Even Higher High-Def TV Forecast

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YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- Flat-panel maker Chi Mei Optoelectronics is looking ahead to a day when high-definition is even better than it is now.

The Taiwanese company has developed a 47-inch LCD panel that has 1440 horizontal picture lines (current high-definition TVs have 720 or 1080 picture lines) and plans to put it into production next year, company representatives said at the FPD International 2006 exhibition here today.

Support for 1440 line video is included in the new HDMI 1.3 specification.

Second Large LCD

The display, which wasn't on show in Yokohama, is one of two large-size panels the company has developed that boast higher-than-high-definition resolution. The other, which made its debut at last year's show as a prototype, has just gone into mass production, said Vivian Chen, a senior manager in the company's TV business division.

The 56-inch widescreen set has a resolution of 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels, which gives it twice as many picture lines as current HDTV. That means the display boasts four times as many pixels as a panel found in a top-of-the-line HDTV.

The display isn't destined for the TV market but for specialist applications such as medical imaging, industrial and military use, Chen said. Such users are willing to pay a premium for higher-resolution displays. Chi Mei didn't disclose a price for the display panel.

Rival Panels

While Chi Mei was first with such a large-size, high-definition panel it's not the only company pursuing the market. At the Ceatec show earlier in October, Japanese flat-panel maker Sharp unveiled a prototype 64-inch panel with a resolution of 4096 pixels by 2160 pixels.

Sharp said it developed the prototype for the motion picture industry, where the move to digital film making is creating a demand for higher resolution displays on which editors and producers can view movies.

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