Blog: An editorial on LCD panel quality and what to look for on your next purchase

By Julio Franco · 18 replies
Jul 28, 2009
  1. For the last 2+ years there have been two developments in the LCD market that I know I’m not alone in disliking:

    Read the whole story
  2. TechCombo

    TechCombo TS Rookie

    Interesting post :) Always favoured LCD screens just because they are high quality and good to look at.
  3. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Guru Posts: 379   +6

    Interesting indeed. I remember a time when i was quite afraid of LCD's myself when it came to gaming... now...? Well, i love my AOC 2216VW.

    I say that anything below 5ms is absolutely overkill... 5-8ms would be sufficient... And as the article says, your eyes can't notice the difference any lower anyway... and if it comes at a performance cost... >_>

    Speaking of the Megapixel rush on digital cameras... I feel the same way as well. Whats the point in having a massively grainy 15 megapixel photo? in the end you're probably going to have to be forced to downsize the damned photo to internet levels anyway...

    And if you were going to get a good camera, you would be in the SLR market a long time ago. Its hard to find decent digital cameras these days with the market being overpopulated with overpriced craptastic products :(
  4. VonDisco

    VonDisco TS Rookie Posts: 19

    What a great post, found out a lot i didn't know. But I had always wondered why anyone would need 2ms response times..

    This reminds me of the arguments i've had with a work mate about HDTVs. He bought a large overpriced screen with a 30,000 contrast ratio and tries to suggest that he has the pinnacle of TVs despite the fact that if you were to view it at full contrast it just looks horrible!

    Marketing seems to be ruining modern tech products as quality if suffering just to have higher numbers (or lower in the ms case)
  5. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    Good read there for sure. Learned something new today.
  6. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    This article confirmed what I long suspected. I thank you for that.
  7. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    Upon looking at the caption after reading the article. I thought it would be cool to compare a crt and an lcd of the same size that was released around the same price point. Just to look at where we've come from since the crt days.
  8. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 171

    Input Delay is one of the biggest reasons why I still have yet to move onto HDTVs. I still use an old tube tv for my gaming needs. Be it as it may be silly, I could care less about HDTVs right now with the amount of input delays they have. There is a reason why many organized tourneys and many top PC players still prefer old CRT monitors. Until input delay issues get fixed 100% I won't be moving onto hdtvs anytime soon.
  9. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    Great article! Many thanks Julio.
  10. "And if you were going to get a good camera, you would be in the SLR market a long time ago. Its hard to find decent digital cameras these days with the market being overpopulated with overpriced craptastic products"

    Look at the Panasonic DMC-LX3
  11. johnehoffman

    johnehoffman TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +35

    The article is both interesting and informative. Thanks very much. Unfortunately, the Dell 2209WA does not appear to be available any more. Hopefully, Dell will reorder from its supplier.
  12. eafshar

    eafshar TS Enthusiast Posts: 68

    i cant find it on dells website either...they must have sold out.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,969   +2,526

    TN Panels Suck...Big Time...And It's all Your Fault....

    Comsumer stupidity is responsible for the current onslaught of TN panel monitors.

    Corporate greed is responsible for the onslaught of TN panel monitors.

    TN is cheap to make and therefore cheap to sell. It's a real simple equation, if you're stupid enough to buy them, they're ignorant enough to make them!

    Sound like an oversimplification? It really isn't.

    If you're stupid enough to think that one panel is as good as any other, regardless of the fact it's one tenth the price of another, have I got a deal for you.

    TN panels are (or should be) limited to computer usage. First and foremost, because your head is in a fixed position. Sort of like "Alex" in a "Clockwork Orange". And yes, boys, girls and gamers of all ages, they're fast.

    As of now, TN panels are appearing in home TV sets of 32" inches and below. Wow, that's bad news bordering on disastrous.

    When there are actual bargains in a monitor with a better type of panel installed at a decent price, better grab one on your credit card, cause you can be sure it'll be discontinued long before you'll be able to save up the cash,

    So. the more TN panels we buy because of the price, the less MVA and better screens will be available. Pretty soon they'll be as rare a Sabre Toothed TIgers.
    See what I mean?

    You really can't do repeatably accurate image editing and printing with a TN panel, the color and density is shifting with even the slightest change of viewing position. Did I mention the the color rendition is off too?

    "Input delays" are as much the fault of the broadcast compression artifacts as much as the response time of the LCD panels. Here, if you think it's only the screen, then buy a Plasma TV . I'd almost lay money on the fact you'd still be disappointed. If anybody saw the "hi-def" crap from the 2008 Olympics, you'd know what I mean
  14. TBolt

    TBolt TS Rookie Posts: 65

    Interesting and a good read, thanks Julio. Never really knew that scaling down the resolution could have an adverse effect on response time. I generally (on the high end games like Crysis) scale the res down to 1440x900 just to buy some more frames...sounds like that's not the best practice for other games if your rig can handle it at it's native res. Hell, I even have my 24" set at 1680x1050 just because I don't like the "tinyness" of the desktop at it's native res...might need to re-evaluate my thoughts...or get some glasses :S

    Edit: Thanks to you too, PerHansson!
  15. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    Thank you for the comments guys, I wrote the article, Julio "only" edited it ;) (okok, with my engrish that might have been like 50% of the work :D)

    aolish; I can recommend one HDTV to you; the Panasonic PX80 or PZ80, they are plasma displays and have atleast as low response time as the Eizo in the article, because I compared them against eachother about a year ago when I bought the Panasonic... I do not feel like there is annoying lag on it aswell, and I do play Guitar Hero via the PC on it :)

    captaincranky; You made me lol for real with your "Sabre Toothed Tigers" analogy, so true, so true.
    I agree with what you have to day about the LCD market today
  16. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 171

    thx for the suggestion, i'll look into that. I just don't have a copy of guitar hero on me to test out this panel at a local shop tho. maybe i can borrow one from a friend.
  17. kungfujoe

    kungfujoe TS Rookie

    This post is a bit over-simplified. The response rate of an LCD monitor is not really a static value. Black-to-white or grey-to-grey values are reported as a monitor's response time, but an LCD takes a different amount of time to go between different brightness values. The fact that different companies use different methods of measuring the response time is an issue, and that is indeed pushed entirely by marketing ("which measurement makes our monitor look fastest? This one does, let's use it!"). If you get a "16ms" monitor, some brightness changes will happen as quickly as the monitor's refresh rate (16.7ms, as said above). Others, however, will happen more slowly, and others still will happen significantly more slowly.

    The result? A "16ms" monitor may update quite a bit more slowly than the 16.7ms refresh time of the signal going to it.

    The punch line is right - the response rates are all about marketing. The reasoning isn't quite right, though, because it assumes that those response rates accurately characterize the monitor's performance, when it doesn't.
  18. kungfujoe

    kungfujoe TS Rookie

    Err, silly me - I didn't realize I was just looking at the summary version of this posting. The longer version goes into a lot more detail and has a lot of really good info in it (though I still didn't see anything about the inconsistency of _real_ LCD response vs. the reported value). The summary version is somewhat misleading, though, as I said above.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,969   +2,526

    The Brooklyn Bridge, in Six Bit Color...!

    TN panels appear to have the fastest response time. Whether this is by virtue of advertising, or is inherent to the design, isn't really important. But as has been pointed out, response time is far from even the first thing that should be considered.

    IMHO, wide viewing angle on both horizontal and vertical axis, with true color fidelity, are paramount as the most desirable features, TN panels are actually only 6 bit color depth. As a result they are colorful, but perhaps in a cartooney way. This sorts of fits in with computer gaming, as CGI is normally amplified with respect to color saturation, contrast, and lest we forget, content.

    Since they are cheap, and we are in a harsh economic environment they afford the possibility of "more monitor for way less money", and as a result, they are being snapped up faster than wedding gowns at Filene's annual sale. That said, it provides manufacturers with no incentive to maintain stock or development of the many other types of panels in which all other features are superior, save perhaps for the response time.

    I've said this before, but it bears repeating, manufacturers and their advertisers really don't care what they sell you, just how much profit they can extort. The believe that the consumer is a truly stupid animal, and on so many levels they're right on the money, so to speak.

    For example, broadcasters are using excessive compression on video signals so they can put more channels out without increasing bandwidth. The result of this is "comresssion blocking", the square artifacts that appear in fast motion. Then the TV manufactures tell you that it's your TV doing it because it only has a 60Hz refresh rate, and you should buy a 120Hz TV to cure the problem. So, everybody runs out to buy a 120Hz TV. This despite, if you go the store and compare 60 to 120Hz TVs it's a plain as the nose on your face that source failure is responsible for the artifacts. In other words, you would rather believe the advertising than your own eyes. Wow, that's really pathetic.

    Advertising propaganda, has sold us so many situations with horrible outcomes recently, the Presidency of George W. Bush, the "existence" of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, subwoofers, and the Cadillac Escalade! You'd think we'd get smart and ask better questions. Nah, we're too busy with concerning ourselves with OK Magazine's account of the life, death, and drug habit of Michael Jackson, to worry about anything that might affect us directly. What does it say about the health of our society with more people than not running around with their noses up that freak's a**.

    Very soon,you'll be getting nothing but TN panels, but they are really colorful, so they ought to make Entertainment Tonight the brightest, most colorful circus it can possibly be. After that mind numbing extravaganza, you can quote your monitor's fantastic response times to impress your friends.

    Guess what though, specifications can be tailored to whatever you would most like to hear. Er well, actually they have been for decades.
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