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This just in:



Samsung assaults Japan stronghold with 40-inch LCD TV


By Yoshiko Hara


EE Times

May 23, 2002 (2:24 p.m. EST)



TOKYO — Launching an assault on a Japanese stronghold, Samsung will introduce a 40-inch LCD television in Japan first, and elsewhere later.


"The Japanese TV market is difficult to crack," said Eric B Kim, executive vice president in charge of global marketing for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. "Japanese consumer requirements are high, but they are favorable to flat-panel TVs. If we can satisfy them, we can be successful in other areas in the world."


Samsung has been operating in Japan for 50 years. "Our presence and capability in Japan have not been tangible, but now we are going to make them tangible," said June-Myong Chun, president of Samsung Japan Corp.


Samsung developed a prototype 40-inch LCD TV last August and has been showing it in various places around the world since. Commercial sales will begin in Japan in late June.


The TV has 1,280 x 768-pixel resolution and two built-in analog tuners to support a double-screen display. It also has two inputs for external digital broadcasting satellite tuners.


Samsung LCD TVs currently employ panels produced at Samsung's fourth-generation plant in Chonan, South Korea, which handles 730 x 920-mm substrates. Samsung will complete and begin operating a fifth-generation TFT-LCD line capable of handling 1,100 x 1,250-mm substrates around October. "Enlarging the size more than 40 inches is not impossible based on our technology," said G.S. Choi, executive vice president and general manager of Samsung Electronics. "But larger panels such as 50-inch ones are from the fifth-generation line. Once it starts operation, and if the market demands a 50-inch LCD TV, we will introduce it."


Japan's CRT TV market involves about 9.5 million units a year. Samsung has been selling about 200,000 CRT TVs a year. "We could not cut a big stake from the Japanese market so far, but we are going to challenge the market with LCD TVs," said Choon-Teak Hwang, vice president of Samsung Japan. The company expects to sell about 90,000 LCD TVs this year, and aims at to own about 10 percent of Japan's LCD TV market next year.


Sizable competition



Sharp Corp. is the world's largest supplier of LCD TVs at present, measured by unit volume. It plans to produce about one million LCD TVs this year.


But Sharp's lineup is comprised of models with screen sizes of up to 30 inches. "Sharp is preparing models larger than 30-inch to be introduced to market by the end of this year," a company spokesman said.


Sharp is building a dedicated LCD TV plant in Kameyama, Japan that is scheduled to begin operation in April 2004. It will have a capacity of 300,000 units a month. Though Sharp has declined to disclose details, analysts and some production equipment manufacturers said the plant will handle sixth-generation substrates, measuring roughly 1.500 x 1,800 mm, from which four 40-inch panels may be cut.


With lines that handle 1 x 1-m and larger substrates scheduled to begin operation in 2003, the LCD TV market is ready to grow rapidly, said Sam Matsuno, senior vice president of DisplaySearch, a market research company. The firm projects a 1.5-million-unit LCD TV market this year, and a 3.3-million-unit market in 2003, growing to 6.7 million in 2004 and 10.5 million in 2005.


Samsung has about a 20 percent share of the world LCD monitor market, and expects to eventually acquire a similar share of the LCD TV market, according to Choi.
 

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I find the specs on this somewhat questionable (1280 x 768 res) as even their 17" LCD's have 1280 X 1024 resolution.


Given that this is a 40" LCD!!! I would have thought of some insane resolution capabilities... Even if you split the screen in four.. each quadrant would be the equivalent of a 20" Screen!!


Given some supported hardware and circuitry, you could theoretically have 4 different inputs running simultaneously each capable of SXGA or full HDTV resolutions.


Now *THAT* would strike me as a reason to build a 40" LCD.


I'd certainly get me to sell the mortgage.


Bryan
 

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Why would you question that resolution? The 42 inch plasmas are in that range or much lower. I would think that this is competing against plasma displays.
 

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This set, when shown at CES, was incomprehensibly bad. It was not a competitor for plasma due to its horrific image quality. The lack of burn-in risk and the light weight are great features, but it will have to have come epic-ly far for it to be even a slight contender.


Mark
 

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Well, it is the first LCD in this size range. Plasmas have about 4 generations on it. Give it time. I find the fact that the LCD's seem to be able to achieve higher resolutions at a given size point to be another potential plus.
 

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IUnk,


True. "Questionable" was a questionable choice of wording. I re-read my post and realized I was just going off on some entirely different tangent.


Some reason.. I just saw 40" and LCD and inexplicably started thinking about 2400 X 1600 resolution, simultaneous multi inputs.. video conferencing with your friends while tracking your stocks watching golf on TV and the Lakers game on Cable.. only having to switch audio.. don't know what came over me.. strange really.


Anyway, what was the question again?
 

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Well, David, this is about the 12th generation of TFT, not the first. It's the biggest TFT ever, but please, the technology is signfiicantly more mature than plasma.


Plasma has fundamental flaws, but so does TFT. Samsung is a leading TFT maker and this panel is a joke. I fail to see any point to "give it time" or get excited. I am of the opinion that the "extra resolution" is fairly irrelevant. At 50", plasmas have all the resolution to handle HD and the new 42s are providing a similar resolution boost at the smaller size.


While I think it's 5 years or more before we see an OLED of 40", I think that's the technology that will challenge plasma in the large-screen, wall-mountable market.


Big TFTs are just too hard to make and way too expensive -- even vs. plasma. Also, Samsung has shown this set off for almost a year and still can't ship it. Not super encouraging.


Mark
 

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"Well, David, this is about the 12th generation of TFT, not the first. It's the biggest TFT ever, but please, the technology is signfiicantly more mature than plasma."


Aren't there issues with taking TFT to the larger size that need to be tackled? I realize that they have been making TFTs as computer monitors in the 15-18" size for about 5 years, but that does not make the technology "mature" at that size point.


"Plasma has fundamental flaws, but so does TFT. Samsung is a leading TFT maker and this panel is a joke. I fail to see any point to "give it time" or get excited."


I am not excited. I am just open-minded. I'd like to see some more models released at that size before I decide that TFT has no future in HT. I have seen the 30" Sharp, and the picture was decent. Certainly not terrible as you described the Samsung.


"I am of the opinion that the "extra resolution" is fairly irrelevant. At 50", plasmas have all the resolution to handle HD and the new 42s are providing a similar resolution boost at the smaller size."


Yea, I am looking forward to that, since 50 inchers will remain out of most consumers price range for a long time to come.


"While I think it's 5 years or more before we see an OLED of 40", I think that's the technology that will challenge plasma in the large-screen, wall-mountable market.


Big TFTs are just too hard to make and way too expensive -- even vs. plasma. Also, Samsung has shown this set off for almost a year and still can't ship it. Not super encouraging."


You may be right. Time will tell.
 

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The technology used to make the 40" TFT is exactly the same as the technology used to make the 14" TFT on your laptop. Exactly the same. The sole difference is the size of the glass being used. The fact that the transistor are larger on the 40" is an advantage in making them. The fact that low yields entail throwing away 40" panels is a disadvantage.


The Sharp 30" is a very nice display. The Samsung 40" is not (or at least it was not as of January). I would buy the Sharp if I had an application for it like Iaen Sullivan does. I would not buy the Samsung at any price unless they have almost entirely redone the display.


Mark
 
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