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Sharp creates true-hue five-colours-per-pixel LCD

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Sharp has developed a full HD LCD panel that mixes the hue of each pixel from a palette of five colours rather than the usual three. The result, the company claimed, is the ability to render faithfully the colour space of the unaided human eye.

Sharp's prototype display measures 60.5in (1.5m) in the diagonal and has a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Each one of those 2,073,600 pixels not only has the usual red, green and blue colour elements but also cyan and yellow sub-pixels too.

The extra colours extend the colour gamut to the point where it can reproduce more than 99 per cent of real surface colours as defined by the Pointer colour space, a standard for real surface colours derived from measurements of real-world colours from paints, inks, coloured paper, and other materials and pigments.

That allows the screen to accurately produce natural-looking pictures that are effectively "identical in appearance to real-world objects", Sharp claimed.

Its screen can show colours like sea water, brass and rose petals that conventional LCDs never get quite right, the firm added.

It also believes the screen's better for the environment. By being able to render colours more accurately, less backlight illumination is required to compensate for the three-colour LCD's more limited colour space. That, in turn, means a five-colour TV should consume less power than a three-colour one.

Sharp will demo the prototype at the Society for Information Display conference in San Antonio, Texas next week. The screen's not yet ready for commercial release, but Sharp said it plans to continue developing the panel with a view to bringing the technology to market. ®

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