Monday, August 26, 2013

Monitors, still.

Light at the end of the tunnel, or the headlight of a train?  I sure hope the former.

I've been sitting on this post since the end of June to see how things evolved.  Now you can read about....

And it turns out the manufacturer I was chasing (Stealth Computer) is not really ground zero for the monitors I'm interested in.  They of course would never admit it, but I subsequently found the place in Taiwan (LiteMax) that does appear to be ground zero, and I found positive confirmation that they make the GreenMarine Monitors.  The guy who owns GreenMarine is also a LiteMax distributor in the US, and has created his own branded version of a couple of the LiteMax Navpixel monitors.  GreenMarine claims "29 differences" between the LiteMax and GreenMarine displays.  I don't doubt that there are, but I do doubt that they are of any significance.  A simple re-branding of a product could easily result in 29 changes.  What GreenMarine has done that clearly brings value is to stock product and provide local support, including a dealer network.   In contrast, buying from LiteMax is 4-6 week lead time, no cancel and no return, return to Taiwan for repair.  You order it, you own it.  But the up-side is a wider choice of products and about 1/3 the price of GreenMarine.  That's a big savings, and I plan to buy a 4th monitor just as a spare to address the whole service/repair risk and will still come out way ahead financially.  I also tracked down a marine electronics place that has been using the LiteMax displays in high-end boats for a while and they are very pleased with the results.  There is nothing like customer feedback to validate a product.
With all that, the decision is made, but I'm still proceeding with caution.  I have ordered one monitor, and after test and acceptance, will order the remaining units.  Stay tuned for a first hand report sometime in August when the first unit arrives.

Fast forward to August.  That's now.  I received the monitor and ran it through its paces and the results are great.  It's nice and bright, and a dedicated dimming knob which is much easier to use than buttons and a menu, operates directly off 24VDC, and supports the video modes that I need. So I ordered three more, one of which will be a spare.

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