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monitors - wide screen?

by glennbraden / December 4, 2007 1:26 PM PST

I just don't understand why the new monitors are mostly widescreen ones. I can see that if you are using the monitor to watch a movie, widescreen would be nice. But for general home computing; word processing, simple spreadsheet, internet surfing, email, etc. is the widescreen format of any benefit at all?
I happen to enjoy using my screensaver function to display our vacation photos. If I purchase a widescreen monitor will my photos be stretched such that people all look short and fat? Or will the photos appear in normal dimensions?

Thanx for any info.

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Why widescreen?
by strickjh2005 / December 4, 2007 3:40 PM PST

Wide screen can be helpful if you are multitasking. The images are not 'distorted' becuase wide screens should be set to wide dimensions. A set number of pixels such as 1600x900. Since an image is always the same number pixels across, as long as you are using the correct resolution its fine.

The slide show will be fine. If it isn't just disable stretch to fit in the screen saver settings.

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I know why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 4, 2007 11:35 PM PST

It's all economics. If you were around when PCs came into being you would know why we ended up with the old aspect ratio. Today it's for the same reason.

There is no mystery here.


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Looking for best 4x3 large LCD
by dougjp / December 7, 2007 11:53 AM PST

I was going to start a thread like this, not about "why", but "where".

Really dislike the widescreen for everything I use my computer for. I DO own a TV for movie watching, really hate the black lines on the sides of monitors with most programs/games I have and/or missing parts of my wallpapers (most of which come from my camera and fit perfectly).

Where are the best sources for buying 22" and up 4x3 computer monitors, or the best models??

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Amen, Dougjp
by john3347 / December 7, 2007 1:05 PM PST

I cannot understand the wide-screen mindset for computers or for TV. People are taller than they are wide (most are anyway). Spreadsheet and text papers are taller than they are wide. Everything that we use a computer for or watch on TV is generally vertically oriented. Then everybody, programmers and crapware distributors as well, want to add toolbars to shorten an already too short vertical space on the screen. Now they want to squeeze more vertical space away from us with a "wide-screen" aspect ratio. Are we down to about 3 lines of text without scrolling now? Very silly and counter-productive to me.

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Wide Screen Computer & TV Monitors
by AmBegonia / December 7, 2007 11:25 PM PST
In reply to: Amen, Dougjp

I totally agree with John3347! Many websites are also setup for a widescreen format which means you have to scroll back & forth as well as up & down to read a page. Very irritating! Makes me think of formal written documents printed the longways on standard 8X11 paper! Not proper protocol! And as for TV, I also hate the new "short-screen" format. New TVs in widescreen size look lopped off, like where's the top half! I won't watch anything that's not broadcast in standard screen size format. The standard camera snapshot also went "wide" some years ago. However, I see most people holding their cameras vertically to capture individual photos. THE WIDE FORMAT IS ONLY GOOD FOR PANARAMAS! If there are so many people who really like this new widescreen then somebody needs to invent some way to provide an option for TV screens, i.e., standard or widescreen! Without losing quality for either size.

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TV and monitor aspect
by mwooge / December 8, 2007 12:05 PM PST
In reply to: Amen, Dougjp

> I cannot understand the wide-screen mindset for computers or for
> TV. People are taller than they are wide (most are anyway).

But your field of vision is wider than it is high. You see wide, even without periferal vision. You also naturaly look to your left and right, but not your up. Nor your down, unless you're moving, which I raely do when I'm sitting.

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by CustomComputers / December 8, 2007 3:14 AM PST

After much research and varied usage we have found the top monitors
are as follows:

#1 Samsung model 226CW
#2 Sony 19" 4x3 model SDM HS95P analog/digital--best for graphics
#3 Sony 19-20' model SDM HS94P analog/digital--best overall usage
#4 HP NEW 22"
#5 Viewsonic 20-22" many models analog/digital--watch carefully!


Hoping this helps and contact at above site if you need more assistance.

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monitors - wide screen
by Michael Yeo / December 7, 2007 4:22 PM PST

I have the same doubt as you as to why some monitors are made wide screened. A normal person angle of vision is 120 degrees and unless the wide screen monitor is placed farther away from the eyes, I find it rather streneous as the eyes have to move from left to right. Personally, I find that it is only good for viewing multi pages and spreadsheets.

Perhaps, the reason for manufacturers to produce wide screen monitor is to follow the trend of wide screen TVs. But again, wide screen TV is viewed at a further distance as compared to a wide screen computer monitor.

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Can't have too much width!
by abovepar / December 7, 2007 7:36 PM PST

I have a wide screen digital 1680 x 1050 and the the right of that my older analog 1280 x 1024. I run several websites and this enables me to have two main documents open side by side on the main screen and various stickies, images, address books and calendars open on the secondary display. This is very easy to set up and documents can be slid seamlessly from one monitor to the other as though it were a single screen. If I had a third monitor I would add that too if I could find a graphics card to handle it. My present on is NVidia GS 7600. If you are used to working with your Windows at full screen, you have to change that habit, but after that it gets better and better.

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Monitors No Longer Exist for Different Preferences?
by dougjp / December 7, 2007 8:26 PM PST

abovepar, I can certainly understand where a widescreen monitor could be preferred for a number of types of tasks and by some people. Like the tasks you describe. None of which I would ever do.

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You can still find 4:3
by samkh / December 8, 2007 12:36 AM PST

monitors from some manufacturers. Not as cheap as 16:9/10 because mass production nowadays are in wide formats. Why? Small screens, ie. for computers, are sidebars for glass mfrs. TVs are the main customers so monitors get cheaper in wide formats. Why wide TV? Because movie theatre screens are that way. Just gotta roll with the punches but it's OK to whine. Lots in these forums.

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wide screen
by jw1ls5n0129 / December 8, 2007 3:27 AM PST

I also do not like wide screen ,even the TV ,I just hate it .the trouble is we do not have a say. well none of my screens are wide and it will stay that way and also I would sooner watch VHS 8 hour than DVD, they last a lot longer, some of my VHS tapes must be 30 year old and still going strong .once the DVD gets a scratch on the record paper is done with not so with a VHS just snip and stick .so lets hope that not all screens will be wide ,let the people have a say.
Cheers John

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widescreen or not?
by bpalmer479 / December 8, 2007 7:15 AM PST
In reply to: wide screen

I also dislike the widescreen formats of most new monitors, and would like to stop all the scrolling that is needed to read most pages. I was going to buy the widest screen I could afford, as long as it had rotating capabilities, and rotate the screen so it's tall, eliminate alot of scrolling,,any thoughts how this might work in the long run, or would it be just as frustrating side scrolling?

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What is solution?
by luciacovelli / December 10, 2007 11:25 AM PST
In reply to: widescreen or not?

Please help! I just got this Dell wide screen monitor 19" and it is doing what everyone is complaining about.. making all pictures too wide! How do you adjust the monitor to correct this distortion? I use my computer for creating web pages with clinical photos of faces to shoe pre and post operative changes, and this distortion is impossible to work with. Please help! Thank you!

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Need Technical assistance?
by CustomComputers / December 10, 2007 12:59 PM PST
In reply to: What is solution?

Supply me your SYSTEM to Operating System, Memory, and Video
then watch for my reply as to how to make setup relative to video adjustments.

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You need to
by froasier / February 13, 2008 9:46 AM PST
In reply to: What is solution?

right click on the desktop -> Properties -> Settings and change the resolution to your monitor's native resolution (usually the last one).

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There ARE many reasons
by ackmondual / December 9, 2007 4:22 PM PST

From someone who just went from a Dell UltraSharp 18.1" 1280x1024 LCD monitor to a Samsung SyncMaster 220wm 22" 1680x1050 widescreen (ws) monitor, I definately see what you're getting at. However, I don't quite agree with you completely. You also need to factor in other things too.

1) people don't upgrade just for the widescreen aspect.
For most people, I'd like to think if they're gonna upgrade their 17" LCD monitors, they're not just going to get a 17" ws monitor instead. They're gonna get something bigger AND in ws, like a 20" ws monitor.

Case in point, with me, I set my old Dell UltraSharp on 1024x768 (one setting below the monitor's native and max res) since that makes things easier for me to view while lounging back in my chair. I set my new Samsung SyncMaster to 1280x1024. I'm still getting more vertical viewing area while having excellent sized images that I don't need to squint at even while wearing glasses.

To note, ideally, I'd like to set my new ws monitor to 1440x900 to get the best tradeoff of lots of pixels and easier to see images, withOUT having the black bars all around the viewable image area, but that's another topic (esp. for ATI tech supp)

2) people like having 2 windows side by side for comparisons.
Whether if it's spreadsheets, documents, images, code, contracts, or whatever, it's easier to do that on 16:9 ws monitor than the std 4:3 aspect ratio. For the latter, the monitor would have to be bigger to compete with the ws

3) Many PC games support ws
What one poster said about humans seeing more range in side-to-side than up-and-down is true. I believe that's at least one of the reasons the motion picture industry uses the 16:9 aspect ratio. You get the maximum amount of picture that most people can handle at once without it being too much.

I KNOW that's the reason Nintendo made their handheld gaming system, the GameBoy Advance (GBA) widescreen (it was mentioned in the first issue of Nintendo Power Advance, Nintendo Power's 'specialty magzine issues' dedicated to the then brand new GBA handheld). If you recall, the previous gameboys (Gameboy, Gameboy Color) were practically square screens (160x144 on 2.6" size). By contrast, the GBA is 240x160 on a 2.9" screen. I thoroughly enjoyed the orig GB and also enjoyed the GBA, but I'd say among other things, Nin definately did themselves good by making the GBA widescreen b/c the GBA is the top selling gaming handheld behind its orig GB line. PSP also followed suit with its 4.3" widescreen at 480x272 pixels.

Console gaming may have eaten away at some of the supporters for PC gaming, but there's still a sizeable # of PC gaming players out there. I'm talking about those who play games like Call Of Duty, Doom3, other first person shooters, various sports games, and RPGs. Not those who play online flash games like Bejeweled. Those that do more "hard core" PC games get the maximum effect from ws monitors

4) Some LCD monitors let you pivot the screen
Reach out to turn the monitor 90 degrees, change a setting in your video card, and now you've got ALOT of vertical viewing area, just like a book. While you can do this with certain non-ws monitors as well, being able to pivot at ws monitor gives you an ideal viewing experience for long winded documents and articles

If you're interested in this feature, note that the monitor will likely have to have a stand of higher height to allow clearance for it to pivot like you see in here

5) even if you square-ish screens do have noticeable advantages, by design (dunno if it's really cheaper for manuf to produce ws over non-ws) or by what the manfuacturs produce (to keep up for the consumers overall preferance for ws), ws appear to be cheaper than their square-ish counterparts


Those points being said, I still have my old LCD standing by. It's collecting dust, but at a moment's notice, it can be dusted off and swapped back. However, assuming the black bars at 1440x900 resolution doesn't get fixed, at the very least, I'll keep the res at 1280x1024 and change it to 1680x1050 when I need a HUGE area.

To be honest tho, a larger 4:3 LCD monitor was on my radar. I got my new monitor only b/c it was only $200 at a huge sale, so for me, price was more of an issues. Of my points above, #1, #2, and #5 are what made my ws purchase most desirable. I've alr gone into detail for #1. #2 isn't required for any work related activity, but it is nice but not necessary to have. #5 came up when a big sale occurred. #3 I get with a freeware board game thjat's nice to have all those pixels, and widescreen helps for some setups, but for "real" PC games, it would've have been fully worth it since I'd probably wanna upgrade my vid card first.

If you're still into the 4:3, consider getting a 22" monitor at 1600x1200 resoltuion or someth like that. Be forewarned tho, my quick searches return those at $500+. Others on the otherhand will FLAT OUT REFUSE to use a square screen, some of it directed at handhelds, while others at computers. The choice is yours.

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