by April 1, 2010 0 comments



While hardware is becoming more powerful on one hand, there’s also
development happening to leverage it more effectively. In this article, we’ll
look at the latter, starting with technologies to share a single PC among 10+
users, and then moving to technologies to combine multiple displays, followed by
how an organization could connect multiple monitors to a single PC. All of these
can meet specific business requirements, such as enhance user productivity,
lower costs, enhance power savings, and so on. So besides telling you about the
technologies, we’ll also give the key business benefits they can deliver to your
business.

Convert one PC to many
Today even entry level desktops are powerhouses with 2GHz dual-core
processors, oodles of RAM and 200+ GB of storage capacity. But do you know that
less than 10% of the computing power of your PC is generally utilized at any
given time? You might be using your computer for simple work like, word
processing, Internet surfing, sending and receiving mails, etc. What if you can
do hassle-free redistribution of the remaining 90% of your PC’s resources to
multiple users simultaneously?

LG and NComputing solution enabling sharing of the strength
of a standard PC with multiple users.

LG and NComputing have introduced the LG network monitor solution which
enables sharing of the computing strength of a single PC with multiple users,
enabling each user to perform quick virtual computing, as if they are directly
using applications on their own PC. Just install a PCI card and NComputing
vSpace desktop virtualization software onto the host PC to divide the host
computer’s resources into separate virtual workspaces. Next, connect LG LCD
network monitors to the PCI card, with users connecting their keyboards and mice
directly to these network monitors.

Though all the computing tasks are done on the shared PC, the monitors,
keyboards and mice of the users communicate with the shared PC via the
connection device. The LG Network monitor, N Series can directly connect up to
11 users to the same computer, while the N plus series technology supports up
to 31 desktop LCD monitors. This solution is good, when it comes to performing
mainstream tasks such as office apps, email, and Internet browsing, but is not
intended for processor-intensive applications such as video editing, 3-D games,
and scientific computing, etc.

Apart from being eye-catching display solutions, video
walls also enable quick collaborative decision making.

Since multiple monitors are operating on a single host PC, very less time
needs to be spent by IT personnel on repairs, patches and software installation,
etc. There is direct reduction in repair, maintenance and management costs. LGclaims
that there would be reduction in upgrade costs by at least 60% per year,
reduction in system usage and maintenance & reduction in repair costs by 70% or
more. Also, the monitor being an ultra-low energy consumer, the electricity
consumption reduces by 90% compared to general PCs. Since all the information is
secured on a single PC, the security of sensitive corporate information is also
ensured. Also the IT department need not have special technical expertise as
the system relies on a standard computer as the host rather than a server.

Video Walls for Collaborative
Decision-making
Dynamic video walls might have definitely caught your attention in events or
in trade shows, displaying larger than life images and videos. But the utility
of such video walls, composed of individual large format display units tiled
against each other, is not just limited to form strong attention-catching
displays. They can be utilized within an office effectively and can play a major
role in increasing office productivity.

Display walls are designed for real and expanding
requirements for large scale visualization systems that present extreme
resolutions and provide customizable multimedia system in a multiple monitor
format. The video-wall facilities provide a platform for simultaneous
visualization of huge amounts of converged data to allow for collaborative
decision making. With these displays, it is possible to visualize inputs
from various sources like multiple work stations, video sources, etc.

Hemant Agarwal, Delta Group India

Where can video walls be used?

How would you like a video-wall in your boardroom which enables you to
control content from multiple PC sources, with a single PC in real time? A video
wall that lets you dynamically control the content by enabling selection and
manipulation of the content in the way you want? Be it the case of a boardroom
meeting, or defense or security and surveillance departments or the medical
field, deploying a video wall can save time and increase efficiency. Video-walls
can be of great use in various verticals like video surveillance apps, telecom,
defence, traffic, broadcasting, industrial process and control rooms,
energy/power industry, process control, security, radar signal visualization,
financial data visualization, CAD systems, etc.

Samsung Ultra Definition Series Large Format Displays (LFDs)
One such solution is the Samsung UD Series 46” 460UTn-UD and 460UXn-UD LCD
displays which allows for creation of video wall of upto 250 displays. With
ultra-thin bezels , these LFDs have a built-in network PC which includes a UD
software that enables selection and controlling of the content from upto 125
source PCs, in real time, with a single PC. Also the UD software enables dynamic
manipulation of the content by enabling zooming in, switching images, dragging
content, etc. Also included is the Microsoft Win XP and Samsung’s MagicInfo
content management & delivery software that provides the users with a simple
tool to manage content over a LAN or WAN.

“Video walls can be efficiently utilized in the office
since they give a lot of clarity of display and provide the facility of
manipulating the content, enhancing the decision taking process.

Saurabh Chokraborty, Samsung India.

Delta DVS Series of rear projection cubes
Delta’s DVS Series of rear projection cubes, available in both XGA /SXGA+
resolutions, is another video wall solution. These displays enable streaming of
inputs from different sources like work stations, video sources, etc. in a
variety of formats like DVI, RGB and Video and inputs from computers all over
the network. The videowall management software enables real time monitoring of
multiple locations at one go. The whole system comprises of the projection
engine, the cube system and the control unit.

The display wall engines are based on the DLP (Digital Light
Processing)technology which itself is based on DMD chip, the Digital Micro
Mirror Device. The controller, an ultra high resolution multi screen device
based on high end workstation/server architecture with Windows as the main OS,
drives multiple cubes/ monitors forming a single, wide logical area, the display
wall.

ATi Eyefinity
It’s a simple but true fact that the bigger the display, the easier it is to
work on. However, purchasing a large screen television or projector for work is
not an option for everyone. There is the cost factor involved and then the issue
of finding a place large enough to set it up. So for now, even if you have
multiple monitors, you can at best connect two monitors at the same time for an
extended desktop setup without running in one or the other error. It is only
fair to say that having a large multi-screen desktop has much more to it than
just multimedia usage. It gives tremendous boost in terms of productivity to the
user as well. With its 5000 series graphics cards, ATi introduced a technology
called Eyefinity, ostensibly to help users with multiple monitor setups. And it
turned out to be a real treat for eyes.

You can see two monitors connected using Eyefinity,
displaying the interface for different apps. Users can work on them
simultaneously.

ATi’s Eyefinity is an advanced multi-display technology that allows upto six
monitors to be connected via one single graphics card, to act as one huge
desktop. Currently, the technology is available with the 5000 series of graphics
cards that feature DirectX 11 as well as 40 nm fabrication processes and come
with GDDR 5 memory with over 1440 stream processors. Even the most basic of the
5000 series card, the ATi 5450 supports Eyefinity and can easily connect and
work with three monitors to get an ultra wide screen display.

It is fairly simple to setup and takes just about five minutes to complete
once all monitors have been connected to the graphics card. After the catalyst
drivers and control center have been installed, one simply needs to go to the
advanced mode and select display and desktop options. All connected monitors
would be displayed with their respective position number. Right clicking on any
monitor and selecting the create group option make monitors to be connected as a
single display. All a user requires to do is select if he wants the display
setup to be in vertical shape or horizontal. Once through with this process, all
connected monitors are grouped as one, and it converts to a single large
display.

Using a set of 3 full HD LCD monitors, we had a desktop setup with a
resolution of 5760 x 1080 pixels. Now with this resolution, the working space is
increased three-folds. A user can set various applications to launch at the
designated display area across the three monitors. This means that a user can
view a browser window, a word document as well as a video playing at the same
time. In a work environment, the setup can be great for productivity. A user can
have multiple windows opened across the desktop and would not have to switch
amongst windows to find and punch in data. The setup can be used to run various
applications at the same time for research and analysis as well. As it is a
single desktop stretched across monitors, it’s easy to move around multiple
windows amongst monitors and keep the required ones in front for quick access.
However, the setup faces some niggles. The major one being that the third
monitor needs to be connected via a display port connector, otherwise the third
port cannot be enabled to be a part of the group. Overall, Eyefinity is a useful
technology from ATi, one that has the potential to increase productivity
manifold in office.

Next-Moving
to USB 3, SATA 6

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