Digital View helps enable the making of video monitors and display systems by designing and supplying LCD controller boards and related accessories, eg cables and add-on boards, suitable for use with LCD panels of all resolutions from 640x480 up to 4K.
The target finished video monitors and display systems are typically for non-consumer type applications such as digital signage, large touch screen monitors, displays in transport, inflight entertainment displays, security, defense etc. A part of the product portfolio is focused on systems in harsher environments considering factors such as temperature, humidity and vibration.
Digital View's main product is the LCD controller board together with some related accessories, see 'What is a LCD controller?" for more details on this.
The LCD controller is the interface circuitry between the video input such as HDMI, Displayport, DVI, VGA, SDI, HD-BaseT etc and the LCD panel (which has a different signal format such as LVDS, V-by-One, eDP, TTL). In addition Digital View LCD controllers provide functions such as brightness adjustment, other display settings, remote control and, depending on model, many other value added functions.
The most basic parts of a monitor or video display include:
• LCD panel
• LCD controller
• Backlight driver (if not built into the LCD panel)
• Buttons for the menu
• Power supply
Depending on the requirements for the display system or the intended market display manufacturers may add other features such as remote control and remote monitoring, Digital View LCD controllers can enable this.
Safe to say everyone is familiar with TV's, desktop computer monitors, and the displays on laptops, tablets and cell phones all relying on LCD display technology. LCD displays have also enabled an incredible variety of other display products, some examples that are relevant and use Digital View LCD controllers:
• Digital signage displays, for these the LCD panel needs to be highly reliable and designed to run for more hours per day than a TV or normal monitor. It may also need to be much brighter. Also many different sizes are required, for example a portrait display used as a digital poster or a banner type display as used on top of a taxi.
• Video walls, for these the LCD panels need very narrow bezels, recent models are as thin as 0.8mm.
• Many applications require displays with industry specific approvals, this can be a long and expensive process so long life cycle components are important to ensure consistent supply over the production of the display system. Consumer models of LCD panels as used in TV's or monitor are frequently modified with new versions.
• Transport related displays are often required to work in very bright or low light conditions.
• Military related displays can have many different requirements depending on specific applications. This might relate to the brightness, robustness, color...
• The broadcast industry often requires displays to meet certain standards for use in broadcast applications. For example specific color temperature settings and the ability to calibrate colors.
There are so many different requirements for different industries that there is also a significant market for LCD panel (the LCD component) enhancement. This includes:
• Cutting LCD panels to create banner type panels.
• Adding filters to change the viewing characteristics.
• Modifying the backlight, for example adding low light backlight capabilities or changing the backlight to make the display sunlight readable.
• Bonding protective glass to the LCD panel, for example for touch screens or as protection for displays in public places.
Companies making LCD panels include the following listed below, this is far from being a full list and you can see more on our Controller Solution Generator page, CSG.
(Note: LCD panel company websites rarely showing the up to date product range, it is best to contact them or a Digital View reseller as they usually also sell LCD panels, if you would like a reference please contact us).
• AUO (Taiwan): Large and high-bright displays for commercial and signage applications. www.auo.com
• BOE (China): Large panels for corporate and signage applications. www.boe.com
• Innolux (China): www.innolux.com
• KOE: For industrial, medical and broadcast applications. www.koe.j-display.com
• Mitsubishi (Japan): For industrial applications. www.mitsubishi.com
• Tianma NLT: Industrial panels for a wide range of industry specific applications. www.tianma.cn/
• LG Display (S Korea): www.lgdisplay.com
• Samsung (S Korea): www.samsung.com
• Sharp (Japan): www.sharp-world.com
All Digital View resellers (see here) also sell certain brands of LCD panel, if you would like to discuss this please contact us.
LCD panel characteristics:
• Size: Small enough for a watch up to around 100" diagonal. Digital View controllers are typically used with panels that are 7" diagonal or larger, the criteria is panel signal and resolution but most of the compatible panels tend to be 7" or larger.
• Resolution: Most LCD panels used in commercial applications will have a resolutions that falls somewhere within the range of 640x480 to 3840x2160.The original VGA resolution of 640x480 is still very much around but the trend has been to higher resolutions. Many industrial displays are around 1280x720, corporate and signage displays are usually at 1920x1280 or 3840x2160. Special banner displays will have unique resolutions such as 1920x480, sometimes these are referred to as stretch panels.
• Brightness: Most LCD panels are around 250nit typical brightness but models go as high as 5,000nit. Models for commercial applications are typically brighter than for consumer products in the 350nit to 700nit range. Brightness levels of 700nit and over are typically specified for outdoor applications.
• Power supply: LCD panels typically require 3.3v or 5v or 12v or 18v and generally draw little power however there will lilely be a higher startup power requirement. The backlight driver may require a different voltage and will draw more power.
• Signal format: For example LCD panel signal types include LVDS, V-by-One, eDP, TTL, MIPI
• Operating temperature tolerance: Some panels are designed to withstand higher temperatures for industrial and harsh environment type applications.
• Backlight: Although nearly all LCD panels use LED backlights these days the requirements to drive these backlights for optimal performance can vary significantly.
• Target application: Some LCD panels will be designed for specific applications such as automotive instrumentation or as a medical imaging display.
A high TNI LCD panel is one designed so prevent blackening when the display operates under higher temperature conditions such as outdoors where there is both high ambient temperatures and inevitably a high bright backlight. A typical operating temperature rating for a high TNI panel is likely to be in the range of 110°C to 110°C, this compares to a normal LCD panel operating temperature of 50°C.
Possible applications for high TNI LCD panels include:
- Outdoor digital signage
- Marine monitors
- Automotive monitors
- Military applications
LCD panels with super wide aspect ratios, standard aspect ratios are 4:3 or 16:9 as used in laptops, monitors and TV's, have become increasing popular for signage type applications. There are essentially two types of wide panel, cut and masked. Cut are panels that are literally cut from larger sizes of standard LCD panels, masked are where the panel is designed to that size from the beginning.
DDC stands for Display Data Channel and refers to a set of commands defined by VESA that pass between a monitor and graphics card to communicate settings. These are in addition to the video signal itself. The /Ci (Command interface) extension refers to an update to the standard for bi-directional communication, ie the monitor can report back to the graphics card.
Converting HDMI to LVDS is the function of Digital View controller boards like the DT-1920-HDMI
, it accepts a HDMI 1920x1080 video signal and converts that to a 1920x1080 resolution LVDS signal. For a list of other models including higher resolution support see the LCD controller board summary.
SDM (Smart Display Module) in a compute board platform designed by Intel for integration into monitors and displays. Digital View currently has two controller boards with SDM sockets: SDM-1920-LVDS
, and SVX-4096-SDM