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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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At of the end of this year, NEC will only be offering commercial-grade monitors, as opposed to TVs with built-in tuners. For lobby displays, NEC's MultiSync 20 Series (32in. to 65in.) benefits from the company's Digital Signage Technology Suite (DSTS), which heralds nearly 30 advanced features to meet professional display needs now and in the future. Earlier this year, NEC announced a partnership with Magnetic Media Holdings that will allow NEC displays to show 3D video content using Magnetic's Enabl3D technology. In October, NEC introduced its new MultiSync P Series with the 22in. P221W-BK LCD (1680×1050) — the first display in NEC's new family of desktop monitors. Featuring hardware color calibration and internal 10-bit programmable look-up tables (LUTs), the P221W LCD monitor delivers accurate color in a simple-to-use and affordable package. In addition, NEC's M Series LCD4020, LCD4620, and LCD5220 monitors offer an ultra-thin bezel design for tiled videowalls up to 5×5; their exclusive panel design leads to less image persistence and a longer display life. Display management controls lower energy consumption and save money while internal temperature sensors control self-protective circuits to minimize heat damage. Three different layers within the panels provide heat control and dispersion, which is aided by a triple-fan system. NEC also offers automated monitor matching and calibration with its SpectraViewII Software.

With its new 32in. LCD display, the TH-32LR11UK, Panasonic now has a complete line of hospitality displays designed to fit the needs of hotel lobbies. Its ultra-thin, space-saving design offers the flexibility of three terminal-board slots concealed in the back of the display panel, which support a variety of PPV/HDTV PPV and PC connections. This includes Panasonic's own IMP-1200 HD hospitality plug-in board tuner with Pro:Idiom Decryption and IMP-1500 that adds H.264 and MPEG-4 decoding so you can customize the panel's display contents according to a lobby's unique system needs. Its 178-degree viewing angle with the IPS-panel double-contrast advanced plasma adaptive-brightness intensifier (AI) combines new digital signal processing and backlight control to produce true-to-life images with the equivalent of a 4000:1 contrast ratio (measured at an angle where the contrast ratio is 10:1 higher) and sharp, crisp blacks.

The WOWvx technology that Philips has built into its autostereoscopic 3D displays leads the industry with its eye-catching appeal. The company's 42in. 42-3D6W02 3D display is currently being marketed in the United States through Electrograph and Richardson Electronics as a 3D lobby LCD display. The Philips 42in. 16×9 3D display boasts nine views so observers can experience the 3D effect from several angles. These lenticular screens benefit from Philips' new processing that is based on its 2D-plus-depth format, which makes them compatible with existing content-creation systems and compression tools. With autosensing between 2D and 3D mode, their additional occlusion information enables a look-around effect that gives the impression of being able to see beyond the screen's borders. But if you want to see a harbinger of the future, try to get a look at a demonstration of Philips' 56in. quad full-HD autostereoscopic 3D display that presents 46 views; you will see how viable glasses-free 3D viewing can potentially be once this marvel is released to the market sometime in mid-2009.

Planar Systems says its m70L is the only 70in. monitor of its kind designed specifically for long-term, year-round operation, making the m70L ideal for applications in high-traffic areas. Expanding Planar's Monitor series (m-series) line of displays for control room, videowall, and digital-signage applications, the m70L boasts full-HD 1080p resolution, an extra-large screen size, 600 nits brightness, and HD-SDI connectivity. The Planar m70L offers a 1500:1 contrast ratio, high-end professional features such as built-in power management and automation, a 178-degree viewing angle, and broad video-source compatibility. Its built-in realtime clock allows users to schedule events such as power on/power off and source switching while Planar's Big Picture and WallNet technologies provide optimum processing and automated display monitoring.

Samsung likes to refer to lobby screens as “digital information displays” (DID). As the world's largest producer of LCD displays, Samsung has the right to coin its own term. If you want to fill your lobby with Samsung hospitality, its huge 82in. 820TSn is actually an infrared (IR) touchscreen display that comes ready to go right out of the box. Scheduling and controlling content is made simple with a built-in PC and proprietary MagicInfo-Pro software. For multiple-panel videowall configurations, Samsung's 460UXn-M is a 46in. stackable, ultra-thin bezel LCD that allows users to quickly build videowalls in less than 1 hour and to control the content remotely. Both of these products should be coming onto the market as you read this. Samsung also offers a built-in PC and lobby-display software that can control multiple video walls with a single server over your network (up to 25 displays per server). All of Samsung's commercial LCD displays benefit from a special heat-diffusion plate that evenly distributes heat across the display to eliminate hot spots.

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