Completely confused about TFTs

M

Moraelin v2.0

New Member
#1
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:D) 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.

*sigh*

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

Todd a

New Member
#2
There are 3 and 4 ms versions coming out now. Now that would be cool. If only they did not have that "native resolution" thingy, an LCD would be a no brainer at this point... well they do still cost a bit more, but even the prices are getting very competative. :D
 
M

Moraelin v2.0

New Member
#4
Mufu, I did try. If nothing else, for the dead pixels. The problems are that:

A) at least the major shops in this town carry only the cheapest junk. And make no mistake, the keyword is: junk. And I don't mean just debatable tradeoffs, like 6 bit instead of 8 bit to gain speed. I mean more like if you were stuck in the 90's and wanted a 40ms with only analog input for nostalgia sake, you need to go no further than Saturn or Media Markt.

And even the smaller shops that do carry marginally better stuff, usually don't really stock the highest end 23" HP or such. Some just recently moved to finally having one 20" model, and even that the most conservatively priced one they could find.

I suppose I can't blame them, as I guess the highest end stuff doesn't exactly fly off the shelves.

B) Their displayed numbers are no better. I know for example on shop which even gave me a laugh: presumably because the manufacturer seemed schizophrenic about whether it's 25ms or 16 ms, the shop basically went with the average and claimed 20ms.

C) The demos they have on those screens come through an analog cable, and typically in 1024x768 so it would show on all monitors. (Bonus points if it's scaled from a 4/3 format like 1024x768 to a wide format like 1680x1050.) So it's hard to get an idea about image quality, without asking them to take every single one off the shelf and connect it to a computer with DVI output for me.

Which, basically, I don't even have the time to do. I was more like hoping there was some good review site that's already done the work for me.
 
M

Moraelin v2.0

New Member
#5
Todd A, well, the only "problem" with those panels is that all 4ms panels are 6 bit.

Well, I realize it's not necessarily a problem for everyone. Some people don't seem to mind the 6 bit part. More power to them, I say. They sure have about 90% of the TFTs made for them.

Me, I prefer an 8 bit one, so sadly those 4ms panels are not for me.
 
AMDnut

AMDnut

Small Form Factor Advisor
#6
Wow..... where to start...... I feel your pain! :( :eek: :(

I went through the same problems a little while back, and again in the past few days. I looked at sooooo many LCD panels before I settled on one. I bought them, taken them out of the box and tested. Then returned them a few days later.... :(
Very time consuming and a PITA! I did learn a bit, and this was a while ago when 16ms was the fastest you could get. I also looked for 16.77m colors and found that each mfg looked different. The absolute best color I found at the time was an NEC 18" panel that looked great. Problem was at 25ms it ghosted terribly! :mad:

I found that some 25ms panels performed visually better than other 16ms panels. This was very frustrating to me but I continued testing. I also decided that cost would be a big factor as I would later upgrade like I always do. You know, you get the "bug"..... ;)

After much time and more than a few mad local shops from returns (I was actually told by Best B*y that all future LCD purchases would only be returnable to the mfg!), I decided on a Samsung 172N 25ms panel that was advertised as 16.7m colors (24bit!?!). The color was good, but I had 16.2m color panels that looked a bit better, but the ghosting was almost undetectable. Overall, a good panel, and the price was right too.... so I bought it. Had it about 2 years I suppose.


Recently, got the "bug" again. Been buying cheap and good panels for work that do office work and some CAD / Image work. I personally like the Dell 2001FP but even on sale it is expensive ($561.00 currently). I believe it is a 16.7m color panel, but I know from experience that it has good color. We have several at one of our locations and they are for design and image work. Good color, but 400:1 contrast so they are a little dark (not bad). I wanted a cheaper panel so I started looking at others and settled on a Hyundai L90D+ from NewEgg. 'Egg says it's 16.7m but I think Toms says it's 16.2m and since it is an 8ms panel, I beleive Tom is right (16.2m colors). I love the color so far even if it is 16.2m and I love the 700:1 and the 0.294mm Pixel Pitch. The 8ms does not ghost at all, and movies are decent too. I was worried about ordering with the "...8 dead pixel policy..." that 'Egg has, but It is fine, 0 dead. It is bright though! I am running the brightness at 50 and it still is bright. Colors are great though and it was $354.00 US shipped to my door. That includes DVI cable which makes it better.

As for 20"+ panels, it seems from my testing that they are laging behind. Similar to the 19" models back when I bought my 17". The 17" series were hot and had all the latest tech, but the 19's seemed to be behind. Now, the 19's seem to be good and the 20, 21, 23 models seem to be lagging. But, for enough money, you can find an excellent panel in those sizes if you look hard.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I think that you will have to take some time to test, and return a few if needed. Here are some links I read before buying...

http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20041123/17_lcd-17.html

http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20050215/index.html

http://www.anandtech.com/displays/showdoc.aspx?i=2289

hOPE THIS HELPS A LITTLE! :)
 
equinoxe3d

equinoxe3d

Active Member
#7
I constated that as well when few months ago, I was ready to buy a 19" CRT monitor. Last autumn, I scoured the web for a few CRT models I'd like and made a list, only to find that when I was ready to buy one this spring most of the models I've wanted either went discontinued or very hard to find.

So, seeing the CRT scene dying I began to look at LCDs. Like you said, sometimes it is hell to find true, reputable specs... in some cases even aspect ratios, for god's sake, were advertised as 4:3 on retailer's sites for models with 1280x1024 res. I think I even saw some panels advertised as "16.7m colors with dithering" (probably similar to the "input" color you mentionned).

If I ever get an LCD it has to have DVI (heck, no analog at all would be even better), true 16.7m colors, solid blacks and a max. 16ms response time. When I found a panel that I liked, had good reviews and decently clear specs, it got discontinued... so I just gave up and bought a mid-range CRT to hold up until hopefully one day this mess clears up and I can safely buy the LCD I want. The technology is definately getting there, the companies just need to fire half of their marketing team and hire R&D people instead.
 
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AMDnut

AMDnut

Small Form Factor Advisor
#8
Hmmmmmmmm...

I started looking a little more, CNET states this L90D+ is a 16.7m color (24bit) monitor also.

Maybe that is why the color is so good... :D
 
M

Moraelin v2.0

New Member
#10
equinoxe3d said:
I think I even saw some panels advertised as "16.7m colors with dithering" (probably similar to the "input" color you mentionned).
Yep, that's just what I'm talking about. It's not even just that dithering means 6 bit, it's that it means 16.22 million. So "16.7m colors with dithering", as in _displayed_ colours, just doesn't even exist.

And this deliberate blurring out any useful details is already making me sick. In no other industry have I ever seen so much BS and going to such extremes to obfuscate and hide any technical data.

If I went to, say, buy a car, I'd be told up front all possible details, including hp, torque, transmission ratios, weight, number of cylinders, etc. In fact, they even have a nice torque-vs-rpm chart. Why can't the monitor industry do the same? Why can't I get a nice chart with measured response times for various transitions, together with how they measured it, in what conditions, and to what tollerance?

Anyway, so far I'm leaning towards one of these:
http://www.iiyama.us/default.asp?SID=&NAV=236&PCAT=16

Does anyone know more about them, please?
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#11
It seems like you are making the choice harder than it really needs to be. ;)

As long as you choose a good top rated LCD the rest is really not that hard to figure out.

No real need to over research to buy a monitor. :)

If I went to, say, buy a car, I'd be told up front all possible details, including hp, torque, transmission ratios, weight, number of cylinders, etc. In fact, they even have a nice torque-vs-rpm chart.

Well there is a huge difference in buying a car than buying a monitor.

A car is the 2nd most expensive item that most people will buy so there should be plenty of info on it. ($15K~$50K for most cars)

Buying a computer monitor is a minor expense ($300 to $1000) for the most part compared to a car.
 
M

Moraelin v2.0

New Member
#12
I don't know, jankerson... a good large (ok, bloody huge) monitor can be in the 1200 Euro range. I'm sure I could find a decent second-hand car that's not much more expensive than that.

Either way, well, it's not quite the kind of money I'd blow away on an impulse buy. For that money, I'd like to know _what_ I'm buying. If I end up with something which doesn't match my criteria, well, I can think of better stuff to blow 1200 Euro on.
 
MuFu

MuFu

Moderator
#13
Dell 2405FPW?

24" widescreen, 1920x1200, 8-bit PVA (Samsung panel IIRC), 12ms grey-grey/16ms black-white response etc etc. Plus I am pretty sure it will get you hot chicks.
 
Todd a

Todd a

New Member
#14
:D

I like that. I did not realize all these new ones were only 6 bit. That does make a big differance to me. Some will likely come out with 8 bit sometime this year.... At that point the native resolution would be the biggest draw back. I also would rather see OLED displays as they will use less power, be even thinner, not need backlight, so the brightness is even across the screan, not have veiwing angle restrictions, and have a lot higher luminance and contrast. They will still suffer from "native resolution" but will overcome basically all other LCD problems. They have one problem right now. The blue OLED does not last very long, but the other colors are fine so far. Likely 2 years will give us some good stuff.

As for testing the monitors at the local shop, you just need to bug them. Best Buy will let you open the package and hook the monitor up to one of their desplay computers. That way you can see what it will really look like and be able to search for defects. Samsung makes some good monitors and last I checked Best Buy did carry some of their better ones in the 12ms range. Worst comes to worst, you might need to order on-line and take the risk of dead pixels. You chances are good you will not have any if you go with a good brand like Samsung. I'd guess you have about a 90% of no dead pixels and of the dead ones about 75% are along the edge.
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#15
MuFu said:
Plus I am pretty sure it will get you hot chicks.
for the amount of money it costs, it better, couse you wont be going out for at least a month :D
 
Leoslocks

Leoslocks

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
#16
Annand has a review up on newer large LCD's.

Subjective Analysis of Hewlett Packard Pavilion L2335 (Carbon, Silver) 23" LCD Monitor

Like other Super IPS displays, the HP L2335 features a 0.258mm pixel pitch, 16ms response time and a relatively conservative contrast ratio and brightness. This is a true 8-bit LCD and our benchmarks should reflect that later on in the benchmarks of this review - almost a necessity in our book.


I found the one I want, now, wher is the $1100 US hiding?
 
MuFu

MuFu

Moderator
#17
F_A_L_C_O_N said:
for the amount of money it costs, it better, couse you wont be going out for at least a month :D
Well, it's a good £200 cheaper than that Iiyama in this country. Must be a similar story in Europe.

I have the 2005FPW which is good value in the UK and absolutely stupid value in the US - regularly ~$375 with Dell coupons. It uses a smaller version (20") of the SIPS panel in the HP. The response rate is excellent - no worries there - but the characteristic SIPS off-angle colouration takes a bit of getting used to. If you sit at arms length from a black screen you can see a slight peachy tinge in all three corners. Nothing to worry about with a bright desktop of course; it's just something that I imagine might be more noticeable on the 23" version. The 2405FPW uses a PVA panel so won't exhibit this effect.
 
M

Moraelin v2.0

New Member
#18
Well, the Dell 2405 FPW and the HP were the ones I had in mind when I said 1200 Euro. (Including VAT, obviously.) Though I'm suddenly weary of HP, after seeing the 25ms spec. I know Anand had a 16ms one, but it makes me wonder if the European version uses a 25ms panel, or it's a typo, or what.

The Dell is currently 1.216,84 Euro on their site, while the Iiyama H2010 can be found online for 896,92 Euro.

Though the one Iiyama that suddenly looks a lot more attractive to me atm is this one:
http://www.iiyama.us/pages/content.asp?SID=&NAV=236&PROD=4202

12ms tr+tf, 8ms grey-to-grey, and I'm not sure what to make of the "10 bit lookup table" claim. Does it mean a 10 bit panel or something? Also, like most recent Iiyama monitors, it seems to have options to not scale, or scale preserving the aspect ratio, though it's buried deep in the manual.

And a quick price search puts it at 692,32 Euro.

Does anyone know anything bad about it?
 
MuFu

MuFu

Moderator
#19
Moraelin v2.0 said:
The Dell is currently 1.216,84 Euro on their site, while the Iiyama H2010 can be found online for 896,92 Euro.
Ah. Yes, I suppose that's the relative difference in price when the 2405FPW isn't on offer in this country too. Never seems too long before it's back on offer though. They were doing "buy-one-get-one-half-price" a while ago!

12ms tr+tf, 8ms grey-to-grey, and I'm not sure what to make of the "10 bit lookup table" claim. Does it mean a 10 bit panel or something?
It means that 8-bit colourspace is upconverted to 10-bits, then corrected and reduced to 8-bits again for display purposes. I think this allows them to adjust the gamma curve more accurately, or at least offer more flexibility as a far as gamma adjustment goes. Not familiar with that monitor but it looks pretty sweet. 19" 1600x1200 panels have a tendency to look pretty nice, just because of the res vs. screen size. :cool:

The response characteristics of the HP are the same as the 2005FPW, which is excellent. The reason I'm reluctant to recommend the 2005FPW (even though I love it) is that it seems to have an inherent backlight bleeding problem - just search for this and you'll see what I mean. I'm on my second one; the black uniformity on the first 2005FPW I received was pretty bad, TBH. Still, it's almost a non-issue if you don't watch films or game in low lighting conditions.
 
MuFu

MuFu

Moderator
#20
Check this out:



That pic makes it look a little worse than it was - virtually unnoticeable unless you have a totally black screen or the lights dimmed - but still.... pretty shocking eh? Seems to be pot luck as to what you get with the 2005FPWs in this respect.
 

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