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Buying a monitor
Buying a monitor is hard work:)

 4:27 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Heey guys.

A few weeks ago my old monitor blew up. At the moment i'm making do with a 15inch crc:)

I'm hoping you can help me decide which monitor to buy. My budget would be somewhere between 300-500 euros.

I have been checking out a lot of monitors. But I would like one which is easy on the eyes when spending a lot of time in front of it. It's really hard to find out which monitor will be nicer when sitting behind it for a few hours.
I'm looking for a 17inch tft with a max res of atleast 1280 pricerange: 300-500.

Anybody any ideas on which monitor to buy?



 4:36 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WW lajkonik86,

This thread has some pretty good observations:



 5:49 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)


The post you send me moreless covers the basics.
But i think pixel interpolation is a lot better now a days and a flat panel which isn't on it's native resolution isn't that bad at all.

But my question isn't really to buy a crc or flat.
Flat is so much easier on the eyes.

But i'm looking which 17inch flatscreen to buy.
And i don't know which 17inch flat will be easier on the eyes.



 10:25 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

apparently there aren't many people with knowledge about monitors.:)


 2:45 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

apparently there aren't many people with knowledge about monitors.:)

or willing do to your homework...

There are plenty of comparative resources available, you need to wade through them. We all have monitors and all did some research into them before we bought. You need to do the same.

Our opinions are just that - opinions. For what it's worth I use a 19" TFT by Princeton. The price, features, and size were all in line with what I wanted.


 6:43 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

hey take it easy:) no harm intended.

I have been checking out monitors for the past weeks.
Already now a lot more then before.
But there isn't much of anything comparing different 17 inches.



 8:44 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

First of all, if your old monitor dot size 0.24 or 0.26
don't buy anything bigger.

Most of the new TFT/LCD "monitors" using 0.294 dot size. CTR monitors use 10 years ago such a huge dot.

Also think about the decreased contrast. LCD can do max. 1:500, CRT far better.

I use a very old HP 21" CRT with 0.24 dot and 5 weeks ago without any ask i got a new HP 1925L (19" LCD) from
my boss.

After 1 week i sent back,since too bad for my eyes.

The oldfashioned CRT far better even with flat tube brilliant. So if you need a good monitor and not for "looks good" you definatelly needs to buy CRT,flat tube at lest 17" or 19" minimum.

Most important the refresh rate at least 85 Hz at your desired resolution or more like 100 Hz.


 12:36 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

There's a great deal of tech nonsense spoken about many things including monitors. For instance, a 500:1 contrast ratio isn't theoretically possible when graphics cards only achieve 256:1 (per color channel). Then again, the human eye struggles to percieve color steps at a contrast ratio of 128:1 (monochrome) and is even worse in some colors, like blue.

Go to a shop, decide what you like and assuming that it achieves your basic requirements (like digital input) buy it. Unless you are a graphic designer, or are retouching photos, etc., virtually any sensible monitor will do nicely.



 5:20 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

just look a t monitors and if the picture looks nice write down the model number and type it into a price comparison website.. does the trick every time. no need to worry about the technical issues. just go with what looks good


 10:02 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

With TFTs there are two main considerations:

1) Your computer - does it have a graphics card with a digital output? (These are the large white edged ones not the blue VGA sockets.) If not, the picture may be fuzzy. Use a digital output and it will be pin sharp. (Because every pixel on the desktop display goes to a dedicated pixel on the screen.)

2) The refresh rate is the most important factor - it's what tends to differ between cheap and expensive flat-screen monitors. (Otherwise they all look the same, right?)

But the refresh rate does NOT respond to the old-style TV-like CRT screens. (Eg: 85Hz is meaningless here.) It's a case of how fast the screen can be redrawn in fractions of a second. I forget the best figure to go with - you'll get this from reviews - but avoid cheaper monitors if they have a very bad refresh rate. I think mine is 16ms.

Of course this depends what you use the screen for. If you never play any games or watch videos, then it doesn't matter. I bought a flat-screen and worried about using it with 3D games, but it's absolutely incredible - no blurring at all, no matter what's happening on screen.

I spent ages studying sites like PCPro and Tom's Hardware to find the best make. Then I took the risk and ordered. There were several manufacturers in my price range, so in the end it came down to a fast refresh rate, good looks (some screens are so ugly!) and other minor features.


 10:27 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

George is the first one which said that crc are easier on the eyes.
I've heard a lot of people say tft is a lot nicer.

I tend to agree with them.
So the search is one for a 17 inch TFT
With Digital and VGA connection - Cause i'm need this monitor for this computer but I intend to buy a new computer.
Would require a res of atleast 1280 for webdesign work. And a reasonable response time for playing CS.

Problem is that in shops they don't tell you about the interpolation qualities of the monitor.
I would still like to be able to play some games at 800*600. And i've heard that some monitors have such bad interpolation that you simply cant.

Is there something like findmywidgets.tld for monitors?

Thanks for the help,
Greetz Thierry

[edited by: trillianjedi at 1:25 pm (utc) on Nov. 15, 2004]
[edit reason] Removing specific [/edit]


 10:41 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

My 17" TFT (1280 x 1024) works at other resolutions. These are fuzzier though. I wouldn't recommend playing games at 800 x 600 - won't the games run at a higher res?


 10:56 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

lajkonik86, first, it's not crc, it's CRT. Secondly, either you've decided they're good for games or you've decided they are not. Personally, I wouldn't dream of using a TFT/LCD for fast moving games. Not even the new sub 10 ms ones. But your query was about 17" LCD and that's what you've decided on so you'll have to live with it.

There are several good magazines that regularly do comparative tests of LCD screens, try pcadvisor.co.uk. There are online review sites like tomshardware and anandtech. And there's the local PC supermarket where you can get to see and try screens before you decide on one.

Check on issues like dead pixel policy. Some companies like Samsung who make good monitors seem to have a poor policy on dead pixels. Others, like Iiyama, are quite good. And the Iiyama Prolite 431 meets your requirements.

>> Is there something like findmywidgets.tld for monitors?
Yes, and they all sell their own monitors - which many of them will steer you toward.

[edited by: trillianjedi at 1:26 pm (utc) on Nov. 15, 2004]
[edit reason] Removing quoted specific [/edit]


 11:06 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Personally, I wouldn't dream of using a TFT/LCD for fast moving games.

Why ever not? I see no difference - except the TFT is sharper!

Check on issues like dead pixel policy. Some companies like Samsung who make good monitors seem to have a poor policy on dead pixels. Others, like Iiyama, are quite good. And the Iiyama Prolite 431 meets your requirements.

Yes, that is another key consideration, though some companies can make it quite hard to figure out what their exact policy is. A 'dead pixel' can mean one where all the colour layers are dead, but one where the green only is dead aren't classed as 'dead'!


 12:37 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> Why ever not? I see no difference - except the TFT is sharper!

If you wish.

Between work and home I have several CRT and LCD screens, from 17" to 22". I'll have the CRTs over the LCDs anyday. Apart from just resolution (a 17" LCD goes up to what? 1280 x 1024? and an equivalent 19" VM Pro 454 CRT - about 17" viewable - is in a different league) and viewing angles and stuff like that... call it just personal preference.


 1:23 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Definitely a case of personal preference.

I love my LCD (I find it "easier" on my eyes - less strain although I don't know the reason why) and I do find it sharper.

The truly professional grade CRT's are absolutely superb though, and if you really need screen real-estate, there's no substitute when you look at prices.

I find CRT's (upper end level) almost always have better colour rendition too (accuracy).

If you end up going for a CRT, don't skimp, get a really good one and make sure you have a decent graphics card to drive it with.

If you end up going for the LCD as you indicate, don't buy online - go and look at a few in the flesh. There are LCD's and then there are LCD's. Get one that you like looking at.



 2:07 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nobody's mentioned ClearType yet. On a 17" TFT it really makes the fonts in Windows superb.


 4:54 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the great advice.
Fonts are indeed a major consideration when editing html or any other language.

I already looked on tomshardware but didn't check out anandtech. I found a great article, though a bit old it's very thorough.

I think tft is still the way to go. It's simply easier on the eyes and the only real problem is running it on none native resolutions. Which makes comparison between tft's hard because the stats don't tell you about interpolation.
Suppose the only way to know is to find revieuws or test in the stores.

There's just one last thing i would like some help with. In the stores I noticed different display quality between the TFT which made some easier on the eyes. This is something you notice immediatly.
But when i'm using my CRT(thanks for the correction) i only get annoyed with the screen after several hours. So basicly you can't really judge a TFT's when just looking at it in the shop. Is there any way to find out if a screen will be good when using it for several hours. Maybe some spech which gives you an indication?

Thanks for all the advice,


 5:30 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I using CRT for at least 12 hours/day. A good CRT is better for eyes than a "cheap" TFT.

How to recognise "cheap" TFT?

-big pixels (0.28-0.29)
-1 supported resulution, usually 1280*1024 for 19"

If you had bad CRT,then TFT is good for you, but don't let you fool with nice pictures on screen...try to work with it....

The big dot size only one factor, another is the low contrast 1:500. Samsung just started new series with 1:1000 why , because that's better.


 10:15 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, here are the bad things about TFTs to bear in mind:

* The viewing angle as mentioned above. I was quite shocked by mine when I bought it - unless I am directly facing it, the colours appear all brown (when viewed from the side). Also, if I move my head up or down, the contrast changes radically. But you just get used to this.

* They are ONE NATIVE RESOLUTION ONLY. So a 17" TFT is 1280 x 1024 - there's no point using it at a smaller resolution for Windows, it'll be a mess of compromised pixels. Whereas a CRT can be set to various resolutions. (Though they too always have one that is the "best" depending on the size.)

* The brightness is different than CRT - I find my TFT way too bright, even with the brightness turned right down to zero. I have to use the video settings in Windows to turn it down even more.

* Games have an annoying habit of overriding my brightness settings - they go to to full brightness, but none seem to restore the desktop afterwards, so it's way too bright again.

* Older games might not run at 1280 x 1024 so they'll be fuzzy.

* The extra screen space means more graphic memory is needed - an older graphics card might not be capable of still showing 16 million colours.

* TFTs don't show every single colour - some of the darkest ones are missed out (not that you can tell)

* I find certain shades of colour flicker. The grey background used on the site DaringFireball.com is an example. Agh!

* Video (and my mouse cursor!) appears brighter than the desktop. Again this can be adjusted. (Odd how on a CRT everything is the same brightness.)

Now for some more good points:

* Just think of all that extra desk space - I mean, my old 19" CRT virtually used the whole desk! TFTs are also much lighter when it comes to moving them.

* No cathode ray tube emitting harmful radiation.

* That native fixed resolution is actually very impressive. Because the LCD pixels can be quite small, the overall effect is of a sharp and detailed screen. Photographs are simply beautiful on a TFT.


 10:34 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hester - sounds like you have a poor TFT. With the exception of games (or any fast moving graphics work) which will never be as good as on a CRT, the problems you mention just don't exist on the better quality LCD's.



 10:41 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

TJ, I sell some of the best LCD monitors available today. But, I'm very fussy with what I look at 12 hours a day. I have two PCs I use regularly at work and both use Iiyama Pro 514s (CRT). That's by choice. I have a AS4281 (LCD) at home but that's mainly for the wife.

>>the problems you mention just don't exist on the better quality LCD's.
I believe that most of them do. Not everybody in my office shares my view (no pun intended).


 11:00 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

You must be british:)

Just another thing. When visiting the shops I noticed some of the sony displays having a different reflection then most TFTs

I got the idea that there are mainly 2 types of displays being used. Though i didn't read much about this on the internet. Could anyone tell me the differences?



 11:03 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

My TFT got good reviews - it is one made by Hitachi. The viewing angle/brown colours problem seems to affect all TFTs. I went round PCWorld and checked all the ones on sale, and they all had the same effect - it's just that in the brightness of the shop, it's not so noticeable.

The screen cost me about 320 and has around 16ms refresh rate, so it's no cheap model. Of course there are better screens, but I read enough reviews to ensure it was not a poor one.


 11:08 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not everybody in my office shares my view


I hear you Macro. I have experience of higher quality CRT's and they are absolutely fantastic (better than LCD in general).

I haven't had the viewing angle problems, contrast problems or problems with colour (although colour accuracy is not up to CRT standard in my opinion) that Hester mentions.

I have always found my LCD better on my eyes. That's not to say that it is better for my eyes though - I'm not an optician.

While we're on the subject, are there any authoritative reports on the use of LCD's and CRT's and how they are on the eyes?



 11:24 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>are there any authoritative reports on the use of LCD's and CRT's and how they are on the eyes

Good point. LCDs are better in that respect. My feng shui obsessed secretary won't use a CRT because "there are invisible rays coming out of the monitor and hitting me all the time". But I believe that the better quality of the CRT image compensates for that.

>> You must be British.

Not guilty ;) I'm Indian, but maybe I've been in the UK too long ;)


 12:55 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

LCDs are better in that respect.

That's how I *feel* about it, but I've never actually heard or read a professional report on it.

I might go ask my optician.



 3:34 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did read an article about it in a semi scientific magazine. It was about the new electronic inkt of philips and tft and general CRT.
They where comparing them for i don't know what.
And a TFT supposedly was better for the eyes.
Don't remember much about it though. But when looking at a tft you immediatly notice the reduced light emision.

Any ideas on the models of sony compared to other manufactures. They seem to have a different reflection and i'm wondering what technologie is causing this.
Their screens look a lot more accurate because of it.



 6:20 pm on Nov 18, 2004 (gmt 0)


I found out one more thing about monitors

Some have bezel glass protection. Which enhances the looks of the screen but in increases reflections.
Thus making it hard to work on when the sun is around.

Anybody knowz where to find stuff about interpolation qualities of monitors?



 6:33 pm on Nov 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Which 17 inch monitor is greatest in your opinion?
--- In quality (No matter the price)
--- Best buy

For future readers note the current date:

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