Help New monitor (Read 1048 times)

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There is a decent Black Friday deal at a local Best Buy. It's a 19" Acer widescreen monitor for only 99$(about 100$ off the normal price.) I know that's nothing great, but my current monitor is about 12" and I would like a new one(but I don't have a whole lot of money now.) Anyway, my situation revolves around old games and their compatibility with widescreen monitors. You see, most of the games that I play are 3+ years old, and I don't want to play them and have them scretched to the side of the screen while looking really weird. Can someone with a widescreen monitor tell me how old/semi-old games such as Quake 3, Half Life, Unreal Tournament 99', et al work on a widescreen monitor; could they just be played with black bars around them and how does this look usually? I still play newer games as well such as Team Fortress 2. Thanks!
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There is a decent Black Friday deal at a local Best Buy. It's a 19" Acer widescreen monitor for only 99$(about 100$ off the normal price.) I know that's nothing great, but my current monitor is about 12" and I would like a new one(but I don't have a whole lot of money now.) Anyway, my situation revolves around old games and their compatibility with widescreen monitors. You see, most of the games that I play are 3+ years old, and I don't want to play them and have them scretched to the side of the screen while looking really weird. Can someone with a widescreen monitor tell me how old/semi-old games such as Quake 3, Half Life, Unreal Tournament 99', et al work on a widescreen monitor; could they just be played with black bars around them and how does this look usually? I still play newer games as well such as Team Fortress 2. Thanks!

I can't really vouch for all games, but a lot of old games I've played either did just fine with widescreen or automatically put black bars.  They look just fine too, just set them to the best resolution you can.
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Black bars aren't as distracting as you think, you get used to them like you would watching a widescreen format movie on a non-widescreen television. I run my 4:3 viewsonic g90fb at 1280x720 quite often, and the 120Hz refresh is quite awesome when combined with v-sync! Good thing about CRTs, they're far more flexible with resolution and ratio than LCD/Plasma flat screens, so it really shouldn't be an issue.

And really, those games aren't THAT old.
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The only thing CRTs have over LCD are refresh rates. Resolutions can get buggy depending on what you're trying to do... but you get used to it quickly once you find settings that work. But refresh rates... I don't think I will ever get used to using something so low.

For gaming.... it depends on videocard/ moniter drivers and the games themselves. Some games support widescreen, giving you proper resolutions and some don't, giving you black bars or stretching. I had once instance where the output was offset on my LCD screen by two inches... but thankfully my monitor has auto detect settings as well as presets that let you fix things or change from blackbars to stretched on the fly. It would be nice to be able to create my own presets so I don't have to make the changes every time... but yeah, there is always an option.

Btw, 99 is a damn good price for 19". I spent almost four times as much on my 24".
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I don't really mind black bars that much, but I just don't want my screen to be stretched(actually distorting it.) Thanks for the replies so far!
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Some games that are made to work for 4:3 have a widescreen mode like said previously, which adds black bars to the sides. Some games don't, but even those won't be stretched necessarily. You should check out your video card display options, and find something related to image scaling. If it's not too old video card (and you have up-to-date drivers), there should be options to setup how it'll scale non-native resolutions (i.e. scale to full panel size [stretching] and maintaing aspect ratio [black ][/black]), and this option will be used if the particular game doesn't support widescreen resolutions itself.

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The only thing CRTs have over LCD are refresh rates. Resolutions can get buggy depending on what you're trying to do... but you get used to it quickly once you find settings that work. But refresh rates... I don't think I will ever get used to using something so low.

this is irrelevant because high refresh rate in crt is to prevent flickering, but flickering doesn't exist in lcd. So am I am not sure what you are witnessing, cheaper lcds tend to have other display anomalies I guess. (low response time?)
the thing that crt have over lcd is better colors. A decent crt will always do a better job at any color as it approaches pure black, especially grays.

but yeah watch out for low response time, because it will give you a visual lag which can ruin the way you play your game. Most modern lcd monitors do not have this problem, but it used to be pretty bad back when lcd first came out. It is still pretty bad with lcd TVs, so I am guessing the response time increases proportionally to size. (and by bad I mean noticeable, I just bought a 19inch acer last summer and I have no response time problems(works great for gaming, I can notice the colors though), but my friend bought a tv around the same time and I can easily notice it while playing a game on it)
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There is a decent Black Friday deal at a local Best Buy. It's a 19" Acer widescreen monitor for only 99$(about 100$ off the normal price.) I know that's nothing great, but my current monitor is about 12" and I would like a new one(but I don't have a whole lot of money now.) Anyway, my situation revolves around old games and their compatibility with widescreen monitors. You see, most of the games that I play are 3+ years old, and I don't want to play them and have them scretched to the side of the screen while looking really weird. Can someone with a widescreen monitor tell me how old/semi-old games such as Quake 3, Half Life, Unreal Tournament 99', et al work on a widescreen monitor; could they just be played with black bars around them and how does this look usually? I still play newer games as well such as Team Fortress 2. Thanks!
buy it dude, that is a great price...
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this is irrelevant because high refresh rate in crt is to prevent flickering, but flickering doesn't exist in lcd. So am I am not sure what you are witnessing, cheaper lcds tend to have other display anomalies I guess. (low response time?)

Low refresh rates put a strain on my eyes. I can't go more than an hour or two without taking a break. With the CRT I had this never happened.

Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 07:06:36 am by KBJGXLM
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you are experiencing something else.

wikipedia explains best:
Much of the discussion of refresh rate does not apply to the liquid crystal portion of an LCD monitor. This is because while a CRT monitor uses the same mechanism for both illumination and imaging, LCDs employ a separate backlight to illuminate the image being portrayed by the LCD's liquid crystal shutters. The shutters themselves do not have a "refresh rate" as such due to the fact that they always stay at whatever opacity they were last instructed to continuously, and do not become more or less transparent until instructed to produce a different opacity.
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The only thing CRTs have over LCD are refresh rates. Resolutions can get buggy depending on what you're trying to do... but you get used to it quickly once you find settings that work.
What about colors?  I personally have never agreed, but my uncle says he prefers using CRT monitors because he feels he's never been able to calibrate his TFT to be as accurate as his CRT in respect to imitating CMYK print color.  I'm not sure exactly how much print work you do (and it won't really apply to anyone who isn't particularly picky about colors) but what is your take on this?

Low refresh rates put a strain on my eyes. I can't go more than an hour or two without taking a break. With the CRT I had this never happened.
That's very strange, because a TFT monitor's refresh rate is essentially useless.  It's always 60 because there isn't really such a thing at all.  TFTs actually usually take longer to become dark than become bright, whereas CRTs show only a tiny fraction of the screen at all times (ever taken a picture of a TV?) and it's practically a miracle your eye even believes there is a full picture.

TFTs are usually brighter.  Maybe you'll be fine if you tone the brightness down a notch.
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What about colors?  I personally have never agreed, but my uncle says he prefers using CRT monitors because he feels he's never been able to calibrate his TFT to be as accurate as his CRT in respect to imitating CMYK print color.  I'm not sure exactly how much print work you do (and it won't really apply to anyone who isn't particularly picky about colors) but what is your take on this?

I gave up trying to calibrate mine. For this monitor it depended on the lighting in the room as well as the distance and angle... and the only way to get a perfect match is to be crouching ten feet away. I have since put my monitor on top of a stack of textbooks (4) on my desk and even then it still isn't right until I am a certain distance away. This hasn't become a problem yet (I've been using it since July)... but so far it's served me well enough. As for what type of monitor I prefer, I am never going back to CRT. There are certain nuances in color and texture that I find are very hard for CRTs to pick up (artifacting in jpgs being one of the most dramatic examples) and I now feel handicapped every time I am forced to go back to one.

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That's very strange, because a TFT monitor's refresh rate is essentially useless.  It's always 60 because there isn't really such a thing at all.  TFTs actually usually take longer to become dark than become bright, whereas CRTs show only a tiny fraction of the screen at all times (ever taken a picture of a TV?) and it's practically a miracle your eye even believes there is a full picture.

TFTs are usually brighter.  Maybe you'll be fine if you tone the brightness down a notch.

It may be brightness afterall, since turning the lights on does help. I always avoided the lights though because it does wash the colours out a bit because of the direction my monitor is facing. I only thought it was the refresh rate because it gave me the same uneasy feeling when, for whatever reason, my old CRT's refresh rate was reset to 60.
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You're forgetting that the refresh rate is also the maximum FPS to show. Some people just don't think it's smooth enough at 60 and prefer something higher like 75 or more.
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I have an Acer widescreen monitor that's 19'', and if the one they're selling is the same as mine then it won't let you keep the aspect ratio for older games for the most part, so they'll look stretched, I've really never seen any sort of option for that on mine (wether it's by looking through my drivers or the monitor's options).
Or maybe it's just ATI that doesn't support that function in their drivers for VGA monitors.
Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 09:30:28 am by ObviousDelirium
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I gave up trying to calibrate mine. For this monitor it depended on the lighting in the room as well as the distance and angle... and the only way to get a perfect match is to be crouching ten feet away. I have since put my monitor on top of a stack of textbooks (4) on my desk and even then it still isn't right until I am a certain distance away. This hasn't become a problem yet (I've been using it since July)... but so far it's served me well enough. As for what type of monitor I prefer, I am never going back to CRT. There are certain nuances in color and texture that I find are very hard for CRTs to pick up (artifacting in jpgs being one of the most dramatic examples) and I now feel handicapped every time I am forced to go back to one.
Incidentally, the reason why you eventually switched to TFT is the same my uncle gave, and he used the same example too.

For some reason I'm still intrigued by CRT monitors.  Once I fix my house and get a new desk I'll hook up my old 60 MHz and see if I can get a monitor for it for comparison reasons.

You're forgetting that the refresh rate is also the maximum FPS to show. Some people just don't think it's smooth enough at 60 and prefer something higher like 75 or more.
I assume you're talking about video games here.  I've always been sceptic about this.  The reason why people perceive choppiness up to very high frame rates is because in video games, a frame is a still image of one exact point in time.  Film frames, on the other hand, contain much more information because the camera recorded light continuously while the camera's shutter was open—which is why films have motion blur.  When you see choppiness in a game, you're really just responding to gaps in between screen updates.

It's not unreasonable to claim that the human eye is able to notice even really tiny gaps in between screen updates, even up to very high refresh rates (120 and beyond).  But it's a much larger stretch to suggest that this is still the case when motion blur is added to the equation.  You'll have a much harder time telling the difference between blurred 60 FPS and blurred 120 FPS because the "gaps" have already been eliminated.  The limit might be a little higher than 60, but I doubt it's very much higher.

As soon as GPUs become able to render accurate motion blur, I think there will be very little need to crank the FPS up higher than 60.
Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 10:34:19 am by Dada
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go for a 22" cuz 19" can only go up to 1440x900 resolution max
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go for a 22" cuz 19" can only go up to 1440x900 resolution max
the acer 19 inch I bought is native to 1680x1050
but he didn't really give us the details so it is possible that he is getting a 1440 one
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go for a 22" cuz 19" can only go up to 1440x900 resolution max
There's no correlation between screen size and maximum resolution.
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There's no correlation between screen size and maximum resolution.
no, but  for almost any given size there is usually one very dominant p/ common native resolution!
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Yeah guys, thanks for all the help! The sale had ended by the time I got there, but I went ahead and purchased a 19" samsung, and it's native to 1440x900.
I don't mind, since I am used to much smaller and/or shitty ones, so this is definitely sufficient for now.