Sharp Ups the Ante with $50k LCD Rear Projector
The LC-R60HDU combines three 2.6-inch-wide continuous-grain silicon TFT LCD panels, each of them (red, green, and blue) containing 1.31 million pixels (1280x1024), for what the company calls the "most lifelike digital images, with higher resolution, increased brightness, and superior contrast than conventional projection systems." The unit's exceptional brightness is the result of proprietary optoelectronic techniques developed by Sharp's LCD labs, including a patented double-lamp system. "CG-Silicon's thin-film transistors also provide greater light transmissivity through each pixel on the LCD panels, enabling more light to pass through to the viewer," states a press release announcing the new projector. "The result is brighter images than ever before seen on a rear projector, even in ambient light conditions."
The LC-R60HDU is said to exhibit a high level of color purity throughout the entire screen without sacrificing brightness. A 400:1 contrast ratio, achieved by Sharp's ultra-fast-switching pixel technology, provides a "whole new level of video realism." The LC-R60HDU displays exceptional detail even in very dark or light scenes, with no interline noise on the scanning lines and no flicker. Sharp claims that much of the improvement in the picture quality is due to CG-Silicon's "atomic-level continuity at the boundary between the silicon grain . . . enabling electrons to travel through the semiconductor approximately 600 times faster than [through] an amorphous silicon TFT."
The expensive new display is a harbinger of better—and cheaper—things to come as GC-Silicon technology finds its way into more products. Flexible thin-film transistors will enable the creation of a new generation of display panels with embedded driver circuits, which should boost performance and reliability while reducing production costs. "Sharp is ushering in a new era of digital image-display technology with the introduction of CG-Silicon,'' said Robert P. Scaglione, associate VP of Sharp's home digital division. "We believe CG-Silicon will serve as the foundation for developing such innovative products as paper-thin multimedia laptops and credit-card-sized communications tools and devices. Sharp also plans to apply this technology to a new line of display products in the near future.''