View Full Version : Monitor: Would you get a Widescreen - losing 10% screen area - or a standard monitor?

03-24-2007, 09:22 AM

I'm thinking about ditching my cumbersome old CRT (all 65 lb of it!), and have been thinking about whether widescreen or standard non-widescreen would be the better choice.

Some neurons smacked together and I realized that widescreens must have a smaller total screen area than non-widescreens. I ran some numbers on my still trusty 20 year old Casio from high school and I figure that widescreens have a total screen area of about 10% less.

Maybe their extra sexiness makes up for the loss, but really - what're the pros and cons of wide vs standard?

Here's a start:

Widescreen Pros
* VERY sexy -- nice to have
* Movies look better(?) -- not very important
* Storm of War will look better(?) -- #1 very, VERY important
* Greater horizontal space -- useful
* Sturmi gets chopped off due to lack of widescreen support(?) -- not very important

Widescreen Cons
* 10% smaller screen area -- not good
* More expensive? -- but by how much?
* Less vertical space for viewing -- get used to it?

I hope your thoughts will convince me of the 'right' way. I want sexy. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

03-24-2007, 06:34 PM
If I can post a link this widescreen gaming forum is just what you are looking for.

I hope that worked

03-24-2007, 07:00 PM
I liked my widescreen so much I went out and bought another.

03-24-2007, 07:05 PM
I got a 21" for about $300 and love it. After some adjustments, it's been golden. I can run IL-2 and Red Orchestra full screen, no stretching or gaps.

03-24-2007, 07:34 PM
Widescreen is the way to go in my opinion. I absolutely love it. You only lose a tiny bit off the top and I dont even notice it. I ran FB for years on a 19" CRT at 1156x864 and during the fall upgraded to a 20" Widescreen LCD. I now run FB at 1680x1050 and its fantastic. I could not go back to those baby resolutions.

All new games that were the label "Games for Windows" will have to meet requirements and widescreen support is one of them. Along with dual core support.

03-24-2007, 07:36 PM
BTW any PC magazine you pick up will recommend your next monitor upgrade to be a widescreen. There is a reason for this.

03-24-2007, 07:41 PM

I was thinking about getting a high quality little 17" and fitting a Fresnall lens in front. I think a 19" would be too big for the lens.

Any thoughts about that?

03-26-2007, 06:56 PM
Depends in part on the size of the fresnel lens. I have a 19" flat-screen CRT, and a flexible 7x10" "page magnifier" fresnel works really well. And it cost less than $10 CDN. In order to get the full view, my eyes have to be within about 5" of the lens. But the apparent field of view is a huge 90-100 degrees across! VERY immersive!

Does the stated dimension of a wide screen monitor refer to the horizontal width, or instead the diagonal? Either way, I suspect that for even the larger 19" wide screen monitor a fresnel like mine should work OK.

If you'd like more info, ask away.

Lastly, I should point out, in case you weren't aware, that IL-2 bases its FOV setting on the horizontal width of the display. This means that for any desired FOV, with wide screen you'll lose some vertical view angle as compared to the "standard" 4:3 aspect ratio.


03-26-2007, 07:16 PM
widescreens do not have to be more expensive. I have a samsung 204b from last summer for about 330. just bought the samsung 204bw from newegg for 240 after rebate for the office. wow o wow. less expensive. havent played any games yet, but i may just have to get one for home.

03-26-2007, 08:53 PM
My bedroom and primary gaming monitor is also a 26" LCDTV capable of HDTV. I use it for Il-2 and watching my beloved Chargers, and it handles these sacred duties admirably, although it's limited to 1280x720 at 60Hz. However, the first time I got Il-2 to run on that screen, I almost left DNA on my joystick. EVERYTHING is clearer, bigger, and more realistic.

The living room computer uses a Viewsonic 22" widescreen and it's even better for gaming because it's faster and handles up to 1680x1050 at up to 75Hz. Unfortunately, it cannot provide the TV picture quality I desire (stinkin' PCI TV tuner...), so it is used for my sons' homework, Halo or COD session and an occasional DVD movie.

A big widescreen is so much better on so many levels, it's hard to explain, except to say that it IS sexy, and it STAYS sexy.



03-26-2007, 09:09 PM
I have a widescreen and will never go back.

The sims developers need to recognise that this is the way to go - this or multi-displays.

Why would you want to look at a square picture ever again?

They way our binocular vision is arranged, we see in our field of view, a view that is wider than it is tall. If our eyes were arranged vertically, we could stand our widescreens on end I suppose....But this wider view is much more natural.

CHARGERS yeah now!

03-27-2007, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by Flying_Nutcase:

I was thinking about getting a high quality little 17" and fitting a Fresnall lens in front. I think a 19" would be too big for the lens.

Any thoughts about that?

only depends what kind of lens you are using and what size is it, consider this, you don't have to cover the whole vievable area of screen with a lens. i have a f330 lens from http://www.3dlens.com/shop/largefresnellens.php and it works like a charm http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

i keep it 24cm from monitor and my head is typically 40-50 cm from lens, i get virtual picture enhacement of subjective 50% on a 22" crt monitor http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, also "3d" effect given by lens (cause it focuses picture into infinity) is not something you can see on pics but it is a very welcome addition beside image magnification

some pics http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, all taken with same distance to screen




lens is mounted on the inside of this box - which is velcroed to top of monitor http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


TgD Thunderbolt56
03-27-2007, 06:58 AM
I don't have a widescreen monitor (still using my samsung 204b) for my home sim rig but my next monitor will be a widescreen without a doubt and that would be my recommendation for anyone looking for a new one now.

Widescreen support will undoubtedly be included in just about any application from here on out and not having one will only make you wish you did.

I have a widescreen 15.4" screen on my laptop and the few games I've installed on it (UT2004, COD) support widescreen and the subsequent field of view makes it soooo much better.

Widescreen is unquestionably the way to go.


03-27-2007, 07:27 AM
As long as you get a big monitor 22 " or bigger youll be fine and wont notice a loss of RE as much as a smaller one.

You also have to have a good graphics board as the native resolution will be higher and the picture maybe awful if not in native.

Make sure to get a 3 yr warantee as many have issues with dead pixels and the fact these monitors can be delicate and faulty depending on were they are made.

Make sure it has low response times ideal for gaming.

Lots are having issues with Samsung 204B, mine is holding out though and made in Mexico other Chinese ones are faulty.

LCD wide or regular over 22" and you wont go back to CRT.

Choose a monitor do research on it for gaming and see if you can get it locally so you can swap it easily if it has dead pixels etc.

03-27-2007, 07:37 AM
widescreen all the way. I would never go back http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-27-2007, 06:25 PM
A fresnel lens need not be as large as your screen. The one I use with my 19" flat screen CRT is here:


It's flexible PVC, 7x10 inches, and performs better than some larger acrylic lenses. It works best when it's bent in the horizontal plane to a radius equal to its focal length (300mm, or ~12"). Bend it so the smooth side is on the inside (concave side) of the bend, which also is toward your face (the grooved, convex side faces the screen.) Place it so that the closest part of the bent lens is about 8 inches from the screen--but do experiment to find most comfortable placement.

The main benefits are:
1) Better focus across the full view,
2) Better control of off-axis optical aberrations,
3) A surprisingly good contrast transfer (some acrylic lenses can be bad, with LOTS of internal reflection/scattering),
4) A further increase in the apparent field of view!

And it's only US $1.59! Buy a few--you can't go wrong...


03-28-2007, 05:19 AM
The one thing about todays new and bigger LCD monitors that a lot of people do not think about is hteir "native" resolution. This does not really fit into the Widescreen vs. Normal screen, but it is a significant factor.

A 19" LCD will likely have a Native res of 1600x1200 for a 4:3 and something similar for widescreen. There are two very important questions you must ask yourself. Can my rig even run this resolution at acceptable FPS? If not, is the screen res for this monitor scalable without distorting, degrading or blurring the IQ?

Just something to think about guys. Try running your current monitor at its highest resolution and see what the FPS is. If you must get a new LCD, ask around to see if it scales down without loss of IQ.

03-28-2007, 06:14 AM
Widescreen TFTs are generally cheaper than their non-widescreen counterparts, AFAIK.

03-28-2007, 08:19 AM
Definitely yes.

I got the following 3 months ago for $1500 at best Buy on clearance:


No ghosting, no dead pixels that I can find, no screen door effect like with the lower resolution 720P monitors. I sit 32-36" from the screen (yes, I measured) and with this high a resolution there is no noticeable "screen door effect". With 720P monitors there is unless you sit much further back. Be very aware of this if you buy one of these hybrids.

The added immersion with gaming on a big 1080P widescreen is truly incredible. Add to that other immersion adders like TrackIR, Buttkicker Gamer, good PC speakers with sub and it is mind blowing. Almost as good as porn http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

The life span of modern LCD monitors is also many thousands of hours.

IMO people should put the most of their PC budget $$ that they can afford into their monitor. That is the one thing they look at and use EVERY time they use the PC and it can be carried forward to subsequent PC upgrades.

These kinds of dual-use PC or TV 1080P monitors also give you huge screen real estate for less per sq. in. than monitors marketed solely as "PC" monitors.