New laser TV technology holds potential

A new laser display technology could make current large-screen technologies obsolete and bring the costs of big displays to less than $1000.
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A new TV display technology claims to be twice as good as LCD and plasma at half the price, and uses one quarter of the electricity.

Australia’s Arasor International and Novalux, its U.S. partner, claimed in Sydney last week that its new laser display technology will render current large-screen technologies obsolete and bring the costs of big displays to less than $1,000.

Arasor, the manufacturing company, builds the optoelectronic chip central to the laser projection device developed by Silicon Valley-based Novalux. Several consumer electronics manufacturers are expected to use the technology in their branded TV sets.

Some reports said when displayed beside a conventional 50in plasma TV, a Mitsubishi-built prototype with the new laser technology appeared brighter and clearer.

Novalux chief executive Jean-Michel Pelaprat announced a worldwide launch of the laser displays for Christmas 2007 under brands that will include Mitsubishi and Samsung. With that launch, he predicted the demise of plasma technology.

If you look at any screen today, the color content is roughly about 30 to 35 percent of what the eye can see, Pelaprat explained. For the first time, users will be able to see 90 percent of what the eye can see with a laser TV. What you see is a lifelike image on display. The new laser TV technology combines that with energy efficiency, price advantage and the fact that the laser TVs will be half the weight and depth of plasma TVs.

LCD TVs, Pelaprat predicted, will dominate the market of screens smaller than 40in, while laser technology will eventually displace larger plasma and LCD products.

The optoelectronic chip-laser technology won’t be confined to TV displays, he said. The technology is also being tested in home theaters, commercial cinemas and in mobile phones, where it will be used to project images onto external surfaces.

The unveiling of the laser TV prototype was held on the eve of Arasor’s public admission to the Australian Stock Exchange.