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Old Sep 19, 2009, 1:27 PM   #1
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Default 4:3 or 16:9?

Looking for a new LCD computer monitor I see most of them are today 16:9 wide displays.But it happens that most of the time I work on 4:3: Word, Excel, Picks… May be the only time I use 16:9 is when seeing movies, which rarely happens in my computer.
What should I buy? I’m confused. Is it something’s going to change in the software industry that it would be better to buy a 16:9 display and switch to 4:3 when needed?
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 1:43 PM   #2
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16:9 is handier if you open multi windows..
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 3:24 PM   #3
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16:9 is handy when working with Excel spreadsheets. You can see more columns.
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 3:29 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, widescreen computer displays are supplanting standard 4:3 displays. Sometimes the extra width is usefull for extra windows, tool paletts, etc. But if all you use is Microsoft Office applications, and since the new Office 2007 applications actually require more of the top part of the display, there's no real advantage to a wide screen.
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 4:05 PM   #5
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Tell me if I'm wrong: Office, images in general and web pages are all in 4:3. So I can't see the point why LCD industry is pushing the 16:9 format unless there's a future software move to it. Can't they agree for once in the life?
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 5:30 PM   #6
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The PC industry is pushing PCs as multimedia devices, which means video. Which means 16:9. There are still 4:3 monitors available, though they are likely not a visible (yeah, I meant it like that) as the widescreen displays.

I recently had to replace my crt, and clenched my teeth and bought a widescreen LCD. Other than taking some time to get it into calibration, I have been pleasantly surprised, not least by the reduction in desktop space it takes up, despite being a larger display. My old eyes don't mind the larger text either.

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Old Sep 19, 2009, 7:33 PM   #7
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VTphotog raises an important point.

CRTs can display a range of resolutions, but flat panel displays can only display one, the one that is built into the display. When you change the resolution for the display, the display adapter in your computer changes the frequency of the signal sent to the display. When a CRT sees the faster or slower signal, it simply draws more or fewer dots on the screen. When a flat panel display sees the faster or slower signal, it has to figure out how to display a different size image on the dots it has. If you select a resolution that isn't native to the display, the image won't be as sharp as it would be had you selected the resolution that is native. This results in a blurred image, and can be a problem, not just for photos, but for text and icons as well.

In general, for instance, 17 inch and 19 inch widescreen monitors both have a native resolution of 1440x900. As a result, the 19 inch monitor will display the same image at the same resolution as the 17 inch monitor, but it will be bigger and easier to read on the 19 than on the 17.

And should you try to increase the resolution to, say, 1600x1050, both displays will downsample the image so they can display it on the 1440x900 pixels they have, resulting in reduced sharpness.

(Note that the aspect ratio of widescreen computer monitors is actually 16:10, not the 16:9 that is used by widescreen televisions.)
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
...Sometimes the extra width is usefull for extra windows, ...
Read the monitor's specs carefully. Often its not extra width that you get. Instead its often less height. Very often a 16:9 monitor has no more width, in terms of pixels, than a similar sized 4:3 monitor. For the "extra width" to apply, you need to match the vertical pixel count when comparing.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 1:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwig View Post
Read the monitor's specs carefully. Often its not extra width that you get. Instead its often less height. Very often a 16:9 monitor has no more width, in terms of pixels, than a similar sized 4:3 monitor. For the "extra width" to apply, you need to match the vertical pixel count when comparing.
The typical native resolution of a 19 inch 4:3 flat panel computer display is 1280x1024, while the typical 19 inch 16:10 display is 1440x900. That's greater width but less height. And since MS Office 2007 apps require more height for the "Ribbon", there's less vertical space for your document.

You can have my NEC MultiSync FE990 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 8:06 AM   #10
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Is doesn't seem so complicated (for Microsoft) to add a couple of code lines to place the tools and bars on the side of the screen when using a Wide display. And so with Web pages.
Now I ask myself if there's some utility that can do that...
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