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Best Looking Technology

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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December 14, 2008 6:31:35 AM

Hi,

I have heard about many different technologies for LCD panels, TN, S-PVA, S-IPS, H-IPS, etc. But regardless of cost, which technology is the best in all areas including response time, input lag, color accuracy, gamut representation, etc. What are the differences between each and what monitors on the market are examples of such? I know for example TN has good response but generally poor gamut representation.

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December 14, 2008 7:01:22 AM

TN is generally the worst appearing of all of the monitors.

S-PVA and S-IPS both look fairly similar to me, with the slight edge going to S-IPS, especially at odd angles (although both absolutely destroy TN panels when it comes to viewing angle). S-PVA usually have better response time, but all of them today have a fast enough response to be reasonably good gaming monitors.

As for examples of each? If it's under $400 and it's a 24", or under about $250 and it's a 20", it's probably a TN. In fact, almost all cheap monitors are TN. Most nicer 24s are S-PVA, like the Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP, and most 30" panels are S-IPS. In addition, all Apple Cinema Displays are S-IPS, and there's a few others, such as an LG 24" IIRC that has an S-IPS panel. Some nicer 20" monitors are available, though I can't remember whether they tend towards PVA or IPS.
December 14, 2008 7:32:14 AM

Thank you that was very informative. I have two other questions"

1) The Apple Cinema display looks absolutely amazing to me which I gather from your post are S-IPS. No doubt that the new ones that have LED back lighting probably look even more incredible. But I have also seen a specification sheet for it stating it has a .25mm dot pitch which is much better than any 24" dot pitch I have seen. Is this true or false and if true, are there any other panels with that as well?

2) Would it be possible to replace different panel types? Say take an S-IPS panel and replace a monitor's TN panel? What about back lighting? LED's are supposed to have 100%+ gamut coverage, could you replace a monitor's CCFL's with LEDs?
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December 14, 2008 5:44:35 PM

.25mm dot pitch is standard on 30 inch monitors, and 20" 1680x1050 monitors are at 0.258mm. 24" are 0.27mm IIRC, which is also quite good. Any of these would be excellent panels. The ones that tend to have somewhat poor dot pitches are the 22" 1680x1050 and the 26/27" 1920x1200 monitors.

As for being able to replace the panels? I seriously doubt it. I would go with a good display from the start. The same goes for the backlight.

Depending on your budget, some excellent monitors to consider are the Dell Ultrasharp 2007FP (which can have either an S-PVA or an S-IPS panel in it, both of which look excellent), the Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP (S-PVA), the Dell Ultrasharp 3008WFP (S-IPS), the HP LP-2475W (S-IPS), and the LG L245WP (S-IPS). The Apple Cinema displays aren't bad either, though they're a bit on the expensive side compared to some of the others. The new ones also appear to only have a mini displayport connector, somewhat inconvenient for hooking it to anything but a macbook. I also find the Dell Ultrasharps to have slightly more vivid colors (I personally own a Dell 2408WFP).

Note: the easy way to tell in a monitor's spec what kind of panel it has is to look at the viewing angle. If it says 160 degrees, or even 170 degrees, it's likely a TN. All S-PVA and S-IPS panels are specified at around 178 degree viewing angles.
December 14, 2008 11:07:18 PM

Do you know of any electronic retailers who offer non-TN panels such as the ones you mentioned? I don't know of any who offer anything but TN. Also which would you consider better, S-PVA or S-IPS? If I remember right I've read that S-PVA suffers from pretty bad input lag. Also just out of curiosity, to TV panels use the same technologies or are they different?
December 14, 2008 11:16:03 PM

Input lag is more a feature of the monitor itself rather than the panel type used. All of the types of panels can be very low lag, or very high lag, depending on other factors in the design of the monitor. Between S-PVA and S-IPS, I would say S-IPS is slightly better for graphic design due to a lower gamma shift at differing angles, but S-PVA is a bit better for gaming usually because it has lower response time typically. Either is excellent though, so I wouldn't be too concerned about the quality of either.

As for retailers, I get my Dell panels straight from Dell, who have pretty good sales fairly often (I picked up my 2408WFP for $530 including a 5 year warranty). For the other panels, I'm not really sure. Newegg has a few, but the selection is definitely limited.

For TV panels, I don't have a clue. I would imagine the technology is fairly similar, but it's hard to find any details.
December 15, 2008 12:45:00 AM

I'm sorry I didn't mean about where to purchase the monitors but rather where I could view/test drive them. Dell doesn't have any actual stores do they?
December 15, 2008 1:00:11 AM

Ahh. Dell has some locations, but they're pretty hard to find. I don't know of any good places to go look at monitors - the only place I know of that has the good ones is my school's computer store (University of Colorado), where they have several S-IPS 30" panels. You could try a variety of places like Best Buy, but it's fairly hard to find panel specifics.
December 15, 2008 3:14:21 PM

To the OP...

If you live in NYC you can check out B&H Photo who generally have a few non-TN panel monitors on display.

Most LCD TVs use S-PVA panels. There is not much information available on these panels that I can find. There was one series of HDTV which used IPS panels, but the image I saw on it was horrible. Then again, it could have been the source that was bad. I don't think they are produced anymore since they were not that popular (read as significant price premium).
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