New patent reveals Apple’s work on quick refreshing LCD TVs

For those of you that are still skeptical about the rumors we’ve heard over the last few months that Apple is working on a full-scale TV set, you might want to check this out.

What we have here is a patent, filed by Apple, that details a significant advancement in a high refresh rate LCD technology called Fringe Field Switching, or FSS…

The patent, which was discovered by PatentlyApple, was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office today, and seems to all but confirm Apple’s work on a large-screen television set. And here’s why.

Have you ever looked at the large HDTVs at your local electronics retailer and noticed that some have pictures that look much more life-like than others? That’s because, among other things, they have higher refresh rates. And what Apple is trying to do with FFS is achieve a much higher refresh rate than anything on the market right now.

PatentlyApple explains:

“The technology is an off-shoot of IPS [in plan switching] called S-IPS. It’s a technology that provides superior performance and color gamut with high luminosity. IPS technology is currently being used in Apple’s iMac — which stems from this patent… Embodiments of Apple’s granted patent and invention provide for a FFS TFT LCD with a high refresh rate without limiting the aperture of individual pixels. More specifically, embodiments of the invention provide for the use of common bus lines to reduce the effective resistance of the common electrode and to therefore allow for higher refresh rates of the display…

…embodiments of the present invention can be implemented as flat screen television set 700, with display 701. Embodiments of the invention may allow the above-referenced devices to provide a clear and bright display with a relatively high resolution, high refresh rate and a wide viewing angle.”

This is interesting because we’ve known for a while that Apple was working on a TV set with a far better user interface than anything out there. But the above-patent infers that it could also have a far better picture as well.

The most recent chatter we’ve heard regarding the Apple-branded HDTV suggests that we could see it come to market as early as this year. But beyond scattered patent filings and supply chain talk, we really don’t have much else to go on.