Barco Clarifies Uniti Design Brief

We recently reported on the new Coronis Uniti diagnostic monitor from Barco (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 42). The monitor is a colour unit that has high resolution (4200 x 2800) and very high brightness – it is rated for calibration at 1,000 cd/m², That struck us as surprisingly bright, so we spoke to Barco about the monitor.

Albert Xthona is responsible for Women’s Health Display Systems in Barco’s medical group and we had a conference call to get the details.

We started by asking about the high brightness. What had driven that?

Xthona told us that the discussions that the company had had with users over years have long suggested that users would like to see high brightness. He explained that the reflection off paper in bright shady daylight is around 1,500cd/m² and that it might have been good to go for that. At that level of brightness, the colour receptors work well in the eye to see fine detail – a combination of the way that the detectors work in the eye and also because there is more depth of field in the eye when the iris that controls the pupil size in the eye becomes smaller. The pupil gets smaller in brighter ambient conditions.

In fact, the monitor can be run at up to 2,000 cd/m², but given that Barco gives a five year warranty, the warranted brightness has to be lower. However, the monitor is supplied with Barco’s own MXRT7500 controller card which has 4GB of memory and is supplied with special software that allows parts of the screen to have boosted brightness. The display can be made bright enough that it can be used as a light box for viewing film! Unfortunately, some of the environments that the monitor is used in will not have very good lighting or conditions – sometimes just a windowless box with a single bulb.

We asked about power consumption with such high brightness. Xthona told us that the monitor uses a bit less power than the last of the Barco monochrome CRT monitors as it has power consumption of 190W. He told us that, of course, users care about power consumption, but mostly they just want the best image quality. We asked if the monitor used QD or another technology to get to the relatively good efficacy (given the resolution), but he wouldn’t be drawn on details of the backlighting. The design of the full optical stack is clearly a big part of the quality of the monitor.

Barco doesn’t quote the monitor as having wide colour gamut, but it has had positive feedback on the colours, which is a result of the high brightness. The colour vision of the eye works better at higher levels of brightness.

We mentioned that the quoted response time of 33ms is a bit slow compared to some other monitors. Xthona told us that this is a very conservative specification that applies between any two levels of grey and represents Ton + Toff. On that basis, a doctor looking at an animation of, for example, the slices in some kind of tomography data, can be confident that they will see every pixel at the correct grey scale, even at 60fps. The display includes Barco’s Rapid Frame driving technology.

Display Daily Comments

The new monitor has been shown at a couple of 371 including the JFR in Paris this month, where it was apparently received well. It will be shown at RSNA, of course. (BR)