While Mitsubishi is out of the US TV market, it is still a player in Japan where it used the CEATEC trade show to show off its new 4k Laser TV. To be clear, this is an LCD TV with a direct backlight composed of a red laser and cyan and blue LEDs.
The REAL LS1 series TVs feature 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and will be offered in 58” (Model LCD-58LS1) and 65″ (model (LCD-65LS1) screen sizes for 500K yen (~$4,600) and 700K yen (~$6,450) respectively. They should ship by the end of the month.
The use of the different light sources in the backlight is intended to offer a wider color gamut without using three lasers or a blue LED/quantum dot combination. The UHD standard calls for content to meet the 2020 color gamut spec, which is considerably larger than the current HDTV Rec 709 spec. While no content is being mastered in 2020, display makers want to be able to get close to this spec if they can.
Mitsubishi does not give any quantitative information about the color gamut other than to say it is “wide” and offers a better gamut than can be obtained with the standard white LED (blue plus yellow phosphor). The cyan LED may indeed create a better green than with white LEDs, but it seems dubious that it can get close to the 2020 color gamut without having a green primary close to that called for in the 2020 spec.
Mitsubishi also says that its TV increases the peak intensity and dynamic range – some sort of high dynamic range capability, it would seem, but again, no specs were available. The company’s Diamond 4k engine refreshes the screen at 240 fps, but may also increase the bit depth of the images to reduce any banding effects in 8-bit images played back on wide color gamut TVs.
Japan has started broadcasts of 4k content, but you will need to buy a separate tuner to get the telecast.
Using a red laser as part of the light system is not new for Mitsubishi. The company previously offered a DLP rear projection TV that used a red laser to overcome poor red rendition using a UHP lamp. Those products were discontinued by early 2013. – Chris Chinnock