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Diagram of Quattron's 4-pixel structure.

Quattron is the brand name of an LCD color display technology produced by Sharp Electronics. In addition to the standard RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) color subpixels, the technology utilizes a yellow fourth color subpixel (RGBY) which Sharp claims increases the range of displayable colors,[1][2] and which may mimic more closely the way the brain processes color information.[3][4] The screen is a form of multi-primary color display, other forms of which have been developed in parallel to Sharp's version.[5][6]

The technology is used in Sharp's Aquos LCD TV product line, particularly in models with screens 40 inches across and larger.[7] The technology, distinct from the product line, has been advertised featuring George Takei as the spokesperson in the debut commercial, in which he uses his catchphrase "Oh My".[8] Another commercial had Takei advertising the 3-D model with the Minions from the 2010 movie "Despicable Me".[9]


According to an analysis published in MaximumPC Magazine by Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, a video calibration equipment producer, Sharp's Quattron technology does not have the ability to show more colors than a standard RGB set. He argues that, due to industry-standard color spaces used by content providers, there is no existing source material that contains the fourth color channel. He further states that any "extra" colors displayed must simply be created in the television itself through video processing, resulting in exaggerated, less accurate color.[10]

Scientific analysis of Quattron[edit]

Spectral response of a common Quattron display. The white response was compared with each of the 4 primaries, given by the respective colored lines. It may be observed that yellow light produced by the display is simply the sum of the light that passes through the red pixel and the green pixel.

Color researchers at Queen Mary University of London investigated the Quattron technology and found that although Quattron does have 4 physical color sub-pixels it does not have a fourth primary in the backlight to drive it (yellow is approximately 575 nm). In other words, Quattron has a yellow sub-pixel to let light through, but the manufacturer has not made any provision to produce the yellow light needed to pass through it. (The yellow subpixel merely lets through more red and green light.) On that basis they conclude that it serves no useful function.[11]

See also[edit]

  • Color depth
  • Gamut
  • Trichromacy, scientific description of the RGB model for human vision
  • Tetrachromacy, a different biological system from trichromacy, possibly found in some people
  • Opponent process, a color theory which considers yellow a primary color in addition to the classic RGB color model.[3]
  • PenTile (RGB reproduction via RGBG, RBGW etc.)


External links[edit]