Innolux denies report of fake 4K TV panels



TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Innolux Corp. (群創), the world’s No. 3 flat panel maker, defended itself Thursday against an allegation that it had supplied regular high-definition panels for use in TV sets marketed as 4K ultra-HD panels and sold in China.

The China Household Electrical Appliances Association website reported April 22 concerns that a 50-inch low-cost “4K” TV branded by Beijing-based LeTV Information Technology Co. is not what it claims to be, citing industry sources to say that the phony ultra-HD TV uses panels supplied by Innolux.

Innolux said in an e-mailed statement that it finds it regretful that the Chinese site’s inclusion of Innolux in its report came without contacting the company for confirmation.

The company said that its 4K panels are award winning, real RGB (red-green-blue) 4K2K products with an ultra-HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, unlike the alleged phony panels that add white pixels to cheaply create RGBW panels with a high pixel density but low quality images.

Eddie Kuo, a deputy director at Innolux, said the reported RGBW panels look similar to products launched by South Korean industry leaders Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. in the fourth quarter of last year.

The RGBW solution can save 33 to 50 percent on component costs while simulating 4K resolution, he said.

Innolux is not afraid of competition because it is confident that consumers will be able to tell the difference in quality between real and fake 4K products, Kuo said.

Innolux and Taiwanese firm AU Optronics Corp. (AUO, 友達) are expected to together take 58 percent of the 4K display market in 2014, according to market research firm NPD DisplaySearch, followed by Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG with 25 percent and Chinese manufacturers ChinaStar and BOE with 14 percent.

Some panel makers are promoting reduced-specification 4K TV panels to lower costs and increase shipment volume, but this strategy might end up incompatible with top brands aiming to position the new format as a high-end segment sold at premium prices, NPD DisplaySearch said.