Monitor Woes

I just returned from BB; I needed to see monitors in person.

From their prices, selection, and my eyes, I narrowed the monitor selection down to three models.

Samsung 245BW - $350 (clearance)
Hannspree (HansG??) HF-289HJB -$580
LG L246WP -$600

I'm going to be gaming (25%), watching movies (25%), and everyday tasking (50%) on whichever display I get.

Now I know that the Samsung is a TN panel, and the LG is a PVA panel, but I don't know where the Hannspree lies. I took a look at all three monitors and the viewing angles seemed pretty excellent (Samsung was only really bad looking up from below--it was on the top display shelf). The Hannspree is supposedly only a 160/160, so that makes it a TN. However, at the same angle, it looked just as good as the LG. Is this because the screen is so much bigger (28" vs 24") that there is no discernible difference?

Also, for $350, I'm wondering if the Samsung would be the better purchase??

The native resolution for the Hannspree was listed at 1900x1080, but online it reads 1900x1200. And with a display that big, will the lower resolution, if truly 1900x1080, make everyday tasks a pain?? Also there aren't really any reviews of the Hannspree, and it lacks DVI (my new mobo will have HDMI anyways).

The guys at BB were pretty much worthless, albeit very nice, but just couldn't help me with what I needed. All of the monitors were in VGA also, so I can't accurately judge the picture quality side-by-side. I'm hoping the kind folks here at Tom's can help me out a little bit.
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  1. I work at Best Buy and am considering the Samsung 2493 HM. I know that sucks that they are all hooked up in VGA but on top of that because all the other monitors including the smaller ones run at lower resolutions the Samsung isn't in its native (by the way the Samsung you are looking at uses the same panel as the 2493HM). Just get the computer guy to unhook it from the daisy chain and hook it up to one of the computers so you can get a good look. The Hannspree is Best Buy's internal name for Hans-G (I'm in Inventory, not Computers :( ). First, I'd advise you to stay away from the Hanns-G. Its really big and nice but the pixel density suffers by going to 28" and keeping the same resolution, the pixel pitch is about .30mm, you'd get a sharper pitcure out of the LG or the Samsung because it is smaller and has the same resolution resulting in a .27 or .28 (I can't remember off hand) pixel pitch, which still isn't great but there isn't much you can say with the 24", it will probably get better once (if) we see 2560x1600 resoltuions on them. I myself lean toward the Samsung but I won't discredit the LG because I know nothing about it, I simply like what Samsung does with their products. The only thing I can think of to research on the Samsung is if it has 1:1 pixel mapping (I believe the 2493 HM has it which is making me reconsider). The 1:1 mapping is great for plugging in a PS3 or XBox 360, or even watching movies but for gaming is some instances, at least for me it sucks. For example I want to play Crysis at a 16:10 resoltuion but not the native because it's too taxing on my system so I switch to 1680x1050. The result is the monitor itself puts black bars around the screen and centers the image. I myself like this in certain scenarios but for the most part I like the image stretched and then anti-aliased but the only way I can think of doing this is using NVIDIA's scaling tool but I'm not even sure it is possible because the only LCD display I own is on my laptop which doesn't have pixel mapping. I am still researching to find out if the Samsung has an option maybe in the OSD to turn off this 1:1 pixel mapping, because if there is not way to circumvent it, I'm going to have to reconsider.

    An overall conclusion for you, minus all of my explanation is to:

    1) Avoid the Hanns-G because of loss of image quality due to a large pixel pitch.

    2) Research the Samsung to find out wether the 1:1 Pixel Mapping is present and if it is if it can be turned off. Whatever the answer, decide wether this is ok for you (I imagine either way, based on your usage percentages, it will be ok)

    3) Research the LG. I did a brief search on it and it seems to be a high quality monitor (I believe it is a P-MVA panel). The Samsung is cheaper but is TN.

    4) Either way I don't think you'll be disappointed I think it just a matter of cost.
  2. Wow, thank you for such an in depth response cmmcnamara, I appreciate it. I think I am going to try to find a good deal on the LG or the 245T. I looked into it, and it appears that the 245BW doesn't support HDCP. there is an open box L245WP and 245T on NE, but their dead pixel policy blows. Looks like I will be making weekly trips to BB. Thanks for your input again, and if anyone else has insight, feel free to leave it.
  3. Yes Newegg's dead pixel policy sucks. If you are looking into those two monitors I suggest the 245T if you can get your hands on one. It's an S-PVA and has great viewing angle. The only downside is cost. Its about 600 I believe. I actually wish that BB still carried the 245T, I'd reccomend it over the 2493HM, but we don't even carry it at any stores anymore....shame. Good luck again.
  4. Went back to BB to take another look at the LG. I asked them to hook it up to a digital source (HDMI was the only option). The guy did so on a HP Quad Core, but the 1900x1200 resolution was shifted so the left side of the display was cut off. We couldn't get it to center properly. Is this a software issue, or something bigger with the monitor?

    I have heard of HDMI not scaling properly, but I thought the main problem was with the DVI-HDMI cable, not a HDMI cable from a HDMI source. Any ideas?
  5. The 245T is slightly laggier than the LG, though I hear it looks a lot better. The shifted screen sounds like a software thing. Did the guy hot plug the monitor?
  6. Yea the shifted screen sounds like a software issue. When I had the guys at my work take down the Samsung 2493 I was looking at to hook up to a PC it didn't look right until I messed with the scaling options. I know that on some LCD's with HDMI inputs and DVI that the HDMI inputs scale the resolution so you can use other inputs like and XBOX360 or PS3 without strethcing the image from 1080p. I haven't heard of that happening with DVI inputs, if the LG has more options ask them to give it another go.
  7. So what do you think, should I pick it up for $540? To be honest, the colors didn't look very vivid or sharp. This was probably because there was a software issue. I've read lots of good things about it, and the low lag is a real turn on.

    However, for $90 more, I could get a 32" Samsung LCD television (LN32A330). Gaming would probably suck on it, but movies would look decent...
  8. It really depends on what you are gonna use it for. If movies are your priority, go for it. Personally, I wouldn't buy a TV without the 120Hz overdrive feature (not just for a monitor but just in general). Also remember that if you are using it for a monitor consider how close you normally sit to your monitor on your computer. If you are only about 2 to 3 feet away it is probably not a good idea. Not only would it be incredibly bright, but you'd almost inevitably be staring at pixels. Think about dot-pitch. With that TV's resolution (I believe 1376x768 or something), the dot pitch will be high, meaning less density and therefore the image will be more pixelized at a close distance. Because TV's are meant to be seen from farther way, this generally doesn't matter. I think unless you are sitting 10 feet waya get the LG. I haven't personally seen the LG but on paper (all that I have seen) it looks great. It's 8" smaller than the TV and has a much higher resolution and therefore a tighter picture. Plus its a PVA panel which is better in terms of color and viewing angles. Unless you are gonna be using your PC from a couch and need a new TV I recommend the LG monitor.
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