Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays power some of the most popular handsets and devices on the market today, but a supply chain shortage has had a dramatic impact on OEM’s both large and small. It’s a problem that has taken most of the year to solve, but it appears as though Samsung might finally be prepared to make amends in 2011 with more production facilities finally coming online, along with new competitors from Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.
This additional capacity is likely going to lead to better prices and vastly improved availability going into 2011, a trend that anyone on the market for a new device should be thankful for. China is also rumored to be working on an OLED supply chain as well, which if true should finally put all of the supply issues to bed once and for all.
While major content providers continue to shun the Google TV platform, at least getting hardware vendors lined up doesn't seem to be a problem. According to a Bloomberg report, both Toshiba and Vizio plan to unveil Google TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, 2011.
"We are very happy with the launch of Google TV with our initial partners Sony, Logitech, and Intel," Google said. "Our long-term goal is to collaborate with a broad community of consumer electronics manufacturers to help drive the next generation, TV-watching experience."
There's also talk of Samsung joining the fray, thought that's still up in the air. And technically, so are the plans of Toshiba and Vizio -- Bloomberg's information comes courtesy of "people familiar with the matter" rather than talking heads from each respective company.
No other company shipped more LCD TVs in the U.S. in the third quarter than Vizio, while Toshiba was the sixth most active, according to iSuppli.
Market research firm Nielsen put together some interesting, if not slightly disparaging, figures on the state of high definition programming. Here's the deal. The majority of U.S. households -- 56 percent -- own an HD television, which is "one of the most quickly adopted consumer entertainment technologies of the past 20 years." But even though the hardware is in place, standard definition programming still rules.
"Only 13 percent of total day viewing on cable and 19 percent of viewing on broadcast television is 'true HD' viewing, which requires an HD television and HD tuner that are tuned to an HD channel," Nielsen said. "In other words, despite the billions of dollars that Americans have spent buying high definition TVs, more than 80 percent of television viewing is still a standard definition experience."
Nielsen identifies a few different reasons for the disparity. First, some 44 percent of homes either don't own an HD set or subscribe to HD service. Secondly, most homes have at least one non-HD TV, of which about one-third of programming is viewed. And finally, that swank HD set in your living room still views non-HD programming about 20 percent of the time.
Peering into its crystal ball, Nielsen says HD viewing will continue to increase as kids and teens get HD sets in their rooms and as cable and satellite providers switch HD channels for SD where available.
Boy Genius Report claims to have learned all about Apple's undisclosed dead pixel policy for monitors, and if the information turns out to be legit, well, we'll let you be the judge.
The supposed internal policy considers up to 15 pixel "anomalies" to be acceptable on monitors ranging in size from 22 inches to 30 inches in a worst case scenario. That represents a combination of bright and dark pixels, whereas Apple considers it acceptable to have up to 8 bright or up to 10 dark pixel anomalies for the same size range. To be fair, Apple employees are instructed to discuss replacement options, but if the replacement panel is worse than the first yet still falls under Apple's "acceptable" guidelines, it's game over.
"If the number of pixel anomalies is within specifications, explain that to the customer," the internal document reads. "Further explain that you can replace the product, but the replacement product may have even more anomalies yet still be within specifications, and that Apple will not replace the product again if the number of anomalies in the replacement product is within specifications."
Below 22 inches there's a steep drop off in what Apple considers a fully functional monitor. For panels 17 inches to 20 inches, Apple allows up to 4 bright, 6 dark, or a combination of 8 anomalies.
Samsung feels its latest 70-inch display is too awesome to be called a high definition set, so instead the company is promoting it as an Ultra Definition LCD panel.
The 70-inch TV sports a 240Hz LCD screen with "ground breaking oxide TFT semiconductor" technology enabling 8 million pixels at ultra speed. And yes, this TV set handles 3D content.
According to Samsung, the technology used results in a ginormous picture that's four times sharper than standard 3D sets, while also maintaining a smoother image. 3D glasses, however, are still part of the equation.
While on the topic of Samsung and it's Galaxy S smartphone, Samsung's Mobile Display (SMD) division is busy putting together a 7-inch AMOLED display, etnews.co.kr reports.
What's the big deal? Well, while Samsung's Galaxy S line sports the higher-end display, the Galaxy Tab is only rocking a regular LCD display. With a 7-inch AMOLED display in the works, it would appear that Samsung is laying the ground work for a next generation tablet.
The translated text is a bit hard to follow, but from what we gather, the new OLED panel will support WXVGA (1200x600 resolution) and will manifest itself around the middle of June 2011.
If you're having trouble deciding between a notebook or a tablet, Gigabyte's T1125 might be just what you're looking for. Netbooknews.com had a chance to spend some hands-on time with this tri-purpose device, and it certainly looks promising.
You'll notice we called this a tri-purpose device and not a dual-purpose notebook. Why? Well, slap it into the optional dock and now you have a secondary display to go along with your desktop's main monitor.
It gets even better. At 11.6 inches, the T1125 just barely slips out of netbook range, which means you won't find a poky Atom processor inside. Instead, the T1125 sports an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor along with Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics (with support for Nvidia's Optimus technology), up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, 320/500GB hard drive, Wireless-N, built-in 3.5G antenna, 1.3MP webcam, a USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0, eSATA/USB combo, HDMI, and a few other odds and ends.
DisplaySearch just released its "Quarterly Mobile Phone Shipment and Forecast Report," and in it the market research firm notes that next generation smartphones are pushing demand for larger screens and higher resolutions to an all-time high.
"The strong mobile phone results in Q2’10 demonstrate the popularity of smart phones, which require higher resolution and larger displays to enable applications such as social networking, navigation, and web surfing," noted Calvin Hsieh, Mobile Phone Research Director of DisplaySearch. "This successful performance drove mobile phone main display revenues for the quarter."
The bulk of the mobile phone market still belongs to QVGA (240x320), which is estimated to grow to a share of 24.4 percent by the end of the year. However, WVGA (480x800 and 480x864) was up a whopping 121 percent year-or-year and up 62 percent from one quarter ago.
Consumer electronics vendors are currently busy burying the public consciousness under an avalanche of 3D products, but what’s next? It is probably too early to ask that question as another wave of 3D gadgets and gizmos looms. We are talking about 3D of the glasses- and deadzone-free variety.
“With an eye-tracking system that captures viewers' eyeball movements, AUO's deadzone-free naked eye 3D technology overcomes the confined viewing angles of conventional 3D displays,” AUO said in a release.
“Regardless of location, the viewers will be able to perceive 3D images of equally high quality. Not only will there be better 3D images to see, the audience will also feel much more comfortable not having to be confined by viewing angles.”
Not only do AUO’s 3D panels support simultaneous operation of both 2D and 3D modes, but can also switch back and forth between the two.
Here's something we don't see very often. According to a report in Chinese-language Liberty Times, the Taipei Court is holding Dell responsible for mis-priced monitors that appeared on the company's website and is forcing the OEM to fulfill orders already placed.
These weren't minor pricing mistakes either, but a major blunder on Dell's part. The OEM advertised a monitor worth NT$8,700 (US$285) for NT$1,700 ($55), and another worth NT$7,999 (US$262) for NT$999 (US$33).
On the bright side for Dell, the flub-up shouldn't cost the company too much cabbage. Only around 31 customers in Taiwan have so far have filed a suit, and the decision applies specifically to this case and not others like it.