High-Dynamic-Range Display System
This new high-dynamic-range (HDR) display system is capable of presenting a dynamic luminance range of 10000cd/m2 to 0.01cd/m2 using a 16-bit range per color while maintaining all other features found in conventional LCD displays (such as resolution, refresh rate, etc).
The general innovation is dual modulation via two light valves in series to achieve a much higher dynamic range, including the fact that one light valve/emitter can be monochrome and low-resolution. Additional intellectual property in the project portfolio covers appropriate file formats, graphic control software and hardware, LED calibration and control methods, and optical-path technology for the coupling of the two light valves.
Given that HDR technology is effectively cost-competitive with high-end LCD displays (where the addition of the LED array is a limited cost increase and no distribution cost increase), there is no reason why this technology should not become standard for mainstream graphic and information displays. Earlier adopters could be medical-display applications where dynamic range is of significant value given that most scanning methods capture 16-bit data.
The ultimate goal of digital display systems is to present images that are visually indistinguishable to the real setting they portray. Conventional display technologies have achieved part of that goal by introducing both spatial resolution and refresh rates that are beyond the visual acuity of a human viewer. However, even the highest-quality displays available today are incapable of showing the true dynamic luminance (brightness) range we observe in real life.
The HDR display project provides a cost-competitive solution for this problem as well as, incidentally, a solution to the restricted color gamut of conventional displays (a problem for which a similar argument of underutilization applies) and the motion-blur stigma of LCD, one of the main reasons why LCD TV is not gold standard yet.
Sunnybrook Technologies, Inc.
Hugh R. Wilson
The University of British Columbia