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Read this before you buy a new computer monitor

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stu aull
Read this before you buy a new computer monitor
on Nov 29, 2006 at 5:33:29 pm

For those with short attention spans, the Cliff Note version:
Take a hard look at an HD LCD TV as your primary computer monitor


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Jon Zanone
Re: Read this before you buy a new computer monitor
on Dec 9, 2006 at 12:55:47 pm

Stu -

Great post! I too have been wondering about this - I just bought a 42" DLP with multiple HDMI & DVI inputs.

A note about plasma: I've found that some models buzz at altitude. If you live above, say 6500', listen very carefully in your megamart display aisle. My wife thought I was nuts when I put my ear up to a prospective model. I've also found the bigger the screen, the better chance you have of getting a buzz. And if you live at a higher altitude than the store, AND you have your heart set on plasma, I'd see if you can get a demo at your house. Because it's REALLY annoying - almost like a flourescent light buzz....

Jon

"The Almighty tells me He can get me out of this mess. But He's pretty sure you're F%$#*D!"


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Tim Kolb
Re: Read this before you buy a new computer monitor
on Dec 20, 2006 at 8:39:13 pm

Well... a couple of things.

1. Response time is not measured the same in all panels. LCD response cycles times under 10ms need to be examined carefully as they are sometimes measured as "gray to gray", in other words, they are measuring the time it takes to go from 50% brightness to "off" and back to 50% brightness...the way an LCD works, it's pretty easy to do this quickly...what you want to know for video is white to black, which is what takes the longest and is the most indicative of the panels response. Consumer television manufacturers use the "gray-to-gray" trick to skew their results far more often than computer monitor manufacturers do...

2. 30" computer LCD panels have max resolutions of 2560x1600, which at 60Hz require a dual DVI link to drive them. There is not a choice to feed them a single link DVI and tolerate a lower res...it simply won't feed it.

3. A 1920x1080 television set has a touch more than 2 million pixels, while a WXGA 30" panel at 2560x1600 has a bit more than 4 million pixels...twice the resolution. The 37" TV makes the pixels bigger, but if you need UI "real estate", you probably need more resolution as well. A 24" computer monitor LCD panel actually has more pixels at 1920x1200 than the television mentioned has.

4. I would be curious if a consumer television could be calibrated...my Dell 30" is being driven by a PNY Quadro 4500 card and I can actually load a LUT based on a calibration probe to get as close as possible to accurate color and luma values. My 30" monitor is also useful in my case because I work with 2K files and I can view them with no cropping on this monitor.

5. Plasmas...yes, everything I saw mentioned seems to jive with what I know about Plasmas, but also add this to the list:

Plasma displays are not continuous tone monitors like LCDs or CRTs are...they are digital and each R,G, or B element on each pixel is either "on" or "off". To represent interim intensities the pixels have to "flash' on and off and our brain has to average it to show us the intended image. While our brains can't really delineate the flashes as they are so rapid, our eyes actually can, causing some people who end up viewing a Plasma relatively closely for any period of time to experience some eye fatigue, though they may not realize why.

Also...Plasmas have a lower maximum resolution at any given size than LCDs. Due to the structure of the picture elements, they simply can't be crammed in as small a space as liquid crystals. This is why many "professional" plasma can't even display anything above 1366x768 natively and have to have a button that blows up the image to get to a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio.










TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Glen Hurd
Re: Read this before you buy a new computer monitor
on Jan 15, 2007 at 11:35:14 pm

Stu,
I bought a smaller Westinghouse (22" widescreen) for the real-estate, and love it -- for the real-estate. However, when I tried to set up a Display Profile, I couldn't get past the first step (you know, max out the monitor's contrast, adjust brightness until the little doo-hickie barely shows on screen). It just couldn't do it.
Not that I expected great things from Westinghouse, but I'm curious (if you still check on this thread) if your larger model can actually be calibrated or not.
Thanks,

Glen Hurd


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Tim Kolb
Re: Read this before you buy a new computer monitor
on Jan 18, 2007 at 8:22:51 pm

In the case of the 30" dual-link DVI Dell, the display card actually has to make the alterations necessary to "calibrate" the monitor...actually calibrating the signal sent to it.

Higher end display cards have more user-adjustable parameters than the lower end models.




TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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