So it's that time of the year again when I'm bored enough to want a TFT. (Yes, I've said before that they're conspicuous consumption, and that's just why I want one) Thing is, it _must_ be an 8 bit panel, and preferrably a 16ms, since that seems to be as low as 8 bit pannels go at the moment.

And that's where the confusion starts. The whole computer industry is a case of shameless lies, but the monitor makers take the crown by a wide margin.

For starters, there used to be a time where you could look at whether it was 6 bit or 8 bit, by whether they claimed 16.22 million colours or 16.77. That seems to have gone out of fashion, and for example Acer's whole lineup now claims to be "16.77ms (8 bit data)". And I mean everything, including some 8ms panels that just don't exist in 8 bit.

Yeah, it sooo interests me how many bits _input_ it has, as opposed to how many can the panel display. Not.

Then, as usual, quoted response times dived a lot... on the exact same models. E.g., the AL2021ms has gone from being claimed to be a 25ms, to 20ms to 16ms. (And having bought one in the past, it was definitely a 25ms.) Did they actually go through three different panels, from different manufacturers, without changing the model number? I doubt it. Probably again a case of marketroids pulling numbers out of the rear.

I'm just using Acer as an example, since I used to swear by (or at) their monitors. But the same seems to have happened to almost everyone else. Virtually noone admits "16.22 million colours" any more, for example, unless it's an 1+ year old model that they forgot to update.

Or you have cases where even their own marketting can't decide what latency it has. The HP L2335, recently reviewed by Anandtech, is at least in one technical data PDF from HP described as 25ms instead of 16ms. So which one is it? Since it's the German version of that PDF that claims 25ms, does it mean they're using a different panel for Germany? Or are they just being more conservative, e.g., because of consumer rights laws?

Samsung is an even bigger case of corporate schizophrenia: for the same monitor, if you look in 4 different places on their site, you find 4 fundamentally different sets of numbers.

And I'm not even talking about the numbers claimed by the resellers. Those are as good as pulled out of a random number generator.


So what's your advice, folks? How _do_ I go about finding out what I'm buying?