1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

plasma as a monitor?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by ziocleto, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi lads,

    Im planning to buy a plasma with native resolution 1024x768, my idea is to have a very big 42 inches monitor, so I will mainly use the plasma as a monitor, not as a television.

    I really need some advices regarding:

    1) Quality of a plasma (I was thinking Panasonic TH-42PW5 or hitachi PMA400) as a monitor.
    Is it still blurry and unreadable with small fonts?
    What's compared to a normal monitor?

    2) I've got a ATI radeon 9700 with DVI output, could this help in any way?

    3) What about pixel burning? Will it be to easy to happen using it as a monitor? (So most of the time I'll have the same picture on screen)

    4) What's the best configuration possible for my idea (cables, plasma, videocard)?


    Thanks really much guys,

    Regards,
    Dave.
     
  2. adesonic

    adesonic
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    65
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have my plasma (native resolution 853x 480) attached to my HTPC so I do use it as a monitor from time to time. Even at this lower resolution, I find it fine (Iuse powerstrip to set a higher reolsution than native) I would be concerned about scren burn if you plan to leave a static image on for a long period.
     
  3. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    thankls adesonic, another questions:

    how's PC text on plasma? Readable? Blurred?
    And how distance do you sit from your plasma when you use it as a monitor?

    thanks,
    Dave
     
  4. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,187
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +6
    I think a 42 inch screen as a monitor is going to screw up your eyes. You need to be a good few feet away.

    Neil.
     
  5. Dutch

    Dutch
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,590
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +278
    Hi Dave,

    For a 1024x768 plasma you won't go wrong with a Pioneer 433MXE connected by DVI. Burn-in may be a problem with any plasma if you are only going to be using it as a computer monitor. Hope this helps.

    Steve
     
  6. andya

    andya
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,391
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    manchester
    Ratings:
    +26
    hitachi is great as a pc monitor better than the panasonics,i even think a bit better than the pio.but maybe u would be better of with an lcd no burn in problems
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    24,254
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +2,571
    ziocleto

    What applications are you running, for what timeframes and what ambient light levels are you working (slaving) in?

    The Panasonic PWD monitors (3,4,5 and 6) are all 852x480 and not suitable for small text - you have to look at the PHD5 or PHD6 1024x768 models.

    DVI should be less grainy that RGB - though it'll depend on the quality of the DVI chip set on your graphics card and you will be slightly limited on cable length via DVI unless you spend serious money.

    You will have to be careful with burn in - though its not impossible to work around it!

    I'd go with the Pioneer PDP-433MXE (1024x768) and a decent quality DVI cable between your PC and the Display; though you may still want to keep a VGA connection running in case you have any DVI config issues.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  8. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for the replies dudes,

    Im a programmer and I will run most of the time the GUI IDE (.NET), so there will be most of the pixels unchanged all the time.

    What I was thinking is to write a small application that "refresh" the pixels screen every 1 or 2 minutes. (A sort of screen saver, but that leaves the background and the application running, something like an orizontal bar that goes up and down just to refresh all the pixels)

    But here I have another question:

    Even considering that, how does the pixel burning process works?
    I mean,
    - I have some pixels on all the time, say 2 minutes,
    - then they get refreshed for a frame,
    and then they come back the previous color for the next 2 minutes...

    Will this be enough to prevent pixel burning?
    Or do I have no hopes? :p

    Thanks again,
    Dave.

    [forgot to add: I will use it on avarage 6/7 hours a day, in a bright room, well with artifical lights (I cant stand progamming in the darkness)]
     
  9. adesonic

    adesonic
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    65
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +0
    In reply to your additional question, I sit 10 feet from my screen and have absolutely no difficulty reading the text on it (eg the text on this website) Bear in mind though that I have a custom resolution set for a 16:9 ratio screen. I also use clear type as I find this helps
     
  10. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    620
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich, UK.
    Ratings:
    +15
    I use a PMA400 set to 1360x768 (native res 1024x1024 or 1024x512 depending on how you look at it).

    The display at 1024x768 (native res horizontally) is fine to read from 9 feet away, but I can't live with a 4:3 image stretched into 16:9. I need 768 pixels vertically for a pesky app that will not run in a resizable window, so I originally opted for 1280x768, then went up to 1360x768 because it is *true* 16:9 and in fact looks the same as 1280x768 on the screen.

    Initial impressions were that the text was readable even at this res but after a few days of use it started to get tiring. After a lot of playing around with Windows settings I settled on bumping almost all the text sizes up by 1 or 2 points, plus - and this is the key - setting them all to bold.

    Because of the horizontal scaling you will lose about 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 vertical lines at the higher 16:9 resolutions. By switching to bold fonts you always have at least two lines of pixels for every vertical stroke in the character, so you will never completely lose part of the text. Readability is very easy if you do this. You can save the settings as a custom file if you want to change back and forth.

    Certain apps do not seem to apply the new settings to all text, however. I also set font size to large to try to get around this.

    Basically, even at 1360x768 I can read 95% of the text in any app.

    The biggest pain is websites that use miniscule text to cram as much info on a page as possible. These, admittedly, are not readable unless you drop back down to 1024x768.

    What is clear text by the way?
     
  11. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thank you really much Darren Blake and adesonic, this is exactly the kind of informations I was looking for!

    for Darren: did you experience some problem with pixel burning using it as a monitor?

    for adesonic: what's clear type? And what's your custom resolution?

    Regards,
    Dave.

    [edit] I think you mean this clear type:


    With the launch of Windows XP, Microsoft introduced Clear Type technology, which dramatically improves the display of text on TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD screens, like the PaceBook’s.

    Clear type technology has been a great success, however, when rotated on portrait mode displays, such as the PaceBook’s, there can be clarity issues. To understand why this is, it is necessary to consider how the technology works.

    Anti-aliasing:

    Clear type technology is a development of anti-aliasing (called ‘standard smoothing’ in Windows), specialised for TFT screens, although it can work to a lesser degree on CRT displays. Anti-aliasing smoothes the appearance of on-screen text by using varying levels of shading to create the impression of smoothness.
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,082
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +412
    Don't forget the new crop of 40"LCD's from samsung, NEC and Iiyama, they are 1280x720 native, so are 16:9 no distortion. No screenburn to worry about, though a little more to buy. IMHO the Pio. MXE will be the best bet as a plasma monitor though, even though your text will look fat. Or maybe an NEC MP4 if you can find one still. The new NEC is back to w-vga res, less good for monitor use. I used a 503mxe for some time, never burned it, set my screensaver to 2 mins, then it got washed every time I sat back in my chair.
     
  13. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    620
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich, UK.
    Ratings:
    +15
    Just after I posted I decided to get off my @r5e and find out about ClearType for myself. Pity I still use Windows 98 ;-)

    Use as a monitor was also a major factor for my screen choice. I went for the PMA pretty much because if its price and resolution but also because it has a few tricks up its sleeve to help reduce screen burn - the most useful of which is to move the image slightly every 10 minutes or so.

    I have had the screen working for three months (approx) now and have not noticed any screen burn yet. A slight "residual image" - particularly across the top of the screen where the title bar of a maximized app would be, but this fades after a few minutes. I tend to swap apps a lot when using the pc, to the screen gets refreshed a lot. I also set the taskbar to auto hide.

    I also ran my screen in for 100 hours on a non static image before even plugging the PC in. Some say this helps.
     
  14. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Perfect guys, Im going to write a little anti-burning application,
    My idea is this:

    for each line:
    - Get the current line of the actual screen,
    - Slowly decrease brightness on it
    - Slowly put it back to the original color

    So this will help toolbars, taskbars and all of those parts that rarely changes to have a safe anti burning mode...
    (And doind it slowly one line a time you'll never notice it, I hope :) )

    I'll start to write it but I dont have a plasma to test, if someone wants to test it just drop me a line!

    btw: if you have a better idea, Im sure you have, please tell me!

    Regards,
    Dave.
     
  15. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    620
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich, UK.
    Ratings:
    +15
    Are you saying you can write a Windows routine which constantly adjusts the display? That would be pretty cool! :D

    I that exaggerating the movement of pixels would be more beneficial. Could you write something that reduced the desktop size by, say 10 or 10 pixels and constantly moved the screen around one pixel at a time?
     
  16. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Darren, I quite dont get what you mean, (Im sorry still to early in the morning eheh), you mean:

    - Get the whole screen
    - Scale it down by 10 pixels (no matters if horizontal or vertical)
    - slowly move the whole screen in this 10 pixels gap?

    I hope I got it right, but I see a problem, most lines of the screen, like windows background, they will never change their colors, cos even if I move the whole screen up and down most of the back ground screen will have the same background color.

    Am I correct on that?
     
  17. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    620
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich, UK.
    Ratings:
    +15
    That's pretty much what I had in mind, but scaling horizontally AND vertically, and then moving the screen around, say one pixel per minute, maybe diagonally. The desktop would kind of "bounce around" inside the screen, if you get my meaning.

    If I understand it correctly, screen burn is a premature "wearing out" of the plasma pixel, caused by high brightness and/or contract images which stay static for a long period of time (windows desktop), or for short periods which are repeated regularly (channel logos). When you watch your screen, all the pixels wear but on a moving image the wear rate tends to be a constant average over the whole screen. As your plasma ages, the whole screen is very gradually getting dimmer.

    Two of the anti screen-burn features on the PMA (white screen and inverse) seem to be designed to remove the symptoms of burn by burning the rest of the screen so you do not notice it any more. The two life extension modes take control of the brightness and gradually increase it over time to counteract the slow dimming effect. The image shifter is the only feature which could truly stop screen burn from happening in the first place.

    The only problem with it is I do not really think it moves the screen enough. In my opinion, it needs to move by at least the width of a window title bar.

    Therefore, even though most of the screen would not change, the areas which would normall cause visible burn (hard, high contrast edges) would be moved over a wide area which would a) hopefully stop it burning in the first place, and, b) tend to blurr out any burning that did occur.

    Someone with a better understanding of screen burn may be able to put me right on a few things here.
     
  18. G Funk

    G Funk
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hi there. I'll just put in my experiences with residual images.

    I haven't noticed any screen burn during the 3 months I've been using my 42PD3000 for, although for some time I have quite visible title bar residual image, but lately this seems to be going.

    Other than that I use my plasma as a monitor usually from about 5pm - 1am daily (even more at the weekend) from about 7 feet with no problems.

    Text wise the image is very clear. I'm using cleartype on XP and powerstrip to deliver 1280x768.

    Saying that, I'm purchasing a 17" TFT as I find the plasma literally to big for say chat rooms and MSN etc, especially if I get into a big conversation that goes on for a few hours. So I've decided to use the tft for things like chatting, download monitoring, email, and the plasma for website browsing, movie watching (movies are all through pc) and TV.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  19. Dax

    Dax
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Being a bit of a plasma newbie, can I just ask what this "powerstrip" business is?

    I use a 848x480 native plasma and run it at 1024x768 through DVI from my PC. Through analogue VGA I can set it to 1280x720 but the DVI connection doesn't seem to allow it (1024x768 is max it allows). Is it possible to get around this? I'd much rather use DVI as it produces much clearer output.

    On the topic, I quite like using my plasma as a monitor. You can't get the fine detail as a traditional monitor but the screen size is a great bonus, as well as the luxury of having the PC running through my lounge's hi-fi system. Text readability is occasionally a problem but only on the rare occasion with ultra small font.
     
  20. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    24,254
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +2,571
    zioocleto

    I think the fact that you've already dialled into screen burn as a potential pit fall of using a plasma display as a PC monitor for Text on a static background will ensure you dont mess up your display.

    They are more robust in terms of screen burn than many expect and with a few precautions you will be fine to use your display as your PC monitor.

    I'd set the contrast as low as is feasible under your room lighting and I'd include a full screen wash (all white) or a scrolling vertical bar (50 pixels) to activate every 40 mins or so (time it just right for a coffee break) - you can use RS232 to activate the built in screen savers on most displays using a timer routine on your PC - or so I'm told by those that enjoy tinkering with our PC's).

    Pixel shifting has never done much good that I can see as the degree of shift you require is such that unless you have a 1/4 page video window that bounces around inside your displays full screen you can never get enough movement.

    Your 'hum bar' application sounds novel and wont hurt so if its easy to programme I'd add that to the mix.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  21. dejongj

    dejongj
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    28,191
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Beautiful South
    Ratings:
    +4,565
    I can only echo that what was already said, and from experience in utilising Plasma's within the Call Centres I setup, pixel shifting is only effective with certain material as large parts of the screen will be the same. A good public example where it is effective is on the newer installations are airports. I guess they have learned their lessons. Some plasma's have got it build in, but there are hardware add-ons available...
    Also a 42" run at 1024x768 is just enlarging the picture that you can get on a much smaller screen. So why ruin your eyes whilst a 17" monitor can do the trick whilst providing the same desktop space!?
    My bet would be to go for a 20" Apple Cinema LCD screen, I have got two. One used as a daytime viewing TV, to compliment my projector. And one for my Apple mainly used for video editing...
    Give much more native desktop space than any (well affordable) plasma can provide...Well especially when you use it mainly with the .NET IDE application....
     
  22. ziocleto

    ziocleto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Very good, I think with this thread I've got most of the answers I was looking for, yes, just a consideration, pixel shifting will not solve the problem if you have large parte of the screen filled with the same background color, so my line by line brightness dimmer still the most valuable to me.

    I'd go for something like this:

    - Line by line dimmer AND
    - Pixel shifting AND
    - Screen saver activated every 2 mins

    So all in once package ;)

    It seems good enough to prevent major pixel burnings to me, if I have time ove the weekend I'll do it.

    And I will give it for free (of course) to anyone wants to download and try use it ;)
     
  23. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    620
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich, UK.
    Ratings:
    +15
    Has anyone got any idea how long it takes a pixel to recover from the residual image effect?
     
  24. MAW

    MAW
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14,082
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Nr Dorking
    Ratings:
    +412
    I thought I'd burned the MXE once, it had AOTC menu visible for a couple of weeks! Gradually went away.
     

Share This Page

Loading...