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FFS FTW: Newest Apple Patent Reinforces 'iTV' Rumors

FFS FTW: Newest Apple Patent Reinforces 'iTV' Rumors

March 27, 2012
For those doubting Apple's interest and intention to bring a big, branded set into your living room, a newly-published patent may change your mind. Or not. At any rate, it's interesting, and it reinforces that the company's been after this particular market segment for some time. Uncovered by Patently Apple (typical!), the patent describes a method by which Apple can implement FFS (fringe field switching) technology in larger-than-normal displays. Similar to IPS LCDs, FFS panels would offer even wider viewing angles and better transmittance. From its Wikipedia entry:
[F]ringe field switching is a technology similar to IPS or S-IPS offering superior performance and colour gamut with high luminosity. Colour shift and deviation caused by light leakage is corrected by optimizing the white gamut, which also enhances white/grey reproduction.
However, says Patently Apple, FFS has -- up until now -- faced technical hurdles in going big-time:
Because of the need to use higher resistance transparent conductors to form the common electrode, the switching rate of the common electrode and, subsequently, the refresh rate of the display can be limited. Furthermore, to minimize the amount of current that has to flow across these higher resistance paths, FFS TFT LCDs are usually limited in size.
Apple hopes to change that. As iDownloadBlog points out, this revelation is important for several reasons. Paramount is the idea that Apple -- alleged to be focused primarily on revamping the UI concepts of television -- may actually be dedicated to revamping the staid picture concepts of TV, too.

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