Video Calibration Q&A - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #31 of 77 Old 01-04-10, 09:09 PM
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

Perhaps, but I always assume that increase time = increased development costs = increase production price... ROI and all... no?

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post #32 of 77 Old 01-04-10, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

Selling price is whatever the market agrees to pay, and time-to-market is a critical piece of that puzzle. As a result, many manufacturers may not be able to spend the incremental cycles trying to get the engineering right while they are busy pushing next year's model through the development pipe.

As I said, the increased cost usually isn't reflected in the BOM (i.e., the components and assembly costs), but in the cost of development itself.

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post #33 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 07:47 AM
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

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Selling price is whatever the market agrees to pay, and time-to-market is a critical piece of that puzzle. As a result, many manufacturers may not be able to spend the incremental cycles trying to get the engineering right while they are busy pushing next year's model through the development pipe.

As I said, the increased cost usually isn't reflected in the BOM (i.e., the components and assembly costs), but in the cost of development itself.
Well, this is getting off-topic, but if MFRs can't get the volume they need at the price they need to recoup the cost of the development itself, the business model isn't viable. The return must recoup the investment. Whether it's reflected in the BOM is immaterial. The BOM is just the beginning of costing a product.

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post #34 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

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Well, this is getting off-topic, but if MFRs can't get the volume they need at the price they need to recoup the cost of the development itself, the business model isn't viable. The return must recoup the investment. Whether it's reflected in the BOM is immaterial. The BOM is just the beginning of costing a product.
It's very much material, pardon the pun. BOM costs are roughly equivalent to variable costs, whereas development engineering costs are fixed (insensitive to volume). Given that a lot of display development is done as assembly and integration, especially at the low-end of the market, if you can trace the components back to their source, you can probably find a vendor who is "not doing it right" and then extrapolate to other, similar displays using the same chipsets.

After all, this tangent was started as a theoretical question that kept trying to get back into the specifics of what's available in the market.

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post #35 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 02:09 PM
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

Very punny. You do make some good points. But even so, I was asking more about the higher end of the market. Also, would the chipsets from companies "doing it right" not cost more, as in why else would chipsets "doing it wrong" get bought? Unless the lower cost MFRs don't bother testing whether it's right or wrong, but that again implies the ones who do would have higher development costs...

I suppose at some point, to avoid this going further OT, I'll have to simply accept what you're saying even though it doesn't make sense to me...

Maybe I should start a new thread to discuss this further. I really don't want to cloud the otherwise-very-useful "calibration" thread with this talk...

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post #36 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

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Very punny. You do make some good points. But even so, I was asking more about the higher end of the market. Also, would the chipsets from companies "doing it right" not cost more, as in why else would chipsets "doing it wrong" get bought? Unless the lower cost MFRs don't bother testing whether it's right or wrong, but that again implies the ones who do would have higher development costs...

I suppose at some point, to avoid this going further OT, I'll have to simply accept what you're saying even though it doesn't make sense to me...

Maybe I should start a new thread to discuss this further. I really don't want to cloud the otherwise-very-useful "calibration" thread with this talk...
This thread has been relatively lightly traveled, so I don't mind going into a bit more detail. The higher-end companies have, often, done their own in-house engineering work, while the lower-end companies basically buy "kits" and assemble them (this is gross oversimplification, but work with me...). If I'm a Sanyo or Westinghouse or Vizio, then I buy a package from someone like Sigma, who then gets to spread its own engineering talent around a lot of different models from a lot of different OEMs. Conversely, if I'm someone like Sharp or Panasonic, then I (might) use internally-developed sub-assemblies (e.g., Uniphier) and spread those over large swathes of my product range. At that point, developing a specific model is about setting options in a firmware platform and tying it to the hardware.

Who gets caught out in the above business/development models were companies like Fujitsu or Pioneer who had low volume AND did a lot of custom development. Those manufacturers are basically all gone now.

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post #37 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 03:34 PM
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

Ah. So what makes the difference (sometimes at least) is the MFR making a conscious decision to disable or not use certain things they've developed as an excuse to offer a lower grade product at a lower price point, or basically positioning. I have no problem buying that (pardon my own pun). But don't they tend to roll out improved processing/features in the higher end sets first, and after a while (year or more) bring those down to the lower end models once they have something better for their high end models, in effect charging more for the best or most up to date stuff, and isn't that equivalent to the "early adopters" of said improvements paying for the proprietary costs?

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post #38 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

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Ah. So what makes the difference (sometimes at least) is the MFR making a conscious decision to disable or not use certain things they've developed as an excuse to offer a lower grade product at a lower price point, or basically positioning. I have no problem buying that (pardon my own pun). But don't they tend to roll out improved processing/features in the higher end sets first, and after a while (year or more) bring those down to the lower end models once they have something better for their high end models, in effect charging more for the best or most up to date stuff, and isn't that equivalent to the "early adopters" of said improvements paying for the proprietary costs?
Now we really do start going off the reservation. Don't necessarily mistake a generalized firmware process as either a) the only way to develop a TV set, or b) necessarily being solely a software process. In many cases, you not only "turn off" something in software, but entire sub-assemblies are then not included in hardware. If you pull the boards out of a TV, you can often find "blank" soldering pads and even connectors where something might have gone to create a higher-end TV.

As for early adopters paying higher prices, that's basically a given. The question is how much for what features. I am distinctly not a fan of the 240Hz LCDs, but for other people they are a must-have item. The way semiconductor manufacturing works, those panels might undergo exactly the same manufacturing steps to create "the glass" as a panel that only targets a 60Hz refresh rate, but since it passes a tighter quality check at the end, it gets "binned" into the 240Hz stack. The economic cost is the same, but because of the miracle of the bell curve and supply/demand, people pay more for it. The company producing it may then load more of the "costs" of production onto that panel, rather than another one, but the economic processing through a certain point would be similar.

The above is a GROSS oversimplification of semiconductor (and LCD panel) production processes, but you get the idea. The biggest misconception that many people have of "digital" electronics is that binary math rules everything -- that all things electronic are exactly the same (1 or 0) when they are built. Such a concept doesn't hold up anywhere along the production chain, which is why you have "binning" and why, wait for it, copying settings from one display to another is more likely to be wrong than it is to be right.

How's that for getting us back on topic?

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post #39 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 05:31 PM
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

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In many cases, you not only "turn off" something in software, but entire sub-assemblies are then not included in hardware. If you pull the boards out of a TV, you can often find "blank" soldering pads and even connectors where something might have gone to create a higher-end TV.
But that would bring us back to a real BOM difference.
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As for early adopters paying higher prices, that's basically a given. The question is how much for what features. I am distinctly not a fan of the 240Hz LCDs, but for other people they are a must-have item. The way semiconductor manufacturing works, those panels might undergo exactly the same manufacturing steps to create "the glass" as a panel that only targets a 60Hz refresh rate, but since it passes a tighter quality check at the end, it gets "binned" into the 240Hz stack. The economic cost is the same, but because of the miracle of the bell curve and supply/demand, people pay more for it. The company producing it may then load more of the "costs" of production onto that panel, rather than another one, but the economic processing through a certain point would be similar.
Ah, similar to the precision resistors I try to avoid designing in where I can avoid it...
Quote:
Such a concept doesn't hold up anywhere along the production chain, which is why you have "binning" and why, wait for it, copying settings from one display to another is more likely to be wrong than it is to be right.

How's that for getting us back on topic?
Bravo, Maestro! I actually saw that coming just a few seconds early, but kudos nonetheless!

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post #40 of 77 Old 01-05-10, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Video Calibration Q&A

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But that would bring us back to a real BOM difference.
I didn't say that there wasn't a cost difference between more fully-featured sets vs. more basic sets. I only said that having a properly-engineered color decoder didn't necessarily require more expensive components, merely more expensive engineers. Given the economies of scale, I doubt that there are too many companies cranking out cheap sets using proprietary solutions, but I don't claim to know the entire market.

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