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Canon Abandons SED TV Hopes

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the upgrade-path-delayed dept.

Displays 120

angry tapir writes "Canon has decided to liquidate a subsidiary developing a flat-panel display technology called SED, effectively bringing to an end once high hopes that the screens would replace LCD panels and plasma displays in living room TVs. Development of SED (surface-condition electron-emitter display) screens began in 1986 at Canon and was joined in 1999 by Toshiba. SEDs combine elements of both CRT (cathode ray tube) and LCD (liquid crystal display) technologies. As with CRTs, electrons hit a phosphor-coated screen to emit light. But instead of being shot from an electron gun, electrons are drawn out of an emitter through a slit that is only a few nanometers wide. The result is a picture that is as bright as a CRT and does not suffer a time lag sometimes seen on LCD panels with rapidly moving images."

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The Man screws us again. (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33317766)


Ah, that's too bad. I was looking forward to trying out 's/commercial//g'.
At least you'll still get your basic viewing stats with AWK TV.

Re:The Man screws us again. (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33318002)

gsub(/commercial/,"",$0)

Damn... (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33317782)

This display sounded good until I read TFA. Bottom line: they cost too much.

In 2007, Canon said it would further delay commercialization as it sought to bring down production costs. It was to be the last announcement on the technology until this week, when Canon said it would bring development back to its central labs.

Work is expected to continue on SED for use in specialist displays but its days as a living-room technology appear over.

Re:Damn... (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about 4 years ago | (#33318466)

What's stopping this technology from becoming a consumer product later? If those specialist displays work out, they may come down in cost as technology changes....

Re:Damn... (2, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about 4 years ago | (#33318842)

Pretty soon OLED technology can do everything SED could do while being cheaper to manufacture and using less power to run. Using SED in consumer products will be like using nixie tubes in digital wrist watches. Highly impractical.

Re:Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33319400)

Not to mention that modern TN LCD's are quite adequate for consumer purposes.

I'm a big fan of S-IPS and S-PVA displays but watching TV, they're not really required.

Re:Damn... (0)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 4 years ago | (#33320356)

"pretty soon"?

It seems like that's been said about OLED for many years now, similar to what was said about SED.

The Sony OLED screens are tiny and ridiculously expensive. BTW, there's a tiny OLED screen in my Series 3 TiVo, and I appreciate it a lot, but note that they've taken that screen out of subsequent hardware.

Re:Damn... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 years ago | (#33320748)

It seems, focus has shifted to mobile devices with desktop displays as an afterthought.

My Samsung Galaxy has OLED screen which is VERY nice. I only wish I could buy a real notebook with such screen.

Re:Damn... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 years ago | (#33321428)

OLED has run into another competitive problem, LED-LCD. Add an additional layer to a LCD display, a LED behind each pixel (technically groups of three) and you get very high contrast and energy efficiency. Plain white LEDs are a lot easier than some of the other light frequencies and the hassles of trying to extend the life of OLEDs. As a benefit you just have to redesign existing production facilities to add fabrication of the additional layers

Re:Damn... (5, Insightful)

Myrv (305480) | about 4 years ago | (#33318778)

Personally I believe it was the delay from the license lawsuit that really killed it. The first couple of generations of LCD and Plasma's screens weren't cheap to produce either. But while the SED technology was mired in litigation the LCD and Plasma manufactures sold screens and used the money to develop better and cheaper manufacturing processes. Once the SED litigation was cleared up it was too late. They had missed the ramp up stage. The had an expensive new technology competing against a cheap mature one. The stupid thing is the biggest loser in the whole ordeal is probably Nano Proprietary, the ones who started the litigation in the first place. If they had just let the joint venture build the damn things they would be collecting royalty checks today. Instead they sued their only revenue source out of existence.

Damn...A bridge over trollish waters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321064)

The stupid thing is the biggest loser in the whole ordeal is probably Nano Proprietary, the ones who started the litigation in the first place. If they had just let the joint venture build the damn things they would be collecting royalty checks today. Instead they sued their only revenue source out of existence.

Ummm, isn't that what patent trolls do?

Re:Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321878)

If they had just let the joint venture build the damn things they would be collecting royalty checks today. Instead they sued their only revenue source out of existence.

I bet they made their quarterly target, though! Hooray for modern business practices, where sustaining your company's survival in the long run is secondary to hitting your quarter estimate just once. (See also: Realtime Worlds)

Re:Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320264)

Surprise dream scenario: Intel funds a startup to develop SED concepts with the help of their cheap silicone lasers..

Re:Damn... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33322356)

Not to mention how many actual consumers experience any "time lag" with modern LCDs? I have what most here would consider a bottom of the line Dell 21 inch (gift from a client so I'm not complaining) and use it for everything from gaming to my TV, and frankly even on this low end of the totem pole I can't remember the screen ever acting laggy. Hell in a fast pace shooter I'm sure I'm more laggy than it could ever be sadly. (curse you aging!)

So my guess is when considering the high cost of bringing this tech to market, the high per unit cost, and finally having a couple of focus groups that probably told them most folks are quite happy with their LCDs, just made this a non starter. Just like holographic burners and persistent RAM, this one was "just around the corner" only I'm sure they just found one hurdle after another trying to get around that last bend. I really wish they would figure out the holo-discs though. It would be nice to store 200-500Gb in the same space I store 4.7 now and have it last as long as my DVDs have while costing less than a buck a disc. Man that would be sweet!

how thick are the TV's? (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 4 years ago | (#33317804)

CCFL LCD's are a few inches thick. someone i know just bought a 47" LED LCD TV and it's 1" thick at most. they junked a 150 pound CRT flat screen monster that broke. no one wants a big TV anymore

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33317932)

no one wants a big TV anymore

I do. The bigger the better. However, I don't want another heavy one; my 42 inch flat screen CRT weighs 214 pounds. At least I know nobody's going to steal it.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 4 years ago | (#33318086)

Well, I doubt my old 720p 52" Plasma weighs 100 lbs, but it would still be tough for someone to walk off with. Though granted, even a team of hardcore thieves wouldn't bother with a 42" crt.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318110)

Obviously he meant big as in, big cubic volume, large depth.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318298)

Except that makes no sense, because SED TVs are comparable in thinness to a Plasma or LCD.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 years ago | (#33321218)

Yes bigger is better - this nostalgia for CRTs is misplaced in my opinion. Very few people have screens large enough to show off 1080p properly at the distances they are used at. I know some claim that they have super eyes etc. but that's not the norm, and as you get older those eyes lose performance.

One of the things on my list of things that pisses me off is that I can't get an reasonable flat panel greater than 65". The only non-projector setups above that size are DLPs now, and while I have room for 80+ inches, the color wheels, poor viewing angles and light fall off in the corners.

Vizio what demoing a 72" local dimming LCD however that seems to have not made it to market, at least in the US. It was supposed to be decently priced too.

Damn them to hell for not bringing it out.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | about 4 years ago | (#33318038)

It's a flat panel technology like everything else that's being worked on.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

aztektum (170569) | about 4 years ago | (#33318044)

Some demos units were as thick as plasma or LCDs from the era when they were being shown [absoluteastronomy.com] off as if they still had a future.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

Dashiva Dan (1786136) | about 4 years ago | (#33318118)

They still do have a future (from the article):

Work is expected to continue on SED for use in specialist displays but its days as a living-room technology appear over.

And I guess that means there is still the possibility they'll find a way to make them viable for the consumer market.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 4 years ago | (#33318090)

you COMPLETELY missed the point of SED screens// i recommend reading up on them..

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 4 years ago | (#33318518)

The LED LCD TVs along with Corning's new Gorilla glass (so there is no border/bezel around the edge of the TV, the picture can fill the entire screen size) are going to be awesome. Sturdy, extremely-scratch resistant, and light weight.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 4 years ago | (#33318754)

Shame that all those of us with a decent set of eyes will have to suffer the same laggy, blurry nausea inducing inferior display technology only now it's wrapped in a tougher shell. At least I can finally go back to cleaning it normally.

Whatever happened to a mere 22" doing 2048x1536 @85hz with no lag? What happened to the days when anything over 17" could do resolutions that left that 1080P bullshit in the dust?

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33319112)

Good news: the 3d tidal wave is forcing all of the LCD makers to switch to 120 or 240 hz.
And after that, the next differentiator is going to be resolution again, e.g., you'll get sets with 2160P advertised as 'twice as smooth as HD' etc.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33319778)

I'm not sure 2160p will offer too many benefits over 1080p. It'll be a while before source media is anything greater than 1080p since the bandwidth/disc capacity to broadcast/distribute that isn't there yet. TVs can upscale, but 1080p BluRay already looks crystal clear at a reasonable viewing distance, so you don't get the same level of benefit that upscaled DVD gets.

The things that I see becoming differentiators are:
- AMOLED (3D is supposedly actually watchable on these screens)
- wireless connections (LG already offers TVs with a separate box to hook everything into which you can put anywhere in the room)
- size/thinness/weight (lighter TVs could mean adhesive wall mounts)
- viewing angle, brightness (while still maintaining black levels)
- eventually OLET TVs.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33320342)

2160 will offer huge advantages to PCs, where the source material is generated, and to marketing, where it's 'twice as good!'. And since it is relatively cheap to do, you'll likely see it before a lot of those other things.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#33319796)

So, the resolution and frame rate will be comparable to what high end displays had over a decade ago, yet the image quality, color accuracy, black levels, etc. will still be shit?

And I'll still have to deal with dead pixels?
And I'll still have to deal with shitty shitty shitty processing delays?
And I'll still be unable to physically drive my display at various resolutions?

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33320098)

And I'll still be unable to physically drive my display at various resolutions?

If I understand SED properly... that's no different. There's still a matrix of emitters, but they are driving less screen space... like 1 emitter per pixel.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (2, Informative)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 4 years ago | (#33320166)

SED was basically a CRT with something smaller than a linear tube.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320654)

And I'll still have to deal with dead pixels?

As opposed to ghosts from screen burn in? Or how about the huge power draw of a CRT? Or what about buying a new $400 lamp for your "big screen" every 2000 hours?

And I'll still have to deal with shitty shitty shitty processing delays?

When is the last time you used an LCD? 1995? That hasn't been a problem in a very long time. I guess you probably think that viewing angles are still an issue with LCDs too?

And I'll still be unable to physically drive my display at various resolutions?

And be unable to physically damage your display by using non standard modes. Here's a brilliant idea that I'm sure nobody's thought of before, why don't you run the LCD at native resolution and SCALE the contents of the screen?

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

Dunderland1 (1752550) | about 4 years ago | (#33322274)

SEDs use about the same amount of power as an LCD does.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#33319780)

That's a shitty idea - how many people have a flat black wall behind their TV?

The bezel is very fucking useful to anyone who wants to view the screen. There's a reason we put pictures in frames. A solid border around an image makes it much more viewable.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320976)

For you maybe. I personally think it's an awesome idea. The only reason we don't have displays without bezels is because we lacked the technology in the past and currently lack the technology to make them affordable.

The reason we put pictures into frames is because it makes it easier to display them without damaging them. It has nothing to do with being "viewable". Often times I see frames that are far more ornate than the pictures they contain, which draws focus away from the picture, contrary to your idiotic belief.

Re:how thick are the TV's? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 4 years ago | (#33320794)

Corning's new Gorilla glass

I'm not sure if you mean that there's a new VARIETY of Gorilla Glass, but the glass was invented in 1962. I don't see when that trademarked name was taken out, however.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorilla_glass#Gorilla_Glass [wikipedia.org]

Re:how thick are the TV's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321346)

The glass isn't new, the use for it is.

Canon cannot compete in TV market (2, Insightful)

adosch (1397357) | about 4 years ago | (#33317884)

Canon just flat out cannot compete in that market with something that will cost too much. Look at the ridiculous amount of effort put up by the kingpin companies like Samsung, Visio, Sony, ect. Their campaigns filled with all the goody-TV-jargon ooze, not to mention anyone with even a remotely hapless budget can afford a 42"+ LCD TV now from them is flat out hard to stand next to.

FTFA, it's unfortunate that SED TV won't survive. But I see it no different that the VHS-vs-Betamax, BlueRay-vs-HDDVD market flame-wars that have taken place of recent memory. Some things that had potential to be better than their rival product sometimes just don't survive or make it.

Re:Canon cannot compete in TV market (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33317964)

Some things that had potential to be better than their rival product sometimes just don't survive or make it.

Which is why the Democratic party is going to go down in flames this November.

Re:Canon cannot compete in TV market (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318202)

Well, the two-party system we have is equivalent to the two sides of a worthless coin. Heads we do one thing, tails we do another. When the legislative and executive branches are controlled by different parties, it's basically the same as the coin being flipped in the air. Neither side would probably ever bring about any real change, but the American people have the collective memory of a goldfish, so control of the government continues to flip-flop.

Re:Canon cannot compete in TV market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318204)

But I see it no different that the VHS-vs-Betamax, BlueRay-vs-HDDVD market flame-wars that have taken place of recent memory. Some things that had potential to be better than their rival product sometimes just don't survive or make it.

I see it as completely different than the VHS vs Betamax war. VHS vs Betamax you could only play VHS tapes on a VHS player, similarly Betamax tapes would only play on a Betamax player.

But this is just another type of TV to go along with all the other types LCD, Plasma, projector, LED, etc. There is no reason why you can't have many types of TV in the market. With movie players it is harder for the market to support more than one cause the movies are incompatible with competing players.

California energy regulations (0)

avandesande (143899) | about 4 years ago | (#33317940)

I would bet that California put the nail in the coffin.

Crap (3, Insightful)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33318014)

Let us pray that big OLED screens with enough longevity become a reality in a couple of years, because the LCD tech just isn't that good.

This is bad news... Very, very bad news.

Re:Crap (2, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 4 years ago | (#33318352)

the LCD tech just isn't that good

It might not be great, but it's good enough for most people.

You can say the same thing about MP3s and DVDs. Not great, but good enough.

Re:Crap (4, Insightful)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33318558)

It's only good enough for most people because they haven't seen better. Case in point: TN panels. If you've never seen an IPS, you have no idea that vertical gamma shift and low colour reproduction aren't normal. If you've never seen a CRT or a plasma, as is the case with newer generations, you have no idea that the gray background, instead of black, isn't normal.

Thankfully, IPS panels have come down in price so they are affordable, but the black level is still waaaaaaaaay over what classic phosphor display tech gives you. I've had my LCD for a year, and I still get pissed off by the damn thing glowing grey when the screen saver kicks in.

mp3 usually *is* good enough, and most of the time you can't discern it from the original if it has a high bitrate, but that isn't the case with something like LCD vs. SED; it would be more like 64 kbps compared to lossless audio.

OLED is our only hope for quality displays now, and it's not progressing as fast as it should.

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318866)

It's only good enough for most people because they haven't seen better. Case in point: TN panels.

Yeah, but what good is it if you don't happen to live in Tennessee?

Re:Crap (2, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 4 years ago | (#33319316)

I still miss my old 22" CRT in terms of display acuracy... I've yet to see any LCD that compares to it in that regard. Of course, I don't miss the strain of the 80 pound behemoth on my desk... and appreciate having the space back... I don't do too much graphics work anymore, mostly programming, so don't miss it *that* much... but have to agree, seeing IPS panels come down in price, and OLED on the horizon gives some hope... I wasn't familiar with SED until this article though.

Re:Crap (2, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 years ago | (#33320320)

I still miss my old 22" CRT in terms of display acuracy... I've yet to see any LCD that compares to it in that regard.

See this is exactly what the GP was talking about. 99% of displays on the market won't out perform it do to cheap technology. Go have a look at NEC's spectraview series of monitors, or the high end monitors from Eizo and you'll never miss your old CRT again. These monitors have wide gamuts, perfect viewing angles, and internal colour lookup tables to ensure the data displayed is simply right.

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321542)

It's funny, I loved my first LCD and never wanted another CRT back in around 2001 because I could use DVI with pixel-perfect addressing and never see another blurred piece of punctuation in my code editor. I also love my 2008-era Samsung LCD HDTV, because driven with good 1080p material from my mythtv computer, it looks as good as (or better than) any CRT or DLP TV I have ever seen. With both my LCD HDTV, and my decent yet not extravagent home hifi system, I can see the major quality difference between available digital media streams more than I see the limits of my reproduction environment.

When I saw my friend's 120 Hz Samsung HDTV in action, I immediately asked him to turn off the feature, as the bad image processing was a huge detriment to the original Bluray movie, creating horrible distortions of movement. This was a problem with the video processing, and not with the LCD display which was clearly able to present the 120 Hz (badly) interpolated motion such that I could perceive the actor violating laws of physics compared to the original framerate material where he followed natural paths.

Re:Crap (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33322636)

Go have a look at NEC's spectraview series of monitors, or the high end monitors from Eizo and you'll never miss your old CRT again. These monitors have wide gamuts, perfect viewing angles, and internal colour lookup tables to ensure the data displayed is simply right.

Wide gamut is BAD. You DO NOT WANT wide gamut, as it fucks up the colours really bad and lowers the dynamic range.

This is yet another victory for marketing. Somehow they've managed to convince people that wide gamut is a good thing, when it's just about the worst thing ever to have happened to display tech...

Re:Crap (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#33319654)

I've had my LCD for a year, and I still get pissed off by the damn thing glowing grey when the screen saver kicks in.

I just bought a 22" LED-backlit panel and the blacks are very black. The glow of the black screen is not completely imperceptible in a darkened room, but it is hard to detect. As with all technologies, things improve over time.

Re:Crap (2, Informative)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33319762)

I just bought a 22" LED-backlit panel and the blacks are very black.

Only because your monitor is cheating and turning off the edge LEDs completely when it detects a black screen.

Try this: open your image editing program, create a fully black images, and add a couple of white pixels to it. Then display it full screen and see what happens. There are two possible scenarios:

1) You find out that your blacks aren't as black as you thought
2) The monitor decides to disregard those white pixels and turn off the LEDs anyway

Re:Crap (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#33319922)

Only because your monitor is cheating and turning off the edge LEDs completely when it detects a black screen.

Either that, or the blacks are very black.

I love how you're going to sit there and tell me I'm wrong about the screen I'm typing on this very minute. But hey -- hate your monitor all you want.

Re:Crap (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33322646)

Are you too scared to try what I said? ;)

Or maybe your other monitor is a piece of crap?

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320444)

He specifically said LED backlit, and now you're talking about edge-lighting?.

Re:Crap (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#33320758)

No, he's right about that one. Most LED displays are edge-lit, at least so far. Monitors don't generally use the area-dimming technology you see in some high-end TVs.

Re:Crap (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 4 years ago | (#33322750)

Besides that, pictures are not normally completely black. My screen has high contrast and deep blacks, but I have to tweak it a bit before watching "the dark knight" - the picture becomes rather indiscernible.

Re:Crap (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320792)

You assume that it's because they haven't seen better. I'd like to suggest that perhaps it's simply because most people just don't care that much about these things, even if they had seen better and that "good enough" really is good enough.

That movie I just watched and that game that I just played looked fine. I was too busy enjoying them to be sitting around nitpicking at how black the blacks were.

Re:Crap (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 4 years ago | (#33320838)

I still get pissed off by the damn thing glowing grey when the screen saver kicks in

If you have your computer actually power down the screen, you'll save energy AND hopefully lower your blood pressure at the same time.

Re:Crap (1)

damnfuct (861910) | about 4 years ago | (#33321392)

Stating mp3 is probably a bad choice on their behalf; A more accurate comparison would be to say that LCDs are like GIF compared to PNG

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321554)

Bingo! And this is why I love my 19" NEC tub monitor that I still use ... The second monitor is a nice LCD and it looks like crap compared to this old tube! sigh I loathe the day this tube dies...

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318600)

I agree, I have a old year 2000 21 inch lcd, and I only notice it streaking IF I really really want to, not perfect blacks are fine and lets face it back in the CRT days how many gray / near white screens did you see due to people cranking up the contrast

people who care are buying the top end stuff, and its minimal, people who dont care wont be affected by this at all

its just a dumb screen, not Jesus

Re:Crap (4, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | about 4 years ago | (#33319308)

It might not be great, but it's good enough for most people.
You can say the same thing about MP3s and DVDs. Not great, but good enough.

And before those, cassette tapes and VHS were "good enough". Black-and-white TV was "good enough". Phonographs were "good enough". Believe it or not, people once lived perfectly happy lives with just books and whatever music they could sing and play themselves!

I would argue that "good enough" is not good enough. If you settle for "good enough", you are rejecting the very concept of progress. If on the other hand you believe that progress is both possible and desirable, then there can be no such thing as "good enough"; there is only "the best we've managed so far", and that is only tolerable until we figure out how to do better.

Re:Crap (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 4 years ago | (#33320902)

and VHS were "good enough".

But, just like with MP3s, some of these "good enough" issues deal with issues *besides* the absolute best picture/sound quality. For example, being able to carry around far more music (or podcasts, in my case) at one time on the same sized device outweighs the degradation in quality. Also, like others have mentioned, many people *can't* tell the difference. So for them, the "higher quality" isn't higher, it's just more wasteful.

While I definitely appreciate the higher video quality of DVDs (and will eventually use Blu-rays, likely after I get a PS3), for me, the *other* benefits (no rewinding, no degradation simply by USING them, less easily broken) are at LEAST as important as the video quality improvement.

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321146)

"Progress" comes in many ways, shapes and forms, all which are subjective. If you're never satisfied with what you have, then I pity you. You're missing life.

Why not LED? (1, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | about 4 years ago | (#33318844)

Have you seen an LED screen recently?

I bought a laptop with an LED screen and I have to be very clear - it's obviously a sharper, better, higher contrast screen. The white is very white and very bright, and the blacks are deep and dark. Sitting next to the LCD screen (I run dual head) the difference is glaring.

LCD is sharper (to me) than CRT, and LED is brighter/more contrast than LCD. Best of both worlds?

Re:Why not LED? (3, Informative)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33318948)

There is no such thing as a "LED screen". What you are talking about is LED-backlit LCD panels. They pretty much do nothing important compared to regular CCFL backlighting, apart from having somewhat lower power consumption and more correct colour temperature. Everything else is more or less the same, including the black level and the contrast.

Re:Why not LED? (2, Informative)

annex1 (920373) | about 4 years ago | (#33319078)

Not entirely true. LED backlights are controllable and switch off in banks. This is significant because the backlighting can turn off in areas where there is very dark "black", increasing the contrast ratio quite a bit. With a CCFL backlight it is always on, so you have a backlight bleeding through the dark areas on-screen.

Re:Why not LED? (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33319606)

Not entirely true. LED backlights are controllable and switch off in banks. This is significant because the backlighting can turn off in areas where there is very dark "black", increasing the contrast ratio quite a bit. With a CCFL backlight it is always on, so you have a backlight bleeding through the dark areas on-screen.

Yes and no.

As far as I know, there isn't a single computer monitor that allows local area dimming, as LEDs are scattered around the edge of the panel and a diffuser takes care of distributing the brightness around the entire surface of the panel (which, coincidentally, allows for just as bad "backlight bleeding" as is the case with CCFLs).

There likely won't be such monitors, either, for two reasons:

1) The LEDs come on small panels which are attached together. They might come from different batches, which also means they might have slightly different colour temperature and brightness. On a TV, that is acceptable and you won't really notice it. On a computer display, it would drive you insane very quickly. Imagine a solid grey background that is actually a bit yellowish up there and over there, a bit pinkish right there, and tints to green on those three areas. QC might handle that, but you'd have to pay through your nose for it.

2) Blooming. Imagine three LED-backlit quadrants; the left is entirely black (and gets turned off), the middle contains your terminal window and is mostly black, except for bright text (so the quadrant is fully on), and the right one is just like the left. You will be looking at black-grey-black, and not only that, but light from the central quadrant will bloom over to the neighbouring ones. This is already an issue on some TVs when they display static content that usually comes from a computer or a console. While you can really dim the quadrant and not turn it off entirely, that is again something that mostly only works on TV material, which contains much less localized high-contrast areas, and tends to display dynamic content.

Look at your screen right now. Imagine it's divided into a 4x3 grid. Which quadrants could you turn off, if any? Which ones could you partially dim? If your desktop is anything like mine, the answer is "none of them".

Re:Why not LED? (1)

Prune (557140) | about 4 years ago | (#33320116)

Parent wrote: "As far as I know, there isn't a single computer monitor that allows local area dimming"

Shows what you know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrightSide_Technologies_Inc [wikipedia.org] .

While Brightside's showcase product at SIGGRAPH etc. was a large screen TV, the original prototype addressable LED backlit HDR display (developed in the comp. sci. graphics dept. at UBC so I got to play around with it) was a computer monitor.
As for blooming, it turned out to be a minor issue because, while the human eye has a very high dynamic range overall, locally over a small arc of the visual field its dynamic range is much lower. This way the LED backlight array could simply be powered by a low-passed version of the image.

Re:Why not LED? (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about 4 years ago | (#33322660)

That's a prototype, it doesn't count ;)

Also, it used an entirely different (and commercially non-viable) method of backlighting. You get serious blooming issues when you can only turn off a quadrant of many LED panels instead of individual ones.

Re:Why not LED? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33321086)

4x3???

That's a *really* pathetic resolution.

Re:Why not LED? (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 4 years ago | (#33322878)

Very small correction: there are certainly no consumer LED screens, but the large, annoying, things that burn your eyes out with Snickers commercials when you go e.g. to the Sziget festival are certainly LED screens.

Shame (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33318056)

'Tis a shame...I remember reading about this tech back in the mid to late '90s...seemed promising. Oh well -_-;;

Re:Shame (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 4 years ago | (#33319416)

Don't worry - OLED will be better, much better.

High end monitors (3, Interesting)

djlemma (1053860) | about 4 years ago | (#33318068)

I wonder if a company like Eizo that makes high end monitors for medical purposes and professional image editing would buy out the technology. They already seem to have some success at selling relatively small LCD monitors at extremely high prices due to their color accuracy and brightness, so maybe this technology would be another step in the right direction for them. My understanding is that the expensive technology Eizo uses doesn't actually fare well on moving pictures, so this CRT-type thing might be significantly better, assuming that the color gamut is similar to their current offerings......

Re:High end monitors (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | about 4 years ago | (#33318344)

I think Barco would have a better shot at it than Eizo. The last time I checked they were in much better financial shape, and are much more diversified than Eizo.

Couldn't release it as high end consumer product? (2, Interesting)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 4 years ago | (#33318104)

I mean, if they did all that work to turn it into a TV at all they could have released it to compete against Plasma TVs. If I could get CRT quality in LCD weight and size I'd be all over that. $5000 for a 36" TV that does that? Yes please.

Re:Couldn't release it as high end consumer produc (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | about 4 years ago | (#33320512)

I'd guess the number of consumers who would pay a 500%+ markup for a television with, arguably, marginally better iq than a plasma is vanishingly small.

Fire Hazard (2, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about 4 years ago | (#33318122)

I though 'SED' stood for smoke emitting diode [mondofacto.com] . Probably would give a nice bright image I guess, but not for very long.

Re:Fire Hazard (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#33318560)

I converted many a diodes into this SED. The lab was just about to ban me.

Re:Fire Hazard (2, Funny)

blueturffan (867705) | about 4 years ago | (#33319216)

I have a bit of experience with SEDs, LERs (light-emitting resistors) and DEDs (dark emitting diodes).

Market law (1)

OpenSourced (323149) | about 4 years ago | (#33318152)

Dura lex SED lex

that's a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318346)

That's a huge shock. This is one of those technologies that was going to be on the market "any time now" for a over a decade.

You Noobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318506)

It was a patent troll that shot down this technology. You can thank the sorry state of affairs in America for this.

I wonder if patent EXPIRATION was involved, too? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 4 years ago | (#33318768)

It was a patent troll that shot down this technology.

I wonder if patent expiration might have been involved, too. The project started 24 years ago. Perhaps, after all the delays, all the fundamental patents would be toast by the time production ramped. So the PHBs might think that even if they got it competitive now they'd be vulnerable to instant generic clones.

Well cry me a river... (2, Insightful)

Twinbee (767046) | about 4 years ago | (#33318510)

Honestly, this isn't as nearly as sad as it appears, because its 'rival', OLED surpasses SED in almost every area. In fact, it could well be in EVERY area. Does anyone have any information on how SED could have been even slightly better?

OLED, when it comes of age, really is the panacea/holy grail/goal/best of all worlds when it comes to display tech (and possibly most types of lighting too).

Re:Well cry me a river... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 4 years ago | (#33318710)

Does anyone have any information on how SED could have been even slightly better?

High acceleration voltage to produce secondary electrons up the column. Per-pixel logic. via multiple control elements or even discrete SCEE-based vacuum amplifiers. (Don't recall if those were built in already.)

Of course the former isn't necessary with (O)LED-based screens and the latter can be done with the same semiconductor technology at a more convenient voltage. LEDs can be fantastically efficient and work at low voltages, so electron-bombarded phosphors in a vacuum have a problem.

Pity, though. I've been wishing these puppies would come to market too, for a long time. Phosphor and vacuum have a long life and flurescent die is inherently flirting with its own destruction. So if there isn't a lifetime issue with the emitters (say, positive ion bombardment) these had the potential for far better long-term reliability.

Also: I was hoping SCEE could lead to a renaissance of vacuum tube technology - at integration scales approaching those of semiconductors and inherently high speed and easy scaling for power. There's some stuff that vacuum tech STILL does better than semiconductors, while eliminating the heater power and scaling down to where semiconductor-style voltages would do the actual job could enable still more.

Think of the potential reliability of a purely glass-and-metal structure in a hard vacuum...

Re:Well cry me a river... (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | about 4 years ago | (#33321390)

Lifespan is one area that immediately springs to mind. Granted, they're making advances in OLED lifespan but it's still well below SED's "indefinite" (i.e., comparable to lcd or crt) life.

Re:Well cry me a river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33322126)

A battery of engineers have been working for years and years to try and make OLED viable on large screen displays. They have had no success - large OLEDs degrade too quickly for a heavy-usage device like a TV.

SED would have had image quality superior to anything on the market today. The only reason it isn't on the market is because of legal shenanigans.

In america.... (1)

ghostoftiber (1859740) | about 4 years ago | (#33318532)

In America our broadband is so abysmal that even "crappy" displays already outrun the quality of the video (or gaming) experience brought in by the available bandwidth. Every time I see something like this I tend to think "oh thats nice, but what will I watch on it?" Yeah it might be cool for netflix, but the average geek (me) already has those streaming over his pencil-thin bandwidth.

Our last hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318752)

Sad news, indeed. Our 32" Sony CRT is over a decade old now and has started having a few display issues. We found out when flat-panel TVs came out that my wife is sensitive to the fluorescent backlight (migraines - gets them with CFBs, too (http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=157)), and I have been generally unimpressed with the picture quality (lighting, color, viewing angles, etc.) of even the higher end LED backlit flat-panel TVs. Those things cost 5 times more than their CRT counterparts, and their sole advantage is their footprint. Picture quality and viewing experience seem to have taken a huge step backward. Since I can no longer find a CRT for sale, and am unwilling to pay higher prices for inferior quality, I suppose when ours goes, we'll stop watching TV.

This is a technology that had promise. I guess we'll have to see if the same thing happens to OLED.

Re:Our last hope... (1)

plonk420 (750939) | about 4 years ago | (#33319892)

interesting, one of my coworkers experiences the same migranes, too.

Re:Our last hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320686)

And you don't buy a plasma why? Better picture quality than LCDs anyway, plus no backlight troubles for your specific case.

Our last hope... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33318836)

Sad news, indeed. Our 32" Sony CRT is over a decade old now and has started having a few display issues. We found out when flat-panel TVs came out that my wife is sensitive to the fluorescent backlight (migraines - gets them with CFBs, too (http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=157)), and I have been generally unimpressed with the picture quality (lighting, color, viewing angles, etc.) of even the higher end LED backlit flat-panel TVs. Those things cost 5 times more than their CRT counterparts, and their sole advantage is their footprint. Picture quality and viewing experience seem to have taken a huge step backward. Since I can no longer find a CRT for sale, and am unwilling to pay higher prices for inferior quality, I suppose when ours goes, we'll stop watching TV.

This is a technology that had promise. I guess we'll have to see if the same thing happens to OLED.

Stop that. (1)

Petersko (564140) | about 4 years ago | (#33318996)

"The result is a picture that is as bright as a CRT and does not suffer a time lag sometimes seen on LCD panels with rapidly moving images."

Why are you trying to upsell me to something that you don't have stock?

pity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33319258)

Having seen a SED TV working up close, it's a pity they have not got this out as even LCD, OLED, plamsa etc all did not have the accurate color representation of CRT - In fact reference monitors were the initial target

But seeing one up close, the colors and resolution was just amazing - most people don't realise how "compressed" the color space is on most content and displays

But hey just like Token Ring, FDDI, ATM etc being technically better than ethernet, cost and being good enough often wins out

good and bad things of SED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33320370)

Good
Excellent colour accuracy
No blurring or lag
Better brightness than OLEDs
Excellent contrast
No image burning
thin screens (the first models not as thin as edge lit LEDs but doable with improved manufacturing and maturity)
Very well known and tested technology
Long life
It should work great for 3D
Bad
Scalability (Manufacturing will require new expensive retooling to produce the the screen and technical development needed to produce high yield at affordable prices
Very expensive to produce the substrate (because the above)
No as green as LED
All and all the technology is better than OLED offer longer life and is a mature technology, just not affordable with the current manufacturing techniques available.

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