I've been sitting on this post since the end of June because it contains some product info that, at the time, was not public knowledge. I haven't been under any legal obligation to hold it back, but it seemed rude not to. Now you can read about....
When we last parted
from this saga, I had changed plans to use two 15" and two 24"
widescreen monitors instead of four 19". This has taken a turn, and hopefully
for the better.
The plan to use 15" screens was totally
driven by the max resolution from the Simrad NSO blackbox. I got word
back in June that Simrad was working on the next NSO black box, we'll call it NSO-2,
which supports resolutions up to full widescreen. That changes a lot.
With lots more screen space available from the NSO, I'm now planning for
three 24" widescreens and nothing else. One for the NSO, one for the Nav computer, and
one for the ship's computer. This gets me back to a consistent look
among the monitors, and makes them all the same again so I can easily
interchange uses and have an easy backup in case of failure. And with
the 24" having essentially twice the screen real estate as the 15", I'm
comfortable having just one NSO instead of two. This is yet another
twist in the plan, but it's finally evolving into a plan without warts
Last week I stopped by the Simrad booth at the Newport boat show and asked about the NSO-2 and the guy produced a product sheet. I still haven't seen an announcement and there is no info on their web site yet, but the details are out if you can find them. In addition to supporting pretty much every resolution up to full HD widescreen, the NSO-2 also supports two independent screens. Previously the two screens were mirrors of each other, not independent. This gives me a whole new dimension of flexibility in how I use my screens. It also now supports a USB keyboard and mouse - one of my other big complaints with the original NSO. And for the iPad freaks among us (I might just qualify myself) the NSO-2 now supports Simrad's wifi apps and gadgets just like the NSS touch screens.
I'm very happy with this development, and glad I found out about it in time to make the change. One of the big challenges outfitting a boat with so much lead time is the risk of your equipment being outdated by the time you actually take delivery. I escaped this one with only minor cuts and bruises (I lost a bit selling the NSOs that I had previously purchased). And by dragging my feet a bit I'll also have KVH's newer V3/ip which is a more integrated and less power hungry version of the V3. Sometimes procrastination pays.