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April 7th, 2011

Many technological advances (the Internet, monitors, computers) have been driven by overwhelming consumer demand for games . To satisfy gamers, who spend a lot on both hardware and software, R&D money has continued to pour into the development of ever-better display technology and graphics processors.

Days of future past…3D monitors?

3D MonitorMedia, entertainment and science professionals also rely on the biggest, best and most color-accurate monitors, and these folks are looking forward to hooking one of CRE’s powerful Mac Pro rentals to a new 3D monitor. Apple has continued to upgrade graphics processing across the Macintosh line, and all the models from the latest laptops to the workhorse iMac rentals have display performance that would have seemed miraculous only a few years ago. Adding 3D will be icing on this cake.

Fact is, 3D imaging is nothing new, and existing attempts at 3D displays (for TV or computer) are based on an aging electromechanical approach called “shutter technology.” It displays two images that alternate between the right and left sides of special eyeglasses, the same technology used in movie theaters in the 1950s. Today’s fast LCD monitors and shutters can create these images in higher resolutions with faster refresh rates, which means smooth, clear images.

The real future (of real 3D)

The latest 3D approach dispenses with the eyeglasses, opting instead for a special filter (a parallax barrier) that makes light from the LCD act differently at different angles so that the image shifts between your eyes. This produces a sense of depth without using glasses that can cause eye strain and headaches. The 3D view is important to graphics, media and audio/video pros, but the last thing you need when you’re working on high-res images with one of CRE’s AJA Io HD rentals is blurred vision or a headache.

Monitor and computer makers have been moving gradually from DVI to HDMI since 2008, putting one or the other (or sometimes both, or even adding DisplayPort) on new PCs and displays. You could connect most of CRE’s computer rentals to such a monitor now, with an adapter if necessary, but there are other 3D solutions in the works, too. Volumetric displays rely on rotating arrays of lasers or LEDs to create an image in a field of light, so the monitors can’t be like today’s flat panels (yet). Other major limitations to this newest 3D approach include color issues and high material/manufacturing cost.

Until then…LCD monitors

You will not likely see volumetric displays for five or more years. In the meantime,  LCD monitor rentals are state-of-the-art – and always will be. Call or e-mail an Account Executive today, or use the Quick Rental Quote form, and let us know how we can help you!

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