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eCinema says it has a true CRT replacement

LCD panels have traditionally been lagging behind CRT monitors in terms of color response, saturation, accuracy and overall black-level response. Because LCDs are "always lit" by a backlight, deep dark blacks have been the Achilles heel of LCD technology. However, a company named eCinema Systems has announced a new LCD technology that it claims surpasses CRT in virtually every respect.

eCinema's new LCD technology is being called high dynamic range LCD, and also supports "deep color", which is higher than 24-bit color, starting at 30-bit or 36-bit and can go up to 48-bit. The new panels are able to display 36-bit color (12-bits per color channel), and 1000 to 4000 step gray-scales, producing fantastic gradients. Most LCDs today produce only 256 gray steps at most. This new "deep color" technology will be standard with the new HDMI 1.3 specification. What's most spectacular about eCinema's LCD display however, is its contrast ratio: 30,000:1. At this rating, eCinema's new DCM40HDR panel can achieve black levels that even CRTs cannot match. eCinema CEO Martin Euredjian said:

"It is well known that LCD displays did not until now produce the same deep blacks that were achievable when using a CRT. Color depth is, of course, the 8 bit bottleneck issue. Images on the screen -- at the pixel level -- are limited to a best-case of 256 levels between black and white. In other words, if you painted a gray scale you could, at most, see 256 steps. The reality of the matter is that due to calibration and gamma adjustments most displays can't do much better than about 200 steps between black and white."

eCinema will be launching its new DCM40HDR 40-inch LCD by Q4 of this year. The new panel will be a true 1080p display and will be suitable for professional applications where only CRTs were used. Key features of the DCM40HDR will be:

  • Darkest black level output of any TFT in the market
  • Can be used for professional color grading -- previously done using only CRTs
  • Can be used for professional critical picture evaluation -- previously done using only CRTs
  • Allows accurate viewing of intra-field motion on interlaced standards
  • Video displayed at true frame rates for all standards
  • Rugged shock mounted components for field operations

If eCinema's displays perform well, this could mean higher quality LCD panels across the industry. The company says that its DCM series of LCD panels are reference-grade monitors suitable for critical viewing environments:

Production and Post can now discuss color with accuracy, confidence and reliability. Post production partners can work on common projects knowing that all work is viewed on precisely matched no-maintenance monitoring systems. In addition to this, clients can evaluate in-progress or finished work remotely while assured that the colorist saw exactly what they are seeing.

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Finally, progress
By Darkhaven on 6/14/2006 1:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
This innovation is about time. LCDs have been largely stagnant is color accuracy, grey-scale, black reproduction, and general vibrance. I understand that initially, they needed to focus on speed, so LCDs could compete favorably with CRT monitors, but no LCD up to this point could compete visually with the likes of a Mitsubishi Diamondtron. Innovation seems to be rather hard-fought in this industry, congrats to eCinema. Speaking of which, I wonder what the response rate is?

Off the topic, when is organic EL makings its debut in monitors? It seems to me most of the lacking vibrance, contrast, and uneveness seen in LCDs today is because of that pesky-but-necessary backlights....

RE: Finally, progress
By Googer on 6/14/2006 11:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
I am a Die Hard CRT user, but this news shocked me so much that when I fist heard it I accedentially droped my 100LB CRT on my toes; OUCH!

RE: Finally, progress
By Cullinaire on 6/15/2006 12:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
"Fast 15 millisecond response time ensures the best motion rendering with minimal blur and artifacts.

Our response time is measured by taking the pixel from black to white and then back to black as quickly as possible. This is the only response time measurement method that produces results relevant to video applications."

Not bad, not bad.

I don't think this display supports DVI though...

RE: Finally, progress
By Cullinaire on 6/15/2006 12:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
Misread the specs. Read the "Video Input" section instead of the "Panel Interconnect" section.

RE: Finally, progress
By 9nails on 6/17/2006 1:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
You're right! Not bad, if my math is correct...

1000 milliseconds = 1 second.

0.15 milliseconds = 0.015 second.

1000 \ 0.15 = 66.666...

If the display switches from black to white then to black again in 0.15 milliseconds, this affords it the ability to do that 66.6 times per second. Which could be looked at as being fully capable to display 60hz refresh rate. (Or drawing 60 full frames per second.) This is passable as fluid motion to the human eye.

(It's argued that 72 fps is the magic number where video becomes flicker free. And human eyes are capable of detecting 220 fps. Motion blur and pixel transition assist TV images to appear as flicker free in a lower refresh rate.)

RE: Finally, progress
By ET on 6/15/2006 5:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
I think I remember reading something about organic EL displays having a relatively short lifetime. Meaning you can get dead pixels after a while.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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