A few questions about backlight/non backlit screens and other monitor stuff?

I've had my computer monitor for nearly 4 years now (this one -, it was 100 quid and if I have the money I may eventually upgrade. It said it had a contrast ratio of 5 million to 1, but with the backlight, it looks no different to other screens, and a dark film basically turns grey if I sit on my bed due to my head being half a foot lower than usual.

However, my new phone (s3 mini) does not appear to be backlit, and will happily display fully black areas with sharp bright colours. Is this due to being a plasma screen or something newer? I've never owned or know anyone whose owned a plasma screen so I've not really seen one in action (unless it was on in a shop or something), also I do remember hearing their picture quality degrades over time

As I'm on a VFX course, my lecturers have mentioned to us about if we get a new monitor, get something better than standard. Mainly the colour space (adobe rgb is better than rgb, quite a few things are better than adobe rgb), but also if colour grading is involved, 10 bit instead of 8 bit, but they're expensive. I also remember hearing that IPS monitors are some of the best you can go for. Will these also have the true blacks, or is it something that's not so desirable on a computer monitor?

So finally, what would be the best bet for a monitor with accurate colours and contrast for if I'm doing anything film related, suitable for gaming, and really pleasing to the eye (very dark blacks (if that's desirable in monitors) and bright colours), that'd cost under £500ish?
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about questions backlight backlit screens monitor stuff
  1. Best answer
    Computer monitors, these days boil down to two main types: TN and IPS/PLS. These will both be Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) and not plasma. Plasma is not often (or ever) used for computer monitors, or anything these days really.

    TN (Twisted Neumatic) screens are often found in cheaper monitors, but can be found in more expensive ones aimed at gamers for their quick response times and low input lag. These screens offer poor colour reproduction and bad viewing angles and are avoided by professionals. Doing a VXF course, I would steer clear.

    IPS (In Plane Switching) panels are LG's relatively new technology (based on a Toshiba tech from the 90's, I think) which offer good colour reproduction and great viewing angles, perfect for collaborative work in a professional situation. PLS (Plane Line Switching) is Samsung's answer to LG's tech, and is of similar specs. Your phone screen you speak of, will be one of these two types of screen. LG and Samsung sell these panels to many other manufacturer's to use on their screens, so these technologies can be found in screens from all brands; I myself have a Dell IPS. Both of these types of screen suffer from higher response times though, and higher input lag, which render them a bad choice for hardcore gamers of the FPS variety. But for casual gamers, most should suffice. You will want one of these types of screen if you are working with video or photography.

    Don't listen to contrast ratios quoted by manufacturers! Different brands use different scales. Have a look at external reviewers, I recommend for good, comprehensive technical details for monitors. He even tests the colour space for every monitor, so you can see what exactly you are buying.

    There are other things to consider though. If you are coming from an old Cathode Ray Tube monitor you may find that these newfangled LED monitors (which everything is now) are pretty harsh on the eyes. Ones which use PWM dimming even more so. I find that PWM gives me huge headaches and I had to search for monitors which did not use that specific technology. Another thing to consider, is getting a higher resolution monitor - which effectively increases desktop space. I use a 1440p monitor for CAD work, and I find 1080p to be quite small these days.

    It is difficult to recommend a screen, since it is such a personal choice. I like to steer towards Dell, they are very well made, are factory calibrated, and have great colour reproduction on their IPS models. You can go for their PremierColor models too, which extend into the Adobe RGB colourspace.

    To quickly address your questions on blacks: Weirdly, TN monitors often have very good blacks, and IPS and PLS screens have a faint grey glow (called IPS glow - you may hear about in when researching). Under normal lighting conditions, any screen you get around the price you have quoted, will be FAR better than your old 100 quid monitor, so I wouldn't worry about it.
  2. Hey thanks a lot for the detailed reply and the link, it was super helpful, sorry I didn't notice the reply sooner, it never emailed me :P

    So, is there likely to be any type of IPS that may not suffer the high response times? I enjoy a bit of unreal tournament and titanfall and that lot every now and then (where I once noticed the difference between 30 and 60 fps is the entire scoreboard, couldn't understand why I started doing so badly haha), but obviously I'll avoid the TN monitors from now on.

    We have higher resolution computers in the uni, I think 1440p, and I gotta say I like the idea of upgrading to one, programs these days really need the extra room :)
Ask a new question

Read More

Computers Monitors Graphics