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Category Archives: Displays

CrystalLine Rear Projection Screens Go Invisible


By Evan Ackerman

Woehburk, a German company (retailers for the heliodisplay, incidentally) have developed an 91% transparent rear-projection screen that looks like a sheet of glass, creating a pseudo-holographic effect of an image displayed in midair. The screen is made of sheets of acrylic or glass with a material between them that turns reflective when activated by a laser, meaning that the screen is only opaque when it’s in use. As with other projectors, the advantages of the medium are that unlike LCD or plasma screens, the CrystalLine can display whatever resolution the projector puts out (going way beyond HD if your projector has the capability), and you can easily increase the image size by moving the projector backwards and stacking more screens together.

Although the screen is scheduled for release in the near future and will be available in sizes up to 135″, some basic information about the CrystalLine isn’t yet available, such as what sort of brightness and contrast you can expect. Woehburk does say that screen was designed to meet “aesthetic requirements,” with a “discrete however impressively bright picture.” Based on that scanty information, I would guess that the CrystalLine would be more appropriate for the novelty factor and low-budget Sci-Fi production rather than hardcore movie watching.

[ Woehburk CristalLine (In German) ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Samsung’s 94 Series Plasma TVs Lose All Cables, Save One

samsung 94 series

By David Ponce

We try not to write about gadgets with more memory, faster connections or marginally improved compatibility with this or that. Who really cares that Cowon’s iAudio 7 comes in 8GB flavors, as opposed to the iAudio6 which came in 4GB? But when we hear about a plasma TV that loses all its cables save the power cord, that’s something to talk about. The recently announced Samsung 94 Series plasma TVs do just. Aside from the power cord, all the connections are delegated to a separate receiver that transmits audio and video (up to 1080i) via 802.11n, all up to 200 feet away. This receiver accepts a variety of connections, including three HDMI 1.3 ports with CEC technology. Over-the-air HDTV channels can be viewed with the built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM digital tuner.

Of course, that only leaves the power cord to hide, but that’s only a detail. Untethering the plasma from all the other cables basically allows you to stick the TV on a wall and hide everything else away, not just the cables. No Xbox, cable box, DVD player, etc. nearby. All that’s left is a lone plasma on a wall, which you damn well better admire just as much as the movies you watch on it, as either of the 50-inch or 58-inch sets will cost you (as CrunchGear’s Doug Aamoth poetically says) a “crotch-punching $3599 and $5299, respectively.”

End of year availability.

[ Press Release (PDF) ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

TWISTER Alternate Universe Machine


By Evan Ackerman

If somebody were to say to me (as people are wont to do), “Quick! Imagine a machine that transports you to an alternate universe!” I would probably picture something that looks (and sounds) almost exactly like TWISTER. TWISTERTWISTER stands for Telexistence Wide-angle Immersive STEReoscope, which means that while you’re not technically transported to an alternate universe, the machine creates one all around you. In 3D. Without any of those annoying and inconvenient accessories like glasses.

TWISTER is comprised of a four foot tall cylindrical array of 50,000 LEDs. The LEDs spin around the viewer 1.6 times per second (or at about 22 mph), creating one continuous 360 degree panorama. The cool part is that as it spins, the LED array draws a slightly different image in front of each eye, which causes you to see things in 3D. This is called binocular parallax… If you cover one eye, and then cover your other eye, you’ll notice that the world looks slightly different out of each one. This is how you perceive depth, and is what TWISTER replicates.

Needless to say, you can’t get the effect through your monitor, but here’s a video of TWISTER in action:

The cameras inside TWISTER reveal its purpose: making long distance 3D telephone calls. I would love to start speculating on other uses for one of these, but the fact is that it’s ginormous and pretty dangerous looking. I mean, what if you accidentally cause a resonance cascade or something? Talk about alternate universes…

[ TWISTER ] VIA [ Pink Tentacle ]

Eizo Releases 24.1 Inch Monitor, World Keeps On Turning


By David Ponce

Either Eizo‘s got some magic in its monitors, or we can’t read specs anymore. See, the company has announced they’re releasing a 24.1 inch monitor called the CG241W, from their ColorEdge series. It’s supposed to be the cream of the crop, aimed squarely at professionals and their fat wallets. But here’s where we’re disconnecting: the specs don’t seem out of this world.

[The monitor] sports a widescreen 1,920 x 1,200 resolution panel and a 178-degree viewing angles. Even better, it offers 300 cd/m2 brightness, 850:1 contrast ratio, and is optimized by the company so it features the most accurate look right out of the box.

As for inputs, it’s got a slew: DVI / VGA inputs, multiple USB 2.0 ports, VESA compatibility and much more.

So, is this enough to justify the $1,718 price tag? It’s got a fancy hood around it, but surely that’s not enough to convince anyone to take a $2k bite out of their budget. There is the possibility that there are more details that we’re not aware of, seeing as the product page is in Japanese. If anyone stumbles on gold there, let us know. Meanwhile, we can tell you that the monitor comes out next month.

One more picture and links after the jump.

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Sanyo’s LP-XL50, A Projector With A (Really) Short Focus


By David Ponce

If you’ve ever set foot in a classroom, you’re aware that now and then, when the teacher is making a presentation, he’ll walk right into the projector beam. This casts unsightly shadows on the screen… and this is apparently enough of a problem for Sanyo to warrant an entirely new product: the LP-XL50 projector. This device has the dubious but rather cool distinction of being able to project an 80 inch, 2,000 lumens image from a scant 8cm away. It uses an ultra-short focal lens, coupled with a new propriety optical engine. Additionally, there’s a a pair of VGA inputs, component, S-Video, and composite connectors, and a built-in two-watt speaker.

Rumored price is ¥600,000 ($4,931), to be available sometime in December.

VIA [ Akihabara News ]

eStarling Digital Photo Frame Accepts Email, Hooks Up With Flickr

estarling photo frame

By David Ponce

Digital picture frames are a dime a dozen. Well, not really, they can get expensive, but the point is they’re usually all the same. The eStarling 2.0 Wi-Fi Photo Frame however adds a couple interesting elements: WiFi connectivity, its own email address and Flickr. So this means that in theory, once you’ve set the frame up, you can email pictures to it, and they’ll instantly display. It only accepts incoming email from addresses you specify, thus reducing your chances of displaying some random Goatse at a polite dinner party. You can even hook it up to a Flickr photo feed, and it’ll automatically update itself with pictures of whatever fetish you’re into.

Other specs are pretty standard, like the fact that it’s got a 7 inch LCD and accepts MMC/SD/MS/CF memory cards.

Of course, these 7 inches don’t come cheap at $250. But hey, this is about as interactive as digital photo frames are going to get these days.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ SciFi Tech ]

Pioneer To Offer HD-licious 20,000:1 Flat Screen TV Line

pioneer hdtv

By David Ponce

HDTVs are really starting to kick into the mainstream, and people are paying attention. One of the most important specs to look at when shopping for a new HDTV is the contrast ratio: the deeper the blacks, the clearer and sharper all the other colors will look. So that’s why we’re excited to hear about Pioneer’s Project Kuro line of high quality flat screens that boast up to 20,000:1 contrast rations, and what they claim are “black levels that are 80% deeper than before”. This is true 20,000:1 contrast, not its puffy cousin “Dynamic contrast”.

The line will include 10 different models, with resolution ranges from 720p at 16,000:1 all the way up to 1080p at 20,000:1, and sizes ranging from 42 inches to 60 inches. No word yet on price, but the lower end models will hit market in June, while the 1080p should come out in September.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Sony Announces Gaudy Go!Cam For The PSP

sony Go!Cam

By David Ponce

The recently announced Go!Cam is a 1.3 MP camera that hooks up to your PSP. With a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo it can record up to 2.5 hours of video, or take up to 40,000 photos. It swivels 180 degrees so you can take pictures/video with the PSP facing either way.

The real question however, is why on earth Sony went with the chrome: it doesn’t match the PSP’s black, and makes it look like a pimp-ish parasitic cyborg took control of your PSPs brains. Of course, what do we really know about color arrangements? Perhaps chrome is the new black. We do know that the Go!Cam will retail for €50 (~$68), and hit European regions (PAL) on May 16.

Only serious problem with this is that you need to be running Firmware 2.80 onwards, making it a choice between your beloved homebrew… and this chrometastic monstrosity.

[ Read More ] VIA [Gizmologia ]

LG LCD Feat. Cirque Du Soleil

xcanvas quidam by lg

By David Ponce

Partnerships in technology are a little like partnerships in rap songs: they just happen, and they don’t always make sense. With that in mind, we should just take it in stride that LG is releasing a new LCD screen that is inspired and named after a Cirque Du Soleil show. It’s called “XCanvas Quidam” and the TV comes in six different sizes. LG chose the name to represent the television’s blend of technology and art. Whether or not that makes an ounce of difference to the end user is probably beside the point here.

Aside from being a little overpriced (32-inch ($1,600) and 42-inch ($3,300)), the TVs do offer auto-adjusting brightness, which can be a nice feature for those of us too lazy to fiddle with image controls.

[ Read More ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]