This article was originally written in Danish but has been translated. Some text has been excluded but the article contains all original pictures.
Flatpanels went to the IFA 2006 fair which is held in Berlin, Germany from 1th September to 6th September and we have a lot of nice pictures and products to talk about.
IFA is one of the largest hi-fi fairs in the world and people travel from all over the world to see the new sound and picture products. We tried to visit all the relevant booths but IFA is very huge so we couldn’t do it in only one day. I’ll talk about Samsung, Philips, Toshiba and Hanspree in this part 1 of the IFA report and go on to talk about LG, Sharp, Pioneer, JVC and Hitachi in part 2.
Samsung probably had the largest and most comprehensive booth of all. It was huge and you could easily spend a lot of time here. Some of the new TVs and monitors were revealed before IFA but Samsung had a lot of surprises, too.
Let’s start off with a review of the TVs as Samsung had very impressive panels to show. First you see a 102 inch Samsung plasma TV. It’s enormous, trust me, and sadly, I don’t think it fits into my apartment.
Samsung 102 inch PDP-TV
The picture, however, was not impressive. Movement was jaggy and unsmooth. It was okay but nothing more and Samsung had a lot of other TVs that were far more impressive.
Samsung also had this 80 inch plasma TV standing around.
Samsung 80 inch PDP-TV
A few gigantic LCD-TVs were also present. For example this 82 inch LCD-TV based on LEDs. We saw it on CeBit 2006 too but the picture is very inspiring and LEDs could be a major break-through in our modern LCD-TVs.
Samsung 82 inch LCD-TV
A 70 inch LCD-TV had been placed only some meters away but it was nowhere near as nice as the 82 inch. Samsung have announced that they will launch a 70 inch LCD-TV on the consumer market in 2007.
Samsung 70 inch LCD-TV, LE-70F71B
Because a launch is pending Samsung had a complete list of specifications. The 70 inch will be introduced in the F71 series with the name LE-70F71B. It’s based on a super-led technology which is a local-dimming thing (you know dynamic contrast…). The TV has a contrast ratio of 50000:1 and a colour saturation of 146 % of the PAL spectre.
Samsung had many more big TVs on IFA but most of them were for promotional purposes.
So let’s take a peek at some of the consumer market TVs. Here you see the new R7x series which has just been launched all over Europe. R7x comes in a lot of different colours.
Samsung R7x series
We also saw the new Samsung M71 which has nice quadratic shapes.
Samsung M71 series
One of the new products from Samsung is the F71 series – in Full HD. It reminds me of the M71 models but with a higher resolution. It comes in larger proportions too, for example the above-mentioned 70 inch.
Samsung F71 series
On the picture underneath you see a comparison with a 1366x768 panel.
Comparison of 1920x1080 and 1366x768
Samsung also recently launched the new Q7 series plasma. It was placed on the floor too but it was hard to catch a picture because of the reflective surface of the screen.
Samsung Q7 plasma
Besides the M71 Samsung also has a N71 ready. It’s basically the same as M71 but without the terrible Smooth motion technology. So it’s cheaper but better – nice. Here you see the 46 inch model.
Samsung N71 series, LE-46N71B
And now on to one of the most interesting new additions: the M91. M91 is the new LCD-TV from Samsung with a LED backlight that can boost the colour saturation and the contrast ratio.
Samsung M91 series
I was a little disapointed about the presentation as it was nothing special. The specifications are not anywhere near the screen but the picture was impressive but somehow oversaturated and too colourful.
Samsung M91 series
Samsung used an advanced camera to shoot a still picture of a miniature football scene. It was then reproduced on three screens and sadly the M91 had too high saturation.
Samsung M91 series
Samsung also include a S71 into their portfolio. It’s a cheap series of LCD-TV that will be sold in most giant department stores.
Samsung S7x series
Here you see a LED DLP.
And a new Blu-Ray player from Samsung.
Samsung Blu-Ray player
I went on to look at the new PC monitors from Samsung.
One of the most catchy sights was the XL20 which is a LED based LCD monitor. It is suited for graphics use.
Samsung XL20, LED LCD monitor
Another new monitor is the 931C for the gamers. It has a response rime of 2 ms (g2g) and a CCFL backlight with an expanded colour specter.
Samsung also presented a 932B in a smart, white look.
The most interesting news, however, was the launch of the 971P. It’s the successor to 970P (and before that 193p+) but the design has been modified. I personally think it’s gorgeous.
And in white
A new 30 inch monitor called 305T got a lot of attention too.
Samsung also introduced a 20 inch widescreen monitor named 206BW. It has a response time of 2 ms (g2g) and a resolution of 1680x1050.
Next was the 931BW, a 19 inch widescreen monitor.
For a second let us return to the TVs because Samsung had a presentation of their Smooth Motion technology. The setup included two monitors: one with 100 Hz Smooth Motion and one without. Although the Smooth Motion edition had a nice and smooth picture it seemed fake and video cam like.
Toshiba is one of the large TV players and they had a bunch of new TVs to show at IFA. In Europe they are known for their value TV that has a very nice picture.
Here’s the WL66 series.
Toshiba also had a WLT68 series on the floor. It was nice looking and used a technology called Pixel PRO IV to handle the picture. It also had a 100 Hz system like Samsung’s Smooth Motion. Toshiba call their 100 Hz technology Active Vision M100.
Toshiba is on fire and they have a 1920x1080 series too. It’s called WLG66 and here you see a 47 inch.
The WL67 was introduced too. It's another Full HD LCD-TV series with a new Pixel PRO III+ system and a response time of 6.5 ms. The picture was very good and Toshiba is indeed a very interesting TV manufacturer.
It’s a known fact that Toshiba is a HD-DVD supporter and they had brought their new HD-DVD player, HD-E1.
But no HD-DVD players without some movies too. Toshiba had decorated a full wall with available and soon-to-come HD-DVD movies. Do I need to say that HD-DVD outperforms DVD by a factor 100?
Toshiba also had their HD-XE1 HD-DVD player set up.
To finish our tour at Toshiba’s booth let’s take a look at the Active Vision M100 100 Hz technology. The purpose is to improve response time and reduce trailing. It was hard to catch on my camera but here you see a comparison.
Toshiba Active Vision M100, 100 Hz
I went on to get some lunch and then strolled along the “streets” of IFA where I finally found Philips.
Amongst other thing Philips presented the 9831D and 9731D series. These are quite remarkable and definitely needs attention.
As you might have guessed Philips showed of Ambilight too. We saw a lot of unusual variants including Ambilight Full Surround as integrated in the 9831D.
The 9731D has a variant called Ambilight 3 with ambilight on the two sides and on the top.
A new wireless music box was presented too. It can distribute music in all of the rooms in your house – wireless that is.
Philips wireless music box
You probably heard about the Philips ClearLCD system that is said to reduce trailing. It’s 100 Hz system but also a technology that controls the backlight frequency to remove the sample-and-hold effect that LCD panels use.
And on to a giant TV. It’s a 100 inch LCD-TV made by Philips. It used as a fair-thing so don't expect it to hit the consumer market any time soon.
Philips 100 inch LCD-TV
It’s big but the picture isn’t that stunning. I say, ”Wait! Don’t buy your 100 inch flat screen just yet!”
Philips 100 inch LCD-TV
Philips also presented a so called WOWvx 3D technology. It wasn’t possible to take a picture and wha… the 3D wasn’t impressive either. You have to stand right in front of it too.
I want to return to the 9831D but only to show you this amazing show Philips put on with numerous 9831D TVs.
Philips 9831D show
It was a fantastic show but the most fantastic part was how Philips had managed to get all the TVs to work together to act as 1. The rows of TVs continue to the left. I couldn’t catch the whole thing on a picture – but it was HUGE.
Ambilight was without any doubt a major thing at Philips’ booth. They also had a Ambilight living room to show off.
And if you can’t get enough of Ambilight you might want to get one for your PC too.
Philips Ambilight for monitors
The HD wave has reached Philips, too. Here you see their new Blu-Ray player as a part of Philips’ Cineos series.
To finish off this part 1 of the IFA report let's visit HANNspree. HANNspree have some quite strangelooking TVs but it was very amusing to look at.
Here’s the giraffe Tv.
HANNspree giraffe TV
And the train TV for the children’s room.
HANNspree train TV
Here’s a fire truck – perfect for your living room.
HANNspree fire truck TV
HANNspree has some larger TVs too. Here’s a 32 inch TV.
It has a back made by wood.
I’ll finish off part 1 here. Tomorrow we'll visit Sharp, LG, Pioneer and Hitachi.