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#152033 - 31/03/2003 16:32 blurry monitor!?
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
I've got a dell M990 19" monitor that recently has become very blurry. It worked fine for about a year, and then a few months ago I noticed that the picture didnt appear quite as sharp. I monkeyed around with all the settings, color temp, moire, different refresh rates, and resolutions, but nothing seems to help. The other day I plugged in a 17" and, holy cow, I could see again! The sharpness of the 17" (also a Dell) over the 19" was like night and day. Finally I had an explanation for the headaches and the eyestrain.
I suspected maybe something went wrong with the cable on the 19" but alack-alas its not replaceable (its wired directly into the back).
My video card is fairly new and is a 64MB nvidia gforce something or other.

Anybody else out there have anything similar happen to them?
I can use the 17" for now but I really want to know what the hell happened to the 19". And besides the 17" is too small. I'm spoiled...
whine, whine, complain
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#152034 - 31/03/2003 17:02 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3702
I've observed a half-life of about three years on CRTs. The most common failure mode for me is dimming. I've now switched to LCD, and I'll never go back. Check out how cheap Dell will sell you its Dell-branded LCD monitors! The prices have gone up relative to a couple months ago, but they're still much cheaper than the industry for the larger sizes.

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#152035 - 31/03/2003 17:39 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: DWallach]
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
I'm a freelance graphic designer, so in the past I've shied away from LCD monitors. You just couldnt get the resolution out of them that you could out of a CRT.
Are they finally at a point that they are good for hi-detail graphic work, while not costing over $1K?
If so then maybe it would be worth a look-see.
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#152036 - 31/03/2003 17:55 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
There are several advantages and disadvantages to LCDs.

Disadvantages are:

The backlight tube has a limited lifespan and will progressively get dimmer as it ages. They're rated for several thousand hours so you'll get a good few years use out of it before it becomes annoying.

Another problem is that unless you buy the expensive panels you're only going to get 6 bits each for RGB. This means you'll get 262K distinct colours. The more advanced and therefore more expensive panels have 8 bits each for R, G and B.

Advantages are:

Resolution wise LCDs are great. I've got a 15" 1600x1200 on my laptop and it's really sharp. I've got a 17" 1280x1024 as well as my desktop display and that's also excellent. It's not quite as high DPI as the laptop but it's still good. You should get a graphics card that has a DVI output however as using the analogue VGA signal will result in ghosting.

Remember that most CRT manufacturers still quote the size of the actual CRT glass instead of the viewable area. So a 17" LCD is roughly equivalent to a 18" CRT.

The space and power saving from using a LCD is good if you've got a hot office or if you've not got much desk space.

- Trevor

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#152037 - 31/03/2003 18:21 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Another thing to consider is that color calibration tools (the ones that you place on the screen & use to calibrate) are just starting to come out that will work for LCD's. I remember reading (4 months ago?) about one, and it was supposedly the first.

-Zeke
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#152038 - 31/03/2003 18:46 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
There is probably a focus adjustment somewhere on the monitor. If it's not in the normal controls, it may be in a service mode somewhere, or possibly even a knob or screw inside the case. I can't suggest that you open the case, as I don't want to be responsible for your head shorting that big glass capacitor, but it's likely that you can refocus it. Exactly how I can't tell you. Try googling for your monitor's model number and ``focus'' or ``service mode'' and see what comes up.
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#152039 - 31/03/2003 19:02 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: wfaulk]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ow.

-Zeke
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#152040 - 31/03/2003 20:22 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: Ezekiel]
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did that exact thing back in college while poking around in the case of the monitor that came with my Amiga 2000.
My arm and hand were numb for about 2 hours.
I was young and foolish... and glad I didnt die. (So was my roomate!)
Now I know better. (Having learned the hard way, of course)


No laughing...
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#152041 - 31/03/2003 20:27 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: wfaulk]
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
This was all I could find searching for the model number and "service mode" or focus.

These are dell's suggestions:

Poor Focus-
Picture is fuzzy, blurry or ghosting.

1. Eliminate video extension cables.
2. Perform monitor reset (Select "reset" in main menu).
3. Select "moiré" from advanced controls and set H & V Moiré at 0%.
4. Decrease contrast & brightness via and controls.
5. Lower video resolution or increase font size.

I tried all of the above, except for the stupid font size suggestion. Thats just dumb.

Oh well, guess I'm in the market for a new monitor.
Anybody who upgraded to an LCD want to offload their old 19" or 21"?
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#152042 - 31/03/2003 20:34 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: Ezekiel]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13829
Loc: Canada
Colour calibration software and tools for LCD panels has been commonplace for about the past year or so. The "Spyder" is the best known to the masses, but there are oher equally/more capable products out there as well. I have/use the Monaco EZColor/Optix combo with both my 1600x1200 laptop LCD, and the Eizo FX-E8 main desktop CRT here.

Cheers

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#152043 - 31/03/2003 22:35 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1627
Loc: Louisiana, USA
This is probably a stupid suggestion, but did you adjust the convergence? I didn't see that specifically mentioned anywhere. If out of whack, it would make the monitor look blurry.

Stu
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#152044 - 01/04/2003 00:42 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2089
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Erm, this might sound silly, but back in the day (at least 10 years ago) when part of my job required me to fix monitors, the standard fix for an out of focus Sony Trinitron that didn't respond to the usual knob tweaks was to hit it. With a little rubber mallet (with a Sony part code on it) Quite hard...on the right hand side, up near the top.

And no, this isn't an April 1st joke
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#152045 - 01/04/2003 03:02 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: frog51]
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
hmm... I may have to try this one.
I think this monitor is actually just a rebadged Sony Trinitron.

I have a soft rubber mallet, how hard do I hit it?
Hanging a picture on the wall hard or building a timberframe house hard?
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#152046 - 01/04/2003 03:05 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: frog51]
ilDuce
journeyman

Registered: 22/06/2002
Posts: 92
well....... There is a Focus control on what is called the flyback transformer. That is the component that transforms your low voltage into a high voltage into you CRT.
The focus control is often a screwtype potentiometer (the type where you will need a screwdriver to turn it). And its often accessible from the outside. You should be able to see 2 or 3 small holes (about 3mm wide) on the bottom of your screen. Where one is the Focus Control and the other is Screen Control (Brightness)..... If you cant find these small holes you might have to open your monitor as mentioned above..... Wich can be really dangerous...
Inside the plastic cover of you monitor you will have a metal kind of cover, wich is used as a shield to reduce radiation. If youre lucky you might be able to have access to the controls through the metal shield.

I would dare to advice you to remove the plastic cover and search for the focus and screen control but I would strongly advise against removing the metal shield if you dont know what you are doing.

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#152047 - 01/04/2003 04:29 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: tman]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2537
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
You should get a graphics card that has a DVI output however as using the analogue VGA signal will result in ghosting.

The culprit for this effect is the response time of the monitor, not (or at least very minimal) the way it's connected. Sure, DVI *is* better, but it helps especially to get sharper characters and pictures on the screen.
Typically to avoid the ghosting effect a 25ms (or lower, thats' even better but still rare) response time is needed.

This is going to be my next monitor (actually the 191T - the 19" version - but I can't find that model on the international site). It's specs are amazing : <25ms response time and a contrast of 500:1.The brightness of 250 cd/m˛ is very good. Also, I just LOVE the design.
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#152048 - 01/04/2003 04:32 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: ilDuce]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13829
Loc: Canada
There are special nylon screwdrivers made for this specific purpose -- adjust focus (and other things) on CRT monitors. These are long (8-10") slender tools, and make a risky job safer for both you and the monitor.

I have a set, but have forgotten where I got them from.

Cheers

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#152049 - 01/04/2003 04:54 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: BartDG]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Nah. I don't mean ghosting when there is movement If I look closely on all of the LCDs I've got which are attached using the VGA connector there is slight fuzziness and very very faint ghost images even when there is no movement on the screen. I would be able to see a faint line close to the edge of a window but shifted over slightly. Hard to explain sorry

When I use them with the DVI connector it works perfectly and I don't notice anything. I guess it could be due to not very good LCD controllers which are having trouble with the analogue signal.

- Trevor

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#152050 - 01/04/2003 05:31 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2089
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
more like hanging a picture on the wall - although I'd like to see a photo of the end result if you try it building timberframe house hard - I'm trying to find the doc that came with it. Had a sentence which described the movement perfectly.

I guess with the trinitron type it works because if you cant get focus back with the various alignment methods, it implies that something may have moved over its lifespan and this definitely joggles something.

(But I don't want to be phoned up to be told it exploded when the hammer went straight through the casing:-))
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#152051 - 01/04/2003 05:57 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: frog51]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
Trinitron tubes suffer from being flat, in at least one plane. The end result is that the shadow mask (the perforated metal plate that guides the electron beam to the correct colour phosphor dots, for those that don't know about the innards of CRTs), isn't held in place by being in a convex shape, but is attached by two fine wires running horizontally.

They're about one third and two thirds of the way down the screen, and can be seen as two faint horizontal lines on a full-white background. Most people never see them until they're pointed out, then can never stop seeing them

Anyway, because of the construction, the shadow mask can shift very slightly, which distorts the image, sometimes going slightly unfocussed. I'd guess that the Sony Standard Whacking Tool (tm) is neatly calibrated to apply just enough jolt to pop the shadow mask back into position. It might work...

I would think that the force applied by an SSWT should be more along the lines of disciplining a small child rather than a donkey

pca
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#152052 - 01/04/2003 06:04 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: frog51]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Seriously? They had an official Sony monitor hitting mallet?

- Trevor

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#152053 - 01/04/2003 07:36 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: pca]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Trinitron tubes don't have shadow masks, Patrick. They have aperture grills. It's not a perforated metal plate, but a series of very fine metal ribbons.

I don't think that there is anything in there rigid enough to move in such a way.

I used to work at a monitor repair shop, and my brilliant boss decided that it would save money to buy video tape erasers instead of actual degaussing coils. The shadow mask tubes were simply permanently discolored. The Trinitron tubes had all the little ribbons magnetized, and they ended up sticking together. It was neat. (I'm still not sure why they would all get stuck together instead of being repelled from each other, but what do I know?)
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#152054 - 01/04/2003 08:14 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: wfaulk]
ilDuce
journeyman

Registered: 22/06/2002
Posts: 92
Well...... I really think you should start looking for the focus potentiometer before you start hammering your monitor....
I just fixed 2 monitors last month with exactly that error....

its a fairly common problem with the flyback transformer that when it gets old the voltage drops to the CRT. By adjusting it you kind of 'recalibrate' your CRT and your problem will almost certainly be fixed.

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#152055 - 01/04/2003 16:00 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: ilDuce]
muzza
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 1765
Loc: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
On modern monitors this is usually a simple operation. I did it to my dell 15" a week ago. Open the case and there [u]should[/u] be two easily accessible pots either on the mainbroad or on a daughter board. I had two like this one for this Dell, one for focus, one for brightness. Obviously you need to operate these while the monitor is on, so be careful.
If you can't find it easily, take it to a monitor repair dude. Lots cheaper than a 19" LCD.
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#152056 - 01/04/2003 16:25 Re: blurry monitor!? [Re: fusto]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
AFAICR Trinitron models have separate vertical and horizontal focus controls. Follow the single highly insulated lead back from the flared part of the tube to where it originates - that should lead you to the focus pack. I'm a bit out of date but I don't think this component is necessarily on the main circuit board, instead it's usually mounted on the chassis metalwork. If one of the controls is marked "screen" then you probably just have one focus control but I think that's unlikely.

You will find that both controls affect one another so my advice would be to make small incremental adjustments. This is best done using a crosshatch display using white lines on a black background.

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