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NAB 2010: Dolby Launches Professional Imaging Product

NAB Show 2010: Complete Coverage From B&C

Dolby Laboratories, Inc., best
known for its range of professional audio products and broadly licensed digital
audio technology, is using NAB to introduce a 42-inch, professional LCD video
reference monitor designed to deliver the same color accuracy as the obsolete
CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors long favored by high-end production and
post-production veterans.

While Dolby does have a large
footprint in imaging in the digital cinema space and has shipped more than
3,200 3D display systems worldwide, the PRM-4200 monitor represents its first
professional imaging product and is the culmination of a long development

"We've been working on this for a
while," said Roland Vlaicu, director of technical marketing for Dolby's
broadcast segment.

In speaking with Tier-1
post-production clients, said Vlaicu, the "biggest headache" they mention is
that they can no longer get high-end CRT monitors, which have been phased out
for LCD and plasma monitors over the past decade as part of an overall shift
from CRT to flat-panel technology in both the consumer and b-to-b markets. They
revere the color accuracy of the old CRTs, said Vlaicu, in particular their
ability to depict "true black levels."

Dolby is aiming to solve that
problem with the PRM-4200, which should ship later this year and sell for
between $40,000 and $50,000. Dolby says the monitor accurately reveals true and
deep black levels with higher contrast across the entire color spectrum, and
provides an unprecedented luminance range and level. It uses a backlight comprised
of red, green, and blue LEDs that are modulated individually on a
frame-by-frame basis. The LCD panel is also modulated in real time as part of
the dual-modulation process.

"We want to be able to reproduce
color accuracy across all luminance levels," said Vlaicu. "It also has the
ability to display extended dynamic range, related to what digital cinema
cameras can capture today. They can get more and more, and you need to
visualize that."

In addition to high-end
post-production houses, the PRM-4200 should also have applications for
television networks in their quality control and transmission monitoring