Apple HDTVs? LCD screens or OLED displays?
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Apple HDTVs? LCD screens or OLED displays?

Speculation that Apple will partner with LG to unveil its own line of HDTVs for 2012 were debunked this week by LG Display CEO Kwon Young-Soo, reports "OLED-Display" (http://macte.ch/Twa7U). The CEO says Apple is "still pessimistic about using OLED displays" and will go with LCD displays when it unveils its own line of HDTVs.

Besides the intriguing fact that Young-Soo feels that Apple will indeed launch its own brand of TV sets, I find it interesting that "OLED-Display" says the company may use "picture quality-enhanced and tech-sharpened" LCD displays for its television." There's an ongoing debate about which is better: LCD (liquid crystal display) or OLED displays, with, as best I can ascertain, OLED having an advantage in the quality area.

LCD screens are slimmer and take up less space than their OLED counterparts -- which may explain why Apple would go with LCD -- if, indeed, the company plans its own line of television sets. LCD screens also last longer and are less expensive than OLED displays.

On the other hand, OLED screens are considered to have better picture quality and better viewing angles. If Apple does built its own line of HDTVs, it's probably considering ways of improving this feature of LCDs. However, I'm not certain what a "picture quality-enhanced and tech-sharpened" LCD display would actually entail.

For now, "if you're looking for the best picture available you'll be opting for OLED, but if you want something that's sleek, lightweight, lasts a long time and is affordable, LCD is your man," says the "ShinyShinky" site (http://macte.ch/65474). The site notes that plasma TVs -- another HDTV format -- "may have better image quality but for form factor and longevity LCD rules the roost."

As for those predictions of an Apple HDTV, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry has said he thinks Apple will launch a new high-definition television in March 2012 with three screen sizes and price points. He thinks the Apple HDTV would be akin to Bose's pricey VideoWave, an US$5,200, 46-inch LCD HDTV with an integrated surround-sound speaker system. (By the way, it uses an LCD display.) Also, the analyst thinks any television set from Apple would have just one cable, would be about two inches thick and sport a 16-speaker, Surround Sound system.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has repeated said he thinks that Apple will launch a HDTV with integrated DVR and support for film, music and game downloads. The Apple-branded set, he told clients, would wirelessly sync with iPods, iPhones and Macs, and “command a premium among a competitive field."

Are they right? Only time will tell if Apple is taking the Apple TV idea out of the "hobby" category and kicking in up a notch. Or 30.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

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