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A discount is available to subscribers who order all five of our newsletters. Our five
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3D
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High Resolution
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The goal of this newsletter is to bring subscribers the most comprehensive review of recent
news about the emerging markets and technologies related to high performance displays.
This newsletter combines news summaries, feature articles, tutorial, opinion & commentary
columns, summaries of recent technology papers, interviews and event information in a
straight-forward, essentially ad-free format. High Resolution enables you to easily and
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We look forward to adding you to our rapidly growing list of subscribers!
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Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Veritas et Visus
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High Resolution
Veritas et Visus
September 2007
Vol 2 No 6
Contents
Samsung, p30
Chris Jordan, p 11
Bradford Bohonus, p9
Letter from the publisher: Bridges…by Mark Fihn
High resolution news from around the world
Society for Information Display 2007 Symposium, May 20-25, Long Beach, California
2
3
34
In this second report from the principal event of the year, Phillip Hill covers presentations from the University
of California, Philips Lighting, National Chiao Tung University, Toshiba Matsushita, Harvard Medical School,
Samsung Electronics, University of Bristol, Philips Research Laboratories, and Seiko Epson
Interview with Merv Rose from Quantum Filament Technologies
How this can be… by Alan Stubbs
45
51
How can this be?
52
Bits from FET, Barco, and IEI by Jon Peddie
Find out the latest updates on the HDTV industry by Ross Young
Embedding depth cues in 2D images by Paul Darbee and Larry Pace
Soliloquies, rants, and ramblings in high resolution by Fluppeteer
54
57
60
62
The Last Word: Can I have some more please?
68
Chris Williams changed his mind about HD
Display Industry Calendar
69
High Resolution is focused on bringing news and commentary about the developments associated with high
performance displays and the human factors that create demand better display products. High Resolution is
published electronically 10 times annually by Veritas et Visus, 3305 Chelsea Place, Temple, Texas, USA, 76502.
Phone: +1 254 791 0603. http:/www.veritasetvisus.com
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Managing Editor
Associate Editor
Contributors:
Mark Fihn
[email protected]
Phillip Hill
[email protected]
Geoff Walker
[email protected]
Paul Darbee and Larry Pace, Fluppeteer, Jon Peddie, Alan Stubbs, Chris
Williams, and Ross Young
Subscription rate: US$47.99 annually. Single issues: US$7.99 each. Hard copy subscriptions are available upon
request, at a rate based on location and mailing method. Copyright 2007 by Veritas et Visus. All rights reserved.
Veritas et Visus disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks or names of others.
Veritas et Visus
High Resolution
September 2007
Bridges…
by Mark Fihn
I’ve always liked the metaphor of bridges to describe much more than just the crossing of an expanse of space or
water to represent the idea of crossing the expanses between human cultures, languages, and attitudes. In particular,
I believe that improvements in display technology help us to better cross the expanses created by our increasing
needs to interact in a world
filled with computers. But
more importantly, improved
visual experiences help us to
better cope with the gulfs
between people.
I have long been convinced
that high-resolution displays,
in particular, provide us with a
superior ability to visualize,
communicate, and understand
the world around us. I’ve long
wondered how so many
people can be satisfied with
what are truly inferior
“bridges” of communication.
100 ppi, for example, is
simply not adequate to present
the typical computer user with
an optimal visual experience.
It remains quite boggling to
me that so many PC
companies continue to sell
what are truly inadequate
display devices with regard to
capabilities of the human
visual system.
The Millau viaduct is part of the new E11 expressway connecting Paris and Barcelona
and features the highest bridge piers ever constructed. The tallest is 240 meters
(787 feet) high and the overall height will be an impressive 336 meters (1102 feet),
making this the highest bridge in the world.
Even HDTVs, as they
continue to grow in size, must
rely on increasing viewing
distances to make for a
satisfying viewing experience.
Bridges, whether used to
cross physical obstacles or
human-based obstacles, are
sometimes simple solutions,
but
often
enable
the
spectacular!
This Japanese bridge is elegant in its construction, unique in its usage and compelling
in its engineering. Such a bridge certainly helps to expand one’s appreciation for
innovative design. Bridges like these are akin in ways to the many compelling
innovations that serve to improve performance in the displays industry.
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
High resolution news from around the world
compiled by Mark Fihn and Phillip Hill
Sony working with the University of Alabama on gigapixel satellite imagery
Sony and the University of Alabama are working on a gigapixel resolution camera for improved satellite
surveillance. It can see 10-km-square from an altitude of 7.5 kilometers with a resolution better than 50 centimeters
per pixel. As well as removing annoying artifacts created
by tiling images in Google Earth and similar earth views,
it should allow CCTV surveillance of entire cities with
one camera (see HR, Last Word, July 2007). The
researchers intend to build an array of light sensitive
chips that each record small parts of a larger image and
place them at the focal plane of a large multiple-lens
system. The camera would have gigapixel resolution, and
able to record images at a rate of 4 frames/s. The team
suggests that such a camera mounted on an aircraft could
provide images of a large city by itself. This would even
allow individual vehicles to be monitored without any
danger of losing them as they move from one ground
level CCTV system to another. High-resolution images taken by satellite or aircraft suffer from a relatively tiny
field of view. To monitor a large area, the images have to be tiled like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle before a full picture
can be built up. This can cause problems: vehicles can end up appearing more than once if they move from one
image to the next between exposures, for example. Such errors creep into virtual globes like Google Earth and
Microsoft Virtual Earth and online mapping tools. The relevant patent application can be viewed at:
http://www.wipo.int
NASA’s HiRISE program details new information about Mars
In late September, HiRISE scientists published three papers in a special issue of the journal Science reporting on
several new discoveries made as a result of the HiRISE imaging program of Mars:
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One paper talks about a few aspects of the history of
water on Mars: HiRISE images of “rock glaciers”
and bright deposits in gullies that might be
extremely recent.
HiRISE observations of an area called Athabasca
Valles were used to show that it is actually covered
with a thin veneer of lava.
A third paper discusses thin layers in the North
Polar cap where the HiRISE imagers are able to
discern very fine layering (seen in an image excerpt
to the right), as well as the color and thickness of
each layer. Since these layers were laid down over
hundreds of thousands of years of Martian history,
they provide a record of climate change on the
planet.
The HiRISE website features numerous things that cannot be included in a print journal – like full-resolution color
versions of the images and 3D flyover movies of the stereo observations. http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Views of the Earth comprised of a 5-gigapixel image of the western US
Views of the Earth rendered a very detailed view of western North America into an image sized 96000×54000
(5-gigapixels). This image was rendered in 100 tiles may be the most detailed image ever generated using 3D
rendering techniques. http://earth.imagico.de/5gp/
The expanded image on the lower left is of Mount Shasta and on the right is the meteor crater in Arizona
DARPA selects Goodrich to continue night vision imaging development
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) selected
Goodrich Corp. for the continued development of indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) visible and shortwave infrared
focal plane arrays for use in passive, night vision imaging systems. According to Edward Hart, vice president and
general manager of Goodrich’s SUI team: “Our team has successfully completed the first phase of this contract and
we now look forward to taking the technology to the next level. We welcome the opportunity to carry on this
important initiative with DARPA and their innovative MTO group. The focus of this next phase of development
will be to raise the resolution of the camera we developed in the first phase and make the imager more sensitive,
allowing for better night vision capabilities.” http://www.goodrich.com
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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High Resolution
September 2007
Cambridge and Caltech scientists develop sharpest-ever astronomical images
A team of astronomers from the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology have taken
pictures of the stars that are sharper than anything produced by the Hubble telescope, at 50 thousandths of the
cost. The researchers used a technique called “Lucky Imaging” to take the most detailed pictures of stars and
nebulae ever produced – using a camera based on the ground.
Pictures using “Lucky Imaging” of the globular star cluster M13, which is 25,000 light years away, are so
detailed that they were able to find stars as little as one light day apart. The images of the Cat’s Eye Nebula were
so fine that they could pick out details separated by only a few light hours. Comparative images of a standard
telescope view and the “Lucky Camera” view clearly show the improved results.
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September 2007
Images from ground-based telescopes are usually blurred by the Earth’s atmosphere – the same effect that makes
the stars appear to twinkle when we look at them with the naked eye. The Cambridge/Caltech team, however,
surpassed the quality of images taken from space by using a high-speed camera to take numerous images of the
same stars at a rate of 20 frames per second. Because of fluctuations in the atmosphere, some of these were less
smeared than others. The team then used computer software to choose the best images, and these were combined to
create pictures far sharper than anything that has been taken from space. Dr Craig Mackay, from the Institute of
Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, who led the research, said: “These are the sharpest images ever taken
either from the ground or from space and yet we are essentially using ‘Blue Peter’ technology. Amateur Lucky
Imaging is popular because the technique is so cheap and effective. The low cost means that we could apply the
process to telescopes all over the world.” The Lucky Imaging technique was first mooted in the late 1970s and has
enabled the discovery of many multiple star systems which are too close together and too faint to find with any
standard telescope. The work was carried out on Mount Palomar, California, using the 200-inch telescope at the
Palomar Observatory. Like all other ground-based telescopes, the images this produces are typically 10 times less
detailed than those produced by Hubble. Using the Lucky Camera, however, it was possible to obtain images that
are twice as sharp as those of the space telescope. The Institute of Astronomy is a Department of the University of
Cambridge (http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/ ). It is one of the foremost astronomy departments in the world. It is the
home of the Astronomer Royal, President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College, Lord Rees of
Ludlow. The Palomar Observatory is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology. The Palomar
200-inch telescope was constructed before and after the Second World War and opened in the late 1940s. For many
years it was the largest telescope in the world.
NASA’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day”
NASA maintains a website that features an “Astronomy Picture of the Day”. Each day a different astronomical
image or photograph is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. These images
to be fascinating, both in their beauty, and in their ability to suggest just how much more there is that the photo does
not capture. (Unfortunately, our displays show us even less, so you’ll want to check out the website and ponder the
high-resolution images there. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/
Regarding the image on the left, Patrick Taschler explains: “Volcano Tungurahua erupted spectacularly last year.
Molten rock so hot it glows visibly pours down the sides of the 5,000-meter high Tungurahua, while a cloud of dark
ash is seen being ejected toward the left. Wispy white clouds flow around the lava-lit peak, while a star-lit sky shines
in the distance. Located in Ecuador, Tungurahua has become active roughly every 90 years since for the last 1,300
years. The image on the right is credited to NASA, with the explanation: “At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of
the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless was further out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a
Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space.
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September 2007
Thierry LeGault captures ISS and Atlantis from 350 miles
Against a backdrop of the Sun, French photographer Thierry LeGault was able to capture the space shuttle about an
hour after it had undocked from the International Space Station. The specks on the left side of this image of the Sun
are in fact the ISS and the space shuttle Atlantis. Less than an hour after the shuttle detached to return to Earth in
September, the astro-photographer captured this image from a cow pasture in Normandy, France. It was his
consolation prize: he’d hoped to shoot the docking of Atlantis, but climate got in the way. “The weather was awful
all week, and I had only been able to take my chance during a small moment of clear sky,” explained Legault, who
used special software to predict the
alignment of the station and the
Sun and shot the photo at an
extremely fast 1/8000s shutter
speed. His camera was mounted on
a telescope with a solar filter,
which produces black-and-white
images that Legault later colorized
- and a motorized base to track the
Sun. When he took the picture, the
shuttle was about 350 miles away,
(with the Sun more than 93 million
miles away). http://legault.club.fr
International Space Station from Space Shuttle Endeavour
The crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour took this image of the International Space Station during the STS118
mission, August 8–21, 2007. The image was acquired by an astronaut through one of the crew cabin windows,
looking back over the length of the Shuttle. Endeavour had undocked from the International Space Station, and the
crew had begun late inspection of the orbiter’s Thermal Protection System (wing leading edges, nosecap, and belly
tiles) prior to landing. The late inspection is performed using sensors mounted on the Orbiter Boom Sensor System,
and the goal is to assess whether micrometeorite or
orbiting debris have compromised the Thermal
Protection System of the Shuttle while it was
docked with the International Space Station. This
oblique image was acquired almost one hour after
late inspection activities had begun. The sensor
head of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System is visible
at image top left. The entire Space Station is visible
at image bottom center, set against the backdrop of
the Ionian Sea approximately 330 kilometers below
it. Other visible features of the southeastern
Mediterranean region include the toe and heel of
Italy’s “boot” at image lower left, and the western
coastlines of Albania and Greece, which extend
across image center. Farther towards the horizon,
the Aegean and Black Seas are also visible.
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov
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September 2007
Cassini sends back high-resolution images of Saturn’s moons
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space
Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages
the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard
cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space
Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Recent images show remarkably clear views of the moons of Saturn. For
more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team
homepage is at http://ciclops.org
On July 23, Cassini captured the image on the left of Saturn’s moon Hyperion, the largest irregularly shaped body in the
Solar System. The moon has such a low density – about half that of water -- and such low gravity that impactors tend to
compress its surface, rather than excavating it, and most material that is blown outward never comes back. Hyperion is
280 kilometers (174 miles) across. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 318,000 kilometers (198,000
miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel. The image on the right was taken on September 10
with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 3,870 kilometers (2,400 miles) from
Iapetus. Image scale is 23 meters (75 feet) per pixel. This stunning close-up view shows mountainous terrain that reaches
about 10 kilometers (6 miles) high along the unique equatorial ridge of Iapetus. Above the middle of the image can be
seen a place where an impact has exposed the bright ice beneath the dark overlying material.
Virtual Earth adds numerous new European Birds Eye cities
The highest resolution aerial imagery available online is appearing in more and more European cities, including
coverage of some of the most famous landmarks in the world (including the Parthenon in Athens, pictured here).
http://www.microsoft.com/virtualearth Recently added
European cities with birds eye views include:
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•
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UK: Maidstone, Belfast, Luton, Plymouth,
Kidderminster
Spain: Marbella, Motril, Caceres, Linares,
Valencia, Orihuela, Jaen, Barcelona, Roqueatas
de Mar
Germany: Berlin, Hannover, Lingen, Marburg,
Goettingen, Siegen, Salzgitter, Regensburg
Sweden: Sodertolje, Göteborg
Netherlands: Veeneddaal, Heerlen, Enschede
Greece: Thessaloniki, Athens
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September 2007
Google Earth introduces new photo viewer with gigapixel layer
The new Google Earth 4.2 includes a new photo viewing feature which lets users view photos in a totally new way.
To see the first set of available photos using the new technique, turn on the new “Gigapxl Photos” layer under the
“Featured Content” layer. This new layer shows place marks for many places with photos that were taken with a
gigapixel camera. Some of the photos in the Gigapxl photo layer were taken by Google Earth chief technologist
Michael Jones (read more about the camera and techniques at http://www.gigapxl.org).
The new Gigapxl layer in Google Earth flies into gigapixel photos, which can be than be zoomed to show the full detail of the
photo. The Great Lakes bridge on the left is shown with the Google Earth features in the background; zooming under the
bridge give a few of a flagpole and the tremendous detail offered by very high-resolution photography.
Bradford Bohonus shows off Berlin Wall East Side Gallery with HDView
Photographer Bradford Bohonus captured images of the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall in its entirety in 2002.
In July 2007, the image was posted in Zoomify. Bohonus began the project by shooting approximately 500
photographs with a Nikon Coolpix 995 down the entire 1.3-km length of the wall. These images were then brought
into Photoshop and combined into 16 individual “sections” (because of file size limitations at the time, he could not
create a single image of the wall). These source images were used as source material to create a video of the entire
wall seamlessly scrolling across the screen. Recently, new versions of Photoshop enabled him to create a single
large image containing the entire wall. The image measures 12,469x78,119 pixels. To view the image, you’ll need
to download HDView Beta 2. http://www.bohonus.com
The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km long section of the wall near the center of Berlin. Approximately 106 paintings
by artists from all over the world cover this memorial for freedom and make it the largest open-air gallery in the world. In a
1-gigapixel image, Bradford Bohonus showcases the wall using the new HDView Beta 2.
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Colossal Images showcases 125-megapixel Diego Gutierrez map of the “New World” from 1562
Colossal Images recently made a 300dpi scan of the Diego Gutierrez 1562 map of the new world that measures
approximately 3-feet square. The image is viewable at the Library of Congress website, however only in small
pieces using a special image server which can quickly deliver any part of the image at any resolution. A special
plug-in is available which allows a user to view parts of the image losslessly, filling the entire browser window. By
stretching the browser window across all three monitors, Colossal was able to pan across the entire image at 100%
magnification, saving screen captures at regular intervals, and stitching together the full image in Photoshop. The
resulting image is 10,492×11,908 pixels, or just shy of 125 megapixels. The map's origins are a bit mysterious, but
it is believed to be a political map detailing Spain's conquests in the New World. http://ian-albert.com
On the left is the Diego Guiterrez 1562 map of the “New World”. Colossal Images recently created a
125-megapixel scan of the map, which results in detailed images such as the one depicted on the right.
NTT Electronics unveils 4:2:2 real-time HD H.264 solutions
In mid-September, NTT Electronics displayed the world’s first 4:2:2 high-profile H.264/AVC HDTV/SDTV realtime Encoder/Decoder HV9100 series and real-time MPEG-2 to H.264 Transcoder HVT9100 with ultra-high
quality video. The series also support MPEG-2 format to enable smooth migration from current MPEG-2
technology to future H.264/AVC technology. http://www.nel-world.com/products/video/index.html
S-LCD ships first LCD panels from 8th generation line
In mid August, S-LCD Corporation, a joint venture between Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Sony Corporation,
announced the shipment of LCD panels produced from its 8th Generation Line. S-LCD’s 8th Generation Line is
capable of processing the world’s largest motherglass substrates, measuring 2,200 x 2,500 mm. LCD panels
shipped from this 8G line marks a major turning point in the market for LCD TVs in the 50-inch (diagonal) class
and is slated to supply 46-inch and 52-inch panels, and that plan was evident by the contents of the first shipment of
52-inch LCD panels for full-HD TVs. The 8G line would reach its full monthly output of 50,000 panels by the end
of the year.
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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NXP launches video postprocessor IC that removes halo effect
In late August, NXP launched the world’s first video postprocessor with proprietary Motion Accurate Picture
Processing technology, enabling TV manufacturers to improve high-definition motion picture on LCD TVs. This
technology on NXP’s new PNX5100 video postprocessor combines movie judder cancellation (MJC), motion
sharpness and vivid color management to remove the visible halo and blur in fast moving scenes delivering an
enhanced viewing experience for enjoying sports and action movies. NXP’s Motion Accurate Picture Processing
technology uses an up-conversion technique in conjunction with three-frame HD Movie Judder Cancellation and
full motion-compensated up-conversion to 1920x1080p @ 120 Hz. The Automatic Picture Control (APC) feature
dynamically adjusts the processing parameters used to obtain optimal improvement on every output frame. The
device will be available for mass production in Q1 2008. http://www.nxp.com
Chris Jordan shows cost of Iraq war in Ben Franklins
As part of an exhibition called “Running the Numbers: An American Self Portrait”, Chris Jordan uses the austere
lens of statistics to take a look at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image
portrays a specific quantity of something (http://www.chrisjordan.com). Jordan says:
“My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a
different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in
articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making
it difficult to connect... This project visually examines these vast and
bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints
assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. My underlying desire
is to affirm and sanctify the crucial role of the individual in a society that
is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming... My
only caveat about this series is that the prints must be seen in person to be
experienced the way they are intended. As with any large artwork, their
scale carries a vital part of their substance which is lost in these little
images.”
“Ben Franklin” stands 8.5-feet wide by 10.5-feet tall in three horizontal
panels and depicts 125,000 one-hundred dollar bills ($12.5 million), the
amount the US government spends every hour on the war in Iraq.
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September 2007
University of Illinois improves electro-hydro-dynamic printing
By combining electrically induced fluid flow with nanoscale nozzles, researchers at the University of Illinois have
established new benchmarks for precision control and resolution in jet-printing processes. Electro-hydro-dynamic
jet (e-jet) printing process may be able to significantly exceed the resolution characteristics currently offered by
established ink-jet technologies. This type of e-jet printing could be used for large-area circuits, displays,
photovoltaic modules and related devices, as well as other wide-ranging application possibilities in security,
biotechnology and photonics. Unlike conventional ink-jet printers, which use heat or mechanical vibrations to
launch liquid droplets through a nozzle, e-jet printing uses electric fields to pull the fluid out. Although the concept
of electric-field induced flow is not new, the way the research team has exploited this phenomenon with nanoscale
nozzles and precision control of electric fields to achieve unprecedented levels of resolution is an important
advance. The researchers’ e-jet printing head consists of a gold-coated micro-capillary nozzle (with a diameter as
small as 300 nanometers) mounted on a computer-controlled mechanical support. An organic, Teflon-like coating
on the gold ensures the ink flows cleanly out the nozzle toward the target. Tiny droplets of ink eject onto a moving
substrate to produce printed patterns. Lines with widths as narrow as 700 nanometers, and dots as small as 250
nanometers, can be achieved in this fashion. As a demonstration of electronic device fabrication by e-jet printing,
thin-film transistors that use aligned arrays of single-walled carbon nanotubes as the semiconductor and e-jetprinted source and drain electrodes were printed on flexible plastic substrates. The transistors were fully
operational, with properties comparable to similar devices fabricated with conventional photolithographic methods.
The team also demonstrated that e-jet printing could be extended to a wide variety of functional organic and
inorganic inks, including suspensions of solid objects (such as nanoscale silicon rods) with resolutions again
extending to the submicron range. The existing e-jet printer can print text, drawings and images in a fully
automated fashion. Current research seeks to improve the printing speed by incorporating large-scale nozzle arrays,
and to explore the fundamental limits in resolution. http://www.uiuc.edu/
PanaVue shows off 360-degree panorama photo stitching
PanaVue ImageAssembler is a professional photo stitching software package available in three editions:
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The Standard Edition enables users to stitch panoramas and mosaics.
The Professional Edition has all the features of the Standard Edition plus the power to stitch huge
images, professional color handling, post-production retouching integrated with Photoshop, and a
sophisticated system for handling hand-held and hard-condition photos.
The Enterprise Edition comes with everything in the Professional Edition plus the capability of being
called from another application, thus automating the stitching of images in batch.
More 360-degree panoramas can be viewed at: http://www.panavue.com/
Images of Quebec City’s Champlain Street taken from a 360 degree panorama shot in 12 images
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Seitz gallery showcases panoramic views
Several new images are showcased in the Seitz gallery, which shows the amazing world of 360° Roundshot
photography. The panorama format clearly leaves great freedoms for creativity and is a playground for completely
new ideas. http://www.roundshot.ch
In the upper image, entitled “Ashridge Bluebells” UK photographer Gareth Davies explains, “In my use of slit
scan imagery, I strive to portray the world in ways that are outside normal photographic perceptions of space and
time, although recognizably founded in reality.” About the lower image, titled “Evening Calm”, Australian
photographer Leo Meier says, “I have taken the equipment through some of the most tortuous terrain on 4x4 and
backpack, enduring extremes of temperature and humidity.”
Max Lyons adds high-resolution images
Photographer Max Lyons recently
added numerous new high-resolution
images to his online digital image
gallery, most taken in Washington DC.
The accompanying image of the Iwo
Jima Memorial measures 17,690 x
9,729 pixels (164.1 megapixels) and
stitches 27 images (3x9 combination).
The image was created using
PTAssembler and Panorama Tools
from images captured on July 27, 2007
using a Canon EOS 20D camera. The
image is titled “Sunrise, Sunset”
http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/
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GalleryPlayer and Image Entertainment to bring high definition art and photography to Blu-ray
GalleryPlayer recently inked an exclusive distribution deal with leading independent home entertainment distributor
Image Entertainment, Inc. to release four new titles exclusively on Blu-ray disc this fall. The deal marks the debut
of high-definition lifestyle imagery on Blu-ray disc. The one-hour-plus programs slated to be released this fall
include 1000 Places to See Before You Die: 50 Favorite Destinations, The Amazing World of National Geographic,
Art Wolfe: Vanishing Act and 50 Paintings from the Museum of Modern Art. http://www.galleryplayer.com
NIST hosts nanoscale soccer games
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently hosted the first ever nanoscale soccer games at
the 2007 RoboCup in Atlanta, Georgia. RoboCup is an annual international competition designed to foster
innovations and advances in artificial intelligence and intelligent robotics by using the game of soccer as a testing
ground. NIST hopes that a competition between the smallest robots in RoboCup history will show the feasibility
and accessibility of technologies for fabricating MEMS devices, tiny mechanical devices that are built onto
semiconductor chips and are measured in micrometers (millionth of a meter). Five teams entered the Nanogram
Demonstration Competition: two from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pa.), and one each from the US
Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich, Switzerland) and Simon
Fraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada). The soccer nanobots (nanoscale robots) operate under an
optical microscope, are controlled by remote electronics using visual feedback and are viewed on a monitor. Three
of the robots move in response to different electrical signals transmitted across the microchip playing field while
the other two are maneuvered by changing magnetic fields. They are manufactured from materials such as
aluminum, nickel, gold, silicon and chromium. While they are a few tens of micrometers to a few hundred
micrometers long, the robots are considered “nanoscale” because their masses range from a few nanograms to a few
hundred nanograms. The capabilities of the nanobots were tested in three events: a two-millimeter dash in which
each nanobot seeks the best time for a goal-to-goal sprint across the playing field; a slalom drill where the path
between goals is blocked by “defenders” (polymer
posts) and a ball handling drill that requires robots to 2mm Dash: First Place: ETH Zurich, 316 milliseconds
“dribble” as many “nanoballs” (microdisks with the Slalom Drill: First Place: ETH Zurich, 583 milliseconds
diameter of a human hair) as possible into the goal Ball Handling Drill: Winner: ETH Zurich, 3 Goals
within a 3-minute period. http://www.robocup-us.org
Microchip with nanosoccer fields of play. The glass microchip on the left measures 3 centimeters across – slightly
more than the diameter of a quarter on the right – and is divided into 16 nanosoccer playing fields. On the right is a
photomicrograph of field of play with defenders in place.
http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/calmed/robocup_photos.html
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Micreon fabricates fascinating micro components
Germany’s Micreon is the first service provider specialized in micro-machining using ultra-fast laser sources. The
company has a long experience in the field of laser material interactions. This expertise (modern ultra-short pulse
laser systems and high-precision positioning machines) allow the performing of comprehensive micro-machining of
all kind of materials. Their website showcases several fun creations that depict the capabilities of their expertise, as
shown below. http://www.micreon.de
On the left Micreon fabricated a two-millimeter-tall camel made of gold foil and posed it passing through the eye
of a needle just 300 microns wide. On the right is a preserved housefly sporting a pair of two-millimeter-wide
eyeglasses, engineered with ultra-precise fast-pulse laser technology.
UC San Diego introduces world’s highest-resolution computer display – 220 megapixels
A new system located at the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information
Technology (Calit2) boasts 220 million pixels – and is also linked via optical fiber to Calit2’s building at UC Irvine,
which boasts the previous record holder. The combination – known as the Highly Interactive Parallelized Display
Space (HIPerSpace) – can deliver real-time
rendered graphics simultaneously across 420
million pixels to audiences in Irvine and San
Diego. “We don’t intend to stop there,” said
Falko Kuester, Calit2 professor for
visualization and virtual reality and associate
professor of structural engineering in UCSD’s
Jacobs School of Engineering. “HIPerSpace
provides a unique environment for visual
analytics and cyber-infrastructure research and
we are now seeking funding to double the size
of the system at UC San Diego alone to reach
half a billion pixels with a one gigapixel
distributed display in sight.” The “graphics
super cluster” being developed at UCSD consists of 80 NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 graphics processing units
(GPUs). “The higher-resolution displays allow researchers to take in both the broad view of the data and the
minutest details, all at the same time,” said Kuester. http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
IBM and ETH Zurich demonstrate nanoscale printing
Scientists from IBM and ETH Zurich recently demonstrated a method that places individual particles precisely and
could advance the development of nanoscale biosensors, ultra-tiny lenses that can bend light inside future optical
chips, and the fabrication of nanowires that might be the basis of next-generation computer chips. The achievement
offers a promising and powerful new tool for use in a wide range of fields and industries such as biomedicine,
electronics and IT that seek ways to exploit the often unique properties of nanoparticles, which are defined as
particles smaller than 100 nanometers. For the first time, the researchers printed particles as tiny as 60 nanometers –
roughly 100 times smaller than a human red blood cell – with single-particle resolution to create nano-patterns
ranging from simple lines to complex arrangements. Translating the resolution of these particles into dots per inch,
this nanoprinting method yields 100,000 dpi. To demonstrate the efficiency and the versatility of their method, the
researchers chose to print Robert Fludd’s 17th-century image of the sun, the alchemists’ symbol for gold. Quite
fittingly, it is printed out of roughly 20,000 gold particles, each of them 60 nanometers in diameter. The printing
method precisely placed one
particle per dot, thus creating the
This image created by IBM scientists
demonstrates a new nano “printing”
smallest piece of artwork ever
technique they believe will lead to
printed from single pigment
breakthroughs in ultra-tiny chips,
particles.
Nanoparticles
can
optics,
and biosensors. The recreation
interact with light, such that with
of Robert Fludd’s 17th century
this new method, optical materials
drawing of the Sun -- the alchemists’
with new properties can be
symbol for gold -- was created by
printed, for example, for use in
precisely placing 20,000 gold
optoelectronic devices. So-called
particles, each about 60 nanometers in
“metamaterials” could be created
diameter. This method could be used
in which the printed structures are
for mass production to place particles
as small as 2 nanometers in diameter
as small as the wavelength of the
to fabricate atomic scale nanowires,
light and therefore act as if they
ultra tiny lenses for optics and
were a single lens with unusual
biosensors for healthcare.
properties. http://www.ibm.com
Avago introduces Extra Bright II red, green, and blue LEDs
Avago Technologies today announced a new series of Extra Bright II oval red, green and blue light emitting diodes
(LEDs) for the electronic signs and signals (ESS) market. Avago’s series of 4 and 5 mm oval through-hole LED
lamps have been specifically designed for use in full color ESS applications such as passenger signs, variable
message signs, scoreboards and channel lighting. Avago’s HLMP-Lx63 (4 mm) and HLMP-Hx63 (5 mm) series of
LEDs provide an oval shaped radiation pattern, a wide viewing angle and high illumination intensity to make
display characters viewable from any angle in bright sunlight. Moreover, these LED lamps have a very smooth,
matched radiation pattern to ensure consistent color mixing in full color applications. Each lamp is made with
advanced optical grade epoxy to offer superior high temperature and high moisture resistance in outdoor ESS
applications. Designers of electronic signs and signals are seeking higher brightness levels to reduce the number of
LEDs in a cluster. With Avago’s HLMP-Lx63 and HLMP-Hx63 series of extra-bright 4 and 5 mm oval throughhole LED lamps, electronic signs can be designed using fewer individual LEDs to provide equivalent brightness.
Alternatively, signs can be designed with the same number of LEDs, providing substantially higher brightness
levels for better readability and contrast. The lead spacing and packages are compatible with conventional highbrightness 4 and 5 mm standard and miniature oval-pattern LED lamps. Avago’s red (HLMP-LD63 and HLMPHG63) LEDs are priced at $0.20 each while the blue (HLMP-LB63 and HLMP-HB63) and green (HLMP-LM63
and HLMP-HM63) are $0.45 each in quantities of 10,000. http://www.avagotech.com
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Ken Crane’s unveils world’s biggest plasma TV
Ken Crane’s is the exclusive California dealer offering Panasonic’s colossal 103-inch HD flat screen plasma TV to
consumers. The Panasonic plasma television is 103 inches and weighs 485 pounds. Ken Crane’s is the only West
Coast retailer with the rights to sell this product directly to consumers. The giant PDP TV features nearly 4,500
square inches of display area and retails at Ken Crane’s for $70,000. Additionally, the TV features a 1080p full HD
screen, consistent brightness from any angle, and smooth motion during high-speed action. Ken Crane’s operates
ten retail locations across Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. http://www.kencrane.com
Prototype display from National Chiao Tung University adjusts pixels to improving viewing angles
A new display system developed by engineers at the Photonics and Display Institute, National Chiao Tung
University in Taiwan, could enable the LCD to alter itself based on your viewing location. The researchers have
devised a solution in which a camera tracks the eyes of the onlooker and subsequently uses software to adjust the
“orientation of liquid crystals in the display and the power fed to light-emitting diodes behind each”. The result is
an image that remains clear and sharp regardless of how you’re looking at the screen, and while the developers
admit that it can only respond to one set of eyes at a time, they’re hoping that “doctors and surgeons who use LCDs
to view scans or X-rays” would be among the first to benefit. http://www.nctu.edu.tw
Canon introduces 21-1megapixel digital SLR camera
In late August, Canon launched the 21.1-megapixel, full-frame Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera. The
camera’s fast, five-frame-per-second (fps) shooting rate for bursts of up to 56 Large/Fine (21-megapixel) JPEGs or
12 RAW images is unmatched in its class, and can be used for capturing the fluid motion and free-flowing lines of
location-based fashion photography as well as a wide range of other professional photographic applications.
Developed and manufactured by Canon specifically for the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR, the camera’s new fullsize 36 x 24 mm CMOS image sensor offers the highest resolution in its class, and is comprised of approximately
21.1 million effective pixels (5632 x 3750) set at a pitch of 6.4 microns. The user can select any one of six
recording formats ranging from 21.0 megapixels in large JPEG or RAW format, 16.6 or 11.0 megapixels in the two
medium JPEG sizes, or 5.2 megapixels in the small JPEG or “sRAW” formats. In any JPEG format, the user can set
one of ten compression rates for each image size. In sRAW mode, the number of
pixels is reduced to one-fourth that of a standard RAW image and the file size is
cut in half, while retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities
associated with full-size, traditional RAW images. Canon incorporated two
identical DIGIC III imaging engines into the camera for parallel (and hence,
faster) signal processing. The CMOS sensor reads out to the dual “DIGIC III”
processors simultaneously in eight channels. DIGIC III is the next generation of
Canon’s proprietary image processing engine. The camera also boasts a 14-bit
Analog-to-Digital (A/D) conversion process. Able to recognize 16,384 colors
per channel the camera is able to produce images with finer and more accurate
gradations of tones and colors. Additionally, given the significantly larger image
file sizes created by the EOS-1Ds Mark III Digital SLR camera, Canon has
provided compatibility with the new Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA)
compact flash memory card specification, which enables ultra-high-speed data transfer to the card. Utilizing a
UDMA compliant card doubles the data transfer speed compared to a conventional memory card, putting the new
EOS-1Ds Mark III on par with the 10.1-megapixel EOS-1D Mark III camera, even though the pixel count of this
new model is more than twice as large. The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III professional digital single lens reflex camera
is scheduled to begin shipping in November and will have an estimated selling price of $7,999 (the same price as its
predecessor, a 16.7-megapixel device). http://www.usa.canon.com
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September 2007
Sony announces HD video walkman
Sony recently introduced the GV-HD700E HD video walkman, scheduled for release across Europe in September
and will allow users to playback high definition videos on a 1.2 megapixel 7.0-inch screen (16:9 format, 800x480
pixel) and record HD videos in 1080i. Supported media formats include HDV, DV SP and DV LP. Among the
features are FireWire, video, audio and S-Video inputs; on the output side, there are HDMI, FireWire, component
HD and SD, video, audio, S-Video, as well as USB and Memory Stick ports.
Laird Technologies and ITEQ combine efforts to supply LED-based backlights
In mid-August, Laird Technologies announced that it signed a distribution and lamination agreement with ITEQ
Corporation related to the growing market for LED-based backlight units for LCDs. The agreement gives Laird
Technologies access to ITEQ’s high volume lamination capabilities and AP distribution and gives ITEQ access to
Laird Technologies’ high performance T-lam materials. T-lam high performance materials are important to the
LED backlight market because the brightness and color of an LED degrades as temperature increases. For example,
red can lose 50 percent of its luminance with higher temperature. T-lam material allows heat to pass out of LED
devices more efficiently. T-lam thermally conductive printed circuit boards (IMPCB) use T-preg, a free standing
thermally conductive dielectric sheet, in conjunction with copper foil and an integrated metal base to provide circuit
board laminate that has superior thermal management capabilities when compared to conventional FR4-based PCB.
http://www/lairdtech.com
Intelligent Optical Systems introduces LED flashlight that can incapacitate crime suspects
The US Department of Homeland Security DHS recently showcased an LED flashlight that is capable of inducing
vomiting for the purpose of incapacitating crime culprits. The flashlight uses a range finder to measure the distance
to the target’s eyes so that it can adjust the energy of the light to a level that won't
cause permanent damage. Then it rapidly shoots out pulses of light from an array of
ultra-bright LEDs. The flashes incapacitate a person in two different ways, says
Robert Lieberman, CEO of Intelligent Optical Systems, based in Torrance, CA,
which is making the device. The flashes temporarily blind a person, as any bright
light would, and the light pulses, which quickly change both in color and duration,
also cause what Lieberman calls psychophysical effects. These effects, whose
effectiveness depends on the person, range from disorientation to vertigo to nausea,
and they wear off in a few minutes. It’s not clear why the changing light pulses cause
this effect, even though the effect has been well documented, Lieberman says.
Helicopter pilots, for example, have been known to crash because they get disoriented
by the choppy flashes of sunlight coming through the chopper’s spinning blades. The
DHS is funding research on the new non-lethal weapon. According to a DHS press
release, cops, border-security agents, and the National Guard could be armed with the
new flashlight by 2010. The device is part of a larger effort to develop non-lethal
weapons that can help law-enforcement and military personnel control crowds and
riots, both in antiterrorist actions and in hostage situations. There have been efforts to
make dazzlers using lasers, but LEDs could be a safer choice. Researchers at
Intelligent Optical Systems are now analyzing combinations of wavelengths and light
intensities that have the strongest effect on people while remaining safe. They also
need to make the device smaller and easier to carry. Right now, it’s about 15 inches
long and 4 inches wide. This fall, the team plans to test the flashlight extensively on
people at Penn State University’s Institute of Non-Lethal Defense Technology.
http://www.intopsys.com
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September 2007
MERL blurs images to achieve higher resolution
Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has published a paper entitled
“Resolving Objects at Higher Resolution from a Single Motion-blurred Image”. Motion blur can degrade the
quality of images and is considered a nuisance for computer vision problems. In the paper, the researchers show
that motion blur can in fact be used for increasing the resolution
of a moving object. Their approach utilizes the information in a
single motion-blurred image without any image priors or training
images. As the blur size increases, the resolution of the moving
object can be enhanced by a larger factor, albeit with a
corresponding increase in reconstruction noise. Traditionally,
motion deblurring and super-resolution have been ill-posed
problems, the researchers say. Using a coded-exposure camera
that preserves high spatial frequencies in the blurred image, they
present a linear algorithm for the combined problem of
deblurring and resolution enhancement and analyze the
invertibility of the resulting linear system. They also show a
method to selectively enhance the resolution of a narrow region
of high-frequency features, when the resolution of the entire
moving object cannot be increased due to small motion blur.
Results on real images showing up to four times resolution
enhancement are presented.
A limited resolution sensor may fail to recover sufficient details
on a static object. If we let the object move causing motion blur,
the resulting smear distributes the signal information to
neighboring pixels. Can we exploit these additional pixel
samples to reconstruct the object at a higher resolution, MERL
asks. If the blurred image is larger than the size of the moving
object in pixels by a factor s, the resolution of the moving object
can also be enhanced up to a factor s (Figure 1). To practically
achieve this, MERL uses a modified coded-exposure camera that
preserves high spatial frequencies in the motion-blurred image.
In practice, when an object moves, it smears with the background
and the unknown background color along the scan line also
needs to be estimated. The researchers assume that the
background is low frequency and does not have high frequency
texture. They estimate a single unknown color for the
background on every motion line.
Figure 1: Can we achieve resolution enhancement
by letting objects blur? (a) Camera pixel resolution
is insufficient to capture individual alternating lines
in a static image of a standard resolution chart
since they span only 18 pixels. (b) Zoom showing
four times up-sampling in horizontal direction. (c)
If we intentionally let the object blur horizontally,
the black lines occupy more pixels. (d) The crop
shows that now the smeared features spans 74
pixels with motion blur of 57 pixels. (e) The
additional samples support deblurring with a
resolution enhancement factor of 74/18 = 4. (f) and
(g) For comparison, results of traditional
deblurring and its four times up-sampling fails to
recover the details. (h) Zoomed in close up of the
static resolution chart.
A future application could be increasing the resolution of a static
scene from a single low-resolution image captured by
intentionally shaking the camera. We have dealt with simple
linear motions and thus recovery of high frequencies and
resolution enhancement can only be done along the motion
direction. More complicated motions can lead to spatially varying PSF. Automatic PSF estimation from a single
image is a challenging problem. MERL currently relies on user input to infer the direction of the motion and the
blur size. Textured background will also create problems for deblurring. MERL’s approach is linear and fast,
although the use of specific priors such as bimodal distribution for text can improve results in those situations.
http://www.merl.com
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Siemens and Xintek set up nano X-ray collaboration
Siemens Medical Solutions USA and Xintek announced that they have signed an agreement to establish a joint
venture company. The mission of the new company, named XinRay Systems, is to develop a new multi-pixel X-ray
source technology for a broad range of diagnostic imaging applications. The basic design of the X-ray tubes,
however, has not changed significantly since Roentgen’s discovery over a hundred years ago. Siemens and Xintek
have developed a nanotechnology-based field emission X-ray source technology that fundamentally changes how
X-ray radiation is generated and utilized. This technology is expected to enable new diagnostic imaging systems
with enhanced performance and new capabilities. The joint venture company combines the activities that Siemens
and Xintek have been undertaking jointly over the last two years under one roof in North Carolina and is staffed by
a technical team transferred from Xintek and Siemens facilities in Germany and China. http://www.xintek
Leadis Technology teams with VP Dynamics on RGBW technology
Leadis Technology, an analog and mixed-signal semiconductor developer of color display drivers, LED drivers,
and audio ICs for mobile consumer electronic devices, and VP Dynamics, a private Hong Kong company focused
on research, design, and development of high resolution displays, announced a partnership on RGBW technology
for small/medium mobile displays. Under the partnership agreement Leadis will license VP Dynamics’ VPW
RGBW technology for use in LCD, AMOLED and other display drivers, empowering products with lower power,
higher resolution, excellent brightness and better contrast. VPW technology adds white (transparent) subpixels to
form a proprietary 4-color RGBW display of square subpixels. Higher brightness can be obtained from the
backlight through the white subpixels in the case of LCD and CF-OLED displays; or from the reflection of the
ambient light on the white subpixels area in the case of electronic paper displays. http://www.leadis.com
xRez launches visual effects studio
xRez Studio has launched a visual effects division based on the studio’s work employing gigapixel panoramic
photography. Founded by Eric Hanson and Greg Downing, both veterans in advanced photography and motion
picture visual effects, xRez has perfected the highest resolution photography currently available. Using digital
techniques derived from feature film visual effects, images can be created at resolutions of up to 150,000 pixels
wide, far surpassing any large format film standards used in photography, and well beyond IMAX. According to
Hanson, the use of gigapixel imagery is far-ranging, from use in producing visual effects backgrounds in feature
films, to aiding historic and natural interpretation in national parks. Taking gigapixel photography beyond academic
research into a real production methodology and pipeline, xRez Studio provides location shooting expertise,
efficient post-production of the images, and 3D animation derived from the image. Virtual cinematography can be
created within the image and integrating a hidden layer of 3D geometry of terrain or structures can be accomplished
using visual effects 3D software. http://www.xrez.com
Sharp sues Samsung Electronics over patent infringement
Sharp Corporation filed a lawsuit on August 6 alleging infringements of five of its patents on LCD-related
technology by Samsung Electronics and its US subsidiaries Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) and
Samsung Telecommunications America (STA). The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas. The complaint alleges that the following products infringe LCD-related patents that are owned by
Sharp: liquid crystal display (LCD) modules manufactured by Samsung and sold in the US by Samsung; LCD TVs
and LCD monitors which incorporate the LCD modules manufactured by Samsung and are sold in the US by SEA;
and mobile phones which incorporate the LCD modules manufactured by Samsung and are sold in the US by STA.
The five patents involved with the lawsuit are US Patent Numbers 4,649,383, 5,760,855, 6,052,162, 7,027,024 and
7,057,689, all of which relate to LCD modules. Sharp says that it has negotiated in good faith with Samsung for an
LCD patent license since 2006, but has regrettably been unable to resolve this matter through negotiations.
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Philips LumiLeds breaks 100 million barrier on LUXEON Flash
Philips LumiLeds announced that it has delivered more than 100 million units of the LUXEON Flash power LEDs
to camera phone manufacturers worldwide and enabled an entirely new segment. The functional flash market for
camera phones was established less than three years ago when the company released its first generation LUXEON
Flash. LUXEON Flash LEDs are capable of providing the quality illumination for camera flash applications in 2megapixel and higher camera phones as well as for video and flashlight applications that are being built into mobile
handsets today. http://www.philips.com
NEC ships 4.1-inch LCD module with high ppi
NEC LCD Technologies, along with its sales and marketing channels in the Americas, NEC Electronics America,
announced that they will begin shipping samples of a new 4.1-inch (10.6cm-diagonal), thin-film transistor (TFT)
liquid crystal display (LCD) module, part number NL8048HL11-01B, at
the beginning of October. Incorporating low-temperature poly-silicon
(LTPS) technology, the new module features wide video graphics array
852x480 resolution that produces high-quality pictures on portable devices
such as ultra-mobile personal computers (UMPCs) and portable multimedia
players (PMPs), and on display devices for various small-size broadcasting
equipment. The main features of the new LCD module are high pixel
density (227 pixels per inch, high luminance of 350 cd/m2 and a touch
panel. http://www.nec-lcd.com/en/index.html.
MotionDSP launches movie enhancement service
MotionDSP announced a new consumer service called fixmymovie.com, where video from any source can be
dramatically enhanced with one-button, online simplicity. Using technology originally developed for high-tech
intelligence applications, fixmymovie.com employs MotionDSP’s own video enhancement solutions and applies
them to user-generated content. Examples can range from irreplaceable video to breaking news captured with a
mobile phone. Fixmymovie.com can take any video file from a mobile phone or digital camera and make it better.
FixMyMovie’s suite of automatic enhancements improves overall resolution, corrects for poor lighting conditions
and removes the blockiness and other artifacts that ruin most mobile phone and low-end digital camera videos. The
service was launched at the DEMOfall 07 conference and has been called “the gold standard for video
enhancement” by pre-briefed analysts and press, as well as In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA). Fixmymovie.com is one of the first public sites to utilize Adobe’s newest version of Flash for video
encoding, which incorporates support for H.264 video - the latest-generation video format. In addition to H.264
Flash, enhanced video clips are available for download to Microsoft Windows PCs as a WMV file, Apple Mac
computers, as well as iPod or iPhone through QuickTime, as well as Adobe Flash for online services such as
YouTube. During the consumer beta, Fixmymovie.com allows for free enhancement of video clips smaller than CIF
resolution (352x288 pixels) and less than 20 megabytes (almost any video from a mobile phone or digital camera
fits these requirements). http://www.fixmymovie.com
Vision Research teams up with Dedo Weigert on cinema camera
Vision Research announced the establishment of a strategic partnership with Munich and Moscow based Dedo
Weigert for the sales, rentals, and technical support of their Phantom HD and Phantom 65 high-speed digital
cinema cameras. The Phantom HD camera is capable of taking as many as 1000 frames-per-second (fps) at HD
resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. When used in 2K applications (2048x1556, for example) the camera can take up to
700 fps. The digital sensor is equivalent in size to 35mm film, giving cinematographers true 35mm depth-of-field,
while the PL lens mount provides access to a wide range of professional cine lenses. The Phantom 65 is capable of
taking movies at up to 120 fps at resolutions up to 4096x2440. The sensor is equivalent in size to 65mm film,
giving cinematographers access to the coveted 65mm format in a digital camera. http://www.visionresearch.com
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Microsoft and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology combine noise and blur for clear images
Researchers from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Microsoft Research presented how
two negatives can make a positive for digital photographers at SIGGRAPH 2007 in August. The paper, “Image
Deblurring with Blurred/Noisy Image Pairs”, authored by Lu Yuan and Long Quan at The Hong Kong University
of Science and Technology, and Jian Sun and Harry Shum of Microsoft Research Asia, was identified by
SIGGRAPH as one of six “select highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2007 papers program”. This research will help
everyday digital photographers avoid one of the more common frustrations of capturing satisfactory photos under
low-light conditions using a handheld camera, which is that images are often blurred, or cluttered with noise. In the
context of digital photography, “noise” refers to the speckled patterns that often look like film grain. The
technology enables digital photographers to generate high quality images by combining a blurred image with a
noisy one. The result is that the reconstructed image is sharper than the blurred image, and clearer than the noisy
one. Using a blurred/noisy image pair for input, they were able to obtain incredible image deblurring results that
were hardly imaginable before. The approach doesn’t require any special hardware, just an off-the-shelf, hand-held
camera. As a software-based solution, the photographer can upload photos on a PC and then easily and quickly
perform the procedure. At the same time, the approach to reducing blur and noise can be implemented in hardware
or firmware within the digital camera. The researchers plans to extend the approach to other applications, including
reducing blur in video sequences. http://www.microsoft.com
Photographs in a low light environment. (a) Blurred image (with shutter speed of 1 second, and ISO 100)
due to camera shake. (b) Noisy image (with shutter speed of 1/100 second, and ISO 1600) due to insufficient
light. (c) Noisy image enhanced by adjusting level and gamma. (d) The deblurred image.
Pivot3 showcases HD video storage
Pivot3 Inc, the inventor of high-definition storage based on distributed RAID, exhibited its new high-definition
video storage solution at ASIS International 2007, Las Vegas, September 24-27. “The move to high-definition
megapixel cameras enables exciting new video applications, but this is breaking the traditional methods of storing
and managing the video data streams,” said Jeffrey Bell, Pivot3 vice president marketing. “Traditional DVR and
NVR appliances cannot scale bandwidth to meet the new megapixel demands. The Pivot3 RAIGE architecture
solves that problem.” High-definition storage requires a fundamentally different internal architecture to sustain high
data rates and meet cost and availability requirements. In order to be suitable for the latest megapixel video
applications, high-definition storage requires expandable capacity, higher bandwidth, higher availability,
compatibility across cameras and applications, as well as ease of use for non-technical security staff managing the
video infrastructure. The Pivot3 solution is built on the Pivot3 RAIGE (RAID Across Independent Gigabit
Ethernet) architecture that allows users to store twice the video while supporting up to five times the data streams of
traditional high-availability modular storage systems. This results in reduced storage infrastructure costs – up to 50
percent – while significantly increasing scalability and data availability. http://www.pivot3.com.
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
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September 2007
Philips completes acquisition of Color Kinetics
Royal Philips Electronics announced it has completed its acquisition of Color Kinetics Incorporated, a company in
designing and marketing innovative lighting systems based on LED technology. As a result of the transaction,
Color Kinetics will be financially consolidated with immediate effect within the Luminaires business group of
Philips’ Lighting division. The acquisition of Color Kinetics adds important patents relating to intelligence and
control technology for LED lighting. Color Kinetics also has in excess of 15,000 professional installations
worldwide and an array of large, industrial customers in professional channels. The acquisition of Color Kinetics
builds on the acquisition of LumiLeds in 2005, through which Philips ensured a leading position in high-power
LEDs, and on the recent acquisition of TIR Systems, which provided Philips with a strong line of fully-integrated
solid state lighting modules used to deliver integrated lighting products to fixture manufacturers.
http://www.colorkinetics.com
Giant screens from TecnoVISION dominate Genoa
TecnoVISION celebrated its 20th anniversary by establishing a new record. On 15th of September, the Mayor of
Genoa switched on for the first time two screens, model SP-50, of 128 m² each. The screens dominate Genoa from
the Martini Terrace, one of the highest skyscrapers in the city. http://www.tecnovision.it
WEISSCAM teams with Wafian Corp and CineForm on new digital recorder
WEISSCAM announced that for its new RAW digital recorder device, it has begun cooperation with Wafian Corp
and CineForm to create a mountable and stand alone recorder for uncompressed and compressed WEISSCAM
RAW files over single and dual-link HD-SDI with a resolution up to 2048 horizontal pixels. Wafian, as a hardware
manufacturer in the industry, intends to develop the OEM hardware design using the CineForm Intermediate and
CineForm RAW codec for superior image quality. The recorder will offer a fast download of WEISSCAM RAW
data over HD-SDI single and dual-link and the possibility to export the data as CineForm RAW files to a laptop
over USB 2.0 and e-data. The recorded CineForm RAW files will be immediately available for editing in numerous
post-production applications such as Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Sony, amongst others. www.weisscam.com
Aperio Technologies granted patent on pattern recognition
Aperio Technologies, a company in the field of digital pathology for the healthcare and life sciences industry,
announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company patent No. 7,116,440
covering systems and methods for image pattern recognition using vector quantization. A key challenge in
pathology is that it is difficult for pathologists to examine an entire tissue specimen with manual microscopy at high
resolution to find rare events or to exhaustively identify significant regions of a biopsy slide. An important benefit
of digital pathology is that tissue specimens that are scanned to create digital slide images can be interrogated by
computer software at full resolution, including for image pattern recognition. The image pattern recognition
technology covered by Aperio’s patent is based on the novel application of vector quantization, a technique
commonly used for the compression of data streams. http://www.aperio.com
JVC launches 30,000:1 contrast home theater projectors
JVC expanded its 1080p home theater projector line with the introduction of two new high-definition projectors that
achieve an unprecedented native contrast ratio of 30,000:1, an industry first. By avoiding artificial means of
inflating contrast specifications, such as a dynamic iris, the D-ILA projectors simultaneously deliver true blacks and
luminance detail. The new projectors are the DLA-HD100, to be marketed by JVC’s consumer group, JVC
Company of America, and the DLA-RS2 from JVC’s professional group, JVC Professional Products Company. To
attain a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1, the projectors employ original and proprietary JVC technology in the 0.7inch full HD D-ILA devices and optical engine used in both models. Three D-ILA devices are used, one each for
red, green and blue. The projectors also offer HDMI 1.3, improved color rendition by broadening the color space, a
motorized Fujinon 2x zoom lens, and customized on-screen gamma control. http://www.jvc.com
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City University comes up with new color blindness test
People with a serious fault or absence of red, green or blue cones in the retina cannot tell the difference between
certain colors. The absence of one of these pigments makes people confuse some colors and this is described as
“color deficiency”. To diagnose color deficiency, one needs to ensure that the subject can only make use of color
signals. Other things like luminance contrast must be eliminated, and this is not always easy. At City University
(CU) in the UK, researchers developed a new color vision test that works well with every kind of color deficient
observer and a simplified version of this test is now available at http://www.city.ac.uk/avrc/colourtest.html. (For a
detailed description of the CU Dynamic Color Vision Test see: Barbur et al, Proc. Roy. Soc.B., 258, pp 327-334,
1994.) The movie on the website displays a moving “colored” square that is buried in flickering luminance contrast
noise. The square changes color as the movie plays. You may be able to see the color for some or all of the time. If
you have some form of severe color deficiency, you will have difficulty in seeing the colored square moving all the
time. The movie lasts for 90 seconds and all you need do is play it and remember if the colored square disappeared
at any time during the movie. The absence of the moving square may only last for 2 to 3 seconds, before you see it
reappearing in a different color. This temporary disappearance of the pattern is what you have to watch for in the
test. When this happens, you may like to confirm this with your optometrist who will be able to diagnose the type
and severity of your color deficiency loss. The web version of this test will run on a variety of monitors balanced
for different phases of daylight. The movie was however prepared and will run best on a monitor balanced for
~9000K. This is usually the default factory setting for most color monitors. The spectral characteristics of the
pattern will be affected by ambient illumination and therefore this should be kept to a minimum (i.e., use the
monitor in a dark room). The new version of the color vision test was produced with support from the UK Civil
Aviation Authority. The test is not yet in use for medical certification purposes.
From left to right are the L-cone, M-cone and S-cone tests for color deficiencies developed by City University in the UK.
Dimension Technologies receives SBIR award for 5760x3240 pixel HMDs
Dimension Technologies Inc. (DTI) announced that it has received a National Science Foundation Small Business
Innovation Research award. This is the tenth NSF contract earned by DTI over the past 15 years. During this SBIR
Phase I project, DTI will study the feasibility of applying DTI’s patented Ultra High Definition (UHD) display
technology to head mounted virtual reality displays (HMDs). This will allow the display of images with 5760x3240
resolution using current off-the-shelf microdisplays. Such unprecedented resolution will allow eye-limited
resolution across a 96 degree x 54 degree field of view. This is the closest that any display has ever come to
matching the acuity of the human vision system. The extra resolution is added by operating the microdisplays nine
times faster than the usual 60 frames per second. Sub sections of each pixel are illuminated in sequence, creating an
image made up of the sub-sections instead of the whole pixels. This is the first commercial application of this
technology. http://www.dti3d.com
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Planar Systems introduces transparent EL displays
Planar Systems announced the addition of transparent and segment electroluminescent (TASEL) displays to its
family of high-performance EL displays. Featuring the same visual performance characteristics of Planar’s
electroluminescent (EL) displays, this new technology offers added benefits of transparency and the ability to cut or
shape the display. Transparent displays are ideal for markets in
which design aesthetics are a crucial component in
communicating product innovation and quality. Feedback from
product and industrial designers of transportation systems,
premier pro-consumer electronics and architectural projects have
identified TASEL’s characteristics as an enabling technology
that removes constraints imposed by flat, rectangular, nontransparent displays. Planar’s TASEL display technology can be
integrated into a variety of enclosures and used in products that
need a unique look for product differentiation. These displays
upgrade product appearance from more traditional LED or TN
LCD display technologies. http://www.planar.com
Texas Instruments launches new HD marketing campaign
Texas Instruments announced the largest campaign ever supporting DLP technology and DLP-based micro display
HDTVs. The $100 million dollar marketing investment includes a new campaign anchored by three major sports
sponsorships and kicks off the peak fall 2007 HDTV buying season. As a part of the new campaign, DLP Products
will be a prominent sponsor of ABC and ESPN’s Monday Night NFL and College football programming, as well as
those stations’ Nextel Cup NASCAR programming. The new spots help convey key advantages that DLP’s
advanced display technology hold over the competition, including no motion blur, no burn-in, and a sharp clear
picture, even on the biggest of TV screen sizes. The spots, created by JWT Communications, Entertainment and
Technology Practice and shot in California, bring young Bella and the elephant back to share the magic of DLP
technology and builds on the “It’s amazing. It’s the mirrors” campaign which debuted in the fall of 2006. A new
addition this year is the Internet basketball sensation “Mr. 720,” one of the only people in the world to successfully
complete two revolutions while dunking on a basketball hoop. Mr. 720’s incredible feat was caught in high
definition for one dramatic spot that will highlight the lack of motion blur and fast action enabled by DLP
technology. http://www.dlp.com
TANDBERG acquires Codian
TANDBERG announced completion of its acquisition of Codian, an award-winning developer of high-definition
videoconferencing infrastructure products. The transaction, a combination of cash and stock, is valued at $270
million. TANDBERG announced an agreement to acquire Codian on September 6, 2007. http://www.tandberg.com
Silicon Optix wins Emmy award
Silicon Optix announced that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) has awarded a Primetime Emmy
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development to the Teranex Video Computer by Silicon
Optix. Based on the professional-grade Teranex video processing platform, HQV processing makes SD material
approach HD quality by utilizing features such as advanced scaling, per-pixel detail enhancement and noise
reduction that removes compression artifacts. HQV also delivers the sharpest, most detailed HD images by
employing true 1080i-to-1080p HD deinterlacing and a sophisticated multidirectional diagonal filter that ensures
video free from jagged edges. Silicon Optix’s HQV processing can be found in products from manufacturers such
as BenQ, Denon, Mitsubishi, NEC, Onkyo, Samsung, Syntax-Brillian and Toshiba. http://www.hqv.com/products
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TPO introduces T-MVA technology to reduce color washout and widen viewing angles
TPO Displays Corp introduced its T-MVA technology to enhance wide viewing angle mobile displays. TPO’s
newly developed technologies enhance front-of-screen display performance across several consumer-critical criteria
for the mobile device market, including contrast ratio, transmittance, viewing angle, response time and luminance.
Currently market-available wide viewing angle technologies, including Multi-domain Vertical Alignment (MVA)
technology, were developed as a means to improve viewing angle performance of liquid crystal displays (LCDs),
especially in large-size panels. As a voltage is applied on the panel, liquid crystals tilt down parallel to the substrate,
thus allowing higher transmittance. In addition, protrusions or etched ITO patterns designed on the color filter (CF)
substrate align the liquid crystals in multiple directions, widening the viewing angle. But MVA panels have a color
washout potential when panels are viewed from oblique angles. TPO’s T-MVA technology corrects this
performance barrier through several advances, improving the wide viewing angle performance without reducing
display brightness. TPO’s first breakthrough is in the design and application of a new cell structure, enabling faster
response times of less than 20 ms. The new cell structure does not sacrifice transmittance, while simultaneously
reduces color washout and increases contrast ratio of the panel. In addition, TPO has optimized the HalftoneGrayscale Method (HGM) developed for MVA panels. TPO’s improvements result in a wider viewing angle of
over 170 degrees with a higher contrast ratio of over 1000:1. For end consumers, this achievement is seen through
color improvements, including more realistic skin tones. TPO’s T-MVA technology is already being applied to
several product series for mobile phones, including a 2.4-inch HVGA module and a 2.0-inch QVGA module. The
technology will be applied to TPO mass production in early 2008. http://www.tpo.biz
JVC launches LCD TV line featuring second-generation high-speed technology
JVC announced a new line of full HD LCD televisions featuring the company’s second-generation high-speed LCD
technology. The new flat panel sets feature the company’s Clear Motion Drive II technology with a 120 frames per
second (120Hz) frame rate, double the typical rate, to deliver crisp fast action images. To further enhance
performance, the new line uses 10-bit LCD panels for more accurate color reproduction and more natural gray
scaling. JVC’s technology will be offered in three new sets – the 37-inch LT-37X898, the 42-inch LT-42X898 and
the 47-inch LT-47X898 (photo). The technology’s second generation,
Clear Motion Drive II, has been designed specifically for full HD
(1920x1080) displays and improves motion detection fivefold compared
to the original high-speed driver. To reduce blurring of moving images,
JVC’s CMD II uses a frame doubling driver (120Hz) and motion
interpolation. A JVC algorithm detects the movement in images and
increases the frame rate to 120Hz to create an interpolated image that is
displayed as two frames – the original plus the newly interpolated frame
– in the same time it takes a conventional (60Hz) set to display a single
frame. This delivers moving images without blurring or flickering. And
compared to other frame doubling technologies, inserting an
interpolated frame maintains image brightness. To further enhance
performance, JVC’s CMD II TVs use a 10-bit IPS LCD panel, which
renders more than one billion colors for rich, natural color reproduction, provides natural gray scaling and provides
64 times smoother gradation than does an 8 bit panel. To get the most out of the advanced 10-bit 120Hz panel,
JVC’s high-speed LCDs feature the company's fifth generation D.I.S.T. (Digital Image Scaling Technology) engine
on the JVC-exclusive 32-bit Genessa chip, which combines all core image processing circuits together in a single
chip that allows for faster communication among circuits. The panel also features IPS (In Plane Switching)
technology for a wide 178-degreee viewing angle. Specifications include a contrast ratio of 2000:1, 4.5 ms response
rate, 500 cd/m2 brightness, and a 178-degree viewing angle. http://www.jvc.com
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JVC to present “High Degree of Realism” at CEATEC
Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC) will exhibit products at “CEATEC JAPAN 2007” to be held from
Tuesday, October 2 through Saturday, October 6 at Makuhari Messe (Nippon Convention Center) (booth concept
on the left). Under the theme “The Sensation of
Being There”, the JVC brand will demonstrate
lifelike sensations and its pursuit of a “high
degree of realism” with video and sound
technology, using large screens, high resolution,
and exceptional sound quality. JVC’s 4K rear
projection system with roughly four times the
resolution of full HD makes its premiere at the
front of the booth. Visitors can experience the
new D-ILA Home Theater Projector at a 2nd floor
home theater viewing room. JVC will also display
the new LH805 Series. JVC took the initiative in
developing technology to reduce LCD blurring
called Clear Motion Drive, featured in these full
HD TVs. “Touch and try” demonstrations will feature HD Everio camcorders including the GZ-HD7 highdefinition hard disk camcorder with 1920x1080 full HD recording, and the new light and compact GZ-HD3 high
definition camcorder. http://www.jvc.jp/english
JVC introduces new D-ILA projector with 30,000:1 native contrast ratio
JVC launched the new premium model DLA-HD100, a Full High-definition D-ILA Home Theater Projector that
achieves a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1, the industry’s highest avoiding any artificial means of contrast
enhancement, such as an iris. The new DLA-HD100 features enhanced 0.7-inch full HD D-ILA devices and wire
grid optical engine to enable it to further improve contrast to twice the ratio of the best conventional projectors and
attain a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1 for images exhibiting deep, true black level without a trace of gray. The
DLA-HD100 is also compatible with the latest HDMI v1.3 (Deep Color) specifications, which allow it to go from
millions of colors to billions of colors and
reproduce subtler shades of grayscale. Newly
designed color filters reproduce vivid colors by
extracting red, blue, and green colors with
extremely high purity. This suppresses excessive
light frequency bands that prevent color purity,
broadening the red color space. The color rendition
range exceeds approximately 170% of the SMPTE
Color depth comparison: conventional, left,
HDTV standards. http://www.jvc.jp/english
DLA-HD100, right
Daktronics launches modular LED video system
Daktronics announced the release of the ProTour PT-4, modular LED video system. The product features four
millimeter line spacing for excellent picture detail, 22-bit image processing for exceptional video quality, a design
without the need for fans for ultra-quite operation, and a high-bright, high-efficiency LED layout for superior
contrast. Daktronics incorporates cast magnesium into the front mask and rear housing resulting in extremely
durable panels. Each PT-4 panel houses four PT-4 modules that can be removed and operated individually, or in
combination. The product also features 3-in-1 “black package” surface mount LED display technology, 2,000 cd/m2
of calibrated brightness and a high-contrast mask coating. The PT-4 LED video display will be shown at the LDI
2007 show, November 16-18 in Orlando, Florida. http://www.daktronics.com
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LifeSize chooses distributor in China
LifeSize announced a strategic partnership with Shenzhen Hivision Video Communication Tech. Co. in China.
Built upon a reseller agreement, Shenzhen Hivision will now extend its market reach to deliver and support the
entire LifeSize high definition video communications product suite in China. Shenzhen Hivision’s main focus is to
serve China government and telecom markets through its sales and service networks. http://www.hivision-tech.cn/
“Postcards From The Future” screened in Los Angeles
Fans of movie technology and movies about technology got the chance to see Alan Chan’s “Postcards From The
Future” short film (shot in 4K with the Origin camera) in Los Angeles in September. The screening made full use
of the newly opened flagship Landmark Theatres in west
Los Angeles and their state-of-the-art Sony SXRD
projectors, screening the movie in 4K digital projection the way its director intended it to be seen. As the film’s
website (www.postcardsfromthefuture.net) explains,
Postcards “explores our future in space - seen through the
eyes of an engineer working to build a base on the moon,
and who occasionally sends video postcards back to his
wife and family on Earth. Shot entirely digitally...
Postcards utilizes technology that belongs in our future,
to capture in ultra-high resolution clarity a glimpse of our
possible future in space exploration.”
British Museum chooses Barco projectors for latest exhibition
Barco has partnered with the British Museum to showcase the added value of its high-end visualization in a real life
environment – “The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army”. To present the historical storyline for the First
Emperor exhibition, the British Museum chose ten single-chip DLP, 1080p HD iCon H250 projectors, and had
them arrayed in two five-channel setups. An additional Barco projector is being used at the main entrance to the
exhibition and provides visitors with information on what they are about to see. Both five-channel display systems
provide one complete and seamless image on a curved, 20-meter wide screen. Proprietary Barco technologies
eliminate blurry overlap zones where projections converge, and ensure that the entire image has the same color and
brightness levels. The iCon H250 has a light output of 2,500 ANSI lumens, increased pixel count and deep color
saturation. http://www/barco.com
Barco brings out new 30-inch high-resolution display
Barco extended its LC series of high-resolution LCD displays with a new 30-inch member. The LC-3001 display
offers crisp, clear and color-accurate images in a 2560x1600 pixel resolution and has been designed for highdensity video monitoring in a wide scope of professional applications, including broadcast monitoring, personal
wall applications for process control and telecom network operations centers, and traffic
and surveillance monitoring. Equipped with the latest LCD technology, the LC-3001
provides excellent sharpness and brightness, along with a very wide viewing angle. The
display has integrated Backlight Optical Stabilization (BLOS) technology to ensure that
the light output remains stable at all times. Disturbing reflections are kept to an absolute
minimum thanks to a non-reflective optical filter. Using Barco’s calibration sensor and
software, the display can be calibrated to an absolute color temperature, gamma and
brightness target. Barco showcased the LC-3001 at this year’s IBC exhibition, from 7 to
11 September 2007 in Amsterdam. The LC-3001 display will be available for sale in Q1
2008. http://www/barco.com
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Eizo introduces FlexScan wide-screen LCD monitor
Eizo Nanao Corporation introduced the FlexScan SX3031W, its first 30inch and the largest LCD monitor it has released to date. Incorporating an
integrated circuit developed in-house, the FlexScan SX3031W includes
several of high-end features for reliable color output and advanced
functionality that will be of use in CAD/CAM, DTP, graphic and web
design, and other imaging tasks. The FlexScan SX3031W has a native
resolution of 2560x1600 (16:10 aspect ratio). The maximum brightness is
260 cd/m², contrast ratio is 900:1, and horizontal and vertical viewing
angles are 178°. A 6 ms midtone response time minimizes blurring and
ghosting for smooth playback of moving images. The wide gamut LCD
panel reproduces 97% of the Adobe RGB color space so it can display most
colors in a photograph taken in Adobe RGB mode. A picture-by-picture function divides the screen into two equal
halves, essentially offering two 1200x1600 monitors with no center bezel. Input from two different computers such
as a Windows and a Macintosh can be displayed which makes it possible to work on two tasks simultaneously
without having to toggle back and forth between the inputs. The FlexScan SX3031W comes equipped with EIZO’s
latest ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). The ASIC has a 12-bit look-up table with a total color palette
of 68 billion colors from which the most appropriate 16.7 million are selected. The ASIC also features 16-bit
internal processing for smooth display of grayscale tones, which brings out details, especially in dark areas of an
image. Furthermore, the ASIC includes a Digital Uniformity Equalizer (DUE) function that corrects the brightness
and chroma uniformity errors characteristic of LCD panels. The OSD menu includes adjustment of brightness,
gamma, saturation, hue, gain, and color temperature. For fine-tuning of even a single color, the hue and saturation
settings for red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow can be adjusted independently. http://www.eizo.com
Digital Projection International launches small 1080p projector
Digital Projection International (DPI) announced the availability of the company’s smallest 1080p display, the
iVision 30-1080p. Weighing only 6.5 lbs, the device is 3.5 inches tall and 11 inches wide, and delivers up to 2,700
ANSI lumens through the use of a high-performance 300-watt UHP lamp. The projector is encased within a
magnesium cabinet to optimize thermal efficiency, thus allowing for
much higher lumen output than other projectors of similar size.
Enabled with Brilliant Color, the iVision 30-1080p can be ordered
with any of three specialized color wheels - enhancing brightness,
color or contrast. Depending on the color wheel selected, the iVision
30-1080p can produce contrast ratios up to 5000:1. Inputs include
HDMI (1.3), DVI, component, composite, s-video and analog RGB.
In addition to the core technology of Brilliant Color, the new iVision
30-1080p includes DP’s exclusive ColorMax calibration technology.
Via a radically improved setup procedure, the installer can simply
measure and record the red, green and blue x and y color points and
luminance values with a light meter and enter the values into a computer connected to the projector. ColorMax then
analyzes the user input and a software algorithm automatically calibrates all of the color settings, per input, to
return a perfectly balanced d6500 color temperature output. The end result is a color-accurate representation of the
source content. http://www.digitalprojection.com
Mitsubishi installs “first indoor HD LED scoreboard” at Verizon Center
Mitsubishi Electric and ANC Sports Enterprises joined to install four center-hung, 25-foot by 14-foot Diamond
Vision systems at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. An additional 1,000 linear feet of LED fascia further
servers to supply scrolling information. At only 1,280 by 736 pixels, the new screens do not support full HD
quality, but have nevertheless earned kudos from reviewers.
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ezscreen brings out “Enhanced Screen Projection”
ezscreen has launched ESP (Enhanced Screen Projection), a new technology for rear
projection materials. Using a patented and proprietary system, these holographically
produced films control and shape the incoming light for superior projected images.
The technology achieves over 50,000p with fully randomized (non-periodic)
microstructures, 50 times smaller than HDTV pixels. It provides ultra-high
resolution, along with a controlled wide directional viewing angle, to compliment
today’s advanced LCD, DLP, and LCoS digital projectors. The technical ability to
shape and bend, rather than bounce and scatter the light, greatly increases the
efficiency of available projection systems. ESP screen films capture and transmit
92% of the incoming light source from almost any angle. This image information is
then transmitted though the material in vertical and horizontal directions in a
prescribed manner, allowing the transmission of information in very high ambient
light conditions. http://www.ezscreen.com
Samsung Electronics brings out F8 and F9 series of LCD HDTVs
Samsung Electronics announced a new line of large-screen LCD TVs with the latest in high definition picture
technology. The goal of the new F9 series TVs (52 and 70 inches) is to roll out the new LED smart lighting
technology, known as “local dimming,” in some of the largest screen sizes available in the marketplace. Samsung
also packages the lineup with its patented Full HD 1080p super clear LCD panel (52 inch) and Wide Color
Enhancer to deliver superior HD quality with blacker blacks, more vivid colors and ultra-sharp images. LED smart
lighting uses multiple LED backlight units. The TV intuitively senses the TV signal and adjusts the brightness level
by turning on and off the right combination of the backlight units to produce a dynamic contrast ratio of 500,000 to
1. The F9 line also comes with Wiselink USB 2.0 for handy connections to digital cameras and MP3 players, and
three HDMI connections that allow the users to take advantage of the Full HD capability of their various
components, such as Blu-ray players, game consoles, and HD camcorders. The 52-inch versions come equipped
with Samsung’s Auto-wall mount feature, allowing the viewer to easily change the viewing angle up to 20 degrees
side to side and 15 degrees down using the remote control. The F8 series includes 40/46 inch models include the
100Hz MotionPLUS technology which enhances motion to eliminate blur in quickly moving pictures. Scrolling at a
fast 100 Hz, the F8 uses advanced algorithms in Samsung’s new 100Hz MotionPLUS processor to create a middle
frame between image movements, intelligently anticipating the action and leaving the viewer with more natural and
smoother images. Samsung’s patented super clear LCD panel and Full HD 1080p technology delivers blacker
blacks and a high dynamic contrast ratio of 25,000:1, at resolutions nearly two times sharper than conventional HD
TVs (resolution 1920x1080). Samsung has also equipped the F8 line with its Wide Color Enhancer, which boosts
color detail and luminance by creating a wider range of colors and makes traditionally weak greens and blues
deeper and more vivid. http://www.samsung.com/ifapress
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Samsung’s F8 series of LCD TVs features 40 to 46-inch systems; the new F9 series is comprised of 52 to 70-inch devices.
Brookhaven breaks the barrier toward nanometer X-ray resolution
A team of researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have overcome a major
obstacle for using refractive lenses to focus X-rays. This method will allow the efficient focusing of X-rays down to
extremely small spots and is an important breakthrough in the development of a new, world-leading light source
facility that promises advances in nanoscience, energy, biology, and materials research. At Brookhaven's National
Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), the scientists exceeded a limit on the ability to focus high-energy, X-rays known
as the “critical angle”. The critical angle is the maximum angle that light can be deflected, or bent, by a single
surface. The maximum deflection angle determines the minimum spot size to which X-rays can be focused. This
poses a problem for researchers who are using X-rays to study molecules, atoms, and advanced materials at the
nanoscale - on the order of billionths of a meter. Such small subjects require tightly focused beams. In 2003,
Brookhaven researchers noticed the critical angle limit while investigating the properties of a so-called kinoform
lens for focusing hard X-rays. This type of refractive lens is similar to those found in lighthouses. Subsequently, the
researchers implemented their ideas by creating a compound lens from a series of four kinoform lenses placed one
after the other. Using this setup at NSLS beamline X13B, they showed that the critical angle can be surpassed with
hard X-rays, while still focusing like a single lens. Next, the researchers will measure the resolution their new lens
system produces, and will continue to fabricate and test optics that push further beyond the critical angle, and closer
to the one-nanometer benchmark. http://www.bnl.gov
SpheronVR develops high dynamic range camera
SpheronVR presented their latest HDR (High Dynamic Range) camera system at
the 34th International Computer Graphics Conference, Siggraph held in San
Diego, US. The SpheroCam HDR is able to capture a 360º full spherical HDR
image, within a single scan operation. This latest camera incorporates a specially
designed mounting unit which includes SpheronVR’s three dimensional
immersive measurement device. The camera comes complete with the 4.2
software, which now also provides enhanced controls for improved scan speeds.
The SpheroCam HDR records 26 f-stops of exposure data, providing a 360 x 180
degree image and clarity of up to 50 megapixels. With its High Dynamic Range
the SpheroCam records a much wider range of brightness and illumination level
than that of regular image formats. The technology provides the optimum image
quality for use with in IBL, image based lighting. The ability to place 3D objects
in any location with all the lighting properties perfectly replicated means the
SpheroCam HDR system can enhance the 3D rendering process used with in
visualization, advertising, film effects and games development markets to
maximum effect. The SpheroCamHDR supports radiance formats such as .HDR
and .EXR as well as Floating Point Tiff information, all of which may be used
within leading 3D software packages. http://www.spheron.com
Mitsubishi Electric announces 140-inch Resolia LED display
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced a new 140-inch full-color LED display for indoor-use, called Resolia.
Despite its large size of 1.8 meters high and 3.1 meters wide, the new display is only 150 millimeters in depth.
Orders begin on November 1, 2007. The new screen will be on display at the following exhibitions: Combined
Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) JAPAN in Makuhari Messe, Chiba (October 2–6); International
Audio-Visual Technology Trade show in Madrid, Spain (November 6–9); and Integrated System Russia 2007 in
Moscow, Russia (November 8–10). Resolia’s screen size is 140 inches, pixel pitch is 4 mm, brightness of 1500
cd/m2. Starting November 1, the company will manufacture 200 sets/year. http://global.mitsubishielectric.com
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Runco joins the 100-inch plus plasma market
A month after Hitachi unveiled a 103-inch plasma of its own to take on Panasonic’s
beast, Runco is getting even more official about its own iteration that first surfaced
at CEDIA. The CinemaWall XP-103DHD features a native 1,920x1,080 resolution,
a 5,000:1 contrast ratio, provides ISF calibration modes and includes an HDCPcompliant DVI port. Additionally, its next-generation DHD Digital controller
incorporates the firm’s ViVix II digital video processing technology, which is said
to provide “premium aspect ratio control” and prevent “double scaling”. The price
is $99,995. http://www.runco.com
Security industry goes panoramic thanks to ImmerVision panomorph lens
ImmerVision announced that VisualGate Systems and MDEX have been
certified ImmerVision Enables. “VisualGate Systems is offering
‘ImmerVision Enables’ panoramic functionality with our Powerline based PLVUE video surveillance solutions,” said David Kerzner, president and CEO of
VisualGate Systems. “Our customers now have 360-degree viewing simply by
connecting a standard camera, equipped with the IMV1-1/3 lens, to their
power outlet.” The IMV1-1/3 Panomorph lens, launched at the ASIS show
2006, is the first lens offering panoramic functionality for any standard CS
mount/DC iris security camera with a 1/3 inch sensor from 480 TVL to 1.2
MP which encompasses more than 80% of security cameras on the market.
Since the introduction of the IMV1 1/3 Panomorph lens, more and more
manufacturers selling security products to the oil and gas, gaming, retailing,
banking, and transportation industries are upgrading their equipment to
become ImmerVision Enables. This certifies their products have 360-degree
panoramic functionality. During the past year, ImmerVision has also been
awarded contracts for the development of panomorph optics in the defense,
robotics and automotive industries because of its expertise in panoramic
imaging technology. http://www.immervision.com
Nero ShowTime includes world’s smallest and lightest Full HD movie camera
Nero announced the inclusion of Nero ShowTime with the world’s smallest and lightest Full HD movie camera.
The new SANYO Xacti VPC-HD1000 films and records in Full HD (1920x1080), bundled with Nero ShowTime,
offers smooth playback of the Full HD video clips recorded along with many options for customization. “In
designing this new video camera, we were not just aiming for a ‘microscopic’ size and ergonomic design, but for
the highest level of technology with the smallest footprint. The Xacti VPC-HD1000 is built with a new high speed
image processing engine to handle the processing of Full HD high capacity data,” explained Hiroshi Fuji, marketing
manager SANYO Electric. “In evaluating a full range of playback solutions to
complement this new camera, we found that Nero had the strongest performance and
could provide our camcorder users with the best options available, including playback
on their personal computers.” The SANYO Xacti VPC-HD1000 allows users to
experience digital entertainment at the touch of a button. Previously, the large data
size of Full HD movies required special hardware for file saving and playback. The
new “Xacti Library” allows for simple file saving and playback of movie and picture
data by connecting the USB cable from the docking station to an external hard disk
drive. Users can easily sort through images, select movies they wish to share, and
even organize slide shows. Nero ShowTime will be available with the SANYO Xacti
VPC-HD1000 worldwide by mid-October. http://www.nero.com
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Society for Information Display 2007 Symposium
May 20-25, Long Beach, California
In this second report from the principal event of the year, Phillip Hill covers presentations from University
of California, Philips Lighting, National Chiao Tung University, Toshiba Matsushita, Harvard Medical
School, Samsung Electronics, University of Bristol, Philips Research Laboratories, and Seiko Epson
4.2: Self-Calibrating Tiled Displays
Ezekiel S. Bhasker and Aditi Majumder
Department of Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, California
This paper presents seamless tiled displays via a completely distributed network of projector-camera systems that
calibrates itself without any user intervention. This makes projection-based tiled displays very easy to deploy and
maintain, the researchers say.
Large area displays that can provide life-size images at a very high resolution are critical for many applications like
scientific and medical visualization, training and simulation, and entertainment. Displays made by tiling multiple
projectors in a 2D array are the only way to build high-resolution displays that are completely seamless. Displays
made of multiple projectors suffer from two problems (Figure 1): (a) the image is not geometrically matched across
the projector boundaries; and (b) the color and brightness of the image is non-uniform primarily due to two reasons.
First, due to their casual alignment, adjacent projectors overlap in their projection area on the screen, thus those
regions are much brighter. Second, commodity projectors lack sophisticated optics, resulting in the “hot-spot”
effect, that is, 30-40% brightness fall-off from center to fringe.
Figure 1: Left to right: image seen (a) from front of a multi-projector display made of nine rear-projectors
arranged in a 3x3 array, (b) after a camera is used to correct geometry mismatches, (c) after geometric and
photometric mismatches are corrected
At the inception of tiled displays a couple of decades ago, exorbitant costs of projectors ($75,000) and monolithic
rendering engines ($1,000,000) restricted the number of projectors in the display to a few (two to four). Current
projectors (in the $1000 range) and rendering PCs (in the $2000 range) are both commodity products. Thus building
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a reasonably large multi-projector display (10-20 projectors) is quite affordable today. There are several common
venues like schools, museums, malls where such multi-projector displays are highly desired, and the user can
change the aspect ratio from TV mode to a wide-screen movie mode. For example, a museum in New York is now
trying to put up a billion-pixel display, which would essentially mean about a 1000 projectors. Now, if bulbs on a
few of these projectors go out, the display would be incapacitated until bulbs are replaced and another recalibration
is triggered by a user, even though most of the projectors still work and can operate to create a display of lower
resolution.
So, though affordable, multi-projector displays still have not made their way to regular venues like schools,
museums, public places or even as TVs in our homes. But projectors today are portable and lightweight; so much
so, that they can even fit in the palm of one’s hand. Thus, it is easy to carry a bunch of projectors in one car’s trunk
enabling portable seamless high-resolution displays via tiling of these projectors.
The proposed projector-camera display unit along with the decentralized architecture and calibration would enable
“pack-and-go” displays where individuals can carry their own high-resolution displays with them and set them up
easily wherever needed in any scale and configuration. Finally, “pack-and-go” displays could spark and foster
novel paradigms of collaboration where each person carries his own projector and when more than one person meet
for collaboration, their respective displays are put together to create a seamless high-resolution display. This display
can easily scale as the number of collaborators. More interestingly, such a shared display space that has access to
data from multiple machines might foster new directions of research in user interfaces for data sharing, the
researchers stress.
11.1: Invited Paper: Motion-Fidelity Improvement at a Frame Rate of 120 Hz via a Scanning Backlight
A. A. Seyno Sluyterman and Wilbert A.J.A. van der Poel
Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Even at a 120 Hz frame rate, motion fidelity still needs improvement.
This paper describes how a visible improvement can be achieved via
a scanning backlight. The role of the panel properties on the measured
performance improvement of the scanning backlight is highlighted.
Motion fidelity of an LCD display can suffer from motion artifacts
The resolution capability of three TV
due to slow panel response and due to the so-called “hold effect” of
transmission systems, expressed in
the display. The hold effect can, among others, be reduced by
luminance waves per picture width (c/pw)
doubling the frame rate and by application of a scanning backlight.
Doubling the frame rate might give a solution that is acceptable for most standard definition (SD) applications, it
will not be sufficient for HD applications. For a further reduction
of the “hold time” of the display a scanning backlight is very
suited. However, questions are raised about the influence of lamp
response times and optical cross talk.
Figure 1: A folded reflector on the bottom of a
42-inch backlight unit, allowing a 26mm thick
optical system with 10 lamps of 16mm diameter
only
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
One improvement is the use of a folded reflector at the bottom of
the backlight unit, as shown in Figure 1. For HDTV there is still
need for further improvement of motion fidelity, even when the
frame rate is 120 Hz. With sufficient panel response time and
overdrive it is possible to improve the modulated transfer function
(MTF) for frequencies below 120 Hz. However, for shifting the 0
point of the MTF to higher frequencies, scanning backlight is still
needed. New technologies, like folded reflector and faster
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phosphors were developed to further enhance the scanning backlight performance.
The often used EBET measure for motion fidelity has only limited value, because it is mostly related to the high
modulation depth part of the MTF; significant improvements may be missed, in particular when the panels suffer
from undershoot as they easily do at 120 Hz. A better measure is to use the inverse of the surface below the MTF as
kind of response time for the display, the researchers say.
11.3: Mixed Color Sequential Technique for High Contrast LCD with Optimum Power Consumption
Yi-Fu Chen, Che-Chin Chen, and Ke-Horng Chen
National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
This paper proposes a mixed color sequential (MCS) algorithm with high contrast enhancement technique in a RGB
LED backlight display. Owing to synchronous control of LCD and LED panels, high quality image with suppressed
color break-up and motion blur effects is achieved by a novel color sequential technique. Furthermore, a high
contrast image is also presented in an LCD panel because of mixed RGB and CMY backlights with optimum power
consumption. In other words, the MCS algorithm with high contrast enhancement technique can have a better
performance compared with other field sequential color techniques.
The paper proposes a novel architecture
to control the LCD and LED backlights.
The architecture can simultaneously
control the LCD and LED panels
because (R, G, and B) image data is not
only sent to the gate and source driver
controllers but also to backlight
controller. According to the (R, G,
and B) image data sent to the LCD
controller, the strength of the RGB
backlight can synchronously respond to
actual image data. Color breakup and
motion blur effects can be reduced by the
MCS algorithm because of synchronous
backlight control. The MCS algorithm
with high contrast technique also
enhances image quality. The RGB
Figure 1: RGB backlight design architecture (a) RGB backlight panel is
backlight design architecture is shown in
composed of 48 blocks. (b) Photo of actual RGB backlight module for
Figure 1(a). Figure 1(b) shows the RGB
1366x768 32-inch LCD panel. (c) Color sequential pattern in the MCS
backlight module for a 32-inch LCD
algorithm. (d) Control circuits.
panel with 1366x768 resolution.
Figures 1(c) and (d) show the color sequential and control circuits pattern, respectively.
11.4: OCB-LCDs with New Driving Method Having Fast Response of 2.3-ms MPRT and High Contrast
Ratio of 1000:1
Kenji Nakao, Yukio Tanaka, Hiroshi Takahara, Seiji Kawaguchi, Kazuhiro Nishiyama, Shigesumi Araki, and Akio
Takimoto, Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, Ishikawa, Japan
Toshiba Matsushita has developed high performance OCB-III TFT-LCDs using an LED blinking backlight. The
MPRT of 2.3 ms, which is the fastest reported in the world, according to the company and high contrast of 1000:1
are achieved with a 12.1-inch 800x600 OCB-III panel. Even at low temperature of –20 deg C, the MPRT of OCBIII is 13.2 ms, which is 1/4 of conventional LCDs.
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OCB (Optically Compensated Bend) mode can provide the advantages of fast response and wide viewing angle
simultaneously. Toshiba Matsushita has previously reported improvement in its moving picture quality by black
insert driving. In this driving, a black zone of constant width running on the LC panel separates optical outputs of
consecutive frames, and produces a motion image with little blur. Typical value of moving picture response time
(MPRT), which is proposed as a quantitative index of moving picture quality, is 8.2 ms. In exchange for the above
advantage, the OCB-I has a drawback of low contrast ratio. This is due to a leakage of non-modulated light in the
running black zone.
To overcome the trade-off between moving picture
quality and contrast ratio, the company developed a
second version (referred to as OCB-II) using a CCFL
(cold cathode fluorescent lamp) scanning backlight. In the
OCB-II, the backlight turns on and off in synchronization
with the running black zone on the panel. This operation
reduces luminance of the running black zone without
decrease of luminance of display images. As a result, high
contrast ratio of 600:1 is achieved in 32-inch 1366x768
panels. The scanning backlight also permits higher light
efficiency than the OCB-I. These technologies are already
incorporated into mass production of OCB LCD TVs.
In this paper, the company reports the detail of its OCBIII driving scheme, MPRT properties, and especially its
properties at low temperature. The researchers made three
prototypes, a 9-inch 852x480, a 12.1-inch 800x600 and a
32-inch 1366x768. The figure (right) shows photographs
of these OCB-III prototypes. This OCB-III technology
can be applied from a small size display to a large size.
The OCB-III can exceed a CRT level (MPRT=3 ms) in
motion picture quality and contrast in bright
environments. The OCB-III is the best match for television and is also suitable for professional use displays such as
medical and broadcast use, the researchers say. In addition, OCB-III has high quality even at low temperature. It is
suitable for automotive use and mobile devices that are used outdoors and require a wide operating temperature
range. The team concludes that OCB-III is a technology that can improve moving picture quality and contrast ratio
simultaneously, and realize a display of CRT quality with an LC panel.
15.4: People with Visual Impairment Prefer TV Viewing Using a Contrast Enhancement Consumer Product
Matthew Fullerton and Eli Peli
The Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, US
A device that uses technology previously tested for those with visual impairment to improve video clarity has
recently been implemented in a product marketed for home theater viewers with normal sight. The eye institute
found it to benefit viewers with visual impairment, even with the settings aimed at normally-sighted users,
suggesting that the higher enhancement capabilities not accessible from the user interface may benefit this
population even more.
DigiVision has manufactured a number of flexible devices that perform adaptive enhancement in real time. Several
studies using these devices in the Harvard lab have shown that patients prefer the enhanced video over the original.
These devices were used in medical and military image enhancement applications, but have never been marketed to
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the visually-impaired public. Recently, DigiVision launched the DV-1000 CMOS chip. It performs the same real
time processing as earlier, far larger systems. It can process digital video, treating it with 4:4:4
luminance/chrominance processing, and up to 1080p HDTV resolution. It is designed to be integrated with
consumer devices such as TVs and video cameras. The size of the convolution kernel (which determines the spatial
frequencies being enhanced) can be varied from 3.4% (5.2% in 1080p mode) to 19.6% (14.6% in 1080p mode) of
screen size. A number of other parameters can be varied, including the enhancement gain (including fractional
values resulting in blur), and the maximum/minimum luminance values to which enhancement should be applied.
These latter two controls are provided to prevent the loss of detail caused by enhancement saturation at the low and
high end (known as black and white “crush”.) The
enhancement can be applied to any rectangular region of the
picture.
The end-product manufacturer may restrict or organize these
features in certain ways, to make the device specific for an
application. DigiVision gives suggested presets for TV use. In
one application, Belkin has integrated the device into a new
product in their PureAV line. The product, RazorVision, is
designed to be used as a simple in-line cable, with three
enhancement pre-sets – “Low”, “Medium” and “High”.
Supplied only with HDMI/DVI connectors, the device is
clearly aimed at the HD viewer market, and has not been
marketed to those with visual impairments. DigiVision
supplied a basic device with settings similar to those used in
the Belkin model. Examples of the effect of enhancement
settings are shown in Figure 1. Promotional material can be
found on the Belkin website:
http://www.pureav.com/razorvision/
Figure 1: Examples of the video processing of the
DigiVision device used in the study: a) No
enhancement, b) “Low”, c) “Medium”,
d) “High” enhancement
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The results show that patients with a wide range of central
visual impairment are able to see the effect of the DigiVision
device from the shorter than normal distance they use for
viewing. They show a clear preference for the enhancement,
even at the levels set for people with normal sight. A similar
device could easily be developed for people who are visually
impaired, by providing higher levels of enhancement – and
possibly enhancing different (lower) spatial frequencies. It is
possible, with the use of the parameter controls accessible only
through the computer interface of the DV-1000, to evaluate
other settings, which might provide even more benefit for those
with contrast sensitivity loss. At some higher level of
enhancement the researchers expect that the benefit will
disappear due to the negative effects of the distortions caused
by the enhancement. However, newer high dynamic range
displays may offer a solution for this limitation. The clinic is
planning follow-up studies which will explore the value of the
wider range of parameters available to people with visual
impairments, with standard displays as well high dynamic
range displays, and will attempt to identify the useful range of
enhancement.
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18.1: Distinguished Paper: Novel TFT-LCD Technology for Motion Blur Reduction Using 120Hz Driving
with McFi
Sang Soo Kim, Nam Deog Kim, Brian H. Berkeley, Bong Hyun You, Hyoungsik Nam, Jae-Hyeung Park, and Junpyo
Lee, Samsung Electronics, Korea
Samsung launched a 70-inch Full HD (1920x1080) LCD TV panel, which, on a commercial basis, was the world’s
largest size so far. This size is the maximum that can be achieved using a single polarizer sheet, the company says.
Its features include 600 cd/m2 luminance, dynamic control using LED local dimming, 100,000:1 contrast ratio, and
a color gamut of 105% NTSC. Also, it is the world’s first high speed FHD 120Hz frame rate panel, accompanied by
a newly developed pixel structure and driving scheme. This totally new driving method concept includes an
alternative pixel structure developed from the 1G-2D cell structure announced last year.
In order to achieve the best possible image quality,
Samsung has married 120 Hz driving technology, SPVA, and full HD resolution on large panels for the
first time. Larger panels are not easily driven at high
speeds due to charging time margin. If these
techniques are applied improperly, image quality can
actually degrade.
Figure 1: LED local dimming
Hold-type driving is one of the main causes of motion blur in LCD TVs. Efforts to reduce the motion blur have
been focused on reducing the hold time (also called integration time). Impulsive driving achieves hold time
reduction by blinking/scanning the backlight unit (BLU) or by inserting black/gray data. Brightness loss and flicker
increase, however, are unavoidable side effects of impulsive driving. 120Hz driving with ME/MC cuts hold time in
half by inserting motion-interpolated frames between the original 60Hz frames. Motion picture quality is enhanced
without any compromise to brightness or any increase in flicker.
Samsung has developed a unique motion blur reduction
technique, motion-compensated frame interpolation
(McFi), for the best motion picture quality and the lowest
system cost. McFi is based on 120Hz driving with
ME/MC. Samsung’s McFi has a specialized solution for
film mode. When the film mode input is detected, the
original 24Hz source is extracted from the incoming
60Hz image stream, and then two motion-interpolated
frames are inserted between the original 24Hz frames.
The output image stream therefore becomes 72Hz rather
than 120Hz. The motion in the 72Hz output stream is
continuous, eliminating motion judder completely.
Detection of film mode and video mode is done
Figure 2: Full HD 70-inch LCD-TV
automatically by the McFi algorithm, producing 120Hz
or 72Hz output frames according to the input data stream. Since there are two frame frequencies, 120Hz and 72Hz,
it is important to maintain the same display characteristics and make the transition seamless. McFi achieves this by
making the pixel frequency the same for both 72Hz and 120Hz frame frequency cases. Since the pixel frequency is
maintained at a constant value, the same pixel charging time is applied to both 72Hz and 120Hz frame frequency
cases, making the display characteristics the same. The transition between modes is also seamless because there is
no change in pixel frequency.
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A 70-inch LCD-TV panel is the largest possible singlepolarizing plate panel to date. Samsung developed the
70-inch polarizing plate for the TFT (bottom) side
requiring development of new adhesives and polarizer
fabrication technology. Also, this larger size display
requires multiple photo mask exposures, and
discontinuities must be minimized. To achieve higher
contrast ratio (CR) and color gamut, the 70-inch panel’s
BLU has 9,216 light emitting diodes (LEDs) which are
arranged and operated in 192 segments as shown in
Figure 1(a). Each segment has 48 red, green, and blue
LEDs. Additionally, this BLU has a local dimming
system, which the company says enables superlative
Table 1: Key characteristics of the 70-inch LCD-TV
picture quality. As previously reported, S-PVA has a
protrusion-less structure, providing the darkest possible black state. By using local dimming, the LEDs can be
driven according to the display data to achieve theoretically infinite CR. This concept is shown in Figures 1(b)
and (c). Figure 2 shows the 70-inch LCD TV module. The main features of this product are described in Table 1.
21.1: Invited Paper: The Hopeful Future of High Dynamic Range Imaging
Greg Ward
BrightSide Technologies by Dolby
This paper offered an overview of the challenges and opportunities presented by high dynamic range (HDR)
imaging. Greg Ward examined the length of the imaging pipeline, from creation and storage through image editing
and viewing, and discussed how each stage is affected by a move to HDR. The paper examines some of the
technological trade-offs, compares an “ideal” HDR imaging pipeline to a “likely” one, and considers the need for
backward-compatibility.
Most modes of digital image creation,
including paint software, still cameras,
video cameras, and low-end rendering and
animation systems, work in a 24-bit
“output-referred” color space, such as
sRGB [Stokes et al. 96]. This is a
convenient choice for viewing and editing
on common video display devices, such as
CRTs and LCDs, which have a limited
dynamic range and color gamut. So long
as the color depth resolution of the created
imagery meets or exceeds the output
device, the latter is unlikely to show up
deficiencies in the former. However, as we
graduate to higher bit depths and
perceptual range in our display systems,
digital cinema and high-end home theater
will expose inadequate source materials
for what they are, Ward points out.
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Figure 1: Image-based lighting [Debevec 98]: the background plate (a) is
multiplied against a shadow and scattering image (b). The CG elements (c)
are illuminated by an HDR light probe then composited into the final frame
(d).
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The special effects industry was the first to recognize that greater bit depths were needed before computer graphics
(CG) would blend seamlessly with live-action film footage. The greater color resolution, gamut, and dynamic range
of film reveal the shortcomings of 24-bit output-referred encodings, which include the notion that a maximum value
somehow corresponds to “white”. The real world presents highlights that are 1,000 to 10,000 times brighter than the
18% gray level commonly used as a reference in cinematography, and these same highlights must be represented in
special effects work to incorporate lens flare and similar cues that something is “brighter than white”. In the
absence of HDR, special effects lack the depth and realism of live action. An important driver for HDR in this
context is the image-based lighting (IBL) technique introduced in [Debevec 98]. Using IBL, one may capture an
HDR image of the environment reflected in a mirrored sphere, and use this to illuminate CG elements so they will
blend convincingly with the captured film footage. Figure 1 (previous page) outlines the basic application of this
method. Ward went on to discuss capture methods, image transmission, image editing, and image viewing.
It is clear that high dynamic range imaging will someday dominate the market, Ward said in conclusion. “The
question is, when? Our best estimate is between two and seven years, and many things can influence its advance. It
is preferable that HDR be introduced well rather than quickly. As engineers and imaging scientists, we are not
powerless to affect this process. Through careful planning and intelligent standards making, we can grow our
businesses while delivering well-timed improvements in professional and consumer equipment and software. The
logical path is to introduce HDR to the high-end digital cinema market first, simultaneously with independent niche
markets such as medical imaging, then allow some years to pass before introducing HDR to the consumer. At that
point, we will have settled the standards and worked out the kinks, the studios will have plenty of HDR content, and
the job of consumer education will already be done.”
21.2: Invited Paper: An Overview of Dynamic Range Reduction
Erik Reinhard
University of Bristol and University of Central Florida
With a surge of interest in high dynamic range imaging,
techniques for displaying such images on conventional
display devices are gaining in importance. Although the last
review of dynamic range reduction algorithms appeared in
about the middle of 2006, the advances in this field are rapid,
Reinhard points out. In this paper, the current state-of-the-art
in dynamic range reduction is reviewed, with an emphasis on
sigmoidal compression.
Real-world environments typically contain a range of
illumination much larger than can be represented by
conventional 8-bit images. For instance, sunlight at noon
may be as much as 100 million times brighter than starlight.
The human visual system is able to detect 4 or 5 log units of
illumination simultaneously, and can adapt to a range of
around 10 orders of magnitude over time. On the other hand,
A local tone reproduction operator (left) and a global
conventional 8-bit images with values between 0 and 255,
tone reproduction operator (right). The local operator
have a useful dynamic range of around 2 orders of
shows more detail, as for instance seen in the insets.
magnitude. Such images are represented typically by one
byte per pixel for each of the red, green and blue channels. The limited dynamic range afforded by 8-bit images is
well-matched to the display capabilities of CRTs. Their range, while being larger than 2 orders of magnitude, lies
partially in the dark end of the range where the human vision has trouble discerning very small differences under
normal viewing circumstances. Hence, CRTs have a useful dynamic range of 2 log units of magnitude.
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The contrast of LCD devices is normally not much greater, although they can be made much brighter. As a result,
both the black level and the white level are much higher, yielding once more a dynamic range of around 2 log units.
Currently, very few display devices have a dynamic range that significantly exceeds this range, the notable
exception being LCD displays with an LED back-panel where each of the LEDs is separately addressable.
Capturing the full dynamic range of a scene implies that in many instances the resulting high dynamic range (HDR)
image cannot be directly displayed, as its range is likely to exceed the 2 orders of magnitude range afforded by
conventional display devices. There are two strategies to display high dynamic range images. First, we may develop
display devices, which can directly accommodate high dynamic range imagery. Second, high dynamic range
images may be prepared for display on low dynamic range display devices by applying a “tone reproduction
operator”. The purpose of tone reproduction is therefore to reduce the dynamic range of an image such that it may
be displayed on a conventional display device, which includes printers. The key issue in tone reproduction is to
compress an image while at the same time preserving one or more attributes of the image, such as contrast, visible
detail, brightness, or appearance.
The paper then goes into extensive detail of spatial operators (global and local), sigmoidal compression, and
mappings for HDR displays. Reinhard concludes by saying that tone reproduction for low dynamic range display
devices is nowadays a reasonably well-understood problem. The majority of images can be compressed well
enough for applications in photography and entertainment, and any other applications that do not critically depend
on accuracy. Recent validation studies show that some algorithms perform well over a range of different tasks and
displayed material. When dealing with different displays, each having their own dynamic range, it becomes more
important to consider tone reproduction operators that can be parameterized for both different types of images and
different types of display. Following common practice in color appearance modeling, Reinhard has argued that both
a forward and a backward transform are necessary. This is formally the correct approach to tone reproduction, but
also appears to have direct advantages in terms of visual appearance.
22.2: Dynamic Resolution: Motion Blur from Display and Camera
Michiel A. Klompenhouwer
Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Over the past years, many improvements in display motion portrayal have been introduced. In particular the
reduction of motion blur on LCDs has received much attention. In this paper, Klompenhouwer analyzes motion blur
(dynamic resolution) from a system perspective, also taking into account the dynamic resolution of the recorded
video.
When judging the quality of moving images (video), one should realize that the display is not the only part in the
video chain. The dynamic resolution of the observed image also depends on the characteristics of other parts of the
chain, notably the camera and transmission system. The paper analyzes the dynamic resolution of the video chain
and extends the common analysis of LCD motion blur, to a system approach, taking the display and camera into
account. This paper should further increase understanding of dynamic image resolution on LCDs, to bring quality
of moving images on LCDs to even higher levels, the author says.
He does not include the transmission channel in the analysis for simplicity. Nevertheless, because temporal filtering
is not necessary, there is no fundamental reason why the transmission channel should limit dynamic resolution, so
he assumes that this is the case in the analysis. He considers the temporal aperture of each part of the system, to
derive the total system aperture and related temporal bandwidth. Some examples are given and resulting images are
simulated to discuss the effect of different display and camera settings on the dynamic resolution of the displayed
images.
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24.2: A 1300-dpi Optical Image Sensor Using an a-Si:H Photo Diode Array Driven by LTPS TFTs
Tsukasa Eguchi, Yasunori Hiyoshi, Eiji Kanda, Hiroshi Sera, Tokuro Ozawa, Takao Miyazawa, and Tomotaka
Matsumoto
Seiko Epson Corporation, Nagano, Japan
Seiko Epson has developed a 1300 dpi optical image sensor
using a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) pin diode
array driven by low-temperature polycrystalline silicon
(LTPS) thin film transistors (TFT) on a glass substrate. This
paper describes a new architecture for achieving a highresolution optical image sensor using LTPS TFT production
equipment.
Figure 1 shows a sectional view of our image sensor in a
pixel. In this architecture, the TFTs, a capacitor, and an aSi:H photosensor are fabricated in different processes and
are stacked vertically. To achieve a fine pixel pitch, a multilayered wiring structure is adopted. In this figure, W
denotes a metal layer (wire) and ILD denotes an interlayer
dielectric. W1 and W2 correspond to the gate and source
(or drain) electrodes of a standard TFT structure,
respectively. The image sensor has four bus lines. Four
metal layers were needed to obtain the maximum
resolution. Furthermore, two additional layers were needed
for the capacitor electrodes (W5, W6), so the image sensor
has six layers of wiring. The layout of contact holes greatly
influences the aperture ratio of a fine pixel. The researchers
used a vertically stacked layout for contact holes because
that is the most effective. As shown in Figure 1, the contact
hole for W4 is located directly above that for W2 to
minimize the wiring area. Seiko calls this a “hole-on-hole”
structure.
Figure 1: A schematic diagram of a pixel in cross section
Figure 2: Example of an image captured by the
The active area of the image sensors is 24 x 36 mm, which
1300 dpi optical image sensor
is compatible with 35-mm negative film. There are
1248x2144 (2.6 million) pixels, the pixel pitch is 19.5 x 16.9 µm, and the resolution is more than 1300 dpi. A color
filter was not used. Figure 2 shows a monochrome image captured by the sensor. This image was captured by
unfocused light that was projected to the image sensor through negative film. The illuminance was about 300 lx on
the image sensor. Although it had some dot defects, the sensor’s architectural features make it possible to obtain a
high aperture ratio, high photosensitivity and high pixel resolution using LTPS TFT production equipment. This
technology points to the potential of large-area, high-resolution image sensors, the researchers say.
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Interview with Merv Rose from
Quantum Filament Technologies
Merv Rose was appointed Professor of Physical Electronics at Dundee University in 2004
and is the currently Head of Division of Electronic Engineering and Physics. He has been
on the university academic staff since 1992, He obtained his Doctorate from Dundee in
Memory Device Technology and his research interests are in solid state physics, thin film
devices, materials, nanotechnology, medical devices, and displays and optoelectronics. He
is Director of the Amorphous Materials Research Group and his current work involves the
development of a new electron source for display and medical applications. This has led to
the creation of a new spin out company, Quantum Filament Technologies Ltd, aimed at
exploiting the research work for new flat panel display devices. He is also Director of
DisplayMasters, an Inter-University Masters Program aimed at training a new generation
of display technologists for future high technology applications. He is a member of the
EPSRC College, a panel member of the DTI/EPSRC Information and Storage Device
Committee, and a DTI consultant on Display Technology. He was elected a Fellow of the
Institute of Physics in 2004.
Please tell us about the origins of Quantum Filament Technologies. QFT is a spin-out from the University of
Dundee and the University of Surrey. The Dundee Amorphous Materials Research Group was responsible for the
pioneering work in amorphous silicon and the first thin film transistor that led to active matrix liquid crystal
displays. The Advanced Technology Institute at Surrey is one of the leading centers for nano-technology. The two
centers have had a long history of collaboration and Ravi Silva, the institute director, is co-founder and director of
QFT. Ravi Silva and I had been working on laser processing of silicon and field emission. Our teams produced
some interesting work on laser interactions with thin film silicon, and we discovered some effects that were related
to other so-called filamentary devices. The work delivered devices that showed extremely high uniformity of
emission, no hysteresis (unusual for thin film emitters) and a low threshold for emission. Whilst making three
terminal gated structures, we realized that we had a simple process that used standard tools and processes known to
the displays industry. Roy Clarke, a colleague at Dundee, saw the commercial potential of this and helped us found
the company. The company was founded on modest private investment, and Peter Denyer became chairman in
2005. He co-founded and chaired Micro Emissive Displays (MED), the world’s leading developer of polymer
organic light emitting diode (P-OLED)-based microdisplays.
What exactly is a quantum filament? Ha! Good question! We have studied filamentary conduction in thin films
and amorphous silicon devices for some time. These filaments are found in inhomogeneous nano-scale and granular
structures. They may be familiar to you in terms of breakdown in semiconductors devices, but stable filamentary
conducting channels result in interesting effects, such as bi-stability and electron emission at low electric fields. The
filamentary channels are determined by the distribution of nano-particles and act as emitters. They are rather like
virtual nano-wires, and when dimensions are particularly small we see evidence of quantized resistance. We coined
the term “quantum filament” to describe the convergence of these effects.
We were also looking at creating nano-crystals and granular structures through laser processing amorphous silicon
with particular metals. We were studying surface roughness and detected anomalously high field factors in
emission, not due to geometric effects. It seemed that we had created the conditions for stable filaments with the
internal structure required for field emission without conditioning and at low thresholds. It was an exciting moment.
We subsequently heard that the Starship Enterprise bumped into a quantum filament somewhere in the Universe. It
must have been rather larger than one of ours. Quantum Filament Technologies Ltd may seem rather a mouthful, so
we are usually affectionately known simply as QFT.
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Please provide an overview about your technology. The key to our technology is a very simple backplane. The
attractive feature is that it is based on amorphous silicon, which is now a mature technology, and on excimer laser
processing, the tool for the low temperature polysilicon process. In our case we simply deposit a patterned cathode
metal, followed by hydrogenated amorphous silicon. This is then directly processed with an excimer laser with a
distinct beam profile at modest average energies. The result of this is a film that has a very rough surface, and
which contains the necessary internal structure for filamentary conduction. Thin film silicon nitride is then
deposited over the surface structures (the same material as a TFT gate dielectric) and thin film metal deposited on
top of this. The structures are then simply etched by RIE to expose the microtip. This process has the effect of
etching from the top of the structure through the metal to the insulator, leaving a free standing filamentary micro-tip
surrounded by a metal gate isolated by the insulator. Each “tip” is a fraction of a micron, so each pixel has tens of
thousands of emitter sites. If you consider the steps we have just described, it is rather like the thin film processing
of a TFT, but with no lithographic steps. The backplate is now complete and forms the cathode plate. The device is
completed by forming a vacuum space with a phosphor coated anode plate.
QFT’s process requires the laser crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) to produce a high density of
emission sites. The resulting structure shows a high uniformity of electron emission. A typical surface structure is shown in
the image to the left. The field emission is caused by proximity effects of highly conducting particles in an insulating matrix
where the resulting morphology enhances the internal electric field. The image to the right is a micrograph of a 3-terminal
backplane structure showing individual emitter sites surrounded by gate metal.
After the collapse of Candescent, Pixtech, PFE, and most other efforts at field emission displays, the
technology has left a sour taste in many mouths. Any inputs on how QFT intends to overcome these ongoing
negative perceptions about FED? FED does have an interesting life story. The technology is so appealing
because of the distinct advantages over many other types of display. I think it is fair to say there is now a renewed
vitality and resurgence, thanks mainly to nanotechnology solutions. The companies you mentioned were very
innovative, produced some of the best display demonstrators I have seen, and many of the people involved are still
in the field and champions of the technology. The problem each company faced was largely complexity. The photolithographic steps involved were too complex and expensive for scaling and industrialization. We believe that the
simplicity of our structure and the emission mechanism will lead to a truly manufacturable solution to these
problems. We are not limited to looking at high-end niche products, but open to the low-cost high-quality display
opportunities. Because of fewer components we predict a low cost. We are looking at a production cost model that
predicts substantial cost savings on TFT LCD. Unlike other FED products, we are not limited by complexity. We
are currently working on early stage demonstrators. If we can demonstrate a device that has a large cost benefit then
I believe perceptions will quickly change.
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Please differentiate your technology from that of competing technologies (LCD, PDP, AMOLED, and FED).
All flat panel technologies are amazing. The level of technical innovation over the past few years is spectacular, and
it makes for one of the most exciting and competitive sectors of the electronics market.
•
•
•
The closest relatives to our technology, I guess, are the CRT and AMLCD. The comparison with CRT is
obvious with electron beams striking a phosphor. However the main advantages with FED of course is a
flat profile and low power consumption. The comparison with LCD is perhaps not immediately obvious,
except for the flat profile. However, manufacture of our technology would be based on existing factories
used by the AMLCD community. This is because we need the deposition facilities for the TFTs, and the
laser devices for creation of polysilicon based on amorphous silicon precursors. However, in our case we
remove the backlight, optical components, diffusion and enhancement films, polarizers, the liquid
crystal, the TFT photomasks etc. Our equivalent of the color filter plate is the phosphor anode, and it can
be made using very simple and inexpensive processes.
PDP is enjoying a place in the market, and competing in the TV market with LCD. The traditional
problems remain, however, with lifetime, burn in and resolution. The biggest hurdle for PDP is the pixel
size, which has a lower limit of around 0.3 mm. This limits the applications.
AMOLED is a very interesting technology for future lightweight high quality displays and plastic
electronics. They are driven either by amorphous silicon TFTs or polysilicon TFTs. Amorphous silicon
would be ideal from a cost and simplicity point of view. The meta-stability of amorphous silicon and the
current driven nature of the OLED means complex compensating circuits are required in pixels to
resolve threshold stability issues. Forming polysilicon TFTs on plastic is a challenge, but OLED is a
driver for an improved poly process.
If we compare our technology to other FED technologies, we can claim some advantages. The simplicity of process
and subsequent cost saving is the major one, but also we have a backplane where the “emission filaments” are
embedded within the material. Conventional Spindt tip emitters rely on geometric confinement at the sharp tip, and
any surface adsorption can change things. CNTs can also suffer from adsorption and from field screening effects,
etc. Our emitters are “embedded” and exist only with application of the field.
How about when compared to SED – how does the QFT display compare? The SED is one of the most
impressive displays I have seen and has served to remind the industry and consumers that the way forward is an
emissive technology display. The problem I see with SED is the nano slit formation complexity and the fact that it
uses secondary electrons, which to me seems inefficient. The contrast ratio is high, but seems to suffer in bright
environments. I suspect this is because of efficiency losses due to the scattering mechanism. The company seems
to be suffering delays in delivering, but I think these are more legal issues than technical problems. I don’t believe it
was ever seen beyond the high quality niche market. We are aiming for low cost with high quality.
Do you see yourselves as competitive or complementary to the well-entrenched LCD? We believe we are the
only FED that is not disruptive to the LCD market. I think initially we see ourselves as complementary to the flat
panel LCD sector, especially in the polysilicon world. We would use tools and plants available to the LCD
manufacturers so are not disruptive in that sense. I think the display world would then develop and the technical and
cost advantages offered by our technology would find its place. Amongst the current FED developers we see
ourselves as being the least disruptive.
What changes would an LCD manufacture need to make to their production line in order to incorporate the
QFT technology? Well, none really. If an LCD manufacturer wished to make our display he could by deposition
of TFT materials. Most of the components for an LCD manufacturer are bought in. The real manufacturing process
is on the active plate. We would require the deposition part of that line but without the photolithography. Our anode
plate would be unfamiliar, except for a black matrix, but much cheaper to fabricate than an LCD color filter plate.
Our technology has been designed to fit into existing LCD manufacturers’ facilities. LCD manufacturers are
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competing on cost and quality. We believe that an LCD manufacturer should consider our FED. The technology is
supportive and non disruptive, using the amorphous silicon they are familiar with. I can see a time when such a
platform could lead to a technology that would add to their breadth by resolving some issues that LCD may struggle
with. Our belief is that our technology is truly scalable and will be attractive as a large panel technology of the
future.
Will your technology require a low-temperature poly-silicon manufacturing process, or can amorphous
silicon production facilities also be used? The precursor for poly-silicon is amorphous silicon. In our case,
however, we don’t need a pre-dehydrogenation step as the hydrogen release during laser processing is part of the
formation process of the internal nano-scale granular features. Poly is now very attractive for hand held devices,
notebooks and as an enabling technology for things like OLED. This is leading to a maturation of the laser process
that we can take advantage of. There are a number of interesting developments in laser processing. Tools are being
developed for larger throughput, and lasers can also be used in the device sealing process and in phosphor
efficiency improvement.
You have suggested that QFT’s displays are expected to require considerably less material than a
comparably LCD. Please elaborate. A state of the art AMLCD is a complex device and is the product of many
years development and innovation. The bill of materials for a typical LCD covers backlight, optical components,
LC, active matrix materials, lithography and photo-masking. As cost will be the main driver in the future, the bill of
materials will have to reduce considerably. There are only smaller margins to be gained in going to larger glass
size, and state of the art backlights may become more expensive for a time before costs become competitive. An
attractive feature is that as prices for raw materials for LCD fall, they fall for us also.
Do you also expect QFT displays will be less expensive from the processing side of the cost equation? Please
explain. Today, a typical LCD would use 4-5 photomasks for an amorphous silicon device, and 7-8 for a
polysilicon device. Although we are using amorphous silicon, silicon nitride and thin film metal, we do not pattern
them using lithography. We are removing the photomask stages and costs and the associated chemicals and
processes to pattern them.
What sort of cost benefits do you anticipate will result due to the material and production savings enabled by
your technology? We know we cannot simply compete on cost as it is in the market today. We are looking 4 or 5
years ahead. We have always set out to have a lower cost technology and are driven by the target of being at least
1/3 lower than LCD in 4-5 years time. We are developing a cost model and continually refining things so that we
can continue to meet this target.
You have suggested that one of the advantages of your technology is that the brightness of each pixel can be
controlled dynamically, giving you the opportunity to showcase an extremely high dynamic range. Please
explain why this is such an advantage. There has been a lot of exciting development in the area of dynamic
backlighting for high-quality displays. Also the high brightness and control of emissive FED technology give many
opportunities, e.g. in avionic displays. There are a number of driver schemes for FED that gives some flexibility
and room for innovation. It is possible that FED can be used as a backlight for LCD. FED can achieve a very high
contrast ratio. Contrast ratio in PDP and LCD is poor, because there is always some residual light. Dynamic
contrast helps but comes at a cost. We would be very interested to explore with a manufacturer the possibility of
our technology as a dynamic backlight. Backlight can be up to a third of the materials cost.
Another performance advantage you claim is related to high switching speeds. What does this mean to the
end user? The end user is going to be interested in cost saving and performance. We hope to deliver state of the art
performance for very low cost. The speed advantage comes for free. Field emission is a quantum mechanical
process and happens on the nanosecond timescale. This means we can think of ways exploiting the advantage in
terms of driving the display and perhaps in developing ideas in the 3D domain where speed and resolution are
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crucial. Liquid crystal displays are slow in the sense that the switching speed of the liquid crystal is slow, and the
line at a time method of rendering a frame results in motion artifacts that are visible on larger LCD displays. Our
quantized resistance effects imply ballistic transport. If the ballistic transport through the material was optimized,
then the speed of electrons from cathode to anode will be fast. Speed limitations may come in at high frequency
with capacitance effects, etc.
In the past, FEDs have had problems achieving high pixel densities. What’s different about your technology
that will enable you to achieve high pixel densities? The ideal emitter will be one with high uniformity and
number of emitter sites, exhibiting ballistic transport. In this case there would be highly uniform illumination and
little cross pixel interference, as the electrons should leave the surface in a perpendicular direction. This would
remove the requirement of complex focusing structures.
Early problems in FED will have been determined by lithographic limitations to get a large number of effective
emitters to give good uniformity. We believe we have resolved this limitation. Our emitter sites are fractions of a
micron apart and are formed using a “self–aligned” method. Each emitter is exactly the same distance from the gate
set by the thickness of the insulator and the isotropic etching techniques. In a typical high-resolution pixel we
would have in excess of 50,000 emitter sites. Only a fraction of these will be required to give a uniform pixel.
Considering that FEDs require a vacuum, are your displays still a good candidate for flexible substrates?
Vacuum devices are not good candidates for flexible displays. Even moderately thin glass will distort. This is
understood and not really a problem if you don’t want to enter that race. There are other advantages in the
technology however that reduce the weight, and can give a real weight advantage. In order to go flexible we would
need a solid-state version of the device. This might be possible.
What do you see as your biggest remaining technology hurdles? We are an early stage company and are
making modest devices. We can model and predict many features of the technology as well as doing laboratory
tests. We know we have to resolve many issues in scaling.
Aside from displays, can QFT devices be used in any other applications? Field emission devices have many
applications, X-rays, imaging, microwave, etc. A highly uniform emitter for example would be very attractive for
3D X-ray imaging.
Is there a particular market segment that will best benefit from your technology? Large area, notebook,
aerospace, but primarily notebook. Long term there should be no constraints to the sectors we address. Benefits of
our technology should be power saving, cost saving, high brightness, thinness, lightness etc.
Going from early prototype stage to commercial production is a big effort, especially in the display market.
Please tell us about your commercialization plans. I have been describing our technology in terms of materials
available to LCD manufacturers. Today of course that means Gen 8 plants, etc. and infrastructure of billions of
dollars. It would not be realistic for a small company to manufacture large displays for the display market.
However, there are many fabrication plants around that may be looking for a new destiny, and polysilicon plants
with the necessary tools. We are pushing ahead with improving devices with a view to engaging with major players
and incorporating our technology into their products. We are interested in keeping open the possibility of joint
ventures with manufacturers. We are a small company and a licensing route may be appropriate. We are ambitious
however and would hope the technology will be come ubiquitous and are looking for the best opportunity to turn
that aspiration into reality.
When do you expect we’ll first see a prototype that is adequate to show off in a public forum? If we mange to
form a partnership that can take our technology into a device, we should be able to show a demo that shows all the
competitive features of the technology within 18 months. We will be showing our early stage demonstrators to
potential partners very soon.
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Twenty Interviews
Volume 2 just released!
Interviews from Veritas et Visus newsletters – Volume 2
+ 21st Century 3D, Jason Goodman, Founder and CEO
+ Add-Vision, Matt Wilkinson, President and CEO
+ Alienware, Darek Kaminski, Product Manager
+ CDT, David Fyfe, Founder and CTO
+ DisplayMasters, David Rodley, Academic Coordinator
+ HDMI Licensing, Les Chard, President
+ JazzMutant, Guillaume Largillier, CEO
+ Lumicure, Ifor Samuel, Founder and CTO
+ Luxtera, Eileen Robarge, Director of Marketing
+ QFT, Merv Rose, Founder and CTO
+ RPO, Ian Maxwell, Founder and Executive Director
+ SMART Technologies, David Martin, Executive Chairman
+ Sony, Kevin Kuroiwa, Product Planning Manager
+ STRIKE Technologies, David Tulbert, Founder
+ TelAztec, Jim Nole, Vice President – Business Development
+ TYZX, Ron Buck, President and CEO
+ UniPixel Display, Reed Killion, President
+ xRez, Greg Downing, Co-founder
+ Zebra Imaging, Mark Lucente, Program Manager
+ Zoomify, David Urbanic, Founder, President, and CEO
78 pages, only $12.99
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How this can be…
by Alan Stubbs
,
Alan Stubbs teaches for the Psychology Department and the
Art Department at the University of Maine. His area of interest
in psychology is perception and in art it is photography and
digital imaging. I addition to illusions, he is interested in the
design of graphs and large format printing on a variety of
papers. A current hobby is cooking better habenero cornbread.
He maintains a website that features many of the fascinating
optical illusions that he has created: http://perceptualstuff.org
The Cornsweet effect
In issues 14 and 15 of High Resolution, you included a nice
illusion that seems like a variation on an older illusion
Alan Stubbs is illuminated by a lightbox that shows
introduced by Cornsweet many years ago. It was featured in
one of his dynamic luminance illusions.
his book, “Visual Perception” (1970), and it was also given
coverage in the influential book by Lindsay and Norman,
“Human Information Processing” (1972). In the figure, Cornsweet 1, if you look at the black dot, the light patch
with “soft” edges will fade away. But as he points out, if you close your eyes it will come back. In his original
figure there was also an x in a corner, and Cornsweet said that if you shift your gaze, the figure will come back. In
the second figure, Cornsweet 2, which shows a circle with a more abrupt change, the circle does not fade away. In
both books the authors explain the effect as due to (a) factors related to spatial frequency and (b) effects of
involuntary eye movements on sharp and blurred boarders.
The image on the left is what we showed in the last two edition of High Resolution and is discussed by Alan
Stubbs above. If you stare at the black dot for a minute (the longer the better), and watch the colored “fluff”
disappear. The middle image is Cornsweet 1 which shows a similar fading effect, and the image on the right is
Cornsweet 2, in which the fading effect is not noticeable.
Biological motion
Also in the last edition of High Resolution, we showed two rather meaningless images, (shown again on the
following page), suggesting there is some commonality between the two. The commonality is that both images only
become meaningful only when motion is added.
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In the image on the left, in 1973 Johansson attached small points
of light at the joints of human actors, and filmed them moving
about in the dark. Observers viewing the film reported vivid
impressions of human figures, even though the images contained
only a few isolated bright points. More recently, computer
simulations, using as few as 13 points of light (as in the
accompanying image) can not only create a meaningful Gestalt,
but simulations can be created where the observer can identify
male/female motion differences. Unfortunately, we can’t show
motion here, so you’ll need to visit our website to see the effect:
http://www.veritasetvisus.com/high_resolution.htm
The second image (on the right), the somewhat famous “walking
man.gif”, is comprised of keystrokes and comes to life when put
into motion. Go to http://www.lookoutranch.com to see the image,
home page for Paul Grace who contributed an article to the last
edition of High Resolution.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
How can this be?
OK, folks, I just don’t understand how this illusion works – and it is mind-boggling to me that this is how we
actually see things. We hear so much talk about higher and higher contrast ratios – yet it seems to me that our
ability to really discriminate between white levels and black levels is subject to question in the first place. In this
illusion, the chess pieces have exactly the same pixel by pixel lightness in both images, but their apparent
reflectance is almost completely reversed, from luminous white to dark gray, by greatly increasing the lightness of a
tinting layer of “smoke” swirling around the pieces while again performing a cutout or deletion of the tinting layer
in front of the pieces. Amazingly, in this illusion the “luminous” chess pieces appear even lighter valued than the
light background glimpsed behind them.
How does this work, and are ultra-high contrast ratios really all that significant when it comes to display
specifications?
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Bits from FET, Barco, and IEI
by Jon Peddie
Dr. Jon Peddie is one of the pioneers of the graphics industry, starting his career in
computer graphics in 1962. After the successful launch of several graphics manufacturing
companies, Peddie began JPA in 1984 to provide comprehensive data, information and
management expertise to the computer graphics industry. In 2001 Peddie left JPA and
formed Jon Peddie Research (JPR) to provide customer intimate consulting and market
forecasting services. Peddie lectures at numerous conferences on topics pertaining to
graphics technology and the emerging trends in digital media technology. Recently named
one of the most influential analysts, he is frequently quoted in trade and business
publications, and contributes articles to numerous publications as well as appearing on
CNN and TechTV. Peddie is also the author of several books including Graphics User
Interfaces and Graphics Standards, High Resolution Graphics Display Systems, and
Multimedia and Graphics Controllers, and a contributor to Advances in Modeling,
Animation, and Rendering.
FED lives again
If any of you have read Kathleen Maher’s thesis on the Practicality Gap, and if you’ve followed the tortuous history
of field emission displays (FED) then you know this could be the poster child for her book.
A field emission display is a type of flat panel display using field emitting cathodes to bombard phosphor coatings
as the light emissive medium. FEDs are very similar to cathode ray tubes, however they are only a few millimeters
thick. Instead of a single electron gun, a FED uses a large array of fine metal tips or carbon nanotubes (which are
the most efficient electron emitters known), with many positioned behind each phosphor dot, to emit electrons
through a process known as field emission. Because of emitter redundancy, FEDs do not display dead pixels like
LCDs even if 20% of the emitters fail. Sony
is researching FED because it is the flatpanel technology that comes closest to
matching the picture of a CRT. FEDs also
have redundancy built into their design,
most designs using thousands of electron
emitters for each pixel. Whereas one failed
transistor can cause a permanently on or off
pixel on an LCD, FED manufacturers claim
that FEDs suffer no loss of brightness even
if 20% of the emitters fail. These factors,
coupled with faster than TFT LCD response
times and color reproduction equal to the
CRT, make FEDs look a very promising
Cross section of a FED: Source – PC Tech Guide
option.
Although the FED was invented in the 1970s, it took more than two decades to produce working models. With
hundreds of patents on the technology, PixTech was the pioneer in this field with small displays in production in the
late 1990s and early 2000s. Other companies including Futaba, Ratheon, Motorola, TI, Candescent and Sony were
also involved in FED development. Basically given up for dead, people stopped talking about and none were to be
seen at any display or semi shows – until now. And then out of nowhere it seems came Field Emissions
Technologies Inc., (FET). Well not really out of nowhere. FET is a spin off out of Sony with the charter to
commercialize FED technology, and they showed a prototype FED panel at Display 2007 in April and again at
SIGGRAPH.
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Sony undertook FED development in 1998,
working with Candescent Technologies. When
Candescent filed for bankruptcy in 2004,
Canon Inc. purchased the US company’s FEDrelated patents. Sony retains the right to use
the patented technologies but not to sublicense
them. In 2001, Candescent had spent $600
million on producing FEDs with non-carbon
material, but it was abandoned, with assets
sold to Canon after filing for voluntary
reorganization under Chapter 11. Sony put in
another $22 million to get FMT going.
At SIGGRAPH FET showed a 19.2-inch
1280x720 pixel display with 20,000:1 contrast
ratio and 400 cd/m2 brightness – and it runs at
120 Hz. FET has ambitions to build a
FET’s FED display next to a studio quality CRT
26.0-inch display and to get into the
– the FED looks better. Source – JPR
commercial home TV business. We think they
would also be well received in the PC business with that refresh rate. You can read more about them at
http://www.fe-tech.co.jp/FET_PressRelease(English)_20070803.pdf. Commercial offerings are targeted for 2009.
Big bad Barco brings it on
Skipping the big black box this year for SIGGRAPH, Barco sat in the back of the show with a new projector and a
killer LCD display. The projector has the unique feature of being able to input simultaneously four high-res, high
speed video signals and display them in re-locatable panels on the screen. The input multiplexer is as you can
imagine: extremely fast, and supports four 60 Hz and the overall resolution of the projector is 1920x1080p with a
2,000:1 contrast ratio and 12,000 lumens brightness.
The company also showed a large LCD monitor from its LC series. The top of the line unit is a 56-inch version,
with 3840x2160 pixels, a 1,200:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness – and the company says through a
proprietary internal circuit it can dither to 10-bits. The unit sells for $15,000.
On the left is Barco’s Galaxy NH-12 multi-source DLP projector; on the right is their LC series 10-bit 56-inch
display at 3840x2160 pixels. Source – JPR
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I can see you so much better now
Radiologists are a funny lot; they think they can see 16 shades of gray (one part in 65,536 or 16-bit). Maybe some
of them can, but most of us humans are lucky if we can see 10 shades (one part in 1024 or 10-bit), and many can
see one part in 4,096 (12-bit.) Over the years the display suppliers tried to replace X-ray film with CRTs and years
afterwards LCDs were offered, 12-bits was considered the entry level spec. Not so much due to the actual acuity of
the viewer’s eyes, but as a means of compensating for non-linearity and roll-off in the CRT models back in the late
80s and early 90s.
LCDs however, when dealing with a monochromatic color base, have excellent linearity and therefore a 12-bit
LCD, if one could find such a thing, would be pretty reliable and most importantly repeatable – a critical factor in
radiology as you can imagine. Alas, LCDs with their twisted and super twisted nematic crystals can only produce
256 steps or 8-bits. If you apply three LCDs to a pixel and a color filter on each one then you can get a pretty good
24-bit (16 million shades) representation of color, far less than what the human eye is capable of but satisfying
enough to convince our highly adaptive brains that it is a pretty faithful representation of color.
Radiologists also need high resolution, usually expressed in pixels per inch (ppi); however, the display suppliers
have been trying to sell monitors on the basis of screen resolution and ppi is a function of both physical size and
pixels. Radiologist monitors today are specified in
megapixels, with 3 megapixels being OK, and 5
megapixels being better, the assumption seems to be that
will be 20-inch displays because that approximates the
size of X-ray film.
IEI Electronics has come up a different approach to
overcome the limitation of LCD, using what they are
calling GrayBoost. IEI Electronics is part of ICP
Electronics, a 1000+ employee firm that was founded in
1997 by Teddy Kuo who lead the company to become a
major supplier in the electronics manufacturing services
(EMS) industry. The company offers products for in-car
displays and system, point of sale (POS) systems, and
various other embedded systems. The company,
sometimes referred to as ICP group, includes ICP
Electronics, IEI Technology and QNAP Systems.
IEI’s 5-megapixel medical monitor
Last year the company announced a new design, the “Medical Display Monitor” with its patented GrayBoost which
brings 12-bit color depth to a LCD display. At Computex this year the IEI Electronics division showed their first
products implemented on a 21-inch 2560x2048 resolution monitor in portrait mode.
The trick is dithering, not a new concept, and one that has spawned dozens of PhD papers. Dithering can be thought
of as anti-aliasing for color depth. One of the artifacts you see when there is insufficient color depth is color
banding as the display jumps from one color to the next and forms a ghost edge that makes the color differences
visible. Dithering smooths out those color band jumps and provides pseudo shades or bands in between. Dithering
can’t produce the exact same results as having the desired color depth (levels of gray or colors), but it can make
shaded drawings and photographs appear much more realistic.
IEI takes a very high quality high-resolution 20.1-inch NEC 2560x2048 monitor and puts a small circuit board in it
that contains their FPGA ASIC with their proprietary dithering engine. In addition they have a special screen
sensor, about the size of a mouse (shown at the top center of the screen on the right in the accompanying image)
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that they can place on various parts of the screen to calibrate it so the dithering and light intensity is as accurate as
possible.
The results are instantly recognizable and they have a nice with and without split screen demo they show which
drives home the point even further. Since a typical digital chest X-ray image contains about 5 million pixels, the
5-megapixel monitors can display the entire chest image without any down-sampling. On monitors with less than
5 megapixels, the radiologist has to zoom in to a particular area of the image to see it at full resolution, and this is a
commonly accepted practice for both diagnostic and clinical use.
The American College of Radiology recommends that a monitor used for primary interpretation should have a
brightness of at least 50 foot-lamberts, (equivalent to about 170 cd/m2). It is not unreasonable to also apply this
standard to monitors used for clinical review outside of radiology. IEI’s 5-megapixel medical monitors offer
850 cd/m2 and when fully calibrated can reach 600 cd/m2 overall, and in their small resolution model, with
2 megapixels they can get as high as 1000 cd/m2.
Find out the latest updates on the HDTV industry
by Ross Young
Ross Young is president of the market research firm, DisplaySearch. Prior to founding
DisplaySearch in 1996, Ross served in senior marketing positions at OWL Displays, Brooks
Automation, Fusion Semiconductor and GCA in the driver IC, flat panel automation, etch and
strip and lithography markets respectively. Ross attended the University of California at San
Diego (UCSD), Australia's University of New South Wales, UCSD’s Graduate School of
International Relations and Pacific Studies and Japan’s Tohoku University.
DisplaySearch’s 5th Annual HDTV Conference on October 10-11 looks to be its most
interesting HD event to date, as they have combined sessions on all sources of HD content,
including presentations on all types of HD hardware.
In addition to leading executives covering these topics, DisplaySearch, The NPD Group, Wedbush Morgan,
Goldman Sachs and Kersey Strategies will excerpt from HD-related market intelligence and insight valued in the
hundreds of thousands of dollars which should educate attendees as to where HD penetration is today and where it
is going in the future. Key challenges will be identified and solutions will be offered. Attendees will also be able to
voice their opinions through the event’s audience polling system, which always makes for interesting results. Also
of interest to many will be the sessions on the TV market:
•
The New Display Advances Session will feature a talk
from Ross Young, on where TV performance and prices
are going. In addition, Dolby will discuss how it is able to
dramatically improve front of screen LCD TV performance
with its LED dimming technology. Also, Pioneer and the
APDC will discuss the evolution of plasma TVs including
Pioneer’s new remarkable Kuro TVs and Texas
Instruments will discuss how they plan to fend off the flat
panel challenge with its DLP RPTVs.
•
The TV market outlook session will examine channel and
margin shifts in the US TV market, as well as new features
and technologies that will improve the HD experience. In
http://www.veritasetvisus.com
Sessions include:
• Next-Generation DVD Format War
• HD Broadcasting
• HD Content Distribution
• HD Gaming
• TV Market Outlook
• New Display Advances
• Next Gen DVD Hardware Outlook
• Enhancing the HDTV Experience
• Home Connectivity
• Retailer Panel
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addition, participating executives from DisplaySearch, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sony, Syntax-Brillian and
Vizio will provide their forecasts for the future regarding technology and product mix, price points and
the hottest products this holiday season.
•
The Home Connectivity session will discuss new wired and wireless solutions to hook up TVs to more
sources in a consumer friendly-way. The Audio/Certification session will address advances in digital
audio including virtualized and simulated surround sound techniques, video-audio synchronization,
display certification and more. Participants in these sessions include executives from AMIMON, Analog
Devices, Dolby, HDMI Licensing, HP, The NPD Group, SiBeam, SRS Labs and THX.
•
The retailer session will be moderated by NPD’s Steve Baker and will feature video/entertainment
merchants from Amazon, CompUSA and Sam’s Club, the always insightful Dave Workman from the
PRO Group, Bob Gartland from AVAD and leading retail analyst Matt Fassler from Goldman Sachs.
They will discuss the CE spending picture this holiday season, what products are likely to be the best
sellers, what has and hasn’t worked in selling next generation DVD players, why 1080p TVs have been
embraced in retail, and how to maximize attachment and service revenue, etc.
Of course, the ongoing blue laser disc format war will be a major topic and they have brought them to the table
from both the content and hardware side as described below:
•
The first, entitled “The Format War is Over! No, Wait, This Just In…,” features top executives from
both sides of the battle, with senior executives from Pioneer, Sony Pictures, Microsoft, Warner Bros.
and Universal Pictures. The session will examine the larger issues affecting both the progress of each
format, as well as the category overall. The willingness of consumers to support two formats, and
projections of when the format war will end and who will prevail, are also areas that are likely to be
covered in what is anticipated to be an energetic debate between both sides. The most recent sellthrough and consumer survey data will also be presented.
•
The second session, “Next Gen DVD Hardware Outlook,” will delve more specifically into the market
for next generation disc players and will field senior executives from Sony, Toshiba, LG, Pioneer and
Microsoft. The discussion will focus on factors such as pricing, historical sales, hardware functionality,
interactivity and the battle against the mature standard-definition DVD player market. Additionally, the
influence of the gaming console market on overall hardware sales will also be examined. Overall, the
two panels should provide a comprehensive amount of coverage and plenty of lively debate over the
continuing struggle between Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD.
Also of interest are the HD Broadcasting and Content Distribution sessions, which will address the recent
expansion of HD content on cable and satellite to as many as 100 channels this year and 150 in 2008. How is this
change affecting the economics for broadcasters, service providers and advertisers? How will cable respond? When
can new switched digital video technology be implemented? Also under discussion will be the status and outlook
for the digital transition in February 2009. Is it at risk? Presenters in these sessions include Cox Cable, ESPN,
HDNet, Imagine Communications, Kersey Strategies and TV Week.
Keynotes include film maker John Lowry from DTS, who will discuss the state of the art in terms of image quality,
Phil Rosenberg from SCEA who will discuss the outlook for the PlayStation 3 and ESPN’s Bryan Burns who will
discuss their plans.
This should be an excellent event and also includes a free tram tour at Universal Studios and raffle prizes such as a
65-inch 1080p LCD TV. For more information, please visit http://www.displaysearch.com/hdtv2007.
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58
THE
FUTURE
OF HD
Join DisplaySearch again
this year for the 5th annual
HDTV Conference.
Be on the forefront of
display technology.
Oct. 10-11, 2007
Hilton Los Angeles
Universal City, CA
The DisplaySearch HDTV Conference will feature two
information-packed days of industry leading speakers from
both the content and the hardware side. HD service providers,
movie studios, broadcasters and HD game platform
companies will present the future of HD content.
The second day of the DisplaySearch HDTV Conference will
focus on HDTV hardware and adoption of HD hardware.
Leading retailers, TV brands, HD DVD and Blu-ray
manufacturers and home connectivity innovators will
present the latest information on HD adoption and new
advances.
For more information about the conference
please contact us:
Heather Boudreau
T (516) 625.6133
E [email protected]
Corporate Sponsors
Participating companies include: Amazon.com, Dolby, ESPN, Panasonic,
Pioneer, Sony, THX, Universal, Warner Home Video and many more.
Register by September 26, 2007 and save $100!
2007 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Philip Rosenburg
Bryan Burns
Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development,
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Vice President of Strategic Business Planning
& Development, ESPN
Philip Rosenberg brings to his position more than 25 years
of experience working directly within the games and
entertainment industry. In his role as senior vice president
of Sales and Business Development, Phil oversees Sony
Computer Entertainment America's sales and channel
relations in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
As the head of Business Development he targets new
opportunities for growth while driving the company forward
in its three-platform strategy. He reports to Sony Computer
Entertainment America's President and CEO, Jack Tretton.
In a role created specifically to tap Phil's talent, he
leads the team responsible for driving and creating new
revenue opportunities for the company and the PlayStation
family of products. His sales and business development
group works in collaboration with the company's existing
marketing to create, participate in, and cultivate
relationships and new business opportunities, while
maintaining and growing content alliances.
Prior to joining Sony Computer Entertainment America,
Phil spent 16 years as the president and CEO of The
Performance Marketing Group. He founded the company to
help support and create go-to-market plans and strategies
for consumer products in the North American region.
Bryan Burns, ESPN’s vice president of strategic business
planning and development, is the head of ESPN HD and
ESPN2 HD and directs the growth of high definition
telecasts within ABC Sports programming. During his time
with ESPN, Burns conceived and designed a variety of
ESPN’s video products and interactive channels including
ESPN Game Plan, ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN Today, ESPN
NOW and ESPN EXTRA.
Burns’ career highlights include his 16-year Major
League Baseball career, with seven years as Senior Vice
President, founding The Paragon Alliance consulting firm in
1992, and serving as Director of Marketing and Broadcasting
for the Kansas City Royals. Burns has been recognized
numerous times by the CableFAX 100, profiling “cable’s 100
heavy hitters,” and was inducted into the Academy of
Digital Television Pioneers (DTV Academy) in 2004.
Veritas et Visus
High Resolution
September 2007
Embedding depth cues in 2D images
by Paul Darbee and Larry Pace
Paul Darbee has been an innovator and entrepreneur all his life. He holds 28 U.S. and many foreign patents, with
several more pending. In 1985 he developed a microprocessor-powered, preprogrammed universal remote control.
He founded Universal Electronics Inc. to commercialize the idea, and received the first of numerous patents on
universal remote control technology. In 2000, Darbee noticed some remarkable properties in images synthesized from
three-dimensional stereo pairs. If he smuggled the 3D information from the left and right sources into one image in a
certain way, the pictures seemed to “pop” with a strong sense of sharpness and depth. Intrigued, Darbee continued to
develop his discovery, this time using only a single image as a starting point. To his astonishment, he was able to find a
way to get even 2D images to “pop.” Darbee founded Darbee Labs LLC in March of 2002 to market “DarbeeVision”
as a service bureau for upgrading film, video or still pictures. DarbeeVision debuted on the DVD of the Oscar-winning
motion picture Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman. Subsequently, other successful applications included TV
commercials, billboards, large-format printing, and photographic art exhibits.
The benefit of embedding stereo disparity information into 2D images was originally realized during analog
experiments using a stereo video camera setup. Inventor Paul Darbee discovered that something uniquely gratifying
happens when you defocus and invert one video camera signal and then add it to the other camera signal. Where the
images are converged, the process is similar to the well-known unsharp mask technique for enhancing image detail.
But where there is image disparity, the technique embeds depth cues without creating a double image effect. As you
might expect, such a simple technique can also create unnatural-looking artifacts in the image, so a lot of work went
into selective application of the discovery within an image.
Since stereo source content for imaging is not common, Darbee was motivated to discover a way to perform the
DarbeeVision process when starting with monoscopic source material. Fortunately, he was able to develop an
efficient method for achieving excellent results starting with single images. The mathematical solution for starting
with a single 2D source frame is surprisingly simple, yet yields results comparable to the stereo source method.
On the left is a source image; on the right is a DarbeVision enhanced image
Consistent with the fact that our eyes are horizontally displaced, the DarbeeVision method only requires onedimensional mathematical transforms. This makes for very efficient computation -- running on an average desktop
personal computer, the software is able to process and display a million or more pixels per second.
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Although the DarbeeVision mathematical procedure is simple and quick, embedding depth cues in 2D images
brings them up to a level of realism that goes far beyond high definition image capture. One method for validating
the presence of depth cues is to cover one eye while comparing the input and output images. Without the use of
two eyes, you cannot use convergence to vary the parallax with which you are viewing an image. With normal
two-eyed viewing, both eyes working together would allow your brain to figure out very quickly that the fixed
depth cues embedded in the 2D output image are not real, and yet the image still seems to "pop." This "one-eyed
depth cue test" confirms that an increased sense of image depth can be perceived by our brains even in the absence
of true stereopsis from binocular vision.
Forty Favorites
Favorite news stories, commentaries, tutorials and insights from
the Veritas et Visus catalog of newsletters. Fascinating insights
into the world of display technologies…
Contributors to Forty Favorites, volume 1
Contributors to Forty Favorites, volume 2
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Soliloquies, rants, and ramblings in high resolution…
by Fluppeteer
Fluppeteer is contributing to Veritas et Visus based on a long background working as a computer
graphics programmer, and a similarly long background torturing his display hardware to within
an inch of its life. He uses an IBM T221 display (3840x2400 pixels) and multi-monitor setups, the
attempts to extract the best out of which have given him some insight into the issues specific to
high-resolution displays. Fluppeteer holds an MA from the University of Cambridge (England)
and an MSc in Advanced Computing from King’s College London. His efforts to squeeze the most
from monitors stretch from ASCII art to ray tracing. Laser surgery left him most comfortable 1-2
feet away from the monitor, making high resolution a necessity. He is currently ranked 27th in
the word at tiddlywinks, having dropped ten places since having started writing for Veritas et
Visus; he is giving serious consideration to practicing.
Déjà vu (but this time fuzzily)
Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are because the pixels are so big
Section 1: Not a long time ago, with pixels far, far away...
Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but reading recent press releases, I don't seem to be alone. One
problem with being part of a relatively young field (and I speak as someone who started programming graphics on a
ZX Spectrum in 1983 - if the field isn’t young, neither am I, but I am in denial...) is that lessons from history don’t
seem to get a chance to sink in.
Readers of past issues of High Resolution may recall my pet hate of running fixed-pixel displays at non-native
resolutions. When LCD monitors started to become popular, this concept was drummed into the public, but it’s an
issue which the television industry seems resolutely determined to ignore (possibly under the misapprehension that
a digital representation of an analog input can’t lose anything in translation). This philosophy has led us to
1440x1080 cameras using 1280x720 or 1920x1080 signals (with a lack of agreement on which to use), which are
scaled just beyond the edges of a 1366x768 or 1024x1024 display. I’ve never disputed that an HDTV signal is
sharper than a standard definition one, which sadly leads to the “nobody else has ever complained” argument from
home electronics salesmen when I protest that I insist on a screen running at one of the native image resolutions,
but it depresses me that HDTV could have been a lot sharper than it actually is were the resampling not actively
getting in the way.
Having finally satisfied myself that native 1080-line televisions are dropping to reasonable prices – for once, the
HD console and disc formats having a beneficial effect on competition – I had regained a little of my faith in the
industry. And then I saw the latest new feature, which is being provided with 1080-line projectors (also, thankfully,
getting cheaper): anamorphic lens technology.
For the unindoctrinated, this feature on various high-end home cinema projectors is for use when a film has been
recorded in a format which is wider than the native 16:9 widescreen format of HDTV – 2.35:1 is a typically-quoted
figure – and therefore the disc transfer comes with black bars top and bottom. Knowing that people who’ve paid out
for a 1080-line projector couldn’t possibly want to waste all their pixels, the manufacturers have come up with a
solution: when there are black bars in the image, digitally scale the image vertically to fill the 1920x1080 resolution
available. This, obviously, mangles the aspect ratio - so the solution is to move an anamorphic lens in front of the
projector’s existing optics, in order to stretch the image sideways back to its original shape.
Anamorphic lenses are specialized and expensive devices, adding significantly to the cost of the projector
(especially with the mark-up which the projector manufacturers seem to be adding to them). In contrast, spherical
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(and approximately spherical) lenses of reasonable quality are cheap to make and very well understood – a lens
good enough for a 22-megapixel digital SLR is very much consumer grade. At best, adding an additional lens in
front of the existing, fully-functional, projector optics can only reduce the image quality. If the source were
provided in 2.35:1 digital form, I would have no objections to this circuitous route to getting a wider screen. After
all, anamorphic lenses have been used in film projection for many years as a means of making better use of the
limited resolution of the area of 35mm film available. My objection is that, given an image that has been sampled at
1920x1080, deliberately resampling it digitally and then using an obscure lens technology to stretch it again seems
like an expensive and pointless exercise.
Given that there is no additional data in the source, and that a projector can already cover a relatively arbitrary area
with a traditional zoom lens, the only benefits that I can see would be:
1) A slight increase in brightness (letterboxing blocks off some light - if done mechanically, far more cheaply
than with an anamorphic lens, the blacked out areas at least remain black), and
2) A trade-off of lack of sharpness for reduced pixellation (something which could be better achieved by a
Gaussian filter on the lens and some slight defocusing).
I’ve yet to be given a convincing explanation for why the route chosen by the projector manufacturers is a practical
one. If you know, please write in and tell me!
Section 2: Arm’s length
Lenovo recently won some kudos from me by announcing a 22-inch 1920x1200 computer monitor. I rejoiced, since
I've been tempted for ages to write Mark another article on how the ever-growing pixels in computer monitors are
making it impossible for me to find a replacement for the CRTs which I currently use (a manner which almost
became urgent a couple of months ago when my 1600SW went pop; fortunately, it’s been revived).
Personally, I still find 22 inches to be a bit big for 1920x1200 pixels – the T221 fitting four times as many pixels in
the same space – but I’ll take any step in the right direction as a good thing, at least until someone starts shipping
cheap laptop panels in desktop mounts. Unfortunately, my high was immediately followed by a low. The first, and
perhaps most minor, issue was Lenovo announcing in its press release that the L220x was the world’s first 22-inch
WUXGA monitor, something duly parroted by the press. I’m sure this is fascinating news to Eizo, who have been
making 22-inch WUXGA monitors since the CG220 came out.
The second cause of my depression was the immediate response from the readers of the technical on-line press,
who started claiming that God hadn’t meant man to look at 103 ppi, and that it would surely cause black-outs and
possible death. Or maybe that was traveling at more than 30 mph. Either way, the fact that people have been coping
with much higher resolutions on laptops, cellphones, and older monitors for years seems to have been blanked out
of the minds of the public.
For years Apple et al claimed that 100 ppi was perfect (it’s clearly much more important for your word processing
window to be the exact size which the application designer intended than for you to be able to see what you’re
editing), and the gradual creep down to lower resolutions - 83 ppi 27-inch (1920x1200) and 86 ppi 19-inch
(1280x1024), caused cries of complaint from those used to running a CRT at much higher resolutions.
Now the masses finally seem to have been subdued, and - cowed by the message of salesmen – boggle at the
slightest move towards smaller pixels, instead crying “larger, more expensive, more power-hungry, take more
space!” An example being someone who switched from a 1600x1200 CRT to a 22-inch 1680x1050 LCD monitor,
and exclaimed how much he enjoyed the extra desktop real-estate (presumably for learning math). Physical desktop
space is suffering; speaking as someone with five monitors around me at the moment. What I don't understand is
that one of the alleged reasons for getting rid of CRTs in the first place was that LCDs would take up less space; I’ll
take a 19-inch CRT over a 27-inch LCD with the same resolution, thanks. (What I’d really like is for short-throw
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projectors to get much cheaper, so that people could choose their preferred pixel size once more - preferably
without anamorphic lenses, obviously. But for now, the ever-larger LCD is still cheaper.)
So stunning is this turn-around in perspective that I begin to suspect that the black frames and overdrive features
used by modern LCDs aren’t to improve the image at all, but are instead to hypnotize the public – or, at least, make
their vision bad enough to force a screen size upgrade. Nothing like a good conspiracy theory, is there? I can only
conclude that young computer users don’t know what it was like when I was growing up with decent monitors.
What I can’t understand is that, apparently, neither do the older computer users.
Section 3: Nose grease makes the colors go funny
Taking another step to smaller screen sizes, Nikon recently announced a couple of new digital SLR cameras. While
normally the resolution of the sensor would be the obvious thing to discuss, in this case it’s the LCD on the back of
the cameras that interests me.
These LCDs are unusual in being 3.0-inch screens at 640x480 pixels. I would be writing in the wrong place if I
disapproved of this, but I’m less impressed by some reports which immediately claimed that this screen was four
times sharper than the 320x240 screens used in competitors’ cameras. In pure pixel count, of course, they’re right.
However, the DPReview article (http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond3/page3.asp) shows that the new
screens have a simple RGB stripe arrangement, whereas the lower resolution screens use a Delta-Nabla array (with
sub-pixels at different alignments on alternating lines). Note that the cropped images in the article don’t tell the
whole story – the full size images are informative. The Nikon screens follow the pattern in use on standard desktop
displays: a square grid of RGB triples, aligned with the edges of the screen. This will be a good pattern for a
desktop for so long as windowing systems stick to screen-aligned rectangular regions – and for so long as these
LCD layouts are in use, a rectangular windowing system is the best fit, so nothing is likely to change soon.
However, the real world does not consist of pixel-aligned rectangles; horizontal lines aren’t precisely horizontal,
vertical lines aren’t precisely vertical, and a lot of edges don’t fall anywhere near the edges of the rectangular
pixels. For this reason, low resolution LCDs have long used an alternative layout, and used sub-pixel rendering in
order to map the luminance at each position to the R, G or B sub-pixel. The Canon display can be seen doing this –
in the image, obviously, but most clearly in the text (and, indeed, it must do this, since the vertical and horizontal
lines of the text don’t fit neatly onto its LCD). By contrast, the Nikon screen appears to eschew sub-pixel rendering
completely, relying on anti-aliasing at the level of RGB triples.
The absolute resolution advantage of the Nikon screen still wins the comparison, but the difference isn’t as clear-cut
as might be thought on first glance at these images; viewed from a sufficient distance (or scale, given a high
resolution monitor) to hide the intrusive sub-pixel structure of the lower-resolution screen, the high contrast edges
are only slightly less sharp, and arguably the aliasing is less objectionable, than the new screens. This is specially so
for near-vertical edges, where the luminance resolution of the sub-pixel rendering is actually higher, and the display
is hampered only by the necessary filtering to minimize color artifacts.
I’m not blaming Nikon for the LCD choice; Nikon is not an LCD manufacturer, and the screen was probably
designed for cell phone use (and because cell phones have a human-designed grid-aligned GUI, the rectangular grid
makes sense). The 640x480 display is a clear step forward, but I can only think of how much sharper the display
might have been if sub-pixel rendering and a camera-friendly sub-pixel structure had been used instead – shrinking
the Canon image down to half size makes for an interesting comparison. One step forward, but at least a slight
shuffle back. For more information on this topic check out: “Subpixel Image Scaling for Color Matrix Displays”
http://www.ics.ele.tue.nl/~dehaan/pdf/90_jsid2003.pdf
Section 4: So close, it’s hindsight
Display technology, as an industry, has taken great steps forward over the years. We’ve gone from low-resolution
monochrome graphics – the first pixel I ever plotted was on a ZX81 (64x48 pixels, and using the processor to
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transfer the screen to the video out!) and used a spark printer – to 3D multi-head displays, which far outstrip even
HD television performance with high dynamic range and wide color gamut.
For every gain, though, something has been lost. Modern hardware has to work very hard to replicate the Amiga’s
separate bit planes, “screens”, and hardware sprite handling – let alone indirected graphics compositing engines
such as the rainbow display. HDTV has moved us from one television standard (per country) to several, to great
customer confusion, even before the disc formats and means of connection are considered. Most digital connections
can’t match the bandwidth or color depth of a good CRT, RAMDAC and VGA cable. The slow death of the CRT is
taking with it displays with genuinely arbitrary resolution (with no sign of scanning laser projectors or zooming rear
projectors to replace them, that I’ve seen).
The move to standard, increasing sizes for flat screen panels helps keep down prices and improves the display
experience for those who would struggle with small pixels, while impacting on the experience of those who dislike
looking at the display structure, and removing choice. Larger laptop screens make truly portable laptops with decent
screen resolution exotic. 3D desktop rendering will forever be aliased because of the inherent advantages of a
rectangular grid, whatever they may gain in usability (and the increase in resource usage is enormous). I’ve
bemoaned the loss of the “free anti-aliasing” from a CRT’s Gaussian electron spot before. A basic X11 system was
once acceptably usable over a 9600-baud GSM modem connection, and looked fine; a modern wireless display
can’t display an uncompressed image, and sucks up all available bandwidth.
Sub-pixel rendering is common on desktop screens (as ClearType), but missing from the iPhone, DLP projectors
(no sub-pixel structure!), and, now, digital cameras. With a symmetrical problem, the Foveon camera sensor
reduces chroma aliasing by co-siting the samples, but wastes luma data in doing so.
I’m in the wrong industry for someone who spends so much time regretting the passing of history – I can’t be
against progress. I wish, though, that I had less ammunition when judging each advance. Surely it’s possible to have
progress without leaving so much behind? What you see isn’t what you used to get…
Scaling heights
In previous articles, I’ve been highly critical of attempts to run a display of one resolution with content of another.
Traditional approaches always degrade the image quality, making a mockery of any attempt to up-scale, especially
if the display’s resolution is only slightly greater than that of the content. I’ve occasionally made enigmatic
comments about this kind of scaling, and recent developments have given me an opportunity to elaborate.
Approach one: plucking out pixels: The first technique, introduced by Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir, implements
content-aware image resizing by means of seam carving: the image is analyzed for details, and shrinking
preferentially removes “dull” portions of the image, keeping the 1:1 pixel mapping for the rest.
The examples are particularly impressive. My experience with the Gimp plug-in has been a little less convincing,
and results are highly dependent on the image, but the approach is definitely interesting. The approach of distorting
the image in order to preserve detail avoids my objections about resampling, although obviously the trick then
becomes finding a way to avoid the distortion being objectionable. The article mentions the possibility of
annotating an image in order to preserve the shape of, e.g., human faces, and of keeping a list of the order in which
lines should be removed in order to allow dynamic rescaling, Perhaps there could be a way of similarly annotating
HDTV content in order to fit various screens? (A little optimism, for once.)
Content-aware image resizing: http://www.faculty.idc.ac.il/arik/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NcIJXTlugc
Implementation of seam carving as a Gimp plug-in: http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2007/09/10/contentaware-image-resizing-algorithm-implemented-as-gimp-plugin
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Approach two: pixels over time: Mark has previously reported on techniques which use the samples from
multiple frames of video in order to reconstruct a higher resolution image than a single frame would provide, in a
reverse of the “wobulation” technique used by some DLP rear-projectors. This technique can reconstruct the source
with higher resolution than is transmitted, in two-dimensional terms, and the resulting higher-resolution image can
then be resampled to give a sharper result than simply resampling on a frame-by-frame basis. However, this
technique is obviously compromised by movement in the scene (when, to be fair, absolute sharpness is perhaps less
critical), and more importantly by image compression, which - with motion-adaptive techniques - use the subtlety
of the differences on which this analysis relies in order to improve compression. I’d be interested to know whether
the sub-pixel motion vectors used by H.264 could be used to accommodate this approach.
Approach three: knowing what you're looking at: The problems of rescaling the scene are obviously much
simplified if the image generation is under precise control; I'm thinking here of scaling the GUI of an application,
dynamically, or as the user modifies a computer's “ppi” settings. However, all is not quite as simple as it sounds. If
all the desired coordinates of screen furniture are scaled linearly, rounding errors will result in uneven spacing (as
pure an example of aliasing as the more classical cases), which can give the eye inappropriate cues. Should two
adjacent columns be made the same size? Can one be slightly larger than the other? Would it be better to scale them
identically, and reposition the result? This kind of decision relies on the GUI toolkit being given an accurate
description of the conceptual relationship between screen elements; one cannot simply say that the GUI has stopped
being drawn in pixels and has started to be drawn in terms of lines, and assume that this makes everything
resolution-independent.
As an example of this kind of complication, Microsoft had to revamp their font handling in the past, in order to
compensate better for exact scaling. Fonts are typically hinted in order to make them fit better to the screen grid. As
the font size changes, this means the exact character size alters subtly, with the result that the limits of a text box do
not, naturally, alter linearly with the scaling. Microsoft have reported that newer versions of their font handling
code have been rewritten to produce exact scaling of text boundaries, whilst keeping the hinting of characters.
Approach four: don’t start with pixels: The issue with resizing an image for a different display resolution is less
to do with the absolute resolution of the image than with its description by pixel samples. If an image were
described more directly in terms of the frequencies which compose it, the task of resampling the image into pixels
would be more reliable. I’m vastly oversimplifying this argument (and it’s not my area of expertise), but the
decomposition of a high resolution scene into positioned non-pixel-aligned features provides a way to reconstruct
the scene at arbitrary resolutions. JPEG2000 uses wavelets to allow efficient scaling in this kind of manner
(although in restricted form).
A related problem is that of attempting to extrapolate more detail of the original scene from the sample image,
using heuristics. This approach is used to great effect by Genuine Fractals, and by the edge detection algorithms
used in reconstructing images from Bayer sensors. In either case, trying to interpret the position of the edges in the
image allows those edges to be reproduced sharply in a resampled image (assuming, of course, that the interpreted
edge position makes sense!) These approaches try to invent image detail that wasn’t there in the original image,
allowing the resampled image to make use of this detail; their effectiveness depends on whether this “invention” is
correct, or at least whether it can fool the viewer.
Approach five: optical scaling: The natural solution to fitting an image of a given size onto a display is to use the
exact number of pixels in the original image. This fixes the size of the image - hence the need for scaling. Scaling
the result by optical means will result in the desired image size, but without the resampling to the new pixel
positions. The disadvantage of this is that the pixels are now bigger: if the source image was deliberately pixelaligned (as with a computer desktop) then this is the optimal solution; if the source image was not supposed to be
pixellated, the pixel boundaries can be compensated for by loss of focus and appropriate tuning.
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This is an obvious solution for front-projectors; I’ve yet to see a rear-projection screen advertise this option, but
there’s no particular reason why a zoom lens could not be made part of the optics.
For other displays, there's an alternative: move your head.
Web-page elbow room
Since the early days of the Internet, advice to web designers has been to limit the size of web pages; partly in order
to limit the loading time of a page, and partly to break up the endless scrolling. In spite of advice to the contrary,
many web pages also chose to limit the width of the main text, in the interests of keeping a comfortable number of
columns on the screen for the reader.
Times have changed. In spite of ever-increasing pixel sizes, pixel counts have also increased. In spite of ever more
graphical content on-line (especially the portion of it which consists of adverts), bandwidths have increased
correspondingly, and most web pages load reasonably quickly; when they do not, it’s usually the response time of
the server which is the limiting factor rather than the connection bandwidth (although I don’t want this claim to be
taken as a suggestion that I encourage enormous web pages - in this article, I’m talking about pages with a lot of
text, not megabytes of images).
Why, then, are long web pages still broken into short sequences? The scroll wheel on almost every mouse provides
an easy way to navigate large web pages, especially with Logitech’s MicroGear technology; middle-mouse-drag
scrolling is even faster - and there are always the scroll bars as a last resort. By contrast, clicking on a link just to
get to the next part of the page requires relatively precise mouse positioning, and link navigation by keyboard is
frequently unwieldy.
So long as there are easy cues to navigation and the position in the document, splitting up of web pages is an
inconvenience: it is harder to refer back and forth between parts of the page, it is significantly harder to print the
page, and quoting or referring another to the page is inconvenient, especially when the actual URL is hidden under
frames. It also makes viewing the content off-line a non-trivial process. The irony is that many articles are cut into
such short sections that, on a high-resolution monitor, the text fills only a fraction of the available screen area.
The same applies to the width - many pages with a central column of text and navigation to either side do not
stretch as the window is resized, wasting much of the screen - but this situation is possibly more forgivable, since
reading very wide columns is ergonomically awkward. Sadly, the attempt to regulate the width of the columns
tends to have a detrimental effect on the way a web page is printed; many web pages, scaled nicely for the average
screen, enforce a column which is too wide for an A4 page, cutting off the end of each line of text. Fortunately,
browser writers have advanced to the point where they can work around this, which avoids the need of my previous
workaround (telling the browser to print on B4 paper, and getting the printer driver to scale the result to fit A4 or,
alternatively, printing in 2-up, landscape format).
How, then, to make better use of the screen? The solution used in other media with more area than is comfortable to
scan is to break the text into columns. This could reasonably be done with web browsers, too: if the screen is wide
enough, allow the display to be split into multiple columns following each other. Users of Emacs’ “follow-mode”
will have seen this style in action. This allows plenty of context for the eye, and allows more of the document to be
read without needing to interact with the computer.
Nice though it is to be able to fit lots of web pages side by side on the screen(s), every now and then I’m really only
reading one of them. Hyperlinking is a very useful technology, but hyperlinks are supposed to let you jump to
another document, not struggle to read the one you’re on.
Let’s sort it, please. The constant clicking noise is driving me nuts.
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Last Word: Can I have some more please?
by Chris Williams
Rather like the convert who gives up a lifelong habit and then becomes an
evangelist for his new situation, I have become addicted to the benefits that high
resolution offers. The sound you hear in the background is the gnashing of my teeth
caused by my reluctant acceptance that Mark Fihn was right about the topic. His
promotion of high-resolution displays for use in TVs and other consumer
applications was consistently berated by me in my previous contributions to the
Last Word. Now, I not only agree with his view – I want more! Give me a 4K
domestic home-cinema type display and I may just be satisfied until the 8K comes
around.
What caused this shift in view? Two purchases – first, a 30-inch Apple monitor
(2560x1600 pixels) for use in our home office, and second a purchase of a 50-inch
full HD plasma for TV and DVD watching.
The first purchase, the Apple 30-inch has revolutionized the way we can work. So
much information so beautifully displayed on the screen has increased productivity
beyond simple measure. Thanks Apple, you helped us to get more done more
quickly. Gone forever the continuous scrolling, or the desperate search for “that
other document” left on the desktop. Now it is all in reach and in view.
Chris Williams is the
director of the UK Displays
and Lighting Knowledge
Transfer Network
The second purchase was even more telling. To set the scene, you must understand that I am married to an
electronics engineer – Cathy and I graduated from Sheffield University sometime in the last century. Cathy is of the
hard-headed, no-nonsense, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it brigade. I, on the other hand, am far more inclined to want to
get the latest gizmo to play with and use to destruction to see how close to my idea of perfection it might get. At
home, we had used a 33-inch CRT monitor linked to a tuner to watch TV and video. The monitor was a left-over
from our old manufacturing company, and the size was pretty good, albeit 4:3 format. The color on this old set
faded differentially across the screen, and then the power supply died, so we threw it away and downsized to our
old 24-inch CRT TV. This gave good service for quite a while and, with Cathy’s support, weathered many an
argument put forward by me that we really should have an FPD TV since we front the Displays & Lighting network
in the UK. No go – since it wasn’t broken, it was going to stay!
Then came the magical day that we returned from a short business trip to find that the TV didn’t work. Fun and
joy! At last I had the justification to change the set and get an FPD TV. But not quite so easily… first of all I had to
put up with Cathy giving the old set a complete work over to check I hadn’t simply removed a fuse or something.
At last, Cathy conceded I was right, the set was dead, so heave ho into the local council’s reclamation dump for
waste electrical equipment, and off we go to the stores to buy a replacement.
Now, I have been plotting for ages to get a new set, so first we trawled around the “stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap”
stores. Without fail, our view was “uuuggghh – look at the artifacts on that!”. Next came the branded store, with
“hmmm, getting much better, but you can still see some motion artifacts”. Then we entered the specialist AV store,
and looked at the 42-inch Pioneer plasma versus the 42-inch Sharp LCD. Both excellent displays, but Cathy queried
the need to go for such a large set. Then we went into the inner sanctum and saw the wall mounted 50-inch full
1080p HD Pioneer Plasma. “Wow!” was the comment. Followed by “OK, just don’t let me know how much it
costs!” Result? We now have the ex-demo Pioneer set at home and our viewing experience has been truly
transformed.
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The exercise has taught me a lot. Having the extra resolution, supported by superb up-scaling electronics has
“brought to life” much of the old SD material that we have stored on various media. We are working our way
through the Babylon 5 series at present, and the improvement in quality has rejuvenated the whole program for us.
But it has left me wanting even more! Having leapt forward in quality and size, I now want to go even bigger, and
have even more resolution, both in my office and on my TV. This has quite surprised me, as I had not anticipated
this outcome. Yet, when I look at the screen in the office, I think – well, if it was just so much wider, and taller,
with that much increase in resolution, I could do “this” more easily, and have “that” around at the same time…
Likewise, with the TV, I now want a bigger screen with more resolution, to really get into the events that I watch.
Now I know I could buy a much larger TV screen with the same resolution I have at present, but that wouldn’t do –
I want to maintain the current resolution density, but over a larger area. In one sense I am not asking too much –
there are many examples of tiled displays and projectors that create multi-million pixel images with single source or
multi-input controls for use in professional and commercial applications. Not cheap, but available.
I can’t say I would be too happy with a 200-inch (or bigger) glass-based display in my room as I would fret
constantly about the safety factors (“Hang on the wall” can very easily become “fall off the wall”). Plus, let’s face
it, when an FPD display is “off”, it doesn’t win prizes for being a beautiful piece of furniture! For domestic use
perhaps this requires a competent implementation of multiple close-coupled projectors. There are several projects in
the UK to improve the seamless appearance of multiple projected images, so with luck this will yield technology
that becomes widely available over the next few years.
Which then means that I could look to get a tiled, very large area, very high-resolution display to look at. Great –
but what do I do about source material? If you wander around the commercial stores in the UK, you will see
countless miles of shelving containing SDD or low-res HD material. There is some true HD material, available in
Blue-ray and HDD format, but in most stores it is the exception, and not the norm. How could I possibly expect to
get content delivered if I went for 4K, or (dream on) 8K resolution display solutions? From what I can see, there is
no method out there today that is geared up, or even scalable from its present form, to easily and cheaply deliver
feature length films at this higher resolution to the mass market.
I guess I’ll play safe and stay with what I’ve already got. But watch out Mark! If too many people heed your
comments and take a liking to HD displays, they may want more, and if there is no source to satisfy their needs and
desires, they may turn on the prophet who brought them to the dream-land but has left them feeling frustrated!
Display Industry Calendar
A much more complete version of this calendar is located at: http://www.veritasetvisus.com/industry_calendar.htm.
Please notify [email protected] to have your future events included in the listing.
October 2007
October 1-4
European Conference on Organic Electronics &
Related Phenomena
Varenna, Italy
October 1-5
International Topical Meeting on Optics of Liquid
Crystals
Puebla, Mexico
October 2-3
3D Insiders' Summit
Boulder, Colorado
October 2-3
Mobile Displays 2007
San Diego, California
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October 2-6
CEATAC Japan 2007
Tokyo, Japan
October 2-7
CeBIT Bilisim EurAsia
Istanbul, Turkey
October 3-4
Displays Technology South
Reading, England
October 7-10
AIMCAL Fall Technical Conference
Scottsdale, Arizona
October 8-9
Printed RFID US
Chicago, Illinois
October 9-11
SEMICON Europa 2007
Stuttgart, Germany
October 9-13
Taipei Int'l Electronics Autumn Show
Taipei, Taiwan
October 9-13
Korea Electronics Show
Seoul, Korea
October 10
Novel Light Sources
Bletchley Park, England
October 10-11
International Symposium on Environmental
Standards for Electronic Products
Ottawa, Ontario
October 10-11
HDTV Conference 2007
Los Angeles, California
October 10-12
IEEE Tabletop Workshop
Newport, Rhode Island
October 10-13
CeBIT Asia
Shanghai, China
October 11-12
Vehicles and Photons 2007
Dearborn, Michigan
October 13-16
Hong Kong Electronics Fair Autumn
Hong Kong, China
October 13-16
ElectronicAsia 2007
Hong Kong, China
October 15-18
Showeast
Orlando, Florida
October 15-19
CEA Technology & Standards Forum
San Diego, California
October 16
Enabling Technologies with Atomic Layer
Deposition
Daresbury, England
October 17-18
Photonex 2007
Stoneleigh Park, England
October 17-19
Printable Electronics & Displays Conference &
Exhibition
San Francisco, California
October 17-20
SMAU 2007
Milan, Italy
October 18
Displaybank FPD Conference Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan
October 22-25
CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment
San Francisco, California
October 23
Stereoscopic Production
Brooklyn, New York
October 23-25
SATIS 2007
Paris, France
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October 23-25
Display Applications Conference
San Francisco, California
October 24-26
Worship Facilities Conference & Expo
Atlanta, Georgia
October 24-26
LEDs 2007
San Diego, California
October 24-26
FPD International
Yokohama, Japan
October 24-27
SMPTE Technical Conference & Exhibition
Brooklyn, New York
October 25-27
Mac Live Expo
London, England
October 29-30
Plastic Electronics
Frankfurt, Germany
October 29 November 1
Digital Hollywood Fall
Los Angeles, California
November 2007
November 1-2
Digital Living Room
San Francisco, California
November 5-7
OLEDs World Summit
La Jolla, California
November 5-6
Challenges in Organic Electronics
Manchester, England
November 5-9
Color Imaging Conference 2007
Albuquerque, New Mexico
November 6-8
Crystal Valley Conference
Cheonan, Korea
November 6-9
EHX Fall 2007
Long Beach, California
November 6-11
SIMO 2007
Madrid, Spain
November 7-8
High Def Expo
Burbank, California
November 7-8
KioskCom Europe
London, England
November 8
Taiwan TV Supply Chain Conference
Taipei, Taiwan
November 8-10
Viscom
Milan, Italy
November 8-11
Color Expo 2007
Seoul, Korea
November 9
2007 FPD Market Analysis & 2008 Market Outlook
Seoul, Korea
November 11-15
Photonics Asia 2007
Beijing, China
November 12-14
LatinDisplay 2007
Campinas-SP, Brazil
November 12-15
Printed Electronics USA
San Francisco, California
November 13-15
Global Gaming Expo
Las Vegas, Nevada
November 14-15
Nano 2007
Boston, Massachusetts
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November 14-15
DisplayForum
Prague, Czech Republic
November 14-16
Quantum Dot Optoelectronic Symposium
Limassol, Cyprus
November 15-16
Future of Television
New York, New York
November 19-20
International Conference on Enactive Interfaces
Grenoble, France
November 25-30
RSNA 2007
Chicago, Illinois
November 27-29
Stereo-3D
Munich, Germany
November 27-30
Display Metrology Short Course
Boulder, Colorado
November 29
Displaybank Japan Conference
Tokyo, Japan
December 2007
December 4-5
FID 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
December 4-6
Connections Europe: Strategies for Digital Living
Berlin, Germany
December 4-6
Digital Video Expo West
Los Angeles, California
December 4-6
CineAsia
Macau, China
December 5-6
Flexible Electronic Systems Workshop
Munich, Germany
December 5-6
Smart Fabrics
Prague, Czech Republic
December 5-6
Active RFID & RTLS
Dallas, Texas
December 5-7
SEMICON Japan
Tokyo, Japan
December 5-7
International Display Workshops
Sapporo, Japan
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