Oculus Backs Down on Hardware Check

Subject: Displays | June 25, 2016 - 02:23 AM |
Tagged: valve, oculus rift, Oculus, htc vive

Facebook has disabled their software check that prevents Oculus Store games from running without an Oculus Rift being connected. Further, Motherboard has directly quoted an Oculus spokesperson as saying “We won't use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future”. This check prevented these games from running on the HTC Vive using the user-created tool, Revive, until the creator of Revive disabled the DRM in response.

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Oculus will continue to develop their DRM itself, of course. They have also been approaching developers to make Oculus-exclusive content, and I expect that will continue. This is where we get into a little bit of a debate that has been brewing online. Some believe that, due to the size of the potential market, exclusivity could bring content to life that otherwise would not be viable. While that does have some merit to muse over, I cannot see how that would be any better (for society) than all the platform holders pitching in to an open incubation fund. This way, art will not locked away unless it absolutely requires a specific feature that some platforms cannot provide, and consumers will have a larger pool of content to justify the initial purchase.

That topic aside, Oculus has not pledged that they won't interfere with third-parties that want to support Oculus-exclusive titles on other headsets. A hardware check will not be involved, now or in the future, though.

Source: Motherboard

ASUS Plans a 27-Inch, 144Hz, 4K, IPS Gaming Monitor

Subject: Displays | June 9, 2016 - 02:55 AM |
Tagged: asus, 4k 144hz, ips

Well this will be an impressive set of features some day. People have been asking for high-refresh, 4K panels with good colors for quite a while. It was almost a running joke in some of our comments. Apparently, ASUS took it seriously, and they are looking to release a 144Hz, 4K, IPS Gaming monitor, and they had a prototype on the show floor at Computex 2016.

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Image Credit: VR-Zone

Okay then. That checks off just about every box on the enthusiast wishlist, except maybe OLED (depending on whether the specific enthusiast loves its contrast or fears it color accuracy). Also, it is unclear whether they will support the FreeSync or G-Sync, but either could happen -- or both! Or neither.

We won't know until they make an official announcement... again, some day.

Source: VR-Zone

Computex 2016: ASUS Announces ROG Swift PG248Q 180Hz G-Sync Monitor

Subject: Displays | May 30, 2016 - 07:12 AM |
Tagged: computex, asus, ROG, swift, pg248q

During the company's Republic of Gamers event at Computex 2016, ASUS officially announced the release of the ROG Swift PG248Q monitor. Though we have seen it teased previously, today's information release has some interesting new details.

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Based on a 24-inch 1920x1080 TN panel, the PG248Q was specifically built for gamers that desire a smaller display, to avoid being forced to move their head to find a specific target. The idea here is that eSports players, and those aspiring, need to have the entire monitor in their field of view at all times. 

The small size and 1080p resolution don't mean the display is devoid of impressive features though. It is a G-Sync monitor, so gamers can enjoy tear-free, smooth gaming with GeForce graphics cards as well as a 180Hz refresh rate! Add to that combination a rated response time of 1ms (grey to grey) and you have an incredibly high performance gaming panel.

The PG248Q will be the official display of some impressive gaming events including the ESL One 2016 and The International 2016, so I expect ASUS to have a ground swell of interest in this model.

No specifics on pricing or availability quite yet, but I've put in the requests accordingly.

Source: ASUS

Soon to be observed - AOC Bringing Quantum Dot Monitors to North America

Subject: Displays | May 25, 2016 - 05:20 PM |
Tagged: quantum dots, QD Vision, AOC

AOC is partnering with QD Vision to bring QLED displays to market in the near future.  If the term does not seem familiar you can revisit our older coverage, but essentially they are tiny particulates which radiate colour when excited based on size with larger dots fluoresce red, mid-sized dots green and the smallest blue.  This property allows a much wider colour gamut to be produced and requires a lot less energy to do so.  AOC will be launching a series of PLS/PLS-ADS displays in the near future which will provide up to 98% Adobe RGB colour reproduction, the first generation will be 1080p but expect to see this change as the technology matures.  We don't have set dates or prices as of yet but we do have the PR which you can read below.

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San Francisco, California – May 25, 2016 – Today AOC, one of the world’s leading monitor brands, announced that their latest quantum dot-based monitors will be available in North America this year. The new monitors, which were introduced in China last month, integrate QD Vision’s Color IQ™ technology to deliver the most vivid color viewing experience commercially available today, enabling 50 percent better color performance than a typical LCD monitor, at a competitive price point.

AOC will sell its 27-inch and quantum dot displays, which deliver 98 percent Adobe RGB color, making them ideal for entertainment, photography and gaming. The new AOC Quantum Dot monitors will be available later this year online and at AOC retailers.

“Given the overwhelming positive feedback we’ve received from customers and reviewers alike, we are thrilled to expand our distribution to North America,” said Mr. Lidong Yan, general manager of monitor BU, OBM China, TPV Group. “QD Vision has helped us deliver the widest color gamut displays available today with their leading-edge quantum dot technology, and we can now bring the latest product innovations and display technology to a broader global audience.”

QD Vision’s Color IQ solution enables the widest, more accurate color gamut across screens by utilizing semiconductor nanocrystals, called quantum dots, to precisely and efficiently convert light emissions and create virtually any color of the visible spectrum. Color IQ Optics lead in green chemistry nano-material innovation and deliver the most brilliant, full gamut color displays, providing a superior viewing experience over any other commercial technology, including OLED, but at a much lower overall cost.

“Quantum dot technology provides far more natural and vivid viewing, and these new monitors from AOC will enhance performance, accuracy and user experience for consumers worldwide,” said John Volkmann, chief marketing officer at QD Vision. “AOC is one of the leaders in delivering the most accurate, wide color gamut experience and by integrating QD Vision’s Color IQ optics, these monitors deliver incredible performance at affordable price points.”

Today, most high-end monitors can only display 95 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut while many mainstream models are limited to illustrating, at most, 70 percent of the Adobe spectrum. Using QD Vision's Color IQ solution, AOC quantum dot displays deliver nearly 100 percent of the full Adobe RGB spectrum, resulting in remarkably crisp images with vivid, life-like colors, making them ideally suited for binge-watching television shows, online gaming, personal photography or other activities that would benefit from the highest degree of color accuracy and brightness consistency.

The PLS/PLS-ADS wide view angle panel offers perfect image performance and real color uniformity at an extremely large viewing angle of 178°, and flicker-free technology provides critical eye support for photographers who are used to long-time photo editing, providing a more comfortable viewing experience that promotes greater eye health. The AOC 27” quantum dot monitors features 1920 x 1080 resolution, ?E<3 color deviation, 50 million:1 dynamic contrast and support for multiple I/O ports including VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and an audio line output. The series is compatible with Blu-ray players and most gaming consoles, including PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360.

Source: AOC

AMD adds panel types and frequency ranges to their FreeSync page

Subject: Displays | May 2, 2016 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: freesync, amd, about damn time

Better late than never, our friend Robert Hallock has informed the world that AMD has updated their FreeSync display list with response ranges and panel types.  Having the physical size of the display, the resolution and the accepted inputs are necessary but this update offers a much better look at the displays you will be getting.  If you are unwilling to give up the colour reproduction of a IPS panel for the speed of an TN this is invaluable to you, as is pointing out the few VA based monitors.

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Listing the top and bottom frequencies of the variable refresh displays is arguably even more important.  We now know that currently only the Acer XR341CK and BX340CK, the Nixeus NX-VUE24 and the Viewsonic XG2701 are capable of dropping to 30Hz and that a total of 17 models can reach 144Hz.  Check out the list for the available 4K displays as well as regular 1440p and ultra-wide 1440p displays in the list and refer back to it regularly as there are a few monitors awaiting final specifications and more coming out in the near future.

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Source: AMD

LG Display Further Invests in OLED

Subject: Displays | April 30, 2016 - 01:33 AM |
Tagged: LG, lg display, oled

According to a spokeswoman for LG Display, via Reuters, the display panel company will increase their investment in OLED production by $395.99 million USD. Back in November, we reported on their plans to produce an $8.7 billion USD facility that was expected to manufacture panel sizes that range between smart watch and large TV.

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Just displaying an LG Display display.

Okay then.

It's awesome that OLED is getting even more attention. The display technology is better suited than LCD/LED in terms of both real contrast and high refresh rate / low persistence, with the former good for deep blacks and saturated colors, and the latter for VR, 3D, and generated content like games. We've seen a few professional monitors announced at CES, but they are still in the “decent used car” price range. That's a welcome change from “decent new car” however, but availability is still basically non-existent. This is before LG Display's production facility wakes up in 2018, and LG is known to push lower prices into markets. Just a couple years!

Source: Reuters

ASUS Announces a Trio of Adaptive-Sync Gaming Monitors

Subject: Displays | April 14, 2016 - 12:13 PM |
Tagged: Republic of Gamers, mg28uq, mg24uq, MG248Q, ASUS ROG, asus, adaptive sync

ASUS has announced three new monitors from their Republic of Gamers division, all of which feature Adaptive-Sync variable refresh rate displays.

MG28UQ.jpg

ASUS ROG MG28UQ

The monitors include a 28-inch model (MG28UQ), and a pair of 24-inch displays (MG248Q, MG24UQ). Looking first at the MG28UQ, which is a 28-inch, UHD/4K (3840x2160) display featuring a 1ms response time. Inputs include DisplayPort (1.2), one HDMI 2.0, and two HDMI 1.4 ports.

One of the 24-inch displays, the MG24UQ, is also UHD/4K but features an IPS display (and consequently loses the 1ms response time of the 28-inch version).

MG24UQ.jpg

ASUS ROG MG24UQ

Finally there is the 24-inch MG248Q, which offers a high 144 Hz refresh rate and 1ms response from its TN panel, but this model offers only FHD (1920x1080) resolution - though still adequate for gaming (especially at higher detail settings) depending on your preferences.

MG248Q.jpg

ASUS ROG MG248Q

As far as availability goes, ASUS states "ASUS MG28UQ and MG24UQ are available immediately worldwide. MG248Q will be available in April 2016", though pricing was not announced.

Full PR after the break.

Source: ASUS ROG

Acer Predator Z850 Gaming Projector, a real mobile monitor

Subject: Displays | March 30, 2016 - 04:10 PM |
Tagged: Predator Z850 Gaming Projector, acer

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Yes, the resolution of the Predator Z850 Gaming Projector is only 1920 x 720 but that is a small sacrifice for what this projector is capable of.  The minimum throw of the projector is 18.5" (47 cm) or about the same distance as you are sitting from the monitor you are reading this on, if not shorter, and at that distance it projects a 120" screen.  That means you can set up a gaming session anywhere with power and a large display surface with ridiculous ease and since your laptop might not handle 4K gaming, it is not like you are missing out on that higher pixel count; leaving aside the fact that with a projector you are not dealing with pixels.

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There is an optional Wireless HD-Kit you can pick up if you have enough wires cluttering your home or bag already, or use the two HDMI or VGA ports available in addition to the usual sound inputs.  The projector is also DLP 3D ready if you are one of the few who enjoy that feature and it can also project in 1080p if you plan on watching movies.  The laser diode used in this projector provides a 100,000:1 contrast ratio and 3,000 lumens so even in bright lighting you will still see a great picture.  The diode does not create the same amount of heat as a bulb and so the unit can be packed up immediately without needing a cool off period and will last significantly longer, up to 30,000 hours according to the PR.  There is one bit of bad news though, the projector will cost you $5,000 which does put it out of range of most peoples budgets.

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You can see the full PR here.

Source: Acer

The Acer Predator Z35 G_SYNC display can hit 200Hz

Subject: Displays | March 22, 2016 - 03:32 PM |
Tagged: acer, Predator Z35, 200hz, g-sync

The Acer Predator Z35 is a big display, 35" of A-MVA panel with a resolution of 2560x1080, an 11ms response rate, 4ms GTG, the ability to display 72% of standard colour gamut and a W-LED backlight.  With an MSRP of $1050 it will not come cheap and Hardware Canucks are on the job to determine if it is worth the investment.  The virtual On Screen Display is similar to the Predator X34, a menu button brings up shortcuts to the various controls which you can then navigate to change your desired settings.  When they tested performance it was obvious that they have stretched the DP 1.2 connection to the maximum, which is why that particular resolution was chosen and unfortunately the 0.32mm dot pitch is painfully obvious.  Hardware Canucks did like this monitor but overall felt that a higher resolution with a lower refresh rate of 100-144Hz is a better choice for gamers.

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"Acer's Z35 is the father of all gaming monitors; it has a ridiculous 200Hz refresh rate, G-SYNC compatibility and A-MVA panel and a respectable 2560x1080 resolution. "

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

2016 will be the year of the display, such as the first ever QLED display, the Philips 276E6ADSS

Subject: Displays | March 15, 2016 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: quantum dots, philips, ips, epi, E-line 276E6ADSS

For a mere $300 you can see for yourself what the Quantum Dot displays we have been hearing rumours about for a few years now.  It remains an IPS panel and offers an impressive 99% Adobe RGB, or more than 100% of the standard sRGB colour gamut but at a price far below many professional grade monitors.  It delivers a brightness of 300 cd/m2 and a dynamic contrast ratio of 20,000,000.  It is a 16:9, 1080p display with a response time of 5ms, perhaps not as impressive as the variable refresh rate or a 4K monitor but if accurate colour reproduction is what you need then this display will certainly be worth consideration.

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Fremont, California – March 15, 2016 – Today EPI (North America brand license partner for Philips Monitors) announces the world’s first quantum dot-based monitor (E-line 276E6ADSS) is now available in North America. The new 27-inch monitor delivers 99% Adobe RGB color - 50 percent more color than traditional LED displays - thanks to Color IQ™ technology from QD Vision. The new E6 is ideal for entertainment, gaming, professional photography and design. It combines Color IQ optics with full HD resolution, resulting in a professional quality display at the price of mainstream monitors. The Philips 27-inch Quantum Dot display is now available on Amazon for $299.

QD Vision's Color IQ™ solution uses an innovative new semiconductor technology called quantum dots to precisely and efficiently convert light, delivering bluer blues, greener greens and redder reds. The result — vibrant, dynamic, “you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it” color.

Most of today's high-end monitors are capable of displaying only 95% of the Adobe RGB color gamut, while mainstream models are often limited to showing 70% of the Adobe spectrum. Using QD Vision's Color IQ solution, the Philips 27-inch Quantum Dot Display will deliver over 99% of the Adobe RGB spectrum - more than 100% of the standard sRGB color gamut - but at a fraction of the price of commercial displays.

The IPS-ADS display offers 1920 x 1080 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 1000:1 static contrast, 5ms response time and 178°/178° viewing angles, making it possible to view the display from almost any angle. Unlike standard TN panels, IPS-ADS displays give you remarkably crisp images with vivid colors, making them ideal not only for photos, movies and web browsing, but also for professional applications that demand color accuracy and consistent brightness at all times. Ports include; VGA, DVI-D, HDMI (with MHL) and a 3.5mm audio output jack.

Source: Phillips