Today one of the big downsides to e-paper displays is that most of them can’t show video. The screens are also generally only in gray scale as well. That gray scale bit is changing with some of the color screens that are coming to the market eventually from E-ink. The colors the E-ink screen shows aren’t nearly as nice looking as a normal LCD though. The upside to e-paper and E-ink screens is that the things sip power making the devices they are integrated into much easier on batteries than devices with an LCD. Eventually we will end up with color e-paper screens that will run full motion 30-fps video, but that tech is not here yet.
Right now the E-ink color screen and its muted colors are as good as e-paper in color gets and the AUO Sipix e-paper screen with its slow 6 fps video playback is on the high-end of video capability for an e-paper offering. The engineers at IRX Innovation tested the Sipix screen and the team found that it would support 6 fps video playback. As you can see in the two YouTube videos below, that 6 fps playback is hardly ideal with lots of stuttering and choppy video.
The team at IRX did note that the video can be boosted to 10 fps by running the video through a memory buffer. That would allow for slightly more fluid video, but would still only be a third of full motion playback frame rate. The panel tested has a resolution of 480 x 640 and a refresh rate of 100Hz. It only offers four levels of gray, which explains the poor image quality in the video. The gray scale will be improved to 16 levels eventually.