Print 11 comment(s) - last by Discord.. on Jan 11 at 7:08 PM

Toshiba and Canon show off new display technologies that could leave the very best of LCDs and Plasmas in the dust

CES has always been the place to go see what's coming in the short future for TVs and flat panel displays. This year was no exception as Toshiba along with Canon showed off what could be the "next-big-thing" for television screens and computer displays.

Called SEDs or Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display, Toshiba and Canon demonstrated a 32" wide 720p display that had the audience floored and raving for more. Not only were pictures sharper and more vivid than LCDs, but the demo left some top-end plasma screens in the shadow.

The technology, which is also refered to as FEDs, or Field Emmision Displays, uses techniques found in age-old cathod-ray-tubes. By using phosphors and electrons, SEDs/FEDs create images by immiting a stream of electrons onto a glass coated with phosphors. Canon has figured out a way to do this using its experience with inkjet technology -- spraying the screen with electrons. The result is a product that is thinner, sharper, more vivid and more responsive than even the very best LCDs and plasmas currently on the market. Obviously, the ability to create a display without the (relatively) bulky LCD substrates is extremely attractive to several companies who do not have glass patents, and other companies who cannot overcome the billion-dollar factory "barrier to entry."  Since an SED does not need a separate backlight either, manufacturers are already predicting that we will see flexible displays and "stitched" displays that are really made of several SED panels connected together. 

Larger screens are expected to show up later this year and ramp up in 2007. At this point, the future looks bleak for LCDs although plasmas may still have a chance -- that is until Motorola unleashes its technology which grows cathode emitters for SEDs/FEDs using carbon nanotubes. Motorola has not yet released details on how far along development on nano-cathode emitters is coming and has not licensed the technology to anyone else.

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No thank you
By Discord on 1/10/2006 4:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
I've had enough of electron guns being pointed at my head in my lifetime. Yes there are some positives to having your head glow in the dark but I really sleep better when it doesn't.
I find it very hard to believe that this technology could be made flexible. Electron emitters are spaced from the phosphorus layer so that would make a rigid structure. Flexing it would cause the emitters to concave or (whatever the opposite word is (someone help me out here I can't think of it)).
While these things may some day be cheaper than LCDs, they are still going to be expensive to make. Fixed pixel electron emitters are extremely difficult and expensive to produce.
SEDs take a big hop forward but also a baby step back. They have better brightness, contrast, picture and ghosting qualities, than LCDs, but they require more juice, irradiate your head and may or may not cost more.
This technology might have made it if it was released on time a couple of years ago, same with LCOS, but it doesn't have a chance now. If they come out later this year they will be in direct competition with OLEDs.
OLEDs will be cheaper to make, flexible, transparent, and require far less juice. They will also have all the positives of SEDs; better picture qualities and no ghosting or viewing angle restrictions.
The only negative is the blue pigment lifespan. Even at the 10k rated hours you should make it three years. Many early model Plasmas and LCDs were hard pressed to make it that long. And frankly, how many people here are using a five or six year old LCD? If you are, I bet your eyeing a new one right now. Even if your OLED burns out before 3 years, you'll be wanting that five inch larger model at half the price and twice the rated lifespan any way.

RE: No thank you
By Enoch2001 on 1/10/2006 10:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
CRT televisions/monitors don't erradiate your head; that's an urban myth - the electron guns have been sheilded for quite some time.

I saw it on "Myth Busters". ;-)

CRT radiation
By kaborka on 1/11/2006 5:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
The electrons in color CRTs hit the phospors with > 20KV energy. This is enough to produce soft x-rays. CRTs use leaded glass to trap these, one reason they're so heavy. Radiation is very low, but not insignificant.

The outer glass allows the light generated by the phosphor out of the monitor, but (for color tubes) it must block dangerous X-rays generated by the impact of the high energy electron beam. For this reason, the glass is made of leaded glass (sometimes called "lead crystal"). Because of this and other shielding, and protective circuits designed to prevent the anode voltage rising too high, the X-ray emission of modern CRTs is well within safety limits.

Dunno what the voltage is between emitters and phosphors are in these, but it's probably just as high so the phospors glow as brightly.

RE: No thank you
By Discord on 1/11/2006 7:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, then myth busters did a crappy ass job.
I sold computers at Office Depot when I was a kid. I had a potential customer walk up and asked which monitors emitted the least amount of radiation. I pointed to a couple of MRPII (is that right? I forget...) badged screens and said that these were probably the best.
So he walks up to the screens and, to my astonishment, whips out a Geiger counter and starts taking some readings.
The measurements were in the yellow up to about 3 feet away from the screen. Touching the screen spiked the meter into red orange zone. None of the different brands showed any noticeable difference.
These were just 15 and 17 inch screens. Imagine what 19"+ sizes do.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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