Best monitor? what monitors do you use

By Schmutz · 28 replies
Jan 12, 2008
  1. I'm getting a new monitor soon. :grinthumb Shortlist:

    Samsung SM245B £312, 24"

    Samsung Pebble SM2232BW £212, 22"

    Samsung Syncmaster SM2220WM £164, 22"

    I can spend £350 for a great monitor to replace my (horrible!) no brand name 19" LCD. I want to know what monitors you guys have, and what ones you recommend :) I would like to use 1980x1080 resolution supported by the Samsung SM245B, but are there better 24" monitors in the same range?

    I'll be using it for Video editing, image editing, 3D work, watching HD movies, and gaming
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Samsung, LG, Sharp, and Phillips are the best, in our experience.
    Watch the adjustability of the stand, both up and down and lateral.
    The low priced ones have bad stands, and bad controls.
    A good clue is whether they offer a three, four, or five year warranty. You do not want one with a short warranty.
  3. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    thats useful thanks :) All monitors I have considered offer 3 year warranty. I didn't know that a lengthy warranty was such a high priority, I've had two LCD's in the past and haven't had any problems

    The SM245B 24" is my #1 candidate. Anyone advise I get something else?
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Other than the obvious protection against failure, we believe the willingness to place a longer warranty is evidence of their committment to the reliability of the monitor.
    We see perhaps three or four failed monitors everyday... only an optical drive is higher. Among those high failures are ViewSonic, Envision, KDS, Compaq, Hannspree, ProView, StarLogic, Microtouch, Megaview, eMachines, and Acer.
    Those with lowest failures are Samsung, LG, Sony, Princeton, Sharp, NEC, and HP.
    These cheaper, or poor quality, monitors last about 17 months, on average.
    Those with five year warranties, so far, are also the longest lasting.
    Still, contrast, resolution, and adjustability are more important. You want to get a monitor that can output what you need... if a gamer, or if you do photo editing, then you want 144- X 900... on up to at least 1600 X 1200 with good contrast. Otherwise 1280 X 1024 is acceptable.
    If a monitor cannot output 1280 X 1024, there are weaknesses that would be worrisome to us.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528


    The Native resolution of the "Samsung SM245B" should be, (update IS), 1920 X 1200. It's (I think without looking), the only one of the 3 you list with that resolution. If you can afford it, I'd go for that one, because it' the only one with full 1080P Hi-Def support. Not to mention it's pretty much big enough to use as a TV.

    I couldn't find the 2 numbers of 22" monitors you list at Newegg. Since you're shopping with pounds, that wouldn't matter anyway. But, all the 22"s they list are 1680 X 1050 native resolution, and hence won't give you the full 1080P.

    This assuming you find that valuable. I probably would.
  6. red2xp3

    red2xp3 TS Rookie

    lcd bargain

    Soyo makes a good cheap 24 inch lcd that sells at office max for 399 normally but is on sale all the time for 299, runs 1920x1200 and has dvi and analog vga
  7. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    The SM245B 24" monitor has just been reduced to £299 from £312.24 doesn't look like I can go wrong :)

    Thanks for advising, glad I was headed in the right direction from the start - but its valuable to hear other perspectives

    I do video/gaming/3d work/image/movies on my computer so I'm sure I'll reap the benifits of 1980x1080 res. red2xp3, it looks officemax are US, $299 is a great price, just half of the SM245B model but I don't think its available here
  8. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    you need to watch the response rate/time and the contrast - take nothing less than 10ms response and 500:1 contrast. Samsung kit is good; have a look at as an example!
  9. Josho495

    Josho495 TS Rookie Posts: 34

    I have a Samsung 226BW LCD Monitor.

    I would recommend that if you were looking in the 22" Range.

    Dynamic Contrast DC 3000:1
    2ms Response Time
    Brightness 300cd/m²

    Very good monitor!!

    $425 AU
  10. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    You don't need 1920x1080 to display HD video. Very little HD is in 1080p/1080i, and some that is is not really 1920 wide. The video card can make it fit the screen regardless. If you want to connect a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player you may need HDCP support.

    I've had a 20in Viewsonic for over three years and a Acer AL2223W 22in for about a year. Both are free from pixel problems and back light bleed. I had a Princeton 17in before and it had really bad color, poor viewing angles and low contrast. Yesterday I bought 20in Acer 2016WBb I found on clearance at Staples for may son. I'm not that happy with it because it has no DVI and has more back light bleed than I'd like, but it's picture is good.

    The best I have is a Samsung LN-T4066f 1080p HDTV. Some people do use that large of monitor on their desks. A good rule of thumb is to sit back atleats three times the hight of the display. I think a 24in is as big as I would like to have right infront of me.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Another Issue to Consider.......

    The Samsung 245BW is HDCP <(High Def Content protection) compliant. In other words, it's licensed to play HD content from Blu-ray and Hi-Def players.

    You can't display 1080 lines of resolution on a monitor with 1050 line of resolution, that should be obvious, apparently it's not.

    Here is Samsung's support page on the 245B(W):

    Here's Newegg's page on the 245 :

    Everybody seems pretty satisfied with it. Be sure to check out the reviews
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    My next monitor purchase will be a 1920x1200 or greater display. The comment about not much in 1080 isn't true, there are lots of things in 1080, and all HD-DVDs and BluRay disks are in 1080, the only time that statement is close to true is cable broadcast HD where there is a lot of 720p content. And I don't understand the comment at all about some not being as wide.. Due to aspect ratio differences, if something isn't 16:9 it won't have 1080 vertical pixels of video, but it does have 1920 wide. All 1080 content does, just as all 720 content is 1280 wide. You could make an argument that it really shouldn't be called 1080 and 720 HD because those values aren't fixed, the fixed values are 1920 and 1280.

    Sure your video card can scale it down to fit on something smaller, but what is the point, thats like taking a full 7 gig dvd without resizing the video and putting that on your 8 gig 3rd gen nano, you simply don't do that.
  13. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    all the discussion leaves a lot to think about, I'm still convinced the Samsung SM245B is the hottest deal going. I mean lets compare the features:

    1980x1080 res
    3000:1 contrast ratio

    It looks like its on top in every department, and the price isn't crazy like some other monitors that offer the same specs
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Jump In.....

    Just go buy it! Everybody will keep on posting until you have no idea what you should do. You had your mind made up a few posts ago. "Thanx, I'm going to go for it". It's a good brand, it's well reviewed, it will do what you need, and it's on sale, who could ask for more!
  15. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478
    It's called HD Lite apparently. You'd be surprised how prevalent it is.
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Thats an interesting read Mirob, and something I hadn't known of before.

    Although, that seemingly only occurs for TV. HD video that you download, or get from an HD-DVD or Bluray disk is still going to be at the full resolution, the full 1920 or 1280 wide. So my argument for the true HD capable display still stands.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    If fact you can get 1080P from a standard DVD with an upconvert player. You know this.
  18. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    Even HD-DVD/Blu-Ray sometimes comes from lower quality sources. The output is 1080p but the actual video isn't, just like a upconverting DVD player's output. Upconverting doesn't add anything.
  19. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    haha! How do you know I haven't ordered it already ;) Its ok. More discussion, more I learn and yes knowing too much makes the decision more difficult, but I like it :D

    The emphasis has moved onto HD playback, but my real priorities lie in having a huge amount of space for working in Video/3D software, I really look forward to that. And out of curiosity does anyone play games on a large monitor at lower resolutions? (i.e. 1280x1024/1024x768) if so what impact does this have on the image quality when it is being stretched so far to accommodate for the monitors resolution?
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Nothin' Like That New Monitor Smell.....!

    I forgot to mention in my "shall I write that up for you speech" that you have your heart set on the 245B. Well don'cha ?

    Ah, video games at different resolutions. That would depend on whether the game is displaying itself as a window or a screen. Hang here for a bit, someone will be along to show me how little I know about video game display properties. Which in this case will be a good thing. Atari "Scrabble" looks like s***, on my 22" monitor, but the max-res on the game is 1024 X 768 or lower.

    I never answered your original question. I have 3 Westinghouse monitors, a 19" standard (1280 X 1024), a 20" standard (1400 X 1050), and a 22" widescreen at 1680 by 1050. These were all bought at "Best Buy" at the end of (2) summers. The 22" WS was on sale for $180.00 USD. You can get it on sale at Newegg right now, $250.00 USD. There's certainly no status in owning the Westinghouses, but for my purposes they work just dandy. I would prefer to have all standard (4:3 aspect ratio) displays because I do photo editing and the added vertical height is (to me) more valuable than the width. The height is a big plus when editing photos in vertical (portrait) orientation. Since there are no LCD monitors available in 4:3 larger than 20.1 inches, that point is moot. However, for horizontal (landscape) orientation, the 22" wide screen is a killer display. One must assume that this would hold true for 16:9 video. That's sort of stating the obvious since that's what it's pretty much designed for.

    When I'm window shopping big screen TVs, the Samsungs always look as good, and sometimes much better that most of the other brands. Since I wouldn't touch a Sharp or JVC anything with YOUR ten foot pole, and the most impressive thing about Sonys are the exorbitant prices, I would certainly be willing to give a Samsung a shot.

    I have had the best durability experience with VCRs from Toshiba. Does that have any relevance to this discussion? Multiple choice:
    A: who knows
    B: absolutely
    C: absolutely not
    D: who cares
    E: <you think of one
    The only actual relevance (remote) I can find is that Samsung & Toshiba are in "cahoots" with respect to computer drives. (TSST Corp.)
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I knew that satellite companies don't always broadcast the best datarate for picture quality on their HD stuff. I just didn't know that they sometimes do that by shooting a smaller resolution for your reciever/box to upconvert.

    But I do not believe that your BluRay or HD-DVD disks do not contain full 1920x1080 source. They all should have been created from their original film, and perhaps reprocessed 'digitally remasterd' if the film is real old. I do not believe that the HD-DVDs or BluRay are sending anything less than 1920 wide to the player and then having the player upconvert.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    If that was, then this is......

    The absolute resolution is source dependent. If we're talking film, then the resolution is determined by the scan. If we're talking digital, then the resolution is limited by the camera. I think it goes onto (and comes from) the DVD at full-res. The signal obviously has to be modified for 768 P or I TVs. This the TVs job? < I'm asking.
  23. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    DVD player puts it at what the tv can handle.
  24. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    Hi! I want to let you guys know my Samsung 245B has arrived and I'm extremely happy with it :approve:

    Video editing/3d work is much easier with all the space. Also, to my suprise all my games bar one (take a guess) run very well at 1920x1200 resolution & full settings with a single ATI HD2900PRO card

    These games include: CnC3/Gears of War/Bioshock/World in conflict/PES 2008/Oblivion/Unreal3/Guitar Hero 3, so anything released before this generation will most likely work fine, but anything a step up (like crysis) requires that you lower the image quality if you wish to use full resolution

    If you haven't considered getting a large monitor for gaming before, the difference in image quality and immersion is well worth it! :grinthumb
  25. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    What did you have to pay, with shipping (approx). How long is the warranty? Does it have adjustable height and sideways views?
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