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Do monitors cause cancer?

I was wondering if monitors cause cancer?  Somehow, I doubt it, but you never know I guess.  Electromagnetic radiation I think they call it, sorta like the cell phones.

a^2+b^2=c^2
Thursday, December 11, 2003

If I recall earlier monitors (mid eighties to early nineties) had some concern about their fields.  It isn't a major concern any more as manufacturers have gotten better at shielding and directing the fields away from the user.

Lou
Thursday, December 11, 2003

Good news your monitor are shielded.
Bad news is the shielding is made of toxic materials that pollutes. Other bad news is that people throw away monitors instead of repairing them because the cost is the same.

Milton
Thursday, December 11, 2003

I plan to get an LCD.

I was against this at the beginning, but recently I went to a store where displayed LCD and CRT monitors side by side, all showing the same image.

LCDs seem to have higher contrast.

MX
Thursday, December 11, 2003

And a higher cost.

NoName
Thursday, December 11, 2003

Sitting in front of a monitor is pretty safe (because of the shielding) but a lot of radiation is emmitted out the back.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, December 11, 2003

Yes, it is A LOT more expensive.

However, if you take into account the fact that you stare at it for 10 hours a day, for many years, then it makes a lot of sense to invest in a good monitor.

MX
Thursday, December 11, 2003

The humorous thing is that LCDs, in general, have a _lower_ contrast ratio, and that has been one of their biggest pitfalls. However now that many are pushing 450:1 and above, that is changing.

Plasmas are the ones that have the great contrast ratio.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, December 11, 2003

I've got a cheapy LCD monitor with (I think) 350:1 contrast ratio. It's about a year old, and definitely not as contrasty as more expensive modern ones. It certainly feels a lot brighter and more contrasty than any of the CRTs I've used, though; indeed, I can't use it unless there's another light on in the room. It's just too bright otherwise. (Contrast and colour are both set to about 50%.)

I'm quite sure the black of an LCD is less black than that of a CRT. I've not used them side by side, but although the desktop on my PC is "black" it definitely looks a bit on the dark grey side.

My suspicion is that people judge contrast by the brightness of the white rather than the darkness of the black, and it is this that gives LCDs the appearence of being brighter.

Anyone know for sure??

Insert half smiley here.
Thursday, December 11, 2003

"My suspicion is that people judge contrast by the brightness of the white rather than the darkness of the black, and it is this that gives LCDs the appearence of being brighter."

LCDs can be brighter than CRTs -- but LCDs don't represent colors as well as CRTs.  Some subtle colors show up very defined on CRT but on a LCD they blend in with the background.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, December 11, 2003

I've said this before and I'll probably mention it again -- LCDs are far superior (due to sub-pixel font rendering aka cleartype) at displaying text than CRTs.  When programming 8+ hours a day this really, really helps.

MR
Thursday, December 11, 2003

"Sitting in front of a monitor is pretty safe (because of the shielding) but a lot of radiation is emmitted out the back."

This is a ridiculous myth. Emission standards for displays -- which covers TVs and computer monitors -- covers emissions from ALL directions.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Thursday, December 11, 2003

"I've said this before and I'll probably mention it again -- LCDs are far superior (due to sub-pixel font rendering aka cleartype) at displaying text than CRTs."

No question. No blurring, sub-pixel rendering, and no flickers. LCDs are equal or superior in every way, excepting the deepness of blacks. You couldn't pay me to use a CRT on a daily basis any more.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Thursday, December 11, 2003

... You don't mind the blurry trails when you scroll down a page? Those drive me crazy.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, December 11, 2003

With 16ms refresh LCD monitors, there are no blurry trails.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Thursday, December 11, 2003

As a sort of aside, I am currently looking at an LCD with a black frame, thanks IBM.  My office screen has a 'white' frame and is much easier to use.  The black seems to make the screen appear like I am looking through a tunnel.

David
Thursday, December 11, 2003

I think the bluring or 'ghosting' myth is all but dead for any quality (e.g. non-crap) LCD made in the last few years.
Heck, you can get by with 25ms response times and not have flicker.  I think the ones I have at home are 20 or 30ms and I can even play games on them without ghosting.

The Dells I have here at work don't seem to exhibit that, but programming doesn't lend to blur-causing activities.  They *do* have a really huge black case (what is that called – bezel or something?) which makes them not optimal for side-by-side dual display (2+ inches of stupid black plastic), but not a whole lot I can do about that now.

MR
Friday, December 12, 2003

My friend got an LCD monitor recently and scrolling on web pages bugs my eyes. I'm sure I'd get used to it though.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, December 13, 2003

As other posters have noted, there's a huge discrepancy between "good" and "bad" LCD monitors, with many more "good" than "bad" ones being released on recent years.

Ghosting/blurring is literally non-existant on most if not all new LCD's.  Obviously it boils down to trying out the monitor you like before you buy to see if it suits your personal tastes, but the point is not to let any past bad experiences with LCD's to prejudice you against all LCD's.

One note: buying LCD's in stores can be a pain in the ass because the demo units are not running in their native resolution.  Typically the case in CompUSA or BestBuy because all the demo monitors are running off of ONE INPUT SOURCE that's typically 1024x768, so all the nice 1280x1024 LCD's look like utter shit.

John Rose
Sunday, December 14, 2003

That was true for CRTs, for a long time, too. These days, you can still buy a bad CRT that will kill your eyes in no time flat.

Never buy one unless you can get a 100% return rate for an exchange to a different model. Better, talk to people who use them, and find out which models are good and bad.

Yes, there is a significant difference in the quality between VGA and DVI inputs. I highly recommend DVI capable LCDs if you can afford the price bump.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, December 14, 2003

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