Display technology is getting more and more dynamic as vendors offer increasingly powerful displays, along with more sophisticated ways to mount and move them around. Use one large monitor to view multiple images, or put two displays side by side, or even add a third display, or perhaps project on a wall at high quality -- which are all possible with new controller boards. In short, display companies have geared up to match the ever-expanding capabilities of advanced visualization.
High bright technology is improving display quality and should also lengthen the lifespan of the newer displays with sharper, clearer images for longer. That's more bang for your imaging buck, which is good as the really cool monitors and peripherals you can read about below aren't free. 
Along those lines, further good news at RSNA came in the form of sensors and software that can gauge and evaluate display performance for not just one but a whole network of monitors. This means you could hypothetically be in a totally different department and software will inform you that one of your monitors has gone out of whack. You could be in Tahiti and get an email telling you as much, if you really want that…

Here's a sampling of what display vendors and distributors were showing off on the exhibit floor, organized in alphabetical order.

Ampronix Imaging Technology provided information regarding some of its latest display offerings, highlighting the Dynamaxx 3D multiview lenticular display. This display is a full-color, large, 43-inch monitor that offers 3D viewing without special glasses and provides wide angle viewing for more than one person at a time. The Dynamaxx is able to switch back and forth between 2D and 3D images for multifunctional displaying. The high quality 3D imaging capability is made possible through an advanced graphics engine developed by Philips. Other features of the Dynamaxx are high lenticular resolution, off screen projection, and considerable depth of field.

Barco made a big splash at RSNA launching the next generation of its Coronis diagnostic display systems, available in various grayscale and color resolutions, with a number of advancements including ultra-bright color imaging; and unified luminance, among others. The company's towering "image wall" stopped a few passers by in the exhibit hall, too.

Barco's new Coronis line includes a 2 MegaPixel (MP) grayscale system, a 3 MP grayscale system, a 2 MP color system and a 3 MP color system featuring Barco's Diagnostic Luminance technology, which corrects luminance non-uniformities that are typical for traditional LCDs and backlights, assuring the displays remain uniformly DICOM-compliant, Barco says.
The color 3 MP Diagnostic Luminance technology is bundled with a high-performance, ATI-powered display controller. Based on PCI Express architecture, the display controller guarantees speedy and smooth image loading, roaming and manipulation in 2D and 3D.

Another innovation showcased was another addition to the Coronis Color 3 MP Diagnostic Luminance display system called the intelligent Ambient Light Compensation (ALC) system. ALC assures that the system remains DICOM-compliant under all lighting conditions by adapting its Look-Up Tables in response to ambient light conditions, the company says.

Featuring an integrated pedestal concept, the new Coronis enables customized multi-head configurations. Through this design, individual heads move and track as one integrated system.
Along with the Coronis, the company also introduced a new, web-based softcopy QA product, called Medical QAWeb. This software can be used in combination with the upgraded I-GUARD sensor which continually guards and adjusts the luminance output of the diagnostic viewing area. Thus, the new QA software provides an easy tool for calibration and QA, ensuring continuous diagnostic quality of the display.

Barco also announced the release of NIO Fusion 4MP at RSNA, a high-resolution large-screen color display system which is designed for PACS visualization throughout a hospital or within an OR. The NIO Fusion features a 30-inch screen surface and can seamlessly fuses two portrait 2 MP displays into one integrated desktop without a distracting bezel in the middle. The display system also includes 2560x1600 resolution and a wide screen format.

The NIO line also includes the DuoView mode which allows the displays to be integrated and fully compatible with legacy PACS. In this mode, the display is driven by two separate DVI video inputs, offering dual-head configuration with a resolution of 2 x 2 MP.

This large screen product line also is bundled with a high-performance, ATI-powered display controller. Additionally, the NIO Fusion 4MP includes Backlight Output Stabilization (BLOS) technology, which provides fast power-up and continuously stabilizes the luminance output of the system's backlight. This significantly improves the overall consistency of the display system. For local fine-tuning, the system also offers MEDICAL QAWEB, Barco says.

Double Black Imaging announced new front sensing color displays with calibration software, as well as FDA approval for an LCD for digital mammography applications. These displays are available through Double Black as the distributor and service provider for WIDE Corp. in North America.
Adding to its existing M-Series, the line now consists of a 2, 3, and 5 MP monochrome LCDs with a retractable front sensor and auto-calibration software. The Lumical Calibration Software monitors settings which can be handled at the client level or on the network and includes email notifications for display status. The front is able to emerge to run the DICOM grayscale calibration but retracts once the test is complete so as not to obstruct viewing. The LCDs also have integrated backlight sensors to monitor performance in any condition.
Double Black also highlighted the recent FDA approval of WIDE's 5 MP display system which has now been certified for use in digital mammography applications. The IF2105M is a 21.3 inch diagonal LCD driven by a high-speed graphic controller, the company says.

Eizo Nanao Technologies showcased two recent additions to its RadiForce line of LCD monitors at RSNA, including the G33 monochrome and the color R31 displays.
The RadiForce G33 is a 3 MP monochrome LCD monitor ideally suited for PACS, chest radiology, CT, MRI, and angiography applications. The G33 includes a 13-bit look-up table with a palette of 8,161 tones from which nearly half can be displayed all at the same time. The monitor includes the company's aperture modulation technology, as well as a built-in sensor for remote calibration and consistency, the company says.
New features include LEA (Lifetime Expectancy Analyzer) functionality which gives service providers a backlight life expectancy; DUE (Digital Uniformity Equalizer) provides uniformity of the backlight's luminance; CAL Switch for calibration modes suitable for specific image types; and controller boards with twin DVI-I outputs which support both portrait and landscape viewing without additional software.
Also highlighted was the recently released RadiForce R31, a color 3 MP LCD for CT, MRI, PET, and 3D rendering. The R31 comes with the company's image rotation technology for simple switching between landscape and portrait modes that do no cause banding or color seepage. All of the advanced features of the RadiForce 2 MP color monitor (R22) are also available with this newer model, such as DICOM part 14 calibration, quality control software (RadiCS), and network QC Management software called RadiNET Pro.

FIMI Philips offered an extensive review of some of its technological advances in medical displays with some new and innovative display-based systems as well as its new line of greyscale and color monitors.   
The company debuted the latest advances for its Luxor family of displays, which includes a comprehensive range of medical displays for modalities and PACS imaging. The family of products includes greyscale monitors (from 1.3 MP to 5 MP) and color monitors (from 1.3 MP to 3 MP) and also including high brightness models. For PACS viewing, the displays are combined with enhanced graphic boards. Also a new software called MediQA can be used for the remote maintenance, calibration and control of networked displays, which is soon to be released.

Moreover, the company has introduced a new 2 MP resolution greyscale LCD display for all modalities, which is designed to provide customers a replacement to CRT which can work with legacy systems without problem.
The ProScribe wireless display is a new wireless, thin-client portable that can also be used with the MediQA administrator. ProScribe has been designed especially for healthcare operators, and features a tough design (IP 523 water and dust resistant, one meter drop safe) and a secure wireless connectivity. It also offers a large variety of I/O interfaces for easy expansion, smart card support for easy user login, full connectivity with external devices, full data security on the wireless link, direct and easy access to Internet. ProScribe is lightweight and equipped with a touch screen 12-inch display with XGA (1024x768 pixels) resolution, FIMI says. 
FIMI also showcased a whole range of high brightness LCD medical monitors including the new 21.3 inch greyscale monitor with 5 million pixels resolution and an impressive brightness of 1700 cd/sqm specifically designed for mammography.

Also highlighted was the Mosaic, which is composed of six high brightness grayscale LCD monitors, and is the first electronic lightbox featuring a brightness level (2000 cd/sqm) coming very close to that used in x-ray lightboxes, the company says.

FIMI's LCD monitors include an LED-based backlight and backlights with tuneable white point. The LED backlight was developed in cooperation with PDS (Professional Display Systems) and is based on a special, innovative optical design allowing a slim structure of the display and offering unique features in terms of efficiency, heat management, color and brightness uniformity, as well as wide color gamut, long lifetime, absence of mercury, fast response, adjustment of color and no sensitivity to temperature, FIMI says.

The company also showcased a solution for an LCD monitor with a very high dynamic range and a CRT-like black level. For a back-to-back stacked LCD panel set-up, this monitor offers a contrast ratio in excess of 70,000:1 and enhanced characteristics even at wide viewing angles. A special algorithm also has been developed to drive the two layers accordingly and to ensure full DICOM-compliance.
FIMI also has a line of large screen displays with available software for DICOM GSDF compliance, the latest of which were on display including:
  • A 30-inch LCD with a resolution of 4 million pixels (2560x1600) and a screen format of 16:10;
  • A 55-inch LCD with 2 million pixel resolution (1920x1080); and
  • And two medical projection displays which provide high brightness and high resolution, one with resolution of 1400x1050 pixels and 1500 lumens brightness, and the second with 1920x1080 pixel resolution and 500 lumens.
Finally, in working with partners, FIMI has been developing 3D display technology. At RSNA, in cooperation with the Philips 3D Solutions Group, the company demonstrated its 42-inch large screen 3D display.

Matrox Graphics Inc. featured the latest in its medical imaging display controller boards with a new 64-bit drive, a new Aurora board that can drive 3 displays simultaneously, its MED and RAD series, and a new deal with Totoko.

Matrox announced its new display 64-bit drivers for Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition on all Matrox medical imaging display controller boards including the Matrox MED, RAD, TheatreVUE and AuroraVX Series boards.

The 64-bit drivers are designed for the AGP, PCI and PCI Express display controller boards. The company said the new driver will help improve performance on all of our medical imaging display controller boards, by utilizing the available system memory for large amounts of image sequences and slices, enabling medical imaging professionals to perform demanding tasks on their 64-bit OS workstations.

The new processor architecture of the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition driver can run new 64-bit applications along with most existing 32-bit applications, allowing users to make a gradual shift to 64-bit technology at their own pace, while preserving current investments in 32-bit applications, the company says.
Matrox also showed its MED Series display controller boards, including the MED2mp-DVI, MED3mp-DVI and MED5mp-DVI, which offer display configurations including landscape and portrait modes for 2 MP to 5 MPs. In addition, the company's RAD Series AGP, PCI and PCI Express display controller boards provide dual output support of up to 2 MP analog or digital displays.

Both MED and RAD Series boards also are equipped with Hardware Pivot for smooth and accelerated portrait image displays, and are capable of driving various combinations of grayscale and color displays in stretched or independent modes.

Matrox revealed at the conference that it has inked deal with Totoku Japan which has validated and is bundling the MED and RAD Series display controller boards with its new ME351i 3 MP monochrome and CCL350I 3 MP color medical LCD displays, Matrox says.

The company's Aurora VX Series also was highlighted at the conference. The boards are ideal for PACS use and can power three displays simultaneously, with one display up to resolution of 2MP, along with two others of up to 3 MP each.
Finally, Matrox also emphasized its TheatreVue Series which is designed for viewing images in an OR setting or teaching environment. This is made possible by projecting full-screen images which TheatreVue is able to do with DICOM calibration, so that many people can see high quality images easily instead of crowding around a small display.

National Display Systems showcased its newly introduced PrimeVue high brightness 2, 3 and 4 Megapixel (MP) color displays, dual link support on 3 MP and 5 MP AXIS monochrome displays, and 3 MP or 4 MP PrimeVue. 

The company has added the NVIDIA high-speed graphic card to the AXIS and PrimeVue displays, and a built-in DICOM calibration with six factory Display Viewing Protocols (DVP) and one user-definable response for simple setup and reconfiguration, the company says.

The high bright color PrimeVue 3MP display provides 400cd/m2 peak luminance with a 400:1 contrast ratio and a grayscale pallet derived from 6,631 gray levels from 12-bit precision tables. The DICOM reference and display response are stored in non-volatile memory along with the six factory presets. The seventh DVP is generated by the panel without the need for a light meter based on user inputs. The 3MP monitor is designed as a primary reading device for all cross-sectional and fusion images. Also, in combination with an AXIS III, chest images and 3D rendering can be viewed from one workstation using OpenGL or Directx.

The PrimeVue 4MP providers uses with 250 cd/m2 peak luminance and a 450:1 contrast ratio in an HDTV (16:9) format of 2560x1600. A single desktop area is required equal to two 1280x1600 displays suitable for x-sectional or in combination with ultra-sound. The 4MP displays are geared for CT and MRI, and perform like two 2MP displays in one.

New additions to the AXIS Series III and V radiology displays were also highlighted, which now utilize the same 3x8-bit data set as the PrimeVue and with any graphic card supporting dual-link panel technology. The displays provide easy integration with most PACS as the graphics card is neutral. Calibration stays with the display and is recognized by MD-Cal from the USB interface, the company says.

Other features highlighted included the MD-Cal, a part of Integrity QC Software for network based status reporting. Integrity QC Software provides the tools to integrate a comprehensive QC program specific to each facilities requirements using the setup interface.

NEC Display Solutions of America Inc. at RSNA highlighted the benefits of its large-screen LCDs for patient tracking and operating room uses. The company also used the conference to introduce a number of display accessories, and a works-in-progress series of displays.

NEC's MultiSync large-screen "10 series" includes the 32-inch LCD3210, the 40-inch LCD4010 and the 46-inch MultiSync LCD4610. According to NEC, more healthcare facilities are using these large monitors in applications such as mapping and digital signage, and in operating rooms and in nursing stations for patient and procedural tracking.

Additionally, the large-scale displays feature a new suite which includes the Tile Matrix feature that creates a near-seamless display for multi-unit applications. This feature eliminates the need for additional video distribution equipment such as distribution amplifiers and multi-head video cards, and matrices as large as 5 x 5 can be created for ultra-large viewable images. The new displays also offer Gray-to-Gray Overdrive, which allows for smoother, more uniform video image viewing.

Several new display accessories were also showcased at RSNA, including the Sentry, a remote DICOM and conformance sensor, as well as a removable protective shield for damage prevention for the company's MD Series LDCs. The Sentry is able to monitor brightness and ambient lighting from a remote location. NEC's lightweight protective shield can protect monitors from the damage that can be caused by fingers, pointers, and pens when they are in use, the company says.

NEC also previewed the work-in-progress line "90 series" which includes the LCD1990SXi, LCD2090SXi, and LCD2190UXi. The units feature a slim stand for extra functions such as quick release for portability, easier to navigate controls, an up-scale IPS panel, 12-bit LUT, an upgraded DDC/CI for troubleshooting problems, an energy-saving mode for longer product life, and will be RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) compliant.

The new displays also includes a tool which monitors color uniformity to make the monitor more color-consistent, which has been one of the more inherent problems with LCDs, the company says.

Planar Systems Inc. unveiled its new Dome EX line of medical displays, the latest in the company's evolving lines of products, as well as some research and development products.

The EX line includes Planar's Dome E4c -- for use in radiology, cardiology, nuclear medicine (NM), PET/CT, dermatology and the OR -- which features a widescreen, 16:9 format that eliminates the image split associated with dual-head monitors. The E4c, as well as the Dome E2c and E3c also included in the EX line, are built to improve visualization of various color modalities, 2D color imaging, image fusion, and 3D imaging, Planar says.

Other attributes of the DOME E4c are the ability to display more than 90 percent of a CR images and the option to show as many as 15 full-size 512 x 512 color and grayscale images at the same time.
Planar also introduced color and grayscale displays in 2 MP and 3 MP, along with a new 5 MP grayscale display that are part of the EX line. The new grayscale have been designed CT, MR, ultrasound, CR, DR, NM, digitized film and mammography.  

Each of the new displays is DICOM-calibrated and features the company's Dome DA4 hardware architecture, enabling the use of select, commercially available graphics controllers for open standards support. Open standards, such as OpenGL and DirectX, allow for textured mapping, volumetric rendering among other functions typically used in interactive 2D and 3D applications.
Additionally, the Dome EX line is compatible with Dome CXtra - that monitors and controls DICOM calibration of Dome displays - and Dome Dashboard software - a console application which enables PACS administrators and IT managers to centrally manage display functions. A version 2.0 of Dome Dashboard was on showcase with several new developments which will be available come April 2006, Planar says.

The Dome E3 is currently available, while the E2 will be available this month - with the remaining products to follow early in 2006.

Planar also showcased its Dome Surgery Review Cart which was introduced about a year ago for the OR.

Finally, the company gave attendees a peak at products that are in use within other industries to see if they have applications in the medical industry. One high-power system was called Stereo Mirror Display system, including the 5MP Stereoscopic 3D Monitor and SD 1710 Stereo Monitor systems, which have been used to display satellite photos and for homeland security use.

Quest International gave attendees a look at some of the display systems it now offers from different manufacturers, such as NEC and Totoku.
For the NEC offerings, Quest showcased a new series of LCDs that includes the 32-inch MultiSync LCD3210, the 40-inch MultiSync LCD4010 and the 46-inch MultiSync LCD4610. This series provides considerable visibility and color uniformity, even in high ambient light environments, the company says.
Quest offers these displays with liquid resistant, stainless steel enclosures and mobile carts.
The company also introduced the Totoku i-Series with integrated front sensors which it now offers. The series is available in both 2 and 3 MP, grayscale and color with the latest in backlight stabilization.
The i-Series includes two grayscale displays, the ME251i (2 MP) and the ME351i (3 MP) which include a digital interface, high luminance and contrast, with DICOM compliance and VESA compatibility, Quest says.
Each of the Totoku displays can interface with Medivisor software that monitors conformance data and calibration. The software is able to manage calibration scheduling and tracks the history of each monitor (including luminance trending) within the network.

RealVision Inc. rolled out its upgraded graphics controller card VREngine/SMD-Adv series, which can drive both color and monochrome monitors up to 9 MP, as well as offer compatibility with DirectX and OpenGL technologies, the company says.

The company also displayed its recently released DICOM calibration SW LumiCal Client 2.0 and remote calibration and monitor management SW LumiCal Server 2.0. LumiCal Client 2.0 supports all external pods as well as front-sensor on LCD monitors and provides all functions compliant with DICOM pt14. LumiCal Server 2.0 allows hospital IT engineers to remotely and automatically execute DICOM calibration on all monitors in hospitals.

RealVision also displayed its RoHS (lead-free) graphics controller card VREngine/SMD-Std series.

Richardson Electronics showcased its many offerings in display-based systems including custom display solutions, and provided details relating to its acquisition of Image Systems, formerly a division of Communications Systems Inc.

One of the companies more recent focuses has been display solutions for "Specialty PACS" which includes the unique needs of areas such as surgery, orthopedics and cardiology, for example, which sometimes require wall mounted or cart-based displays systems. The company focuses on the mobility and flexibility required by different modalities within a PACS environment.
The company acquired Image Systems to enhance its portfolio, and one such technology that interrelates with Specialty PACS is the company's CFS (Calibration Feedback System) which is calibration software that works with radiology displays to keep them accurate and consistent images to ensure they are DICOM compliant. Through the acquisition, Richardson Electronics can now offer that as part of its PACS focus.

Richardson Electronics also highlighted its role as a distributor for end-users of display-based products such as workstation and display mounting solutions and software as part of its relationship with companies such as NEC, Planar, and Image Systems. The company also provides post-sale product and software support.
TekLink is the Richarson Electronicss 24/7 online web-based desk service support, and information regarding the offering was available at RSNA to demonstrate the company's commitment to product support.

Siemens Display Solutions highlighted its new 3 MP flat panel SMD 21302 LCD at RSNA. With its CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) technology, the new display is lower in cost than the currently available 3MP devices with blue-tinted Planon backlighting. The new display also incorporates five look-up tables (LUTs) for quick adaptation to local lighting conditions. In addition, the default picture quality set in the LUTs at the factory is retained no matter what system the display is connected to. The display has an optional protective glass panel. Additionally, five practice-oriented look-up tables are stored at the factory in the "integrated look-up-table storage system" (ILS).
A commercial or medical grade graphic card can be used with the SMD 21302, and if medical grade then Siemens can provide it, though any would work. The display includes a clear tinted backlight and is compatible with any PACS.
Also showcased was the company's SHD 21205, a DICOM-compatible, high bright color flat-panel display. Due to its high bright technology, it is designed to last much longer than traditional displays. The display also includes a protective glass and can be used for ultrasound applications.
Another development for the company is the FDA approval of its SMD 21500 5 MP grayscale flat-panel display which is appropriate for use in mammography. This monitor also features a new backlight technology that is designed to help it last twice as long as other similar monitors, and also features an "instant on" technology, the company says.

Medical display and marketing company U.S. Electronics (USEI), working with Japan-based LCD vendor Totoku, featured a range of high-resolution color and monochrome LCD displays and software at RSNA.

The company highlighted Totoku's new Model CCL250i color and Model ME251i monochrome 21.3 inch, 2 megapixel (MP) (1600x1200 native resolution) flat panels with the company's Sentinel II front sensor technology and DICOM calibration software, USEI says.

The Model CCL250i features a full 16.77 million colors, 170-degree viewing angle and max brightness of 450 nits.  It has a contrast ratio of 450:1 and both digital and analog visual interfaces.

With similar specifications, the Model ME251i has 11.9 bit (3826-step-gradation) grayscale, max brightness of 1500 nits and contrast ratio of 700:1. The display also offers a digital visual interface.
New Totoku software was highlighted called PM Medivisor. It is able to provide USEI displays with precise DICOM calibration and capable of remote monitoring settings, while QA Medivisor software provides advanced quality assurance.
For multi-modality display, USEI also introduced the Model CCL192plus 19-inch, 1.3 MP color LCD with a 178-degree viewing angle and maximum contrast of 600:1. The high-quality display has 16.77 million colors, a max brightness of 450 nits and multiple interfaces including digital video, analog and S-video.

Also introduced were Totoku's advanced Models CCL350i color and ME351i monochrome 20.8-inch, 3 MP LCD. These displays also feature the Sentinel II Front sensor technology.

The CCL350i color display has a 2048x1536 native resolution, viewing angle of 170 degrees in all directions, full 16.8 million colors and max brightness of 400 nits. It provides a contrast ratio of 450:1, digital visual interface (DVI) and supports both portrait and landscape modes. With ultra-fast response times, and 10 bit (1021 gray scales), the CCL350i represents a state-of-the-art in medical image review, the company says. 

USEI offers the CCL350i displays as the choice for today's 3D images as well as ultrasound and endoscopic procedures, and for high-resolution monochrome reading for today's advanced multi-modality facility. 

The Model ME351i monochrome LCD combines a similar high resolution, large screen size and combination landscape portrait modes with a maximum brightness of 700 nits and contrast radio of 900:1 It has 11.9-bit (3,826 gray scales) and DVI interface. The ME 351i is the choice for general radiology applications.

Additional features on both monitors include an optional universal VESA mounting for wall mount or desk stand and touch panels. The displays meet worldwide safety approvals in addition to medical safety approvals such as UL2601-1 and IEC 601-1.

Both models include DICOM calibration quality assurance with optio