View Full Version : LCD Monitors

07-06-2001, 01:46 PM

A long time ago, I bought a 19" Hitachi monitor from the 'Gurus...and have enjoyed it since...

So now I am interested in adding a flat screen monitor...and, being unable to get any sort of coherent answer elsewhere, I thought I might get set straight here.

Most of the VGA LCDs out there seem to be both Mac and PC compatible, which is handy...I've seen the Samsung 770TFT and it does look good (not as good as the Apple monitors, but I don't have a new box yet...I really wish Apple had saw fit to add some sort of retro compatibility to those beautiful, and aggressively priced, new monitors!!). I haven't seen the Hitachi CML170, but, given that it's Hitachi, I'm curious.

There are a _lot_ of bunk monitors out there. Any suggestions?

Thank you

07-06-2001, 06:13 PM
Check http://www.cnet.com for some info..

A colleague here has a pair of the NEC 1530V ones - these are 15" that can run 1024 x 768 - very nice and not bad.

They are retailing at about $600 right now w/ rebates in Canada.


07-06-2001, 08:11 PM
I'd stay away from inexpensive no-name displays. Consider that LCD supply is constrained; i believe there are now fewer than a half-dozen companies still manufacturing LCDs. They sell the best LCDs to Apple, Sony, NEC, Compaq, and Dell--name brand OEMs. They sell the lower quality LCDs to lesser-branded OEM manufacturers. The sell the worst ones, ones that barely pass QA, to the nobody-recognizes-me OEMs. YMMV, but that's the biz when I worked in OEM PC hardware.

Careful of your terminology. "Flat screen" display doesn't necessarily mean "LCD" in today's marketplace. Many CRT advertizers use flat screen to descibe the curvature of the tube front.

You may wish to consider a used Apple VGA Studio Display. Apple has excellent quality control if you can get past the 5-bad-pixels-is-ok policy. I have a 1998-vintage 15" VGA Studio Display that easily keeps up with my 2000 Dell 21" CRT and 2000 Pismo LCD, and is distinctly brighter than my 1997-vintage LCDs on my 20th Anniversary Macintosh and ThinkPad.

The Studio Display VGA compatability is solid. it works without artifacting on my IBM ThinkPad, Dell PIII-900 box, PowerBook Pismo, ATI Mach64 Mac video card. S-Video from my TiVo is awesome. Ironically this Apple display does NOT seem to recognize PowerMac 7500 motherboard video, probably due to 2-row DB15 video converted to a 3-row DB15 of normal VGA.

my free 7500 is nickel-and-diming me to death.

[This message has been edited by ricercar (edited 06 July 2001).]

07-06-2001, 09:08 PM
Many Thanks for the info!

I have a ColorSync 17" that's a champ (attached to my $57.25 7600 [not counting the Miles2, Barracuda and RAM...]); Apple makes some dynamite monitors. From my, admittedly limited, experience, LCD monitors are very smooth for 'text-work' and that's the source of my interest.

I also admit I don't really know what parameters are important, or how to interpret the specs, to determine LCD monitor quality (there's like 'contrast ratio', although the correlation to quality is ambiguous).

On inspection, there definitely seems to be a clear 'sharpness' aspect to LCD monitors, some of them are pretty lousy. Which begs the question, can the _new_ Apple monitors be retro-fitted? It would certainly seem daunting (given the _unified_ cabling). In the absence of that option, at least from what I have seen, the Samsung monitors appear to be a pretty reasonable deal (although, again the new Apple 17 is super-hip). I'd also really like to see the Hitachi's.

Thanks again!


08-15-2001, 08:56 PM
Dr.Bott pumped out the DVIator a ways back. it allowed legacy macs with a DVI port on their video cards use an ADC display. i dont know if you have the ability to enter DVI into the equation or not, but if your really after one of apple's displays that would probably be the way to go. www.drbott.com (http://www.drbott.com)

What for? the world will still be broken in the morning

[This message has been edited by NathanTwist (edited 15 August 2001).]

08-15-2001, 09:48 PM
I would always try to see THE monitor you are buying, especially if you are going to spend serious money.

I bought my Apple AZUL VGA monitor used locally for $600 (came with a 9600/400, to boot!), and was able to verify the pixels.

My mail order Dell laptop came with four bright green pixels which rested in the 'bands' when watching 16:9 DVDs...this was ub?īr annoying, until I shipped it back to Dell for an unrelated repair, and they broke/replaced my screen!

When I buy a Cinema/SGI widescreen display, I'm going to get it somewhere where I can look at the screen before buying (floor models, MacWorld demos, etc). Aside from some open box savings, the ability to verify all pixels before purchase is priceless.

If you are geographically unable, or just too busy, I'd second the suggestion of sticking with major brands. I've had some 18.1" NECs which were perfect, and some good experience with Dell's desktop offerings as well. I don't know much about the Samsungs, but they manufacture the panels for Apple, so they must have decent QA...

[This message has been edited by chrismenke (edited 15 August 2001).]

08-16-2001, 12:03 PM

Thank you for your feedback. In particular, the DrBott link looks quite interesting. As it turned out, I sort of ran out of dough (_every_ software vendor I deal with decided to issue upgrades at the same time), so instead of looking at the 17" and 18.1" Hitachi and NECs, I wound up getting a NEC 1530v (for $400.00 at Microcenter). While I'm sure not going to replace the 19" Hitachi on the G3 with it (I've got it attached to my main PC workstation), I've got to say I'm very happy with the beast...very bright and crisp and well suited for text-editing.

No store I saw carried the Hitachi LCDs, which is regrettable as Hitachi makes great products and I'll bet their LCDs are no exception. Also got to say that if the 18.1 inch NEC is as nice as the 15, it's bound to be a big seller. When I can add a better USB/Firewire card to my 7600, I'm going to try to also get a second video card and maybe add one of these LCDs to that rascal as well...the savings in deskspace are phenomenal!!

Thanks again!!

P.S. I've got a number of clients/friends who've had less than great experience with Dell laptops...IBM seems to build the beefiest PC laptops, and the NECs appear to be decent (and pretty)...