Fox News’ new giant screens are lower resolution than an iPad

News anchor Shepard Smith proudly demonstrated a remodeled “Fox News Deck” featuring massive, expensive new 55 inch touchscreens sold by Microsoft. However, the giant new screens have much lower resolution than even a 9.7″ iPad.

Smith beamed in showing off how Fox had, at considerable expense, revamped its news anchor sound stage to include actors manipulating at least ten of the massive new displays, each of which sells for around $7,100.

The displays are sold by Microsoft, which last year acquired Perceptive Pixel, the manufacturer of the giant touchscreens. The screen is essentially a very high quality HDTV equipped with a “projected capacitative” multitouch sensor. The screens are powered by Windows 8 and can also be navigated using an “Active Stylus,” which works like a wireless remote control.

Fox News said the month-long remodeling of its “revolutionary new studio” was performed in response to viewership changes, particularly the shifts occurring among users armed with mobile phones and iPads, many of which have ubiquitous data service…

Smith added, “we had to completely overhaul the way our news gathering works.” However, the “brand new tools to track developing stories,” that Smith said Fox was installing on stage for viewers to observe actually convey far less information that a typical pair of 17 inch computer screens.

Tweetsx4

The Microsoft PPI screens have a 1920×1080 (2 megapixel) resolution, the same as a standard HDTV…significantly less than a $499 Retina Display iPad (2048×1536 or 3.1 megapixel), the very device ‘users at home’ can review Twitter with themselves, without Fox News reviewing the same information on flashy, oversized desktops running a very limited resolution…

Most bizarrely, Fox’s video portrayed its “journalists” on stage in front of massive displays devoted to showing just four different tweets. At a maximum of 140 characters each, that’s no more than 560 bytes of actual information per $7,000 screen. The standard Twitter client for iPhone packs more than that on a compact 4″ display.

I wonder if this was all prompted by the newly-constructed and very snazzy Aljazeera studios in a dozen locations around the United States? Or did some hustling salesman from Microsoft simply oversell the Fox IT boffins?

Most geeks know the difference between the resolution levels available on computer screens versus the limitations of even HDTV.

Now, when I save enough pennies for a 4KTV… 🙂

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