Graphics on LCD monitors look washed out and dull

Discussion in 'Video Cards and Graphics' started by icp, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. icp

    icp Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    The thing about LCD monitors that's always troubled me is how dull and washed out images look on them. I currently use a CRT but I'm in the market for a new monitor and started looking at LCDs. After seeing how dull the graphics are I really don't want an LCD, especially since I use my pc mainly for graphics tasks like watching tv and movies. I know there are some new LCDs that have screens that don't look so dull like Sony's XBrite or whatever and these make graphics look much more vibrant. I was recently at a retail store where they had an XBrite monitor next to a regular LCD and the difference was like night and day, but these types of monitors also reflect so much light that's it's difficult to see the image on the monitor if a lamp or window is reflecting off the monitor. I saw this criticism voiced in a pc magazine review of LCD monitors recently so it's not just me that thinks this. You would think there would be some kind of middle ground between really dull LCD screens and the really bright but reflective ones.

    I'm surprised no one ever talks about this when comparing LCDs and CRTs, people always talk about refresh rate vs response time or native resolution.
     
  2. DLeRium

    DLeRium Lifer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    20,098
    Likes Received:
    1
    Depends what monitor you're talking about. I have a Samsung 700NF and it's one of the best 17" CRTs out there and it cost me a fortune to get one. I also have a Viewsonic VP191b, and I'll take the VP191b anyday. Colors are brilliant. Get the right panel, and you won't regret anything.

    Edit: Dell 2405FPW sucks. Colors are washed out. I agree. I don't understand how people stand this monitor. Same with all TN panels (8ms ISO ones or faster).
     
  3. Lonyo

    Lonyo Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    21,939
    Likes Received:
    0
    nVidia has a Digital Vibrance feature which pretty much sorts out that issue.
    Plus, as they age some CRT's get dull and washed out (well, mine did at least - I think it was dying).


    Set up an LCD correctly and it shouldn't have a problem.
    Remember that most in-store displays are NOT properly set up, most of the time stuff is just quickly plugged in and left as-is.
     
  4. Mojoed

    Mojoed Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,472
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree in principle with the OP. I don't really like the look of LCDs, I'm still a big fan of high-quality CRTs. It's highly subjective though, I'm sure it won't be long until someone posts how LCDs destroy CRTs...etc etc, yadda yadda ;p
     
  5. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    15,678
    Likes Received:
    3
    I watch HD content on mine, as well as playing games and watching regular DVDs, and the color reproduction is easily as good, if not better, than the NEC FE990 CRT I was using previously. Text crispness and overall brightness/contrast are significantly better than the CRT. Maybe you got a bad 2405?
     
  6. Compellor

    Compellor Senior member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    0
    LCDs usually need to be calibrated properly since they never look that good right out of the box. The brightness is usually set too high, and the color and gamma settings need to be tweaked to get a good image.

    It's always a good idea to get an LCD that has a high contrast ratio like 800:1 or better. The lower the CR the more washed out it will look. Also look for an 8bit panel since the color is much better on them. Don't go with the cheaper $300 LCDs if you care about PQ.
     
  7. Compellor

    Compellor Senior member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    0
    LCDs only REAL weaknesses over CRTs at this point are contrast ratio and black level. As far as color goes, my ViewSonic VP930b LCD looks better than my Sony CRT and miles better than my Samsung CRT.

     
  8. JRW

    JRW Senior member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    LCDs weak black levels & contrast ratio alone kills the overall image quality for a lot of people when compared to a high quality CRT, especially if you watch movies This is basicly what happened to me when I had my LCD & CRT side by side..After a few weeks of adjusting the LCD etc. I ended up sending it back to Dell (2001FP). Plus even LCDs with the fastest response time still cant compete with a CRT's overall smoothness with motion & framerates when you see them side by side. I currently own a 24" Sony FW900 Widescreen CRT and wouldnt trade it for anything ;)

    This quote from Canon in a recent SED article pretty much sums it up IMO:

    "Display engineers are extremely interested in SED panels because they use the same basic principle of red (R), green (G) and blue (B) electron guns firing electrons at phosphors as conventional cathode ray tubes (CRT), and basically offer the same image fidelity as the CRT but in a thinner package.

    Canon and Toshiba, of course, stress how much better the image quality of the SED is compared to LCD panels or PDPs (Fig 2). As Canon's Uzawa pointed out, "There are images that can only be properly expressed by self-emitting displays, like SED panels. We think many consumers feel that CRT image quality is the ideal. LCD and PDP televisions are selling because they are the only choice right now... in other words, consumers are being almost forced to buy them."
     
  9. Wolfshanze

    Wolfshanze Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    0
    LCDs have one more REAL weakness compared to CRTs, and that's the fact they only look good in native resolution. Some people use differant resolutions for various reasons, and this is another area where CRTs outperform LCDs.

    However, if I were to stick to one resolution for the rest of my life (not that I will), I do prefer an LCD over a CRT in that native resolution contest.
     
  10. Compellor

    Compellor Senior member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    0
    True, although I was talking mainly about PQ issues. Hardcore gamers and image artists should stick with CRTs until SED arrives.

     
  11. imported_michaelpatrick33

    imported_michaelpatrick33 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also find my 2405 to be better than my 19inch CRT in color (but definitely not black level)
     
  12. Wolfshanze

    Wolfshanze Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not to hijack the thread, but I've more or less given-up on LCDs because of native resolution issues. I knew there were other technologies in the work that may give us slim monitors with multi-resolution capabilities, but I haven't heard much if anything about them and/or when they're showing up (at reasonable prices).

    What's this "SED" technology, what does it do... and any word on when it will begin gracing desktops? Links?

    EDIT:
    I found this link. It says we can see SED technology monitors either around end of 2006 or early 2007 at roughly equal to LCD prices. If that's the case I'll be first in-line to get one and ditch my heavy space-heater CRT and say FU to LCDs resolution limitations.
     
  13. Compellor

    Compellor Senior member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's a good tech read on SED:

    http://www.canon.com/technology/display/

     
  14. Rockhound1

    Rockhound1 Senior member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a subjective topic. For me, I prefer my LCD over the CRT that I was using before. To me, my LCD displays more vivid colors and appears less washed out than my CRT.

    In the end, I would have to agree with Compellor's conclusion.

     
  15. Matthias99

    Matthias99 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    8,808
    Likes Received:
    0
    SEDs are still fixed-resolution displays (same with OLEDs). Sorry, but that's the way the industry is going; for content you can generate on-demand at any resolution/AR, fixed-pixel digital displays are WAY, WAY better than a CRT in terms of sharpness and geometry. LCDs do *no* scaling at native resolution; CRTs are *always* scaling -- they just have a pretty low dot pitch, and the 'analog scaling' they do looks smoother to our eyes.

    I would agree with this. Both the 2405FPW and Viewsonic VP930b kick the stuffing out of my (admittedly old, but a pretty good display when it started) Viewsonic PS970 in terms of PQ (black level is a bit worse, but brightness, sharpness, and color reproduction are FAR better). Is it as good as a perfectly-calibrated super-high-end CRT? Probably not. But it's certainly comparable to -- or better than -- an 'average' CRT monitor, and far better than a crappy CRT.
     
  16. SunnyD

    SunnyD Belgian Waffler

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    32,541
    Likes Received:
    3
    On my gateway Widescreen LCD, I would have to say that it is FAR superior to the color reproduction of my old samsung 950p CRT. Of course the samsung was on it's last legs, but still... far and away brighter and better tuned.
     
  17. Wolfshanze

    Wolfshanze Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    0
    Damn Matthias, why do you have to ruin my party?!?! You sure about that? Why does technology always go backwards... it was better in the good old days, just like TV.

    ****

    1975: TV was broadcast "magically" through the air into your home... no cables, no wires... it was also free.

    2005: TV has to run from a cable directly from the provider, through your neighborhood streets, through your yard and directly into your house... you have to pay to watch TV.

    ****

    1995: Monitors could display images at any resolution in sharp clarity... blacks were true blacks, images never ghosted or looked washed-out.

    2005: LCD monitors are fixed to one resolution... differant resolutions lack clarity... blacks aren't black, images can ghost and look washed-out.

    ****

    Is it just me, or the more we progress, the worse technology becomes... maybe I'm just a grumpy old man, but damn, technology is moving the wrong direction!
     
  18. Matthias99

    Matthias99 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    8,808
    Likes Received:
    0
    1975: You got about 10 channels if you were lucky, and they looked like crap.

    2005: For your $50 a month (or whatever), you get probably several hundred digital cable channels, most of which look pretty good, and you probably get HD service thrown in as well. Note that there is also nothing stopping you from putting up an antenna and getting not only the stuff you used to get in 1975, but also FREE OTA HDTV.

    Of course, LCD monitors running at native res via DVI are also FAR sharper than almost any CRT monitor will ever be, are practically immune to EMI, and require one fewer analog signal tranmission step (so you don't have to worry about whether the company that made your video card cut corners on its DACs to save a few bucks).

    Ghosting is a LOT better on newer displays, although I will admit it is still not perfect. The technology is still evolving.

    Black levels are inferior to CRTs (although still pretty good). OLEDs will fix this once they are economically feasable and the lifespan issues are worked out.

    The LCD monitor I have does not looked 'washed-out'. Maybe crappy old LCDs did, but newer models (at least the higher-quality ones) don't.

    They're not as sharp at native resolution. You will have this problem with any fixed-pixel display -- and as I said before, they are FAR superior when run at native. Just don't run it at a non-native resolution.

    It's just you.
     
  19. Wolfshanze

    Wolfshanze Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wasn't really serious about old TV vs new TV and what-not... I was just joking... but seriously, if you lived on the moon for a few decades and somebody asked you which was the "more advanced" technology:

    1) TV broadcast through the air, wireless, and is free to the viewer
    or
    2) TV cabled directly from the provider to your home and you have to pay for it

    You would probably answer #1 is the more advanced techology!
     
  20. CP5670

    CP5670 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,315
    Likes Received:
    1
    The main limitation of LCDs is still the contrast as far as I can see. Every LCD I have seen is remarkably poor in this respect, even those with fairly high contrast ratios. This is not so much an issue in the daytime but I do most of my gaming at night and play a lot of dark games, where the difference from a CRT becomes apparent. The color banding and screen door effect are also much more noticeable in the dark for some reason. When you add in the lower refresh rates and native resolution limitations (and for the moment, lower maximum resolutions in most cases), LCDs wouldn't look very appealing if you had any other choice. Of course, the only CRTs you can still buy at this point are crappy low-end models, so which is better is something of a moot point now.

    As for the 2405, I wasn't very impressed with the unit one guy at work had, even compared to other LCDs. I was about to order one of those for myself at one point but quickly changed my mind after trying it out for a while.

    I am actually in the market for an LCD myself (will be building a secondary rig in my room, where space is a big issue) and was almost dead-set on one of these x-brite/opticlear coating LCDs, but the four I know of all have very poor contrast ratios and are all 6-bit from what I can tell. Is there any otherwise decent LCD with this coating on it?
     
  21. Matthias99

    Matthias99 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    8,808
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, just getting sick of people who come on here, don't know what they're talking about, and start on the "OMG LCD monitors are teh suck!" thing. They're *almost* as bad as the ones who get going on the "people can't see more than 24FPS" topic. :p

    If that's all you told me, of course #1 would be better. :) There are a few other differences you neglected to mention, though. :p
     
  22. Wolfshanze

    Wolfshanze Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matthias, I'm not one of those "LCDs SUCK" people. Yeah, I have a (modern) LCD and a CRT in the house, and I chose to keep the CRT for me and give the (newer) LCD to my wife, but that's because I have specific needs...

    Trust me... I WISH I could be happy with the LCD... I love the LCD in native resolution, I love how thin and light it is, and I especially love the fact that an LCD doesn't double as a space-heater. Only problem is... FOR MY NEEDS (which are not the same as other people), I need to low-ball resolution as far down as 640x480, and no LCD I have seen can do that well, so I'm stuck with my big, heavy, heat-producing CRT until something better comes along.

    Believe-you me, I am ANXIOUS to jump on the new technology and say goodbye to my CRT. Unfortunately LCD technology didn't/hasn't answer my specific needs, but I know I'm a minority in my needs, and I have nothing against LCDs... I just wish I could use one without compromise... oh well, there's always SED technology... can't wait.
     
  23. xtknight

    xtknight Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    12,974
    Likes Received:
    0
    My 6-bit TN did have quite washed out and tinted colors compared to vibrancy of my eMachines CRT. However, this VP930b (8-bit VA) will match the CRT or beat it at calibrated settings. The CRT didn't look perfect either. It had too much of a red-yellow bias to the image. My VP930b just looked natural. I think the problem is so many people have made images with that red-yellowish bias in mind, or something like that.

    That's very true. My VP930b needed a ton of adjustment (DeltaE 5.2 default!). Other monitors like the Samsung 970P (DeltaE 2.7 default!) are very good at default according to BeHardware. In order to make my VP930b not washed out, I had to use the ICC profile on the monitor CD. After I did though, everything looked great. Then I changed my Windows gamma to the 2.20 this monitor specified, and voila. I never thought I'd remove that wash-out, but it's amazing how much a gamma profile can do.
     
  24. icp

    icp Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the advice. I'm starting to feel a little better about LCDs if the washed out look can be largely fixed by adjusting the display settings. I thought that it was caused by the coating on the LCD surface.

    I did a comparison test by looking at a lamp reflecting from the surface of a regular LCD, XBrite LCD and my CRT. The reflection from the regular LCD was very diffuse, you couldn't even tell what object was generating the light, like a reflection would be from frosted glass. The reflection from the XBrite LCD was very bright and clear, like regular glass. The reflection from my CRT was in the middle of those, you could tell what the lamp looked like but it was pretty dim because of the anti-reflective coating.

    If I could find a top end CRT I would probably go that route since I want the absolute best and most versatile image quality and not have any doubt about it. But they don't make these any more.

    If SED technology is coming soon and that's going to be better than LCDs then I'll probably hold on to my ageing CRT a little while longer, unless it croaks on me.
     
  25. schtuga

    schtuga Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally,I have the viewsonic G90fb 19"crt,,and the samsung 913T 19"lcd.

    At first I was disappointed with color on my lcd,it wasn't as vibrant as the crt.After some tweaking it's close but I feel not as nice.

    But I feel the detail is superior on the lcd.

    For me it's a toss up.But the extra viewing area is the deal breaker,and desk space.
    I am used to my lcd and couldn't go back.

    It's all about what your personal preference/budget dictate.
    There is no right or wrong,just what is the best for your needs.