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Every now and again we like to review a screen that isn’t really “consumer”. For me, that usually means a monitor that you won’t typically find in your local high street, unless of course it’s being used to display public information.
Well, that’s the intended use for this behemoth of the display world. This massive 46in LCD4610 is the latest and largest public display LCD to be released by NEC Display Solutions, following on from the 40in NEC MultiSync LCD4000.
Large format displays used to be the domain of the plasma screen, but as TFT-LCD manufacturing costs continue to fall, the practicalities of producing large panels such as this become increasingly attainable. Furthermore, the typical benefits associated with LCD technology over those of plasma are also passed on to the customers, who in this case sit squarely in the corporate sector.
Such benefits include reduced power costs and noise, as well as a longer operating life. Plasma displays inherently consume more power than LCDs, sometimes by as much as two and a half to three times more. An offshoot of this higher electrical demand is greater heat generation which for many plasma displays is an issue that can only be controlled with noisy internal fans. That said, the LCD4610 has two of these situated within the top of the chassis, but under prolonged testing these never switched on when set to “Auto” mode in the OSD. What’s more, the LCD4610 uses two sensors within the chassis to monitor the internal temperatures which in practice hovered between 28 and 35 degrees centigrade.
In terms of life, one should remember that plasma displays can also suffer from phosphor burn. Without going into too much detail, this occurs over time when the phosphor coating (within each of the plasma screen’s tiny fluorescent lights) loses its efficacy. This is due to its continual excitation by the ultraviolet light produced when the ions in the plasma gas (contained within each little light) collide with one another.
This affect is an important issue to consider especially when many large format monitors will be used to display static images, eventually leading to what is termed image persistence. This is when the picture is actually permanently burned into the screen’s phosphor layer. That’s not to say that LCDs don’t suffer from the affects of displaying static images – they do, but their type of “image persistence” is not permanent, usually disappearing after the picture has been refreshed.
NEC is aware of these power consumption and image persistence matters and cleverly includes several functions to help alleviate them. These include a power-save one that puts the display in power management mode when a sync or input signal is lost, a function that allows colour adjustment of the side bars when in 4:3 mode, a real-time clock for content scheduling and sleep/wake management, an adjustable (1 to 24 hours) off-timer, and a screen saver OSD option that includes an image mover function. This last mode expands the image slightly and then periodically moves it in four directions. To be sure that your information remains in sight, NEC recommends keeping it within 90 per cent of the LCD4610’s full display area. All these factors inevitably lead to a lower total cost of ownership over the life the unit, which can be more than twice as long as that of a plasma display.
As for design, the LCD4610 is certainly a big beast tipping the scales at around 32.8Kg with the stands attached, or 31Kg without them. In terms of dimensions you’re looking at approximately 111.3cm in width, 65.6cm in height (68.7cm incl. stands), and 14cm in depth (35.1cm incl. stands). So it’s a hefty bit of kit, but not one that is actually too deep. 14cm should see the LCD4610 neatly mounted on a wall using its VESA-rated 16 mounting holes spaced 100mm apart.
The plastic bezel which sounds wide at 4.5cm down the sides and 4cm along the top and bottom is actually quite narrow relatively speaking. Taking into account the size of the panel, the bezel looks unobtrusive and the black finish really makes the picture stand out. To help you lift and cart it about, a couple of handles are attached to the perforated metal casing that adorns the rear of unit. Overall, the construction feels solid and the simplistic, clean aesthetics should see the LCD4610 fit into most public/corporate environments.