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Old June 7th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #1
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Question about matching monitors (LCD vs. CRT)

I know that from back in the CRT days, if you were going to have a dual-monitor set-up it was best to buy both monitors at the same time in order to get a match.

Perhaps this was an urban myth, I don't know but the explanation about manufacturing theme and variances from lot to lot makes sense…

I was wondering if the same stands true for LCDs. If I want to have two, is it best to wait to get both at once, or am I fine to get one now and the second when I truly have the money to spend?
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Old June 7th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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CRT's go bad pretty fast. It's really a mechanical thing as the electrons are 'fired' at the front of the tube and that takes its toll. Typical life for a CRt is 3-5 years depending on its use.

So the question is do LCD's suffer something similar? The answer is: Yes they do.

Even though the LCD panel itself is pretty immune to wear, the backlight is the 'problem'. It will loose intensity and may shift color at the end, beyond what you can adjust for.

The good news is that, similar to fluorescent lights, the lifespan is typically longer at 5-7 years.

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Old June 7th, 2008, 01:05 PM   #3
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Rephrasing my question

Perhaps I should rephrase my question…

I remember being told years ago (before LCDs were common) that if I was to get a dual-monitor set-up, I should buy both monitors at the same time and to try to have serial numbers that are as close together as possible. The idea being that they are from the same lot/batch. I believe this had to do with matching the monitors to guard against slight differences that may occur in manufacturing that would make for slightly mismatched colour or something along those lines.

Perhaps that whole thing was misinformed or an outright urban myth; I do not know. But does that make sense?

What I am wondering is -- if the above is true -- would the same go for LCD screens? Different components are involved, so the circumstances may be different.

Maybe the warning to buy CRT monitors at the same time was exactly what you (George) were talking about, but I was under the impression is was about something more than lifespan. The caution seemed too specific to be about buying monitors for a dual system more than three years apart.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #4
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You'll see deterioration on a CRT even after 6 months to a year and it get progressively worse. As far as I know this is the reason for buying monitors close together.

I'l always prefereable to get the same type of monitors if you'll be using them for the same thing, like with graphics design. On video editing, a preview monitor could easily (almost always) be completely different than the main monitors.

For LCD's and especially with DELL there is another aspect, namely that components and specs may change at any time at the manufacturers discretion. With DELL that could mean they can purchse some component $1 cheaper somewhere. The published specs will remain the same, just what's underneath will change.

This is especially true with high volume 'consumer' goods and less with 'professional' equipment, but in the end the differentiation between the two is arbitrary.

Buying two monitors at the same time will in most cases give you closely matching devices (as in components used). It is never a guarantee, but you should not worry about this.

Should you buy two monitors, even a short while apart, they should both perform similarly. If not send it back.

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