Magic Mirror, 2009
October 10, 2008 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Forget "widescreen": I need a ROUND LCD or other display.

I'm mulling over a specific odd requirement for a job I am consulting on: a project needs a large and round digital display (about 4 feet diameter, though specs are flexible on that) to display various data from feeds. It must be mountable flat on a wall. As a circle. And ideally, in the most annoying twist: it should be somewhat portable.

The unsatisfying solution is a large regular display masked with some custom manufactured cutout and faux-bezel, producing a circular 'window' within a square box, with the box then sunk flush into the wall and the edges all hidden, painted to match and hopefully visually vanish.

This would work, but it's non-ideal. The custom manufacturing aspects are acceptable (there's a budget) but because of the installation and disguise required, the portability is impaired, and the overall effect becomes hugely dependent on the (re)installation each time.

I realize there are software hurdles after this, with either a 'true' round display or a masked square one, but those don't worry me as much. Programming assets are abundant here, even if custom video drivers are needed, so it's a hardware question first and foremost.

(I'm aware of this, but it's two inches across and not a real product anyway.)

So in case I'm not thinking of something obvious... any clever ideas? LCD, LED, Plasma, whatever... something.
posted by rokusan to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
in case I'm not thinking of something obvious.

Projector? To me that seems like the obvious way to do it. Unless the room is necessarily going to be brightly lit.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:20 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm in the event management industry, and we've used round displays in several of our sets. Through all of those occasions I've never heard of any economically sane solution besides matting a square display with a round aperture.

If you hear otherwise, though, I'm sure my technical director would love to be put in touch with the supplier!
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 11:20 AM on October 10, 2008

Have you tried Dynascan?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:34 AM on October 10, 2008

Oh, sorry, I thought you were looking for a cylindrical display.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:35 AM on October 10, 2008

I wonder if a custom version of something like an oscillating message display would work. It would be light and portable and probably not obscenely expensive. (Well, compared to a 4' diameter custom LCD, anyhow)
posted by JMOZ at 12:17 PM on October 10, 2008

Could you hack a rear-projection TV to have a round screen?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:03 PM on October 10, 2008

What you want is 3M Vikuiti rear projection film. Can be cut into any shape you want. There's a Harrod's in London that has a projection screen in the shape of a guitar in their front window, for instance.
posted by jbickers at 2:32 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

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