LED/LCD MonitorsBack in the day the word “monitor” was usually used to describe a very accurate broadcast display (though in those days it was a CRT). 5/23/2012 10:20 AM Eastern
May 23, 2012 2:20 PM, By Mark Johnson
What’s in a name? Back in the day the word “monitor” was usually used to describe a very accurate broadcast display (though in those days it was a CRT). Monitors were used for judging video signal quality through the production chain. These days, it’s used a little more blithely to describe a display in general terms and can mean anything from a desktop computer display to a medical imaging monitor (as well as the traditional broadcast video monitor). Even some consumer TVs will invoke the term “monitor” in an effort to sell on image quality. This showcase will cover most of these types of displays and we’ll look at representative examples of broadcast monitors, as well as computer monitors with a couple of high-quality consumer displays that incorporate the latest advancements in the technology.
Display technology has advanced considerably with a few different types of technologies available. LEDs factor in to flatpanel display in a couple of ways. While the technology has been available since the 1970s, Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, while expensive, are starting to become more affordable. While efficient and leaving a smaller carbon footprint than other flatpanel display technologies, “organic” does not refer to its ecological impact but rather to the composition of materials used to manufacture the LED. The emissive electroluminescent layer in an OLED is a film of organic compounds, which produces light when an electric current is applied. Unlike a liquid crystal display, an OLED display does not require a backlight and some of the benefits derived from that include deeper black levels as well as a lighter and thinner display—so thin, in fact, that some OLED displays can be flexible. Other qualities that make OLEDs appealing is that they afford a wide viewing angle, and due to their fast response time, there are no ghosting or smearing artifacts. Additionally, the color rendering with OLED displays is excellent.
On the flip side, OLEDs as mentioned are presently expensive to manufacture and the displays can be susceptible to screen burn-in (much like the early plasma displays). And current organic materials used in the manufacture of OLEDs can decay with time. OLEDs have been historically used for smaller displays, for example, in mobile phones and PDAs, as well as televisions and computer monitors. However, a couple of manufacturers have recently introduced game-changing products regarding use of OLEDs for large displays. So while they don’t proliferate the market place like other display technologies, there are a few manufacturers that are betting people will pay for the improved image quality available from an OLED display.
Nabbing the CNET “Best of the 2012” CES Award, the 55in. LG 55EM9600 Cinema 3D Smart TV weighs 16.5lbs. and is the equivalent of about three credit cards at its thinnest point. The TV also features 2D to 3D conversion, which allows viewing of 2D content in 3D.
Samsung also introduced a 55in. Super OLED TV at CES garnering multiple awards. Scheduled to ship the latter half of 2012, the display features a built-in camera and two microphones for voice and motion control and face recognition. The TV also incorporates a dual core processor to run apps or for web browsing.
In 2007, Sony released the first OLED TV. It was very expensive and with just an 11in. display; after a few years, the product was discontinued. Sony does make OLED models for professional application. Sony has also announced that it will no longer pursue OLED product development for the mass market, focusing instead on crystal LED technology. Currently Sony produces the Trimaster EL BVM-E, BVM-F, and PVM series OLED monitors. For critical image evaluation applications, the BVM-E and F models are available in 24.5in. and 16.5in. versions. Inputs include two 3G-SDI and one HDMI as well as four option slots. The resolution is 1920x1280.
May 23, 2012 2:20 PM, By Mark Johnson
LED BACKLIGHT TECHNOLOGY
The other implementation is with LEDs as the light source for LCD displays. Here, LEDs are used instead of cold cathode fluorescent CCFL backlighting. Some of the advantages presented by LED backlighting include a thinner panel, brighter display, and increased contrast, along with lower power consumption and more efficient heat dissipation. The LCD (TFT-Thin Film Transistor) technology remains the same whether the backlighting is LED or CCFL.
There are a few different implementations of LED backlighting: Edge-lit LEDs provide the ability for displays to be very thin. A special panel allows the light from the LEDs to diffuse evenly over the screen area. Full-array LED backlighting has the LEDs situated behind the full screen area. Local dimming provides for dimming or brightening of individual zones of LEDs, affording better black levels and uniformity. Local dimming is more commonplace on full-array designs, though there are a few manufacturers that have applied local dimming to edge-lit models as well.
Apple ’s 27in. Thunderbolt display incorporates a Thunderbolt port, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port and Gigabit Ethernet port, and features two channels of bi-directional 10Gbps throughput. The LED backlit display offers a 16:9 aspect ratio and 2560x1440 resolution and a 178-degree viewing angle. Also included is a built-in speaker system with subwoofer and FaceTime HD camera and microphone.
Asus’ VS series backlit LED monitors are available in four models with 1920x1080 HD resolution. The display sizes range form 21.5in. to 24in. and feature an internal power adapter.
The EW2730 from BenQ is a 27in. monitor with 1920x1080 resolution. The display features Vertical Alignment (VA) LED liquid crystal display technology for improved contrast and 8-bit color range and BenQ’s Senseye Human Vision Technology presets for image optimization. Input connectors include D-sub, DVI-D, two HDMI plus audio line in and out, and a headphone jack. The viewing angle is 178-degrees horizontal and vertical. The EW2730 is Window 7 compatible.
The Dell P2412H full HD monitor features a 24in. backlit LED screen. Menu rotation software allows the screen to be used in either landscape or portrait orientation. Connectivity includes DVI-D, VGA, and USB (one USB 2.0 upstream and two USB 2.0 downstream) ports.
The HP 2311gt 23in. LED Backlit 3D monitor comes with passive polarized glasses for 3D viewing and also includes Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology to transfer 2D media to 3D. The monitor features full HD resolution, VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and HDCP inputs, and Energy Star compliance.
JVC’s DT-E21L4 is a 21in. full HD monitor that comes with HDMI and HD-SDI interfaces and is designed for professional applications including postproduction and broadcasting. The monitor also features and embedded 16-channel audio level meter and a built-in IMD (in-monitor display) that indicates the monitor identifier as text and include tally lamps.
NEC offers the 46in. X461S and the 55in. X551S LED edge-lit displays that feature 1920x1080 FHD native resolution. The displays support Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) standardization of option slots and also include DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D, 15-pin D-sub, and BNC composite inputs. Both displays meet Energy Star 5.1 guidelines and feature a carbon footprint meter that calculates and tracks carbon savings.
May 23, 2012 2:20 PM, By Mark Johnson
Panasonic offers the Viera consumer line up that includes the WT Series of HDTVs. The TC-LC55WT50 offers Active Shutter Progressive 3D with a native resolution of 1920x1080p and features IPS LED LCD Panel Technology. The IPS panel features high-speed response and an eight-phase backlight scanning technology that reduces blur and flicker. The display provides a 178-degree viewing angle and Viera remote app for control with a smartphone or tablet.
The Samsung full HD 1080p EX line (400EX, 460EX, and 550EX) line of LED backlit LCD feature 40in., 46in., and 55in. models and are just 1.6in. deep. The 400EXn, 460EXn, and 550EXn feature an integrated PC and MagicInfo Pro and MagicInfo I software for a web-based server for remote content management.
The PN-E702 and PN-E602 70in. and 60in. professional LED displays from Sharp feature full array LED backlighting on the PN-E702 and edge-lit LED backlighting on the PN-E602. Standard inputs include HDMI and PC analog D-sub. An optional interface expansion board provides for additional inputs, including DVI-D, component video, S-Video, and BNC PC analog RGB inputs. Both displays feature full HD 1920x1080 resolution.
Toshiba’s PA3885U-1LC2 21.5in. LED HD monitor features 1920x1080 full HD resolution and a 5-millisecond video response time. Inputs are VGA, DVI, HDMI, and audio with corresponding cables included. The viewing angle is 170-degrees horizontal x 160-degrees vertical.
The VT4210LED from ViewSonic is a 42in. display with LED backlighting and includes dual HDMI ports VGA input HDTV/QAM tuner and USB input. The display features 1920x1080 resolution with a viewing angle of 176-degrees horizontal by 176-degrees vertical. Due out is a line of four interactive backlit LED displays ranging in size from 42in. up to 70in. The screens can function with either the included stylus or fingertip swipes.
The 55in. Westinghouse LED HDTV LD-5580Z features a viewing angle of 170-degrees horizontal x 176-degrees vertical and 1920x1080 native resolution. Inputs include RF, composite, component, D-sub, and three HDMI connections.
Wohler’s RMQ-230 Series Quad Split allows simultaneous monitoring of four video sources, with independent controls for each source. The three models in the series are distinguished by the variety of inputs. The viewing angle is 178-degrees, horizontal and vertical.