kuraray


News Releases 2006

Development and Mass Production of a New Opto-Screen for MD-Type Rear Projection Televisions
Optically-Superior New Screens are Suited to Kuraray's Manufacturing Techniques

February 16, 2006
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray will begin mass production of an optically superior new opto-screen for Micro Display (hereafter MD-Type) rear projection televisions (hereafter RPTVs) from April 2006. Kuraray developed the new opto-screen through new manufacturing technologies.

Characteristics of the Developed Technology and Product

Leverages Kuraray's Vast Experience in Precision Extrusion Molding to:

  • Establish the world's first opto-screen mass-production technology that uses double-side patterned screen at a pitch of 0.15mm.
  • Achieve an integrated manufacturing process that, through extrusion, forms the microscopic configuration of lenses on both sides of acrylic resin sheets. After that, black stripe printing is performed within the same process.
  • Avoid the problem of Moire fringes due to the product's minute pitch, enabling compatibility with all MD type RPTVs, including transmissive LCDs, digital light processing (DLP), and liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS).
  • Consistently provide for high quality through a newly developed manufacturing technique that also achieves significant improvements in productivity.
  • * Previously, extrusion technology has only been able to yield double-side patterned screens with a pitch of 0.25mm or more. Because of interference patterns (Moire fringe) and other problems with the pixel pitch, these have not been suitable for use with certain MD-type RPTVs.
  • * While there are opto-screens of less than 0.15mm pitch made from a manufacturing process using PET film, these have limited production speed and issues related to the number of processes due to lens forming using ultraviolet cured resins or black stripe printing on the surface of the PET film base material.

RPTV Market

High quality images have become more familiar in recent years due to the proliferation of digital broadcasting, DVD and other technologies, and there is rapid growth in demand for home theater products and large-screen televisions. In addition to existing cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs, the market for large-screen TVs also includes LCD TVs, plasma display panel (PDP) TVs, RPTVs and others. Due to their competitive price and energy-saving performance, RPTVs have drawn attention especially in the market for large-screen TVs of 50 inches or more, and are seeing growth in the U.S., China and other markets. (The world market for large-screen TVs of 50 inches or more was estimated at 5.7 million units for 2005.)

MD-Type RPTVs

MD-type and CRT-type are the two RPTV formats, and recently the MD-type is growing in popularity due to its ability to display higher definition images on thinner screens. It is projected that the figure of MD-type RPTVs in the global market expanded from 2.1 million units in 2004 to 2.6 million units in 2005.

Kuraray's RPTV Screen Business

Kuraray has contributed to the high image quality of RPTVs since first entering the RPTV opto-screen business in 1988, making a number of new opto-screens with higher contrast and other innovations. Kuraray currently enjoys an approximately 35% share of the world market. We will continue to make advances and integrate our material development, optical design and high-precision processing technologies, working toward the further development of RPTVs in the increasingly competitive large-screen display market.