Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Line Forms Here

Motorola Debuts First Ever Nano Emissive Flat Screen Display Prototype
“And according to a detailed cost model analysis conducted by our firm, we estimate the manufactured cost for a 40-inch NED panel could be under $400.”
Motorola’s industry-first working prototype demonstrates:

• Operational full color 5" video section of a 1280 x 720, 16:9, 42-inch HDTV
• High quality brightness
• Bright, vivid colors using standard Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TV phosphors
• Display panel thickness of 3.3 millimeters (about 1/8th of an inch)
• Low cost display drive electronics (similar to LCD, much lower than Plasma)
• Display characteristics meet or exceed CRTs, such as fast response time, wide
viewing angle, wide operation temperature

Ok, manufactured cost of $400 probably means retail price of around $800, once the initial price-gouging has been cut down by competition. Assuming the price scales linearly, that would make a screen the size of the one I have now around $1,100 retail, which compares favorably to the $1,800 or so we paid for it about 18 months ago. I'd say by the time I'm ready to buy a new TV, these should be well within my price range. 1/8th of an inch thick, with response time similar to CRT? Sounds good to me. If I'm upgrading, I might hold out for one with more than 720 lines of resolution, i.e., one that could display a 1080p picture, but now I'm just being picky.

What I really want to know, though, is whether I'll be able to buy one of these sets that doesn't have its own built-in speakers? For that matter, I don't really even need a built-in tuner. I'll mostly be using direct source inputs (cable box, DVD, TiVo, game console), and if I really want to pull one of the local channels in through the antenna for some reason, I can just use the tuner in either of the two VCRs I have sitting there. The vestigial speakers are the main things I want to lose, though. They're never going to be high enough quality to compete with what I can get separately, and I'm tired of paying for bits of electronics I have no use for.

I realize it's a somewhat alien concept to the generations (like, er, mine) used to TVs being big bulky self-contained boxes, but I rather like the idea that in the future (even more so than now), my television will be strewn about the room in small bits: "There's the screen, the tuner(s) are over here, the volume control is on the other side, and the speakers are all over the damn place."

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