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Beyond 4K

IntroductionBeyond 4K Experience

Immerse Into A New Reality

AQUOS made SHARP a pioneer in Full HD TVs.
Today, we are looking Beyond 4K Experience—looking to true scenery, not just a picture on a TV screen.
Let's look at the AQUOS XU Series and unravel its next-generation technologies
for reproducing stunning detail, all possible shades of light,
and gorgeous natural colours in images that are indistinguishable from the real thing.

Chapter 1

Visualize the Experience of Beyond 4K Experience
on AQUOS XU Series

The 4K TV era has arrived,
and SHARP is taking 4K to new heights with AQUOS XU Series, a TV offering Beyond 4K Experience on a 4K panel.
But what does Beyond 4K Experience look like?
Here in chapter 1, we introduce you to the wonderful world of images on AQUOS XU Series.

POINT.1See Each Strand of Hair
Blowing in the Wind

Let's imagine what Beyond 4K Experience looks like. Current digital Full HD (2K) has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels,
or about 2 million total pixels. 4K resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, or about 8 million total pixels, four times the resolution of Full HD. 8K resolution is four times 4K: 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, or about 33 million total pixels. Needless to say,
this is incredibly detailed.
If you look at a Full HD TV screen from up close,
you can see the individual LCD dots, but you can't see them on an Beyond 4K Experience display, no matter how close you look. Images are so detailed that they don't look like
they are projected on a screen; in fact, they are almost indistinguishable from real-life objects. Whether it's the dimples or freckles on a person's face, or the individual strands of her hair blowing in the wind, AQUOS XU Series bring you the details you could previously only imagine.


POINT.2High Enough Pixel Density
to Read a Newspaper on a TV Display

A regular newspaper is about 84 cm wide when opened. If you look at a newspaper on an 8K-panel (7,680 x 4,320) 80-inch TV, which is 180 cm wide, each square centimetre of newspaper on the display will contain 90 pixels. This is sufficient resolution to clearly read each letter on the page. In the near future we may no longer be holding the newspaper open with both hands every morning but rather sitting on the sofa and reading it on our TV.

90px / 1cm

POINT.3Images Indistinguishable from the Scenery
We See From Our Living Room Window

In addition to seeing varying shades of light, human eyes work together to perceive the distance to objects, recognizing that some are near and others are far way, and this allows us to see three dimensionally. Highly detailed Beyond 4K Experience reproduces images faithful to how we see them in the natural world, so much so that even though images are merely on a two-dimensional screen they appear to be in 3D right in front of us. People who see 8K-resolution images all say the same thing: "It's like I'm looking through an open window onto the real world." The images are that real!
Clearly far beyond Full HD images, 8K images transport you into a scene, giving you even greater detail than what your eyes are capable of seeing, for an experience that is more real than reality.
The distance between windows in a home is often about 180 cm. An 80-inch TV is 180 cm wide. So watching in Beyond 4K Experience would be like sitting in your living room and looking at the scenery outside through a giant window.

POINT.4Three-Dimensional Sensation through a Wealth of Colours
Approaching Those in the Natural World

What would happen if you were to decrease the number of colours in the world surrounding you? Life would look like a cartoon. Conversely, what if you increased the number of colours your TV could reproduce? Images would look more three dimensional and appear to have more depth. We've all had the experience of looking at mountains covered in fresh green vegetation and seeing how the colour tones and other aspects are different depending on whether those mountains are near or far away. TVs closer to 8K resolution can display four times the number of colours of conventional Full HD TVs. The result is a 3D rendering of images and more accurate details than ever: of the colour shades of far-away mountains, and of the subtle gradation between the ridgelines of mountains as they get gradually nearer or farther. 8K picture brings a quantum leap in pixel density and image details, for a wealth of colours approaching those in nature and an unparalleled three dimensionality to images.

Chapter 2

The Essence of 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology*2
and the world's first*3 8K-Upconverter

8K TVs must be capable of processing 16 times as much data as conventional Full HD TVs.
How were we able to achieve this level of technological innovation?
Let's look at the essence of the very latest technologies.

*2 Unlike the conventional 3-colour display method, this is a proprietary SHARP method for reproducing colours on display.

*3 First in B to C 4K TVs as of Jan, 2016.

8K Innovation

The Dramatic Evolution
Leading to the Realization of Beyond 4K Experience

〜As if like Evolving from a Traditional Car Engine to a Turbocharger〜

There's not much point to taking conventional terrestrial digital broadcasts or satellite Full HD images and enlarging them to show on a 4K LCD panel. Going from 2K Full HD to 4K involves implementing four times the data processing. Upping this once again, from 4K to 8K, involves another four times the data processing; so going from 2K to 8K requires a 16-fold leap in data processing power. To realize this 16-fold increase in data processing power to 8K from today's standard HD images has necessitated effort and technological innovation like never before. And rendering this vast amount of data in detail and clarity means a quantum leap in the evolution of TV beyond anything we can imagine. We are in the midst of revolutionary progress in technologies that could be likened to the turbocharger, which gave even small car engines high output enabling speeds of more than 300 km/h. Let's unravel these technologies one by one.

8K Innovation
Tech 01

Quattron Pro Drive Divides Each Pixel into
4 Sub-Pixels to Give Beyond 4K Experience

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Doubling the Luminance Peaks
with 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology

The AQUOS XU Series incorporates 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology, which adds a yellow sub-pixel to the standard red, green, and blue. The green-yellow colour combination is more effective than the red-blue combination in making images appear brighter to the human eye. It is thus possible to create two luminance peaks within each pixel that allow the human eye to perceive lightness and darkness. By controlling these two luminance peaks separately, the AQUOS XU Series makes points of light appear double in number.

Separate Driving Doubles Resolution
in the Vertical Direction As Well

Each pixel consists of an upper and lower semiconductor element, which can create windows that display lightness and darkness. By systematically driving these two windows separately, resolution appears twice as high in the vertical direction as well.

2K(1,920x1,080) → 4K(3,840x2,160) = AQUOS XU Series(3,840x2,160)

Dividing Pixel Vertically and Horizontally Realizes Beyond 4K Experience

The Quattron Pro Drive gives separate driving of the green and yellow that constitute the horizontal luminance peaks, and separate driving of the vertical top and bottom luminance. This gives expression of brightness information with double the density both vertically and horizontally. The result is a 4K panel that, to the human eye, appears in Beyond 4K Experience.

2K(1920x1080) 4K(3840x2160) AQUOS XU Series(3840x2160)
Tech 02

X8-Master Engine Pro Uses World's First
8K-Upconverter to Render 8K Images

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8K-Upconverter, the World's First,
Utilizes Resolution of LCD Panel

How well people see perspective and three-dimensional images on a TV screen is influenced by the TV's ability to clearly show foreground objects and provide details of even far-off, distant objects—whether those objects are trees in a forest, the mast of a sailboat in the harbour, or a row of power poles beside a highway. 8K images require 16 times the resolution of HD. To achieve this, you need to be able to precisely analyze the features of an image and adjust it to the optimal Beyond 4K Experience to show on-screen. The AQUOS XU Series incorporates the 8K-Upconverter, which converts 4K images and HD images into 8K image information. It boosts image brightness and colour information and based on this recreates the images on a 4K panel for more highly detailed contours, while also converting information to high-quality images using tone correction. Combining these capabilities with a panel capable of displaying Beyond 4K Experience, the AQUOS XU Series lets viewers experience detailed images like never before.

Newly Developed X8-Master Engine Pro Is Both a High-Performance Image Processor and an LCD Driver

Using the 8K-Upconverter to deliver large-screen, highly detailed images brings greater viewing enjoyment, but it also leads to the problems of noise and less-than-sharp colour expression. To prevent such problems, we equipped the newly developed X8-Master Engine Pro, which reduces noise and automatically corrects image colour and contrast. By combining original frame analysis and previous/next frame analysis of compressed images from digital broadcasts, noise is decreased and viewers get highly detailed images.
As well, 4K double-speed technology utilizing the high-precision backlight scanning method realizes crisp, clear display ideal for fast-moving images.

Tech 03

Rich Colour Pro Brings to Life SHARP 4K Panels
with 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology

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Yellow (RGB + Yellow) Was the Answer

Conventional three-colour displays*4 have been unable to sufficiently reproduce the colours we see in our world, be it the metallic colours of musical instruments, a bright-yellow sunflower, or an emerald-green ocean. We wondered if we couldn't expand the range of reproducible colours by adding one more colour to the conventional red, green, and blue that make up a screen pixel.
We studied a number of different ways, such as adding a white sub-pixel or a cyan sub-pixel, but eventually settled on adding yellow in our RGB + Yellow method. Our decision was not just based on achieving superior colour reproduction but also on the crucial factor of energy efficiency in consumer TVs.

The Birth of 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology

SHARP's 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology enabled display of the full gamut of brilliant, natural colours, even those that express the luster of brass instruments and the glow of people's skin. We also made the most of the addition of yellow to shift the chromaticity point of green. The colour gamut of cyan has been expanded and now emerald green can be more vividly expressed. SHARP's 4 Primary Colour Panel Technology is the culmination of a quest to achieve on-screen images that approach those we see around us with our own eyes.

Expanded Colour Gamut through Rich Colour Pro

The AQUOS XU Series incorporates colour gamut expansion technology for reproduction of realistic colours beyond the colour gamut of terrestrial digital broadcasting (ITU-R BT.709) with the aim of reproducing all the colours of the natural world (standard object colour spectra; SOCS*5). Besides expanding the colour gamut through SHARP's 4-colour method, this technology gives more brilliant primary colours and achieves approximately 1.3 times the colour reproduction range of previous SHARP TVs*6 thanks to an LED backlight system employing a new fluorescent material. Faithful reproduction of neutral colours in dark scenes is also possible thanks to a colour restoration circuit for colour management.

More Brilliant Primary Colours with New Backlight System Employing New Fluorescent Material

*4 SHARP's LC-70LE660X (released in November 2014) HD LCD TV.

*5 SOCS: A database of the colour information of more than 50,000 standard objects used to assess colour reproduction for standards by organizations
such as ISO and JIS. SOCS includes about 99% of the colour gamut regulating 4K broadcasting (ITU-R BT. 2020).

*6 Compared to SHARP's LC-70LE660X (released in November 2014) HD LCD TV.

Tech 04

Ultra Dynamic Range Pro Puts Viewers in the Picture
with Accurate Reproduction of Light and Dark Shades,
As Well As Dazzling Images

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Light and Dark Shade Reproduction Makes Images More Realistic

The next step was to look into how to give images a sense of three dimensions. The key was to represent all the varying shades of light and dark. And giving even more detailed expression to the brilliance of the light present in nature would result in richer shades of light, thus giving a depth that practically puts the on-screen images in the same room as the viewer. In addition to direct LED backlighting and local dimming, the AQUOS XU Series employs Ultra Dynamic Range Pro, which detects the light and dark shades in the image and boosts image brilliance. This has made possible images that capture the luster of metallic colours, the glare of the sun, and the glitter of lights.

High-Contrast Images

From the image signals, X8-Master Engine Pro analyzes the light source, as well as the shine reflecting off the light source, and subsequently raises the brightness of the LED backlight in those areas to higher than the surrounding areas. As well as raising brightness, the technology also conducts image correction of the brilliance restoration. It also simultaneously decreases the luminance of the LED at the dark parts of images; this gives greater image contrast and results in lower electricity consumption.

Tech 05

N-Black Panel
Jet Black and Low Reflection creates immersive experience ever.

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The picture technology gets closer to the reality ever as you can see.
Then our main concern was casting a glare on your screen, when you watch a TV at home. Here is the technology we adopt for this XU Series.

Light Refractive Index ----- Affects the reflection on the screen

Let's see the glass filled with water with straw inside.
The angle inside the glass looks different from what you expect to see.
Every material has its own light refractive index. If there is a gap of the index between air and material, the light passing between two substances will have light reflection.

Glossy black on Low Glare Panel

N-Black Panel brings you more immersive picture.
Light reflection is reduced by utilizing its structure of flatten the light refractive index, with smooth surface unlike other low glare TVs.
High definition picture greatly matches with this structure since we can see many colours in the picture itself.
TV gets more comfortable to see and black looks more glossy, which is difficult to realize with other TVs.

  Low Glare Panel N-Black Panel Glare Panel
Light from picture
Panel Surface structure
Light from outside

Why We Added an 80-Inch Model
to the Lineup

The AQUOS XU Series has realized Beyond 4K Experience. Our main priority in coming out with a highly detailed TV that surpasses 4K was to offer a large screen size ideal for the living room. People can recognize on-screen details at a viewing angle up to 30° horizontally and 20° vertically. The realization of large-screen Beyond 4K Experience satisfies the entire 30° effective horizontal viewing angle and gives viewers life-like images almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
In a living room of between 10 m2 and 17 m2 people watch a TV from about 2 to 2.5 meters away. The ideal screen size for viewing from this distance would be 52 inches (from 2 meters away) and 60 inches (from 2.5 meters away). If 65-inch TV owners purchased an 80-inch TV, the perceived details of 8K would give them more life-like images than ever.

Minoru Sashide

General Manager, Product Planning I,
LCD Digital Systems I
Digital Information Appliance Division