Widescreens and LCDs

Widescreens and LCDs

In my new group, I got a 24″ Dell widescreen LCD for my development work which recently got upgraded to a 30″. After only 1 week of use, I saw the Dell 2407 went on sale for $559 with free shipping, so I bought one and have been absolutely loving it. I couldn’t justify the $1200 tag for the 30″, and the 24 is actually plenty big for my living area. It’s now my tv (well, for movies anyway), console gaming display, and work display.

See, I was a die-hard CRT fan for many years. LCD’s had ghosting problems in games, the contrast/brightness was not good, fuzziness when not using a native resolution, etc. I stuck with my 22″ near-flat Trinitron CRT for a good while and it still puts out beautiful colors. But after only 1 week with the widescreen real-estate and the beautiful 1000:1 contrast ratio – I can’t hold out any more. Once you use widescreen for development or watching movies, you just can’t go back. Even better/worse – my Trinitron can barely keep up with the contrast when side-by-side with the LCD. In games, there is no lag or ghosting problems that are visible in the work I do (I have ghosted white to pink – but that was while I was trying to beat on it and I never see it in my daily use). It simply looks like they have fixed all my old complaints and LCD’s are now ‘there’ for me.

Also, I have a Huey Pro (made by Pantone – the color gods) which does monitor/color calibration. I do a lot of photo editing and fiddling around. This nifty little device plugs into your USB, and then monitors light conditions. You do a one-time calibration by sticking it’s suction cups to the monitor while it runs test patterns/colors. After the initial calibration, it just sits in a cradle on your desk and auto-corrects the color balance in the background based on ambient lighting conditions – even through reboots. Whites always stay white, reds stay red, etc. I can tell when I turn the overhead light on/off and it corrects on the fly. It saves calibrations that can be used by Photoshop so that when you edit your photos, they’ll be balanced correctly. Nifty gadget – and it works perfectly with the LCD.

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