That Darn Monitor



  • After weeks of begging, The Client finally gets me a decent monitor. In
    truth, it is gorgeous:  22-inches, widescreen, bright & crisp picture,
    good colors. I turn off the computer in order to plug in the new monitor. When I turn the computer back on, the RAID controller fails. Sigh. I explain the situation and that we'll have to use the backup drive until the manufacturer sends us a replacement controller.



    What should have been a mild annoyance and 30-second conversation turns
    into two hours of exhausting verbal sparring about how the monitor, in
    fact, did not fry the RAID controller by somehow sending an electrical 
    pulse into the it, bypassing the power supply and motherboard. Despite 
    my reassurances, he continues to scowl at the monitor. I can see him
    thinking to himself, "How dare it damage equipment?



  •  I had the opposite happen once (but not while on a job) -- the part of the VGA cable that carries the Red signal broke at the exact same time that my PC bluescreened.

    The coincidental loss of red at the same time as the hardware failure convinced me that the video card had fried. I swapped out the video card for 2 replacements before I realized it was just the cable....



  • "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" - After it, therfore because of it - the most common logical falacy. (I only know the latin becuase of reading a recent article about antivaxers.)

     

     



  • The real WTF: Turning a computer off to install a monitor. I don't think I've had to do that since... well, ever actually. Even DOS could cope with hot swapping monitors. Seriously, unplug the old monitor, plug the new one in. It really doesn't need to be much more complex than that.



  • @myxiplx said:

    The real WTF: Turning a computer off to install a monitor. I don't think I've had to do that since... well, ever actually.
     

    True, but maybe a li'l reboot so the monitor can tell the machine what it's capable of.

    ====

    Aevernon, about the monitor:

    I'm going to need price, brand, model, and exact details on things like ghosting (I assume none, as all new screens are <10ms), bit-depth (LG sells a "16.8 million" colour monitor when it's actually a goddamn 6-bit panel), contrast-options (two wildly different class LCDs I know are fully black down from dark grey which is stupid), and viewing angle (i.e. TN vs IPS) which is an aspect I hold dear dear dear.

    I ask because my boss just gave me a reasonable budget to replace my 6.5-year-old Trinitron, and I'm still only on the cusp of trusting LCD technology.



  • @myxiplx said:

    The real WTF: Turning a computer off to install a monitor. I don't think I've had to do that since... well, ever actually. Even DOS could cope with hot swapping monitors. Seriously, unplug the old monitor, plug the new one in. It really doesn't need to be much more complex than that.
     

    DOS could cope with changing monitors rather well since back then EDID and DDC didn't exist.  You just told the video card to produce this or that sort of signal, and the monitor displayed it if it could.  The worst age for monitor hotswapping was probably somewhere around Windows 9x, when those technologies emerged but hotplugging devices in general was still in its infancy.  Back then it was common to see warning labels that told you to turn the computer off, disconnect the power cord and ground yourself before connecting or disconnecting anything, whether internal or external.  Now that everyone and their dog has a laptop and want to connect it to various external displays and other devices on the fly, proper hotplugging support is a must.



  • @myxiplx said:

    The real WTF: Turning a computer off to install a monitor. I don't think I've had to do that since... well, ever actually. Even DOS could cope with hot swapping monitors. Seriously, unplug the old monitor, plug the new one in. It really doesn't need to be much more complex than that.
    If the old monitor used VGA and the new one uses DVI (and you only have a single monitor), you may have to reboot, as the graphic card usually only outputs one kind of signal at a time (you actually just need to disable and reenable the monitor you swapped, but that's hard to do when you don't see anything on your single monitor).



  • @ActionMan said:

     I had the opposite happen once (but not while on a job) -- the part of the VGA cable that carries the Red signal broke at the exact same time that my PC bluescreened.
     

    Good thing it wasn't the part of the cable that carries the blue signal, or you would have been really confused...



  • @dhromed, it was a Samsung SyncMaster 226BW. Details are available on the manufacturer's site. As I recall, we paid about $250 at NewEgg.



  •  @myxiplx said:

    The real WTF: Turning a computer off to install a monitor. I don't think I've had to do that since... well, ever actually. Even DOS could cope with hot swapping monitors. Seriously, unplug the old monitor, plug the new one in. It really doesn't need to be much more complex than that.
    In the DOS era, you could actually phyiscally damage a monitor by plugging it into a card that was outputting a higher refresh rate than it could handle.  Sure, if the monitors you "hotswapped" both supported the same refresh rates, then your swap would probably work fine, but you'd be a fool to plug a monitor in to a live DOS box if you didn't know for a fact that the monitor could support the current refresh rate.  These days, monitors have safety mechanisms to prevent that from happening, fortunately.

    More generally, I've seen boxes lock up after having monitors plugged in to them, as well as keyboards, mice, and USB devices -- probably due to shitty hardware/software, bad grounding, or a combination thereof.   Sure, these days, most of the time, it goes without a hitch, on most hardware.  But playing it safe isn't really a WTF.



  • @robbak said:

    "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" - After it, therfore because of it - the most common logical falacy. (I only know the latin becuase of reading a recent article about antivaxers.)

     

     

    "Straw man" and "personal attack" seem more common on internet forums.



  • @operagost said:

    @robbak said:

    "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" - After it, therfore because of it - the most common logical falacy. (I only know the latin becuase of reading a recent article about antivaxers.)

     

     

    "Straw man" and "personal attack" seem more common on internet forums.

    Who're you calling straw, jerkface!?  If you die in a fiery plane crash tomorrow it's because you pissed me off! 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Who're you calling straw, jerkface!?  If you die in a fiery plane crash tomorrow it's because you pissed me off! 
     

    You should have called him gay as well, then it would have been an ad homonem attack...



  • @ender said:

    If the old monitor used VGA and the new one uses DVI (and you only have a single monitor)

    If you do the swapping yourself (and not find the new monitor when entering the office in the morning and someone helpfully removed the old monitor from the running machine and carried it away (or it broke)) you have the old and the new one.



  • @aevernon said:

    @dhromed, it was a Samsung SyncMaster 226BW. Details are available on the manufacturer's site. As I recall, we paid about $250 at NewEgg.

     

    Thanks.

    Hmm, it's a TN panel. How's the viewing angle? I'm not just a programmer; I do graphics as well, and absolutely despise any gradient anomalies.



  • Don't bother with TN panels if you do graphics. I got a 22" Samsung recently after reading great reviews about them, but the poor vertical viewing angle just doesn't cut it for graphics work. My 3-year-old 19" PVA panel screen kicks the shit out of it for graphics work.



  • Yea, I have a few IPS panels in sight, like the LG L2000CP and HP L2065, but the reviews just vary so wildly, I really don't know what to get anymore.



  • @dhromed said:

    Thanks.

    Hmm, it's a TN panel. How's the viewing angle? I'm not just a programmer; I do graphics as well, and absolutely despise any gradient anomalies.

     

     I have the 24 inch version of that samsung, and I would not recommend it for graphics. It's even a little poor for movies (lots of bleedthrough on the dark colors) but it's cheap and big, and good for gaming and programming.



  •  I'm unsure how a monitor that's bad for movies and graphics would be suitable for gaming.



  • @dhromed said:

     I'm unsure how a monitor that's bad for movies and graphics would be
    suitable for gaming.

    Think [i]Solitaire[/i].



  • @dhromed said:

     I'm unsure how a monitor that's bad for movies and graphics would be suitable for gaming.

    When you're playing a fast-paced first person shooter you will not notice small imperfections in colour; you'd much rather have sharp motion at high frame rates.

    Movies are completely different, you will notice if the colour is off, and they're only, what, 24 fps? Even a slow monitor should handle that without any blurring or ghosting.

    For graphics work, you really need the colours to stay the same regardless of your viewing angle. On a TN panel, whites start to turn pale yellow if you move too far to the left or right, and the contrast goes completely wrong if you move too far up or down. A PVA panel will keep the colours perfect at much wider angles.



  • @dhromed said:

    I'm unsure how a monitor that's bad for movies and graphics would be suitable for gaming.
    I haven't watched a movie on my computer monitor in years.  A while ago, I got a video card with an S-Video output so I could watch them (or anything) on my TV.  Recently, I upgraded to a (12 foot) VGA cable so I could watch them in HD. I highly recommend it.

    I don't play computer games on my TV though.  too much squinting.  Though it is nice to show people games via dual screen ... with the game showing on the monitor and the TV.



  • I'm currently looking at the HP LP2475w (24″ 1920×1200 S-IPS), HP LP2275w (22″ PVA 1680×1050) and LG L2000CP-(SF?) (20.1″ 1600×1200 S-IPS non-widescreen), to replace an ageing CTX 17″ CRT for everything from Web surfing to Photoshop work.

    The 24″ S-IPS HP seems excessively extravagant to someone as frugal as myself, and possibly a bit large to handle. I've seen too many reports of PVA screens having viewing angle problems and lower shades disappearing into black to feel comfortable using the the PVA HP without a thorough test (the sort a shop would never permit assuming any sell PVA TFTs), but the monitor seems the best balance, in terms of size, resolution, and price. The only definite disadvantage to me of the LG is that no-one makes soundbars for LG (nor does anyone apparently even want one, but I do!!). According to my maths, the LG is 156% the area of my CRT, but the PVA HP is 177% the area, despite being shorter and barely any wider (in resolution terms), and the LG seems a little on the small side given my objective to have a much larger workspace (currently the Mac I'm using runs 1280×960 on a 17″ CRT at 75 Hz!)

    The two HP ones are also wide gamut, something I don't know how I'd take to. However, they have been reviewed, whereas the LG seems to have escaped ever being reviewed, except one comment noting that the S-IPS panel is cheap quality.

    My dream would be the NEC 20WMGX2, but sadly it got discontinued. A real shame -- decent price, very compact size (same as the LG), very nice picture, soundbar, USB hub, really nothing else you could want. I might have to go around to my friend's house and steal his ...



  • Oh, bear in mind: from what I can tell, the LG L2000CP is an 8-bit screen, but the confusingly similarly-named L2000CP-SF (not on LG's site) is only 6-bit. I think I may go for the L2000CP, as wide gamut sounds far too painful!



  • It strikes me as very annoying that manufacturers and online shops rarely indicate the type of panel.

    On IPS vs [MP]VA; I've read a serious technical review of monitors, and it appears that VA panels are becoming better, and that the superiority of S-IPS is, quote, "sometimes hard to justify"

    Article form 2005 (!): http://www.behardware.com/articles/598-1/20-inches-lcd-p-mva-vs-s-ips.html

    If you do go for the LG 2000, be sure to write a review. Maybe I'll even translate it for tweakers.net, a popular & reliable Dutch tech site. :)



  •  I am willing to bet the OP's client did not use a surge protector or used one that was 5 bucks at radioshack. And lo and behold a tiny little spark fries a hard drive.



  • @operagost said:

    @robbak said:

    "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" - After it, therfore because of it - the most common logical falacy. (I only know the latin becuase of reading a recent article about antivaxers.)

     

     

    "Straw man" and "personal attack" seem more common on internet forums.

     

    You are just so mean to him.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @dhromed said:

    I'm unsure how a monitor that's bad for movies and graphics would be suitable for gaming.
    I haven't watched a movie on my computer monitor in years.  A while ago, I got a video card with an S-Video output so I could watch them (or anything) on my TV.  Recently, I upgraded to a (12 foot) VGA cable so I could watch them in HD. I highly recommend it.

     

     For purely watching movies or looking at pictures something like this, this, this, or this. These things are 2.5" laptop hard drive enclosure with VGA and composite video output, external powersupply and remote. You just dump your content on the hard disk via USB and then off you go - watch whereever you can get power and a TV. The ones I have personally come empty and you have a choice of whatever hard disk you want to put inside. Where I am at street price empty is 30 bucks and 90 bucks with an 80 GB hd inside Great solution for the children's TV as the content is pretty static. I had dvd playera with USB inputa before but they don'y take more than a single 32 GB FAT32 ..

     BTK: Your solution is of course for interactive content like games.



  • @cklam said:

    For purely watching movies or looking at pictures something like this, this, this, or this.
    Looks nice, and VGA would give me the picture quality I want, assuming they can go up to 1280x768 like my TV, but that has the added step of putting my files onto the drive, then hooking it up to the TV.  I have my "downloaded movies and TV" folder shared via Windows Shared Directory, so my laptop (on wireless) can open the file that's on my desktop machine and play it through the TV, right there.  No sneakernetting files to the TV.

    EDIT: Now that I think of it, this could definitely work without being a sneakernet.  Just keep the external HD hooked up to the computer and the TV constantly.  Transfer the file to it via USB, then use the remote to play the file.  Needs a pretty long USB cable or VGA cable though.  Ok, this isn't really an edit, just something I thought of while writing this post.

    @cklam said:

    BTK: Your solution is of course for interactive content like games.
    Can't get me enough of that Thomas the Tank Engine!  You found my weakness!

     



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @cklam said:

    For purely watching movies or looking at pictures something like this, this, this, or this.
    Looks nice, and VGA would give me the picture quality I want, assuming they can go up to 1280x768 like my TV, but that has the added step of putting my files onto the drive, then hooking it up to the TV.  I have my "downloaded movies and TV" folder shared via Windows Shared Directory, so my laptop (on wireless) can open the file that's on my desktop machine and play it through the TV, right there.  No sneakernetting files to the TV.

    EDIT: Now that I think of it, this could definitely work without being a sneakernet.  Just keep the external HD hooked up to the computer and the TV constantly.  Transfer the file to it via USB, then use the remote to play the file.  Needs a pretty long USB cable or VGA cable though.  Ok, this isn't really an edit, just something I thought of while writing this post.

    @cklam said:

    BTK: Your solution is of course for interactive content like games.
    Can't get me enough of that Thomas the Tank Engine!  You found my weakness!

     

     

    That is the game which I use to teach my 3-year-old the mouse ....

     As for the sneakernet thing .. think about having a monitor with two vga inputs in the office .... :)       Or wait, Lantronix does manafacture some USB-over-ethernet thingies ...but I have never tried USB-hookup and TV watching at the same time. Have to ask my colleague what his does - for mine you have to wait - that is in the 12x7x365 production run.



  •  This is really just a postscriptum to my last post. For those who are aggravated at this: So sooooorry - I guess this is my last post in this thread. So can it, morbs.

     BTK: What you want is this .The 2.5"-enclosures more useful for standalone solutios and take-along. Good Luck.



  •  Hi,

    I am in the exact position as you at the moment.  I need 3 monitors for a day trading and photography editing workstation, and I too am looking at the LG L2000CP and the 24" HP LP2475w as well as the NEC LCD2470WNX and the new Lenovos that are coming out named the L2440x and the L2440p, which don't really have any reviews yet.  I have seen some reviews of the LG online, and people have rated it very well.  My only concern is that I would be missing the extra horizontal resolution that is so nice to have for trading and for editing photos.  There is a monitor by Eizo that gets rave reviews called the S2431W, and it's great and an S-PVA, but it's out of my price range.   

     My concern is that the monitors have very sharp and clear text, and from what I have been reading, it seems that some of the monitors have an anti-glare coating like on the 23" Apple Cinema display which makes it look sparkly.  So I'm searching for one that doesn't have that effect.  

    I also am going to check out the LG 245WP which has an MVA panel.  Unfortunately, it's hard to find great 24 inch panels at a price range close to what the 20" panels cost----

    If you find any solution, it'd be great to know.

     Best,
    David



  • I am now in possession of the LG L2000CP-SF (ordered the CP, got a CP-SF, not honestly sure if they exist as separate models as the front says L2000CP, but the back says L2000CP-SF). I dunno about you, but the only review I ever saw of it was in Russian, and I had to ask Google for a translation. Apparently the DVI input sucks, but I am not using it.

    Having never seen an IPS before, I really have no idea how good they are. From what I've seen of IPS in photos, this is a cheap panel -- viewing angle has the same brightness problems as TN, but the colour doesn't shift even from looking straight up at it (black turns red and purple though), although it does subtly fade to red near the bottom. Backlight bleed is quite noticeable, but response time is zero! If you drag Task Manager with its Performance tab up, the green/black transition occurs in a strange grid pattern (temporal dithering?) but otherwise it's as fast as a CRT, which for IPS was a real surprise, especially with the quoted 8 ms GTG (while I see a lot of smearing on a Dell E175FP quoted at 12 ms).

    There's no sparkly coating, and text seems sharp and clear, once your eyes adjust to the intensity of the light!

    It's certainly not perfect, but I am not giving it up! The 4:3 ratio is rather nice, too.



  • What about the contrast/gamut, and saturation? Virtually every LCD I've seen is painfully over-saturated, as in wtf, and also drops to full black where my CRT still show obvious dark greys (under test conditions on my CRT, I can make out a grey value of [2,2,2] on a fully black screen (though nice, that's of course completely invisible when browsing, say, flickr pictures.) ).



    Every LCD should sharp and clear at all times, because an LCD really can't be anything else, unless it's broken. If things are bit blurry, you might not have:

    • set it to its native resolution, OR
    • let it auto-adjust itself. Like manually scaling & positioning the image on a CRT, it's the first thing you do with a fresh monitor, so push that button, yo.


  • Gradients show quite visible banding, unfortunately, which figures as I've been sold the 6-bit version. I guess I can live with this, as I don't want the hassle of having to return the screen and try finding someone who sells the genuine 8-bit L2000CP (you can tell from the box, though, as it has "L2000CP" in big type and, further down, "L2000CP-SF" in smaller print, on the label).

    I'd certainly not describe it as over-saturated: LCDs are just bright and do have dazzling colours. However, everything is the colour it is supposed to be, just much brighter than my worn-out-old CRT.



  • I guess if you have a worn-out CRT, any improvement is heaven :)

    My current CRT is the best monitor I've ever seen, so my expectations are hiiiiiiiiiigh.



  • Wait ... I am being a giddy goat. How did I expect a 256-level gradient to fill 1600 pixels? Worse, Photoshop's gradient dither was making a horrible mess out of the image.

    Zooming in with dither off, you get differentiable grey shades but the colour balance seems to waver along the gradient, and you get pairs of shades that are far too similar, from every 6 to 12 shades. There doesn't appear to be any significant drop off around black either.



  • @dhromed said:

    Yea, I have a few IPS panels in sight, like the LG L2000CP and HP L2065, but the reviews just vary so wildly, I really don't know what to get anymore.
     

    One thing I've learned when buying flat screen displays is that the minute you start reading reviews, you're doomed. I've done that the first few times I considered getting one.. granted this was a few years ago. Every time the piss poor lighting, color reproduction, viewing angles and other specs will just put you off buying one without fail.

    In reality, though, flat screens are really nice, spacious, cheap AND take up a lot less space. The key is to just walk into a store and look at the available selection. Pick the size you want, work your way up from the cheapest one they have and stop as soon as you think it looks nice.

    The second best way is to do the same thing, but on apple/dell/newegg.com.

    For the record, I have two LG L204WT's and they're great all around. Tons of space, no ghosting, colors look nice, and people sitting around me can see from their angle too. I just had to turn down the brightness some to avoid burning out my retinas :)



  • For the LG L2000CP-SF, the SF refers to it being a Silver Frame Bezel, whilst the LG L2000CP-BF refers to it having a Black Frame Bezel---the internals of each monitor are the same.

    If you do a google search on the older model LG L2000C you'll find plenty of reviews.  This older model is supposedly the same as the new one except for some minor revisions that actually fix some previous issues.  

     Here's a favorable review of the LG L2000C:

    http://www.shutterbug.net/equipmentreviews/software_computers/1106flatron/index.html

     I can get the LG L2000CP here in Spain for 282 Euros from www.misco.es which seems like a super deal.  If I can't find a high quality 24 inch monitor for under 500 Euros, I might just spring for the LG's...

    And, Thanks Daniel for your review of the LG--

    David

     



  • Now that is curious. See, once I settled on the L2000CP, I checked Google Shopping to find a good deal. I started noticing sites advertising the screen as 16.2 million colours. Wondering what the difference was between the CP and CP-SF, I ran some more searches to see if I could pair up the CP-SF with 16.2M, and the CP with 16.8M. The results strongly indicated that the CP-SF was the 16.2M display. If SF only means that I got the silver one (I did), then I wonder which hat so many people are pulling 16.2M out of?

    I also noticed that the CP-SF was selling for substantially cheaper than the PC. The cheapest listed CP is £235.68; the cheapest CP-SF is £188.23.

    I guess this is all sheer co-incidence! In other words, I paid around £50 too much. Bugger.



  •  Hi Daniel,

     I have noticed that many websites have incorrectly listed the specifications for the LG, but you got the S-IPS screen with the L2000CP model and all S-IPS screens are 8 Bit, which should be true 16.7 million colors. 

    You'll notice on most monitors that there will be an extra few letters on the end of the model number, that just specifies the color---some list BK for black, ie. NEC LCD2470WNX-BK

     

    Going by the LG website, there appear to be 4 models of L2000's--- the L2000C, the L2000CM, the L2000CN, and the L2000CP---each of them has a different panel technology, either TN, VA, or S-IPS

    http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/l2000c.jhtml

    http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/l2000cm.jhtml

    http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/l2000cn.jhtml

    http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/l2000cp.jhtml

    I too notice huge price differences here in Spain and Germany as well.  Lenovo and HP have Top Seller editions of their monitors which sell much cheaper than the "normal version", even though they are exactly the same.  I heard somewhere that the normal version is supposedly to be the list price that dealers give to large corporate purchasers so they can negotiate a volume discount, and not go below the bottom line which is the Top Seller Price. Also E-tailers may have limited stock of the Top Seller priced items...

     

     



  • well... getting back on topic....

     

    It is likely the HDD was going to fail, and that the slight moving that occured during installing the monitor effected it, since an HDD works on moving parts....

     

    Now, I once had a signal amplifier given to me from my cable ISP because my house was to far out. This device fried 2 of my power supplies (took about 1-2 weeks for each) until I realized it. So yes, somehow.....

     

     

    cable-> [faulty amp] ----- [modem] ----- [ethernet card]-----mother board ------> fried power supplies.



  • It's worth noting this -- ClearType has to be tuned to match each and every monitor according to the monitor's specific gamma curve. Internet Explorer will point you at a simple ClearType tuning wizard when you configure it for the first time, but there's a better way. On the PowerToys for XP page, you can download a ClearType tuner control panel with a gamma level slider, and this is reflected live across the desktop.

    I'd run the wizard, but I'd still ended up with weak, watery and mis-coloured text on the screen, which made me wonder if my monitor was defective. I've retuned it with the above control panel and now have very rich, smooth, jet black text.



  •  I am grateful for your suggestion.


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