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- reputable source for info about monitors?
May 23, 2014, 3:54 pm
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industry and shares its info with the public by way of reviews,
recommendations and papers?
It's been a long time since I last researched monitors. I'm interested
in learning what (if any) difference there is between LED monitors and
video monitors one might use for watching, well, TV or DVD's :-) Can a
monitor designed for such things be used with a pc or does it require
special or additional equipment? What are the pros and cons? That's
the type of info I'd like to find at such a site.
If it matters, I have not upgraded my DVD player to blu-ray (or
whatever the de jour gadget is) nor does my pc equipment support HDMI.
Re: reputable source for info about monitors?
A site like this handles home entertainment devices.
A thing you use to view movies, has dynamic contrast turned on.
If you use such a viewing device for computers and a Photoshop session,
you want the dynamic contrast turned off. Turning off dynamic contrast
causes the LEDs to run at a constant brightness. It allows a Photoshop
calibration attempt, to be consistent from day to day. Turning on
dynamic contrast gives ridiculous contrast ratings of 1000000:1,
whereas the basic panel might be 400:1 or 1000:1.
Cheap monitors use TN and have 160-170 degree viewing angle. IPS
panels have a viewing angle of around 178 degrees. The end result,
is moving your head in front of TN, affects the picture color (seen
on a lot of laptops). The definition of viewing angle, takes into
account a 5:1 to 10:1 decline in intensity, so it's a measure
of significant image degradation when viewing the panel from an edge.
IPS is "slower" than TN, in terms of pixel response time, but
makes for a very nice looking display.
Xbitlabs reviews monitors, and has also had some articles
discussing the technology behind LCD. For example, there
are tricks for overdriving LCDs, or using a moving black bar
artificially on the display, to enhance the numbers for gaming.
Computer displays also can have significant latency from connector
to screen (four frame times), which can affect FPS (first person
shooter) gaming. A person with really good reflexes, can be held
back by a "slow monitor". Perhaps a TV set doesn't care about
such things, and the TV set can have a long processing channel
for the effects it applies (like converting 60Hz to 120Hz).
It's interesting that their monitor articles stop in 2011, almost
as if they lost their expert. That would be the only warning I
would have about this site, is they don't do the same things
year after year, and that can leave large gaps in the tech.
Re: reputable source for info about monitors?
Other than the one Paul recommended, all I can think of is Consumer
Reports, but apparently their review is available only online, for
paying customers, and I think their recommended monitors are
$200-$500. Maybe gaming websites have reviews because they're
concerned about monitors not blurring when displaying fast-changing
Generally, monitors and TVs made with "IPS" type LCD panels are
supposed to be better than the usual "TN" LCD panels but can't
match the 2ms response times of the fastest TN monitors and
typically aren't faster than 5ms, the most common speed for TN
displays. I think all LCD monitors now have LED backlights
because they're cheaper than fluorescent backlights, plus they
allow the whole monitor to work at low voltage, meaning power
supply can be an external AC adapter.
Be careful when comparing ratings for things like contrast ratio
and response time because there are different standards for
measuring them, usually not be specified, making valid comparisons
impossible. Basically, don't assume a monitor with a claimed
contrast ratio of a million to one will look better than one
with an 1,000:1 ratio.
Most LCD and plasma TVs have a VGA connector for use with a computer,
and anything with HDMI input will connect to a computer with HDMI
output, although people have reported problems with the its
compatibility (check user reviews). Also a TV's maximum resolution
with VGA may be less than its resolution with other sources -- many
TVs rated 1920 x 1080 can't do more than about 1366 x 768 with VGA.
TV and monitor sound quality seems to vary a lot, lot more than
picture quality. It can be downright horrible, with no bass at
all, and realize I'm usually the last person to complain about
lack of bass.
I've been buying 21" Acer S220HQL monitors, simply because they're
1920 x 1080 and cheap -- a few weeks ago NewEgg or TigerDirect had
them for $90, delivered, but $100 is more common. So far, no
failures, no dead pixels.
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