Ultra HDTV technical standards agreed on, more pixels is a good thing


The high-definition pride of your living room may not want to hear it, but it looks like ultra high-definition TV (or UHDTV) has now taken another step towards reality. While shop-floor products remain years away, experts in the ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service have made several agreements on technical standards for your (next?) next TV purchase. Increasing pixel count in future sets is also expected to improve viewing angles on glasses-free 3D, which needs more dots to work its lenticular magic. 33 megapixels sounds like it should be enough to work with.

Ultra HDTV technical standards agreed on, more pixels is a good thing


LG Display set to triple OLED production capacity with $226m facility expansion, effects to be felt in 2011

By Vladislav Savov

As usual with OLED displays, we’re taking one step forward only to find there are hundreds more to go. LG has today officially announced a new $226 million investment in its OLED production facilities, which will markedly expand its ability to churn out ultrathin canvases of wonder. The not so good news, however, is that this production line is still being built — with a planned activation in the third quarter of 2010 — and the effects of the new cash infusion will not be felt until the second half of next year. Should you have the patience to endure such protracted roadmaps, you should be seeing a lot more from LG in the mobile display space — where Samsung currently holds the technological lead with its Super AMOLED screens — as well as the luxury TV market that already counts the 15-inch 15EL9500 among its numbers. The Korean manufacturer describes OLED screens as one of its “new growth engines,” alongside e-paper and solar cells, so even if we may consider development slow, it’s looking increasingly likely that OLED TVs will eventually make their way into the mainstream.



Hitachi touts “glasses-free” 3D display

By Trent Nouveau

Hitachi has reportedly unveiled details of a new 3D display for handheld electronic devices.

According to Kotaku, the 3.1″ screen features a parallax barrier and in-plane switching options that allows flat displays to appear three-dimensional with a relatively wide viewing angle.

“[However], Hitachi’s option does not highlight any touchscreen capabilities, in addition to being smaller and having less impressive brightness, making it a less impressive (or technically incompatible) screen option,” wrote Kotaku’s Michael McWhertor.

“Both Sharp’s and Hitachi’s displays feature 854 x 480 resolution, much higher than the standard Nintendo DS screens.”

It should be noted that Nintendo recently announced its “glasses-free” 3DS, which is expected to feature a force-feedback system, along with a screen size comparable to that of the DSI.

Although the Japanese-based company has thus far declined to provide technical specs or details, a number of publications have speculated that the image will be rendered on a screen with a thin sheet of lenses in front of the primary display panel.


‘Surround vision’ takes viewers beyond TV screen

MIT’s surround vision in action.  (Credit: MIT Labs)

Surround sound? That’s old technology. How about surround vision?

The folks at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new system called surround vision that can let you follow objects outside of your regular TV screen by viewing them on smartphones and handheld Internet devices. Imagine you’re watching a movie on your regular TV, and a car drives off the screen. You could follow and view that car as it drives away by looking at and pointing your smartphone or tablet in its direction.

The person leading this promising new project is Santiago Alfaro, a graduate student at the lab. To kick-start his testing, Alfaro attached a magnetometer to an existing handheld device. A type of digital compass, magnetometers are already used in smartphones like the iPhone to detect the direction the device is pointing. He then created the necessary software to sync the magnetometer with other sensors on the device.

After outfitting the handheld with motion sensors, Alfaro shot video on campus from three different angles–center, left, and right. Watching the TV screen straight on played video from the center. But by pointing the handheld to the left or right, Alfaro was able to view the footage shot from both side angles.

As a further test of the technology, Alfaro took advantage of the alternate takes found on many DVDs. He created a demo that let him switch between the final footage and the alternate takes and angles by changing the direction of the handheld device.

Though the technology may sound like it needs further development, it’s designed to work with existing Internet-enabled portable gadgets, including smartphones and tablets. Since a lot of today’s handheld devices already have magnetometers, no modifications would be necessary. Further, TV stations wouldn’t have to change their broadcasts or equipment, according to Alfaro and his adviser, Media Lab research scientist Michael Bove.

“In the Media Lab, and even my group, there’s a combination of far-off-in-the-future stuff and very, very near-term stuff, and this is an example of the latter,” said Bove in a news release Friday. “This could be in your home next year if a network decided to do it.”

The MIT researchers plan to test surround vision on other users this spring and summer using content developed by Boston Public TV and other partners. They’re keen to try it out on sporting events and live TV shows since those broadcasts already shoot footage from different angles. Even crime shows like “CSI” could benefit from the surround vision, said Bove, by letting people view what the medical examiners see when they peer through a microscope.

Follow link for Video Demo ->http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20002246-1.html?tag=newsEditorsPicksArea.0

HDI to reveal laser-driven HD 3D TV

A prototype of HDI’s 3D 100-inch 2D/3D stereoscopic 1080p television system

By Darren Quick

With the TV heavyweights unleashing a torrent of 3D LCD and plasma TVs upon us this year it would be easy to assume that those are the only technologies capable of providing 3D viewing in the home. A small Los Gatos, California-based startup called HDI is out blow such assumptions out of the water with what it says is a superior 3D alternative. By all reports the company’s laser-driven 100-inch 2D/3D Switchable Dynamic Video Projection Television delivers a stunning 3D picture, thanks in part to its boasting the highest refresh rate of any mass-produced television or projector.

Laser TVs aren’t new, and although they’ve attracted praise for their impressive picture quality and energy efficiency, they haven’t really set the world on fire in the sales department. HDI is hoping to change that with its laser-driven 3D offering. HDI says its display delivers a 2D image with a 50 percent greater resolution than today’s digital cinemas and derives its high definition stereoscopic 1920 x 1080p “3D” image quality from two RGB laser-illuminated Liquid Crystal on Silcon (LCOS) micro display imagers.

At full 1080p HD, the HDI Ltd. screen refreshes at 360 fields per-second on each eye. According to the company this high refresh rate eliminates the adverse effects, such as migraines, dizziness, and nausea, long associated with substandard 3D display technology. For conversion of 2D content to 3D HDI TVs will utilize real time converter technology from HDlogix.

The Technology

The projection technology that can be found in HDI’s TV’s, as well as it’s projection systems, relies on three low wattage lasers that transmit laser light, (red, green and blue), to a controller via fiber optic cables. This controller combines the different colors to sends a full-color image through prisms that separate the laser lights into two channels – one for each eye. Two LCoS imagers then capture the high definition 3D images and they’re ready for projection.

The two overlapping images are projected at a rate of 360 frames per second for each color for a grand total of 1080 images per second – far greater even than the 480Hz LED 3DTV unveiled by LG last month. In another point of difference to the current crop of 3D TVs being released the HDI offering can be viewed using passive polarized glasses instead of the more expensive active shutter glasses. And an added bonus of using lasers is that energy consumption can be kept down to less than 200 watts for a 100-inch set.

Initially HDI had hoped to license its 3D technology to existing TV manufacturers but no one was interested so HDI decided to start a TV company and produce the sets itself. It will be aiming its 100-inch TV at high-end, custom install users as well as corporate boardrooms, studios and sports bars.

High Praise

HDI’s 3D solution has already been attracting high praise from those who have been lucky enough to witness it in person. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers, calls HDI Ltd., “Without a doubt, the best demonstration of 3D technology I have ever seen,” Technology journalist Richard Hart states, “The smoothest yet, and smoothness means no headaches,” and Sean Portnoy of ZDNet.com, wrote, “We could be looking at a Holy Grail of sorts for the next generation of television.”

If you’re one of the fortunate ones to be attending NAB 2010 in Las Vegas later this month then you can decide whether the accolades are well founded as HDI will be debuting its laser-driven 100-inch 2D/3D Switchable Dynamic Video Projection Television there. Everyone else will have to wait until the HDI 3D sets start appearing in high-end AV retailers. There’s no word of when that is expected to happen or how much the new TVs will be when they do.


New glasses-free 3D tech uses per pixel prisms for zero crosstalk, audience flexibility

By Sean Hollister

Try as manufacturers might, attempts at autostereoscopic (glasses-free) TV have been subpar; existing tech typically makes for messy images due to ghosting, only provides a 3D effect if you’re standing in one of a very few predetermined spots (usually 8-10 viewing angles, though we’ve heard of 64), and reduces display resolution — all because only some pixels can be seen from each spot. With the occasional exception, it’s not terribly impressive. Scientists at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan are looking to change that. Rather than block light with a parallax barrier, their screen uses a matrix of specially cut prisms to reflect it, reducing ghosting to nil and maintaining display resolution by sending the same image to each viewer. Though there are still a fixed number of viewing zones, the prisms are so tiny that manufacturers can simply add more prisms to each pixel to increase that number — with 11 prisms per pixel, researchers say such a system could support 100 simultaneous 3D moviegoers. We’ve no word on whether the tech is affordable or when we’ll see it, but we expect it to handily beat cyborg eyeballs to market.



LG unveils world’s first full LED 3D TV

Future’s so bright for Senior Vice President and CEO of LG Electronics, Korea, Kyoung-joon Park, and (left) Executive Vice President and head of the LCD division of LG, Havis Kwon, as they show off the new 3D LED LX9500

By Darren Quick

LG has unveiled what is the sure to be the first of many LED TVs to get the 3D treatment. The LX9500 is illuminated by panels of LEDs directly behind the screen for local dimming, with the 55-inch model alone boasting 1,200 of the semiconductor light sources. The LEDs help the TV achieve a 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio while sporting an ultra-thin 22.3mm (less than 1 inch) deep body with a stylish 16mm super-narrow bezel.

Other features of the full HD 1080p set include TruMotion 400Hz (480Hz), NetCast support, Wireless AV Link and HDMI 1.4. Video calling using Skype is possible with an optional video camera, and the unit is DLNA ready with an optional DLNA dongle. The LX9500 uses active shutter glasses that can be recharged via USB for up to 40 hours of uninterrupted viewing pleasure – after which you should probably toddle off to bed.

The LX9500 can also play HD DivX, MP3, JPEG play and MPO files through its USB port. The low profile bezel hides the unit’s 10W + 10W + 5W “Invisible Speakers” and the set includes LG’s Clear Voice II technology to help clean up dialogue.

Coming in 47- and 55-inch versions, the LX9500 is part of LG’s INFINIA 3D line and will first be available in Korea, followed by North America, Europe and other key markets by early May.