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Neteru
21-08-06, 14:41
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41989000/jpg/_41989116_rainbow_spl300.jpg

Arrays of thousands of tiny "super prisms" controlled by robotic muscles could bring real colour to TV screens for the first time, scientists say.

The devices, known as electrically tunable diffraction gratings, have been built by researchers in Switzerland. They manipulate light to reproduce the full spectrum of colours on screen, impossible using existing technology. The team say the devices could also be used to make computer displays with the same resolution as high-end LCDs. "Today's displays can only reproduce a limited range of colours," said Manuel Aschwanden of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and one of the team behind the work. "The main advantage of this technology is that it can display all colours."

Blue sky thinking

Existing screen technology, like TV cathode ray tubes, LCDs and plasma screens, reproduce colours using three lighting elements coloured red, green and blue. Other colours are created by combining the primary colours. For example, yellow is created by mixing red and green. To show complex pictures a display must combine the colours at thousands of individual points across the screen.Different types of screen do this in different ways.

For example an LCD is divided into thousands of individual pixels, further divided into three subpixels coloured red, green, and blue by filters. Altering the brightness of each coloured subpixel creates a palette of millions of different shades that can be used to represent most pictures. Methods like this are unable to reproduce every colour we see in the real world. This is particularly evident when reproducing images of the sky. "When you take a picture and download it to your laptop the blues are never the same as the real sky," said Mr Aschwanden.

Muscle flex

Problems like this occur because the three primary colours current displays use to reproduce on-screen colour are fixed. The green, blue and red a manufacturer chooses to use in a display determine all the other colours it can reproduce. The new system is not limited to the three colour system. Instead, the researchers have developed a flexible approach that uses the full spectrum of colours visible to the naked eye. To do this the team have built what they call a diffraction grating, a slotted grate like a miniature Venetian blind. Diffraction grates are nothing new. They are already used in projector systems and fibre optic telecommunications.

However, unlike existing solid grates the new one is made of a flexible polymer. The rubbery material is normally used to build artificial muscles for robots as it contracts if a voltage is applied. When pure white light from a light emitting diode (LED) hits the grate it is split into the full spectrum of colours like a rainbow produced by a prism. By applying different voltages to the artificial muscle the grate expands and contracts, causing the fan of split light to shift from side to side. Different colours can then be isolated from the spectrum using a tiny hole fixed in front of the grate. Adjusting the voltage across the muscle allows different parts of the colour spectrum to be lined up with the hole.

In a working screen, multiple grates behind each pixel would also allow composite colours to be mixed, reproducing the full range of colours the human eye can perceive.

Full story bbc.co.uk (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5263108.stm)

Catapharact
21-08-06, 14:51
Hokey Smokes.

One question though; How miniturized is the technology? Cause I tell ya, its no fun trying to lug a big LCD screen in your living room.

It obviously will be lighter than cathode ray tubes (thank goodness) but how light...

tampi
21-08-06, 14:57
Neteru, nothing in the universe is straight

Real Life Lara
21-08-06, 15:02
Good god, whats up with the world :rolleyes: Im fed up to death with all these pointless alterations... why the heck are friggen scientists wasting time making improved tv's when theres more important stuff. Seriously, Im fine with my tv the way it is, maybe its not 'perfect' colour, or hd, but Im happy with it! I can watch stuff on it just fine, theres no need for these new things :rolleyes: All it is is yet another addition so the snooty rich people of the world can brag about how they have the best of the bunch :rolleyes:

Sorry for the huge rant but I feel pretty strongly about stuff like this... :p

Catapharact
21-08-06, 15:04
All it is is yet another addition so the snooty rich people of the world can brag about how they have the best of the bunch :rolleyes:

And the problem with that is....?

Real Life Lara
21-08-06, 15:07
Do you really have to ask that question? o_O Personally I find it pointless people spending money on these tiny little enhancements when all it is is purely to brag about it and add to their status. Its purely a 'look at my new tv' situation, that or they're just extremely picky. o_O How anyone can honestly say they find a difference between this new tv light thing and regular colour is beyond me. There's more important things in the world that scientists could be doing than adding robotic light muscles to tvs! :rolleyes: But as usual this is just my opinion so I dont particulary feel like getting into a huge debate about it ;)

Catapharact
21-08-06, 15:16
If you wanna put it in that sense, then I guess there is no need for fashion deesigners since we rather have their resources put into something more practical. Or for that matter, who cares about Redesigning new Cars, since we can all appreciate the older Corollas (God, how I dislike those box cars.)

The point is, R&D flourishes where Markes Flourish. There is a big demand for bigger creen TVs that are lighter in weight and provide breath taking pictures. If the world is willing to pay big bucks for it, then it will be put into production.

Real Life Lara
21-08-06, 15:19
If you wanna put it in that sense, then I guess there is no need for fashion deesigners since we rather have their resources put into something more practical. Or for that matter, who cares about Redesigning new Cars, since we can all appreciate the older Corollas (God, how I dislike those box cars.)

The point is, R&D flourishes where Markes Flourish. There is a big demand for bigger creen TVs that are lighter in weight and provide breath taking pictures. If the world is willing to pay big bucks for it, then it will be put into production.

Yeah, I totally get that, I understand what youre saying etc etc, Im just saying I dont agree with it. Why are people so desperate for perfection? There's no need for it, but then I guess Im just someone who's always appreciated the little things in life rather than expensive stuff. As for the fashion, I dont buy fashion clothes etc, Im a bargainer :p Top shop's as far as I go :p

Geck-o-Lizard
21-08-06, 15:27
Good news, but personally I'd like to see them spending a little more time developing 3D/holographic displays... :D

RLL:
Well, would you have shared that same opinion when LCD screens were in development? What about when the first colour TV's were being developed? Sure, you could watch movies fine in black and white. Today, you can buy a colour TV for twenty quid; back then when they were new, it was a luxury that only the wealthy would splash out on.

We shouldn't stop developing new technology because we think it's unfair that the rich will get them first. The ones who get things first are the ones who spend a lot of money on a piece of equipment that's still in early development, and the money they spend goes towards improving the technology and making it affordable for the rest of us.

Of course there are other things they could be doing than improving colour displays, but if everyone focused on solving world hunger, we'd end up moving backwards and starving ourselves. ;)

But as usual this is just my opinion so I dont particulary feel like getting into a huge debate about it

Sorry :p :o

Catapharact
21-08-06, 15:31
If ppl never aspired towards enhancing things, we wouldn't be living in the high tech world of today. Communication is instant, We have high-speed internet, We can control climate for our indoor comfort, We can reduce recovery time by months (all thanks to innovation thrown in by doctors becuase of demand by professional Atheletes.)

I don't care if the world pushes itself towards making adjustments towards minor things because it all helps in innovating the way we do things.

BTW: The internet was a Top Secret Military Project.

Edit: Geck beat me to it.

Neteru
21-08-06, 15:46
RLL, if it wasn't for technological development, you wouldn't be posting here now. ;)

Tampi. Huh?

tampi
21-08-06, 16:30
Tampi. Huh?


Sorry, i refer it you avatar, the rainbow, the LIGHT, the planets, the hertz-waves, the particles of the entire univers...only

@Real Life Lara
Nothing new under the sun, the hystory of the humanity “Citius, altius, fortius”
Nobody looks to see the resemblance with "the legend's cave"? but not Lara's ...Platon

Blackmoor
21-08-06, 17:05
Do you really have to ask that question? o_O Personally I find it pointless people spending money on these tiny little enhancements when all it is is purely to brag about it and add to their status. Its purely a 'look at my new tv' situation, that or they're just extremely picky. o_O How anyone can honestly say they find a difference between this new tv light thing and regular colour is beyond me. There's more important things in the world that scientists could be doing than adding robotic light muscles to tvs! :rolleyes: But as usual this is just my opinion so I dont particulary feel like getting into a huge debate about it ;)
I feel like this sometimes too. But as you know out of these little tinkering abouts come all sorts of new innovations. So...

... but yes, more landfills are going to need to be dug in honour of keeping up with whomever... mostly the unreal person projected in the advertisements.

Every object has a shadow and all clouds have a silver lining.