Las Vegas (NV) - 1080p is really what you should be looking for in a new high-definition HDTV, but the next generation is just around the corner: Westinghouse showcases a 2160p - commonly referred to as a Quad HDTV. If you think this TV is expensive, you are absolutely right.
Westinghouse has a fairly modest booth at this year's CES, but there were some things that really stood out, most notably the Quad HDTV that was announced a few days before the show. That, along with a handful of new 1080p TVs and high-definition computer monitors are headlining the first batch of new 2007 releases, underscoring the future trend for the digital division of Westinghouse.
Of course, the Quad HDTV was our first target at the Westinghouse booth. The 52" TV runs a super high-resolution of 2160p (3840 x 2160 pixels). In absolute numbers, the device is running a stunning 8.3 megapixels - four times more than 1080p TVs (1920x1080p) and more than twice the resolution of Dell's, HP's and Apple's 30" desktop LCDs. So, what do you get from this resolution, especially if HD DVD and Blu-ray are running only 1080p anyway?
According to Westinghouse, the TV does not really target the consumer market, but high-end industrial applications. What we saw was an animation of an oil company viewing a digital version of a mining site. And even at this very specialized application, the difference to the best 1080p we saw at CES appeared to be marginal, at least to our eyes. However, of course you do see a much clearer picture when compared to some lower-priced 1080p TVs. Westinghouse said that it has begun taking orders for the 2160p. However, the TV will not come to the consumer market anytime soon. We heard that the TV is selling for around $50,000 at this time.
Otherwise, all of the displays at the booth were LCDs, showing off Westinghouse as one of the very few companies that has always been devoted to only one of the two formats of HD displays. The most impressive consumer model they were showing off is the TX-52F480S, a 1080p TV with a whopping four HDMI inputs, and two sets of composite/component inputs. It is scheduled for a May 2007 release. Pricing was been available.
Rounding out the first set of new 1080p models will be the TX-42F430S, a 42" model with 4 HDMI and 2 component/composite with a $2000 MSRP, and the TX-47F430S, a 47" display with the same inputs and a $2500 retail price. Both will be available in April.
Noteworthy is also a Westinghouse 24" widescreen PC monitor with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. When hooked up to a PS3, the image clarity was just as clear as when it is viewed on a large-screen 1080p TV. The model number is L2410NM and it will be available later this month for about $700.