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Planar Systems Increases Dome Grayscale Resolution and Demonstrates Advanced Reading Configurations.

Dome EX Line Innovations and Configuration Advancements Help Medical Professionals Improve Productivity and Efficiency

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLNR), a worldwide leader in specialty display solutions, today announced it has enhanced the Dome line of diagnostic displays to increase the resolution, scalability and usability of the EX series in line with the strategy to provide value-added display solutions in specialty markets. As the technology backbone for the Dome EX diagnostic monitor series, Planar's Dome DA4 architecture has the capability to utilize a breadth of graphics processor technologies to provide the most options for diagnostic configurations.

Leveraging this technology, Planar has partnered with leading board manufacturers in the market to provide tested solutions using these specific commercial graphics cards while maintaining the diagnostic feature set required by clinical customers. Partnerships like these will aid in achieving Planar's strategic goals, primarily, building on its specialty display core competencies to enter additional specialty display markets over time.

Dome's DA4 architecture also pushes the limits of grayscale resolution by displaying up to 1024 calibrated shades of gray, four times that of standard medical displays. In addition Planar is also demonstrating a new display configuration that combines the innovative Dome E4c with high resolution grayscale displays in an ergonomic configuration that will help optimize reading efficiency.

Targeted to radiology, cardiology, nuclear medicine (NM), positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and operating room applications, Planar's Dome EX displays provide the innovation and improved performance required by medical imaging professionals whose needs exceed the capabilities of typical general purpose and commodity displays. In line with its strategic initiatives, Planar continues to demonstrate the innovation and leadership necessary to offer performance consistent with the demanding specifications desired by medical imaging customers.

Superior resolution over standard LCD displays

Today, most grayscale LCD displays are able to display only 256 calibrated gray shades, due mostly to software and hardware limitations. Planar, taking advantage of the advanced Dome DA4 architecture, can process higher bit-depths, which enable the Dome EX grayscale products to display 1024 calibrated gray shades - four times the resolution of today's grayscale LCD technology. In addition to the hardware limitations, the common operating systems in use today only support a data path to display 256 shades of gray. It is anticipated that the upcoming release of the Microsoft Vista operating system will make it easier for software vendors to push more data through the video pathway and provide a full 10-bit data set. As a result, the Dome EX series will be able to display a full 1024 DICOM calibrated shades of gray for the clinician to view.

"Diagnostic images viewed on Dome EX displays can exhibit the finest details, and the four-fold increase in calibrated gray shades provides a truer representation of the original digital data captured by the device," said Patrick Herguth, vice president and general manager of the medical business unit for Planar Systems. "The technology to display 1024 calibrated gray shades exists in every EX panel via the DA4 architecture. We have just been waiting for the graphics controller and software operating systems to evolve enough to take advantage of our technology."

Flexible graphic support increases scalability of Planar LCD displays

As patient information becomes more complex, the ability to depict finer details and view multiple studies develops into an important aspect of medical imaging. Planar's DA4 architecture is designed to connect to multiple graphics controllers to support multiple head configurations and provide the versatility to view multi-modality studies. Additionally, with Planar's flexible and diverse graphics support, Dome displays are able to take advantage of the new board technologies with superior 3D rendering performance and quicker refresh rates. Medical imaging professionals require options based on the needs of the display application, and the versatility of the Dome diagnostic displays now enables them to choose from all of the top graphics processor suppliers.

A new configuration for medical displays

Versatile, efficient and ergonomically friendly workstation environments are a growing need in medical imaging. Planar offers a solution that combines two high-fidelity Dome grayscale displays with a high-bright Dome E4c color display. With this configuration, radiologists can utilize the Dome E4c for 3D reconstructions, cross sectional data sets and worklists while still having a high fidelity grayscale representation on a dedicated Dome E3 3 megapixel (MP) or Dome E5 5MP display. This unique configuration also takes into account the comfort and ergonomics of the reader.

"As the amount of data captured per patient has increased, and with many of the PACS systems now making 3D an integral part of the workflow, a standard configuration of dual 3MP grayscale quickly starts to run out of display 'real estate' and can lead to inefficiencies," continued Herguth. "Combining a Dome E4c with dual Dome E3 or dual E5 displays gives radiologist 4MP of color real estate for worklists, 3D and cross sectional imaging, while leaving the dual 3MP or 5MP dedicated for CR or DR images. This configuration can hopefully lead to less toggling between different data sets and instead provide the opportunity for more data to be viewed simultaneously."

Features and Benefits

Planar's Dome line features the following attributes:

Dome E4c

* 30-inch, widescreen, 16:9 format with 4-megapixel resolution; DICOM calibration for grayscale images

* FDA 510(k) cleared (K060136)

* 330 cd/m typical brightness

* 600:1 contrast ratio

* 1786 unique shades of gray

* Automatic DICOM calibration

Dome E5

* 5-megapixel resolution; DICOM-calibrated grayscale images

* 3061 unique shades of gray

* 600:1 contrast ratio

* 850 cd/m2 operating brightness

To learn more about the Dome EX line, display calibration or configuration, as well as Planar's other product offerings, please visit www.planar.com. The Dome EX line is currently available through online and direct resellers and Planar's PACS software partners. These products will be showcased at the RSNA 2006 show in Chicago, Nov. 26-Nov. 30, at Planar's booth (#8308). Please visit the booth or contact Chase Perrin, at 213-438-8788 or cperrin@golinharris.com, if you are interested in speaking with a Planar representative at the show.

About Planar

Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLNR) is a leading provider of valued-added display hardware and software for a variety of specialty display markets worldwide. Hospitals, shopping centers, banks, businesses and other discriminating consumers depend on Planar to provide unique display-based solutions to exacting requirements, leveraging its operational excellence, technical innovation and go-to-market capabilities. Founded in 1983, Planar is headquartered in Oregon, with offices, manufacturing partners and customers worldwide. For more information, visit www.planar.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
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Date:Nov 27, 2006
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