[opendtv] Re: Barriers eroding to LCD TV adoption

  • From: jeroen.stessen@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 09:02:17 +0200


John Golitsis:
>> You'd have a real hard time convincing me that making a 36" glass tube
>> building that into a CRT is less expensive than making an LCD display of
>> same size.  I'd be interested in any real information you might have on
>> this.

Craig Birkmaier:
> Perhaps you should consult someone who is in the business. All I can
> tell you is that from my knowledge of the processes, the CRT will
> cost significantly less to manufacture.

I have asked yesterday. Samsung is planning to build a generation
8 LCD factory (the first), starting construction in 2006. This can
process glass "wafers" of 2.3m x 2.6m. They will invest 3 BILLION US
dollars in it. How's that for a capital investment ?! Be sure that
they will want to earn that money back, in only a few years time.

Don't forget that LCD manufacturing requires clean room conditions.
It costs money to move large objects through ultra-clean space,
and to do processing to them that is uniform over the entire area.
Processing glass plates of this huge size can only be done for
amorphic silicon. There can't be a breakthrough in large size OLED
display manufacturing until a way has been found to move from low-
temperature polysilicon to amorphic. At least one company has just
found such way. The machines for larger size LTPS are simply not
available at any price. Everything is hugely expensive in the LCD
(and OLED) business...

There is of course price erosion in the LCD market. Which is why
they have to keep building bigger factories for bigger glass plates,
because the cost per display area will go down this way. And that
is how we have come to enjoy direct-view LCDs of 55" diagonal size.
These are still largely for boasting on shows, but will ultimately
also arrive in the living room. The 1920x1080p picture is fabulous.

It may be obvious that for such large sizes there is stiff
competition from rear projectors, nowadays not based on small CRTs
but on (matrix) microdisplays (DLP, LTPS-LCD and LCoS). The depth
of the cabinet can be very much reduced, think of 10% of the
diagonal, so for practical purposes they can be "flat panels" too.

Then the TV market will be divided _approximately_ as follows:
-  up to 37": CRT and LCD,
- 37" to 47": LCD and plasma,
- 47" to 61": plasma and R-PTV MD,
- above  61": F-PTV MD.

It has been investigated that the market accepts that a flat panel
is 2.0-2.5 times more expensive than an equal size CRT display.
Personally I don't quite understand how this can be so.

-- Jeroen (writing this in front of a 20" UXGA CRT monitor).
| From:     Jeroen H. Stessen | E-mail:   Jeroen.Stessen@xxxxxxxxxxx  |
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