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Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old May 3rd, 2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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Notebook screen as field monitor

I have a compaq notebook computer with a 15" inch screen, the resolution is 1280x720, and I think it would be the perfect field monitor for my rig because it is so light.

You would need an external base that would mount somewhere else on the rig, and then be cabled to the monitor. this would contain the battery and ports and stuff.

My question is, why don't they have monitors like these, all the ones I've seen are very expensive, and most of them are only 800x640 resolution, which frankly, sucks. For HD anyways.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #2
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Thats what I dont understand too. To pick up a 1024x768 carrion LCD for $1500 is seen as REVOLUTIONARY, but almost everyone has a laptop of some sort that has much higher resolution LCD for free!... TOTALLY WIERD.

You can use firewire with Adobe Onlocation but apparently its delayed and crappy (i havent tried myself just heard)

Can someone educate us on this weird phenomenon?
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Old May 4th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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Probably has a lot to do with the fact that the PC includes a lot of electronic stuff to drive the display and much less to do with the cost of the actual LCD display itself.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #4
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ok, so it would be easy to pick up a $400 3 year old laptop with a decent 15" or so 720p display. Couldn't somebody take this apart and detach the screen, and then use a longer cable so the screen can be mounted seperate, and then mount the rest of the laptop seperately as a base.

Getting to the bigger picture, why is it that I can buy a brand new laptop for $700-800, which includes, Operating System, drives, processer, keyboard...etc. But if I just want that same screen + the base that carries the battery, connector and processor that creates the signal, its costing $2k?
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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Probably has a lot to do with the fact that the PC includes a lot of electronic stuff to drive the display and much less to do with the cost of the actual LCD display itself.
Could you please elaborate on this - I dont think Im understanding correctly.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #6
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Just because two devices seem to have some components in common, doesn't mean they are the same or can do the same. I'll refrain from very obvious examples...

Anyway, to "drive" a LCD screen you need a LCD "driver board". This is the hardware that controls the display panel. Google this if you please.

I have no idea if a GA (general availability) board can drive the LCD panel in the '3 year old laptop' you may want to pick up. Connections are standardized, but there are a few and for a notebook it may be totally different/brand specific/proprietary. To make sure you will need to know the specifics of that particular panel. The hardware drive is usually integrated in the notebooks mainboard.

There are DIY kits with panels and drivers to (sort of) "build your own TV" and also boards and panels available for product development.

I hope this provides some insight.

George/
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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As George pointed out, the screen assembly from a notebook PC is connected to the video driver circuit on the "motherboard".

Just tearing the screen off the PC would leave you with some kind of flat cable sticking out. Now you have to figure out how to do everything that the video control logic in the PC does in order to interface this cable to your camera in a practical way. I can guarantee that it isn't just a simple matter of sticking the cable into the camera.

Actually, you have to do more - you have to figure out how to electronically interface the camera to whatever you come up with to drive the screen.

In any case, you'll need quite a bit of detailed technical information about the interfacing/driving requirements of the specific display panel you took off the PC. For an old panel of unknown origin from an old PC you'll probably have a lot of electrical engineering detective work to do. And errors can blow away your panel while you're at it.

If I were an electrical engineer and wanted a fun technical project it might be interesting. Otherwise it will be a lot of work with many opportunities to mess up everything.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #8
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I know that personally, I would never be able to make something like this. But why isn't there a company that sees these as a way to produce reasonably priced monitors using the same technology as laptop screens.

720p monitors could easily be built for under $1000 if companies just build a laptop, without the computer portion.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #9
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Jay,

This would just be a guess on my part (but I am in the manufacturing and development end of the computer business so I have at least a reasonable idea)

I think it has to do with several things

1) The size of the market - it's nowhere near as big as the PC market so development expense has to be spread over fewer units

2) The ability of companies to get really low prices for components depends on their volumes - the smaller their volumes, the higher their cost.

3) The need to make enough absolute profit on relatively small volumes to stay in business.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #10
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I just use a laptop...

...when I'm doing concert or event work on a fixed tripod -- I stick my Dell Latitude on a milk crate under the tripod, plug in the firewire cable, start Vegas, and record directly to my hard drive. If I have 110 VAC available or I'm not going to record more than about 2 hours I plug in an external Passport (Western Digital) USB HD so I can transfer directly to my big quad-core edit computer at home. The reason for the time limit is that the USB drive shortens my laptop battery life. Even with the biggest one Dell sells, I only get about 2 hours when I have the USB drive plugged in.

Ain't fancy, but it works. :)
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