DTV Primer

Chris Llana, Editor



New TVs from Sony and Sharp

October 10, 2006 - - updated 10/19

Shipping this month from Sony are two new SXRD rear-projection sets -- 60" and 70". Both of these "Grand WEGA XBR" TVs have full-specification-HD 1920 x 1080 displays.

Model numbers are KDS-R70XBR2 and KDS-R60XBR2 (the latter presumably replacing old model KDS-60A2000 which is still being sold).

Sony claims a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for these TVs, and 2.5 ms response times. Each has two 1080p-capable HDMI inputs.

$7000 for the 70" set and $4300 for the 60". Sony also makes SXRD 1920 x 1080 RPTVs in 55" ($3000) and 50" ($2500) sizes.

Sharp is also bringing out new 1920 x 1080 TVs: LCD flat-panel sets in a new D62 line, available this month.

The last to be announced is the 42" Model LC-42D62U, which lists for $2500. This set has a 6000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1200:1 plain), and a 6 ms response time.

The other two D62 sets are the first off the line of Sharp's new 8th generation plant. These 46" ($3500) and 52" ($4800) TVs are the most advanced from Sharp, with a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (2000:1 plain), and a 4 ms response time.

The D62 models have high-gloss black cabinets.

Sharp makes other 1920 x 1080 LCD sets in these sizes: 65", 57", 45", and 37".

Not yet shipping are a couple of LCD flat-panel sets still in development that Sharp showed off at Ceatec in Japan a couple of weeks back.

If 1920 x 1080 is high-definition, then what do you call Sharp's 4,096 x 2,160 display? That's four times the resolution of full-spec HD!

This 64" LCD monitor is being developed for movie editors and medical researchers.

Another R&D prototype LCD display exhibited a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1!

All of this goes to show that digital TV technology has a long way to go before leveling off. And who knows when that might happen?

And speaking of mysteries, Hewlett-Packard's critically acclaimed DLP RPTVs have disappeared from HP's web site. There are still references to their DLP sets in other parts of the site, but the TVs are gone, leaving only LCD and plasma flat panels. A seeming hasty erasure. No explanation. Products discontinued? Going to be replaced with newer technology? Law suit?

We'll be looking for answers.

As of October 19 (at least) the 65" HP DLP set has returned to their web site, with a price drop. It's the same model that came out one year ago, priced at $5500.

New price is $3500 and there is also an electronic coupon worth another 10%. So that's now $3150! The 58" set is still AWOL.

Seems about time for a new model.