Somewhat OT: Eyestrain & Monitors

I'm after comments on modern non-CRT monitors.
My eyes often get very tired, have done for years, and three things definitely contribute:-
Arc welding Bright sunlight Using computer.
My job involves all three to varying degrees (I work ouside a lot), I wear peril sensitive glasses most of the time, & identified a particular welding screen which minimises the strain there. I get my eyes checked more or less annually, & always report the tiredness, no problems found. My montor is a decent quality Trinitron running at a respectable refresh rate, but I've had it for years & wonder whether switching to a flat panel type would reduce the stress? It's something I could contemplate now that prices are getting reasonable. I'll be glad of any suggestions as to what type etc, if they are likely to help.
Thanks Tim
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I've just changed from a 21" CRT monitor to a 19" flat panel. I haven't noticed any great difference in eye strain -but I've got acres more desk space now!! You do mention an important point though, refresh rate. Generally the higher the refresh the more stable the picture appears, and that seems easier to view to me. Some of the cheap flat screens around at the moment have lower refresh rates, and also lower resolution. In my case I have gone from 1600x1200 resolution at 85Hz to 1280x1024 at 75Hz, but also from about 2 foot cubed to 3 " thick! This has had the knock-on effect that I work in a more comfortable position and at a better distance from the screen.
If you are going to spend hard earned cash on one I'd go to one of the large shops and look at several next to each other, there are definately differences in quality -and personal taste probably effects the final choice as well. Although there apear to be bargains on the net, I'd want to see one working first if I could.
Regards
Kevin

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Refresh rate is important, but it's less important with a flat-panel TFT than with a CRT. With a CRT the display has to update constantly as the phosphors dim rapidly, if you don't update quickly enough (85Hz + is recommended) you see the repeated dimming and brightening as flicker. TFTs on the other hand are stable with an unchanging image - you needn't update them at all, so the typical 60Hz TFT refresh rate doesn't lead to flicker as it would with a CRT.
I think an 18 or 19" TFT (usually the same number of pixels - 1280x1024 - as a 17", but the pixels are larger so easier to see at a distance) as far away as is comfortable would be a good idea. If you're sensitive to flicker, get rid of fluorescent lights in favour of incandescent too.
Tim
--
Don't tell me I'm still on that feckin' island!

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Must be something to do with beards and glasses.... :-))
I foresaw some years ago that my eyes were not the best in the world, and I spend nearly all day on a PC, be it work or play, so eye strain was likely to be a problem for me also.
Two things have had a great impact on relieving the problem:
1) Biggest monitor your desk will support, and don't go silly on the resolution. I use 1152 X 1024 at the highest refresh rate the graphics card will support (85hz) to stop flickering (although I can't see it, my youngest son complains bitterly about it!) It's a 19" Eizo, and the other one is a 21" Eizo.
2) Get work glasses for use on anything where you are not outside and looking at distant objects. I have three sets of glasses, focal lengths of 6" for really close-up PCB work, 18" for work and infinity for driving.
Since setting that lot up I have reduced headaches and eyestrain to almost zero.
Anything that needs concentration such as manual assembly, welding, turning, bidding on ebay (!) etc causes strain after a while, so get the best solution you can. Glasses aren't cheap, but new eyes are not an option either...
Peter
PS: I think by memory there is a possible majority of folks in our newsgroup circle with glasses? dunno about beards, although JS manages a fine 4o'clock shadow some days! :-))
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 08:46:19 +0000 (UTC), Peter A Forbes

I went and had my eyes tested last year and got the prescription so I could have then done direct at the labs, but they don't eye test.
I then got a phone call saying they couldn't understand the prescription values.
It turned out that SK11 9DL is the post code of Jodrell Bank................................. -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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Did they check your eyes when you weren't ogling scantily-clad young totty from your van as well? ;^)
--
Nigel

When the only tools you have are a Bridgeport, a CNC Taig Mill, a Colchester
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Tim Leech said

I changed to Flat Panel TFT about 4 years ago and spent 2.5k on an 18.1" (costs of being an early adopter of new technology - though I waited 2 years for them to come down from the 5k).
The very first thing I noticed was that ALL reflections from the front of the 'CRT Tube' had disappeared. Even the very flat CRT tubes are still relatively high gloss and reflect any highlights and this (for me) was a cause of strain.
Prices have of course dropped considerably but I still don't regret my purchase.
Today I sell a 19" 80kHz with a 0.294 dot pitch for 260 inc VAT but the next improvement in resolution comes at 0.27 dot pitch, 81kHz, 21" at 790 and a 0.255, 94kHz, 19" at 810.
JG
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wrote:

Anyone have a view on this one (available for about 230 inc.)?
http://www.compshopper.co.uk/shopper/labs/71860/samsung-sm913n.html
Cheers Tim
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Tim,
For my two penneth I have been wearing specs since I was four and now in my early fifties I find that age has a lot to do with it, when driving, except when dark of course, I where prescription dark glasses. This reduces glare, when using my computers I sit as far away as is comfortable and get up and do something else to give myself a break. I have one advantage over most of you in that because I am diabetic I have my eyes tested twice a year so any problems will be spotted quickly, you should also where possible go at least once a year as your eyes will deteriate a lot quicker with age. Don't use old glasses to protect the new from workshop damage as the weaker/stronger prescription will also strain your eyes . Finally if you use plastic over glasses or goggles spend a bit of money because the cheap ones are not optically flat and will affect you vision also.
Martin P
Tim Leech wrote:

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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 11:33:53 +0100, "Campingstoveman"

As I said, I generally wear peril sensitive (Photochromic) glasses, these help a lot *except* when driving. Not sure whether it's because in a vehicle the sunlight is coming from a less complete area, or becaule of UV filtration by the windscreen, but they really don't react very well in a car. I keep a pair of prescription sunglasses in the car specifically for driving on bright days.

My basic prescription has changed very little over the last 10 years, but of course my eye muscles have stiffened up so that I could really do with about 6 pairs for different jobs (see Peter F's post). I do actually have 3 'strengths', one (varifocal) for general use, another 'working' pair for arm's length work & a reading pair. Trouble is most of the time I can't be bothered & just use the varifocals or nothing at all (I'm short sighted, still prefer no glasses for reading, find it more relaxing than wearing reading glasses despite astigmatism). I also lose specs regularly because I take them off to see better, then can't remember where I put them down. A sign of incresing age is that nowadays I often find myself trying to take of my specs to see better, when I already took them off a couple of minutes earlier :-( *Must* get myself a couple of those cords for holding them round my neck <G>
Thanks Tim
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[snip]

If you don't need glasses for driving and for distance work then they are a god-send.
--
Mike Hopkins
CSME <http://goto/cheltsme>
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never heard of peril sensitve glasses, could have been a frame design for all I knew.
Tim Leech wrote:

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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 17:42:47 +0100, "Campingstoveman"

Sorry. I think there's an allusion to something in 'the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy' there, can't remember for sure. I've known photochromic glasses by that name since I first wore them. Come to think of it, that must have been pretty close to the original broadcasts of the HHG.
Cheers Tim
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wrote:

Reminds me of the story about the bloke that had 3 umbrellas - one to leave at home, one to leave in the office, and one to leave on the train ;-)
Regards,
Tony
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[Snip]
It might be worth while to consider a set of "middle distance" glasses. Provided that you can claim to be using a VDU for more than a certain percentage of your working day they are an allowable business expense (health & safety) or at least were before I retired a couple of years ago.
At the same time ask the optician to check your eyeball internal pressures. If too high it can be a symptom of incipient glaucoma but even at the "high end of normal" it can be source of tiredness. The treatment is simple and painless, just regular prescription eye-drops.
--
Mike Hopkins
CSME <http://goto/cheltsme>
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At the same time ask the optician to check your eyeball internal

eye-drops.
Funniest experience for me a couple of years ago was the girl at the optician trying to measure the internal pressure of my right eye. She'd done the left one no problems, they blow a puff of air onto the eyeball and measure the deflection - right eye NO DEFLECTION! - shed tried a couple of times before I said 'you've not read my form have you!' - where under any other comments the fact that my right eye is a plastic prosthesis was very clearly mentioned <g>
I wear varifocals, and I find too much time at the vdu gives me neck ache as I tilt my head to get the right bit of lens in line.
AWEM
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 11:36:05 +0100, Mike H

I do have a pair, I do sometimes claim for some of my specs. As noted above, I tend to do without. I don't believe, with my particular eyesight, it makes much difference to the amount of strain.

I always do, there's a history of glaucoma on both sides of my family, readings have always been normal up to now. At least that means I can claim a free eye test every year.
Thanks Tim
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Lidl have just had a special offer on monitors Targa 19 inch TFT Spec, up to 80KHz up to 1280 X 1024 For 199 I guess the 'up to' bit is the important part there. And I'm sure I saw that Aldi were having a similar machine at the same price in the next few weeks. Anthony
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wrote:

I used conventional glass screens for many years, and switched to LCD screens about 6 years ago when the prices got to be not too unreasonable. My usage is pretty much continuous during working hours. My experience has been that the LCD screens are a considerable improvement - the images they produce are brighter, more contrasty, and of course, don't show any of the distortion that conventional CRT technology (even the so-called "flat screen" CRTs) is prone to.
Consequently, I find the LCD screens far easier to read; even my laptop, with a 14" diagonal screen, is a lot easier to read than the high qiality 21" glass monitor that I used to have on my desk. My desktop monitor is now a 19" NEC Multisync LCD, and is very easy to read, although the laptop actually has a higher pixel count.
Go for an LCD; these days, pretty much anything you buy will likely out-perform your Trinitron.
Regards, Tony
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Being a computer kid, I find my eyes become least tired with a monito
with the highest refresh available, at 1600x1200 with 110% font size Nice and smooth. I just upgraded from a failing 19" Wal-MArt brand to used NEC p220f with the same settings, but ahigher refresh rate. Asid from the slight lack of brightness, it looks just beautiful (as a 3 monitor increase should :-))
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