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Apple's television could offer superior picture quality with advanced backlighting - Page 2

post #41 of 66
What if Apple isn't even planning on making a TV? This would be the most epic fail of the telephone game of all time.
post #42 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

How many users actually have the bandwidth to access 4k content? I don't think it's as simple as just offering higher HD content.

If you limit the data rate enough, 4k by 4k is no problem. It'll look like crap, but it will be a 4k image, and in the wonderful world of consumer electronics, big numbers are all that matter
post #43 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

From the article I linked.

"Their RGBW approach should enable some truly spectacular color variety, getting much closer to reality than the classic RGB or even the more advanced RGBY (yellow) pixels. Yet as TechoftheHub, and other online experts have pointed out, television and movie production standards are actually inferior to the level of viewing that RGBW enables. Why buy a TV that can show you a cornucopia of eye-popping colors when no media is produced to take advantage of that? Even Blu-Ray quality movies won’t showcase the 55” TV’s expected color range. The same goes for refresh speed (most films are still shot at 24 Hz, not 100,000 Hz!). In other words, this TV is undoubtedly going to be amazing, but there may be nothing to watch on it."

But I agree with you that OLED is the future and offers a superior picture. It is just a matter of getting costs down to an affordable level.

Interesting stuff about OLED, but rather silly of them to claim "there may not be anything to watch on it". That sounds like hyperbole from LCD manufacturers who don't have an OLED display in the works. Even if today's content will only use a fraction of the technologies' color range, today's content will still look vastly superior on OLED thanks to all of its other advantages.
post #44 of 66
Well, all this technology is all well and good, but would not it be easier to simply cover up the black letterbox parts of the screen? I'm thinking either little shutters which drop down from the top and rise up from the bottom of the screen to cover up the black bits. Or for that real old style cinema feeling, (and maybe this could be a feature on just the flagship model), nice velvet curtains which draw across the top and bottom of the screen. Simple solutions, and I doubt they'd need to be patented.
post #45 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptainK View Post

In short, nothing innovative here. The PQ ( picture quality ) processing in most TVs is where the innovation lies and is highly complex. Apple does not have this IP, something I know to be true as they tried to licence the IP for reasons known only to them.

If there is absolutely nothing innovative, then the patent will be denied.
post #46 of 66
How is this different from LED backlit screens with localized dimming? With localized dimming, there are multiple discrete LED's which allow different areas of the screen to be lit at different brightness levels at the same time.
post #47 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

If there is absolutely nothing innovative, then the patent will be denied.

It would be easier if it always worked that way. Fortunately there's allowances for re-examinations of patents when lawsuits arise.
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post #48 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

If there is absolutely nothing innovative, then the patent will be denied.

Gemstar / TV Guide holds a patent for those rectangles in their guide. Whether that is innovative is debatable.
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

But if the signal already sends out the aspect ratio, can't the TV simply illuminate only that part of the screen, leaving the 'non-picture portion' off?

Two problems (both clearly explained in the article):

1. Sometimes the black bars are encoded into the video. I have a few DVDs like that because they were produced back when 4:3 aspect ratios were the only thing contemplated. The DVDs were actually sold as "widescreen", but really it was just a 4:3 video signal with black bars included in the video stream. So the DVD player sends a "this is 4:3" signal. The resulting image on an HDTV is a small video with black bars on all 4 sides.

2. Even if you have a properly encoded widescreen video, the TV may display closed captioning in the black bars, outside of the video image. So simply turning off these areas wouldn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Or they could just do the sensible thing and use plasma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

Of course if you have a plasma this isn't an issue....

I was going to say the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

That is unfortunately not the case with LCD or Plasma, but that is the capability that OLED will bring to televisions when it becomes more affordable in the near future.

Incorrect. Plasmas are lit on an individual pixel basis, so a single pixel can be turned off.

About the only picture quality advantage LCDs have is the screens aren't glossy like plasmas. But I'm sure Apple will take care of that.
post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

Sounds great but do you really think Apple would do this? I mean their Apple TV isn;t even 1080. If anything they're usually behind in everyone else and charge more. ODN;t get me wrong I love Apple and would love for something like this. But I just don't see it, literally...sorry bad pun...

Well, your comment is part right but part wrong as well. The part that is right, is that on paper, yes, many times, competitors have better specs than on Apple devices. This can be seen with iPads, iPhones, etc.

However, the part wrong is that they charge more for less. Although the specs don't line up many times and seem to be on the weak side, the overall user experience is usually enhanced beyond that of the competitors. With Apple, efficiency, simplicity, superior design and infrastructure yields advantages beyond that of simple paper specs. This is what the other manufacturers don't get. Slap the best parts on the market in a box design, slap a logo on it, and out the door it goes. This is the philosophy of most computer companies.

The real tragedy is that companies like Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, etc., who have been producing LCD's for many years, have not picked up on this new patented idea to LCD picture quality. Either that, or they don't market it. I'll pick the former. Its called complacency in the marketplace. You just keep churning the same garbage out year after year with a fresh marketing label and continue to collect until a company like Apple comes along and turns you upside down with new ideas and fresh technology.
post #51 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmvsm View Post

The real tragedy is that companies like Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, etc., who have been producing LCD's for many years, have not picked up on this new patented idea to LCD picture quality. Either that, or they don't market it. I'll pick the former. Its called complacency in the marketplace. You just keep churning the same garbage out year after year with a fresh marketing label and continue to collect until a company like Apple comes along and turns you upside down with new ideas and fresh technology.

This isn't really a new idea, it's Apple's new twist on an exsiting idea that the other manufacturers already include in their sets. Localized dimming of the backlight has been around for a few years. Since shortly after LED backlighting took off (because LED backlighting provides the level of control needed for localized dimming to be effective). Apple's technique may do it better than the others, but that remains to be seen.

And many, if not most, Apple patents (and patents in general) never see the light of a production line. This is typical. They come up with some new idea and then patent it just in case it turns out to be useful some day for a production product. Or simply to block someone else from using the idea even if Apple never does.
post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

This isn't really a new idea, it's Apple's new twist on an exsiting idea that the other manufacturers already include in their sets. Localized dimming of the backlight has been around for a few years. Since shortly after LED backlighting took off (because LED backlighting provides the level of control needed for localized dimming to be effective). Apple's technique may do it better than the others, but that remains to be seen.

And this is the core of my point. Apple's specialty is taking existing technologies that have grown tired and complacent and make them better. So much better that they create a new revenue stream of growth, and competitors stand around scratching their heads asking why didn't they think of that.

Of course, the backlighting piece is just a part of the whole. I think that Apple will do for televisions, and the home media experience in general, in the same fashion that the iPhone did for handheld devices.
post #53 of 66
It's hard to figure out how consumers would react even if they were provided with a TV producing an overall superior picture. Fact is that when it comes to TV, there is a rather substantial lack of knowledge among most consumers. There are more than a few HDTVs out there being fed standard-def signals with owners of the view that they are watching HD. I've run into a few folks who bought an HDTV and then thought it ridiculous to be "wasting" money on an HD satellite receiver or cable box, let alone paying for additional HD content. Sadly decades of being subjected to the bad images produced by standard-def TVs have produced a rather substantial group of consumers who are not especially picky, certainly not overly observant, when it comes to TV picture quality.

This has been a problem for TV manufacturers who are now basically selling TVs at a low price point, even with reasonable quality, because consumers are not prepared to pay prices that not so long ago were commonplace for higher-grade Cathode-Ray NTSC sets.

The challenge is not making a TV that produces a better picture, the challenge is convincing consumers in large numbers that the picture is better. It doesn't help that if you check out the sets running in stores like your friendly neighbourhood Wal-Mart the signal being fed into the sets and the calibration of those sets is nothing short of atrocious. Everything in those settings looks horrible and yet this is being presented to consumers as the state of TV image quality. Feed garbage into even a great TV and odds are it's garbage that you'll get as a result.

Where Apple could have an advantage is that if Apple offers its TV only via Apple Stores, those sets can be properly set up in order to demonstrate what a quality product being fed quality source material can offer. It's that sort of attention to detail that sets Apple apart. I certainly find it doubtful that Apple would allow a retailer like Wal-Mart to sell the Apple TV and badly mangle marketing the device by wiping out whatever quality advantages the product might have thanks to garbage-in-garbage-out display methodology.

The truth is that even if Apple produced a TV delivering a picture of comparable quality to the competition, if set up correctly through their retail network, there was a perception of better quality, Apple could, with a little clever marketing charge a premium and still have a popular product. Competitors have given Apple that opportunity by allowing big-box retailers like Wal-Mart to quite simply do a horrendous job of educating the buying public about TVs and certainly demoing them.
post #54 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

I mean their Apple TV isn;t even 1080. .

Because that's what the studios and networks will allow them to use. So step one is to have some kind of leverage to get them to do what Apple wants. Rather like when the record labels wanted pricing control and Apple wouldn't give it until the labels agreed to drop DRM

As for this patent, nothing in it is 100% certain to be for a tv. I can see this same tech being for the iPad.
post #55 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

One thing they could potentially leverage is iTunes Extras. Most of the time, with movies, it's a big yawn.

Often that is because the studio doesn't want to risk hurting their precious DVD sales. So the disks have like 10 features on them and the Extras has one. and not even the best one.

the recent Avatar release is the only Extras that felt like it was the DVD version. In quality and quantity of extras
post #56 of 66
If I read one more article about an Apple TV that ends with "Steve Jobs told his biographer he cracked the secret", I think I will puke.
post #57 of 66
Longing to read an article on the prophesied TV that doesn't mention Siri somewhere.
post #58 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs said, prompting speculation that an Apple-branded television would use Siri, Apple's voice control software featured on the iPhone 4S, as its primary input method.

I'm extremely eager, I haven't had a TV in years, hate it, but if they make something worth my time then maybe. But PLEAAASE let them leave Siri out of there! In any living room with more than one person talking it will be catastrophic.
post #59 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

You'll see the eBook readers (nook, kindle, etc) being offered for free. Yeah, that's right. Free. Maybe bundled with a "buy 10 ebooks, get the reader free" kinda thing

Maybe not this year, but yeah this does seem inevitable.
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

If you think OLED TV's don't offer a better picture than the best LCD's, you are mistaken. But there are two problems: 1) Price (the upcoming 55" LG is expected to be about $8,000) LG 55" OLED
2) No content to take advantage of the enhanced screen. Not even Blu Ray can show the detail or color range. So without content no real advantage. Similar to the problem 3D Tv's have.

But like everything else, advances are made and production costs will go down eventually. Sumitomo chemical in fact have announced some major breakthrough that is supposed to cut the costs of production dramatically. Sumitomo Breakthrough



Isn't that "OLED" LG TV an LCD with a OLED back light array? So it isn't really OLED vs LCD... it's LED backlight vs OLED backlight.

An LCD with a pure white back light will have a far better colour range than the current LED models.

An OLED back light is one way around this, although there are also alternatives coming to market (like this one) to get a more pure "white" from LED's.
post #61 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Incorrect. Plasmas are lit on an individual pixel basis, so a single pixel can be turned off.

if that were true, then the letterboxed area of 2.35:1 aspect films would not be immuninated on my plasma, which they are. And as they are on all plasmas. I wish you were right, because then my plasma would have infinite blacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Isn't that "OLED" LG TV an LCD with a OLED back light array? So it isn't really OLED vs LCD... it's LED backlight vs OLED backlight.

Nope, that one is and actual OLED screen, which LG will be showing at CES next week.
post #62 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

How is this different from LED backlit screens with localized dimming? With localized dimming, there are multiple discrete LED's which allow different areas of the screen to be lit at different brightness levels at the same time.

Not sure, but it sounds to me like Apple's innovation may be in the thoroughness of the analysis of the picture and the frequency in making adjustments. I get the impression that the current localized dimming may be done in a very generalized and coarse way (both spatially and temporally.) Meanwhile it sounds like Apple proposes to individually analyze each frame of video primarily for color information, but also for function (black content, black bar, black bar with subtitle, etc.) to then determine the best backlighting setting for each of many backlighting LEDs. Each LED is then dynamically adjusted to the optimal brightness for each frame change (30 or 60 times a second, I assume.)
post #63 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

It's hard to figure out how consumers would react even if they were provided with a TV producing an overall superior picture. Fact is that when it comes to TV, there is a rather substantial lack of knowledge among most consumers. There are more than a few HDTVs out there being fed standard-def signals with owners of the view that they are watching HD. I've run into a few folks who bought an HDTV and then thought it ridiculous to be "wasting" money on an HD satellite receiver or cable box, let alone paying for additional HD content. Sadly decades of being subjected to the bad images produced by standard-def TVs have produced a rather substantial group of consumers who are not especially picky, certainly not overly observant, when it comes to TV picture quality.

This has been a problem for TV manufacturers who are now basically selling TVs at a low price point, even with reasonable quality, because consumers are not prepared to pay prices that not so long ago were commonplace for higher-grade Cathode-Ray NTSC sets.

The challenge is not making a TV that produces a better picture, the challenge is convincing consumers in large numbers that the picture is better. It doesn't help that if you check out the sets running in stores like your friendly neighbourhood Wal-Mart the signal being fed into the sets and the calibration of those sets is nothing short of atrocious. Everything in those settings looks horrible and yet this is being presented to consumers as the state of TV image quality. Feed garbage into even a great TV and odds are it's garbage that you'll get as a result.

Where Apple could have an advantage is that if Apple offers its TV only via Apple Stores, those sets can be properly set up in order to demonstrate what a quality product being fed quality source material can offer. It's that sort of attention to detail that sets Apple apart. I certainly find it doubtful that Apple would allow a retailer like Wal-Mart to sell the Apple TV and badly mangle marketing the device by wiping out whatever quality advantages the product might have thanks to garbage-in-garbage-out display methodology.

The truth is that even if Apple produced a TV delivering a picture of comparable quality to the competition, if set up correctly through their retail network, there was a perception of better quality, Apple could, with a little clever marketing charge a premium and still have a popular product. Competitors have given Apple that opportunity by allowing big-box retailers like Wal-Mart to quite simply do a horrendous job of educating the buying public about TVs and certainly demoing them.

+1 - No other post has come close to pointing out the reason why Apple could, and probably will be, successful with an aventure into TVs.

Using the iPhone as an example, the fact has already been established that iPhone users actually USE their devices, many far beyond thier personal tech abilities. That as opposed to the masses of people with Android phones, who treat them as feature phones. This also is the case with Mac OSX vs. Windows.

Imagine a TV set up that you need only a few minutes to understand how to adjust it beyond flipping channels and sound. Something that a child, grandma, or technically challenged SO can use.

That is what Apple is best at bringing to the table, and I wouldn't expect anything less this time around.
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post #64 of 66
TV is a difficult thing to do right.

LCD suffers from contrast problems and all 'full led' (actually around 500 leds behind 2 million pixels) does often is create an ugly 'halo' around light objects on a dark background. Until we have really full (O)LED at affordable price, plasma is still image quality king. Even the best Sony's (HX92x) can't come close to plasma yet.

All digital TV suffer from difficulties in fighting the sample & hold effect on the human visual system (HVS). Interpolated frames, injected dark frames all help, but the only thing that would really help is a dramatic increase of the number of real frames per second, to at least around 70fps (research by the makers of 2001 A Space Odyssey already found that out in the early 70s, they found an optimum around 68fps if I remember correctly. 4k images at 30fps are far worse than 2k images at 60fps. We're effectively still at the fps standard that was established 70(!) years ago...

All of this is important in a convincing TV display. I do not expect these breakthroughs from Apple, they are user experience people (especially UI) and not image quality, even if their displays as computer displays are amongst the best. I expect simplification of the user interface. For many, that will be nice.

The true revolution for digital content quality is still quite not there. We need a far higher resolution in audio and video. What would be nice is if iTunes could offer SACD-like quality (which comes close to the resolution of vinyl/analog) and special high-end audio equipment to turn that into a truly beautiful sound. And video could be 2k 70fps to start with.
post #65 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Or they could just do the sensible thing and use plasma. LCDs still aren't a patch on plasmas for black level, colour reproduction, and refresh rates. All LCDs can do that plasmas can't is burn eyes out with stupid amounts of brightness.

Plasma's are dirt cheap at the moment, especially without (useless) 3D.
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post #66 of 66
Apple TV eh?

Poster seen outside CES:





No doubt the un-inovative Samsung will have copied all of of Apple's high tech iP like the rectangle and the rounding of corners.

PS: If the rumoured Apple TV turns out to use a Samsung OLED panel I will laugh so long and hard...
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