from Sony has raised the bar on home theater high definition flat screen
performance - do not pass Go, head straight for 1080p, and hook up Blu-ray Hi Def
DVD. Qualia technology trickles down ...
by Adrian Biffen
AeroHOST Web Systems
March 28, 2006
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SXRD front and rear projection TV (RPTV) technology sets a new standardSony has used their SXRD technology in their high end Qualia projectors for some time, but recently this display technology has been made available for the wider consumer market of home theater. SXRD is their acronym for Silicon X-tal Reflective Display, a reflective liquid crystal imaging device for use in projectors, which achieves a panel contrast of over 3000:1 with full HDTV resolution of 1920Hx1080V (1080p). It differs from LCD technology in that light is reflected off the surface to create the image, instead of being passed through it like conventional LCD projection (reflective vs transmissive).
often see people searching for 'SXRD vs LCOS' or 'compare SXRD to LCOS
vs SED', but this technology actually IS Sony's rendition of LCoS (Liquid
Crystal on Silicon). You could think of LCoS as the
broader generic term for this type of display technology; the main point
being that the reflective liquid crystal 'shutters' are controlled, on a
pixel by pixel basis, by the base layer of silicon transistors
underneath. Like the DLP chip in my BenQ projector, it is a reflective
device which theoretically never deteriorates due to heat.
The high picture quality exhibited by SXRD is due to the large number of pixels
in the image area of the device, accomplished by minimizing the size of each individual pixel and the space between pixels.
This results in a chip with 2,000,000 pixels with a pitch of 9um (center
to center distance between pixels), and a gap of 0.35um (1 um = 1 micrometer
= one millionth of a meter = really really small). So far, this
represents the world's smallest inter-pixel spacing, thus enabling full HDTV
resolution @ 1920Hx1080V, in a 16:9 widescreen format. The actual image area
measures about 3/4 inches across (diagonal).
Response time is an industry standard that specifies the total time that it takes a pixel to make a transition from black to white. Some manufacturers publish an average of the rise and fall times instead of their sum, which makes them appear to be twice as fast as they really are. Be careful when considering response time specifications, and check to make sure you know which method is being used. The picture on the left above ('other') exhibits motion smear as a result of poor pixel switching response time; it is a fairly extreme example of an older LCD screen. You are unlikely to see that much smear on any of the newer screens, but remember, specs don't always tell the story, the proof of the pudding is in the picture.
available in the $30,000 Qualia series, the
SXRD chip is available in the front projection VPL-VW100 (left). With
an enhanced dynamic iris system, it is said to have a contrast ratio
boost to 15,000:1).
* * * * *
For the sake of clarity, here is a repeat of some acronym and terminology definitions relating to the various display technologies, used in the other table below to compare the various screen types:
The following table provides a quick comparison of the display types; "pixelation" refers to the ability to see individual picture elements (pixels) at normal viewing distances (note that all the types below can contribute to the YADR index). Please note that these products are being constantly improved and not all manufacturer's models may be subject to the disadvantages listed below:
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