10 months ago

Day 5 - IFA International

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Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview Showing is believing says Sharp president By Richard Barnes Sharp has made a splash at IFA 2010. Having changed halls, they are introducing their all new Quattron 3D TV technology, and have also just announced a major sports sponsorship. We asked Hiroshi Sasaoka why Quattron adds value in 3D. Quattron technology was already introduced in May this year, but not with 3D. We used to have RGB, and recently we added ‘Y’ – or yellow – to that. This generates a more brilliant image and better colour. With UV2A panel technology we have brighter picture, with more light getting through. Aperture ratio is about 30%, which is wider than other panels. This means less energy consumption and better image. By having this technology as a base, we have now made threedimensional TV possible as of this month. Our uniqueness in 3D is brighter and crisper images than all other 3D TVs available in the market. 3D TV is now very much accepted by our business affiliates. showing is believing. Once they can see the picture quality, they can understand the advantages of our Quattron technology and why our 3D TV is superior. We give a much simpler message to them, for what is in fact detailed technical understanding. Then they can go to our website and find more details on the new technologies. Hiroshi Sasaoka, President and CEO Sharp Electronics Europe GMBH Sharp’s massive new Sakai Green Front plant has been ramping up this year. How important is the opening of Sakai to the industry? Sakai is the first Generation 10 plant in the world, meaning better production and cost performance in terms or larger screen sizes – 60 inches and above. Even at 40 inches we have some advantages, because with one mother substrate we can make sixteen 40 inch panels. This will make our panel and TV more affordable to consumers. At your IFA 2010 booth, a huge amount of effort is put into showing how the panels work. Why so? When giving technical explanations to consumers, At IFA, we can see demonstrations of autostereoscopic, or ‘direct view’ displays by Sharp. Please tell us about these. This technology was originally developed at our Oxford laboratory in the UK in 2002. When I was Managing Director of Sharp UK, we had close contact with our laboratory and they developed this technology, which has since been adapted to mobile phones in the Japanese market. Now we are using this for our 3D-capable portable PCs and still cameras. Sharp is also offering this to many OEM customers, particularly for mobile phones. We believe that the smartphones of the future will have direct view 3D screens. Big news at IFA this year was the fact that Sharp announced the sponsorship of a major sporting event – the UEFA Cup. Could you please tell us a bit more about this sponsorship? We have a good brand image in the Japanese and Chinese markets, and comparatively our brand image in Europe is lower, depending on the variety of products available from Sharp on the European market. We have always been asked by our distributors or dealers, ‘What are you going to commit for our above the line activities?’. To support them in this respect and motivate our own people, we decided to sponsor UEFA 2012. This is a big investment for us of course, and I will make full use of this to enhance our brand image in the European market. What are your ambitions for the next twelve months in the European TV market? It is not easy for Sharp to catch up and lead the market. We want to be a leader in terms of latest technologies, particularly for the environment. That’s why we are trying to transform all our TV products to become energy saving, eco-friendly products, based on LED technologies. About 15% of TVs on the market are LED now, but in our case, almost 70% of the range has LED backlighting. In 2011/2012 we would like to completely shift our TVs to LED, and have the leading environmental products in this industry. Quattron technology contributes to this thanks to its energy-saving. So energy saving and green issues are at the heart of your offering? Yes, this is very important for us. When you visited Sakai, as the only Western journalist at that time to have done so, you will have witnessed the efforts we are making to ensure that all stages of our production have totally optimised energy efficiency, and the extensive use of LED lighting, energy control and conveyor belts rather than trucks all combine to make Green Front Sakai the greenest factory of its kind in the world. 12

Hiroshi Sasaoka CEO Sharp Europe Yuji Nishiyama Vice President & Division General Manager Sales & Marketing Audio-Visual Systems Group September 2010 Exclusive Interview Enhancing Image Quality The whys and wherefores of Sharp’s New Technologies With the arrival of Quattron technology, many in the industry have been wondering about the reasoning of adding a yellow pixel. We asked Yuji Nishiyama to explain to us why Sharp chose to take this path… RGB (Red, Green, Blue) has always had a lot of merit, because it is a wellestablished system to create natural colours, but there are some limitations. We saw an opportunity to enhance the colour reproduction and overall colour performance – especially in yellows, gold and blue - by adding a fourth colour. By establishing what we have called four-primary-colour technology, we are opening new frontiers in colour reproduction. What are the shortcomings with RGB then? RGB is good at reproducing bright primary colours, but where the difficulty arises is in reproducing the in-between colours such as yellow, cyan and magenta. In order to make the picture brighter, we really need to have strong lighting, to enhance the image. So adding this fourth primary colour helps to enhance the in-between colours. Why yellow? We had the choice of adding white, cyan or yellow. In our research, “We found that yellow improved both brightness and colour gamut” EmeraldÊ Green Colour reproduction area of HDTV standard (EBU100% ) Colour reproduction area of Quattron 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 500 0.5 0.4 0.3 490 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 520 480 470 460 0.1 380 0.2 540 0.3 560 0.4 we found that white resulted in excellent energy savings, as more light passes through, meaning the backlight doesn’t have to be so intense. However, it reduced the colour gamut performance, making the picture more “washed out”. In the case of cyan, the light doesn’t pass through the pixel so easily, so we sacrifice brightness. We found that yellow improved both brightness and colour gamut, and this is why we chose it. In addition, of course, different tones of yellow and gold are also much more vivid, as are a number of other intermediate colours. The fact that the light passes more easily through the pixels means that our new Quattron TVs use less power than the previous models with only red, green and blue pixels. Since the new subpixel structure has a higher aperture ratio than the RGB structure, Quattron further reduces energy consumption: the higher aperture ratio means less backlighting and thus up to 20 per cent greater energy efficiency than with the conventional RGB pixel structure in LCD panels. So brighter and more colour is good… but what about 3D technology? How does this fit in? 0.5 580 X-Gen/RGB 1,920 X 1,080 X 3 (RGB) = 6,220,800 dots X-Gen/RGBY 1,920 X 1,080 X 4 (RGBY) = 8,294,400 dots 0.6 600 620 0.7 0.8 BrightÊ Yellow SparklingÊ Gold Yuji Nishiyama Vice President & Division General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Audio-Visual Systems Group, Sharp After a great deal of research, we observed that some of the main challenges for displaying a 3D picture include insufficient brightness and cross talk, or low image quality… so we set about working on how to overcome these challenges. Before looking at how to solve these issues, let’s look at what causes them. In the case of an LCD TV, let’s take the brightness of 2D as being the norm, and call it 100. By alternating images for 3D, the overall brightness is half. Then, LCD response rate takes away another 50%, so we are down to a quarter of the light passing through when the picture is switched to 3D mode. Then, wearing 3D “active shutter” glasses is like wearing sunglasses, not only because of the shutters, but also because of the polarisers, and you can also get some interference happening between the TV and the glasses… So by the time it gets to your eye, there may be only 10% of the light of a normal 2D image reaching your eye. If your TV has an output of 500 candelas, you may only be watching with 50 or 60 candelas brightness in 3D. We have tested a number of LCD TVs and our tests confirm this kind of figure. SPECIAL REPORT Consumer Lifestyle Technologies ThE FourTh "DImEnSIon" How Sharp are enhancing image quality thanks to a new LCD design concept - adding a fourth colour - ye low How do the new Sharp TVs work? In the case of a “good” LCD TV – around 500 candelas – in a bright room, the picture will be bright and very comfortable. By wearing the glasses, the image becomes darker. But relatively speaking, compared to the environment, this is still a good bright picture if it’s in a dark room. You don’t need 500 candelas in a dark room. So with the same relationship, having a good bright picture in a dark room environment when wearing glasses, you need about 18%, which has the same effect as a 450-500 candela bright picture in a bright room. 18% of 500 candelas is 90 candelas. If you achieve this, actually reaching your eyes, then you feel you are watching a bright picture while wearing the glasses… not overwhelmingly bright, but good brightness. With the use of our new technologies, we are able to achieve 100 candelas brightness to the eyes. This means we can achieve good, vivid, bright pictures in 3D. Read more about Sharp's QUATTRON technology in the SPECIALreport, `The Fourth "Dimension", published by Cleverdis. Download the SPECIALreport at www. or pick up a copy at the Sharp booth @ IFA! IFA International • Tuesday, 7 th September 2010 13

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