New TV sets designed to be admired

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Players on a golf course are looking for a missing ball. Nobody can find it. However, it can be seen exactly where the ball is on a Plasma screen with high definition (HD) at 1080 lines of resolution. At least this is what you can see in the aggressive advertisement campaign of Sharp Plasma TV of the Aquos series.

Sharp entered the LCD market following its success with its convex or CRT/cathode-ray-tube television sets. According to Kiyanto Purnomo of Sharp’s Aquos LCD TV Department, LCD television sets offer better technology than Plasma television sets even though both are flat-screen and thin television sets.

An LCD TV has several advantages. It is easy to carry or move and has 60,000 hours of durability. In addition, the advanced super view technology adopted for this television allows pictures to appear perfectly in a bright room. “Thanks to this technology, bright light does not reflect onto the television, unlike in the case of a Plasma television,” he noted.

Of course, watching a game of golf on TV may not be your fancy but soccer fans will not wish to miss decisive kicks in an exciting soccer game. This may not be possible with a Plasma TV. The same is true with scenes in a film. “These scenes may be very dramatic and full of captivating visual details. As a result, I can enjoy all these at home. I don’t have to go to the cinema,” said A. Indrajaya, an interior designer who has a LCD TV at home.

There are many types of televisions on the market but the most popular are Plasma TV and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TV, both top-range digital televisions with sophisticated features and capable of presenting captivatingly moving pictures in your living room.

Compared with conventional CRT televisions, these two digital televisions are superior, particularly in terms of design as they are thinner and do not need a lot of space. While a Plasma TV makes use of hundreds of thousands of glass cells containing Plasma gas to produce pictures on the screen, an LCD TV uses millions of crystals that contain a liquid.

Despite their different mechanisms, these two digital televisions offer more or less the same number of advantages. In terms of the size of the screen, for example, a Plasma TV has a screen measuring a maximum of 63 inches while the screen of the largest LCD TV measures about 50 inches.

Another superior edge is their resolution level. Digital televisions are capable of improving the resolution and the number of pixels, which affects the sharpness of the picture.

However, only an LCD TV is believed to present full high-definition pictures. One example of an LCD TV is Samsung M8, which at present has the highest resolution level, namely 1902 x 1080 full HD. Samsung has also brought out a Plasma TV which offers sharp pictures with full HD, namely Samsung Q9 with 1080i HD.

The Consumer Electronic Show and the Macworld Expo, held this year in the United States, featured Samsung F P-T589W, the first wireless Plasma TV in its class. The wireless standard of this type allows high-definition 1080 pixel pictures to be smoothly transmitted at a data transfer speed of up to 150 megabytes per second (Mbps). This Plasma TV has a natural resolution of 1080 pixels (1920 x 1080).

Since the dawn of the high-definition television (HDTV) era, television picture technology has undergone rapid progress. This technology is capable of producing high-quality pictures and at the same time minimizing up to 99 percent of picture distortions that appear on the screen so that the pictures look real.

Unfortunately, this sophisticated picture technology is applied mostly in high-end television models such as a Plasma TV or a 100 Hz television. However, as the competition is getting stiffer among electronics producers, particularly following the influx of Chinese products, leading television makers such as Sony and Samsung have begun to change tack. They have introduced various innovations in high-quality picture technology so that this technology can also be adapted to middle- to low-range television sets.

Samsung has deemed itself the pioneer in the innovations of high-quality pictures for medium- to low-range televisions. Meanwhile, Sony has also continued to improve its picture technology by innovating on the wega engine and digital reality creation (DRC-MF) to ensure that this technology can be adapted to its 29-inch flat-screen televisions, such as the KV-DA29.

Besides Sony and Samsung, television producers are yet to use Plasma picture technology on medium-range televisions. A number of television producers prefer to tinker with the sound system or picture quality. Take, for example, Toshiba, which has launched a middle-range television, the Quattro Bomba of 21JZ8DE series.

New technology will indeed lend great support to increase the demand for televisions as it promises better and clearer pictures as well as more esthetic, space-efficient and futuristic design.

This is in response to the demand of buyers, who would like to have better pictures, brighter colors and greater durability. As for prices, they will get lower and lower because Chinese-made televisions have begun to enter the Indonesian market in great numbers. In addition, Korean televisions are also lower in price than those from Japan.

This price competition is expected to eventually lead to tight competition all around. The prices of electronic goods today, said Budi Setiawan, sales and marketing director of PT LG Electronics Indonesia, have continued to drop. Certain products, he added, may be said to be low in price. He said that this condition is the result of a price war among electronics producers in Indonesia.

As for LG, it believes that Indonesia still has vast market potential. The core products to be marketed in Asia are TV picture tubes, audio products, monitors, Plasma TVs, refrigerators (including large ones) and LCD TVs. Of course, these products are selling points for LG to dominate the Indonesian market. LG’s focus of development in 2007 lies on technology-based products and products that other makers do not produce, such as Plasma TVs and large refrigerators. “These products require a large investment and sophisticated technology. However, we have not abandoned mass products as these are our strength. We continue to ensure that our mass products will follow trends,” Budi Setiawan told Seputar Indonesia.

What’s obvious is that there is fierce competition involving various makes of televisions, offers of technological sophistication, appearance, etc. In the end, TV price competition is advantageous to buyers. Meanwhile, producers continue to compete with one another in offering various new technologies and comfort just to win the competition. Again, it is the public that will benefit as they will have a lot of choices. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, August 07, 2007