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Monitor questions for video/photo editing

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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December 29, 2011 6:44:11 PM

Hey all,
Basically, my Sony Multiscan E400 is showing signs of dying (red angled lines across the screen at all times). I use my monitor predominantly for video and photo editing. I don't need a pro display that costs thousands of dollars, but something that can properly handle blacks is CRUCIAL to me for my video editing and photography.
I have a Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 video card (specs here) so I have DVI, HDMI and I can go to a max digital res of 2560X1600.

Some questions:
- Aren't there any plasma monitors for computers?
- For my purposes, what are the main specs you think I need to look out for? I don't know a lot about monitor specs.
- Is it possible to get something for less than 300?
- Is there ANY monitor I can buy that will also function fine in Europe? I understand the power issue. Just find it weird that there is NO solution that works fine in both places.

Thanks all!
a c 108 C Monitor
December 29, 2011 7:09:38 PM

i've never heard of a plasma monitor for computers. you can hook up televisions to computers though if 1920x1080 is sufficient.

panel type. if you go with an lcd you will want an 8-bit IPS panel (not 6-bit e-ips) for color accuracy. you can delve into brightness, contrast ratios and all that if you like but on a good ips panel you should be fine regardless.

not sure if you can get an ips panel for under 300. e-ips perhaps but its not any better than tn or va when it comes to accuracy. an 8-bit ips panel will set you back at least $500 i'm guessing. i paid $650 for my viewsonic vp201b quite a few years ago.

as far as viewing angles go..e-ips would be the type of choice if you wanted to cheap out as its better than tn panels. not sure how va compares as i havent dealt much with them.

i believe some monitors can switch between 60hz/50hz but you might want to check to see. also check on what voltages they can take from the wall socket. if not you might need a transformer.

while true that plasma screens have much better contrast than lcd screens they are not without their own issues. finding one in a higher than 1080p resolution would also be next to impossible i would think. if you have your screen adjusted correctly the blacks on any normal lcd should look fine, albiet not "pure black" but more of a really really really dark grey.
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December 30, 2011 1:15:33 AM

Is there an FAQ on here that goes through the various specs for LCD screens?
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a c 195 C Monitor
December 30, 2011 2:24:03 AM

There are no plasma monitors for PC primarily due to the fact that pixels need to be larger in a plasma panel than in a LCD panel. It is a "design flaw". For example, it has only been recently that 37" Plasma 1080p HDTVs have been released, before then the smallest plasma HDTV you could buy was probably a 47" HDTV.

Plasma panels uses more electricity than LCD panels and it puts out more heat than a LCD panel.

If you are looking for a LCD monitor that have pretty good black, then you need to look at a S-PVA panel they typically have 3000:1 static contrast ratio; high end S-PVA LCD monitors can have up to 4000:1. The problem is these monitors are out of your range. TN and IPS panels typically have static contrast ratios of 1000:1, but from what I've seen, TN panels tend to overstate it a little bit.

If color accuracy is a high priority, then you want to stay far away from TN panel monitors.

IPS panel monitors are generally the best for color accuracy, but the blacks are not as good as a S-PVA panel. All are 8-bit panels with the exception of e-IPS panels. Due to the fact that e-IPS panels use 6-bit colors, they are not as color accurate as "true" IPS panels. But at least they are better than TN panel monitors. Only e-IPS panel monitors are within your price range.


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December 30, 2011 3:38:26 AM

How do LEDs compare? Or maybe they don't even come close?
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a c 195 C Monitor
December 30, 2011 5:38:06 AM

LED in consumer level monitors are actually called WLED or White LED. However, they are not truly white. These are blue LEDs with a yellow phosphorous coating to imitate white. Since it is not pure white the LED backlight can affect color accuracy. Additionally, some people have commented that LED backlight looks slightly bluish.

Also, consumer LED backlit are edge it instead of having a full array directly behind the LCD panel (one reason why these monitors are thinner). This can result in more pronounced backlight bleeding around the edges and darker backlit towards the center.

High end professional LCD monitor with LED backlight uses RGB-LED. This means that Red, Green and Blue LEDs are used to create true white. This is also a full array backlight instead of being edge lit. This means this type of LED setup is also expensive and you will not find it in a consumer level LCD monitor. For example if you switch out the WLED backlight in a $300 LCD monitor for a RBG-LED full array backlight, it might drive up the price to $500 - $600.
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January 7, 2012 11:20:36 PM

Thanks for all the great info. I have lots to read now. :) 
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a c 108 C Monitor
January 9, 2012 11:09:09 AM

@jaguarskx

we should really create a sticky in this forum for monitor information... would definitely be easier than explaining monitor terminology every 4th post.

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@op

sks explained it all pretty well. theres a ton to learn about monitors if you want to be truely informed but all that knowledge really isnt required just to pick out a screen.

personally on a budget i would go with e-ips, primarily because of the wide viewing angles. i like to avoid tn panels like the plague because of the very narrow viewing angles. stuck with one on my laptop though, couldnt beat the price for the hardware so i'm living with it for now.
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January 31, 2012 7:34:49 AM

Ok, I've looked at all the information you guys gave me and done tons of research.
Where MY needs are concerned, it appears that...

1. VA panels will have the right viewing angles and good blacks but may suffer in a small way in color fidelity. Better than TN, they don't quite match the quality of high end IPS but are a cost-friendly alternative.
2. IPS panels are best at 8-bit (don't know why that's better than 6 yet but it has to do with colour reproduction) which means you're either paying a premium price for an S-IPS panels or paying less for e-IPS which is definitely better than TN but at that point comparing e-IPS and MVA becomes harder because they're similar.

I've decided given all this info, that I can spend up to $400 in the hopes that it can get me something a bit better. But I'd like to keep it under that amount.
Again, I am primarily editing video and photographs where, to me, contrast and black fidelity and viewing angle are the most important thing. But I also need to have good response time for video editing. I can deal with colors being a bit off, but contrast and black levels are harder to compromise in my work. Other than that, lots of writing and just regular desktop stuff.

Does all of that sound correct?
Any new suggestions based on this new info?
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