The differences between competing pieces of technology often become very, well, technical in explanation -- but most of the time, we don't get to use the term 'organic' as a qualifier. This happens to be true in the case of SmallHD's new OLED HDMI and SDI monitors -- and Organic Light Emitting Diodes are actually news to me in general. What's even more exciting is that SmallHD is looking to provide very high-quality monitoring solutions for prices previously unheard-of. Read on for a more comprehensive specs readout and a bit on what makes OLEDs different from traditional LCD systems.
Now, SmallHD is no stranger to OLED technology, but we haven't thoroughly covered the ins-and-outs of this display type in the past. There's a couple of good videos that explain what's going on with OLEDs, but the video below seems to be one of the most visual.
With a bow to Mitch from Planet5D for the find, here's the a side-by-side of how OLED technology differs from the LCDs we're used to, as explained by SmallHD:
As you can probably tell from the diagrams, the difference in the way such a panel produces light (unlike LCDs, there's no backlight by default) means it can achieve far higher contrast ratios than an LCD, because it's far more capable of producing true black. Because of this, SmallHD is claiming the ratio on their new AC7 series is virtually infinite -- which sort of makes the whole idea of using a ratio to describe it obsolete. The other benefit of this technology is the color gamut it's able to achieve, which again, is being claimed as far beyond the competition by SmallHD.
The final key consideration is price-point -- and SmallHD's options here look all the more formidable. The LCD AC7 is a 1280x800 7" 8-bit display going for $600, or $900 for SDI capability. The 7.7" OLED AC7 (also 1280x800) goes for $1100, or $1400 for SDI capability. SmallHD has put together a chart for comparison, but basically what it's showing is that nobody else is meeting all of these specs in one package. What this means is, if you are an expecting BMCC parent or a beneficiary of RED's recent price reductions, you may be putting SmallHD's products prominently on your radar as far as third-party monitoring solutions go -- especially since these prices are remarkable for OLED technology. The displays are available now, and are expected to ship in two-to-three weeks. It's hard to argue when manufacturers seem truly interested in bringing powerful tech to us without making our wallets as light as they could be expected to, so I respect SmallHD a lot for this news.
What experiences have you guys had with SmallHD products in the past? How about OLED displays in general, or specifically, in monitoring circumstances? Will you be considering SmallHD's displays for your camera packages, or perhaps rentals?