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NEC CRVD-42DWX+ curved display  (Source: NEC)
NEC and Alienware seem to be pulling form the same playbook

At CES 2008 last week Alienware announced a curved computer display geared for gamers and making people more productive through more screen space while working on a computer.

NEC must feel that the market for long, curved displays is a up and coming category as it announced its own curved display called the NEC CRVD-42DWX+. The NEC display has a screen resolution of 2880 x 900 with a response time of under 0.02 milliseconds. The NTSC color gamut the display is capable of is 170% and the dynamic range is 12-bit. In all the display can reproduce 68.7 billion colors.

NEC spokeswomen emphasized that the Alienware prototype and the NEC CRVD-42DWX+ "have nothing to do with each other."

While NEC claims the two displays share no common manufacturer, both displays are built with the same bezel and housing. Both displays use two LED-backlit DLP images to "stitch" the 2880 pixel-wide image across the curved display as well.  The likelihood that these two displays are not made in the same place would be an unusually odd coincidence.

The display has a typical brightness of 350 nits with a contrast ratio greater than 10,000:1. The screen has an aspect ratio of 3.2:1 and weighs 25 pounds without a stand. The overall dimensions of the screen are 40.4-inches wide x 12.6-inches high.

NEC declined to comment on pricing or availability of the display at this time.  However, given the high-markup nature of Alienware proprietary technology, NEC could be sitting on a goldmine if it markets the CRVD-42DWX+ just right. 

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Comes down to Cost
By Keeir on 1/14/2008 1:31:14 PM , Rating: 3
I can see the use for gaming, as most games do not support multi-screen technology. But for day to day productivity, wouldn't 2 20" Widescreen displays be better and more versitile. (3260 x 1050). I even set my work ones at slight angles to each other already.

As a peice of technology, this thing looks amazing... but unless its priced in the sub-750 dollar range, I don't think I could even justify a purchase.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By isorfir on 1/14/2008 1:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
I do the same thing with 2 22" screens, slightly angled at each other. The only problem is if I maximized a window across both screens there's a gap in the middle, which this monitor would fix. The 900 vertical res is a little low though, even the 1050 I'm at seems a little short.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By kkwst2 on 1/14/2008 3:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. I've been using one 19" 4:3 and one 24" WS for a while now. I like that combo as some things do better with widescreen and some things I like 4:3 better. I put my Windows takbar on the 19" since I don't like it taking up precious height on the widescreen.

Only problem is a virtual bump that windows get caught on when dragging from the 19" to the 24". You just learn how to drag things.

Agreed that 900 pixels is not enough height.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By bighairycamel on 1/14/2008 3:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the same boat. I use 2 22" widescreens but I never stretch something across both screens... dont really see a reason to either. While this curved monitor would be cool for games and stuff, it would take away the usefulness of the 2nd monitor (I can play a game on screen 1 and have a stategy guide/map/tips on screen 2 or even watch a movie). I would stick to my dual screens over this curved setup anyday, but it's only a matter of my own preference and opinion.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By spluurfg on 1/14/2008 5:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love a flat, 4:3 one just for the color gamut...

RE: Comes down to Cost
By spluurfg on 1/14/2008 5:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or if I could choose anything, 3:2. Photo editors rejoice... with the new 12 bit SLRs.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By mWMA on 1/14/2008 6:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
I ran into the same problem with 2 20inch (1600x1200) samsung at my desk. Decide to add a 24inch (1920x1200) Samsung in the middle of two and I no longer wander about the bezel in the side of screen..

RE: Comes down to Cost
By LeviBeckerson on 1/14/2008 1:56:53 PM , Rating: 3
It will be interesting to see how this monitor would handle multiple maximized windows. If works like a pair of monitors, it would be great for programming, web design, writing, etc. If it can't maximize to each half, or possibly even each quarter, it would just be clunky.

I'm also curious as to the effect of the curvature on screen fonts and, say, video playback or image editing where you kind of want an inferred, visible straight line. Or at least I do.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By Oroka on 1/14/2008 2:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
That is what I was thinking, for people who use multi displays. I would trade in my 2 19" LCDs for 1 looooooong curved display if the price was right.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By masher2 on 1/14/2008 2:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "It will be interesting to see how this monitor would handle multiple maximized windows."

I would hope that the software driver for the monitor would allow you choice-- maximize to the full screen, or to a half-sized "virtual" monitor.

However, the 900-pixel vertical resolution is the real killer for me. I don't see me trading in my two 24" monitors for this.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By LeviBeckerson on 1/14/2008 2:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
I can understand that. Once you are accustomed to a certain amount of space, it's hard to give it up. But I use a 17" 1280x1024 for my work space and a 20" 1680x1050 for my research slash what's-it-going-to-look-like-in-Firefox space, so 900 doesn't seem like it would be much of a drop for me.

Then again, my laptop is the standard 1280x800 and I can't imagine trying to do much work on it as it's so "short."

I also off-handedly wonder if it's going to be a single or dual connections to drive the screen. If it's a native dual-screen type connection, problems solved. It's the single input that'll cause problems, I'd think.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By jjabrams on 1/15/2008 7:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
is there any software that enhances what can be viewed on a webpage or other because not all pages/programs are designed with a high or wide resolution in mind - you just get white bars on the side.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By kkwst2 on 1/14/2008 3:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is the maximizing thing really that big a deal? It's simple enough to tile two or more windows with a couple clicks. If you really want it to act as two separate monitors, just get two separate monitors. It acting as a single panel seems to kind of be the point. I think for the tasks you describe, acting as one monitor would be more desirable. Just tile your separate windows as desired.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By TomZ on 1/14/2008 3:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Maximizing is quicker and more convenient than manually tiling windows.

What I would want with a very large monitor like this, is desktop management software that would allow me to define "zones" or "cells" where applications could be maximized into. This mimics the way a lot of people currently work successfully with multiple monitors.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By kalgriffen on 1/14/2008 4:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia's drivers allow you to split the screen into segments. I use it to divide my widescreen into two segments for viewing various documents.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By The Sword 88 on 1/14/2008 5:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
Really? How?

RE: Comes down to Cost
By Lonyo on 1/14/2008 6:45:30 PM , Rating: 3
It's somewhere in the drivers.
You can choose your own splits IIRC, although I never played with it that much.
Nvidia has some quite nice multiple monitor stuff.

RE: Comes down to Cost
By mWMA on 1/14/2008 6:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
There is software that lets you manage multiple display and let you assign application to certain places easily. as well other things like different wallpaper and taskbar assignment etc.
The one I use is Ultramon. (

Incorrect Perspective
By noirsoft on 1/14/2008 2:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, the math for 3d perspective rendering only works for a flat display, and a curved display would result in an incorrect image.

You could do a different projective transform for each vertical line of the display and get a correct image, if the engine knew the curvature of the screens. It would be easiest if the curve was a circular arc and it was assumed that the head is at the circle's center. You would need to know what portion of a circle the monitor represented (a 60 degree arc would have avery different set of transforms than a 90 degree arc)

It would probably still be too slow on most hardware.

In short, I think I'll stick to flat displays for now, and this monitor is not really well-suited for serious gamers.

RE: Incorrect Perspective
By andrinoaa on 1/14/2008 4:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
How would it work as a touch screen? I think the touch screen will be the UI of choice in the not too distant future.

RE: Incorrect Perspective
By TomZ on 1/14/2008 4:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree - for desktop monitors at least, touchscreen has a number of undesirable attributes. For one, the optimal distance for visibility is greater than the optimal distance for touch. This results in the display being either too close for viewing or too far for touching.

Then there is the problem of smudged, dirty displays.

I think touchscreen use will certainly grow in some segments (e.g., handheld devices, kiosks), but I think the mouse will continue to be used on the desktop until a new technology is widely-used, e.g., sensors that can track eye movement and move focus based on that.

RE: Incorrect Perspective
By Strunf on 1/14/2008 6:43:15 PM , Rating: 3
"sensors that can track eye movement and move focus based on that."
Would hand movements do?...

With a WII

RE: Incorrect Perspective
By jtemplin on 1/15/2008 2:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
Are you johnny lee?

RE: Incorrect Perspective
By Strunf on 1/15/2008 6:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
No I just found about him a couple days back.

Really amazing what he came up with, it's like being Tom Cruise on Minority Report when he fools around with the interactive display.

Same as the Alienware?
By zombiexl on 1/14/2008 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe NEC is making the Alienware model. Does anyone know for sure?

RE: Same as the Alienware?
By zombiexl on 1/14/2008 1:59:57 PM , Rating: 2

I guess i should have not skipped that one part of the article :)

It really does look the same though..

RE: Same as the Alienware?
By ninjit on 1/14/2008 2:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
NEC's claim that they "have nothing to do with eachother", seems like bull.

As the article already mentioned, they're built with the same frame. use the same exact technology (even down to having the exact same resolution)...
why is it that spokespeople feel the need to blatantly lie all the time?

RE: Same as the Alienware?
By zombiexl on 1/14/2008 2:06:54 PM , Rating: 3
The only thing that looks different to me is the nameplate..

RE: Same as the Alienware?
By bravacentauri83 on 1/14/2008 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

Out of curiosity, doesn't Dell's monitors come from Phillips? Makes me wonder if they would cut down on costs and use the same manufacturer to produce the monitors.

By omnicronx on 1/14/2008 1:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Sign me up for one of those! I don't even game and that makes me drool!

RE: cool
By OPR8R on 1/14/2008 1:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
It would be awesome to game on a monitor that simulates peripheral vision but how is this monitor going to be practical? At 2880x900, no current game supports it and some companies, like EA for example, have said they won't support widescreen. I've hacked EA games to run at 1920x1200 but then you get field of view issues.

I'd be curious to know how this monitor, and Alienware's, addresses those issues before shellin' out the big bux... Maybe these screens can scale like a mofo...

RE: cool
By Omega215D on 1/14/2008 7:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine playing flight simulators on that thing. Beats the multi monitor config with those display borders getting in the way.

RE: cool
By jjabrams on 1/15/2008 7:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
yeah - EA not supporting widescreen is like microsoft not supporting dvd. WTF.

RE: cool
By TomZ on 1/15/2008 9:19:22 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft supports DVD in Vista.

RE: cool
By TITAN1080 on 1/15/08, Rating: 0
Cool screen BUT...
By MrBlastman on 1/14/2008 1:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
It looks excellent - essentially 2.5 monitors. My only problem is it is curved. Why you might ask?


2D screens and monitors are a thing of the past. Fresnel technology allows us a cheap but affordable way to have a 3d monitor - and for gaming there is nothing better. Having depth perception while gaming is priceless. Having it without having a funky headset that gives you a headache is even better.

With 3 monitors, or flat panels, you can construct a fresnel array so that there is no gap between the images, similar to what they do in modern battle tanks utilizing prisms in the turret assembly for the commander to peer through without looking out the hatch.

Not only the screens joined, but they are virtually 3d with a collimated image - and moving your point of focus out to infinity. Don't knock it until you try it. For flight simulation, it is invaluable and has been used by the military for years. For 3d gaming like Team Fortress 2 - lets just say you feel you are there :)

By this screen being curved, you can't build a proper fresnel array for it - it will distort the image. For all intents and purposes it won't work right versus 3 screens.

On the other hand, if it is cheap enough, it would make for a spiffy 2d display.

Oh, and btw - there is a way to get multi monitor support in many games that do not support multiple monitors - using matrox's triple head 2 go. Flight sim geeks have been using it for a while now.

RE: Cool screen BUT...
By ADDAvenger on 1/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Cool screen BUT...
By ninjit on 1/14/2008 2:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with those Fresnel-lens based systems, is that the observer has to be positioned exactly right in order for the 3d effect to work.

Depending on the DLP system used in this monitor, it may already be 3D-capable using shutter glasses.

Samsung's latest DLP TV sets are all 3D-ready, they include a sync port for that very purpose.

I'd love to try one out, I'm curious as to how noticeable the flicker will be (

RE: Cool screen BUT...
By MrBlastman on 1/14/2008 2:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
You are partially right about the positioning.

If you have multiple displays such as 3 or so - then to achieve the overlap - yes you'd need to be a specific distance away to get it and you wouldn't want to be that far off. If you are, you might have some alignment problems.

As far as 3d effect - not so much. I use one every day (a single display one). Weather I am 1 foot from the lens (not the screen - the lens itself is 10.5 inches from the screen) or sitting 2 1/2 feet from the lens, the 3d effect is present in both situations.

However, if I DO sit further back, the 3d effect increases somewhat, but there does begin to be some slight distortion around the edges if I push it back too far.

The effect is VERY nice when I'm sitting real close to the lens for FPS games, and also equally impressive when I'm sitting much further back for simming. I even have a Track IR for head tracking and turning my head in no way messes up the image or 3d effect.

The shutter glasses sound interesting, but would be a problem especially if you wear glasses to begin with.
I am curious if the effect is anything like you'd see going to one of the old school theme-park style 3d cinemas (think MGM or disney world) - it was pretty spiffy but it tends to hurt your eyes a bit. I'd also be worried about them generating a headache from said flicker with the tv based displays.

To the poster that mentioned CRT's, I never once said they aren't moving out of the limelight. Regardless, you can not dispute that CRT's are superior for handling multiple resolutions without distortion. Fresnels can be used just fine on a LCD screen, provided you build a stand for the lens that can support itself. A CRT affords you more flexibility due to their weight, you can just velcro on a housing. I've seen some videos of 3 LCD fresnel setups - they look very good.

RE: Cool screen BUT...
By Ajax9000 on 1/14/2008 6:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
Depth-fused 3D seems to me to be a more tractible means of getting 3D -- no fresnel lenses, no shutter glases, can use much of the existing LCD manufacturing processes ...

RE: Cool screen BUT...
By MrBlastman on 1/15/2008 9:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting, I remember reading about these a while back and I'm curious how they have progressed. Have you ever seen one?

The most important thing to note about Depth Fused Displays is they are run by a RGBZ signal - i.e. the Z signal controls the depth of each pixel/image. This means software would have to be customized to supply this information - OR - hardware such as your graphics accelerator would have to interpret from the geometry data the position of each pixel in space and supply this information via the Z signal.

Since our graphics accelerators already handle geometry data, I'd simply require a revision of hardware spec to supply this additional information. Either way, I don't think someone could simply hook up a DFD display to their existing PC and play.

Fresnels require no hardware or software modifications at all, you just hook them up and you're ready to go.

How does it handle depth of field? With a collimator such as a Fresnel, if you sit 2 feet from your monitor screen, your eyes do not focus on an object 2 feet away, but instead focus on something much farther back.

If you removed the fresnel you'd focus 2 feet away. This is one of the primary reasons why fresnels work so well - they trick the mind into thinking the image is much further away, rather infinitely away versus right in front of you. I'm curious how much depth they can create on a DFD.

Interesting technology regardless - as long as we move away from 2d images we're making progress :)

By Alpha4 on 1/14/2008 11:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
"The likelihood that these two displays are not made in the same place would be an unusually odd coincidence."

...Huh? I get the general meaning behind this statement but damned if I didn't scratch my head at it. Could there be a typo somewhere?

I think what Wolfgang or Kris meant to say was "The likelihood that these two displays are made in the same place would not be an odd coincidense"

RE: Confusing...
By Slash3 on 1/14/2008 11:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
That sentence did make sense, you just moved the word "not" around - the meaning is the same, read either way.

RE: Confusing...
By noirsoft on 1/15/2008 12:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
The grammatical error is the use of both "likelihood" and "coincidence" -- The likelihood of something being true can be high or low, but it cannot be a coincidence. That sentence has no meaning. Take a simpler example:

The likelihood of me winning the lottery is a coincidence. Does that make sense? No.

By sherifftaylor on 1/14/2008 1:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think they mean "40.4-inches" and not "40/4-inches." This would be a sweet monitor to have, but unless it less expensive than a 30", I wouldn't see any reason to get it.

RE: typo
By MrPickins on 1/14/2008 3:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Also, shouldn't the line be "pulling from the same playbook" ?

By SaintSinner1 on 1/14/2008 1:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
So in theory NEC can make surround monitor. Gaming with surround monitor will require good easy to swivel chair. How about making monitor in shape of sphere which you can put on your head and then 24 hrs later die from brain cancer ?

RE: Hmmm...
By jjabrams on 1/15/2008 7:34:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think this will bring a new dimension to gaming as it may allow more open environments to fully immerse.
I always find it odd that the FOV is very tunnel vision like in all games.
Good players that sense something is in the 4/8 oclock view still have to turn the mouse to check it, hopefully in the future you can just see it.

By amanojaku on 1/14/2008 6:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
The NTSC color gamut the display is capable of is 170% and the dynamic range is 12-bit. In all the display can reproduce 68.7 billion colors.

I admit to being ignorant of the color capabilities of today's monitors, but I'm skeptical of this. I remember when 16.7M colors was a lot and 1.1B was talked about but never seen. This smacks of marketing BS... Can anyone confirm or deny?

RE: Colors...
By cane on 1/14/2008 6:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know exactly how the NEC monitor behaves, but EIZO have a monitor, the EIZO FlexScan® SX3031W and it sort of handles 68 billion colors. The thing is that it has a 12-bit LUT (Look Up Table), but "only" the 16.7 million most appropriate colors for the moment is displayed.
Since it handles 100% of NTSC and 97% of Adobes RGB, it is enough for most people...

By MagnumMan on 1/14/2008 4:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
I would so buy one of these... so much nicer looking than the Dell 3007WFP-HC that I have, which is pretty nice as it is!

By sdifox on 1/14/2008 5:57:09 PM , Rating: 1
Just because they know how to put components into a barebone laptop (Clevo), doesn't mean they manufacture stuff. They just source it.

Not to impressed
By cane on 1/14/08, Rating: 0
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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