Computer Monitor Tips? Vertical Viewing Angle Problems!

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Computer Monitor Tips? Vertical Viewing Angle Problems!

Postby ZaCloud » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:15 am

Howdy folks! :awesome: Big long rant in the Spoiler tags.
Spoiler :
I've got a shiny new rig, had it for quite a long time, but still haven't been able to switch to it (and thus, back into serious video editing) because I can't seem to find a good monitor for my purposes.

I live way far off from brick-and-mortar electronic stores (thanks to the tragic loss of Circuit City... :cry: ), so I made a friggin 4-hour round-trip to some shops and ended up leaving empty-handed and disappointed.

See, I'm currently on an old compy and a big ol' CRT monitor. And it's been great to me. Colors are a bit muted, but the viewing angle is of course perfect from all directions. And no lag. It's great. But I keep telling myself I need to step into the 21st century and get the glorious, gorgous, modern LCD flat-panel for my new baby.

...Except they all friggin SUCK!!! :x

Mainly either still with unacceptable lag figures, a still existing lack of good black in my price range ($200 or so), and worst of all... HORRIBLE viewing angle!

Here's the thing... most of them have nice horizontal viewing angle, decent even. But NOT A SINGLE ONE, from HP to Dell to HaanSpree, to Samsung, to LG, from $120 to $650... NOT A SINGLE ONE had even REMOTELY sane VERTICAL viewing angle!

The salesmen all told me they never heard of that being a concern before. I about burst a vein in my head. Dude! When I lean forward to work on a vid or art piece, then lean back to get a better look, my altitude changes. My vertical viewing angle changes. And with ALL of the modern, supposedly superior monitors I tested... the brightness or dimness or contrast would shift.

I can NOT have that. If I'm using these beautiful, bright colors, then I need to know if I'm actually getting them RIGHT or not, without having to constantly make sure I'm in the 2-millimeter sweet-spot dead-center-perfect at all times. I have back and neck problems. I have to shift my position a lot, and I can NOT be straining my neck muscles to constantly gauge my position. That's just way more stress than I need.

I think it's bull that CRTs have been gotten rid of before their replacement was perfected. I think it's bull that LCDs have been in use for over a DECADE and they STILL DON'T MAKE THEM PROPERLY!!! :evil: And I'm sad as heck that the SED display project was abandoned; those would have remedied the problem. I guess it's Beta vs VHS all over again; inferior tech becomes the new standard while superior tech goes extinct... *sigh*

Anyway... yeah... it's friggin 2010 and we still don't have our hoverboards, flying cars, or computer monitors that show to our eyeballs what's on our computers. We had that last thing in like, uh 1988, but not now... That's balls, man. That's balls.

Seriously, how is that asking too much? Asking for a WYSIWYG monitor that's superior to a CRT other than power consumption and footprint. It CAN be done, it SHOULD be done... so why isn't it? I saw a friggin' MAC in the store who's monitor was perfect from all sides, but it was a full system and out of my price range, all in one piece. And HDTVs do it perfectly fine too! I've seen plenty that have great viewing angles, even vertical.

The only reason I don't just get a small one and use it as a monitor, is because the change of signal type would cause lag. And for AMV precise timing, that ain't gonna fly.


So after all that ranting, my question is simply this: What do you awesome AMV editing folks suggest as a monitor for an artist/AMV editing folk like me? My guidelines:

-Solid horizontal AND vertical viewing angle. Not just on paper or in specs, those lie between their teeth. This has to be witnessed in practice. 160-170 REAL degrees at least, with NO visible change in contrast or dark/brightness.

-Low lag, 5ms or less.

-1,000:1 contrast ratio, way higher preferable, MUCH higher dynamic ratio.

-Good black levels, consistent lighting across entire panel

-Matte (anti-gloss) display

-VGA/SVGA or DVI compatible.

The resolution and size don't have to be great. 1280 x 1024 acceptable, though bigger would be cool. And I might go up to $350 in price range if it's worth it.

Input? Personal experience definitely preferred, because like I said, things can look great on paper but crap in person, as my disappointing trips painfully displayed. I sincerely, SINCERELY hope this quandry can see a resolution, considering it's 20-friggin-10! We need higher standards, seriously.

Thanks for any who give this a moment. Love you guys! :mrgreen:
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Re: Computer Monitor Tips? Vertical Viewing Angle Problems!

Postby Kariudo » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:02 am

I'll get back to this after I wake up, but I can toss out a few things right now.

I'm not trying to sound obvious here, but there is a difference in how images are formed on LCDs and CRTs (which leads to different viewing properties)...so to some extent you're gonna have to deal with the shortcomings of LCDs if you choose to get one.

Basically, there's two types of LCD panels. Twisted-nematic (TN) and In-Plane Switching (IPS).
TN panels make for most of the consumer LCD market, and are cheap...but have good response.
IPS panels are expensive, but give you better color representation and viewing angles.

If I recall, macs use IPS panels in their displays.

I'll get to the rest later
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Re: Computer Monitor Tips? Vertical Viewing Angle Problems!

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:27 am

Too early to point out that no matter what you find to buy, the people viewing your creation will be using those flawed devices you're ranting about anyways? Unless this is all for print-based graphical design (I didn't get that from the rant) any deficiencies you're trying to rid yourself of on the creation end will be right there on the viewing of the end result.
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Re: Computer Monitor Tips? Vertical Viewing Angle Problems!

Postby NeoQuixotic » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:07 pm

I resisted the switch to LCDs for a long time. I had a very nice, high resolution CRT for years. I finally bought a Samsung 22" LCD at Best Buy a few years ago and thought it was ok. But the colors were washed out and the viewing angle was poor. I discovered the LCD I had was a TN panel, and then bought an IPS based LCD last year. All I can say is going from a TN panel to an IPS panel was like night and day. This is my current monitor NEC EA231WMi. IPS panels may be slower in response time than TN, but honestly I've never noticed any issues with response time on any LCD I've owned or used. If you care about response time that much for twitch gaming or whatever, stick to a CRTs or TN panels. I'll take superior image quality any day. But I still have no problem playing games like TF2 or any FPS in general on my IPS (technically an e-IPS) LCD.

This site is epic for detailed LCD reviews: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/ They concentrate on more of the higher end displays, but also have a panel database and tons of good information. And as far as buying one at a local store, I wouldn't bother. I haven't seen a Best Buy or whatever electronics store carry any decent LCD monitors (meaning no IPS panels in general). IPS based screens used to be in the $500+ range, but now decent IPS models can be found for $300 and under. Checkout http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=78 for lots of people that are crazy about finding good monitors. Buying online is the way to go. Newegg and B&H Photo/Video are my go to e-tailers.

Oh and as a note, the exact panel can change in a model throughout it's production run. The 22" Samsung I initially got had great reviews when it first came out. But when they started mass producing them they used much crappier panels to save money. This is why researching a particular model heavily is best to make sure you get what you think you are getting.
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Re: Computer Monitor Tips? Vertical Viewing Angle Problems!

Postby Kariudo » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:31 pm

Most LCDs now should have sub 5ms response times, though anything under 12ms should do just fine (12ms is ~ 83Hz).

I believe that most LCDs now also have that 1000:1 contrast ratio you're looking for. Dynamic contrast ratio will always be much higher. There's no real standard for measuring dynamic contrast ratio, so that makes it rather useless as a performance metric (great for marketing though), so I'd just ignore any CR > 2000:1

I can tell you right now that you're probably not going to find a vertical viewing angle of 160 deg (definitely not with TN panels)...and unless you're comparing details standing up and sitting down (or doing something where color accuracy is a big deal) it shouldn't matter. Details on why this is are scarce, but if I had to take a guess I'd say it's primarily due to the backlight being polarized.

Even black levels across the entire screen is another thing you're not likely to find. LCDs don't generate light, so they need to be backlit. This is commonly done with CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lights) around the edges of the panel. A diffusor is used to spread the light to the entire panel, but there's going to be more light around the edges because...well, that's where the source is. That, combined with the fact that LCD pixels can't completely block out the backlight when 'black' is what leads to the uneven black levels and low(er) contrast ratios. LED backlighting is becoming more common. CCFLs dim over time, and LEDs age (changing their light emitting properties). The problem with LEDs is that they'll age at different rates and in slightly different ways...so an LED LCD may start out looking better, but that may change over time.

LCD technology isn't perfect (it is mature though). Just like every other technology it has pros and cons. The fact that LCDs are thinner, lighter, more efficient, contain less hazardous material and don't really suffer from burn-in is what secured their place over CRTs. As with most things, you get what you pay for. Dell is well known for making good monitors, but those are probably out of your range.

A brief search turned up this as a contender: http://www.amazon.com/HP-ZR22w-21-5-inc ... B003D1CFHY
along with the one NeoQuixotic has, it's a good place to start.

Personally, I don't mind the color shift in TN panels (maybe that's because I haven't had an IPS panel :ying: ). My Acer P241W has done right by me but is no longer sold, this one looks like it's close enough to my p241w though.

One other thing to note. If you are serious about color accuracy, you'll want to get your display calibrated (which can cost a bit by itself)
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