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Technology On TX32LXD70 LCD TV

by Colin Tang
12 April 2007

IPS Alpha Panel

IPS-alpha
IPS alpha vs conventional LCD (source www.ips-alpha.co.jp)

In 2004, Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita concluded a joint venture to manufacture new panels under IPS Alpha Technology Ltd, with Hitachi holding the 50% lion's share. Production went into full swing in early 2005. In a bid to keep up with competitors, IPS Alpha established a new production facility in Czech Republic, anticipating the huge demand for flat panel TVs over the coming years.

On their website, IPS Alpha proclaims several benefits of the tech, but it's a real job trying to decipher all the hieroglyphics there. So here you go, in plain English:

  • Lower power consumption
  • Higher contrast ratio
  • Wide viewing angle, while maintaining color purity and contrast.
  • Less motion blur (through a combination of overdrive and black frame insertion)

I can easily vouch for the wide viewing angle up to 120 degrees, although I feel that it is comparable to S-PVA panels. The motion blur reduction, when combined with Motion Picture Pro has got to be one of the most exciting things I have seen lately in an LCD panel. Mark my words, it is THE new standard to aim for.

Intelligent Scene Controller

This feature is enabled on dynamic mode, giving you a whopping 6500:1 dynamic contrast ratio on our tests! Peak contrast level measures at an insane ~400 cd/m2 and the blacks was like looking into the abyss.

This apparent wizardry is conjured by dynamic backlighting (the darker the picture, the lower the backlight) and probably dynamic contrast or S-shaped gamma. That said, the picture looked alien and artificial, and is best left at showrooms. You'll get a lot more joy from using the Cinema or Auto mode, that doesn't have this feature activated automatically.

Motion Picture Pro 100Hz

This is a difficult concept to explain and when I get around to it, I might come up with some Flash-based graphics to help you visualise it. There is a lot of misinformation about how this technology works, and maybe most of you won't care. But, the main point of this technology is that it creates or 'interpolates' movie frames AND has a refresh rate of 100Hz. This solves, or alleviates two things:

  • Motion blur - The sample-and-hold effect is effectively reduced when new frames being inserted at higher refresh rates. This won't work as well with either technique disabled.
  • Judder - Frame interpolation is a novel way to reduce judder from all sources but watching it may require `reeducation' of your senses because most of us have gotten used to some form of judder.

The current standard for motion portrayal, surprisingly, belongs to some professional CRTs at broadcast stations, running at 100Hz with motion compensated frame interpolation processing. The CRT doesn't flicker at that high refresh rate. Motion blur is non-existent because there is no sample-and-hold effect (the CRT flashes the picture quickly while LCDs 'hold' the images longer due to the constant backlight). Judder is of course, reduced by frame interpolation.


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