Shopping for an LCD monitor

Dennis Faas's picture

I recently purchased a Samsung LCD (model: SyncMaster 760V TFT) for my Desktop behemoth computer.

If you didn't already know, LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. The most noticeable features of an LCD monitor is the fact that the screen is perfectly flat, has an incredibly clear display, and its "backside" is very thin. Commonly referred to as a "flat screen monitors", LCD displays are most recognizably used in conjunction with a Laptop computer.

Having two identical hard drives in RAID format allows me to transfer information to / from the computer 2x as fast (compared to the same system using only 1 hard drive) because it's using 2 pathways instead of 1. Both 60 GIG drives are "mapped" as 1 drive to give me a monstrously huge 120 GIG unit. My video card is a 64 meg GeForce-2 MX/400 with TV/OUT. Unfortunately, the TV/OUT feature refuses to work Windows XP -- I've tried everything and have accepted the fact that this feature will probably never work with Windows XP. Mind you, the TV/OUT feature works *fine* with any other Windows OS.

RE: CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors

Almost all computers today -- including, almost all computers in the past -- use CRT monitors. CRT monitors have been around since the beginning of time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. A CRT monitor uses the same technology as a television to present its picture: scan lines are sent from the back of the tube inside the monitor at a frequency (not detectable by the human eye) which "paints" a picture onto the screen. It does this so rapidly that you don't even notice that the screen is actually being drawn line-by-line.

Generally speaking, one of the biggest disadvantages of a CRT monitor is that the display is not very clear when viewing at high screen resolutions. For example, images displayed on a CRT appear to "flicker" when viewed in higher-than-normal screen resolutions (IE: anything above the standard 800x600 resolution). This can cause eye strain or headaches.

Side note: Have you ever wanted to see what a CRT looks like from the inside? Better yet, have you ever wanted to shoot your television set or your computer monitor with a Yamato Atomic Ray Gun? You might want to check out these downloadable movies after you've finished reading this article.

It may take a little while to download, depending on your viewing resolution (lower = faster to download, but has poorer image quality).

Purchasing the LCD monitor

When I went to the local computer store to purchase my LCD monitor, I was completely and utterly amazed at how clear the image was compared to a CRT monitor. There's something called a "brightness contrast ratio" on an LCD monitor, and on my particular model, it ranked a very high 400:1 ratio. Compared to other 17" LCD monitors of the same price range, the Samsung 760V offered 100 units more of a brightness level and was visibly noticeable when I compared other monitors side-by-side against the Samsung.

RE: An extremely clear image, vibrant colors, and virtually *no flicker*

LCD monitors produce almost no flicker (compared to a CRT monitor) because the technology which produces an image on the screen is completely different.

Recall that a CRT monitor uses scan lines to produce an image. In contrast, an LCD monitor uses Liquid Crystals which "light up" pixels on the screen to produce an image. Older LCD monitors suffer from very slow refresh rates (IE: the ability to update the image on the screen -- this made it very difficult to play games). Fortunately, the technology today has virtually eliminated this limitation, which is why monstrously huge 60" LCD Flat Screen televisions are available on the market.

I was sold.

Because I sit in front of my computer 20 out of 24 hours of the day, I was suffering from severe eye strain from my beloved 19" CRT monitor (which, by the way, is also a Samsung). Since I was going to be spending that much time in front of my PC, I decided that it was time for me to fork out some $$ for a decent monitor.

After using my LCD monitor for about a week, I noticed that my eyes didn't hurt nearly as much, and the headaches I used to get when sitting in front of my CRT subsided.

There was, however, one thing that disappointed me about my LCD monitor ...

Part 2 Continued in Next Week's issue of the Gazette!

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