CeBIT 2006: Displays – Part Two

Sony & Toshiba make rather different impacts at CeBIT and Gordon tries to do photographic justice to Chi Mei's incredible Quad HDTV display.

Despite the concerted efforts of every other manufacturer in CeBIT there was a easy winner in the picture quality stakes. In fact, lets say it was four times as good as anything else I saw at the show.


I’m sure you’ve got the hint by now. I discussed Chi Mei’s Quad HDTV back in February and that fact that no official pictures were available only heightened my desire to find it debuting at CeBIT. When I did, I must have stood transfixed in front of it for 20 minutes.

After this it took another 10 minutes to manually adjust the settings on my digital camera in an attempt to try and do justice to this breathtaking product. The results aren’t bad but they still don’t have one tenth of the impact this TV does in real life. The 3840 x 2160 native resolution may be literally 4x that of today’s top 1080p signal but the scary thing is it probably does look 4x better. A 1000:1 contrast ratio and luminance of 600nits doesn’t hinder it either 😉


In fact, it is quite literally possible to walk up and put your eyes a few inches from the screen and see no pixilation at all. Just think what it is like to inspect a professionally printed photograph up close and this is what you get with Quad HDTV. The major difference being that Chi Mei’s technological marvel is a whopping 56 inches!

Sadly, almost nothing but specially constructed prototype equipment can provide the required data transmission speed of 1.4GB per second to broadcast content to the Quad HDTV. Consequentially, initial installations will be in hospitals for analysing scans and in the military for reading satellite imagery but the company does hope to have commercially available models by Q3 2007. Even by that date, however (and considering you can afford the anticipated $!0,000 price) it is extremely unlikely anyone will be broadcasting signals remotely capable of doing it justice. I know I won’t be forgetting it in a long time…


Naturally, Chi Mei was also keen to show off some commercial products it also has under development. Branded under its ‘CMO’ tag, these were also benchmarks in high definition screen quality. The 47in V470H1 (above), for example, is a 1920 x 1080 resolution capable LCD with incredible 1200:1 contrast ratio, luminance of 500nits and remarkable 6.5ms gray to gray response time. Even my camera seems to pick up on the extra quality…


Dropping down to 20.8 inches, the prototype R208R5 manages an incredible native resolution of 2048 x 1536, support for 16.7m colours and 400nit luminance. Quite how it has managed this remained a secret the company representatives preferred not to disclose. Chi Mei even managed to shrink sets further, to sizes of 12 inches and below and maintain 1080p native support. If this is a sign of the near future I’m going to need to replace many more household sets than the single one I had anticipated.

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