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Rumors of the Apple TV have been around for a while now, but with Samsung and their new Smart TV range, is it too late? Or is there something Apple could do to the TV market that would shake things up as much as they did when they entered the smartphone market?
Well, according to Raymond Soniera, founder of DisplayMate Technologies, Apple may cram a Retina display into their upcoming TV range. Soniera spoke to CNET, where he said:
My theory is that color consistency and accuracy among all Apple devices is more important for Apple than Retina Display resolution and will be the strategic basis for the eventual launch of an Apple Television.
People have also said that 'Retina' displays for TVs are years away, but that is not true according to Soniera. He says that TVs with Full HD, 1080p resolution displays are already "Retina displays" in terms of visual sharpness at typical viewing distances. So, when Apple eventually launch that "Retina" TV, be sure to check the resolution. Unless they've done some true magic to it, it'll just be a Full HD display with an Apple logo on it.
We all want an OLED, or three, but Panasonic have come out and said to not expect any cheap OLED-based TVs any time soon. Even after the recently-announced partnership with Sony, where they'll focus on mass producing low-cost, high-resolution OLED panels.
Panasonic have explained to journalists that the company does not expect its next-generation of OLED televisions to match the cheap LCDs for a "considerable time". So whilst you can go grab a cheap LCD for $200-$300 right now, OLEDs at that price are most likely many years away.
Considering that 55-inch OLED-based offerings from competitors LG and Samsung cost $9,000 right now, the price has a long way to go before its considered "affordable". I still remember when I could buy a 40-inch plasma with a resolution of 1024x768 for $40,000 here in Australia.
After showing these bad boys off at CES in January, Samsung have finally confirmed that their Series 9 monitors will hit the US come June 29th. This will follow a brief "prelaunch" period with Newegg.
The Samsung S27B970D is a 27-inch IPS-based screen with a resolution of 2560x1440, HDMI, DVI and USB ports, an all glass and metal enclosure, a height-adjustable stand, and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. What makes these monitors stand out is that each screen is calibrated and undergoes an expert, hour-long adjustment process before it is sent to you, ensuring you get the highest-quality images directly out of the box.
The screens will retail for $1,199 and would look great in a three-screen setup for gamers, or as a single- or multi-monitor setup for video, audio or general work. I think I prefer the gaming option.
Sony and Panasonic, rival Japanese TV makers, have announced they have shaken hands in a new deal where they'll join forces to make OLED (organic light emitting diode) TV sets, as they are set to fight Korean rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics for the top dog position in the next-generation TV market.
OLED sets are set to take over from LCD sets, and it will come down to which company is able to mass produce screens cheap enough for consumers to adapt to. Sony and Panasonic said in a statement that they plan to develop technologies to fabricate the screens and hope to hit mass-production in 2013.
Samsung and LG have both already shown off 55-inch OLED prototypes, with the TVs expected to hit the market later year at a wallet-busting $10,000 or so. This is around 400-percent higher for the same sized LCD-based screen. According to research firm IHS Inc. OLED-based TV shipments are meant to hit 2.1 million by 2015, up from a tiny 34,000 this year.
HP is updating its line of displays and with the refresh comes HP's first couple of IPS (in-plane switching) monitors destined for the consumer market. The 2311x IPS monster has already been announced just over a month ago, but it's worth mentioning here along with the rest of HP's new consumer line up.
The 2311x is a 23-inch screen that features IPS technology which gives it a much better range of viewing angles than traditional LCD displays. Joining the 2311x is the 2011xi which is also an IPS monitor. The IPS panel allows this 20-inch monitor to have a 178* viewing angle and 1600x900 resolution. These start shipping on June 24 of this year.
HP is also updating their more traditional backlit LCD monitors. The W2071d is a 20-inch panel that supports resolutions up to 1600x900 and is backlit by LEDs. The big brother to that monitor is the W2371d which, as you probably guessed from the name, sports a 23-inch screen and resolutions of 1920x1080. Both feature VGA and DVI-D inputs. The 20-inch starts at $140 and the 23-inch, $200. No timeline for release yet.
Computex 2012 - ViewSonic had a great floor showing off a bunch of screens, not just for consumers, but for business and enterprise. The first one we walked past was the ViewSonic EP5502 which is a 55-inch Full HD 1080p display with sleep tempered glass faceplate, a bunch of inputs (HDMI, VGA, YPbPr, USB) and can load images quite easily through its USB input.
Next to that was the widescreen EW2962 which again, is great for business and enterprise. It's much wider and would suite businesses such as restaurants, or train stations. It was great to see something like this in-person from ViewSonic. But, the true fun hasn't started just yet!
ViewSonic had a frameless 27-inch LCD sporting SuperClear IPS technology, backed up by its 1080p resolution and SRS Premium Sound integrated speakers. Featuring a 30,000,000:1 contrast ratio, it has a 7ms response time and features DVI, HDMI and RGB inputs.
Computex 2012 - Whilst walking around the ASUS booth today out at the Nangang Computex hall, we ran into the ASUS Wireless Monitor. As far as we can tell, its just an early design at this stage and it hasn't been given a model name yet.
This monitor uses Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology to wirelessly stream content from another WiDi compatible device directly to the Wireless Monitor. Intel has been pushing WiDi for a couple of years now and while it hasn't gained massive market momentum, Intel keep pushing.
As far as the specs go, this monitor is 27-inches in size and supports a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. It also features ASUS Smart Contract Ratio of 80,000,000:1, a response time of 1ms (gray to gray) and if you wish to not go down the wireless route, it still comes with a single DisplayPort input as well as two HDMI inputs. It also comes with two 2-watt stereo speakers.
We don't have any other details on this product at this stage, but it's something to watch.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have just become my new best friends as they have "agreed a draft new Recommendation on the technical details for 'Ultra High Definition Television'", but have decided something for UHDTV, that both 3840x2160 and future 7860x4320 screens keep the same UHDTV moniker.
While that sounds simplistic, it is confusing. Because 4K is not 8K, and vica versa, yet they share the same 'UHDTV' name. 4K sports eight megapixels, where 8K features an eye-busting 32 megapixels.
What are your thoughts on this? Why would they name UHDTV and jam both 4K and 8K standards into it? Why not have UHDTV 4K and UHDTV 8K? How hard would that be? Adopting two ultra-high def TV specs into a single moniker is just confusing, and annoying. "Hey, what UHDTV do you have?", "Oh, I have an HDTV". Hopefully this gets changed, but I highly doubt it will.
All I know is that I want an 8K TV, 8K games, 8K movies and TV shows, not tomorrow, but now.
Apple is a rumor machine. We have reported at least one other rumor today regarding Apple and they show no sign of slowing as rumored release dates approach. This latest rumor is in regards to Apple TV and about it starting to be produced. The latest rumor is saying that Foxconn is beginning a trial run of the Apple TV.
The iTV is reportedly being built at the Fuji Kang Longhua factory in Shenzhen. This rumor comes from sources quoted in the China Business News just after the Foxconn CEO had been "misquoted" as saying that Foxconn was preparing facilities to build the rumored iTV. Foxconn later denied that saying that the CEO was misquoted.
An analyst is predicting that an iTV would sell for between $1500-$2000 and would range in size from 42 to 55 inches. A trial run is not the same as general production. Often the quantity produced is minor and it is basically a proof-of-concept to check design specifications and quality control. Of course, this is just a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt.
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