back to article 8K? That’s cute. This display has 600 million pixels

If you thought 8K was high res, then this supercomputer lab's newly revamped Stallion tiled display system invites you to think bigger — much bigger. The massive display claims a resolution of 46,080 x 12,960 pixels. Put another way, that works out to just shy of 600 megapixels, or in TV marketing speak 46K. However, this isn …

  1. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Holy Bezels, Batman

    You'd think they'd use panels with a smaller bezel. Those bezels are massive, and highly distracting.

    Zero bezel modular displays are off the shelf items in entertainment. You can easily get modular ones designed to go nearly infinite in size, built up in a day then taken down and put it up somewhere else a couple of days later.

    Colour calibrated, too.

    I rather suspect they rolled their own controllers, too, instead of buying the off the shelf units like Tessera.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Holy Bezels, Batman

      Agreed. I'm not impressed by those thick black lines dividing panels.

      1. Seajay

        Re: Holy Bezels, Batman

        If you zoom in it appears they aren't actually bezels, but gaps between the screens. The bezels themselves are quite narrow.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Holy Bezels, Batman

      "I rather suspect they rolled their own controllers, too..."

      I think this is implied in the article, as they say it is configurable to act as one whole screen or 6 3-screen 'columns' (which AFAIK is not available 'out-of-the-box)

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Holy Bezels, Batman

      Those bezels are massive

      That could be a song.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Holy Bezels, Batman

      > Those bezels are massive, and highly distracting.

      I doubt the bezels would be as distracting in real life as the low res photograph has lead you to suspect. Comparing it to a few 1080 monitors on a desk is likely misleading.

      The folk who put this together made this design decision based on their real experience of using its previous version to visualise data.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Samsung 8k TVs

    Are they all smart TVs, cheerfully phoning home to the mothership?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Samsung 8k TVs

      If they don't connect them to the internet they aren't phoning home anywhere. Smart TVs don't seem to complain about lack of connectivity when you are using them only via the HDMI inputs.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: Samsung 8k TVs

        "If they don't connect them to the internet they aren't phoning home anywhere. Smart TVs don't seem to complain about lack of connectivity when you are using them only via the HDMI inputs."

        For now, I suspect consumer TVs wills start to mandate internet connectivity for 'security' reasons eventually even for being used as dumb monitors.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Samsung 8k TVs

          Yes, well, they'll have to start offering proper long term s/w support and not turn off servers in that case as is being slowly rumbled about here in the UK, ie losing advertised functionality long before the expected end of life for a large and expensive domestic appliance.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Samsung 8k TVs

          And that will be the day you'll see hackers jailbreak popular TVs. I would guess Samsung has paid about as much attention to security as the authors of sendmail had in the 80s, and there will be so many ways to root it that it would be an afternoon's work for someone of moderate technical ability.

          Best of all you wouldn't need a full featured OS to replace it, just something that can interpret the buttons you're pressing on the remote and the side of the TV to switch inputs. I wouldn't even bother adding support for changing channels, since everyone uses a TV as either a streaming device or to connect a streaming device, console, or cable/satellite DVR via HDMI.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Samsung 8k TVs

        I had a smart TV to install for someone that refused to work unless it had a terrestrial TV aerial connected. It was intended for use only via HDMI, as a screen to a Sky Box located in the basement den, but as it had a FreeView app built in, it wanted to know its region and for some reason the only "proof" it saw as acceptable was a DTV signal. Try as I might with portable aerials and extension leads, it just wasn't having it. I thought if I could just get it past the initial installation phase it might then work as expected without an aerial (it didn't, after hauling it to the upstairs bedroom and finally getting a dribble of a signal via a set-top aerial). It wouldn't accept geo-ip, for example, or a DSTV input (no satellite tuner). That's sloppy coding, I thought, but it turns out it was an interpretation of the licensing rights from the terrestrial digital TV consortium.

        It went back to the shop with a very, very stern message about not being dicks, making a TV that could ONLY be connected to an aerial.

      3. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Samsung 8k TVs

        Mine bitches at me every time I turn it on, or press the wrong button on the remote.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Samsung 8k TVs

          you married the wrong person...

      4. Marty McFly Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Samsung 8k TVs

        Bravo-Sierra!

        I have a Samsung 'Smart TV'. The ONLY thing it does is HDMI 1. Every damn time it powers on, it wants me to agree to a EULA. I absolutely refuse.

        Okay, so it doesn't bitch about connectivity...yet. It does bitch about me not agreeing to their spy device terms. No doubt if I agree to the terms then it will nag about needing Internet access.

        Note to Samsung: This is one of five displays at this location, and was the first purchased. The others are all LG just because of this damn EULA nag. It was your business to lose as the incumbent. The insistence of agreeing to a EULA just to display HDMI 1 is ludicrous. Now LG has my business. Go pound sand.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Samsung 8k TVs

          LG are likely to have my business next year, as my current Sony Bravia is horrifically slow because they skimped on the hardware.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Samsung 8k TVs

            I've been a longstanding fan of LG, started because they were the last manufacturer left producing plasma panels and because their upscaling algorithms (from SD anamorphoc widescreen to 1080) were an order of magnitude better than some competitors. However the last LG TV I bought for home has the EULA nonsense and can't do anything network-related (such as browsing files via DLNA) without that being agreed-to. When network-connected it also always puts up a 'home screen' about ten seconds after switch on, and usually just as you are trying to swap channels.

            Cost aside, my next TV might very well be a 'commercial' display for use with a nice 'set top box'. At work (which is where I preferred plasma to contemporary LCD) I now refuse to recommend a 'TV' for any new display, partly because of that malarky but also because the more TVs you install, the more tedious it is going around every single one in the morning to switch it on. The commercial displays (I use Panasonic) talk the same language as my projectors, namely PJLink, which makes automated control almost trivial.

            The downside, of course, is that while you can get a 4k TV for £500 or less, you are talking three times that or more for a commercial display, and I'm not sure where you would buy one as a non-commercial customer.

            On the upside you get a panel with thin bezels that is rated for a minimum 18 hours a day (some are 24h), in some cases brighter than a TV and toys such as basic colour calibration and video wall capabilities built-in - feed the same signal to all the TVs and tell each one the dimensions of the wall and its own co-ordinates and hey-presto, impressive wall with the only additional expense being an HDMI splitter.

            M.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Samsung 8k TVs

          My Samsung A52s smartphone nags me every couple of weeks that I need to agree to new terms and conditions. And every time I just dismiss the alert.

          This is *my* phone, I bought it. It's not up to you to tell me what I can or cannot use it for.

          1. anothercynic Silver badge

            Re: Samsung 8k TVs

            More likely that it's the Samsung Member software that does this, *not* the phone per se. If you uninstall all the crud Samsung installed by default (and much of it you can uninstall), you don't get such messages.

  3. redpawn

    1200 person people mover

    Me and 299 other cars/SUVs come together each morning to create a tiled people mover. Many of the peo-pixles are blank but that's not the point.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: 1200 person people mover

      Most of them being blank is just the state of the modern world I'm afraid. Get used to it.

      It's the occasional dead peo-pixle that would concern me more!

      1. LogicGate Silver badge

        Re: 1200 person people mover

        Not all blank pixels are without consequence:

        https://youtu.be/EbFLGi4KhHo

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: 1200 person people mover

      > Me and 299 other cars/SUVs come together each morning to create a tiled people mover

      That would be a fair comparison if those 300 vehicles were centrally controlled, as opposed to each responding locally to each other.

      Still, even Randall Munroe choose to overlook this recently:

      https://m.xkcd.com/2684/

      (The pedestrians are shown a safe distance from one another, the cars are not. This however is moot given the other panels on the cartoon!)

      There's good reason car analogies are mistrusted by many of us here.

  4. b0llchit Silver badge
    Angel

    Oops

    I really do not want to pay that electricity bill.

    However, ...

    Hello professor Falken, would you like to play a game of chess?

    1. Sgt_Oddball

      Re: Oops

      No, but can you play Crysis on it? (because, obligatory).

      On a related note I wonder how many instances of some game (say Doom because you can run that on anything) you could run simultaneously? I'd assume some kind of raised seating would be required but it'd be fascinating to see how many could be reasonably played in parallel...

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Re: Oops

        Splitscreen GoldenEye

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oops

          I'd try the Crysis remake first.

    2. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
      Pint

      Re: Oops

      An array of big screens... I also thought of the (supposed) NORAD command center from "WarGames".

      This for you of like mind. ===>

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Ugh. Why Samsung?

    Because apparently everyone else has ceded the large monitor market to them.

    I recently got a physically-larger monitor because my 4K monitor was unreadably small, and there was very little choice in what to buy.

    Samsung: if you're going to make a 49" monitor that's 3840 pixels wide, why the hell do you only make it 1080 high? A minimum would be 1200, and preferably 1920.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: Ugh. Why Samsung?

      Real-world dimensions are tricky and not everyone wants "tall" in addition to "wide".

      My 2560x1440 Dell (32") stands less than an inch (~2 cm) under the upper row of cabinets in the home office. I wouldn't mind wider, especially if curved, but if it were any taller -- the screen or its stand -- it just wouldn't work for me. Moving it so it sits in front of the cabinets would put it too close to my face and leave too little room on the desk surface for the work laptop.

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Ugh. Why Samsung?

      If you're going for big specifications, Samsung delivers at the cheapest price. The screens are very bright, big, high resolution, and not too expensive. They're also completely inappropriate for a giant wall because viewing angle limits in LCD are only partially solved.

      I presume they found a way to purchase commercial models that don't show @#%! pop-ups. I used to be able to stop pop-ups on my LG by declining all the TOS, but they're back. And yes, it bugs you if you unplug its internet.

  6. Barrie Shepherd

    The 65 million pixel screen in the ABBA Arena, for the Voyage production, is really impressive if you want to see some remarkable display technology in action.

    And no bezels to be seen!

  7. Michael Strorm Silver badge

    The 1980s called

    They want their "video wall" back.

  8. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    TV sizes

    The massive display claims a resolution of 46,080 x 12,960 pixels. Put another way, that works out to just shy of 600 megapixels, or in TV marketing speak 46K.

    Given that 1920 pixels wide = 2K, 46,080 pixels is 48K. No marketroid is going to miss an opportunity to claim that his is bigger than the next guy's.

  9. mickaroo

    Time to replace my aging Sony?

    I'll need a bigger living room...

  10. Matt_payne666

    the bezels are that big! https://www.tacc.utexas.edu/vislab/stallion considering the usage, i'd have expected something a little less heath robinson.... but hey ho...

    what really got me was the rendering punch behind it all... 36x 10 year old desktops and graphics cards?? napkin maths here, but 3 RTX6000 cards would have similar VRAM, but massively faster, couple that with some modern 12 core xeons (keeping costs reasonable) and you could equal the power and slash the energy & complexity requirement...

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      equal the power and slash the energy & complexity

      Re-using old kit with which they are already familiar? Spend the limited capital budget on displays, upgrade the back end in the next round of funding?

      Why, only this week I revived an old Core2 Duo machine by fitting a new power supply, despite having newer parts (processor, motherboard, memory, storage) in stock which would have given a faster, more frugal machine. £70 for a PSU (also in stock) and 15 minutes to de-rack, swap and re-rack for a machine which has one function and works perfectly well as it is.

      Actually, a more appropriate example might be the display to which that computer is attached. The original projector was 1024pixels, as was its replacement. The current one is 1280, but running at 1024 becauee the software is hard-wired to that resolution. The next projector (about three years away) might very well be 1920, but if the budget can't be found to re-engineer the backend, it will still be running at 1024 pixels :-/

      M.

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