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As I’m sure most of you will at some point look into buying a monitor for your computer I thought I’d write this post to give a few little hints and tips that might help.

Types of Monitors

There have been many types of monitors available over the years such as ‘CRT’, ‘LCD’ and ‘TFT’.

The new format of Monitors these days are referred to as ‘TFT’ Monitors, for the people who like to be technical TFT stands for ‘Thin Film Transistor’ Monitors.

These are different from previous monitors such as the CRT ‘Cathode Ray Tube’ monitors from before, which the bigger, deep-set monitors you probably used to have.

TFT monitors are much thinner than previous monitors and have a great picture quality.

So that gives a little insight into what a monitor is but now we need to describe what features are best to go for when choosing a monitor.

Resolution

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Screen Resolution will look something like ‘1280×1024’. The higher the number indicates the more pixels the monitor can display for example it can display 1280 pixels horizontally and 1024 Pixels Vertically.

You will definitely see a higher number on a larger Monitor for obvious reasons.

Contrast Ratio

Contrast Ratio will look something like ‘1000:1’, Contrast ratio on the whole is much harder to understand the background to.

It symbolizes the difference between the brightest colour (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the monitor is capable of producing.

All you need to take into account for this, I would say is “the higher the Contrast Ratio the better” for viewing pleasure.

Brightness or Luminance

The Brightness or Luminance will look something like ‘300cd/m2’ and this refers to the amount of light produced from a TFT monitor.

Again as stated on the contrast ratio paragraph the Brightness/Luminance is sought after if it is higher, for example 500cd/m2 is excellent.

Response Time

The response time is a guide to how fast the colour of a pixel can change. This is something that is very important to gamers.

The Faster the Response time the better! For example 2ms is better than 5ms response time.

Size of monitormonitor 4

The size of a monitor is measured from one corner to the other.

For example a 22″ monitor should be 22″ from Top left Corner to bottom right corner or vice versa.

ConnectionVGA-Connector

There are numeral types of connection to lookout for when connecting a monitor to a computer.

VGA (Video Graphics Array) this connection is being used less and less frequently as the years go on. It is an Analogue connection and is not competing with the newer standard DVI (Digital Visual Interface), this connection is taking over bit by bit from the old VGA connection as it is digital and results are greater.

So as we can see in the example below.

Samsung monitor screenshot

This is a Samsung SM2433BW TFT Monitor, with a massive Resolution of 1920×1200 and a contrast resolution as high as 20000:1. This also has a brightness/luminance of 300cd/m2 with a 5ms response time.

If you have any handy hints or tips for choosing a monitor be sure to let us know and leave a comment below

12 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article however just a small point- not all DVI connections are digital as the standard also allows for sending analogue signal over DVI.
    I just upgraded to a 22″ widescreen and am loving the screen space it give you. 😀

  2. Hi Tom,
    Thank you for the input….that’s what we like to see :o)
    More and more people are realizing the benefits of the widescreen monitors now…
    It really does make tasks much easier and less demanding i feel, especially when doing spreadsheets. :o)

  3. Widescreen monitors are great, using two monitors side by side is even better.

    When choosing a PC, or a video card, look for one that can handle two monitors. Ideally, use two monitors of the same size. My 20-inch widescreen and 19-inch regular work fine together, effectively you can put three documents side by side, but you may have to compromise on alignment.

    Pick an HDMI interface and it will work great with a DVD player like the Sumvision that eBuyer delivered yesterday.

  4. good stuff here, easy to get bamboozled by all the figures relating to performance.
    Regarding other points raised there are two types of DVI;DVI-I (which is interlaced, this is the analogue one)7 DVI-D (true digital). Also worth pointing out is when it comes to understanding contrast ratios a lot of companies quote the dynamic rather than actual contrast ratio, dynamic is what the monitor backlight can peak at and actual reflects everyday performance.

  5. Nice work Adam – a quality screen is a must for any photography enthusiast!
    This blog really makes choosing one easier for the monitor newbies! 🙂
    Thinking back a few years though… can you imagine having an old CRT in the sizes you can buy some screens now. Scary biscuits!

  6. I’d like to get a better monitor for photography and editing but do get tied up in which is best. Thanks for info will help me to pick out my next model

  7. Anyone getting into serious photography stuff has to look beyond anything discussed here.

    You need to look into “colour management” and “ICC Profiles”.

    If this is your game, then you also need to work out how to relate what you see on the screen to what appears at the printer. Once again, you are into colour profiling.

    Your best bet would be to visit a website frequented by photo buffs.

  8. Great article, some monitors allow you to have separate controls of RGB colour components. For Photographers i think the question is to find monitor which gives truest picture. However if you want to compare print and screen media it would be difficult as production of both is different. This article is good for making informed choice from available pool of monitors. Also remember that all expensive monitors are not high end.

  9. Don’t forget your aspect ratio.

    16:9 are my preferred screen for multimedia such as watching DVD’s and design work.

    16:10 just exist to disappoint lately.

    Bring on OLED!!

  10. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

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