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Author Topic: To wide-screen or not to wide-screen  (Read 32507 times)
lanux128
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« on: November 04, 2007, 10:02:47 PM »

after maintaining for so long that CRTs are better for gaming, i am forced to make the change to LCD.. thus the need for this thread.. smiley i have my eyes for this model: Samsung 931BW and there is also a 'gaming' model - 931CW but somehow i'm not too keen on that. anyway, i have some basic questions regarding model..

• is it better to go wide-screen if i'm not going to watch movies on PC? since i sort of miss the extra height of the normal size..
• if i go for the wide-screen model, will my games be shown stretched?
• this model doesn't come with any extras such as USB ports etc. is this a plus or a minus?
• what is the general feelings of this model, if anyone is using?

Samsung SyncMaster 931BW
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nudone
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 02:19:06 AM »

some games will look correct widescreen and some won't. you'd think by now that all games would have a correct widescreen aspect ratio but they don't. some even claim to have widescreen but really it is just stretched - so there is no way of knowing until you try the game.

but there is help at this website that is all about widescreen gaming http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/ they have a list of games and also talk about methods to force games to be widescreen. many times someone will have wrote a little util to induce the correct aspect ratio.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 04:08:36 AM »

• is it better to go wide-screen if i'm not going to watch movies on PC? since i sort of miss the extra height of the normal size..
That depends on what you'll be doing.
For regular web browsing, if you usually use the window maximized vertically, you'll notice the lack of vertical screen space. On the other hand, you'll be able to see your desktop of the windows beneath the browser though its sides (since you don't really need to maximize it horizontally).
For coding, i'm pretty sure there's nothing better. You'll be able to see 2 files at the same time,and that's VERY useful Wink

• if i go for the wide-screen model, will my games be shown stretched?
Yep, it does happen sometimes (less in more recent games), but i actually prefer most games streched.

• this model doesn't come with any extras such as USB ports etc. is this a plus or a minus?
That'd be useful, but definitelly nothing i'd give more importance than the actual quality of the screen.

• what is the general feelings of this model, if anyone is using?
I don't have that specific model, but i have a samsung 205bw and love it. The only problem is that my laptop's vga out isn't that good and i sometime see some flicker Sad From what i've read, this is solved by using the hdmi interface. Unfortunatelly, my laptop doesn't support it.
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f0dder
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 07:46:58 AM »

I'd stay away from widescreen unless it's specifically for the purpose of watching movies. For anything else, you're better off getting dual regular monitors. And especially for coding.

Wouldn't worry about extras like USB or audio, never used those... but make sure the monitor has a DVI port and not just a standard VGA.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 07:48:22 AM »

after maintaining for so long that CRTs are better for gaming, i am forced to make the change to LCD..

I felt the same way for years, until I freed myself from the tyranny of monstrous, desk-eating CRTs smiley
I still think CRTs are a bit better but not enough so that I'd switch back.

• is it better to go wide-screen if i'm not going to watch movies on PC? since i sort of miss the extra height of the normal size..
I think that's always a personal preference, it's not my choice. I don't watch movies.

• this model doesn't come with any extras such as USB ports etc. is this a plus or a minus?
None of mine have extra ports, it never mattered to me.

• what is the general feelings of this model, if anyone is using?
FWIW, at one point my wife had a 930 and was perfectly content with that.
I have a couple of 214Ts and am happy with those.

I am a bit nervous of the 'soft' LCD screens when it comes to cleaning them. On the other hand, they don't attract as much crud as a CRT would.

I wish all LCDs came with a 'food, drink, and sneeze repulsion field' Wink
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Chris
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 09:37:15 AM »

I have a pair of Samsung 204b lcd monitors.

Moving to lcds was one of the best things i did -- huge benefit in terms of desk space and no downsides.

I'm very happy with the samsungs, though i have to say after moving them to a new house after a year they both developed little areas of discoloration.

Personally i went for 2 side-by-side normal aspect ratio screens, rather than 1 widescreen.  the trend these days seems to be for widescreen, but i prefer 2 normals.

As far as not having things like usb ports, i wouldn't give that the slighted thought -- not important at all. 
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Lashiec
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2007, 02:40:06 PM »

I prefer 4:3 as well, you get plenty of space, and if you can afford two, the better. Manufacturers are pushing wide screen panels because they're cheaper to make, but, objectively speaking, none of the so called pluses are actually that, like for example, that you get a bigger screen (LOL) or a 16:9 screen feels more natural for reading (of course, go to those sites that expand the layout to fill all the screen, like NeoGAF, to see how nice and natural feels reading something like that).

On the other hand, what João comments, having two files side by side, it's a big plus, and a true one, not mentioned too often.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 02:42:21 PM by Lashiec » Logged
Deozaan
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 03:29:57 PM »

I'll just say this: My first LCD monitor I bought had built-in speakers. They suck! I didn't go all out for quality as I was just trying to get a monitor for my new computer but I'd rather they spend the money on quality of picture than throwing in some useless speakers/usb/whatevers.

Quality of picture is most important. Anything else is fluff.

Definitely get DVI. I'd go for dual DVI if I could, but that's because I have two computers and two monitors. One computer is dual monitor, the other isn't. In other words, two computers are using the same monitor. It's like a TV you can switch the inputs on. It's nice, but the quality is limited on one computer since it's a DVI/VGA and the other monitor only has one VGA (no DVI). :-(

You could also get a small HDTV with a DVI so you can connect your TV/PC/Whatever to it.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 03:31:34 PM »

On the other hand, what João comments, having two files side by side, it's a big plus, and a true one, not mentioned too often.

I prefer dual monitor for this. I often have documentation in one monitor and coding in the other. Or I can leave IRC on in one monitor while I do stuff on the other. It's nice!
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tomos
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 03:40:22 PM »

I like the 4:3 format
but imagine with widescreen I'd be able to work nicely on my 4:3 (Olympus) photos
& have a nice bit of space at the end for the tools/panels

but I wonder would a regular 19" monitor have more height than a 19" widescreen?
24" please smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 05:26:06 PM »

On the other hand, what João comments, having two files side by side, it's a big plus, and a true one, not mentioned too often.

I prefer dual monitor for this. I often have documentation in one monitor and coding in the other. Or I can leave IRC on in one monitor while I do stuff on the other. It's nice!
Same here - MSDN + cmd.exe on the right monitor, visual studio on the left. Oh, and mirc/miranda etc. underneath the MSDN window embarassed . Also works for games, game on the left monitor and IM stuff on the right. Wonderful.

I like the 4:3 format
but imagine with widescreen I'd be able to work nicely on my 4:3 (Olympus) photos
& have a nice bit of space at the end for the tools/panels
Get two monitors - run the main photoshop window on one of them, drag the tool panels onto the other. It's so much nicer being able to hit "maximize" and only maxing to one monitor, instead of having to manually dragresize windows (ok, or use gridmove smiley).
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 06:33:28 PM »

thanks guys for all the comments & suggestion. i'm glad that Samsung looks to be the favourite here in DC. the dual-screen idea is very tempting but it's slightly out of my budget. i have been thinking of getting one now and another one six months down the road but i'm afraid that model might not be available by then..

i also checked out the DVI part and from the table i saw in the specs part (pic), i guess i'm covered here..


Source: http://www.samsung.com/ca...a.asp?page=Specifications
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Darwin
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 07:06:04 PM »

I'm going to have to take the plunge and get a secondary monitor. This thread is an interesting read - most interesting to me is the discussion around USB ports and such - WTF? I'm slow at the best of times, but tonight I'm having real difficulty envisioning what good such a feature would be, except to increase the number of USB ports available on one's computer.
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 07:06:31 PM »

Doesn't matter too much if you can't get the exact same model (if you don't matter a heterogenous look on your desktop), you can even mix and match resolutions (although I wouldn't recommend it).

I personally run 2x17" TFTs at 1280x1024 each, once is an Acer AL1722 (the primary monitor) and the other is an AL1715 - works like a charm. I'd go for 19" if I had the money though, or 20" to get 1600x1200... but this setup is nice smiley

I'm going to have to take the plunge and get a secondary monitor. This thread is an interesting read - most interesting to me is the discussion around USB ports and such - WTF? I'm slow at the best of times, but tonight I'm having real difficulty envisioning what good such a feature would be, except to increase the number of USB ports available on one's computer.
Having an USB hub in your monitor could be decent, but it's nothing vital imho. One of my monitors has another kind of USB connector though, it basically lets me access the monitor on-screen menu via software instead of pushing the buttons. Somewhat useless to me, but it's a gimmick nonetheless.
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2007, 07:25:08 PM »

I have a friend that bought a 21.4" Samsung with 3000:1 contrast ratio. I'm not sure why he needed it (suspect he doesn't) but I'm gathering from people's choices here that 800:1 (which is a lot cheaper where I am) would be just fine for normal usage?
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2007, 07:40:33 PM »

My rule of thumb is avoid all combo-accessories (usb hubs, speakers, etc.) they tend to break or be sub-par or become obsolete and then it's annoying to have them attached to the main device.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2007, 07:57:35 PM »

i also checked out the DVI part and from the table i saw in the specs part (pic), i guess i'm covered here..
Source: http://www.samsung.com/ca...a.asp?page=Specifications

Be sure to notice that that monitor doesn't come with a DVI cable to connect your monitor to your PC! Just a VGA (D-Sub) cable.
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lanux128
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2007, 08:15:49 PM »

i also checked out the DVI part and from the table i saw in the specs part (pic), i guess i'm covered here..
Source: http://www.samsung.com/ca...a.asp?page=Specifications

Be sure to notice that that monitor doesn't come with a DVI cable to connect your monitor to your PC! Just a VGA (D-Sub) cable.
in that case, will a DVI-VGA adapter work?
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2007, 09:53:04 PM »

This touches on something that has severely annoyed me.
I believe a law should be passed (or the equivalent to enforce this in the manufacturing and retailing of LCD Monitors)
They are confusing/fooling a lot of people, by being allowed to call a model say a 21" wide screen, when in reality it probably is the equivalent height of a 18" (4/3) model (I don't have one to measure, but you get the idea)

They should be forced to call that model an 18" wide screen

Imagine the number of people who have been fooled when purchasing laptops.
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RobC
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2007, 10:14:04 PM »

PS
If anyone is not convinced, imagine if theatres are built to show a new format called Super Wide, which is twice as wide as we have now.

When they built LCD monitors and laptops to cater for those, will they be allowed to call them 42" Super Wide  ?
When their height might be 5"
 
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Deozaan
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2007, 10:31:36 PM »

When they built LCD monitors and laptops to cater for those, will they be allowed to call them 42" Super Wide  ?
When their height might be 5"

RobC: All monitors and TV sets and screens in general are measured diagonally from corner to corner. And in response to the above quote: That's why it's important to know the aspect ratio. A 42in. "Super Wide" that was only 5in. tall would be something close to 8:1 (which means that it's 8 times as wide as it is tall)

Use the Pythagorean theorem for the real answer. A^2 + B^2 = C^2, where in this case A = 5 and C = 42 which means B is about 41.7 inches. Or, to put it in a more readable format: The monitor screen is 5" tall, about 41.7" wide, and is measured/advertised as 42" (diagonally).

in that case, will a DVI-VGA adapter work?

A DVI-VGA adapter will work to get it to plug in properly, but you still lose the benefits of DVI (DVI is digital, VGA is analog), and thus don't have the nicer picture quality. It's like recording a vinyl record album to mp3. Sure, it's playing as a digital mp3, but that doesn't improve the audio quality beyond the original vinyl record.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 10:39:53 PM by Deozaan » Logged

lanux128
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2007, 10:55:17 PM »

A DVI-VGA adapter will work to get it to plug in properly, but you still lose the benefits of DVI (DVI is digital, VGA is analog), and thus don't have the nicer picture quality. It's like recording a vinyl record album to mp3. Sure, it's playing as a digital mp3, but that doesn't improve the audio quality beyond the original vinyl record.

so that means i'll be better off buying a DVI cable separately.. since i'm still finding my feet here, i'm going to google some pics on both type of cables..
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Deozaan
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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2007, 11:12:57 PM »

A DVI-VGA adapter will work to get it to plug in properly, but you still lose the benefits of DVI (DVI is digital, VGA is analog), and thus don't have the nicer picture quality. It's like recording a vinyl record album to mp3. Sure, it's playing as a digital mp3, but that doesn't improve the audio quality beyond the original vinyl record.

so that means i'll be better off buying a DVI cable separately.. since i'm still finding my feet here, i'm going to google some pics on both type of cables..

Typically VGA (D-Sub) is blue and DVI is white on the connectors. Also DVI has some prongs and then a "+" (plus sign) shaped prong separated a ways from the others in the connector. No way to mix them up.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 11:14:42 PM by Deozaan » Logged

lanux128
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2007, 12:11:38 AM »

thanks to Deozaan & Google image, now i know that D-Sub is VGA.. Grin in that case, there's no way to mix them up. but i'm still wondering about Samsung's reasoning behind NOT shipping a DVI cable when the model supports it.. undecided




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Deozaan
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2007, 12:33:00 AM »

but i'm still wondering about Samsung's reasoning behind NOT shipping a DVI cable when the model supports it.. undecided

Not sure. I didn't get one with mine either. But get this: My brother's laptop came with one. I ended up borrowing his until I bought another monitor that actually came with both DVI and VGA AND a DVI-VGA.
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