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Thread: Brightest LCD screen for sunlight viewing?

  1. #1
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    Brightest LCD screen for sunlight viewing?

    I'm putting a Mini-ITX system with TV-out into a small plane, to be a moving-map GPS and an MP3 player. I had a Palm Tungsten T3 there, but it was almost unreadable when the sun was out and bright.

    Biggest screen I can install, is about a 6" or 7" LCD. Can anyone recommend one that's bright enough to see clearly in sunlight? Either NTSC input or RGB, is OK.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Danceheaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Acorn
    I'm putting a Mini-ITX system with TV-out into a small plane, to be a moving-map GPS and an MP3 player. I had a Palm Tungsten T3 there, but it was almost unreadable when the sun was out and bright.

    Biggest screen I can install, is about a 6" or 7" LCD. Can anyone recommend one that's bright enough to see clearly in sunlight? Either NTSC input or RGB, is OK.

    Thanks all!
    Your choice any piece of crap u can find will do for RGB or NTSC/PAL, but if you want to actually read text on the screen save ur self hardwork, wasted time and hassel buy a lilliput or Xenarc with VGA, and touchscreen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danceheaven
    Your choice any piece of crap u can find will do for RGB or NTSC/PAL, but if you want to actually read text on the screen save ur self hardwork, wasted time and hassel buy a lilliput or Xenarc with VGA, and touchscreen.
    My apologies, maybe I wasn't clear. Most LCD screens I've seen, wash out completely in bright sunlight. My Tungsten T3 did, and it had one of the better screens I thought. Surely most of the "any piece of crap" screens would fall into this category.

    Anyone know of a screen WITH HIGH BRIGHTNESS OUTPUT that is easily viewable in bright sunlight? I don't need touchscreen, and don't really need text viewing - just the big block letters showing speed, altitude, heading etc., and the moving map display.

    Hope this helps....

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    Maximum Bitrate EBFoxbat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Acorn
    Anyone know of a screen ... that is easily viewable in bright sunlight?
    No such thing
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    I had a Clarion WMA5894 before and it was 100% viewable in direct sunlight, good little screen

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    Quote Originally Posted by devin99
    I had a Clarion WMA5894 before and it was 100% viewable in direct sunlight, good little screen
    Hmmm, just did a Google search on that, no hits. Odd, usually you get SOMETHING. Also searched just WMA5894, still zippo. Out of production, long time?

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Most handhelds use a transflective screen (see a definition at http://www.phonescoop.com/glossary/term.php?gid=120 ), the Lilliput/Xenarc and other monitor LCDs are transmissive and won't look the same in direct sunlight.

  8. #8
    MySQL Error jcdillin's Avatar
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    Too bad you dont have the room for a tablet PC you can pick them up with sunlight readable screens.
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    Sorry typo VMA5894

    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Acorn
    Hmmm, just did a Google search on that, no hits. Odd, usually you get SOMETHING. Also searched just WMA5894, still zippo. Out of production, long time?

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate mushin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBFoxbat
    No such thing
    There's absolutely such things

    I've got a convertable, so I've done quite a bit of research into this. The short answer is, they exist, there aren't many in that size range, and they're friggin expensive.

    Now for the long answer. True sunlight visible displays come in several flavors. A couple people have mentioned transflective. Tranflective is a good option because it's visible in both sunlight and at night. The primary problem with transflective is availability - there are very few transflective displays in this size range. The reason is quite simply the market: 6" - 7" is too large for PDS, and too small for laptops, which makes for very low demand. I did find a 7.2" Kyocera unit, but it is dual-scan, not TFT. It does have the advantage of being relatively cheap though, around $200+ IIRC. There's also a Sharp model made for car navigation system, but its resolution is only 400x240, and costs $600+ at single unit prices. Niether of these prices include controller or inverter.

    Another similar option is reflective. Reflective has the best sunlight visibility, but to view in the dark, you need a front light. Many cellphones and PDAs are reflective, though transflective is gaining in popularity. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of even a single reflective color LCD in this size.

    Finally, there's high-bright. This is by far most common implementation of sunlight visible displays in this size range. It's not cheap though. The minimum for true sunlight readability starts somewhere around 700 - 800 nits. By comparison, the lilliputs/xenarcs that are popular around here are less than half that. And that's minimum - 1000+ nits is preferable, and you can find displays going 1500 nits and up. High bright kits can go easily for over a grand, sometimes several for the really bright ones. They're also going to need to be *way* dialed down for night use, though this can be done with PWM and not that big of a deal.

    So what did I do? I was originally going to go with the Kyocera, but couldn't find an appropriete compatible controller for it. I eventually found a company in California that does tranflective conversions on transmissive displays. I just shipped out an 6.5" NEC LCD to them today. The whole thing (LCD + conversion) is costing me a bundle, but it's still less than most of the high-bright units. I should get it back in about 2 weeks, and I'll post my results for those that are interested (fingers crossed, it better be good! )

    Man that was a long post.

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