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RumorTT: Apple's Thunderbolt monitor supply running short at third-party retailers, signals possible refresh coming
If past history is anything to use to predict the future, then it is pretty likely that Apple is getting ready to refresh its line of Thunderbolt monitors. Traditionally, before Apple launches a refreshed line of products, supply dries up at third-party retailers and then the Apple store.
Amazon, MacMall, and J&R are all out of stock, according to AppleInsider. Furthermore, the Thunderbolt displays have typically used the same, or similar, technology as the iMac line of computers. The iMacs recently underwent a redesign, and the rumor says that the Thunderbolt monitors will likely receive a similar update.
"Think of the Thunderbolt display as an iMac minus the computing hardware," Djuric, from iFixit, explained.
However, they may not use the same technology, since the iMacs are still heavily constrained, mainly due to a difficult to construct screen. One estimate places it at only 100,000 displays produced between LG and Apple per month.
CES 2013 - Sharp have used the Consumer Electronics Show this year to push their new Igzo 4K monitor, where Gizmodo have had some eyes-on experience with it and have loved it.
They've reported that the viewing angle is "absurdly good", the clarity is "nuts" and the resolution "makes even very small type readable". This kind of technology really requires a user to look at it to get a sense of scale and quality, and is really hard to translate into words.
Igzo tech is something worth mentioning here, as it is great for getting a display thin and very power efficient. This is the technology that allows Sharp to not just have the ability to show them off at tech shows, but to reach mass production so that you and I can buy one.
CES 2013 - We knew Westinghouse were going to show off their 110-inch 4K-capable TV at CES, at the time the pricing wasn't unveiled, but now we have some details on that pricing.
Westinghouse will be selling their 110-inch 4K TV for $300,000 - yes, $300k. It sports close to 180-degree viewing angles, and beautiful colors, reports Engadget. The unit on show was an engineering test model, so the back of it was naked and showing all of its wrinkles and dangly bits - well, cables and circuit boards, but whatever.
For $300,000 you do get a huge TV, custom installed through special order which will be by the end of Q1 2013.
CES 2013 - If there's trends that happen at each CES, over the years we've seen it begin from 1080p, to 3D and now 4K. TVs are always huge business at CES, and this year is no different with Sharp showing off some split-screen web browsing abilities on their Smart TVs.
Sharp says that all of their upcoming TVs will sport dual-core processors, perfect for this split-screen web browsing ability and that the browser itself will be arriving on all of Sharp's 6-, 7-, and 8-Series sets. Sharp haven't talked about their Ultra HD 4K TVs having this split-screen-capable browser, but it would be strange to not see it.
CES 2013 - Something quite astounding shown off at CES 2013 was from AMD where they had a dark room called the AMD SurRound House. The SurRound House was filled with TVs and looks like it's quite incredible to experience.
Bill Herz, Chief Multimedia Technologist at AMD, lead people into a room that was filled with 10 "windows", or 1080p-capable TVs. These TVs when added up are pushing a resolution of 10,800x1920 - I'll let you sit there for a minute thinking of that resolution - which is 20 megapixels of imaging. The resolution is pumped at 30 frames per second, which is 600 megapixels per second.
It's not all just about video, either, as audio is an equal part of the SurRound House experience. There were four speakers per TV, providing 32 channels of audio showcasing discrete digital multi-point audio. The audio is to lead the visual experience, telling your brain where to expect to look based on the audio.
CES 2013 - I know I've said it a few times in the last few hours - but wow, are we seeing a push with 4K. Now we have 3M showing off their 84-inch multi-touch table that sports an Ultra HD 4K-capable panel.
Last year we saw the 46-inch 1080p-capable model, but this year we're seeing a near double in size and huge jump in resolution. The new 84-inch screen sports the ability to handle simultaneous inputs - up to 40 at once. This is double the amount of concurrent touch inputs that the old model was capable off. The Verge reports that 3M expects to increase this number to 100 though before it hits the production stage later in the year.
3M have also switched from the ITO-based sensors to a new "wire-based" solution which the company says has allowed them to reach a huge size all without "degrading touch performance". Usually large screens have bad input lag, which we're slowly seeing companies fix.
CES 2013 - Check out the following picture. It was taken by a camera about a half-inch from the screen. As you can see, text on 1080p at 55"+ is somewhat blurry.
Now, check out the following. Different TV, same picture and roughly same screen size. Only difference? 4K resolution.
That's pretty impressive, right? You can clearly see the difference between the two and how 1080p, when stretched to a large screen size, becomes blurry. But why should you care? Why should you buy a 4K TV? The simple answer: you shouldn't. Now, you're probably saying "Why not?!?!" and the answer is simple.
There really is no 4K content available, no 4K player, or other way to get it to your TV, other than streaming very limited selections from the internet. The problem with that is it will take about a day to buffer and you better hope you don't have a data cap. The only reason to use a 4K TV is if you're gaming on a PC or otherwise pushing pixels with your PC.
All of the content right now is just upscaled 1080p. This will likely be when 1080p first came out and there was about one movie made for the first several years. And think about this: what will the new 4K cameras cost and who will be buying them for a limited audience of 4K viewers?
CES 2013 - Sony really are loving their 4K gear at CES, as we talked about earlier, but they also had a huge announcement for this years' CES. That announcement is 4K and OLED in one, gorgeous TV.
Sony's new 56-inch 4K-capable OLED TV sports a native 3840x2160 OLED panel, with a prototype on display in the CES halls. Sony are showing off their own "oxide semiconductor TFTs" and "Super Top Emission" technologies, but aren't talking much else about what cranks along inside the set.
There's no mentions of contrast ratios, refresh ratio, thickness, power draw or any of the other things that number whores like myself love. We shouldn't be too surprised by this announcement - but the 4K and OLED world are moving along quicker a lot quicker than I thought it would twelve months ago.
CES 2013 - Gorilla Glass first launched in 2007 and has since found its way into over a billion products - yes, it has grown incredibly quickly in just a handful of years. Gorilla Glass 2 launched which sported the same amount of protection, while using 20% less material.
Gorilla Glass 3 sports a new Native Scratch Resistance tech, which dents and deforms rather than cracking and splintering like other screens do - I'm looking at you, iPhone. Damage is said to be 40% less visible and features a 40% increase in its structural stability. This will give users with GG3 a safe haven from things in your pocket scratching your GG3-based screen, or help it not smash from a drop.
CES 2013 - Ultra HD 4K TVs are all the rage this year, and will continue to be so until 1080p becomes the VHS of yesteryear - the quicker, the better in my opinion. I'm a resolution whore, and Toshiba have come out teasing their new L9300 series of Ultra HD 4K TVs.
The L9300 series is lead by the 84-inch model, but the series also includes a 58-inch model, as well as a 65-inch set. Toshiba's range of Ultra HD 4K TVs sport their own CEVO 4K Quad + Dual Core Processor, which converts standard 1080p content up to the 4K resolution, all without any artifacts.
The included dual-core processor is capable of grabbing 1080p content, upscaling it to near-4K, all without losing too much of the image quality, if any at all. Toshiba's new L9300 range of TVs also use the company's new Cloud TV platform which gives users access to features like Skype calls, personal messaging, family event calendar and streaming news.