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LED/LCD Monitors

May 23, 2012 2:20 PM, By Mark Johnson

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LG 55EM9600 Cinema 3D

LG 55EM9600 Cinema 3D

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.

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