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Computer Graphics - Display question

Posted by angel-187474 - Created: 16 years ago
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7 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 7)

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Posted by angel-187474 - 16 years ago

Tony ... thanks for your email ... have only transferred my email settings after reformatting the tower for my files late this arvo.  Apologies for my belated thank you.  Had indeed tried your suggestions also. 

PROBLEM NOW SOLVED!  And thanks to all because it is due to a good mix of many of the suggestions:

Firstly - played with all the resolution settings but no improvement.  (Had previously read somewhere that 1600 x 1200 @ 85 Hz was the 'optimal' setting - this combo being one of my reasons for choosing this monitor).

2nd:    Fortunately, hubby managed to get his hands on a higher spec'd graphics card (a MATROX) so that we could 'try before buy'.  There was a noticeably slight improvement but still not good enough.

3rd:    Fortunately, hubby is also an electronics technician ... so he removed the monitor hood and tweaked the internal sharpness and fine-tuning controls.  Remarkable difference! 

Conclusion:    The image is now 'acceptable' - but I still feel there is room for a slight improvement once again.   So - we have decided to buy the next model up from this graphics card that we tested, as there are other features offered which should further improve the quality and clarity of 2D graphics rendered (if the sales blurbs are fair dinkum).  These include 'Ultra Sharp Display Output Technology' and 'Glyph Antialiasing for ultra-crisp text rendering', as well as dual display output so I can run my tools palettes and other programs simultaneously on 2nd monitor ... and 400 MHz RAMDAC bandwidth + 64 Mb mem/128-bit DDR mem bus. 

Anyone interested in this tech or having experienced similar probs can find out more info here and a fairly frank review here.  Note - this is not a card for 3D users and gamers. 

Having crawled through dozens of photo-graphics forums ... it seems all (serious) photo-imagery pros or enthusiasts go through this (painful) learning curve in regards to optimal monitor calibration.

Now ... to complete the process, the next step would be to aquire a Monitor Spyder ...

<sigh>  I'm sure I was supposed to be born rich ... !


xx. A

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 16 years ago

don't trouble yourself playing with refresh frequencies - they affect flicker (more or less) and not sharpness in particular.  Play around simply with the various screen resolution settings of your graphics card until you find a value that "fits" closest to the monitor's fixed dot pitch.

BTW - I wasn't suggesting that internal adjustment would resolve the problem - this will only improve the clarity of the display if the device is faulty and the origin of this problem is not usually a hardware fault but is a dot-mapping problem.  So upgrading to a monitor with external sharpness control won't necessarily change anything with all other factors being equal.  However, as you've now clarified that this is on a tower and not a laptop, you may be delighted to spend a few hundred more Euros and get a top of the range graphics card that has umpteen resolution settings and then play with them all till you find a resolution setting that "fits" your dot pitch the closest.

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Posted by angel-187474 - 16 years ago

Thank you all.

Magnus ... tried your suggestion - no joy.  But at least you've thrown a question mark on one of my assumptions.  Hubby says CRTs are always superior in sharpness to LCDs, so I was naturally expecting an upgrade rather than the opposite (although my LCD is pretty smic).

Legend -  you assumed correctly:  21"   0.21 Dot Pitch  brand new.    Thought I'd about played around with all the settings - but on reading your post, realised I had only tried one setting below 1600x1200 @ 85 Hz.  (According to the specs I should be able to get 92 Hz at that setting but it's not available for some unknown reason.)  It goes higher but that's too small of course.  Shall continue to play with the other settings.  Failing that, it seems my   options would be to follow your second suggestion - or - see if the net company would allow me to upgrade to the next model up - which has an external sharpness control. 

I did indeed buy it with the intention of hooking it up to my laptop (as that's more powerful than our home pc setup) - but have now done a complete swap over and am now running the CRT off the ordinary computer tower.

Shall post back to let you know how the other settings compare.

Aroncb and nbay.  Thanks also - it's a Philips 201B40.  No sharpness control on this model.  You're right - I would have preferred to check it out before buying but none of my friends on this side of the planet are graphics or photography specialists, so don't have such equipment nor an eye for detail.  Couldn't find any display specialists here that stock higher spec'd monitors on floor either. 

Ok - thanks again for all your suggestions and help.  Will take it from there and let you know when and how prob is sorted.  Cheers!



xx. A

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Posted by nbay - 16 years ago

Maybe the monitor is faulty?
Is it new or secondhand.
If it has been dropped it may have affected the focus.

Most modern monitors have an "on screen menu" where you maybe able to adjust the focus

Laptop VGA outputs normally produce a clear image but may lack colour management, high frequency and high res support.

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Posted by Aroncb - 16 years ago

My best suggestion is to try it on friends monitors and compare how it looks.   Find one that is good and buy the same.


I use a Philips 109b4 with Lightframe 3 tech for viewing photos in enhanced quality - it makes them brighter than normal - so white is true white... not a normal slightly off white.

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 16 years ago

Welcome to the highly subjective and individual world of computer video rendition. I've a couple of observations to make ;

the "sharpness" as you call it does indeed depend upon the monitor specification.  The particular thing to look for is its "dot pitch" which is quoted either diagonally or horizontally.  A decent monitor will have a dot pitch of 0.28 or less (which equates to a horizontal pitch of 0.22 mm per dot or less or in layman's terms this means 4.5 dots per mm. or more).  You claim to have looked at the specs - what is your monitor's specified dot pitch?  Assuming you did your homework and you are at 0.22 horizintal or less - see next point ;the "sharpness" is generally not adjustable externally but CAN be adjusted internally if the image is fuzzier than you would expect from the specifications.  This is a dangerous and highly specialist task - only to be undertaken by a service technician.  Is your monitor new?  If so, and you think it needs adjustment (rare!) then ask them to do it under guarantee (in French the display sharpness is called "netteté").  If not, then see next point ;you mention that you bought the monitor for a notebook.  That would eliminate any necessity for you to look at a high spec graphics card as you have no other choice than to be content with the notebook motherboard display specifications.  What are they by the way?  Bear in mind that there is no magic solutinto getting perfectly crisp displays at any given resolution - there will always be a tradeoff between how many dots per mm the graphics card is trying to display and how many dpm the video screen is capable of.  As Magnus pointed out, LCD screens are always sharp as a tack because on LCD, a dot is a dot and there is no "fitting" to be done.  This is actually only true when you run LCD screens at their maximum resolution but of course the problem with LCDs is their limited physical size which is probably the reason why you bought the monitor.  Therefore - I would advise you to play around with your computer's  display property settings, adjusting the screen resolution to all possible values from 1024x768 and upwards until you find a setting that seems the sharpest on your monitor.

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Posted by MagnusH - 16 years ago

The answer is: Maybe. It depends...

The signal is converted from digital to analog on the graphics adapter. So everything from this converter (RAMDAC) and forward affect the quality. I don’t know if you need a high spec’d card but you should at least avoid the cheapest ones. And avoid those built-in on the motherboard. An important figure is the bandwidth of the RAMDAC. It is often 400MHz for modern ordinary card. If you are running your card on the maximum resolution and refresh rate, you could try to reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz (= lower bandwidth need). It will flicker but maybe become slightly sharper. If it gets sharper by this simple test, it is obvious that you should get a better card.

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Since you compare the sharpness with a LCD display… LCDs are always sharper than CRT.


Hope this helps.