In TV technology, everything is changing fast. Fat tubes are being replaced by flat screens, square screens by movie-style rectangles and standard pictures by high definition.
And now, white projection screens are being challenged by dark ones.
In apparent defiance of color theory — that dark surfaces absorb light and white surfaces reflect it — Sony Corp. has unveiled a black screen that allows a regular digital projector to vividly display TV images and business presentations in a brightly lit room. It continues a trend that began two years ago when Stewart Filmscreen Corp., a leading U.S. maker of screens, began selling a light-gray screen that enhanced the images from projectors using digital chips.
Tokyo-based Sony showed a 160-inch-diagonal version of the screen last week at the Infocomm trade show in Atlanta, after showing 80- and 100-inch versions in a living-room mockup at an industry conference in Seattle three weeks ago. At both events, it made a splash.
“No other technology attracted so many people to stand around and look at it and say ‘Wow,’ ” Richard Doherty of Seaford, N.Y., consultants Envisioneering Group, says of the Seattle demonstration.
Sony hasn’t decided when to begin selling the screen, how to price it, where to sell it first or whether to let other manufacturers use the technology. Sony has both commercial and consumer versions of the screen in the works.