Monitors viewing comfort : CCFL backlighting versus LED backlighting ?

Started Mar 5, 2013 | Discussions
NewsyL
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Re: Bottom line ?
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 12, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

I will skip the Eizo line, mostly because the price range is above my budget. I settled for two brands and models:

NEC MultiSync PA271W

DELL UltraSharp U3011

Actually Dell releases a new UltraSharp model these days: the Dell UltraSharp U3014

(sorry, it's in french). Unlike the U3011 CCFL backlighting, the U3014 uses LED. The product should be reviewed soon, I hope…

TFT Central just received their copy today.  Review will likely be posted in 7 to 10 days.

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probert500
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 13, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

NewsyL wrote:


.

You're going to have to do a bit of homework....

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm

http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/reviews.html

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Lots of thanks for your detailed and very informative answer, Newsy.

As you say: I should do my homework!

I had done a certain amount of homework before posting here however. But the fact is that it is almost impossible to make a decision on builder's specs alone. Even reviewers have to take account of a wide panel of users when they bring a product review. The interest of sharing in discussion forums is to get hands on experience from users and owners of the gear who are in the same boat. Maybe I should post in more specific forums, but let's see if there is more experience to draw from here first.

As I said, I had done a little bit of homework prior to posting here, and here is what I came to.

I will skip the Eizo line, mostly because the price range is above my budget. I settled for two brands and models:

NEC MultiSync PA271W

DELL UltraSharp U3011

Both are now at my reach with recent price drops. Both have wide gamut capabilities and internal LUT tables, which is great. It seems that many photographers are happy with either of those two. They have some cons however. Intrusive antiglare finish for the NEC, need for a specific calibration device for the DELL. Those two are now to be soon replaced by new models, so this is not latest technology (power consuming CCFL and no USB3 hub for instance).

So maybe there is a contender in the LED range ? I just read on the links you provided that some LED monitors have now non flickering light reduction electronics.

Would someone suggest a LED monitor that has been acclaimed by photographers who work in a controlled lighting environment?

Thanks again!

Paul

Wow that's some settling - the NEC is one of the finest monitors made - simply superb.  If you get the spectraview software and a good calibrator you probably won't see a delta e above 1 - and usually much less.

I'm using one now and I want to lick the screen it's so damned pretty.

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alpshiker
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to probert500, Mar 13, 2013

probert500 wrote:


Wow that's some settling - the NEC is one of the finest monitors made - simply superb. If you get the spectraview software and a good calibrator you probably won't see a delta e above 1 - and usually much less.

I'm using one now and I want to lick the screen it's so damned pretty.

That's nice comment, thanks Peter.

Do you have the PA or the Spectraview version of this monitor? As I mentioned above, TFT Central states in the NEC MultiSync PA271W review that the entry level PA is limited by firmware to video card profiling, while the more expensive Spectraview 271 and Reference 271 can be hardware calibrated internally.

My dealer has now the Spectraview 271 and Reference 271 tagged as "new products". Since those two were originally released in 2010 I believe, have there been significant changes in the technology?

However, comparing specs between the 3 versions shows absolutely no difference. They differ probably in that the more expensive models are built from select panels, are factory calibrated and have firmware for hardware calibration.

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NewsyL
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 13, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

probert500 wrote:


Wow that's some settling - the NEC is one of the finest monitors made - simply superb. If you get the spectraview software and a good calibrator you probably won't see a delta e above 1 - and usually much less.

I'm using one now and I want to lick the screen it's so damned pretty.

That's nice comment, thanks Peter.

Do you have the PA or the Spectraview version of this monitor? As I mentioned above, TFT Central states in the NEC MultiSync PA271W review that the entry level PA is limited by firmware to video card profiling, while the more expensive Spectraview 271 and Reference 271 can be hardware calibrated internally.

My dealer has now the Spectraview 271 and Reference 271 tagged as "new products". Since those two were originally released in 2010 I believe, have there been significant changes in the technology?

However, comparing specs between the 3 versions shows absolutely no difference. They differ probably in that the more expensive models are built from select panels, are factory calibrated and have firmware for hardware calibration.

.

Do the units that the dealer has tagged as  "new" have a CCFL back light or a LED back light?

I ask because I believe LG Display is no longer making the IPS panel that the original rev01 PA271w came out with.  I'm expecting NEC to upgrade this monitor with the latest LG IPS panel and perhaps that would also include a back light upgrade much like we're seen with Dell upgrading from the U2711 to the U2713H.

.

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alpshiker
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to NewsyL, Mar 13, 2013

NewsyL wrote:

Do the units that the dealer has tagged as "new" have a CCFL back light or a LED back light?

I ask because I believe LG Display is no longer making the IPS panel that the original rev01 PA271w came out with. I'm expecting NEC to upgrade this monitor with the latest LG IPS panel and perhaps that would also include a back light upgrade much like we're seen with Dell upgrading from the U2711 to the U2713H.

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They haven't mentioned it in the specs. Availability of the "new" NEC SpectraView Reference 271, 27" IPS, DisplayPort, is mid March…

Was this monitor already a 10 bit aRGB monitor when it first came out in 2010?

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BeachnCruz
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Re:Eu vs USA Spectraview II software capability with PA271W/SV versions
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 13, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

probert500 wrote:


Wow that's some settling - the NEC is one of the finest monitors made - simply superb. If you get the spectraview software and a good calibrator you probably won't see a delta e above 1 - and usually much less.

I'm using one now and I want to lick the screen it's so damned pretty.

That's nice comment, thanks Peter.

Do you have the PA or the Spectraview version of this monitor? As I mentioned above, TFT Central states in the NEC MultiSync PA271W review that the entry level PA is limited by firmware to video card profiling, while the more expensive Spectraview 271 and Reference 271 can be hardware calibrated internally.

My dealer has now the Spectraview 271 and Reference 271 tagged as "new products". Since those two were originally released in 2010 I believe, have there been significant changes in the technology?

However, comparing specs between the 3 versions shows absolutely no difference. They differ probably in that the more expensive models are built from select panels, are factory calibrated and have firmware for hardware calibration.

Re:Eu vs USA Spectraview II software capability with PA271W versions ....

TFT Central stated ….

"The other thing I wanted to take a look at is the USA version of the SpectraView II software, available from NEC's US website. We tested this with the PA271W before and this software does allow hardware level calibration of both the regular and SV editions of the screen. The European SpectraView Profiler software can only carry out full hardware calibration when combined with the SV version of the screen, but the US SpectraView II software can work with either fine. This is an NEC in-house piece of software."

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/nec_spectraview_reference_271.htm

Jim

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BeachnCruz
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NEC Testimonials
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 13, 2013
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alpshiker
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Re:Eu vs USA Spectraview II software capability with PA271W/SV versions
In reply to BeachnCruz, Mar 13, 2013

BeachnCruz wrote:


Re:Eu vs USA Spectraview II software capability with PA271W versions ....

TFT Central stated ….

"The other thing I wanted to take a look at is the USA version of the SpectraView II software, available from NEC's US website. We tested this with the PA271W before and this software does allow hardware level calibration of both the regular and SV editions of the screen. The European SpectraView Profiler software can only carry out full hardware calibration when combined with the SV version of the screen, but the US SpectraView II software can work with either fine. This is an NEC in-house piece of software."

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/nec_spectraview_reference_271.htm

Jim

Thanks Jim,

Seems that I got mixed up with the flow of information I read last night ! … Right, then USA customers should be happy, as they are able to hardware calibrate any of the Nec PA and the Spectraview. Did I read somewhere that the European version of the calibration software (made by Datacolor) detects the serial number of the monitor, and the hardware option stays greyed accordingly? And if the NEC USA version of the software works in this way too, smuggling the US soft would be of no use. Anyway, since I'm on the unlucky side this time, I should better clarify this for myself before spending on the PA271W.

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NewsyL
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 13, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

Was this monitor already a 10 bit aRGB monitor when it first came out in 2010?

Yes. Though there has been some speculation that what several manufacturers are calling a 10bit color depth is really "8bit + some version of Frame Rate Control" to simulate a 10bit color depth.

Note that the port you use for connectivity is critical.

.

http://th.nec.com/en_TH/product/display/professional/download/brochure/pa241w_pa271w_specbrochure.pdf

- "​allow the display of 1.07 billion colors out of a palette of 4.3 trillion*"

and the * refers to...

- "* with 10-bit DisplayPort input. 16.7 million colors out of 65 billion with DVI-D input. "

.

http://www.nec-display.com/ap/en_display/old/pa231w/index.html

- "16.7million colors out of 1.05billion color palette(DVI-D input)"

.

http://www.eizo.com/na/support/db/files/catalogs/ce/ColorEdge_video.pdf

- "display 1.07 billion colors from a palette of 278 trillion"

.

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probert500
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Re:Eu vs USA Spectraview II software capability with PA271W/SV versions
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 13, 2013

Not sure how they do it in europe - I had the spectraview software i used with a previous monitor and it recognized my new one.  I do recommend it though;  I think it's more accurate than calibrating via the video card and it offers the ability to switch between calibrations.  I calibrate for print, for web, and for whatever my clients are using to view images (not the best solution but it avoids friction).

I see comments regarding billions vs million of colors and all I can say is I'm using dvi and really couldn't ask for more.  It's nitpicking at a very high level.

One thing to note is that I had sleep issues with the displayport hookup - it may be a mac thing but it is a known issue.

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BeachnCruz
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Re:Eu vs USA Spectraview II software capability with PA271W/SV versions
In reply to probert500, Mar 13, 2013

probert500 wrote:

Not sure how they do it in europe - I had the spectraview software i used with a previous monitor and it recognized my new one. I do recommend it though; I think it's more accurate than calibrating via the video card and it offers the ability to switch between calibrations. I calibrate for print, for web, and for whatever my clients are using to view images (not the best solution but it avoids friction).

I see comments regarding billions vs million of colors and all I can say is I'm using dvi and really couldn't ask for more. It's nitpicking at a very high level.

One thing to note is that I had sleep issues with the displayport hookup - it may be a mac thing but it is a known issue.

I use a MacBook Pro and Mini-Displayport to Displayport 2560 x 1440 connection to NEC PA271W-BK with no Mac sleep issues ....

Jim

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f8BeThereToo
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to NewsyL, Mar 13, 2013

Since there is currently no Mac that supports 10-bit displays it's a moot point...

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bdkr65
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to probert500, Mar 13, 2013

Using a U3011 as well as a U3012 (for the 16:10 ratio) and like them, personally better than my older NEC from yesteryear(s)... Using a MacBookPro w/a MiniDisplay port (same as Thunderbolt connector) to DVI-IN and it works quite well. Haven't noticed any color difficulties in prints returned from both Mpix and BayPhoto.

One hint- get some sort of calibration device. It will help.

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NewsyL
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to f8BeThereToo, Mar 13, 2013

MrMojo wrote:

Since there is currently no Mac that supports 10-bit displays it's a moot point...

Even though they use ATi GPU's and have Displayports, really?  or do you just mean the Apple Cinema Displays?

I know with a WinOS you have to use a specific GPU to support 10bit connectivity, your gaming type video card does not necessarily support 10bits regardless of how many pipes it has.

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f8BeThereToo
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Re:If that's settling I envy you.
In reply to NewsyL, Mar 13, 2013

NewsyL wrote:

MrMojo wrote:

Since there is currently no Mac that supports 10-bit displays it's a moot point...

Even though they use ATi GPU's and have Displayports, really? or do you just mean the Apple Cinema Displays?

I know with a WinOS you have to use a specific GPU to support 10bit connectivity, your gaming type video card does not necessarily support 10bits regardless of how many pipes it has.

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I'm referring to Apple computers, not the displays... The last I checked I did not find a compatible Mac. Here is what it says on the NEC Displays FAQ:

"As of April 2011, there is no support for 10 bit video on DisplayPort with any Mac systems."

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alpshiker
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DELL U3014 ?
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 16, 2013

Many thanks to all for your input, which answers most of my questioning on both technical and practical sides of panel back-lighting technologies.

I now understand that there is no simple rule, such as CCFL is eyes friendly and LED is not, CCFL is soft LED is too contrasty, etc. Early PWM LED backlighting must be avoided, but newer high-end monitors include a LED backlighting that does not flicker even at low luminance levels such as those used to work on images (80-120 cd/m2).

So why not step forward in the newer technology, taking the good of it ?

What draws me to the DELL U3014 is the ratio first. Many of my images are framed vertically, and I also do some InDesign layout.

Brightness on that LED panel can be set to a minimum of 50 cd/m2, with non flickering LED (GB technology, same as new Eizo and probably new NEC PA soon). Price of U3014 is a lot less than the NEC 30" counterpart. Last but not least, it has a USB3 hub.

There have not been real testing results released as today, but the earlier released U2713H is well noted, except for uniformity. Since some of you have been very happy with the U3011, it is doubtful that it's successor will disappoint.

Problem: Monitors this size must be plugged in with a dual cable adapter, which takes one TB and one USB port I think. This would be the case with any of the 27" too. Since the MBPr has very limited connectivity, it's better to think ahead.

The DELL has a USB3 hub, which certainly would be useful, but the MacbookPro Retina seems fussy with external USB3 hubs have I read, at least some earlier versions of the MBPr. It is not yet known whether the DELL hub will work for the MBPr. Also, DELL viewing software is PC only. And yes, LUT calibration would have me to purchase yet another device.

What did I forget ? I would gladly take any word of encouragement and /or of warning before the purchase is final !

Thanks again !

Paul

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NewsyL
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Re: DELL U3014 ?
In reply to alpshiker, Mar 16, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

Many thanks to all for your input, which answers most of my questioning on both technical and practical sides of panel back-lighting technologies.

I now understand that there is no simple rule, such as CCFL is eyes friendly and LED is not, CCFL is soft LED is too contrasty, etc. Early PWM LED backlighting must be avoided, but newer high-end monitors include a LED backlighting that does not flicker even at low luminance levels such as those used to work on images (80-120 cd/m2).

So why not step forward in the newer technology, taking the good of it ?

What draws me to the DELL U3014 is the ratio first. Many of my images are framed vertically, and I also do some InDesign layout.

Brightness on that LED panel can be set to a minimum of 50 cd/m2, with non flickering LED (GB technology, same as new Eizo and probably new NEC PA soon). Price of U3014 is a lot less than the NEC 30" counterpart. Last but not least, it has a USB3 hub.

There have not been real testing results released as today, but the earlier released U2713H is well noted, except for uniformity. Since some of you have been very happy with the U3011, it is doubtful that it's successor will disappoint.

Problem: Monitors this size must be plugged in with a dual cable adapter, which takes one TB and one USB port I think. This would be the case with any of the 27" too. Since the MBPr has very limited connectivity, it's better to think ahead.

The DELL has a USB3 hub, which certainly would be useful, but the MacbookPro Retina seems fussy with external USB3 hubs have I read, at least some earlier versions of the MBPr. It is not yet known whether the DELL hub will work for the MBPr. Also, DELL viewing software is PC only. And yes, LUT calibration would have me to purchase yet another device.

What did I forget ? I would gladly take any word of encouragement and /or of warning before the purchase is final !

.

TFT Central is about a week away from releasing their review.  I get their Twitter feed and this is what they have said so far...

"Dell U3014 review sneak peek - light AG coating confirmed, no cross-hatching. PWM used for all backlight dimming but at very high 2500Hz"

"Confirmed, the Dell U3014 is using LG.Display's new LM300WQ6-SLA1 AH-IPS panel. Review a work in progress"

.

Where did you read that it can be set to 50 cd/m2?

.

Also, I've read of problems with the USB3 ports on the latest Dell monitors, can't recall which model but it was either the U2713HM or U2713H.  Lots of reports of cross hatching on the U2713HM.

.

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alpshiker
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Re: DELL U3014 ?
In reply to NewsyL, Mar 16, 2013

NewsyL wrote:

TFT Central is about a week away from releasing their review. I get their Twitter feed and this is what they have said so far...

"Dell U3014 review sneak peek - light AG coating confirmed

nicer semi matte finish, thinner grain than was used on previous models, they say.

, no cross-hatching. PWM used for all backlight dimming but at very high 2500Hz"

That makes sense. As long as it won't induce eyes fatigue, I'm ok with it.

"Confirmed, the Dell U3014 is using LG.Display's new LM300WQ6-SLA1 AH-IPS panel. Review a work in progress"

Might be same panel as used by competitors.

Where did you read that it can be set to 50 cd/m2?

Here , 5th paragraph… and here also, third paragraph. They say that the brightness can be set from 50 to 350 cd/m2 (theoretical numbers, real numbers may differ a bit). Pretty good for a LED screen. Of course, no one will use a screen at 50 cd/m2, or a spy on duty maybe… But if it can 50 to 350, it should cruise nicely between 100 and 200.

Also, I've read of problems with the USB3 ports on the latest Dell monitors, can't recall which model but it was either the U2713HM or U2713H. Lots of reports of cross hatching on the U2713HM.

.

The HM is a cheaper consumer grade monitor. Well, I am not a fervent DELL supporter, but let's see what reviewers can find about their flagship model. Next week maybe for TFT Central?

Paul

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alpshiker
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Re: NEC Testimonials
In reply to BeachnCruz, Apr 4, 2013

alpshiker wrote:

NewsyL wrote:

TFT Central is about a week away from releasing their review. I get their Twitter feed and this is what they have said so far...

"Dell U3014 review sneak peek - light AG coating confirmed

The review has been released for days now. However, even if there seems to be not much to complain, I read not much to be overly enthusiastic about the Dell U3014 in that review either. The 2'500 Hz LED backlight is thought to be OK to many users, but is still addressed with a word of caution. The lack of reports from high end users who would be spending their days on that sort of screen, peaking at details in retouching photos, leaves me unconvinced. I would have loved the size versus a 27", the USB3 hub, as well as lower power consumption. But since I have no way of testing and returning an item if I'm not pleased, I will probably stay safe and buy the NEC PA271W. If the price step hadn't been that steep, the NEC 30" would have been perfect.

From what I could gather, the LCD viewable size of the PA271 is unfortunately no taller than my iMac 24" (about 327mm), but is much wider, which should help with managing the tool bars in both PS and LR.  Images in landscape mode will appear larger, but images in portrait mode will still be a little squeezed. There should be more details in them however due to the thinner screen pitch.   I have tested a dual monitor setting with an older Lacie 21" in upright position. I'm not sure it will match the PA271 well enough pitch-wise to be paired with it however (just thinking loud…)

Thanks for your thoughts so far!

Paul

(sorry for the numerous edit attempts – I don't like to post back in the older threads!)

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Victor Engel
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Re: DELL U3014 ?
In reply to alpshiker, 2 months ago

alpshiker wrote:

Problem: Monitors this size must be plugged in with a dual cable adapter, which takes one TB and one USB port I think. This would be the case with any of the 27" too. Since the MBPr has very limited connectivity, it's better to think ahead.

What do you mean by this duel cable comment?

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