The top 14 buzzwords of IFA 2009
4th Sep 2009 | 14:30
From Full HD 3D to the flame-haired Miss IFA
Full HD 3D, make.believe, Digital Hearth...
So what have people been talking about at this year's IFA?
From Panasonic's 'Digital Hearth' to Sony's new land of 'make.believe', we look at the buzzwords that have defined the show.
1. Full HD 3D
Panasonic has coined this term to describe its approach to 3D TV in 2010. Its Full HD 3D System will be appearing in its 1080p 3D TV plasmas and Blu-ray players.
Panasonic's fingers will be firmly crossed that decent 3D content will actually be available next year to show it off.
Pronounced 'make dot believe', Sony's new brand identity glues its product ranges together in a sandwich of "creativity and innovation".
According to the press release: "'Believe' is the power of inspiration and 'make' is about crafting inspiration into products and experiences for our consumers. The 'dot' is the place where they meet – and where magic happens!"
Yes, Sony is being completely serious.
3. Digital Hearth
This is Panasonic's vision of a digital eco-system that's built around its Viera HD TVs. The idea is that you can seamlessly hook up a Panasonic HD Camcorder, a Panasonic Blu-ray deck or Lumix G camera to access your digital data.
While new Viera Cast technology will pull internet feeds to your TV screen. It's not a new idea. Panasonic floated the concept at CES in January.
4. Interactive TV
Couldn't Philips just call its 3D TV plans '3D TV'? Of course not. That said, its Interactive TV tag does go beyond 3D to encompass the whole Philips home cinema experience.
It includes the company's eye-catching 21:9 Cinema displays, its new Ambilight technology (now with more LEDs) and web connectivity via Philips Net TV.
If a gadget hasn't got a touchscreen these days, we're just not that interested. Hence the arrival of the Squeezebox Touch, Sony's new touchscreen X-Series Walkmans and full-screen touch phones like the Xperia X2. IFA has also seen the launch of the JournE touch tablet from Toshiba (below).
While 3D TV announcements have dominated IFA 2009, the technology isn't quite ready for prime time. Sony, Panasonic and Philips have all stated that 3D will be available next year, but are reluctant to say exactly when.
7. Active shutter glasses
Sony's 3D TV demos were based around a alternate frame sequencing display technology and required active-shutter LCD glasses to view the 3D effect.
Unlike a passive solution (using cheap polarised lenses), the Real D active shutter system uses "a lens that blocks each eye very rapidly, alternating left and right in sync with the image being shown on the screen, which creates the 3D image in your brain."
The good news: with active shutter glasses you get better, more realistic results than a polarised pair of specs. The bad news: active shutter technology is more expensive and requires batteries.
Soundbar, LED TV, Miss IFA...
Because the speakers on your average HD TV are generally weedy, Soundbars offer a complete surround sound system in an single, elongated super-speaker.
Philips has shown off its HTS8160 Soundbar with Ambisound at IFA, while Samsung has unveiled the HT-BD8200 Soundbar with a Blu-ray player built-in. LG also has its own all-in-one Blu-ray Soundbar, the HLB54S.
9. LED TV
Before IFA kicked off, we'd anticipated that the show floor would be buzzing about OLED. But despite the appearance of LG's 15-inch OLED TV, LED is proving far more popular with manufacturers.
Samsung is increasing its celebrated LED TV range from 32 inches up to 52 inches by the end of the year. Toshiba has announced the new Regza SV series, while LG's 'borderless' models (below) and the Philips Aurea all boast LED technology.
Toshiba finally threw in the HD DVD towel by cuddling up to the BDA and unveiling its first Blu-ray player (the BDX2000).
The word excitedly uttered by Avatar producer Jon Landau at the Panasonic press conference. "Avatar will evolutionise, not revolutionise," he said. "3D is not just about action movies. It is more engaging than that."
That's all very well, but is he describing the Avatar that we saw? The one with the giant blue pixies, Fern Gully plot and videogame action sequences? Evolutionise? Really?
12. All-day battery life
We could really get excited about laptop batteries that last all day. But it's easy to be sceptical when the reality is usually half as long.
13. Live Borderless
If you want make your HD TV stand out from the crowd it needs a gimmick. A fancy lightframe perhaps or a glassy surround; a striking colour scheme or a revolutionary aspect ratio.
LG's approach can be see in its new borderless TVs, which have a special sheet of laminate film over the front surface of the TV, eliminating the line between the screen and the bezel. Nice.
14. Miss IFA
What better way to publicise a tech show than by draping a red-wigged beauty across a range of electronics equipment. She certainly livens up a washing machine or a coffee maker...
Liked this? Then check out The 9 hottest tech trends at IFA 2009
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