Like a lot of you, I'm waiting to see what is announced/shown at CES. Depending on what is announced, I think you might see a lot of cancellations for this set or at least holdouts for a few months. I've already informed my Sony salesman to put my order in a "hold" status until after CES.
But while we're waiting around for CES and/or the set to be released by Sony, you might find the laser RPTV information interesting reading.
If you haven't looked at the NOVALUX NECSEL system you should at:http://www.novalux.com/display/
They have a presentation they gave at the end of last year at:http://www.novalux.com/assets/downlo...D2-2%20PDF.pdf
I don't know what the real numbers will show but they are claiming a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. The lifetime of the lasers and the ability to maintain maximum output until failure are certainly worth considering.
Here's an article that appeared a few days ago:
Lasers, LEDs Seen as Saviors of Rear-Projection TV Business
LAS VEGAS -- CE makers will combine lasers and LEDs with 3D programming in an effort to salvage the struggling rear- projection TV market, industry executives said at the iSuppli Flat Information Display Conference here.
With Mitsubishi and Samsung among the last CE companies competing in rear-projection TV, sales are forecast to decline to 2.5 million units by 2011 from 3.8 million this year and 3 million in 2008, said Riddhi Patel, iSuppli principal analyst for TV systems. LCD TV sales are forecast to reach 165.2 million units in 2011 from 75.7 million this year and 98.5 million in 2008, Patel said. In plasma, unit sales will rise to 19.2 million from 11 million and 13 million, she said.
Much of rear-projection TV's future rides on the introduction of laser-based rear-projection TVs in 2008 by Mitsubishi and others, and replacement of lamp-based systems with LEDs. Only 15 percent of Texas Instruments DLP chips ship for LED-based sets, a figure expected to be 80 percent by late 2009 with the addition of lasers, said Wayne Reynolds, DLP HDTV business development manager. More than 60 percent of DLP chips are 3D-ready and shipping in
Mitsubishi and Samsung rear-projection sets, he said. About 225,000 3D-capable sets had sold through by September, said Reynolds, quoting NPD data, adding that the total could hit 500,000 by year-end. The forecast exceeds one in October of 150,000 units this year by Adam Kunzman, TI business manager for HDTV products (CED Oct 12 p2).
"The key to avoiding commoditization is innovation," Reynolds said. "Laser is the ultimate extension of solid- state illumination" and is capable of enabling rear- projection TV to find "and maintain a distinct position in the market."
Some innovation is expected from a laser-based rear- projection TV that Mitsubishi is expected to unveil at CES in January. Mitsubishi has declined to release specs for the set, but industry officials expect it to be 3D and 1080p- capable, incorporating x.v. Color. TI also favors a single- chip approach for laser-based TVs rather than a three-chip solution once used in some rear-projection TVs, Reynolds said. "I'd love to see three-chip, but the reality is that when combined with solid-state illumination, the one-chip architecture comes into its own," he said. "If you have three chips you can throw a lot of fidelity up, but you're getting into subtle distinctions. The gap between the two continues to close with solid-state because that's a real key enabling technology."
Silicon Optix expects to demonstrate its new Geo geometry processor in a 65W laser-based rear- projection TV at CES (CED Sept 7 p3), it has said.
Mitsubishi hasn't identified its laser supplier, but at the conference there were indications it may have come to terms with Novalux. Novalux and Mitsubishi long have been seen as potential partners. David Naranjo, director of product development and marketing at Mitsubishi, declined to comment, but he referred to "our friends at Novalux" during a panel discussion. And Greg Niven, executive vice president of marketing at Novalux, said that Mitsubishi will sell a laser TV, but "you won't have a clue what laser is inside," indicating there will be no branding of the supplier.
For its part, Novalux is gearing for production. On Nov. 28, Novalux sold its California wafer fabrication plant, laying off 40 workers as it moved production to contractors, Niven said. Novalux will continue to "grow" lasers on 4-inch gallium arsenide wafers, but volume laser production, expected to begin in early 2008, will move to two contractors, he said. One vendor will handle the photomask and lithography process, the other will deal with dye attachments such as soldering the laser to a heat sink and testing, Niven said. Young Optics, Seiko Epson and Oerlikon will be among those doing final assembly, he said.
Novalux plans to use 3-watt lasers for TVs, including 650-nanometer red, 532-nanometer green and 465-nanometer blue, Niven said. The laser design has been "frozen" as it moves to production, he said. Novalux expects to have 6 watt per color lasers available by late 2008 to support a 2009 launch of front projectors, Niven said. Seiko-Epson earlier was expected to have a laser-based front projection available by mid-2008 (CED June 6/06 p1). Rear-projection laser TVs also were expected to ship late this year, but delivery lagged as designs were completed, industry officials said. Manufacturers also needed to overcome "speckle" issues -- graininess inherent to the technology, which results when a laser is reflected diffusely at a display screen, industry officials said. Those issues have been resolved, Niven said. "You can take a laser and stick it in an existing lamp-based rear-projection TV," as some companies did, Niven said. "But then you don't leverage the benefits that laser brings. You can't get the thin architectures because you have to redesign the whole TV."
Laser TV will arrive as TI, Samsung and Mitsubishi push to widen use of 3D technology. About 10 movies are available, including Disney's Meet the Robinsons and Fly Me to the Moon and Industrial Light & Magic's 3D version of Nightmare Before Christmas. The roster is expected to expand in 2008, industry officials said. Samsung has done a 25- store test with Circuit City demonstrating 3D technology using the DDD Group's stereoscopic glasses, industry officials said. And Mitsubishi showed 3D technology at Bjorn's Audio Video in San Antonio in late September (CED Sept 27 p6), using a Diamond Series 73W set and RealD spectacles, he said.
For 3D images on Mitsubishi sets, users this year will need glasses, an emitter and software that needs to be downloaded to a PC. I/O Systems sells the glasses at its online store for $79 and in a $149 package that includes glasses, two emitters and software. Mitsubishi hopes to move to a non-PC bundle in 2008, though no supplier has been picked, Naranjo said. Mitsubishi is marketing 57W, 65W and 73W 3D-capable Diamond series TVs. Sales of Mitsubishi 73W sets have doubled from a year ago, Naranjo said. "The challenge is really making sure the sales associate can turn 3D on, show it and explain it to the customer," he said.
TI has talked with various content providers and hardware suppliers about 3D and has lobbied Microsoft for Xbox 360 console support. No deals have been reached. Microsoft has declined comment. "There is a lot of enthusiasm at both movie and gaming content levels," Reynolds said, declining to be more specific. "It's a clear opportunity and there is content in various stages of maturity. There is a huge body of growing 3D native content that's just bursting for home distribution," but movie studios are "going to do that in their time frame." In videogaming, a "thirst for differentiation" remains "very, very potent" so 3D "is not something we're talking to everybody about." TI is talking with "a few" hardware suppliers and software developers, which "implies there are some unique opportunities."