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HDTV Technologies and Trends at CES 2009 Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Article Index
HDTV Technologies and Trends at CES 2009
Page 2

CES 2009 is over, but there’s still much to talk about.  As with every year, there are a lot of technological advances that stand out as big successes and those that just flop.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the hit or miss HDTV Technologies and Trends of CES 2009.

Thin is In! - HIT

Sure it’s a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true.   Last year it seemed like each company had only one goal in mind; to make the biggest HDTV possible.  The pull of a television bigger than any room in my house is amazing, if a bit ridiculous.  It’s a bit surprising that no one rolled anything out this year to beat the 150” Panasonic from 2008’s show.  What did make an appearance though were ridiculously thin televisions.

From Samsung’s 7mm thick LCD to Panasonic’s plasma measuring just one third of an inch (about 8mm), televisions that used to take up more floor space than anything else in the room are now so thin that they can hang as art on a wall.  Tacky art, but art nonetheless.


Since man created film, there has been a constant quest for further realism.  Color and clarity have been nearly mastered, with HDTVs showing pictures with such realism that it’s sometimes difficult to tell reality from television.  There is a realm that hasn’t been captured fully yet, and that’s 3D.  There are a few inherent problems, such as the goofy glasses and expensive monitors, but the biggest flaw seems to be the style of 3D that television companies are implimenting.

Television is like a window, we look at it, but in a way we look through it to somewhere else.   We absorb ourselves in it so that the show, the movie, or game is all we are observing, and anything else ruins the experience.   When 3D images pop out of that window, they ruin the experience by showing us exactly where the edges are.  The U2 video on display, for example, Bono seemed to be closer than the television, but when the camera panned and his arm disappeared, the edge of the TV became apparent and the illusion was broken.

Gaming companies like NVIDIA took a different approach and rather than having the images pop out, had the backgrounds pop further in, making it seem as if the viewer actually was looking through a window.   It still wasn’t perfect, but at least the illusion was never broken.

All-in-Ones - HIT

Silicon Mountain’s Allio was among the All in One televisions on display, and it really showed a lot of promise.  So what is it?  Take a capable media center PC and slap it right on the back of a pretty LCD and there you have the Allio.  Starting at about $1600 for a 32” 720p version, the pricing is fairly equivalent to what consumers would pay to purchase both products individually.  

The higher models include bigger screens, more RAM, more hard drive space, a Blu-Ray player and touch screen capabilities.  The only aspect the All-in-One models seem to lack is a really good graphics card, but the onboard card should be sufficent for what’s needed.  With reasonable price tags and a large feature set, it willl be interesting to see what happens when these start hitting the market!


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