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Angry the Clown

CES 2018: That TV/Projector/Receiver/SexRobot you just bought is obsolete.

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Since many of us have bought new TVs in the last 12 months I thought it might be useful to consolidate CES 2018 news and our lust to replace the perfectly good devices we already own.

 

 

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Forbes preview the $1,500 BenQ HT2550 4K pixel shift DLP projector:

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This year’s CES is becoming the year of cheap 4K projectors. With ViewSonic’s PX727-4K and LG’s (presumably not outrageously expensive) HU80KA it’s seems like the hopes of millions of projector fanatics have finally come true.

 

The BenQ HT2550, like the ViewSonic, sports 4K resolution for a mere $1,500. This means that for the price of a decent TV, you can get a wall-sized image.

 

A word about that resolution. The BenQ and Viewsonic seem to be based around the same Texas Instruments reference design, with BenQ specifying that it’s a 0.47-inch DMD, claiming that it’s “Producing 8.3 million distinct pixels for true 4K UHD performance….” Most likely it’s pixel-shifting those, so the actual chip is lower than that resolution. I’ve reviewed previous generations of TI’s pixel-shifting tech, and in practice there’s no noticeable issue. ProjectorCentral has a great look at this tech.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreymorrison/2018/01/07/benq-ht2550-4k-projector-preview-1500-4k-pj/#1f2c4b033217

 

It only covers rec709 colour, rather than 2020 (which may be a colour wheel issue when it comes to the DLP projectors. I am not entirely sure).

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New Panasonic flagship OLED displays revealed (unlikely to be available in North America)

 

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The new FZ950 and FZ800 ranges are both available in 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes, and feature two key enhancements over even the mighty EZ1000.

 

First, they use 2018 OLED panels. Panasonic seemed reluctant to go into detail on exactly what this means in picture quality terms, but they did say that there’s an improvement in the average brightness levels they can deliver. Peak brightness is apparently still similar, though - so likely around 1000 nits on a 3% HDR white window.

 

Next up and more importantly, both the FZ950 and FZ800 models both boast an all-new video processing engine. Simply called HCX (Hollywood Cinema eXperience), this builds on the previous, already prodigiously powerful, Hollywood-tuned HCX2 engine with a number of significant enhancements.

 

First, the 3D Look Up table color system ‘borrowed’ from Panasonic’s professional monitoring division now features additional layers of Panasonic’s LUT data at much darker levels, helping the screen deliver even better transitions from black than previous Panasonic OLED models. The FZ950 and FZ800 models can both now hit almost 100 per cent of the DCI color space.

 

Even better, the new HCX chipset introduces dynamic LUT control. Rather than just applying a static LUT setting to any given film or TV show as previously, the new system continually (every 100ms!) assesses the average brightness level of every scene and dynamically loads the LUT that it believes best suits the image at any given moment.

 

A short demo of the new system running on an FZ950 against an EZ1000 showed remarkable improvements in not just the average brightness of the images being shown but also their clarity, detailing, color richness and depth. The difference really was profound, and could for me actually go even further than Panasonic’s pursuit of ‘Hollywood accuracy’ in making the brand’s OLED TVs stand out from the crowd in 2018.

 

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Next in the HCX processor’s new bag of tricks is a feature added in direct response to feedback from the authoring studios now using Panasonic OLED screens as mastering monitors: two new calibration points at 5 per cent and 2.5 per cent luminance. The fact that Panasonic was able to deliver on this request reveals just how uniquely effective its latest OLED TVs are at rendering detail in the darkest areas of the picture.

 

Also part of the latest HCX engine is a new HDR Brightness Enhancer. This recognizes the fact that watching HDR is greatly affected by the ambient light levels in your room, and uses a light sensor built into the TV to continually monitor the brightness of your environment and adjust the way HDR pictures are reproduced accordingly. You can also adjust the HDR brightness manually, using 15 different setting levels.

 

The latest processing engine also features a new Game mode reckoned to deliver the fastest response time of any Panasonic TV (around 20ms) and, finally, carries something called a Dynamic Scene Optimizer. The idea behind this is that the TV detects the brightness in each scene (with HDR content that doesn’t have dynamic metadata) so that it can optimize the way each scene appears. Assuming the TV’s analysis is accurate, this should yield better results than just relying on the upfront, one size fits all metadata provided by material mastered in the industry standard HDR10 format.

 

More below:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarcher/2018/01/06/panasonic-unveils-two-new-hollywood-tuned-oled-tv-ranges/#3907fd1974b3

 

 

 

 

 

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Brief look at the 2018 LG OLED sets (different processor on the B8 as Josh posted a while back). That's an E8 in the video below. I believe on the more expensive sets this year LG are using a similar speaker trick as Sony in emitting the audio through the panel's glass. I could be wrong though, but that's what it looks like with the E8 below. The C8 has a sound bar and the W8 has that atmos sound bar thing again. Not sure about the G8.

 

 

 

 

Samsung have a 146" mirco-LED proof of concept TV on show (it's best of both worlds tech I have written about before. Emissive technology similar to OLED, with the brightness of LED. In fact this is a 4000nit display. It's modular similar to the insane Sony screen had at CES last year):

 

 

 

Samsung's 2018 QLED LED sets support variable refresh rates for gamers:

 

 

 

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Sony's A8F is their OLED for 2018. The A1 will continue to be available, but the A8 is ver similar with the acoustic panel, and same X1 extreme processor from last year. The stand is different, though it still seems to tilt back. Supposedly it will be a bit cheaper since the A1 is staying in the lineup.

 

sonyaf8-2.jpg

 

https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1515459244

 

 

Aside from it having whatever benefits of 2018 OLED panels bring, it doesn't sound different specs wise to the A1 (he does say it sits upright in the video there).

 

 

On the LCD front, Sony's X900F replaces the X900E and will now extend to 85" sizes in the lineup, and this year the X90 range will support Dolby Vision and the X1 Extreme processor. The X90F, like the X90E, appears to have direct array local dimming again (I'd imagine the 75 and 85" X900 sets might as well). ZD9 remains on sale unchanged as the local dimming granddaddy.  

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The foldable LG is going to be crazy expensive, isn't it? Because a 65" screen I could put away and let light in the windows when it's not on is too much to ask for.

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6 hours ago, iainl said:

The foldable LG is going to be crazy expensive, isn't it? Because a 65" screen I could put away and let light in the windows when it's not on is too much to ask for.

 

:) 

 

 

Sony updated their 4k short throw projector if it's any consolation.... It'll still cost you £25,000 though. 

 

 

That's all a bit Ripley relaxing in a virtual screen garden in Aliens Special Edition isn't it?

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Sony's 85" 8k resolution 10,000nit (yes, 10,000) prototype TV with an X1 Ultimate chipset:

 

 

I thought this demo might be another micro-LED demo like their CLEDIS set up at CES last year, albeit one with a view to making that tech more consumer aimed in the years to come, but it seems as if it may be a full array local dimming based set like a beefed up super Z9D basically.

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Sony interview about their TVs:

 

 

XF90/900 could be one to keep an eye on for those looking for a new set this year and can't afford OLED (assuming it's cheaper by a decent margin). No word about the number of dimming zones. 

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Interview about LG's 2018 lineup:

 

 

77" C series coming which is interesting. Wonder how that will be priced.

 

Very curious to see how the processor performs on motion.

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22 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Sony's 85" 8k resolution 10,000nit (yes, 10,000) prototype TV with an X1 Ultimate chipset:

 

I thought this demo might be another micro-LED demo like their CLEDIS set up at CES last year, albeit one with a view to making that tech more consumer aimed in the years to come, but it seems as if it may be a full array local dimming based set like a beefed up super Z9D basically.

 

*dumps two-month-old VW285ES directly into the bin*

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1 hour ago, Angry the Clown said:

77" C series coming which is interesting. Wonder how that will be priced.

 

Very curious to see how the processor performs on motion.

 

I tol' you!

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I hope that microLED wall concept becomes affordable reality at some point. Then again I've waited far too long for a decent affordable laser based projector.

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4k laser pj’s should hit reasonable prices within 5yrs I think. By reasonable I mean similar $5-6,000 prices we see currently for Sony’s SXRD and JVC’s DILA units.

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I do wonder what will happen with the B8. The amount it dropped this year simply can’t be sustainable- I’m interested to see if the corner cutting is part of a plan to launch it closer to the current B7 price, rather than what they launched it at. As it stands with this year’s TVs, the only reason I’d consider the Sony XE900 was because it comes in 49” and I’m not sure I can fit a 55” in the house. 

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Samsung are keeping their 2018 displays behind closed doors at CES ahead of a more formal announcement later this year, but their new flagship QLED model that will replace the Q9F is apparently driven by what Forbes thought to be the best full array local dimming system they'd seen, bettering the Sony ZD9 (other attendees have had similar conclusions). It also delivers 100% of DCI-P3 colour space. Peak brightness has not yet been disclosed (the Q9F last year maxed out at around 1500nits).

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarcher/2018/01/10/samsung-2018-flagship-4k-qled-tv-first-impressions/#6180878a7087

 

 

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New LG sets have black frame insertion:

 

 

 

HDTV Test look at LG's roll up OLED:

 

 

 

The partial roll up and image shift for 2.35:1 content to eliminate visible black bars is pretty ingenious. Likewise, Vincent's suggestion to LG that it it would be neat if it could be turned upside down and effectively become a roll-DOWN screen like a rolldown projector is a BRILLIANT idea. 

 

 

 

 

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2018 LG sets, at least with the A9 chip, apparently have LGs own implementation of smooth gradiation that I love on Sony's A1 (it helps eleviate banding/posterisation in source content which my eye seems to always seek out with ease. Not to be confused with vertical banding many TVs display due to uniformity issues). It'd be great if it is as good as the Sony in this regard. The A9 chip actually sounds like a significant leap forward as far as LG are concerned, so it is nice to see them turning their focus to improving their processing. I think that's a major knock on effect of the benefits of competition having had Sony enter the game a year ago.

 

LG are also apparently getting 50-60 more nits at peak from their panels this year vs 2017, which by their own admission they did not expect but it seems to be down to the A9 chip's handling of content.

 

I'd give very serious thought to replacing my E6 with a cut priced 2019 model late next year or early 2020. The 2017 series already had enough improvements of the things that really piss me off about the 2016 panels so it's exciting to see things moving forward at such a pace. 

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I wish they’d come out with the price for the 77” C and the 85” X900F.

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Can’t imagine the 77” C being less than $11,000 unless there’s some huge manufacturing breakthrough (and if there had been you’d think LG would be shouting about it).

 

The 77” G7 last year was $15,000, wasn’t it? It was £20,000 here I think, but right now you can get one for £8000 which is a colossal price drop to be sure. 

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I wonder whether we could see the FALD tech behind Sony's 8k/10,000nit tech demo whittled down into a "lesser" 4k 4000nit FALD display in a year or two. That would make it a more natural successor to the Z9 at what would surely come in at a more reasonable price. Or maybe they;d sooner not compromise given the expense of FALD R&D and would sooner wait and roll out the 8k monster at an astronomical price.

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