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Which 19"/20" TFT, 16:10 or 4:3, TN or P-MVA!!?

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by ljt, 23 Jan 2006.

  1. ljt


    Joined: 28 Dec 2002

    Posts: 3,304

    Location: Birmingham, UK

    Sorry for yet another "what tft?" thread. But as i see many of you are in a similar situation with regards to what TFT to get, and i seem to be in the same boat!. Its a hard decision to spend a few hundred pounds on something that you might not like! I have searched the various threads, but still can't make my mind up. Oh and budget wise is about £380 - £400

    Current setup;

    Is a 17" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 740SB CRT monitor, which has served me well the past couple of years. It is being fed by a 256mb 7800GTX.

    Why do I want a TFT, and what do I wan't it for?

    I wan't a TFT to save me some desk space first and foremost. I wan't a larger screen than my current 17", which yes there are bigger CRT's but it then negates the main point of me wanting to change to tft (more space). I also get sore eyes from the glare off my monitor, despite the 85Hz + refresh rate.

    The main things I carry out on my PC day to day include;
    • browsing web forums
    • chatting on msn
    • occasional image editing for websites
    • Play various types of games, FPS/Strategy/RPG quite often

    Another big factor to include when choosing a TFT is my newest purchase of an Xbox360 (I have managed to get an official VGA cable to connect it to whichever monitor i finally decide upon). This is now put a proverbial spanner in the works as I was originally only going for a 4:3 ratio monitor. Now with the onset of console HD goodness, which happens to be in 16:9, I am also considering widescreen monitor versions too. Not making it any easier for myself really!

    Another side of the coin is, that I have been thinking, maybe I should still go for 19" 4:3 monitor, and put up with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen and save up for a seperate widescreen TV for my bedroom and then run the 360 off that, rather than my PC monitor. Or should I go for a widescreen monitor straight off.

    The "shortlist" I have "narrowed" (haha) down to are;

    Widescreen monitors;

    Acer AL1916W - Why did i put this in my shortlist? - Well first of all its 19", so fulfils my first requirement. It is also is widescreen, so 360 output would be a closer match with smaller black bars, a tick in the box there. There are 3 cons I can see with this monitor. Firstly its TN type panel, which I have looked into, which has 2 major downfalls, its poor viewing angles, which isn't that much of a bother, as I can sit facing it directly.

    The other is the amount of colours - 16.2Mil with dithering. Now I am a fussy person when it concerns image quality. This is my main doubt swaying me away from TN panel TFT's. Will I notice a difference between colours, shades, gradients on a TN panel, over, say P-MVA panel that can display a true 16.7Mil colours?

    Viewsonic VA1912W - Same sort of pro's/con's as the Acer as they have the same screen, but reason i chose this is due to the dual inputs (both DVI and VGA) which means I can have my PC connected to the DVi and the 360 via the VGA, a bonus if you can switch between sources??

    Belinea 102035W - The only P-MVA panel in the widescreen range within my budget. Pro's - Larger screen, full 16.7Mil colour, widescreen, 2 inputs again. Con's - the issue with quite apparent backlight bleed is putting me off this one.

    Standard TFT's

    Samsung SM-970P - Heard quite good things about this TFT, full 16.7m colours, 2 inputs, rather nice looking, proper 19" size, so won't loose vertical height. Cons - Not widescreen, so black bars for my 360, agressive overdrive is supposed to cause noise in movies etc??

    Viewsonic VP930 - Same panel as above i believe? however smoother picture due to less agressive overdrive..?. Cons - black smearing issues?

    Wow i do waffle on lol!! Maybe some people with the above panels can help me narrow it down or even people may have had experience with multiple monitors off my list.

    Main points;

    Difference in image quality between TN/MVA panels, i.e. 16.2mil and 16.7mil colours, much of a difference?

    Widescreen monitor and run 360 off it?, or standard 4:3 type and save up for a dedicated HD LCD TV for 360 later and put up with black bars for a bit longer on standard 4:3 TFT monitor...

    Thanks alot for reading, if you've got this far :p

  2. Baddass


    Joined: 12 Jan 2003

    Posts: 20,004

    Location: UK

    wow, long post! :p

    tbh, i doubt you would be able to tell much difference in the colour reproduction, since modern TN panels offer excellent performance in this area. you may notice some improvement in black depth on a VA variant panel when compared with a TN Film panel though.

    agreed, if you're wanting a screen for XBox as well, would be best for a dual input model i think

    some reports of backlight issues yes, but for the price, this is a fantastic screen. Like you say, the only non TN choice in the range.

    yes, Samsung have done quite a poor job of controlling the overdrive application on their PVA panel which leads to unwanted noise in movie playback. I would say this is the one weak area of the 970P, and indeed most of Samsung's overdriven TFT range.

    The Samsung 970P uses a 6ms PVA panel from Samsung whereas the Viewsonic VP930 uses a P-MVA panel rated at 8ms from AU Optronics. Quite different screen, and it is more down to the control of the overdrive which means that the video noise is considerably less on this model than on the Samsung 970P. This is one of the best all round screens in the market. The reports of black smearing are very in frequent, and i assume you're referring to the post in this forum about it. Graphical issues with ghosting, smearing, smudging, trailing or whatever are still apparent to some users, but for the majority of users, modern screens like this are fine. It's all down to personal perference and how susceptable you are to things like this.

    as said above, maybe a little difference in black depth, but in terms of colours, i doubt you'd notice much, if any difference.

    i'd say that WS would be a good choice here since it will be ideal for your X Box. Also movies are much more suited to this format. I think the over all choice would probably be between the Belinea 102035W and Viewsonic VP930 if it were me. Since the Belinea is such a great price and offers that extra size, WS format and higher resolution, this would win it for me. Don't be too put off by reports of backlight issues, nearly all TFT's suffer from uneveness of the panel to some degree, and if it's bad, RMA-ing is certainly an option. Tough call, but performance wise, these two are very comparable since they are both based on 8ms P-MVA panels from AUO, just of different matrix sizes

  3. ljt


    Joined: 28 Dec 2002

    Posts: 3,304

    Location: Birmingham, UK

    thanks for the thorough reply Baddass. I think I will leave out the 2 TN widescreens, and maybe plump for the the Belinea and hope I don't get bad backlight bleeding! This would do me for both my PC and 360 which saves me having to save up even more for a seperate TV for some time, which is also good.
  4. Baddass


    Joined: 12 Jan 2003

    Posts: 20,004

    Location: UK

    that was my thinking too :) Hope it works out ok