LCD Monitors


Now and again someone comes along saying that the fall in the price of LCD monitors is fleeting, that current prices (at least in comparison with those of one or two years ago) are due to low demand, etc. etc. But, despite the voices of these prophets prices continue falling.

In the US it is possible to find several models of 15 “under 300 dollars, a price so attractive that even the models of 17” and 19 “are already starting to get popular. Even here there are already a few palatable options.

15 “models of Waytec cost around R $1350, while those for Samsung and Philips are the months stationed in R $1800. The LG’s are a bit more expensive: just over R $2000, but it is possible to find some models for R $1200 or even less in the grey market.

These prices don’t seem so high considering that the area of a 15 “LCD (15” overall at, no loss), is next to a 17 “CRT monitor, where it has a total area of 16” or 16.1 “on most models, outside the margin that we tend to leave to avoid the edges, where the tube is more curved. As of 17 “CRTs cost between R $600 and R $900, we’re talking about a price reduction of 50% only by opting for a traditional model, in contrast with the fortunes that early LCDs were around here.

Fortunately, everything indicates that prices will continue falling, perhaps to the point in less than 5 years the prices of LCDs and CRTs if treats.

Of course I’m not seeing this in the position of the stars or in the crystal ball. There are more than enough reasons to be able to say this with such certainty:

Active current tint monitors are produced very similarly to the processors. The main difference is that glass plates are used instead of silicon wafers. We have at the beginning a process of polishing, which creates the grooves, where deposits the liquid crystal layer. Then comes the hard part, which is produce from the glass, a transistor for each cell. As we have three cells for each pixel (green, red and blue), a 15 “monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution has almost 2,400,000 of transistors.

The great difficulty is that the glass is a material that is completely inappropriate to produce transistors. A waffer the Silicon surface is treated so that the atoms are extremely organized structure, almost perfect. The glass we have in clearing a completely irregular and disorganized structure, called amorphous silicon. In addition to using the same expensive optical lithography, used in Lcd manufacturers, processors need to deal with the high rate of defects caused by the low quality of the material and at the same time eat low productivity, since we’re talking about chips that measure approximately 22.5 x 30.5 cm, in contrast to the few square mm of a processor.

In the early 80, LCD monitors were produced in 20 or 30 cm square, where we had, at best, 4 7 inch screens per plate, size that was common in the notebooksda era. Over time the production techniques have evolved a lot. Nowadays the most common is the use of almost 1 square metre, enough to produce multiple monitors from 15 “or 17” in each batch.

The cost of production of monitors falls as the size of the plates. It’s a situation very similar to what we have in the market for processors, where even producing a much larger chip (Pentium 4 Northwood measures 146 square mm, while the Athlon Thoroughbred measures merely 80 mm) Intel can keep a production cost per chip from AMD, by using 30 cm wafers, while rival still uses wafers 20 centimeters. The cost of production per waffer is very similar, but the area over 30 cm wafers is much higher.

There is another area in which manufacturers are able to evolve. Through the refinement of manufacturing techniques are able to reduce the rate of defective transistors, which means fewer monitors fail quality control.

Each faulty transistor appears as a bad pixel in the finished product. These defects are common and not always perceived by the owners. To see if the LCD you are about to buy has some, simply use an image or screen saver any to do the screen stay white. The defective pixel are easily perceived, because they’re always deleted, or in some cases in a different colour from that of the rest of the screen, usually in a shade of red.

Manufacturers usually tolerate a maximum of two bad pixels with monitor, since these are not in the central area of the screen that do not meet the requisite end up going to the trash can. With increasingly low defects decreases waste and the cost of production per unit.

Moreover, even inexpensive LCD monitors still represent a much more lucrative market than the CRTs, where competition is much greater. Another factor to be considered is that the quest for novelty keeps growing. According to a survey released recently by iSuppli to damanda will grow 36% per year until 2006.

A sure sign that things tend to improve further is the news that Philips and LG are investing 1 billion dollars in a new plant that will go into activity in the first half of 2003. There will be used 110 x 125 cm wafers, with a monthly production capacity of 60,000 plates, enough to produce almost 1 million 15-inch monitors every single month.

For those who work all day in front of the PC, use an LCD monitor makes a big difference. Firstly, there is the obvious: the image is completely flicker-free, since the LCD is based on partial blockage of light generated by fluorescent lamps mounted behind glass and not for of phosphorous that cells are bombarded 60 or 75 times a second by the electron gun.

In addition to the flicker, there is the question of reflection. All LCDs have a 100% flat screen, with an anti-reflective layer covering the glass sheet. These two features allow you to work comfortably even with the Sun hitting right next door, unlike most CRT monitors, which besides the curve does not screen have anti-reflective layer. The sharpness is also much better in a LCD, because each point in the image is formed by a fixed pixel.

We still have the issue of contrast. Many times, we read that LCDs are below the CRT on this point, because they are able to maintain a contrast of 400 or 500 for 1, while CRTs offer a contrast and luminosity much higher. The big question is that if you use the brightness and contrast in the Max on any CRT monitor the image will be so bright that you will have vision problems in a short time. In addition, the more clear it is the image, more noticeable is the flicker, because the cells have difficulty maintaining a very high level of brightness for a long time. Using a refresh rate of 85 Hz, but with the very clear image, you may have an image as unstable as someone using 60 Hz but with darker.

This problem causes many people finish or abusing the brightness, or using the monitor too dark to hide the flicker, which ends up causing more eyestrain than usual and may even cause more serious problems in the long run. A LCD light levels minimum and maximum are always within the moderate, giving an image a lot more comfortable, even if you prefer to use the monitor very dark or very bright.

If you have the chance to use an LCD monitor for a few days will notice the difference after a few hours of use is very significant. Looking for an LCD monitor is almost like looking at a sheet of paper.

The current products are also the first generation by screen update speed. We no longer have the blurry screen of the ancient hue or passive LCDs of the dual-scan used until recently. In the last update time models already approaching 20 milliseconds, half long enough to watch a DVD. The response time is low enough to not make ugly even in FPS games. I don’t consider the viewing angle a very important factor in a monitor, unless you use the PC to watch movies, but despite my disdain, many models offer viewing angles of up to 70 degrees in all directions.

As the power consumption of LCDs is much lower, 30 to 35 Watts, against 110 Watts of a 17 “CRT, you may consider a certain economy in electricity bill, you can make a difference in the long run.
As a last point to be considered, there is the question. In addition to more modern LCDs occupy much less space, allowing you to put the Office behind the monitor, or use the space for other things. You can hang your monitor on the wall if the room or your Office is too tight.

I personally am a great enthusiast of the LCDs I managed to buy my for almost a year, when they were still new, so I can write these lines with full knowledge of the facts. If you feel your eyes ache after sitting too long in front of the computer, an LCD can be upgraded much more useful to change the duo motherboard and processor.

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