Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Distraught About Display

I’m in something of a quandary. To date, I’ve always used CRT monitors at work because of better color accuracy (I do color correction on photos prior to sending something to press). Unfortunately, the average life of a CRT’s ability to be accurately calibrated is 4-5 years. For most people, they don’t notice and a CRT is fine for many many years.

Samsung just came out with the 931C. It advertises 97% color accuracy (better than most CRTs), 2000:1 dynamic contrast and a 2ms response time. This may finally be sufficient motivation for me to migrate to LCD.

But Samsung has only made a 19” version at 1280x1024 resolution. According to my account rep. at, Samsung has no immediate timeline for a larger version.

I’ve become extremely accustomed to 1600x1200 on my 21” CRT. This is where I work on photos, InDesign layouts, video editing, etc. Meanwhile, an old 15” Apple Studio Display (with an ADC to DVI adapter block so I can still use it on my G5) happily contains all the application palettes. E-mail and instant message windows live over there, too.

I’m not keen on a smaller primary display, but those Samsung 931Cs are less than $300 each. At that price, I could easily budget two of them. The problem, though, is that I don’t really need the extra space on the secondary display.

All I know is, my CRT is about 4½ years old and the red gun is at its limit. This means I can no longer increase the red hues to correctly calibrate it. No, this is not a defect. All CRTs exhibit this behavior—gradually getting bluer over time.

I have to make a decision. Two 931Cs or stick another huge 21” CRT on my desk again.

Oh yeah, I may as well mention that if I choose to go with the Samsung displays, the Studio Display would be available for a good offer—including the ADC to DVI adapter. It could be shipped—I have the original box. But I’d rather let it be picked up.

» Posted by ALBj at 08:25 PM (ET)
Category: Journal


How do you tell what “% color accuracy” an LCD (or monitor) has? I’ve got the Dell 2407WFP Flat Panel LCD at work and love it.

» Posted by Tanner Lovelace
September 20, 2006 10:01 AM

Good question. First of all, keep in mind that many monitors look superb to most eyes. Even mine. But accuracy and “looks good” aren’t the same thing. In fact, It’s likely that many displays will make a photo look better than it really is. In the world of pre-press, a designer wants a display (properly calibrated, of course) that will accurately show the hues of the photo before it is sent to press.

Samsung has a PDF brochure with a color spectrum comparison on the second page that may shed some light on the details from which they make their claim.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
September 20, 2006 10:49 AM

Sorry, due to comment spam abuse, new comments on this entry are closed until I find time to upgrade Movable Type and enable registration and moderation.