OLED, 1080p, OTT, 4K… new TV technology has so many numbers and acronyms that it can be hard to keep up with what’s what! Somehow, they keep finding ways to enhance our viewing experience.
It’s not just bigger screens and curved displays; new TV screens are sharper, brighter and more colorful. Soon, all these qualities could improve three-fold.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida’s NanoScience Technology Center developed a way to manipulate pixels with electrical voltage. Their technology makes it so that the color of subpixels can be changed and display shades in between.
Pixels, the tiny dots that comprise a TV’s picture, are made up of three subpixels that are red, blue and green. On an LCD screen, only certain subpixels show at certain times to display the correct color. For instance, for a purple image, the red and blue pixels show while the green one is covered.
Psst: Need a crash course on TV tech norms? Read this article!
But by being able to change the color of each subpixel, three times as many pixels can be used to display an image. More pixels means a higher resolution – a sharper image with more details.
The best part is that this new technology shouldn’t be very expensive to implement because it doesn’t require redesigning the TV’s hardware. The technology works through an embossed nanostructure surface that can be integrated with current displays.
“It allows you to leverage all the pre-existing decades of LCD technology. We don’t have to change all of the engineering that went into making that,” said physics doctoral student Daniel Franklin who was a member of the research team.
The researchers are now working on replicating the technology on a larger scale so that they can bring it to the private sector. Once it’s ready, smartphones, tablets, and TVs could be using these new screens. Click here to read the research paper that the team published on Nature.com.