Friday, October 31, 2014

New Options in Courtroom Displays

Since we write about technology here, it is good to think about how to display the output in our courtrooms and elsewhere in the courthouse.

The options for courtroom display are generally, projectors, large flat panel displays, and individual devices such as tablets.  We have some recent experience to share.

Epson Projector Technology

First, here at NCSC "tech central" we have been using the Epson 1771-W LCD projector.  It is a laptop light device that can accurately handle all manner of high definition (HD) output including “1080p resolution".  Being light weight, small, and easy to carry is key.  One never wants to check a projector into luggage without something like the Anvil cases that professional audio visual companies’ use such one we used to own shown below.

More important for courtroom use is that it used LCD light source that is rated at more than 4000 hours use and runs cool in comparison to older projectors. In our experience, it is heat that kills these devices and this technology mitigates the issue.  The other advantage of the projector running cool is that it does not take long to be able to pack it up after a presentation.  And, since the projector is physically light weight, it is easier to mount on the ceiling or wall as the supporting structures can less robust materials.

Here is an Epson video on ceiling mounting their projectors.

Last, I am looking forward to testing the projector's WiFi connection with the Epson iPhone iProjection app. Here are links to the different "app stores" where one can download the smart phone software.

OLED Technology

A couple of weeks ago we saw our first OLED television display.  Wow, very impressive.
What is OLED?  According to one of the developers, LG
“Unlike traditional, synthetic LEDs (light-emitting diodes), OLED uses an organic substance that glows when an electric current is introduced. This revolutionary material is part of new design approach that drastically reduces the thickness and weight of the TV. The light passes through a combination of filters to reproduce spectacular high-definition images.”
These images are bright!  And in a courtroom that can be very helpful to the participants.  OLED displays are currently being used for high end / high cost televisions including super high definition 4K displays.  Unfortunately very few computers can produce 4K pictures so it will be awhile for that part of the technology equation to catch up.  And the first generation of OLED televisions being made available in the USA have curved screens to appeal to the home market.  Flat OLED displays are being made and are available in their home markets such as South Korea.

You can see a comparison picture between LED and OLED below.

As with any new technology the cost will come down in the future.  Therefore it is worth watching for future addition/replacement in your courtrooms.

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