large displays, over 60 inches, but if you are not sat in the limited 'sweet spot' the picture is dreadful.

I've been round to my friends place where he has a 42 inch Plasma TV on the end of his XBOX 360 and it is awesome.

Seen the same game on a DLP set in a local store and it is dark and out os focus with a very narrow field of view.

The new laser sets may be an improvement over Plasma sets, however, as they could offer a wider colour gamut.

Only time will tell.


RE: hmm
By camped69 on 10/19/2006 11:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
This 46" Sammy has 10000:1 contrast ration and is viewable just fine up to 55 degrees side to side. Vertical alignment shows the biggest drop in iq. The set works fine in daylight. My biggest concern is the moving parts involved with the color wheel and the 300 Bulb. Purchased a while back and leds are on the way, along with lasers.


RE: hmm
By kkwst2 on 10/15/2006 8:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
The statement that DLP is beter in everything except depth is just garbage.

As have been mentioned, the biggest things for me are viewing angle and brightness. You can't watch DLP in moderate light, making it useless in many living rooms with significant sunlight. My Plasma does fine in moderate light. And the DLP viewing angle is crap compared to either plama or LCD.

With the recent drops in plamsa and lcd prices, DLP only has a significant cost advantage on really big sets (over 50").

I would turn it around and say that the only real thing that DLP has as an advantage is resolution, and that only matters if your set is going to double as a monitor. Even then, most DLP's that I've seen make a blurry monitor at max resolution rendering it less desirable than a 1080p lcd for a monitor.


RE: hmm
By TheDoc9 on 10/11/2006 1:44:28 PM , Rating: 3
What really concerns me is the viewing angle. DLP's are great until you aren't directly in front of them. Could be lame, certainly not worth waiting for to find out if you plan on buying one soon. Unless of course standing up and not seeing a picture doesn't bother you.


RE: hmm
By JazzMang on 10/11/2006 10:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
I just cant ignore the 'rainbows' on solid white colors on a DLP set - even the mucho expensive ones.


RE: hmm
By Thrawn on 10/12/2006 10:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
There are no rainbows on three chip virsions because they don't use a color wheel and insted are able to display all the colors at the same time.
Also very few people are even capable of noticing the rainbow on the newer high speed wheels and if you are one of the people ho can see it then you should be extreemly happy that you have wonderful eyes.


RE: hmm
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2006 4:33:37 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. To me DLP is so much better than LCD and plasma. Depth means nothing to me.


RE: hmm
By ForumMaster on 10/11/2006 1:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
not neccesarily. a laser produces less heat and consumes less power as it is more efficient. that means less space for cooling and probablly a quite TV as well. a couple of inches more at the worst. this technology advancement is cool.

but wtf is going on with OLED? any insight into that?


RE: hmm
By Xorp on 10/11/2006 2:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
I believe OLED displays are going to be used for small devices were low power consumption is critical. It can also be used for digital paper. Right now it doesn't seem to be a replacement for Plasma/LCD as SED is.


RE: hmm
By animedude on 10/12/2006 6:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
SED is a competitor to Plasma and LCd not replacement ;).


RE: hmm
By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 11:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
OLED is hampered by the inability to make longlasting blue LED's
And while I mention LED, there was a move to replace the cathodetubes behind LCD's with LED light, I wonder how that's going (although there again you have issues with white LED's going yellowish over time)
I guess SED and other technologies like this laser one will be replacing LCDs before that pans out anyway.


RE: hmm
By thecoolnessrune on 10/14/2006 3:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
Check out the anandtech sticky in the video forum about monitor selection and go down to Professional photo and video editing. Most of those and really expensive ($25000+) LCD TV's use LED backlights.


RE: hmm
By feelingshorter on 10/11/2006 3:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
The article didnt say that. It only said it was going to be bigger than plasma and LCD, both of which are pretty thin. Maby it will be about half the size of modern DLPs.


CRTs versus
By Assimilator87 on 10/11/2006 2:56:15 PM , Rating: 4
Don't the best CRTs already produce over 90% of the viewable color spectrum?




RE: CRTs versus
By 9nails on 10/11/2006 9:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand, 16.7 Million colors is typical benchmark describing the full range of the human visible light spectrum. And, yes you're right, the best CRT's can reproduce all those colors. And even some LCD monitors fall in to the 90% range. I found one Plasma screen that claims it can produce 549 Billion colors. (http://www.buy.com/prod/Samsung_42_Plasma_TV_42_AT...

But a monitors source isn't being beamed from some far away terrestrial base. The bandwidth from the video card to the PC monitor can take advantage of the full color spectrum, but the broadcast station to the TV Set needs smaller bandwidth and therefore smaller range of colors.

NTSC's color accuracy is a narrow 250K color subset of the full spectrum. Which current technology in LCD and Plasma HD TV set's are meeting well. It is said that the new FCC color range for HDTV will jump up to 1.2M colors.

The report begs the reader to wonder why they need all those extra colors for a TV when the standard doesn't call for them!


RE: CRTs versus
By 9nails on 10/11/2006 9:16:11 PM , Rating: 3
My link was wrapped in parens. Take off the trailing parenthesis or just follow this link instead. Sorry!

http://www.buy.com/prod/Samsung_42_Plasma_TV_42_AT...


RE: CRTs versus
By Chernobyl68 on 10/12/2006 4:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
do those broadcast color standards apply to home media? ie, Blu-ray or HD-DVD?



RE: CRTs versus
By peternelson on 10/13/2006 7:05:36 AM , Rating: 3
I think you are getting confused.

The 16 million colours figure comes from 8 bits per colour channel of RGB per pixel. 2^24 = about 16 million.

Of course proper broadcast or film uses at least 10 bits per pixel, giving about a BILLION COLOURS.

However, the specs do not use 0 as the base or 1023 as peak colour therefore in practice there are less possibilities.

HOWEVER: regardless of the NUMBER of distinct colours, the issue is WHICH COLOURS ARE THEY?

Studies of the human eye (eg CIE model) reveal a wider range of colours than those produced by CRT phosphors or LCD.

It is THAT so-called COLOUR GAMUT of screen versus eye versus reality of light in physics that may account for the claimed low percentage rendered on conventional screens.

For more info do some reading on colour theory. It's not just about how many bits of colour depth.

eg CMYK printers use different colours as primaries and produce different colours as well as some in common with RGB.

So there are colours you can print but not show on screen, and colours you can show on screen but will not print as you intended if you are limited to CMYK inks. Some schemes like hexachrome or similar allow more colours to be produced (eg a bigger gamut).

This laser technology will not render everything but may extend the gamut over current screen limitations.


RE: CRTs versus
By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 11:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
Ideed the eye can see a wider range than 8 bit per color.

And thanks for pointing out the other issues regarding color.


RE: CRTs versus
By trabpukcip on 10/15/2006 12:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is the full visible spectrum, CRT doesn't even come close http://dx.sheridan.com/advisor/cmyk_color.html I would assume these laser sets can get 90% of this chart.

CMYK & Pantone also showed. Not sure if it is sRGB or Adobe RGB but they are not that different, look for a chart that includes both if you want, I would say that it is sRGB. Adobe RGB typically has more into the red range.


If I go with any kind of projection...
By therealnickdanger on 10/11/2006 1:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
It'll be a Sony G90 CRT projector... Lasers are cool, I'll give it that, but flat is the only way I want it.




RE: If I go with any kind of projection...
By michal1980 on 10/11/2006 1:56:54 PM , Rating: 5
all these people complaing about viewing angles of lcds scare me.

I just got a 32 sony lcd. And while you lose some color detail when viewing it from the sides. I can still see the screen being perpendicular to it.

Try that with a projection tv.


By TheDoc9 on 10/11/2006 3:53:33 PM , Rating: 1
What I really enjoy is walking around the room and not bieng able to see the picture on my DLP until I'm directly in front of it.

I guess you can turn this into a positive by saying that it allows you to watch naughty video's without worry of someone walking in and getting busted - by the time they walked over and saw what you were watching you could change the channel :D


By JeffDM on 10/12/2006 9:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
You can if it's front projection, good colors and brightness to edge-on view. Rear projection seems to demand lousy screens. Really, all I ask is that it still looks good at 45 degrees both ways (90 degrees total). Any more than that and I think the picture it's too skewed by perspective to be comfortable watching.


Lasers are always cool to have.....
By wingless on 10/12/2006 2:32:52 AM , Rating: 2
You know folks, you just cant go wrong with lasers. Lasers seem to be our answer to the future of technology whether it be in storage, microprocessing, or home entertainment.

I just cant wait until we can buy a Phased Plasma Rifle in a 40 watt range and have laser guns that are ideal for home defense!

HOORAY FOR LASERS!




RE: Lasers are always cool to have.....
By Heron Kusanagi on 10/12/2006 3:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
Well, we could always go the way of Star Wars. SDI anyone?


RE: Lasers are always cool to have.....
By GoatMonkey on 10/12/2006 1:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't heard anyone talk about SDI in 10 years. That means they probably have it now and just aren't telling anyone.


By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 11:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
There was a news item recently where they shot down a test rocket succesfully and were very happy and proud.


By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 11:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
even a few miliwats laser when reflected of a reflective surface can cause eyedamage and must be treated with great care, they would never give people access to laserguns that can permanently blind a whole group by one sliver of metal reflecting, those kinds of laserweapons best be made to only shoot up at distant objects :)


Color range?
By TheBaker on 10/11/2006 3:31:29 PM , Rating: 4
I love how they have a picture in their promo material of a TV actually displaying a color that isn't in their claimed palette.

That HDTV on the right is showing a red that clearly isn't in the traingular pastel palette.




RE: Color range?
By Azurr on 10/11/2006 3:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a neat new technology. I dont mind having more width.

By the way TheBaker, the palette colors are there, they are just at the very edges of the prism there and their range is low.


Only a stopgap measure
By mindless1 on 10/11/2006 7:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
This is only stopgap technology, eventually a TV set will have human detection to aim lasers directly at your eyeballs, doing away with the unsightly large screen altogether.




RE: Only a stopgap measure
By Ringold on 10/11/2006 9:48:32 PM , Rating: 3
Definitely can't forget the surge protector strip for that TV. One good surge and you wont know if the porn flick made you blind like your grandparents said it would or the thunderstorm.


What about SED?
By jmunjr on 10/11/2006 4:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
On paper SED looks like the technology that will beat them all, even CRTs, yet nobody has mentioned it yet.




RE: What about SED?
By skroh on 10/11/2006 11:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still wondering about that carbon-nanotube screen that Motorola demo'd in the spring. It claims all the advantages of laser (except maybe the color range) and it's THINNER than plasma or LCD, not deeper. That isn't the same thing as SED, is it?


RE: CRTs versus
By Vanners on 10/12/2006 12:53:49 AM , Rating: 4
One of the companies mentioned in the article was Australian - here in Australia we use PAL which has a much better colour response than "Never Twice Same Colour" NTSC. We also have a technology that allows images to be projected that are stored on shiny discs called DVDs. I'm pretty sure they have more than 250k colours.

It would be a shame to build a TV colour specification around NTSC even if only the privileged few could make use of it. ;)




most tv stations look like crap on ANY hdtv
By cgrecu77 on 10/12/2006 9:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
and that's not going to change any time soon ... so all this talk about image quality differences is pretty academic as what I consider a huge quality improvement would be to make it mandatory for each station to broadcast in hdtv in addition to sdtv ...
also because so many stations broadcast sdtv only, unless you want to see everything stretched, you will have problems with plasma tvs and color burnin on the sides.
Laser tvs sound nice, but frankly once you go thin you can never go back ... Plus the added benefit of optional wall mounting which will free a lot of space in your living room ...




By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 11:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
you can easily make laserprojection thin surely, light you can bend with mirrors (on chips) and does not need a huge vacuumtube and coils that push hundreds of volts to reflect eletrons.


Brighter?
By George Powell on 10/11/2006 2:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why bother - I already have to turn the brightness down by a huge amount on my Panasonic plasma so I don't hurt my eyes.

Still the idea of a laser tv does sound quite cool.




hmmm ???
By medavid16 on 10/12/2006 12:27:24 AM , Rating: 2
I thought Laser TV's were out for a long time now, i saw a Sony demonstration a long time ago at the 2005 World Expo last year... and it's been out for a while... ???





feces
By ElJefe69 on 10/16/06, Rating: 0
RE: feces
By QueBert on 10/16/2006 7:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a Fujitsu Plasma on demo at a high end home entertainment shop around my way. It was nice, dude working there said it was the cream of the crop when it came to Plasmas. I honestly found the DLP there to look better head on. That's just my opinion. The Fuj screen was pretty bad ass tho :)


Viewing angle?
By bupkus on 10/17/2006 2:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong, but...
I figure the reason DLP has a poor viewing angle is the intent of the designers. The broader(wider) the viewing angle, the more the emitted light is spread thus dimming its brightness. If the screen is in effect a matrix of lenses then the degree of fade can be controlled saving brightness but for fewer viewers.
I would think that if lasers can increase brightness, the material used for the screen can be made to widen the viewing angle without too much fade.




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