Sharp develops two-way viewing LCD TV

The new liquid-crystal display technology can send light from the backlight separately to the right and left side of the screen
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Sharp has developed a liquid-crystal display that shows different video images to people viewing the screen from the left and the right.

The two-way viewing-angle LCD, announced by the Japanese consumer electronics maker last week, can send light from the backlight separately to the right and left.

This allows one person to surf the Internet, using the display as a PC screen, while another watches a downloaded movie or TV broadcast. It also works for watching two separate TV channels.

The display, which costs roughly double that of a standard model, will go into mass production this month. Sharp will offer the product for worldwide sale, but the company said it would also supply other manufacturers with the new displays for various products expected later this year.

Those that have seen the new display report that it’s not perfect, according to the Associated Press. Images overlap if viewers stand directly in front of the screen. The viewer must move a few inches to the left or right for a clear view.

Another quirk is that users have to work out a way to listen to the different sounds coming from the different channels. One solution, Sharpe suggested, is to use earphones.

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