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Displays Hardware

Motorola Debuts Nano-Emissive Flat Screen 285

brain1 writes "PhysOrg is reporting that Motorola has developed a 5" flat-screen prototype display that uses carbon nanotubes. The display appears to promise lower costs for a full 40" HDTV screen bringing the price down to $400. The technology uses standard color TV phosphors, has a response time equaling CRTs', all in a package 1/8" thick. The display characteristics meet or exceed CRTs', such as fast response time, wide viewing angle, and wide operation temperature. All these are areas that LCDs are weak in. Is this the breakthrough we needed to finally make HDTV and flat-panel computer displays *really* affordable?"
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Motorola Debuts Nano-Emissive Flat Screen

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  • by Prophetic_Truth ( 822032 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:57PM (#12482794)
    Why do HD receivers still cost more than the average ones? The cable plans with HD are more than the ones without..Getting the Screen cheaper is great, but there are still a lot of costs associated with HDTV which end up being more than Joe Sixpack can't afford.
  • by hoka ( 880785 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:00PM (#12482833)
    For just about every piece of technology I've always found that its always overhyped in some way (purely the fault of marketers). I wouldn't hold my breath over an announcement like this, while yes it may be very interesting and perhaps be a forward-moving technology for the industry, I have heard "this will make ___ cheaper, and is better" far too many times to start going "omg, now I must migrate everything over to it!". Time always reveals the winners.
  • Re:Color palatte? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:01PM (#12482845)
    Color banding may be a problem with the DVD decoder and not the display color range.
  • by rjelks ( 635588 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:02PM (#12482857) Homepage
    I'd really like the flat panel technologies to get cheaper, but we've been hearing about it for a long time. I keep reading articles about new display technologies that never actually bear fruit. This new prototype from Motorolla sounds promising...$400 for a 40-inch HDTV sounds like a bargin. I'll buy one as soon as I read about it on my "electronic ink" newspaper. :^)

    /sorry about the fark slashes
  • several key points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:04PM (#12482875)
    Hate to rain on the parade, but:

    a)PhysOrg is just a slightly more subtle version of PR Newswire. Note there's no author. Slashdot, please stop linking to crap like this. Manufacturers- if you're going to put out a press release, just call it a #@$!ing press release- and stop insulting our intelligence.

    b)Manufactured cost is NOT market cost. Not even close. If a NE display lasts longer than plasma and looks equally nice- you can be damn sure it will cost MORE to the consumer.

    c)They claim longer lifetime, but no range/estimate is given, even though they surely know what it is. If it's a year or two more than plasma (which is lucky to last 3-4 years), pardon me while I let out a big 'ol yawn.

    d)A five-inch unit was produced because, most likely, they haven't been able to get high enough yield rates to do a 42" display. Call us when you've got something that actually resembles your target application in terms of scale.

  • price isn't cost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lvcipriani ( 764022 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:10PM (#12482940)
    The price to consumers isn't going to be the cost plus some small markup. The price to consumers will be whatever the manufacturer figures will maximize their profit, which could be quite high considering the demand. They ain't no charity. That's very cool technology, do you think they would invest in that if they thought they couldn't patent it ? ;-)
  • Not a troll (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:11PM (#12482955)
    400 bucks buys a used car...I won't really consider these affordable until they're down to 200 or less.

    I love how this got moderated "troll". Folks- digital TV is supposedly "mandated" for switchover. Except nobody's making cheap digital TVs- so people aren't buying.

    People also aren't buying because current plasma and LCD units just DO NOT LAST! We have a TV in our house that is at least 15 years old, and works just fine (yes, it's got an IR remote, yes, it tunes basic cable, etc). While Motorola's press release hasn't said much about exactly how long the lifetime will be on these, if the TV industry wants consumers to buy 'em in numbers large enough to make the "mandate" possible- they'd better make them a tad more durable.

  • by BillsPetMonkey ( 654200 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:13PM (#12482969)
    Is this the breakthrough we needed to finally make HDTV and flat-panel computer displays *really* affordable?

    Not if Motorola has anything to do with it.


    1. Invent something brilliant.
    2. Overprice it.
    3. Watch your competitors undercut you with better products
    4. Produce a "budget" model to compete with said competitors
    5. Get branded the lame duck of the industry
    6. Claim to have invented it and therefore have a god-given right to overcharge and underfeature it.
    7. Umm .... profi ... hang on, look what we've invented!

    Senior executives' strategies usually outlive technologies. Unfortunately.
  • Re:Timeline? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nacturation ( 646836 ) <> on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:16PM (#12483003) Journal
    No mention in the article.

    Of course not... it's just a press release [] meant to drum up business for Motorola, and generate ad revenue for
  • a)Give us an alternative physics / tech newswire, and we'll follow.

    b)If it costs more, what makes you think the consumer will buy it in the first place?

    c)If you had researched on nanotube displays, you'd see that it's the evolution of CRT's - hence the same (or more) lifetime.

    d) This is slashdot! Why do you think we get news on the Space Elevator when it's years or decades away? Doh!
  • by Bean9000 ( 841843 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:37PM (#12483154) Homepage
    The display appears to promise lower costs for a full 40" HDTV screen bringing the price down to $400 for the manufacturer.

    As a few other have hinted at, the original statement is highly misleading. Yes, the cost of the actual parts is a factor in determining the price of a product - but it's only one of many. It's effect on the price is also inversely proportional to how much the item is a 'luxury' item or a 'necessary item.'

    So need to worry if you just spent $5k on a plasma which cost the manufacturer $3k to produce. Because if it cost them only $400 to produce it, they would still have charged you $5k...and rightfully so as you were willing to pay that amount in the first place.

    So this is definitely exciting news for TV manufacturers as it will serve nicely to increase the profit margin. When will we benefit? When nobody wants to pay as much for a plasma anymore - and, more importantly, doesn't.

  • Not for $400... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theNAM666 ( 179776 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:52PM (#12483265)
    we estimate the manufactured cost for a 40-inch NED panel could be under $400.

    Notwithstanding that this is a press release and quite likely vaporware, manufactured cost is not retail by far. The manufactured cost of a dual-layer DVD drive has been well under $10 for quite some time.

    Add to this variuous overhead from shipping to marketing and, of course, profit! and retail may be 3-4x as much. That might be an advance, but as noted, this is only a press release which says they might have a product someday and the manufacture cost could, if they're really lucky and everything goes perfectly, be under $400.

    Nothing to wet your diapers about, young SlashDotter.

  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:03PM (#12483675)
    Toshiba and Cannon have a very similar product already in production (or will be this month). They call it "SED TV". Do a google search on it. It will be out around August/September. But will probably cost as much as you standard 50-60" plasma/LCD even though it is cheaper to make (same as the carbon nano-tube).

    Trust me, you will not see the price reduction that you hope. Even if it only costs $10 to produce, they will still sell it at $4-6k for a 40-50" screen simply because it is better then everything else. As a result of it being better then products that cost 4-5x its cost to make, its sale price will still be the same price as competing products, maybe undercutting them 5-10%, but not much more. The last thing they want it to drop the floor value of the market, which is what would happen if they actually produced and sold their own products costs. You price a product as to what the market can withstand to maximize profits, not to maximize market share. Simple macro-economics will tell you that if people are willing to pay that much for a product, then you sell it at that price point even if your product isn't that expensive. Why should you ever want to NOT take the extra money the consumers are willing to pay.

    We will not see a major drop in price of HDTV's until everyone is producing these panels. Why start a price war in a market that offers you chances to make a 500% profit? Until there are at least 2 or 3 companies with similar products, we will not see a drop in prices. As a monopoly on the technology, (which you are if you are the first and only one to market), you can set your prices to whatever you feel consumers will pay.

    Take this comparison. Did the price of albums drop when CD's were introduced? Heck no. We all know that it costs pennies to make the actual medium and put the data on that medium, vs dollars for tape with the same music. But you will typically pay $5-6 more for a CD then a tape, why, because the quality is better and the market can afford the price (well one could argue this, but this is the music industry's feeling). The same will be with this TV technology. It is much cheaper to make, but since it is technologically better then the others available, it will sport a higher price.

    Back to the subject of my topic, Toshiba already has been demo'ing this for several months now, it debued last September/October at all the trade shows. It is pretty much the exact same idea, just with a different element used instead of carbon nanotubes for the electron stream emmitter array. Has pretty much same exact bonuses as this technology does, thin, brighter screen, much higher contrast ration (10,000:1 is quoted and measured from working screen!), full color support, refresh times faster then CRT's, less power consumption then LCD, weight about the same as LCD's, as high a pixel count as the best LCD's. In otherwords, take the best benefits of all the current TV standard technologies (plasma, LCD, CRT) and combine then best characteristics of each into one TV without any of the particular drawbacks of the different technologies (i.e. no poor contrast ratio and pixel count of Plasma's, poor contrast ratio and refresh times of LCD's, bulky size, weight and power usage of CRT's).

    What this all means is if you are planning on buying a HDTV now or the near future, you absolutely are stupid if you purchase something right now and do not wait the 2-3 months for this technology to be available. You are simply throwing $2-10k down the toilet and flushing, because this stuff truely and utterly beats everything that is currently available by a VERY noticable margin.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @10:31PM (#12484352)
    You price a product as to what the market can withstand to maximize profits, not to maximize market share. Simple macro-economics will tell you that if people are willing to pay that much for a product, then you sell it at that price point even if your product isn't that expensive. Why should you ever want to NOT take the extra money the consumers are willing to pay.

    Henry Ford took a look at the math and saw that a well made car priced at $500 and sold to millions would yield a return 100 times greater than a $5000 luxury model sold to thousands.

    Competing technologies like steam seemed to disappear from the streets, and auto makers unable or unwilling to move into mass production would soon fade out of the picture altogether.

  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:40PM (#12484824) Homepage Journal
    I want something that's thinner and lighter than a CRT,
    without plasma burn-in, doesn't suffer from LCD's horrible color gamut, is sharper and cheaper than DLP, and lasts longer than OLED.

    I'm with the last poster, you really need a unicorn.

    DLP is actually pretty sharp, any blurry DLP set is most likely a mal-adjusted set.

    I really don't think LCD is that bad. Like any display technology, if a new display looks bad, it may very well be poor calibration.

    OLED simply isn't ready, without breakthroughs (I haven't heard of them) they won't be in large displays for a good while.

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