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Displays Hardware

Motorola Debuts Nano-Emissive Flat Screen 285

brain1 writes "PhysOrg is reporting that Motorola has developed a 5" flat-screen prototype display that uses carbon nanotubes. The display appears to promise lower costs for a full 40" HDTV screen bringing the price down to $400. The technology uses standard color TV phosphors, has a response time equaling CRTs', all in a package 1/8" thick. The display characteristics meet or exceed CRTs', such as fast response time, wide viewing angle, and wide operation temperature. All these are areas that LCDs are weak in. Is this the breakthrough we needed to finally make HDTV and flat-panel computer displays *really* affordable?"
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Motorola Debuts Nano-Emissive Flat Screen

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:00PM (#12482841)
    Try this []
  • Re:Color palatte? (Score:1, Informative)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:05PM (#12482892) Homepage Journal
    But that's an LCD screen - the article talks about a crt display shrunk due to nanotech.

    Still digitally driven. Ok, uses phosphors, which in the old CRT's were fired from 'color guns' and directed by electromagents (yoke) at the phosphors, exciting them and tossing off photons at desired wavelengths, in combinations of 3 phosphors (one red, one blue, one green) to form the particular color desired. As I understand it the LED is backlit and and filters the wavelength of light via layers of R, G and B (or suchlike) and due to the availibility of materials, quality of materials speed of electronics doing the switching, etc, it may or may not have better color resolution. Analog is a very difficult thing to simulate from digital. Will they make it work better than what we already have?

  • Re:At $400 a pop... (Score:4, Informative)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:06PM (#12482908) Journal
    I'd still say its a bit high to be considered the "low cost necessary to bring HDTV to the masses."

    For 40"???

    I upgraded my TV last year, to a 540p-capable model (DAMN I wish I'd waited another year), for just about a grand... at 32" widescreen. Absolutely beautiful for progressive DVDs, but still, now I regret not having a 720p (though, at least 1080i doesn't require scaling...)

    $400 for a 40" TV does not suck, at all.

    However, I consider this important for a totally different reason...

    This doesn't sound like an LCD. It sounds like a CRT with each pixel having its own electron gun, in an eighth of an inch thick. Think about that for a minute, and then just try to stop drooling. The thought certainly impresses me, and I only watch about an hour of TV per week.

    Near-infinite brightness, perfect contrast (even "real" CRTs can't do that), pixel-addressable (ie, infinite sharpness?), lightweight and low depth, presumeably low power consumption display costing less than either a comparable CRT or LCD having all the shortcomings of either of those technologies as they exist today.

    Perhaps I read more into this than I should, but if it delivers half of that, time to invest in their stock...
  • Re:At $400 a pop... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Queer Boy ( 451309 ) * <> on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:17PM (#12483007)
    I'd say for most people, its not worth paying $400 dollars for a TV of any size or picture quality. Especially when you consider for all intensive purposes, there isn't much on teevee worth watching in HDTV.

    For all intents and purposes we're talking about $400 for a 40" television which is cheaper than it is now for a 40". Your opinion about nothing worth watching in HDTV is just that, opinion. I have a 65" Mitsubishi RPTV and HDTV makes SDTV look like ass, doesn't matter what I am watching.

    You fail to grasp the concept of everything HDTV offers, it's not just higher resolution, it's colour information as well. No more "rainbows" when you are looking at any image where the contrast changes dramatically (such as a checkerboard or black and white stripes). I can see the wood grain on Discovery HD when they are doing Trading Spaces. I can see the film grain when they show movies on TNTHD, I can see the fabric weave on Conan O'Brien's tie on Late Night.

    The sooner everything goes HD the better. I just think they should have done more than increase the resolution by 2.25.

  • Re:plasma? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grendelkhan ( 168481 ) <scottricketts&gmail,com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:20PM (#12483036) Journal
    considering that plasma is considered the high-end of displays
    Plasma is for suckers - the color fades and burn in is a serious problem []. For the money they are a total rip off. LCD's are fantastic but really expensive.
  • by vectorian798 ( 792613 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:39PM (#12483173)
    Very Fast Response Time
    Perfect Viewing Angles
    Massive and Heavy

    Lower Resolutions
    Bad Viewing Angles
    Bad Response Times (though recent 8ms panels reduce this immensely)
    Very Nice Colors
    Thin and Light
    Doesn't hurt the eye

    Dies in 5 years due to gas leakage

    Yea these suck from the sides or close-up so let's not even mention these

    Carbon-nanotube (CNT) based Motorola Display:
    Because it uses phosphors like in CRTs, good brightness
    Fast response time
    Good viewing angle
    Thin and light
    DOESNT NEED BACKLIGHT (no more washed-out colors in sunlight)
    Longevity compared to plasmas
    Though this is a 5" prototype, it is a 5" section of a larger 42" CNT grid for a large HD display, so stop bitching about this being 5 inches

    Other notes: Since CNTs are small and the phosphor technology is the same as in CRTs (excite phosphor atoms to give off photons by making appropriate electrical connections using this case, CNT's) I am assuming that we can actually get large high-resolution monitors (this one is 1280 x 720) perhaps just like the crazy CRTs with 2XXX by 1XXX resolution.
  • LCD Gamut (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:41PM (#12483187)
    LCD gamut is not poor because it is digitally driven. It's poor because LCD is a backlit technology.

    When an LCD screen tries to show "black" a large portion of the backlight is still showing through. Moreover, this varies across the screen.

    This is an emissive technology using the same phosphors as a CRT. Banding might be a problem, but it's insignificant compared to the color range problems on LCDs. Banding is tolerable in many applications. Shimmering and lack of contrast is not. Most LCD manufacturers don't push to avoid banding because the contrast problem makes the LCD unsuitable for color sensitive work anyway.

    In fact, this should get *better* range than a CRT, because any cell can turn completely off. Any but the highest quality CRT has a problem with rise time and such. The brightness level of parts of the image affect other parts.
  • Re:Not a troll (Score:4, Informative)

    by martinX ( 672498 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:58PM (#12483305)

    You don't need a digital TV to display a digital TV signal. You need a digital TV set top box. It will plug in to any display you want: LCD, plasma, rear screen, HDLP or 15 year old CRT. sd=asc []

  • by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:58PM (#12483660)
    As others have pointed out, the panel itself may be manufactured for $400, that's not the retail price of a TV set. Add a power supply, tuner and other electronics, a nice housing, packaging, freight and tariffs, then markup for the manufacturer, and the distributer, and the retailer. . . You could easily be looking at $1200+ for the set.

    Another thing that concerns me is the use of CRT-style phosphors. That means it will be subject to burn-in. Many people seem unaware of burn-in, but I expect it to become a big issue in a few years -- after the first generation of widescreen CRT and plasma sets start showing bars at either side when viewing full-screen content.

    At my house we recently got a large Mitsubishi LCD panel. LCDs of course are not subject to burn-in. The wide viewing angle is impressive to me. Also, I was surprised by the default factory settings. There was no "red push" or "torch mode" or other typical kinds of programmed-in distortion to make it stand out in the showroom. I checked black level, contrast, sharpness, tint and color balance, etc. . . And I hardly changed anything from the factory settings. I just wish I had some actual HD test patterns to try on it, instead of a test DVD.
  • by tricorn ( 199664 ) <> on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:32PM (#12483829) Journal

    There was already a provision that if less than 85% of a specific market isn't able to receive a digital transmission, then the analog transmissions in that market are not required to go dark:

    The transition period to DTV is currently scheduled to end on December 31, 2006. This transition period is subject to periodic progress reviews by the FCC to make sure DTV service is widely available. In addition, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, passed last fall by the Congress, includes provisions that would extend the continuation of analog service beyond the year 2006 deadline if DTV is implemented more slowly than expected. Specific conditions which would extend the transition period include the failure of one or more of the largest TV stations in a market to begin broadcasting digital TV signals through no fault of their own, or fewer than 85% of the TV households in a market are able to receive digital TV signals off the air either with a digital TV set or with an analog set equipped with a converter box or by subscription to a cable-type service that carries the DTV stations in the market.
    (from a FCC info page from 1997 [].
  • by val1s ( 581256 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:58PM (#12484076)
    A Field emission display. Technology Review [] Had an article on it back in november with some explination of the technology and the hurdles involved. The big one as it sounds that Moto can not get over is how you support the glass in the middle so it does not touch (front to back) as the display requires a vacuum to operate, fairly easy with a 5" diagonal very difficult with a 40" screen. This is surely not the first, but first for Moto.
  • by Arkaein ( 264614 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @10:18PM (#12484233) Homepage
    You dismiss rear-projection far too quickly. I have a 5 year old Toshiba 40H80 40 inch rear projection HDTV. It cost me $2300 new, which was pretty close to the least you could pay for anything in that class at the time. Rear projection offers some of the best overall value (not too expensive, big but not too heavy, good clarity and response times).

    Projection TVs don't have the huge viewing angles that CRTs do, but in practice it's not likely a problem as long as you have a decent place for the set in your room. The display appearance will dim rapidly as you move away from the optimal viewing angle vertically, but horizontally its perfect up to about 45 degrees from center (about the same as a modern LCD), with gradual falloff after that. Not many people would choose to watch from outside this angle anyways, so not really a problem in practice.

    As far as the picture sucking up close, how is this different from any other TV? A big screen means big pixels up close, even at HDTV resolutions. I'm not sure how this is different for rear projection than for any other type of set.

    If you were going to bring up a knock on projection sets it probably should have been convergence. My TV has 9 different convergences that must be individually adjusted to get the best picture (center, 4 sides, 4 corners). It's a bit tedious, and the crosshairs used to determine convergence don't always give the best indication of convergence (this likely varies between models and manufacturers). Not a big issue, but something that you don't need to worry about with any other type of display.
  • by blaksaga ( 720779 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:36PM (#12484797)
    >Did the price of albums drop when CD's were introduced? But this analogy is not a very good one. Artists are tied in to one record label. I cannot choose to listen to a John Mayall album from Sony Records as he was signed by Castle Records. The record companies can get away with selling you C.D.'s for $20 because the content is available through them exclusively. With T.V.'s however, I can buy any brand of T.V. set and still be able to watch the Discovery Channel.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?