Panasonic MegaCon - not the best abbreviation, perhaps (it’s short for MegaContrast), but the concept is intriguing, being a dual-panel LCD monitor claimed to deliver black performance which rivals that of an OLED TV, while also being capable of high brightness and mastering monitor levels of colour accuracy.
This is achieved by technology developed by Panasonic Liquid Crystal Display Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, using a double layer of LCD in front of the backlight, the first layer delivering monochrome black-and-white luminance by means of light-modulating cells, and then a second layer adding the colour information.
With two layers between the backlight and the viewer this allows far greater effective local dimming, since the first layer has already ‘stopped down’ and shaped the backlight before it reaches the second layer, so the amount of bleed through is drastically reduced, while still achieving 1000 nits brightness against a deliverable black tone of 0.001 nits to achieve the claimed 1,000,000 to one contrast ratio — more than 500 times that achieved by regular barebones IPS LED-LCD — hence the name MegaCon. Resolution of the outer display cell layer is 4K; it is probable that the light-modulating layer is operating at a lower resolution such as 2K before the outer layer delivers the final accuracy.
The system can, according to Panasonic, be manufactured using existing liquid crystal panel manufacturing facilities; indeed the dual-layer system had previously been announced in November 2016 in a small screen size suggested for professional use as high-end monitors for broadcasting, video production, medical, automotive, and other fields, and these were produced on Panasonic’s 8.5th-generation LCD production lines which are capable of manufacturing panels up to 100 inches. The 55-inch screen at IFA clearly points towards possible use in the consumer TV market, even though Panasonic presented this as a prototype with no plans to bring it to the consumer market “at this time”.