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  1. #1
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    Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    I hope the group will be kind of to lend me thei thoughts on this problem. I have a medium size office with many 21" CRT monitors that are between 3 and 5 years old. I have 12 brand new monitors to upgrade some of the older ones, so I need to determine which 12 of the older CRTs are the "worst" of the lot.

    My problem is trying to get some sort of objective standard to judge the monitors. The users can't be much of a help, since they've been watching the monitors go gradually bad over the last few years, and have just adjusted. I have gone around and eyeballed each one, looking for bad focus and dim screens, but it's hard when many are under different lighting conditions, and once you get to the last monitor, you really can't remember what the first monitor was like!

    I even have a copy of the Displaymate utilities, but I have not found anything realy useful in there (maybe I missed something). Other than that, my only other clue is that monitors with the brightness cranked up to 100% have dimmer tubes than otheres.

    Thanks !

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    <hr>...a copy of the Displaymate utilities, but I have not found anything realy useful in there... <hr>
    And I wonder if you ever will. It looks like you're faced with a very subjective decision making situation there, my friend. Maybe it's a "squeaky wheel" situation as well. You didn't say how many monitors you have in the office in total, but it seems to me that YOU need to look at a monitor, decide if you could stand looking at THAT one all day long and then decide if it should be replaced, or not. You may not win a popularity contest with the employees, but who can?

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    Jim

    Are you replacing 21" CRT monitors with the same, just newer? Or with LCD flat-panel screens, perhaps somewhat smaller (19" or even 17")?

    Presumably you have a special application that needs such large screens -- most people don't require anything bigger than 17" for Office-type work. And if they're doing Word much of the time, why not get the type that can be rotated to display a whole page in Portrait mode?

    Personally, given the option, I wouldn't buy another CRT screen because they are so bulky and so heavy. (I had a couple of ancient 21" CRT monitors dating from late 1995 which I used for systems administration, and it got to the stage where I had to thump one heavily on the top with my fist every week or so to remove a purple cast over the screen!) Getting flat panel screens releases amazing amounts of desk real-estate, particularly if you can put the system unit out of the way, say on the floor.

    This is not an answer to your question, but a different approach!

    John
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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    <hr>my only other clue is that monitors with the brightness cranked up to 100% have dimmer tubes than others<hr>
    Apart from bench testing each individual monitor (and this might not reveal much), I think this may be the only other way of evaluating your old monitors. While mainly a comparison between LCD and CRT monitors, this article indicates that the half brightness point "is the industry standard measure for product life."
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    <hr>
    Are you replacing 21" CRT monitors with the same, just newer? Or with LCD flat-panel screens, perhaps somewhat smaller (19" or even 17")?

    Presumably you have a special application that needs such large screens -- most people don't require anything bigger than 17" for Office-type work. And if they're doing Word much of the time, why not get the type that can be rotated to display a whole page in Portrait mode?<hr>

    We are Architects, Designers and Artists here, so more bigger monitors are definetely better. We are migrating from the 21" CRTs to Dell Ultrasharp 20"LCDs that do rotatr from Portrait to Landscape modes, although no one seems to use it much so far. The Dells are good monitors and are reasonably priced $799 normally, but they go on sale frquently.

    We also have our "twitchy" monitors doing server-room duty <g>

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    Thanks for the article.

    Does this mean I wonder, that if the brightness is cranked up to 100%, and the monitor is still only nomimally bright, it has reached it's half-brightness point?

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    Not being a technician, I can only assume that it's at least at that stage.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    An idea came to me last night. I have one 21" CRT monitor with very few hours on it. I could put together a mobile cart featuring a computer and that monitor, and just push it around and compare the displays of the older monitors. I think that will help a bit.

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    Jim,
    That kind of comparison is probably valid, as long as you set the screen resolution and colour quality on each of the "test" monitors to that of your "benchmark" monitor.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    I'm going through a similar process, replacing older CRTs with 17" LCD monitors.

    My first "test" is to power off the screen and check for burn-in. Next I set the contrast and brightness to the mid-point and make a judgement form that. I have 60 users and haven't had anyone throw a "tantee" (tantrum) so far.
    Granville

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    "a purple cast over the screen"

    Hi John,

    Did you ever work out what caused this? I've the same on reasonably new monitors. I found swivelling the screen 90 degrees usually got rid of, 'though that's not very practical because of walls, etc.
    Granville

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    Just deterioration of the guns/coils on the tube, I presumed.

    By "purple cast" I actually meant that white text characters turned purple, and bashing the monitor woke up the appropriate gun again...

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    Ah! Thanks John.

    And I thought you were about to solve one life's puzzles for me! <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    It had to have been some type of magnetic/electrical interference I just never figured out what. It turned out cheaper to buy the LCD screens than to get someone in to identify the source...and then we would have had to find a solution! <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>
    Granville

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    Re: Evaluating older CRT monitors for upgrading

    This could also be a bad cable or connection.


    HTH

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