Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sharp marketing takes a dull edge

Over the decades, I’ve generally been impressed with the product designs introduced by Sharp Electronics. If I wanted some gadget or other to fill a particular function, it was often the Sharp offering that I ended up buying. It had the features I was looking for or was more stylish than a competing brand at the same price. I can’t say a lot about the durability of their products. All of them bit the dust at some point, except our microwave oven, which groans as if it is dying every time we turn it on.

So I guess I have to conclude that what has always attracted me to Sharp is their product design, rather than their engineering quality.

But I just saw a banner ad for what Sharp has branded “Quattron quad pixel Technology” (complete with random capitalization), and I have to say this is one of the dumbest, least sharp ideas I’ve ever seen.

The new technology adds a yellow (Y) channel to the existing red (R), green (G), and blue (B) transmissive primaries.

First of all, the claimed product benefit is richer, more vibrant colors on an LCD television screen. I don’t see a lot of benefit there. Aren’t the colors on television garish enough already?

Second, the RGB gamut encompasses Y. In terms of the physics, no new colors are being added to the gamut.

The signal sent to the television is an RGB signal. Processing it to subtract out the Y algebraically and send it to the new Y channel may or may not decrease the overall power consumption of the set at a given brightness. If it does decrease power consumption, maybe this was the reason for developing the technology. In that case, it’s a real consumer benefit and should be the one Sharp is promoting instead of the “more colors” voodoo science they’re touting.

The blurb copy on the page I linked to above is another matter altogether:
Sharp once again demonstrates its leadership in LED LCD TVs [LEDs provide the backlighting; LCDs define the colors. I had to figure this out myself after first wondering if the copywriter had any idea that these are two distinct technologies used in quite different kinds of displays. A link to an explanation would have helped.] with its groundbreaking [mind-boggling?] Quattron quad pixel Technology. For the very first time [Delete “very,” a weak modifier that adds nothing to “first,” which is an absolute.], yellow has been added to the conventional red, green and blue color filter, enabling more colors to be displayed [Not really, as explained above.]. Introducing never-before-seen colors [Never-before-seen colors? Really? Do tell.] to LCD TVs, like sparkling golds, Caribbean blues and sunflower yellows without overdriving the panel [Oh, you had a problem with the panel, whatever that is, being overdriven, whatever that means. If this knowledge is of benefit to the consumer, because, for example, it reduces power consumption (if that’s the case), then explain the benefit to the consumer. Otherwise, you’re just parroting back what some engineer told you and you don’t understand it any more than I do. In any case, it casts doubt on your selling proposition. So just delete the phrase.]. Sharp is redefining the way we see LED LCD TV.
Maybe you’ve seen the cubicle placard that reads “If you can’t dazzle ’em with your brilliance, baffle ’em with your bullshit.”

Honesty matters. Honest. It does.


Unknown said...

What everyone is forgetting is that a lot of the "specifications" on these displays are impossible for the human eye to see. They use these tests that are done by computers and calculations. I have been selling Televisions for a very long time. I have attended shows and heard the hype. This technology is totally capable of doing what it claims but we are unable to see it. The industry continues to convince us that we need these things without letting us know what we can and cannot see. Everybodies eyes are different and a display is only as good as its source.

Derilyn said...

Having seen the Quattron on display, I can safely say that there is no difference at all with any other medium quality LCD screen.

Of course, it was on display along with a low end widescreen (blurry and badly tuned).

Even with the yellow-rich demo videos, no visible improvement of colors was evident.

Unknown said...

Hello and please help!!!
I bought the TV Sharp LC-40L822E,unfortunately, all models AQUOS QUATTRON ( with DVB-S) have drawbacks.
1. do not read subtitles with USB (.mkv, .txt,.srt- does not see any subtitles).
2. Tuner DVB-S suspend (disappears) TV programs from the package on the module Aston Polish Cyfra + on Hot Bird 9
at 13°E (all programs of the transponder tp 74 - 12188 V- SR 27500 - FEC 5 / 6 - AXN's and others) up to 55 seconds,
every 15 minutes - displays an error message E 203.
Such defects TV Sharp LC-40L822E on the Polish market is a scandal. Will there be a new software that will
remove this vulnerability? Will there be a new model without the disadvantages to which I can replace my TV?
Communicate with Sharp Poland Team.They know the problem of malfunctioning of the DVB-S and USB. We need to bring to the company that removed the defect. Please Help!!
Best Regards

Dick Margulis said...

@wiljasz: This is not a tech support forum. Maybe someone will see your comment and forward it to someone who can help, but I'm not that person. Sorry.