"The Future of LCD Is Not Over" -- Sharp Unveils Next-gen LCD TV

Aug 23, 2007
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics
"Creating the TV of the future," declares Katayama, president and COO of Sharp.
"Creating the TV of the future," declares Katayama, president and COO of Sharp.
[Click to enlarge image]
The thinnest portion is 20 mm thick. The thinnest model among Sharp's existing LCD TVs has a thickness of 81 mm.
The thinnest portion is 20 mm thick. The thinnest model among Sharp's existing LCD TVs has a thickness of 81 mm.
[Click to enlarge image]
The prototype features a luminance of 500 cd/m2. The contrast ratio is 3,000:1 in the external light of 200 lx. MPRT, which is the index of response time used for the measurement in consideration of motion blur, is 4 ms. Regarding the view angle performance, the contrast ratio is 5,000:1 when viewed at the angle of 45°. The top and side bezels are 20 mm and 25 mm wide, respectively.
The prototype features a luminance of 500 cd/m2. The contrast ratio is 3,000:1 in the external light of 200 lx. MPRT, which is the index of response time used for the measurement in consideration of motion blur, is 4 ms. Regarding the view angle performance, the contrast ratio is 5,000:1 when viewed at the angle of 45°. The top and side bezels are 20 mm and 25 mm wide, respectively.
[Click to enlarge image]
Although detailed technology is yet to be unveiled, LED is estimated to be used for the backlight. This photo is shot from the backside of the prototype. Red and blue lights can be seen.
Although detailed technology is yet to be unveiled, LED is estimated to be used for the backlight. This photo is shot from the backside of the prototype. Red and blue lights can be seen.
[Click to enlarge image]

"Are self-emission type displays such as OLED really going to be the next-generation displays?" Mikio Katayama, president & COO of Sharp Corp. asked the audience at the beginning of the press conference.

Katayama then went on to unveil the prototype of Sharp's next-generation LCD TV, which he claims is an "integration of the essence of the latest LCD technologies."

The prototype is a 52-inch, so-called full-HD product. Compared with the existing model, the performance characteristics relating to picture quality, thinness and environmental performance (power consumption) are significantly improved.

The prototype has a high contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and a wide color gamut of 150% of NTSC standard. The display unit measures as slim as 20 mm, and it is only 29 mm thick even at the thickest portion. It weighs as light as 25 kg. In regard to the environmental performance, the annual power consumption of the TV is 140 kWh, which is half that of the existing model.

Sharp believes the prototype to be the LCD TV that will completely transform living spaces. The company also developed a technology to transmit the video signal via millimeter wave and incorporated the technology into the prototype. The company intends to start volume production of this LCD TV when its new LCD production plant, which is planned for construction in Sakai City, Osaka, comes on-stream in March 2010.

"Performances will be further improved by the time volume production launches," Katayama said. "The next generation of LCD TVs will be led by LCD TVs themselves."

The main questions and answers are as follows:

Nikkei Electronics: What is the technical point that achieved the performances of the prototype?

Katayama: This LCD TV was not created by a single technology but was an integration of the cutting-edge technologies relating to backlight, color filter, TFT array, polarizer, etc. We would like to refrain from detailing the respective technologies at the moment.

Nikkei Electronics: Will the LCD panel be the flagship product at the new plant in Sakai City, Osaka?

Katayama: We announced the prototype today because we are now able to produce samples. We will strive to refine the technologies so that the product will be ready for commercialization in March 2010 when the plant will open. Meanwhile, we plan to sequentially incorporate some technologies used in this prototype in our other new products.

Nikkei Electronics: What is necessary for volume production?

Katayama: Mainly the establishment of technology for volume production.

Nikkei Electronics: Are you planning to make further advanced models, such as LCD TVs with wireless power sources, weighing less than 10 kg, etc., before the opening of the Sakai plant? Will it be in time?

Katayama: A very good suggestion. I am also requesting our development staff for that. As for the weight, 25 kg is not at all the limit. We will try to make it lighter and lighter. We also promote a reduction in power consumption. The specifications of the latest prototype are merely the passing point.

Nikkei Electronics: Do you think LCD will prevail over OLED in the market? Or will competition continue?

Katayama: As far as I see this prototype, it excels any other type of display in performances.