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Another 16:9 vs 4:3 post!

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December 15, 2006 5:24:59 PM

Help! Can't decide between the two. I watch a lot of TV shows and movies on my computer but most of them aren't widescreen. As for video games, I don't play many new games. Will I benefit from going widescreen? I'm hoping to get a monitor below the 250$ range. Been looking at 19" ones LCDs...i'm currently running a 17" CRT :oops: 

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Anonymous
December 16, 2006 2:57:35 AM

Go 4:3 for video games (widescreening is tough nowadays), and go 16:9 for movies and wide space.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

That's my 4:3, and I've been using it for 5 months, and it's excellent (if you want my input. Not sure about widescreen. I was never a 16:9 fan...)
December 16, 2006 3:20:20 AM

Go widescreen. The extra space for multiple windows is nice. Widescreen DVD's are great and that's what's coming down the pipeline. You are moving up from a 15.9 inch viewing area. Anything will improve that anyway.

I went widescreen and will never turn back. Go as big as you can afford under 8ms. 22-24" is ideal and they are so much more affordable now.
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December 16, 2006 4:55:49 AM

I gotta say that even though I own a 4:3, widescreen is the way to go. 4:3 is going to last much longer... I give it another 2 years max before the last new 4:3 display is introduced. 16:9 will take over very soon.
December 23, 2006 3:38:29 AM

Thanks for the replies...maybe I should have made this thread a poll instead. I'm going for a 19inch screen, no way I can afford anything above that. What happens exactly when you're playing a video game that doesn't support widescreen? Is the image stretched? are there two vertical black bars on each side?
December 23, 2006 4:01:21 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the replies...maybe I should have made this thread a poll instead. I'm going for a 19inch screen, no way I can afford anything above that. What happens exactly when you're playing a video game that doesn't support widescreen? Is the image stretched? are there two vertical black bars on each side?
Depends on what you choose in the driver if it's connected through a DVI cable; you can do it either way.
December 23, 2006 4:08:35 AM

I have played most of the popular games of the last few years on my 16:10 and have been able to use the resolutions I want. Usually 1680 x 1050 being my native resolution.

Otherwise, most games have a installable fix to enable widescreen play that I know of.
December 23, 2006 6:25:42 AM

Definately go with the widescreen and I'll tell you why:

1.) Your screen will fit two pages of stuff side by side, great for programming, homework, web browsing (you get the point).

2.) Very handy in FPS games because it gives you a wider field of view kind of like 120 degree view instead of 90.

3.) Go for the 20" instead of the 19" because you can get the next resolution up; 1680x1050 vice 1440x900.
December 23, 2006 2:13:40 PM

In general I would say widescreen are the way to go, but only if you get a large monitor (21"+). In your case since most of the TV shows and movies are not widescreen, then it is probably better to get a standard 4:3 especially with your $250 limit.

My reasoning for getting a 21"+ widescreen monitor is because in terms of physical LCD screen height that would be the approximate size of a 19" 4:3 monitor. A 19" widescreen monitor has about the same size of a 17" 4:3 monitor.
December 23, 2006 4:20:55 PM

I bought a 19" widescreen Samsung 941BW during Black Friday and, mostly, haven't regretted it. For text there is no doubt that the LCD is superior to my old IBM G96 CRT. The LCD is just so much brighter, clearer and easier to read!

I also remember hearing the refrain about 'Don't get a 19" widescreen, get at least a 20" (or 21" or 22" or whatever)' when I was looking at LCDs back in November. If you were going from a 19" 4:3 LCD to a 19" 16:10 LCD maybe that makes more sense. But I don't think it applies if you currently use a CRT, especially if you're using it at a lower resolution. I can honestly say I have never felt any lack of vertical space with my 19" 16:10. I think a large part of the reason for that is because I'm comfortable using the LCD at its highest resolution ... 1440x900 in my case ... and consequently feel as though I have more usable vertical space with the LCD than I did with my CRT monitor. In other words, you can't just compare raw dimensions in inches. What matters is how much usable visual information the screen can display.

Ultimately, whether or not you are comfortable with a particular screen size is a very personal choice. If you haven't already done so, you should definitely take a trip to one of the big box stores where they would have LCDs on display so you can compare and contrast and get a feel for whether or not a 19" widescreen would be too small for you.

The one other piece of advice I would offer is to pay attention to the contrast ratio of the LCD. My LCD is 500:1, but when I'm watching video, especially from a DVD, I notice areas that are supposed to be black but are actually more greyish. I'm not sure if an LCD with a larger contrast ratio would show blacker blacks, but it's something to consider/research as long as you're still just looking. So far that's been the only aspect of my LCD I haven't liked.

And, to be honest, this may not be a fault of the LCD at all. It may just be that I haven't got my LCD set up correctly. To date the biggest improvement I've made to how the LCD displays video was to get rid of all of my tweaking attempts by forcing all the settings back to their factory defaults. So you have to ask yourself if my problems were/are just "user error". :oops: 

I assume you're planning to wait until prices drop again, right? There were a lot of LCD deals available around the Black Friday period, but prices seem to have gone back up since then. I'd suggest waiting until after Christmas to purchase to see if better deals show up during the post-Christmas sales.

-john, the redundant legacy and partially color blind dinosaur
December 23, 2006 4:27:43 PM

Forgot to mention one other thing. Try to get an LCD that supports a DVI connection if you can. Why degrade the video signal by converting digital to analog and then back again if you don't have to ...

-john
December 23, 2006 8:09:25 PM

Here is one way to decide:

Think of dual core. Does it have significant benefit for gaming, no. Yet if you have dual core you are future proofing yourself and everything else seems better.

Now apply that to widescreen.

Think of widescreen. Does it have a significant benefit for your gaming, no. Yet if you have widescreen you are future proofing yourself and everything else seems better.

See how that worked.

Dual core will catch on one day and widescreen is already half way there.
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