[hardware] Some questions on computer monitor

1. Aug 6, 2009

hcl0991li

I am looking for a 27" or 28" monitor to replace my 22" HP 2207.
The reason is mainly to take the advantage of 1080p ,possibly for some xbox360/ps3 games(although I own neither now) and to have a biggest-possible monitor on my desk.

I have done some research and now need certain information to make my chioce, as following:

1. What's the difference between 1920x1080 and 1920x1200?
please don't tell me the latter has more pixels, I want something in depth.

2. I have looked up three displays :
HP 2709m, Samsung Syncmaster 275T and Dell Ultrasharp 2709
Why is the HP one (1920x1080) much cheaper than the other two? (the HP one is about $450, but other two are above$800)
Why do people complain about Dell 2709 much more than Dell 2707?

3. What's the quality of the above three brands' displays?
I have a HP 2207 and it hasn't got any problem since I bought it two years ago, but is this the general quality of HP displays?

4. If I buy at one of the above three displays at a non-official stores with 3-year warranty, do I get repair/exchanged if it has problems?

5. Is it a good time to get a 27" monitor? (meaning, price and technology) or are there any TV that are cheaper but has the same functions?

Also: Are the three displays all TFT? Is TFT preferable technically?

P.S : the three monitors:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/display/display/1/storefronts/NT188AA%23ABA
http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/30826/specs/syncmaster_275t.html
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=223-9379 [Broken]

Sorry for such long questions, and
Please be as detailed as possible (but not essays).
I will appretiate all your efforts. Thank you.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
2. Aug 6, 2009

rcgldr

There are various levels of technology used in LCD monitors:

lcd_technologies.htm

I haven't followed LCD monitors in a while (I'm still using CRT monitors), but in the past, most of them used the cheaper TN techonology, with only 6 bits per color pixel, combined with some type of dithering to compensate. This causes a color stair stepping effect, making some images look blocky if there is significant subtle color shading in an image.

The VA's are 8 bits per color pixel which is better, but the response time (time for a pixel to transtion from one intensity to another) is a bit slower. This can call smearing if there is a lot of motion in an image.

Generally the LCD makers don't advertise the techonology used in their displays. For that information you need to find reviews. If the specification shows anything less than 16 million colors, or it's "color spectrum" is less than "97%", it's 6 bit per pixel TN technology, and I'd avoid those. Note the Dell site states that the monitor is VA technology, and claims "110% color gamut".

1920x1080 is a 16x9 ratio, 1920x1200 is a 16x10 ratio. Most of the newer monitors are 16x10, my guess it that it's probably better for text.

Another issue to consider is how the LCD monitor handles non native aspect ratios. Some LCD monitors allow you to keep virtual pixel aspect ratio at 1x1 and will use black borders for the sides and/or top depending on the source image. Others distort the image by stretching it. Again I would avoid monitors that don't offer this feature, especially if you plan on watching 16x9 wide screen videos (such as a DVD) on a 16x10 monitor, or play older games limited to 4x3 aspect ratios.

I try to do my best to find out what I can about a product before buying it, but if there's a possiblity of an issue, or I simply can't get the information I'm looking for, I'll buy at a local retail store where I can just return the product if it doesn't work out.

Personally I don't like LCD monitors (yet, haven't looked at the latest ones). Text just doesn't look that good on sqaure pixel LCD's compared to the round shadow mask used on CRT's. The other issue is brightness is affected by viewing angle, the edges of the screen don't look the same as the center. A larger monitor viewed from further way would help here, but this depends on how far away can you place a monitor with your computer furniture setup.

Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
3. Aug 6, 2009

hcl0991li

>Jeff
>colors
The dell one has 1.07 billion colors and 110% color gamut
The HP one has 92% gamut but no colors mentions
The samsung one has....16.7M colors and 97% gamut

>non-native resolutions
For 4:3 on 16:9 or 16:10, I think most graphics cards offer an option of forcing an 4:3 ratio so it shouldn't matter
For 1920x1080 on 1920x1200 I dont really know, but I think it shouldn't be a problem since most displays are natively 16:10, so video and game products should support.
1920x1080 is just for standard 1080p but for display resolution it doesn't even have a standard. 1920x1200 is called WUXGA and is a standard for monitors.

>LCD and CRT
Honestly I have dropped CRTS long ago and when I changed from CRT to LCD I didn't really realize anything wrong.
I believe the makers are trying to fix that "brightness is affected by viewing angle" issue.
This should be overcomed by time.

FOrgot to mention TFT.......OTL

Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
4. Aug 6, 2009

rcgldr

> The dell one has 1.07 billion colors and 110% color gamut
It's a VA technology monitor.

> The HP one has 92% gamut but no colors mentions
I looked at their website, just 3 monitors now. HP used to make VA based monitor but apparent doesn't make them any more. I wouldn't get the HP monitor.

> The samsung one has....16.7M colors and 97% gamut
8 bit color, should be VA technology.

>non-native resolutions
>For 4:3 on 16:9 or 16:10, I think most graphics cards offer an option of forcing an 4:3 ratio

It's normally done in the monitor:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_mapping

http://pixelmapping.wikispaces.com/Pixel+mapping+explained [Broken]

I've read that some ATI cards support the equivalent via a "centered timing" feature, but I'm not sure if it works for all LCD monitors and/or modes. Some forums indicate that the Dell ultrasharp series supports 1:1 pixel mapping, but I don't know for sure.

>I changed from CRT to LCD I didn't really realize anything wrong.

Part of this depends on the CRT monitor you had before. I have a Hitachi CM 722 and a Viewsonic G225fb. The G225fb goes up to 2048x1536 resolution, but the max I use is 1920x1440 when working with hi-def videos. Most of the time I run at 1280x960, and 1600x1200 for games. Phophors on a CRT respond to "partial" paints from the electron beam, so the shadow mask boundaries are ignored, and beam intensity changes are based on resolution boundaries, counting on the mask and phosphors to do the analog equivalent of anti-aliasing, which is why CRT can handle various resolutions without the image degradation that occurs when images are up or down converted digitally.

As mentioned before, text looks better on my monitors that it does on any LCD I've seen so far. Non-native resolutions will always look better on a CRT. Having the 1:1 pixel mapping feature in a digital monitor helps, but the image is shrunk.

Eventually I'll get a LCD monitor, but I'm happy with the monitors I have now. I only hope that they don't stop making the better quality LCD monitors by the time I'm ready to buy one.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
5. Aug 8, 2009

hcl0991li

>Jeff
>CRT
It's been a long time and I have totally forgotten what model was the last CRT monitor I use.
I actually didn't notice that CRT monitors have better ones beside the old 800x600 ones.

Anyway, I now have some questions on TFT LCD and LED LCD
Are they the same thing? My 22" HP has a very smooth surface and the surface looks like a mirror when turned off.
Regular LCD monitors are not like that and I really cannot find wheather my monitor is called TFT or LED.
Also, is this kind of monitor better than regular LCDs?

6. Aug 8, 2009

rcgldr

In the case of HDTVs:

http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/Samsung_s_LED_TVs_and_LCD_HDTVs.shtml

I'm guessing it's the 2207h monitor, which is no longer made. It's a TFT monitor, the cheaper TN technology, probably 6 bits per color pixel. It just has a glossy panel covering.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&cc=us&docname=c01182749

The LED LCD's produce better blacks, and good ones can produce better colors. Note that some so called LED LCD's just have the LED's on the sides and not one LED per pixel.

If you can find them, the picture quality is better than an LCD, but I don't think anyone makes these anymore. If anything goes wrong, I don't know how you would get one repaired. My Viewsonic g225fb went out last year, but it was repaired under warranty. Since I had an extended warranty from Viewsonic, I didn't have to pay for shipping costs. Still it was a hassle since it was supposed to be a replacement warranty, but they didn't have any in stock, and it also took a while to get them to ship me any empty box so I could send mine back for repair.

Over time, the LCD's keep getting better, and few, if any, notice the issue unless they have a good CRT to compare the LCD with.

Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
7. Aug 9, 2009

hcl0991li

>Jeff
>TFT and LED
So the TFT thing is not really useful and it's just fancy appearance, I see.
All right. And LED ones are really expensive and the technology is not mature yet, right?
LED ones can give gamut beyond 100% but the Dell LCD one also has 110%
The Dell one should be the best choice, but I really dont know how are their products' quality.
Also, it doesn't seem I can get one Dell 2709w in nearby stores.
If I get one online and buy some warranty, will I really get it repaired even if the screen is broken? or dead pixels?

>CRT
I really cannot afford a CRT because of the huge size. CRTs are the past, even the LCD ones are fighting the latest LED ones, I will just keep to the LCD for its mature technology.

In addition, the HP one is said to have 30000:1 dynamic contrast ratio but it is not using VA and should have very low gamut and very few colors.
Isn't is contradicting? Is it really possible? If it is possible, than how is it compared to the Dell 2709w monitor?

(Once again, thanks for the help)

Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
8. Aug 9, 2009

rcgldr

I haven't checked prices. I only expected HDTV to have LED LCD, not computer monitors.
The LED ones can give better dark images since their brightness can be turned down.
Get a replacment warrant that also covers shipping cost.
The policy on ths varies, I make sure what it was.

I can't really recommend one anymore. You'd be getting a used or refurbished monitor. Perhaps with an extended free shipping + repair warranty it might help, but what if the company simply stops servicing any CRTs.

Contrast ratio is related to brightness, not sure what scale it's being measured on. The color gamut is related to number of bits / color and any dithering done, which ends up blurring up the image. I wouldn't recomment a TN based monitor unless you were on a really tight budget.

It seemed to have the best specs of the group. You can order direct from Dell, and I assume with an extended replacement warranty, but I don't know how much cheaper it would be to buy at a online shop.

You'll need some distance between you and the monitor. Pixel size is going to be relatively large.

9. Aug 12, 2009

hcl0991li

Thanks a lot.