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Video Monitors

 
A S I A T R O N I C
 

Avoid spending more than 1/4 of your entertainment system budget on video monitors.

The only product you may need in addition to your Neptune entertainment system if you want to do 'home theater' or other similar applications is a large screen monitor.  Video monitor technology changes often.  Please visit our "Compare Neptune" and "Cool Tools" pages for more details about how the system works.

Factors such as sound quality, power, and source equipment capabilities play a HUGE role in generating 'you-are-there' realism. You can of course watch movies and TV or other things on Neptune Remotes but their screens are not all that big.  We offer here our objective recommendations regarding video monitor technologies.  We have designed, sold, and installed systems for hundreds of people from low budget systems to over-the-top 'rich and famous' stuff and 'seen it all'.

Plasmas are quite popular these days, but good CRT monitors provide equivalent picture quality.  We suggest 'going plasma' only if you don't want to dedicate the space needed for a large (32" or larger) CRT, want higher resolution and brightness than a projection system, and don't need a screen size larger than the available plasma offerings.  The information below is divided into four sections: 1) CRT, 2) Plasma, 3) LCD, and 4) ProjectionMore

Technology Ranking (1-4, 1=best)
1Type

CRT

Resolution

1

Size

4

Cost

1

If you have the space and like the cosmetics of a wide screen CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitor that is your best choice because they offer equivalent picture quality to plasmas and cost far less.  CRT monitors are also the most reliable, cheapest to repair, and are available in HDTV and even higher resolutions than plasmas (marketed for data, engineering, and medical systems) if desired.

NOTE: 'Trinitron' and Trinitron derivatives offer superior contrast and color to 'shadow mask' technologies, but at reduced reliability and increased cost.  Trinitrons can also be recognized by one or more very thin horizontal line(s) near the middle of the screen.

When playing loud sounds in the same room, Trinitron-based monitors can visually oscillate with unintended colorful moiré patterns at certain frequencies.  This occurs because the wire screen mask of a Trinitron is suspended and as it vibrates the beams can be deflected to the wrong colors sometimes.  Trinitrons also generate a lot more heat (one of the reasons for their lower reliability).  Because of this we recommend shadow-mask over Trinitron. 

Other names such as 'Dyna-Flat' are shadow mask as well.  Their picture is not quite as good as a Trinitron but it is equivalent to Plasmas and does not exhibit unintended moiré artifacts or the same reliability issues :)

2Type

Plasma

Resolution

2

Size

3

Cost

3

They sure look cool! =:-))  A plasma monitor is basically an array of zillions of little neon lights (more or less), whereas a CRT uses a single big 'neon light' (tube) and aims the energy at various spots.  Needless to say, a plasma monitor is far more complex to produce.

NOTE: Plasmas are not intrinsically higher resolution than CRT, just depends on which CRT and plasma models you compare.

3Type

LCD

Resolution

3

Size

2

Cost

4

LCD is the most compact and lowest power consumption video monitor technology available, but we recommend against LCDs for large-screen applications as they are relatively slow (has to wait for crystals to grow) and less reliable than other alternatives.

NOTE: The main drawback of LCD, aside from items mentioned, is it does not have as much brightness resolution as any of the 3 other technologies.  The appearance is a bit more 'blocky' and 'painted' looking.  Similar appearance to LCD can be obtained on CRT monitors by lowering the bit resolution of the signal being fed them, thereby reducing the number of colors, etc.

4Type

Projection

Resolution

4

Size

1

Cost

2

Rear projection and screen projection monitor systems offer even greater size than other options but at reduced resolution and brightness (better if you sit farther away and in darkness).  Without a darkened room you will not obtain anything even remotely approaching the brightness and contrast of CRT, plasma, or LCD monitors. 

Projection systems are basically a trade off that sacrifices the superior COLOR, BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST realism of CRT and plasma monitors for the visual SIZE REALISM of having a reeeeeeally big screen.  In other words, when people stand around in a video the picture can be about the same size as an actual person - even bigger, for drama as they say :)

NOTE: Some people are not aware that fancy resolution enhancing hardware for projection systems is easily replicated in software.  A particularly cool thing about Neptune Remotes and Servers is you can use either as the hub of your system and either of them can run special software to enhance the resolution and vibrancy of video sources in real time.

1
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