LCD advice

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I know that a lot of topics have been opened about LCDs, and how I should have searched (I did, read some interesting stuff) before I opened a topic and all, but I need to ask something for which I am unable to find an answer.



Apart from the technical mumbo-jumbo that everybody is so good at, can somebody explain to me in plan english what's the difference between an Analog and DVI? I want to get an LCD soon, and as I've never owned a flat-panel monitor before [been using laptops for most of the time] and I am a complete n00b in this area.



1. Which one is 'better'?



2. What refresh rate is better, and is there a difference between a CRT and LCD refresh rates?



3. What's the best ratio? I hear it's 500:1 but I'm not sure?



4. Anything else you might add and that you think might be useful.





thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gene Clean

    [B]I know that a lot of topics have been opened about LCDs, and how I should have searched (I did, read some interesting stuff) before I opened a topic and all, but I need to ask something for which I am unable to find an answer.



    Apart from the technical mumbo-jumbo that everybody is so good at, can somebody explain to me in plan english what's the difference between an Analog and DVI? I want to get an LCD soon, and as I've never owned a flat-panel monitor before [been using laptops for most of the time] and I am a complete n00b in this area.



    1. Which one is 'better'?



    DVI stays digital, VGA converts to analog and then back to digital. Theoretically DVI should be purer, but there's really no perceivable difference.



    That said, VGA's standard and will work with PCs better. If you're getting it for a Mac, go for DVI.



    Quote:

    2. What refresh rate is better, and is there a difference between a CRT and LCD refresh rates?



    Yes. On a CRT, a pixel is lit with an electron beam and then slowly fades. Low frequencies make people (or me, at least) nauseous.



    On an LCD, the screen is continuously lit, and avoids the flickering that happens on low frequency CRTs. Therefore, LCDs generally have lower frequencies. Apple's displays are around 60 hertz, Dell's are around 75 hertz. I can't tell you which of these is better, although the 60 hertz is more than sufficient and lower hertz lessens the load on your graphics card a tad.



    Quote:



    3. What's the best ratio? I hear it's 500:1 but I'm not sure?



    I don't know...



    Quote:

    4. Anything else you might add and that you think might be useful.



    I'm assuming you're getting a medium to high end LCD, but be careful about narrow viewing angles. My dad's cheapo flat screen isn't even fully viewable from one angle... the edges of the screen always distory with color no matter where you look at it from. If you're gonna go cheap, get a CRT :P
  • Reply 2 of 19
    smalmsmalm Posts: 654member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gene Clean



    Which one is 'better'?



    An analog port can be as good as a DVI port.

    A cheap LCD monitor can have a good analog port.



    Quote:

    What's the best ratio? I hear it's 500:1 but I'm not sure?



    1000:1



    Quote:

    Anything else you might add and that you think might be useful.



    Start reading here





    Quote:

    Originally posted by gregmightdothat

    If you're gonna go cheap, get a CRT



    There's nothing to add to this!
  • Reply 3 of 19
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    gregmightdothat and smalM, thank you very much.



    I'm gonna go with a 17" LCD because I find working in 20" LCDs a little hard for me and my eyes. I don't like screens that are too big and my desk is kind of small. A 17" would fit there well.



    I was checking out some of the prices and they don't seem too bad. Any particular brand I should look at or stay away from? I'm probably gonna use the monitor with a Mac mini first and then a PowerMac (in a year or so). So that makes me get a monitor with both Analog and Digital as I may swap the monitor from my (future) Mac mini to my HP Pavilion.



    Thank you for your help again.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    pyrixpyrix Posts: 264member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gene Clean

    gregmightdothat and smalM, thank you very much.



    I'm gonna go with a 17" LCD because I find working in 20" LCDs a little hard for me and my eyes. I don't like screens that are too big and my desk is kind of small. A 17" would fit there well.



    I was checking out some of the prices and they don't seem too bad. Any particular brand I should look at or stay away from? I'm probably gonna use the monitor with a Mac mini first and then a PowerMac (in a year or so). So that makes me get a monitor with both Analog and Digital as I may swap the monitor from my (future) Mac mini to my HP Pavilion.



    Thank you for your help again.




    20 inch LCD's are big bright buetiful and expensive. For the extra 3 inches of screen real estate, it's definitly not worth your money (in my opinion). Anywho, steer clear of ACER, they are trash. Apple's and Dell's are prutty damn good, though apple doesn't have a 17inch model. Sonys are nice, but are berry, berry expensive, and probably not worth your money.



    LG and Samsung make good monitors, fairly average.



    Check the spec sheets for Viewing angle, make sure thats fairly wide, and Response time. If your planning on playing games, 21 ms response times are too slow, go for at least 16 ms. Fortunatly, 16ms monitors, which where da bomb last year are now fairly cheap. some manufacturers list the response times in hz, which is the system used by CRT's, they probably do this to reduce confusion, but the higher the hz the better.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    When you take the LCD you want to make sure that you are with good friends. Find an environment that doesn?t produce any unhappy thoughts, like an Amusement Park or large mall. Wear loose clothing as to not feel restrictive. Drink lots of Orange juice. Finally, have a good trip.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Good tips for LSD, I don't know how relative they are to LCD!
  • Reply 7 of 19
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    You Say Tomato : I Say Tomahto.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pyriX





    Thank you pyriX. I'm probably gonna go with a 17" NEC. It seems the most appropriate to me.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    The other issue that hasn't been raised yet is aspect ratio...

    4:3 (traditional TV) or 16:9/10 (WideScreen/HDTV)



    Widescreen displays offer more 'movie theater' viewing, while movies 'formatted to fit on tv' involve either squishing the image or cutting off chunks of the original scene. Widescreen monitors not only make for better movie viewing, they often offer more horizontal pixels for palettes in many apps.



    The final straw in the aspect ratio equation is the fact that LCDs have traditionally been priced based on square area due to the challenges of manufacturing bad-pixel-free panels as the surface area increases.



    Widescreen 16:9 LCDs are cheaper to manufacture due to smaller footprint in square inches for a comparable number of total pixels. So a 17" WideScreen at 16:9 should technically be cheaper than a 4:3 format 17".



    Go widescreen if at all possible (for better movies and easier app use).

    Stay digital if at all possible (DVI input option, HDTV as monitor perhaps).

    Get the most advanced screen you can afford, given that it may last 3+ years.

    Higher contrast will generally make for better viewing but it depends on room lighting, etc.



    Find somewhere you can compare some of these displays with 'typical' content.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    Google spit out a nice consumer research link full of reviews on LCD monitors with pricing, and reviewed links to other reviews...
  • Reply 11 of 19
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    It's interesting to note that on several Dell monitor descriptions, it says "Dell is not Macintosh compatible".



    Are there any issues with Dell monitors not working with a Mac?



    Great link by the way!
  • Reply 12 of 19
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Well, I got my eye on this ViewSonic right now.



    In the mean time, I'm still lookin' around.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    smalmsmalm Posts: 654member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gene Clean

    It's interesting to note that on several Dell monitor descriptions, it says "Dell is not Macintosh compatible".

    Are there any issues with Dell monitors not working with a Mac?





    Some LCD monitors do not have buttons anymore, all adjustments are done via a windows program and you can't change the factory preset on a mac.



    So last year I bought a Samsung SyncMaster 910T for my office instead of a SyncMaster 193P
  • Reply 14 of 19
    I'm going to toss in my two ¢ here.

    I bought two BENQ 20" LCDs and I'm extremely impressed. not only can you plug anything into them, you can also rotated them easily to sit Portrait.. they are bright and have rich colours with no loss of quality at any angle.

    -=Have a look=-

    I bought them for about 900 CND each

    flick.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    1. Which one is 'better'?



    i think if you are going to get a 17" or bigger, go with DVI. especially if you have native DVI output from your Mac/PC(??). people have reported some unhappiness with DVI output eg. from Mac Mini to VGA LCDs.





    2. What refresh rate is better, and is there a difference between a CRT and LCD refresh rates?



    LCDs talk about 'response time' in ms. 20ms or below is adequate, gamers and video conneisours (bad spelling i'm too lazy to check it) prefer 10ms or below. "refresh rates" as from the CRT days doesn't really apply because virtually all LCDs have no perceptible flicker, the image looks very very stable, but response time of 30ms + (you won't really see that nowadays) produced 'ghosting' artifacts during fast movement displayed on screen





    3. What's the best ratio? I hear it's 500:1 but I'm not sure?



    there are 4 factors here.

    (A)brightness:contrast of 500:1 is pretty darn good, 1000:1 and above is mostly in big-ass TV displays

    (B)brightness in cd/m2 of 250 is pretty good, some have more than this

    (C)anti-glare technology

    (D)viewing angle



    you'll have to check out various LCDs in-store and consider lighting conditions where you're going to put your LCD to get an idea of how the above 4 factors affect your viewing pleasure. (A) and (B) are also somehow related, like if (A) is way way higher than (B) that's not cool.





    4. Anything else you might add and that you think might be useful.



    My personal bias is towards

    Sony's 17 inch for general desktop usage in changing light conditions and it looks really sweet

    Apple's 20 inch coz it's Apple and it's widescreen format ~ I've worked with it, very very nice in a cozy soft-ambient lighting room.



    For watching *ahem* Divx and Xvid video clips though, my brother just sent me an iBook TV output cable, i like watching it on flatscreen CRT TV because it reduces the blockiness, CRT has way richer blacks than LCD, the lower resolution of the CRT softens the image a bit, and colors are much more saturated and richer (though reddish hues bleed really bad with video vhs/rca output)... i'll save up for an s-video cable
  • Reply 16 of 19
    I like the Sony MFM-HT75w 17" LCD (I've seen it for around $520.) I have the 19" version and it's pretty damn nice. It doubles as an HDTV, also. DVDs look really nice on it.



    So far, my only complaint is that it has glass over the screen. I know it is good for contrast and whatnot, but the glare can be pretty bad if it's across from a window.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    smalmsmalm Posts: 654member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sunilraman

    (A) and (B) are also somehow related, like if (A) is way way higher than (B) that's not cool.



    They are related but not the way you think.



    When you turn the brightness up contrast goes down and response time goes down too.

    If you use the lcd as a computer display you may need a brightness range from 50 to 150 cd/m2. If you use it as a tv display it should have >250.



    Response time is a little bit difficult.

    The manufacturers give you the time for black to white changes which is faster than grey to grey, especially for TN panels (twisted nematic).

    VA panels (vertical alignment) are slower than TN panels, but can switch gray/gray nearly as fast as black/white and have deeper blacks resulting in better contrasts and better colours which are more stable too.



    If you're a game freak buy a TN panel.

    For all other purposes buy a VA panel.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by smalM

    They are related but not the way you think.



    When you turn the brightness up contrast goes down and response time goes down too.

    If you use the lcd as a computer display you may need a brightness range from 50 to 150 cd/m2. If you use it as a tv display it should have >250.



    Response time is a little bit difficult.

    The manufacturers give you the time for black to white changes which is faster than grey to grey, especially for TN panels (twisted nematic).

    VA panels (vertical alignment) are slower than TN panels, but can switch gray/gray nearly as fast as black/white and have deeper blacks resulting in better contrasts and better colours which are more stable too.



    If you're a game freak buy a TN panel.

    For all other purposes buy a VA panel.




    cool thanks for the info... how can we tell the difference between TN and VA when looking at manufacturer's specifications
  • Reply 19 of 19
    anyone use

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/P...ctlisting.aspx

    on a mac? if so how is it, i would probably get the 19' model since its slightly more expensive
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