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Written by Olin Coles, David Ramsey & Vito Cassisi   
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Choosing the Best LCD Panel Technology
LCD Technology
How LCD Panels Work
Contrast Ratio, Viewing Angle, and Surface Finish
Color/Bit Depth
LCD Resolution and Scaling
LCD Panel Image Processing
3D LCD Technology
Connections and Content Protection
LCD Summary and Recommendations

Choosing the Best LCD Technology

It's a well-known fact that nearly all consumers purchase their monitor based on size and price alone. Like everything we shop for, it is human instinct to get as much as possible for as little as possible. So why should we bother ourselves with the details, and what difference could it possibly make? Most people aren't even aware of the different construction processes used to produce the widescreen monitor that rests on their desks. Benchmark Reviews explores the various LCD monitor technologies used by manufacturers to produce computer monitors, and matches application to architecture for our readers.

widescreen_lcd_monitor.jpg

After years of writing technical articles and product reviews for the computer industry, I have learned that visitors who read my articles don't study them like a book. Instead, they want the condensed bullet-items and a conclusive summary. Unfortunately, you'll have to read this article if you want to learn something from it. Here's just a few of the items this article will discuss:

  1. How to choose the most appropriate LCD panel technology to suit your purpose
  2. How the size of a LCD monitor may have a negative effect on graphics performance
  3. Size doesn't always matter, but resolution does

But before we get into the core of our purpose, let's bring you up to speed with the topic at hand: LCD technology.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Choosing the Best LCD Panel TechnologyDoug 2010-09-15 22:47
A very good overview and more. I would suggest these two links to better clarify TN and IPS and it's variations and to check which panel your monitor or prospective monitor has:

Panel Types and Benefits:
TFT Central (##tftcentral.co.uk/articles/panel_technologies.htm)
Panel Type (##tftcentral.co.uk/articles/panel_technologies.htm)
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# SED and FEDSteve 2010-09-16 09:20
One day SED and FED TV's and monitors will dominate, if only cannon (SED) and sony/AU Optronics (FED) can get manufacturing prices and legal issues out of the way.
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# Great summaryBernardP 2010-09-17 06:11
... and objectively written too. May I add that any large screen TV buyer should make sure to also look at plasma sets? ;-)

Also, regarding monitors, NVidia video drivers allow for creation and proper scaling of custom resolutions. This gives very good results and gets around limitations in the monitor's built-in scaler. Unfortunately, with ATI/AMD, resolution choices are limited to those the monitor natively supports.

Being able to display and properly scale a lower resolution is useful for no-longer-young eyes that have trouble with the high pixel pitch on, for example, a 23-inch 1920x1080 monitor.
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# 720P and 1080iJames 2010-09-24 11:40
You stated "given the fact that 720P and 1080i images have different aspect ratios"

This is not true, the ATSC television standard is 16:9 aspect ratio, also known as 1.78:1. 1080i is no different than 1080p except that with interlace, every other scan line is drawn per 1/60th of a second - in progressive scan the entire frame is drawn every 1/60th of a second. All the HD/ATSC formats are the same aspect ratio. The overall frame shape remains the same among them all. Some wide-screen computer panels (and a few odd tvs) come in 16:10 aspect ratios, which may be the source of your confusion, but in all cases the correct aspect ratio for HDTV is 16:9, and it is the only aspect ratio specified by ATSC.
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# RE: 720P and 1080iJames 2010-09-24 11:56
Tvtechnology.com is the leading trade magazine for people in the industry, so if you don't believe me, check around. But a calculator can also solve this. 1280/720 = 1.78. 1920/1080 = 1.78.
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# Time for an update versionNehemoth 2012-05-18 16:52
What about if you update this amazing post?
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# Update, due to a DIY Project(or)Medenyx 2012-07-13 12:57
Can't agree more with Nehemoth.
Me, ... , well, I am trying to build a 3D (shutter!) DIY projector, and I am in a trouble to find 120Hz 15.4" (or max 15.6") LCD with its corresponding LCD Controller, with a proper DVI input, that comes in a dual link version, not to mention HDMI, VGA & the other possible (older, analog) inputs, all in the same separate / independent panel. An RF digital TV tuner, and a remote would be nice, too. ;-D
nVidia's solution is almost perfect!, but where to find a WUXGA 1920x1200 (6->8 bit) LCD 3D 120Hz Display?
I am open to any positive suggestion. Especially if it is not the most expensive one!
If you have any, thanks in advance!
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