Samsung Pitches 240 Hz LCD Technology


Seoul (Korea) - Samsung said it will demonstrate a new LCD technology at the upcoming SID 2008 International Symposium that will double the maximum image refresh rate of current LCD panels. The manufacturer believes that 240 Hz panels will reproduce images closer to that of a real moving image perceived by the human eye.

After HD, skyrocketing contrast and brightness ratios that treat consumers to already life-like experiences in front of their TV (at least if I compare today’s image quality to the snowstorm picture on my parent’s 1970s and 1980s TVs), there’s a new idea that promises to come even closer to an out-the-window view on future LCD TVs. Samsung’s "Blue Phase" technology upgrades the current maximum image refresh rate of 120 Hz of to 240 Hz. The manufacturer will show a prototype panel at the SID 2008 International Symposium and promises that the device will display "more natural moving images."

Samsung said that a "superior response rate" enables it to increase the speed without a need for any overdrive circuit. According to the company, Blue Phase does not require liquid crystal alignment layers, unlike today’s most widely used LCD modes such as Twisted Nematic, In-Plane Switching or Vertical Alignment. Instead, the technology mode can create its own alignment layers, eliminating the need for any mechanical alignment and rubbing processes. This reduces the number of required fabrication processes, resulting in considerable savings on production costs, Samsung said.

Another benefit of the technology that brightness changes across the screen are a thing of the past:, as they are not vulnerable to pressure on certain parts of the panel. The term "Blue Phase" relates to the developer’s observation of "bluish hues while watching their new liquid crystal mode in operation," Samsung said.

The technology is still far from being offered in commercial products: Samsung believes that Blue Phase LCDs could be put into mass-production sometime in 2011. These LCD panels are expected to be used mainly in "TVs that require high-speed video reproduction," the manufacturer said.

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  • Mark Rejhon
    I think to eliminate motion blur, the screen needs to be strobed or use a really high sampling rate (i.e. 1000fps, 1ms response).

    Everybody can tell the difference between a ski jumper or close-up of a moving NASCAR racing car taken with a photographic camera at 1/250th second and 1/1000th second. The rapid panning of the film camera at only 1/250th shutter, causes the photographic print to have background motion blur, while the photograph taken at 1/1000th second has much less motion blur. Even though you can't tell apart a 1/250 strobe from 1/1000 strobe directly, it is still perceived as differences in motion blur, and thus, the reason why 240 Hz (1/240) will still not be the ultimate frontier...

    The principle is the same -- watching fast panning motions, such as the scoreboards in the back of a hockey rink, during fast pans. 240 Hz is a big improvement, but still isn't enough to make it 100% CRT-like.

    True, there's a law of diminishing returns beyond 60 Hz, but companies using sports camera running 1/1000sec shutters, benefit from displays that are strobed fast (i.e. CRT with its sub-1ms response time). So, video cameras taking 60 frames per second, but using 1/1000sec shutter, will benefit in motion clarity, from a 1000Hz or 1000fps display (implemented either as 1/1000sec strobe, or 1000-frame interpolation, or similiar)

    Easier solution is a strobed backlight such as the one used in the Samsung TN4081 and similiar displays ("LED Motion Plus" feature), which scans the LED backlight more like a CRT display. This does lead to some flicker (like CRT), which is necessary for fast motion clarity without interpolated frames.