Stupid Customers, No Stupid NTSC Engineers

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Andrew W, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    So I'm contemplating buying a 19" LCD monitor from the large computer company where I work. But, I decide to check the online reviews first. I see lots of people complaining that the display is too bright in a dim room and that the brightness control barely works and doesn't adjust the brightness sufficiently.

    So, I go and find a sample in the building to check out.

    Duh, we've followed the television convention of still calling the controls "Brightness" and "Contrast". So if somebody is looking at a mostly white screen and adjusts the "brightness" control, almost nothing happens.

    Ah, but the Contrast control adjusts the "brightness" and always has. I bet almost nobody except TV nuts like us even know this.
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Well, maybe it's confusing, but after a few turns around the block I remember that "Brightness" adjusts the brightness of the dark parts of the screen, and "Contrast" adjusts how far the bright parts stand out. It would probably be better to just say "Black Level" and "White Level", but you know somebody would complain. If you put on a black screen, and it's bright, you turn down "brightness"; if you put on a white screen, and it's dark, you turn up "contrast".

    Admittedly the terms come from the assumption that you're using a CRT display in a certain specific way, which is no longer valid for many of us, but at least they're not labeled things like "Screen" and "Bias".
     
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I know what you mean. It's like belonging to an exclusive club where, after a secret handshake, we wink at each other knowing that we share an exclusive knowledge that the brightness knob actually controls the blackness.

    Why, just the other day, I was at a friend's house, and he asked me to help him adjust his new widescreen set. I noticed right away that his sinusoidal repleneration adjustment was way off scale, and the vertical return slew rate was insufficient to resync the stochastic resonator controlling the stratostat bias for the rhombic decoder. This in turn prevented the non-linear phase lock suppression circuit from capturing a decent clock, which resulted in a unacceptable level of post-coupler emitter noise at the J-strad input.

    When I explained all this to him, he looked at me as if I had sprouted feathers out of my ears. He had no idea what I was talking about.
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Hey, you do have to admit that quite a few LCD monitors are too bright (using the accepted English meaning of the term). Adjusting the monitor's contrast doesn't help much because the damn backlight is too bright for the monitor size - this is especially bothersome with 17" LCD monitors.

    Some of the Dell monitors (2105? Or is it the 1905?) are not acceptable for digital photographers because even with the contrast set to the lowest setting, it is still too bright for acceptable photo editing. I'd imagine this wouldn't be good for watching video either.

    The only thing to do in those cases is to use the monitor for a year or so: the backlight will dim over time. Like a projector bulb but not as fast.

    Here at work I have dual Dell 1905 (19" 1280x1024) LCDs and the brightness is just right - with the office lights on and an age of one year each.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Far out! I can't wait to get home and use this to fix my Silvertone!
     

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