By Brian Huff On June 07, 2012
If you’ve been watching the
trade press recently, you
know that Panasonic and
NHK just unveiled a 145-inch ultra-high definition
plasma display. One hundred and
forty-five inches diagonal with no mullions!
That’s roughly the size of a two-bay garage
door. The resolution is 7680 x 4320 pixels
(8K), detailed enough to see the brand mark
on a golf ball at 20 yards.
These new jumbo displays will undoubtedly
follow the usual trajectory of market adoption:
trade shows and staging, then penthouse
apartments, then high-end entertainment
venues, then retail, then corporate
boardrooms, then training and classrooms, and
then seemingly overnight, your family room.
At six feet high, they’re big enough to use as a
display for detailed text viewing in a classroom
or boardroom where the furthest viewer is
24 feet from the screen. For PowerPoint the
distance becomes 36 feet, and 48 feet for
general graphics viewing. In your family room,
they’ll provide a near-immersive experience
for gaming, sports, concerts, and movies.
And it won’t stop with plasma. LED, OLED,
Quantum Dot, and other display technologies
are on their way in these mega formats. You
see where this is going, right? The days are
numbered for the screen/projector combo,
and it won’t be long before displays of this
size are thin, light, touch-sensitive, flexible,
and cost effective. They’ll be bright, highcontrast,
and have enough detail to play Angry
Birds standing up. Go ahead and scoff, but the
day is not too far away when video projectors,
mounts, and screens are being carted off to
the recycling center by the truckload. Is that a
good thing? In a word, yes.
OLED displays have a lifespan of 25,000
to 40,000 hours to half brightness versus
mercury-based projection lamps with a
2,000-3,000 hour life. That’s 12 to 20 years
of use at 40 hours a week versus 12 to 18
months per projection lamp. Emissive displays
are bright enough to leave the shades up in
many situations, so building energy controls
don’t have to be overridden. LED, OLED, and
QD displays use a fraction of the energy of
traditional display technologies, and many of
the new manufacturing processes are heavymetal
free and use 100-percent recyclable
materials. You will finally be able to specify
a complete large classroom AV system that’s
almost entirely Energy Star compliant.
|Panasonic and NHK recently unveiled a 145-inch ultra-high-definition plasma display.
Personally, I’m looking forward to the
day when a typical AV system consists of a
wall-sized, wireless, high-contrast, paperthin,
roll-up, 4-8k resolution, mercury and
cadmium-free display, with NO local cabling,
interfacing, switching, routing, or racks,
consuming only 50 watts, and running sans
wire on a 1TbE LAN. The idea of the presenter
and audience showing up with nothing more
than iPads appeals to both the tree-hugging
environmentalist and the geeked-out
technophile in me.
Yes, I know, we’ll still need wired AC
power unless and until biological organisms
can withstand enough microwave radiation to
beam Scotty up, and yes, loudspeakers still
need to actually move air, but that’s not the
point. We humans have proven to be pretty
good at stretching technology beyond its
specified limits, and it’s only a matter of time
before SMART Technologies, Tidebreak, Intel,
Google, Apple, or maybe your company will
develop a turnkey, tablet-based, WiDi, 200-
inch, Ultra-Def, 3D classroom AV system, i.e.
the “killer learning app” for the presentation,
training, and education markets.
Brian E. Huff, LEED AP, DMC-E is an Associate Principal
at Vantage Technology Consulting Group with offices
in New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Boston, MA, and
Los Angeles, CA. He is a member of the InfoComm
Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP)
committee, and served as the moderator of the ANSI
/ InfoComm Standard Guide for Audiovisual Systems
Design and Coordination Processes committee.