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LockePick

Advice on HD Monitors needed

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It seems about time to finally put down my old trusty 17" CRT and jump into this newfangled HD flat screen era. Coincidentally, it's also about time to get myself a PS3. But there's a bajillion monitors and HDTV's out there and I don't have a clue what works with what and with what strengths and drawbacks. I don't even really know what the difference is. Hence, here I am looking for any suggestions.
  • I'll be using it at pretty close range so it doesn't need to be massive. 22-24" range.
  • Image quality is a huge concern since I do both programming and art on it.
  • Response time needs to be good enough to handle fast-paced games reasonably well.
  • I'd like it to be capable of 1080p. I could settle for less if it's an amazing deal, though.
  • I watch all my TV over the internet so no tuners or anything required.
  • Needs to be able to swap between my PC and PS3 signal with minimal hassle.
  • My budget is... well I'd like something more in the <$500 range, especially since it doesn't need to be huge, but good quality is a higher priority.
Should I be looking at high-end monitors, and hooking the PS3 into that? Do I need any extra cables/converters to do that? Should I look at HDTV's instead? Will that cause problems with extended usage (ie. staring at code)? I'm clueless, please enlighten me!

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I recently picked up an HP w2408h and am very happy with it. 24" with good enough image quality for the kind of art that I do (mostly 3D modeling and rendering these days), and runs Unreal Tournament fine on the gaming side. Capable of 1080p and automagically switches between HDMI and VGA input. However, it only has HDMI and VGA connectors. If you want to use component for your PS3 and DVI for your video card then this isn't the monitor for you. It also lacks little other details an HDTV might have like picture in picture. The built-in speakers are a little on the tinny side, but if you're enough of an audiophile to notice you probably wouldn't be considering using the built-in speakers in the first place. It's also very close in price to your upper bound on Amazon. A brick and mortar may charge above the $500 price point.

On the plus side, you can run the thing in portrait mode and a 1920 pixel high coding window is a joy to behold.

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Quote:
Should I be looking at high-end monitors, and hooking the PS3 into that? Should I look at HDTV's instead?

You want a monitor, HDTV's are expensive.
Quote:
Do I need any extra cables/converters to do that?

You're going want to get one with an HDMI cable input for the PS3.
Quote:
But there's a bajillion monitors and HDTV's out there and I don't have a clue what works with what and with what strengths and drawbacks.

Well there's a lot of ways to go about doing this when I'm looking for something I go to NewEgg and sort by best rating.
ex.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010190020%201309821328&bop=And&Order=RATING
Later you can check other websites for best price, but Newegg has a really good search system.
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Response time needs to be good enough to handle fast-paced games reasonably well.

You want something with 5ms or less response time preferably.
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I'd like it to be capable of 1080p. I could settle for less if it's an amazing deal, though.

1080p is only really used for HDTV's As far as monitors go 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels.

So if you go back to the NewEgg list the monitor at the top of that list should be able to fit all your conditions.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009125
It is fast (2ms response time), has HDMI, and is 1920 x 1200 so even higher res horizontally than 1080p (it's widescreen). I bought a similar Acer monitor just recently and the image quality was splendid.

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Basically you want a 24'' LCD monitor with an HD plug and a 1920X1200 resolution (so computer will have a better resolution than 1080p, but it will be available for the ps3 with a mini black bar, the difference between 16:9 and 16:10).

The response time will be low for everything you check at this size, but be sure that it's at least <5ms. You can't see the difference under that anyway.

But most important, and what Treb didn't mention is the contrast ratio. It's VERY important for good colors, I had a 3000:1 monitor next to a 8000:1 and the difference was amazing. Treb's link only have 3000:1 which is currently the lowest you can have, so I wouldn't buy it. Look at this monitor instead for the a lower price, a better brand (Samsung) and an amazing contrast ratio I'm sure you never seen before :
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=32738&vpn=LS24MYKRBQ%2FXAA&manufacture=Samsung&promoid=1074

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Original post by Dunge
Basically you want a 24'' LCD monitor with an HD plug and a 1920X1200 resolution (so computer will have a better resolution than 1080p, but it will be available for the ps3 with a mini black bar, the difference between 16:9 and 16:10).

The response time will be low for everything you check at this size, but be sure that it's at least <5ms. You can't see the difference under that anyway.

But most important, and what Treb didn't mention is the contrast ratio. It's VERY important for good colors, I had a 3000:1 monitor next to a 8000:1 and the difference was amazing. Treb's link only have 3000:1 which is currently the lowest you can have, so I wouldn't buy it. Look at this monitor instead for the a lower price, a better brand (Samsung) and an amazing contrast ratio I'm sure you never seen before :
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=32738&vpn=LS24MYKRBQ%2FXAA&manufacture=Samsung&promoid=1074

Actually, the contrast ratio specifications on modern LCD displays are mostly useless. The invention of something called dynamic contrast has given marketers an excuse to list inflated ratios that are many times the actual, static contrast ratio of the display; Samsung is particularly bad in this respect. In practice, the actual contrast ratios of LCD displays are almost always between 500:1 and 1200:1. To further confuse matters, independent testing suggests that even when a static contrast ratio is specified, it is usually inflated by a varying amount.

In short, ignore the contrast ratio specifications for displays; instead, go read reviews and look at floor models in person.

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1080p is only really used for HDTV's As far as monitors go 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels.

1080p means 1920x1080 at 24 progressive Frames per second (which may translate into 24, 48, 72etc Hertz refresh rate). This is to prevent the judder that may become especially visible in slow camera movements. You also need a device capable of outputting 24p, like a bluray/hd-dvd player, and a medium that has 24p content (eg cinematic Bluray/HDDVD). I'm pretty sure Computer Monitors that support 1080p do exist. Displays from 24 to 27 Inch are able to display a 1080p picture in native resolution with small black bars at 1920x1200 resolution.

Quote:
But most important, and what Treb didn't mention is the contrast ratio. It's VERY important for good colors, I had a 3000:1 monitor next to a 8000:1 and the difference was amazing. Treb's link only have 3000:1 which is currently the lowest you can have, so I wouldn't buy it.

Don't trust the advertising, and especially dont trust user reviews. There is no TFT that has a real contrast ratio of 3k to 1, let alone 8k. This is called dynamic contrast and it will ABSOLUTELY RUIN colors. I would always turn it off.

Now if you want really good colors you cannot go for a TN-Panel, which are the only ones with response times less than 5ms. But recently colors on TN have become better, and they are also much cheaper so you will want to go for TN.

http://prad.de/en/index.html has some reviews so I suggest you check that out. Make sure you read professional reviews not some words by some guy who buys a monitor every five years and is of course impressed by his shiny new product.

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