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Light in August: "Superbright" Monitors Debut
Posted Oct 1, 2002 Print Version     Page 1of 1

August saw the announcement or release of several new entries to the digital studio monitor market, including ever-larger flat-panel LCD displays, a massive 42-incher targeting the 3D visualization market, and a new CRT designed to keep that market segment extant as LCDs threaten to dominate the field.

Promising "eyewear-free" 3D viewing and visualizing, StereoGraphics Corporation, a leading supplier of Stereo3D visualization products, premiered its new 42-inch SynthaGram monitor at SIGGRAPH. According to StereoGraphics, the SynthaGram offers Stereo3D visualization that is the clearest, brightest and most crisp to date without requiring users to wear eyewear. Stereo3D brings separate perspective views to each eye to simulate real life 3D viewing. With its wide viewing angles, the SynthaGram Monitor is designed for public spaces that allow multiple users to view 3D images at a distance. Examples include tradeshow booths and kiosks, in-store displays, auto dealerships, arcades, museums, theme parks, simulators, and boardrooms. The SynthaGram comes with a full complement of equipment for 3D presentation development, including all the hardware to add the SynthaGram Monitor to existing PCs. It also allows easy creation of content with the software developers kit, compatible graphics card, and 3D Studio Max/VIZ and Maya (late 2002) plug-ins. StereoGraphics' 42" SynthaGram Monitor carries an MSRP of $9,995. SynthaGram monitors are also available in 18- and 23- inch models.

Planar Systems has announced two new large-format LCD monitors: flat-panel models that extend the company's thin-bezel, high-performance PL product family in 19- and 20.1-inch configurations. Targeting corporate environments, both new monitors include analog and digital inputs, allowing users to connect the displays to a pair of PCs. The monitors also boast wide viewing angles and 25ms response times for better rendered video quality. Planar's optional Video-EX accessory offers additional TV tuner and S-video inputs, allowing users to multitask between desktop applications and broadcast television, or connect to a DVD player, video camera, or game console for cross-platform home entertainment. The result is a large-screen LCD TV with full desktop monitor functionality. Planar's ultra-slim, SXGA 19-inch monitor sports a USB hub for quick and easy connection to keyboards, MP3 players, digital cameras, and PDAs. The 19-inch display features a 500:1 contrast ratio and 160-degree viewing angles (horizontal and vertical). Planar's 19-inch monitor carries an estimated street price of $950. Planar's 20.1-inch flat-panel monitor features UXGA (1600x1200) resolution, extra-wide 170 degree viewing angles (horizontal and vertical), and both digital and analog inputs. Like the 19-inch, Planar's new 20.1-inch display is encased in a slim-bezel design that minimizes the desktop footprint while providing a large-format viewing for demanding business applications, including large spreadsheets and complex, detailed graphics. The 20.1-inch display is available for an estimated street price of $1,495.

Also newly released by Planar are several mid-size flat-panel offerings. Planar's new "family" of thin 15-, 16- and 17-inch flat-panels are designed to suit space-constrained environments such as financial trading desks, call centers, reception areas, hospitals, classrooms, small businesses, and home offices. The new slim-bezel displays have 30 percent smaller frames than other comparable models on the market, according to Planar, feature a variety of mounting and viewing options, coupled with color-coded cables and one-button auto-adjust for easy set-up. The new 15-inch models have a stand with a pivoting base that mounts to the wall or sits on the desk and folds flat when not in use. Aimed at the highest-volume segment of the flat-panel monitor market, Planar's 15-inch monitors support resolutions up to 1020 x 768 (XGA), weigh less than eight pounds, and are available with or without speakers. Estimated street prices for the 15-inch monitors start at $380. The 16-inchers list for $599, and the new 17-inch monitors, which boast a 170-degree viewing angle in horizontal and vertical directions, sell for $645.

NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America, Inc., also recently debuted two professional CRT monitor series with SuperBright Diamondtron 0.24mm flat aperture grille technology designed to enable for superior display viewing. All monitors in the new NEC MultiSync Flat Professional and Mitsubishi Diamond Pro series are encased in a svelte black cabinet design with recessed cable connections; the first three unveiled are the 19-inch NEC MultiSync FP912 SB and Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930 SB, and the 22-inch NEC MultiSync FP2141SB and Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070 SB.

The two SuperBright CRT monitor lines leverage the success of the original NEC MultiSync Flat Professional and Mitsubishi Diamond Pro display series with a wide range of new technologies and advanced capabilities. Equipped with Mitsubishi's Diamondtron flat aperture grille technology, the new models deliver up to twice the brightness of prior generations of Diamondtron CRT monitors without color shifts or a reduction in contrast. The SuperBright mode enhances graphic intensive applications in the new NEC and Mitsubishi monitors for graphic design, CAD/CAM rendering, photo or video editing, and gaming. The SuperBright Diamondtron CRT monitors also feature a U-NX electron gun that delivers unprecedented focus and convergence from the center to the edges of the screen. Using a second lens, the U-NX electron gun refines the electron beam for improved focus and reduced spot sizes, which according to NEC-Mitsubishi enables the units to achieve superior image performance. With NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display's proprietary NaViSet monitor control software, users can access and adjust the new monitors' display settings using only their mouse or keyboard. Based on the Display Data Channel/Command Interface (DDC/CI) communications standard, the NaViSet software is able to send control commands from the system to the monitor via the monitors' standard signal cable. The software also incorporates comprehensive descriptions and test patterns that assist the user in making display adjustments easily and quickly. For advanced monitor management, NaViSet Administrator offers IT professionals remote asset administration, diagnostic maintenance, and control of multiple monitors within a workgroup through an organization's existing local area network.

The NEC MultiSync Flat Professional and Mitsubishi Diamond Pro Lines feature maximum resolutions of 1920x1440 @ 73Hz for the 19-inch units and 2048x1536 @ 86Hz for the 22-inch units, as well as cross-platform functionality for use with Macs running OS 9 and higher and PCs running Windows 95/98/2000, XP, NT, ME, LINUX, UNIX, and third-party graphics standards The monitors are available through authorized NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display resellers at street prices of $419.99 for the NEC MultiSync FP912 SB, $829.99 for the FP2141 SB, $429.99 for the Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930 SB, and $849.99 for the DP2070 SB.

And as the dog days dragged, Sony broke the doldrums with its first 23-inch, wide-aspect ratio SDM-P232W/B and thin-bezel 18-inch SDM-P82/B flat-panel displays, two offerings from its new PREMIERPRO series. Sony designed these monitors to meet the specific needs of financial, graphic, and manufacturing industry professionals by enabling users to view two pages, side-by-side. The 23-inch viewable image size, 16:10 wide-aspect ratio P232W/B flat panel display allows multiple pages in actual size or multiple application windows from a presentation, report, spreadsheet, or design program to be displayed simultaneously on one screen. The 18-inch P82/B display's thin bezel allows for easy side-by-side mounting of multiple display screens resulting in a comfortable, uninterrupted view of all information. Sony's exclusive energy-saving Eco Mode function, offered by both display models, allows users to increase the built-in energy consumption savings found with LCDs up to an additional 20 percent at the touch of a button. Owing to proprietary Advanced Digital FlexRes chip set, Auto ImageSet feature, and rich-color processing technology, screen images are bright and colorful, Sony says. Additionally, TFT Active matrix LCD technology combined with anti-glare coating provides clear, flicker-free images that reduce eyestrain. The P232W/B and P82/B displays are compatible with both PC and Macintosh platforms and feature dual inputs, allowing a central display to serve multiple desktops. The P232W/B and P82/B displays each feature digital as well as analog inputs, and shipped in September with expected MSRPs around $3,000 and $1,200, respectively.

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