HDTV: 10 Top Trends Coming to a Screen Near You in 2010

HDTV/Blu-ray Combo Units

HDTV product rollouts in 2009 also included the Sharp LC46BD80U, an HD

TV/Blu-ray combo unit now available for about $1600 to $1700, along with the The Sony VIAO L11FX/B, an “all-in-one” unit which incorporates a Windows 7 PC, HDTV tuner, a Blu-ray drive, and a 24-inch multitouch screen.

TVs with DVD players have been around for quite some time, and so have PC/TV “all-in-ones.” More HDTV/Blu-ray combo units in 2010 wouldn’t come as an huge surprise.

“It’s a natural evolution of the market,” Patel observes. For the most part, these combo units are aimed at those who already have “primary TVs” in their living rooms, but who now want to add TVs for “secondary rooms” such as bedrooms, dens, or children’s rooms.

Peddie, though, points to some of the drawbacks of these integrated products. “Combo units only make sense at the time of purchase. They don’t have good life-time histories,” he says.

Instead, buying a TV and Blu-ray drive as separate components gives you more freedom to take advantage of price reductions and move to new technologies. “Think back to the TVs that were sold with VHS tape drives,” he illustrates

Greener TVs

California has just passed a law limiting TV power consumption, and similar legislation might crop up elsewhere. Consequently,

manufacturers will start trying to "green" their TVs greener in 2010, experts say.

As some see it, the new laws could sound the death knell for plasma TVs. “Plasma TVs do give a very good display, and some people swear by them for color fidelity,” Peddie maintains.

But plasma is also “an obsolete technology that has been outlawed in California,” according to the analyst. “Plasma TVs wear out. They make noise, due to high voltage and the fans [needed for] cooling. Plasmas consume inordinate amounts of power, and they use exotic gases which make them toxic.”

LCD TVs, OLEDs, and even laser TVs are better suited to power conservation, according to some. Unlike LCDs, OLED TVs don’t need backlighting, Jakhanwal says. Laser TV advocates often cite relative energy efficiency, too.

“In 2010, there will be an increased emphasis on LED backlit LCD TVs. The CCFL vendors are also working towards improving [florescent panels] in order to lower power consumption,” according to Patel.

“Manufacturers will move away from products containing toxic materials such as mercury, and they will work towards meeting up with Energy Star 4.0 standards as well as toward the RoHS compliance needed in European Union (EU) nations.”

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