Judith Mossman undergoing transformation from LOD values 0 through 6. LOD value 6 is the absolute lowest polygon version source will allow models to be rendered in on the default directx9 version of the game. By default all models in source games will be assigned higher and higher LOD values as they become farther away.
If you would prefer that everything always appear in its LOD 0 value (the highest fidelity one), you can simply type r_lod -7 in console after enabling cheats. Inversely if you want to force the lowest quality model to appear type in r_lod 6.
Numerous NPC’s in Half-Life 2 and it’s episodes appear before Freeman on digital displays.
Regardless of where they appear, whether it be the clunky soviet televisions littering citizen residences, or the intimidating Breencast monitors; any character who appears on a screen in Half-Life has to exist somewhere on that map.
In order to ensure that Freeman can never accidentally interrupt or interfere with these NPC’s, level designers chose to place them in separate enclosed environments; far away from the action of the rest of the map.
Consequentially you can expect to find one of these unintentionally ominous cubes in some desolate corner of any map where a character appears on a screen.