It is potentially an exciting year for LCD displays in 2007.
There are a number of new technologies emerging along with a new approach to
display market sectors and promoted specifications. Below I will go over some of
the changes we can expect during the coming year as well as linking to some
references about the new technologies being used:
starting to become more common on larger displays where the line between desktop
display and LCD TV is becoming blurred. Commonly the screens are aimed at a wide
multimedia use and so feature a wealth of inputs, typically including Composite,
S-Video, Component and now HDMI. The
is an example of a new screen featuring HDMI connectivity, and the LG L245WP
will also be equiped with this interface. The HDMI interfaces should offer full
1080p support and HDCP certification and in some cases are in place of a DVI
connection. Obviously with modern multimedia devices (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray etc) being
HDMI ready, this is a good choice for people who want to use their display for a
range of applications, not just to connect to a PC.
Hyundai S90D 1ms Rated TFT
1ms Response Times
This has been on the cards for some time now, and is expected to be
available from desktop TFT's during 2007. The
is an example and was announced last August, as was the Viewsonic VX931.
paper it sounds impressive, in reality there probably won't be any real
difference in practice compared with modern panels already being widely used
(e.g. Viewsonic VX922 - 2ms). Pixel responsiveness is reaching its limits
now with the aid of RTC technologies, and manufacturers must now consider
alternative technologies to reduce motion blur and improve frame rates.
Motion Blur Reduction
Perhaps the most promising improvements in panel responsiveness for the
immediate future come in the form of BenQ's
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
and Samsung's Motion Picture Acceleration (MPA) technologies. These technologies
concentrate on reducing the
motion blur you experience from LCD displays, regardless of how fast response
Black Frame Insertion
BFI is already
in place in the
BenQ FP241WZ but
we will have to wait for the screens wide release before we get a true
indication of it's effectiveness. When it comes to reducing perceived motion
blur, even initial pre-release results look promising. This technology is based
around the principle of inserting a black frame at a certain frequency (user
controlled even) in the image to help 'clean' the human eye and reduce blur.
This does not create a higher frequency though, and panels using BFI, at least
at the moment, still function at 60Hz refresh rate with the screen still only
showing 60 fps, whether they are rendered frames of black frames. BenQ will also
be utilising BFI in their
FP241VW model, and screens featuring this technology are being labelled as
either 'AMA-Z' or 'PerfectMotion'.
Samsung Motion Picture Acceleration (MPA)
MPA technology is a little different, being based around interpolated images
designed to improve the frame rate of LCD displays. This was unveiled at
CEBIT last year,
but there is little information available about this technology so far, or
about its effectiveness in practice. However, the principles look very
similar to what Samsung have achieved with their 100Hz TV's (see below) and
may well be the same process. We will feature more information about this as
it becomes available.
100Hz / 120Hz Technology
Samsung were the first to release a 100Hz LCD TV as covered
back in October.
The LE4073BD was promising in initial tests at
helped reduce motion blur in gaming. This again is a new technology but may well
be the way forward for LCD TV's in particular.
LE4073BD 100Hz LCD TV
100Hz from their LCD TV's by instering an intermediate image image between
adjacent frames. This doubles the frame rate from 50 fps, to 100fps (since
European TV's operate at 50Hz). This is achieved with the use of an internal
processor which calculates the intermediate stage and predicts its appearance.
In movies the performance was a little vaied, but in gaming it really helped
improve moving images and reduce motion blur.
Tom's Hardware France also took a look at the 100Hz Samsung LCD TV last
We discussed the features of AU Optronics latest generation of MVA panels in
Advanced-MVA (AMVA) forms the latest range of panels in AUO's desktop and
LCD TV modules and features a number of reported enhancements. These include
improved contrast ratios and viewing angles, and is typically combined with
a range of other new features such as ASPD and HiColor to offer some
impressive specs. More information is available in our news feature
with specs of the first generation of AMVA panels released.
22" > 27" > 28" Screen Size
There has been
a trend emerging towards the end of 2006 in regards to the diagonal size of
desktop displays. 22" monitors have now become very common, but sadly still
remain all based on TN Film technology. However, the increased screen size and
low price has helped make the 22" sector very popular, and this looks like it
will continue during 2007. There are rumours of additional panel technologies
being released in this sector (AUO for example may release a 22"WS AMVA / P-MVA
panel) but nothing is concrete at present. I would imagine non-TN panels may
well find it hard to fit in within the 22" sector due to the low costs of those
displays already available. We now already have 22" models from most of the main
manufacturers including the
LG L226WT and
Samsung SM226BW for
example, and more are certain to follow this year. LG in fact informed me in a
recent interview with the head of monitors in the UK that 2007 would see a
continued focus on 22" screens and a move away from the previously popular 20"
Above: The 27"
Dell 2707WFP and 22" Samsung SM226BW
We've also seen
a move into other previously un-explored diagonals recently, with the release of
and the impending arrival of Samsung's competing product, the
27" models offer an increased screen size compared with 23"/24" models, but
remain only at a native resolution of 1920 x 1200. ViewSonic have skipped past
the 27" sector altogether with their forthcoming model, the 28" widescreen VX2835WM.
The larger models are starting to become a cross over between desktop displays
and LCD TV's and typically feature multimedia interfaces and even HDMI. These
may not suit everyone's tastes, particularly when it comes to the larger pixel
pitch and massive screen size, but it is interesting to see the shift away from
smaller size screens and into the 27" and 28" space.
Enhanced CCFL / 92% Colour Gamut
Displays featuring an improved gamut range are starting to become more common
nowadays, and offer gamut covering 92% of the NTSC colour space. This exceeds
the sRGB colour space offered from most screens available today (those using
standard CCFL backlighting - 72% NTSC coverage). This is achieved with enhanced
CCFL backlighting, and the
Dell 2707WFP and
Dell 3007WFP-HC are examples of recently released screens offering 92% NTSC
coverage. This trends looks set to continue and marks a step in the right
direction for LCD monitors, offering improved colour range and depth.
colour gamut showing 72% (left) NTSC coverage and 92% (right) coverage
Rather than use CCFL baklighting, some manufacturers are releasing screens this
year with LED backlighting. These will offer improved panel uniformity, and
enriched colours thanks to 114% coverage of the NTSC colour space. The
Samsung XL20 is an example, and looks promising. Prices for these screens
are expected to be high (the Samsung is expected to retail ~ $1999), but
remember, these are aimed at professional graphics users, and colour
XL20 and Acer AL1917L displays, featuring LED backlighting
Back in October
that the Acer AL1917L would be the first more widely affordable screen to use
LED backlighting. This was expected to be released at the end of December. Other
more affordable screens may begin to emerge, but it is the corporate space where
LED will most likely be used. Due to the growing popularity of LED, set to
expand further in 2007, industry panel giants such as AU Optronics (AUO), Chi
Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) have inked deals with
LED manufacturers. AUO, for example, acquired a 25 per cent share of Light House
Technology, as the 'Wall Street Journal' reports. Calculations by US market
researchers at Isuppli suggest that, by the year 2010, light emitting diodes may
already make for 30 per cent of all LCD monitor backlighting. Further
information reported by
Prad.de in November 2006.
OLED based displays were originally expected in October 2006, but have now been
delayed with no release date announced. BeHardware released details of this
There is information about OLED available from
Prad.de, but this form of backlighting will negate the need for CCFL
backlight tubes, and should in theory offer improved black depth, improved
uniformity and reduced power consumption (since there is no backlight needed).
Another benefit of OLEDs is their flexibility and the fact that they are really
thin. OLEDs can be superimposed on flexible materials. Hence, a display that can
be coiled up seems feasible. As it is with any new technology OLED is not
technically mature yet and some problems have to be tackled before the OLED
display will replace the LCD monitor on people's desks. It seems this may well
be delayed even longer and we might not see OLED this year in the mass market.
Further reading about OLED is also available from
Conduction Electron Emitter Displays'
(SED) techology will be produced by Canon and Toshiba this year, since
Nano-Proprietary (the owners) have granted licence to them to develop SED.
It looked recently as
if Toshiba were having to pull out of the joint venture leaving the
production entirely down to Canon.
Texas court found recently that Canon had violated a licensing
agreement belonging to the company Nano-Proprietary through its joint
venture with Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba. As a result, Canon
had already taken over all shares in the SED joint venture prior to the
ruling. However, Toshiba is to remain active in the development and later in
the marketing of the product.
Last December, Toshiba's CEO announced that despite previous statements
saying that LCD and SED would be sold at the same price for an equivalent
diagonal size, these monitors would actually be available at a prohibitive
likely that any screens released would be for professional use only due to
this price difference, and likely to be only used in large sized displays.
Despite recent rumours of Canon pulling out of the project as well, they
have confirmed they are still investing in its development and they expected
the first SED TV's would be available end of 2007, with massive shipments
planned to start early 2008 for the Beijing Olympic Games. It looks
like main stream SED availability will not happen this year and may even be
delayed past this initial expected date due to the recent court rulings.
information available from
BeHardware and from