1 2 Previous Next 62 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2011 10:40 AM by Hudechrome


    Hudechrome Level 2

      I'm in the market for a new one. Of course, I would love to get an EIZO, but that seems to be slipping away price wise.


      Several have commented negatively on the Dell Ultra sharps. In one panel uniformity test the 2410 showed a wide variation in intensity randomly across the screen.


      So, looking further, one shows up of which I have heard little: Asus PA246Q.


      Strangely, their advertised dE value is Under 5! Even my old crt is better than that!


      I also need good separation in the blacks, particularly around the values formerly known as zone 3. The crt is not good at all here.


      I presume that calibrating the Asus will bring it closer than dE5, but I don't have any info.






      Message was edited by: Hudechrome

        • 1. Re: Monitors
          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          As I've come to conclude, buying a monitor is risky business. Too many things hinge on good quality control, so maybe brand name does play a part. Some seem to take their reputation more seriously. But I've always thought of Asus as a "good" name.


          I've ordered an HP 2475W for the credit note I got for the Dell failure. I'll report back when it arrives, but it may take a few weeks. None of the dealers in this area actually stock these things, they all have to be ordered, so there's no way to look before leaping.


          I would prefer an Eizo too, but this particular dealer doesn't do Eizo. Too bad.

          • 2. Re: Monitors
            Donald Reese Level 3

            I have the dell 2410 for the last year and like it. when i bought mine,I had seen there were various revisions of it,so i made sure i got the latest revision.

            • 3. Re: Monitors
              TLL... Level 3

              While I'm certainly not a purist and not much of a numbers guy but FWIW I like Samsung. Have a 3yr old T260 @work and a trio of even older 21.5s @home. All still rock solid and calibrate nicely with my Spyder 3...

              • 4. Re: Monitors
                Hudechrome Level 2

                I did a bit of surfing and came up with this review on Amazon:




                Second one down. It's long enough to actually get feedback.


                Seems like Asus also has teething pains. Lots of reviews stating bad pixels, screen flashing etc.


                Oh well.....


                I use Samsung at work at times. Seems stable and has neutral gray scale.

                • 5. Re: Monitors
                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I believe Samsung makes solid products. But they're the main supplier of PVA panels (as LG is for IPS panels), and use them in their own product line. It's precisely in the Zone III and II grays (yes, I used the zone system for a while!) that PVA panels are somewhat less reliable than IPS.


                  I worked with an Eizo with PVA panel for a long time, and it was an excellent monitor. But it was my uneasiness with those dark grays that led me to look for something else.


                  BTW, I hear Samsung is working on a new panel technology that is supposed to be at least as good as IPS.

                  • 6. Re: Monitors
                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                    It's a bit late to ask, but what size/shape monitor are you looking for?



                    • 7. Re: Monitors
                      Hudechrome Level 2
                      I am limiting my choices to those 10x16 proportion, (1900x1200) rather than 9x16 (1900x1080). More room and 10x16 is an almost exact Golden Mean ratio (10x 16.18, for the anal!)

                      Wierd, but my typing is comming out italics but that isn't selected.

                      And now it is underlined, and I can't cancel it! Except for this line.
                      • 8. Re: Monitors
                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                        I used 24" 16 x 10 (1920 x 1200) Sony monitors (giant beasts) for a long time before moving up to LCDs back in 2004.  It's a nice, pleasing size. 


                        I take it a bigger one is above budget?  I've been seriously looking at the Dell U3011 myself, and every time I look I like what I see better and better.  16 x 10 at 2560 x 1600 and 0.2505mm pitch (101 pixels/inch).  So far the thing I like the most in the ones I've seen is that the colors don't change per changes in the viewing angle.



                        • 9. Re: Monitors
                          Hudechrome Level 2

                          That is in the price range of the Eizo Flexscan Sx 24" models, and frankly, given Dell's attitude about rainbowing dark panels, I won't go near it.


                          The other consideration is the way gray scale is handled. At the moment, it's front and center, as most monitors in the graphics class handle color very well.


                          An interesting site:




                          It is a huge disadvantage that we are unable to directly compare instrumrnts in that class, providing our own files for comparison. Even the distributor for Eizo or the source for Lacie, which is in Hillsboro near Intel, do not have showrooms.

                          • 10. Re: Monitors
                            emil emil Level 4

                            Hudechrome wrote:


                            That is in the price range of the Eizo Flexscan Sx 24" models, and frankly, given Dell's attitude about rainbowing dark panels, I won't go near it.




                            It is a huge disadvantage that we are unable to directly compare instrumrnts in that class, providing our own files for comparison. Even the distributor for Eizo or the source for Lacie, which is in Hillsboro near Intel, do not have showrooms.

                            Well, I don't know how it is in other countries but in Canada Dell gives 30 days no question ask return policy for their high end monitors. This was the main reason I got Dell. I was very close to buy a Nec model but the fact that I have to buy it in order to see and can't return it if I don't like it, turned me away.

                            • 11. Re: Monitors
                              Bart Cross Level 4

                              I've used Dell Ultras for three years without any issues. Calibrated with Monaco.

                              • 12. Re: Monitors
                                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Most units from any manufacturer are probably perfectly OK. I think the main issue is that in this market segment (pro gear for critical work), prices escalate fast, because volume is relatively small. IPS panels are expensive to begin with, much more so than consumer/office TN panels, so with the low volume the only way to cut prices is to accept the C and D batches and loosen tolerances.


                                Eizo Color Edges and NEC PAs get the picks (and that's what you pay for) - while Dell, HP, Asus and the others get what's left, at a discount.


                                I think this explains why you see defects on a Dell U2410, which is after all a pretty expensive piece, that you never see on a cheap gaming or office screen. I have looked at a lot of cheap monitors, and I have never seen uneven color of this magnitude. Never, ever.


                                Here's Dell's official word on the U2410 (Chris M on the Dell forum):

                                All received captures were tested and are within manufacturer specifications for Color Gradation. Because this is a normal panel characteristic and not a hardware failure, exchanges will no longer be offered (...)


                                BTW, the U3011 isn't entirely free from problems either. One person went through three replacements, this time one side of the screen was yellow. Same answer from Dell/Chris M:

                                Dell monitors do not have 100% color uniformity specification. As long as the exact center point of any monitor meets x=0.313 and y=0.329 (6500K), it meets our specifications to the manufacturer. So, the center point may be 6500K, but the sides and corners may not which is why you may see that one side or corner is different than the others.

                                http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/peripherals/f/3529/p/19396929/19929076.aspx#19 929076


                                I am now awaiting the HP LP2475W with almost zen-like calm. I don't expect much. The price tag is a little higher than the U2410, and it uses a different panel version, so hopefully it will be usable. In any case it was the only real option I had.

                                • 13. Re: Monitors
                                  Paulo Skylar Level 4


                                  In catching up on posts this past week or so I thought I would add some thoughs to your useful posting about monitors.


                                  "IPS panels are expensive to begin with, much more so than consumer/office TN panels" .

                                  This is probably a good place to start.  If one looks at the fundamentals that influence cost there is no reason for IPS panels to be significantly more expensive.  Currently they are more expensive, but not by very much and that is primarly related to the economics of low volume production and that will change with time. Consider already that the new Kindle Fire, frequently cited for its surprisingly low price, has a 7" IPS panel. It should also be mentioned, though probably evident to most,  that the LC panel price for a high quality monitor, such as is being discussed in this thread, is just a fraction of the price of a complete monitor.  This is especially true for monitors engineered for high color uniformity  (low Delta E) as that comes from adaptive (to a particular panel) electronics in the monitor and not raw performance of the panel. The number of LC process parameters that have to line up to have uniform color across a large display is staggering. By and large it does not happen.


                                  Consider the main comparative costs that go into an IPS  LC panel.

                                  1. Are the material costs for an IPS panel significantly different than in a TN or VA panel ? the answer is no.
                                  2. Are  the IPS processing times for each step significantly different than for a TN or VA panel? the answer is no.
                                  3. Are the  number of the all-important  photomasking steps for IPS panel different than TN or VA panels ? the answer is no, each requires 5 photomask steps.
                                  4. Are there basic factors that significantly decrease the IPS panel yields compared to  TN or VA  panels ?  The answer is no.
                                  5. Is the cost for the required polarizers (external to the panel) different from the polarizer costs of TN and VA panels? The answer is no.
                                  6. Are the requiremetns for the Si drivers, which apply the voltages to the array of LC cells much different than for TN or VA displays. The answer is no. However, the IPS panels allow more useable colors  making 10-bit drivers a possibility and if so implemented carry a higher price not only at the panel level, but also in the monitor support electronics.
                                  7. Is there anything in the physics of the electro-optical performance of IPS panels that merits a price increase ?  Yes there is, but its cost increase is modest. The IPS geometry, which has both electrodes (opaque) on the same glass plate instead of one electrode on both the front and rear glass plate (aligned with each other), necessarily has a lower transmission than either TN or VA displays, somewhere in the range of 25% reduction.   This means that for the same front-of-screen luminance the display backlight has to be brighter. This translates into a higher price for more LEDs & DBEFs (brightness enhancing films) in the backlight. As you may know, most current displays already are too bright for design professionals and using the same backlight may not be a  problem for our use.  It would be a hit in the display specs, however, and that affects volume,  so typically a higher price backlight is engineered.
                                  8. Are ther other factors affecting the relative cost if IPS displays?  Yes, though they are harder to quantify. The main inclusive  factor is time in production (TIP).  Modern quality TN displays have been in production for about a decade.  IPS  panels are relatively new. Process control, uniformity, defect reduction, engineering revisions are all slow ongoing activities that results in cost reduction. TN panels benefit greatly from long TIP. IPS panels will eventually reap the same rewards and will also benefit from larger volume production. VA panels are in between.

                                  LC display panels are all manufactured from 2 pieces of "mother glass" and after complete processing the mother glass is cut up into numerous displays. The fundamental cost of LC panel manufacturing is the cost to process a piece of mother glass. If N displays come out of each mother glass, then each panel's cost is 1/Nth the fundamental cost - approximately. Thus the single most expensive thing you can do is to increase your monitor cost is to say you want a larger display. Each new generation  factory handles larger mother glass - that is the main reason prices have been decreasing. Additionally, as in semiconductor manufacturing, there is a yield impact to increasing panel (or Si die) size since every manufacturing system has  some number of defects per unit area.  Increase the area and defects go up and the corresponding yield goes down.


                                  The current sate of things is that well engineered monitors using either IPS or VA panels can perform equally well - it takes a pro to "see" the difference and those differences occurr under conditions in which a designer/photographer typically does not work.  Both types of monitors are expensive because of the engineering and the low volume. The future hold promise for IPS monitors as they have better electro-optical performance supporting 10-bit color and, eventually, lower prices.  Finally, given the current state of the technology, for high performance/cost ratio for one's studio consider a small great monitor (say 24") and one or more additional monitors for the non critical parts of your work.



                                  • 14. Re: Monitors
                                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    This is very interesting, Paulo, and exactly the kind of background information that is hard to come by through the "normal" channels. In fact I had secretly hoped that this thread would stay afloat for a while, to shed some more light on the underlying mechanisms.


                                    What started me on this whole thing was a seemingly simple question: How much do I have to pay for a monitor I can rely on? I wasn't asking for perfection, just predictability. Naively, I assumed that price/quality was a linear relationship, and that by studying the specifications it would be possible to determine the sweet spot.


                                    Not so. It turns out that specifications mean nothing in themselves. What matters is how those specifications are met. In other words, quality control and tolerances. This is what you really pay for, and moreover, this is what it's really worth paying for.


                                    Not to beat a dead horse, but receiving a $550 monitor and discovering that it was a worthless piece of junk was a shock to me. It never even occurred to me that such a thing would be possible. And an even bigger blow was the manufacturer coolly shrugging the whole thing off (as in what do you expect for $550?) And this from a highly respected, leading brand. The whole experience was so mind-blowing that I had to find an explanation. The one I've come up with so far is the same as yours, Paulo: low volume. Time in production is another that I hadn't thought of, but it makes sense.


                                    The lesson to be learned from all this is to be extremely critical of where you place your priorities. What is essential, and what can you do without? For me it boils down to three things:


                                    1. Predictable contrast and gamma response once calibrated. This translates to good viewing angles: minimal shift across the screen, or as you change viewing position.


                                    2. Screen uniformity. Uneven brightness is bad enough, but uneven color renders the screen unusable.


                                    3. Color depth. A true 8-bit screen should ideally show all 256 levels clearly distinguishable, with no banding (adjacent levels melting into each other). 10-bit is even better of course, offering 1024 levels. To bring cost down, many screens use 6-bit plus frame rate control. Intermediate levels are achieved by rapidly "flashing" neighboring levels. In theory this works well, but in practice it's difficult to achieve the necessary precision level. The result is visible banding.


                                    The problem is that the specifications tell you next to nothing about any of these (although panel techology more or less determines the viewing angles). All you have to go on is the price. You have to assume that you get what you pay for.


                                    The thing that seems the least important is size. I'd rather have a good 22" than a bad 27". And as you say, for the same price you should get a huge increase in quality.


                                    BTW I cancelled the order for the hp. I don't want to risk the same story all over again. I finally managed to get my money back from the dealer, and at the same time decided to lay som more cash on the table, so I'm currently looking at Eizo again. The ColorEdges are probably still just out of reach, so I don't know what I'll end up with. In the meantime, the "low-end" Eizo EV2335 tided me over nicely. But I still want something better.

                                    • 15. Re: Monitors
                                      Hudechrome Level 2

                                      The cost od Si for both AMD and Intel is about the same, but viva la difference! (or is there?).

                                      So far as Eizo, if you want to go that way. look at the Flexscan SX models. They are just a cut under the Color Edge, but at a much better price point..


                                      FWIW, I find that, except for the curious problem of the tainted edge colors of a particular brand, the basic color differences are minor, for what I do. But the big difference is in the grayscale capabilities, as is/was the case for printers. So my final decision will be based on that.

                                      • 16. Re: Monitors
                                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        Correction: I paid the equivalent of $800 for the U2410, not 550. That's just the exchange rate, I don't know what the actual US price is. But we need to keep the correct perspective.

                                        • 17. Re: Monitors
                                          Lawrence Hudetz

                                          There is more to this than meets the eye. For reasons I won't go in to, this weekend I did a complete re-installation of both OS's on my system. New HD and all. After weathering all the update stuff, I had to re-install the i1 software then re-calibrate.


                                          You would have thought I have a new (or at least, newer) monitor. Previously, the best I could do with luminance was about 43cd/m^2 and maintain color accuracy but not shadow detail in either a color or more importantly, B&W. I've had this for some time, as witnessed by the excellent separation of the same values in the print, which I chalked up to a plethora of reasons.. But this time, with room to spare, I am up to 65cd, with color dE of 1.75. That is a decrease from 1.1 or less but frankly, it looks better and better tracks color variations between print and screen.


                                          If I have to trace it to one thing it is likely to be that  updating the i1 software when I downloaded the Win 7 version, but without running the updated against the earlier one I cannot say for certain. I can push all the RGB guns like never before, and no artifacts like pink edges on menus do not show up.


                                          So, before trashing your monitor for failing presentations, be absolutely certain that your system is optimal. It takes some doing and frankly, if there was a better way than complete re-install, I would do it, but my investigations over the problem leading to mandatory re-install got no significant answers.

                                          • 18. Re: Monitors
                                            Lawrence Hudetz Level 1

                                            Hmmm, now I am Lawrence and not Hudechrome but with only 55 posts. Well, so be it.

                                            • 19. Re: Monitors
                                              Hudechrome Level 2

                                              Now the log -in says Hudechrome.




                                              Message was edited by: Hudechrome

                                              • 20. Re: Monitors
                                                Paulo Skylar Level 4
                                                ...But I still want something better.

                                                It sounds like you have done your due diligence in preparing to buy a monitor.


                                                Specificantions do mean something, but you have to make sure you understand the specification and how it is determined. Display producers are notorious for specsmanship.  Most reputable panel manufacturers do meet their specs, though you can be pretty sure the panels do not exceed those specs. The monitor producers have a somewhat poorer reputation, though still pretty good. The key issue with the specs are that you i) have to understand the spec & how it is measured and ii) make sure that the characteristic that you care about HAS a specification - you cannot just assume.


                                                The sweet spot may exist for high volume products. When you get to things like uniformity, stability and other measures of high quality I am not sure that there are obvious winners. Your best bet is going with monitor producers who service a professional base like NEC and Eizo (and others). From them you can pare down your requirements (smaller size, 8 bits not 10 bits, built in calibration vs external calibration, .....) and hope something within your range exists. I think your decision to cancel the HP monitor was a good one.


                                                Sometimes you can get very good info on competing displays by checking with a provider of display & color solutions, say Chromix as one example, and tell them what you are looking for and they usually know what is wrong with monitors that compete with the ones they sell. They can also give you a realistic price point for the features you indicate you want.  Unfortunatley, today if you want color uniformity all over the panel you are going to have to pay (the monitor maker) for it since the panels do not inherently come that way.



                                                • 21. Re: Monitors
                                                  Hudechrome Level 2

                                                  "and they usually know what is wrong with monitors that compete with the ones they sell".....


                                                  But they won't likely tell you what's wrong with the ones they do sell.

                                                  • 22. Re: Monitors
                                                    Paulo Skylar Level 4

                                                    True enough!  Usually.

                                                    So it also helps to check with a few places to get a balanced opinion.



                                                    • 23. Re: Monitors
                                                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      Paulo Skylar wrote:


                                                      if you want color uniformity all over the panel you are going to have to pay (...) since the panels do not inherently come that way.

                                                      That's where I was naive. I thought that was a given, sine qua non so to speak...but apparently not.


                                                      So to anyone else in the market for a new monitor: Don't take anything for granted. If at all possible visit a showroom  and see for yourself (after carefully setting up a list of what specifically to look for). But in these days of online shopping that may not be possible.

                                                      • 24. Re: Monitors
                                                        Hudechrome Level 2

                                                        Buying LCD panels is like buying lumber. If you want straight, true 2x4's, you inspect the shipment, select the pieces you want and send the rest back. Now the guy getting the leftovers probably will complain about the poor quality of his shipment, which will consist of a far greater percentage of twisted 2x4's, but hey, he got it at a discount!.


                                                        (Everything I needed to know about Q.C. I got from my Dad, a great finish carpenter)

                                                        • 25. Re: Monitors
                                                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          Hah! That's what I wanted, the monitor equivalent of a good straight 2x4. You can learn a lot from good carpenters...

                                                          • 26. Re: Monitors
                                                            Paulo Skylar Level 4

                                                            Interesting analogy becasue I had thought of using a related one.


                                                            If you build furniture and want to get some good boards (timbers) you might think at at 8 USD/bdFt you would get some very good material. This is usually not true since the really good logs have all been purchased, at high price, for veneer making.  While annoying for the traditional woodworker, it is ecologically a much better use of the log.



                                                            • 27. Re: Monitors
                                                              Hudechrome Level 2

                                                              The good logs have been purchased, at high prices, and shipped to Japan China.

                                                              • 28. Re: Monitors

                                                                Does anyone have any comments on the LG 22" LED IPS Monitor. Best Buys has them at a reasonable price, just wondering what everyones thoughts are on LED monitors

                                                                • 29. Re: Monitors
                                                                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                  LED is just marketing hype, it doesn't make any practical difference. A monitor can be wide gamut or standard gamut regardless of backlight technology. And it doesn't do anything for backlight uniformity.


                                                                  There is a "new wave" of small, relatively inexpensive IPS monitors. Aside from screen uniformity, I believe the main risk with these monitors is posterization/banding, because most of them are not true 8-bit panels. Instead they are 6-bit plus frame rate control (a sort of dithering).


                                                                  The best advice I can give is to see for yourself, if that's possible.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Monitors
                                                                    Hudechrome Level 2

                                                                    One essentail difference is power requirements. A number of LED units show a power need which is less than the conventional units, some by a factor of 3 more.




                                                                    There is an interesting discussion of the ways that LED's are implemented, and the trade-offs.


                                                                    As you can see, it's far from marketing hype.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Monitors
                                                                      Level 7

                                                                      LED backlit displays can have a better color gamut, in addition to running cooler.

                                                                      Those with white LEDs tend to be similar to using fluorescent lamps for the backlight. But those with RGB leds can adjust the white point more efficiently, and give much more saturated colors while still using less power.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Monitors
                                                                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                        OK, point(s) taken. I've got nothing against LED, I have one . I just haven't seen any real differences in terms of display quality.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Monitors
                                                                          Paulo Skylar Level 4

                                                                          Yes, the dispay uniformity that you may be looking for is not solved by LED backlighting - but it may help in the future.


                                                                          LED backlighting is indeed a real and substantial development in LC monitors as other have already suggested. It enables thinner, lighter, more rugged, longer lasting monitors. It also eliminates high voltage and the inverter that produces it from the monitor. Over the life of a large screen LCD television the LED backlight represents about a 50 % power savings. The color gamut and the saturation are also improved.


                                                                          Like many other developments how things get implemented varies with manufacturers. the LEDs can be placed along one or more of the four sides OR arranged in a low density array. LEDs are high frequency devices whereas CFLs are only practical as continuous light sources. TV manufacturers have already offered units taking  advantage of this by dynamically varying the backlight to pump up their instantaneous contrast ratio - increasing the back illumination during high key scenes in a movie, for example, and decreasing the illumination for night scenes.


                                                                          With array LEDS once can do the same, within certain limits, for a static image. That is control the illumination spatially as contrasted with the temporal example just mentioned. One can imagine some level brightness uniformity correction of a monitor using this approach.


                                                                          "Instead they are 6-bit plus frame rate control (a sort of dithering)."

                                                                          With regard to frame rate control (FRC), this is not a fundamentally bad approach - it depends how it is implemented and I have seen some impressive examples. The basic notion, however, is that it is a temporal modulation to produce tones between those offered by voltage control and Not a spatial technique such as you suggest - Some use both FRC and dither or error diffusion. I cannot be certain about this, but I believe that Eizo uses a touch of FRC in their high end monitors. This is not to gain 8 equivalent drive bits from 6, but to control the tones available from the 8-bit drivers they use.  ..... OK, maybe strickly speaking it is a way of getting somewhat more bits than 8.  Your original advice is spot on - LOOK at a display before you buy. Things as elementary as how smooth or diffuse the front surface treatment is can make you love or hate a display.



                                                                          • 34. Re: Monitors
                                                                            Noel Carboni Level 8

                                                                            All incredibly interesting comments...  Thanks, guys!


                                                                            One thing that hasn't been mentioned is longevity...


                                                                            Back at the end of 2003 and in early 2004 I bought the two monitors I'm currently using:  20" Dell Ultrasharp 2001 FP (20" diagonal 4:3 ratio) displays with 1600 x 1200 pixels.  Back then they cost me $900 and $600 respectively (I didn't buy them at the same time). 


                                                                            And here they are working almost as well as the day I bought them.  Uniformity is good, though not perfect, and there are no bad pixels.


                                                                            I had thought they were starting to go bad, as some dark blotches had started to appear near the top-left edges (not complete failure, but just a darkening of the display in kind of an analog way), but a few weeks back we had a nice, cool day (air in the low 60s F, which is cool for Florida) and I had the windows in my office open.  It got cool in here, and I happened to notice the dark blotching was almost gone...  This got me to thinking maybe the problem could be heat related, so I both blew and vacuumed out these two displays through the slots in the back panels, and lo and behold now they look much better even when the room is at the normal 75 F.  Heat was simply accumulating because of dust build-up.


                                                                            I probably shouldn't write this, because I've heard Murphy reads these forums, but I've never had a lick of trouble with these two monitors in daily (long) use for what, 7 years now...


                                                                            Do new models - e.g., higher-end units - still have the potential for this kind of longevity?  I hope so.



                                                                            • 35. Re: Monitors
                                                                              Paulo Skylar Level 4

                                                                              My guess is that the current crop of monitors are more likely to have lifetimes equal to or greater than the one's you have experienced. I do not have any data at my finger tips to support this.


                                                                              The LC panel stability and resistance to analog deterioration is strong and modern process control makes it even more so. The drivers and related contacts (thousands of them) which attach to the LC array are well protected these days from static and other over-voltage conditions, the voltages are low and the few hundred MHz clock rates are no big deal these days.


                                                                              The big improvement is in the back light as your units had cold fluorescent lamps (CFL)  and todays monitors have LEDs - really, no comparison. My guess is that the darkening condition you described is almost certainly due to the backlight. CFL's are run at a point of high efficiency for obvious reasons. If you plot the efficiency versus temperature you will find the operating point is on a moderately broad maximum. Lower the temperature, or increase it, from the design point and your light output goes down. CFLs can also experience a darkening of the bulb interior with time especially near the cooler end points of the tube.


                                                                              Statistically speaking, longevity of new LC monitors should be high.  You will need a monitor manufacturer with good manufacturing control, however, to realize it on your monitor.


                                                                              This is an aside, but one other benefit of the LEDs monitors is that they have no need of a high voltage inverter as the CFLs did. There were several pretty good monitors made which were great except that the manufacturers used cheap inverters which produced an audible complex tone, which would drive you nuts. No way you would see that on a spec sheet - you had to see and hear the display to determine it that monitor was for you.



                                                                              • 36. Re: Monitors
                                                                                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                                I'd hold on to them for as long as possible. A good monitor is very hard to find these days.


                                                                                When I have nothing better to do, I search the net looking for peoples' monitor experiences in various forums (my god, there are many forums...). In general, IPS monitors seem very susceptible to uneven color, so much so that I've decided to stay away for now. Dell, HP, Asus, LG, all the mainstream brands. And Apple: one guy had walked into an Apple store and checked all the iMacs and Cinema Displays against a neutral desktop. They all had uneven color, every single one.


                                                                                Only two brands seem to go clear: NEC and Eizo. NEC seems to be in very high regard among professionals in the US, mainly because most of them seem to consider Eizo overpriced for no real reason. In Europe the two are similarly priced model for model, so it may be different here. Certainly, the NEC Spectraview calibrating software seems very good.


                                                                                I took the Dell money, added some, and ordered an Eizo Flexscan S2243W. It should arrive one of these days. Yes, it has a PVA panel, which is ironic in a way because I came from a PVA Eizo (older model) determined to get an IPS monitor. But with what seems to be the current state of affairs regarding IPS, I just don't have the nerve. Anyway, I think I've found a trick to tame the PVA "black crush". I threw the Easy-Pix calibrator into the bargain, which will be very interesting to compare with Color Eyes Display Pro. The interesting bit is that Easy-pix allows calibrating to the 10-bit monitor LUT.


                                                                                And I have the "low-end" Eizo EV2335 IPS to check against. It's good, but I suspect this is one of the 6 bit + FRC panels. There is a little bit of banding in the shadows.




                                                                                As for LED, I can get environmental with the best of them (currently working on a book about endangered orchid species). In the context here, however, I'm only concerned with image quality. I can certainly see the point in both RGB LED (as opposed to the common white LED) and LED arrays (as opposed to single side with diffuser). But at present both of these are very expensive and found only in extreme high end units, one of which is the hp Dreamcolor. But eventually/hopefully it will drift down into the mainstream segment.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Monitors
                                                                                  Hudechrome Level 2

                                                                                  After reading the last comments today, I went off to look at the LED situation. Strangely, Eizo seems to be holding back. Dreamcolor, although expensive, is still less expensive than high end Eizos, most of which do not use LED's at all.


                                                                                  It's easy to spot the monitors using led...look at the power consumption. Full power for Eizo is around 100W for standard illumination whereas leds run 35W max. (It's not a guarantee, of course!)


                                                                                  A factor to consider is exactly how the led's are powered series or parallel? In series, one led goes out and you lose a bunch more.


                                                                                  Still another factor, for which I have no references, is what happens to separation values when the screen is dimmed to say, 80 cd/m^2? If the calibration is speced at a percent of full scale, reducing the brightness brings you into an area where that actual percentage is larger than the full scale number value ( 3% of 100 is +/- 3 units, so at a lower value, like 1/5 brightness=20, will still be +/- 3 units, returning in an error of 3/20 or 15%!)

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Monitors
                                                                                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                                    Calibrating to low luminance levels (less than around 90 cd/m²) is not recommended with CCFL, precisely for that reason. During my brief struggle with the Dell U2410 I found out that zero brightness setting in the OSD corresponded to about 110 - 120 cd/m².


                                                                                    LED is supposed to behave better in that regard. According to Eizo, the EV2335 can be adjusted all the way down to 3 cd/m².


                                                                                    So coming from CRT, where 80 - 90 is the norm, LED might be an easier transition.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Monitors
                                                                                      Dave_Evanson Level 1

                                                                                      I would also recommend the NEC SpectraView Reference series, I recently bought a 271 (27inch 2560x1440) – my only gripe would be the cost around £1600 in the UK. Originally I was looking at either an NEC 241 or a LaCie 324i, both similar price at £1200. Finally decided on the NEC due to the zero pixel defect guarantee, but by the time I decided the 241 was out of stock so took the plunge and ordered the 271.


                                                                                      I had been using a SpyderPro 3  to calibrate my old monitor and the sensor works well with NEC’s  SpectraView calibration software. That’s one point to consider when splashing out on a high end monitor – some include the calibration hardware/software also. There is a customised sensor available from NEC so I may replace the SpyderPro in the future.


                                                                                      When my new PC arrives with its FirePro V5900 graphics card I will see how well the 10 bit colour works on the SpectraView.

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