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Another step towards cheaper TFT-LCD monitors

Samsung goes volume with 15in smart displays

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Samsung is kicking its 15-inch TFT-LCD XGA-resolution display panel into mass production.

The sample price of the LTM150XH is $350, which includes built-in video-input, but isn't going to set the world alight. However, the mass production move should mark another step in the price fall of TFT-LCD monitors.

The panel is a smart display, which according to Pete Gamby, editor of trade news letter Display Monitor, means "a five year old kid in a garage could stick it in a case, add a power supply and cable" to make a monitor.

Smart display panels come with all the built in electronics and controllers you could want, but give the monitor manufacturers less opportunity to add their own value or differentiate their product. Display panels come in two other forms: integrated panels which come without video controllers; and the plane glass crystal displays which require manufacturers to source everything else.

Because Samsung is a major player, and it's kicking into mass production with these smart panels, it "should mean LCD panels should come cheaper," says Gamby.

Though $350 isn't cheap for a monitor, let alone a display, it isn't representative of what the pricing of TFT-LCD monitors could become. It's a sample price, and once economies of volume manufacturing hit, and monitor manufacturers can add nothing but a small margin for their case work, the price should fall.

The average price for a TFT-LCD panel is between $180 and $200 according to Display Monitor.

The Samsung tech specs say the LTM150XH offers: a response time of 25 ms; contrast ratio of 300:1; enhanced brightness of 330 nits; wide viewing angle of 120 degrees horizontal:100 degrees vertical; and XGA resolution of 1024 x 768. The display's 8-bit colour enables it to reproduce true colour images displaying 16.7 million colours. ®

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