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Sharp raises high-res display stakes

Prototype is 64in with 4,096x2,160 resolution

Sharp raised the bar for high-definition LCD (liquid crystal display) screens this week with the demonstration of 64in prototype with a resolution of 4,096x2,160 pixels - four times higher than current high-definition displays.

The screen, the first such prototype developed by Sharp, was on display this week at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan. While projection display systems have been developed that can match the resolution of Sharp's latest prototype, this is the first time that an LCD has been produced with a resolution this high, said Toshiyuki Matsumara, a company spokesman.

The Sharp prototype's resolution tops that of a screen demonstrated last year by Taiwan's Chi Mei Optoelectronics. That display, unveiled last year in Yokohama, Japan, measured 56in across the diagonal and had a resolution of 3,840x2,160 pixels.

Sharp developed the prototype display to keep up with changes in the motion picture industry, Matsumara said. As studios move from film to digital media, resolutions will go higher and displays will need to keep up, he said.

Prototype display technologies have been a highlight of this year's Ceatec exhibition. Toshiba and Canon demonstrated a television with a 55in SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) screen. The screens, which offer higher contrast and lower power consumption than other flat-panel technologies, will enter production next year.

Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, showed a system it calls Super Hi-Vision that offers a 16:9 aspect ratio picture with 4,320 horizontal lines - double that of Sharp's prototype. The NHK system, which has been demonstrated before, is still under development.


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