LED-lit TVs made an appearance at last CES, but at this year's show a surprisingly broad range of products took this approach. Samsung, for example, plans to follow up its HL-S5679W DLP rear-projection TV (read the review) with new 50-, 56-, and 61-inch models (the HL-T5076S, HL-T5676S, and HL-T6176S, respectively). The company announced no pricing but is shooting for an April ship date.
Sony, meanwhile, showed its new LED-backlit LCD, the 70-inch Bravia KDL-XBR3. This $33,000 model is scheduled to ship in February and incorporates a host of high-tech enhancements, including HDMI 1.3 inputs and the ability to display images in xvYCC, or "Deep Color" color space (Sony's own moniker for it is X.V. Color). The company also displayed a prototype 55-inch SXRD rear-projection model with a laser-driven light engine. No word on when we'll be seeing this in real TVs, but with its 10-inch deep cabinet, the model on display looked appealingly slim.
New Tech vs. No Tech
OLED (organic light-emitting diode) made a very decent showing at this year's CES, with an array of prototype models in screen sizes ranging from a few inches across to 27-inches diagonal on display in the Sony booth. The remarkably slim profile and rich color of these sets makes me hungry to see more examples of OLED in the near future.
I'm probably not the only one who traveled to CES hoping to see a bigscreen SED prototype TV in the Toshiba or Canon booth. Unfortunately, the technology was a no-show - the result, I'm told, of some kind of patent dispute that's currently preventing either company from displaying SED TVs in the U.S. Meanwhile, Pioneer's new-generation plasma panel demo (no model or price information was being offered) looked startlingly great, with the prototype 60-inch TV displaying jet-black shadows and a contrast ratio that rivaled my now fading memory of the SED sets that Toshiba displayed at past CES shows.
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