CEATEC - Sharp prototype ups high-resolution display ante

Sharp demonstrated this week a prototype of an LCD screen with higher resolution than existing LCD screens.

Sharp raised the bar for high-definition LCD (liquid crystal display) screens this week with the demonstration of 64-inch prototype with a resolution of 4,096 pixels by 2,160 pixels -- four times higher than current high-definition displays.

The screen, the first such prototype developed by Sharp, was on display at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan. While projection display systems have been developed that can match the resolution of Sharp's latest prototype, this is the first time that an LCD has been produced with a resolution this high, said Toshiyuki Matsumara, a company spokesman.

The Sharp prototype's resolution tops that of a screen demonstrated last year by Taiwan's Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. That display, unveiled last year in Yokohama, Japan, measured 56 inches across the diagonal and had a resolution of 3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels.

Sharp developed the prototype display to keep up with changes in the motion picture industry, Matsumara said. As studios move from film to digital media, resolutions will go higher and displays will need to keep up, he said.

Prototype display technologies have been a highlight of this year's Ceatec exhibition. Toshiba and Canon demonstrated a television with a 55-inch SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) screen. The screens, which offer higher contrast and lower power consumption than other flat-panel technologies, will enter production next year.

Japan's public broadcaster, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), showed a system it calls Super Hi-Vision that offers a 16:9 aspect ratio picture with 4,320 horizontal lines -- double that of Sharp's prototype. The NHK system, which has been demonstrated before, is still under development.

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