My eyes couldn't handle it

Too old for new tech

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by anotherside | Discussion: Personal Computing

I bought a new monitor with IPS panel and LED backlighting (HP EliteDisplay E242). Picture quality is very nice. Picture also seems stable without flickering. However my eyes became tired. I lowered brightness and contrast, but it didn't really help.

After less than a month a decided to go back to my washed out (colors) TN panel. It also has the old CCFL backlighting.

IPS probably gives the best picture, but I also noticed on my IPS tablet that this display type is not compatible with my eyes. It's too sharp or vivid. My eyes are better suited to the “greyish” picture of TN panels.

I like CRT, LCD TN and plasma screens. I guess that makes me old-fashioned. My eyes can't handle the new LCD screens found on smartphones, tablets and monitors. After an hour or so my eyes get tired.

Maybe it's the LED backlighting. This is from Wikipedia:

“LED backlights are often dimmed by applying pulse-width modulation to the supply current, switching the backlight off and on again like a fast strobe light. If the frequency of the pulse-width modulation is too low or the user is very sensitive to flicker, this may cause discomfort and eye-strain, similar to the flicker of CRT displays.”

Anyway, back to old technology for me.

Are you happy with your displays?

LightStar
Reply #1 Tuesday, June 28, 2016 5:58 PM

Been using BenQ LED IPS monitors for a few years now, and I love'em! I think your problem is with the brand, have a look over at http://www.benq.com/ .

DaveRI
Reply #2 Tuesday, June 28, 2016 6:30 PM


I like CRT

You and me both 


Are you happy with your displays?

Sort of but not really.  It's a TN.  On the plus side no blotching, stuck pixels, dead pixels, and it has good clarity.  On the downside, mainly, it has a "brightness gradient" from top to bottom that simply can't be adjusted out - if you go through the Windows calibration you'll get it adjusted in the middle, but the top will be about 20% too dark and the bottom will be about 20% too light.

Thecw
Reply #3 Tuesday, June 28, 2016 7:01 PM

I bought a new monitor with IPS panel and LED backlighting (HP EliteDisplay E242). Picture quality is very nice. Picture also seems stable without flickering. However my eyes became tired. I lowered brightness and contrast, but it didn't really help.

It might have nothing to do with any perceptible backlight flicker, contrast, or brightness, but with the colour calibration. When screen colours are 'off' your brain corrects this without you noticing it, but while moving your focal point over the screen it will create increased eye muscle strain.

If this is your problem, then given that a wide gamut display with full automatic calibration is probably way beyond want you want, you are left with trying to calibrate your current display.

The automatic calibration tool of windows itself is quite worthless, unless your display is way off and you are as good as colour blind. Better to use a calibration tool. These however range from around € 70.00 to beyond thousands of €.

Some camera shops or print shops will do for you, either for a low price (€10.00) or even for free for regular customers. (You must bring in your pc and your monitor, because the calibration is a combination of the display and the video card).

For some further info about screen calibration read this: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/monitor-calibration.htm

 

psychoak
Reply #4 Tuesday, June 28, 2016 7:21 PM

Odds are he's not even doing something where he'd be auto-correcting like that.  Only someone like a photographer would routinely have such issues on account of knowing to start with what everything was supposed to look color wise.

 

It probably is the PWM.  I've got a 2560x1440 Acer K272HUL that I picked up for under three that has no PWM dimming and it's much more comfortable to look at than the PWM dimmed laptop screen next to it, despite the screen being it's equal. My primary at home is a Samsung SA850 with PWM, but it's fast enough that it doesn't bug me much.  Some people actually get severe migraines and other neurological impacts from high frequency stuff, and even a good PWM controlled monitor with several hundred cycles per second at a low brightness is still just more of a problem for them.

 

Another thing to consider is motion blur.  My parents have a fairly high end Samsung television with the clear motion crap, and my eyes are fast enough that I see every little bit of distortion as it's doing the between frame fakes.  I can give myself a rather impressive headache in not a particularly long time.  If your TN panel has a lower latency it might give you more grief because of that too.

 

The last thing I'd look at is anti-glare, some of these screens add a huge amount of complexity to the image you're seeing by having a highly detailed surface to cut down on glare.  If you're seeing that on top of the picture, it can greatly increase the eye strain over a smoother display.

Ticktoc
Reply #5 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 6:43 AM

I am sensitive to monitors, I can't stand shiny screens so need a good anti-glare layer. I also have to have brightness and contrast down very low, especially on white or pale  backgrounds. I can normally put them up OK in games as they are darker and denser in colour.

Some monitors seem worse than others. There are monitors out there which do get rid of the flicker and have low blue light etc. BenQ have quite a few like that so perhaps worth investigating, I certainly will when I hopefully get a new monitor this year.

anotherside
Reply #6 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 9:41 AM

Thanks for interesting comments.

psychoak

It probably is the PWM. I've got a 2560x1440 Acer K272HUL that I picked up for under three that has no PWM dimming and it's much more comfortable to look at than the PWM dimmed laptop screen next to it, despite the screen being it's equal. My primary at home is a Samsung SA850 with PWM, but it's fast enough that it doesn't bug me much. Some people actually get severe migraines and other neurological impacts from high frequency stuff, and even a good PWM controlled monitor with several hundred cycles per second at a low brightness is still just more of a problem for them.

I think PWM is a big part of the problem because my eyes seemed to get worse when I lowered the brightness. The PWM fix is normally to raise brightness on the monitor to 100 % and then lower brightness in your graphics control panel. I haven't tried this yet.

I also think IPS panels are problematic for me. I experience them as more vivid than reality. I don't think reality is as colorful as IPS screens. Reality has some "greyness" to it (just like TN panels). I would like to call IPS screens "supernatural". This is of course highly subjective. I don't know what actual measurements say.

One would imagine that it would become easier to buy tech products as technology progresses, but this isn't necessarily true. I am not a big fan of 16:9 aspect ratio for computers either. IPS/LED in 16:9 format seems to be the norm these days.

anotherside
Reply #7 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:36 AM

Thecw

It might have nothing to do with any perceptible backlight flicker, contrast, or brightness, but with the colour calibration. When screen colours are 'off' your brain corrects this without you noticing it, but while moving your focal point over the screen it will create increased eye muscle strain.

I liked the colors out of the box. Picture looks impressive (compared to my old TN) but colors still look neutral. It gives a warm picture, but that is what I like. I didn't have colors that looked "off". It was like the screen had been calibrated to my taste.

It's a great display. No dead pixels. No backlight bleeding. Real buttons to navigate the menus. 16:10 aspect ratio. No buzzing. Good build quality. Neutral colors... If only my eyes could handle it... I will try the PWM fix in a week or so.

Actually there is one thing I don't like. Why is it that every monitor has a black bezel? A grey bezel would reduce contrast since picture is normally bright.

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