Panbo

Green Marine, a new monitor manufacturer

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Mar 25, 2010
greenmarine AWM 15 monitor.jpg

Green Marine is a new company, but the principals already knew a lot about high bright LCD panels like the ones you see outside some fast food restaurants, and have even supplied screens to some familiar marine brands.  And I like their approach to the retail marine market -- offering only LED backlit displays that are extra bright but at relatively reasonable prices.  They've also at least started to do something I wish every manufacturer did, which is to detail their specifications against the competition...

The table below details Green Marine's 19-inch AWM (All Weather Monitor) versus Raymarine's G monitors and Nauticomp's Signature II series.  Note how Green has been gracious enough to highlight categories where the competition is superior.  And I don't think they left out any important (and possibly embarassing) categories either, though I trust that someone will pipe up if they did!  (Manufacturers are included in that invitation.)  A comparison of 17-inch monitors on the same page includes Furuno MUs and AmbientNav Ultras  (also discussed here, along with my take on expensive monitors).  But left out, it seems, are VEI Systems, KEP, and Hatteland and no doubt others (pipe up!).
   Green Marine hasn't yet created competitive tables for its AWM 15-12 inch monitors, or its strikingly bright and inexpensive pilot house WB-15,  and in those areas I think it's also got competition from the likes of Argonaut, Big Bay, and Planar.  There are lots of companies selling marine monitors and it's a tough sell, as they're expensive and a lot of boaters are willing to suffer along with consumer electronics screens that are less optimal but cheaper.  Which is why I said to Green Marine founder Keith Grapes, "Welcome to the marine industry; I hope you don't lose too much money!"
   But I was mostly kidding, and do salivate a bit when I see that Green at least claims to produce 1,000 nits on a 19-inch screen with only 45w of boat DC.  I so want a monitor like that for Gizmo's bright pilot house, both for navigation and entertainment.  I don't need AWM specs for such an application but I'd sure like something better suited than a home/office screen.  Grapes told me that while high bright LED panels are still only built in expensive custom runs, some component manufacturer may start producing them, and he'll be ready to add the marine touches.  Sounds good.
greenmarine 19 inch monitor comparison.jpgPS  Of course there are monitor features that will probably never make anyone's comparison table, and here's one below, as seen at the Miami Boat Show.  That's one of Nauticomp's new LED backlit monitors with Maretron N2KView as the main video source (same as the Green Marine at top).  And while PIP (Picture in Picture) is common at the high end, variably transparent PIP is not.  Which is why you're seeing a Nobeltec Admiral sonar window with the engine gauges showing through.  I'm not sure that this a realistic way to use the feature, but I can think of some, like having a generally static engine room cam showing dimly over a corner of your nav screen.  When you have a monitor like this, you want to make the most of it.

Nauticomp_transparent_PIP_cPanbo.JPG


Comments

I have had one of the Argonaut G6 15" screens for two years now. It's installed in my wheelhouse with lots of windows and bright sun.

For $900 I've been very pleased with the performance. I've been able to see it during all kinds of sun exposure.

Posted by: Jeff at March 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Reply

Green Marine displays are actually manufactured by Litemax company from Taiwan and they sell it under Navpixel brand. They also manufacture Ruggcore fanless computers. Both products are very good and reliable. As their dealer we sell it too but at more appropriate prices: 19" touchscreen model NPD1954 is {price removed at request of Locomarine}.

Posted by: Berinjo at March 26, 2010 10:53 AM | Reply

Huh? I just looked around locomarine.com, Berinjo, and don't see any monitors like the LED backlit ones I wrote about above.

I did find Navpixel's site, though:

http://www.navpixel.com/npd1954.htm

Posted by: Ben at March 26, 2010 12:13 PM | Reply

Ben,

you probably select English language on our website and all brands that we distribute are located on Croatian version of website. Therefore please select "Hrvatski" language and you will see Navpixel in the menu. Just for an information here is short price list for Navpixel LED displays with touchscreen:

{prices removed at request of Locomarine}

First two numbers after letters (NPDxx) indicate screen size. All models are around 800 NIT with resistive touch and 1000 NIT without touchscreen and with optical bonding. The smallest model is 8" with IR touchscreen, full submersible (IP67). All other models are IP65 when panel mounted. You can also find panel mount PC from Navpixel - nice products!

If you need more information do not hesitate to contact me.

Posted by: Berinjo at March 26, 2010 12:35 PM | Reply

And here's another Navpixel distributor, this one with offices in the USA:

http://mrmarine.com.au/lcdmarinedisplay.com/

Posted by: Ben at March 26, 2010 4:16 PM | Reply

Really nice stuff and would love to have it but at these prices, being a poor sailor, I will have to stay with the regular monitor types. I have a 19 inch, flip-down widescreen LCD monitor, purchased on eBay 2 years ago for about $245 with free shipping. That's 1/10th of the prices quoted above. Search for seller EONON. Works just fine inside my pilothouse and since this monitor has a built-in VGA connection (most LCD TV panels do not have this!), I was able to connect my ViewSonic VOT120 Mini PC to run CE navigation software.

Posted by: Bremer Speck at March 26, 2010 5:38 PM | Reply

I just got off the phone with Keith Grapes of Green Marine, who is understandably a little upset with how these comments have gone! He made some important points:

* He's proud to be a partner to Litemax/Navpixel, as you can see clearly at his other company, Panel-Bright, which sells the NPD series as is:
http://www.panel-brite.com/index.html

* But while the Green Marine AWM series is a lot like the Navpixel NPD series, they are not the same. There are some 29 differences between the two -- ranging from bezel design to firmware.

* Green Marine also offers a two year warranty (an extra year over Navpixel), is stocking extra monitors for fast replacements, and is setting up a U.S. network of marine dealers. That cost $$$.

Welcome to the incestuous world of marine monitors. (You'd be surprised who else has their monitors made by Litemax.)

Posted by: Ben at March 26, 2010 6:10 PM | Reply

nice displays. Greenmarine displays seem to compare very nicely to Raymarine and at about half the price.

Posted by: Marine Electronics at March 26, 2010 8:21 PM | Reply

HI Ben,
I like the fact that the monitor has a nice easy to use dimming knob. Would anybody know if there is a input on the back to connect more then one monitor to one central dimming knob. It would be nice if all marine electrons manufacturers would make inputs for a central dimming knob that worked together.
Tanks
Roy

Posted by: Roy Mevers at March 28, 2010 11:09 AM | Reply

Making 5 changes is a big modification for a monitor; 29 differences is just like putting few monitors into one, it's definitely a brain surgery. Complicated! Green Marine looks a lot better than Navpixel. I believe there must be some technologies we cannot see from the appearance.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 28, 2010 11:33 AM | Reply

I have compared Navpixel and Green Marine monitors specification and I do not see any difference on electronic side. Therefore it seems both monitors are running on same AD board and same panel. Moreover, I noticed on Navpixel website that their monitors are approved by Bureau Veritas. It is a little bit strange that you have to make so many modifications on BV approved monitor and that modifications can double the price of Navpixel unit.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 28, 2010 2:03 PM | Reply

There are only three criteria of cockpit display selection for me: price, price, and price.

Posted by: Sandy Daugherty at March 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Reply

But, Sandy, how do you calculate price when a lower cost display also has a shorter life expectancy and/or doesn't work as well in the first place?

(I'm talking generalities, not the specifics of similar displays coming from either from Croatia or your friendly local marine electronics dealer ;-)

Posted by: Ben at March 28, 2010 5:27 PM | Reply

Ben, the length of the guarantee (2 years for the expensive monitor) has very little to do with the life expectancy of a monitor. When was the last time you had a led monitor that died under two years (barring crushing it like I did to one in my motor cycle bag once). Actually, come to think of it, I have laptop LED monitors that are over 5 years old that work fine. And my 3 year old standard 19" LED monitor works fine on my sailboat, even after a storm last year that knocked me around for five hours in Georgia Strait.

I am mostly with Sandy this, although I will also look at features like standby and full power consumption, daylight view ability, water resistance/proofing when comparing prices. You also have to look at the price of a monitor ($3600 Green Marine IP65 15" w/ VGA & DVI) versus a new Garmin Chartplotter that takes VGA input ($6900 15" IPX7 touch screen). The monitor might make sense if you are adding to an installation that already has a chartplotter.

Posted by: Evan at March 29, 2010 12:24 AM | Reply

25x markup for a dimmer knob and some gaskets to make it "IP65."

I'm in the wrong business.

Posted by: Craig at March 29, 2010 1:13 AM | Reply

It is such a wonderful product line GreenMarine, which under co-developing in between Litemax and GreenMarine, demonstrate the best marine industry value that not only equips the benefit on top of Navpixel but also realize the user friendly and innovative features.

Through the long time business relationship, I can foresee GreenMarine will act as the major product supplying in marine market and I would like to rate this product as the excellent solution in marine industry.

Posted by: Litemax Regional Manager at March 29, 2010 1:19 AM | Reply

Ben,

for extra 200 USD we can apply dual-layer chemical protection on every electronic part of standard Navpixel monitor and offer 2 years warranty to any customer. Including 3-day shipping from friendly Croatia (Europe) 19" Navpixel model will cost less than {prices removed at request of Locomarine, see comment below}.

Posted by: Berinjo at March 29, 2010 2:44 AM | Reply

A message from Green Marine:

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read my lengthy post.

Over six years ago I started working with Litemax representing their sunlight readable panels to companies in the US through my company, Panel-Brite, Inc. Throughout the years, our business relationship and personal friendships have continued to grow. One of the vertical markets that was a natural �fit� for our sunlight readable displays was the marine marketplace, and we made significant sales penetration into this industry. In the fall of 2008 Litemax introduced their new Navpixel line of marine monitors and panel PC�s. I immediately picked up the Navpixel line of products and began to introduce them to the marine marketplace selling many units in the first few months. If you click on the Navpixel link Ben listed above, and then the �where to buy� tab, followed by selecting �America�, you will find my company, Panel-Brite, at the top of the US distributor list. Although the Navpixel products are fairly easy to install, I began to believe the best marketing channel for this type of �higher end� product would be through a qualified dealer network.

As I approached the dealer market with these products it became apparent that although display features, such as those listed in my chart above, and pricing will always play an important role in purchasing decisions, a greater premium was placed on product availability, and service and support both before and after the sale.

In order to meet these requirements I would have to stock (set up a distribution center) products here in the US and set up a service and support system that would be second to none. This of course would require a significant investment. Due to the fact that I had no control over the Navpixel marketing channels (Navpixel products were showing up on many non-authorized web sites at pricing all over the board) it did not make good business sense to put my money at risk to meet this criteria.

Therefore, I approached my friends at Litemax with the idea to start my own marine brand with Litemax as my sole manufacturer. I would only sell this brand through established marine electronics dealers and boat manufacturers who had the expertise to properly recommend, install, and support our products. In this regard I received Litemax�s full support. My previous sales of Navpixel units, in addition to the feedback from several visits to marine electronics dealers provided me a good base of market feedback with which to tailor my brand. It only made sense to use the existing Navpixel platform as a basis for some of my first models (no reason to totally re-invent the wheel) So, there are certainly similarities between a NPD Navpixel model and an AWM Green Marine model. However, there are also many differences. Simultaneous to modifying the NPD series, I began to work with Litemax�s excellent engineering staff on the design of several new products. Our WB-15 monitor is the first result of these R&D efforts, but several more products are in the development/prototyping pipeline including some that will address Roy�s multi display dimming request listed above. (thanks for your input Roy)

So in conclusion, Green Marine is dedicated to the development, manufacturing (through Litemax Electronics), marketing, and support of technologically advanced, environmentally friendly, marine monitors and computers which will be sold at unparalleled value through our national network of qualified marine electronics dealers. It is our hope that in the coming years we can earn the trust and support of many satisfied customers and establish a brand as recognizable as many of the prestigious companies listed above in Ben�s original blog.

I view it as a positive that we have created such a �stir� on this blog and have received negative comments from competitors, and anonymous entries.

I am confident the educated readers of Panbo will see these post for what they are and will give us a call or send us an email if they are interested in further information on our products or company.


Posted by: Keith Grapes, Founder, Green Marine at March 29, 2010 6:02 AM | Reply

Kieth, I was one of the "anonymous" entries (Evan - warranty length, price vs touchscreen ipx7 chartplotter), but I took the time to register to write this.

There has been a number of posts here on behalf of Green Marine that refer to a number (29?) differences between the Green Marine monitor and the equivalent Litemax monitor. What are they?

Posted by: Evan at March 29, 2010 7:57 PM | Reply

Evan,

Thank you for your interest in our products. In light of the fact it would take me even more space than my previous post to detail all the differences between AWM models and NPD models, I hope you will allow me to address some main points. There have been several (mostly subtle) changes to the metal case (I�m talking the actual metal not the powder coat color). There are some major component changes, the most notable that AWM and NPD models do not share all the same high bright panels. Also, although the main controller board in the units are the same, the firmware programmed for AWM and NPD units is quite different. This is evident in the fact that even though the front control buttons are the same, some of them function quite differently between the two products as does the dimming knob.
If you need further clarification, please feel free to call me on my direct line at 724-392-4092. I am better at talking than blogging as embarrassingly I type with two fingers.

Posted by: Keith Grapes, Founder, Green Marine at March 30, 2010 8:48 AM | Reply

Oy! One of the founders of Locomarine just contacted me to say that the person posting as "Berinjo" above does not work for Locomarine, though he may have meant well. Furthermore the prices "Berinjo" quoted are wholesale only.

I believe we all benefit from open communications but it can get confusing.

Posted by: Ben at March 31, 2010 12:01 PM | Reply

My 15" Argonaut TFlex monitor works fine in the pilothouse in bright sun. I do wish that it had a dimming knob, though.

Posted by: George at April 2, 2010 11:47 PM | Reply

I purchased a 19" Nauticomp Signature II display and paid $7300 USD.

Posted by: Steve at June 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Reply

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