As every carpenter knows, windows are troublesome things. They’re expensive. They require complicated framing, waterproofing, and finish work. They break, get stuck, leak air and water, and even the best of them are poor insulators compared with adjacent areas of solid wall.

Enter computer engineer and part-time carpenter Ryan Hoagland, who has developed a system for configuring one or more high-definition plasma TVs as a remarkably convincing substitute for conventional windows. Hoagland’s Winscape system uses a concealed computer to transmit video imagery to the screens, and interfaces wirelessly with an...

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