New Chip Can Boost Image Quality of Cheaper Televisions


Image via Tech-On

It's always a good thing when a new technology can simply be inserted into an old technology in order to improve quality; it means no need to create new manufacturing facilities, no need to worry about new recycling issues, no need to worry about new packaging and on and on. Additionally, the two biggest drivers in new television technology right now is energy efficiency and picture quality. Most manufacturers are improving energy efficiency quickly, though improved picture quality has to hurry and catch up. A new plug-n-play chip technology could help fix that. According to Tech-On, Mitsumi Electric Co Ltd has come up with an IC chip that can adjust the image quality of an LCD TV by attaching to the image processor or the scaler chip, adjusting color, white balance and sharpness.

The new chip is aimed at the lower-end LCD TVs created by Chinese and Taiwanese TV makers, and the company plans to commercialize it this year.

What we're really moving into for new television technology is LED-backlit LCD televisions, since this technology boosts image quality while minimizing energy use. However, the televisions hitting the market are still very expensive. This new chip will help the cheaper televisions look a whole lot better. But we don't know how it impacts energy efficiency. So while the improvement for lower end televisions coming off the line with a plug-n-play tech is good, if it increases energy consumption then it isn't really worth it.

But we're also curious if this could be used to improve the image quality of old television sets. Might it be possible to upgrade an older LCD television with this chip to boost picture quality, increase the satisfaction that someone feels with their TV, and therefore extend the television's lifespan? It'd be great if that were the case, turning a cheap upgrade into a small scale e-waste solution. The chip is likely just for manufacturers, but if we saw it appear in repair shops, it might not be such a bad thing.

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Tags: Energy Efficiency | Gadgets | Television