A ton of recent rumors all but confirm Apple plans to enter the TV market with a full-fledged Apple-branded HDTV, but today a patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details an advancement of high refresh rate LCD technology known as “fringe field switching.” As described by PatentlyApple, Apple’s patent offers advancements in the technology that would allow FFS for use with large screen HDTVs. The report noted, “Previous versions of FSS couldn’t accommodate such large displays.” PatentlyApple explained:

The technology is an off-shoot of IPS 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.

The patent originally filed in 2008, and PatentlyApple noted current IPS technology used in iMacs “stems from this patent.” However, various mentions of using the tech in a TV are also notable:

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.

We heard rumors of an Apple HDTV earlier this month when Piper Jaffray’s resident Apple analyst Gene Munster claimed, “It will be the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone.” In February of this year, a report from Canada’s largest newspaper The Globe and Mail claimed Apple was in talks with carriers Bell and Rogers about a partnership for “wireless and broadband capabilities.” It also claimed the carriers “already have the product in their labs.”

 

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