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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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RE: Not getting the whole picture
By masher2 on 6/15/2006 10:13:04 AM , Rating: 2
> "It doesn't matter how fast or efficient your tft is, it will never be able to match the black created by simply turning off the localised lightsource behind it."

The only way you can turn off the lightsource to a single pixel is to put an independent source at each pixel. In which case, you're right back to an emissive display technology.

The Brightside monitor doesn't put a source at each uses 50K or so LEDs, meaning 40-odd pixels each share a lightsource. So what happens when half those need to be ultrabright, and half ultradark? Oops.

None of our current methods of measuring CR are able to accurately give us a figure for such a monitor. OOCR would give an infinite ratio. ANSI CR would depend on the alignment of the test pattern...align to LED pattern, and you get a value prevented from infinity only by pixel bleedover. However, shift that pattern slightly, and you get a CR not much better than a standard LCD.

RE: Not getting the whole picture
By tygrus on 6/15/2006 9:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's all an optical illusion. Not the contrast level but our eyes work in favour of the lower res arrayed backlight.
The trick is a large area of what should be black will normally glows a little. If we up the ambient lighting the black level glow becomes less significant. A bight pixel next to a dark pixel is very noticeable but the dark pixel looks very black as our eyes adjust to the bright area next to it. When viewing a DVD in widescreen letterbox the top and bottom edge will quickly fade to extreme black and the edge of the video may be slightly darker also.
I brighter screen means you need to increase ambient lighting nearby so it doesn't hurt your eyes.

RE: Not getting the whole picture
By masher2 on 6/16/2006 9:35:55 AM , Rating: 3
Um, no. Contrast ratios are measured by very sensitive and accurate machines, in total darkness. Its not an "optical illusion"...the dynamic range on such a display *is* much higher than a standard LCD.

The only problem is our current measuring techniques don't accurate measure ratios involving spatial or temporal dependencies.

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