In recent years, monitors have become larger, sharper and bigger, but the basic cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology hasn't changed in decades. New liquid crystal display (LCD) technologies - like active matrix - have become larger, sharper and brighter, but they are still at least two to three times the price of comparable CRT monitorsLCD MONITORS, with their greater usable viewing area, are particularly attractive to niche markets seeking videoconferencing, full-motion video capabilities, and the ability to view multiple windows.
Geoff Cottee, product manager, Data Technology for NEC's Home Electronics Group, told Australian Reseller News that in the short term NEC is keen to move quickly into the LCD business. The company will be introducing a 15in and 18in and "perhaps a 20in" LCD monitor in the middle of 1998. Cottee agrees that there are specific project business opportunities for LCD monitors and, while he doesn't envisage them replacing CRT immediately, he believes that by late 1999 manufacturers will be heading this way. At this time, Cottee believes that LCD monitors will start to eat into the CRT monitor business because of their space and energy saving features. "The LCD manufacturing process has taken a while to develop, but it is now ready," he said.
Peter Atton, marketing coordinator of LG Electronic's Information Technology Division, also predicts the future in favour of LCD technology: "I see LCD technology being one of the future smash hits, but price to screen size will take some time to reach the volume sales area."
LG will release a 15in LCD panel in the first quarter of 1998 and the price is yet to be set. "We also have 17in technology under way but this size will not be seen for some time, owing to production," he added.
Mitsui Computer believes that most consumers will not seriously evaluate or consider buying LCD monitors until the price drops to 1.25 to 1.75 times as much as its CRT equivalent.
"This price barrier is not expected to be broken until after the year 2000," according to a Mitsui spokesperson.
Getting so much bigger
Screen size is another area of development with monitors. The 14in segment is small and the 15in segment is stable and still growing, but according to John Strobel, vice president of business electronics at Philips Consumer Electronics, a 19in monitor is now "the ultimate desktop".
Mitsui Computer agrees that "the 19in class is emerging as an excellent monitor for users who want the benefits and usability of a large screen monitor, but are not willing to pay the high prices of the larger screen monitors".
Atton believes that larger screen area presents dealer opportunities because "as customers become aware of the need for a good monitor and the real price they pay for the lowest possible PC system, the monitor, the thing they look into all day, becomes a prime point of end-user focus."
By contrast, Electronic Resources Australia believes that 17in and 21in screens are currently out of the range of the average consumer, and "while we would like these monitors to become widespread, the 15in monitor will be the mainstream monitor in 1998".
MultiSync E Series. Launched at the end of September, the Enterprise E Series of desktop monitors has been designed especially for mainstream business use. Features of the MultiSync E Series include CromaClear CRT, high vertical and horizontal scan rates, OptiClear screen surface treatment, and "an industry-leading combination of image quality, features and warranty support".
CromaClear CRT, a feature of both the E500 and the E700 monitors, provides a mask pitch of 0.25mm, "exceptional image clarity, focus and intense colour saturation". Cottee also claims that the CromaClear technology "provides sharper, more precise images, superior contrast, and enhanced depth and dimension".
The MultiSync E500 has a horizontal scan range of 31Ð69kHz and a vertical scan range of 55Ð120Hz, supporting a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 65Hz.
The MultiSync E700 features a higher horizontal scan range of 31Ð82kHz and a vertical scan range of 55Ð120Hz, supporting 1280 x 1024 at 75Hz and a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 at 65Hz.
On-screen controls allow fine tuning of images.
Functions such as size, position and other geometric attributes, brightness and contrast can be controlled on-screen. An OSM (on-screen manager) Lockout function, allows the monitor configuration to be standardised across all users.
The OSM control system also provides user definable or industry standard colour temperatures, so that users can adjust the monitor's red, blue and green phosphor guns in precise steps.
Both models are Plug and Play compliant, allowing the monitor to send its capabilities (such as screen size, resolutions supported and refresh rates) directly to the computer.
All models in the MultiSync E Series are EPA Energy Star and NUTEK compliant, and carry a three-year warranty.
The RRP of the MultiSync E500 monitor (15in with 13.8in viewable image size), is $871, and the RRP of the E700 monitor (17in with 15.6in VIS), is $1674.
The RRP of the previously released MultiSync E1100 monitor with a 21in (19.8in VIS) and a 0.28mm dot pitch, flat square technology CRT, has been reduced to $4039.
MultiSync A700 Series. Released in October, the A700 Series monitor has been designed specifically for everyday office and home applications and is suitable for word processing, spreadsheet applications and Internet browsing.
The monitor features a three-year warranty on parts, labour and the CRT.
The MultiSync A700 is a 17in (15.6in VIS) monitor which features a 0.28mm dot pitch flat square technology CRT and OptiClear screen surface treatment to eliminate glare and enhance image contrast and focus.
The horizontal scan range is 31Ð69kHz and the vertical scan range is 55Ð100Hz. The recommended resolution is 1024 x 768 at up to 85Hz. Maximum resolution is 1280 x 1024 at 65Hz.
As with the E Series, on-screen controls allow the fine-tuning of most aspects of the A700's images.
The monitor is Plug and Play compliant, EPA Energy Star and NUTEK compliant, and it complies with TC092.
Both PC and Apple Macintosh systems are supported.
The RRP of the MultiSync A700 monitor is $1449.
MultiSync LCD Monitors. MultiSync LCD monitors offer "superior image quality in a small place". The screen is less than 17cm in depth and the monitors "consume 60 per cent less space and weigh 70 per cent less than comparable CRT monitors".
The LCD400V has a 14.1in screen (14.1in VIS) and the LCD2000 has a 20.1in screen (20.1in VIS).
Most features are common to other MultiSync monitors.
The RRP of the LCD400 is $5005 and the LCD2000 is $15,500.
NEC Home Electronics Group
Tel (02) 9930 2000
Fax (02) 9869 1112
Hyundai monitors, distributed in Australia by Electronic Resources Australia (ERA), carry a three-year on-site warranty.
The 15in and 17in models have Advanced Digital On-Screen Controls (ADOC) which gives the user the flexi- bility to alter the monitor's pre-set settings, including image tilt and colour control.
The monitors also employ Flat Square Tube Technology (FST) which reduces the curvature of the CRT's screen surface, delivering a more consistent display image overall with less edge and corner distortion than found on conventional CRT's.
Each monitor also has anti-glare/anti-static/anti-reflection screen coating, which layers multiple panes of glass.
The layering refracts light away from the viewer while maintaining the resolution quality and helps to reduce electromagnetic fields radiated through the CRT surface.
Hyundai monitors are EPA Energy Star and VESA DPMS-compliant.
DeluxScan 15G+. This monitor features a 15in (13.7in VIS), 0.28mm dot pitch, FST screen with a full 30 to 70kHz horizontal scan. Resolution is up to 1280 x 1024, the refresh rate is 1024 x 768 at 85Hz, and it is Plug and Play compliant. The RRP of the DeluxScan 15G+ is $495.
DeluxScan 17B+. This monitor has a 17in (15.7in VIS), 0.28mm dot pitch, FST screen with the horizontal scan, resolution and refresh rate identical to the 15in model.
The RRP of the DeluxScan 17B+ is $829.
Electronic Resources Australia
Tel (02) 9736 3688
Fax (02) 9736 3889
Tel (07) 3846 2882
Fax (07) 3846 2885
Tel (03) 9646 9388
Fax (03) 9646 0388
Mitsui Computer distributes Corner-stone monitors. Just released is the Color 40/95, a 17in (16.0in VIS) business monitor designed for corporate users. The Color 40/95 has a dot pitch of 0.27mm and a recommended resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 85Hz. The maximum resolution is 1600 x 1200 at 75Hz. The monitor has digital on-screen user controls to adjust image size, centring, geometry, moire reduction, store/recall, brightness and contrast as well as colour temperature. Also incorporated in the monitor are anti-glare, anti-reflective, anti-static treatments to improve screen quality and optimising contrast.
The Color 40/95 has been tested for ergonomics, low emissions and power management, meeting Energy Star and NUTEK standards, and comes with a three-year warranty.
The RRP of the Color 40/95 17in monitor is $1633.
Also available from Mitsui is a 19in and a GreyScale monitor.
Tel (02) 9935 2400
Fax (02) 9935 2500
INFO: www.mitsui.com.au or
4500AX LCD Monitor. Designed for office environments where space is at a premium, and for industrial or laboratory applications where radiation or electronic emissions may interfere with equipment. The screen is 6.3cm deep with a footprint (including stand), of 11.5cm.
Images are displayed in 260,000 colours and pitch is 0.28mm with 1024 x 768 resolution.
The refresh rate is up to 75Hz in the 1024 x 768 mode. And monitors operate in 640 x 480 and 800 x 600 as well as 1024 x 768 resolution modes.
The 4500AX monitor is compatible with VGA, SVGA, VESA and Macintosh. It is Windows 95 (VESA DDCI/2b) compatible and it features a 15-pin D sub connector for full compatibility with standard video cards.
Screen settings are automatically selected with the Auto Setup function, but users may select on-screen displays to guide them through setup and digitally controlled picture and position adjustments.
For multimedia and videoconferencing applications, the 4500AX monitors include built-in 1-watt front firing speakers. Power consumption is 33W maximum.
The RRP of the 4500AX LCD monitor is $6950.
105S 15in Monitor. Designed for home and office use, this monitor supports resolutions of up to 1024 x 768 non-interlaced and ergonomic refresh rates of up to 800 x 600 at 85Hz. Other features include a 15in flat square screen with 0.28mm dot pitch, a dark glass tube, autoscan (30Ð54kHz), Windows 95 and Plug and Play compatible, microprocessor-based digital control of display parameters, instant switching between eight factory preset modes, VESA/NUTEK power management, and low emission MPRII specification.
The RRP of the 105S is $549.
107B 17in Monitor. This monitor supports resolutions of up to 1024 x 768 non-interlaced and ergonomic refresh rates of up to 75Hz. There is a built-in microphone and side-mounted speakers.
Features include a 17in flat square screen with 0.28mm dot pitch, a black matrix dark glass Invar tube with anti-glare and anti-static coating, autoscan (30Ð69kHz), Windows 95 Plug and Play compatible, digital control of display functions with on screen display, 13 factory presets and 17 user-definable modes, colour temperature and RGB adjustment, VESA/NUTEK power management, low emission MPRII/TC092 specifications, and an earphone socket.
The RRP of the 107B is $1099.
Philips Electronics Australia
Tel 1800 658 086
Fax (02) 9929 4784
Hitachi Super TFT Monitor. This 13.3in monitor uses a new Hitachi-patented technology known as In-Plane Switching (IPS) TFT, that offers users the benefits of the wide viewing angle traditionally found on CRT monitors (with no colour shift) and extended resolution plus over 16 million colours.
The monitor has a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 with standard CRT multi-scan operation allowing changes to other resolution modes such as 640 x 480 and 800 x 600 with accurate pixel reproduction. Plug and Play under Windows 95 is supported, ensuring that the Super TFT panel can replace an existing CRT monitor by interchanging the signal plug.
The dimensions of the monitor are 365W x 315H x 199D mm, depth of display is 85mm and the weight is 6kg. Power consumption is 45W and DPMS power management further lessens power use in non-active times.
The RRP of the Hitachi Super TFT monitor is $5000.
Hitachi Australia Limited
Tel (02) 9888 4100
Fax (02) 9888 4188
Compaq TFT500. Designed to meet the specific requirements of the financial and healthcare industries, this flat panel monitor features a small footprint for when multiple monitors are required, and a large, high-quality screen. Additional features are a resolution of 1024 x 768 at 75Hz, an anti-reflective screen coating, and an additional glass pane which also serves as protection for the display. The monitor has a 15.1in VIS.
There are on screen controls for easy access to screen functions and a side-to-side viewing capability of 120 degrees. Three specific mounting schemes are offered to provide easy adaptation to custom arrangements and space saving options.
The display can be mounted on its standard base with a 40-degree vertical tilt function; or removed from its base, allowing mounting directly on a wall or into a custom enclosure; or the display can be mounted on the desk swing arm allowing horizontal movement with a 360 degree turning radius.
Five specific environmental standards have been met with the TFT500, including Energy Star, MPRII, CFC Manufacturing, CE Mark Specification, and TCO 95.
The RRP of the TFT500 is $6795.
Tel (02) 9911 1999
Fax (02) 9911 1800
In addition to its planned release of a 15in LCD panel in the first quarter of 1998, LG will introduce a perfectly flat screen 17in monitor in the first half of 1998. The new technology is from LG's company in the US, Zenith Technologies. "As a 17in monitor, it is CRT, but with a new treatment for the mask."
The price is not yet available.
Tel (02) 9888 1311
Fax (02) 9888 1994
Funai has arrived in Australia - resellers wantedFrom mid-November, Funai monitors will be available in Australia. Funai, a Taiwanese OEM, manufactures audio-video, environmental control and information technology equipment.
As an example, the 15in (13.7in viewable) digi-tally controlled colour monitor - FunaiView 1554GD - is described as "a 15in high performance monitor with ultra-high refresh rate 85Hz at resolution 1024 x 768.
Its Plug and Play feature automatically adjusts to the optimal performance on resolution and refresh rate supported by the given computer system."
Full details of the monitors, which will be available in Australia and New Zealand, are available on the Web at www.funai.com.tw/. The importer recommends them as "price conscious and offering an excellent margin for resellers". Each monitor has a three-year onsite warranty. The RRP is $295 for the 14in (1454GD), $355 for the 15in (1554GD), and $780 for the 17in (1770GD).
DAT Computers is currently establishing distribution channels across the country and in New Zealand and any interested distributors or resellers are invited to contact:
DAT Computers P/L
Tel (02) 9736 2688
Fax (02) 9736 1988