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Displays Graphics Television Technology

Panasonic Announces 1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio LCD Panel To Rival OLED (androidauthority.com) 103

OLED panels have always been known to have higher contrast ratios than LCD panels, but that may be about to change with Panasonic's recently announced LCD IPS display. The display boasts a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, which is up to 600 times more contrast than some of the company's conventional LCD panels that tend to offer around 1800:1 ratios, and rivals OLED specifications. Android Authority reports: Panasonic has accomplished this through the use of its new light modulating cell technology, which allows the company to switch off individual pixels in the display using a secondary control layer. Typically, LCD backlights mean that either the entire or only large parts of the display can be dimmed at any one time. OLED panels switch off lights entirely for a black pixel to offer very high contrast ratios, and this new LCD technology works on a very similar principle. This is particularly important for reproducing HDR video content, which is becoming increasingly popular. Furthermore, this new light modulating cell technology allows Panasonic to increase the peak brightness and stability of the display, which can reach 1,000 cd/m2 while also providing HDR colors. Many other HDR TV panels top out in the range of 700 to 800 cd/m2, so colors, highlights, and shadows should appear vivid and realistic. Panasonic plans to ship the new display starting in January 2017 with sizes ranging from 55 to 12 inches.
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Panasonic Announces 1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio LCD Panel To Rival OLED

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Manufacturers values for contrast ratio and NITS (luminosity per unit area) are generally regarded as being complete bullshit.

    I'll wait until I've seen some independent tests before I throw out my existing TV

    • Re: Sack of salt (Score:5, Informative)

      by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @06:55PM (#53428495)

      Mostly because they typically report dynamic contrast ratios, which really are bullshit. In this case, they basically appear to be layering on an additional LCD panel whose sole job is to control the amount of light that gets through to the regular LCD. And sure enough, if you layer two LCD panels which each have a 1000:1 contrast ratio, then you get a 1000000:1 contrast ratio.

      I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be practical apart from the increase in cost and thickness this would involve.

    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      Also you need to check the other specs of the same tv.
      You never know when they make the panel have an horrid 200+ms of input delay to process the backlight switching.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      But this was relative 1800:1 so it seem pretty fair.

      Though isn't most IPS more like 800:1-1000:1 so maybe it's dynamic after all.

      If all it did was shutter off the back-light to create something completely black then I don't care much.

      But since someone else suggested it was like two LCDs on top of each other I assume normal LCDs can actually restrict the light-flow to varying degree considering they can show different brightness after-all and as such I guess it would actually scale the brightness through the

    • Why would you throw out a perfectly good TV just because there is something better on the market?

      Oh... looks like the independent lab has shown that the TV is better than mine... time to throw my TV in the garbage...

      • by sudon't ( 580652 )

        Oh... looks like the independent lab has shown that the TV is better than mine... time to throw my TV in the garbage...

        Don't throw it out - put it on Craigslist so I can buy it, cheap. Got my last 55" 1080p LCD that way for $150. The guy wanted the lower latency of a newer model for gaming. Cool. That works for me. Then holler when the new tube is outdated. I'll be ready for a "new" one by then, too.

  • by Harold Halloway ( 1047486 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @06:44PM (#53428399)

    Panasonic plans to ship the new display starting in January 2017 with sizes ranging from 55 to 12 inches.

    Wow! Can't wait for my new 4K Ultra-high definition HDR.... er 12" TV...?

    • 12" is way too big for a smartphone though. :(
      • I'd like a 12" smart phone. Just slap a handle or strap or some shit on the back.

        It would still fit in the pockets on my slacks, too.
        Not these pants, and not on my jeans, but my beige pair and my brown pair of slacks with full size pockets. I can hide a Christmas ham in there if I need to.

      • But that's an appropriate size for a laptop computer... oh! nevermind, nobody cares about laptops these days.
        • Large tablet then. Some people still care about those. It would make a nice display for the Surface Pro 5, which is expected to be released next spring.
    • This isn't a bad thing. One of the more annoying things with oled at the moment is that while I have a gorgeous, 55" oled panel mounted on my wall, I can't get anywhere near the color and black levels on a desktop monitor without paying more than I paid for my TV.

    • Based on the article it looks like the smaller sizes are targeting industrial applications, like car displays - that's where a good contrast ratio is very needed so you can see the displayed info even if it gets direct sunshine.
  • two stacked LCDs? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pz ( 113803 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @07:04PM (#53428561) Journal

    Reading between the lines, it sure sounds like they just stacked two LCDs and bumped the brightness of the light source. Mind you, that's a very good idea. The new underneath layer probably only needs single R/G/B group resolution in order to achieve the claimed specs, making it somewhat easier to manufacture, although alignment is still going to be important to get right, as will appropriately close bonding of the two planes to control leakage from one luminance cell (for want of a better word) to the neighboring RGB cells in the color layer.

    A highly-motivated enthusiast might be able to get close to the same results by merging two existing IPS monitors and bumping the light source brightness.

    • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday December 05, 2016 @07:46PM (#53428801) Homepage
      Yep. Super bright light source with a color-neutral LCD on top of it, and color LCD on top of that. Simple idea but can't imagine it was too easy to do.
    • LCDs don't work like that. They work by orienting two polarizers. The first is a fixed polarizer, which cuts the backlight's brightness to 50% and polarizes the light. The second is a polarizing liquid crystal layer whose orientation can be controlled electronically. Orient it parallel to the fixed polarizer and all the light going through the fixed polarizer is let through. Orient it perpendicular and it blocks (in theory) all the light going through. (In practice the polarizing is not perfect, so th
  • by dohzer ( 867770 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @07:20PM (#53428645) Homepage

    Is this another Panasonic thing where they try to compete with an old technology (e.g. Plasma) while everyone else is switching to the new type?

    • Quite possibly. But LCD is still better at some things than OLED.

      • Re:Plasma (Score:5, Informative)

        by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @08:20PM (#53428999)

        What things are those? The only ones I know of (that prevented me from buying an OLED black Friday) were:

        1. Cost. Thousands of dollars, LCD equivalents are now $600 for 55-65" 4k set
        2. Input lag. While the physical panel is near instant, for whatever reason, the chipsets the current OLED manufacturers are using have more input lag than low input lag LCDs. Unacceptable.
        3. Longevity. The LCD backlights are down to 80% brightness at 25,000 hours and will probably remain usable displays for perhaps 100k hours, give or take. (most like a capacitor will fail before the backlight does). At 25k hours the oled dyes age at different rates and the blue will be shot at that point.
        4. Maximum brightness - harder to make the thin layer glow as hard than it is to throw in bigger backlights behind an LCD.

        • You may have been thinking of buying an LED TV. But and LED TV is not in any way the same thing as an OLED TV.

        • Also, I would agree with most of the things you list. Particularly, the color aging on an OLED.

          • Colour aging isn't an issue. That can be compensated for much the same as high quality panels compensate for backlight fade or backlight differences.

            Burn-in is an issue. I wouldn't buy an OLED for a computer monitor. I would for a TV. I'm on the fence about a TV with a Playstation or Xbox, but I don't need to be on the fence because the cost makes it prohibitively expensive in its current form.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          25k hours after manufacture or 25k hours of use?

          After manufacture would be something of a problem, that's just under 3 years.

          Of use would seem to be something less of a problem, that's 8 hours a day, every day for 8.5 years. Telly turned on at 4 pm every day and left on until midnight.

          There's some segment of home users that might be affected and some institutional use cases, but that's a lot of on time and frankly in most settings where I see a TV that's been on that long it looks like shit anyway and that

          • Its hours of use. For use as a computer monitor, that's 14 hours a day for 4.9 years. I would rather the equipment either lasted longer than that or were inexpensive enough that I can easily swap it. At $1500-3k for a 4k OLED TV, that's a bit too expensive to throw it away that often.

            • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

              Your assuming the replacement cost is the same as the purchase cost. For almost any IT thing I have ever seen in the last three decades the replacement cost is *ALWAYS* lower than the purchase cost. The idea that a 4k OLED TV will cost the same in 8 years time as it does today is a frankly ludicrous suggestion.

              I would love to buy and OLED TV, problem for me is the smallest sized ones are still way to big for my lounge.

              • Ok, sure, but it's still $1500 for something that I won't be able to use in a few years because of bad color balance.

                When LED backlit computer monitors get dimmer, you can just turn up the brightness to compensate (since you run them at about 50% of their maximum potential brightness generally at the beginning). You can't do this forever - but the lifespan is probably 100k total hours which is 20 years if nothing else fails.

    • Next year Apple will finally come out with their OLED gadget, and Samsung and the others will be developing gadgets with these high contrast LCD displays.

      • And people will go up to the ATM machine and punch in their PIN numbers to withdraw the cash to pay for these LCD displays!

        Sorry you made it too easy! ;)

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )


        Samsung will so totally copy-cat Apple and use OLED displays once Apple have started using them! ...

    • Is this another Panasonic thing where they try to compete with an old technology (e.g. Plasma) while everyone else is switching to the new type?

      OLED is still too expensive for the majority of people, creating better LCD is definitely a positive. Just like some of the best displays for years after LCD came to dominate were still plasma's I expect we will see some excellent LCD screens for a long time to come.

      • Yep, I got a plasma in 2009, a bit late for the technology, but it was still superior in a lot of ways to the next best LCD at that point. I just replaced it with a 4k LED LCD.
  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @10:40PM (#53429801)

    OLED looks great the first year, then starts yellowing. I'd rather have a panel that looks good for the 7-10 years I'll probably use it. This sounds good to me.

    • OLED looks great the first year, then starts yellowing.

      Yeah I agreed with you. Past tense. It's not 2008 anymore, and OLEDs last significantly longer now.

      Is it good enough for a TV? Time will tell. But the "dies after a year" meme should go the way of the George W Bush memes.

  • This has been out for a while. Dolby bought BrightSide which first pushed individual LED backlighting for HDR LCDs AFAIK.

    Maybe they have now gone to individual pixels instead of white LED? Same idea, just higher res and probably lower cost.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrightSide_Technologies [wikipedia.org]

    2005 BrightSide Demos
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2005/10/04/brightside_hdr_edr/8 [bit-tech.net]

  • basically we are finally getting close to previous CRT contrast levels?

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