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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 24, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Vizio co-founder: TV’s dead, welcome “Entertainment Displays”

“We are witnessing the demise of television,” Ken Lowe, VP and co-founder of bargain TV maker Vizio declared at the SID conference in Seattle this morning.

Lowe said television is being replaced by the “entertainment display” — devices that output high definition content, connect to the Internet and are increasingly built with LED lighting that uses about the same wattage as a light bulb.

Just don’t use the potentially confusing acronym “ED” for these things, he said.

Lowe had other pronouncements. Although 3-D content is getting lots of hype, there still isn’t much content so he’s expecting it won’t really take off until 2011.

In the meantime, the must-have feature on new TVs — “like 1080p was” — is now LED backlighting, which uses less power and enables thinner sets.

“2010 is the year of the LED backlight,” he said.

About a fifth of Vizio’s sets are now LED, but the mix should be 40 percent by year-end.

Helping make the transition are two new sets Lowe showed off — throwing down two price gauntlets for the world’s major TV makers represented at the show. They also illustrated the sort of “entertainment device” that’s replacing the usual TV (ED TVs?).

One was the M220NV, a 22-inch LED set with 802.11n Wi-Fi, 1080p resolution and Vizio’s suite of Internet applications, including Netflix, Flickr and social networking for $360. Lowe said it’s intended to be placed in kitchen, bedroom or other room in the house where it will be simple to connect wirelessly and access online content.

Later this year, Vizio is releasing a 55-inch LED set with 3-D, full HD, 480Hz refresh rate and Internet apps for “over $2,000,” he said. An image of it shown during his presentation:

DSCN1779.JPG

Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch TV research director, suggested earlier at the show that 2012 may be the year of LED — or at least the year that the majority of sets sold worldwide are LED lit. A slide from his presentation:

DSCN1737.JPG

Comments | Topics: 3D, Digital TV, digital TV

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