Sharp improves wall display technology

June 7, 2010 By YURI KAGEYAMA , AP Business Writer
Sharp's "i3 Wall"

(AP) -- Walls, ceiling and floors will turn into wall-to-wall imagery with Sharp's new technology that has minimized the gaps between displays, allowing them to be used like high-tech tiles.

The Japanese maker of Aquos flat-panel TVs showed Monday a massive screen like the ones at , except that it was made of thirty 60-inch mounted next to each other.

The space in between each , which still shows up as dark lines crisscrossing the screen, has been reduced to just 6.5 millimeters (0.26 inches) - the thinnest in the world for displays of that size, according to Osaka-based .

Previously, such lines were far thicker at 40 millimeters (1.6 inches), appearing like black frames around each display.

Sharp's "i3 Wall" (pronounced "i-triple wall") systems will go on sale mainly to businesses in Japan in August and later this year in the U.S. and Europe, targeting showrooms, shopping malls and airports, officials said.

The whole setup, including software to convert video and images for i3 Wall, costs 50 million yen ($550,000) each. Sharp hopes to turn it into a 100 billion yen ($1 billion) annual business over the next several years.

Sharp's Fujikazu Nakayama said the displays were clearer and brighter than other ways to show expansive images such as rear-projection and plasma displays.

At a Tokyo hall, Sharp also demonstrated 24 displays packed side by side on a floor. If underwater images are played in a restaurant, diners will feel as though they are floating above water, said Moriyuki Okada, another Sharp executive.

"We will be able to create museum-like spaces," he said. "We hope to see this develop into many possibilities."

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1 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2010
Would a home style version using smaller and fewer panels have a higher resolution image?
Jun 07, 2010
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not rated yet Jun 07, 2010
The whole setup, including software to convert video and images for i3 Wall, costs 50 million yen ($550,000) each.
??? For 30 displays, this comes out to $18,333.33 per display!

Holy Sharp, Batman, that's one expensive TV set... Sorta takes me back about 15 years, when 60-inch flat-screen TVs cost that much.
not rated yet Jun 07, 2010
On the other hand, drop the price per display down by a factor of 20, shrink the size to 30 inch diagonal, and couple them in packs of 6 together with AMD's Eyefinity technology: that would make one SWEET (though still very expensive and energy-hungry) desktop setup...

not rated yet Jun 08, 2010
Reminds me of Fahrenheit451.

A silent LED beamer for 500$ does it for me - if only there was anything worth watching I'd turn it on now and then.
not rated yet Jun 08, 2010
I dont understand why it would be so expensive to remove the frame around the TVs. Really its just speakers and or airspace.
not rated yet Jun 08, 2010
The margins on a LCD display will always be there because they are occupied by the leads which turn the LC's on and off. Making the panel like a giant bed of pins is doable but expensive and not very practical, particularly when vying for thinness.

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