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Apple Releases New Line Of Cinema Displays

Apple Releases New Line Of Cinema Displays

by , 3:15 PM EDT, June 28th, 2004

If you have a fancy new G5 and don't want a monitor that goes with the now-discontinued Power Mac G4, you're in luck. At this morning's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC), Steve Jobs introduced a new line of Cinema Displays featuring a thin-bezel aluminum case. The line of widescreen displays include a 20" display, a 23" display, and the new, massive 30" display. The new 30" Cinema HD features a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, and a DVI connection for connection to Apple's latest Power Mac and PowerBook systems, along with x86 PCs with DVI connections. The new displays also feature two FireWire and two USB ports, and have a VESA-compatible mounting bracket. From Apple:

Apple today unveiled a new family of widescreen flat panel displays featuring the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD display, a professional-quality, wide-format active-matrix LCD with 2560-by-1600 pixel resolution--the largest high resolution display ever created. Rounding out the new lineup are new 23-inch and 20-inch Cinema Displays, offering creative professionals and prosumers the highest quality flat panel displays in the industry. The new displays feature dual FireWire and dual USB 2.0 ports built into the display and use the industry standard DVI interface for a pure digital connection with Apple's latest Power Mac and PowerBook systems, as well as PCs with a DVI connector. Two 30-inch Cinema Displays can be driven simultaneously from Apple's new Power Mac line of desktop workstations, offering professional users a desktop of 8 million pixels.

"Our gorgeous new 30-inch Cinema Display is the largest desktop canvas ever created, and you can even run two of them side-by-side to get 8 million jaw-dropping pixels," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Apple's Cinema Displays have always set the bar for the industry's highest quality displays, and our new 30-inch display is a giant leap forward for our pro customers."

The new Apple Cinema Displays feature an all new aluminum design with a very thin bezel, suspended by an aluminum stand with an adjustable hinge that makes tilting the display almost effortless. Each Cinema Display features two FireWire 400 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, making attachment of desktop peripherals, such as a keyboard, mouse, iPod, iSight, digital and still camera, hard drive, printer and scanner, even more accessible and convenient. The new displays support the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) mounting interface standard. Customers with the optional Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter kit can mount their display in locations most appropriate for their work environment.

Apple's new family of displays offers the widescreen design (16:10 ratio) coveted by creative professionals who want access to more horizontal workspace. The Apple Cinema HD 30-inch display has an unbelievable 2560-by-1600 pixel resolution and the 23-inch Apple Cinema HD display has a 1920-by-1200 pixel resolution, both capable of displaying High Definition Television (HDTV) content with room to spare. The new 20-inch Apple Cinema Display professional-quality flat panel offers a 1680-by-1050 pixel resolution, more than enough room to edit images with all of the palettes on-screen.

Perfect for creative customers in demanding color environments, Apple flat panel displays provide maximum color quality using the industry's best wide-viewing angle technology of up to 170 degrees even when viewing images off-axis. With a broad color gamut that stays consistent edge-to-edge, Apple flat panel displays have been certified by SWOP Incorporated as part of the ICS Remote Director product, the first display-based proofing system created to approve jobs for press production on-screen without the need for hard-copy proofs--an innovation that can result in significant time and cost savings for print professionals.

The 20-inch Cinema Display and the 23-inch Cinema HD Display are designed to work with DVI equipped Power Macs, PowerBooks and Windows-based computers. The advanced design of Apple's breakthrough 30-inch Cinema HD Display requires the high-performance NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card and a Power Mac G5 professional desktop. Providing the most advanced graphics architecture available, the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card offers the latest graphics programmability for on-screen cinematic realism and an astounding bandwidth throughput of up to 35.2 GB/sec to support incredibly high pixel fill rates of 6.4 billion texels a second. The first card to provide support for two high resolution dual link interfaces, the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card provides two DVI connectors so that two 30-inch Cinema HD Displays can be used with the Power Mac G5 desktop, resulting in an unprecedented amount of screen workspace.

The 20" and 23" Cinema Displays will be available in July for US$1,299 and US$1,999, respectively. The 30" Cinema HD Display will be available in August for US$3,299. The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL video card needed to push enough data to drive the 30" display will also be available in August from the Apple Store for US$599.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Apple's display line was long overdue for a revamp, as the styling was becoming quite dated. The addition of an even bigger display is a welcome addition, as well. It is unfortunate, however, that if you want (or can only afford) a display smaller than 20", you'll have to go for the older-than-dirt 17" ADC display that Apple kept around without a redesign or a price-drop, or you'll have to look to a source outside of Apple.

The best thing to come out of this announcement is that Apple is apparently moving away from its Apple Desktop Connection (ADC) port in favor of the industry-standard DVI port. In our never-humble opinion, ADC was a dud from the very beginning, and lack of support from the rest of the industry finished it. In fact, Apple didn't even support ADC on its own PowerBook line, requiring expensive, bulky adapters in order to use an Apple display on an Apple notebook. A specialized motherboard connection and a special power supply meant that ADC would likely never be adopted by the rest of the personal computer industry, and only one manufacturer aside from Apple even bothered to make ADC displays. ADC is finally nearly dead, and we can't say we'll miss it.

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