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Thread: Problems with LCD Monitor - text appears slightly blurred

  1. #1

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    Problems with LCD Monitor - text appears slightly blurred

    Hi Everyone. Fianally got the new computer together. I'm having a slight problem with the monitor. I know this isn't exactly photography related, but I'd appreciate your help.

    Everything looks pretty good, and I have it adjusted to where the colour looks right to me. I will check into the Spyder calibration tool at a later date.

    The problem I am having right now is that the text is slightly blurred. Not every line, but on many lines the top or bottom edge of the text is fuzzy. It is driving me crazy and I'd like to know where to start trouble shooting.

    Monitor: Viewsonic VX2433wm
    Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Refresh Rate: 60 Hz (North America)
    Video Card: Radeon 4670
    Connection: Audioquest HDMI

    I have done the true type text adjustment in Windows. It makes a big difference whether I have the True Type turned on or off, but turning it on does not completley eliminate the problem.

    What is the most likely cause. Monitor, Video Card, Cable.... something else???

    I'd appreciate any suggestions as to how to troubleshoot this.

    Thanks
    Wendy

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Ah Wendy,

    (finally a name! )

    I don't know much about this, so when we have exhausted my knowledge, someone decent can help

    Are you feeding it analog (VGA) old PC style, or HDMI digital? - I'd recommend the latter.
    Is the Video card, accessed from Windows', resolution set to same as native resolution of the monitor - the 1920 x 1080?

    Cheers,

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Thanks Dave
    I'm using a very good quality HDMI cable. It's brand new though, so it's possible it could be defective.

    I will have to check into the video card settings. Not sure where to find that, but I will search around in the control panel. I'll find it and make sure all the resolution settings match up.

    After that, I'm thinking the first thing (easiest) thing I might try is to hook up the DVI cable I had on my old computer. I know that cable was good, so if it makes a difference perhaps it is the cable or the cable connection that is at fault. Hopefully the cable. If it's the connection then I have to figure out which end is messed up.

    I'm open to any and all suggestions, I really need to find out the cause of this fuzzy text, because it's not something I can ignore. It's not so bad that I can't read it but it's like having the wrong prescription glasses, or something.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Hi Wendy,

    When I strike this problem in the field, 99% of the time it comes down to 1 of 3 things:

    1. Monitor running at the wrong resolution (LCDs have a fixed number of pixels - if you don't run them at the right resolution then you get the effect that you discribed.

    2. Issues with cables - usually extention camles where the higher frequencies required to transmit the higher amounts of data for todays higher resolution monitors get attenuated and give rise to ghosting and general lack of sharpness.

    3. Faulty video card (although fairly rare).

    The good news is that it's usually fairly easy to isolate - check your resolutions and then run the monitor via an alternate input if at all possible - as a last resort, try it on another PC.

    Personally I wouldn't use an HDMI cable for a monitor as my first choice (they're better suited to TVs in my opinion) - DVI is always a good choice, although the old VGA 15 Pin D-Sub still works just fine for me too.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    1. Monitor running at the wrong resolution (LCDs have a fixed number of pixels - if you don't run them at the right resolution then you get the effect that you discribed.
    Control panel says it is set at the recommended resolution of 1920 x 1080. I don't know if there is anything else I need to check. Dave mentioned something about making sure the video card was set to the same resolution as the monitor. I can't find that. Is there a seperate setting for each one?

    2. Issues with cables - usually extention camles where the higher frequencies required to transmit the higher amounts of data for todays higher resolution monitors get attenuated and give rise to ghosting and general lack of sharpness.

    Personally I wouldn't use an HDMI cable for a monitor as my first choice (they're better suited to TVs in my opinion) - DVI is always a good choice, although the old VGA 15 Pin D-Sub still works just fine for me too.

    I didn't like the sound I was getting through the onboard soundcard and the monitor speakers, so I went and bought a good quality (Audioquest) HDMI cable. It's possible that is where the problem is. The store had a big special on this particular cable so my radar is pointing in that direction right now.

    When I shut down tonight, I will switch back to my DVI cable. It's also a good quality Audioquest cable and I know it worked fine on my old monitor.
    I also have a fairly good VGA cable if all else fails.
    I hope that's all it is, because except for the fuzzy text I really like this monitor.

    I'm going to take a chance and set up the sound to run through my stereo, so I'm not worried about having the HDMI for sound. Just hope I don't screw something up with the stereo connection, and that Windows 7 will accept what I plan to do. It worked nice in XP - great sound. I guess I will find out, hope it's not a destructive test.

    I won't know the results until tomorrow, but I will report back then and let you know if the DVI makes any difference.

    Thanks
    Wendy

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    It's not your cable. HDMI and DVI are all digital -- if it had issues then it wouldn't be displayed as blurry text.

    The most likely cause based on your symptoms is a mistmatch between your Windows resolution and the native resolution for the monitor -- double check them (It's possible your monitor is 1920x1200 instead of x1080).

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Hi Kent: The documentation for the monitor says 1920 x 1080. I can't try 1200 because the slider is as high as it will go.

    I will check the cables anyway just to make sure, but if, as you suspect, that is not the problem, do you think it is possible that one of the cards inside might be loose. I don't really want to go poking around inside, but I can do it if I have to.

    Once I am sure that everything is seated and connected properly, what is the next most likely suspect. Colin mentioned the Video card. I did a check for drivers and Windows reported that I had the most recent driver. I also checked the Radeon site (It's a Radeon 4670). It appears they have driver updates for my card, but I honestly can't tell if they are for my card or not, so I don't want to fool around. I'm not really sure if I can trust the Windows reoprt though, I don't know where it's getting the data to say that I have the most recent driver.

    It's getting late over here in Ontario, so I'll soon be shutting down. I will have a look for anything obvious and then check it out again tomorrow when I log on.

    If you (or anyone else) have any other ideas let me know. I'll be up for an hour or so yet, but I'll check in again tomorrow.

    Thanks

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Sounds like a difficult problem. It's a shame you can't send us a picture of what you're seeing.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Actually, I might be able to do that. It will take me awhile to see if I can do a screen capture that will stay true to what i am seeing, but if I can do it I will. hmmmm I don't have any photo editing software installed yet. I don't suppose a .bmp image from Paint is going to be much help.

    Good idea though, I will see what I can come up with and try to post.

    The text is not that bad, i can read it, but it is not crisp and some lines have are fuzzy/blurred on either the top or bottom edge. Out of focus, across the whole line, but not all lines and not always in the same place.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    A couple of thoughts ...

    1. Try a different refresh rate - I have seen that make a difference.

    2. Is this a new monitor? Can you try any other monitors?

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    yes it's a new monitor, just got it last week and set it up on the weekend. Do they need break in time? How much plus/minus is safe to tweak the refresh rate

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    I can hook up my old monitor. I know it was sharp with the old computer. I'll try it tomorrow if I have time and nothing else works.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    yes it's a new monitor, just got it last week and set it up on the weekend. Do they need break in time? How much plus/minus is safe to tweak the refresh rate
    LCD's have very specific refresh rates, the usually only offer a couple of options. Run at the highest refresh rate your monitor offers -- there are only specific reasons to run any less (i.e. video editing - in which case you usually have a g-sync video card). As you are having problems though - try cycling through all of the avaliable ones in the list.

    Try your old monitor, if it looks good, then it will let us know if the new monitor is one of two things: 1) junk 2) defective.

    Isn't it just too much to ask for something that "just works"?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    "Cycle through the options" is a good idea, might be worth doing that on the resolution too.

    It wouldn't be the first time that choosing something else (including accepting, seeing the change occur, etc.) then going back to what you had previously fixes something!

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Personally I wouldn't use an HDMI cable for a monitor as my first choice (they're better suited to TVs in my opinion) - DVI is always a good choice, although the old VGA 15 Pin D-Sub still works just fine for me too
    I tried everything else, and the only thing left to do was switch the cables. I left this option to the end because I'm lazy and didn't feel like moving everthing around so I could get at the cables.

    Long story short: I hooked up the DVI cable - PROBLEM SOLVED! I CAN SEE!

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I tried everything else, and the only thing left to do was switch the cables. I left this option to the end because I'm lazy and didn't feel like moving everthing around so I could get at the cables.

    Long story short: I hooked up the DVI cable - PROBLEM SOLVED! I CAN SEE!
    Well done

    Good to know that "old f^rts" like me still have a trick or two up our sleeves

    So- where are you "up to" with the new PC?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 1st November 2009 at 06:17 AM.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Good to know that "old f^rts" like me still have a trick or two up our sleeves
    Yes, seems you've still got it The cable has definitely made a difference. Even the text that wasn't fuzzy before is sharper now. I can even read it without my glasses if I have too. With the HDMI cable that was impossible, and it was not a cheap cable.

    So- where are you "up to" with the new PC?
    I'm taking it pretty slow. Just trying to get new software configured and get all my files organized and figure out the way Windows 7 wants to keep track of things.
    System seems pretty fast, but I really haven't asked it to do anything yet. All the hardware except the TV tuner seems to be doing what it's supposed to, but it will be awhile before I get the OS figured out.

    Media Centre????? Does anyone actually use this. I planned on giving it a try, but... OMG is this supposed to be a serious program or just the usual Windows throw in that no one ever uses?

    Sound??? It will be awhile before I get that set up the way I want it, which is playing through my stereo. It's completly different from XP, and so far nothing that I've tried has worked. I've given up on good audio for now and just have the sound coming through the monitor speakers.

    After much consideration I decided to get Adobe Lightroom as a starting point for organizing and minor photo editing. I also got Scott Kelby's Lightroom 2 book and am ready to start importing my old pictures into Lightroom catalouges as soon as I'm a bit more comfortable with the OS.

    I like the Kelby book. I've only gone through the first chapter on importing photos, but he's very thorough and gives good reasons and explanations for all the steps. I have a much better idea now how I want to organize things. He seems to know what he's talking about. I think I'll follow his filing system rather than agonizing over concocting (sp) one of my own.

    I figure another week or so, and I'll be ready to start doing something "productive" again. :

    Wendy

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Yes, seems you've still got it The cable has definitely made a difference. Even the text that wasn't fuzzy before is sharper now. I can even read it without my glasses if I have too. With the HDMI cable that was impossible, and it was not a cheap cable.
    I'm having trouble reading my screen without my glasses; unfortunately, the screen is fine!

    I'm taking it pretty slow. Just trying to get new software configured and get all my files organized and figure out the way Windows 7 wants to keep track of things.
    Sing out if you need help - I'm not an expert with Windows 7, but I'm sure we can sus most things out for you given enough information.

    Media Centre????? Does anyone actually use this. I planned on giving it a try, but... OMG is this supposed to be a serious program or just the usual Windows throw in that no one ever uses?
    Don't use it sorry! Begrudgingly I use iTunes since it's the only thing I can sync my iPhone with

    Sound??? It will be awhile before I get that set up the way I want it, which is playing through my stereo. It's completly different from XP, and so far nothing that I've tried has worked. I've given up on good audio for now and just have the sound coming through the monitor speakers.
    What sort of interface is there between the PC and stereo?

    After much consideration I decided to get Adobe Lightroom as a starting point for organizing and minor photo editing. I also got Scott Kelby's Lightroom 2 book and am ready to start importing my old pictures into Lightroom catalouges as soon as I'm a bit more comfortable with the OS.
    Probably the best solution if you're managing lots of photos

    I like the Kelby book. I've only gone through the first chapter on importing photos, but he's very thorough and gives good reasons and explanations for all the steps. I have a much better idea now how I want to organize things. He seems to know what he's talking about. I think I'll follow his filing system rather than agonizing over concocting (sp) one of my own.
    Yeah - I like Scott. I wonder if he'll ever write a book on "time management"? I think that he and his companies are doing some very good work when it comes to training on Adobe products.

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    Re: Problems with Monitor

    Sing out if you need help - I'm not an expert with Windows 7, but I'm sure we can sus most things out for you given enough information.
    Thanks for the offer. I will more than likely take you up on it. Getting the information together in a coherent fashion will be the challenge. Some of the problems I've encountered seem to be resolving themselves. I always find with new software it's quite often ME that's the problem.

    What sort of interface is there between the PC and stereo?
    If by interface you mean the Sound Card - I cheaped out and thought I'd just use the onboard sound that came on the Motherboard.

    As for software, I didn't get anything special there either. All I have right now is the "Possessed" Media Center and the Windows Media Player.

    I think I will have to upgrade both the sound card and the software before I attempt what I want to do.

    I did manage to get some sound coming from both Media Centre and Media Player through my stereo.

    The sound in Media Centre was not too bad, but the way it handles my files is not acceptable to me. It takes what I've carefully sorted into folders out of the folders and gives me one huge list which I then have to go through and make playlists.

    Then there's the Media Player. The sound through that is like an echo chamber with lots of grunge and computer noises in the background. Can't listen to that at all.

    The settings keep changing too. I'd get it set so the sound was coming from the Stereo and then if I went out of the program and came back later the sound would be coming through the Monitor speakers. (that's when I had the HDMI cable connected)

    With XP it was simple. I just hooked up the computer to the stereo like a cassette recorder. Line Out on the Sound card to Tape In on the Stereo for playback. Line in on the Soundcard to Tape Out on the stereo for recording. I had a good soundcard and software for the XP system, and did not expect the sound quality to be the same, but I did not expect it to be so difficult to configure.

    If you (or anyone) know of any obvious differences for configuring sound in Windows 7 as opposed to XP, I'd be happy to know, but unless it's something really obvious and simple to fix, I'm just going to leave the sound alone for now.

    Probably the best solution if you're managing lots of photos
    I'm just a fanatic about organizing things. and I like what I've seen so far in any tutorials and videos about Lightroom. From what I've read Lightroom and Photoshop work well together, so if I progress to Photoshop Lightroom will still serve me well.

    Thanks for taking the time to help out. I really appreciate it. I know I rambled on about the Sound business, but don't spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. My main priority right now is getting Lightroom up and running. Then I'll be kept busy organizing my photos and experimenting with PP.

    Have a good afternoon, My day is just beginning.
    Wendy

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