Originally Posted by Jason Dunn
...so this seems like it's aimed at the movie-watching elite....some uber-rich person who can have a TV for "TV" and one for movies.
You are exactly correct.
Remember, there is, in fact, a very large "secret" industry of products aimed at upscale buyers, expecially in the av arena. Just as in the auto industry you have exotics that incorporate all sorts of state-of-the-art technologies at a premium (Tesla's Roadster and upcoming Model S being this week's best examples) which eventually filter down into mainstream products, so too in the consumer electronics business you find pleanty of room for (and profits from) high-price specialty gear.
You've heard me harp on the difference between TV and Home theater, before, no?
Well, here is the perfect example of a new approach to home theater.
What this LCD display competes with is are front projectors that are equipped with anamorphic lenses to change the aspect ratio to present a very reasonable equivalent of a theater experience in the house.
A little geometry might be in order:
This 21:9 56" panel has comparable height to a 45"16:9 panel and width comparable to a 59" panel. The quoted price looks to be at a slight list price premium for a 60" panel but has a higher pixel density; they *added* horizontal resolution rather than stretch out the normal 1920 resolution, as an anamorphic lens would.
You don't lose any image quality watching 16x9 tv content but you gain about a 30% extra resolution in watching wide-screen movies so I'd say there really is going to be a market for this among the golden eyeball crowd. As long as the electronics can drive the panel properly, the thing is probably even cheap compared to a lot of 1080p home theater anamorphic front-projector systems ($5000 list is entry-level in that market), especially if its uses LED backlighting and high scan rates. (Neither of which is clear at this point).
Main problem is that the home teater crowd tends to prefer bigger screen sizes than a 60"-class LCD but otherwise, its an interesting product.
Well, that and the ambilight thing; wish they'd let a bad idea die a quiet death...