Infoporn: How Flatscreen TVs Get Cheaper

 

 

Like multicore computer chips, Android smartphones, and Starbucks coffee, LCD TVs are getting cheaper—and bigger—all the time. Inevitably, your brother-in-law’s new 55-inch TV cost less than the 48-inch model you bought two years ago. Why? Science! See, flat-panel displays are made by machines that print arrays of circuits on sheets of glass and then slice those sheets into screens like high tech brownies. And since 1999, those machines have increased in size by 800 percent. Thus, the Law of Big Glass: The larger the glass printer, the cheaper—or bigger—the TV.

In 1993, the industry-standard tool for “printing” display circuitry, a TFT-LCD deposition machine, could work with glass no bigger than about 18 inches square. Today, they can handle sheets that are 11 feet on a side—the size of a garage door—and just a millimeter thick. A 20-inch flatscreen TV cost $1,200 in 1999; it costs just $84 today.

The law applies to organic LED displays, too—which is great, since they’re brighter and more energy-efficient than LCDs. OLED screens use a related manufacturing process, and right now they’re printed on 4 x 5-foot sheets. But the Law of Big Glass says 55-inch OLEDs will someday go for less than $1,000 at Costco. By then you’ll probably want a tiny, ridiculously expensive holodeck.

Full story from Wired issue 19.05: Infoporn: How Flatscreen TVs Get Cheaper | Magazine.

Infoporn: How Flatscreen TVs Get Cheaper

Boxee Box Is an Endless Stream of Disappointment

Every day, 3.2 gajigabytes of streaming video are delivered straight to the screens of slackers like you and me, sitting at our desks at work and gawping at classic outtakes from The Muppet Show in 1979, re-creations of news events by creative Taiwanese animators, and adorably cute animal babies.

Why don’t we just take all that entertainment home and splash it up on our HDTV screens?

That’s the idea behind Boxee, which organizes web video for you, makes it easier to share with other people, and simplifies the browsing interface, so it’s better suited for when you’re sitting on the couch.

Boxee has existed as software for over a year now, and now it’s available as a $200 gadget, the Boxee Box.

Read the full review: Boxee Box Is an Endless Stream of Disappointment | Product Reviews | Wired.com.

Boxee Box Is an Endless Stream of Disappointment