NEC joins the stretched screen crowd

August 5, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Someone will correct me, undoubtedly, but as far as I know LG was the first display manufacturer to come out with a monitor that looked like someone took a circular saw to it and cut it in two. They called it a stretch monitor and it gained a lot of attention in the marketplace maybe three years ago when it came out. I believe 38″ is the biggie. and there is a smaller one.

I ran into a much smaller Korean company a few months later – I think at Infocomm – that also had one, in several sizes. Tovis may have been first, may have been cloning LG. Dunno. The company almost doesn’t exist online in English and my Korean is, umm, limited.

Then I saw Samsung had a stretched monitor, as well – a 43 inch “panoramic” digital information display announced this spring and shown off at Infocomm.

I mention this because the other very active display manufacturer in the North American digital signage sector – NEC Displays – also now has a stretch LCD.

Rolling off the tongue, the X431BT bar-type display is a 43-inch unit designed like the others for mass transport, retail and fast food.   Estimated street price is $3,799 USD and ships with a 3-year limited parts and labor warranty, including the backlight.

I like this form factor, though I have yet to see it all that much. People have to make the mental leap that while a 43 unit may be pretty much half  that of a normal 42, it may cost twice as much, or more. The guts are all the same as the bigger version but the volumes are lower and it is a specialty product, hence the cost delta.

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