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Flat Screen Monitors Sales to Reign This Year 282

swimfastom writes "Yahoo! News reports that sales of flat-panel computer monitors will top sales of bulkier traditional models this year, signifying a long-expected turning point in the computer monitor market. Flat-panel screen sales are expected to grow at a 49-percent compounded annual growth rate from 2001 through 2006, giving them an 82-percent share of the desktop computer market."
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Flat Screen Monitors Sales to Reign This Year

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  • NOT! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:06PM (#4517688) Homepage
    Until 19" flatscreens are available for sane prices they will not sell as well as they predict. the 15" models are ok priced ($299.00 compared to $100.00 for a 15 inch monitor is a tough one) but anything larger is nuts and any model that is fast enough for gaming get's up in price really fast.

    and then you have that nasty problem with not running at the native resolutions...
    • Re:NOT! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Telastyn ( 206146 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:10PM (#4517734)
      Most computer sales are to businesses and newbs though. At work they won't get >19" and my grandma can't see over 800x600 anyways. What will happen is that computers are getting cheaper, but people (read: businesses) will still pay $1500 per machine. Once Dell and HPaq start bundling 17" lcd's with their (now cheaper) boxes, the LCD sales will grow alot.
      • what ?!?! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <> on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:24PM (#4517856) Journal
        I am the PC tech for a large BUSINESS, 17" is too small, we order on 19" or larger. For business the LCD's are nice and easy on your eyes, for gaming they just plain suck, slow blurry and running at low end resolutions. I'll stick with my 21" .23 monitor at 1200X1600.
        • I totally agree, for anyone who isn't in the high-performance gaming market, LCD is the way to go. They're way easier on the eyes, and you get more viewable area (15" LCD is 15" viewable). Plus, they just don't make desks big enough for a 21" CRT! (Not that I'll give mine up any time soon, mind you)

          LCDs are getting a lot better, though. A friend of mine got a Dell laptop with a GF2Go about 1-1.5 year ago, and I couldn't see any ghosting at all in RtCW, Allied Assault, or UT, though it does have a limited viewable angle. The el-cheapo 15" LCD I got for my dad doesn't have any viewable angle problems, though I haven't done any gaming on it, so I can't say if it suffers any ghosting problems or not.

    • So what if one more 'research agency' (DisplaySearch) says 'This'll be the year of the LCD, really!' Big deal.

      Maybe we should go back to reporting sales statistics after they actually happen rather than the reverse?

      -- RLJ

    • I'm not so sure on that one. I've helped alot of people put together computers and in some cases, they had used a flat panel at work and were willing to pay the rediculous price for the monitor since I got the rest of the PC for them so cheap. You can also get E-machines with 17in flat panels from Best Buy for under $1000. I have also used these flat panel displays at work and it is damned tempting. The screen is much sharper and brighter. However, I'm in love with my $350 19in that I've had for a year and a half, so I personally will wait. The question is, how many home users(read mom,dad, grandma, etc...) who only use a PC for IM and email actually have a 19in or larger monitor? The article may have some validity.
    • by shirai ( 42309 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:31PM (#4517911) Homepage
      Everyone should take not that this article probably refers to sales in "dollars" and not sales in actual "units." This is why we barely see or know anybody who has a flat panel display.

    • This wasn't mentioned in the LCD roundup the other day, but the really big pro on the LCD side is that it doesn't look like something to climb on top of to my 2 year old. We use our "17 KDS in the living room, and it is just perfect for our application.

      Yes, the >17 are still way to expensive, and I would be happy to pay a few hundred less for a one the size I have now, but the difference in cost is now small enough to justify the advantages (depending on importance to you, of course).

  • I don't buy it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by silicon_synapse ( 145470 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:07PM (#4517691)
    I don't see it happening. There has to be another alternative. LCDs just don't look as good as CRTs. They just cannot display colors as well. Hard core gamers, graphic artists, etc. will demand better. What ever happened to those really thin CRTs I heard about a while back?
    • Re:I don't buy it (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mindstrm ( 20013 )
      Well.. I'm a fairly hardcore gamer.

      The 15.1" LCD on my laptop is HELLISHLY good looking.

      Gimme a break.You can talk about latency and whatnot, but I guarantee a gamer won't notice a degradation in his gameplay due to a good LCD screen nowadays. I would rather look at my LCD anyday; especially when rendering systems take into account the sub-pixel control they can use.

      As for colors.. yes, that's an issue, and one that will affect graphic artists for sure... but only those who need to move color into the real world (film, print). Those doing computer only will have to put up with display mechanisms that use lcds anyway.. so it's moot.

      • Re:I don't buy it (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rev.LoveJoy ( 136856 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:18PM (#4517801) Homepage Journal
        As for colors.. yes, that's an issue, and one that will affect graphic artists for sure... but only those who need to move color into the real world (film, print). Those doing computer only will have to put up with display mechanisms that use lcds anyway.. so it's moot.
        That's a really good point about color. One of the areas where I have been buying flat screens like there's not tomorrow is for our CAD people. The fact that flat screens are geometrically correct makes all the difference in the world when you spend your day drafting on one. Color doesn't come into it (who cares what color your lines are in AutoCAD? you can specify the plot colors to be whatever you like!)

        -- RLJ

      • > but I guarantee a gamer won't notice a degradation in his gameplay due to a good LCD screen nowadays.

        Well, hardcore gamers will, and they have []. Casual gaming and gaming in tourneys are quite different things. Hardcore gaming with LCD's just puts you in an disadvantage.
    • Most computer people are not artists or high-end gamers. Most people want something that they can do wordprocessing on, surf the web with, etc... that won't take over their desk. For most users today's LCD displays are fine.

    • They aren't all that good for games and full-screen video, unless you play the media at the proper resolution to match the LCD display. If you want to improve performance by dropping the resolution, you get imprefect scaling because of the fixed-pitch display.

      A CRT monitor has a much higher ultimate resolution (not usable resolution that you can set your video to) that can show e.g. 800x600 and 1024x786 with better accuracy and no artifical scaleing.

  • by eupheric ( 618980 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:08PM (#4517697)
    flat panels, in general, cost a lot more than traditional CRTs, so "measuring by dollars" isn't necessarily the best way of calculating market share. it's like saying that more people saw "the waterboy" than "gone with the wind," just because it made more money in the theater.
  • I have been saying for the past couple of months that flat panels will replace CRTs for monitors within 2 years. I think thay are being VERY conservative, it their estimates.
  • by darkov ( 261309 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:09PM (#4517714)
    I have two 21" Sony monitors on my desktop. My desk makes eerie straining noises whn I put my glass hands on the keyboard and a have a tan just on my face.

    It's a worry.
  • The Actual Report.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by __Maad__ ( 263535 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:10PM (#4517722)
    The actual report that the Yahoo article is talking about is here []. Anyone else here think this is a little premature? I don't know a single person who has an LCD panel or is planning to buy one anytime soon. Everybody seems to be upgrading to nice big CRTs (now happily down in price) instead.
    • I just plunked down $289 for a 15" for the wife because her desk did not have space for anything larger. I'm waiting for the 18" and larger ones to get below the $400 mark before I upgrade. A co-worker recently got a 14" flat panel for his son for similar space reasons.

      I think the next two years will see LCDs replace CRTs for all but the very low end and large (20"+ virewable) displays. I'm personally tired of dealing with the large bulky monsters. Environmentally they are probably be easier to dispose of than CRTs. The power, space savings, and ergonomics are another big plus for buisness.


    • My experience is just the opposite. Easily half of the monitors at the company I work for are LCDs now. I've been using an LCD monitor for a year and a half, and I'll never go back. Freedom from eyestrain is a wonderful thing.

    • by lostchicken ( 226656 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @08:46PM (#4518419)
      When I had a CRT, the only reason I could see for using an LCD was desk space.

      Then I bought one. The image just looks better after several hours of staring at it, there is virtually no eyestrain, and the geometry is always perfect, sharp and straight (so very good for CAD work).

      I have yet to find a person (although I have the feeling I'm about to...) who has used a desktop LCD as a primary display for at least a month, and wants to switch back to a CRT for reasons other than size.
  • Price showdown (Score:4, Interesting)

    by davisshaver ( 583015 ) <canyougrokme@hoT ... m minus caffeine> on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:10PM (#4517723) Homepage
    Has anyone calculated the price per inch of flat screen monitors and of CRT's. It would be interesting to compare those rates to monitors 6 months ago.
  • by geddes ( 533463 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:11PM (#4517744)
    I do tech support for my college, and at the beginning of the year as I went from room to room in the dorms to help people set up and configure thier computers, I noticed that about 90% of them had new flat-panel monitors. Most were 15'', but they had them. Not just the iMacs either, the kids with Dells _all_ had Dell branded flat screens. This was a huge change from last year, where 90% of the incoming freshmen had brand new computers with CRT monitors.

    The rise of the flat panel is very good for colleges, not just in terms of power-saving costs but also in terms of space. The CRTs just take up a lot of space on the small college desks. My CRT/keyboard prevents me from even having room for a notebook and pen to do math problem sets on - I need to go to the library to do any non-computer work. Whenever I go support someone with an LCD I eye it with envy, and the day approaches when I will be forced to get one for myself :-)

    • "The CRTs just take up a lot of space on the small college desks."

      If the average dorm were just a little bit bigger than the average walk-in closet...
  • by nevershower ( 587070 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:12PM (#4517748) Homepage
    I bet LCDs have a slighty higher percentage of the laptop market.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:12PM (#4517751)
    Most people say the biggest advantage of the LCD screen is that it is compact, but most people who I've seen using them put the screen so it is as close to them as a traditional CRT. That leaves a large empty spot behind the LCD that they don't see.
  • Gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:13PM (#4517764)
    For gamers, price isn't SUCH huge concern for the screens, but the ghosting itself. Sure, the ghosting for these guys are getting better, but still aren't nearly close to what a CRT can do. Also, refresh rates are very poor compared to CRTs, so playing a fast paced game with a high end video card doesn't look as good when the screen is tearing (most LCDs are at 60 or 75 hz, my monitor will do 120hz at those gaming resolutions). Sure, not everyone is a gamer, but gamers are finicky and won't convert unless the solution is perfect. Nothing worse than killing someone and listening to their complaints about their low FPS system lag.
    • Since my monitor refresh is set to 75Hz ANYWAY, does it really matter if I go to an LCD? I mean, I'm not seeing any of the extra 823471930 fps that my Ti4600 is putting out anyway, right? And 75fps is plenty fast for gaming. The extra frames per second that are there that I'm not getting a chance to see are just buffer against system slowdown. So I can play UT2K3 at 2938472984fps, and if someone emails me in the background, and my Windows system decides that it's gonna commit suicide and bog down and I can only get 400fps, I'm still good to game.

    • Re:Gaming (Score:3, Insightful)

      by haystor ( 102186 )
      Its been my experience that most "gamers" are like audiophiles. They claim to observe details that just aren't their while claiming superiority of their particular technology.

      Also, lumping all gamers together isn't quite right. First person shooters are the only genre that really suffers from moving to a slightly inferior monitor. A gamer that logs massive hours in something like Civilization, The Sims or Everquest may actually prefer the break on the eyes. Its funny to see so many people claim gamers will spend any amount on a CRT but never mention that the perfectd solution may in fact be one of each.

      I really don't mean this as flamebait to the many technophiles here.
      • > They claim to observe details that just aren't their while claiming superiority of their particular technology.

        It's been well proven in competitive (fps) gaming. For example, at the recent WCG qualifiers, accuracy in quake3 was quite a bit less in the qualifier in California (where the sponsor put LCD's), than the qualifiers in Texas or Georgia (where CRT's were used). Download demos at [], if you have a recent version of q3 and osp.

        Very few good FPS gamers use either LCD's or things like wireless mice.
  • five to one??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sssmashy ( 612587 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:14PM (#4517766)
    By 2006, the group said, flat-panel screens will outsell CRT monitors by a ratio of five to one.

    That's a pretty optimistic prediction, because the current price ratio is about 5 CRT monitors for the cost of 1 flat-panel. Common sense tell us that the price of a flat-panel screen would have to drop by about 60%-70% before the majority of consumers would consider buying forking out the extra cash to save 1 or 2 cubic feet of desk space.

  • Dammit, you and Ted Waitt need to figure this out once and for all. Any monitor [] can have a flat "screen". Flatscreen CRT's have been around forever. Look at most any Sony Trinitron. Flat PANELS refer to LCDs.
  • by redragon ( 161901 )
    The best part about this report is that it will hopefully kick some people in the pants and get them to make more, better, and cheaper LCD monitors (anything less than 1600x1200 and I'm not interested). This will in turn mean that there is more competition in the market, meaning lower prices, meaning more people adopting.

    Seriously, if I could get a 19" LCD for $200-300 more than a 19" CRT with the same resolution, I'd do it. I know that price point is a long way off, but if you've got lots of companies making the parts, and serious competition, it could happen (closer to their 2006 time frame). Anyway, LCD's are so much easier on the eyes.

    Just a thought...
    • Seriously, if I could get a 19" LCD for $200-300 more than a 19" CRT with the same resolution, I'd do it.

      Bear in mind that a 19" LCD will have a larger viewable area than a 19" CRT. Try comparing a 17" LCD to a 19" CRT, you'll probably find that they look much the same size.

      I went from a 17" CRT to a 15" LCD (Hercules Prophetview), and it looks to be much the same size, and a hell of a lot easier on the eyes. It only does 1024x768 natively, but that's good enough for me, and running games at lower res actually looks excellent - the panel bilinearly filters it up to 1024x768 (no crappy pixel doubling), and I think 640x480 for instance looks better than it did on a CRT that could display it "properly".

  • Depends.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wister285 ( 185087 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:21PM (#4517835) Homepage
    I think that this is a good thing, but flat panel technology still has to improve drastically for me to use it over my nice Samsung 955df. The newest flat panel I have used was a laptop screen, but I have seen some of the nice flat panels at CompUSA. From my experience, view angles are still a big issue for me to upgrade. While more people site in front of their computer, I like using my monitor with my TV Tuner and I don't want to sit in front of my monitor all the time. Speaking of 19" monitors, I can't take out a loan to buy a 19" flat panel.

    The laptop monitors and flat panels that I have use are not highly advanced like CRTs are, but this will come in time. They don't like resolutions other than their native resolution, they don't have nice full colors all the time, and they some panels still have ghosting! This is all ok for web browsing, but for image editing, web design, programming, anything to do with graphical design, and gaming flat panels are not adeqaute for my need. Maybe I am just bitter because my laptop doesn't go over 800x600 unless I want to scroll the actual screen. :-)

    Flat panels surely have their advantages. The technology just needs to mature a little.
  • The past is not a real indicator of the future. If it was I would be making $60,000 a year instead of fight battling with a bunch of people with 4+ years of experience to get a level 1 help desk job. Flat panel monitors are just too damn expensive if you want something large.
  • by rayd75 ( 258138 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:29PM (#4517899)
    Most computer sales are to corporations. Home users only account for something like 20% of Dell or Gateway's sales. Corporations are interested in the presumably increased life of LCDs, their reduced power consumption, space savings, and the effects of CRTs on their employees' eyes (People sue for everything after all). I work for a medium-sized credit union (which, unlike banks, are non-profit) with ~250 seats and we are already to the point of being 30% flat panels. By next year we will be over 70%. I love not pulling a muscle every time I have to swap a display out.
    • HUH? the 10 year old kids can haul around any 17" crt! Get in shape dude! Seriously, maybe you should try those diet pills I get in my email... I could forward if you're interested.
  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:30PM (#4517900)
    There is an awful ambiguity here between flat screen displays such as LCD displays, and flat screen monitors, which are still big bulky CRT based monitors, but have a flat screen rather than the slightly curved screens on earlier CRT monitors. Many manufacturers, including mainstream names like NEC and Viewsonic [] market Flat Screen Monitors . If these are getting into the count of expected sales then of course they will top sales of bulkier traditional models this year, but it will not do much to make space available on your desk.
  • So logically the next thing I would buy would be a fancy schmancy flat panel.

    Are these figures skewed for reasons like this?
  • Have you noticed that in every recent movie and tv show, and every commercial for any kind of product whatsoever, almost every visible computer monitor is a flat-screen? Walk around in the real world and they are far from universal, but in media-land EVERYBODY has one.

    Their product placement investment must be through the roof!
    • Walk around in the real world and they are far from universal, but in media-land EVERYBODY has one.

      That's because everyone in media-land is rich and attractive, and we all want to be just like them.
    • I'm not sure, but this may have something to do with how they look when you film them. If you're shooting with a fast shutter speed, you can get some ugly effects from the scanning of the monitor. That's why you'll see some odd flickering of the screen on CRTs in movies. IIRC, there's not the same problem with LCDs so they should be easier to film.

      • Not really true.... in practice CRT's are a nightmare.

        Shoot film at 24 fps. Now set your monitor to a multiple of 24. 48Mhz is not really an option, so its 24 * 3 = 72Mhz, if you are lucky enough to find a screen / video card combo with this resolution. When you do, you cherish and preserve it like your first born child.

        This problem, and the ones below, also apply to video at 30fps, or 25fps. Don't even get me started on interlaced fields though.

        Now sync your cameras shutter speed to the computer monitor, taking phase into account. Ever notice that phase varies slightly with the environment over time. The more EM in the area, the more it varies. We have an office next to a high power streetcar line, and we had to switch to LCD near the lines because the monitors strobe so bad in response to fluctuations in the lines that staff were getting sick from looking at the monitors.

        Needless to say, a film location shoot is one major source of RF. Stick a few light kits in the region, a few wireless lav mikes and some other toys, and you have a prime situation for phasing. Which means forget about perfect sync.

        Solution, you get a device that slaves the shutter on the camera to the shutter on the monitor. NOT a cheap option.

        Now you arrive on set, having obtained and tested all your equipment, to discover they are running a 'Hollywood Interface' designed in flash running at 15fps (if you are lucky).

        You are now doomed. You often end up having to completely remove the interface of the monitor in POST and digitally replace it with a rendered version of the same interface in POST.

        Expensive, very expensive.

        In most productions, we got to the point of giving up and setting a pure green image in the display. We key it out later and add the interface in post production. It's cheaper when it's planned that way.

        The scene in Swordfish where Hugh Jackman dances his little hacker dance - screens were empty (IIRC, I wasn't involved). The scene in men in black where tommy lee jones pines for his lost love, the screen was blank. etc., etc.,

        LCD's have made filming infinitely easier. ESPECIALLY for low budget production. It's far from perfect, but I will settle until video card write back performance reaches reasonable enough speeds to allow full frame rate capture of the ikntgerface at high resolutions (1024x768 or above).

        Even then I will take a LCD over a CRT for 90% of filming tasks any day. Which is one of the prime reason why you see them everywhere in media. Another is certainly coolness, but I assure you, no comapny has to give me a CRT to make me use it in production. It's more like I beg for them....

        Exercise 1.
        Try lugging a complement of CRT monitors around on location shoots. Compare with

        Exercise 2.
        Power a CRT off a battery pack for a remote location shoot. Time the battery life. Repeat experiment with LCD.

  • by deragon ( 112986 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:32PM (#4517920) Homepage Journal
    Anybody got quality concerns? I have never seen an LCD screen which colors come and crisp display come close to my CRT. And what I hate the most about LCD, its that the colors change with the angle of viewing; a little slight tint change when you move your head. Its very anoying. Some people say that this only occur with passive LCD screens, but then stores only sell passive LCD screens because I never saw an LCD without this tint changing effect.

    They better substantially increase the quality of the displays before I buy one, and I hope keeping my CRT at work until the quality improves.

    But, I agree that business might buy them for saving power, space and avoid the "bad" radiations emitted by CRTs.
    • Apple Cinema Display. Go to CompUSA and drool at the largest one they have, they are some of the best displays I have ever seen.
  • I was in the market for a larger flatscreen since my 4 year old Hitach superscan elite CRT was showing its age. After looking around, there was no way I was going to pay $2000 for a 21in LCD when good 21in CRT's [] are available on ebay for less than $300. I ended up purchasing a Sony CDP-G520P [] at NewEgg []. Its flat. its 21in, and its silver so it will match everything else since silver seems to be dominate color these days. Whenever someone walks in to my room [] the first thing the comment on is the monitor. Stick with CRT unlesss you can deal with a 15in LCD.
  • I will NOT own a flat screen monitor, until the price is the same as CRTs.

    - I don't care about the power consumption
    - I SO don't care about saving desk space... my desk is built to handle a bigger monitor anyway
    - CRTs look just as good as LCD monitors, IMO, if not better

    Why spend any more? I have a 21" monitor, and there is no way in hell I could afford a 21" LCD. Even a 19" LCD probably costs more than what I can get a 21" for.

    For people that want flat screen monitors, I say go for it, but it is nothing but a waste of money...

  • Sorry, nay-sayers (Score:3, Informative)

    by Snarfvs Maximvs ( 28022 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:41PM (#4517984)
    I got my 17" LCD a little under a year ago and am sold. I don't play games enough to care if there are any artifacts due to "refresh rate". When reading/coding, it's easier on my eyes, doesn't flicker, and is WAY more convenient.

    I will NEVER buy another CRT.
  • by indros13 ( 531405 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:41PM (#4517987) Homepage Journal
    The supplier of this news to Reuters is the DisplaySearch [] firm, "The Worldwide Leader in FPD Market Research and Consulting." Hello, they make their money offering information and marketing data to help sell more flat panel displays. Not really surprising that they'd release this kind of economic news--free advertising anyone?

  • compactness (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:42PM (#4517998)
    I noticed a few people said that LCD's are more expensive and worse quality than CRT's, but they are more compact, so they sell.

    This got me thinking. Cellphones are worse quality than landed lines, and more expensive, but they are compact, and they sell (and people use them at home). Laptops are slower and more expensive than desktops, and they're hard to type on, and the mouse sucks, but they're compact, and they sell (even in the home). Music CD's have a horrendous markup, but they're compact, and they sell. MP3 players sound worse than CD's, and flash memory is expensive, and you have to upload all the songs (which is the same work as burning a cd), but they're compact, and they sell.

    It seems like compactness is the ultimate feature. But then why do so many people drive SUV's?
    • Re:compactness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShavenYak ( 252902 ) <bsmith3.charter@net> on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:51PM (#4518062) Homepage
      It seems like compactness is the ultimate feature. But then why do so many people drive SUV's?

      Ah, grasshopper, you come so close to the truth, yet so far away. It is not compactness that is the ultimate feature, it is price. He who has the most expensive toys becomes the envy of his friends, thus enhancing his self-esteem. Cell phones, laptops, and SUVs are status symbols - every American wants them because the sages of Madison Avenue tell them that these objects will bring happiness.
      • He who has the most expensive toys becomes the envy of his friends, thus enhancing his self-esteem.

        Right, just like all the hardcore gamers here who have overpriced video cards that no software or game even takes advantage of? These same folks whining about the yuppies blowing their money on LCDs for no good reason? Haha!

        Personally, I have two boxes at home, both with LCD monitors. They are easier on the eyes, better allowing me to get work done. Sure, they were expensive, but at least I've got a good reason to use them. Not everyone buys pricy items to "be cool".
    • It seems like compactness is the ultimate feature. But then why do so many people drive SUV's?

      That is so they can compact other cars on the road. It's out of courtesy--after all, smaller is better.
    • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @08:28PM (#4518301)
      Because SUVs move themselves. The rest of that stuff you get to carry. Obviously. Now go hug a tree or something.
  • by nilstar ( 412094 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:43PM (#4518013) Homepage
    Prices will fall that is inevitable, but for the gamer market (which is many, many people) - you need a screen that can refresh fast enough. Current "cheap" LCDs can't do this - a refresh rate of 40 ms is common. But, realistically you need 25ms.... have you ever played Quake on an LCD with a refresh of even ~30ms - it is wishy washy to say the least!

    Fast refreshing LCD monitors won't be cheap for a while.
  • by u19925 ( 613350 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:44PM (#4518017)
    Are they counting only monitors or laptops also (since they include flat screen monitor)? If they count laptop monitors, then obviously the sales will be larger than CRT for simple reason that the laptop monitors cannot be reused while CRTs can be reused.
  • LCDs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @07:44PM (#4518021)
    There is a funny thing about LCDs. The desktop LCD market is a bit behind the laptop one in screen quality. My laptop has a 1600x1200 15" screen, and it has perhaps the most perfect image (color aside) I've sever seen. At 133 dpi, text is rendered more than one pixel wide, which improves quality immensely. I've yet find a desktop LCD, however, that hits that high a DPI. Which is a shame, because high-DPI LCDs are just the thing for people who stare at text all day (a large percentage of computer users!)
    • Homes, the reason you can get 133dpi on a laptop screen could be because your screen is on 15". There are plenty of 1600x1200 desktop LCDs, but the manufacturers aren't forced to jam them into a 15" package (19" I believe is the norm.) I'm sure if laptops could have 19" screens the manufacturers would be doing it... they don't do it because the quality's better; they do it because the dimensions are so small.
  • not on my new salary in the post dot com era. although i am thankful for my job - and my 21" crt that I was able to buy when work and money was plentiful.
  • I remember sometime back the lust I had in my heart for one of those new, fancy 17" monitors. There were occasionally rumors or adverts of something larger. But 17" was the holy grail of geekness above the 14-15" myself and everyone I knew had.

    "Someday, it'll be afforadable" I thought to myself. That someday came in the late 90s. So I got one. Of course, I liked it.

    Flat panels are the same way. Do I want one? Yes. Will I eventually buy one? Yes. Will I spend 700-1500 for a good quality one right now? Not on your life.

    If these industry experts really belive that it will pass up CRTs this year, then they really have to change the pricing structure on them.

    In the meantime, I'm very happy with my current 19" NEC, in black, which looks dang cool and cost me $250.
  • I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by e5z8652 ( 528912 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @08:02PM (#4518133) Homepage
    I've not seen a flat panel that can pass the toddler test:

    1) Find a 2 year old.
    2) Give them a random hard, pointy object such as a ball-point pen. (This step is optional, toddlers can create such objects out of thin air. You just have more control this way.)
    3) Put said toddler within 6 feet of flat panel monitor with a pretty screen saver being displayed.

    The problem with an LCD is that you don't hear the "ting ting ting" warning bell that a CRT gives you when a toddler is too close.
  • I've noticed that LCD screens have been appearing all through the department in which I teach - administrators, who constantly argue that there is no money for us to spend buying equipment for teaching and research, seem to have a great love of LCD monitors, in spite of the increased cost. As I'm still happy with CRTs (for the reasons outlined in the above posts) I was curious as to why. Most of the people I asked said that it was because they took up less desk space.

    I had to laugh - all of these people, spending hundreds of extra dollars on LCD monitors in order to save desk space, keep putting the monitors on top of their desktop computer cases. :) Thus saving no space whatsoever over a CRT. And thus I conclude - as per normal in a university, the major reason why people buy LCDs is image. As they certainly aren't performing any of the other professed roles. If just one person moved their case under the desk or something I'd be happy - but no, not one did.
  • I've had a "flat-screen" monitor for years, as have probably most people...but that is NOT necessarily the same as "flat-panel"...

    Minor term-useage quibble...
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @09:22PM (#4518637)
    I see a lot of posters ranting away because they don't think LCD monitors save much desktop space. Okay, fine. But you're missing lots of other issues:

    1. They're much lighter and easier to move. You don't need a heavy-duty desk that's able to withstand a 50lb monitor.

    2. They're much, much easier to see in normal sunlight and well-lit rooms. No glare. Geez, just walk into Best Buy and look at how awful CRTs look in the store lighting.

    3. A perfectly sharp, rock-solid image that is much easier on the eyes. It isn't worth sticking your head in the sand about this. It's your eyes we're talking about.

    If you factor in the lower power consumption, we have a winner.
    • 2. They're much, much easier to see in normal sunlight and well-lit rooms.

      Indoors, LCD displays are incredible. However, the second you get real, natural sunlight--as opposed to your typical lightbulb--LCD displays are worthless.

      The number one problem with PDAs, laptops and mobile phones are the problems surrounding outdoor viewing. The most expensive displays are the ones that are able to be viewable outdoors.

      They are also the first ones to burn out.

  • flat? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by khold ( 164649 )
    Am I the only person irritated by calling LCD monitors "flat screen", when there are plenty of CRT monitors where the screen part is entirely flat. Calling an LCD monitor flat panel seems to be fine, where you label the entire panel as flat instead of just the screen.
  • by peterdaly ( 123554 ) <petedaly&ix,netcom,com> on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @09:39PM (#4518758)
    I have a Dell C800, with a 15" LCD which can display 1600x1200. I love the thing to death. My eyesight has improved a great deal since switching from a 1600x1200 21" monitor to the LCD.

    I would love to find the same screen, or similar in an LCD. 15" is fine for me as long as I can do 1600x1200. I havn't done much research, except browsing in stores, but none of the 15" LCD's seem to do 1600x1200. What gives?

    Suggested things to look at anyone? I bought my last CRT about 3 years ago (a great Sony Trinitron 21"), I know my next monitor purchase will be an LCD.

    I have been putting it off due to the price, although that aspect has come along quite a ways. I am sure there are others like me putting off CRT purchases and planning to go with LCD's instead once prices seem reasonable. 1600x1200 LCD's arn't cheap. LCD sales will only pick up once my "market segment" decides to shell out the cash.

  • I moved into a new house almost a year ago. (Am I starting offtopic enough for you?) As anyone who has moved knows, things get broken in the move... My 17" CTX CRT was one of the casualties of the move. While I was carrying the monitor from one side of the room to the other, I tripped over some misc. stuff that happened to be on the floor and down the monitor went. Fortunately, instead of imploding violently, it had just cracked and *slowly* lost its vaccuum.

    If I wasn't moving, I'd have probably just got another CRT to replace it... But since I still had a few more weeks to go at the old house and whatever monitor I bought had to move with me, I started looking at LCDs. After reading a few comparisons and reviews, then finally going to the local Best Buy, CompUSA and Office Depot stores, I decided on the KDS RAD-5.

    Since the majority of my computer usage is just browsing the web, wordprocessing, photo cropping, using VB and some very infrequent gaming, the slower refresh of an LCD hasn't been a problem. While DivX and DVD movies seem to look fine on the monitor, I prefer using my video card's (a Radeon 8500) TV-out for video - 15" is just too small for good movie enjoyment.

    Besides the sharpness and the perfect screen geometry, the other thing I like about LCDs is that they give off very little heat. My old 17" CRT was having a space heater on and would quickly heat up the entire room. I have a feeling though that when I upgrade from a PIII 850MHz to an Athlon XP2000 that the computer will pick up where the monitor leaves off in the heat department.
  • by MattRog ( 527508 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @10:24PM (#4518834)
    I, too, used to think flat-panel LCD monitors were useless in the home desktop mixed-application (office apps, coding, gaming, etc.). I do a lot of outside contracting so my home computer occasionally doubles as an after-hours workstation. I long ago discovered the joys of multiple monitor programming and so for several years had two 19" Sony Trinitron-tube monitors running - it still allowed for high-color gaming and I was able to split my code windows up over the two displays (it is nice to have code on one screen and the output and references on the other).

    As luck would have it, I also own a wonderful Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop with the 15" 1600x1200 display. For the longest time I was running Windows 2000 on it, but when I heard about ClearType (sub-pixel font rendering) on Steve Gibson's site ( I thought I'd give it a try. I was pretty impressed and decided to try the full-blown item with Windows XP Professional a try.

    It was, in a word, mind-blowing!

    Never before had text looked so sharp and clear - and after using it for several multi-hour coding sessions (aside from only the single display) it didn't give me headaches like my two CRTs did (even though I'd tried virtually every refresh rate setting from 60 to 120Hz).

    That made the difference for me, so I slowly replaced my two 19" CRTs with two 17" Iiyama black LCDs (retail around $640 US for the digital versions, $610 for analog). Remember that CRTs cheat and don't really measure the actual diagonal, so that the 19" CRT is much more like 17.something (mine were 17.8"), whereas the LCDs are ACTUAL diagonal. So those who are saying, "Not until they have affordable 19" displays!" are missing the boat - for all intents and purposes a 17" LCD *is* equal to a 19" CRT in terms of usable display size. The LCD goes from bezel edge to bezel edge with ZERO loss in quality in the corners, something my CRTs could not claim. So in practice, I would guestimate the actual screen real estate are about equal.

    As I didn't have the cash right away to drop on two, I ran for quite a while on one LCD (digital through my GeForce4 Ti4400) and one CRT. The differences were astounding - the CRT was noticeably not as bright as the LCD, and text was HORRIBLE to read. It was like trying to focus on a blurry photograph - your eyes keep trying to find the right focus and could never really adjust. It game me a TERRIBLE headache after only a few minutes, so I sold the CRT and waited for my next paycheck and got the second one. While both displays are digital (along with secondary analog inputs) my Ti4400 only has a single DVI output, so my secondary monitor is in *analog* mode until I can fix that (maybe a PCI card with digital?). I won't lie and say they look identical, but it is not nearly as dramatic as the CRT comparison.

    Resolution-wise 1280x1024 is not a big deal to me. I enjoy my laptop's 1600x1200 and would hope we start seeing 17" affordable desktop LCDs in that range soon, but it isn't killing me. XP's ClearType provides for amazingly sharp text as it is, so the slightly larger fonts look pretty anyway. :) In short, you won't notice lack of clarity due to resolution size difference.

    Gaming, or LCD's *supposed* Achilles' heel. I play a couple games - Half-Life Counter-Strike, UT, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Stronghold Crusader - and have noticed ZERO blurring problems. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Get it? It's a NON-ISSUE. Perhaps my system (Athlon 1.333Ghz, 512MB PC2100, ATA100 HDD, 128MB GeForce4 Ti4400, etc.) is not fast enough to get the frame rate above the pixel response rate, but it is not a problem with my Iiyama digital LCD displays. Certainly it can be an issue with older or slower displays, but anything in the sub 30ms rate should be fine. The calculation (from Tom's Hardware) to turn response into FPS is: 1 / (rate * 0.001). So 30 ms = 1 / 0.030 = 33.3 images displayed on the screen per second. 25ms = 40fps. Your eye notices things at 25fps or higher to be continuous 'full-motion' and at 30 it seems to be the 'magic number'. Remember to read the fine print on each monitor since some companies will list 'average' display rate or some other random numbers. Find the worst-case percentage and see if you can live with it. The only problem I've noticed is that when the games exit and the video mode switches the LCD panel never 'wakes up'. I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about - the screen flickers, the green indicator turns amber for a while, and then it dumps you back to your desktop. Well, the LCD (or my Beta 4 Detonator drivers) must give up early on the video card and goes to a 'You have nothing hooked up' screen. I have to turn it on and off to re-cycle the display.

    I have noticed that certain extremely light web-page backgrounds (the old background pattern on for example) the colors appear to be washed out (you could only see a little bit of the pattern) but it is generally not an issue for anything you are *actively* looking at (games, photos, etc.). Contrast seems to be better than my CRT as well, and the images appear to be more saturated on the LCD, somewhat startlingly so. When playing something like Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 (or any other real-time strategy game) the colors are MANY TIMES more vivid - it is hard to explain but a really cool feeling the first time you fire up a game. First-person shooters look different as well; generally I have to turn the gamma up a notch or two since they all appear BLACK in the dark areas. I am not sure if that is how it *should* be and my CRT was inadequate or it is an LCD artifact, but I generally noticed LCD improvement over the CRT images.

    I also notice that certain images online are not as smooth looking on the LCD. Again on InkTank (, a really good geeky comic; if you have time check out the archives!) you can see 'jaggies' or anti-aliasing artifacts far more clearly on the LCD. It appears to happen on thin black antialiased lines more than any other. The black outline on PennyArcade looks (I think) how it should be, but the lines on Ink Tank were the #1 first thing I noticed after I got the displays. Now, of course, my eyes have gotten adjusted and so I no longer see them any more.

    Anyways, to make an entirely too long post short, I have no misgivings about the LCD purchase. You often get what you pay for, and a cheap panel will probably yield a poor display picture. Mine is pretty much perfect. Give it a try, you might like it! :) :)
  • Unlikely...... (Score:4, Informative)

    by RichMeatyTaste ( 519596 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @11:11PM (#4519061)
    Percieved longer lifespan?

    Believe me the only advantage is space.

    My company maintains the hardware (over 30000 devices) for one of the worlds top 3 hospitals.

    I can tell you there is no way in he11 that any flatscreen will outlive many of the 7+ year old 15/17 inch CTX's (yes, crappy CTX's) I see on the floor everyday. (These monitors have been turned on LITERALLY THEIR ENTIRE LIFE) The place is starting to rollout fold-down stations with flatpanels/winterms and the flatpanels (under 24 hour hospital use) are crapping out far quicker than the CRT's. (usually inverter boards, they power the lamp that lights the lcd)

    Before you say "buy better brand and/or "industrial model" LCD's" please understand these are for the most part Viewsonic high end flatpanels. All brands are showing a higher failure rate than CRT's though.

    All I see for now is a space advantage. I know they comsume less power but many companies could care less.

    Remember, cheap and effective usually wins out over everything else.
  • by Boiling_point_ ( 443831 ) on Wednesday October 23, 2002 @11:23PM (#4519125) Homepage
    Hmmmm - LCD vs CRT - the first holy war of 2003!! :)

    I just bought a Samsung 172T [] (read an early glowing review []). It's the first LCD screen I've owned, although I've used plenty before; I have a laptop for work.

    Just like plenty of comments from this thread [] from yesterday, plenty of non-LCD-owning people here seem to have a strong opinion on the matter :)

    I couldn't be happier with my new screen. At the stated response rate of 25ms, I have an effective screen refresh rate of 40 updates a second, ie. faster than my eye can detect. The monitor can handle being fed 72Hz at 1280x1024 (native res), which is better than my old Acer 77c 17" could manage. I've always played games with v-sync switched on to prevent tearing in the past (for the uninitiated, v-sync means the card sends the same number of frames per second as the screen refresh rate, so that monitor doesn't try to display parts of two frames at once and cause visible tearing). The long and the short of all this is that the screen is happily updating as fast as my eyes and brain need it to. As a bonus:

    • I have a "true" 17" viewable monitor (equiv. to a 19" CRT)
    • a screen that doesn't hurt to look at for day-long gaming sessions
    • I can lift it with two fingers! ie it's portable for LANs
    • It chews far less power than a CRT
    • it gives off far less HEAT than a CRT - a cool room makes for a cooler PC
    • it looks way cooler than any CRT on the planet
    • I can use a smaller desk, or fit more on my existing desk
    • My girlfriend thinks I'm cooler for owning it :)
    Yes it cost more. But doesn't almost everything worthwhile cost more?

    Sure - many gamers won't get an LCD because on paper they doesn't match current CRT capabilities. But good ones come close enough.

    • Your 17" LCD is not equivalent to a 19" CRT. It is equivalent to an 18" CRT.
      And 40Hz, isn't very good. At your resolution my 17" CRT (Samsung 700IFT) will handle 89Hz. When is play FPS games is usually drop down to 1024x768 at which, my display can handle 116Hz. Your TFT has .264mm dot pitch while my 4 year old CRT has .24mm dot pitch. The current model of the Samsung 700IFT [] has .20mm dot pitch and can handle 1920x1440.
      I find what matters so much is not, LCD vs CRT, but flat screen vs non-flat. Once you start watching things on flat displays you just don't want to go back. Now have a flatscreen tv too.
      I just don't feel like the value is there yet for LCDs. If I can get a faster, sharper display for less, I can handle lifting it twice a year.
      You may wany to check out this comparison of TFTs vs CRTs. []
      You'll note that CRTs have better:
      • contrast ratio
      • viewing angle
      • color
      • pixel response time
  • I really doubt this is going to happen so soon. But, hey there are always a lot of computers newbies who will buy whatever the comissioned sales person tells them to.
    Right now I have a 17" Samsung 700IFT (nice flat screen CRT). My next display is going to be at least 19". LCDs at those sizes seem to always have dead pixels. A lab partner of mine dropped around a grand on a nice big LCD and it had a red pixel stuck on in the center of the screen. He returned it and manged to get another with a green pixel stuck off more towards the edge of the screen. They claimed that they 'usually' don't even let you return one unless it has multiple dead pixels.
    I'm not going to start considering an LCD until I can get one that is at least 19" with all the pixels work correctly, and at less than twice the price of a CRT.
    I really like the space and energy saving aspects of an LCD, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before CRTs go the way of the dodo.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @12:51AM (#4519509) Homepage
    Another study, Meko reports that LCD market has stalled in Europe [], disagrees. Their report indicates that both CRT and LCD sales are down this year over last year. CRT sales have declined more, so LCDs are gaining market share. But in some countries, LCDs are losing market share slightly to CRTs, probably reflecting budget cutbacks and somewhat increased prices for LCDs.
  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @04:27AM (#4520136)
    ...When they fix these problems:

    1. The resolutions. CRT's have better resolutions and you can freely change resolutions. LCD's are limited when it comes to max-resolutions (the ones that can do 1600x1200 cost too much) and the image-quality deteriorates if you use a "non-native" resolution

    2. Response time. It's just too high on LCD's. Luckily this is getting better all the time.

    3. The price. They cost quite a bit more than CRT's.

    When those three points are fixed, I might consider it.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's