Sorry your browser is not supported!

You are using an outdated browser that does not support modern web technologies, in order to use this site please update to a new browser.

Browsers supported include Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer 10+ or Microsoft Edge.

Geek Culture / Ultrawide Monitors, are they worth it?

Author
Message
FLAME123
10
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 3rd Jun 2009
Location: Scotland
Posted: 23rd Sep 2015 12:23
So I've been intrigued by the prospect of owning one of LG's fancy shmancy IPS Ultrawide displays. This interest manifested further when I read the Digital Foundry article a while back regarding the implications from a gaming perspective. I understand however that the vast majority of entertainment medium is made for 16:9 displays and not the craziness of 21:9. So I'm wondering if any of you guys own an ultrawide monitor and how it deals with content (such as games or movies) that are solely made to work with 16:9. Along with this, perhaps an indication of how many games support ultrawide resolutions.

As always, any comment would be greatly appreciated.
BatVink
Moderator
16
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 4th Apr 2003
Location: Gods own County, UK
Posted: 23rd Sep 2015 14:14
Quote: "owning one of LG's fancy shmancy IPS Ultrawide displays"


I don't know about the Ultrawide, but I would avoid LG at all costs.
I have a TV I bought in December last year. I also bought a LG Soundbar...and the 2 won't work together. Every time I change channel, fastforward or pause TV, the sound stops for up to 90 seconds. Thus, you can't fast forward through ads etc. The problem is also the same on iPlayer app, Xbox and other things.

They have failed to fix it for the 6 months since I reported the problem (new soundbar, new bluetooth connection, software update etc etc). Now Richard in LG UK Customer Services, second level, tells me:

"I wouldn't have this in my home"
"Anyone who knows anything about technology knows it is inherently flaky"
"You can send back the TV and we will look at the inherent faults" (he asked me to point out he corrected this phrase after I repeated it to him, because the company doesn't like him to use this phrase. There you go Richard, I have pointed this out for you as requested).

I can also tell you from experience that they will fail to return at least 80% of your calls and you must chase them constantly. If you challenge them on their failure to return calls promised to you, they will tell you that their colleagues lied when they made that promise. They operate a repair only policy that can take up to 4 weeks without your equipment. Replacement parts take over 3 weeks to be delivered...and are sent without a diagnosis that it will in fact solve the problem.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
FLAME123
10
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 3rd Jun 2009
Location: Scotland
Posted: 23rd Sep 2015 21:53
That sure sounds like a bag of fun, although most technology companies skimp on the quality of their customer service. I guess you just have to get lucky with what you're buying.

If I recall correctly, it's a mostly positive reception towards these LG Ultrawide displays but perhaps things are not all as they seem. (Although as a side note, you can't deny that their OLED TVs are absolutely gorgeous.)

Failing that, I'm mostly just after a solid 1080p 60fps display with an IPS panel. I'm not too fussed about response times as I don't play twitch shooters or competitive games that much. Top priority is colour representation and deep blacks.

How about the Samsung curved monitors? Currys/Pc World (British electronics stores) always have them turned off in their stores and they're at a similar price bracket to the Ultrawide displays.
BatVink
Moderator
16
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 4th Apr 2003
Location: Gods own County, UK
Posted: 23rd Sep 2015 23:41
My local Currys has them switched on. They look really good. I'm not too sure of practicality for a living room (viewing angle must be seriously affected by the curve), but for a PC I would imagine they are impressive.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
FLAME123
10
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 3rd Jun 2009
Location: Scotland
Posted: 24th Sep 2015 00:35
Quote: "They look really good"


I thought they might be.

Quote: "for a PC I would imagine they are impressive."


It would be for a PC, so maybe I'll take a closer look. Thanks.
Van B
Moderator
16
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 8th Oct 2002
Location: Sunnyvale
Posted: 24th Sep 2015 10:10
Personally I don't like the way displays are going, it's like trying to work looking through a damn letterbox. Even the cheap monitors I order at work, the width is just ridiculous, and they kinda push you back in your chair to take in the aspect. For me, I like 1920x1080, my old eyes don't really see much higher res than that.

If you want to upgrade your work environment, I would suggest buying a nice gaming monitor from BenQ, and take your old monitor and turn it sideways. A portrait format screen is great for editing documents and code, having an IDE on the left and the main display in front is how I like to work. I'm very very disinclined to go for a higher resolution screen, even 2560x1560 is too much for me - considering the shiny expensive laptops at work that are set to half that resolution. I'd much rather have a 120/144hz gaming monitor than a higher resolution one.

bitJericho
16
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 9th Oct 2002
Location: United States
Posted: 24th Sep 2015 12:10
Indeed. I myself have a 32in vizio e3d cinema 3d capable monitor. The colors are not as good as an ips display but they are good enough and the 3d especially with supported games is unreal.

Airslide
14
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Oct 2004
Location: California
Posted: 25th Sep 2015 06:54
I had an LG ultra-wide for a little while, the 25-inch I believe. I used it for probably about a month before ultimately returning it to Costco.

It actually wasn't bad – there was a lot I liked about it, in fact. I mostly used it for my Mac and at the time it offered more screen real estate than my previous 1080p external monitor, but I also had a gaming PC hooked up to it and played a few titles. Support was surprisingly good in a few games but it was still pretty hit and miss. Strange FOV distortion wasn't uncommon, but I can't remember any particular games I had success or trouble with. A few old ones I gave up on and ran with black bars but many of those were ones with widescreen issues in the first place.

Ultimately though I stumbled across a good deal on a 27" 2560x1440 display and switched to it. I feel much happier with it overall, mostly because the extra screen space plays well with my messy haphazard window management style (I don't maximize anything, feels like a waste).

If you do get one, you may want to try one that is larger than 25". The 25" felt too small for that aspect ratio, it was like the monitor I'm using now but with the top cut off. It was kind of awkward. A bigger one (especially in the ~30 range with the higher resolution) would probably be pretty sweet, but I actually see it as more of a productivity booster (video editing, lots of apps on screen etc) than a gaming monitor.
Seppuku Arts
Moderator
14
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Aug 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Posted: 26th Sep 2015 14:10 Edited at: 26th Sep 2015 14:13
I have the LG 34UM95 -> http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-34UM95

Personally? I love it. Obviously being IPS, you get decent colour and viewing angle. Being the 1440p version is means a nice resolution boost, which looks impressive on video games and 4k stuff still looks fantastic through it. For gaming I prefer 1440p to 4k gaming because I can still get a solid frame rate without having to go down the route of SLI or a super high-end card. It was great when I was running a GTX 770 and it is even better now that I am running a GTX 980.

There are limitations, sadly. Now all video games are optimised for it. If you don't mind having the black bars, then it's like going back to a normal widescreen monitor. Some games can be tweaked and some games are ultrawide for content and 16:9 for cutscenes - see video below for transition between ultrawide and widescreen:


For me that's not a problem. Though I would ideally much prefer the aspect ratio to remain consistent.

And with gaming, here is a clip of me playing something (I was testing the Windows 10 recording tools, see how well they come out), I don't know if that helps simulate playing 21:9 in any way for you.



For workspace. I find actually it is great for programming. Especially as the one I went for is Quad HD. I don't have the need to alt-tab when coding. I can fit everything I need onto my screen at once and not feel restricted.

http://i.imgur.com/snTH7tX.png

The above is perhaps a little excessive, but gives an idea of how much space you can have. The above was just when I was testing ngrok, so I can use my PC as a host for testing my site on my mobile devices. Meant it used a little more space with an extra console window and an extra browser window.


And lastly, watching movies on it. There's some ways around this. Unfortunately movies, particularly on BluRay and DVD's have their black bars recorded in. So you've got movies like The Hobbit that are shot ultrawide and on a normal widescreen display get black bars at the top. On an ultrawide you get blackbars on the top and the side, unless you stretch it. The answer to this wasn't immediately obvious, because I tried to find a movie player that will allow me get rid of the black bars and play BluRays. Somebody modded Cyberlink Power DVD to have the option to scale to ultrawide. Fortunately, I did learn that there is a "Cinema" mode on my monitor, which stretches the display vertically to removes the pre-recorded black bars (so you still have to stretch). Which means I can watch things like that Hobbit on BluRay with the full use of my display without it feeling stretched. For stuff that's 16:9, stretching it isn't that bad on a 21:9, if you prefer it over having black bars on the side.

With things like Netflix that I can't stretch horizontally to fit my display. I have to go down to 2560x1440 and have the monitor stretch it for me to fill the display and then put it into Cinema mode. However, I find it all looks great. It would be nice if there was an easier way of doing it. Maybe a secondary cinema mode that stretches horizontally or custom modes so I can tweak it and save it for when I want to watch Netflix and have Cinema Mode for when I watch a BluRay.

And my monitor is capable of Picture-by-Picture and has some decent options. I have used it with my Chromecast before when also doing stuff on my PC, but given the distance from my router, I don't really get much use of my Chromecast when I'm with my PC, because the signal is often weak up here. But it's like having 2 non-widescreen monitors side by side without a bezel in the way.


I don't know what other manufacturers' Ultrawides are like. As with anything, always healthy to shop around and find what suits you best. Especially given ultrawides aren't cheap. I did research into mine before I bought it and specification wise, it was ideally what I wanted. But everybody's different.

Airslide
14
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Oct 2004
Location: California
Posted: 27th Sep 2015 07:11
I saw that display Seppuku's got when it first game out, and if the price hadn't been fantastic on the 16:9 I ended up with there is a good chance I would have picked up one of those too. The extra size and resolution make up for my only real complaints regarding the smaller ultra wide I had tried.
Seppuku Arts
Moderator
14
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Aug 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Posted: 2nd Oct 2015 17:01
FLAME123 wrote: "Top priority is colour representation and deep blacks."


I only just noticed this. You'll get great colour representation on an IPS, in fact, I love how great colours are on an IPS display, but you won't get deep blacks. This is a problem with LCD and LED's in general. There are advantages to using them of course, but because they rely on back lighting or edge lighting and a liquid crystal layer, it can mean that a certain amount of light will get through the liquid crystal shutters, meaning the blacks aren't as dark vs a Plasma, OLED or an old CRT display. There are things manufacturers do to reduce this, but only so much can be done - hence some displays are better than others for it, but it's always best to look at the screens before you purchase. However, I am satisfied with my IPS display and I find it visually pleased and feels like a huge improvement to my old monitor.

OLED's are different and it seems the get the benefits of both LED's and Plasmas, nice rich, bright and vibrant colours and deep blacks, as well as the ability to bend or curve the screen (well, curved LED is possible as well, but an OLED can be made flexible). But of course, although cheaper than they were, it's still an expensive technology. But can only go down in price over time. I would like an OLED monitor, but only OLED's I've seen have been TV's and also way too big for me to use as a monitor. And probably out of a price range I'd be willing to pay. XD
Dark Java Dude 64
Community Leader
8
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 21st Sep 2010
Location: Neither here nor there nor anywhere
Posted: 2nd Oct 2015 21:57
Quote: "There are things manufacturers do to reduce this, but only so much can be done"
I have always had an idea for a method of helping with this: between the back light and the main LCD screen would be another LCD screen, capable of controlling, per pixel, the amount of light that propagates on to the main LCD screen. This system would, in effect, comprise a back light, two LCD screens (one probably lower quality than the other to save cost), and one color filter, in that order.

Surely the amount of light capable of traveling through two "black" LCD pixels would be minuscule.
Seppuku Arts
Moderator
14
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Aug 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Posted: 3rd Oct 2015 01:24
Not sure how viable it would be to have a secondary LCD layer. Not necessarily something so simple as it sounds as it could be. Possible more costly too. It is possible something they may have experimented with, but OLED's seem to be the step in the right direction on improving displays. With an OLED each pixel is self lit, so no backlight is required at all, you can also remove the LCD layer completely. LCD and OLED technology is still mindblowing for me, especially if you throw in 4k. Sometimes it makes me sad when people so easily refer to a bit of their techn as "rubbish" (like their phone, tablet, TV, PC, console) because it's not necessarily doing what they want or wasn't what they expected, because some of the technology behind it is simply amazing and something we kinda take for granted.
Dark Java Dude 64
Community Leader
8
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 21st Sep 2010
Location: Neither here nor there nor anywhere
Posted: 3rd Oct 2015 04:25
Agreed absolutely! OLED technology is most definitely cool (my phone has it and the contrast is stunning), and a lot of people most definitely do take incredible stuff for granted. Even a basic digital wristwatch contains an IC with incredible microscopic features.

Login to post a reply

Server time is: 2019-07-22 02:08:27
Your offset time is: 2019-07-22 02:08:27