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-   -   Do flat screen monitors wear out? (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/do-flat-screen-monitors-wear-out-4175693328/)

hazel 04-08-2021 06:46 AM

Do flat screen monitors wear out?
 
Yesterday I got a shock. I switched on at the mains and my monitor was dead. Normally I get a brief Dell logo and then a built-in screensaver. After a bit of switching on and off, it did come on and was perfectly OK for the rest of the day. Today I can't get it to work at all. I'm annoyed because that was my best monitor. The one I'm using now has a smaller screen and, though the image is sharp, everything looks small and fiddly.

I know that cathode ray tubes wear out but I always thought that flat screens don't because they don't get hot.

////// 04-08-2021 07:39 AM

what maker / model is it?

it would be easier to troubleshoot it.

rkelsen 04-08-2021 07:45 AM

Do flat screen monitors wear out?
 
They're just as prone to failure as any other electronic device. The screen itself might not get hot, but circuitry warms up when there is current flowing through it. Over time, soldered joints can become brittle and eventually crack from repeatedly warming up and cooling down. Some of the joints in modern circuitry don't have much solder in them.

hazel 04-08-2021 07:46 AM

It's a Dell SE197FP. It's quite old but it's never given me any trouble before.

wpeckham 04-08-2021 07:52 AM

Flat screens DO wear out, but how and when depends upon the underlying technology (There are at least three different kinds that I know about - okay, at least by name) and how fine the quality of construction. In addition, ALL electronics age and fail, so the attached circuitry and connectors must be considered.

This sounds like you have a connector or physical component failure. Had you really SMOKED something you could not have gotten it back with a few retries. That, however, does not mean that it is certainly something worth fixing, or easy to fix even if you can figure out what went south on you. It often costs more to recover a monitor than simply replacing it.

Have you a resource for inexpensive evaluation and repair?

Turbocapitalist 04-08-2021 07:55 AM

I would check if the backlight has failed. Maybe if you have bright light on it, you can get enough passive illumination to see if the rest is working.

hazel 04-08-2021 07:56 AM

No, I don't know of any repair shops. Do they still even exist? Who repairs things nowadays?

What annoys me far more is that there are no nearby shops where I could buy a new one. Maplins closed down years ago and now the Currys/PC World has moved off to Queensbury. Not much use if you live in Harrow and don't have a car. But, to be fair, it was old when I found it.

Shining an LED torch on it shows nothing.

Jan K. 04-08-2021 08:11 AM

Clean cables and connectors with cleaning spray...

Mine is a +10 year Philips and is working as day one. As do all the monitors we here have "sold" with the builds made to family and friends. Very high degree of reliability.

Only problem has been a loose cable...

But of course, everything has an end date.

hazel 04-08-2021 08:24 AM

I just switched it on again (without connecting it to the computer) and it showed the screensaver as normal. So I powered off the computer, reconnected the monitor and rebooted, and it works normally! What the heck is going on here?

PS: I greatly prefer this monitor to the one I was using this morning.

Emerson 04-08-2021 08:44 AM

The lights go bad, and the little inverter board which is powering them can go bad. I usually take a LED strip and replace the lights with LEDs. It is about 3 hours of work, the whole panel comes apart. Also, capacitors die in built-in power supplies. If your monitor went dark and then came back on later it indicates the lights are about to give up the ghost. LED conversion is in order. Too bad you live on the other side of pond, I'd do it for you for free.

Edit: the lights what go bad are called CCFL lights.

////// 04-08-2021 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist (Post 6238532)
I would check if the backlight has failed. Maybe if you have bright light on it, you can get enough passive illumination to see if the rest is working.

thats what crossed my mind too.

hazel 04-08-2021 08:59 AM

See post no.7

DavidMcCann 04-08-2021 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238544)
I just switched it on again (without connecting it to the computer) and it showed the screensaver as normal. So I powered off the computer, reconnected the monitor and rebooted, and it works normally! What the heck is going on here?

Experimental evidence for un-caused events? :)

Lucko666 04-08-2021 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238534)
... But, to be fair, it was old when I found it.

Did it follow you home?

I actually use a 24 inch HP monitor I found when I was walking my dog and lugged back for about a mile.

hazel 04-08-2021 11:39 AM

I just checked up the model number. It's 17 inches. I found it on the street as I did most of my kit. But that was a long time ago.

cynwulf 04-08-2021 11:47 AM

Emerson's post #10 is absolutely spot on. A pity you seem to have completely ignored it.

I'm not entirely sure if this is a request for technical advice or simply more babble and chatter....

////// 04-08-2021 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238601)
I just checked up the model number. It's 17 inches. I found it on the street as I did most of my kit. But that was a long time ago.

here at finland there is secondhand stores called "kierrätyskeskus" ("recycling center" in english) and they sell old but functioning computers and parts of em, i bought keyboards from them, 5€ a pop, and powercords 1€ ea.

do you have stores like those here at finland?

cwizardone 04-08-2021 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cynwulf (Post 6238605)
.......babble and chatter....

I don't know about Hazel, but when you live alone a little "bubble and chatter" is appreciated every now and then.
:)

enorbet 04-08-2021 12:12 PM

As much as I hate to admit it being a lifelong repair guy, there are a few valid reasons behind planned-obsolescence these days. I don't at all subscribe to the brainwashing that new==improved, but where technology is involved the turnaround time for fairly major breaktroughs is a huge issue and often even depends on fairly low tech developments that affect the Supply and Demand equation.

In the area of display monitors one of the more expensive to produce items is the very high quality glass required as a faceplate. These are manufactured in large sheets called "Mother glass" that can then be subdivided into commonly usable sizes. Usable sizes has grown by leaps and bounds and one reason is that the cost of preparing large glass is the same as for smaller sizes, so given availability of machinery that can "forge" larger Mothers, the cost of larger panels grows progressively smaller than smaller sizes. This is why it is possible these days to buy a 65 inch, high resolution, high refresh rate HDR monitor/TV for under $400, a few just over 200.

My mother bought one of the early panel HDTVs around the year 2003, a 24 inch cheapest you could buy at the time for $740 !!! Not only was it expensive it was also very heavy, had huge bezels measured in whole number inches, accepted only 3 types of connections, had only 720 Interlaced resolution and by today's standards minimal contrast and clarity among other faults. Additionally the soft power switch or the power supply failed in just 4 years. Compare this to even the cheapo Vizio 32inch 1080p monitor/tv I bought in 2017 for roughly $175 that still works great for the money today.

I mentioned in another thread that a $200+ graphics card I bought at roughly the same time was eclipsed totally by a $40 card just 5 years later.

The point of all that to this thread is I wouldn't bother to repair that Dell narrow view 19" monitor today. A vastly superior and far easier on the eyes 24 inch, brand name wide-screen monitor with vastly improved specs on every level, even a few that didn't even exist 10 years ago, can be had for a little over $100, which has to be close to what it would cost to repair that old 19" Dell. Even if fixed income required I save up for 6 months to justify a $120 hole in my budget, I would do that without hesitation. What value can one place on their vision?

Here's just a random example - Asus 24 inch Display

Soadyheid 04-08-2021 12:35 PM

Hi Hazel,

I get my kit second hand from a broker in Somerset (UK) called IJT They seem to source kit from corporations when they do an IT refresh about every three years or so.

So far I've got my HP Z400 workstation, my wife's HP Compaq 8200 All-in-one PC and my second HP 1955 monitor plus their own brand of printer ink refills for my HP Photosmart 5520. I've been very happy with all the purchases so far. The All-in-one PC and monitor were very well packed using air bags to prevent shipping damage to the screens.

One caveat is that I do get a Sales brochure at least four times a year and the occasional infrequent phone call where they push their inks and toner cartridges, etc, but I don't really mind that.

I notice from their website that their stocks of monitors is a bit limited just now probably because of Covid and lockdowns.

If you don't mind second hand, it might be an idea?

My :twocents:

Play Bonny!

:hattip:

fatmac 04-08-2021 01:06 PM

I tend to buy pre used monitors too, because I can't get the size(s) I prefer these days.

Mine come from firms that buy up ex commercial stock, when they upgrade, sometimes you can get unopened/unused items, & the sizes that I use only cost a few ££££s, (£15 upwards delivered for some 15" XGA monitors).

My present monitor, a 19" SXGA (Grade A), cost £25.99 delivered, last July, (& it has built in speakers too).

(Previously I bought a Grade A 15" XGA with speakers for £17.99 delivered, February last year.)

Between buying these 2 old monitors, I bought a modern 24", but I hardly ever use it - it's just too big! ;)

hazel 04-09-2021 01:42 AM

The answer to Cynwulf is that, yes, Emerson provided a good answer. But to make use of it, I would need to:
a) be able to understand the internals of the monitor
b) be good with my hands (I am in fact so clumsy as to be virtually dyspraxic)
c) have the right tools for the job.

Unfortunately none of these conditions apply. However I will have a look at the site suggested by Soadyheid.

Actually I hate buying stuff online because I don't feel safe doing it. I don't want my card details stored on servers all over the internet, where they can be skimmed by spyware and sold to crooks. Also I don't know how you tell a genuine site from one that just takes your money and doesn't provide the goods, and I won't buy from Amazon on principle. But a recommended site is a different matter.

In the mean time I have discovered that if I switch the thing on and off a few times, the screensaver comes up eventually. At least it did this morning and I am using it now. The first time it does come up, the pattern is faint and quickly fades away again (does that tell anybody anything?), but on a later try it brightens and stabilises. And once it is on, it stays on and I can boot the computer.

I also managed to find and download a manual. Of course there's a troubleshooting section in it but it's pretty useless. Under "Power light is on but screen is dark", all they can suggest is to unplug the monitor from the computer, switch it on, and if the screensaver then appears, the problem is with the computer. Well, I knew that already! It was the first thing I tried when the problem surfaced. They don't of course have any suggestions as to what to do if the screensaver doesn't appear or only appears sometimes.

If this had happened as little as five years ago, I would just have cut the hassle and bought a new screen. There were plenty of shops then where you could buy a monitor for very little. Now it's all gone online. But for the time being, I can nurse it along and replace it with one of my smaller screens where necessary. When Computer Exchange reopens (which I hope it will soon), I'll see if they have anything.

cynwulf 04-09-2021 02:16 AM

You seem to have only seen Emerson's post as advice to fix it yourself. You could interpret it as a definitive answer that the monitor has reached the end of its life.

From what you have said and based on the age of the monitor (look for the DOM usually on a label on the rear), it's one of the usual three: backlight, inverter board or PSU. In my experience with inverter board failure, the display comes on briefly then goes off, backlight failure usually means that when held at a certain angle or when shining a light on the screen you would see something, so based on what you've said I would go with PSU failure.

I haven't looked into your specific model beyond a quick search, but it looks like a circa 2010 4:3 monitor. I'm throwing most of these in to WEEE waste these days, as even if they seem to be working, the question is - how long for?

Ser Olmy 04-09-2021 03:28 AM

When LCD monitors "wear out", it's usually one of two things that fail:
  • the backlight circuitry (mentioned by Turbocapitalist in post #6)
  • the internal PSU (mentioned by Emerson in post #10)
If the backlight fails, it will still be possible to see a faint ghost of a picture if you shine a bright light on the screen. A PSU failure means the entire unit will appear dead.

In both cases, the actual component that tends to fail is the electrolytic capacitor. These perform a vital filtering function in all power regulating circuits, and especially in switched-mode power supplies (SMPSs), which represent by far the most common type of PSU in use today.

As electrolytic capacitors tend to degrade gradually over time, some equipment will go through a phase where it may power on after repeated attempts, before failing completely.

Low-voltage capacitors are extremely cheap, and replacing them is usually quite easy. Unfortunately, it seems that repairing things has gone completely out of fashion.

EdGr 04-09-2021 04:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238863)
In the mean time I have discovered that if I switch the thing on and off a few times, the screensaver comes up eventually. At least it did this morning and I am using it now. The first time it does come up, the pattern is faint and quickly fades away again (does that tell anybody anything?), but on a later try it brightens and stabilises. And once it is on, it stays on and I can boot the computer.

This is the symptom of a failing capacitor, most likely in the power supply or backlight inverter. Operation becomes more and more erratic as the ripple increases and voltage falls out of tolerance.

The capacitor is cheap, but the labor to replace it is not. I suggest buying a new monitor if you are not skilled in electronics repair.
Ed

Emerson 04-09-2021 04:39 AM

When inverter goes bad then usually a MOSFET is blown, it won't come back and work again as happened to Hazel. Same goes for power supply, when capacitors dry up and bulge then it usually keeps working until turned off, and once it cools down it will never work again.
When CCFL lights age then it will be exactly as described, sometimes it won't light up until one day it will stay dark.

hazel 04-09-2021 05:47 AM

Do flat screen monitors wear out? [solved]
 
So now I have a firm diagnosis, which is what I mainly wanted. And clearly I need to buy a new monitor for the long term. I don't want to have to go back to 14" when I'm used to 19". Non-essential shops are opening in the UK now, thanks to vaccination. I went past Computer Exchange this morning and they're not shuttered up any more but still aren't open to foot traffic. I'll check their site; maybe they do click and collect.

istr there used to be a computer shop in Wealdstone too.

////// 04-09-2021 06:19 AM

i wish we lived in a same country, ive got extra monitor which is like 24" inches. and it is in a kitchen floor collecting dust. :) i would be happy to get rid of it.

hazel 04-09-2021 06:34 AM

Ha Ha! One day there will be 3D scanners like there are 3D printers now and you will be able to scan something like that and transmit it over the internet and have it reconstituted on the other side. Here in the UK, you sell it to Computer Exchange. Don't they have anything like that in Finland?

I just went to their site and saw more or less what I wanted, a generic unbranded 21" screen for a ridiculously low price, and I was going to buy it when I suddenly got cold feet. They didn't say how it connects; I need svga for my computer and cables but I gather most modern screens use hdmi. That's another reason why I don't like online shopping. In a shop, you just ask, "How does it connect? I need svga."

Turbocapitalist 04-09-2021 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238934)
I just went to their site and saw more or less what I wanted, a generic unbranded 21" screen for a ridiculously low price, and I was going to buy it when I suddenly got cold feet. They didn't say how it connects; I need svga for my computer and cables but I gather most modern screens use hdmi. That's another reason why I don't like online shopping. In a shop, you just ask, "How does it connect? I need svga."

You often have to research the model number at the manufacturer's site. If you need SVGA then you might require an adapter but that would most likely mean an online purchase.

////// 04-09-2021 09:44 AM

well my gfx card has hdmi connector and one of my monitors has vga connector, i just ordered hdmi to vga adapter.
Code:

Here in the UK, you sell it to Computer Exchange. Don't they have anything like that in Finland?
what kind of shop is that?

hazel 04-09-2021 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ////// (Post 6239029)
well my gfx card has hdmi connector and one of my monitors has vga connector, i just ordered hdmi to vga adapter.
Code:

Here in the UK, you sell it to Computer Exchange. Don't they have anything like that in Finland?
what kind of shop is that?

It's a chain of shops that buy and sell second-hand electronics and games. I bought both my main computer and my laptop off them. Although the stuff is old, they refurbish it and sell it with the usual guarantees.

////// 04-09-2021 10:22 AM

i am sure there is shops like that in here. i know that there is shop(s) that sell used office computers, like when some company buys new computers those shops buy the old ones and resell em.

i just use/buy computers and parts from https://www.jimms.fi/ its a biggest computer shop here in finland.
and they have good customer service, like when i build my old computer i forgot to order cpu cooler they gave it to me free of charge.

cwizardone 04-09-2021 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238863)
..............Actually I hate buying stuff online because I don't feel safe doing it. I don't want my card details stored on servers all over the internet, where they can be skimmed by spyware and sold to crooks. Also I don't know how you tell a genuine site from one that just takes your money and doesn't provide the goods, and I won't buy from Amazon on principle. But a recommended site is a different matter........

Overall, I agree, but sometimes there isn't much choice these days. I share a Amazon Prime account with a relative. Prime accounts get free shipping, so that saves some money right there. What I've found is IF the item is sold and shipped by Amazon, I haven't had a problem. IF it is one of their third party "vendors" than you may have a problem. I put vendors is quotes as some of them are little more than thieves. I've been ripped off several times and swear I'll never buy another item via Amazon. OTOH, Amazon always steps up and will pay to return the item and credit the account. Sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth.
One positive thing is the variety of items you can find through Amazon. When a grandchild was born a few months ago I found, on Amazon, an outfit that will imprint the child's name and date of birth on the appropriately colored blanket. Couldn't find that around here if I walked every street in the greater metropolitan area. The outfit was on the other side of the country. I ordered in the morning and by that afternoon the blanket had been imprinted and shipped. One of the positive experiences among several negative experiences.
One of the local banks offers free accounts to "seasoned citizens" so I maintain a small account there and use it for online purchases. There is never enough in the account that if it was stolen I would be in financial trouble. :)

Emerson 04-09-2021 10:59 AM

At least one of my credit card issuers offers one-time-credit-card, I can go to their website and create myself a credit card which can be used only once. Good to tease those online services which demand you to sign up with promise you can cancel it any time and then you can go nuts trying to cancel it.

cwizardone 04-09-2021 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emerson (Post 6239085)
At least one of my credit card issuers offers one-time-credit-card, I can go to their website and create myself a credit card which can be used only once. Good to tease those online services which demand you to sign up with promise you can cancel it any time and then you can go nuts trying to cancel it.

Many thanks.
Great idea.
I'll look into it.
:hattip:

Emerson 04-09-2021 11:16 AM

There is more, it pays off to learn what you get. I have another credit card which extends all warranties by one year, say, I buy a washing machine or any appliance or gadget using this card and they will add one year to its warranty if I use their card. People never read those contracts what they sign ...

DavidMcCann 04-09-2021 11:24 AM

I have a Barclaycard — I first got one when they were the only bank card in the UK! — which is set to a low credit limit and only used for online purchases. It was compromised once, about 20 years ago, but the first attempt to use it was blocked as over my limit.

rnturn 04-09-2021 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6238492)
I know that cathode ray tubes wear out but I always thought that flat screens don't because they don't get hot.

I've had very good luck with flat screens... except once. My old 24in LG widescreen monitor was working perfectly until the power switch failed. One day it was fine and the next morning I had trouble getting it to light up. The day after that it failed completely---the on/off switch had failed hard. Sadly, LG's case had no visible screws to allow someone to open it (shades of the old "No User Serviceable Parts Inside!" warning). They glued the case together so well that I gave up any thought of trying to replace the microswitch that had failed. If it had been a CRT whose power switch had failed, I could have opened the thing up and worked on it. Old technology: you can work on it. New technology: throw it away when it breaks. :^(

hazel 04-10-2021 04:16 AM

Mine doesn't have screws either; I just checked.

Emerson 04-10-2021 05:10 AM

:) :) :)

I have seen many, they all come apart, once the bezel is off you can see the screws.

hazel 06-17-2021 05:46 AM

It finally gave up the ghost. RIP. For weeks, I just didn't turn it off at night; I let the computer switch itself off but left the main switch on to keep the monitor running. And it worked just fine. But yesterday the forecast said there would be violent thunderstorms overnight and I know that can sometimes cause surges in the power supply. I didn't want the computer or its external power unit to run any risk of being damaged, so I switched off at the main for the first time in two months. Now the monitor doesn't work any more.

I'm using a spare 17" screen for the time being. Now that the shops are open again, I can go and buy a new 19" one.

enorbet 06-17-2021 06:09 AM

That it displayed it's internal setup menu when disconnected from your PC likely indicates that absent some internal intermittent connection the odds are ports and cables, the interface. Repairing modern digital components is generally folly. The very practices that make devices smaller and cheaper to mass produce (PCBs and wave soldered surface mount components) are anathema to hands-on repair. The easiest and cheapest repair beyond cleaning and connector integrity (bent pins, weakened "springy" connectors) is to replace the cable. These days some companies, and Dell was an early adopter, no longer concern themselves much with universal compatibility on any components that aren't spec locked down (like power supply connections for newer applications like PCie, CPU, and Graphics) but interface from PC to Monitors are all locked down so it is impossible to get a cable that won't comply. This is especially true in your case, hazel, since you're gear uses the old D-shell VGA connector. Brand new decent quality VGA cables are under 10 bucks USD

hazel 06-17-2021 06:13 AM

Oh, I've got the cables! No problem, I even have a spare. I just need a decent sized screen.

enorbet 06-17-2021 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6259828)
I just need a decent sized screen.


Being an ancient diabetic, I relate wholeheartedly! I no longer have any screens smaller than 27 inches.


BTW since keyboard and monitor (for some, mouse, too) are how we interface it is arguably a given that these are the most important PC components we own. Even if it requires saving up for a year it seems wise to consider the rather long term investment in one's eyes to get a monitor that's easy on vision. One can get even a 23 inch monitor these days for around $100 that should last 10 years. At $10/year that's a wise investment for aging eyes, especially for those of us who spend hours each day squinting at them :)

Being an Old School electronics guy I hate the concept of "Replace, Don't Repair" but I have to admit it is astounding how far down most technology prices have come. In 2002 my Mother bought an early cheapest-offbrand-available HD TV. It was 24 inches and cost over $700. 19 years later one can buy a 45 inch Sony for the same money and the difference is WAY more than just size..

hazel 06-17-2021 06:39 AM

istr our first family TV had a 12" screen. The earliest computer screens I can remember were called visual display units (VDUs) and had a built-in keyboard.

Actually a smaller screen has sharper characters if the one I'm using now is anything to go by.

enorbet 06-17-2021 07:10 AM

Sharper characters are mainly a function of resolution which is in turn a function of GPU and Monitor, but there is a LOT more to it than mere resolution. Way back in my OS/2 days when I was using a decent Viewsonic CRT but an ultra cheap S3 GPU, I finally broke down and bought a Matrox MGA GPU which had, as I recall, 4MB VRAM. Several guys on message boards said I was foolish for wasting my money and displayed the math that showed 1MB was sufficient for 1024x720 resolution. What they apparently didn't grasp is that digital has many differences from analog, and that every tiniest detail requires processing power and RAM. The first time I booted up with the MGA installed when the Desktop leapt onto the screen (it was many times faster) what literally dropped my jaw for a full, stunned minute, wasn't just the speed, but how sharply the fonts were rendered. It was absolutely astonishing.

One needs to consider what things we view, whether 2D or 3D is common, in order to be thrifty but effective in choosing a graphics solution, but most OEM onboard GPUs these days have many more times the processing power of that Matrox MGA and can be set in BIOS/UEFI setup to share whatever amount of RAM one is willing to devote to get proper font rendering and speed. A discrete Graphics Card has the advantage of not only the amount of RAM but WAY faster VRAM. The specs of a Graphics card that I bought for $250 years ago is now matched or exceeded by any off-the-shelf card at 1/10th the price. That is not an off-the-cuff guess but an actual researched observation. In fact, eBay has 1GB new, brand name video cards for as low as $15. It amazes me to even be able to quote such a figure. I think I paid $100 for the 4MB Matrox just 20 years ago! Oh Man, I AM getting old ;)

hazel 06-17-2021 07:28 AM

I don't have a graphics card. I have one of those system-on-a-chip things. Apparently that's the wave of the future.

obobskivich 06-17-2021 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6259822)
It finally gave up the ghost. RIP. For weeks, I just didn't turn it off at night; I let the computer switch itself off but left the main switch on to keep the monitor running. And it worked just fine. But yesterday the forecast said there would be violent thunderstorms overnight and I know that can sometimes cause surges in the power supply. I didn't want the computer or its external power unit to run any risk of being damaged, so I switched off at the main for the first time in two months. Now the monitor doesn't work any more.

I'm using a spare 17" screen for the time being. Now that the shops are open again, I can go and buy a new 19" one.

Prior to this post I was going to posit it may be a bad connector on the display itself - I had a similar Dell a few years ago which would act this way if the DVI connection was used, but any of the other inputs (I think it had 3 or 4) would be fine. I eventually sent it to recycle and replaced it with a similar model that I found (and which the DVI port works on - digital video rapidly becoming the only way to connect some machines after all). But it is likely power supply related, as others have suggested (and to the broader question of 'do flat panels go bad' - in my experience yes, but the only ones I've seen fail (yet) are CFL-backlit models - I've yet to have an LED-backlit one give me any issues, but I'm down to probably 2 or 3 surviving CFL models (the oldest of which I think is around 13)).

If you like the non-widescreen monitors, I'd keep an eye out for the newer NEC models (like AS172, which I think has actually been superseded by an even newer offering) as they're 'modern' while still being a 5:4 display (modern as in, they offer HDCP, are LED backlit, don't have massive bezels, don't weigh 40 lbs, etc). Otherwise I agree with enorbet (more or less) on picking something 'nice' with the anticipation of it living beyond a single machine/use. As far as the 'sharpness' goes - pixel pitch (the size of the physical pixels on the display) is a factor, so resolution/size is an important relationship (in other words, for two monitors of the same resolution, the smaller one will be 'finer', and as enorbet points out, whatever is 'driving' it also makes a difference, although I'm not sure how significant this is these days (I mean within the context of more modern GPUs/IGPs)- I know Matrox had a golden reputation for output quality 'back in the day' but nowadays most graphics cards/chips don't even provide analog outputs, but the few digital-to-analog converter dongles I've used seem to offer pretty clean outputs too.

fatmac 06-17-2021 12:26 PM

If you are considering a new monitor, Novatech are a good firm to deal with.

https://www.novatech.co.uk/products/...9inchmonitors/

(I've bought several computers/laptops/monitor/drives, etc from them.)


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