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Transparent LCD - Alpha Channel Monitor Answered

I'm working on a project for my MFA, and am trying to figure out how to hack some LCD's.

The idea being that I need a screen that will simply display black or transparent, no colors, but it should be able to accept video input of some type. Hacking a tv or iPad seems the most likely route. The remaining image should show the ambient background through the screen with certain areas shaded according to the luminance or darkness of the video input.

While I understand that with all of the polarizing filters applied, light transmission is less than 5% in some lcds, I don't know what happens if you remove the polarizing filters? I remember the old 'Tiger' lcd games that were quite transparent and high contrast, but they definitely didn't play any video!

If anyone has any experience with LCD's and the polarizing filters, I'd love to hear your input.

Alternately, if anyone has ideas on a video capable b&w display... They all seem to be for medical purposes and are quite expensive!



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9 years ago

The polarizing filters are pretty much what makes the LCD work. Check out the HowStuffWorks page on LCDs:


If you remove the backlight and housing from an LCD, you'll get a semi-transparent display. Some people here have done this - check out sandworms awesome DIY projector:


Good luck!