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aperature grill or smart mask?

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September 13, 2002 12:43:25 AM

I recently purchased the Viewsonic P95F+. Tom's Hardware gave it a good review and I read many other good reviews on CNET and epinions. Once I set it up and turned it on, I noticed two very fine black lines running horizontal at the top & bottom (very noticeable on a white background). I know its from the aperature grill. The screen is pretty sharp, but those lines really bother me. I do major graphic design work in Illustrator, Photoshop & Quark. Does anyone suggest a monitor with smart mask technology instead of an aperature grill for what I do? Is smart mask not as sharp as an aperature grill monitor? The Viewsonic P95f+ is the professional model. I was also considering the G90f, which uses smart mask (the grapic model). Does anyone know how that monitor performs? Any advie would be greatly appreciated. I don't know if I should return the P95f+ for something else. Maybe even the Samsung Syncmaster?
September 13, 2002 6:39:23 PM

I think you mean shadow mask.

Shadow mask monitors do not have the horizontal stabilizing wires common to all aperture grill CRT’s. A shadow mask is your only choice (except for LCD). Personally I prefer a shadow mask CRT, good ones are sharp with bright colors. Here are a few of 19” shadow mask that I recommend.

http://shop.monitorsdirect.com/product.asp?sku=1948902

http://shop.monitorsdirect.com/product.asp?sku=1928023

http://shop.monitorsdirect.com/product.asp?sku=1920732


Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 15, 2002 7:50:21 AM

Can you explain why you like shadow mask better? Is it because you mainly just use your computer for text, or do you think that some shadow mask monitors can compete with AG monitors in relation to color quality for games and video?
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September 16, 2002 5:52:40 AM

Certain eizo models use shadow mask tecnology that is also very flat. Eizo monitors are touted by graphics pros as being one of best monitors.

Aside from eizo, most shadows masks are noticeably curved, which irks many graphics pros (especially cad) and picky people since they need or want accurate geometry. So, AG is generally what pros like. The color and brightness of AG is also another benefit sought by pros and picky eyes alike. Since long filaments are interspersed between long phosphors instead of perforated sheet, more light makes it out of the screen (the whole phoshpor line is lit and there is a greater phosphor to filament ratio). The end result is brighter and more accurate colors.

Shadow masks are generally the more economical solution targeted to the home user and corporation. The text supposedly is sharper and image stability should not be an issue (no filaments to vibrate everso slightly).

Slot masks is a newer but rarer technology which uses long rectangular slots instead of round slots in shadow masks. These are susposed to be optimal (flat bright screen with no lines!). I haven't heard or seen enough about slot masks actual performance, though.

I'd settle for imperceptible lines over a curved screen anyday, but that's personal preference. If lines bother you that much, but you still want a flat screen and color accuracy, check out the eizo flexcan f980. Beware, it's pricey as it's targeted to the discriminating professional.

I also noticed the viewsonic's lines are more noticeable than on other AG monitors, BTW.


Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 16, 2002 8:08:15 PM

Compuhan

I really need to disagree with you on a number of points.

Professional Flat Screen shadow mask monitors like the Cornerstone p1650, the Hitachi CM823F Hitachi CM721F are just as flat as any aperture grill and they do not have the damper wire shadows.

Color accuracy has nothing to do with the technology used a shadow mask can be as accurate as an aperture grill, it simply depends on how you set it up and calibrate it.

Professional shadow mask monitors are not necessarily aimed at home uses, the two mentioned above are meant to be used by professional graphics artists, CAD CAM etc.

Slot mask technology we invented by Toshiba many years ago, slot mask never became widely accepted in the industry and I believe only LG is still using slot mask technology. NEC and Panasonic dropped slot mask a few years ago.

The choice between AG and SM is for the most part personal taste. I have designed and used both technologies, my p1700 22” uses AG for example, for me however I prefer shadow mask. The damper wire lines annoy me, and in fact I see them as a design defect. The people marketing AG will say otherwise and they have done a great job of convincing people to the contrary. Again a personal opinion and choice. I find the professional series shadow mask CRT to be sharper and have less geometric distortion.


Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 16, 2002 8:08:50 PM

Compuhan

I really need to disagree with you on a number of points.

Professional Flat Screen shadow mask monitors like the Cornerstone p1650, the Hitachi CM823F Hitachi CM721F are just as flat as any aperture grill and they do not have the damper wire shadows.

Color accuracy has nothing to do with the technology used a shadow mask can be as accurate as an aperture grill, it simply depends on how you set it up and calibrate it.

Professional shadow mask monitors are not necessarily aimed at home uses, the two mentioned above are meant to be used by professional graphics artists, CAD CAM etc.

Slot mask technology we invented by Toshiba many years ago, slot mask never became widely accepted in the industry and I believe only LG is still using slot mask technology. NEC and Panasonic dropped slot mask a few years ago.

The choice between AG and SM is for the most part personal taste. I have designed and used both technologies, my p1700 22” uses AG for example, for me however I prefer shadow mask. The damper wire lines annoy me, and in fact I see them as a design defect. The people marketing AG will say otherwise and they have done a great job of convincing people to the contrary. Again a personal opinion and choice. I find the professional series shadow mask CRT to be sharper and have less geometric distortion.


Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 17, 2002 6:22:08 AM

Well, it is personal taste afterall. I was also commenting about the consensus view, though not necessarily the right answer, gives an indication of what most people prefer and for what reasons.

But, it's not wrong to say that flat shadow masks of high quality are rarer that flat AG. Just walk into your local store. Also, I did mention that there are flat shadow masks (the eizo) that are of the highest quality (professional), but that they are not as available (for whatever reason, be it marketing...). It's just a good general rule that you're likely to find a correlation with AG and professional quality (again not always).

Color accuracy was the wrong term. I used the word a little loosely. Many types of monitors have varying color accuracy (yes, they can be adjusted, but sometimes they cannot be corrected such as low black level or color scaling errors), but since many shadow masks are relegated as value buys, I would imagine the overall quality would not be as good. Now, color saturation and brightness are better on AG (a general rule) than on shadow masks.

That's an informative comment about slot masks from one in the know. As a consumer, slot mask seems new as it is hardly ever seen or heard about. That's ashame, it sounds promising.

I'd buy a flat shadow mask any day if there were more high quality models to choose from. That's the ultimate, a flat screen with no lines. As it is, most big name brands choose to make their names with AG and thus limits what the average consumer can choose if he wants a high quality monitor.

I really want the industry to make better shadow masks (like eizo), but they don't, so I have to settle for the lines. It appears to me as a consumer that the shadow masks is being relegated (but for a few exceptions) for the econo line. I wonder why they are doing this? That is a shame.

I was going to buy an eizo shadow mask, because ther are manufacturer of great repute, but are a just a little pricey. I had much more viable options with AG.

Yes, shadow masks are not necessarily aimed at the home, but generally this is what I observe everywhere around me. As such, you can expect the vast majority (not all as I said previously if you've been reading right!) shadow masks are of inferior quality simply because they are shunned by manufacturers to represent their flagship (usually higher quality than budget, but not always).

I was never annoyed by the lines simply because the flatness is so much easier on the eye than looking through a fishbowl.

Please stop trying to push your monitors, that makes you guise as honest to goodness unbiased expert less convincing. You are a great marketing scheme by cornerstone. Expert knowledge speciously equates to the highest quality monitors. Imagine how many browsing the forum looking for answers see your advice alongside your solicitations. Is posting your company info like that legal? I guess the moderator should have said something about it if it was. Lucky you. It's an insult of sorts to allow that sort of stuff.

Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 17, 2002 6:35:02 AM

Please note that besides the careless use of the term color accuracy and misinformation about slot masks recency, i've not made blanket statements. I used words like "generally"; words that account for exceptions here and there. So you to disagree on those points is meaningless.

You also said that "professional shadow mask monitors are not NECESSARILY aimed at home users" which suggest that I said that they necessarily are, which if you read carefully, is not the case. Also that above sentence is self evident. Of course professional shadow masks are not aimed at the home user, otherwise they wouldn't be marketed as "profesional"!

Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 17, 2002 5:55:46 PM

Good points

In a way I resent the implication that I’m a marketing tool (OK now I’m over it), in general the marketing guys and engineers rarely see eye to eye. They (marketing) tend to take facts and distort them, this is one of the main reasons I post to these forums, to debunk the marketing hype they spew out. Sounds like you fell for some of it based on your general statements in the first post.

I always publish who I am and whom I work for, this way people know that yes I’m biased unlike the trolls from other companies that post here anonymously. The way you are pushing Eizo for example, could it be possible you work for them? Who really knows and you would not admit it if it where true. I would like to see more industry experts in the forums helping customers I think this would be a great benefit to all and help cut through more of the marketing hype. BTW if you have read my posts I often recommend other brands.

Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 18, 2002 5:10:48 AM

Jim...

Your third choice is a flat screen Hitachi. I have seen this one. The geometry is not exactly straight on. I have an older CM751, which is now replaced by the CM715, and they both blow the CM721F away as far as brighntess and image.
September 18, 2002 5:56:58 AM

I'm not saying you are a marketing minded person, but rather that you are an ingenious marketing ploy by your company. Instead of using mascots and other more colorful icons(i.e. viewsonic birds or the intel man)Cornerstone has decided to use a fully credible expert as a front for selling monitors. An expert engineer mascot does not make for a better monitor, but that seems to be the message at the monitorsdirect.com. Similarly, customer care and long warranties don't make for a good monitor, but rather for a better monitor buying emotional experience.

I asked you a several posts back what you thought of A vs. B, but instead of answering me, you suggested your name brand. I really did do some searches for cornerstone monitors and found mixed reviews, but by far they were negative. A few good apples from a barrell of bad ones is the major theme I saw. What was suprising is that your monitors aren't even that much cheaper! I found another monitor (not eizo) that had very good and consistent reviews and so I made my purchase on that. So you can say I fell for the hype, but that's (reviews, articles, etc.) all I have to go on besides seeing them for myself (many top models are not available in stores). What I did see in stores was curvey budget (image was bad) and pricier flat screens (images did look good). If my eyes are a form of hype, I guess you could say I fell for it. I did a lot of research before buying my monitor and I was lucky that it did pay off.

From all the reviews out there and forums (the most unbiased ;>)one can only hope to get a general idea and then take a leap of faith.

Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 18, 2002 3:21:33 PM

In reality Cornerstone does not put me up to posting to news groups, I do it because its fun and it really bugs me that there is so much bad information floating around (I point to your first post as a good example) that I feel compelled to respond.

Yes I full admit that I’m biased, again this is why I make certain everyone knows who they are dealing with so they can decide on their own.

If you really did research on my company you would have found that we are known for quality, this is one reason we may be a little more expensive that some models. In fact Dr. Raymond Senora of Display mate (Leading manufacture monitor test software) choose my p1700 as the monitor other companies should strive to be like. In addition to many CNET. PCworld, PC Magazine editors choice awards I have won for my monitors, Imaging Magazine picked my p1700 as product of the year. So we have won our fair share of reviews. We don’t win in every review and neither does any company for that matter.

You made a good choice Eizo is a good brand (they are not cheap either). Did you actually try one of my monitors? You say something about seeing one in a store?? We never sold retail so it is impossible to see one of my monitors in a store. Retail stores do not carry the top models like you said, if you based your judgment on shadow mask monitors on what you seen in stores this would explain your first post.

Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 18, 2002 3:26:15 PM

Bobmitch

Yes I have seen what you are talking about, however the problem is not just with the Hitachi brand, the geometric distortion problem is in all 19” flat monitors that use the Samsung CRT /Yoke combination. This CRT/yoke combo is in many of the flat screen brands in production today.

The CM751 uses a Hitachi designed CRT and Yoke, IMHO the best ever made, unfortunately Hitachi shut down its CRT factories last year, so all the current models use the Samsung design.

Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 19, 2002 7:48:26 AM

<<if you based your judgment on shadow mask monitors on what you seen in stores this would explain your first post.>>

Exactly! What the average consumer percieves is based mainly on availability and visibilty. Falling for hype is nearly inevitable and less a fault of the consumer than the of the industry direction (manipulation.. whatever you want to call it). An informed consumer can better make choices to a certain extent without being a monitor expert or industry ancillary expert (cad/graphics industry), but not by much.

I don't have an eizo, I have a mitsubishi dp2060u.

To be honest, my view as a consumer exposed to a compilation of sources is that cornerstone does make some good monitors and some really bad ones. Pcworld ranked has rated one model as the worst overall image of any monitor tested. Others have been mentioned as okay to bad, but none of consistently performed at the highest levels. The dp series (derivatives such as the compaq p1220) has received top honors consistently (at the time of my purchase) not only on this site, but others including displaymate and macworld.

I like the idea of cornerstone but the reviews have not been compelling (there are a great deal on the net btw) and pphysical examples to see are not available. I have to admit the p1700 was awarded the displaymate award which piqued me, but its sudden vanishing only raised questions. You've explained that the tube is discontinued by the manufacturer, which is a shame.

Cornerstone touts its factory direct prices, but they are seldom much cheaper than their direct competitors who use the same tech and have a big rep. If indeed at least the prices were reasonable, then on that alone would cornerstone be noted; however both the price and image quality aren't anything noteworthy which is doubly disappointing. So why would someone choose cornerstone over a comparably priced, comparably or better spec'd, and better reviewed competitor with deeper pockets to fund (theoretically, as tons probably goes into marketing) better "quality"? There is not enough monetary or quality (perceived, that is)incentive by cornerstone. The monetary stategy weakly is there (due to small size of the company??), but the reality seems to be that, proportionally speaking, the price/performance is not there.

I hope to see and hear better things of cornerstone and am sorry that I do not have guts to experiment. As convincing as you may be, you're the last person to take advice from.

To say your monitors are not in retail stores because they are top notch is erroneous and revealing of your intentions. You offer models that are in cheaper range as well.

Btw I never said i saw one in a store, I said the reason cornerstone is out of consideration is BECAUSE they are not in stores.

If you want, I could post some links to reviews of your monitors if you don't mind.

Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 19, 2002 4:48:54 PM

Maybe you need to do more research on Cornerstone. We have been in the monitor and video card business for 20 years now.

Until we opened MonitorsDirect.com in January 2000 we sold virtually nothing to the general public. Again this is why you cannot find us in stores nor will you ever see us in stores.

Our main customer base is fortune 500 corporations in the U.S. and Europe who typically purchase 50-500 units at a time. The IT managers at these companies evaluate my monitors side by side against the biggest names in the business including Mitsubishi and Eizo. We don’t win every account no company does, however we have been able to keep our business strong even though these difficult times. This is a testimony to the quality of the products that we produce. The IT managers do not rely on JR level magazine editors to do the reviewing for them, it is their job. If they choose a monitor that has a high failure rate their job is on the line, so they take care in what they pick. We back our professional series monitors with a 5-year standard warranty, this is how much confidence we have in our products.

I’m glad you are happy with your Mitsubishi you could have gotten basically the same product in my p1750 for less and with a better warranty, but that is your choice and I respect it.

You can post any review you want to, this is a free forum, I have the right to rebuttal however.

Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 20, 2002 6:07:20 AM

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,101777,pg,...

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,58265,pg,8...

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,47625,pg,1...

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1648&p=5

http://www.neoseeker.com/resourcelink.html?rid=4554

http://www.neoseeker.com/resourcelink.html?rid=5262

http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/0,10000,0-2295747-40...

http://hwreviews.netscape.com/hardware/0-2295747-405-12...

http://www.tweakers.net/nieuws/22507?highlight=

http://www.e-businessworld.com/english/crd_monitors_485...

http://www4.tomshardware.com/display/02q1/020201/corner...

http://remotead.cnet.com/hardware/0-2295747-404-7627598...

http://www.tomshardware.com/display/02q3/020805/crt-06....

The p1750 is only $87 less than the dp2060 at your site, but I could find a dp2060u for a final cost (tax, shipping included) for $727 at pricegrabber. Futhermore the p1750 is $747 when all costs are calculated making it slightly more expensive.

http://compare.monitorsdirect.com/shopping_tools/cmpmon...

http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid...

Longer warranties are not indicative of quality, but rather an incentive to consumer to buy their products (hoping the initial sales will cover the returns). I wouldn't buy a hyundai because it has a long warranty when the reviews on consumer report aren't favorable. The security of 5 year warranty is overshadowed by possibility of returning an inferior product (i'm really picky and return a lot of things most don't notice).

Large corporations probably focus on ergonomics and budget, not stunning visual quality. IT managers are not image experts, they are IT experts and focus on efficient computer solutions, not luxury ones. I doubt you'll see 50-500 gdmf520s in corporate setting (unless it's a large firm depending on the image of their monitors).

<<I’m glad you are happy with your Mitsubishi you could have gotten basically the same product in my p1750 for less and with a better warranty, but that is your choice and I respect it. >>

This is the kind of statement that can't be trusted by you. I would love to know the real honest answer to that, but tis impossible and would be foolhardy for to consider without skepticism. But I understand your position, especially as you announced your bias.

Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 20, 2002 3:06:50 PM

Once again you post general statements without doing your homework simply based on what you think, not what is indeed fact, this is why I need to debunk the untruths that you post.

The IT managers who typically purchase a Cornerstone Professional series monitor is doing so because they have an application like CAD/CAM or document imaging. These programs are the most visually demanding applications with users who are going to spend at least 8 hours a day 5 days a week in front of them. These IT managers cannot afford to buy cheap low visual quality monitors, again their job is on the line.

These are the guys who do their homework before making recommendations.

Thanks for posting all the links, this is the best advertisement I could ask for.

Here is one thread I think you missed, look who’s name is mentioned in the “Convergence” section.

http://www4.tomshardware.com/display/01q4/011128/index....


BTW my apologies to the original poster for hijacking this thread, odds are he/she could care less about any of this.

Jim Witkowski
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / MonitorsDirect.com

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
September 21, 2002 7:35:52 AM

What kind of homework do the IT managers do?

You're probably right about the advertisement. When do I get my check! But these reviews, demonstrate a a repeating theme that consumers should consider.

How common are convergence errors. I noticed your website really focuses (no pun intended) in on this and actually posts specs. I think publishing those specs are great. I've not noticed convergence errors to any significant degree in most monitors I've owned. If I put my eyeball on the screen, I kinda see some variation from left right, and top bottom (depending on my mood, it's that subtle), but this imho contributes less to sharpess than does moire control! My eyes hurt more from trying to find convergence errors than actually seeing it. Now, if you really mess with the settings, it's like triple vision, but it isn't really significant to begin with that it needs messing with. However, I saw some kds monitors at a fair, and it was triple vision, but generally convergence errors are so small to be noticeable. In addition, as one moves relative to the screen, the convergence changes, in short it seems to depends on the viewing angle. So slight errors on the edges may actually be "corrections" for viewing at an optimal angle. this is just something I noticed. You could provide for info on this if you want to. the human retina is curved too, but I don't know if this contributes in any significant degree. The need to do a card trick to see convergence errors is a testament to it's elusiveness.

do you disagree that IT managers think foremost of value when it comes to buying monitors? If it was not so, then you'd see many cinema displays and other extravagent displays (very easy on the eyes with regard to text) in the corporate workplace. value is a balance on the scale of price/performance, not tipped over to performance. Obviously this is a great niche for your company as you have shunned retail and still sell other brands (at high prices... go to pricegrabber and pricewatch for cheaper vendors!!) on your site.

why did you bring irrelevantly bring up convergence? sounds inline (no pun intended) with a monitor's direct catch phrase.


Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 21, 2002 8:30:30 AM

Here is one thread I think you missed, look who’s name is mentioned in the “Convergence” section.
____________________________________________________________

Is that vanity and pride? The careful reader will note that the cornerstone monitor review at THG was ambivalent at best. "Good for the money". Its tone is of dissappointment of image quality slightly conciliated by value. Since value is less important to me I passed.

_excerpt from thg____________________________________________________________
Overall, once properly calibrated, the Cornerstone p2460 is a good monitor - not the best, but at the price it's a good deal. I would strongly recommend getting a monitor calibration package like DisplayMate if you plan on getting a p2460, otherwise you probably won't get the most out of this monitor. You'll also need to put the monitor on some sort of stand in order to get optimal viewing.

Quality is better than name brand, even regarding beloved AMD.
September 21, 2002 6:57:53 PM

Comp

Over the 20 year we have been selling to large corporate customers you would not believe the homework these guys do. Some of the larger companies take 3 -6 month cycles to review monitors. I have gone to many customer sites all over the U.S. where they are evaluation the next generation hardware to install.

The IT managers typically bring in evaluation units from 4-5 monitor companies, they evaluate them side by side then they often do focus groups using the employees that will use the monitor. The IT managers then must write a report to their management justifying the recommendation. Is price a factor, in most cases no, or we would win just about every time. We do give discounts and other incentive to those who purchase many units at one time so don't let the Internet price sway you.

We will never be the cheapest on the Internet. Many of the DOT coms that have long since bit the dust tried the old we will sell below cost and hope customers come back again and again. We recognized early that strategy does not work.

The IT managers job is on the line, if they recommend a poor monitor and there employees start to complain about eye strain etc, they are looking at major workman's comp claims. Believe me these guys do their homework.

I have worked with many of the editors at CNET, PCWorld, PCMag, ZDNET including Guy Wright here at Tom's. With the exception of Guy, I have found the people who review monitor to be the most JR people on staff. The recent review of my c1035 is a good example, it was not done by Guy. Here is a case where the editors do not tell us the other makes and models we will be up against. This review as it turns out was primarily the professional series G520, DP2060U etc. They compared my lowest end 21" to the competitions highest end and over course mine did not do well. If they looked at my professional p1750 the review would have been much different. Win some loose some. This is the biggest frustration all the monitor manufactures have when it comes to reviews. (YOU LISTNING TOM).

I will try not to be so forward in my advertising my apologies.

Jim

<A HREF="http://www.monitorsdirect.com" target="_new">MonitorsDirect.com</A>
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