Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Sun 4th Sep 2011 12:39 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "Okay, it's been about one week and there are not much answers anymore, so it's time to thank everyone who participated, close this survey, and publish the results, along with some interpretation." Everything is released under Creative Commons CC0 license, so anyone interested, please help yourself.
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by JPowers on Sun 4th Sep 2011 14:11 UTC
Member since:

Mac OS X (Home)

Left Screen: VP2365WB in 1080 x 1920
Right Screen: NEC 90GX2 in 1280 x 1024

The only issue I really have is the Application menu can only appear on one screen. I should be located on both to make things easier.

Windows XP (Work)

Left Screen: Dell 2007 in 1050 x 1680
Right Screen: Dell 19" in 1280 x 1024

No real issues.


I'm a software developer and I like to see as much code as possible, thus the reason of the wide screens being rotated. I mostly use the left screen for development work and web browsing while reserving the right screen for e-mail and reference documentation.

Having different sized screens is ok once you get used to where the two screens are logically connected which is different then where they are physically positioned. Both OS's understand the differences in resolution; however, they both mess up because moving from the big screen to the smaller screen can only be done in the area where they are logically connected. You should be able to move off the big screen anywhere along the right side and be placed in a similar location on right screen.

Both OSs allow you to adjust where the screens are logically positioned; I'm assuming so you can make it match the physical locations.


It would be nice to see if either OS would accept a setup like:

| Big | Small 1 |
| Monitor +----------+
| | Small 2 |


I don't see much use in having vertically stacked monitors. It is easier and more logical to spread your work out horizontally; plus, you normally have more horizontal space on your desk.

Stacking monitors vertically will also cause you to have to look up and down which is less comfortable.

Reply Score: 1

Windows and multi-monitors
by WorknMan on Sun 4th Sep 2011 14:38 UTC
Member since:

I have multi-monitors and work from home, using Windows. I only use the second monitor when I'm working though. At other times, I simply turn the second monitor off.

However, a problem arises when applications that were running in the second monitor when I last closed them will start up there, which is EXTREMELY aggravating when I have the second monitor turned off. AFAIK, there's no way to prevent this, which makes me want to beat down some Microsoft engineers ;) To combat this, I do the windows key+P shortcut to actually disable the second monitor when I'm not using it.

Other than that, I've never really had any other issues.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 4th Sep 2011 15:48 UTC
Member since:

16:9 monitors replaced previous designs because of a perfect storm of LCD manufacturing conditions and mainstream buyers who are not discerning. I'm told wider panels and synergies with TV panels both save manufacturers money.

16:9 is the best aspect ratio for watching widescreen video. Anyone think it is best for personal computing?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by ssokolow on Sun 4th Sep 2011 15:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
ssokolow Member since:

Depends on what you're doing.

It gives you a better chance of being able to tile windows horizontally (as Aero Snap and Kwin 4.x's clone of it do) without the contents being narrower than designed for and, if you're watching newer movies or widescreen DVDs of older movies on your PC, you waste less space on letterboxing.

I've got 1280x1024 monitors and they always seem just a bit too narrow for me to use anything but the Xinerama monitor boundaries as tiling guides.

(There's also thw fact that you're seeing more and more apps like Inkscape which use the widescreen layout to give you a square or portrait viewport with a large palette of tool options down the side.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Luminair
by OSbunny on Sun 4th Sep 2011 19:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
OSbunny Member since:

I am so tired of reading this same complaint over and over again on the web. In just about every article on LCD monitors you see this same complaint repeated. It's almost as bad as that "but can it play crysis?" meme.

My take on this is that people need to stop repeating this over and over again. 16:9 is the new norm and that's that. Manufacturers are not going to change things just because a few people don't like it. Hell even software is now adapting to the widescreen format. Look at the dolphin file manager in KDE, Firefox killing the status bar, unity desktop in Ubuntu or Microsoft's work on Windows explorer in the upcoming Windows 8. All these changes are designed to make better use of more horizontal screen space while conserving vertical screen space.

Edited 2011-09-04 19:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by manjabes on Mon 5th Sep 2011 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
manjabes Member since:

My problem with 16:9 displays is that it seems that every display manufacturer thinks something along the lines of "1920x1080 should be enough for everybody". There are still some 1920x1200 and even 2560x1600 displays lying around as remnants from the pre-Full-HD era, but every HD screen I've seen sold here in the desolate wastelands I live in has a resolution of 1920x1080 MAX. Nothing more. "Vertical space is for pussies! No matter if your screen diagonal is 22" or 42", 1080 vertical pixels is all you're gonna get, live with it!"

Edited 2011-09-05 16:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by zlynx on Tue 6th Sep 2011 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
zlynx Member since:

$100 to $400 screens are all going to be 1920x1080. They are cheap because they are common.

If you spend $1200 you can get very good 30" screens with 2560x1600. I like HP's. The Apple Cinema Display is also very nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by transputer_guy on Tue 6th Sep 2011 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
transputer_guy Member since:

I would never live with 1080 height, that's for consumer wussies, real engineers will demand more height esp when in pairs.

You can still get 24" 1920x1200 panels from Lenova at about $260 and up, HP for $300 and up. DELL, NEC and some of the boutique Mac companies also go for $500-$1000 or so for IPS versions. IBM even has a medical monster at 1920x2 by 1200x2 in a 24" format obviously you can't see the pixels, its used for Xrays.

But there is pretty well nothing on the store shelf anymore but 1080 or less, cheap and cheerful.

I bought my Lenova 24" from Walmart website and have been very happy with it, power consumption is 35W and uses a more advanced tube while most of the 23-25" LEDs also use about 35W or so. The stand is also full spec, 4 degrees of freedom rather than the usual bend over.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by KClowers on Wed 7th Sep 2011 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
KClowers Member since:

1920x1200 is the minimum resolution that is really acceptable

Reply Score: 1

by jockygerald on Tue 6th Sep 2011 09:38 UTC
Member since:

The LCD screens are now old the New Led Screens are just awesome and give feel of true picture and the glare problem is also minimum

Edited 2011-09-06 09:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

by Neolander on Tue 6th Sep 2011 11:55 UTC in reply to "LED"
Neolander Member since:

Most stuff sold as a LED screen nowadays is just a LCD with a white LED backlight. More than 30% of the input energy still gets converted to heat in the most optimistic case of displaying a white image. I'd love to see OLEDs and reflective technologies everywhere, but we're not there yet.

Also, glare does not come from the LCD technology itself, but from manufacturers' choice to put a polished, shiny coating in front of the screen. I've heard that it makes sense for touchscreens and ensures truer color rendering, but I'm not convinced that the benefits outweight the costs.

Edited 2011-09-06 11:59 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LED
by transputer_guy on Tue 6th Sep 2011 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE: LED"
transputer_guy Member since:

The Unipixel company in Texas had a TMOS panel based on a modified LCD LED structure. They replaced the LCD tricolor cell for a single Time Multiplexed Optical Switch and did RGB in time sequential mode. I had really great hopes for it since Samsung took a license in 09, but no word of it since.

Also they reported the classic LCD cell is less than 5% optically efficient so almost all the CFL or LED light source is turned into heat even for all white display. The TMOS cell is about 60% efficient so that would have been a huge power saver if it was used in tablets or laptops. Oh well, OLED might arrive one day.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: LED
by Neolander on Wed 7th Sep 2011 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LED"
Neolander Member since:

60% ? Impressive, I wonder how they achieve that. If they start from white light, isn't color filtering supposed to eat its share anyway, even if it's done sequentially ?

I mean, assuming that the Red, Green, Blue was a partition of the optical spectrum with equivalent energy to each color...
-When displaying red, green and blue have to be filtered out, so there go two thirds of the energy.
-When displaying green, red and blue have to be filtered out
-When displaying blue, red and green have to be filtered out

Or isn't it so ?

EDIT : Okay, according to this , they don't start from white light, but have a light source that can intermittently emit red, green, and blue light instead.

How can such a source work ?

Edited 2011-09-07 07:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: LED
by transputer_guy on Wed 7th Sep 2011 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: LED"
transputer_guy Member since:

The TMOS cell is a very elegant but also simple design in principle (maybe not so in production). It uses the effect of two glass surfaces coming into contact, light bleeds easily and efficiently from one to the other, a technique that is also used by spies to tap into fiber optic cables, (in hidden closets perhaps).

The single light cell per pixel uses a capacitive MEMs device that pushes a clear top surface against the back plane surface or light substrate. Each MEMs cell actually has hundreds of redundant point contacts so no dead pixels. The back substrate has R,G,B LEDs along the side edges pulsed in time order. The color cycling can be done at very high frame rates so would be fully integrated by the eye. Since each pixel only uses 1 Fet, it can also be much smaller than the tri cell allowing very high pixel resolutions.

Unipixel ended up selling its substrate optical backplane patents to Rambus, this can also be used for flat LED lighting applications that are likely to be huge soon. Unipixel may have removed most of the interesting material from their website though.

Some of the ideas of TMOS are quite similar to the TI DLP. While TMOS is planar, DLP has to magnify & project the image on a CMOS MEMs chip to a screen or wall, just as efficient but not as desirable image quality and needs spinning prisms, color wheels, lamps, lenses, diffusers, Fresnel lenses etc. The images are still processed the same at the pixel level by pulse width modulation of the on off light switchs.

Funnily enough, Sony has a HD LED/LCD TV based on R,G,B,W cell that should be nearly twice as efficient as plain RGB. The idea here is that a 4th LCD cell in each pixel lets the majority of the White part of the pixel light through unfiltered. So if the RGB pixel value is 0x5080A0, then reduce that to 0x003050 and add 0x50 to white.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: LED
by Neolander on Thu 8th Sep 2011 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: LED"
Neolander Member since:

I've just realized that I've forgotten a big something in my previous calculation of theoretical LCD efficiency. Color filters may have something like 30% efficiency, but behind them there is another big power-waster : the back polarizing filter, which eats 50% of the incoming light's energy if it is absolutely perfect. This makes the theoretical LCD efficiency, given that perfectly lossless components of equal refraction index are used, 15%. With this in mind, 5% for a real-world device is not even that bad...

About your explanation of TMOS now : interesting use of frustrated TIR ! I'm still amazed that a mechanical device can be fast and efficient enough to achieve good display refresh rates with low power consumption, even though I shouldn't be since I've seen the IMOD/Mirasol demos...

Wonder for how long these capacitive MEMs they use in the FTIR layer can retain their state in real-world use. If it can withstand low refresh rates when displaying a still image, this tech could be used to build some nice transflective screens.

Also, I didn't know that it's transistors that are the biggest component which ends up limiting DPI in screens, so thanks for the information.

Big thing which I don't like in this screen concept is that it's yet another display device where displaying black and other dark colors is a huge power waste. Guess only OLED can do something about this...

Another question is that of vision angles. If you look sideways at a TMOS screen, you see light that has traveled a longer path inside of the FTIR layer, and which will thus be darker.

Edited 2011-09-08 09:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

by transputer_guy on Tue 6th Sep 2011 21:37 UTC in reply to "LED"
transputer_guy Member since:

Actually given where LED is today, some of the CCT standard LCD displays still on sale look quite terrible, too much bezel, and thickness leads to a lot more weight.

It is possible to do 2" thin in a standard LCD like Lenova does and match LED power too, but I suspect LCD with CCTs will be mostly gone in 1 year or so except for some of the pro models.

Reply Score: 2