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LED-Based LCD Display Tested

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the shiny-way-of-making-shinies dept.

Technology 135

vrioux writes "Tom's Hardware reviews a pre-production NEC SpectraView 2180WG-LED, a new type of LCD display using LumiLED technology, which is a mixture of LED arrays and lightguides. The technology provides near-perfect (98% accurate) color reproduction and uniformity with no apparent downside. This new backlight technology seems like a clear winner for future LCD panels." From the article: "The 2180WG-LED's superiority is overwhelming. 98% of the colors were perfect; and all were at least correct. The result you see is for calibration for the sRGB standard. Unfortunately, the on screen display (OSD) on the model we got from NEC wasn't finalized, so we weren't able to test at other color temperatures. We've asked for a production model so that we can get a better idea of how it performs at 9300K and 5000K."

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OLED? (2, Interesting)

Apotekaren (904220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903912)

What ever happened to OLED displays? Or did I just miss out?

Re:OLED? (1)

scarlac (768893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903968)

they exist. as far as i know they are production ready. my mom asked me to help her out finding out what type of mp3 player she bought, and how to make playlists work. I found the specs on the net since they didn't come with the player. noname production with OLED.
They claimed OLED is viewable in all lighting conditions, but that's far from true if it truly was an OLED display. I might even go so far and say it was worse than regular tft displays. i don't know anything about the batterytime, though...

Re:OLED? (5, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903972)

They are in use, but still only for small displays such as phones and mp3 players. Expect to see the same trend for any new display technology, as it is much easier to manufacture small displays than large ones.

Re:OLED? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903996)

Don't they still have degradation problems? I believe the color blue was still degrading rather rapidly. They are used, but mostly for smaller displays that are supposed not to last that long or where color reproduction does not have to be perfect (such as phones / mp3 players). At least they are being produced, which means they are not solely a "could be" technology. And then there are patents apparently...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLED [wikipedia.org]

For free:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveguided [wikipedia.org]

Re:OLED? (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904841)

Nothing happened to OLED. It's just that OLED has a short lifespan, especially in the blue channel, AFAIR, and that means that colour will not stay consistent through a reasonable lifespan, and gamut will decrease in that term as well.

OLED is coming for cheap displays but not ready for colour critical work. Yet.

Re:OLED? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905070)

Considering that TFT isn't suitable for color-critical work I'd say they should hurry up with that because CRTs are getting raqrer and soon you won't be able to obtain any screens with good color reproduction anymore.

No screenshots? (4, Insightful)

aapold (753705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903914)

well I know the old adage about showing TV displays on TV, I guess that would apply here, but I'd still like to see a screenshot of the thing with a display on it.

Re:No screenshots? (3, Informative)

Sebastian Jansson (823395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904848)

ACtually, you could have a meaningful picture, showing the screen in some sourounding, provided that the photo aren't editet it should show now natural like and bright the picture can get. A setup could be a plant in good lighting with the screen showing the same picture below. If you've ever tried photographing a screen you know that it's a major difference.

damn... (0)

PGC (880972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903915)

that looks ugly. Might not be really scientific criticism, but it reminds me of those old library computer terminals.

Re:damn... (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903970)

that looks ugly.

I don't think the enclosure is necessarily designed to look pretty. It's probably not the target market of graphic designers, probably medical imaging and so on. In those markets, the actual image on the screen is far more important than any consideration of how the screen is packaged.

Re:damn... (1)

PGC (880972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904052)

I realise that. It was however the first thought that came to mind. An unresolved trauma I guess ^_^;

Re:damn... (1)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904090)

Really... isn't one point of LCDs to reduce the desk space needed, looks like that one needs as much desk space as a standard CRT.

Re:damn... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904240)

It looks 2 or 3" thick. A CRT is over 12" "thick".

Also, I'm fairly sure that this thing would use less power than a professional CRT, and would be *much* lighter.

Photographers too! (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905103)

Photographers go to great lengths to calibrate their monitors.

This announcement is not very impressive from a photography standpoint. The sRGB colourspace has a very small gamut relative to most monitors. sRGB is the intersection of the gamuts of most screens, photographic prints, CMYK printing, LightJet printing, and slide film.

If they want to show how good the screen is (for photographers), accuracy in the sRGB colour space is not what to show. They should show the contrast ratio for each colour (RGB)(determines gamut), And that it is very consistant across the screen, and that it stays consistant over time.

Fitting a standard colourspace is not an advantage since it must be calibrated for local lighting conditions anyways (unless an off pixel is 100% absorbtive).

Re:damn... (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905118)

That hood is to preserve colour purity and counteract any light pollution (glare) from overhead lights. High end CRT's for colour proofing in the print industry also ship with similar hoods.

Perfect! (5, Funny)

mrbobjoe (830606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903925)

With no apparent downside... except of course for the $6000+ price tag.

Re:Perfect! (2, Insightful)

Scoria (264473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903956)

Give it about ten years.

By then, of course, you'll be drooling over more advanced -- and therefore expensive -- technology!

Re:Perfect! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904107)

A the first release of specialized product for specialized markets isn't going to hit Walmart pricing soon. I imagine it will go down in price soon enough.

The article doesn't mention power consumption, which might need improvement before it goes to consumer use.

Re:Perfect! (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904564)

Power consumtion is lower than backlit LCD according to other articles found through google.

Re:Perfect! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904186)

...and the 36ms latency. For some applications, that's a downside.

Re:(not so) Perfect! (0, Troll)

phayes (202222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904215)

It's 8.3in thickness, 40lb weight, and difficult screen rotation are also definite design handicaps. If I want a monster with good color performance on my desk I'll just buy a CRT...

Re:(not so) Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904415)

So you can find a 21" monitor that is no more than 8.3" thick and weighs less than 40lbs can you?

A CRT would be much thicker and heavier.

Re:(not so) Perfect! (2, Insightful)

jhoffoss (73895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904589)

Uh...a 20" CRT is over 80 lbs, in my experience. And 20"+ deep.

This LCD's depth is the base, the screen body itself appears similar to NEC's current LCDs, in that it's around 4" deep. The 8" base is necessary, unless you want your $6000 monitor to tip easily when you bump your desk. And at least the screen rotates...not to mention that this is still a pre-production model. I just hope it doesn't take five or ten years for this to become feasible for mere mortals.

Re:(not so) Perfect! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904706)

If I want a monster with good color performance on my desk I'll just buy a CRT...
But this has LCD's perfect geometry, stability, sharpness, and reduced power consumption in addition to color accuracy. And a 21" CRT only 8.3" deep?

Re:Perfect! (1)

vought (160908) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905303)

From the article:

The result you see is for calibration for the sRGB standard

So, the colors were "perfect" for sRGB. That's great.

Wake me up when they can reproduce a larger color space...sRGB is a tiny fraction of what the eye can see, and not considered anywhere nearly large enough a color space for print reproduction.

In terms of arbitrary "area", AdobeRGB is twice as large as sRGB. For a $6,000 monitor, I'd expect more.

Did you even bother to read the article?! (3, Informative)

shank2001 (913508) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905915)

I quote: ...By the way, the "WG" in 2180WG-LED stands for Wide Gamut, and now we know why.... Its superiority is overwhelming. The SpectraView 2180WG-LED covers more colors in the reds and greens, and it's just as good for blues. In fact, the SpectraView 2180WG-LED is one of the rare monitors that can claim to fully cover the Adobe RGB color space, which is much more demanding than the traditional sRGB. End quote. Most CRTs cannot handle the whole Adobe RGB.... pretty good for a 6,000 lcd! LCDs that could handle that kind of range cost many 10s of thousands of dollars, and are mainly only used in the medical field. I would say this monitor is quite a price breakthrough for this level of quality.

Another promising technology (5, Interesting)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903929)

Another promising technology for displays is SED. Essentially using the same phosphors as a CRT, but each element which is laid out the same as an LCD has its own electron emitter behind it. No vacuum 'tube' like current CRTs, thin, and without the colour issues around LCDs.

Whether or not it becomes economically feasible is something else entirely, of course. More information on wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Another promising technology -SED = bad (2, Funny)

Hal9000_sn3 (707590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904017)

Back in the day SED stood for Smoke Emitting Diodes.

Re:Another promising technology -SED = bad (1)

Dorsai42 (738671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904715)

All diodes can be converted into Smoke Emitting Diodes with the proper circuit. Simply conntect the diode in reverse to its manufacturer's recommendations and provide sufficient voltage and current.

If done properly, this method can yield large quantities of smoke. If done enthusiastically, this method can also yield micro-lightning (sparks. If done to excess, this method can yield fire.

Unfortunately, this connection method also turns the diode into a one-shot.

Re:Another promising technology -SED = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904894)

Does the SED result in less power consumption and heat generation than a conventional smoke machine, yet put out the same volume of smoke?

My heavy-metal cover band wants to know.

CRT technologies : my 0.02$ (0)

DrYak (748999) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904151)

Juste about how many people DO correctly setup refresh rates for their displays ?
Going back to a CRT based technology like SED, means the return of 60Hz-flicking junk.

PHB and other non-technical joe-6-packers (basically anyone for whom "Refresh rate" sound science-fiction or is something you look for on a check list), won't like them because they flicker.
So there're won't be a huge market penetration.

The product will be sold only in special hi-tech equipemment (like medical displays) that come pre-tuned. Or hi-end displays sold to people who will be able to correctly use them (architects ? artists ?). Because of this small niche market, don't expect those display to sell cheaply.

just my 0.02$

Re:CRT technologies : my 0.02$ (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904200)

Um... no.

CRTs flicker because they use a single electron source to scan over all of the pixels on the display, it takes a while (1/60 of a second in the case of a 60Hz display) for it to scan over every pixel and start over at the first pixel, and the pixels slowly dim as they wait to be rescanned and get a sudden surge of brightness as they hit their turn in front of the electron beam.

If each pixel had it's own dedicated electron source that could always be on, there would be no reason for a display to flicker.

Re:CRT technologies : my 0.02$ (2, Interesting)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904567)

If the source was always on, would there be a potential for burn in or some kind of 'wearing out' of the individual phosphor?

Re:CRT technologies : my 0.02$ (3, Interesting)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904644)

Well I assume they either wouldn't use a source that's always on -- as long as it refreshs the image at about 100Hz there's no problem because that's what current CRTs do and burn-in hasn't been a problem with CRT displays for quite some time -- or (which is IMHO more likely) they'd use electron emitters that are a lot weaker and a coating that's optimized for longer but less intensive light emission -- because today the phosphor is optimized for pulsed activation (hit->strong light->short cooldown->next hit) while in a SED it could be active all the time. Also, instead of 3 emitters you suddenly have a million which limits the power of the individual emitters.

Re:CRT technologies : my 0.02$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904444)

I don't notice any flicker at 60Hz.

That may be because I only have cheap CRTs, which I assume the phospher in them fades slower than more expensive monitors which needs to support higher refresh rates and resolutions.

led based lcd (-1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903938)

Ok. It either is LED-based, or it's an LCD. It can't be a LED-based LCD.

Re:led based lcd (2, Interesting)

ottffssent (18387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903951)

It can't be a LED-based LCD.

Why not? It has LEDs providing the backlighting, and liquid crystals gating the subpixels. The LEDs aren't firing separately for each pixel, they're just providing a more even, higher-quality, longer-life, and hugely more expensive source of light than the fluorescent tubes more commonly used. The result is more vibrant colors, more even contrast, and no hot pockets in the corners of the screen. All of which are things I'd certainly want if I were spending $6k on a display.

Re:led based lcd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13903985)

U stupid or what? go suck the LEDS off your mamas cunt, and STFU about shit u don't know, bitch.

These are amazing (4, Informative)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903974)

I've seen one of these in action before; color reproduction/quality was amazing. It was the first time I'd seen a non CRT display that I'd be willing to use for photo work.

Re:These are amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13903995)

The main problem I have with all LCDs is that the colors are extremely sensitive to viewing angle, especially up/down. I find it almost impossible to work accurately with colors at all, and this has nothing to do with the backlighting. You move your head just a little, and it's a slightly different color mix. So how is it possible for this monitor to be for professional use, or have they miraculously overcome this fundamental problem inherent in all LCDs I've seen?

Re:These are amazing (1)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904010)

I see the same problems with every LCD I've had a chance to look at. I imagine it depends on what the issue is that causes the colour varying by angle - whether it's inherent to the liquid crystal technology or caused partly by the backlight. I don't know enough about the technology behind LCDs to know just why they all colour shift, I just look at them and see that they do.

Anyone with an LCD, polarising glasses and a digital camera handy? I'd love to see a picture of an LCD taken through those glasses. Thanks.

Re:These are amazing (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904061)

I can't speak for glasses, but with a circular polarizer the effect is that the screen looks off (completely black) or normal, with steps in between being different brightness levels of the display. I would suspect that the glasses just change how bright the screen appears.

Honestly, LCD monitors have improved drastically over the last couple of years, with viewing angle and color shift at the edges being acceptable for normal workstation use. However, they've still got contrast/gamut issues that bug the living crap out of me.

Re:These are amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904968)

I've done that with sunglasses. Turning your head 90 degrees while wearing polarized sunglasses and looking at an LCD will cause the LCD to appear to turn black.

Re:These are amazing (3, Interesting)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904072)

If you RTFA, you'll notice that they address this issue and note that performance in this area is lightyears ahead of traditional LCD monitors.

From what I saw of the demo unit, viewing angle wasn't an issue. I thought at some newfangled thin CRT at first (the monitor is rather 'thick'). I didn't notice any dropoff or color shifting.

I was impressed by it, and it isn't often that happens. As I said, this was the first display I'd ever seen that I'd consider replacing a CRT with.

Now, there is the small matter of the pricetag...:(

Re:These are amazing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904103)

Well, it's not "miraculously overcome", but you if you spend more, you can get LCDs with a wider acceptable viewing angle. I got a wacom cintiq (graphics-tablet/screen), and as it is aimed squarely at pros and it pivots like a drawing table (seeing as you draw on it with a stylus, makes sense), it has a very wide viewing angle span in all axes. It's still not "perfect", but it's astronomically better than a sub-$2000 LCD screen. The advantages compared to CRT far outweigh the disadvantages for me now.

LCD Display, eh? (5, Funny)

ben_rh (788000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903980)

Nice to see a bit of ASR Redundancy every now and then.

(That's Acronym Suffix Redundancy)

Re:LCD Display, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905072)

Diode, not display.

Re:LCD Display, eh? (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905288)

"Diode, not display"

No, it's not a diode!

The way the term is used nowadays, perhaps it could be redefined as a Liquid Crystal Device.

Re:LCD Display, eh? (1)

enjoys-pigeons (836496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905370)

I am so going to buy one of these.

i just need to remember my PIN number and take a trip to the ATM machine...

Got nothin'...

Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (2, Insightful)

ben_rh (788000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13903992)

No matter what the device, moving to LEDs is always an improvement in my book -- they're low power, last basically forever, and all the rest of it. This is pretty nice technology from NEC. Now all we need are a few other manufacturers to get in on the LED action and drive the prices (and the thickness of the display) down.

At the same time, I can't help thinking that the whole design paradigm of using a light generation source, with a filter in front, is sort of non-optimal. All the work that has to be done to spread the light correctly with those lightguides etc. It'll be interesting to see where display tech goes in the next 15 years -- maybe some sort of sheet of micro-LEDs that emit light for individual pixels.

Although, what with the current desire to significantly increase DPI, and the graphics card power we have now starting to make it feasible, this probably wouldn't work too well... I don't know how likely we are to develop LEDs at cellular dimensions any time soon.

Re:Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904124)

LEDs are low power, true, when compared to filament lamps and so forth.

LCDs are supposed to be even lower, however.

Re:Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905670)

It's not using LEDs for the display itself, it's using LEDs for the backlighting. I would say its an improvement over the flourescent bulbs used now.

Re:Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (3, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904511)

It'll be interesting to see where display tech goes in the next 15 years -- maybe some sort of sheet of micro-LEDs that emit light for individual pixels.

You just fairly accurately summarised the way OLED [wikipedia.org] displays work. They've been used in phones and MP3 players for about 2 years now, so real-world use in standalone displays shouldn't be more than 5 years away.

There's also SED [wikipedia.org], a sort of hybrid of CRT phosphor technology with LCD-style individual pixel control, which was mentioned by another poster. Again it emits light from each pixel rather than shining a backlight, which is, as you said, sub-optimal. Looks like it's a much longer timeline before they hit the market though.

Re:Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (1)

anon1mat0 (926872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904824)

Wasn't the point to use LEDs instead of OLEDs? Everywhere it says that OLED is cheaper because is organic substrate, blah, blah, blah, but why not use regular LEDs? Is it really that expensive, more so that this 6K thing? It would be easier to manufacture at least...

Re:Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (2, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904922)

You wouldnt be able to produce a display like this in oled-style but with normal leds for 6_0_k$.
The problem is: you cant make one master and put red/green/blue diods on it for normal led processed, because those different colours need different dotations, and base substrates.You cant produce them together. Thus a "LED" display would only work if you would assemble and wire millions of individualy produced diods... And thats not economic in ANY scale.

Thats why oleds are so nice: with organic substrates emitting the light, its a matter of mixing the correct chemicals and then just put the right ones where the pixels should be (simplified). Thus one can produce the displays "per pannel" and not "pixel by pixel".

Re:Pretty cool. Still a long way to go though. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905157)

I've got an ancient 386 notebook with an LED display, it's monochrome, though.

LED-Based LCD Display Tested (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13903993)

Translation: Light-Emitting-Diode-Based Liquid-Crystal-Display Display Tested

FYI: An LED display is *NOT* an LCD. A new all-time low in headline writing.

Better than it seems (2, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904031)

The big thing of the this is not that its as good as CRTs (every manufacturer has high end LCDs with integrated colour correction that are as good, no matter what ignorant ./ groupthink people always claim without anything to back it up).

This particular device blows CRT out of the water. Due to the fact that it uses indepentend sources for reds/blues/green, it can shift the colour temperatur without any need for recalibration the lookup tables.
Because the light source is solid state, it can cover more then the whole adobeNTSC colour space (while CRTs CANT. There is a limit to what you can make phosphor emit by hitting it electrons in terms of spectral cleaness and range)

Re:Better than it seems (2, Interesting)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904089)

every manufacturer has high end LCDs with integrated colour correction that are as good, no matter what ignorant ./ groupthink people always claim without anything to back it up

Accurate color display isn't the issue. The issues are limited gamut and contrast. Additionally, blacklevels and colors shift with your viewing angle AND based on where you're looking at on the screen.

You are incorrect about the display gamut CRTs are capable of. You don't have to look very hard to find professional wide gamut CRT displays that are more than capable of displaying the Adobe colorspace.

I wouldn't say this device blows CRTs out of the water. It definately blows traditional LCD displays out of the water -- bigtime (I've seen a demo unit; it is very impressive). I would definately consider replacing a CRT with one, but I'd have trouble picking out a winner between the two.

Re:Better than it seems (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904117)

Funny you should say that stuff, I would expect a $7000 computer monitor to have good picture quality.

Re:Better than it seems (1)

Silvrmane (773720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904563)

Oddly enough, you are incorrect. LCDs have a much smaller color space than CRTs. For example, did you know that most of the LCD displays on the market have 6-bit per channel color? Not nearly enough for color work, sorry. Also, there is nothing inherently different from producing light from solid state sources as there is from analog sources to support any of your statements about the size of the color space. Additionally, you can't get deep blacks from an LCD because you are relying on the ability of the LCD "shutters" to block the light from the backlight - and no LCD on the market is 100% opaque. And I have yet to see an LCD with the same brightness range as a CRT - so your color space theory is right out the window.

All this new technology does is get away from the fluorescent lightsource used in LCD panels, and replaces that with bright LEDs. Thats all.

Re:Better than it seems (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904899)

Well, whats your definition of "most" displays?
Of course those gamer screens with 12ms or so advertised refresh times only have 6 bit precision, and not very good angle-dependence of the colours, too.

But whoever has brains doesnt buy a TN-display, but a PVA or similar design-> better viewing ables, 8bit per colour channel, with good display even internal 10bit lookup tables, ect.

Your comment about the black level is true, but when working, there is usually a lot of ambient light in the room, so the contrast is limited by the whitelevel, and not by the blacklevel (home entertainment&co being a different issue). And i have never seen CRTs reaching those 500-1000 cd/m^2 good lcds archive without _ugly_ hacks like those "video boost modes" that totally lose sharpness.

A hot item for CG graphics. (3, Interesting)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904035)

Pretty exciting for CG artists. My current monitor is an NEC 1970 GX. It's not a CRT but it still has one of the best images I've ever seen for a computer screen. The conrast and saturation is amazing. I can't wait to get a look at the combo monitor. Seems to solve the problems inherent to both systems. Also has the potential for once of a decent laptop screen. Most are pretty mediocre. My current laptop has a bad blue grey shift making it useless for color work. The price tag is daunting at this point but the price will drop. If they can get it down to a third of that price I'd buy. In truth I'd get mighty interested at half that price. Barring a lottery win it's out of my league for now. At least it's good to see things headed in that direction. The progress in LCD displays or the last five years has been remarkable. I still remember my first notebook 15 years ago. It had a passive matrix. I was impressed at the time but having the cursor disappear when you moved it too fast was a real pain. Also the video games of the time looked pretty terrible unless you used an external monitor. Personally I got tired of hauling 19" montors around. The new LCDs look amazing and are a fraction of the weight. The last Viewsonic CRT I had was a piece of junk. Sad to see Viewsonic fall. Their LCDs just can't compete with the NECs and really don't look any better than ones selling for dramatically less. The biggest problem I see with LCDs is the text tends to ghost badly. Mine looks good but some were so bad that you couldn't even read fine print. People have gotten spoiled by cheap equipment. 20" plus pro level monitors used to run 5 or 6 grand back in the mid to late 90s. It's not for the average game player at this stage. Professional artists and photographers will happily pay the money for the quality. After a while the prices will drop and they will be approachable to gamers and the budget minded graphics people. The turnaround time has compressed in recent years. I bought a DVD burner four years ago. I paid $550 and was quite happy with the purchase. A month later the same one was $450. Three months later I saw it for $350. Now you can get one for $50 or less. It might have made sense to wait but A: I didn't know they would drop that fast and B: I got a lot of use out of it in those three months. Hopefully a year from now the new monitors will drop to half their initial price.

Re:A hot item for CG graphics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904249)

Interesting point you brought up, but take a look at the post [slashdot.org] above yours. It's always nice to see someone thinking critically about Computer Graphics Graphics.

Re:A hot item for CG graphics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904598)

On the other hand, my wife's Viewsonic G810 (21") is about five years old and it looks absolutely great. I'm right now using a Viewsonic A19f+ and it's one of the best CRTs I can recall using. Only a few month old so we'll see, but Viewsonic, like most manufacturers, produces a range of quality. As an aside, when I was new to computers and went shopping for a monitor I decided against NEC because, of all the monitors lined up on the shelves of several stores, the NECs were consistantly the only ones that had flickering images. I figured any monitor that was affected that much by interference (while the others weren't) didn't deserve my money. I settled on a Sony but next went to Viewsonic and intend to stay. See, the world is too full of experiences to give everyone the same ones.

Looks like Dell ripped off Apple for some reason (2, Interesting)

Rod76 (705840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904059)

This thing looks more like a Dell branded iMac G5 than it does state of the art monitor tech from NEC

Yeah, it's good news. (3, Funny)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904091)

From what I've read, I'd like to know what their warranty is on stuck pixels. With a certain manufacturer (samsung Samsung SAMSUNG) you can get LCDs with a warranty so good they'll replace your entire monitor if ONE pixel gets stuck. As for this new NEC monitor, with all that new, extra technology I'd say the chances for stuck pixels would be high until a few more models down the line. Then again I might be saying nonsense since some later bits in the article could say otherwise.

The technology provides... uniformity with no apparent downside.
Yup, the monitor is so uniform in fact that its feature article keeps on crashing FirefoxB2. This is the first time in my experience that an article covering NEC monitors could crash my browser if I'm not using an NEC monitor. Not that I'm paranoid, (my tinfoil hat is in the mail as-we-speak,) but I think they must have something against Samsung.

we weren't able to test at other color temperatures
Just put a bunsen burner under it and I'm sure you'll see some pretty colors in no time.

Re:Yeah, it's good news. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904261)

Note that the panel apparently comes from another proven NEC model.

The things that are different on this one are the backlight system (an LED array instead of a flourescent bulb and reflectors) and the LCD controller.

It's a start... (3, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904104)

Personally, I'm much more interested in this technology [brightsidetech.com]. These guys vary the brightness of individual LEDs in their backlight array, which results in a vastly higher dynamic range. (Near-infinite contrast ratio, basically.)


Re:It's a start... (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904983)

I read about this recently myself. The biggest downside I see to this is that the array of leds is a MUCH lower resolution than the LCD itself. They use software algorithms that take advantage of the bloom effect to compensate, but that has its limits. I imagine this display would be very poor for use as a computer monitor, especially in the console.

Some issues. (2, Interesting)

dawhippersnapper (861941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904113)

So the basic LCD panel itself isn't anything noteworthy. I've seen people make their own LED backlighting for car installs for extra brightness using ultra bright LEDs with reflective materials and another material for absorbing the light and deflecting it. If you used a faster refresh panel and made your own backlighting that would sound optimal, of course their lighting was white only, and I'm guessing from the article that this uses multiple color LEDs.

The only thing I see to make up for this crazy high cost is R&D and the processing behind the color management via LED's brightness.

Hopefully a competitor will come out with the same techniques for a much lower cost, because frankly 6 grand is outrageous.

Better LCD technology available (3, Interesting)

Thagg (9904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904162)

While this is a great display, that addresses many of the problems of flourescent LCD displays, there's a more exciting one that I've recently read about that unfortunately I can't find the link to at this time.

All color LCDs up to this point use a matrix of black-and-white LCD shutters behind an array of color filters. This means that for any spot on the screen, two-thirds of the light is always blocked (a red pixel will always block all of the green and blue light). It also means that a 1280x1024 display really needs to have 3x1280 or 3840 pixels across. (This is not completely a bad thing for computer displays -- current text display drivers take advantage of this to give higher resolution)

This new LCD panel uses no filters, but instead flickers the backlight R/G/B very quickly. The LCD shutters turn on and off in sync with the backlight color, so if a part of the image is red, the LCD pixel shutters are only clear when the red backlight is on.

This allows a much lower-power display, as you are only using 1/3 of the light.

Conceivably one could use more than three colors of LED, too, to get wider gamut -- although that's not part of the product that I recall seeing.

Anyway, I'm still holding the torch for SED displays mentioned above, but these LCD advances are looking very strong indeed, and could surpass SED brightness, flatness, color purity, and low-power characteristics before SEDs can be mass-produced.

Thad Beier

Not to nitpick (0)

LS (57954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904179)

but a display using LEDs is by definition not an LCD, correct? LED is "Light Emitting Diode" and LCD is "Liquid Crystal Display". LEDs are not LCDs.

Re:Not to nitpick (3, Informative)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904234)

It's still and LCD because that is the technology that displays the picture. In this case, the LEDs replace the lightbulb that sits behind the display. LCD crystals do not generate light, they need a light generator behind, or in front of them. Using LEDs instead of light bulbs is better for: less heat usage, less power usage, longer lasting, and apparently better colour representation.

Pink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904183)

unfortunately is part of the 2% of incorrect colors so it's still CRT all the way for porn. Take that IPOD porn sites.

HDCP support? (3, Funny)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904269)

Aren't we supposed to be doing our duty and demanding [apcstart.com] HDCP on our monitors? I mean who wants to spend $6000+ on a monitor that would not let Windows Vista display HD content on?

Personally, I would just fix that in software. ;)

Re:HDCP support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13904766)

Am I tho only one who reads HDCP as "handicap"? It seems appropriate.

Refresh Rates (2, Interesting)

shoemakc (448730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904581)

I know I'm going off on a bit of a tangent here, but an above post got me thinking. How many average computer users are currently running their CRT based monitors at a 60HZ refresh? I know I can pick out a 60Hz refresh from a distance however your average person doesn't seem to notice...except for their eyes hurting at the end of the day. I know even back in the day when i was working in a computer store and there would be two monitors with different refresh rates next to each other, even when pointed out half the time the customer couldn't tell the different.

Which raises another question...If the display settings are set at 60Hz, and then locked out so you couldn't even change it if you wanted to, is that grounds for a protential lawsuit?

Just some thoughts...


Re:Refresh Rates (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905208)

Which raises another question...If the display settings are set at 60Hz, and then locked out so you couldn't even change it if you wanted to, is that grounds for a protential lawsuit?

I don't even know you, and I can tell you're American!


Re:Refresh Rates (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905685)

Which raises another question...If the display settings are set at 60Hz, and then locked out so you couldn't even change it if you wanted to, is that grounds for a protential lawsuit?

I would atleast ask if you could have the refresh rate changed before you sue. If they say no, then try asking for a LCD.

Garbage (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904622)

Hasn't anyone else noticed how crappy the specs are? Brightness 230 nits, contrast 430, viewing angle 176 degrees. I have an ancient Samsung 213T 21.3" - 250/500/170 - and an ordinary 204T 20.1" - 300/700/178. The new 214T 21.3" will be 300/900/178. Any of these cost 1/10 to 1/6 as much as this overpriced clunker.

The colors look perfectly fine to me - far better than a CRT where the 3 color guns quickly wear at differential rates.

Sheesh, I thought this thing was supposed to IMPROVE brightness and contrast.

Re:Garbage (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905709)

Sheesh, I thought this thing was supposed to IMPROVE brightness and contrast.

With the way the LCD manufacturers like to fudge and plain out lie when it coms to their specifications, I wouldn't be so quick to judge this new technology. I would wait until you see it side by side with a current LCD monitor.

Bright displays (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904675)

Whatever happened to those displays that were under development that would basically be able to duplicate luminosity? Like....if you were playing a flight sim and flying into the sun, it would actually be very bright like an actual light source in reality. Whatever happened to all of that?

Tom's Hardware layout! (1)

x96kxrk (847391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904698)

M Article text      M
S                   S
F                   F
T More article text T

A                   A
D       PAGE 2 of 9 D


Offtopic, but man.  I understand that the site's free for me to view (or not view), and that ads are necessary

Receive two airline tickets when you buy a PC with GENUINE Windows XP!

but, the content seems secondary to the ads.

Click here to learn more about Microsoft Live Meeting!

I was hoping for a 'Printable Version' but I guess it's not there, or I somehow missed it.

Buy a LCD Plasmatron, Now!


Hit the bouncing monkey and receive a brand new iPod, now with SmellVision!! You've heard U2, you've seen U2, now get the complete experience, SMELL U2!

Flat CRT? (1)

PorkNutz (730601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13904771)

This reminds me of a /. article a few years ago about how they were about to start manufacturing flat CRT screens. The screens would be made using two panes of glass sandwiched together. One pane would have the individual phosphor pixels, while the other pane had some device to stimulate the phosphor on the other pane. Each individual pixel was to have its own stimulator. The circuitry and phosphors were to be printed on the glass with ink jet printing technology.

I've searched but cannot find the article. Anyone else remember that? Since the parts and manufacturing cost was supposed to be so low, they claimed we would have 50" flat screen HDTVs for less than $500 in a few years.

Why the poor contrast ratio? (1)

Coulson (146956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905020)

The color range may be good, but why the poor contrast ratio?

The technology sounds similar to Brightside's Extreme-Dynamic Range Display [tgdaily.com]. Both are LCD monitors backlit by an array of LEDs, but Brightside claims a 200,000:1 contrast ratio because backlights can be turned off entirely for black pixels. The SpectraView clocks in with a 448: 1 contrast ratio... it seems like they should be able to do the same thing.

Tom's talking shit as usual (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905040)

"it has been impossible to get a true white display on TFT"


I was buying Sharp industrial grade TFT back in 1999 which had the original backlights removed and replaced with high intensity 1500 candela jobs by a company called Landmark in the states, to this day at native resolution it blows away EVERYTHING else, even my 21 inch Sony G520's, people just go "WOW!" when they see it...

know what the secret was?

not the backlight, that just gives you paper white when you want it.

the true secret was a 300 dollar RGB to TFT board buried in the back of the screen, in preferenve to the cheap consumer grade crap ALL these TFT's have to do this job.

Tom's should stick to talking about selling ad space, it's the one thing they know about.

Lifespan (2, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905967)

The one major drawback with OLED monitors at the moment is their lifespan. The blue OLEDs have historically had a tendency to die before the others, which isn't a problem for a MP3 player screen but pretty much ends a video display. That said, what's the oldest display you've got?
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