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View Full Version : New Display - opinions?



Tom Wynne
2004-08-09, 15:21
I've been browsing some of the other threads relating to the new
display, but none of them directly ask the same question (that I've
found as yet!) ...

I currently have a Slimp3, and am seriously tempted into buying a new
Squeezebox by the upgraded display. Can anyone that has one give an
honest opinion? And does it significantly improve the legibility at a
distance of 10-15ft?

Many thanks,

Tom

Nick Silberstein
2004-08-09, 16:32
Tom Wynne wrote:
> I currently have a Slimp3, and am seriously tempted into buying a new
> Squeezebox by the upgraded display. Can anyone that has one give an
> honest opinion? And does it significantly improve the legibility at a
> distance of 10-15ft?

I bought an original Squeezebox, which AFAIK, has an identical display
to the Slimp3. I purchased the graphical display upgrade and installed
it the other day. I'd be happy to give you my first impressions!

The key difference that strikes you right away is that rather than using
"ascii-art" to draw the large size, the graphic display uses larger
regular fonts. It looks much more smooth and professional, the older
style display looks a little clowny by comparison. You also have a
choice, as other readers on the list have mentioned, of several
in-between text sizes. I find the second-to-largest display the nicest
(it preserves the original case of the text, unlike the largest display,
which displays everything in upper-case).

If you are wondering, "Will the display will look much nicer?", my
answer is a resounding yes. It's a superior display that allows for
much more complex methods of displaying information, modern UI cues,
widgets, etc. A scrollbar with elevator could be displayed to indicate
actual position in a list, for example. A weather plugin could display
rain or sun graphics to give a 5 day forecast that would fit on the
display without scrolling. Selections could be outlined, or graphically
indicated, rather than just bolded. Semi-cryptic symbols to indicate
toggles and settings with the software can be made much more
recognizable. At the moment, there isn't much being done that utilizes
the capabilities of the new display, but I expect that will change soon.

If you're wondering, "Will my comprehension of the displayed info be
better, at 10' away from the unit, with the new display?", I would say,
generally, not significantly (yet). If you're having problems making
out the info now, with the older display in large size mode, the new
display unit will not help much, unless you find the ascii-art style
representation of the letters difficult to read. The graphical display
has the same dimensions as the older display, so the same limits to the
height of characters applies. That said, characters with tildes or
umlauts will be much more recognizable, and being able to see the
characters in a larger size but retaining their original case could make
some information more legible at a distance.

The reason I said "not significantly (yet)" above, is that I suppose
that a new font could be introduced on the graphical display that makes
the letters thinner and very wide, for improved legibility at a
distance. There are probably also animation techniques that could
present the appearance of much larger characters (flip-flopping between
the top and bottom half of letters, for example, though on second
thought this sounds nausea inducing :).

I hope that helps!

Nick

--
Nick Silberstein
Senior Developer
Flying Machine Development, Inc.