Flat panel makers display HD battle at IFA

By James Wells in Berlin

BERLIN: The major flat panel television manufacturers have separated themselves from the remainder of the industry with the introduction of 1080p LCD and plasma screens at the IFA 2006 show in Berlin.

Samsung won the first stage of the 1080p battle at IFA with ten panels featuring 1920×1080 full high-definition resolutions. Samsung presented 50-inch, 53-inch, 80-inch and 102-inch plasmas, as well as 40-inch, 46-inch, 52-inch, 57-inch, 70-inch and 82-inch LCD panels featuring the resolution, which is designed for high definition video.

LG was in second place with 37-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch LCD panels as well as 60-inch, 70-inch and 102-inch plasma panels.

Unfortunately, LG’s world’s largest full high-definition LCD panel, measuring 100-inches, stopped working after two days of the event.

LG’s business partner in LCD, Philips, was more fortunate with the display of its 100-inch television featuring Ambilight technology, which became the largest operating LCD at the event.

Panasonic exhibited the largest full high-definition plasma at 103-inches – one inch larger than Samsung, and also displayed a 65-inch full high-definition plasma panel.

Sharp, a long-term supporter of LCD technology displayed six full high-definition televisions in 37-inch, 42-inch, 46-inch, 52-inch, 57-inch and 65-inch.

Grundig displayed two European-made 1080p LCD televisions under its Lenaro brand in 37-inch and 42-inch sizes.
Hitachi displayed two full high-definition plasma models in 42-inches and 60-inches, but as one of the main companies supporting both flat panel formats, did not display any LCD televisions with 1080p resolution.

Using its new global sub-brand Regaza, Toshiba displayed three 1080p LCD televisions on its stand, in 37-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch dimensions.

The latest Chinese player to enter the Australian market, Hisense, displayed three 1080p LCD televisions – in 37-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch.

Of the Chinese companies, very few displayed full high-definition panels with 1080p resolution.

Skyworth, Changhong and Digitrex only had ‘HD Ready’ televisions, while Acer and Hyundai had one panel in 37-inch and 42-inch sizes respectively.

Most other brands displaying flat panel products at IFA were also only able to exhibit what Europe refers as ‘HD Ready’, or 720 lines of resolution. In Australia ‘HD Ready’ has been legislated at 576p.

Hisense Australia managing director, Brenda Liu, told Current.com.au that the 37-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch 1080p LCD’s on the Hisense stand will be available in the Australian market through the brand’s existing channels – The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith Powerhouse.

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