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This show used to be Japan Electronic Show, very similar to U.S. CES, it used to be more emphsis on consumer electronics. But since last year, it has changed its name to CEATEC, combining more telecommunications (especially wireless) topics. Its web page is http://www.ceatec.com/index.html This is the only electronic show I go to every year just to learn new technology and products.


I went to visit the show since it used to be THE place where new consumer TV, projectors were announced and demoed. This year is a little bit disappointed since telecom overshadows consumer electronics. Nevetheless, they have some new products, so here is my brief summary. Enjoy!


1. Death of CRT

Well, a little bit too much to claim that. But it may not be far from the fact. Up until last year, high end CRT direct view TV, 36", 16x9 still dominates the show, but this year, they were almost no where to be found!! It's the world of PDP, and they are here to stay! Two years ago, I saw PDP in JES, but was not impressed, and thought it's gonna die and can't beat RPTV. Well, I was plain wrong, not only do they beat RPTV, they rivals the best HD CRT direct view TV!


On Toshiba booth, they demonstrate about 8 displays, 3 of them Toshiba's latest 36D2000 using HD tube, and 5 of them, 42" and 50" PDP, displaying the same HD program, boy, you guys should see this, PDP rivals 36" HDTV in image quality and dynamics! They even appear to me smoother and more natural. Toshiba is using Panasonic's 3000:1 panel, no wonder such an excellent performance.


Of course, CRT won't die out over-night, they are old soldiers, they never die, they just fade away.


2. Best flat display

I vote for Sharp's 30" 16x9 LCD TV, with 1280x720 resolution, it's so gorgeous that I can't take my eyes away from it. List for 750K yen, with built-in HD tuner.


Second place goes to Toshiba and Panasonic PDPs. No surprise here, people of AVS should have known Panasonic quality already, watch out for Toshiba's entry!


Third place goes to Pioneer 503HD/PRO PDP, with 1280x768 resolution (very unique).


Hitachi and Panasonic also has 37" PDP and 32" PDP, using Fujitsu's ALIS technique, with 1024x1024 or 853x1024 resolution. With ALIS, the 1024 vertical is actually alternating between 512 (even and odd, again!) so it's really 1024x512 and 853x512.


Looks like 2 years from now, LCD will dominate below 30" flat display, and PDP will dominate 30-60", and DLP/LCD/D-ILA will roar in the above 70" arena.


3. Projectors

Well, it's surprisingly few. They have become dinosaur in CEATEC. But I found them live and well in Audio Expo, held at the same time in Tokyo, where home theater is the main theme.


Sharp Z9000: impressive as usual, but the show I saw did exhibit some problem with deep black. But I guess it's a common problem for all digital projector. For normal meterials, it outshines CRT front projector.


Yamaha DPX-1: surprisingly good. I had the impression from the internet photo, and thought it did not look good. Well, this shows that internet photo is nothing, one needs to see the projector in person to fully understand the quality. The color looks abit light, not saturated. But later I saw it again in Akihabara AVAC store, paired with Kikuchi Theater Grey screen, WOW! It is very good indeed. I would rate it about the same as the Z9000.


PLUS Piano: I went to the PLUS home theater store in Shinjuku¡APLUS has a very good demo shop. We saw the Titanic trailer from the dts DVD, and what can I say? It is very impressive, accurate color and good blacks. For displaying DVD, I think Piano has similar image quality with Sharp and Yamaha, the later just have higher resolution, and are better to show the 1080i. But for DVD, Piano can't be beat, it's better than all the SVGA LCD I saw.


Sony shows its latest SVGA LCD, though it has new features like side keystone correction and a wonderfully attractive look/case, the image is just decent, not outstanding like Piano. Black is a problem, so is the screendoor.


Panasonic displays its latest WVGA panel from Epson, 853x480. Boy, I was impressed by it. Color is accurate, but again it suffers from black and screen door. I guess most SVGA level LCD can only display up to 70" image in order to get rid of screendoor. But Panasonic's new 853x480 projector is only listed for 250K yen, which is very good (under $2,000?)


Hitachi shows its D-ILA, SX5500J, but to be frank, other than its smooth image (since aperture ratio is 93%), the color, the black looks washed out, probably due to a bad setup. But, hey, you are Hitachi, you are big and experienced, you shouldn't let go such a good opportunity to show your product!! I guess I was angry because I regard DILA highly.


JVC shows its M5000 D-ILA, now that's a much better setup. With 3 M5000 showing a 48x9 aspect ratio, not a darken room, but one feels the potential of D-ILA. Except that M5000 is their high end line. I wonder when will D-ILA become affordable with good quality like DLP/LCD? JVC also shows 150HT (for home theater), but color looks washed-out, it need some tweaking. I believe it has more potential than JVC shows.


Sanyo shows W1000 (PLV-60) and A7, but again, bad setup. they should be ashamed to show projectors in open, bright environment.


Other Goodies

Toshiba has a, get this, 3200x2400, 20.8" LCD monitor which is breath-takingly detailed and beautiful¡C Displaying European paintings, man, I wish I could have one. Sharp also has one 28" LCD monitor, with 2560x2048, using a new technology called ASV LCD, is among the best LCD display I've seen. Sharp also has a 18" LL-1811W with drop-dead gorgeous color!


Sony has a new RPTV prototype, table-top, 60", 16x9, using the same optical engine of 50HD700, 1366x768, but the black is @#*&? ... Why can't they use higher contrast optical system like Sanyo to raise the conrast and to have a better black?


Panasonc and NEC all have 22" LCD TV/monitor that looks great. NEC has a PC that receives BSDigital High Definition TV programs!! Now, that's what I want! a HTPC capable of BSD!! But I checked in Akihabara, it's not in the market yet, probably a prototype, but it looks good and promising. US already has DTV card for $169. I don't see why Japan can't do the same thing.


Toshiba has a printer prototype that has a BSD tuner inside, meaning if you see some image you like, you can print it. I have a sample of a cute swin suit girl, but it's just prototype, no date yet.


THat's about it that I saw in Japan CEATEC.
 

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3000:1??? You've got to be kidding. That's amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I wish I could measure it and slam them in the face saying "eat your words!" But I can't.:)


Toshiba PDP looks really black, if it's not 3000:1, it's got to be some very impressive number.


I think this is Toshiba's latest model, probably not introduced yet in the U.S. It's about to hit the Japanese market by year end.


Taiwan is going to import this model in December.
 

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TzungILin,

Thank you for an excellent report!

I was sorry to hear about your impressions of the Hitachi 5500. Based on specs, I was hoping the might be the best compromise for my tastes. Do you think it was calibrated poorly, or was it getting too much ambient light?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Hitachi D-ILA seems to be a single panel DILA, using one 0.9" panel, so that means it has to use JVC's hologram devices to create three colors.


I read somethere that this hologram devices degrades its contrast. That's why JVC's DILA RPTV contrast is not that good.


I recently also reviewed Rotel's DILA projector, whose ID design and case looks just like JVC's 3010, though a 3 panel design, the contrast is not high, peak contrast as measured is only 150:1. I think it may need a Dilard to improve its contrast.


Hope this helps.
 
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