Alternative's to Apple cinema displays

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by invader75, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. invader75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    Hi All,

    Does anybody have any good recommendations for an alternative to an Apple cinema display?

    I've had enough of Apple's rubbish 1 guarantee's after spending £700 on a 20" only for it to stop working after 2 years.

    Needs to be used for Graphics (mainly print) so would need to be colour matched etc.

    Cheers
     
  2. waffle911 macrumors regular

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    #2
    Generally speaking, what you want is a monitor with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel, which is the type that Apple uses in their displays to get such vibrant and accurate colors, but suffers from slightly slower response times and generally higher cost. Most cheaper monitors available today are TN (Twisted Nematic) which are known for their quick response times and poor color reproduction and downright terrible viewing angles. PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment) displays are less common and typically have very good contrast, but relatively poor viewing angles; some models have excellent color accuracy after calibration, others do not, so it can be a mixed bag in general.

    As for what manufacturers to look for, LG and Hitachi are the big names that made IPS technology what it is today; Hitachi invented it, and LG continues to refine it. LG panels are used in a lot of the displays seen today made by several different manufacturers, including Apple itself. Other brands to look at (besides LG itself) include Dell, HP, NEC, and Eizo. There are others that also manufacture IPS displays, but the ones mentioned before are the safe and reliable brands that come to mind. Not all IPS displays come calibrated well from the factory, so adjustment will likely be required for accurate color representation.
    LED-backlit displays also tend to have better color properties than the more traditional CCFL-backlit displays. One need only put a last-gen 24" iMac next to a 24" Cinema Display at the same brightness (actual brightness, not the brightness setting in OS X) to see the difference in color depth. However, Apple LED-backlit displays seem to use plain white LEDs, while some of its competitors use combined red/green/blue LED backlights to get the most out of the RGB spectrum, with spectacular results. Overall, however, this seems to be a very rare feature except on some of the most expensive models.

    Unfortunately, it is infrequent that a manufacturer will list the panel type in the specs, and it can be very difficult to tell when browsing online. It is recommended you do some online research for model you're interested in to find out what type of panel it uses. A general rule of thumb, however, is that IPS displays are markedly more expensive than otherwise comparable TN displays.

    P.S. Don't fall for the claims of "Dynamic Contrast Ratio". The numbers generated have almost no bearing on the actual contrast ratio of the display, and are there purely for marketing purposes. In fact, it's best to disable this option on such displays whenever possible for the best picture.

    I hope this helps!

    P.P.S. You might have been able to find plenty of relevant information if you had taken the time to use the forum's Search function (upper-right hand corner!).

    EDIT: After digging around a little, I found the HP LP2475w and Dell U2410 monitors, both of which are much cheaper than the Apple 24" Cinema Display, and have many more features. The only thing they lack is LED backlighting, which is an uncommon and expensive feature as it is, so no big deal there. These seem to be the best monitors of this size for the price. If absolute accuracy is more of a concern than cost, though, I would suggest looking in to an Eizo or NEC display.
     
  3. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    England
    #3
    I found this link to be useful - lists a lot of the actual panels used in various monitors: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/panelsearch.htm

    There are also a lot of in depth reviews of monitors on that site.
     
  4. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

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    Mar 10, 2003
    #4
    Eizo is the best. A close second is LaCie. In addition to great hardware specs, Eizo and LaCie come with the best calibration software. Can you afford a LaCie 700 series?

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11093
    • Ground-breaking RGB LED backlighting technology
    • Wide gamut: 116% NTSC & 114% Adobe RGB (CIE 1976)
    • 14-bit gamma correction for smooth gradients
    • LaCie blue eye pro Proof Edition software including UGRA certification
    • Response Time: 6ms G2G
    • Panel: Samsung S-PVA
    • Three-year warranty
     
  5. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #5
    IPS panels will have 178 degree vertical viewing angles, PVA will have around 170, and TN will have 160. This method works for a vast majority of monitors, its best to confirm by searching online before buying though, some PVA monitors might be listed as 178 (maybe because of a lottery system where some monitors get IPS and some get PVA, Dell used to do that)

    For the money Dell Ultrasharps are the best you can get. The new 24" Ultrasharp says it uses an IPS display as well. They have always been better than Apple monitors (not counting the 24" LED one, dont know anything about that).
     
  6. invader75 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #6
    Thanks a lot fella's. Good advice and information.
     
  7. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #7

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  8. waffle911 macrumors regular

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    #8
    Ah, see I wasn't sure about LaCie; I'm not too familiar with their monitors, and I was wary of it being a PVA panel. I have seen a number of known-PVA panels that were calibrated well and claimed horizontal viewing angles of 170° which actually turned out to have noticeable color variance at as little as 10° off center. As it is, I'm more familiar with LaCie's spectacularly unreliable external storage products.
     
  9. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a

    Gator24765

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  10. nrajack macrumors member

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    #10
    I use a now-discontinued Viewsonic VP2650wb 25.5 inch monitor. With a color calibration via a Spyder Pro it's really great in Photoshop. I have no doubt that the follow-on VP2655wb at $912 from Provantage is just as good; don't remember what I paid for mine as I've had it a while. 3 year warranty on the 2655.
     
  11. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #11
    Proofing displays and color gamuts

    Agreed. I was the recipient of one of such external devices, which is now a door stop. Fortunately, their monitors have a better reputation. The LaCie 14-bit 700 series LCD's are capable of displaying up to 125 percent of Adobe RGB gamut. The 12-bit 500 series is capable of 97 percent of the same gamut.

    During calibration classes for monitors and large-format printers, EIZO and LaCie were the two most highly regarded brands by neutral parties. These two come with the best integrated hardware/software calibration systems. Unsurprisingly, at one color management event sponsored by HP, the Dreamcast was discussed and demonstrated.

    There are several RGB color spaces. Apple Aperture uses Wide Gamut RGB. The goal is to use a monitor that can display the same range of color as the output device. If, for example, the printer is calibrated for Adobe RGB (1998), the monitor used in the production setting should be able to replicate that range. A monitor limited to sRGB is only capable of reproducing a fraction of the Adobe RGB color space.

    The professional color proofing monitors I mentioned include tri-color RGB LED backlights and are capable of displaying most, if not more than, the Adobe RGB color range. Newer consumer-grade Dell monitors offer this option. High-end HP printers are optimized for Adobe RGB, to match traditional prepress workflows. (Note application-managed color can also be enabled on high-end HP printers.)
     

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  12. highscheme macrumors regular

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  13. camomac macrumors 6502a

    camomac

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    #13
    Yes LaCie are rebranded NEC's. LaCie just make a complete solution in one package (ie monitor/calibrator)..

    this is just my opinion, but I would go with NEC and an I1 (x-rite) for calibration. You can get a used I1 for a decent price on eBay...
     
  14. SoCalRich macrumors 6502

    SoCalRich

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    #14
    Yes... AND usually the older models or versions regards tech specs and manufacturing.
     
  15. mangrove macrumors 6502

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    FL, USA
    #15
    Try the HP ZR30w a new 30" LCD Monitor

    This reply might be too late since you posted your question in April.

    I just got one last week and it is perfect for me. It does have an S-IPS panel. Since I did not want to wait any longer for a new Apple Display this fit the need. Got it from MacMall. Apparently HP is running a special price on it now for dealers, even though their Small Business Web site indicates a $1299 MSRP.

    I was surprised that it came with DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable (even though it's no good for Apples without adapters), a USB cable since the monitor can double as a small 4xUSB hub, and a DVI-D to DVI-D cable which they label as a Dual-Link DVI cable.

    I bought from Kanex a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable for like $15.00.

    Trust this might help.
     
  16. SoCalRich macrumors 6502

    SoCalRich

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    #16
    +1...

    After a LOT of looking around at 24" & 30" ACD's NEC PA241 & PA271, Dell U2711, Eizo's & LaCie I made the move. I got tired of waiting on Apple.

    I went down to the MacMall in Santa Monica and sat in front of a HP 3065 which is the predecessor to the new ZR30. The screen was BEAUTIFUL...!!! There also was a 27" and a 24" screen sitting on either side of the ZR30w. I tried each of them just to see the size difference. I was sold.

    Read the AnandTech Review I think you will be impressed with this monitor. I just bought a new 17" MBP i7. I will hook up a mini display port to display port cable from MonoPrice, order my wireless keyboard and magic mouse and I'm set.

    MacMall has them on a HP Promo sale for $1,249.99. They are flying off the shelves. When the Promos are gone it will revert to the regular price of $1,539.99 MacMall also has a free shipping option

    Mine is ordered and I can't wait until it arrives.
     

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