Sharp shows off true 100K contrast ratio LCDs at 1" thick

Sharp shows off true 100K contrast ratio LCDs at 1" thick

Summary: On day 3 of my CES experience, I saw two prototype LCDs at Sharp's booth that absolutely knocked me on my behind. The two one inch thick LCDs at 52" and 65" diagonal size stood prominently at the middle of Sharp's massive booth showing off 100,000 to 1 contrast ratios and a massive NTSC color gamut of 150%.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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On day 3 of my CES experience, I saw two prototype LCDs at Sharp's booth that absolutely knocked me on my behind. The two one inch thick LCDs at 52" and 65" diagonal size stood prominently at the middle of Sharp's massive booth showing off 100,000 to 1 contrast ratios and a massive NTSC color gamut of 150%. If I had to describe to you what this level of color gamut means, it's like looking at backlit film slides.

When I first read the specifications on the sign, I thought it was simply some another one of those inflated contrast ratio scores and perhaps this is why the press has largely ignored these two displays in their CES coverage. Everyone simply got use to those figures since LCD and Plasma vendors slap these ridiculously inflated dynamic contrast ratios of 100,000 or even 1,000,000 on their wares. But when I spoke to Sharp's product marketing, they explained that 100,000 to 1 was the true native (static) contrast ratio. This was hard to believe since most LCDs have native contrast ratios between 800 or 1500 to 1. I asked how this was possible and Sharp simply explained that this was their brand new technology. By comparison, Panasonic's latest Plasma technology due later this year "only" has a native contrast ratio of 30,000 to 1 which was absolutely amazing in its own right.

Then I looked closer at the video of planet earth in the pitch black space and indeed the blacks were pitch black while the earth glowed brightly. The contrast ratio in conjunction with the super wide color gamut made the picture absolutely stunning. Never mind that these were approximately 1" thick displays; I would have been fine if it were 10" thick if I could get this kind of color and contrast ratio. I guess everyone was fixated on the massive Sharp 108" LCD that these sub 70" beauties were overlooked.

The power consumption of this LCD wasn't given, but LCDs are relatively efficient compared to their Plasma counter parts at a given size. When this technology could be made in to a product isn't clear. I was initially told that it would be available later this year but the product marketing person later declined to say when it would be a product. As far as I'm concerned, I hope it's sooner rather than later.

Topic: Hardware

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13 comments
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  • In the Market for a new TV?

    Are you ready to retire your DLP display, or are you just amazed by the new and improved.

    I would definitely be impressed if any monitor offered such contrast. I am sure that looked very rich. I am curious about the pricing of this.

    I am still in the market for a new TV, but I figure I will wait until my old CRT TV dies.
    nucrash
    • It'd be great if the new Sharp HDTV costs less than $2000.

      Besides, [url=http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Mitsubishi-57-DLP-HDTV-WD-Y577/sem/rpsm/oid/186037/catOid/-12870/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do]Mitsubishi 57" DLP HDTV[/url] costs $1799 (after $100 savings at the time of writing).

      But then, I have doubts about the cost of Sharp LCD monitor. :(
      Grayson Peddie
      • No doubt it will be the most expensive LCD per inch

        No doubt it will be the most expensive LCD per inch, but it will be worth it. It's like a fine piece of art and the image quality is like jewelry. I can't wait till this technology trickles down though.
        georgeou
        • Then DLP/LCoS is my only solution.

          :(

          I can't wait to get rid of my 32" LCD HDTV and get a 50"+ HDTV, as I dislike the backlighting. It makes very-dark scenes look very gray to me, even if I optimize the picture settings.

          I could go with Plasma, but even with advanced anti-burn technology, I don't think it's suitable for any computers or video games with static lables and graphics.
          Grayson Peddie
          • Try DLP

            I think you will like what you see, and the price for DLP is considerably cheaper.
            BitTwiddler
          • Try this...

            http://reviews.cnet.com/projection-tvs/sony-kds-55a3000/4505-6484_7-32468848.html?tag=txt

            I picked one up for under $1500 and since then Sony has announced that they are no longer making rear projection sets. So the price shold drop like a rock.
            slopoke
    • When I'm ready to retire my DLP...

      I'll be getting another DLP. Overall they are the best value by far and have GREAT pictures.
      BitTwiddler
      • I have a DLP too, and the picture is OK

        But like all DLP projection, there is some geometry distortion and the edges are cut off. Photographs off of a computer looked terrible over a DVI to HDMI connection. I managed to calibrate the graphics card a little bit but it was still not great. Also, the display is supposedly 1080p but the HDMI connection only takes an interlaced signal.
        georgeou
  • Agreed, DLP is the best for....

    the money spent. We bought a Samsung 61" back in aut4(04) and after some initial work replacing the MB with a larger cooling fan we've had no problems since. We just replaced the initial bulb late last year so we got some pretty good hours. The colors are just stunning! We are looking to buy another only bigger. You owe it to yourself to check out DLP before buying. It's just too bad they cannot be mounted on a wall. Ok, so I am a little bias!
    fredfarkwater@...
  • George how does the contrast compare with the OLEDs?

    Just curious if you had a comment about the OLED tv's...
    Johnny Vegas
    • This is probably the highest contrast ratio on any device I've seen

      This is probably the highest contrast ratio on any device I've seen. LCD wasn't supposed to have higher contrast ratio and they're typically in the 800 to 1500 range, but this one is just outrageous. Sharp is heavily invested in LCDs and they're one of the few companies that actually makes the LCD glass substrates.
      georgeou
  • RE: Sharp shows off true 100K contrast ratio LCDs at 1

    So, I guess this would match or even beat perhaps the prototype Pioneer Kurios? I read they were way better than even their current models, but maybe a year or 2 away it seems.

    How were the viewing angles? I still have to wonder about the reliability of an LCD over its life. Does the backlighting stay even, pixels get stuck/ go out, do colors fade over time, etc. I don't know but am curious.

    These sound great, and to be a huge advancement for LCD and HDTV quality in general.
    TimeZone
    • Colors stayed true at extreme angles.

      LCD pixels usually don't go bad during usage in my experience. You either get a bad LCD when you first get the unit or you don't.

      Dead pixels (if there are only a few) isn't that big an issue. I'd rather use a nicer LCD with a few dead pixels than a flawless LCD with poor color gamut, poor contrast, and poor viewing angles.
      georgeou