RE: LCD monitors

Subject: RE: LCD monitors
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 15:57:35 -0500

Kevin Amery [mailto:kevindamery -at- gmail -dot- com]

> These are a little higher end, but a friend has a pair of Viewsonic
> VP201b monitors. They produce excellent picture. He went with them
> specifically because he wanted a fast response time as well as high
> resolution. This doesn't matter much in most TW conditions,
> though--it's more important if you're working with motion (like movies
> or animations... or gaming...) As someone mentioned already, LCDs
> don't have a refresh rate per se (the pixels can remain in a steady on
> condition more or less indefinitely) but they do take a few
> milliseconds to change colour and brightness levels. If this time is
> too slow, video or other moving graphics can look muddy. Relatively
> static content (like text) isn't adversely affected by this though.
> "Slow" LCDs can have a response time in the 20 ms range, whereas
> "fast" monitors are in the 5 - 8 ms range. If this matters to you,
> though, check independent review sites for the monitor you are
> interested in--not all companies measure the response rate the same
> way, so you can't completely trust their advertised numbers.

What he said. I doubt they're trying to be overtly deceptive,
it's just that there are two or three "standard" ways to
speak "response time" (such as gray-to-gray or black-to-black or...)
and the industry hasn't firmly settled yet. My guess is that
this is because the prevailing standards are useful to
different audiences, depending on where the manufacturer is
coming from - what niche they started in (medial imaging,
gaming, whatever...).

Another aspect that might be important to you is the contrast ratio.

How black is black?

How many levels are there between black and white?

Until recently, LCD computer monitors have had contrast ratios
in the x-hundred-to-one (500:1, 700:1 -ish) range, but you can
get 'em more and more with ranges in the low thousands, now.

If you really like your digital photos to show their dynamic
range on your desktop LCD, then you can fork over big bucks for
LCD TV that can provide contrast ratios well over ten thousand to one,
in the range of plasma units. Thos blacks will be BLACK! and
those whites will be WHITE! But then, you'd be wasting some
other circuitry and connectors that are important to the TV
application, but not a lot of use on an office desk.

Also keep in mind that a 19-inch LCD is roughly equivalent to
a 21-inch CRT in display size. CRTs are measured diagonally
across the picture tube, but part of the tube is concealed behind
the bezel. LCDs are also measured diagonally, but it's all
visible display area.

Some units are billed as wide-screen or wide format, but you'd
want only the more expensive ones. I say that because of the
way they implement their format. The cheaper ones just seem
to take a more squarish format at a given size (say 20 inches)
and just lop some size off the top - the image is a given
width, but the height is less than the "standard" format
display. For example, I held out for a 20-inch Dell, here
at the office that gives me 1600x1200. I stayed away from
the 20-inch "wide-screen" format that would have been 1440x900.
Fortunately, those are disappearing, and similar-sized wide
format 20-inchers are more like 1680x1050, now, which is on par
with the resolution of my monitor... but I would have had
to wait several additional months and I'm not sorry I chose
what I've got... for now, anyway.

All that to say that you should keep your eyes open and not
jump at any "deals" that seem a tad too good to be true.


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