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Monitor advice
Thread poster: William Pairman

William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:45
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Feb 27, 2017

A little background. I work with a Asus 25" monitor (1920 x 1080 FHD) at the minute, I sit about 80 cm (2½ feet) away from it. Apart from translating and normal browsing I watch sports streams on it. No gaming. Occasionally a film. It's been fine.

Had it about 3 years, recently these little spots have started to appear on the surface of the screen, like very small, hard silicon blobs. No idea what's causing them, started with three or so, about 8 now, some a little bigger than others. They're mildly annoying when working, as they can look a little like full stops or commas, a bit annoying when watching football and cricket too. Can't shift them.

So maybe time to invest in a new monitor. Like most translators/editors I have to work with a split screen a fair bit - 25" is just about big enough but I fancy a bit more space. Looking on Amazon this 31.5" one from LG looks good, at a great price too (€235)

http://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-32MA68HY-P-led-monitor

It has the same sort of spec (1920 x 1080 FHD, 250 cd/m2 brightness) but is IPS, not TN.

So my questions are, any idea what causes the spots I mention and how I can prevent them in the future? Is 32" too big? Do I need greater resolution on a bigger screen? Should I go smaller but invest in 4K. Like I say, not a gamer, not a geek, just a run-of-the-mill translator and football/cricket fan. Budget limit would ideally be under €400

Thanks for any input.



[Edited at 2017-02-27 10:34 GMT]


 

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:45
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
... Feb 27, 2017

It's good to have a look at your "little spots". Are they hot pixels? Or what?

23" IPS 1080 at 60 cm is more than enough for me. This is my usual layout (memoQ, reference PDF, and a movie, other windows are called to the foreground as needed):

2017_02_27_10_41_33.png


 

dropinka  Identity Verified
Italy
English to Italian
+ ...
Dell UltraSharp 32'' Ultra HD 4K with PremierColour Feb 27, 2017

I am currently using this monitor, which I recommend:
http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=it&l=it&s=bsd&cs=itbsdt1&sku=210-AGUP

Not cheap at all, but quality comes at a price.


 

William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:45
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Physical spots Sergei... Feb 27, 2017

Sergei Leshchinsky wrote:

It's good to have a look at your "little spots". Are they hot pixels? Or what?


Not hot pixels, no. They're physical specks on the surface of the screen, like little hard blobs of plastic, or "chips"

This picture isn't great but you get some idea...

http://i63.tinypic.com/169q3qq.jpg


 

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:45
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Are these blobs on the front surface? Feb 27, 2017

Looks like someone was playing darts... Any kinds around?

[Редактировалось 2017-02-27 09:12 GMT]


 

William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:45
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
So over 3 times my budget then. Thanks. Feb 27, 2017

dropinka wrote:
Not cheap at all, but quality comes at a price.


Like asking which cheap family runaround should I get and someone suggesting a Porsche


 

William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:45
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Yeah, on the surface. I can pick at them Feb 27, 2017

Sergei Leshchinsky wrote:

Looks like someone was playing darts... Any kinds around?

[Редактировалось 2017-02-27 09:12 GMT]


Yep, like someone had thrown little darts at the screen, exactly!

And no, no kids around! JUst a wife and a dog, both house trained!

[Edited at 2017-02-27 09:34 GMT]


 

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:45
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Ha-ha... Feb 27, 2017

that was his chance to boasticon_smile.gif

 

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:45
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
So... Feb 27, 2017

William Pairman wrote:
Yep, like someone had thrown little darts at the screen, exactly!

If it is mechanical, it is not act of god, it is act of a human... Look for kids around...


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:45
Member
French to English
+ ...
I have a simialr problem... Feb 27, 2017

William Pairman wrote:
They're physical specks on the surface of the screen, like little hard blobs of plastic, or "chips"


I have a similar problem — although your photo doesn't look quite like mine...

I don't mean to state the obvious, but in my case, I did find out they were simply... fly spots! Like you say, it started off with just a few, and then they got worse and worse... till I realized to the light and possibly the heat was attracting flies to come and poop on my screen! Never see the little bloighters doing it, though... Perhaps they are making some kind of snide comment about my work...

If you can pick them off (gently!) with your fingernail, then that could be all it is; some screen wipes ought to do the trick in that case.

Sorry, for once I am unable to think of any more long-winded technical explanation!


 

Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to German
My experience Feb 27, 2017

Without being totally au fait with the latest products, here's some of my experience (having worked with screens of up to 55" and 4K):

The spots you mention are likely pixel defects. Even brand new LCD screens have the occasional subpixel (red, green or blue) or even an entire pixel (consisting of several, usually 3, subpixels) that cannot be switched on and off. They will either be on permanently or won't light up at all – so you may want to check any new screen you buy and return it if you see defects that are actually irritating (no reason to obsess over single dark subpixels at the edge of the screen for instance).

It is rare for them to appear in great numbers over time (they are mostly present from the beginning), but there is nothing you can do to prevent them from developing.

== Edit ==
Oh, the blotches in the picture look really strange. If you can feel them with your finger, they are most likely the result of mechanical impacts (unlikely as those may seem). If the screen surface is smooth, they might be some blow-up from the inside, but I've never heard of something like that happening.
== Edit ==


32" sounds about right for your viewing distance, and the price is also good for a monitor. You may get better bargains (relative to screen size) for even larger screens designated as TVs (42" to 50") , but not every TV set works well as a monitor: they typically have no power-saving standby mode, they sometimes have inferior colour resolution which impairs text display at small sizes, many of them have picture processing geared towards TV images that cannot be turned off and severely impair image quality when used as an office monitor, most of them have more (tiring and headache-inducing) glare than a computer screen etc. That said, if you have the opportunity and the stamina to test different TVs with a laptop, then nothing will beat a well-selected, nice and large TV set. Working from a distance of, say, 120–150 cm rather than 80 cm might work wonders for your eyes.

4K is something I would only consider useful for screens from 50" to 65" onwards, definitely not for any Windows OS below 10, and only if the applications you use most have good DPI scaling support (very rare so far). To check, set text size to 200% in your display settings and see if all UI elements of your main applications are enlarged properly (try working from double your usual distance).

And finally, IPS is among the best technologies available for office screens, with vastly superior colours and viewing angles compared to TN. The potential downsides – less contrast, less deep blacks, some "glow" in the corners on a uniformly dark screen, slower response times – are nothing that would bother you in office use. So you'll most likely be very happy with the change.

[Bearbeitet am 2017-02-27 09:36 GMT]


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:45
Member
French to English
+ ...
My set up Feb 27, 2017

For various historical reasons, I am working on a laptop (for my sins!), and I use it with the desktop extended onto a second, external monitor. This suits me just fine: I use the larger, better quality external screen for my working document, and the smaller internal screen for my other services (Internet resources, e-mail, etc.)

It's nice being able to manipulate the windows separately, and of course being able to drag-and-drop stuff from one screen to another is a boon... back in "the olden days" I used to work on two separate computers, and it was such a pain having to re-type everything in order to copy it from (say) a web page into (say) my document.

I shall soon be reverting to my office PC, as soon as I can sort out the second monitor option on it... it seems to have a graphics card theoretically capable of providing 2 separate outputs, but for the moment I haven't been able to get it to work. I have a feeling a USB adaptor is going to prove necessary.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:45
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Go big, but beware 4K Feb 27, 2017

William Pairman wrote:
Is 32" too big? Do I need greater resolution on a bigger screen? Should I go smaller but invest in 4K.

I think you need to be very careful with resolution and particularly with 4K. For the same size of monitor, high resolution just makes things smaller. Given that proper scaling of the display is still something of a black art, many applications will not handle this gracefully. The outcome is that you may have to deal with either very small fonts and/or very large blocky icons and other screen elements.

If you're used to 1920 x 1080 and you move to 4K without a significant increase in the size of the monitor, you'll immediately notice that everything's a lot smaller. That is seldom a positive change for the eyes of anybody who is no longer, ah, in the first flower of youth.

Using this calculator:
https://www.sven.de/dpi/
... we can estimate that your current monitor has 88.1 pixels per inch of display. If you move to a 4K monitor with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and a physical size of 31.5 inches, you will have 139.9 pixels per inch. What this will mean is that everything will look smaller, as already mentioned.

If, on the other hand, you buy the same 31.5 inch monitor and use it at the same 1920 x 1080 then you will have 69.9 pixels per inch and everything will look larger, which may well be a good thing.

However, you might want to pack more information on the screen, in which case you need higher resolution. If you were to use the same 31.5 inch monitor with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 then you would have 93.2 pixels per inch. That would be very similar to what you already have on your 25 inch monitor, but of course you would be seeing much more on screen. So that might be a useful compromise.

When I bought a monitor recently I felt that that my eyes were getting tired and that I needed to reduce pixels per inch (i.e. make things look bigger). If you feel the same, then buy a bigger monitor and run it at the same resolution you are currently using.

Regards,
Dan


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:45
Member
French to English
+ ...
My eyes... Feb 27, 2017

A few years ago, I was having quite serious eyesight problems, and tried all sort of solutions to see if anything helped.

My eye muscles are fully relaxed when my eyes are focused on 'distant' objects, and increasingly strained the closer the objects I look at (typically, my computer screen!)

So when I bought my first large-screen plasma TV (106 cm / 42", ND), I thought a good solution might be to sit further away for working; so I set up my desk in front of my sofa, and went to work. As Endre Both says, I was worried about the image size / resolution issue, so I played around a bit till I got the image size on the screen to be roughly equivalent to the size I'm used to using on a screen closer to me. But I found at this setting, the normal definition TV didn't really have enough resolution, and although I had less eyestrain because of the distance, I still found myself peering to read things. So in the end I abandoned the idea.

I haven't tried it again since I got my new 150 cm / 60" HD TV, which would almost certainly be better — it sure gives good results on the kid's Playstation! Next time I move my set-up around, I'll give it a try.

As I am severely short-sighted with a large imbalance in the correction required between my L and R eyes, the solution I now use is to wear contact lenses that my opticiain specifically calculated for a viewing distance of 50 cm (slightly longer than the usual 'reading' distance), which means my computer screen is pin-sharp and not too small. I then wear supplementary correction for distance vision (driving, watching TV, etc.) Sadly, I also now need separate reading glasses for reading small print like labels on bottles, etc. This solution has worked well for me, and I have got over all the terrible eye problems i was having a few years back, which were bad enough to make me think I might have to give up working.


 

Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:45
Polish to English
+ ...
Just dirt? Feb 27, 2017

William,
Based on the image linked I can suspect that the display surface is dirty after insects that landed on yor monitor: s**t, eggs etc. A higher photo resolution could provide with more information.

I'm not aware of any real-world reason for "hard blobs of plastic" emerging on a monitor display surface - a number of years (3 years?) after it was manufactured.

I'd suggest to have a closer look using a powerful magnifier, e.g. 5x or even 15x magnification (so-called watchmaker magnifier). And try to remove the issue using a standard display cleaning agent.

I've used a 22" 1680x1050 pix monitor for nearly 9 years and can't see any problem similar to yours. Among my family members and friends, the only case I've heard of is a single dead pixel (blue is always on) on a display of the same spec as mine, but that's no problem to the user.

HTH

AM

[Zmieniono 2017-02-27 13:21 GMT]

[Zmieniono 2017-02-28 10:54 GMT]


 
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