Insight Media Announces CEDIA Best Buzz Awards

The Best Buzz awards are selected by polling Insight Media staff, analysts, press, exhibitors and conference attendees about what was new and exciting to them.

Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info), the leading source of intelligence about the microdisplay industry, is happy to announce the winners of the CEDIA 2004 "Best Buzz" awards. They honor what people were talking or "buzzing" about at the exhibition.


The Best Buzz awards are selected by polling Insight Media staff, analysts, press, exhibitors and conference attendees about what was new and exciting to them. They reflect what people were talking about most at the show/exhibition and what we were asked most about. The awards do not necessarily represent excellence in technical performance, but are a reflection of the "buzz" or noise the products created. The Best Buzz awards honor those products or technologies that were on the top of everyone's list. Top honors for "Best Buzz" at CEDIA 2004 go to:

Best Overall
Silicon Optix for its Realta single -chip video processor technology with programmable processing algorithms, enabling TVs or DVD players to download

new algorithms, patches or upgrades.Silicon Optix calls this its "$60K Hollywood Quality Video," or HQV technology, for home entertainment. Products using the Realta technology not only get a "$60K" image today, but also have a "future -proof" hedge supporting updates, which should quell buyer resistance. Most importantly, several analysts who saw the product demonstration at CEDIA called the image quality nothing less than "amazing." Kudos to Paul Russo and his development team, which reportedly spent three years - and to the decision to finally purchase high -end video processor supplier Teranex to get the technology out to the CE domain. Faroudja, watch out, the next Emmy Award may just go to …Silicon Optix.

Best RPTV
Sony Electronics: SXRD 70 -inch 1080p RPTV. This is Sony's version of LCOS, based on Sony's Silicon X -tal Reflective Display (SXRD) technology
introdUced about a year ago in the QUALIA 004 front projector. With the product, Sony jumped to the front of the pack, being the first to announce a 1080p LCOS -RPTV. SXRD microdisplays use a vertically aligned liquid crystal for a high device contrast ratio exceeding 3000:1 and optimal black level reproduction. An ultra -thin cell gap enables fast response times of less than 5 ms, avoiding any motion blur artifacts.

Expect to see this LCOS -RPTV in early 2005 with a price tag of less than $10K.

RPTV Runner -Up RPTV
Hitachi America Ltd.: Ultravision LCD -RPTV Cineform Director's Series VX915 RPTV. The Hitachi RPTVs feature a novel two -stage lens design, along with a special screen. This combination reduces the height of the picture above the table top, while also reducing the cabinet volume over 20% from Hitachi's previous model.

Best LCD -TV
Sim2 USA: HTL40 Link - A 40 -inch LCD with impressive 8 ms response time.The display also boasts a 1000:1 contrast @ 600 cd/m2 with a 170 -degree
(H) viewing angle. The 1366 x 768 panel is from Samsung's new production line, and Sim2 disclosed that it has a three to four month "to market" lead over any other supplier with this (fast) panel. With the Link image processor, the unit includes all inputs (DVI, HDMI and advanced video electronics - DCDI) and will sell for $8,995 without an optional image processor (monitor) and $11,995 with the image processor. Availability is expected in October.

Best Home Theater Projector
Tie: Panasonic AE700, Sony VPL -HS51

Both products use three HTPS LCD microdisplays with 1280 x 720 native resolution panels, as well as breakthrough contrast numbers (2000:1 and 6000:1, respectively) that level the playing field with DLP microdisplay systems. They do this with the new variable aperture or iris control that changes dynamically with individual frame images (see coverage in Projection Monthly, January, February and July '04 issues).
Panasonic first used this technique in the AE -500 projector shown at CES. Along with dramatic contrast improvements, the AE700 has also found a way around the Achilles heel of LCD projection - the "screen door" effect. Using its "Smooth Screen" technology, ProjectorCentral.com analyst Evan Powell said, "Standing 12 inches from a 100 -inch diagonal screen, the pixel structure is barely detectable. We did not expect that an LCD projector would ever outperform a high -resolution DLP product in the area of pixelation, but we saw it live."
Perhaps even more impressive, Panasonic's icing on the cake is the price, as it puts this projector within reach of the mainstream home theater builder at $2,999.
For its part, Sony introduced the VPL -HS51 with a stellar 6000:1 contrast, using the same variable aperture approach. The unit also features H and V lens shift and a 1.6x zoom lens with short -throw added for small room configurations. If the dynamic iris is turned off however, contrast is more like 1000:1, so the effect on contrast performance is dramatic. This level of performance should allow Sony to say it now offers DLP -level contrast performance, thus neutralizing what has been an important competitive advantage of its DLP competitors. The price for the Sony unit is $3,795; it is due to ship in October.

Most Innovative
NEC America: WT600 lens -less projector with Proof of Concept Hide -away configuration. This design transforms a media center into a large -screen display for event viewing, without the hassle of mounting a projector. To do this, NEC used a modified version of the WT600 (lens -less) projector with a six -segment color wheel at 1000 lumens. This was integrated into a low -profile sliding drawer mounted beneath a custom -made media center system with a special linear -lenticular screen attached, expanding the image into a 60 -inch display.

NEC was looking for feedback on producing a standard TV entertainment center that could double as a large projection display area in future products. The projector slides away when not in use, and the screen can be hidden away in the media center for non -event viewing using a standard (smaller) TV. MSRP for the projector is $6,995, but NEC would target a solution in the $6K price range.

About Insight Media
Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info) is a full -service market research company specializing in microdisplay -based products in the projection and near -to -eye segments. It tracks the full supply chain, finished products and distribution of these microdisplay -based products through its various newsletters, technology reports, forecasts, conferences and custom consulting activities. Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, Insight Media has a core of 8 analysts and associates to cover the microdisplay industry in a comprehensive manner.

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