It's time: a new monitor.

|Omicron|

n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
12
I currently have a Samsung Syncmaster 225BW that is approaching 6 years of age. Yes, 225BW, not the widespread 226BW, although the specs are similar: 22", matte TN panel, CCFL backlight, 1680x1050. It's definitely not great in any particular aspect, but it was the first one I ever bought on my own money, and it worked. But now the backlight is about to die, and I need something new.

- My usage profile is surfing, chatting, youtube, casual gaming, and rarely some poking around in MS Office.

- I am not unhappy with the size, format and resolution I have. In general, I like me some vertical pixels.

- Ideally, I want something that works adequately out of the box, so I don't have to bother adjusting it for hours on end. I will not be hardware calibrating, either.

- I am curious about uncoated displays, but I will be moving sometime in the next 12 months and I have no idea how my new dwelling will look, and if it will allow me to set up an uncoated display in a way that removes reflections. I hate reflections.


Based on this, it might seem like one of the often-cited 1200p IPS types would be a no-brainer for me, but here's the thing: At work, I am sitting in front of a modern IPS panel. A Dell U2311, to be exact. Only the 1080p variant, but probably really similar. And after doing some comparisons with websites I often visit, I found the experience to be shockingly bad.

Some websites, which display just fine on my cheap, 6 year old, failing TN panel are all but unreadable on the much-hyped IPS panel. One example is the webcomic "Prequel". Dark scenes like this one pretty much don't resolve at all; I have to lean in and press my face against the screen to even notice the transitions between the frames of the animation. On other pages, minor details (such as bloodspatters on the wall) are often impossible to pick up on, despite showing clearly on my home monitor. Now, that webcomic is a "worst case scenario", if you will, but the same thing carries over to for example youtube videos. It's like the IPS display doesn't even have half the contrast resolution that I have on this TN guy.

The settings on the Dell are factory default, except brightness lowered from 100% to 60%. No other adjustments made. Obviously this monitor just doesn't work properly out of the box. This is a perfect example of what I do not want to buy. And it has massively shaken my faith in IPS panels. So now I am coming here, to ask what the heck I should do ;)


Your thoughts, my esteemed community?
 

Medion

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
1,584
You don't have much of a choice. Either 1080p TN/VA, or 1200p IPS. Sounds like you really don't want to deal with the IPS issues, so best to go with a 1080p TN (which, by the way, still offers more real vertical space than a 1680x1050 monitor, if only slightly).

I'm going to recommend the Samsung S23B550v (I have the 27" version). Just watch the prices on Camelegg as they seem to have a massive sale every 2-3 weeks.
 

HiCZoK

Gawd
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
860
I cant recommend dell u2312hm enough. Switched to it from 226bw and You will be pleased by non existen viewing angles problems, colors and response times. Dells also have fantastic osd. This one have aspect ratio correction for 4:3 and 5:4
It is 23 1080p screen so pixel density is high

But be aware. It is extremely bright on 75 factory brightness. I immidietly lowered it to ~10 and I am as for now satisfied
 

Namelessme

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
1,161
IPS contrast will be less than TN, but it shouldn't be that much different -- maybe 700-800:1 for IPS, vs 1000:1 for TN. I have a feeling that Dell IPS you were using needs some settings changed/brightness lowered.

IPS glow could wash out things somewhat, and the heavy coating may not help matters, but so long as using it in a well-lit room, blacks should look blackish, at least mostly.

I personally am not fond of TN panels due to angle issues, especially vertical, but if you are okay with that, Medion's suggestion may be okay for you. Or go with a semi-glossy PLS, if you can afford the $900ish price of the newer 27" model. Not 16:10, but at 27", it won't matter as much... screen is still gigantic. I am unsure how well it does with dark scenes, and may be a bit too glossy for you, but the glass may make blacks/contrast be subjectively better.

If contrast/blacks are paramount to you, then VA is really your only option. For new monitors, you basically have A-MVA options at 16:9 (samsung 650 would be my recommendation there), or C-PVA/S-PVA. The latter two you may have to get used, although NEC and Eizo still make some monitors using those panels, even at 16:10. There will be some trade-offs when compared to IPS, but blacks/dark scenes will be a lot better than IPS/PLS, assuming you don't get black crush.
 

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n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
12
What exactly would be "black crush"?

The viewing angles of TN panels are not really an issue for me, as I sit still and don't move around; but people tell me that IPS would have so much better colors than TN...?

Glossy panels per se are not an issue either where the monitor sits right now... it's my future quarters I'm wondering about.

I've considered the PLS panels, but professional reviews pretty much agree that they have really bad out-of-the-box settings. Now if there was a known fix like like "just turn down the blues by 10% and up the greens by 2% and that pretty much fixes it" I wouldn't mind so much, but I suppose that every individual display will be different in that regard.
 

Namelessme

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
1,161
Black crush is basically the loss of darker details when viewing an image head-on. It occurs with some VA panels. VA panels will also have more color shift than IPS panels, but it won't be as bad as TN panels.

IPS generally will have greater accuracy regarding colors than TN. But for some people, that's not a big deal. The color shift vertically with TN is what kills me... I shift in my seat/move my head too much for TN panels.

I wouldn't go for one of the older PLS models due to backlight bleed. The newer 27" model should be bleed free and have pretty accurate colors out of the box. But it's very very expensive, and glossy. It'll have traditional IPS issues too, like so-so blacks and IPS glow.

Unfortunately it'll be a tradeoff with whatever monitor you end up choosing. IPS = so-so blacks, IPS glow, and quite often heavy AG coating. VA = deep blacks, but possible black crush (for some models), a bit worse with angles and response times, and for S-PVA, somewhat blurrier text using cleartype. TN = better blacks than IPS, but worse than VA. Terrible vertical angles, worse color accuracy, but faster response times.
 

|Omicron|

n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
12
I've had the opportunity to go through the lagom.nl test images on my work monitor during my lunch break... Mind you, the environment wasn't ideal, it's rather very bright in the office at noon. But it seemed to me that while most tests are just fine, the gamma test is grossly off (the 48% bars fade at 2.6 instead of 2.2), and the quick contrast test and the black level test show issues at the very low end.

After slightly tweaking the gamma settings driver-side (because the display doesn't let you), things are already a bit better. I can now discern black squares down to 4 instead of 7, and the linked comic animation is visibly easier to see. On the other hand, the screen now looks somewhat... washed out, for a lack of a better word. Less vibrant colors. Not sure if that's just based on me comparing it to what it was before, or if there's something else wrong now.

See, that's why I don't like trying to fine-tune displays. I have no idea what I'm doing, and no frame of reference to check if the end result is even any good :(

I wonder how my home monitor will fare on this lagom test... obviously using it as a reference doesn't work if it's grossly off in many areas. If that is true, though, I'll have to decide whether or not to intentionally buy something "wrong" just because I like how it looks...
 

Medion

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
1,584
If you end up sticking with TN and getting the Samsung 550 series that I linked earlier, let me know. I've had three of them and they were all just fine out of the box. I'm sure they weren't 100% accurate, but if I cared for that, I'd get a tool to calibrate it.
 

tk-don

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
324
I can view all transitions of the animation on http://www.prequeladventure.com/2012/07/2127/ just fine on a <sRGB gamut, 6 bit DD-IPS based laptop display made in 2004, based on a design from 2001. So, as the result of tweaking also shows, something is/was wrong with the Dell.

Not that it helps you select a new monitor, but i'm curios - what are your Dell OSD settings under the submenu "Color Settings" ?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
1
Hi. Sorry for borrowing this thread but I'm in the same situation choosing between TN and IPS (Dell U2312HM).

So I'm going to buy my first monitor (currently using my 40'' Samsung TV) with a budget of 200 euros. My main use for the monitor is gaming (BF3, Skyrim etc.) and maybe a little movies. I would have already chosen the Dell but I'm afraid of the IPS glow being too much. Is it noticeable in lighted room or only in dark? Also the Dell lacks speakers and 3.5mm jack for my headphones (They can be used via my PC but it's harder to change volume). Those two features are not mandatory though.

What comes to the TN-displays I could live with bad viewing angles (I've seen my brothers TN and it isn't that bad IMO) and a little worse colors. But does TN have anything over U2312HM? Like better blacks or something? BenQ RL2450HT is one monitor I've been looking and it seems ok and it was reviewed ''good'' by PRAD (U2312HM was also good). It lacks speakers too but it has 3.5mm jack.

So if someone with U2312HM could share their experience with IPS glow and why not the monitor itself compared to TN I'd be happy.

Thanks.
 

|Omicron|

n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
12
We have both U2311 and U2312 models at work, but unfortunately no TN displays to compare them with side-by-side. One of my biggest issues right now :p But I can say that I don't really notice any IPS glow. Which makes sense, because that only really shows when you view the display from an angle.

Come to think of it, one of my friends does have a HP ZR24w... it's not a current generation IPS and has CCFL backlight instead of LED, but I wonder if I could talk him into coming over and bringing his display for a few side by side comparisons...

@ tk-don: I'll give you the settings for tomorrow.

Oh, and the lagom test on my home monitor? Pretty funky as expected :p Interestingly enough, the display does great with dark tones, easily distinguishing between the 1 and 2 levels in the contrast test, and going down to 5, maybe even 4 in the black levels test. That explains why the dark comic animation resolves so well. However, the bright end of the contrast test spectrum is very bad, and nothing I did made it better (I did howevr find many settings that could make it worse still...)

Gamma was all over the place too, with some colors well above and some well below the 2.2 mark. I suppose that's the age of the thing showing, where things like that simply deviate at random. Keep in mind that the backlight probably won't live to see November.
 

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n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
12
@ tk-don:

Input Format: RGB
Gamma: PC
Mode Slection: Graphics
Preset Modes: Custom (RGB) with 100/100/100
 

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n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
12
Alright. After waffling about indecisively for a couple days watching my monitor take longer and longer to come up, I just came across a special offer for a Samsung S24A850DW. At just 288&#8364; inc. tax (yes, I live in Europe), which was over &#8364;40 off, I decided to take the plunge and hope for the best. Crossing fingers for a proper backlight - though I read that Samsung apparently replaces ones that come bad out of the box.

Regarding settings, I keep seeing that PLS panels apparently have a slight blue underrepresentation in the color space. Would slightly lowering green and red help combat that, or are color space and color settings on the monitor unrelated?
 
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