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Old 10-29-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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PVI on its way to success thanks to E Ink

Taiwanese Prime View International (PVI) is one of those companies most e-book devotees don't hear much about. And yet, their success is intrinsic to our cause. PVI is the manufacturer of the E Ink panel used by many if not most of today's E Ink-based e-book readers, including the Sony Reader, the HanLin eBook, and the Bookeen Cybook. Probably the only exception is the iRex iLiad, whose advanced E Ink display has been developed in-house. DigiTimes now reports that PVI is in the progress of forging new partnerships with other computer and gadget suppliers:

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PVI company president YS Fu pointed out the Windows Vista SideShow technology brings more opportunities for PC peripherals such as printers, portable hard drives and keyboards to feature a display. PVI expects that more applications in the market will adopt the company's e-paper display technology in the future, noted Fu.

The Taiwan-based company has built collaboration with Qualcomm on e-paper displays, market speculation recently noted, adding that PVI will supply e-paper to Qualcomm for its soon-to-release display solution for mobile and GPS devices.

PVI declined to commented on the new partnership, stated Fu.
Of course that's good news for us. The stronger PVI gets, the more likely it is that other companies jump on the E Ink train.
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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Even the iLiads E-Ink display is produced by PVI, only the controlling electronics are engineered by iRex/Phillips, thats why it can display more greyscales than the other eink devices.
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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Then we can expect the iLiad to begin using Vizplex very soon?
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:24 PM   #4
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I am not so sure about that. Since the leap from current to viszplex is nat that big, i suspect, that iRex might skip vizplex. Since they develop the electronics themselves, there might be something else in the pipelines. But nothing conclusive yet.

And as far as i know, PVI still has problems with the larger vizplex screens.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:01 AM   #5
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But PVI says they're only making Vizplex these days. So, if iRex is, indeed, getting their panels from PVI ....

I seem to remember reading somewhere (back in the dark dusty months of spring '06) that they were making their own panels, rather than getting them from PVI. That's why I'm chasing this wild-goose, I'd like to nail down for sure what's going on there.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
But PVI says they're only making Vizplex these days. So, if iRex is, indeed, getting their panels from PVI ....

I seem to remember reading somewhere (back in the dark dusty months of spring '06) that they were making their own panels, rather than getting them from PVI. That's why I'm chasing this wild-goose, I'd like to nail down for sure what's going on there.
The iLiad already has a screen that's on a par, clarity-wise, with VizPlex. When Alex saw the iLiad at Frankfurt, he said that he was surprised how much better the iLiad's screen was than that of the original Sony Reader.

I've not yet had the opportunity to see a VizPlex screen, but comparing the original Sony Reader side-by-side with the iLiad (I have both, as you know), it's quite startling how much better the iLiad's screen is. The background is lighter and the text is "blacker". It's just a lot more "contrasty" than the PRS-500's screen.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tribble View Post
Even the iLiads E-Ink display is produced by PVI, only the controlling electronics are engineered by iRex/Phillips, thats why it can display more greyscales than the other eink devices.
Hmmm. I remember when I talked to an iRex employee at the Frankfurt Book Fair, he said that iRex makes their displays themselves. Of course it could have been a misunderstanding in regard to panel vs. controller.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:17 AM   #8
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The iLiad already has a screen that's on a par, clarity-wise, with VizPlex. When Alex saw the iLiad at Frankfurt, he said that he was surprised how much better the iLiad's screen was than that of the original Sony Reader.

I've not yet had the opportunity to see a VizPlex screen, but comparing the original Sony Reader side-by-side with the iLiad (I have both, as you know), it's quite startling how much better the iLiad's screen is. The background is lighter and the text is "blacker". It's just a lot more "contrasty" than the PRS-500's screen.
I just bought a PRS-505 and from experience I know that the screen of the iLiad is not on par with VizPlex. ILiad's screen is considerably worse than the PRS-505. I will take a photo when I have time of the two devices side by side.

PRS-505 is just brighter and more contrasty than the iLiad to make it comfortable to read versus the iLiad that is very uncomfortable to read other than outdoors. I would estimate the difference to be 40% between the two.

This suggests that either my iLiad's screen darkened 20% since last year and was originally 20% worse than Vizplex (roughly), or the iLiad has darkened 40% in just a year, which than indicates poor quality.

Anyway, I think Vizplex is better than the iLiad as I don't experience any ghosting, whereas on iLiad I experienced ghosting from the very beginning.

They are in par that on both devices I have 1-1 dead pixels, but on the Sony I have an reversed c shaped spot as well.

The sony's screen management is better, in that respect that I can switch it off and on quickly while I am not using it and hence save the screen, whereas on the iliad I have to wait 1 minute before switching on again. And YES there is burn-in effect on the iLiad as the dead pixel appeared and the screen became darker after a longer time I left the iLiad on accidentally.

(and sometimes I have to do it on purpose, because I am using it for learning and sometimes takes hours for me just to memorize 1 page)

I am glad that I have both devices because at least I have some basis for comparison and I can tell that the PRS-505 has a screen that basically you can't complain about in terms of readability, but still does not reach the readability of a newspaper IMHO (not to mention a magazine). I have the privilage now to see whether the screen gets darker over time compared to the iLiad.

Still both are good devices and what is good in the Sony is bad in the iLiad and vice versa. I wish my iLiad had power management and brighter screen, so I can only hope that actually PVI makes the screen for the iLiad and soon we will see Vizplex in the iLiad as well so that I can replace the screen.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:33 AM   #9
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There does seem to be a dramatic variation in the appearance of individual eInk screens. My iLiad is completely free from ghosting and, as I said, has a much better contrast than my Sony Reader. When my CyBook Gen3 arrives I'll have the opportunity to compare it to a VizPlex screen.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:12 AM   #10
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Hope my screen doesn't get darker and start ghosting. I have no ghosting and can read in pretty dim indoor lighting. My eyes are not as good as they once were either.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:38 AM   #11
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There does seem to be a dramatic variation in the appearance of individual eInk screens. My iLiad is completely free from ghosting and, as I said, has a much better contrast than my Sony Reader. When my CyBook Gen3 arrives I'll have the opportunity to compare it to a VizPlex screen.
Remember, you've not had your iLad as long as you have your Sony. If the iLiad screen will darken, then you'll have to wait till this happens. I'm not sure if my 500's screen darkened or not. I never really kept track of it. But my wife's 500 screen is definitely darker and has less contrast then my 505 screen.
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