Sharp shows slender big-screen LCD TV prototype

Sharp unveiled on Wednesday a prototype LCD TV that is just 2 centimeters thick and receives its signals via a high-speed wireless link.

Sharp unveiled a prototype TV on Wednesday that's packed with technologies that could appear soon in its products. The wall-mounted TV is just 2 centimeters thick and gets its signal via a high-speed wireless link, meaning the only cable required is for the power.

The prototype, based on Sharp's most cutting-edge technologies, is built around a 52-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) panel from Sharp's Kameyama factory in Japan, one of the most advanced LCD production plants in the world.

The high-definition screen has a high contrast ratio of 100,000:1. This provides a clear, vivid image even in bright rooms, and color reproduction that's 50 percent greater than that provided by an NTSC signal, so that colors from digital sources appear deeper and more life-like.

The set has a 4 millisecond response time, which means it can display fast-moving images smoothly, and an estimated power consumption of 140kWh (kilowatt hours) per year, about half that of Sharp's current LCD TVs.

The prototype shown on Wednesday weighs about 25 kilograms. The display driver circuitry is built into the display case, although there is no built-in tuner. A high-defintion signal was delivered to the set via a prototype "millimeter-wave" transmission system.

The link uses frequencies similar to those used in satellite broadcasting to transmit a high-bandwidth signal of several tens of megabits per second over a distance of about 30 centimeters. Because millimeter waves require line-of-sight, the signal was cut off when a hand or other object was brought between the transmitter and television.

Sharp doesn't have a schedule for commercializing the display. Some of the technologies could start appearing in Sharp TV sets in the near future, although others are earlier in development and won't appear for a few years.

The set was shown to reporters in Tokyo ahead of its first public demonstration at the IFA show in Berlin next week.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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