Life's Good, or at least, it would be with one of these in your lounge room. At last week's Korea Electronics Show
(KES 2005), electronics giant LG showed their latest triumph: a 102" plasma screen.
This beastie is fully 1080p compliant, with a High Definition resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It has a contrast ratio of 5000:1 and a luminance of 1000cd/m2. It also features a 160GB hard drive recorder, allowing up to 13 hours of HD or 63 hours of standard definition video, according to the manufacturer, says Akihabara News
The huge display matches fierce Korean rival, Samsung, who demonstrated a 102" plasma earlier this year at CES 2005 in Las Vegas. Neither company has announced pricing or a release date.
While most home cinema buffs would sell their own grandmother to get one, this new class of screens with triple-digit diagonal measurements poses some new challenges. At 8.5 feet diagonally, the unit would be nearly 8 feet wide and almost 5 feet tall, and weigh several hundred kilograms. The box it comes in would struggle to fit through the front door.
According to CNET's HDTV Buyers Guide
, the minimum suggested viewing distance from a screen is 1.5 times its diagonal width, and you don't really want to be more than 3 times the width away from it, or risk losing that immersive big-screen experience. For a 42" plasma, that means sitting between 5 and 10 feet from the screen. However, supersize to 102 inches across, and you'll need to push your sofa back between 13 and 26 feet - certainly longer than many lounge rooms.
Also of interest, despite having an area more than four times greater than a typical 42" plasma screen, the 102" models have the same 1920x1080 pixel resolution. At 42 inches, the 2 million pixels measure less than 0.5 square millimetres. Upgrade to 102 inches across, and each pixel is approximately 1.2mm squared. Time will tell whether this is a limiting factor - there is currently no High Definition standard above 1080p.
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