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Comdex: Monitors show dual analog/digital skills

November 19, 1999
Web posted at: 10:04 a.m. EST (1504 GMT)

by Margret Johnston


LAS VEGAS (IDG) -- Flat-screen monitor manufacturers ViewSonic, NEC, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Electronics are showing dual analog and digital liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for desktop PCs at Comdex this year.

Over the next four to five years PCs will begin shifting from analog to digital signal output, changing the way computers drive displays and eliminating the need to convert the monitor signal to analog, according to major monitor manufacturers displaying at the show.

"Digital has become much more important as a future interface," said Sally C. Wang, a product line manager for ViewSonic. So users who want to invest in a flat panel LCD don't have to worry about its compatibility with future digital output, Wang and other manufacturers said.

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HP was one of the first manufacturers to begin shipping its dual analog/digital LCD monitor. The 15-inch Pavilion FX70 Flat Panel Display, priced at $1,099, became available for purchase online Aug. 31. The display has one conventional analog port and a second connection that supports the leading digital visual interface (DVI) standard as well as the digital flat panel (DFP) standard and the plug and display (P&D) standard.

ViewSonic has just begun shipping the 18-inch VP181, priced at $3,795, and the 15-inch VP151, priced at $1,795. Both LCD ViewPanels incorporate two digital inputs and two analog inputs as well as a video input.

The VP181 offers a maximum resolution of 1,600-by-1,200 pixels, while the VP151 offers a maximum resolution of 1,280-by-1,024 pixels, Wang said. The display also incorporates 160-degree wide viewing range, turns to a portrait (vertical) position optimal for users doing page layouts, and detaches for wall mounting.

ViewSonic also announced plans to ship 19-inch and 17-inch flat screen CRTs that support analog and digital connections. The OptiSync PF97 and OptiSync PF77 PerfectFlat displays are due to ship in February, Wang said. The PF97 is priced at $625 and the PF77 is priced at $429.

NEC's dual analog/digital monitors use a technology that NEC calls Ambix, a name created from the word ambidextrous, said Todd Fender, product manager in NEC's personal display division.

The advantage of digital input is that the signal sent by the PC doesn't have to be converted to analog, so signal loss is virtually eliminated, Fender said. NEC adopted the DVI standard, but the monitor also supports the DFP and P&D standards.

Both the 15-inch MultiSync LCD1525X and the MultiSync LCD1810X have one integrated analog and digital connection as well as one dedicated analog port. The MultiSync LCD1525X will begin shipping in December and the MultiSync LCD1810X will be available in March, Fender said. Prices were not available.

Samsung Electronics announced during Comdex that it has completed development of its dual analog/digital SyncMaster 990 DVI, a 19-inch flat-screen monitor. Resolution of 1,600 by 1,280 pixels makes the SyncMaster 990 DVI well suited for computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and graphics applications, Samsung said in release.

The SyncMaster 990 DVI will be available on the market from the end of November.

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