Fig. 1: Sharp’s new LCD panel for the medical/industrial market offers a 1400:1 contrast ratio.
Fig. 2:NEC’s new panel sports a 3640 × 2160 native resolution.
4K Heads to Space
In the world of business, nothing speaks louder than a large infusion of cash, and with its investment in a rocket-launched satellite dedicated to broadcasting 4K last month, DirecTV has spoken.1 With 4K content in short supply (Netflix and Amazon have begun streaming a limited amount of such content), industry participants from analysts to retail-store owners have been wondering if 4K can ever really take off. This major infrastructure investment by a satellite company does signal the likelihood that 4K will become mainstream, or at least that a very large company believes it will.
Although Internet streaming seems to have the current upper hand in terms of popularity, cable and satellite providers do control a relatively large delivery infrastructure by providing lots of bandwidth compared to Internet streaming. If these companies are willing to dedicate some of this bandwidth to 4K content, they can guarantee that consumers will get a predictable and reliable experience. It’s a significant endorsement of the commercial value of 4K and a big step forward to providing consumers with a meaningful 4K experience. Of course, ESPN and DirecTV also backed 3-D TV and that effort fizzled, but most experts believe 4K has more staying power. DirecTV actually began Ultra-HD broadcasts in November 2014, but the new satellite will obviously support additional offerings for subscribers who have Ultra-HD televisions.
Radiant Zemax Sells Zemax Business Unit
Radiant Zemax, a provider of integrated systems for light and color measurement, recently announced the sale of its Zemax optical design software business unit to Arlington Capital Partners.
Not too many years ago (2011), Radiant Imaging and Zemax Development Corporation merged to form Radiant Zemax, a portfolio company of Evergreen Pacific Partners. According to the official announcement from Radiant Zemax,2 the merger brought together complementary technologies and enabled the new entity to invest heavily in Zemax’s flagship product, OpticStudio, which has delivered what the company terms “unprecedented” growth. As an independent stand-alone business, Zemax will focus on its core customers and technology.
The Radiant division will remain an Evergreen Pacific Partners portfolio company but announced in mid-January that it would begin operating as Radiant Vision Systems.