Beyond HDTV? Plenty of Pixels

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) is one of the major Taiwanese producers of LCD panels. The company announced recently that it had created a 56″ diagonal LCD-TV panel with “quad full high-definition” — QFHD — with 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. Yes, that’s the equivalent of four 28″ 1080p panels tiled together. CMO says that it intends to produce the panel in volume by the third quarter of 2006.

It’s clever, and it shows how LCD technology can be used to create large displays with higher resolutions than plasma, but I’m still left scratching my head and wondering what the application is for this new giant display.

With 78 pixels to the inch, that’s coarser than your average 19″ computer monitor. Still, if you put it a little further from your computer keyboard, you could end up with a giant data screen equivalent to four or five desktop monitors. Lay it flat on your desk, and your Windows Desktop could really be a “desktop” (assuming you can find a graphics card that can drive this thing). Digital signage turns out to work just fine at ED resolutions, so there’s no compelling need for 1080p, let alone this high resolution.

Could you use it for entertainment? You could put four 1080p signals on the screen at one time (if there were any 1080p content to display), but it would be cheaper to get four smaller 1080p displays. There isn’t any QFHD content except in some custom and experimental applications.

So I’m left wondering why CMO is putting this into production, and how many they actually expect to sell. Any ideas?