LCD Monitors – It’s Not Just About Inches!

panasonic-ips-alpha-lcd-panel1Planning to buy a new large-size monitor? While buying a monitor, the size is not the only factor to be considered, there are some other factors to consider such as what kind of panel is there or what’s the response time of the monitor. LCD’s response time supposedly indicates how much time it takes to switch two images i.e. how fast it can display moving images. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). The lower the response time the better the results.

Talking about panels, the most commonly used panels are Twisted Nematic or TN panels probably because they are the least expensive, so if you cannot find what kind of panel is there in monitor specification then probably it is a TN. TN panels have least accurate color reproduction and viewing angles are narrow, specially up and down, so if you look at them from wide angles, the color can appear washed out and the details can get lost. However, TN panels are faster than other panel types which means that the images can switch more quickly. There are some gaming monitors which use TN panels as they run at higher refresh rates that allow them to certify for 3D vision. PVA and MVA panels (Vertical Alignment) are quite similar. They are significantly better than TN panels in terms of color reproduction and viewing angles but not so good as premium panel types, making them a very reasonable midrange option. IPS (In Plane Switching) panels are premium panels for enthusiasts, professionals, graphics designers and high end tablets. One of the reasons why many tablets use IPS panel is that the viewing angles are fantastic and the colors don’t distort no matter where you are looking at them from. One drawback of IPS panels is that these are slower than TN panels and so gamers sometimes don’t like IPS panels because the input lag can be higher and if there is a fast moving object across the screen, there can be a trail behind it which is called motion blur. PLS (Plane to Line Shifting) panels are very similar to IPS panels but they are brighter, have slightly better color range and are capable of even better viewing angles as compared to IPS panels. All this makes them the most premium panels. However, PLS panels have the same issue as IPS as the response time can be a little bit slower than TN.

So if you are more concerned about some cinematic experience then the response time can be compromised by getting a bigger monitor with IPS, VA or PLS panel and better looking vibrant colors can be experienced. But if you are looking for every edge possible then you need to carefully look into things like the response time of the monitor which gives you that crispness and also the refresh rate of the monitor which gives more up to date information on your monitor.

Mihir Patel

About Alok Nimrani

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