November 25, 2013

Want a 9-Inch 1280 x 800 Monitor for Under $150?

HDMIPi PrototypesThere aren't many inexpensive monitors out there, and when you do find them, they are often pretty low-res, usually below HD. That's no good if you're trying to use them to pull focus or double-check a take and see if it was in focus. But what if you could get a 9" 1280 x 800 monitor for under $150? Alex Eames from RasPi.TV and Dave Mellor from Cyntech want to make it happen. The company is working on a monitor for the Raspberry Pi computer, but with the generic HDMI input, it can be used with virtually any HDMI device, including cameras. Here's their pitch video:

Here is the HDMIPi working with the Nikon D90:

The only real dirt-cheap external monitors out there are from Lilliput, but they tend to be smaller, and if they are large, usually lower-res. Getting something like this working on a film set perfectly will take a little bit of DIYing, but I think it would be really great as either a monitor to pull focus, or even better, as a director's monitor. Granted its original intention is to be used as a computer monitor, but with such a large and nice screen, it would be great for watching playback without breaking the bank, especially since it can run on 12V, so you can essentially hook it up to anything that would give you that kind of power.

HDMIPi screen compared to the Nexus 7:

HDMIPi vs Nexus 7

The team has already destroyed their initial goal, but you can still pick one up for a few more days, with the lowest reward level is going to be £75. That comes out to around $137 when you calculate shipping outside the UK (if you're already in the UK, you'll get it for a little cheaper).

Here's what's in the basic kit, but more will be included since they've hit certain milestones (you can read about those here and also here on the RasPi.TV site). You can also add a power supply to your order by adding about $8 to the order:

HDMIPi will ship as an easy to assemble kit. This avoids the need for CE/FCC approvals, which helps keep the final cost down.

The HDMIPi kit will contain:

  • 1280x800 LCD
  • HDMI controller board, with ribbon cable to connect to LCD
  • a Pibowesque plastic surround to keep it in

Once you receive your HDMIPi, you'll simply need to put the LCD in the surround, add and connect the HDMI controller board, add your Pi (optional) and start using it. The LCD will require a 12V supply (included in HDMIPi extra and deluxe rewards).

What do you think, is it worth the hassle to rig up an inexpensive DIY monitor? What other uses could you see for this relatively large and high-res portable monitor?

Links:

Your Comment

20 Comments

The new Dell laptop will be shipping with a 15" 3200x1800 resolution screen. It's prices start just under $2K but I wonder if it can be used both as a monitor, a SSD recorder and an off-loader of data. Then with its i7 chip, one should be able to edit on it as well.

November 25, 2013 at 3:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
DLD

Battery, tho

November 25, 2013 at 11:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Tyler

Exactly.

November 26, 2013 at 12:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Resolution sounds ok, but can you watch live video on this, without it hanging? It appears so, in the video, but the Rasberry Pi seems grossly underpowered for most things.
But, if this thing works ... wow. It would be great to see affordable field monitors. Also, I was looking at the video, and the monitor seems to resolve a lot of detail.
Best of Luck

November 25, 2013 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
sanveer

It's just a regular screen - it's not "powered" by a Raspberry Pi. The intention is for it to be used as a display for a raspberry pi, but it's just got a normal HDMI input.

November 26, 2013 at 10:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Luke

What most people overlook (pun intended) with monitors is color accuracy and bit depth, and not just resolution.

November 25, 2013 at 5:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
john jeffries

I don't think anyone looking for color accuracy would be considering this monitor. This would strictly be for focus check, monitoring and maybe framing. No one would want to use this to aid lighting or to tweak camera color settings.

November 25, 2013 at 5:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Adam

Maybe the screen is of decent quality, but to be used with a DSLR / Digital Cinema Camera, it would need to have some features as crop, zoom, peaking, zebras, histogram, waveform, false color, 1:1 mapping, pan & scan... (of course not all, but some of them).

November 25, 2013 at 5:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply
Daniel Blanco

For $150, I wouldn't mind just using it for pulling focus. No peaking needed.

November 25, 2013 at 8:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Adam

#magiclantern

November 25, 2013 at 11:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Tyler

Exactly. ML for the win.

November 27, 2013 at 1:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Bad new kickstarter dudes... Chinese people with companies decided to make your product before you (or maybe it's the other way around)...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NT68676-HDMI-DVI-VGA-Audio-Driver-Board-Monitor-Kit-for-LP133WX3-TLA5-1280X800-/111225504791?pt=US_Server_Boards&hash=item19e58e8417

Now I realize that its not the same (it supports monitors 10.1-19" and has a bunch of extra junk) but give it 2-3 weeks and they will have followed your instructions on kickstarter lol... btw, I'm really not a hater, I am just fed up with all the companies looking for kickstarter to take the risk out of everything

November 25, 2013 at 6:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Thanks for that link, it's exactly what I was thinking about!

November 26, 2013 at 4:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
maghoxfr

Gonna have to come up with a way to mount all this (gaff tape?). My SmallHD takes enough abuse as it is, I don't see a solution like this lasting very long in my hands unless someone makes a housing for everything to sit in safely.

However, a monitor with on board processing and open code means someone might be able to write some software for monitoring tools like overlaying focus assist, peaking, levels, etc. so at least you could use it for a (very) rough evaluation of your exposure.

November 25, 2013 at 9:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Ty

I inquired about mounting options. They're "hoping" to include a standard 1/4"-20 to the case, however they dont have a case prototype yet, just the actual hardware.

November 26, 2013 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Naterh

What about monitors like MustHD 7-inch, it looks not bad for the price US$295.00 but I haven`t see any reviews yet so I thinking about this kickstarter option too.

November 26, 2013 at 4:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Roger

Anyone have an idea for a portable power supply/battery. How much would one cost and how big would it be?

November 29, 2013 at 11:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
POB

I used this (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005XQSN9G/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1) as a 12v input for a lot of different applications, from charging my iOS devices to powering a time lapse dolly (http://dynamicperception.com/products/stage-zero-6-foot-bundle). Works very well.

Also, available in another brand... http://www.amazon.com/10000mAh-Smartphones-USB-charged-Adapters--Lightni...

November 29, 2013 at 5:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
TP

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1033

Better yet, Super light, works at 9v, and I know it works on an FS100, and GH3. It's IPS so the viewing angles are great, and colors aren't so bad.

November 29, 2013 at 7:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Don Whitmore

Pulled the trigger on this due to it's reasonable size and price. I've been in a situation a few times where I'm trying to judge focus on my Canon 7D screen on the fly with ML and the result was not so good :-/

Don: that looks like a nice little unit but again, the slightly larger size of the one going on kickstarter is what has me interested. I do like the stand that comes with your recommendation though

November 29, 2013 at 9:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Josh