Samsung now has several RPTVs that use LEDs for illumination instead of a projection lamp. This is the largest of the new models, the HL-6187S at 61". It's a full 1920x1080 (as are most all of the sets we are discussing here), with a slim depth of 14.4" and a claimed contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Contrast ratio is now officially the video equivalent of the old audio wattage race.
Samsung, alone among the major exhibitors, was warning people not to take photos in their booth. I guess they don't like publicity. I snapped this just before I was warned. Fortunately, I had already taken several other shots before I was nabbed. Later in the day we got permission before shooting our first video installment.
Sony was showing a gaggle of 11" (diagonal) OLED displays, along with a 27" model. OLEDs, or Organic Light Emitting Diodes, were once thought to be the next big thing in flat panels. They are not only thin, but have great contrast. The light comes from the diodes themselves, and may be modulated or even shut off, similar to the way in which the venerable CRT provides its stunning contrast. The 27" model here is a full 1920x1080 resolution, while the 11" models are 1024x600.
I was going to give you the specs for Toshiba's new HD-XA2, but why don't I just show them to you? Notice that while the player supports Dolby TrueHD, it only supports the core track of DTS HD Master Audio. That is, the player will not decode DTS HD Master Audio to full resolution multichannel PCM for transmission to your audio system via HDMI as digital PCM (or convert it to analog for extraction from the player's analog outs in full resolution). Instead it will play back such a track as standard DTS. Presumably it will transmit DTS HD Master Audio in its native form through the HDMI 1.3 link, but we still will need AV receivers or pre-pros that will accept and decode that form of signal from an HDMI 1.3 connection. As yet, none will do so, but we expect to see them within the next year.
The first item on the menu at Sharp's box luncheon/press conference may have been a deli sandwich, but the first item on Sharp's menu was a new, 108", 1920x1080 LCD display. Our TV is bigger than Your TV hits a new high! No price was announced. As I glanced into the room following the press conference I saw a dozen workmen standing around, either figuring out how to pack it and move it (presumably for transport to the convention center) or how to pick up the NFL playoffs.
Samsung announced major improvements to its line of LCD TVs. For 2007, it's adding several technologies designed to increase contrast ratio, improve blacks, and reduce motion blur. Super Clear Panel adds a filter to cut down on stray light. Local Dimming adds LED backlighting which treats specific areas of the screen, where needed, to increase contrast ratio up to a claimed 100,000:1. And Double Frame Rate 120 Hz is said to reduce motion blur.
The show floor was cheek-by-jowl with impressive flat panel displays, but none of them stopped me in my tracks faster than this display from Fujitsu. The new Aviamo series is still tentative for production. Reportedly, it was not scheduled to be shown until CES, but Fujitsu decided to bring the prototypes to CEDIA to see the reaction. There are three models, a smaller 1080p CD (37" I believe), and two 1080p plasmas. All three have the latest iteration of Fujitsu's AVM video processing: AVMIII.
Yamaha's new Soavo speaker line currently has five models, the Soavo 1 floor stander and and Soavo 2 bookshelf, plus a center, surround, and subwoofer. the big Suovo 1 is priced at $1800 (each). They're classy-looking and appear to be very well built. A brief 2-channedl audition in a small demo room on the show floor (not the best listening conditions) revealed an extremely tight bass response, but a rather forward midrange and high frequency balance. Still, they are definitely worth a closer audition under better conditions.