Samsung Tells OZ Court LG 3D TV Technology Blocks 25% Brightness
In an effort to have four LG TV commercials for their new passive 3D TV technology banned in Australia, Samsung has taken LG to Court claiming that the commercials are deceptive and misleading.
The Federal Court in Sydney was told that in 2010, Samsung began marketing a new form of active three dimensional television technology for their 3D TVs. At the same time, LG began marketing what is called passive technology 3D televisions.
John Fragiadakis, Samsung Australia’s Technical Marketing Manager, told the Federal Court that active-shutter technology used by Samsung consists of a liquid crystal layer applied to the lenses of glasses worn by a Samsung TV viewer.
The liquid crystal layer on these glasses becomes dark when voltage is applied to the layer, but is otherwise transparent.
He told the Court that the lenses darken alternately to each other at approximately 120 times per second, a speed so quick that it tricks the brain into seeing the image as a whole.
He said that the consequence for the viewer is that active-shutter technology can deliver full high definition picture quality to each eye in 3D or three dimensions or 3D mode.
Televisions which utilise that technology do not require the presence of any polarising film or layer on the television screen itself.
He told the court that the active shutter technology produces a full high definition (“HD”) picture when viewed in two dimensional or normal television mode. When viewed in 3D mode, the television blends the left and right images into one, making it look blurry to viewers who do not wear the treated glasses.
The television then emits a syncing signal to tell the glasses when to darken over each eye and that signal synchronises with the image displayed on the television screen so as to trick the eyes into seeing a perception of depth.
The court heard that until earlier this year, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp marketed 3D televisions with active-shutter technology in Australia and internationally.
Fragiadakis then described LG’s Passive technology.
He said that this technology has polarisation on the flat panel screen of the television itself, in the form of a tinted patterned film placed over the screen.
That means that a tinted film is present on the screen, even when a viewer is watching the television in a 2D format and, therefore, it has less clarity, he said.
The patterned film on the screen filters the left and right images from a single frame, reducing the image quality to each eye. The vertical resolution is about half of that of active technology and does not deliver a full HD picture.
Mr Fragiadakis said that, when viewed in 2D mode, the patterned film blocks up to 25% of the picture brightness and that to enhance brightness in that mode, additional lighting and other tools are required that could result in poor resolution in 2D viewing.
He said that glasses are also required to view the passive technology screens but that these are not synced with the television and do not require a battery or any other connection.
Those glasses are not electronic, but are simply plastic frames with different polarised lenses for each eye, one horizontal and one vertical, so that when the television polarises the lenses, either horizontally or vertically, it has the effect of blocking the corresponding eye from seeing on the television screen the images that are polarised the same way.
Fragiadakis said, as there is no further technology required for passive 3D viewing, the polarised film treating the screen is inexpensive. According to Mr Fragiadakis, passive technology is cheaper and the glasses used are lighter than those required for active-shutter technology.
After watching all four LG commercials and after listening to extensive arguments from Samsung’s legal team and the technical argument from Fragiadakis, the application for interlocutory relief was refused by Judge Rares with Samsung ordered by the court to pay 80% of the respondent’s costs.