[visionlist] CRT monitor solutions

Sol Simpson sol at sr-research.com
Tue Nov 10 03:23:49 PST 2009

There are true 120 hz LCD monitors available now:

Samsung 2233RZ
ViewSonic VX2265wm

We have tested these using the BBTK and found that as long as all
appropriate drivers and cables are used:

1) They do run at a true 120 hz
2) They do not have any internal frame buffering etc.
3) The average delay between when the video card indicates the start of a
retrace and when the light key fires is about 1/2 the response time of 3
msec with sub-msec sdev.
4) They seem to update the display in a scanning fashion like a CRT, i.e. a
light key placed at the bottom of the monitor fires about 1 retrace after
the light key at the top fires. 

We only looked at refresh rate timing and precision, not at things like
color range etc, so it is likely that these LCDs are still not good for a
lot of research, but they are at least getting better. ;)


-----Original Message-----
From: visionlist-bounces at visionscience.com
[mailto:visionlist-bounces at visionscience.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Watson
Sent: November-02-09 7:03 PM
To: visionlist at visionscience.com
Subject: Re: [visionlist] CRT monitor solutions

Debora, Daniel, VisionList,

I asked around about the TMOS technology, and got the following  
cautionary reply:

> TMOS display technology is being developed by a company called  
> UniPixel
> Displays in Texas.  It is an interesting concept, but as far as I  
> know no
> one has ever actually seen one of these devices in operation.  It is  
> similar
> to another MEMs device by a company called Pixtronix.  The Pixtronix  
> display
> is much further along, and it was demonstrated at SID last year.  I  
> was
> impressed with the Pixtronix prototype and the potential of the  
> technology.
> Both of these concepts are similar to the DLP, but while the DLP  
> chip is
> very small and the image is projected up, the TMOS and Pixtronix  
> displays
> required a MEMs chip the size of the image.  Given the difficulty  
> that TI
> had achieving reliable manufacturing of even a very small MEMs chip,  
> it
> remains to be seen whether much larger MEMs arrays can be reliably and
> cost-effectively manufactured.

On Oct 27, 2009, at 10:44 AM, Daniel Reetz wrote:

> Hi Deborah, Visionlist,
> I have been actively researching future displays for the last three
> years, in part to get to the future of high dynamic range imaging (I
> work in a lab that studies Brightness, a high-frequency capable HDR
> display is one of our white whales).

> ...portions deleted
> Now the other technology that I mentioned is called TMOS. It was just
> recently announced, it is a brand new type of display that relies on
> MEMS technology, like DLP. Personally, I am very excited about this
> technology. The first thing that it has going for it is that it needs
> no new fabrication facilities. It can be made in ordinary LCD
> fabrication plants. That means the time-to-market should be short
> relative to OLED, which is still not cheaply or widely available. TMOS
> means "Time Multiplexed Optical Shutter". Basically, it is a display
> scale DLP device. Each pixel is a little mirror, capable of 2
> microsecond on/off times. They are situated above a backlight/FTIR
> light pipe which is being lit with LEDs that are modulated extremely
> quickly. Color is generated by flashing the mirrored element on and
> off over this blinking backlight as it transitions from R to G to B.
> Early claims from engineering/marketing people are 300hz refresh
> rates. If they meet 20% of that, we won't be doing too badly. And for
> those of us who study vision without color, that backlight can be
> comprised of only white LEDs, allowing for very, very good temporal
> resolution. In addition, the time-critical nature of this display
> (meaning, that the backlight must be refreshed exactly with the
> mirrored pixels, unlike LCD or LCoS, but like DLP) should presumably
> mean that timing is taken seriously with respect to input as well,
> though, since I have seen/analyzed no prototypes, this is just wishful
> thinking/speculation.
> I think LCoS may be a good interim solution (especially because JVC is
> trying to work with the high-end market, see , and TMOS may be the
> best future solution. Perhaps the vision community could get in touch
> with UniPixel or Samsung (the TMOS people) and play with
> prototypes/help guide development. It seems that all of us could use a
> standard display with good luminance, 200:1contrast, and fast temporal
> response (reliable 60hz, 8bit per primary), but furthermore, we could
> all use purpose-built displays. Because the TMOS technology is simply
> on-off at its core, there is no reason not to support, for example,
> more than three primaries, infrared plus RGB, or two whole different
> color sets defined by two different sets of primaries. (A photopic and
> scotopic display in one!). People interested in color could select
> their primaries of interest, and people interested in time could
> select fewer primaries to optimize temporal properties. Furthermore,
> since TMOS is completely digital, maybe we can get rid of all those
> nasty analog processors and drive the things ourselves, directly over
> DVI, or some other digital interface. Removing the analog-digital
> conversion step (with all the associated hardware voodoo/signal
> processing) would be a boon to vision researchers everywhere.
> In my mind, this is a technology that has the potential to be a magic
> bullet for vision research.They're talking about releases in Q1 2010.
> If you are at all interested, I hope you'll consider making the
> desires of the vision community known to them so we don't lose another
> interesting display down the "cheaper faster crappier" consumer-tech
> plug hole.
> Regards,
> Daniel Reetz
> PS. Their approach to color-breakup problems is interesting:
> http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2007016511
> On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 7:51 PM, Deborah Apthorp
> <deboraha at psych.usyd.edu.au> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm currently looking into purchasing some high-end CRT monitors  
>> for our
>> psychophysics lab. So far I am having a great deal of trouble  
>> finding anyone
>> who is still manufacturing CRT monitors, and the refurbished Sony and
>> Mitsubishi models we have are slowly dying. CRS only sells theirs  
>> as part of
>> the Visage package. My only lead so far is for a refurbished Fimi  
>> MGD 403
>> grayscale monitor for $3200 (ex-medical, I think). Has anyone found a
>> reliable supplier, or is there going to be a viable alternative to  
>> CRTs (for
>> instance, OLEDs?) in the near future? Otherwise, what are old-school
>> psychophysicists going to do? I would be very interested to hear  
>> opinions on
>> this.
>> Thanks,
>> Deborah Apthorp
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