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Cheaper LCD Panels On the Way; Wallets Rejoice

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 37 comments

Hitachi today demonstrated what it said will bring prices of LCD panels down significantly, while bringing quality up: hot cathode fluorescent lamps, or HCFL.

Most LCD panels shipping today are based on CCFL, or cold cathodes, but Hitachi told us today that its new HCFL technology not only gives superior brightness as well as lighting control, but utilize less energy and cost significantly less than emerging LED panels. With HCFL, LCD panels will achieve two to four times the watt output that a typical CCFL panel can do. Not only this, new LCD panels will also deliver more granular and accurate brightness controls. Most of all, Hitachi said that HCFL panels will require only two to three times less lamps, all while delivering more brightness.

On a 32-inch display, a HCFL panel will require anywhere from four to six lamps, while an older CCFL display can take up to 14 lamps. This of course, translates into significant power savings over the long haul.

When we asked about comparable LED panels, Hitachi indicated that there will be a huge cost savings. Current LED LCD TVs on the market command a high premium and we're excited to see a cheaper alternative show up.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 2, 2009 7:17 PM
    Sweeeeeet! Everone loves the idea of low cost high quality TV's.
  • 10 Hide
    lejay , June 2, 2009 8:32 PM
    jertherI still prefer the now so cheap CRTs. Can't beat their 40+ years of proven reliability (And repairability... and uglyness... but I couldn't care less, 40$CAN for a 22 inches 1600x1200 85HZ screen for which I have spare parts, there's nothing to complain on this. Screw LCD.. and such )

    I bet it looks nice next to your LPs.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 2, 2009 7:17 PM
    Sweeeeeet! Everone loves the idea of low cost high quality TV's.
  • Display all 37 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    ksenter , June 2, 2009 7:41 PM
    Aren't Hot Cathodes what they usually use in CRT's... I wish I knew more about this, I'm curious why they were previously using cold cathodes for LCDs and why they're switching now...
  • 2 Hide
    ricardok , June 2, 2009 7:46 PM
    this means better blacks?? or just more brightness?
  • -9 Hide
    jerther , June 2, 2009 8:06 PM
    I still prefer the now so cheap CRTs. Can't beat their 40+ years of proven reliability :)  (And repairability... and uglyness... but I couldn't care less, 40$CAN for a 22 inches 1600x1200 85HZ screen for which I have spare parts, there's nothing to complain on this. Screw LCD.. and such :)  )
  • 1 Hide
    hispeed120 , June 2, 2009 8:06 PM
    just more brightness.
  • 6 Hide
    joebob2000 , June 2, 2009 8:25 PM
    Quote:
    Most of all, Hitachi said that HCFL panels will require only two to three times less lamps, all while delivering more brightness.


    Oh come on, you're KILLING me.

    For some reason, Excel 07 doesn't like the formula "two to three times less"...
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , June 2, 2009 8:26 PM
    I have never repaired a CRT. Isn't that dangerous?

  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , June 2, 2009 8:29 PM
    ksenterAren't Hot Cathodes what they usually use in CRT's... I wish I knew more about this, I'm curious why they were previously using cold cathodes for LCDs and why they're switching now...

    I believe they are. Its amazing how often people look backwards and find a more efficient solution. Who knows why they used cold cathodes, probably just something they always did with LCDs, and no one bothered to consider hot cathodes until now.
  • 4 Hide
    doomsdaydave11 , June 2, 2009 8:30 PM
    joebob2000Oh come on, you're KILLING me.For some reason, Excel 07 doesn't like the formula "two to three times less"...

    Yea that made me cringe too.

    jacobdrjI have never repaired a CRT. Isn't that dangerous?

    Yea. I think there are reasons why you can't throw CRT units away either. Something bad lol.

    Hot Cathodes? Initially I would have thought this would be a bad switch from cold cathodes, but if it really does mean cheaper equal, or better quality LCDs, then I'm happy. I've been waiting for a sub $200 28" monitor.
  • 10 Hide
    lejay , June 2, 2009 8:32 PM
    jertherI still prefer the now so cheap CRTs. Can't beat their 40+ years of proven reliability (And repairability... and uglyness... but I couldn't care less, 40$CAN for a 22 inches 1600x1200 85HZ screen for which I have spare parts, there's nothing to complain on this. Screw LCD.. and such )

    I bet it looks nice next to your LPs.
  • -9 Hide
    jacobdrj , June 2, 2009 8:38 PM
    Very true. Much like we are now trying to reinvent our electric grid to DC. It is possible to do now, where in the 1800's it was impractical. Think of how much more efficient our grid will be when we don't have to use power supplies (AC adapters) on all our fans and electronics.
  • 0 Hide
    crisisavatar , June 2, 2009 8:39 PM
    jertherI still prefer the now so cheap CRTs. Can't beat their 40+ years of proven reliability (And repairability... and uglyness... but I couldn't care less, 40$CAN for a 22 inches 1600x1200 85HZ screen for which I have spare parts, there's nothing to complain on this. Screw LCD.. and such )

    Welcome to the future, we value progress here.
  • 3 Hide
    jerther , June 2, 2009 8:55 PM
    It looks very BAD. It's ugly and most of all HEAVY! But hey, I have no fun looking at it from behind and lifting it :) 

    Of course this is old technology. But I still think it is worth the 40$ for such a high definition, which IMHO is more important than having the latest technology. But it's two different world: brand new and used stuff.

    The headline states "Wallets rejoice". What kind of state of the art screen do you get for 40$? New, forget it. Used, there's a good chance of having something very good and that will still work in two years.

    As for repair: it's not THAT dangerous. It's dangerous to hit it with a hammer or a mace. But you could even drop it and chances are that it won't even break. Have you dropped a TV? :)  Only the plastic takes the hit.

    Voltages are high inside but don't carry much power. The real danger there is to take a shock and dropping off your chair on the neck.

    In my job, I see so many LCD screens destroyed by people who still don't get that you DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGER IN THE SCREEN. I didn't see such things on CRTs and I wouldn't even dare dropping one.

    Well, my whole point is not really relevant to the topic here, it's just about the wallet part ;)  I like technology. I just don't have the money to buy the latest, and that's why I prefer repairable electronics. I could go on forever on this.. maybe on an article that's more about it :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2009 9:01 PM
    I won't know if it consumes less than OLED screen, since Oled already consumes less energy, while being brighter and more colorful. Would this be what they are talking about?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2009 9:06 PM
    Does this mean like CTR and OLED that with a lot of bright sunlight it will be hard to see the screen?
    On current TFT/LCD technology the sun can be used as backlight to light the screen
  • 3 Hide
    Niva , June 2, 2009 9:59 PM
    Hey, I still have my 21" Sony Trinitron CRT and game on it. I tried gaming on my nice 24" LCD but it really didn't work for me with the wide aspect ratio. Sadly the CRT is showing signs of age, it might have to go soon :(  Maybe I can get a smoking hot (har har) cathode LCD :) 
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , June 2, 2009 10:47 PM
    Me like.

    Buying a brand new 1280x1024 LCD costs less than $100, so what will these be at?

    The biggest thing I can think of a use for is my fathers laptop. The thing is a massive beast, and such resulting in a huge screen requiring a lot of power. This would make significant longer battery life.
  • 2 Hide
    stevo777 , June 2, 2009 10:54 PM
    I didn't see any mention of when this tech would be available.

    @hellwig. The reason they haven't used the old style cathode is because they are huge. That is what took up the bulk of the CRT's. This scant article left all that pertinent info out. Hitachi must have come up with a way to make a hot cathode unit or units that were very slim.
  • 0 Hide
    San Pedro , June 2, 2009 11:00 PM
    This sounds nice. Hope they come out in the next 6 - 7 months so I can get a 32 - 37 inch TV.
  • 1 Hide
    starryman , June 3, 2009 12:45 AM
    Honestly I thought LCDs hit rock bottom for prices but lower prices are welcome but all means. True Story... I moved my 19" LCD monitor today to chase down some dust bunnies only to find a 15" LCD monitor tucked behind it. Holy bleep these things are so cheap that I forget that I even have them.
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