Wednesday, January 24, 2007
As television screens needed to watch modern High Definition Television are expected to drop down to prices that make them more universally appealing to consumers, a new television technology is emerging which could eventually take its place. Chi Mei Optoelectronics in Taiwan has recently produced an LCD screen that far exceeds that of the best high definition television screens on the market today.
Chi Mei's 56 inch LCD screen has a resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 which gives it four times the resolution of normal high definition television. Because it has four times the number of pixels of a normal high definition television set, the technology has been named "Quad High Definition Television." The screen has a luminance of 600 nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The 16:9 aspect ration of normal high definition television has been carried over to this screen so that it can display the video from four high definition television channels all at once at full resolution.
In fact, one type of the major potential consumers that this product is aimed at is people who want to do exactly that: watch the video from four high definition television channels at full resolution all at once. The Director of Chi Mei Optoelectronics LCD TV division, Chen Li Yi, insists that there are people are willing to pay whatever is necessary in order to get a television screen capable of such a feat.
Considering that the Quad High Definition is likely to cost about ten thousand dollars for the LCD screen alone- not including supporting electronics- when it goes on the market next year, there's obviously only a limited market for such a product. Fortunately for Chi Mei Optoelectronics though, such a product has potential applications for security and medical imaging, and even for military uses.
Like all new technologies Quad High Definition Television does have some hurdles to get over though. For example the screen has such a high resolution that the any image displayed on it at full definition requires a data transmission rate of about 1.4 Gigabytes every second which requires special imaging processing technology that's not very well developed at present. While Chi Mei has a working prototype, the production process will have to vastly improve before it will be efficient to mass produce.
While the idea of a television screen that has four times the resolution of today's high definition standard might seem to some a little excessive at this point, it bears consideration that there's already a television format that has four times the resolution of Quad High Definition Television. Because it has sixteen times the resolution of normal high definition, perhaps it should be called Hexadecimal High Definition, but the Japanese broadcasting company that created it calls it Super Hi-Vision. Super Hi-Vision has the same 16:9 aspect ratio as High Definition and Quad High Definition, but it has 4,320 horizontal lines of resolution.
Another hurdle that Quad High Definition Television will have to jump over is competition in the market place. Considering that people are still wowed by normal High Definition Television, Quad High Definition LCD screens will be so much more expensive, and there isn't any programming in the Quad High Definition format; Quad High Definition Television will probably face some pretty stiff competition from normal high definition television among normal consumers. Then there's also the competition from other technologies that seek to go beyond normal high definition television. Three Dimensional Television could be a stiff competitor with its "Wow" factor. At least Super Hi-Vision is far enough off on the horizon as not to be a source of competition.
Whatever the outcome, television enthusiasts can expect to see a variety of new television formats arising to replace normal High Definition Television in the years and decades ahead.