20" LCDs: Broaden Your Horizon
This is not the first time monitor makers have tried to sell us displays in wide format. But until now, nobody's been buying - and for good reason. Though the 16:10 picture format is ideal for movies, few of the panels were capable of screening a film decently. Obviously that was because of the sparkling artifacts that were far too visible when watching movies on them. This form of video noise is also amplified by the Overdrive technology that manufacturers use so liberally in an attempt to shave a half-millisecond off their competitors' latency scores, with no regard for the display's suitability for screening movies. Overshoot was becoming enough of a problem that we decided to add it to our list of tests, as a way of giving credit to manufacturers who make an effort to produce quality electronics.
In short, except for one monitor from Sony - priced at over $1,000 - none of the 16:10 monitors we tested was satisfactory for video use. It was for this reason that we approached this new spate of tests with a certain apprehension, while trying to keep an open mind. And admittedly, manufacturers' attitudes are changing - at least, some of them. We had a few pleasant surprises while testing for this article, thanks in particular to the new S-MVA panels that are becoming more common. So if you'll just step this way...
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