What is Contrast Ratio?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by job, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. job macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2002
    in transit
    I'm looking to upgrade my entire computer system at the end of this year/beginning of next.

    I am currently looking at different LCDs for purchase and noticed that some mention "contrast ratio."

    What exactly is this? I noticed that a Viewsonic 18" LCD has a 600:1 contrast ratio and a price tag of 600 dollars. Why then, does another Viewsonic 18" LCD monitor have a lower (550:1) contrast ratio, but cost more (650 dollars)?

    Oh, the Apple 17" has a contrast ratio of 350:1.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. losfp macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    I think that's basically the difference between the brightest it can display and the darkest it can display at any one given time.

    You can obviously move this "range" with the brightness control, ie: if your device is normally set with a brightness range of (say) 0 to 350. to get brighter, you would have to turn up the brightness control, to say 400, but that in turn raises your "darkest" setting to 50, so your blacks aren't really black, but more of a dark grey.

    I think that's essentially it.

    As for the price differences, the contrast ratio is simply ONE of the many factors that go into it.. others like build quality, pixel refresh rate, colour quality etc would be factors too.

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