Cheshire, England, September 7, 2004--The juggernaut liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel industry is exploiting its technological base to create ever-larger displays, resulting in products that may soon have it all over plasma display-panels (PDPs). The latest example of this is a line of large digital-signage LCDs introduced by Global Display Solutions (GDS) Ltd. that includes high-brightness industrial-quality 46-in. displays.
While PDPs provide high initial brightness, they fade in brightness over time; in addition, they are power-hungry and produce a good deal of heat. In contrast, LCDs tend to hold color and brightness and, because they depend on cold-cathode fluorescent tubes (or sometimes light-emitting diodes) for light, are relatively cool and efficient.
The desirable qualities of modern LCDs are a direct result of the rise of the laptop computer, which has allowed a once-expensive and esoteric technology to undergo years of basic advances and fine-tuning. Early laptops--those expensive, weighty things first toted by airport-hopping execs--had LCDs with sub-VGA resolution, small viewing angles, a patchy, eye-straining appearance, and high failure rates. But execs kept buying them, providing the foundation for an enormous and sustained R&D effort. The equipment for manufacturing LCDs also underwent much development, pushing size limits and screen resolution steadily upward.
The "e-Signage" LCDs launched by GDS are intended to provide information, advertising and crowd control opportunities for a range of industries, including transport (airport terminals, train and bus stations, and so on), retail, entertainment, advertising, banking, education (schools, colleges), and corporate entertainment. The three sizes of displays--32, 37, and 46 in.--have been designed by architect Michele De Lucchi and have a removable frame that enables the displays to be paneled together behind a single pane of glass, giving the impression of a single extra-large display. A robust and modular industrial design enables the LCDs to operate efficiently 365 days a year. They are vandal-proof and have been designed to be aesthetically pleasing from all angles, including the back (no cabling is visible).
GDS's large-screen LCDs have the following specifications: an aspect ratio of 16:9; resolutions of WXGA (32 and 37 in.) and HDTV (46 in.); an RGB vertical-stripe pixel configuration; typical brightnesses of 500 cd/m2 (32 and 37 in.) and 600 cd/m2 (46 in); a contrast of 800:1; a 170º viewing angle both vertically and horizontally; and a surface treatment that includes low-reflection and hard coatings.