View Full Version : TFT Monitor Anti-Technology Mystery
13th Jun 05, 8:00 AM
So tell me this. I'm sat at work surrounded by an ocean of TFT-equipped desktops and laptops. TFTs for desktop use have only been commercially available in a viable sense for less than two years now, whereas laptops have featured identical technology for ooooh... at least fiften or twenty years.
So why did standalone monitor technology lag behind their laptop cousins by almost a staggering two decades? It's incredible that machines are still sold with bulky CRT eyeburners when the superior alternative has been available on laptops since about 1985.
Answers to this oddity on a postcard...
13th Jun 05, 8:03 AM
13th Jun 05, 8:07 AM
The fact that prior to 2000 you couldn't look at one more than 5 degrees off the perpendicular and still read text onscreen.
13th Jun 05, 8:08 AM
/me hugs his LG Flatron L1720P
I have no idea why did they lag with the tech, but I have to say that now that I have it, I LOVE it!
13th Jun 05, 8:27 AM
From the Wright Brothers to the Moon in 63 years but it takes them 20 years to get from affordable TFTs to slightly more affordable TFTs?
They lagged with the tech simply because they could milk CRT for all its worth first (and not to mention its cheaper to manufacture due to CRT already being well-established in the manufacturing dept.), then slowly introduce insanely expensive TFT while phasing out CRTs as manufacturing converts their operations toward TFT manufacturing,
13th Jun 05, 8:32 AM
LCD is absolutely essential for portable computing of the "laptop / notebook" variety (not the now-obsolete "mobile" variety which simply had an integrated CRT in a cabinet, a hinged keyboard which doubled as a latched cover, and a sturdy handle, etc.) so it was able to hit a certain level of quality (small size, resolution, viewing angle) and then stagnate for awhile, because people weren't generally willing to pay the extra for advances in quality which were phenomenally cheaper in CRTs. "I'll just do that work on a desktop," they said, when it came time to purchase.
In short, the tech had to incubate for a longer period on laptops because there wasn't enough demand among "space-savers" for high quality ultra-expensive desktop users.
13th Jun 05, 8:39 AM
Cost and Performance
Not only the lousy view angle on older TFT screens, but also the quality of the screen.
Graphic trails were a big issue before, where you simply couldn't play any fast paced game, since it became a giant smear of pixels.
Most graphic designers still use CRT as of today, since the colour accuracy hasn't quite reached the standards of CRT:s with colour correction yet.
13th Jun 05, 8:46 AM
I love my CRT. It's bulky, and the screen isn't flat, but I have yet to be convinced by TFTs which are expensive, and lack both sharpness and colour reproduction of the level which my old Nokia can produce.
13th Jun 05, 8:57 AM
TFT not matching sharpness? Something must be amiss there sir. Even the cheapest TFT in its native resolution should beat the most expensive CRT hands-down. TFTs in Native are pixel-perfect - by definition: as sharp as it can get.
13th Jun 05, 9:03 AM
But even the best TFT can't match average CRTs in terms of maximum resolution, and the aforementioned trail blur belies your claims of sharpness.
13th Jun 05, 11:15 AM
You only get blurring on dual scan, not TFT active matrix screens. And actvie matrix technology has only been available at a reasonable price (for laptop use anyway) for about ten years., but even still dual scan screens were cheaper and used in business oriented laptops, because while they were horrible for games, video, and basically anything needind a fast refresh rate, they were perfect for text (word procesing, e-mail, etc.).
BTW Squid, a lot of protables used the equvilant of a portable television CRT screen not LCD to keep them within the price range of the average consumer. As an example, look at the Kay Pro, Compaq Portable, and the Commodore Portable. They all use very small CRTs.
13th Jun 05, 11:21 AM
I think what you're really missing is the fact that companies sell whatever product that gives them the best margin - and CRTs are by far the better one until recently
13th Jun 05, 11:46 AM
(margins aside) I think viable desktop TFTs have been around for at least 5 years; I was using one at an office five years ago.
Laptops may have had LCD screens for a long time, but until quite recently (i.e. until larger than 1024x768 screens became available), they were very expensive (even ones with horrid dual scan screens) and nowhere near as good as a decent CRT (they are still inferior to CRTs in some respects [viewing angles, gamut, reproduction of black etc.]). Consequently, LCDs were limited to portables and CRTs ruled the world of desktops etc.
Because of recent improvements and cost reductions = bigger and better displays (and much cheaper laptops), CRT rivalling LCDs are now a reality (i.e. a decent 1600x1200 display for between £500 and £600 - what you used to pay for a decent 21" CRT). They still have to improve a little to displace CRTs from colour critical applications (photo & print/repro etc.) though.
13th Jun 05, 12:13 PM
They still have to improve a little to displace CRTs from colour critical applications (photo & print/repro etc.) though.
I doubt we'll ever see LCDs matching the quality of the pro/semi-pro CRTs...with OLED displays on their way, I don't think too many firms will try to improve response times, color uniformity and all other aspects where LCDs are still inferior to LCDs.
13th Jun 05, 12:36 PM
my tft is a year and a half old [maybe 2 years already]. no blurring, no trailing...niet. it's original price *was* 700 euros, but because it was the last in stock they sold it for 450, i paid half of it, parents paid the rest. 15 incher, but it's equivalent to a 17" crt. :)
Demand for tft's has probably been the main reason for them rather suddenly becoming more economical. p.s. carrying a friend's 21"crt monster is NOT fun.
13th Jun 05, 12:42 PM
Hunter, thank you for explaining the reason for the model I specifically referenced in my post. However, they represent a different paradigm of portability. It's more like "I can fold the entire computer up into a convenient peice of luggage and travel with it" rather than "I can fold the entire computer up into a briefcase and use it on my lap while I'n traveling."
Incidentally, is there a 17" TFT under $200 worth a damn?
Squid: Not even.
Original Topic: The more you make of something, the better refined both the product and the manufacturing process.
Anyways, notebooks weren't exactly flying off the shelves the past 20 years - however now they are, and desktop LCDs are following suit.
13th Jun 05, 6:09 PM
It's hardly a mistery panth when you think about it... What most of these dudes said covers it.
Also, it took time for competition to kick in and accelerate the development process, now you have screens from philips and samsung (screens, not the actual monitors) pushing the 12ms mark and pushing up the brightness and contrast levels. Sure, colour is still an issue, but they are getting there. And since a TFT has less parts and, in volume, is cheaper to make, expect them to become even more common than crt's ever were. The better they get the less market share CRT's will have. Which is good since flatscreens are clearly a better technology to develop on.
In a few decades we should hit no screen display methods, as was posted with an early prototype on these boards a year or so ago ;)
Then neural emplants.
13th Jun 05, 11:19 PM
TFT's make your desk feel empty. I felt really wierd when I had a laptop for a while, there was so much room on the desk, so I just put my old tower on the desk, just so it would feel right.
14th Jun 05, 3:42 AM
If you have more stuff than you have storage space for (for example, if your family decides that your bedroom is the best place to store all their old junk) then the less space your monitor takes up, the better. Consequently, as soon as I find a TFT that displays better than my (£70, second-hand) current monitor does and doesn't cost the earth, I'll go for it.
14th Jun 05, 3:48 AM
I should probably explain that Fishie doesn't actually have what most of us would call a House.
It's more of a metaphysical non-space of transient living utensils and temporally maladjusted construction scheduling. <3 fish.
14th Jun 05, 3:49 AM
It's not a House, it's a Home.
and the aforementioned trail blur belies your claims of sharpness.
Have you actually played FPS on modern TFTs? There's no blur.
14th Jun 05, 4:25 AM
Moe and everyone else: On a side note; how much (or little) resonse time (counted in ms) is needed for a TFT not to have visibible trail blur in FPS?
20 ms? is that enough? or will I have to go for 12, 10 or even 8 ms?
14th Jun 05, 4:32 AM
12 to 16 ms response time is where you start to loose the ability to tell if there's blurring or not.
Entirely depends on the manufacturer, how he measures response time and how good the screen is.
For example my screen is listed as 25ms @ 19", and I don't notice any ghosting whatsoever. I've seen a bit of ghosting on cheaper 25ms models. 8ms is generally ghosting-free, but most screens that offer those kinds of response times have shitty viewing angles, and their colors aren't that great.
A sorta-affordable TFT is the LG Flatron 1710B. It's 17", 1280x1024 native resolution and rated as 16ms. No ghosting whatsover, decent colors, good contrast ratio, price around 350 Euros last time I checked (might have dropped a bit since then).
14th Jun 05, 7:00 AM
I've noticed that there is a difference in how manufacturers describes there response time.
Some describe it as ON-OFF (the time a pixel takes to die out), and some describes it as ON-OFF-ON (the time the same pixel takes to die out and become lit again).
I guess your manufacturer used the latter definition.
14th Jun 05, 7:03 AM
I agree Moe the LG Flatron is frankly superb for the price, no ghosting, looks quite nice, good viewing angles superb colours.
Only problem is its not that great for dvds with lots of dark scenes without fiddling around with the settings for ages.
14th Jun 05, 7:07 AM
Because I can't adjust resolution without the game I'm playing looking like shit. I want my desktop in 1280x1024, old games in 1600x1200, and new games in 1024x768 so my Ti4400 still manages to produce decent framerates.
And my CRT does have a flat screen :)
hybris: there's more to it. For example, there is a difference in switching from white to black (on-off) and switching between weird greys, yet some companies use the times their panel needs to achieve the latter. Kinda like the guys who make speakers invented that ridiculous PMPO value, according to which cheap-ass speakers could provide 300W PMPO...
Mr. Carrot: the Flatron has a DVD profile which can be activated by pushing about three buttons and which works quite well.
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