Are all PC monitors low quality junk?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by sno1man, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    So I bought one of the new minis as a development/server/experimental/not worried if i trash it machine and leave the family iMac alone.

    For this, i didn't see the need for Apple's TB display (plus it needs to be updated with USB3)

    I tried not to go for the very bottom $99 Walmart rung, but went for name brands. However, all I'm seeing so far is just yuck!

    Washed out, grainy,not even close color balance. So far I have tried models from HP,Dell,Samsung and LG and they all have been unacceptable.

    So before my local best buy starts avoiding me, can anyone suggest a decent display?

    I'd like to stay in the $300 or less range and it needs to be HDMI, otherwise I'm back in iMac category in total cost.

    PS: All 4 of the monitors i have tried have exhibited the intermittent black screen issue
  2. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    That sort of tells the whole story. You get what you pay for. Not all PC monitors are "low quality junk". You are just looking at the junky ones, those that are basically TV quality monitors in terms of resolution and panel type (probably TN and not IPS).

    The iMac gives the lowest overall system cost. The mini only comes out less if you have an existing keyboard/mouse/display to use.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    Well I kind of addressed that in my post and why wanted a mini instead but anyway...
    And also 2 of the displays (dell and HP) were IPS models
  4. macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    try this machine vx2253mh-led with this cable

    this cable

    will not pass sound but has a good picture with this monitor
  5. macrumors regular

    May 19, 2006
    What you might be seeing are the symptoms of the HDMI output quality problems other people (including myself) have been experiencing.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    apparently it's due to a bad HDMI port controller on the Mini, so is Apple who needs to fix it therefore it'll happen with any HDMI monitor you use. An option is to buy a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter. (Or minidisplay port to HDMI)
  7. macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2012
    I had the same problem on my 2012 mini. I used the ColorSync utility to calibrate the machine which helped greatly.

    My 2011 mini didn't have this problem using hdmi though.
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    Actually I have tried using a mini displayport to HDMI adapter that I bought for my macbook pro and got exactly the same results including the black screen issue


    Trying to calibrate with color sync was the first thing i tried when I had the first display. I was able to get it significantly better but still not enough to be acceptable.

    I wonder if it's just my mini?
  9. macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    Make sure you're using ColorSync in Expert Mode.
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    done, think my eyes are in permanent squint after looking at those apple/stripe patterns so much:eek:
  11. macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    Did it help?
    As I posted in another thread yesterday, in ColorSync in Expert Mode, pay attention to the Native Gama settings (hint the box on the left, you're going to want to move that slider towards the bottom of the box). Then set/keep Target Gama at 2.20.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    The gaming monitor brands such as BenQ, Acer and other brands like iiyama seem to get decent reviews.
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    played with the gamma settings as well. As I said before it was better than when I started, but not good enough.

    What's doubly frustrating is that it actually looks decent connected to the 55 inch sony in the living room, but that's not practical for a variety of reasons


    I have a BenQ coming today, thanks.
  14. macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    The 27" Dell monitors, as far as I know, use the exact same LCD panels that are in the 27" t-bolt displays. But they also cost $800-900.

    You get what you pay for. If you don't want cheap junk, don't pay for cheap junk.

    The Dell Ultrasharp monitors have been regarded as very good. I've heard of some hiccups when using the displayport connector though.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    I went through a couple of monitors before I settled on the new Dell S series. The 23" is a s2340l and a 27" s2740l. Both are IPS and HDMI. The problem I've had with the monitors I've returned are the text, it's too jagged. I need to be able to adjust the sharpness down to soften the text. The ViewSonic wouldn't let me access the sharpness settings when it was being used in HDMI, greyed out.
    The Dells I can. Not to mention, both monitors have a plethora of built-in adjustments. There's certainly going to be some snob U series haters but ignore them, for the rest of us these are good values. BTW, these go on sale all the time. The s2340l I picked up for $180 and the s2740l was had for $300.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2012
    Someone should put together a list of good/recommended monitors to go along with the Mac Mini and make it a sticky.

    I was going to wait until after I buy my Mini then upgrade the monitor but I think I'm going to get a new monitor in the next week.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    With an LCD screen and a digital signal there's no such thing as adjusting the sharpness. Each individual pixel is presented exactly as intended by the OS.

    If the screen even has a sharpness setting (probably because it's a repurposed television) it will be like running the whole image through a Photoshop sharpen or blur filter and look horrific for computer desktop content. This is definitely not what you want. It's for watching TV.

    The difference you are seeing between your iMac and the monitors you've tried sounds like a pixel density issue. The 21.5" iMac shows you a 1080p image in 21.5" inches (diagonally) whereas most monitors you get at electronics stores will show you the same 1080p image in ~24 inches, i.e., a viewing area roughly 24% bigger. So you are seeing the same image but the pixels are 24% bigger and thus the jaggies are 24% more obvious.

    Easy solution is to buy a smaller 1080p monitor. Or, as others have pointed out, buy a 27" monitor with the same LCD panel as the 27" iMac.
  18. macrumors regular

    May 19, 2006
    Well, after fighting with the current monitor I'm using via an HDMI connection, a DVI cable provided instant results as well as pleasing results after calibration.

    Not sure about color accuracy right now, but the image is night-and-day better than it was using HDMI -- I spent most of my evening last night trying to tweak it through OSX's calibration wizard. Took two shots today to get it where I wanted (two because I realized I needed to reset brightness and contrast on the monitor).

    This issue sucks.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2012
    I just bought this one and it arrives tomorrow...

    It's an ASUS IPS 23" LED monitor for $174 and another $10 off with mail in rebate. I'll let you know how good it is... but the reviews are promising.
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    Interesting, the Dell i tried was a s2440L which is the 24 inch model. Physically it was by far the nicest looking with a glass (plastic) covering over the entire front of the monitor and touch screen controls.

    Sadly, it was also the farthest off in terms of color. Now matter what i did on the monitor or with color sync (and yes I used advanced including trying different white points) it was too blue unless I used the warmest setting and then everything was too yellow .

    And to top it off, the benq came but had obviously been dropped. The box sounded like a baby rattle. They are sending another and I also ordered a Viewsonic that someone else in the thread suggested. Both should arrive Wednesday.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2010
    West Midlands, England.
    Just get the TBD and suck it up.

    You only live once :p
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    This is already the 4th mac in the house, not to mention various iPads iPhones and iPods and the wife is already threatening an intervention:eek:
  23. macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2010
    West Midlands, England.
    Buy her an Apple TV ;)
  24. macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2010
    IPS is good for rich deep colors at any viewing angle vs the washed out TN panels.

    Also glossy screens always produce better image quality than matte.

    Matte screens even with IPS have a grainy/fuzzy look to them when they are on a white background.....Glossy screens are crystal clear without that fuzzy grain.
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    agreed, however two of the four displays i have tried (dell and HP) have been IPS displays. And all 4 have been glossy (not a matte fan)

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