Declining desktop sales and reduced consumer spending have played havoc with the display industry over the past year. But though the future looks stormy, the growing consumer trend towards widescreen and HD means that blue skies are out there as Matt Grainger finds out when he speaks to the industry...

Monitor progress

Last year was a tough one for monitor sales. Initially, things all looked very rosy for LCD sales, which have steadily replaced CRT as the format of choice. Rising demand for laptops and the emergence of the netbook category actually created demand that far outweighed the available supply and as a result LCD panel vendors reported treble profits during the second quarter.

However, the credit crunched and demand dried up in the major consumer nations of Europe and the US. The heavily competitive LCD industry was forced to cut prices to entice the consumer market back in to spending and to avoid stock piling. However, prices slid further and at the beginning of 2009 LG, Sharp and AU Optronics announced plans to cut back production in order to stabilise prices.

"Last year was a hard one for monitor sales," says Hannspree’s territory manager for the UK and Northern Europe, Martin Kent. "In general, year-onyear sales decreased, however, we were still very pleased with what we achieved. HannsG’s market share in the UK remained very high – in Q3 2008 HannsG was placed sixth for UK market share based on monitor sales."

An example of the doldrums that the sector has found itself in is illustrated by Samsung’s financial results at the end of Q3 2008. Despite selling a record 51.8 million units and being one of the few companies in the sector to actually post a profit, the reduced end prices and low demand saw Samsung’s operating profit fall by a gut-wrenching 44 per cent.

The end result of all this is that it’s now a buyer’s market out there, which puts the retailer in an interesting position. Costs are likely to fluctuate over the coming months as the vendors try to stave off slumping prices, but overall they should be lower than at the beginning of 2008. However, margins will be tighter as the consumer expects to pay less and the multiples are likely to keep retail prices down.

"In the current economic climate, price will become one of the main driving factors for the market," continues Kent. "Unfortunately, I can foresee casualties in the market as a consequence. In particular within the branded sector in Europe, whether it be office closures or the discontinuing of brands. It will become very difficult to compete in the market unless you are a panel manufacturer or directly affiliated to one."

Hannspree XM New York
SRP: £129.99

The first monitor from the series to be launched is the new Hannspree New York, a superb 19-inch widescreen monitor inspired by the ultra modern, industrial and mechanical styling of New York. The monitor looks sleek and refined, housed in bold black. It boasts a super fast five-ms response time, 150 degree viewing angle and 1,440 x 900 high definition display. It also includes a high contrast ratio ensuring high quality, cinematic high definition images.

HP DreamColor LP2480zx
SRP: £1,848

The HP DreamColor LP2480zx Professional LCD Display is the world’s only colour-critical LCD based on HP’s DreamColor Engine technology. This uniquely affordable monitor delivers broad colour support, rich visual quality, and consistent results. It allows unprecedented colour fidelity through a tri-colour LED backlight; work with deeper colours, CRTclass black, and programmable white all on a 24-inch diagonal wide-aspect screen.

HP L1908w
SRP: £120

The large-screen HP L1908w 19- inch widescreen LCD monitor offers essential performance features in an elegant 19-inch diagonal wide-aspect display designed for users who prefer widescreen viewing, wherever they work. Offers a crisp, clear, high resolution view with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, sharp resolutions to 1,440 x 900, and fast five-ms response time.

Asus VW246H
SRP: £282.22

The VW246H offers full high definition 1,080p for highresolution digital content display combined with an HDMI interface. Features a 16:9 wide screen and its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution is high definition optimised. The ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio technology automatically adjusts the luminance of the backlight for better displays and improves the contrast ratio to 20,000:1 – resulting in more realistic depictions of night scenes during games or movies.

HannsG HG221AP
Ingram Micro
SRP: £109.99

The new HannsG HG221AP boasts a high end technical specification. Offering a high resolution widescreen display and a decent five-ms response time to ensure visual clarity, the HG221AP is a truly outstanding visual performer for multimedia applications and more than qualified for standard computing tasks. The HG221AP also boasts a high contrast and bright screen for a continually impressive sharp, bright and colour rich image.

HannsG HG281DJ
Ingram Micro
SRP: £399

The new 28-inch widescreen, HG281DJ monitor from HannsG is the perfect choice for all high definition needs. Sporting a HDMI port and a 1,920 x 1,200 WUXGA true 1,080p resolution, the HG281DJ monitor displays high definition content in its true entirety. The HG281DJ delivers a spectacularly rich colour palette and crisp, sharp images without lag for the ultimate high definition experience.

Samsung McKinley
SRP: £112

Created as part of a range of monitors, this display is designed to allow users greater freedom and flexibility to create their optimum working environment. Elegant and slim, with superior technical specifications and outstanding features, this 19-inch monitor carries a resolution of 1,440 x 900 with a contrast ration of 1,000:1.

Samsung Kilimanjaro
SRP: £448

This model features a height adjustable stand, built-in-speakers, HDMI technology, full 1,080p input and fast response time. The 2693HM carries a dynamic contrast of 10,000:1 that optimises between frames and its wide colour gamut offers 15 per cent better colour reproduction than traditional monitors. The 2693HM is Windows Vista certified.

Asus VK246H
SRP: £304.04

Like the VW246H, the VK offers full high definition 1,080p with a screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and an HDMI interface. However, the VK includes a built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam, making it easy to conduct face-to-face live conversations. The webcam features smart exposure value control technology to compensate for poor lighting conditions and brings good image quality in comparison to that of the most consumer stand-alone webcams.

Asus VH242H
SRP: £238.58

This 23.6-inch 16:9 wide screen, like the other Asus offerings, features a full high definition optimised 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and an HDMI interface. The VH242H carries smart contrast ratio and Splendid video intelligence technology for an enhanced visual and colour experience.

LaCie 320
SRP: £749

A perfect match for graphics professionals, this 20-inch monitor is equipped with a uniformityenhanced A-TW-IPS LCD panel, which delivers a CRT-grade 72 per cent NTSC gamut, high brightness, and a strong contrast ratio of 700:1. With exceptional 12-bit gamma correction, the smoothest colour gradients can be reproduced.

Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS
SRP: £149

The ProLite E2208HDS widescreen LCD is the first to feature true high definition, 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixels as its native resolution. Impressive colour reproduction is achieved with a typical contrast ratio of 1000:1 with the user option to enhance further with Advanced Contrast Ratio enabled for 10,000:1.

Asus VH226H
SRP: £167.30

This 21.5-inch high definition display carries a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and in-built HDMI. The VH226H uses Splendid Video Intelligence technology, which adopts a colour engine to detect activation and usage of video applications and automatically optimises image quality with intelligent colour, brightness, contrast and sharpness.

Asus VK266H
SRP: £386.96

The VW266H features full high definition 1,080p together with an integrated webcam and HDMI interface. Its 16:10 wide screen with 1,920 x 1,200 resolution supports full 1,080p vision. This monitor is fully interoperable with other devices such as Blu-ray players, DVD players and consoles. Various PC and video inputs and outputs link all gears into one LCD monitor, including HDMI, DVI, Dsub, PC audio input, SPDIF audio output and earphone jack.

Edge10 T171
SRP: £94

The hard glass T series range of LCD Monitors from Edge10 is designed for any environment. As well as the obvious advantage of protecting the LCD panel, the special glass improves the visual experience to the user by raising the colour intensity and enhancing the sharpness of the image. The monitor is ideal for wall mounting with VESA 75 compliance and coupled with the anti-glare glass makes this the perfect monitor for professional installations.

Bluepoint: 0870 121 8001
Ingram Micro: 0870 405 3000
Micro-P North: 01282 776 776
Micro-P South: 01256 707 070
VIP: 0871 622 7500
Westcoast: 01189 126 000

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