The CES show was host to some rather amazing gadgets and gizmos this year – in fact arguably one of the best years for some time. Things really seem to be getter better – but not only that, they seem to be getting bigger as well. What I mean by that is of course that televisions are the next (and current) big thing!
As a first at CES, the world’s first laser television was displayed. This was debuted by Mitsubishi who state that it is a ‘new category’ of display to offer alongside the likes of LCD and plasma technology. The reason for the development of this type of screen is that it offers (apparently) more of the colour spectrum that the eye can see, which is reportedly limited in current technology.
The laser set comes in at a particularly impressive 65 inches and has three lasers in the standard colours of red, green and blue. These are projected from the rear of the television (in a similar manner of DLP) but offers amazingly crisp, vivid and colourful images. Prices haven’t been revealed but the tv will be shipped later in the year.
Samsung has expressed interest in laser technology, but it didn’t show any at CES. Instead, it decided to display a 3D plasma screen – interesting from a company that does some of the best plasma sets in the world. Apparently, the 42 and 50 inch screens will be available in 2008 and rely on a PC connected to the set and polarised glasses to create the 3D image.
Samsung have also shown their OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays, known for being brighter than LCD and much thinner. More importantly, they also use less power to create the image – something which will no doubt seem to be important to consumers being fed the green message at the moment.
The reason for the brighter image is that the OLED does not require a backlight for the display as the organic material is naturally lit when an electric current runs through it. Different materials produce difference colours and this provides screens that are brighter and have a better contrast ratio.
I can vouch that OLED does look excellent as my Creative Zen V is supplied with just this technology – however, unfortunately for television creation it is extremely expensive, meaning that this will be for premium sets only in the future.
Perhaps one of the most amazing developments at CES was the display by Panasonic, noted for their Viera and V-Real technology on their current plasma display systems. Their offering was in fact the world’s largest LCD display – taking up a whole wall and featuring Advanced High Definition.
Whilst of course, a 150inch tv is always going to look amazing (unless you’re standing too close and can see the rather large pixels), the really amazing technology behind it was the ‘interactive wall’ that featured facial recognition and customised displays.
The technology is expected to take up the whole wall (no doubt of some millionaire’s mansion) and is able to detect the distance of the viewer from the screen and optimise the size of the image to suit. Rather impressive I’m sure you agree.
Other items of note were the super-thin LCD (at only 3mm deep) and deep-black screens. So, whilst most of it was interesting, it’s perhaps the ‘taste of things to come’ that really offers up a glimpse of the future. I for one can’t wait.