Samsung 151s - blurry text - please help

JudySmith

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Jun 8, 2003
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Please help. Upon advice on these forums, I purchased the Samsung Syncmaster 151s. Though I definitely love its design & lightweightness (compared to my KDS monstrosity) I have a problem, and the Samsung website was no help to me:

Text displays blurry (with a shadowy outline) & I cannot figure out how the heck to fix this.

BTW, another let-down, is that I'd been desperate for a flat-panel due to my electro-magnetic sensitivity. But the flat panel isn't helping with that; I still feel like it's mushing up my insides and draining me. I'm not saying other flat-panels would be any different. It just means that flat panels are probably no use to people with high EMF sensitivity.

In fact, someone over the Net recently told me exactly that - that buying a flat-panel didn't help his EMF problems. Instead, a series of expensive anti-EMF equipment is what finally solved his problem.
 

Markfw

Moderator Emeritus, Elite Member
May 16, 2002
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What is your videocard ? That also may be your problem.
 

ProviaFan

Lifer
Mar 17, 2001
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Many video cards do not have optimal quality analog output. That LCD does not have a digital input, so you're using the analog output of your video card. If your video card happens to be one of many nvidia-based cards (especially an older one), or a handful of ATI-based (but not built by ATI) cards, or a cheap and all-out crappy one like a S3 or Trident or something, then it's quite possibly the video card that's causing the blurry signal.
 

JudySmith

Member
Jun 8, 2003
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I have Win98
The video card is ES1869 control interface (I think...
What's a video extender cable?

Does this mean I can't adjust the blurriness via the buttons on the monitor?
I wish someone here would have anticipated my ignorance of these matters & warned me at that time, so then maybe I would have purchased from Newegg whatever I needed in addition to the Samsung and had it shipped all at once.

Though actually I lack the tech knowledge to install a video card. Is there no easy answer? Does everything have to be so complicated? [sigh]
 

ProviaFan

Lifer
Mar 17, 2001
14,993
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Originally posted by: JudySmith
I have Win98
The video card is ES1869 control interface (I think...
Hmm, sounds like an integrated video card. Not good.
What's a video extender cable?
If you don't know what it is, you probably don't have it. ;)
Does this mean I can't adjust the blurriness via the buttons on the monitor?
Correct. This isn't your fault, or (most likely) the monitor's fault.
I wish someone here would have anticipated my ignorance of these matters & warned me at that time, so then maybe I would have purchased from Newegg whatever I needed in addition to the Samsung and had it shipped all at once.
There's not much that could have been done to help in that regard, except getting a new video card.
Though actually I lack the tech knowledge to install a video card. Is there no easy answer? Does everything have to be so complicated? [sigh]
From the perspective of someone who's been building and upgrading his own computers for over 4 years, it's not hard at all. In fact, it's about a 10 minute procedure (given that I normally keep the one side of my main computer's case open, and the case is large enough to facilitate easy access) to install the hardware, requiring no more tools than your average household screwdriver. Installing the software may take a little longer, but it's not exceptionally hard, either. Where you may run into trouble is if you have one of those tiny OEM systems (ignore the technical term, basically I mean a little bitty HP, Compaq, or other brand-name system) that are a royal PITA to upgrade. Just changing the hard drive and CD-RW in an HP Pavilion took me over an hour (something that should have been done in under 15 minutes).
 

JudySmith

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Jun 8, 2003
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I have a Compaq Presario.
Is this a problem?

How much does a video card cost?
Where to buy?
How to install?

Are you sure the display cannot be adjusted via the Control Panel Display Settings?
 

foofoo

Golden Member
Mar 5, 2001
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Originally posted by: JudySmith
I have a Compaq Presario.
Is this a problem?

the only problem may be accessing the case. if you know the model number we can figure out if it has an agp slot which will tell us what type of video card you need.video card.

How much does a video card cost?

your needs are apparently quite modest if you have been happy with the onboard video. i should think that you can get a reasonable agp or pci video card for <= $50

Where to buy?

once we figure out which kind, you can mail order it for cheap from newegg.com or mwave.com or any number of good online retailers.

How to install?

installation should be very simple. there are a number of online guides, do a search on installing video cards. if you have specific questions, people here will be happy to help (well, most of them anyway).

Are you sure the display cannot be adjusted via the Control Panel Display Settings?

yes.

there are two important questions.....
1. are you using the lcd monitor at it's native resolution? that is, are your display properties set for 1024 x 768? if not, set the display for 1024 x 768.
2. did you use the automatic setup described in the manual. you basically push a button on the monitor after the computer is booted and nothing is changing on the screen and the monitor does it's own setup adjustments.


i have one of these monitors and it's quite sharp.

good luck

 

JudySmith

Member
Jun 8, 2003
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there are two important questions.....
1. are you using the lcd monitor at it's native resolution? that is, are your display properties set for 1024 x 768? if not, set the display for 1024 x 768.
2. did you use the automatic setup described in the manual. you basically push a button on the monitor after the computer is booted and nothing is changing on the screen and the monitor does it's own setup adjustments.

Answers:

1. Actually, when I checked, it was set at 800 x 600 & when I tried changing it, the text became too small.

2. Unfortunately, I lack a photographic memory (probably due to my present dental-mercury toxicity) so please bear with me. What I remember, is that I found the Samsung CD of no use, because it had not setup automatically. I think my Compaq or Win98 overrode the auto-setup of the Samsung, and did its own auto setup. It then instructed me to click a link & go to the Samsung site to download their instructions. And that was a tedious procedure that got me nowhere. Has this offered a clue? Hopefully? Pleas-s-e?
 

Confused

Elite Member
Nov 13, 2000
14,166
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Originally posted by: JudySmith
there are two important questions.....
1. are you using the lcd monitor at it's native resolution? that is, are your display properties set for 1024 x 768? if not, set the display for 1024 x 768.
2. did you use the automatic setup described in the manual. you basically push a button on the monitor after the computer is booted and nothing is changing on the screen and the monitor does it's own setup adjustments.

Answers:

1. Actually, when I checked, it was set at 800 x 600 & when I tried changing it, the text became too small.

2. Unfortunately, I lack a photographic memory (probably due to my present dental-mercury toxicity) so please bear with me. What I remember, is that I found the Samsung CD of no use, because it had not setup automatically. I think my Compaq or Win98 overrode the auto-setup of the Samsung, and did its own auto setup. It then instructed me to click a link & go to the Samsung site to download their instructions. And that was a tedious procedure that got me nowhere. Has this offered a clue? Hopefully? Pleas-s-e?

1. You need to run an LCD monitor in it's native resolution, or it will look rubbish. That's how they're designed to work. If it's in any other resolution, then it won't look right, and you'll have all the text and everything else "blurring" as it is.

2. There should be either on the front of the monitor, or in one of the menu options on the monitor itself, a button/option which says "Auto", or similar. Once you have put it in the right resolution, press this button, and it will auto-adjust the display, centering it and adjusting the brightness/contrast.


Confused
 

mooojojojo

Senior member
Jul 15, 2002
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foofoo and Confused are right on target. LCDs look really distorted when used in anything other than their native resolution (well in windows mainly - I haven't played games or watched movies on one in a non-native res.). so you should really run 1024x768 and if you don't like the font size - just tell windows to use a larger one.
 

Allio

Golden Member
Jul 9, 2002
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While I can't offer any advice better than what's already been said, I can say this. Up the resolution to 1024x768 and stick with it for a week... then change back to 800x600 and marvel that you were ever able to stand having such huge, ugly fonts. ;)

If you're really finding it difficult to read, not just unused to the different size, you can increase the size in Windows... but I find text to be perfectly readable even at 1280x1024 on a 15" monitor. And as has already been said, using anything but the native resolution on an LCD screen is not a good idea.

Good luck :)
 

NTB

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2001
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2 other things to check as well, once you get the monitor to it's correct resolution & have it "auto-set" the position, brightness, etc.:

1) the refresh rate - make sure you're running at the reccomended rate (usually 60Hz) and not something higher; otherwise the text may be blurry - this is what happens on my 17" LCD if I set the refresh to anything higher than 60.

2) Increase the icon size so that things aren't so hard to see: Right-click on the desktop, then click Properties on the little menu that pops up. After that, click on the settings tab, then click on the little advanced button down toward the bottom-right side of the window. When the advanced options come up, the General tab should be showing by default, and there should be a little drop-down box labeled DPI setting. Change this to LARGE (120 DPI), click either Apply or OK, and see if that looks any better.

Also, there are directions for changing the FONT size in that general tab; this setting is in the Appearance tab under display properties.

Nate
 

ProviaFan

Lifer
Mar 17, 2001
14,993
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Originally posted by: NTB
2 other things to check as well, once you get the monitor to it's correct resolution & have it "auto-set" the position, brightness, etc.:

1) the refresh rate - make sure you're running at the reccomended rate (usually 60Hz) and not something higher; otherwise the text may be blurry - this is what happens on my 17" LCD if I set the refresh to anything higher than 60.

2) Increase the icon size so that things aren't so hard to see: Right-click on the desktop, then click Properties on the little menu that pops up. After that, click on the settings tab, then click on the little advanced button down toward the bottom-right side of the window. When the advanced options come up, the General tab should be showing by default, and there should be a little drop-down box labeled DPI setting. Change this to LARGE (120 DPI), click either Apply or OK, and see if that looks any better.

Also, there are directions for changing the FONT size in that general tab; this setting is in the Appearance tab under display properties.

Nate
After totally forgetting about native resolutions causing blurry text problems, I must admit that these guys are right. You're going to have to run it at 1024x768 to get it to look right. N.B. that you'll probably have to reboot before the DPI settings will take effect.
 

vonkas

Junior Member
Apr 2, 2003
5
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your blurry text - try this:
get the best & shortest video cable you can find. The better ones are fat & stiff and creak a bit went bending - that's the internal shielding. Let me know if that fixes it. Also the video card may have an impact. If you can try out someone elses, give that a go. LCD screens have quite different technologies. I am on my 3rd one now chasing the same problem than yours. I now have a Samsung 172t. The xx2 series is vastly better in sharpness than the xx1 series and I haven't found any other brand as sharp as the Samsunf xx2 series. The next best ones come from Apple, but they don't have PC connectors. Anyway the 152/172 have the edge.
 

JudySmith

Member
Jun 8, 2003
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1. You need to run an LCD monitor in it's native resolution, or it will look rubbish. That's how they're designed to work. If it's in any other resolution, then it won't look right, and you'll have all the text and everything else "blurring" as it is.


2. There should be either on the front of the monitor, or in one of the menu options on the monitor itself, a button/option which says "Auto", or similar. Once you have put it in the right resolution, press this button, and it will auto-adjust the display, centering it and adjusting the brightness/contrast.


Confused

Whoa! One thing at a time.

I had tried "Auto" after installing my monitor, but it never corrected the blurriness.

By the way, I forgot to mention to you guys that occasionally the screen sorta gets an animated "shimmering" or "swimming-ness" (like ocean waves).

Also, when I went into Control Panel, Display area, and (Settings, Advanced, Adjustment, Refresh Rate) and then clicked on the 60 hz, that didn't solve the problem, and then the system automatically adjusted it back to the original 75 hz setting.

There was also a different area of the Display mode where it mentioned Refresh Rate (I forgot how I got there). But, anyway, that section gave the following warning:

WARNING: You've specified a custom refresh rate. Some monitors may be damaged, blah blah. Do you wish to continue?

Anyway, once again, I changed the resolution from 800 x 600 to 1024 x 768, but the text became too small (even if maybe a bit less blurry).

I'm not sure where to go from here. Is there no Samsung support? This is ridiculous.
 

artemedes

Senior member
Nov 3, 1999
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Judy Smith Wrote:
"By the way, I forgot to mention to you guys that occasionally the screen sorta gets an animated "shimmering" or "swimming-ness" (like ocean waves)."


I have a lot of computers that do this at work. All of the ones that have this problem are ones with integrated video cards (part of the motherboard) and are of just poor quality. Interestingly, some of the cheap monitors don't show the "shimmering", but the nicer monitors and LCDS shimmer so much I can barely stand to use the computer. So I think your on the right track with the LCD and running it at the native resolution, but you may indeed need a new video card.

Also I know a person with astigmatism that will feel ill if they have to look at a monitor that is set to a low refresh rate, or has to sit in front of a blurry shimmering monitor. They are very picky about how they want their computer screen to look.
 

pukemon

Senior member
Jun 16, 2000
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I have the same monitor the 151S except in WinXP.

To the original poster, here's the no-nonsense scoop:

1) Set the screen resolution to 1024x768 People are saying to do this because it is the "native resolution." They are correct. What that means is the actual number of dots is 1024 horizontally and 768 vertically. If you set it to anything else it WILL look blurry.

2) Set the font size to large or extra large. This will make the fonts look bigger.

3) Since you aren't using WinXP, you don't have Cleartype which smooths the fonts and makes everything look much prettier. So the fonts will be jagged. There's nothing you can do about it.

4) Set the screen refresh rate to 60Hz. In Win98 it will be "Adapter default" setting it to anything won't do anything to make it better because LCD's don't have to deal with refresh rates the same way as CRTs do.

Hope this helps some.
 

JudySmith

Member
Jun 8, 2003
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First of all, thanks to NTB, jliechty, foofoo, Confused, vonkas, artemedes and to everyone else for your input.

NTB your instructions re: Icon size and font size helped somewhat - thanks!
vonkas I think I should first try a new video card, then maybe a cable. I don't have access to try anyone's cable, so I can't see if it would help.

BTW, I'd also bought Cyber Accoustic CA-15 magnetically-shielded speakers that are on either side of the Samsung. Might they by some chance be responsible for the blurriness? (I imagine not...

Originally posted by: pukemon
I have the same monitor the 151S except in WinXP.

To the original poster, here's the no-nonsense scoop:

1) Set the screen resolution to 1024x768 People are saying to do this because it is the "native resolution." They are correct. What that means is the actual number of dots is 1024 horizontally and 768 vertically. If you set it to anything else it WILL look blurry.

I just now realized that the text did not become small after doing this. I had thought it became small because the text on this forum is way small
rolleye.gif


2) Set the font size to large or extra large. This will make the fonts look bigger.

Yes, I did follow NTB's instructions, and it did help some. But my text is still not sharp the way it was on the KDS monstrosity. ;)

3) Since you aren't using WinXP, you don't have Cleartype which smooths the fonts and makes everything look much prettier. So the fonts will be jagged. There's nothing you can do about it.

I can live with jagged. It's the clarity that's a problem. Uh, let me amend what I just said, because I just now analyzed the screen more closely, and now I do see what you mean about jaggedness. It's like I'm able to see each pixel on the screen (so maybe the text is still virtually blurry, because the pixels aren't in close enough proximity to each other??) Is there any way to get around this? Can a video card help this situation? See, while the text isn't "double" the way it was before, it's still taking a toll on my optic muscles.

Another thing: When I scroll up & down screen, the text flickers, and that's hard on the eyes as well.

4) Set the screen refresh rate to 60Hz. In Win98 it will be "Adapter default" setting it to anything won't do anything to make it better because LCD's don't have to deal with refresh rates the same way as CRTs do.

I had tried setting the refresh rate to 60Hz, but then when I checked to see if it registered, it had automatically switched it back to 75Hz
So, there's no getting away from a new video card? Which video card should I get? What do I search for on Newegg (or any other store that accepts checks)? But, above all, how do I open up the Compaq Presario box to install the card? This is scary.
 

vonkas

Junior Member
Apr 2, 2003
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Judy - definetely try the cable first. Just buy one, they are cheap. And someone said "set resolution to 1024x768" this is definetely a MUST! I find thast the best quality video comes from ATI cards - get the lowest cost Radeon you can find (I like the 7000 series). Great would be if it had a digital port next to the standard VGA (as has indeed the 7000). I think your 151 cannot take digital but your next one will! So then you can keep the card. Older, cheap Radeons (like the 7000) will be fast enough for the next few years and plenty fast for ANY LCD out there - no need to spend big on the latest!
 

JudySmith

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Jun 8, 2003
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Vonkas, I'm continuing this discussion on a new thread, kay?

I'll call it:

Replacing Compaq ES-1869 videocard (&/or new cable?