Industry News November/December 2015 Issue 3

VIZIO Announces TVs with Dolby Vision High-Dynamic-Range Support

VIZIO and Dolby Laboratories recently announced VIZIO’s new Reference Series televisions, which incorporate high dynamic range with Dolby Vision playback technology.  At a suggested retail price of $6,000 for the 65-in. model and $130,000 for the 120-in. one, these sets – particularly the 120 in. – are aimed at cinephiles with very deep pockets.

Both models feature VIZIO’s Ultra Color Spectrum for a wide color gamut and an 800-nit full-array local-dimming LED backlight with 384 zones for what the companies describe as a “stunningly vivid UHD picture.”  The 65-in. model comes with a quantum-dot-enhanced LCD panel.  Customers will receive immediate access to certain Warner Bros. Home Entertainment 4K UHD Dolby Vision mastered titles (such as The Lego Movie and Man of Steel) via the video-on-demand streaming service VUDU.  Additional Dolby Vision titles from other content providers will soon be available through Netflix, according to VIZIO.

The Lego Movie will be one of the first titles to be made available in 4K UHD Dolby Vision, which is supported by VIZIO’s new Reference Series TVs.

Mitsubishi Electric Releases New Tough Series Module

For display users looking for attributes such as vibration-resistance and extreme-temperature operation rather than the UHD imagery described above, Mitsubishi Electric has announced the launch of the Tough Series 10.4-in. XGA TFT-LCD module.  This product is designed for industrial applications that will severely test a display’s ruggedness, such as construction, agriculture, factory automation, and industrial weaving.  The module offers 6.8G vibration-resistant acceleration seven times greater than that of conventional modules, as well as an operating temperature range of –40 to 85°C and 1200-cd/m2 super-high brightness and high contrast ratios.

DisplayMate Reports Viewing-Angle Weakness in PVA LCD TV with Quantum Dots

Reluctantly, because he describes himself as an enthusiastic supporter of quantum dots, DisplayMate President Ray Soneira recently reported some disappointing viewing-angle results in a patterned-vertical-alignment (PVA) LCD TV he tested.1  Specifically, there was a “tremendous”  loss of color saturation with viewing angle resulting from using PVA, wrote Soneira.  Although the September report, “Flagship OLED and LCD TV Display Technology Shoot-Out,” revealed many positive attributes of the quantum-dot-enhanced LCD, the viewing-angle issue, based on extensive lab test and measurements, was significant.

Despite this, Soneira believes that both QD-enhanced LCDs (just not PVA LCDs) and OLEDs can provide superior enhanced display performance in commercial products.  As he concluded in the shoot-out: “LCDs are a great display technology with lots of inherent native strengths that manufacturers should concentrate on and exploit instead of trying to pursue OLEDs on their native strengths.  So LCD manufacturers should exploit very high image brightness, very large screens, and very wide color gamuts with quantum dots to improve picture quality in high ambient light.  For wide-color-gamut displays and TVs using quantum dots, it is essential they use IPS, FFS, PLS, or equivalent LCD technologies with excellent viewing-angle performance to eliminate the large color shifts with angle that are produced by PVA (and other) LCD technologies.  Finally, stick with flat screens – curved screens are especially challenging to implement for LCDs – leave those to OLEDs.”

Apple’s New Toys Are Being Bought by Older Men

In what is now a retail rite of fall, Apple announced its new product lineup in September.  The lineup included more attractive Apple watches (there’s an Hermes collection now); an iPad Pro with 2732 × 2048 pixel resolution, an 8MP camera, and a claimed 10 hours of battery life; an iPad mini 4; Apple TV with a new interface (and operating system called tvOS) that works with Siri and offers touch-compatible remote; and, last but not least, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

At press time, the new Apple TV had just shipped, with most critics saying that if you already have a lot of Apple products and like them, you will like this.

In terms of who likes Apple products, young people are widely assumed to be the company’s most eager consumers.  However, according to a recent article in Money magazine (based on a report from Slice Intelligence, which tracks online shopping data), men aged 65 and older spent more on Apple devices than any other demographic group in the U.S. last year, spending, on average, $976 online, per person, annually.2  Men aged 25–34 spent $838 annually and men outspent women in every age category by about $200–$300 per year.  The reasons behind the popularity of Apple with the older set were not reported.  They may be responding to ease of use, discovering the products for the first time, or, as the article’s author conjectured,  simply be buying Apple products as gifts for children and grandchildren.

For a company known for its highly designed products, Apple has received low marks in the looks department for its watches.  Presumably to address that, Apple is coming out with several new designs, including a collection by Hermes.

M&A Briefs

Tianma Group Merges U.S. Sales Subsidiaries to Create New Company
The Tianma Group, Shenzhen, China, a leading global manufacturer of LCDs since 1983, has decided to merge its two U.S.-based subsidiaries – Tianma NLT America and Tianma Microelectronics USA – to form Tianma NLT USA, Inc.  The merger is designed to strengthen Tianma’s presence in the Americas and to provide customers with a single source for the two subsidiaries’ complementary LCD products and services.  These include a broad lineup of LCDs for industrial, medical, and other professional applications as well as technologies like LTPS-TFT, oxide-TFT, AMOLED, flexible, transparent, 3D, and touch displays for consumer, industrial, and automotive applications.
Tianma NLT USA will be headquartered in Chino, CA, and will continue sales, marketing, and engineering activities out of both Chino and its Northern California office in Santa Clara.
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Lotte Group Acquires Samsung’s Chemical Business
In October, the Lotte Group, a Korean conglomerate comprising more than 60 business entities, announced that it would buy the chemical businesses of Samsung Group for about 3 trillion Korean won ($2.6 billion).3



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