Acer FP558
LCD Color Monitor
15.1" (38.3cm) LCD Panel Size
User's Manual
Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Copyright
Disclaimer
Safety
Instructions
Copyright © 2001 by Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system or translated
into any language or computer language, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, magnetic, optical, chemical, manual or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc.
Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc. makes no representations or warranties, either expressed
or implied, with respect to the contents hereof and specifically disclaims any warranties, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. Further, Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc.
reserves the right to revise this publication and to make changes from time to time in the contents
hereof without obligation of Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc. to notify any person of such
revision or changes.
1.
2.
3.
4.
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6.
7.
The AC adapter isolates this equipment from the AC supply.
Unplug this product from the wall outlet before cleaning. Do not use liquid or aerosol cleaners.
Use a soft cloth to clean the monitor housing and a tape to stick dust and fingerprints on the
screen panel.
Slots and openings on the back or top of the cabinet are provided for ventilation. They must not
be blocked or covered. This product should never be placed near or over a radiator or heat register, or in a built-in installation unless proper ventilation is provided.
This product should be operated from the type of power indicated on the marking label. If you
are not sure of the type of power available, consult your dealer or local power company.
Never push objects of any kind, or spill liquid of any kind into this product.
Do not attempt to service this product yourself, as opening or removing covers may expose you
to dangerous voltages or other risks. If any above mentioned misuse or other accident (dropping, mis-operations) occurs, contact qualified service personnel for servicing.
The power supply cord serves as a power disconnect device for pluggable equipment. The
socket outlet shall be installed near the equipment and shall be easily accessible.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Table
of
Contents
Table of Contents........................................................................................................ 2
Unpacking .................................................................................................................... 3
Views of the Monitor.................................................................................................. 4
Front View ..................................................................................................................... 4
Back View (1) ............................................................................................................... 4
Back View (2): Removal of rear cover and base cover ......................................... 5
Installation.................................................................................................................... 6
Hardware Installation .................................................................................................. 6
Monitor Security Lock Installation............................................................................... 8
Software Installation .................................................................................................... 9
Adjusting the Monitor ............................................................................................. 35
A Look at the Control Panel ..................................................................................... 35
Hot Key Mode ............................................................................................................ 35
Main Menu Mode ...................................................................................................... 36
Troubleshooting ....................................................................................................... 39
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) .......................................................................... 39
Pixel errors ................................................................................................................... 40
Need More Help? ...................................................................................................... 40
Supported operating modes ................................................................................. 41
Specifications............................................................................................................ 42
Appendix: An Introduction to LCD Technology .............................................. 43
Principles of LCD Technology ................................................................................... 43
The TFT panel ............................................................................................................... 43
Important LCD parameters ...................................................................................... 44
Display errors .............................................................................................................. 44
Comparison of CRT & LCD monitors ........................................................................ 46
Summary ..................................................................................................................... 46
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Unpacking
Please check you have the following items. If they are missing or are damaged, please
contact the dealer immediately at which you purchased the good.
LCD monitor with signal cable
Quick Start Guide
CD-ROM
Power cord
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Views of the Monitor
Front View
Back View (1)
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Back View (2): Removal of rear cover and base cover
1. Power outlet
2. Audio jack
3. USB power outlet
4. Video cable
5. Kensington lock
6. USB port (downstream)
* Connect to peripherals
7. USB port (upstream)
* Connect to computer
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Installation
Hardware Installation
A. Make sure that the computer and monitor’s power are both turned off. Please follow the steps to install your LCD monitor.
1. Lay the monitor on the desk. Take off the rear cover.
2. Then take off the base cover.
3. Connect the power cord to your LCD monitor. then connect audio cable to the Audio
Input of Acer LCD monitor.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
4. Put base cover back.
5. Put the rear cover back.
B. Connect the audio cable to your computer.
C. Connect the signal cable, which is directly attached to the monitor, to the VGA output of the graphics card on the computer.
D. Connect the power cord at the back of the monitor to an AC power socket. Please
make sure that the socket is not blocked or covered, so you can disconnect the unit
from AC supply if you need to. Your monitor is equipped with an automatic power
supply for a voltage range from 100 to 240 Volt at a frequency of 50 to 60 Hz. Be sure
that your local power is within the supported range. If you are unsure, ask your electricity supplier.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Monitor Security Lock Installation
The monitor can be secured to your desk or any other fixed object with Kensington lock security
product. The cable can be attached to a slot located on the rear of your monitor.
1.
2.
3.
Insert the lock in the slot located on the
rear of the monitor.
Turn the key to lock the Security Lock.
Remove the key and store it in a safe
place.
The Kensington lock is not Acer Accessory. It cannot be ordered from Acer. Contact your reseller
for more information.
USB Installation (Optional)
A USB-Hub is integrated in the base of your monitor pedestal. USB connectors automate peripheral
connection by using plug&paly installation procedures.
1.
2.
Connect your USB Hub to your computer
with USB cable.
Connect USB compatible devices such as
a keyboard, mouse and so on to any of 2
downstream connectors.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Software Installation
A. Microsoft® Windows® 95 / 98 / 2000
If you are using Windows 95, Windows‚98 or Windows 2000 as an operating system, you have to
set up the correct monitor driver.
Windows 95. The first time you start Windows with a new monitor, the system will detect it and
automatically installs the driver for plug and play displays. To install the current driver from CD,
proceed as follows:
1.
2.
Insert “Acer LCD Monitor” CD-ROM into your CD-ROM Driver.
Click “Start” then “Settings”.
3.
Double click the “display” icon in the control panel.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
4.
From the “Display properties” window, select the “Settings” tab. Click the “Advanced Properties" button in the bottom right corner.
5.
Select the “Monitor” tab. Click the “Change” button in the top right corner.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
6.
Now click the “Have disk” button in the bottom right corner. Another window appears, select
the “Browse” button.
7.
The drive selection is located at the bottom of the window in the center. Insert the CD supplied
with your monitor into your computer and select the CD-drive.
In the field above the drive selection, change to the "Drivers” folder. The current driver files are
located there. Press “OK” and the window closes.
8.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
9.
By pressing “OK” again in the next window you will be given a list of compatible devices.
Select “FP558” from the list and press “OK” again.
10. Now you are back to “Advanced Display Properties". Close this window by clicking “OK “
and confirm the following messages with “Yes”. Click “OK” and “Yes” again. The installation
is now completed. You can close “Display Properties”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Windows98. To manually install or update the driver, perform the following steps:
1.
Open the control panel and double-click "Display" icon.
2.
From the "Display Properties" window, select the "Settings" tab. Click the "Advanced Properties" button in the bottom right corner.
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3.
Select the "Monitor" tab. Click the "Change" button in the top right corner.
4.
Now the "Update Device Driver Wizard" opens. Confirm by clicking "Next".
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
5.
Select "Display a list of all drivers in a specific location, so you can select the driver you
want." and press "Next".
6.
Now click the “Have disk” button in the bottom right corner. Another window appears, select
the “Browse” button.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
7.
The drive selection is located at the bottom of the window in the center. Insert the CD supplied
with your monitor into your computer and select the CD-drive.
8.
By pressing “OK” again in the next window you will be given a list of compatible devices.
Select “FP558” from the list and press “Next” again.
9.
A “Insert Disk” dialogue box appears. Click “OK”, and then click “Skip File”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
10. Close “Update Device Driver Wizard” by click “Finish” to complete the installation.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Windows 2000 . The first time you start Windows with a new monitor, the system will detect it
and automatically starts with the “Add New Hardware Wizard”. Carry out the instructions beginning at step 4.
1.
2.
Insert “Acer LCD Monitor” CD-ROM into your CD-ROM Driver.
Click “Start” then “Settings”.
3.
Open the control panel and double click on the “Display” icon.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
4.
From the “Display Properties” window, select the “Settings” tab. Click the “Advanced Properties" button in the bottom right corner.
5.
Select “Monitor” then click “Properties”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
6.
Select “Driver” tab then click “Update Driver”.
7.
The “Upgrade Device Driver Wizard” will pop up. Then Click “Next”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
8.
Select “Display a list of the known drivers for this device so that I can choose a specific
driver” then click “Next”.
9.
In the next window, click “Have Disk”, then “Install From Disk” window will pop up, click
“Browse", the “Located File” will pop up.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
10. In this window, click on the arrow () of ‘Look in” box, then select your CD ROM Drive.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
11. In the list of CD-ROM, select “Drivers” folder then click “Open” twice, then click “OK”,
Select the your LCD Mode (FP558) from the list in the next window then click “Next” twice.
12. The “Digital Signature Not Found” window will appear, click “Yes”, then click “Finish”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
13. Now the new drivers are installed to your computer.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Windows ME . To manually install or update the driver, perform the following steps:
1.
2.
3.
Click “Start”, “Settings”, “Control Panel” and then double-click “Display”.
In the Display Properties window, click the “Settings” tab and click “Advanced...”.
Click the “Monitor” tab and then click “Change”.
4.
“Update Device Driver Wizard” dialogue box appears. Choose “Specify the location of the
driver (advanced)” and then click “Next”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
5.
Choose “Display a list of all the drivers in a specific location, so you can select the driver
you want” and click “Next”.
6.
Choose “Monitor” from the list and then click “Next”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
7.
Choose “Display a list of all the drivers in a specific location, so you can select the driver
you want.”.
8.
Click “Have disk” and then click “Browse...”.
9.
Insert “Acer LCD monitor” into your CD-ROM and type d:\ (change the driver letter to match
your CD-ROM driver if it is not drive D). Enter “Drivers” folder to select the model from the
list left. Click “OK”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
10. Back to “Install From disk” and click “OK”. The dialogue box “Update Device Driver Wizard” appears. Choose the model from the list, then click “Next”.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
11. Click “Next”.
12. Click “Finish” to complete the installation.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
B. Choosing the best resolution
Due to the technology of an LC display, it always provides a fixed resolution. For the FP558 this is a
resolution of 1024x768. This is called the so-called native resolution, which also represents the maximal resolution. Lower resolutions are displayed on a full screen through an interpolation circuit.
Flaws do occur with the interpolated resolution compared to the native resolution. If you want to
have all the advantages of LCD technology you must use the native resolution. Using Windows 95/
98 /2000 you can change the resolution as follows:
1.
Double-click the "Display" icon in the control panel.
2.
From the "Display Properties" window, select the "Settings" tab. There is a slider on the righthand side in the middle of the window. There you can alter the resolution.
Set a resolution of 1024x768.
3.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
4.
In the subsequent windows press: "Apply", "OK" and "Yes".
5.
You can now close "Display Properties".
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
C. Refresh Rate Selection
There is no need to choose the highest possible refresh rate on a LC display. It is not technically possible for an LC display to flicker. Even at a refresh rate of 60 Hz you will get an absolutely flickerfree image. More important is that you make sure that you use one of the factory modes. In contrast
to a modern CRT monitor, which is a multiscan monitor, the display is a multi-frequency monitor.
This means, the best results are only obtained by using the factory modes. You will find a table with
the factory modes in this user's guide. For the native resolution of 1024x768, these, for example, are
60, 70 and 75 Hertz, not 72 Hz, however. In Windows 95/98/2000 you can change the refresh rate as
follows:
1.
Double click the "Display" icon in the control panel.
2.
From the "Display Properties" window, select the "Settings" tab. Click the "Advanced properties" button in the bottom right corner.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
3.
Select the "Adapter” tab. The refresh rate selection field is located in the center at the bottom
of the window.
4.
5.
Choose a refresh rate from the table with the factory modes, which can be found in the user’s
guide, and select this in the settings field.
In the subsequent windows press "Change", "OK" and "Yes".
6.
You can now close "Display Properties".
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D. Picture Optimization
The easiest way to obtain an optimal picture is by using the ikey function. This only works reliably,
if you use the supplied adjustment software (auto.exe) and if the device is being used in one of the
factory modes.
1.
2.
Start the auto.exe program from the CD, supplied with the monitor. A test pattern appears.
Now press the ikey. The device carries out an automatic adjustment. In most cases optimal
results will be obtained. You can quit the auto.exe with a single mouse click and clicking on
"Exit".
If you are still not satisfied with the result, you can still attempt to enhance the image by means of
manual adjust.
1.
2.
3.
To do this restart the auto.exe test pattern, which is the best way of observing possible changes.
You also can use any other image, such as the desktop of an operating system.
You can access the OSD menu by pressing the Enter button on the monitor.
Using the fly-wheel on the monitor, navigate to the submenu for the Geometry values and then
press Enter.
4.
On the top of OSD, shows five patens
. By using
5.
fly-wheel, press Enter Select
and chose Clock by fly-wheel then press Enter, checking
the current setting and using fly-wheel to tune number of Clock until the optimum picture
appears on your monitor.
To Exit Clock submenu by pressing Exit twice (Geometry submenu).
If you need further adjustment, back to Geometry submenu and select “Phase” by rolling fly-wheel
to reach the best status.Press “Exit” three times the OSD menu will ask you to save your previous
change of setting, then select “Yes” by using Fly-wheel when “Yes” turning gray. Press “Enter”.If
you are still not satisfied with the result, repeat the procedure using a different refresh rate.
You must use one of the factory modes. If the i-key is not working, or the “Not supported mode
“message is on the OSD you are not using one of the supported modes. If you are having difficulties
generating a supported mode, ask the manufacturer of your graphics card for assistance.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Adjusting the Monitor
A Look at the Control Panel
There are 4 keys & one wheel for user’s control including "Power", “iKey”, “Exit”, “Enter” and a
wheel.The following descriptions are the introduction of these keys & fly wheel.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
"Power": Turn the power on or off.
“iKey” : Adjust vertical position, phase, horizontal position and pixel clock automatically.
“Exit” key: Back to main menus, save menu or exist OSD menu without saving. Hot key for
Audio volume adjustment.
“Enter” key: Enter sub-menus, select items or save items.
“Wheel”: For left / right adjustment. Hot key for Brightness/Contrast adjustment.
Hot Key Mode
Contrast hot-key
1.
2.
3.
Roll the fly wheel right to enter the Contrast hot-key mode.
Roll the fly wheel to make adjustment.
The scale can be adjust from maximum
(99) to minimum(0).
Press the "Exit" to save and leave OSD
operation.
Brightness hot-key
1.
2.
3.
Roll the fly wheel left to enter the
Brightness hot-key mode.
Roll the fly wheel to make adjustment.
The scale can be adjust from maximum
(99) to minimum (0).
Press the "Exit" to save and leave OSD
operation.
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Speaker Volume hot-key
1.
2.
3.
Press "Enter" to enter Speaker Volume
hot-key mode.
Roll the fly wheel to make adjustment.
The scale can be adjust from maximum
(99) to minimum (0).
Press the “Exit” to save and leave OSD
operation.
Main Menu Mode
Control Functions Available in Main Menu
0. Leave Main menu mode
After adjusting Luminance, Geometry, Color or Miscellaneous, press “Exit” to Enter Saving menu.
There are 2 items for choosing.
No : Leave OSD without saving.
Yes : Save adjustments and leave.
1.
Luminance
Roll fly-wheel to select this item and press “Enter” to enter sub-menu. There are two items for
luminance adjustments.
Contrast : adjust the difference
between the light and dark areas.
Brightness : adjust the brightness of
the display.
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2.
Geometry
Hor. (horizontal) Position: adjusts
the horizontal position of the display.
Ver. (vertical) Position: adjusts the
vertical position of the display.
Phase: adjusts the phase of pixel
clock.
Pixel Clock: adjusts the frequency
of the pixel.
3.
Color Adjustment
Roll fly-wheel to select this item and press “Enter” to enter sub-menu. There are three color temperature CI (9300K), C2(6500K), C3(5800K) and a User mode. Roll fly-wheel to select one color temperature and press “Exit” back to the previous screen.
C1
(9300K)
C2
(6500K)
C3
(5800K)
User Mode
4.
Information
Roll fly-wheel to select this item and press “Enter” to recall the preset setting.This page is also a
“status display” field that show current horizontal and vertical frequency status.
Press "Exit" to leave OSD .
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5.
Miscellaneous
OSD Position
Hor. (horizontal) Position: adjusts OSD
horizontal position.
Ver. (vertical) Position: adjusts OSD
vertical position.
Language Select
De: Deutsch En: English Es: Español
Fr: Français It: Italiano Ja: ㈰本語
OSD Time: adjusts OSD menu. tine
allow.
Speaker Volume: adjust speaker
Volume. (Optional function)
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Troubleshooting
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
✓ The image is blurred:
☞ Read the chapter, Installation/Adjustment and then select the correct resolution, refresh rate
and make adjustments based on these instructions.
☞ Do you use a VGA extension cable?
Remove the extension cable for the test. Is the image now in focus? If not, optimize the
image working on the description in the chapter, Installation/Adjustment. It is normal for
blurring to occur due to conduction losses in extension cables. You can minimize these
losses by using an extension cable with better conduction quality or with a built-in booster.
☞ Does the blurring only occur at resolutions lower than the native (maximum) resolution?
Read the chapter Installation/Adjustment. Select the native resolution.
✓ Pixel errors can be seen:
☞ One of several pixels are permanently black, one or more pixels are permanently white, one
or more pixels are permanently red, green, blue or another colour.
Read the chapter Pixel error rates.
✓ The image has a faulty colour appearance:
☞ It has a yellow, blue or pink appearance.
On the monitor press the "Enter" button and using the Fly-wheel move to the "colour settings" menu. Select the "Recall" item and press "Enter". If the image is still not correct and
the OSD also has a fault colour appearance, then one of the three primary colours is missing in the signal input. Now check the VGA cable contacts. If any pins are bent or broken
off, then contact your dealer or read the chapter, Additional Help, Repairs & Service.
✓ No image can be seen:
☞ Is the prompt on the display illuminated in green?
If the LED is illuminated in green, then press the "Exit" button on the monitor to access the
On Screen Display. If the message "Not supported Mode" appears there, read the chapter
Installation/Adjustment.
☞ Is the prompt on the display illuminated in orange?
If the LED is illuminated in orange, then the power management mode is active. Press a
button on the computer keyboard or move the mouse. If that does not help, then check the
VGA cable contacts. If any pins are bent or broken off, then contact your dealer or read the
chapter, Additional Help, Repairs & Service.
☞ Is the prompt on the display not illuminated at all?
Check the power supply mains socket, the external power supply and the mains switch.
✓ The image is or distorted, flashes or flickers:
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
☞ Read the chapter, Installation/Adjustment and then select the correct resolution, refresh rate
and make adjustments based on these instructions.
✓ The image is displaced in one direction:
☞ Read the chapter, Installation/Adjustment and then select the correct resolution, refresh rate
and make adjustments based on these instructions.
Pixel errors
Due to the technology used to build LCD-modules, pixel errors are unavoidable. A standard 1024 x
768 display has 786,432 pixels. Each pixel consists of three subpixels (red, green and blue), which
means there are 2,359,296 subpixels. This is also the number of driver transistors needed. If you
wanted to make sure that every transistor on an LC display is working properly, i.e. that there are no
pixel failures, an enormous amount of waste would be produced and the price would also be exorbitant. Error rates have to be specified in order to produce LCD panels for a fair price. These error
rates are given to us by the panel manufacturers.
R,G or B1 dot
Adjacent 2 dots
Adjacent 3 dots or above
Total amount of dots
Distance between dots
Density
Total Dots
Dark
Bright
Dark
Bright
Dark
Bright
Dark
Bright
Dark
Bright
Dark
Bright
5
5
1
1
0
0
5
5
not specified
not specified
≤ 3 within φ 20mm
≤ 3 within φ 20mm
10
Need More Help?
If your problems remain after checking this manual, please contact your place of purchase or e-mail
us at: DPLservice@acercm.com.tw
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Supported operating modes
Incoming display mode (Input timing)
Resolution
Horizontal Frequency (KHz)
Vertical Frequency (Hz)
Pixel Frequency (MHz)
Comment
640x350
31.47(P)
70.08(N)
25.17
DOS
720x400
31.47(N)
70.08(P)
28.32
DOS
640x480
31.47(N)
60.00(N)
25.18
DOS
640x480
37.86(N)
72.80(N)
31.50
VESA
640x480
37.50(N)
75.00(N)
31.50
VESA
800x600
35.16(P)
56.25(P)
36.00
VESA
800x600
37.88(P)
60.32(P)
40.00
VESA
800x600
48.08(P)
72.19(P)
50.00
VESA
800x600
46.87(P)
75.00(P)
49.50
VESA
1024x768
48.36(N)
60.00(N)
65.00
VESA
1024x768
56.48(N)
70.10(N)
75.00
VESA
1024x768
60.02(P)
75.00(P)
78.75
VESA
Modes, which are not listed in the above table, may not be supported. For an optimal picture it
is recommended to choose a mode listed in the table.
You have 12 available modes compatible with Windows.
It can happen that the image is disrupted. This can occur as a result of a signal frequency from
the VGA card, which does not correspond with the usual standard. This is not, however, an
error. You can improve this situation by altering an automatic setting or by manually changing
the phase setting and the pixel frequency from the "Geometry" menu.
If you switch off the monitor, interference lines can occur on your screen. But do not be concerned about this, as it is normal.
To extend the service life of the product, we recommend that you use your computer's power
management function.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Specifications
Model
FP558
Display type
15.0/15.1“,active,TFT
Viewable diagonal
38.1/38.3 cm
Native (maximum) resolution
1,024 x 768
Colors
16.7 million
Contrast / Brightness
250:1 / 200 cd/m²
Response time
50 ms
Viewing angle (left/right, up/down)
60/60,40/45
Line frequency
31.47 - 60.02 kHzMulti- frequency monitor
Image frequency
56.25 - 75.0 Hz modes within these parameters
Image checks
Digital, Screen OSD Technology, iKey (automatic
image setting)
Controls
iScreen functions
mains switch, 2 buttons, one fly-wheel OSD, iKey.
Contrast, brightness, vert. & hor. image position,
phase, pixel clock, color balance, color palette,
choice of language (6 language OSD), OSD position, status indicator
Microprocessor control
12 factory modes:3 DOS modes,9 VESA modes,
Power Management
VESA DPMS, EPA
max. power consumption
36 Watt Max
Power saving mode
< 5 Watt
Input signal
RGB analog 0.7 Vpp/75 Ohm positive
Synchronisation
TTL separate
Signal connection
15-pin mini D-sub cable
Temperature (operating)
5 °C - 40 °C
Air humidity (operating)
20% - 85%
Certifications
TCO 99 (Optional), TÜV/Ergonomics, CSA, TÜV/
GS, IEC950, FCC Class B, DSNF, ISO 13406-2,
VCCI, UL, CB Report, CE, C-Tick, BSMI
Operating voltage
Automatic switched mode power supply, 90-264 V,
47-63Hz
Dimensions (W x H x D)
380 x 383 x 186 mm
Weight
5.8 kg
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Appendix: An Introduction to LCD Technology
Principles of LCD Technology
The functionality of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens is based on the special physical properties of liquid crystals. Their rod shaped molecules arrange themselves similarly to the molecules of
crystals - always uniformly and in one particular direction. Yet liquid crystals are not set in this orientation, but behave like a liquid: They can be manipulated by applying an electric voltage. The layers of the liquid crystal molecules can therefore be longitudinal or diagonal to the polarising
direction of the light and thereby have a varying effect on the course of light waves.
LIQUID CRYSTALS POLARISE INCIDENT LIGHT
An LC display consists of two polarising filters, a control layer, the respective colour filters and the
liquid crystal layer.
The light from a background lamp hits an initial polarisation membrane so that only a specific plane
of polarisation of the light reaches the liquid crystal layer. Without any external electrical influence
the liquid crystal molecules arrange themselves in a screw-like shape between the two vertically
aligned polarising filters and the directional structure imposed as a result. The light follows this orientation and is rotated by 90 degrees. The second polarising filter only allows through light with this
rotated polarisation. The light valve is open - as a result the controlled pixel lights up.
If an electrical voltage is applied, the liquid crystal molecules orientate themselves along the field
lines. The 90' screw is lifted up, the LC molecules appear parallel to the incident light and allow it to
pass through without altering the polarising direction. The unrotated light hits the second, rotated
polarising filter and is blocked. As a result the corresponding pixel remains dark. The intensity of
the departing, visible light can be controlled by means of the voltage applied to the crystal layer and
the polarised light rotated to a greater or lesser extent as a result.
The TFT panel
A. The standard TFT panel
With TFT displays, also called active matrix, the light transmitting capacity of each pixel is in
each case controlled by a transistor. The pixels can therefore be operated individually and
addressed very quickly, which in turn guarantees perfect display even of moving images. With
high-resolution LCDs well over two million pixels (three colour dots for the primary colours
red, green and blue per pixel) have to be controlled. The voltage is continuously on so that the
image does not have to be rebuilt constantly. The great advantage of this is that LC displays do
not flicker, even when they are controlled at low refresh frequencies (e.g. at 60 Hz). Because
faulty transistors can occur during production, pixel errors resulting from this are unavoidable.
B. The super TFT panel
The super TFT panel works according to the same physical principle. A significantly increased
viewing angle can be created through more precise production and through slightly brighter
pixels. This, however, is partly at the expense of the gray level resolution.
C. Comparison of standard and super TFT display
Standard
Super
good gray level resolution
very good viewing angle
F satisfactory viewing angle
satisfactory gray level resolution
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Field of applications:
Image processing
medical field
Standard workstation
Banks (confidential area)
Field of applications:
is several people are working at one
screen.
Standard workstation
Presentation tasks
Banks (public area)
Important LCD parameters
A. Viewing angle
The viewing angle is the display's visible field. If one were to imagine a vertical line in the centre of
the image and to pivot up and down and to the right and to the left from that point, then that is the
viewing angle.†Working ergonomically requires a viewing angle of at least 60°/60° (right/left) horizontally and 45°/45° vertically (up/down). If only two values are specified for horizontal and vertical, the values for right and left, and for horizontal and vertical are added together. If this were the
case then this would provide a viewing angle of 120° horizontally and 90° vertically.
B. Contrast
Contrast is the ratio between the light intensity of the brightest and the darkest point of an image.
High contrast values improve readability and ergonomics.
A display should in all instances attain contrast values of 100:1. This is a point on which LCD monitors are clearly superior to monitors.
C. Response time
The response time is the time, which a TFT cell requires to switch on and switch off. †For standard
applications a response time of a maximum of 70 ms (milliseconds) is sufficient. If a more rapid
image build-up is required (e.g. the multimedia field), then values of a maximum of 30 ms are
required.
D. Brightness
Brightness is the emitted luminous power over a specified area. Brightness is another point, on
which LCD monitors are superior to CRT devices. Traditional monitors create approx. 80 to 100 cd/
m² (candela per meter square). In the case of LC displays, values below 150 cm/m² are not acceptable.
Display errors
A. Pixel errors
Pixel errors are (unfortunately) unavoidable with today's production methods, if you want to manufacture displays at an economically sensible price.
A display with a resolution of 1024x768 dots therefore has 786432 pixels. Each pixel consists of the
three sub-pixels for red, green and blue. That makes 2,359,296 individual control transistors. It can
occur during production that one or several transistors is defective, which means that pixel errors
occur, in which a sub-pixel does not light up at all or does so all of the time.
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
If you were to accept the same error rate as in the case of the strip mask, for which two horizontal
lines are completely disrupted, then you would end up with a 2.6 percent error rate. The accepted
error rates for LC displays are far lower, however. If, for example, you were to accept a tolerance of
three permitted pixel errors per display, the you would end up with an error rate of 0.0038 per thousand.
B. Blurred image
You can also end up with blurred images with LC displays indeed whenever you depart from the
native resolution. A display is built for a set resolution, smaller resolutions can only be displayed
interpolated. If, for example, you want to display a resolution of 800x600 on a display with a native
resolution of 1024x768, then each horizontal dot would have to display 1.28 dots of the resolution.
This doesn't work of course and so intermediate values are calculated and this distorts the original
image.
C. Multifrequency as opposed to Multiscan
LC displays require a digital control and because currently there is still no valid standard for a digital
control, for the sake of compatibility there is a tendency to revert to the standard VGA connection.
This is also ideal for monitors, as they require an analog signal.
The image digitally created in the computer is converted in the graphics card into an analog signal
and thus directly controls a CRT monitor. If, however, you use the analog signal of the VGA connection for a digital LC display, then transducer electronics at the input of the display must cater for
conversion back into digital signals. Two problems occur with this:
1. conversion losses:
The image is not so optimal as compared with direct, digital control. It can otherwise be the
case that subsequent adjustments are necessary every couple of months on a regular basis.
This is generally executed via the OSD or an automatic function)
2. Limitation to specific operating modes:
Nowadays A CRT monitor is usually a multiscan monitor, which means it can be operated
within the limits of its horizontal and vertical frequency, even in non-standard modes. An
LCD monitor, in contrast, is a multi-frequency monitor, which means it is only guaranteed
to work together with specific modes (see list in the user's guide).
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Acer LCD Color Monitor User's Guide
Comparison of CRT & LCD monitors
CRT monitor
Flat panel display
Advantages:
Advantages:
Multiscan monitor.
no geometry errors
same quality in all resolutions.
no convergence errors
proven connector standard
excellent brightness and contrast values
analog (infinite) colour depth
no pixel errors
also large proportions
inexpensive
flicker-free
insensitive to magnetic and electric
fields
low power consumption
low heat build-up
small footprint
low weight
Disadvantages:
Disadvantages:
geometry errors possible
Multi-frequency monitor.
convergence errors possible
best quality only in its native resolution.
limited brightness and contrast
values
Absence of standards
only flicker-free from 72 Hz
limited colour depth
sensitive to magnetic and electric fields
pixel errors
relatively high power consumption
expensive
no large proportions
high heat build-up
larger footprint
high weight
Summary
Ultimately, it cannot be said that LCD monitors are superior to CRT monitors or vice-versa either.
Rather when choosing which device to use you need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages
in order to decide which technology to use.
In the public and presentational arena, LC displays are definitely preferable over CRT monitors. In
relation to the display workstation order, the small footprint is also an important argument and in
this respect more favours flat panel displays. On the other hand, when it comes to particular colour
depth, or you need a large viewable diagonal, the choice of a CRT monitor is still unrivalled.
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