Flat Panel Displays - Beyond Plasma

Written by Steve Faber


Continued from page 1

They have a refresh rate about 1,000 times faster than a traditional LCD, so they will be far superior for video applications. They have fewer parts than LCD or plasma and can be manufactured using a novel ink jet printing process. This promises to keep prices low asrepparttar technology is implemented. It is expected to see sub 20" displays in stores by 2006 with larger units following one to two years later.

Other promising display technologies onrepparttar 149927 horizon include SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) and carbon Nanotube. SED was developed by Canon, who began research intorepparttar 149928 technology in 1986. SED is basicallyrepparttar 149929 same principle as CRT, however there are important differences. The most important from a consumer standpoint is thickness. An SED display is only an inch or two thick, depending upon screen size.

The basic construction is two glass plates separated by a vacuum. One ofrepparttar 149930 plates is coated with phosphorsrepparttar 149931 other is mounted with electron emitters. Electrons are ejected when a voltage of about 16 to 18 V is applied torepparttar 149932 emitters. These electrons are then accelerated by a higher voltage into a beam similar to that in a CRT display.

The visual advantages of SEDs are as for CRT displays, great color, deep black levels and quick motion response. These advantages, combined withrepparttar 149933 slim form factor, low cost and small power requirement should make for a real winner.

A unit shown by Toshiba at a Japanese trade show in April of 2005 even had its contrast ratio up to an incredible 100,000 to 1 by significantly reducing black luminance. Even ifrepparttar 149934 specs were a bit inflated this would still amount to a fantastic contrast ratio, onrepparttar 149935 order of 5 times that of a traditional CRT. Toshiba has indicated they will move to this technology for all displays over 40 by 2006.

One fly inrepparttar 149936 SED ointment however. On April 21st, 2005 US firm Nano-Proprietary has filed a suit against Canon inrepparttar 149937 U.S. District Court ofrepparttar 149938 Western District of Texas, alleging thatrepparttar 149939 surface (SED) televisions that Canon plans to release violates a licensing agreement signed 5 years ago betweenrepparttar 149940 Japanese giant and Nano-Proprietary.

The pace of change inrepparttar 149941 home theater and entertainment display market has just kept accelerating. There are some promising technologies aroundrepparttar 149942 corner that will allow, as usual, higher performance, lower cost and more compact form factors. As prices for advanced technologies plunge and technology improves, it will make it even easier forrepparttar 149943 average person to have a fantastic media system almost anywhere in their home.

Steve has 15 yrs in electronics. He is a CEDIA certified designer with ISF and THX certificates. Experience includes: installer and programmer; system designer; business unit director for an a/v importer; sales rep for a CE distributor; and principal of a $1.5M+ CEDIA firm. He's now senior sales engineer for Digital Cinema Design in Redmond, WA. See him at The Home Theater and Automation Guide




Home Theater Control It's The Remote, Stupid!

Written by Steve Faber


Continued from page 1

If you want a remote that controls everything, you need a remote with a lot of different buttons. This can makerepparttar remote a little intimidating. Sure it can do almost anything but make toast, but where to start? If you haverepparttar 149883 budget, now isrepparttar 149884 time to get a touch screen remote. With a touch screen, you typically have only a few actual buttons. These are typicallyrepparttar 149885 most used functions such as volume up / down, channel up / down, mute and possibly cursor functions.

All other buttons are just icons on a screen that you touch to initiaterepparttar 149886 desired command. The beauty of this approach is that you only need to have just a few icons onrepparttar 149887 screen at any one time. This really cuts down on button clutter and confusion. The icons can be graphical representations ofrepparttar 149888 command, which makes everything very intuitive. For example, you can have an NBC logo you touch to go torepparttar 149889 local NBC station.

Touchscreen remotes come in four basic variations. First there isrepparttar 149890 choice of color or grayscale. Color looks better and more information can be conveyed more quickly. Grayscale units are much less expensive. Next,repparttar 149891 communication withrepparttar 149892 remote can be one way or two way. Two way communication allows status to be updated onrepparttar 149893 remote itself. For example you can display album and artist information from a music server or checkrepparttar 149894 status of your security system or thermostats. Two way communication has been provided via a two way radio link, similar to a digital spread spectrum telephone.

The latest two way remote controls being introduced from companies such as AMX and Crestron use WiFi. This allows a whole host of other possibilities. The range is spectacular for one thing. You can roam around your entire home. On some units you can browserepparttar 149895 internet too. Imagine, you are watching a game but you want updates from aroundrepparttar 149896 league. Just go to ESPN.com on your remote and take a look.

The remote can really make or break your system. You can have an unusable system with 7 different remotes or a slick system that even visitors can use with no instruction. Its all up to you, your budget and your programmer.

Steve has 15 yrs in electronics. He is a CEDIA certified designer with ISF and THX certificates. Experience includes: installer and programmer; system designer; business unit director for an a/v importer; sales rep for a CE distributor; and principal of a $1.5M+ CEDIA firm. He's now senior sales engineer for Digital Cinema Design in Redmond, WA. See him at The Home Theater and Automation Guide


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