Toshiba showed a split-screen demo of 4K resolution on a relatively small LCD set. The purpose was apparently to show how their new Cell processing can upconvert 2K sources to 4K. You can't see anything in the photo, but on-scene the 4K was a bit sharper-though the 2K side looked softer than I would expect from good 2K material.
Like other manufacturers at the show, LG was showing off the claimed better blacks of its new sets. TruBlack is the company's designation for the upgraded black levels in its new plasma sets, like the 2010 PK950 shown here. While it wasn't easy to see the improvement on the brightly lit show floor, the new set did look subtly better.
No, I'm not going into Canon's consumer HD cameras here, But rather give a shout-out to the Canon tech folks whe helped me with a minor problem that locked out the Canon camera I was using at the show. I was in a near panic, pondering the potential waste of two hours of show time to go back to the hotel for my spare camera, when it occurred to me that Canon might just have a booth at a consumer electronics show. Duh! They did, and they got me going again.
JVC had three demos in its theater presentation. The first was a trailer in 2D, played back on the new DLA-HD990 consumer projector ($10,000, available now). It looked superb. The next was a 2D clip using the company's 4K, DLA-RS4000, a projector that will put a $150,000+ hole in your bank balance. It was the same 4K demo that JVC presented at the 2008 CEDIA, and here, like there, was head-and-shoulders the best-looking video at the show, either 2D or 3D. The third demo, a 3D presentation using two of the latter projectors, was dimensional enough, but for me was soft and lacking in the crisp detail I expect of HD, whether 3D or 2D. The source may have been to blame here-a dim underwater coral reef, and its residents, isn't the easiest subject to photograph well. In any case the three minute 3D clip was said to use between 1TB and 2DB data space!
Perhaps the biggest surprise at the show was the first self-contained consumer 3D projector, the LG CF3D ($10,000, late spring). Its an SXRD (LCOS) design with two separate light paths. There are six SXRD chips in the design-an oddity as SXRD chips are made by Sony and their use outside of Sony projectors are rare. The projector was on demonstration. The demo used polarized glasses (not shutter). An anime excerpt was very effective on a large screen, crisp, bright, and dimensional, but a live-action 3D clip of carnival in Brazil did not look anything close to high definition, 3D or not. Like the JVC 3D clip, above, we'll have to blame the source material on that score-for now.
In addition to the 3D projector above, LG showed (but did not demonstrate) this currently available SXRD model, the LG CF181D. The nice young Korean lady who quoted us the $2500 price sounded sincere, but that sounds like a bit of a bargain for what is a very large projector.
Mark Fleischmann posted an earlier blog with these LG speakers. They are strictly prototypes, with no definite plans for production as yet, and if they do produce them they may not reach the US market.
As with all of the major set manufacturers, Sony introduced more new sets than any blog can cover. Models in the new LX and HX ranges will be fully 3D capable, using active shutter glasses (most manufacturers plan to use shutter glasses rather than the cheaper but less effective (according to some) polarized glasses). There are models with LED backlighting (edge-lit and backlit local dimming) and others with conventional CCFL lighting.
Every live action 3D sports broadcast will require special cameras for image capture. This one was on display in the Sony booth (though it's not made by Sony). Even the individual who has everything won't want to use it to cover that cruise of the Greek islands.
In addition to its usual tsunami of new sets, Sony is offering an optional angled stand for many of its models up to 55". The stand tilts the set upwards slightly, so when the set is positioned on low, European-style furniture (think IKEA) it aims upward at the viewer. If you like the stand but not the angle it will also accommodate the usual vertical stance.
The popular new e-readers aren't exactly our beat at the show, but they could be significant to the publishing business if their promoters have their way. They might even be the way you'll read your favorite magazines (like Home Theater. Sony has three models, including the new Sony Reader Daily Edition. At $400, it's not only the largest of the three (7"), but the only one of Sony's offerings that let you download on-the-go via 3G.