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The Secret to OLED-Quality Contrast on a Budget: DIY Dual-Layer LCD Monitor

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source: FlatPanelsHD LCD monitors and televisions have long struggled to match the contrast and black levels of OLED displays, which can cost significantly more. However, hardware hacker Matt Perks has discovered a way to improve LCD performance by stacking two panels on top of each other. This method creates a dual-layer LCD display that can almost match the contrast of an OLED display. The issue with LCD technology is that it relies on a glowing panel behind it to produce a visible full-color image, and it doesn't produce any light of its own. To recreate black, LCDs attempt to completely block the light from behind them, but they are not great at it. The result is that dark areas in their images appear gray. Some improvements have been made to LCD technology to help them display black parts of an image better, such as breaking up the backlights into smaller zones that can be selectively turned on and off. However, these have not come close to matching the performance of OLED displays, which allow individual pixels to be turned on and off. Perks wondered if two LCD panels stacked atop each other would be better at blocking light than a single panel. The principle is similar to throwing on an extra blanket on a cold night to help prevent body heat from escaping. The answer was yes, but it took a lot to make it happen, and there were still some performance compromises. The first issue that Perks had to deal with was neutralizing the effects of polarized filters, which help improve image quality but get in the way when one panel is placed over another. Removing them wasn't an option, but a simple layer of tracing paper sandwiched between the two was enough to solve the problem. However, this created other issues as the added layer of tracing paper reduced the intensity of the light so much that it was difficult to produce an image. Also Read: What Information I need For An Email Signature? The solution was to build an upgraded light panel behind the dual-layer LCD screen. This required even more layers to diffuse the LED lights, which meant more power and even cooling, courtesy of four big fans on the back. Additionally, each LCD panel still required its own controller, resulting in a custom screen measuring several inches deep. Source: FlatPanelsHD The results of this build are impressive, with the custom screen offering a much-improved contrast ratio and blacks that look as dark as if the display were turned off. Brighter areas also had more saturation and intensity. However, even with the upgraded light panel, the custom screen was still not as bright as the LCD screens used to build it originally were. It also exhibited some unwanted artifacts around fine details, including noticeable blooming around white text and an almost drop-shadow effect on black text. The build cost considerably less than a similarly sized OLED screen, but it's far from perfect. Perks' dual-layer LCD display offers an innovative solution to the issue of poor contrast and black levels in LCD technology. While it is not yet perfect and requires considerable effort to build, the results are impressive and cost less than an OLED display of similar size. This could be an exciting development for those looking for an affordable way to achieve OLED-like performance in their displays. Also Read: How to Clean a TV Screen the Best Way?

By Monica Green

I am specialised in latest tech and tech discoveries.


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