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Get ready for laser-powered 3-D TV

Photonics Spectra
Jun 2009
Christine Connolly, christine@stalactite.org.uk

IRVINE, Calif. – Last October, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Inc. announced that it was bringing to market laser-powered television. Called LaserVue, it lights up the screen with high-color-purity red, green and blue laser light instead of white lightbulbs and produces bright colors with a much wider color range. This approach is also said to be much more efficient than standard LCD and plasma screens because the lasers produce narrow-wavelength light of each primary color instead of filtering out the required wavelengths from full-spectrum white.

TNlaserTV.jpg
The Mitsubishi L65-A90 Laser TV has a slim profile and produces bright colors while using only a fraction of the power of an LCD or plasma screen.

It uses Class 1 safety-rated lasers in a digital light projection display. Precisely focused laser beams yield 1920 × 1080-pixel resolution and 36-bit color depth. The 135-W operating power claims to be just one-third that of an LCD, and one-quarter that of a plasma TV.

The laser TV, in common with Mitsubishi’s Home Theater HDTV product line, is 3-D-ready. For several years now, the company has been developing 3-D technology and working with program content providers in anticipation of high consumer demand. A 3-D display requires simultaneous input from cameras placed at different angles, and it is only recently that the necessary bandwidth has emerged for transmission and processing.

By displaying stereo-pair images at a multitude of viewing angles, Mitsubishi’s autostereoscopic approach means that viewers see the 3-D effect with the naked eye, no matter where they sit relative to the screen. View-dependent pixels display different colors at different viewing angles. Mitsubishi’s research laboratory is working on a data format that allows processing within the display to create the multiple view signals for controlling the pixels. The system even can produce a motion parallax effect, where the view changes appropriately as the observer moves around.

One way to produce view-dependent “pixels” is to place an opaque screen with vertical slits some way in front of a standard high-resolution display. Observers at different horizontal locations see different display pixels through the slits, and the two eyes of a single observer see different subsets of display pixels. Other methods involve lenticular sheets and holographic screens. Complex signal processing is needed to paint the correct image on each display area to present left and right eyes with the appropriate stereo effect.


GLOSSARY
digital
Denoting the use of binary notation; i.e., the representation of data by bits (1 or 0).
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