Panbo

Furuno MUxxxT monitors, Hatteland X Series, and TimeZero Coastal Monitoring

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 21, 2013

Furuno_MU240T_monitor.jpgFuruno's new multi-touch MUxxxT monitors are intended to play nicely with NavNet TZtouch MFDs. Using its DVI output, the TZT9 or TZT14 can send a screen mirror to the wopping 24-inch widescreen MU240T above -- at 800x480 and 1280x800 pixels, respectively -- and USB takes the touch commands back to the TZT (using a standard Windows driver). Meanwhile, the TZT Black Box has enough DVI and USB ports to drive two of these glass-bridge-style monitors (and two keypads, like the one KEP recently introduced or the one Furuno is purportedly working on)...

Hatteland_Series_X_at_NMEA_Conference_cPanbo.jpgThe Furuno MUxxxT monitors support multiple video inputs and have both Picture in Picture (PIP) and Picture by Picture (PBP) so that you can, say, navigate "while also keeping track of the news or your favorite sports team, when connected to an on-board TV/DVD player." They're also optically bonded and have a "typical" viewing angle of about 89° in all directions (which seems amazing) and they can be powered by both AC and DC with uninterrupted fail over to the latter.
   It doesn't take much sleuthing to learn that Furuno's monitors are at least based on Hattleland Series X displays like the ones above on display at the NMEA Conference, and that's not a bad thing. The two companies have a long term relationship (as does Raymarine and Hatteland, though I'm not sure we've seen results yet), and Hatteland quietly manufactures a lot of high-end marine monitors.

Hatteland_Series_X_panel_computer.jpgInterestingly, Hatteland also offers X Series panel computers, which are essentially the same displays with a PC fitted to the back. I can't help but notice that one of these X Series computers is shown as the PC of choice for Furuno Deutchland's MaxSea PC Radar package, which has expanded to include open-array DRS radars since Kees covered this no-MFD-required concept last winter. I haven't asked Furuno USA about PC Radar since then, but they seemed confident then that it's not doing very well in Europe and wouldn't garner much interest here in the States.
    Besides, Furuno and even its software sibling, Nobeltec, have been focused on the commercial market recently and one very interesting result is TimeZero Coastal Monitoring. It's essentially a small VTS system that's unusually easy and economical to install, because it's based on Furuno hardware and Nobeltec software that's relatively mass produced (check this PDF for detail on what a more official VTS involves). There's some neat extra sauce, though, like the ability to play back four VHF audio streams along with vessel tracks, radar and FLIR video recordings. The software also has impressive facilities for setting up custom monitoring zones and sophisticated alerting, which are well illustrated toward the end of the demo video.
    I know that some boaters dislike the idea of more surveillance, but I prefer to look at the bright side, like the opportunity for more coastal authorities to be able to help me better if I get in trouble and the chance that some of the new aspects of this system will trickle down to regular boating. 

Time_Zero_Coastal_Monitoring_diagram.jpg

Comments

Is the 24" widescreen the only one compatible with the TZ touch 9". I was hoping for something in the 14-15" range

Posted by: Howard at November 22, 2013 9:06 PM | Reply

Howard, thanks (I think ;-) for getting into some display complexity I managed to avoid in the entry...

For starters, anyone contemplating a monitor purchase should download the MUxxxT brochure

http://www.furunousa.com/ProductDocuments/MU-T%20Brochure.pdf

and/or consult with a well-informed dealer.

The brochure says that "Only the MU240T should be used as a remote display for the TZT14 or TZT9, as this monitor has a wide aspect ratio for proper video scaling of the TZT MFD video output."

I suspect that Furuno is being conservative with that warning but even if the 16:9 aspect ratio of the TZT9 displays OK on the 5:4 ratio MU170T, there would be black bars making up the difference in the image shapes and, hence, you wouldn't be getting maximum use of the monitor.

Ideally, then, you want a 14-15" widescreen multi-touch monitor with DVI or HDMI (easy to convert) input, a standard Windows USB touch interface, and the ability to scale the TZT9's native 800 x 480 pixel output up to something like the TZT14's 1280 x 800 resolution.

Hatteland doesn't seem to offer smaller widescreen marine monitors yet and I'm not sure any manufacturer does, with the possible exception of the new Simrad MO16-T ( http://goo.gl/rHPnid ). I can't even easily locate an office-style monitor that does the job, and it might not be bright enough (or dark enough for night running).

Can anyone advise Howard?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Howard at November 23, 2013 9:36 AM | Reply

Why would you want a 14" screen when the TZT14 is 14"?

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Howard at November 23, 2013 11:43 AM | Reply

Easy..

I have a 28' Pilothouse boat. I was hoping to put the weatherproof TZ9" outside at the rear station and a touchscreen at the main helm. I was hoping that a 14-16" touch screen would be more economical than a TZ14" Obviously I loose a bit of redundancy, but I was hoping it would be a viable option.

24" monitor at the helm station is a little large.

Posted by: Howard at November 23, 2013 8:02 PM | Reply

I think it is a viable option, Howard, and a nice feature of the TZT series. There's a Grand Banks here in Camden that's getting a TZT9 installed on the flying bridge, with plans to first try iPads with the TZT Remote and Viewer apps at the lower helm. I suspect that if they use the lower helm much, they'll want a fixed monitor and maybe a keypad.

The problem is that there don't seem to be many smallish multi-touch 16:9 displays available for monitor makers to build products around, even if they're not looking for the high specs a company like Hatteland uses. Or maybe there's just not market for monitors like this because obviously the big MFD guys like Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno etc are sourcing such screens somewhere.

Posted by: Ben at November 24, 2013 11:42 AM | Reply

The Simrad MO 16-T is exactly what I would want. Street pricing would hopefully be in the $3500 range.

Howard

Posted by: Howard at November 24, 2013 10:15 PM | Reply

Hatteland have horribly low production quality, we've had six 19-inch Series-1 for two years and there's almost always one of them in Norway for servicing at any given time. The potmeters give up, the trafos give up, the maximum dimming starts reseting are the most common problems.

That's poor considering they're over 3000 dollars each. We also have alot of glass frame Neovo X-series for a fraction of the cost around the vessel (in places where dimming is not an issue) and not a single one of them have ever given up.

However, the image quality, sunlight readability and perfectly smooth and linear down-to-true-zero-dimming is unmatched in any display I have yet come across. So if Hatteland could just make them not breaking down all the time it would be the best marine displays in the world.

Posted by: PaRaDoX at November 30, 2013 5:16 PM | Reply

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