1080p DLP chips ready for mass production

— 11:47 AM on January 28, 2005

DigiTimes reports that Texas Instruments’ new 1080p DLP chip is ready for mass production. 1080p-capable televisions were on display at CES2005 from Sharp, LG, and Samsung and are expected to be available in sizes 50 inches or larger.

Although Epson, along with five other Japan-based makers, formed an alliance to promote LCD technology for projectors and RPTVs at CES 2005, TI is not worried about the threat. Of all the projectors shipped from Taiwan-based makers last July, for instance, 91% were DLP models, Braddom pointed out, citing Taiwan’s Market Intelligence Center (MIC). At CES 2005, more than 75 companies introduced their new display products using TI’s DLP technology, he added.
As with all new technology expect a hefty price premium. PC Mag reports that Samsung’s 1080p-capable 56” HLR5688W will carry a jaw-dropping price tag of $4,999. If 56 inches is too small, a 67” model will be available for $6,999—the same price as a brand new KIA. Home theater PC enthusiasts can at least expect these high-priced televisions to support DVI and/or HDMI for easy PC connectivity.

So why is 1080p so important? This Designtechnica article has a pretty good summary.

Let’s cut to the chase: It’s the highest of high-definition signal formats, with 1080 vertical pixels by 1920 horizontal pixels, and uses progressive scanning. There are no 1080p signal sources yet—at least, none available to consumers—but it’s still handy as a picture-enhancing upconversion format.
Windows Media Video High Definition is the only 1080p source that's currently available. However, WMVHD is far from mainstream as it requires a well-equipped PC with at least 2.4GHz of processing power just for playback. The only other possible source for 1080p video is HD-DVD. HD-DVD's resolution hasn't been set, but speculation suggests that the new format will support 720p for long movies and 1080p for short ones.
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