Articles: Monitors

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The manufacturers were promising 16-millisecond MVA matrices to compete with fast TN+Film ones, but this claim was just employing the unawareness of the users about their ways of measuring the response time. The inexperienced user thinks that the given full response time value reflects the matrix’s responsiveness, so “25msec MVA” is bad, while “16msec MVA” is good. In practice, of course, the shape of the pixel rise time graph remains the same – the curve just goes a little lower with 16msec matrices. Of course, it’s good the time to switch a pixel from black to dark-gray has diminished from 90msec to 80msec, but the latter number is still too high to compete successfully with matrices of other types. Thus, the transition from 25msec to 16msec MVA matrices is first of all good for people who use the monitor to work with text or line drawings, since the new matrices blur text less when scrolling. Fans of dynamic games had better prefer a monitor with a 25msec S-IPS matrix rather than with a 16msec MVA one.

The color-reproduction properties of the MVA technology proved to be deficient, too. Such panels give you juicy and bright colors, but due to the peculiarities of the domain technology many subtle color tones (dark tones in the first head) are lost when you are looking at the screen strictly perpendicularly. When you deflect your eye of sight just a little, the colors are all here again. The panel manufacturers sometimes claim a wider gamut range, but as I mentioned earlier, these are rather qualities of the color filters and backlighting rather than of the matrix. Thus, MVA matrices are somewhere between IPS and TN technologies as concerns color reproduction. On the one hand, they are much better than TN matrices in this respect, but on the other hand the above-described shortcoming prevents them from challenging IPS matrices.

Of course, the MVA technology has some undisputable advantages, too. Their contrast ratio may be considered as such, but… Well, when this technology was being promoted into the market – when a contrast ratio of 300:1 was considered an achievement for an LCD monitor – high contrast ratio was touted as an advantage of MVA matrices. Since then, however, TN-matrices have made a wide step forward and the tables have almost turned upon the MVA technology. Moreover, MVA matrices, originally developed by Fujitsu, are now manufactured by several companies of varying manufacturing ability. While modern Premium MVA matrices from Fujitsu and AU Optronics have a real contrast ratio of 400..600:1, products from Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) rarely boast a contrast ratio better than 200:1, which is worse compared to modern TN matrices from major companies like LG.Philips or Samsung. Thus, the fact that a monitor is based on a MVA matrix does not guarantee that its contrast is going to be at a proper level.

It’s all right with the viewing angles of MVA matrices. Like with the IPS type, the declared numbers are the “real” viewing angles. In other words, it’s hard to notice any irregularities when you’re sitting in front of the monitor. The image retains its contrast and color even at big angles of sight (contrary to TN+Film matrices, for example, with their white color changing into yellow if you view the screen from a side). I should also note that the vertical viewing angles of MVA matrices are no worse than horizontal ones.

As you see, the MVA technology is rather ambiguous. MAX matrices seem to belong to text processing and line drawing applications where their excellent viewing angles and high contrast ratio (considering the above-said things about the different manufacturers and production dates) will come in handy, while the color reproduction and the black-to-gray response time won’t play a big role. MVA-based monitors will also suit people who don’t play dynamic games.

The speed these matrices provide is enough to watch movies or play strategy games (and other genres, not critical to the reaction speed), while their deep black color (thanks to the high contrast ratio) will please people who often use their computer in the evening or at night. If you, on the contrary, need a monitor to work with color or to play fast games, then S-IPS matrices should be your choice, irrespective of what the manufacturers of MVA matrices say. Unfortunately, like with S-IPS matrices, the MVA technology has completely left the market of 17” monitors, so you can only buy a 19” MVA monitor. But there are PVA matrices, too, which will be discussed in the next section.

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