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I just sampled and returned an LCD monitor
It didn't seem practical for web design. Was this a dumb move?
brizad




msg:1567607
 8:45 am on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll preface this by saying I hope this is not too dumb of a question, but I have used the same 17" CRT monitor for 5 years, and for 5 years before that a 15" CRT. Now that I am looking for a new monitor I am finding myself a little confused.

I was/am having the problems with eyestrain. I work about 12 hrs/day on the computer (which probably has a lot to do with it.)

People say that and LCD monitor is easier on the eyes. So even though I had never used an LCD monitor before, yesterday I bought a highly rated 17" LCD.

The thing was that the native resolution was 1280x1024. For web design I use 1024x768 as my default setting. I wasn't comfortable using the 1280x1024 setting because there is so much extra space that I figured it would skewer my designs and I might start making the pages too wide. I mean, I know how to set a page to 800 wide but I guess you get used to seeing designs, pages, etc a certain way, and anything else looks strange.

Anyway, today I took back the LCD but now I am wondering was that a dumb move? Could/should I have gotten used to it? Would not being able to change resolutions really be that big of a deal? Would the lower potential eyestrain offset the "strangeness" of the larger screen?

Today I started looking for a high-quality 17 or 19 inch CRT. Then I thought about getting a 19" monitor and I wondered if this wouldn't be the same thing. If I got a 19" CRT wouldn't I be dealing wiht the same issues? Or if I just kept it at the same 1024x768 setting would It all just be relative?

It's been 5 years since I went from 15" to 17" and I just can't remember what the difference were.

Thanks for your help!

 

mincklerstraat




msg:1567608
 8:59 am on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I, for one, am very, very happy with my 18" LCD that I got a long time ago for really cheap. It's definitely not one of the better LCD's, but it's wonderful for reducing eyestrain. Felt like day and night the moment I started using it - but that was more text-based work (programming). It was like giving my eyes a new lease on life. It's always at 1280x1024. I have a very very dark desktop background (about #333) and no icons or distracting stuff (pekwm window manager on linux). I usually keep my windows less than 1100 wide, too wide detracts from easy reading. The extra space is nice for manipulating windows, or for programming when you really need wide.

For webdesign, I use the webdev extension in firefox which lets me quickly resize windows to various standard screensizes. It's not weird at all not having the window fill the whole screen; in fact, in windows working on a teeny tiny screen years ago, I never had the windows in 'max' anyways, I like a little space around my windows.

You know, dual-head graphics cards are available for pretty cheap these days if you're not a diehard gamer - get a cheap ATI dual-head (Sapphire makes some which are passively cooled, save your ears too) and you can use both monitors.

jam13




msg:1567609
 10:22 am on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm still using a 17" CRT at 1152 x 864, which I find just about right in terms of resolution and icon sizes.

I've thought about getting a good LCD for a while, but the thing that puts me off (especially with the big ones - 18" plus) is they have a fixed resolution which I often find is a bit too high for my taste. And I know you can run them at lower resolutions, but then the panel interpolates the pixels which is distracting.

brizad




msg:1567610
 1:18 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

For webdesign, I use the webdev extension in firefox which lets me quickly resize windows to various standard screensizes.

Never heard of that. Is it in the standard download? I have the latest version but haven't noticed it. When you resize the windows don't they look pretty bad-ie blurry?

And I know you can run them at lower resolutions, but then the panel interpolates the pixels which is distracting.

That is the problem I had. When you change from the native resolution the text is really blurry. It seems like for just normal computer work and text that the LCD's are great, but for graphics or design the CRT is the way to go.

Any tips for good 15 or 17 inch CRT's under $300?

Thanks

vkaryl




msg:1567611
 2:19 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mine is a ViewSonic flat-panel 17". It runs decent res from 800x600 (assuming you call that decent) to 1600x1200 (which is what I use on a regular basis). It refreshes up to 90 mhz. It has no discernable flicker. Colors are great on the GeForce card that came standard with my box.

I don't have any trouble reading text on 1600x1200 (and my eyes are ANYTHING but perfect, btw....) I surf full-screen - why on earth would you bother zizzing back and forth between teensy windows when you can really only concentrate on one thing at a time anyway? (Nope, you won't convince me you can multitask to that extent.... I've watched too many "multitaskers extraordinaires" get completely befuddled in under 5 minutes....)

I don't know about the display you returned, except to say that if you were "uneasy" with it, you probably should look at a bunch more before making a decision....

jam13




msg:1567612
 11:41 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't have any trouble reading text on 1600x1200 (and my eyes are ANYTHING but perfect, btw....)

They must be better than mine - I find 1600x1200 on a 17" (viewable) makes the text (and icons) uncomfortably small

I surf full-screen - why on earth would you bother zizzing back and forth between teensy windows when you can really only concentrate on one thing at a time anyway?

Matter of taste I suppose. I like to be able to flick between windows and get at my desktop shortcuts without minimising or restoring. Don't you find fixed width (800px) layouts annoying with another 800 pixels of whitespace around them?

jam13




msg:1567613
 11:44 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

For webdesign, I use the webdev extension in firefox which lets me quickly resize windows to various standard screensizes.

Never heard of that. Is it in the standard download? I have the latest version but haven't noticed it. When you resize the windows don't they look pretty bad-ie blurry?

It's not part of the standard install, but you can get it from the Firefox site.

The window resize doesn't shrink the graphics or anything like that, it just sets the window size to a preset value (e.g. 800x600) - very useful though.

Jon_King




msg:1567614
 11:54 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

21" CRT's are pretty cheap these days, about the same price as a 17" LCD. For me, eye strain is caused by low refresh rates and not enough screen real estate.

Consider checking out a Viewsonic 21" running at 120hz vertical refresh. I know they take up a fair amount of physical space but all that screen space makes up for it. IMHO buy the largest CRT with the highest refresh you can.

HarryM




msg:1567615
 1:42 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Re eyestrain using CRT monitors. I think one of the problems with CRTs is they are basically bombarding your eyes. The CR gun is radiating straight at you, which is not the case with LCDs.

I use a Sony G220 normally set to 1024 x 768 at 85Hz. A couple of years ago I always used it calibrated, but when I was doing a lot of image work in Photoshop I got hit badly. My first migrain ever, which led to a viral infection something like shingles, a bloodshot eye, frozen eye muscles, double vision, etc. It took 6 months to clear.

Now I still have my monitor calibrated, but only use this setting when working on images. All other times the brightness is turned well down so the screen has a greyish look.

If I could afford it I would use a LCD display for general work and keep the CRT just for images.

mincklerstraat




msg:1567616
 3:57 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

hey vkaryl,

when you switch to linux as you're planning, the notion of 'multitasking' will take on a different meaning. Especially if you have a desktop manager that allows you to switch desktops easily. Mine (pekwm) allows me to point to any part of the empty desktop and roll the scrollwheel, and I'm on another desktop. So I scroll it up a bit, and I'm at 'communications' desktop - email. I scroll it down a bit, and I'm at 'main work', meaning usually editor. From main work, scrolling up one click brings me to browser, up one from there brings me to a place where I do anything else like graphics. Jiffy-quick and darn simple switching, other means of switching desktops have left me quite frustrated (MS has one for xp that's ok - not nearly as easy as pekwm, though). None of the clutter of scads of windows lying all over one another. Desktop switching was probably the main thing that kept me glued to linux.

I just find that I read a bit better if margins aren't my full glorious 1284px wide. When you end a read line, your eyes have to locate the next line. This is a lot easier if the text isn't more than a few hundred letters wide. Having the dark deskop background also keeps me from having a huge glaring white thing staring at me. 18" is a lot of space.

Craig_F




msg:1567617
 4:12 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was/am having the problems with eyestrain

I think you answered your own question. If you have eye strain go LCD and get used to designing at 1280. I did and have never looked back.

About 2 years ago my eye strain was so bad I was considering changing careers. Then I got an 18" LCD and pretty much every eye strain issue has disappeared.

Another thing you'll have to get used to is colors. They are different on an LCD, but like resolution it is pretty easy to get used to.

midwestguy




msg:1567618
 5:20 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Due to a difference in the way LCD monitor "pixels" differ from CRT "pixels", if one wants the sharpest text, one MUST have the LCD monitor set at either the resolution it was manufactured for OR a multiple/fraction of the resolution it was manufactured for. This is NOT a factor with a CRT monitor.

For instance, if you buy a 1600x1200 LCD, the text will be equally sharp at 800x600. However, any resolution between those two would result in less sharp text. So it's best to buy an LCD displaying either the resolution you prefer OR a multiple of the resolution you prefer.

For CRTs, last time I checked into it, experts were saying a "shadow mask" CRT rather than a Trinitron type tube would provide one with the sharpest text.

As pointed out above, getting a CRT capable of displaying the highest resolution you are likely to use at a good refresh rate is very important. Most folks find 85 Hz OK, while others need 100 Hz refresh rates on CRTs to keep from getting eye strain from "flicker".

Don't forget, one needs a GOOD video card too! One known for sharp text at the maximum resolution you run your monitor(s) at -- with adequate memory for fast refresh rates.

I also recall reading that some font type that comes with Microsoft XP (True Type?) was deemed easier on most folk's eyes when they read text on screen.

Moreover, there are several factors to consider besides just "LCD .vs CRT" when it comes to creating an easy on the eyes computer setup.

I'm no expert. I just recall the above from the last time I looked into monitors from a few years ago. Hope the above helps.

vkaryl




msg:1567619
 7:13 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey minckler.... y'know, I didn't know that about linux and multi desktops until I played with the knoppix cd a bit. I'm looking forward to the "full treatment" before much longer!

As to the width of a page of text on my screen, and having to "find" another line.... I'm a speed reader. I don't actually navigate line to line when I read.... on a good day (that's when I'm not having to read dry and dusty math textbooks or some such - or the 76 page soliloquy in Atlas Shrugged) I read about 1500 wpm, with excellent retention.... (needless to say, my favorite authors NEVER write enough to keep me happy!)

brizad




msg:1567620
 7:34 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think you answered your own question. If you have eye strain go LCD and get used to designing at 1280. I did and have never looked back.

About 2 years ago my eye strain was so bad I was considering changing careers. Then I got an 18" LCD and pretty much every eye strain issue has disappeared.

That sounds like the answer in a nutshell. It guess I should go LCD and just get used to it.

Thanks for all the replies.

piskie




msg:1567621
 7:47 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

On a Windows (98SE on) PC, you don't need a Dual Head card.
Just plug in an ordinary extra Graphics Card into a PCI slot and Bills bits look after the rest giving you dual monitors.

I did run 3 monitors that way until recently with no bother.

mt_biker




msg:1567622
 5:52 pm on Oct 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

brizad,
Regarding eye strain, you may want to check out this thread [webmasterworld.com...]

I just got my first LCD (19") and it is so much easier on the eyes. Like you, designing web sites at the higher resolution (1280x1024) seemed a bit weird, but easily adjusted to. You can find simple software programs (like BrowserSizer) that allow you to simulate the window size of a user at different resolutions. It's something you should probably have in your dev kit no matter what resolution you use for design.

JasonHamilton




msg:1567623
 6:13 pm on Oct 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

The only thing you should keep in mind with LCD's is color reproduction isn't always accurate when doing graphics. For example, a very light peach skin tone on an LCD that looked perfect on my NEC 19" LCD looked muddy brown on my 21" Cornerstone CRT. The angle at which you view the LCD can either make colors brighter or lower. Other than that, both are great, I don't mind either.

Brett_Tabke




msg:1567624
 6:22 pm on Oct 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

In 1999, I tried an lcd for about a month and hated it. The colors were not good and I had one pixel drop out. I took it back and vowed to wait a few years until the monitors matured.

In 2002, my eyes used to hurt badly at the end of the day from the crt monitors. I chanced it and got a new 19inch sony lcd monitor. My eyes have not hurt since. I love the monitor so much, I just went and purchased a 2nd one. I was using a crt monitor as my second one.

Regardless of any other issues, I can't ever go back to crts again. I'm seriously considering getting a 21.5 inch lcd for a third monitor (browser on 1, email on another, and editor on the 3rd).

Robert Charlton




msg:1567625
 6:51 am on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm also running a 17" ViewSonic after years of a 15" Sony CRT, and I'm absolutely loving it.

I tried it at 1280x1024 and thought the display was too small, so I changed it to 1024x768 and it doesn't bother me. The colors took a few days of getting used to, but so did buying a new TV set.

The analogue transmission standard for the TV system in the US is called NTSC, which, according to those in the business, stands for Never The Same Color. Computer displays are just as variable. There are lots of monitor calbration charts around, but viewing conditions are liable to vary in any room with windows, for both CRT and LCD.

jamesa




msg:1567626
 9:14 am on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Regarding color, not all LCDs are the same. I've seen some with very noticeable color shifts just by tilting my head, while others won't shift at all even if you're standing off to the side.

brizad




msg:1567627
 10:10 am on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow, it seems that everyone who tried an LCD loved it. I guess I should buy one again. I can't evn look at a screen for more than 30 seconds any more without my eyes just aching, so I guess I have to do something. That and take some time away from the computer to let my eyes rest a bit.

Costco has a pretty highly rated 17" LCD by Envision. Also PC world rates the LG Electronics Flatron L1710SK #1 this month so I guess I'll get one of those two. Anyone tried either one?

Code Sentinel




msg:1567628
 1:26 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Eyestrain on crt's I find can be related to the color temperature or refresh rate.

I have no problem as long as I have 75hz or higher (85hz past 1152x864 res).

Another thing is color temp, most really cheap monitors won't have an option to change this but it is usually defaulted to 9300K which works well under florescent lighting(manufactured with offices in mind) but can be too bright and bluish under normal lighting or with lights off.

Changing temperature to 6500K (the onscreen controls, not windows control panel) will at first make things look reddish or too dark but you should get used to it after a few hours or less. 6500K is more natural for photo and colors and doesn't seem like you're staring into a bright light all the time.

These two things should alleviate most if not all eye strain problems on a CRT, the problem is that most monitors default to 60hz AND 9300K and no one ever bothers(or is able) to change the settings other than resolution or bit depth.

LCD's are nice but like someone mentioned you may have issues when testing different resolutions for your designs, the firefox web developer plugin is a good alternative since you can specify any resolution to resize the *browser window only*. Your monitor stays at native resolution and keeps the crispness LCD's are known for.

[chrispederick.com...]

it's a great tool.

DaveN




msg:1567629
 2:03 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have the sony SDM X202 20.1" TFT and I love it.. no eye strain anymore

DaveN

ddent




msg:1567630
 9:07 am on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Also extremely well worth doing is enabling sub-pixel rendering for your fonts. Things are *much* easier to read with it enabled (for people on a Microsoft platform, under XP they refer to it as "cleartype", and you can enable it by using some activex control on a microsoft site).

g1smd




msg:1567631
 10:44 am on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been using an LCD screen at 1024x768 for about 5 years ... on a laptop.

I'll never go back to CRT monitors.

Code Sentinel




msg:1567632
 6:46 pm on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

While LCD's are nice I still prefer CRT's, you can get more for less money. 16ms response time or less 19 inch or higher are still too expensive

Hester




msg:1567633
 1:06 pm on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I bought a 17" TFT which runs at 1280 x 1024. Each monitor I buy, I go up a size. Only when you get to a higher resolution does Windows start to make sense. Otherwise, everything tends to be maximised.

My main point though is this: at first, I hated it. Browns were a horrid colour compared to CRT, certain dark shades even flicker! So much for being better on the eyes. But now I am so used to it that anything else is inferior.

I have ClearType switched on, and it makes a world of difference. Fonts actually look like they do on the printed page.

There is much more room on my desk now too. I had a 19" CRT before and you could hardly move the thing.

I tried a dual-monitor setup with an old 17" CRT I still had but I couldn't bear the difference when running next to my TFT. The colours and the fuzziness were just too awful. (Yet I had used this screen for many years!)

TFT is the way to go and can only improve over time. But like changing from VHS to DVD, or buying a new car, you have to adjust to the change.

One thing I don't like is how much brighter TFTs are. I have my brightness set to zero, but I still had to lower it even more in Windows, as the default brightness is eye-watering. At least it is in my darkened bedroom. I guess the monitor is designed for bright offices.

Just make sure you have a graphics card with a digital output if you are planning to buy a TFT.

Tailsy




msg:1567634
 7:01 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

hi i'm new to this forum..

i'm looking at buying a new monitor and am tossing up between LCD and CRT.

I've been told:
LCD are better for your eyes as I always get sore eyes from monitors
LCDs can have pixel problems with blank dots or something
LCDs are bad for games and movies and anything graphical, and they get some kind of shadows.
CRTs are better for graphics/games/movies
CRTs are worse for the eyes

Is that all right?

What do you recommend?

brizad




msg:1567635
 8:46 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tailsy...

I got my first LCD monitor about a month ago and it is awesome. I am the one who started this thread and had all the questions that you did.

I shopped a lot and looked at a lot of crappy monitors that were "highly rated." Most of them had issues that I was not willing to deal with.

I ended up with this one. PC world magazine rated the LG Electronics Flatron L1710SK #1 in Nov. I got it for $299 from T*ger D*rect. It is much better than some $500 monitors that I looked at.

Good luck with it.

Hester




msg:1567636
 9:25 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

LCDs are bad for games and movies and anything graphical, and they get some kind of shadows.

Only the cheaper ones. I'm playing through Half-Life 2 at the moment and I wouldn't swap my TFT for a CRT any day. There is no problem with games* - in fact, I'd say they are superior on TFT - sharper details, text not stretched in the corners, no fuzzy areas. I remember testing mine on Gunman Chronicles when I got it, which can flash rapid colours at you. I thought the screen wouldn't be able to cope, but I saw no ghosting or slowing down of the effects at all. Amazing!

Make sure you get one with a fast response time - mine is 16ms. Some cheap ones are 50ms - they will possibly give you shadows.

* Having said that, resolution can be a problem as TFTs are fixed, so if you need to play an old game, it may not play at the native resolution, meaning a fuzzy compromise resolution is used. CRTs look good at various resolutions, so in that sense they are better for games. Most modern games, if not all, shouldn't be a problem. My TFT is set to 1280 x 1024 and is just right for games like Half-Life 2 and Max Payne 2. Of course a decent graphics card helps as well. (I use a Radeon 9600.)

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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