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Technology Showcase: LCD Lobby Displays

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

From kiosks to videowalls, the selection of hospitality flatscreens is growing.

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The two PN-G655U/RU 65in. monitors from Sharp are designed for landscape (PN-G655U) and portrait (PN-G655RU) orientation. With a full 1920×1080 2-megapixel high-definition resolution and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, the monitors offer accurate image reproduction and a bright picture in virtually any lighting condition. To show multiple types of content sources in HD, the monitors use dual-fine engine (DFE) technology, which enables the presentation of both digital and analog sources so the lobby display can present computer and video content flawlessly. In addition, Sharp's PN-525U 52in. professional-grade LCD monitor is designed for the most demanding digital-signage and lobby-display applications in both landscape and portrait modes, with a unique fanless design and backlight system. The monitor has anti-glare and low-reflection properties, enabling it to be placed in brighter areas where other screens might appear washed out; its 176-degree viewing angle help the monitor display a crisp picture that can be seen from virtually anywhere in the room. A black TFT/bright-pixel-elimination feature ensures that if a failed pixel occurs on the PN-525U, it is effectively invisible to the viewer.

Sony FWD-S47H1

Sony FWD-S47H1

Sony wants to make lobby displays simple with its SimpleSign40 40in. LCD. Sony's SimpleSign line of LCD flatpanels comes with all the accessories needed for SimpleSignage, and its SimpleSign40 can lend an elegant look to any foyer, vestibule, or lobby. The SimpleSign40 can easily be programmed for energy-saving on/off scheduling. For start-up digital signage, Sony's SimpleSign kit includes a choice of 26in. or 32in. display, a BKM-FW50 digital-signage card, a CompactFlash card, a CompactFlash card reader, and a Quick Start guide. It even comes with Sony Vegas 8 content-creation software for professional-looking information display creation. Just save content to the supplied 1GB CompactFlash card, insert the card in the SimpleSign slot, and the content will playback automatically. For higher-end digital signage running 24/7, Sony offers the 47in. FWD-S47H1, a full high-definition 1920×1080 panel with burn-in-resistant LCD technology and networking and tuner options. If your lobby environment extends to an outdoor area, Sony's GXDL52H1 52in. public LCD display boasts robust construction, tempered glass, and a unique cooling system that does not use air suction but circulates air inside the unit.

The 42in. CD4220 commercial display from ViewSonic features an elegant slim-bezel design, 500-nit brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio, and wide viewing angles to clearly communicate its message regardless of ambient light. It is RS-232 daisy-chainable and offers 5×5 videowall capability. The 1080i 8-millisecond panel boasts sophisticated plug-and-play connectivity to other HD devices and content and, in case it is set up in areas that do not require 24/7 operation, internal on/off scheduling. You can even add audio to your lobby display's video content with detachable loudspeakers. The CD4220 has a choice of loudspeakers, and installation options include a VESA wall mount or a stand. That content can come from an NMP-530 network media player, and you can choose scheduling software from Best Wave to implement a highly flexible lobby-display presentation.

Westinghouse Digital Electronics VM-47F140S

Westinghouse Digital Electronics VM-47F140S

Westinghouse Digital Electronics calls its 42in. VM-42F140S and 47in. VM-47F140S commercial LCD monitors “concierge displays” for use in various kinds of lobbies. Both feature 1920×1080 resolution with what they refer to as “1080Pure” for 1080p presentation out of all HD connectors. The company offers bidirectional RS-232C communication; discrete RS-232 commands; built-in loudspeakers; a full suite of connectors, including HDMI, DVI, YPbPr, VGA, and composite/S-Video; and Westinghouse Electronics' SpineDesign construction for easy cable management and convenient media-box access. To enhance the display's information, Westinghouse offers its proprietary neonSource as a simple way for businesses to showcase their own banner ads or scrolling text on any size flatpanel display while customers are watching selected programming. It also includes a component input for connection to external devices such as a DVD player or cable box. For preloaded information, Westinghouse Digital also offers neonNow with professionally designed templates for businesses that do not wish to create their own content and neonPlayer, which is a compact content-management box with a 2.3GHz dual-core CPU and a 160GB hard-disk drive in a sleek horizontal set-top-box-style chassis.

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