Our final report from the IFA gadget show in Berlin
HD TV is the main story at Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show this year, with huge high-definition screens everywhere – plus a load of high-def hard-drive recorders, media centers, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players and even an announcement that the 2006 World Cup will be broadcast in hi-def by German satellite company Premiere.
Meanwhile Thomson was previewing its ultracool mobile digital-terrestrial set-top box with built-in antenna and 4.3in LCD screen (pictured above). The DTI 0601 is expected in the UK before Christmas at around £300.
But a number of manufacturers are also proudly showing off what they believe to be the step beyond digital broadcasting and hi-def. Sharp, Grundig and Philips are among the big boys who are wowing the crowds with 3D displays. These screens that change depending on your viewing angle – giving the sort of approximation of 3D that you get from those old lenticular postcards and rulers (see Sharp's display here). It’s a great show-stopping technology, but it’s hard to believe it’s ever going to be huge in the real world… at least, not in its current form.
On the other hand, hidden in the corner of Philips’ football pitch-sized stand is a new technology that undoubtedly will change the world – the foldable display. The idea is that small devices such as mobile phones can have wrap-around polymer displays that fold out to give a screen big enough for web browsing or movie viewing. At the moment they’re only black and white, but that doesn’t stop em from being very, very impressive – check out our video of the display being unfurled here . It's the future, don't you know.