How important is the Contrast for an TFT?

I'm searching for a TFT 17 or 19 for movies and programming, but, I will watch movies only for my pleasure, nothing special, I don't want the best performance.

I have seen this monitor :
Acer AL1715m - 17"
Technical specifications

Display size 17", 338 X 270mm
Display Type TFT (thin film transistor) active matrix
Resolution 1280 X 1024
Brightness 370 cd/m2
Color 16.7M colors, RGB 8-bit data
Pixel pitch 0.264 mm
Pixel clock 135MHz
Display Area (H x W ) 338 x 270 mm
Contrast Ratio 350:1
Response rate 14ms
Horizontal frequency 31.5 ~ 80KHz
Vertical frequnecy 56.3 ~ 75Hz
Horizontal viewing angle 160°
Vertical viewing Angle 120°
Backlight 4 Lamps
Video signal Analog (D-sub)
Input Connector 15-pin D-Sub
Speakers 2X1W
Tilt base rotation Tilt: -5° to + 20°
Wall-mount VESA wall-mount (no parts included)
Front panel controls Contrast, Brightness, H-Position, V-Position, Pixel Adjust, Recall Defaults, Auto Adjust, Clock, 5 Languages, OSD Position, Information, YUV Adjustment,Color Balance
Dimension(H x W x D) 374 x 400 x 190
Net Weight 3.5 kg
Power Saving VESA DPMS standard
Power Consumption 51W
AC Adaptor AC 100V - AC 240V
Plug & Play VESA DDC2B
Compliance & Approvals TCO99, UL/CUL, TUV-GS, CE/LVD, TUV-ERGO, FCC-B, CE/EMC, ISO 13406-2, EPA, VCCI, C-Tick, PCT

I found this monitor in Europe for 199 Euro, which is quite a good price in my opinion.
Do you think this monitor is worth the money, comparing it with the Samsung 710N (310Euro) or Samsung 913N (~400Euro).
I don't really neeed a 19' TFT, but insted of buying the 710N I would buy the 915N because the difference is not that much, and I think the 913 is better.

Back to my subject question, the Acer AL1715m has quite a low contrast ratio 350:1, comparing to the Samsung 600:1 or 700:1. Does this low contrast ratio matters that much.
But the Acer has better brightness 370cd/m2, and I have seen that the Sony SDM-HS75PB and his 19' equivalent have very good image quality, and the technical guy from the store that I went to, said that it's because the brightness. Also I have noticed that the LCD TV have brightness around 500cd/m2, and some not that big contrast ration, even 500:1. The Samsung 913N(I belive the USA version is 915N for the 913N) has 300cd/m2, so the Acer is brighter then the 915N.

So, is the contrast that important to worth the 120 Euro from the AL1715m to the Samsung 710N, and 190Euro more for the Samsung 915N?

Which monitor do you think has the best Performance/price ratio? as in 17' or 19' if I don't really want the best performance, I just want a TFT that I can easily program, watch movies and TV. I don't want to play games on it, maybe some time, but it's not that important, and I won't do graphical editing.

I started looking for monitors with higher brightness, for beter view in movies and TV, but I don't know if this is the only important factor, and as I said earlyer I don't know if the contrast ratio is that important.

I also have found some iiYama TFT that have similar specifications like better brightness but less contrast ratio. The
iiyama ProLite E435S-W
17 inch, 350 cd/m2 , Contrast 350:1 ,10 ms ,H 160 ,V 120 , Resolutie 1280 x 1024
Speakers Yes,

And also there are some other Acer monitors that have good brightness and poor contrast, but the 1715m is the chipest(as far as I have searched).

What do you think about Acer TFT in general?

I have a little problem, that I have to solve with the guys from the store where I have found the Acer monitor, because in the price page, they have the name of the monitor AL1703ms-2 - 17", but in the tehnical specification, they have Acer AL1715m, and on the acer site, I can't find neither of them, only Acer AL175(without the final m) that has different specifications.

What do you think about the TFT monitors that have TV Tuner incorporated, are they better than a normal TFT monitor plus an internal or external Tunner? both in terms of peroformance and money.
I have found the following monitors with TV Tuner:Samsung 710MP/730MP(300cd/m2,600:1,1280x1024) the Philips 170T4FS(459cd/m2, contrast 600:1,1280x1024, 25ms,released 2004) or the ACER 1751 (wide screen 16:9, 450cd/m2, contrast 600:1, 1280x760,25ms, released 2003)

Thank you
1 answer Last reply
More about contrast
  1. Contrast, brightness, and response time are probably the most important three stats for an LCD monitor these days. If you don't care that much for performance, then the Acer is probably a better bet than the Samsung, since a 17-inch and a 19-inch actually have the same resolution (1280 x 1024), so it's just that everything becomes a bit bigger. Or you could just go with a 19-inch Acer.

    Acer tends to be bright at the expense of a thicker monitor because of how the backlight technology works. Samsung monitors tend to be thin, but also means less brightness.

    Going back to the original question, the contrast ratio is really how black you want it to be able to get. It is a somewhat important issue if you watch movies that have a darker atmosphere, since those dark hues won't show up as well. Then again, if you're just looking for a regular monitor, it should be fine.

    Chuck Hsiao
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