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Re: TFT monitors- too good to be true?

Posts: n/a
      27th Dec 2004
On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 06:22:12 +0000, WH1962
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>My HP monitor has just given up the ghost (though thanks to info on this
>site I will be checking to see if I have a three year guarantee!) and I
>am looking for a replacement. Searching the internet I have found two
>deals that seem to stand out - excellent prices and reasonable (if
>limited) reviews, even though they are not great brand names for
>monitors. The Digimate Premium Plus 17" TFT is available at 133 online
>at sirexonline.co.uk and the Sanyo Sinai S5A1 15" TFT is available at
>109 at monitorshop.co.uk. I realise I should pay more to guarantee
>quality, but they both have 3 year warranties etc. Any major reasons
>why I shouldn't buy either of these?

I bought one and though there are probably some real cheapo ones out
there , I would say in general the LCDs are starting to be
commoditized. You can get OK dirt cheap ones nowadays.

A few years ago prices were sky high and even the namebrands frankly
didnt seem that great - for instance Samsung. A neighbor paid $700 for
one for his son and I never liked that screen - one of the reasons I
had reservations about buying one.

However everyone is outsourcing now and there are I think only a few
mass producers of the actual screen itself. I think thats one of the
reasons why Japanese producers may have lost their edge in this area.
They were the leaders of producing them but I think they outsource all
or most of their screens now - just another part of the continuining
wave to reduce costs. That maybe a reason why you can get OK cheapo
LCDs now under generic sounding names. You dont get state of the art
specs - usually you dont get DVI which I dont care that much about
anyway. Sure I wouldnt mind one but I havent seen any reviews saying
it was critical to get one. A recent one said it was generally
marginally better looking on screen when they used the DVI on several
models. I remember a mention of a top rated LCD screen at Toms
Hardware of another review at another site and they actually said for
some bizarre reason the picture looked worse with the DVI connection.
Maybe someone will mention a review that says DVI is way way way
better who knows.

The other is you dont get super low response times - generally in the
avg 25 ms range. However this is even changing - theres a continuing
flood of $200-250 17" deals here in the US and 19" are falling fast
too. Ive seen a few claim 16ms response times.

I would look for some that have really bad specs that someone shop
maybe trying to unload - really low contrast ratios - less than
350-400:1 , response times greater than 25 ms etc. Ive seen a few of
them which I avoided this Xmas sales season - mainly the one at Office
Depot - the KDS which may have been the worst screen offered of the
lot of them on sale. The sticky point here is - Toms Hardware and Cnet
etc all say specs are pretty wooly in the current state. Toms Hardware
says about response times and even contrast ratios --- at best a rough
guide. And some other sites hint makers are really fudging the
contrast ratios. So your eyes are the best judge unfortunately many
deals are net only , and even if they have them they dont have a bunch
of LCDs side by side with games and great pics, etc all ready to be
tested on all of the screens.

In general though - they all look OK now. Ive been looking at a lot of
them in the stores here whenever they had a sale over
Thanksgiving-Xmas holidays - and they at least in a quick impression
seem OK though I avoid any screens with really horrendous specs - the
KDS at Office depot. None seem as bad as many of them seemed - even
expensive ones , a few years ago - really washed out looking , really
low brightness with really weird looking colors.

The thing they say is in contrast ratio - the CRTs hit 700:1 numbers -
they have much finer gradations you can seen between darker colors
especially. Some darks get lost on poor LCD screens and the avg
numbers are around 350-450:1. Some of the mid range namebrands LCDs
claim 700:1 but like i said many claim the makers fudge the numbers.
Another is viewing angle. They seem OK to me though I notice it most
vertically rather than horizontally since I dont swing my head side to
side at radically wide angles. If I stand up the screen looks
positively weird at various angles. I wouldnt hold seminars with the
LCD screen obviously or have a few friends over to see a movie on your
LCD screen. Even moderate games seem OK to me. Havent tested any super
fast games yet though for ghosting but Ive watched movies and they
seem fine.

Overall the sharpness of the text and brightness are much better than
CRTs Ive used. I have a Viewsonic Ultrabrite and I thought with
ultrabrite mode on it was close to the LCDs nope. It looks much darker
than my LCD. You can appreciate the space savings until you actually
switch. Ive used them at other peoples houses and other environments
but realized Id get big savings but my 19" CRTs - you dont realize how
freaking big they are until you take them off your desk and reclaim
half or more of your desk space and its not just that - its the cubic
space , he air above your desk too. Its radical unless you have a huge
desk in a huge room. The one worry I have is all that talk about the
backlight burning out in a few years.

Also theres a lot of things coming up - new technologies were
mentioned for LCDs to get mor accurate colors and response times are
falling. Also according to some artricles theres going to be a big
push next year for super slim CRTs which are 5- 6 inches thick I think
and would have a cost advantage supposedly, get more accurate colors
and have negligible response times and supposedly last longer than
LCDs because of the backlight.

One other thing get a 17" not a 15" . However the 19"ers are
substantially bigger. Not that 17"ers look bad they dont. I was
concerned about text and you can adjust things and text really looks
sharp on most LCDs anyway. However a 19" I measured it roughly last
night at a store since Im already thinking of taking advantage of a
19" deal since I got some gift cards - it looked like it was a inch
and a half or more wider and a inche or more taller than a 17". They
look BIG if you watch movies or play games . The aspect ratio looks
different too as I finally grasped. I was complaining that my LCD
looked a bit more squarish than my 19" CRT - people have pointed out
that 1280x1024 has a squarer overall look and thats what most (all?)
17" inch LCDs have for native resolution. However I havent really
though about it but the 19ers also tend to have 1280x1024 unless you
pay more for a 1600x1200 and they look wider - with respect to the
ratio. But I could be mistaken. My LCD is a generic LiquidVideo brand
$150 after rebates.

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Posts: n/a
      27th Dec 2004
I'm looking for a 19" tft, 16ms and DVI for less than 400. Anyone seen
any deals liek this ?

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