Bigger is in, wider is better.
By Molly Joss
The 16 x 9 format is the international standard of high-definition televisions (HDTV) as used in the United States and is the default aspect ratio for digital video cameras. Hence, digital photographers and videographers feel comfortable with the format and it even feels familiar to still-image graphic artists because it’s the format used in movie theaters and HDTV sets. The 4 x 3 format is still used for standard televisions and digital photography. Even so, the 16 x 9 format can be found in digital cameras for the graphic arts.
People who spend a lot of their work time looking at and editing digital images, says Weis, seem to prefer wide-screens that are 20 in. and larger. "The 24-in. model has been popular," he says, referring to the 245BW model Samsung launched a few months ago. The company is planning to release another 24-in. monitor (the XL24) and an even larger 30-in. unit (the XL30) by the middle of 2008. NEC is also planning to release a 30-in. model in the next few months, and Apple makes a 30-in. Cinema HD display.
Improved color gamut, greater RGB color space
Some monitor companies are, for the first time, using LED backlighting in a few monitors to boost the color gamut and color-display capabilities of an LCD monitor. Although using an LED backlight instead of the customary fluorescent tubes is more expensive, it allows manufacturers to make thinner monitors that consume less power.
Up until now, LED backlighting technology has been limited to use in more expensive laptop LCD displays because of the cost of the LEDs. LED backlit monitors are also mercury-free. Standard LCD displays contain mercury and thus require special disposal handling when the displays are no longer needed.
Using LEDs to backlight an LCD display allows a manufacturer to bump up the color gamut of an LCD monitor. Case in point: the 21-in. NEC MultiSync LCD2180WG LED. Released in March 2007, this NEC monitor with LED backlighting can display more than 100% of the Adobe RGB and NTSC color spaces, according to Stan Swiderski, an NEC product manager. ViewSonic and Samsung also have announced larger size wide-screen LCDs with LED backlighting.