Wednesday, November 30, 2022

10 mistakes when choosing a monitor. Myths and legends of marketers

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Marketing rules the world today, and while we’ve known for a long time that “not all yogurt is the same,” companies continue to take advantage of human weaknesses. We have already talked about how to check the monitor at the time of purchase. Today we’ll talk about which monitor characteristics are really worth considering, and which ones are just beautiful words.

What is behind marketing slogans
In the advertising of any monitor manufacturer, you can find a whole list of fresh developments, current technologies and top-end features. Consider popular marketing promises and tricks.

Matrix type
Three types of matrices are well established in the monitor market: TN, VA and IPS. There have been no revolutions in this segment for a long time, and therefore any “novelty” is a variation of one of the already existing types.

An ideal example of the work of “marketing geniuses” was the laptop SVA-matrix from HP. This abbreviation means only “standard view angle” (standard viewing angles) and in fact represents the usual TN, having nothing to do with the real * VA-matrix.

Some stores have not fallen for this marketing ploy and reflect the real state of affairs.

A couple more mysterious matrices from HP:

WVA – wide view angle, usually mean the better (maybe) TN;
UWVA – ultra wide view angle, usually some sort of IPS.
Also beware of the terms “IPS-level” and “Wide-View”, which manufacturers can call any matrix, in their opinion, similar to IPS.

Not only marketers, but also engineers participated in the development of Samsung technology with the loud commercial name QLED (from “quantum dots”), who expanded the color space of the monitor using a special film based on quantum dots. It is very symbolic that the English letter Q (especially if you choose the “correct” font) resembles O.

Of course, LG decided to keep up and, as an alternative to Samsung’s QLED, released Nano-IPS. As opposed to the word “quantum”, no less technologically advanced “nano” was used. The company’s developers applied a special layer of nanoparticles to the backlight LEDs and did not hesitate with the price tag: the cost of “nanomonitors” starts from 70 thousand rubles. Users believe that this is a completely new advanced type of matrix.

It’s still not worth belittling the merits of QLED and Nano-IPS. Colors really become brighter and more juicy. But in fact, this is a good modernization, not a revolution, as we are presented with it.

And we are waiting for OLED …

curved monitor

Marketers say: “Experience the effect of maximum immersion.”

The curved monitor does give some sense of presence and a new visual experience. True, such a display is not suitable for designers and even more so for designers because of the distortion of perspective. The average user should make a choice based on price and personal preferences. Keep in mind, the smaller the curvature value, the greater the bend.

Who needs it: gamers and movie lovers.
Who does not need: the designer and engineer.
Aspect Ratio

Marketers say: “Go beyond.”

A cinematic 21:9 monitor (and other variations of Ultra-Wide) must be chosen carefully, understanding why it is needed. Such displays are very popular with programmers and video editors, but not quite suitable for connoisseurs of old games and retro films.

Who needs it: content creators.
Who cares: ordinary users.
High definition 4K

Marketers say: “Enjoy flawless images and clarity in every detail.”

High resolution is, of course, a gorgeous picture and excellent content, but also huge requirements for components. For esportsmen who care about every FPS, 4K is also contraindicated. Ordinary users are now actively switching to 2K monitors, which are much more affordable, give a good picture and do not require prohibitive hardware.

Who it’s for: Wealthy designer/movie buff/gamer/engineer.
Who does not need it: the owner of a weak iron, an e-sportsman.
high brightness

Marketers say: “The higher the better.”

Contrary to popular belief, 100-150 nits is usually sufficient for normal indoor operation. The exception is perhaps the lucky ones working on the beach of a tropical island. The stock, of course, does not pull the pocket, but it is not necessary to chase the brightness of 400 nits in order to then work at half the capacity. In addition, eyes get tired quickly from high brightness.

Marketers say: “Experience incredible brightness over a thousand nits”

In this case, we are talking about peak brightness, while the more current standard brightness is much lower. But we love big numbers (unless, of course, this is the price).

Who needs: ???
What it hurts: eyesight.
High refresh rate

144 hertz is not enough

Marketers say: “A high refresh rate gives a smooth and crisp image.”

It is difficult to argue with one of the most popular trends. Now, without 144 hertz, we are nowhere, everything will be “blurred, blurry and jerky.” But does everyone need it? RPG connoisseurs, strategies, as well as ordinary users with medium-level hardware do not make much sense to overpay for high hertz: standard 60-75 Hz is enough.

Who needs it: gamers and e-sportsmen.
Who cares: everyone else.
High response speed

Marketers say: “A 1ms response time eliminates loops in fast-paced scenes.”

Fine! Only the guys forget to point out that the response of any modern monitor is suitable for the average user.

This value is measured by marketers today, and for the most part, the numbers have nothing to do with reality. What’s more, 1ms of the manufacturer’s favorite gray-to-gray doesn’t translate to the same fast response with other measurement techniques. And no one promised us to achieve 1 ms without artifacts. So if you are a professional esports player, then only a live test and real reviews.

Who needs it: esportsman.
Who cares: everyone else.
Dynamic screen update

Marketers say: “We say goodbye to brakes and breaks.”

In this case, the author is guided by the principle: yes – good, no – well, okay. Given that AMD FreeSyncTM technology is free, monitors with it are quite common, but there is a problem – binding to the video chip manufacturer (although work is underway to combine FreeSync with nVidia cards). G-sync technology is a paid prerogative for green cards.

Who needs it: e-sportsmen and gamers.
Who cares: the average user.
HDR

Marketers say: “HDR brings the image closer to real life, making the picture as clear and realistic as possible.”

Serious statement. However, often we are offered monitors with pseudo-HDR, which have twisted settings with incorrect color reproduction. Monitors with real HDR cost unreal money. Also, marketers modestly “forget” to indicate that in addition to an HDR monitor, the happy owner must also find HDR content and an HDR source (streaming services or BD discs). Read more about this in the article “What is HDR technology in monitors” .

Who it’s for: Movie buffs and some gamers.
Who doesn’t: Those who don’t want to bother looking for HDR content.
What else do marketers say?
Now let’s talk about secondary characteristics, which are also beautifully presented to us.

“Wide viewing angles of 178° give excellent visibility from any angle”
Cool! Any modern monitor (except TN) has viewing angles of more than 170 degrees. In fact, not the most important characteristic for a modern user who uses the monitor alone.

“Anti-reflective coating makes work more comfortable”
Amazing! More than 95% of modern monitors have an anti-glare coating. By the way, low-quality film can create the so-called “crystal effect”.

“High contrast delivers deep blacks and vibrant colors”
Yes, it does. Like any monitor with a fair contrast ratio of 1000:1 or higher.

However, the darling of marketers is dynamic contrast. Who will miss the opportunity to write in the characteristics of 100000000: 1. It is good mainly for watching movies. In office work and games, its influence is not so significant, in contrast to the abundance of zeros on the user’s fragile brain. When choosing a monitor, this indicator can be ignored.

“The monitor contains technologies that reduce eye strain”
This item is really important for those who are worried about their eyesight. Among the most popular are Flicker-free and Low Blue Light, which remove PWM and the negative effects of blue light on the eyes, respectively.

“Monitor has been factory calibrated”
In a good way, each manufacturer must do this for each of its monitors. If desired, the procedure can be ordered from third-party specialists, which will cost about a thousand rubles.

And finally, advice from a non-marketer. Before going to the store, you should choose several suitable models in advance, after consulting with knowledgeable people, having studied the reviews and information on the manufacturer’s website. Do not rely solely on the help of consultants. If the monitor is bought online, it does not hurt to evaluate the selected model live by going to the nearest digital equipment store.

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