NEC and Benq show "smart LCDs at CeBit

It's obvious at this year's CeBit tradeshow that display manufacturers restrain themselves from chasing ever faster refresh rates. And even those speedy displays are not always what users necessarily are looking for, as all LCDs with refresh rates of less than 8 ms typically show ugly video noise with loads of speckles on smoke and shadows in videos. So, what is beneficial to games may not be great in other applications

NEC now came up with a technology that could solve this problem. Several models on the show floor integrated an "overdrive" feature that enables users to adjust the refresh rate. For example the 1990Sxi allows users to decrease latency to as low as 9ms with overdrive, while deactivated overdrive enables smooth video rendering.

Another interesting technology that could improve image quality was demonstrated by Benq: The company's FP241W uses a feature called BFI (Black Frame Insertion) to double the frame rate of LCDs. The FP241 runs at 120 frames per second, which is achieved by inserting a "virtual" black frame between two real frames. Enabled by backlighting cells that can be synchronized with the screen refresh rate, the technology "cleans" the pixel fade-out during pixel color transition. It's impossible judge such displays and their benefit during a trade show, but the solution seems promising at first glance.

Tom's Hardware will be reviewing both technologies as soon as samples are available.