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Everyone is waiting on Apple to "reinvent" the television set, but Sony CEO Howard Stringer has recently confirmed that Sony are stepping up to battle, too. Stringer recently said during a breakfast hosted by The Wall Street Journal, that:
There's a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set. We can't continue selling TV sets [as we currently do]. Every TV set we all make loses money.
Stringer said that he has "no doubt" that Steve Jobs had intentions of designing a brand-new kind of television, but also stated that "it will take a long time to transition to a new form of television". Reports have floated around that Apple would use its Siri voice control engine on their yet-to-be-announced television set, where Stringer wasn't specific on how Sony would reimagine the television set.
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After using my Samsung GALAXY S II for the past week, I have fallen in love with its Super AMOLED Plus display. Hearing this news today, is great. Currently, the display technology standard that powers most PCs and TVs is LCD. LCD of course, has its issue such as limited viewing angles, poor colors, motion blur and input lag.
Most people don't seem to notice it, but its there. When compared to an IPS panel, or CRT set, it is instantly noticeable to most people. There are various types of LCD technology in mainstream use today which attempt to solve the issues, but none fix all of them. TN panels are cheap to buy, relatively fast (they're the ones that power 120Hz screens) which reduces motion smear and input lag, but the shortcomings are viewing angles and color accuracy. Good for gamers, but not great for video or picture work.
BenQ are set to release two new screens aimed at FPS gamers, they come in the form of the XL2420T and XL2420TX. Both screens are 24-inch, 3D display models that support NVIDIA's 3D Vision 2 technology. Both also feature LED-backlit TN panels with native resolutions of 1920x1080, a 2ms GTG (gray-to-gray) response time,
Typical brightness sits at 350 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1,000:1. Backing these specs up is of course the 120Hz refresh rate (oh so good), three port powered USB hub, D-Sub, DVI, two HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 outputs. BenQ go out of the square here, with Display Mode and Smart Scaling functions will allow users to change their monitor view from 17" (4:3), 19" (4:3), 19"W (16:9), 21.5" (16:9), 22"W (16:10), 23"W (16:9) to 24"W (16:9), with two special FPS modes specially tuned for Counter-Strike 1.6 and Counter-Strike Source.
Users can do this by accessing Game Mode Launcher, an online service for storing game presets. Both the XL2420T and XL2420TX include BenQ's S-switch remote control, which allows users to change display settings and modes. The XL2420TX also features an integrated IT receiver and a pair of 3D glasses.
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Rumor has it that Apple could be preparing to launch the long-rumored Apple television in 2012. The project is reportedly being led by the same software engineer who developed iTunes, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the product. Jeff Robbin, who helped created the iPod, is set to be leading the Apple television development.
Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster, believes that Apple already has a prototype in the wild, and could be prepared to launch it late 2012, if not, early 2013. But, Munster has been saying this since 2009, so we should always take that with a grain of salt. Rumors have floated around of an Apple-branded television set for years now, but what has changed the playing field is Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs.
Its only been in the last 18 or so months since the release of the iPhone 4 and it's "Retina Display" that smartphone and tablet display resolutions have been a key marketed feature when the products are advertised or sold. Just last month Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S II HD LTE which sported a 4.65-inch 1280x720 display.
It was the first smartphone with a HD (720p) resolution and there are already a few smartphones who have followed, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Optimus LTE. Back in May, Samsung also showed off a 10.1-inch panel capable of 2560x1600, something that we only see on current high-end 30-inch displays.
Toshiba have gone one better, releasing a 6.1-inch LCD with a 2560x1600 resolution. If we're talking pixels per inch (PPI), that's an astounding 495. How does that compare to the best our currently?
Apple's iPhone 4/4S has a 3.5-inch screen with a 960x640 resolution, PPI sits at 329.65. Samsung's Galaxy Nexus sports a 4.65-inch screen at 1280x720 and a PPI of 315.83, then we have Samsung's unreleased Tablet panel with a 10.1-inch screen and the high-res 2560x1600 on-board, PPI sits at 298.9. Toshiba's new fandangled panel is 6.1-inch, 2560x1600 and get this: a PPI of 494.9!
It has just been announced that Sony's PlayStation 3D Display is finally getting released in Australia. The display allows gamers to play split screen games on a full screen via 3D glasses, with the 3D display receiving a limited "test" release in Australia - exclusively through Harvey Norman.
Sony Australia's Michael Ephraim says that this limited launch is to test the market. He goes on to say:
We're going to test it because it is innovative technology. We really wanted to test it before we made a big commitment because it's not like a Memory Stick kind of product, there are long lead times on manufacturing, high price. I can tell you that we will sell it initially exclusively through Harvey Norman. It is Harvey Norman embracing new technology and us having a partner there that we can test it with. If it goes extremely well, we'll keep supporting it. It is a high ticket price item and there is 3D TVs out there, we just want to make sure there's a market for it.
Once upon a time Sony was killing it in the TV market with their beautiful Bravia line, but thanks to increasingly fierce competition from the likes of Korean players Samsung and LG over the past eight years, Sony has been experiencing continuingly declining losses.
This latest report that's come out via Routers certainly doesn't help the situation for Sony, with word that several of its Bravia series LCD TVs manufactured in 2007 and 2008 have been subjected to faulty parts that may cause the TVs to overheat and emitt smoke, or melt certain components inside. Lovely.
While Sony has noted 11 overheating incidents solely in Japan, the company has said in a news release that the faulty parts may affect TV sets sold all over the world, although the majority of the ones in the bad batch were apparently sold in Europe and the U.S.