A new lease of life for the colour TV?

An Israeli company specialising in visual technology is looking to redefine the quality of colour TV screens, monitors and display units, a move that is bound to work harmoniously with the rising standards in digital TV and other digital media.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it" is not in the phrasebook at Israel's Genoa Color Technologies, designers of a new visual technology that is likely to supersede the quality of today's colour standards in visual digital media.

While the move from black and white to colour TV sets seemed an obvious one fifty years ago, developers at Genoa have taken the existing five decade-long standard of RGB colour (red, green and blue) and replaced it with, well, more colour!

The concept is to go beyond the current RGB model and add one to three primary colours such as yellow, cyan and magenta, resulting in a wider coverage of the visible colour range.

In fact while RGB covers 55 percent of the visible colour gamut, the technology of this multi-primary colour (MPC) covers around 95 percent of the visible colour spectrum, resulting in a significant improvement in image quality and resolution.

The outcome is a more vibrant colour scheme which produces brighter images that are more natural and resemble cinema-quality pictures rather than video-quality ones.

It is obvious that the need for easy-on-the-eye visual displays is more and more apparent, as we find ourselves looking at displays and screens of all shapes, sizes and differing brightness.

Indeed there are those in the industry who are already convinced that when placed next to MPC-enhanced TV sets, regular RGB TV sets will not be able to compete.

To generate the level of colour detail achieved by MPC, Genoa employs real-time algorithms, with adjustments to the colour display elements to translate existing image data into multi-primary colour, recreating the three-dimensional range of film.

This results in a wider range of colours where higher levels of brightness are also achieved, much more than what is possible using the RGB system.

The clarity of television has always been restricted by the requirement to strike a balance between colour range and display brightness, but MPC compensates with a larger colour range while at the same time producing a brightness of up to 40% greater intensity.

A real strength of the company is its willingness and ability to integrate the technology into other systems readily, as Genoa have shown that they foresee their technology being used in a wide range of applications; from DVD and VCRs to front and rear projection and LCD displays. And the realm of other possible applications is staggering.

Mobile display applications include portable power-hungry devices, which must trade off between power, brightness and colour space. With Genoa's core technology set to be demonstrated in smaller mobile applications by 2005, the performance output in devices like mobile phone screens and palm pilots make the technology even more appealing, as consumers demand higher standards of performance from these appliances.

Genoa plans to ship the first of its MPC-enabling chips toward the end of 2004.

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