Last night we attended the Digital Life Press Preview event in New York City. One product that caught our attention was AOC's new 2230Fm display. As a 22-inch, HD flat-panel display there is nothing necessarily earth-shattering about its design. But what tripped us up was the marketing tag for the device: "No PC Required." Huh?
• Digital Media Player
• Digital Photo Frame
• 720p through 1080p HD Compatible
• USB 2.0 HUB
• 4-in-1 memory card reader
• Digital Input DVI-D & HDMI with HDCP
• Low profile integrated speakers
• Contrast Ratio 20,000:1 (dynamic)
• Glare screen – provides higher color saturation
• Plug & Play DDC/2B, DDC/CI
• 2ms ultra fast response time
• PC/Windows, Mac® Equipped With Analog VGA D-sub or DVI Port
• Easy-to-use navigation
• 360-degree glossy piano-black finish
• Designer back cover
It turns out that the 2230Fm has a neat little trick up its sleeve. In addition to being a traditional flat-screen LCD with a native resolution of 1680x1050 and VGA (D-Sub 15), DVI-D, and HDMI inputs ("HDCP ready"), the 2230Fm also includes a built-in media player, with what AOC calls its "H3" technology:
"HD3 defines a new category in high definition displays with its built-in media player, allowing consumers, for the first time, to view movies without the use of an external DVD player or PC. With the 2230Fm, simply load a film onto a memory device, plug it into the display and use AOC's proprietary, user-friendly menu and remote control to enjoy a movie PC-free. AOC's first HD3 Display is the 2230Fm, a combination of multi-functional high-definition video capabilities and stylish, 360° design that provides a stunning array of features all developed to cater to the digital needs of today’s consumers."
The display includes an integrated 4-in-1 media reader that accepts MMC, SD, xD, and MS memory cards; the display also features a USB 2.0 hub. Media files can be read directly off the memory cards or USB flash drives and played back on the display without needing to connect to a computer. The on-screen media player interface gives you the option to display photos, videos, or to use the display as a digital picture frame. You can also playback audio files as well. The unit houses a pair of stereo speakers.
The 2230Fm supports MPEG-1, 2, and 4 video formats. The supported audio format are too numerous to list, but they include MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, FLA, and M4A. Supported photo formats include JPG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, and GIF images with resolutions up to 8000x8000 pixels.
Playback modes include fast-forward, rewind, pause, zoom, slideshow, and transitions, depending on the type of media being viewed.
The display has a low 2ms response time and high 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. It will sell for an MSRP of $399.99 and should be available in the U.S. next month. This price point is reasonable for a 22-inch display and is roughly twice as expensive as smaller, single-purpose digital photo frames. When we talk about convergence, we didn't expected it to pertain to displays.
It's an innovative product to be sure but it still doesn't steal our heart quite like the 30" of joy found on Dell's 3008WFP. Regardless, what are your thoughts relative to the usefulness of a media player-enabled LCD? Discuss below and toss in your two bits...