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Are LCD screens better for your eyes?

I spend a huge chunk of my day staring at a screen, and am wondering if using a LCD screen would be any better for my eyes than a traditional CRT monitor?

Ben
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I like mine better, but thats just my opinion.  Plus they take up less space :)

Michael Pryor
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I think they are supposedly better because they don't flicker like CRT's.

However, LCD's tend to be less flexible in changing resolutions, so you could get stuck looking at tiny text, which would be bad

sam
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

LCD's have no harmful radiation, no flicker, and perfect screen geometry.  Also very little heat and their form factor is much better than a CRT's.  Although most LCD's are only 15" or 17" you can comfortably work closer to an LCD than to a CRT and they take up very little room.

My primary machine is a Dell 8100 laptop with a 15" 1400x1050 LCD.  Small text is not a problem, even for my 39 year old eyes.  And even if I change the desktop resolution to 1024x768 or 800x600 things stay very crisp on the 1400x1050 native resolution panel.

Main downsides to LCD's as I see it are cost (biggie) and limited screen viewing angles (not such a big deal unless you're doing XP pair programming). 

But I would say it's definitely easier on the eyes.

Herbert Sitz
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

From my experience, yes they are much better.

Many people/companies spend thousands on computers while neglecting their chair and monitor. I find that strange, because you only got one back and one pair of eyes that, unfortunately, cannot be upgraded ever.

So I'm sitting on a Herman Miller Aeron chair and look at a 17' TFT (Samsung 171P) monitor. Not because it's hip (nobody sees it much but me so who cares), but because I want to stay healthy during the long hours I make behind the screen.

Jan Derk
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

It depends.  For programming (or any other text-oriented activity), LCD could work better for you.
For graphics, CRTs are still the best.

P.S. There's no "harmful radiation" from modern CRTs, it's just a marketing gimmick.

Igor K.
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Generally the higher the contrast ratio of the device and the lower the ambient light the better.  Now if only businesses would get rid of those silly overhead lights!

Greg Kellerman
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

In addition to the benefits mentioned by the previous posters, LCDs emit less heat (lowering cooling costs if you live someplace very warm) and also tend to be brighter.

I know some design professionals that will never give up their Trinitron CRTs (better gamma, etc...), but for coding and development in general, I can't recommend a good LCD highly enough.

Alex Russell
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

LCDs are definitely a lot easier on your eyes than conventional monitors. I'm using the 19" LCD by Iiyama and I'm extremely satisfied with it.

Don't bother getting one of the cheap ones - they are often worse than CRTs.

My LCD was quite expensive but it has VGA and DVI input and is running at a resolution of 1600x1200 in DVI mode. Thr colours are very accurate (even yellow) and much better than on my Iiyama 19" CRT monitor that I had before buying the LCD.

If you like playing 3D games like Quake 3 etc you should stick with a conventional monitor (or buy a second one). The refresh rate is quite a bit lower and therefore it's not suited for this type of application.

In conclusion I can only recommend that you get yourself a high quality LCD monitor! Preferably by Iiyama - they're well-known for their good quality.

Patrick Ansari
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Depends on what you want to do. Watch DVD's or play games: CRT.

Program: LCD.

A
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

The 18" Iiyama has proved to be very good and is considerably clearer than the very large CRT I was using before. 

Its also a very cool black.  I haven't noticed any speed problems in refresh it also runs very well as a monitor to the DVD :-)

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Trinitron CRTs. Aren't those the ones with a black wire or two running across the face of the display?

Once you see the wire, you can't make it go away. It will haunt you until you take it back for a refund. Its especially noticeable on white backgrounds like this web page.

Chris Altmann
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

DVD / TV playback is perfect on the Iiyama 19" LCD. It's just fast-paced 3D games that don't work. Well, they DO work but not as good as on a CRT.

I play MS-FlightSim 2002 on it all the time in 1600x1200 mode with my Geforce3 and it works perfectly. It all depends on the type of game.

For programming, it is currently the best solution. If I had the money I would buy a dual DVI output VGA card plus a second 19" Iiyama LCD. I will buy this as soon as I graduate and start making some money ;p

Patrick Ansari
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Chris,

come one, the black wires aren't that bad.

Patrick Ansari
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

I feel less tired in the evening since I switched to LCD. The latency is an issue when you work with a lot of moving images though.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Chris, Yes.  Patrick it's one of those pesky annoyances that once you know it's there you can't ignore it.

Greg <Ex Monitor Maven> Kellerman

Greg Kellerman
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Those black wires are no worse than the dud lcds that you come across in lcd monitors

nah
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

As lot of people say, it depends on what you're using it for. But it also depends on the monitor you use. VGA is an analog standard, and needs to be converted to digital for an LCD. Some early LCDs didn't do too good a gob of it, and flickered worse than a CRT. Most are pretty good these days, but for a perfect picture, cut out the conversion and use DVI.

CRTs can give excellent results if you set the refresh to a suitably high level. I can't believe how many boxes I come across set to 60Hz. No wonder their users get eyestrain!

Annoyingly, my company is too cheap to invest in LCDs, but at 100Hz my CRT is at least sufferable.

James

James Shields
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

I've got a 21 inch Trinitron and a Steelcase Leap chair.

Works for me.

Only the latest and greatest LCDs have the pixel change rate, contrast ratio, and color fidelity that I *need* to have, lest I go nuts.  I think it's because I spent too much time in Photoshop that LCD screens annoy me so.  Well, that, and being a few crayons closer to obscessive compulsive than most.

But I love Trinitrons.  I know the black wire's there, I can see it if I look hard enough, but it just gets filtered out of my brain.

If money wasn't an option, I'd want a nice 18" or 19" high-quality LCD screen.  But a good 19" or 21" offers much better bang for the buck.

w.h.
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

'If you like playing 3D games like Quake 3 etc you should stick with a conventional monitor (or buy a second one). The refresh rate is quite a bit lower and therefore it's not suited for this type of application.'

This isn't really true anymore, as there's a few LCDs (cheap, even) that have perfectly fine pixel refresh rates.

Jason McCullough
Monday, August 12, 2002

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