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X-Black Display-Technology (Onyx Black Display-Technology)

By Randolf Kastenmaier
27.01.2005,16:21 CET

Sony has developed the X-Black technology with the goal in mind to enhance the image quality of LCDs. Originally, this technique had been developed for VAIO Notebooks but is now also being employed in selected LCD models such as the SDM-HS94P for example.

Sony says about this technology: " For the first time, performance approaches that of high quality TV - with increased brightness, improved clarity and contrast, and wider viewing angles."

There is a Shockwave animation on Xbride (X-Black) technology which can be viewed on
Sony USA's website.

Here you can see the Sony HS73P with X-Black Display technology.

We could distill certain pros and cons from user experiences posted in the board.

Luscious colors and the improved black value have been remarked positively compared to LCDs without X-Black technology.

The plain display surface and the resulting reflective properties have been pointed out negatively. Furthermore it has been occasionally noted that colors appeared fake ("too lurid").

One should especially mind the reflection-prone surface prior to a potential purchase, since the place where the LCD is going to stand should not be underestimated. Because the display indeed reflects significantly more at strong insolation (i.e. window) than in a dark basement.


According to Sony, the core of this technology is the fact that more light advances to the display surface. This is - among other things - achieved by means of a special, plane coating of the panel. It is intended to reduce the amount of reflection by utilizing the reflection minimization technology in which there are several layers coated onto the panel. In doing so, the thickness of each layer is being calculated precisely and measures exactly one fourth of the wavelength of light. By means of this method, reflections are to be neutralized before they even reach the surface of the display.

Additionally, displays using X-Black have better lighting (double fluorescence lamps), new inverters and an optical prism built into them.

Fluorescence lamps are phosphor lamps which come with the benefit of being very bright while using little energy. These lamps account for the backlight in the display.

Inverters transform DC voltage to AC voltage respectively direct current to alternating current. They are needed for controlling the lamps of the backlight.

An optical prism directs light correspondingly to its properties. It can deflect light, i.e. by 90 degrees.


The following models can be found in Sony's current range of products:




Other manufacturers with Sony's X-Black technology:

At the present time, there are no other manufacturers known that incorporate Sony's X-Black technology.

With the VP192s/b, Viewsonic is marketing a model with similar technology in the USA. As far as we can tell right now, this device basically shows the same advantages and disadvantages as Sony's models. According to the American website, the surface is denoted as Glare. While it is true that this model is also being marketed in Germany and Central Europe, it does utilize a different panel, however. NEC Mitsubishi currently also has two models, the 1770GX and 1970GX, using a technology that is, for the most, identical to Sony's.

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