TechSpot

Monitor decision

By jarulezz
Dec 14, 2009
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  1. As many of you know, Christmas is coming up and i was looking to buy a monitor for myself preferably size above 21 inch but dont really have an idea on how to buy it, what to look for and which one would be best value for money.
    I have 3 of my choice but of course you could suggest some other ones (i am from UK and currency is £ (pounds))
    My budget is up to £150.
    These are the three:
    Samsung SM2243SN 22in Widescreen TFT Monitor 1920x1080
    Acer X223HQb 22in Widescreen TFT Monitor 1920x1080
    LG W2261V 22in Widescreen TFT Monitor 1920x1080
    Could you please look into stuff like contrast ratio, because I heard of it but dont really know what it does and how it contributes towards the performance and quality of the monitor.
    I dont really know much about monitors but I am more into the inner stuff like a GPU, CPU, ram.
    If you need any additional info about my system, just ask.
    I mainly use my PC for gaming (Call of Duty MW2 at the moment) but i do work also (Excel, Word, Powerpoint)
    Also could you tell me if DVI connection would be better than VGA because my graphics card is the EAH4850 (Radeon) and it has a DVI way out but i use an adapter and use VGA because my monitor right now doesnt have DVI.
    Maybe there are different version or cables of DVI or VGA that one is better than the other.
    Thank You in advance!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Shop carefully. Avoid low priced deals unless you already know the monitor.
    In our experience in four shops, many inexpensive monitors/screens begin to fail by 18 months...

    First: Select the resolution you need for the use you intend on your computer.
    Second: Look at the warranty offered. Some with a one year warranty require you to pay the shipping both ways if it fails.
    A good monitor will have a three year warranty or longer... and they will pay the return shipping if it needs repair or replacement.
    If the manufacturer believes in their monitor, they will warranty it properly.
    When you don't know which brand to get, get one with the long warranty, and the screen resolution you require, from these brands: Samsung, LG, HP, Sony, NEC, Panasonic, Asus, Dell (which is really Samsung or Sharp), Sharp, Hyundai, Lenovo, or Visio.
    Avoid Acer, Hanspree, AOC, Viewsonic, MAG, Envision, KDS, Memorex, AG Neovo, Shuttle, and LaCie... unless you know the dealer.
    It is often best to buy locally from a dealer you know will support the warranty of the monitor.
    Do not buy on price. Buy on quality on a screen you have seen.
  3. jarulezz

    jarulezz TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    At the moment i own an Acer AL1706, it had 3 year warranty (but its finished now) and it survived 4 or 5 years with me now. I'm pretty happy of it but some little pixelate white boxes start to come up in the corners.
    About the resolution, I dont really need one, i just want a bigger monitor with bigger resolution than i have at the moment (1280x1024).
    Thanks about the warranties, i will remember about that!
    I have a PC World shop close to and that is where i intend to buy a monitor, which is kind of like the biggest PC company in UK.
    I know Samsung, LG and sony are good for monitors, but i also though that Acer is a good company too?
    My graphics card highest resolution texture support is 8192 x 8192 which is not what i think im aiming at.
    And can you please explain the difference DVI and VGA and which one is better?
  4. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    DVI vs VGA is somewhat subjective. DVI transmits the information digitally to the monitor so there is no loss of picture quality during transmission, where as VGA converts to an analog signal before sending to the monitor (you technically loose some information). The particular monitor will likely determine if you notice a difference or not, most handle both well. Given a choice i would pick DVI (or better yet a monitor with both inputs like mine have).

    Here is an older article on the subject but it it is still applicable if you want to read more:
    http://ecoustics-cnet.com.com/1990-3174_7-5136369-1.html?part=ecoustics-cnet
  5. jarulezz

    jarulezz TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    thanks for the explanation of that!
    but another thing i have noticed that they also say the contrast ratio next to each monitor and what is that?
  6. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    This one is confusing. Contrast ratio in its base sense is the ratio of the luminescence of the the brightest white to the darkest color. Generally higher contrast ratios are better as it means you can see richer detail in an image of all brightness ranges.

    Dynamic contrast ratio is not as good of a measurement as it is based on a cross time ratio and utilizes local dimming of the back light to achieve the high numbers they quote.

    Wikipiedia explains this in more detail so i won't bother duplicating.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrast_ratio

    Manufactures have been messing with these numbers as they know consumers watch them closely. This explains some of what you need to care about:
    http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/contrast-ratio.html

    I would pick your monitor on features, and get one that has a contrast ratio of at least 1:1000 if you can get one that has higher do so, but don't break the bank to get it.
  7. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

  8. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    Since i am looking for a new monitor as well (in the next year or so) I did a little more diging and found another interesting article on how contrast ratios are kind of useless to compare with.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10148015-1.html

    Looks like that site also has a decent set of monitor reviews that may be a good thing to look against if you find a good deal on a monitor or could be useful for finding a monitor in your price range.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/monitors/
  9. jarulezz

    jarulezz TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    thnx very much, looks like im gonna have to go to the shop and look at the monitor not just at the internet and it's specs
    Thanks again to raybay and compdata!
  10. jarulezz

    jarulezz TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    hello again, im here to post my results :)
    i have bought the 23" HP 2309v and i am happy of it by now
    i just went to the shop, looked at the monitors and this one looked the best, so i chose it.
    resolution : 1920x1080
    contrast ratio: a bit low i think but i cant see a difference : 1000:1
    but there is one thing im worrying about but im not sure if its the monitor's fault or something else:
    you see, websites on my small 17" monitor before were stretched out from 1 end to another, now website are only in the middle, heres a screenshot:
    http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/8828/24096368.jpg

    does anyone know, how i could stretch it out, or is it just supposed to be like this?
  11. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    What OS and browser are you using? And is this happening on all websites or just some?
     
  12. jarulezz

    jarulezz TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    i use Windows XP Pro and Firefox
    well google stretches out to the ends, so i think its the websites
  13. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    yeah, that is just the website then. I just checked and Techspots site does the same thing on my wide screen.
  14. jarulezz

    jarulezz TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    ok, because i was pretty worried when i noticed it
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