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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Grayscale...why not 256 shades?


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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 29, 2012, 9:10:47 AM PDT
Johnhy says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 9:15:00 AM PDT
A. Dietz says:
I thought there were only 50 shades of Grey?

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 9:20:47 AM PDT
PeepDittie says:
If anyone knows what that display would do to the price of a Kindle and how few people would buy it, I think it would be Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 9:22:05 AM PDT
That's not how e-ink works, it's a positive or negative thing.

If you would like to learn about e-ink tech, see http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/e-ink.htm

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 7:51:58 PM PDT
Johnhy says:
If it's a positive or negative thing how can amazon say their display has 16 shades of gray (4-bit)?

Posted on Sep 29, 2012, 8:04:22 PM PDT
Amazon doesn't develop the hardware for the Kindles, another company does that. Amazon is not a hardware company.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 8:35:13 PM PDT
Johnhy says:
There are quite a bit more shades than 50. The current crop of e ink screens are rated at 4 bits per sampled pixel (bpp)which makes for 16 shades of gray. At 8 bpp you get 256 shades and at 16 bpp you get 65,536 shades.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 9:25:06 PM PDT
TuxGirl says:
uh... did you miss the joke?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 9:54:22 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
I think so, as did others judging by the down votes I got.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 10:11:51 PM PDT
As a rad tech, let me assure you that "shades" of gray are infinite! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012, 10:55:56 PM PDT
saraf says:
I upvoted you. After I got done giggling! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2012, 12:25:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2012, 12:26:15 AM PDT
Each dot of eInk can only be on or off - that's what "positive or negative" means. To get 16 levels of gray they have to make the dots much smaller so they can combine them to form a pixel, and have more or less of the individual dots in the pixel selected.

To go from 16 to 256 levels they'd have to make the dots 1/16 their current size and put 16x as many of them on the screen - along with the additional controls for that many dots, plus double the display memory. Given the time and cost to get to the 16-level screen I think it's safe to say that would be more than 2x the cost for the screen - maybe more than 16x. It would take a tremendous demand - or several more years of technology advances - to make that practical.

Posted on Sep 30, 2012, 12:31:10 AM PDT
Plus Amazon now has the Paperwhite technology.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2012, 2:19:44 AM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I use e-ink to read books, not look at pictures. I would not want the added expense.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2014, 2:27:19 AM PDT
ZoeZachary says:
so informative
+1

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2014, 9:05:49 AM PDT
R. D. Clark says:
PaperWhite is e-ink with a light. E-ink (the company) still makes the screens.

I think the answer to the OP's question is that in fact e-ink is simply monochrome, and it's the electronics that mix white and black to make gray on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Higher levels of grayscale thus would require a more powerful processor (with its accompanying power, heat dissipation, and weight requirements) with no real benefit to the device's primary function of displaying text.

The idea of controlling the charge level per pixel to achieve 256 levels in a device like this also kind of blows my mind.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2014, 9:13:51 AM PDT
lonbeehold says:
When I saw the thread title I thought it was a new book, combining 50 Shades of Grey with A Dance With Dragons and its discussion on the dreaded disease, Grayscale :)
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  Sep 29, 2012
Latest post:  May 3, 2014

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