"Are self-emission type displays such as OLED really going to be the next-generation displays?" Mikio Katayama, president & COO of Sharp Corp. asked the audience at the beginning of the press conference.
Katayama then went on to unveil the prototype of Sharp's next-generation LCD TV, which he claims is an "integration of the essence of the latest LCD technologies."
The prototype is a 52-inch, so-called full-HD product. Compared with the existing model, the performance characteristics relating to picture quality, thinness and environmental performance (power consumption) are significantly improved.
The prototype has a high contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and a wide color gamut of 150% of NTSC standard. The display unit measures as slim as 20 mm, and it is only 29 mm thick even at the thickest portion. It weighs as light as 25 kg. In regard to the environmental performance, the annual power consumption of the TV is 140 kWh, which is half that of the existing model.
Sharp believes the prototype to be the LCD TV that will completely transform living spaces. The company also developed a technology to transmit the video signal via millimeter wave and incorporated the technology into the prototype. The company intends to start volume production of this LCD TV when its new LCD production plant, which is planned for construction in Sakai City, Osaka, comes on-stream in March 2010.
"Performances will be further improved by the time volume production launches," Katayama said. "The next generation of LCD TVs will be led by LCD TVs themselves."
The main questions and answers are as follows:
Nikkei Electronics: What is the technical point that achieved the performances of the prototype?
Katayama: This LCD TV was not created by a single technology but was an integration of the cutting-edge technologies relating to backlight, color filter, TFT array, polarizer, etc. We would like to refrain from detailing the respective technologies at the moment.
Nikkei Electronics: Will the LCD panel be the flagship product at the new plant in Sakai City, Osaka?
Katayama: We announced the prototype today because we are now able to produce samples. We will strive to refine the technologies so that the product will be ready for commercialization in March 2010 when the plant will open. Meanwhile, we plan to sequentially incorporate some technologies used in this prototype in our other new products.
Nikkei Electronics: What is necessary for volume production?
Katayama: Mainly the establishment of technology for volume production.
Nikkei Electronics: Are you planning to make further advanced models, such as LCD TVs with wireless power sources, weighing less than 10 kg, etc., before the opening of the Sakai plant? Will it be in time?
Katayama: A very good suggestion. I am also requesting our development staff for that. As for the weight, 25 kg is not at all the limit. We will try to make it lighter and lighter. We also promote a reduction in power consumption. The specifications of the latest prototype are merely the passing point.
Nikkei Electronics: Do you think LCD will prevail over OLED in the market? Or will competition continue?
Katayama: As far as I see this prototype, it excels any other type of display in performances.