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DreamColor for DreamWorks

A few weeks ago, Chris Main of Layers Magazine and I went out to Los Angeles to attend a Hewlett-Packard event where they were going to reveal a new product. Only a select few were invited to the event and I somehow convinced him to let me go. The reason was that the event was being held at the DreamWorks Animation studio in Glendale, CA. The product was HP’s new DreamColor display which was developed in collaboration with DreamWorks. Hewlett-Packard has been a long time technology partner with DreamWorks and DreamWorks animators were still working on CRT monitors. This is because the black level and color contrast looked much better than even the newest LCD’s. So HP developed the DreamColor display to remedy this problem. Now despite visiting one of the coolest studios anywhere, Chris and I had the chance to play around with these displays first-hand and I must say I was blown away. The interesting thing is that the display contains built-in color spaces for animation, video editing, photography, graphic design, etc. You can also load up your own custom spaces as well. The display also has a tri-color LED backlight which produces deeper, richer colors with a color gamut 46% greater than standard LCD displays. Throw in a 30-bit color accuracy and a 1000:1 contrast ratio and I can honestly say that it is a sweet display. The cool part is that this display will be available to the pro-sumer market at a suggested retail of around $3500. Read the full press release here.

Oh, by the way, while we were out at DreamWorks, we got a special pre-screening of Kung Fu Panda. It was a really cool movie!!!

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  1. Glenn Chan 13 July, 2008 at 18:05 Reply

    The 30-bit color (10bits/channel) will need a 10-bit video card + the corresponding color to take advantage of that. I believe ATI is coming out with such a video card… hopefully the software (e.g. Photoshop) will support 10-bit output to the monitor too. I think this is the unique thing about this monitor as there are others out there with wide gamut (e.g. NEC) and 1000:1 contrast ratio.

    The CRT can do better than 1000:1 contrast ratio on dark scenes (bright scenes have lower contrast due to flare) and when the CRT has little glare from lighting (LCDs are much more resistant against glare/ambient lighting). In a dark room, the blacks on a 1000:1 LCD will still be glow in the dark:
    http://colorcorrection.info/monitoring/surround-effects-part-2/
    (*The image there is from my Macbook pro, which is not 1000:1. But I’ve seen other 1000:1 LCDs and they still look glow in the dark. There is the ecinema DPX monitor… $38K… with >15,000:1 contrast ratio and it has true blacks that are slightly better than CRT’s. But it’s not priced for the Photoshop market.)

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