While flat-panel displays and LCD TVs taking prominence in the DTV market, its interesting how companies are looking to improve these display technologies. Right now, in screen sizes of 37-inch and above, 1080p is dominating sales of new HDTVs. At the same time, manufacturing are looking to improve inherent defects in the displayed image. For 2007, more and LCD TVs are including 120Hz refresh rates to eliminate judder or image lagging in fast-paced scenes. Up until recently, TV manufacturers had been looking to improve screen refresh rates with some displays being down to 4milli-seconds. LED backlighting, however, looks to become a key feature in 2008 sets to improve brightness in LCD TVs replacing CCFL in the near future. While there are currently a few models (from Sony and Samsung among others) in the marketplace that feature LED backlighting, they are currently very expensive.
However, in the past few weeks, there were two technologies introduced " one in Japan and one in Europe " that hope to build upon the improvements found in LED backlighting. One technology is from Dolby Laboratories and one is from NXP Semiconductors. LED backlight will become more prominent in LCD TVs next year.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Dolby Laboratories, Inc., who unveiled details of its new dynamic range imaging technologies at CEATEC 2007. The company is now branching out to video processing. These new technologies are called Dolby Contrast and Dolby Vision. Dolby Contrast provides dramatically enhanced contrast, while Dolby Vision combines dramatically enhanced contrast with extended brightness and dynamic range for LCD televisions with LED backlighting technology. The development of these technologies is a direct outgrowth of its purchase of a company called BrightSide, as well as incorporating its own technology.
Late last week, I had a briefing from NXP Semiconductor, who had previewed their own version of video processing technology at IFA 2007, and also presented at paper at SID 2007. NXP new technologies are called Adaptive Dimming Backlight and Adaptive Boosting Backlight. Adaptive Dimming Backlight technology can be applied to attenuate the backlight luminance, improving local contrast and black-levels. It can also save power. The optical crosstalk between the controllable backlight segments has a negative impact of dimming performance, limiting the spatial backlight luminance modulation. 'Crosstalk Compensation' can partially compensate this artifact, enhancing the spatial modulation of the segments. Adaptive Boosting Backlight technology can be applied to boost the output of the panel by 100-percent. This improves local brightness and contrast for an improved picture, and saves power. Crosstalk compensation enables deeper dimming. Deeper dimming improves on contrast and enables more boosting for a brighter picture.
When Adaptive Dimming Backlight and Adaptive Boosting Backlight are combined, NXP claims that contrast may increase up to five times over CCFL/EEF. At the same time, brightness may double and contrast may increase 20 fold over HCFL. NXP may partner with a company that does LED backlighting and incorporate its chipsets with that technology, or may sell its technology directly to TV manufacturers like Philips.
Currently, both companies are talking to TV manufacturers and OEM LED backlighting suppliers about incorporating their technologies into 2008/2009 LCD HDTVs.