High-Def TV: How High Can You Go?
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- Taiwan's Chi Mei Optoelectronics has developed a flat-panel display that boasts four times the resolution of today's high-definition television sets, it said today.
The 56-inch LCD panel has a resolution of 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels, which is double both the horizontal and the vertical resolutions of a high-definition set, so it has four times the number of pixels. The display, which has a 1000:1 contrast ratio and a luminance of 600 nits, was unveiled at the FPD International exhibition that began here today.
Chi Mei Optoelectronics faced several challenges in developing the panel, said Chen Li Yi, director of CMO's LCD TV business division.
The first involved the electronic circuitry needed to drive the panel. Due to the LCD's high resolution, the data transmission rate for the image is about 1.4GB per second, which is much higher than the rate for current panels and required the use of expensive image-processing technology. Moving toward commercialization, the company hopes to reduce the essential components to a smaller number of dedicated integrated circuits.
Mastering the manufacturing process was and remains a problem, said Chen. Getting a defect-free sample to unveil here proved a challenging task for CMO and the low yield rate of usable panels from its production line is one reason why commercialization is about a year away.
Costly at First
The panel is expected to be available in the third quarter next year, and at first it won't be cheap, said Chen. He said that CMO hopes to sell the panel for about $10,000 at its debut. The price of products based on the panel will be higher.
Applications include a television for TV junkies who want to watch four high-definition channels at the same time in full resolution, said Chen. "Some people want such a TV no matter what the price," he said.
Other applications include medical imaging, security, and military systems, he said.
Futuristic as the panel may seem for consumer TV applications, researchers have already experimented with even higher-resolution technology.
Japan's public broadcaster, Nippon Hoso Kyokai, has developed a system it calls Super Hi-Vision that offers a 16:9 aspect-ratio picture with 4320 horizontal lines--4 times the resolution of CMO's new panel and 16 times that of current high-definiton panels. NHK has demonstrated the system several times, though its commercial deployment remains many years away.