Sharp is set to usher in a new age of LCD TV displays that will point the way to LCD-covered walls in the home. As we reported yesterday, Sharp has been showing off prototypes of its new 50-inch LCD TVs which are only 20mm thick. Tommaso Monetto of Sharp told Tech.co.uk this morning that, by 2010, all LCD TVs will be this flat.
"We're no more than three years away from all Sharp LCD TVs being as flat as these new 20mm ones," Monetto told us in a private area of the IFA expo in Berlin. "When the new plant goes online in 2010, those are the TVs that it's going to produce.
"We could be looking at the birth of the 'LCD wall' in maybe five or six years. We're displaying our 108-inch LCD TV here at IFA and with the new factory we'll be able to produce panels bigger than that and just as flat as the prototypes we've been showing off," he said.
The 'LCD wall' that Monetto mentioned is in reference to Sharp's vision that one day all houses will be built with LCD screens covering entire walls.
Vision: the LCD wall
"There is a vision in Sharp that eventually you will arrive at the 'LCD wall'. So houses will be made with these huge panels which will cover just an entire wall. We always knew it was going to go that way eventually and I think this is the first step. The new 10th generation factories will enable us to go much bigger than ever before," he said.
Sharp's next-next-generation LCD TV prototypes have an amazing contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and consume half the amount of power as current TVs. Monetto says that Sharp executives are being incredibly secretive as to how the TVs are so good and yet so thin, but he did speculate on what he thinks makes the new sets tick.
"There are a number of components which are bound to go in a separate AV box. And so if you start taking things out of the main unit like the power supply and the speakers - the new sets have no speakers - then that helps to reduce size.
"If you take a panel which has 10000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and overlay another panel on top of it with the same contrast ratio, you can achieve huge numbers because the light has to filter through one and then filter through another one."