Sharp has thrown down the gauntlet to 3D TV manufacturers claiming that some of the biggest 3D plasma and LED offerings currently being sold in the Australian market are inferior to their new QuattronLED technology, which introduces a fourth colour to the traditional 3 colour RGB spectrum used by other manufacturers.
The biggest owner of LCD patents in the world and the only company capable of manufacturing 10th generation glass substrate for LCD TVs, Sharp currently manufacturers glass for several TV brands including Sony and Philips.
During a demonstration at the Osaka-based headquarters. SmartHouse was given an impressive demonstration of the new technology which is based on adding core colour component – yellow – to the usual RGB sub-pixels that make up a typical LCD TV picture.
While this sounds simple on paper, it’s actually taken Sharp around four years of development to get it right.
With the new Sharp technology yellows are suddenly richer; black is blacker and skin tones more natural as we were shown when Nicole Kidman kissed Hugh Jackman in the movie Australia.
Recent tests show that the new Sharp technology is delivering a 130 percent improvement in picture quality. In a comparison test with a leading Japanese plasma manufacturer’s product, 3D viewing fell to 82cd/m2, while a leading Korean manufacturer’s product currently on sale in Australia fell to 58cd/m2.
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New 4 colour Sharp Quattron right. Normal 3 colour left. Picture Taken by SmartHouse.
The biggest challenge Sharp has faced in trying to add a fourth sub-pixel has been the need to reduce the size of each sub-pixel in the LCD picture by a full quarter, so that full HD resolutions can be retained in all the screen sizes.
Among the new range is a 60 inch model that will go on sale in Australia in October. According to Mark Beard, National Marketing Manager at Sharp Australia, he will not mount special displays at retailers. “We don’t need to. All you have to do is sit this new TV smack bang in the middle of other vendor’s offerings and consumers will notice the difference. It is that impressive”.
During a presentation in Osaka yesterday Sharp engineers said that the new technology delivers a greater level of transparency, thus making it easier for the TV’s lighting to pass through than the red, green and blue pixels.
If light can be more easily transmitted through a four-colour pixel than it can through a normal RGB one, then you don’t need to drive the panel as hard to achieve good levels of brightness they said.
The most significant 3D performance boost achieved by adding the yellow sub-pixel, is in the area of colour response. Sharp said that the screen should be able to produce a significantly wider portion of the video colour spectrum because it has access to 1,000 additional colours than you would get with a normal 3-colour LCD TV.
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Richer Yellow shown on new Sharp Quattron TV right. 3 Colour RGB on left. Pictures taken by SmartHouse.
The extra transparency of the yellow-boosted Quattron pixel allows Sharp to show more shadow detailing during dark scenes than your average RGB LCD TVs.
Another key feature, claims Sharp, who is an environmentally conscious manufacturer of technology, is the reduction in power use, up to 38 percent claims the Japanese company. The model that I was shown yesterday had four HDMIs, a USB port able to play JPEGs and DivX HD files, an RS-232 control jack, and an Ethernet port for accessing files on a DLNA-enabled PC.
Currently Sharp Australia is in discussions to deliver IPTV content to their TVs in 2011. Missing was built-in Wi Fi.