Sony promises cinema screen like 'you've never seen'

Sony promises cinema screen like 'you've never seen'

Sony is developing a new display technology capable of a high-definition picture over a cinema-size screen and plans to show it next year, its chief executive officer (CEO) states.

The company is still developing the display and hopes to unveil it at the 2005 World Exposition, said Nobuyuki Idei, chairman and group CEO of Sony, speaking at a news conference in Tokyo. The screen will measure 10 meters by 50 meters, Idei said.

"It's something you have never, ever seen," he said.

Light will be projected onto the display from the front with projectors based on GLV (grating light valve) technology, Mina Naito, a spokeswoman for Sony, said.

GLV technology involves passing red, green and blue laser light across a grate-like array. Electrical current can be used to control the movement of the grates and this changes the amount of light diffracted or reflected. The resulting light is sent through a lens and then a scanning mirror creates a two-dimensional display. Advantages of the technology include wide color variation and high contrast, according to Sony.

Sony licensed GLV from Cypress Semiconductor subsidiary Silicon Light Machines in July 2000 and has been working on its commercialization for use in professional projection systems. It demonstrated a prototype of the technology at two trade shows in Japan in 2002 on a screen of several meters across. The system planned for Expo 2005 will be on a much larger scale.

"Until yesterday, (Sony Executive Deputy President) Mr. Chubachi was very anxious about making this announcement," Kunitake Ando, Sony president, quipped after Idei announced plans for the display.

"We're quite confident, we still have more than 300 days," responded Chubachi, whose responsibility covers key devices and production.

The 2005 World Exposition is scheduled to open on March 25 and run until Sept. 25. Participants from 125 countries and eight international organizations will attend and the organizers expect the expo to attract 15 million visitors.

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