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Are There Affordable Low-DPI Large-Screen LCD Monitors?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the special-retro-edition dept.

Displays 549

jtownatpunk.net writes "As time goes by, I find myself supporting a greater number of users moving through their 40s and into their 50s (and beyond!). I notice more and more of them are lowering the resolution of their displays in order to 'make it bigger.' That was fine in the CRT days, but, quite frankly, LCDs look like crap when they're not displaying their native resolution. My solution at home is to hook my computer up to a big, honkin' 1080p HDTV, but that's a bit of a political risk in an office environment. 'Why does Bill get a freakin' big screen TV?!' Plus, it's a waste to be paying for the extra inputs (component, s-video, composite), remote, tuner, etc. that will never be used. And a 37-47" display is a bit large for a desk. So here's my question: Is there a source for 24-27" monitors running at 1366x768 that are affordable and don't have all of the 'TV' stuff? Or is my only choice to just buy 27" HDTVs and admonish the users not to watch TV? (And, no, just giving them big CRTs is not an option. Most people would rather stare at a fuzzy LCD than 'go back' to a CRT.)"

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549 comments

I know exactly what you need (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121640)

Euthanasia

Get some glasses, grandpa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121642)

Goddamn aging baby boomers. Waaaah, my monitor is fuzzy but I'm too cool for eyeglasses or CRTs. Waaaah! Obama is going to send us off to death camps when we turn 50! Waaah!

Re:Get some glasses, grandpa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121676)

You mean Barack Hussein Obama? The *cough* non-muslim *cough* President of the United Soviet Socialist Republic of America?

Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger fonts? (2, Insightful)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121650)

Is it THAT hard to get Windows to use a larger font for everything? Wouldn't that address the issue?

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121680)

Because there is more to look at than fonts... like the 16x16 icons everywhere.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (3, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121710)

Because there is more to look at than fonts... like the 16x16 icons everywhere.

Isn't there a "large Icons" selection?

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121778)

There is a preference for large icons, but not all third-party non-free applications respect it.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (3, Insightful)

Lord Byron Eee PC (1579911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121876)

Reading glasses - they are cheap ($5) and available (Walgreens). Why everyone feels the need to solve easy problems with complex solutions, I will never know.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30122010)

I can attest to this solution (for me anyway - yes, an annecdote!). However, they are only $1.00 each in a pack of 3 at the local dollar store. My wife bought about 12 of them and we have them all over the house. I generally don't use them - not using them now, but there are times where they come in handy. Works equally well for reading that small print on pill bottles as it does for the smaller stuff on a computer monitor. Especially when some designer is getting "artsy" and puts some kind of variegated gray background behind small text.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (2, Informative)

Peteskiplayer (1032662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122064)

Isn't there a "large Icons" selection?

Just hold control with the desktop selected and scroll the mouse wheel up.. voila! Changable icon sizes (in Vista and 7)

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (5, Insightful)

MartijnL (785261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121760)

And all sorts of business critical applications that use unscalable texts in the UI. Now you can blame the application for not scaling but usually just buying a bigger screen for the user is a lot cheaper than having the application fixed (if it is even fixable at all).

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (2, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122128)

And there is another problem; applications nowadays are made for larger resolutions. A netbook for example, like the ASUS EEE PC 900, has a resolution of 1024*800. Almost all applications out there do not even fit on it!

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121984)

Apple uses 512x512 files for icons now, Gnome has used large images and vector graphics for icons for a while now. I'm pretty sure vista used large images for icons.

There's no reason why increased dpi should make things harder to see. It's a failure of UI designers to not be scalable for user comfort.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1, Offtopic)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122034)

So move to an OS which uses vector icons...

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1)

ShagratTheTitleless (828134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122040)

Because there is more to look at than fonts... like the 16x16 icons everywhere.

If you choose a dpi setting that a "reasonable" multiple of the windows system standard 96 dpi the icon scaling is "acceptable". For instance, windows suggests 120 dpi as a next step up which is 1.25 * 96 dpi. I would try 1.5 * 96 or 2.0 * 96 for a very hi res monitor and the guys with the coke bottle glasses because things definitely look better with a font drawn larger at the screens native resolution.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (4, Informative)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122086)

It's not my intention to troll, but with KDE4 on Linux everything is vector graphics and scales percentage wise to a resolution instead of Windows XP where everything is just fixed size and looking horrible when scaled up.

So if you are running KDE 4.3 for example on a low resolution screen (try a full screen Windows game in Wine and kill it from a terminal and switch back to the terminal where X is running and you can see very tiny windows, icons and fonts untill you go to the controll center and set it to run on your native resolution) everything scales down. On higher resolution everything scales up. This, for me, is a major advantage over Gnome = 2.2.8 on very high resolutions.

I am amazed at why Windows still doesn't do this. Maybe it's for the better to buy a large standard definition Plasma screen. It would eat up about as much power as a large, low-DPI CRT screen and if you can still buy it it is very, very, very cheap. Think about 299 USD...

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121736)

Is it THAT hard to get Windows to use a larger font for everything? Wouldn't that address the issue?

In Windows XP, turning on the various "large font options" or telling XP that the screen's PPI is 120 instead of 96 really doesn't work out well in reality. You still end up with web pages where the fonts are super tiny because they were specified in "px" increments.

Not sure about Vista or Win7...

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121762)

The problem is there are several programs - mostly proprietary apps - that are set to ONLY work at a certain resolution. You can't change the fonts because of it. I too am interested in what answers come up for this issue.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121826)

To get Windows? No.

(Display, Appearance, Large Fonts. Also Effects, Use Large Icons. This is for XP.)

The millions of shitty Windows applications that assume that everything is running using "normal sized fonts," on the other hand? That's the challenge.

Some of these applications actively ignore the Windows Large Font setting, so even if you set Windows to use Large Fonts, they'll still use the same too-small fonts they've always used. (Not sure how they do that, since I thought Windows just scaled the DPI up.)

Even better are applications that will respect the larger font sizes, but still layout everything as if they were using the smaller font sizes, so only the top of text in labels, buttons, textboxes, et al are visible.

Short answer: Yes, it should. No, it doesn't.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (2, Informative)

iMaple (769378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121880)

The newer versions of Windows have a "Change the size of text and other items on the screen" that scales fonts and (most) icons up nicely. KDE has a font scaling option too (and I'm sure other window managers will have that as well).

I think using scaling is a much better option than buying a low dpi screen (for example anti-aliasing looks waaaay better)

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121886)

Not all applications honour the Windows Large Font settings (which often forces me to choose other software that does) it's quite frustrating at times.

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (4, Informative)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121938)

Please change your default Windows Font size (it's been possible forever; at least as far back as Windows 2000, and probably back into the 3.x days). Some things look good, most things break in unseemly ways. I try doing that every few years, all the way back to my 21" 1600x1200 monitor, but back away from it each time due to incompatible apps.

I tried it again this year - hooked up a PC to my 47" LCD HDTV running Media Center. Realized that I couldn't read text from the couch, so I increased the system font size to make email, etc legible. And Microsoft Windows Media Center, published by a company that really should be doing this kind of testing, took it's already 1" tall font, readable by a legally blind dog from 50 feet away, and blew it up even larger, breaking the screen layout in unusable ways.

And, so, I went back to the default system font size, again. I'll try it again in a few more years, but I just don't expect it to ever work the way a user wants it to work.

/frank

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1)

cliff7434 (1110265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121970)

Larger fonts decrease viewing space

Re:Why reduce the DPI instead of using larger font (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122026)

Worse still, many Windows applications aren't written well enough to manage anything but "standard" sized fonts and have been known to crash when system font sizes are tweaked and manipulated. I haven't seen this lately, but have experienced it before and was the source of much head scratching for a long while.

In any case, even if the symptoms aren't as extreme as a crash, there are still often problems with apps that don't know how to scale.

Antialiasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121660)

What happened to zooming in to applications?

Um, don't give them an antenna? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121668)

It's really just a monitor with speakers and a tuner. Why not solder on a terminator to the antenna in and be done with it?

Re:Um, don't give them an antenna? (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121744)

They could move the mouse by playing the antenna like a theramin.

Woooooo-EEEEEEEEE-oooooooo!

Re:Um, don't give them an antenna? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121784)

+1 Obscure Electronic Instrument Reference. :)

Re:Um, don't give them an antenna? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30122036)

-1 for misspelling it.

Re:Um, don't give them an antenna? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122012)

Why not solder on a terminator to the antenna in and be done with it?

In doing so, you just gave them an antenna. One of my best antennas is a small piece of wire. A better solution might be to use the V chip to block all channels.

But for those of us who are young... (4, Interesting)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121674)

Are there any affordable High DPI monitors? Back in the day you used to be able to find 17" 1600x1200 crts, which were wonderful. My laptop is running at 1400x1050 @ 10", which is also very enjoyable. Are there any flat panel desktop displays out there with the same density? I'd love a 19-22" display running at 2560x1600.

30 inch LCD, run at half resolution (4, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121800)

30 inch LCDs are available, with native resolution of 2560x1600. They're not cheap, of course.
If you need really big pixels for the vision-impaired, just run them at 1280x800 and there will be no artifacts (exactly 1:2 ratio), but still a tolerable resolution.

Re:30 inch LCD, run at half resolution (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122042)

You got him backward, he wants HIGH dpi monitors, meaning more, smaller pixels in the same space. Fortunately Newegg.com lets you search for LCD screens by pixel pitch, answering ALL the questions in this thread (at least for the product space that Newegg carries).

http://www.newegg.com/ [newegg.com]

Carry on.

Re:But for those of us who are young... (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121854)

Reminds me,
At the Whitehouse Photolab (the taxpayer one) they purchased very nice super high res monitors (Dell IIRC) on the tax dime, but then lowered the resolution to 1040*760

Typical, i guess. They looked like crap.

Re:But for those of us who are young... (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121940)

Are there any affordable High DPI monitors? Back in the day you used to be able to find 17" 1600x1200 crts, which were wonderful. My laptop is running at 1400x1050 @ 10", which is also very enjoyable. Are there any flat panel desktop displays out there with the same density? I'd love a 19-22" display running at 2560x1600.

I thought I would be pleased with the pixel density of my 1920x1200 15" screen, but I'm not overly pleased with it actually. This surprised me... I use 2560x1600 displays at home at 30" and I figured a smaller screen with a decent resolution would make for a pleasant experience, but I've found that it just makes everything smaller and gives me a bit more screen real estate, but overall I almost prefer a lower resolution screen, since moving everything around on a 15" screen at that resolution just seems tedious for some reason.

I'm just sharing my first hand experience, since like you, I figured a higher density pixel monitor would be totally cool and worthwhile... come to find out it's not nearly as cool as I figured it would be sadly.

Re:But for those of us who are young... (2, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122002)

The impression I get is that DPI is not a selling point, other than in particular (very expensive) niches like medical imaging. That's fairly understandable, I will admit, as I doubt it ever comes into most regular users' purchasing decisions.

What I find odd, however, is that I've never seen them selling standalone high-res LCDs even at a moderate markup. It'd be one thing if they weren't manufacturing the panels, but it's not too hard to find a laptop with a 17" screen at 1920x1200 - a very quick search shows full laptops (with those panels) selling at £700, so they're not exactly ultra-premium products. Replacement panels alone seem to show up in the $300-400 range (aplogies for mixing currencies, but it was easier to find a US supplier). Even so, nobody decides to wrap a plastic case around the screen and slot in a DVI port, rather sticking them on a laptop, and make a bit of cash from the people who do happen to consider high DPI desirable.

Define "affordable" (1, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121684)

Affordable to you may be unfordable for me or unaffordable to you is perfectly affordable to Donald Trump.

Re:Define "affordable" (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121722)

I guess affordable means approximately the same price as the standard issue 17" 1280x1024 monitors you get in most offices.

Re:Define "affordable" (1)

ant_slayer (516684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121832)

Somehow I expected you to say that "affordable" was "less than an HD TV".

Software? (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121692)

Really this is an issue of software and appearance settings. On my Dad's windows Dell D680 the dot pitch is freaking tiny evenn for me but trying to leave that resolution at max and changing the font and icons sizes just doesn't work. I want a "zoom feature" for the OS. Hold ctrl-mouse wheel and resize EVERYTHING on the damn machine.

Re:Software? (4, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121750)

I want a "zoom feature" for the OS. Hold ctrl-mouse wheel and resize EVERYTHING on the damn machine.

MacOS/X has that feature, FWIW.

Re:Software? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121870)

Including full screen applications? Seems like that would be a lot of GPU power usage...

Re:Software? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122056)

Rescaling images is very cheap.

Re:Software? (2, Informative)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121774)

Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard...

Hold down the Apple key and scroll your mouse wheel.. voila.. instant zoom in/zoom out.

Re:Software? (1)

iMaple (769378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121962)

on Windows 7 (and vista) Win key and '+' together does exactly that.

larger fonts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121694)

What about using the native resolution of one of the standard displays, but setting the default fonts larger?

Just use half resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121702)

Many monitors look good at exactly 1/2 resolution. Get a 20+" monitor with 1920x1080 resolution and run it at 960x540.

half resolution and a virtual desktop (1)

thinktech (1278026) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121786)

If they used half resolution and a virtual desktop, you might be better off. The monitor ends up being a 2x Zoom on a normal desktop.

How to force a modeline? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121834)

Many monitors look good at exactly 1/2 resolution. Get a 20+" monitor with 1920x1080 resolution and run it at 960x540.

If Windows' Display Properties doesn't automatically show a modeline for 960x540, how can I force this res?

Re:How to force a modeline? (1)

thinktech (1278026) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121916)

most high-end graphics cards allow you to create a custom resolution within the software control panel for that card.

Re:Just use half resolution (2, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121894)

Beyond the fact that the Windows resolution dialog won't let you choose that whacky resolution, there's also the problem that 540 pixels is not enough. Seriously, a lot of dialog boxes are not going to fit on that screen, probably even including the Windows display dialog box. You're going to need a 1920x1200 display just to get a somewhat more usable 960x600 after you quarter (not half) the resolution. A 2560x1600 would be better though, as you'd at least get 800 vertical pixels out of it, which is enough for small laptops and other inexpensive displays. The problem is that such a display is likely to fall short in the "affordable" category.

You are not asking the right question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121706)

The question you should ask is "How do I change the size of fonts and icons on my computer?". Or, "How do I access the accessibility features of my operating system, specifically pertaining to visual settings?"

Get a 2560x1600 monitor and run at 1280x800 (5, Insightful)

pin0chet (963774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121718)

Easy. Get a 30" Desktop LCD like the Dell 3007wfp and run it at exactly 1/2 its native vertical and horizontal resolutions (1280x800). You essentially get the same quality as if it were the native resolution (well, one to one mapping at least) and none of that crazy TV stuff. The best part is that if somebody with, well, "normal" eyes wants to use the monitor in its full 2560x1600 glory, they can simply switch the resolution.

Re:Get a 2560x1600 monitor and run at 1280x800 (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121754)

Yes, that works. Except for the cheap part. Much cheaper to buy them a 32" TV and throw away the remote.

Re:Get a 2560x1600 monitor and run at 1280x800 (0, Redundant)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122066)

This is of course the right answer.
So mod up people.

Is the problem really DPI? (5, Interesting)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121724)

I think the real problem here is that the software is rendering text way too small. Tons of websites out there insist on ridiculously tiny font sizes like 8 point.

Apple had at one point a plan to give OS X resolution-independent rendering, so that UI objects are always displayed at the specified physical size independently of resolution. That seems to have fallen by the wayside, but this is part of the correct solution--the other part is to alow the user to just say they want everything to be displayed larger at a specified ratio.

Re:Is the problem really DPI? (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122016)

Academics can worry about which is the "real" problem.

In the real world we have to address which problem we can solve.

Re:Is the problem really DPI? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122068)

You mean like how you can simply scroll and get everything zoomed in in OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard?

More like on hold, but still present (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122098)

Apple had at one point a plan to give OS X resolution-independent rendering, so that UI objects are always displayed at the specified physical size independently of resolution.

I think they still have that plan, but the engineering was delayed in shoring up the iPhone platoform...

However, you can use this today in most apps for OS X. You install the development tools, and then run /Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools/Quartz Debug.app - there's a menu option under Window for "UI Resolution" where you can set a scale. Most OS X apps after a restart obey the set scale, since they are all using the Cocoa text rendering... it also works with images.

That may well be a good option for people who are having eyesight issue.

Link above the article (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121730)

The link above the article was for LCD monitors.
This one looks nice, http://www.lge.com/us/computer-products/monitors/LG-led-monitor-W2486L.jsp [lge.com]

It is an LG, so a bit pricey and I have seen similar size HD TV with HDMI in at a lower cost.

For more models and pricing there is always New Egg [newegg.com]

30 seconds on Google (1)

fsterman (519061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121732)

Yes [google.com] . To bad there isn't a Google Shopping version of lmgtfy.com [lmgtfy.com]

Tweak the OS (1)

vekrander (1400525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121748)

If you're on a Windows box, you can achieve the same overall effect by increasing the size of your icons and fonts. A quick tip for most internet browsers is that you can change the size of things on a web page by holding control and then using the scroll wheel on your mouse. This works for almost everything in Microsoft office as well. There are a lot of useability options rolled in there, believe it or not so I'd say take the 20 minutes to learn to tweak your OS and you can save the hundreds of $ you'd spend on a new monitor.

And the applications? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121890)

If you're on a Windows box, you can achieve the same overall effect by increasing the size of your icons and fonts.

Windows has preferences for large fonts and icons, but not all third-party non-free applications respect them.

Re:Tweak the OS (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121928)

This is imho only a partial solution. You can enable larger font and icons, yet not everything scales properly. You will quickly run into applications that don't look right. Same goes (more so) for the DPI scaling--in Windows 7 display scaling operates differently from 149% to 150%, so >= 150% many programs don't look right. (additionally many 3d games lose their cursor when dpi scaling is >= 150%, at least with my nvidia card)

Zooming works well for many websites, but many pages just crap out and become garbled when you zoom in.

My best solution is to use a fairly small level of dpi scaling, manually pick some bigger fonts for menus, window titles, etc, and then a nice firefox extension I found that can remember a default zoom level, as well as different zoom levels for different domains. It's by no means perfect, but it's useable.

This is for a htpc/game box hooked up to an hdtv.

Not really (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121946)

Sure, you can change these things, but most apps are meant to be run at a typical resolution and don't look nearly as good otherwise. You also spend half your day fiddling with the resolution to get it just right.

I use this with Firefox on my "primary" laptop, which has a 15" screen and a 1920x1200 resolution. It's cool that FF remembers the setting for each page. It's annoying to have to set each page. Sadly, when I dock at work, I use a 24" monitor and then everything has to get set back (thank goodness for ctrl-0).

I used to complain about Macs connecting monitors only at a given resolution (CRTs)...it's clear they just favored old people. Now that I'm old I see the logic, not that I agree with it.

Re:Tweak the OS (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121960)

A quick tip for most internet browsers is that you can change the size of things on a web page by holding control and then using the scroll wheel on your mouse.

Having that go off when trying to control-clicking things in Firefox to bring up a new tab has made me absolutely loath that feature. I really should turn it off someday rather than swearing every time it happens.

Fresnel Lens (1)

yancey (136972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121756)

Just put a Fresnel lens in front of the display. It worked for WALL-E.

Re:Fresnel Lens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121898)

And on "Brazil."

Re:Fresnel Lens (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121920)

It worked in Brazil [imdb.com] first.

The good news is, "sharpness" isn't critical... (4, Interesting)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121766)

...because if your eyes can't focus on the screen, everything's going to be blurry regardless. As long as the blurred area of an individual pixel on the rescaled display projects into an area smaller than the circle of confusion [wikipedia.org] on your retina, it won't affect your perception of the screen's overall sharpness.

Apple Monitors? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121780)

Don't know if the specs are good for you, but Apple has a couple of larger size monitors. From my experience they seem to be pretty good at multiple resolutions with decent clarity. Not sure if this is helpful, but it might be worth a look.

hate to say it (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121792)

But to solve this exact problem we bought an large screen iMac. Use large system fonts, larger fonts in mail and safari. The mouse can make things bigger and smaller, or simply magnify.

I have also solved this problem by using an LCD projector. One day when I left my glasses at home, I spent the day reading off the wall instead of my laptop.

Set the computer to use half the native resolution (3, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121794)

Let's say you have a 1680x1050 LCD monitor. Try to set the OS at 840x525. The monitor will use exactly four pixels to display each pixel from the computer, so you'll still get a razor-sharp image.

Some of you will say that 840x525 is too small (resolution size, not physical display size), but it's a bit larger than 800x480 which is what most netbooks are these days. And given the number of netbooks sold, more and more applications should try to support 800x480, which means they should be okay with 840x525.

Fire the dead weight (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121802)

If these people seriously can't read their monitors, they need to be fired for either incompetence, or laziness, since it takes a 10 minute eye exam and $100 to buy a cheap pair of glasses.

If your employees are too stupid and/or lazy to remedy their eyesight problems, your company would be best served getting rid of their whiny spoiled dead-weights.

Re:Fire the dead weight (2, Insightful)

MartijnL (785261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121924)

Go tell that to the CEO who usually also falls in the same user/age group with regards to this particular issue.

It's obvious (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121804)

All you need to do is give them one of these [3dlens.com] .

Age besets me (4, Interesting)

xenoglossy (877946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121818)

Finding myself in my mid 40's with a eye problem has affected work to a large extent. 20/20 all my life to end up with distorted vision in my right eye has led to a number of changes. First, went back to the huge Mitsubishi 2070 CRT. I find it clearer that the 19" LCD's. Second, received glare reducing glasses from corporate HR (gunnars.com) which greatly help glare issues with my wonky eye. Without the glasses I cannot work a full day. Third, installed a theme manager to try and darken the windows screen. For the most part this works except for the inability to darken Outlook backgrounds and still be able to read email.. Fourth, looking into a large LCD or similar which can display a high resolution (lots of real estate) with "large fonts"...

this is disability discrimination by OS makers (1)

dyshexic (1535987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121830)

the standard solution I use is to change font sizes, icons etc, however this runs into problems on the web which aren't coded properly it would be very useful if the various OS's would have a range of themes with larger fonts, icons etc and some meta data that can be read by sites to adjust their output. this is an issue that is going to become ever more important

Watching TV not Possible (1)

Moonchen (452105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121836)

Don't install antennae on the TV, or connect them to cable. It will then be impossible to watch TV on them.

Re:Watching TV not Possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121936)

You've never jammed a paper clip in the coax as a cheap antenna, huh?

The problem is with the OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121844)

The problem here is that the DPI is wrong not that the DPI is too high. Fonts are measured in "points", a point is 1/72 of an inch — yes a physical measure other than pixels. If the monitors DPI is wrong (or even better, you use Windows where the DPI is locked at 96 regardless of the monitor size) then it gets hard to read.

I have a 19' LCD at 1280x1024 in Linux which according to xdpyinfo has a DPI 85x85 so 10/72 of an inch is actually 10/72 of an inch on the screen.

---
Since I'm going to assume getting a Mac or Linux system is unacceptable. You really are going to need to look at small televisions rather than monitors. Monitors will generally be designed to higher resolution (Again, right DPI means that a 19' 2560x2048 would be easier to read then a 1280x1024 due to nice clean curves and less antialiasing distortion) so you need TVs which are generally big and low resolution, can't really help with that though. On the other hand, you might be able to pick up some software that stretches the picture to native resolution (I know nVidia's drivers offer a software scaler to zoom low-res up to native but I found that looked more crappy then the one builtin to the monitor itself personally).

Change your font DPI/size (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121888)

Windows supports multiple DPIs. Leave it at native resolution and use the lowest one you can find. This will make the fonts bigger and more readable. If that doesn't work set your base font settings higher.

Sure way to get a low cost, low DPI Large LCD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121904)

1. Go find a cliff or a bridge somewhere
2. Take your entire fucktarded family
3. Have all of them jump off to their deaths
4. Jump to your death

Then we won;t have to put up with whiny little fuckwads such as yourself.

Why? (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121930)

There are SO many assistance applications, magnifiers, and Os adjustments that asking for a lower resolution screen in a given size simply isn't required.

Also, telling someone to simply get a better pair of glasses is often a cheaper and simpler answer. Also, moving the screen closer to the user and using a smalle r screen also works (as the REASOn for a bigger screen is NOT making things bigger, it's to have more stuff on it!)

At the proper distance, a 17" LCS at 1024x768 is the same physical size as a 24" screen about 1.5 feet further away. Tell them to save $200, but a 19" screen, and see their eye doctor. They'll break even, and be able to read everything else better too!

If they're eyesight has fallen THAT far, then bigger print is not so much a concern, and it really is time to turn on the "assistance" features. (someone who's only 50 and can't read 1024x768 at arms length on a 19" screen wearing glasses or contacts also likely can't pass their state's eyesight requirements for DRIVING. I'm holding the daily paper up against my 22" screen (running 1200 vertical lines) and the text at arms length is BIGGER than the text in the newspaper as held at a standard reading distance (arms bent), and therefore even at the much higher resolution, should actually be EASIER to read than print... The text on my iPhone is less than half this size! If my parents could not read my screen sitting in my chair, I'd be asking for the keys to their car, permanantly, as they're no longer safe to have behind the wheel.

Re:Why? (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121958)

and if I myself could see better, I'd have not clicked "post" without some gramatical editing... Of course, that's not a condition of visual imparement, but of I didn't fucking proofread before i clicked post... sorry.

New Egg (4, Informative)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121974)

As usual, it's New Egg to the rescue. You can search monitors according to pixel size. The largest pixel sizes give you a resolution of 1920x1080 at 28" (~$370). There are also some even larger screens at lower resolution, but I don't know how big you want to go. They have large format screens - 32" at 1366x768, but those seem to be quite a bit more expensive (~$950).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824254043 [newegg.com]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889252035 [newegg.com]

Personally, I prefer a 4:3 ratio on my screens and those have become very hard to find.

Q&A (5, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121978)

Q: "Why does Bill get a freaki'n big screen TV?!"

A: "Because Bill doesn't bother the IT guy with stupid questions like this one."

So I suppose that.... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121986)

So I suppose that a pair of $9.95 reading glasses from Wal-Mart is out of the question, huh? I use a 1.25x pair which is about perfect for looking at a computer screen (which is normally farther away than a book or magazine would be).

cut off the tv ports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30121990)

Or at least glue them up.

TVs are cheaper then monitors... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30121998)

You're not paying extra for the connectors, you're paying less for the lower resolution. Just get a TV like the Insignia NS-L37Q-10A.

Re:TVs are cheaper then monitors... (1)

thesameguy (1047504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122114)

Yep, or the Olevia 327V - 27", 1360x768, and no tuner. I bought the previous generation of this display for $250 at Fry's two years ago and it's been a great second monitor.

Native High DPI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30122006)

Upgrade to Windows 7 and use the improved High DPI settings. It works wonders.

DPI - Won't a change to DPI provide the fix? (1)

renger (1607815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122020)

If they're running Windows, there's a "DPI" setting under DisplayProperties->Advanced->General. This ostensibly scales the entire desktop. Personally, I'd rather have a huge display, but your politics may preclude supplying them.

Really, get some glasses (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122052)

I'm in that age bracket and since about 6 years I need reading glasses.

It was in the office at the computer I noticed one morning I couldn't properly focus any more when close up to the computer screen.
That same day I went to the supermarket and got some 5 Euro reading glasses and everything is back in focus.

We use 15.4" laptops with a HD screen, yes the pitch is small but with the right glasses it's no problem what so ever.
As a matter of fact, decreasing the resolution might make the font large enough for me to read but I'd still suffer a very uncomfortable loss of focus.

Increase your DPI (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122078)

And then start complaining to software vendors when they write crappy software that only supports the standard DPI. There are plenty of technologies out there to help developers write UI's that scale properly with the Windows DPI setting (ie. WPF for the .Net devs out there).

Re:Increase your DPI (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122126)

And the title of the article is somewhat misleading. DPI != resolution

You change the things that matter (1)

CoffeePlease (596791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122138)

You change the things that matter, not the resolution. Change the font size, icon size, and widget sizes where possible. I wrote a post on making OS X usable for my father, but the same types of mods and more are possible on Windows. You just have to locate them all. For my own vision problems, I just insisted on a 30" monitor, set at its native HIGH resolution, and increase fonts and icon sizes as necessary. Get a pair of glasses set to the correct distance - in my case 26" from my face to the monitor. Making OS X more usable for seniors [thedesignspace.net]

Mass produced = cheaper (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122154)

Just because an HDTV has more stuff on it doesn't mean it's more expensive than a same-res same-size monitor without those things. Thanks to economy of scale, it costs more to not have the extra tuner, RGB, etc. stuff built in.

Buy the cheapest unit that does what you want. You can ignore what it has that you don't need.

Non-problem? (2, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122166)

I've noticed this option doesn't cross the minds of some IT guys, but how about letting the users do what they want?

If they want to look at an awful non-native resolution on their LCD, why don't you shed your single tear about the waste of technology and let them go about their business? Does it actually affect you in the slightest?

It is called a cheap TV. (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30122168)

What you describe basicly is called a cheap TV.
These already have a DVI or HDMI or VGA or SVIDEO or COMPOSITE or ETHERNET input for use with a computer.

Shouldn't this do it? The cheap models often have a "low" resolution and carry some HD Ready sticker.

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