How big is too big?

Sony just unveiled a 70-inch LCD panel, their latest entry into the race for the biggest HDTV. But it still doesn’t come close to Sharp’s 108″ LCD on view at CES 2007 or Samsung’s 102″ plasma panel which reigned at CES in 2006. Panasonic also rolled out a 103″ plasma last year, beating the Samsung model by an inch.

But how big is too big? There is no such thing. If you ask me, the bigger the better…except for one caveat. It’s gotta be sharp. I was in Good Guys the other day looking at a giant wall of televisions, but the signal just wasn’t sharp. In fact, it was so muddy and pixelated that I couldn’t look at it. Call me spoiled, call me a prude, but if it ain’t sharp don’t bother.

There has to be a balance between signal and size of display. You can’t just put up a giant screen and expect it to render sharp, bright and colorful images. The bandwidth has to be there to deliver quality content. This has been the disappointment of thousands of consumers who purchased HDTV’s this winter but have nothing of value being displayed. In fact, the same signals they received on their previous sets look even worse when blown up and stretched out to widescreen format.

Last fall Japanese developers unveiled for the first time a giant screen with a resolution of 7680×4320. Ultra HDTV it’s called, or U-HDTV and not only does it have a resolution of 16 times that of current hi def resolution, it can deliver 24 speaker surround sound. With that amount of pixels, you can be pretty close to a screen as large as a house and still have completely sharp images.

Speaking of houses, my dream house will have flat screens instead of wallpaper. I won’t need any lighting fixtures because TV’s that large will light up my rooms like the second coming. And, if I go with plasma I will definitely save some money on heating.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

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