Mitsubishi Shows Off 40mm-thick LCD TV

Aug 20, 2008
Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics

Mitsubishi Electric Corp developed an LCD TV whose display is separated from the tuner and as thin as 40mm.

The TV has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p (full HD). The company did not unveil the specifications such as the display size, the surface luminance and the contrast ratio. The company plans to roll out the product based on this prototype in fall 2008.

The display size of the product will be 40 inches or larger, the company said. "Ultrathin" LCD TVs based on similar techniques have already been commercialized by Hitachi Ltd and Sharp Corp.

Mitsubishi's new TV uses uncompressed wireless communications to transmit video signals between the display and the tuner. Built-in wireless transmission units are provided in both the display and the tuner.

When asked about the communication standard and the frequency bandwidth used, Mitsubishi declined to answer. The communication distance is up to 30m, which is sufficient for indoor use, the company said.

Wireless High-Definition Interface (WHDI) and Wireless HD are known communication standards that can transmit uncompressed full HD image signals. The former is being formulated by Amimon Ltd of Israel, while the latter is being standardized by SiBEAM Inc, Sony Corp, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, Toshiba Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd of Korea.

To reduce the display thickness to 40mm, the company reportedly nearly halved the thickness of the LCD panel module, power circuit and inverter, etc, when compared with those used in the company's existing products. The panel module was jointly developed with a LCD panel manufacturer, according to Mitsubishi.

Seven new models also released

Prior to the market debut of the 40mm-thick LCD TV, Mitsubishi will also release seven new models to be added to the REAL LCD TV series. They are slated for launch in order from Sept 1, 2008. The company aims to "sell about 300,000 units a year" in a total of seven models.

The MZW series, which is the higher-end line, comes in 46- and 40-inch models. They have a design well-suited for the living room, according to Mitsubishi. When used with the "wall-side stand," the distance between the wall and the front surface of the TV is only 92mm.

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In addition, these models have narrow bezels, ie, about 23mm on the 46-inch model and 22mm on the 40-inch model. The main units of both models are 80mm thick.

The company also developed an optical fiber unit to connect the TV with a Blu-ray (BD) or HDD recorder. It added a feature to make the cables unobtrusive. The expected retail prices of the 46- and 40-inch models are about ¥400,000 (approx US$3,629) and about ¥300,000, respectively.

Mitsubishi touted that the picture and sound qualities of the new LCD TVs were significantly improved. For example, the contrast ratio when images are displayed is enhanced to 15,000:1 by controlling the backlight luminance depending on the image on the screen. The LCD panel of the new TVs employs the VA display mode.

The color gamut is 120% NTSC standard (calculated based on the comparison of areas on the u'v' chromaticity diagram). The company developed the image processing engine to enable 16-bit grayscale. Furthermore, the new TVs can effectively generate low-pitched sound by the diaphragm installed in front side of the speaker, the company said.

Vertical angle of the 19-inch model adjustable by remote control

As for the middle- to lower-end lines, the MXW series comes in 42- and 37- inch models, while the MX series consists of 32- and 26-inch models. The ATL series offers a 19-inch model. The expected retail prices of the 42-, 37-, 32-, 26- and 19-inch models are ¥280,000, ¥230,000, ¥130,000, ¥120,000 and ¥100,000, respectively.

The 19-inch model is equipped with an "Auto Tilt" function to adjust the vertical angle of the display by remote control. The adjustable angle is 10° up or down. The MZW, MXW and ATL series have an "Auto Turn" function to adjust the horizontal angle of the display by approximately 30° to the right or left.