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Clever Dual Touch LCD screen

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by , 27th June 2012 at 01:00 PM (22020 Views)
I have had several of these installed at the primaries where I work. As a projector replacement they work well on paper, no shadow cast, no bulb to replace, evenly lit accross the display, less wires makes for a tidier installation, toughened glass etc. There's quite a few reasons to replace those aging projectors or if you have a new build then the increased labour costs of projector installation may well off set the overall cost of one of these.

I'd say the weight of one of these might be the first thing to consider, I have one mounted to a plasterboard partition but there is a substancial piece of chipboard to reinforce it. I would guess these weigh in at around the 50KG mark so budget for reinforcement if mounting to a non structural wall.

we had our supply and fit carried out by a local firm in Bolton (IDN) As a standard part of the installation they have wired the screen back to a VGA and sound distribution box on the wall. As the PC is HDMI out capable (DELL optiplex 390) this was unnecessary, as the HDMI cable can go straight to the LCD screen and has the benefit of carrying the audio as well. This then leaves the local monitor to run from the VGA cable as a duplicate output. This seems to be a standard installation to allow for VGA only capable computers. .

The driver installation was straight forward plug in the USB and HDMI and then a bit of messing with display resolutions to get the best combination. The best setup with the HDMI cable is running an Intel HD graphics 2000 driver version 1280X1024 60Hz seems to be the resolution that is working best for me on both cloned monitors.

In use the screen is as you would expect it to be, reasonably quick to respond and accurate enough for most clicks and drags, certainly good enough for most teaching activities. There is a calibration software but you only really need to use it once as unlike a projector installation the board to projector isn't changing everytime someone closes a door! We have the dual touch variety which in theory is great allowing you that ipadseque pinch and unpinch for zooming. In reality Dual touch isn't something that works well or is even necessary on a screen this size. There are also several customisable "flicks" which allow drag up/down and forward/back I havn't found these particularly useful or straightforward to perform. and usually they happen when you dont want them I practiced them for a while and gave up.

Some fine control that is required for say resizing a text box in word is better performed with a mouse, the screen just doesn't handle that very fine control very well, but in fairness you wouldn't do this on a smartboard either. I would say this is part of the learning curve as what you can and can't do that teachers would need to get used to. More annoying is the slight offset at times from where your finger is to when item you think you are clicking on despite any amount of calibrating. Also the double click pause duration. You can set this up in windows but it affects all users. The cursor responds with a ripple to show where it thinks you have clicked so you can adjust, but it is not 100% accurate, is it any worse than a smartboard? I'd say about the same. Also you have right click if you press and hold and wait for the circle to complete, I sometimes use this instead of the double click to open an icon as its more reliable than double clicking and waiting.


Google Earth
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text box resize link to video

The screen is reflective glass, strip lights on the ceiling or unblinded windows directly opposite will make viewing more difficult, but so long as its not excessive bright sunsine its not really that bad. If you move your head a few inches to one side it makes it possible to see what a strip light was obscurring previously. I have asked the children here what they think and they don't see it as a problem, and certainly better than a projector screen in similar conditions. Projectors compete with ambient light so lights nearer the screen cause more problems, as the downside to these the issue is with reflective light, light sorces further away are more of an issue.

The sound quality is very good, easily up to music or playing DVDs The only issue I would say is the audio cable running via a standard 3.5mm headphone jack tends to be bit noisy on one laptop powered installation. I have noticed some background hum with the speakers powered above half way, but it also picks up internal hardrive/cpu EM noise so its probably the usual consumer grade sound cards/ unearthed power supplies etc that are at least partly to blame. I may try a better shielded cable to see if it makes a difference.

The software that comes with it is pretty poor. Lynx 4 is meant to take on the role of Smartboard software replacement, at which it fails. So consider if your staff have a million resources in notebook they wont import and display, they will need to be converted, or run with smart software (if you have the license currently.) Also the proxy support on Lynx is an issue, I couldn't get it working so the inline browser wont work on it. Not a biggy just use your existing browser, just an annoyance that it doesn't work as it should, I have been the the developers site and tried modifying the registry to correct it without success.

Overall these are definitley a better install over a projector, and not unreasonable considering the cost of a new projector install they are neater. From display point of view I would say no question they are better. From an interaction point of view I would say they are on a par with the accuracy and response of a smartboard. There are a few other vendors out there offering similar products, whether they are actually the same hardware underneath is yet to be seen.


  1. X-13's Avatar
    How does the cost compare?

    It's all well and good saying these screens are better, but if they're too expensive I doubt a lot of places could afford them.

    I know we probably couldn't. [I saw one priced at nearly £3000. I don't know if this is cheap or expensive.]

    Given the choice between upgrading desktops and installing a gimmick, I think I'd upgrade the desktops...
    Updated 28th June 2012 at 11:03 AM by X-13
  2. Hacksawbob's Avatar
    Yes around £3K April, although the prices are falling so they should be cheaper now. Weigh that up against a full projector and smart board install, which has some in built obsolescence with the traditional projector lasting around 3-5years and then requiring a bulb a replacement. In my experience the schools haven't budgeted for bulb replacementwhich leaves the teacher struggling on with the classroom either in virtual darkness or pupil's squinting to see a faint projected image coming from something with the output of a gloworms armpit! With LED/Laser projectors coming onto the market it will be interesting to see whether these provide the longevity that they promise at a price schools can afford.

    The real question is whether this direct contact interactivity is worth the extra cost? The primary function is to display information to a group, this can be achieved at a fraction of he cost with a standard TV with an HDMI/vga input retailing for around the £4-500 mark for something decent with excellent viewing angles and probably less reflection, and lower running costs (LED screen) A wireless mouse or wireless slate could provide the pupil interactivity (and keep Ofsted happy!) all for under a grand.
    Updated 28th June 2012 at 03:55 PM by Hacksawbob
  3. RTFM's Avatar
    The weight will vary from size to size, we now have 7 of them within our school and a 55" screen is 59kg. We also have 3 of them in the primary we support, 2 wall mounted and one on a movable trolley with the 'up and down' feature for the little children.

    With the newer models of the CleverLCD (we have 3 of the old models and 5 of the new models) the speakers are inbuilt and they have HDMI connection so you can run sound through this and you dont need a 3.5mm jack, on the old models they had DVI but no HDMI and the speakers were a seperate purchase and were screwed into the bottom. You can tell the difference as the new ones have beveled corners, the old model was a lot more square.

    With the new models you dont have to install a driver, they are plug and play in Windows 7. From memory they also dont need calibrating.

    The main issue with the 55" screen we have found is when using programmes like Excel in class rooms which you would consider more than average in size. The cells are just too small to see from the backs and corners of rooms. With this in mind you need a bigger screen which means more weight and more money, just something to consider (whilst pinch to zoom works on the CleverLCD's in Office 2010 it isnt ideal and is restrictive teaching wise).

    Another issue which has been raised with us regarding the CleverLCD's is a lack of a freeze frame option like projectors have. I've spoken to the CleverLCD manager at Sahara and this isn't something they will be implementing until the end of 2013, so he said.

    We purchased our screens and had them installed by @Millgate in Sheffield and have been happy with them but I don't personally think they are an automatic replacement for projectors and interactive boards just yet.

    Oh, one more consideration, will the teacher truely make use of the interactiveness the screen provides or are they going to use it like a big TV? If the answer to that is 'probably not' then why not just buy a big TV? It's something we've considered for going forward, main issue being if the teacher moves on / out of the room and a more proactive teacher comes in..........problem!

    Lynx has some nice features but is far from the complete package, the integration with google earth etc is nice though.

    EDIT: just watched your video on calibrating, if you go to settings and change calibration to 25 points it will be more accurate, this may help with some of the issues you have had

    EDIT: just watched your 'fine control' video for resizing the text box, I believe that your screen res will affect your accuracy towards the top and bottom of the screen in Windows 7, if it isnt right the accuracy will be fine in the middle and way off to the top and bottom, as seems to be the case on your video.
    Updated 29th June 2012 at 10:06 AM by RTFM
  4. Hacksawbob's Avatar
    Thanks for your comments, I am intrigued by the screen-res comment, I have always take it to be a linear X Y grid with no variability centre to border. If you have a recomended screen res to try that works best for you, please share it so I can see if it makes a difference. I have tried a 25 point calibration and not found it to improve reliability.
  5. RTFM's Avatar
    Let me check this Monday / Tuesday as I'm positive I remember testing the new model LCD's in W7 and starting with my finger in the middle of the screen and the mouse pointer being with me and as I ran my finger up the screen the mouse pointer got further and further away.

    Will test it start of the week and come back to you

    It may be worth noting also regarding sound through HDMI that I had to make a bios change to allow the machines we have to play sound out the HDMI. I can't remember exactly where it was off the top of my head but if it doesn't work for you worth checking your bios
  6. LeightonJames's Avatar
    One of my schools has 13 of these installed as part of their new build. They plumped for the more expensive option of 72" screens with built in PC's. Each PC has a Blu-Ray drive built in too. OVERKILL for a Primary School!! I was not part of the decision but ho hum!

    Anyways back on track - In my opinion, these machines are nothing to shout about. Sure technologically they are good but in terms of longevity they suck. They have been installed just under a year, already we have had one screen that has been replaced entirely and then had the touch surface replaced, Another one has been taken away on express repair (2 weeks ago) for a faulty backlight.

    I'm not that impressed with them to be honest. I certainly don't expect equipment like this to fail so often and as such it has put me off them.

    One other major gripe I have with them is the way they have been designed. There are 2 Infra-Red emitters in the top corners of the screen. In between these emitters are the cameras which monitor the infra red. Around the bezel of the screen is a reflective strip which bounces the Infra-red all over the display surface. The issue here is that dirt builds up on the screen causing the infra-red beams to be broken thus causing the camera to pick up the break and interpret it as a touch. VERY POOR design if you ask me.

    I wouldn't really recommend these as an option in a primary school.
    Updated 2nd July 2012 at 04:22 PM by LeightonJames
  7. westleya's Avatar
    We had one of these in for a test and it worked well...BUT...the screen is so reflective it's distracting. In fact, I you can see how reflective they are from the pics in this blog.

    Installed in our staffroom, we could see the windows, trees and buildings outside and everyone IN the staffroom behind you. And shutting blinds defeats the object of these in the first place.

    Projector screens are matt and don't suffer from this.
  8. Hacksawbob's Avatar
    Hinthanks for your input, The reflection cn be an issue depending on the orientation to the classroom, this needs to be considered if the opposite wall is full of glass. I still think a screen of some sort is a better replacement for a projector. If you can do without the direct touch interface and a wireless mouse/tablet then all the better, get a big led telly and kit out 5classrooms for the price of one.
  9. Hacksawbob's Avatar
    Philips are offering a similar product one of my schools will probably be going down this route....
  10. Hacksawbob's Avatar
    There are some up to date drivers here for the Clever touch Lynx 4 update
  11. eduofficer's Avatar
    Interested in comments by LeightonJames - if any else has these screens are they also experiencing problems - we are having screen freeze and callibration problems....
  12. LeightonJames's Avatar
    eduofficer - invest in some screen wipes and give them a good clean. You might find the calibration issues clear up. Also check that there is nothing stuck around the frame as this sometimes causes problems too.
  13. tommej's Avatar
    We have just had 7 of the philips 65" screens fitted - they are coming out to install a firmware patch to add freeze functionality (they haven't done this yet). Careful with the weight of these each one was over 70KG.

    Look fantastic in the classrooms and teachers suddenly are using touch in every lesson!
  14. Alis_Klar's Avatar
    We have 2x CleverTouch LCD's. I can confirm some of the issues such as reflection and difficulty of getting accurate calibration.

    We had the Infrared frame replaced (onsite) on one under warrantee. Wasn't that impressed with the internals wires held to the case with tape etc. Glass looked like slightly thicker auto glass. As other have said 4mm thick not 4" !! $2 would worsen the parallax issue anyway. These are too heavy as it is!!

    I really hoped that Infrared touch systems would have been replaced by Capacitive technology by now. Obviously is expensive to scale it up from iPad size as big capacitive screens are in the 10's of thousands!! Parallax is an issue too this is where the mouse pointer does not match up with where you press at all viewing angles due to the gap between the LCD and the armoured glass.

    Arngrybirds works really well as you dont have to be accurate. The android version working in bluestacks emulator works excellently

    Many of the problems are with the Windows 7 gestures most are useless so turn them off. Don't even try to use the windows on screen keyboard it's pants, a giant iPad this is not. I am excited about trying Windows 8 as this is much more touch friendly.

    Weight (70-80Kg). We had one installed on the 1st floor and we have no lifts!

    Does the Philips screen have a matt finish?
  15. Alis_Klar's Avatar
    Update: We now have 2 CleverTouch 2nd Gen Screen (LCD replective screen, no freeze)(3rd gen are matt LED and have freeze)
    We now have added 2 iBoard Touch screens. They are Matt LED and have a sloping cover over the reflective strip around the edge of the screen which stops dust and debris build up. These also have volume and input select controlson the bezel for if you've not got the remote to hand. Also the connections are on the side for easy access.

    It also offers a built in PC option which costs £800!!!!! The touch accuracy is only marginally better tha the 2nd gen cleverTouch. Perhaps the 3rd Gen CleverTouch are also improved (havn't seen these yet)

    Also saw the new promethean LED touch board this week. It only has 1 HDMI input and the ports are on the bottom so can hang down and be pulled out accidentally. The only advantage of these I can see is you get a copy of Activinspire with it.

    IF you actually want to write anything on these boards it is harder than a classic ActivBaord as it detcts a touchfrom a point 2mm or closer to the board so you have to lift the pen off the board more than 2m to unclick the mouse. This makes it inferior to a ActivBoard for writing and annotating.

    Would not affect using a touch optimised OS like Windows
  16. Hacksawbob's Avatar
    Hi thanks for your post Alis I'd be interested to hear how you get on with it. We are now investigating a standard 55" smart LED TV possibly with a 5 year warranty and see how we get on. We are going to run this with an ipad and apple TV to have "remote touch" rather than bringing the pupil to the device we'll take the device to the pupil. The whole package would come in at well under £1500 on the wall. Also looking forward to trailing a chromecast with a Chromebook once it is released in the UK.
  17. Alis_Klar's Avatar
    check out this thread. Just posted there too


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