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Old February 15th, 2004, 01:08 AM   #1
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monitor options for an editing pc - dual 15"s or 17" wide

I'm putting together a computer which will be used for primarily video editing. I'm trying to decide what to do for a monitor. I'm thinking about going with 2 15" lcds and run dual monitors. Or should I just get one 17" widescreen lcd. Both of those options will run about $500. Most of my projects are done in 16:9, so I like the idea of having a lot of image space with either dual monitors or a widescreen display.

Also, my video card is a Saphire ATI 9600 w/ 256mb ram.

Any opinions on what to go with?
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Old February 15th, 2004, 04:50 AM   #2
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Hi Bret,

In my opinion, neither of those options would be satisfactory. I edited for three years with one 19" CRT and thought that was nice, but wouldn't want to go any smaller, and couldn't understand why everyone thought a dual setup was the only way to go. Then when I built a new system last year, I went with dual 18" LCDs and now I understand!

The reason I say your choices might not be satisfactory is they are both on the small size. If $500 is all that's in the budget, then by all means go for the dual monitors. If you can find a few bucks to add to the pot, I'd stay with two and go as big as you can afford.

You don't say if you've worked with NLE before or what editor you plan to use, but screen real estate is consumed by multiple windows containing various information. Normally, at least in my case, only a small protion is dedicated to a video monitor window. Monitoring your work is normally done with a separate video monitor or TV, so the more square inches you have for all those other windows the better.

Regarding the video card, I use a Matrox G550 and it works great for video. If you are going to use a Real Time card like Matrox, Canopus or Pinnacle, be sure and check with the manufacturer for compatibility of all components.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your new system.
Ed Frazier
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Old February 15th, 2004, 05:22 AM   #3
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"Wider is better" as the ads all say. Dual monitors, as wide as you can get. Better to get bigger crt's than smaller lcds. For 500, you ought to be able to get a pair of 19 inch viewSonics.

Good luck
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Old February 15th, 2004, 06:40 AM   #4
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Dual monitors give you a lot more screen real estate.

A quick and easy way of figuring out the real estate is by squaring the diagonal screen size. 17"-->289units, 15"-->225". For the second monitor, based on screen real estate alone, you need to use more than 30% for dual monitors to be better. For video editing you'll use the second monitor pretty well.

Other things to consider:
bezel size. the bezel kind of breaks up the monitor. see
Electricity costs. LCDs take less energy than 2 CRTs. TCO Calculator: I figure a CRT is at least $40 more expensive when you consider electricity. The difference between 2 LCDs and 1 should be not that significant.

LCDs are smaller, so that might lead to not having to buy furniture and opening more options of placement.
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Old February 15th, 2004, 08:09 AM   #5
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I'm with Ed. If you can afford dual 15 inchers (both costwise and spacewise), then dual 17 inchers would measurably widen your editing pasture without taking a much bigger bite out of your wallet or a larger footprint on your desk.

You can put an 1152 x 864 pixel display up on a 17" (4:3) screen without making the interface illegibly small.

Like Richard, I've had good experiences with ViewSonics.
All the best,
Robert K S

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Old February 15th, 2004, 09:43 AM   #6
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Over the last year I have been editing on my laptop with a 13" screen. So pretty much anything I get is going to be a good step up. and i use adobe premiere

As for CRTs, unfortunately those are not an option. I have a credenza (spelling?) as a computer desk. It is 18" deep and 60" wide. Right now I don't have space to buy and actual computer desk. It should work great with LCDs, but CRTs are just too deep.

I'm going to check on measurements for dual 17" lcds, find out how much of a footprint that will take up.

Are the prices on widescreen LCDs still dropping? Would it be better to wait and just buy dual 4:3 lcds now and look into widescreen in the future (i think dual widescreen would be amazing)
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