User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Purchasing Advice »

The Be-All, End-All discussion on LCD monitors and LCD panel types.


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
The Be-All, End-All discussion on LCD monitors and LCD panel types.
Page 1 of 3 [1] 2 3  Next Thread Tools
Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2007-03-21, 13:22

All LCDs are not created equal. There are half a dozen panel types floating around out there, and different ones will produce different pictures and different results. Given the frequency with which "what monitor do I buy" threads pop up, I figured I would share all the knowledge I have on this topic.

There are four different types of LCD panels. For our purposes, we can discard discussion of TN panels because they are the worst of the bunch. We can also group P-MVA and S-PVA into the same group because they are very similar. This will mostly be a discussion of the differences between S-PVA vs. S-IPS technology.

Common Misconceptions

The panel in a Dell or a Samsung is not "identical" to the panel in an ACD. Do not worry, I used to think this myself. There are significant differences between the LCD panels that all LCD monitors use, and these different panels will produce different images on their screens.

S-IPS vs. S-PVA

S-IPS panels maintain their color accuracy very well, unlike S-PVA screens which begin to exhibit unacceptable gamma shifts if the image is only a few degrees off center from the viewer. This is especially important for any monitor over 20" because the color shift is so extreme that the image on screen will exhibit different colors in the corners of the panel. This is obviously completely unacceptable for a creative professional.

As a result of their lack of gamma shifts, many S-IPS panels are SWOP certified. A SWOP certified monitor can be reliably used for soft proofing your work, which has many benefits.

The downside of S-IPS panels is that they are more expensive, and also have difficulty producing higher contrast ratios.

Thats where S-PVA comes in. S-PVA screens can product very good contrast ratios - theoretically up to 3000:1, almost as good as a Plasma TV. They are also slightly cheaper to produce.

The downside to S-PVA panels have already been mentioned: unacceptable gamma shifts when viewing the screen only a few degrees off center. This makes them unacceptable for any kind of professional graphic design work.

What Panels in what Brands?

Modern Apple Cinema Displays always use S-IPS panels. Modern ACDs are also all SWOP certified. If you are a creative professional, this is almost certainly the way to go.

All Samsung monitors use either TN or S-PVA panels. This make them very good for gaming and movie watching. If you are a casual, entertainment-minded user, then a Samsung is probably your best bet.

Most Dell's use S-PVA as well, but don't usually have the brightness or the contrast ratio that Samsung's have. If you are trying to save a couple bucks, then a Dell is probably a good choice.

A notable exception to that rule is the older 30" Dell, which uses S-IPS. However, I am not sure if the older Dell 30" is SWOP certified. It probably is, but with Dell, you never know. The new 30" Dell sports a higher contrast ratio and a price drop, which may indicate a switch to S-PVA. As far as I can tell, the TFT panel in the new 30" Dell is unknown.

The Bottom Line

Different monitors are good for different people. All monitors are not created equal. For creative pros, or any field where you are doing color-critical work, an ACD is probably best. For entertainment-minded consumers, a Samsung is probably best. For tight budgets, a Dell is probably best.

Resources

WSGF's Master Monitor List. An impressive, comprehensive list of many TFT LCDs and their panel type, as well as contrast ratio, maximum brightness, and some other information.

Wikipedia's article on TFT LCD panels. As always, useful information from Wikipedia.

A thread over at MacRumors very similar to this one.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2007-03-21 at 18:45.
  quote
intlplby
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2007-03-21, 13:40

be all, end all and it's only that long?

you at least got to give some wikipedia or other reference links for each of those formats so people can easily go and look up what each of those are if you are going to keep it short and sweet
  quote
macleod
Now in lower-case™!
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
 
2007-03-21, 13:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
[PAUSE. Need to switch computers. Will finish with edit momentarily.]
I think he is planning on adding more, but needed to switch computers or take a break.
  quote
Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2007-03-21, 15:54

Perhaps we could have this stickied in Purchasing Advice?
  quote
Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2007-03-23, 01:16

I'm sorry but I just can not take you serious when you say the Apple displays are the only way to go if you are a professional.

Apple's displays are overpriced crap, I don't care what the technology buzzword behind them is. Their brightness is uneven and dim, their contrast is terrible, and their features are severly lacking.

There are much better "professional" LCDs out there.
  quote
rasmits
rams it
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
 
2007-03-23, 02:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
There are much better "professional" LCDs out there.
Very very true. The biggest advantage an ACD has is that it matches the headless Macs.
  quote
Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2007-03-23, 11:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I'm sorry but I just can not take you serious when you say the Apple displays are the only way to go if you are a professional.

Apple's displays are overpriced crap, I don't care what the technology buzzword behind them is. Their brightness is uneven and dim, their contrast is terrible, and their features are severly lacking.

There are much better "professional" LCDs out there.
I am sorry, but maybe you could show me exactly where I said "creative pros must use ACDs."

ACDs are the only SWOP-certified LCDs I am aware of that are mass-marketed. I am sure everyone reading this thread would love to see some examples of more SWOP-certified LCDs.

And I don't know where that quip about uneven brightness came from, I've used many ACDs and they all look 1) bright enough and 2) pretty even. Certainly better than the Dells I've used.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2007-03-24, 17:52

IF color purity, gamut and even back-lighting are your main concerns, there are two games in town, and Apple isn't one of them. ThinkNEC and Eizo.

Some of those displays however, are not great for video. A few are acceptable by current standards. Also, if you get the less expensive Eizos that boast "1000:1" contrast -in fact ANY monitor that boasts 1000:1 contrast ratios- you are likely to get less even back-lighting.

...into the light of a dark black night.
  quote
murbot
regular everyday normal guy
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2007-03-24, 18:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
Modern Apple Cinema Displays always use S-IPS panels. Modern ACDs are also all SWOP certified. If you are a creative professional, this is almost certainly the way to go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I'm sorry but I just can not take you serious when you say the Apple displays are the only way to go if you are a professional.There are much better "professional" LCDs out there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
I am sorry, but maybe you could show me exactly where I said "creative pros must use ACDs."
Well, you pretty much said it.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2007-03-24, 18:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
IF color purity, gamut and even back-lighting are your main concerns, there are two games in town, and Apple isn't one of them. ThinkNEC and Eizo.
True, but then you're looking at several times the price. For a creative pro, Apple's displays arguably offer the best compromise between price and quality.
  quote
Suddoo
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: to the U to the K, yeah!
Send a message via MSN to Suddoo  
2007-03-24, 19:36



CRTs FTW!
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2007-03-24, 19:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddoo View Post


CRTs FTW!
I'm totally not your optometrist.
  quote
Suddoo
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: to the U to the K, yeah!
Send a message via MSN to Suddoo  
2007-03-24, 19:48

Is their any way that CRTs still have the edge on LCDs? I rememember hearing a few years back that they offer more vibrant colour or something..
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2007-03-24, 19:49

They have higher contrast and more accurate color, yes.
  quote
Suddoo
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: to the U to the K, yeah!
Send a message via MSN to Suddoo  
2007-03-24, 20:03

Neah hah! See! CRTs really are FTW!

And you can pick up a second hand one for a tenner
  quote
Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2007-03-24, 20:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
True, but then you're looking at several times the price. For a creative pro, Apple's displays arguably offer the best compromise between price and quality.
Exactly. I didn't even bother with Eizo; given how much people bitch about Apple charging $999 for a 24" LCD, there's no way that $1,599 would fly. If you know about Eizo montiors, then you probably don't need to read this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddoo View Post
Neah hah! See! CRTs really are FTW!

And you can pick up a second hand one for a tenner
Heh. I'd buy a CRT if it would actually fit on my desk, but it wouldn't!

Quote:
Originally Posted by murbot View Post
Well, you pretty much said it.
I make it a habit to never rarely speak in absolutes. That way I can never be am rarely 100% wrong!

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2007-03-25 at 00:36. Reason: Posts merged
  quote
Elysium
Environmental Bloodhound
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Land of ice and snow
Send a message via AIM to Elysium  
2007-03-24, 20:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
I make it a habit to never speak in absolutes. That way I can never be 100% wrong!
Um, care to rephrase this?
  quote
Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2007-03-25, 00:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynical_rock View Post
Um, care to rephrase this?
Hahaha. Good point. And damn you.

Also, thank you all for your responses. Especially Brave Ulysses and Moogs. I didn't think anyone was looking for a more expensive LCD, but apparently I was wrong. Many thanks for pointing this out, because everyone benefits!

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2007-03-25 at 00:26.
  quote
digitalprimate
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
 
2007-03-25, 08:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynical_rock View Post
Um, care to rephrase this?
Also, the title leaves a lot of room for future generations
  quote
drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-03-25, 09:19

First of all, thanks for starting this thread, it might ought to be a sticky.

Secondly, if NEC and Eizo represent the higher end, I'm curious as to what monitors share the S-IPS "middle ground" with Apple, and how they price against the Apple monitors. Has that already been mentioned and I just missed it in between the spirited ripostes?

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2007-03-25, 10:17

Chucker, et al: the midline Eizos and NEC monitors are not "several times the price".

The 25" NEC model that covers 91-93% of the Adobe RGB gamut, and which has decent response times, and comes with a Gretag colorimeter and software... is $1500. Do you think Apple would ship a comparable pro color monitor, with a gretag color profiling device for less than $1500? I don't. I think they'd charge *more*. We shall see what happens if Apple does push for the pro color market, how they price things. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Eizos - if you go to the products that are clearly better than the ACDs (and not their most expensive models), they are price competitive. The top of the line CG models are maybe 2x as much (I forget exact prices). Colormall has the the 24" general purpose Eizo widescreen (which is not as color-perfect as some of the other CG models, but is still better than *anything* Apple offers), also for about $1500.

So don't talk yourself out of at least considering these models because if Apple offered something remotely comparable you can bet your ass they'd be more than $1500. And even as it is, they're still in the same ballpark.

...into the light of a dark black night.
  quote
washington mac user
can't read
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
 
2007-04-25, 04:31

If anyone's looking for 24 inch monitors, I would suggest looking here for a comparison of 3:

http://www.bexox.com/showdown.htm
  quote
washington mac user
can't read
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
 
2007-04-26, 01:25

Dang it! it doesn't look like dell is going to put HDMI in their updated 24 inch monitors...

http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...H/en/index.htm

its the updated version called 2407wfp-hc with the wider color gamut


Quote:

Model number 2407WFP-HC
Flat Panel

The following table lists the flat panel specification:
Screen type Active matrix - TFT LCD
Screen dimensions 24 inches (24-inch viewable image size)
Preset display area:

Horizontal

518.4 mm (20.4 inches)

Vertical

324.0 mm (12.7 inches)

Pixel pitch 0.270 mm
Viewing angle +/- 89 (vertical) typ, +/- 89 (horizontal) typ
Luminance output 400 cd/m (typ)
Contrast ratio 1000:1 (typ)
Faceplate coating Antiglare with hard-coating 3H
Backlight 6 CCFLs U-type backlight, 92% wide color gamut
Response Time 6 ms typical (Grey to Grey) / 16 ms typical (Black to White)
  quote
washington mac user
can't read
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
 
2007-05-05, 02:51

just letting everybody know that Dell 24inch monitors are going for $570 right now, which is $100 off the original price.
  quote
Akumulator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-07-22, 01:01

We have a couple Eizo 24" monitors at work and they are amazing.... but I don't have that kind of money. Are the displays in the iMac the same quality as the stand alone displays? I might just hold off and get a new iMac once they're updated.
  quote
Windowsrookie
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minnesota
Send a message via AIM to Windowsrookie Send a message via MSN to Windowsrookie Send a message via Yahoo to Windowsrookie  
2007-07-22, 01:03

Of course they are. Why wouldn't they be the same quality?
  quote
Akumulator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-07-22, 01:23

Save money on the consumer models?
  quote
Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2007-08-08, 20:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windowsrookie View Post
Of course they are. Why wouldn't they be the same quality?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akumulator View Post
Save money on the consumer models?
Yeah. I don't know if the iMac uses the same LG.Phillips S-IPS panel. I wouldn't be surprised either way, to be honest. This goes for the new ones and the old ones.

Of course, the gloss on the new one would make color work pretty bitchy to begin with. I don't see Apple covering an S-IPS panel with gloss. It would nullify the advantages of the panel, and all the shortcomings would remain.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
  quote
Majost
monkey with a tiny cymbal
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lost
 
2007-08-08, 21:35

As per this disassembly, the panel on the new 20" model is an LG PHILIPS LM201WE3. Which, if my Google-Fu is to be trusted, is an 8-bit TN film panel.
  quote
torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Send a message via AIM to torifile  
2007-08-08, 21:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Majost View Post
As per this disassembly, the panel on the new 20" model is an LG PHILIPS LM201WE3. Which, if my Google-Fu is to be trusted, is an 8-bit TN film panel.
English? Is this good or bad?
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 1 of 3 [1] 2 3  Next

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:24.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2019, AppleNova