Monitors and displays - Putting an end to cable spaghetti

10/20/2021 Know-How

They might look wonderful in the brochure or on the website, but in reality, the cable spaghetti next to the monitors doesn’t look quite as appealing. 3-In-1 solutions that only need a single cable for power, touch controls and video now live up to the promise of the picture in the brochure.

They're called "Magic Monsters" or "Adapt IQ" and come from an American monitor manufacturer that has become a global industry leader in touchscreen monitors, displays and tablets since it was founded in 2008, not just because of the high quality of the products, but also the development of entirely new features, in particular video over USB. This allows both the video signal and the power to be carried entirely over USB to the display, so there is no need for a separate cable or a separate power supply unit. It also allows board developers to dispense with the HDMI interface, which is encumbered with licensing requirements. This means less cost and also makes the displays an intriguing proposition for applications where space is at a premium. It also makes installing the monitors easier, as the user only needs to connect a USB cable.

For video over USB, an appropriate driver is installed on the computer to enable display output and touch controls directly over USB - without additional calibration steps. The driver is available for all currently standard operating systems.

However, some applications still require a video signal over cable, for example when larger distances need to be covered from the source device to the monitor or if a media player, cascaded system or video matrix is being used, so that the drivers for the operating systems cannot guarantee that the signal will reach the display via USB. Mimo Monitors offers models with HDMI connectors for this purpose.

All-in-One solution for limited space conditions

There's also an "all-in-one" solution that is specially designed for digital signage applications - the 10.1" model includes an integrated media player from manufacturer BrightSign, optionally with or without a touchscreen and with the ability to use "Power over Ethernet" (PoE) for the power supply and network connection. The integrated media player eliminates the need to install the cables that would otherwise have been necessary between the display and player, thus reducing the amount of space needed by the solution. It also makes it easier to protect it against unauthorized access or tampering. And thanks to PoE, these all-in-one devices can also be fitted anywhere, even if there is no power available. This makes them ideal for doorsign displays, for shelf systems, and for any applications where there is barely any space for separate data source devices and cables. They are suitable for use in IT infrastructure that needs to be kept scalable.

A separate media player is also recommended if the display needs to be used over as long a term as possible but the content sources need to be flexibly modifiable, e.g. due to other performance or capacity-related requirements. Even if space is no object, a separate solution should still be chosen.

Stretch displays are commonly used for vending machines, shelves, fruit & vegetable stands in supermarkets and also on buses and trains. With a size of 23" x 2", they can show plenty of information without consuming too much vertical space. The shelf-edge stretch display from Mimo Monitors offers a brightness level of 700 nits and is also available with an integrated Android ARM Cortex A35 Core Player.

Broad Product Range

The Mimo Monitors portfolio encompasses 7" and 10.1" displays with resistive or capacitive touchscreens as well as non-touch versions. There are various installation options available for all displays and touchscreen monitors. These might be stands or standardized VESA mounts on the rear, for which Mimo Monitors offers a whole range of accessories such as mounting brackets and adapters for installations.

These models are also available as open-frame versions for applications such as installation in housings. Mimo Monitors offers the available displays and touchscreen monitors with many diagonal sizes and resolutions, ranging from 7" to 32", from 800 x 480 to 1920 x 1080. The 15.6", 18.5" and 19" models feature VGA, DVI and HDMI interfaces, while the models measuring 21.5" upwards only have VGA and HDMI.

They are used in retail environments as well as hotels, restaurants, medicine and automation, for home entertainment and gaming and for digital signage.


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One cable is enough for transferring the video signal, power and touch input signals.