VOGONS


First post, by keenmaster486

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I've been struggling to figure out my primary PC desk setup.

Basically, I have a lot of LCD monitors and none of them are acceptable as a single solution to work with both my modern PC and the 2 retro PCs I have under my desk (486 with DOS, Pentium III with Win9x).

I want to use a PS/2 KVM switch to switch between the 3 machines.

The monitor should be:

  • Widescreen (16:10 preferably) -- so modern stuff looks good
  • Handle 4:3 input signals properly (i.e. bars on the side), and not have to manually switch between aspect ratios.
  • No screen tearing or jittering
  • Proper handling of higher gamma VGA signals (my 486 has an S3 VLB card that sends higher voltages that all but one of my LCDs can't handle without looking extremely bright)
  • Vertical resolution is acceptable for a common 4:3 ratio resolution (i.e. 600, 768, 1200, etc. Probably 1200 is the best bet).
  • Can handle various odd refresh rates commonly used in DOS games
  • Has acceptable color reproduction without washing everything out
  • (nice to have) Composite and/or RF input for things like Commodore 64

None of the monitors I own have ALL of these requirements at the same time.

Increasingly I am thinking perhaps the best bet for me is to have some kind of VGA to HDMI converter box, something that will take in any input signal and upscale and convert it to something that looks very nice on a modern LCD monitor.

Any thoughts?

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 2 of 6, by Vynix

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I currently have a SyncMaster 244T, it's 16:10 as well, has VGA, DVI-D and other (YPbPr, CVBS and S-video inputs).

Though the panel it uses has some trailing issues and it is fairly hard to tune the contrast/brightness.

It seem to have a few problems with 4:3 content, though I have not checked further if there was a automatic aspect ratio setting. EDIT: you need to manually change the aspect ratio, unfortunately.

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]

Reply 3 of 6, by Swiego

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I've been using a Dell 2405WFP for these purposes - VGA/DVI input, 16:10 doing 1920x1200 reasonably well, handles 4:3 quite well, includes composite/component/s-video. It's my bench display for everything from old electronics repair (VHS/SVHS etc.) to video capture setup (BetacamSP scratch display) to old PC stuff (XT-->PIII) to connecting old consoles. It also has PIP which is super handy for a "fiddle with old PC while doing a 6 hr VHS capture I want to monitor" type situation. It surely isn't the greatest monitor ever made, and the display quality is no 2020 OLED, but I love this thing to death.

Reply 4 of 6, by Vynix

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Swiego wrote on 2020-02-29, 11:51:

I've been using a Dell 2405WFP for these purposes - VGA/DVI input, 16:10 doing 1920x1200 reasonably well, handles 4:3 quite well, includes composite/component/s-video. It's my bench display for everything from old electronics repair (VHS/SVHS etc.) to video capture setup (BetacamSP scratch display) to old PC stuff (XT-->PIII) to connecting old consoles. It also has PIP which is super handy for a "fiddle with old PC while doing a 6 hr VHS capture I want to monitor" type situation. It surely isn't the greatest monitor ever made, and the display quality is no 2020 OLED, but I love this thing to death.

It more or less uses the same S-PVA (iirc 6ms response time) panel as the Samsung 244T, I wonder if your unit suffers from some sort of a "trailing" issue.

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]

Reply 5 of 6, by Swiego

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Vynix wrote on 2020-02-29, 12:16:
Swiego wrote on 2020-02-29, 11:51:

I've been using a Dell 2405WFP for these purposes - VGA/DVI input, 16:10 doing 1920x1200 reasonably well, handles 4:3 quite well, includes composite/component/s-video. It's my bench display for everything from old electronics repair (VHS/SVHS etc.) to video capture setup (BetacamSP scratch display) to old PC stuff (XT-->PIII) to connecting old consoles. It also has PIP which is super handy for a "fiddle with old PC while doing a 6 hr VHS capture I want to monitor" type situation. It surely isn't the greatest monitor ever made, and the display quality is no 2020 OLED, but I love this thing to death.

It more or less uses the same S-PVA (iirc 6ms response time) panel as the Samsung 244T, I wonder if your unit suffers from some sort of a "trailing" issue.

Generally speaking, I don’t see significant trails.

I forgot to mention one other advantage: the on screen control includes pixel clock adjustment which lets me lock in on a fidgety signal from an old video card when auto cal does not work. Not having to rely on auto calibration for a perfect lock has come in handy a few times.

Reply 6 of 6, by bZbZbZ

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In the same vein as above, I'd suggest the Dell u2410 (IPS panel).
https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2410.htm

It's the successor to the 2408/2407/2405. I have both the 2410 and 2408... in my experience the 2410 has much reduced input lag, better color, and less heat dissipation compared to the 2408.

I've run a similar setup in the past, where I ran the 'modern' computer to this monitor with BOTH DisplayPort (direct link) and DVI-I/VGA (via KVM). I set the display mode to clone (1920x1200), so the computer thinks it's connected to two separate monitors. I found the output over VGA to be slightly soft on some modern graphics cards, so having a modern pure digital link is nice (at the expense of having to toggle input mode on the monitor).