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LCD Monitor Question

by AndyPMan / March 5, 2007 3:19 AM PST

I'm considering buying a 19 inch LCD.

I tried one out once and have a question.

At 1028 x 1280 resolution, things are a little small. That's no problem, but I seem to remember that, for instance, when I went to my homepage (MyYahoo) that there was a tremendous amount of "unused" space on the right side of the screen.

I hope this makes sense.

I guess my question is if I buy a 19 inch LCD and I'm surfing the internet, will I fill up the whole screen or only part of it?

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No Problems.. Tinker With Resolution Settings...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 5, 2007 3:28 AM PST
In reply to: LCD Monitor Question

...till you have them as you like them. (Most of our standard 19" LCD's are being used at 1024 X 768). Of course, there is a native resolution which is "preferred by each monitor but you can usually change the setting to something you like.

Some of the issues with "filling up" the screen can't be helped. It's coded in the page, but generally, you can make it fill up the screen as much as you want.

Hope this helps.


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Resolution...reply to Griff
by AndyPMan / March 5, 2007 3:40 AM PST

Thanks. Actually I have a 17 inch crt now and have it set at 1024 x 768, and that seems to fill to 17 inch nicely. I also use 120 DPI.

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I have a 19" Dell Square LCD monitor
by TONI H / March 5, 2007 8:46 PM PST

and also use the 1028X768 setting and it also fills up the entire screen nicely. I tried a 19" LCD Wide screen recently and hated it as it stretched everything from side to side and made the words look distorted (fonts) no matter what I did with the appearance settings of Display. The square screen monitor is wonderful....and you can get some great deals now since so many are going to wide screen now.

I use the analog cable rather than the digital one as well since the digital cable wanted to consistently default to the native 1440Xwhatever resolution and these old eyes of mine went berserk with the small fonts. Although I could adjust those for everything in Appearance, it did NOT allow for the adjustment in windows dialog boxes and they stayed tiny and hard to focus on for me.

I just set up a new computer for my granddaughter (home built system) and she got the 19" wide screen I had the chance to play with. I've made the alterations for her Appearance for fonts and icons, etc. and since her eyes are only 21 years old, I figure she will do much better with the smaller defaulted dialog boxes than I am able to at 60+ now, and I know she will be happy with it (or as she wrote in the email to me.....SAAAWEEEET, Gramma)

Because the white on LCD monitors is soooooo much crisper than any CRT monitor I've ever used, the first reaction is to squint like you have snow blindness, but within ten minutes, the experience is so wonderful that you just know in your heart you'll never go back to a CRT monitor again.


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The backlight on most LCD monitors
by Ray Harinec / March 6, 2007 5:56 AM PST

are too bright. I had to turn the brightness on all of them much lower. One almost as low as it could go where I have a CRT and LCD in dual monitor use to not overwhelm the CRT.

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At many websites, one can increase the text
by Ray Harinec / March 5, 2007 5:48 AM PST
In reply to: LCD Monitor Question

size which helps to "fill" the screen. Do this by simply holding down the CTRL key and clicking the scroll wheel a click or two to get the size that you want. One selected it will hold that for virtually all sites. EXCEPT that it does not work with these forums since the relatively recent software change.

LCD's are different than CRT's and ALWAYS fill the screen as far as lighting up all the pixels because they are finite hardware items. By using a resolution other than the native resolution, the computer only calculates the true color for the number of pixels called for by the resolution that you selected.

1280 X 1024, the native for both 17 an 19 inch PC LCD's, is 1,310,720 pixels. If you run at 1024 X 768 that's only 786,432 pixels whose color is directly calculated by the CPU, then the LCD's interpolation software claculates the color for the remaining pixels based on the nearby surrounding pixels and interpolate the colors a little. In some cases this can make the display look slightly out of focus. Setting to clear type helps with text for this. It can also cause sligh off tint pixels near the edges.

I've found it better to choose things such as use Large Icons and many other options provided to make things a little larger, and use the native resolution. {the 20.4 inch Samsung at work is set to its nativ 1600 X 1200. [yep some people don't like it. LOL

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by AndyPMan / March 5, 2007 8:49 AM PST

I use 1024 x 768, large fonts and 120 dpi on my 17 inch crt. Seems to fill up a 17 inch crt nicely.

But I still wonder. If it fills up a 17 inch crt, it surely won't come close on a 19 inch lcd. So why would anyone really want a 19 inch lcd unless they were viewing video?

Beginning to wonder if I just shouldn't get a 17 inch lcd.

Oh. I am aware of the control/scroll trick and use it often. I guess nothing increases the size of photos, for instance, in news stories.

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If The Same Resolution Is Used, It Will Fill The Screen ...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 5, 2007 9:05 AM PST
In reply to: Ray....

...the same. Things will be bigger though with a little less quality but the area viewed should be the same...

This is oversimplified but...Think of two televisions, a 19" and a 27" older model standard definition screens... Assuming they both have the same resolution, they both will still show the full picture in the frame. It's similar on a computer monitor as well.

Hope this helps.


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LCD screens are totally
by Ray Harinec / March 6, 2007 5:32 AM PST

different than CRT screens. They both fill up the screen but by totally different methods. If the LCD's DID NOT have the interpolation algorithm a lesser resolution than the native would absolutely NOT fill up the screen, it would only illuminate the quantty of pixels that the resolution called for, arranged in a close rectangle with areas of zero illumination.

Again the subject you are addressing in the PC is the contents of the screen due to the resolution that the HTML od the site was created with.

That's why the new CNET forums text size can not longer be made larger by simply using CTRL and plus minus of the scroll wheel.

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I thought that I explained that an LCD Monitor
by Ray Harinec / March 6, 2007 5:25 AM PST
In reply to: Ray....

WILL ALWAYS fill up the screen. Only that in some cases by forcing the interpolation some of the pixels will not not be exactly the correct color and MAY look out of focus.

OUR defintion of filling up the screen is different; the LCD WILL ALWAYS illuminate ALL of the pixels. You are discussing the contents of the website as displayed on the LCD's screen. Totally different thing.

My point was solely due to possibility of unsatisfactory color rendering.

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filling up an lcd display...
by AndyPMan / March 6, 2007 11:51 AM PST

yes, I understand what you are saying, and thanks for the info.

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There is a lot of confusion
by ChuckT / March 6, 2007 7:17 AM PST
In reply to: LCD Monitor Question

and here is my attempt at clarification, based on not only fact but also actual results.

First, a point of clarification.
An LCD native resolution is the actual number of screen pixels horizontally and vertically (and the number are always related to in that order, h then v). To attempt to drive the LCD panel at any value other than its native resolution will always result in non-crisp images (pictures or fonts) (Well, unless you happen to hit upon a value that is exactly a value that divides cleanly into the native resolution - highly unlikely).

Most 17" and 19" non-widescreen LCD displays have the same resolution, 1280x1024.
Many widescreen 19" and 20" LCD panels have a resolution of 1440x900
And the other widescreen 20" and most 22" LCD panels have 1680x1050 resolution.

The LCD monitor will nearly always be filled out completely. There are some oddball situations that can force the output of less than the LCDs native resolution to only fill out to the output pixels (such as you have a 1280x1024 panel, and are sending an 800x600 signal to it, thus, there will be a black border from the "unlit" pixels) but I have only seen that in some laptop computers with the internal display, not in any separate LCD display.

Once you set your video resolution to the native resolution of the LCD panel (and to NOT do so, you are really doing yourself, and your eyes, a disservice) if the display icons and fonts are too small for you, then there are adjustments to the individual groups accessible via the properties of the display.

But before you attempt to individually adjust those items, there is one global adjustment you can make that affects the whole of the display and nearly every other thing. Try that first!
Believe me, I know adjusting for the large icons, and the large or extra large fonts, and then having to adjust the icon spacing so that things are not crowded on the screen is tedious and time consuming, and also most times less than satisfactory.

So, here is where you can find that one global adjustment:
Right-click an unused area of your desktop, and
select [Properties],
select the "Settings" tab,
click the [Advanced] button,
on the "General" tab change the 'DPI setting'
It, most probably is already set to something like "Normal size (96 DPI)"
Setting it to a higher DPI will make everything respectively larger.
Such as the other common setting should be "Large size (120 DPI)"
If you have tried that, and like neither, you can also select "Custom setting"
There's a ruler, that you can drag, or a number% you can enter, there.
Set it something you like.

While this "global" DPI setting does adjust icons and fonts equally, WinXP does not do a perfect job of it. There are still some applications and windows that get their internal sizing to the actual screen pixels. And, by the way, WinVista does do a better job of getting it done right - still not perfect, though.

So, once you have made this global setting, and still you want, or need, to tweak, do it then.
There are the aforementioned IE quick font sizing tricks (Ctrl and roll the mouse wheel) or clicking on the Zoom level (IE v7) or View text size controls.

I want to say again, because it seems like so many people get it wrong, drive your LCD panel to the native resolution, and adjust other things to make things bigger or smaller.

Last point, there is a "ClearType" adjust setting for the display (and I always use it) that can be further tweaked by going to the Microsoft ClearType website ( but that just affects the fonts on the screen, not images.

As for my personal results. I have 4 LCD screens:
17" 1280x1024
19" 1280x1024
22" 1680x1050 (yes, a widescreen), and
15.4" 1920x1200 (a laptop, not only a widescreen, but extremely small pixels)

In every case, I have first set the display to the native resolution for the clearest of displays, then set the ClearType, then set the Display's Advanced setting to some personal preference of screen DPI, and then finally adjusted whatever minor tweaks I like in various applications to get my desired look.

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