* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Flat Panel/Dual Monitor Display Question

OK,

So I finally broke down and bought a new 19" WideScreen LCD monitor.  I intend(ed) to use this as my primary but run in Dual monitor mode with an older 19" CRT.  I am having an issue with fuzzy fonts and color distinction which seems a bit application specific.  Some apps are ok, some are terrible.  Worst of all, in 2 of the IDEs I tried, it is hard to distinguish comment color from code color.  I am not sure even what the property is to play around with.  I tried Brightness/Contrast/ClearType, etc. 
Clear type improved things a lot but not with this issue. Is it just the fact that this is a low end LCD? (Hanns G JW199D) bought from NewEgg for <$200).  The LCD is running on DVI and the CRT is on the VGA of the same NVidia card.  The dual monitor idea already seems great so now that I have a taste of it, I kinda don't want to give it up

Any help/ideas out there in JOS Land??

-Dan
DanP
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
Make sure the screen size is correct. Most flat panel monitors are designed to run on one screen resolution only. They will work with other resolutions but display the problems you describe.
Alan O'Rourke Send private email
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
No idea with the fuzzy fonts...it sounds like it is a monitor issue..maybe the quality?

As far as dual monitors... I actually run 3 17" crt's (soon to be replaced by 3 19" lcd's).  I feel that having 3 monitors up is indispensible as I can have my IDE on my center monitor, a live running version of my web app running right or left, and my db management interface running on the other.  It significantly increases my productivity in that I don't have to continually switch screens.
Dan Hirsch Send private email
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
Yes,

I love this idea and in just one day, I am completely hooked.  The only downside is when moving from looking at LCD to CRT and back kinda throws my eyes off given the difference in resolution.  This might be a big enough issue that I have to break down and buy a 2nd matching resolution LCD :).

-Dan
DanP
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
3 screens is the new 2 screens.

Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
< $200 for a widescreen sounds pretty bottom of the barrel. Likely it has a narrow viewing arrow and 6 bit DAC converters per channel instead of 8 bit.
Art Wilkins
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
Have you tried the automatic adjustment on the monitor itself?  This could take care of the fuzziness.

We just bought two of the Princeton Graphics 20.1" VL2018W displays at Costco for a final price of $250 each.  1680x1050 resolution, and they are fantastic.  They exactly match the resolution of my Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop.

We did hit the "Auto" button to adjust the monitor's timing etc, and it snapped right into "focus."

I doubt that will help the color issue though.
Karl Perry Send private email
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
Lol.  I was hoping to help you with this problem, but instead, Karl (?? I think that's the name .... when can this forum get a thread view when we reply????  PLEASE!!!!!) has pointed me to my next monitor to attach to my E1505 laptop.  Too funny.  Thanks for the tip!

In the meantime ..... my recommendation is this:  Find the defaults, and set them all to that.  Make sure that your graphics adapter is doing the same.  If the graphics are still fuzzy, take it back -- it's too low end to be useful.
Anthony Presley Send private email
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
It probably has a crappy LCD panel. I recently got a new Dell 19" at work. I already had two 19" LCDs of the previous model, so this was the third one. The quality is absolutely horrible compared to the older ones. It seems like it's not a 24 bit panel, because the colors are way off and colors that are close are indistinguishable.

I read some reviews online that said that Dell used three different manufacturers for this monitor, and the Samsung panel was supposed to be the best. I did some checking, and I was surprised to find that I had the Samsung, and it was indeed supposed to be a 24 bit panel. I'm just blown away by how absolutely horrible the quality was. I'm very happy with the Samsung I have here at home, even though it's not as bright as the new Dell.

Is the quality starting to drop or did I just have bad luck? Some comments I've seen have indicated that manufacturers are starting to cheap out on the LCD panels because everyone is expecting to pay low prices. Supposedly 6-bit panels are now the norm, not 8-bit panels. Say it ain't so!
sloop
Saturday, August 05, 2006
 
 
Anthony, Joel explains his reasoning for NOT having a thread view in his intro stuff.

Hurry on the flat panel at Costco.  the $250 price is with a $50 off coupon that expires on 8/6.
Karl Perry Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
In the home office I have two Westinghouse 19 inch monitors (~$320 each).  While I hadn't heard of the brand before, I am very pleased with them.  I got them from Best Buy. 

I also had two monitors at my last contract.  I had an older Dell 17 inch LCD, and I bought a new cheap 17 inch LCD from Fry's Electronics (~$150). 

Both at home and work I am running NVidia GeForce 6200 (~$60) AGP cards.  What video card are you running?
Joshua Volz Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
I am also leaning toward it being a quality issue but am still not 100% convinced.  I had tried the default settings for the monitor but nothing on the card itself.  I will try that next.

Joshua:  Same card as you actually.

Thanks all.

-Dan
DanP
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
If your ClearType picture looks bad, check out the "striping" on your LCD (it's documented somewhere in the user manual).
Apparently, very few (but I've had two 18" Dell monitors at work) monitors work in a BRG and not RGB pattern. Default Windows XP ClearType will use the (more frequent) RGB pattern and the picture on monitors with BGR pattern will look obviously bad. If that is the case, read on...

The ClearType itself CAN support all kinds of patterns, but you need to download a ClearType tuner (look it up on Microsoft downloads) to set this up. The tuner will set itself up as a shortcut in the Control Panel.

ClearType tuner is additionally useful because it helps you set up the contrast. Most people seem to prefer higher contrast than is the default.
Drazen Dotlic Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
Have you tried adjusting "Refresh Rate"?

Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
This is a good multimonitor forum.
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/forum/forums.asp?tmpl=UltraMon

>> As far as dual monitors... I actually run 3 17" crt's (soon to be replaced by 3 19" lcd's).  <snip>  It significantly increases my productivity in that I don't have to continually switch screens. <<

You're on a slippery slope my friend.  ;-)  I'm up to 7 monitors on my primary development computer.  Here are some setups with more.
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/gallery_browse.asp?ID=676 
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/gallery_browse.asp?ID=594
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/gallery_browse.asp?ID=145
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/gallery_browse.asp?ID=663
Mark Jerde Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
Removing the extra characters on the first mm system.
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/gallery_browse.asp?ID=676
Mark Jerde Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
"You're on a slippery slope my friend.  ;-)  I'm up to 7 monitors on my primary development computer."

Wow..very nice.  What I would actually love is a larger widescreen (around 30-32") in the center as my main, then surround left, top and right with smaller that "fit" with the wide screen...either that or 3 on 3 / 3wide x 2 tall 19"'ers.  I have been seriously contemplating building my new machine getting the setups with triple pci-x slots on the main board...then running 3 seperate pci-x cards to power my 6 monitor setup.

How do those guys with 12 montiros or even your 7...drive them?  Surely you don't use old pci cards eh?
Dan Hirsch Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
>> How do those guys with 12 montiros or even your 7...drive them?  Surely you don't use old pci cards eh? <<

This guy is using 3 Colorgraphic quad cards.
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/gallery_browse.asp?ID=676

I have the Colorgraphic 8-monitor card, which unfortunately has been discontinued.  It works with the dual monitor card that came with the Dell so I'm hoping Santa will drop off 3 more monitors someday.  ;-)

Look around here for products, reviews, etc.
  http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/
That's how I found these "Lust List" displays.  ;-)
  http://www.9xmedia.com/
  http://www.seamlessdisplay.com
Mark Jerde Send private email
Sunday, August 06, 2006
 
 
Some say eight LCDs is a blessing, but they don't know joy of nine.
namehere
Monday, August 07, 2006
 
 
"... running NVidia GeForce 6200 (~$60) AGP cards."

Consumer grade video cards are somewhat hit or miss when driving a CRT and an LCD monitor at the same time, especially at that price point. I would guess it has something to do with the "signal conversion" on one channel interfering with the other.

In any case, I would first check to see if the quality improves when you run one monitor alone, or when you use a different computer (assuming you have one) before you pack up the LCD and take it back to the shop.
TheDavid
Monday, August 07, 2006
 
 
DanP,

Did you ever get the fonts to look better? I just bought a JW199DPB and the fonts are looking pretty shabby too.
PM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz