I know, I know—this isn't exactly a home-theater product. But when I stumbled upon the CDM43 computer monitor from a company called Ostendo Technologies, I was intrigued by its potential to reinvigorate the rear-projection market.

As you can see, the CDM43 is a curved display measuring 43 inches diagonally. The curvature is designed so that sitting 24 inches back from the center of the screen provides a 90-degree horizontal field of view without having to turn your head. Its resolution is 2880x900, which corresponds to an aspect ratio of 3.2:1.

Interestingly, this monitor uses DLP technology. In fact, there are four separate XGA (1024x768) single-chip microprojectors within the unit, each illuminated with red, green, and blue LEDs from Osram. All four imagers are oriented vertically with some overlap for blending and warping. The monitor accepts a scaled image from the computer's graphics processor—for example, the Nvidia GeForce 8 Series—via DVI or HDMI and splits it into four subimages, which are sent to the corresponding projectors while Ostendo's algorithms stitch them together and compensate for the screen's curvature. In addition, the monitor's response time is a blazing fast 16 microseconds.

The CDM43's price tag has yet to be finalized, but it's expected to be between $5000 and $10,000. The display is intended to replace multiple monitors in certain applications, such as simulation, broadcasting, video editing, and gaming. And the aspect ratio of 3.2:1 is too wide for movies, which generally don't extend beyond 2.5:1. (On the other hand, if the image's aspect ratio can be preserved with windowbox bars on the sides, this could be the ultimate single-person display for watching movies on a computer.) Ostendo has no plans to enter the home-theater market, but I can easily imagine a large rear projector based on this technology that would significantly enhance a movie's sense of envelopment and immersion compared with flat screens.