While browsing the forums, we noticed there were an unusual number of LCD questions. It’s been a while since we posted any new LCD news, so we are going to go look at LCDs both on the novice and expert level. It is our intention to keep this article up to date with new changes, but it requires the feedback of our readers in the forums.

Among all of the hardware sectors, displays have risen to become the most explosive, controversial and emotional sector of all. In three years, we have seen LCD sales double and triple. Almost 85% of all new displays sold are now LCD. To say that LCDs will play an important part in the future of personal computing would be an understatement.

Unfortunately, since growth in the LCD market is volatile, confusion and rumor convolute almost every review and guide on the internet. In order to explain anything and everything, we will start with computer monitor basics, going all the way back to the history of the LCD and then finishing with the future of LCD and flat panel technology. Also, we will provide a glossary at the end of this article.

In the beginning


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  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    #42 - this will be addressed in Part II =)

  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    Very nice article. Easy to read, fun and very informative.

    However, as someone here stated earlier, the reference to how some companies manage to get more than the 262000 colours with the 16ms AUO substrate is missing. It seems that they do this by alternating two colours, which would in effect mean the actual total rise and fall time for that one colour is more than 16 ms. But perhaps this is to be discussed in the follow-up to the article? I'm really interested in reading about the grey-grey times for the panels, so I'll be looking forward to part II.
  • AbRASiON - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    Wouldn't touch one until it beats a CRT in every single way - period

    For work yes, sure right now, one res all day, no games, no worries.

    For home, multiple resolutions, more dos boxes - linux sessions (ok I don't have any but if I did) - games which I don't have a strong enough video card for native resolution etc etc.

    also the stupid ghosting / shading effect of the high refresh (16ms is too high)

    Until it beats a CRT in every single way - I'm not going over - EVEN IF CRT's end up costing more.
    Plus CRT's are getting better, my 22" Philips (100hz 1600x1200) is only like 45cm deep - quite short really considering.

  • virtualgames0 - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    I think you missed a big issue with LCD image problems that I have commonly observed. Most LCDs are very dim, and almost all of them I've seen are nowhere close to comparable to a CRT, the only ones I've seen that were comparable was the NEC.
    Another problem I have commonly observed is that the majority of LCDs have very visable "gate lines(as you called it in the artlce), so then you can see that every pixel is seperated, and it makes everything look pixelated, and it feels like you're trying to look through that mesh...
  • spikemike - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    I'm not 100% sure but i believe a 1280x1024 LCD monitor is actually built in a 5:4 ratio. So the pixels are still square. Reply
  • n0d3 - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    What I missed, and I'm sure it will be coverd in an update, was something more about resolutions. Here's why.

    Today, people seem to be using 'weird' or 'odd' resolutions a lot, basically because it seems better to have bigger numbers. For instance, 1280x960 is not acceptable (The drivers for my old Connect3d radeon 9000 did NOT support this resolution) however 1280x1024 is just fine. This strikes me as odd because monitors still use a 4:3 ratio. A lot of resolutions conform to this 'standard' 640x480 800x600 etc etc. But in the higher range they seem to 'cheat' a lot more. From what I can understand, this would cause a distorted display. This is very true for CRT's but LCD's seem to be heading that way asweel, wich is something I Don't get. I say this because it is always recommended to use an LCD at it's own resolution, wich is the amount of pixels on the substrate. I can hardly imagine that they would produce non 4:3 screens, allthough ofcourse it is possible.

    Some more info on this would be greatly appreciated since I could be wrong about this and tell people wrong things : )

    P.S. and yes, I know that if your monitor is capable of going up really high in resolution the distortion on lower resolutions should be minimal, nevertheless, it is deffinatly there.
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    Thanks for a very informative article.

    I have a Samsung 172T and I have to say the image quality is outstanding. I don't play a lot of FPS games, but for varied use including games and video,using DVI, there are no significant motion blur problems. This monitor is head and shoulders above comparable units I've seen, at least for general use. The price of this unit has dropped significantly since I bought mine almost a year ago. (It may be discontinued).

    Been an Anandtech reader since 1996. Keep up the great work!
  • spikemike - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    I'm still not sure if you have it quite right, each subpixel can be independently controlled, you can get 16 shades of blue 16 shades of green and 16 shades of red, giving you 12bit color or 4096 total colors, the red blue and green do not depend on each other, red can be full on, blue can be "1/2" on and green can be off. The main problem was the lack of color, slow response times, and the fact that the information would "bleed" into the column, having one off pixel in a whole column of on pixels would decrease the over all brightness of that column Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    #33, I clarified the article a little to apply to both the EE folks and just the casual reader ;)

  • spikemike - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    oops i meant posts 29 and 30 were mine Reply

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