Here's the generation that never saw CRT (Trinitron particularly) displays..
A few days ago I bought a convertible 2-1 tablet-PC with one of these OLED screens, which I already know from many smartphone models. As maybe many of you know, the benefit of those screens is the zero lighting with blacks.
With the help of NewDark it is no problem to run Thief 2 on this Windows 10 tablet. And then after the menu the game started, I was so surprised. The dark scenes are so deep that I thought I feeled myself in a dark room. It was just... unbelievable
The disadvantage is the small screen size of 12", but maybe someday bigger monitors are affordable
Here's the generation that never saw CRT (Trinitron particularly) displays..
I've also thought about picking up a crt front projector, but you really need a top of the line one to get a good all around image.
I've tried the picopro laser projector as well, excellent black levels, but horrible color banding and very low res, not 720p at all.
The problem with comparing Crt with Oled monitors, is there is really no comparison, Crts have horrible ansi/fine detail contrast, while Oled does pretty much everything exceptionally well.
On the bright side, LG oled monitors are getting cheaper these days, you can probably find a first gen curved 1080p for 1500$ or less if you look around, the LG B6 4k Oled wasn't much more expensive on Black Friday. The other downside to Oled is Burnin, a particular concern when spending 1500$ for a computer monitor.
You might try tracking down a late gen Used Panasonic Plasma or Pioneer Kuro as well, not perfect black but not too far off, some dim bias lighting would close the gap. You would still need to worry about burnin but at least you'd be spending far less money.
Any Lcd with a large number of local dimming zones is a contender, check out the 2016 Vizio P series.
Computer monitors in general are going to suck, they are all Lcd and none of them incorporate local dimming back lights. If you want a good image you need to move up in size to at least 42", ideally 50+, though any overly thin lcd with edgelit backlighting is still to be avoided, particularly in larger sizes.
If you are really adventurous, consider picking up the Vive/Oculus/Razer Osvr and a copy of Vorpx. I've only tried Thief Gold on the Oculus Dk2, and it was still quite an experience. All of the Vr headsets mentioned above incorporate Oled screens.
Last edited by mikjames; 19th Dec 2016 at 14:23.
@mikjames: That is very informative. Many thank you. Let's what will happen in the next months and years.
@zoog: Many thanks, too... I was born 1986 and until 2004 I used regulary CRT monitors. You should not rashly judge.
All the OLED phones I've seen have had problems displaying deeper greys and almost-blacks, where there is a hard transition from those shades to actual black; horrible deal-killer for a game like Thief. Additionally, they tended to suffer color bias, usually red or blue. Granted this was 5 years ago, they've likely been sorting this stuff out if they feel confident enough to use them as computer displays.
I think I know what you are meaning, because I noticed something from this kind on my old Samsung Wave phone during viewing screenshots with darker scenes from Thief FMs. But with the screen from my Galaxy TabPro S I didn't notice any bad transitions. Maybe you can give me a good example location where I can check it myself?
In phones they are probably defaulting to low-bit precision to save on processing. The OLED TV's I've seen advertised are marketed as "HDR" meaning
they have floating-point based gamma ramps. That should (in theory) be "much better" than regular LCD output for low grays. At the Best Buy where I perused
a few, they certainly looked better to me but most of the demo scenes were sunset\dusk\dawn so it's hard to say.
I'm not sure about the consumer Rift or Vive though. It could also be something to do with the display controller between the output and the oled panel.
The lg oled's might not have the issue but they have their own set of problems displaying near black images. So far I have yet to see a display technology that displays very dark content with the smooth gradation of a good crt.
Anyone played Thief on VA displays? I'm on IPS and while the colors look much better than on TN and less "pale", I'm very interested in how Thief looks on VA.
Ya know the perfect Thief experience is when you play the game on your tablet ... in the house you just broke in
I didn't (re)play Thief yet. In fact, I've played very few games this year. The Witness, Dark Souls 1, Dark Souls 3, a little bit of GTA5, one week of No Man's Sky. And this week I've started Dishonored 2.
But I love my new monitor. The Dark Souls games look absolutely fabulous. And Dishonored 2 looks great so far too. The dark parts are so much better than they were on my old TN screen. I've tried an IPS screen last year, the Acer XB270HU. The panels in that screen have a yellow glow in the corners during dark scenes. Terrible. Unacceptable if you play a lot of dark games (like I do). So I sent it back, waited and bought the Acer Z35. VA panel, 21:9, 2560x1080, G-Sync (use it all the time), ULMB (which I never use), curved, 8-bits color, 144Hz. I think it's the only VA gaming panel so far. It was expensive, so I'm not sure it is worth its money. I wanted to give myself an nice present this year, so I bought the Z35. Many people think 2560x1080 is too low resolution, but I think that it is better than 3440x1440 for gaming, as I rather have more eyecandy (more graphics options enabled) and higher fps, than just higher resolution.
I got advice for you.
Before you spend a lot of money on a new monitor, first buy a hardware color calibration tool. Like a DataColor Spyder (which I got) or an xRite (which is supposedly better). Buy a cheap one (~$100 or cheaper). The more expensive ones come with more software options (which you don't need) or faster hardware. The cheap ones are just as good for our usage.
I used my Spyder5 on my old TN screen. The difference was amazing. Not because I wanted "lifelike accurate colors". But because the calibration tool will create much better shadows and dark tones. Before I had my Spyder5, I tried to calibrate my screen using manual adjustments while looking at some helpful webpages. That sucks. No way you can calibrate a monitor yourself. I wanted a dark image, not the washed out colors and washed out blacks you get so quickly when messing with the settings. The result was that all blacks were "squashed". Basically as soon as the picture turned dark, all colors turned pitch black. I couldn't see a thing when playing dark games. But after using the Spyder5, suddenly there was a nuance in dark scenes. I could see in the shadows. Everything was still dark and black, but there was detail now. As it should be.
When I bought my Z35, the colors on the monitor were a bit washed out. I was disappointed. But I was busy, and didn't take out my Spyder5 to calibrate it. I played halfway The Witness with these washed out colors. Then I calibrated my monitor. The result was again amazing. It seems Acer doesn't properly calibrate its monitors in its factory. Not even the expensive monitors. But now I am very happy. I'm currently playing Dishonored 2, and it looks awesome.
So my advice: if you have 100 euros or dollars to spare, buy a hardware color calibration tool.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Sadly I don't have 100 euros to spare. I bought a cheap LG IPS of fullHD and 75hz. I wish I had a 75hz VA monitor though!
I had a Samsung VA monitor for some years ago. The first time it was a very great game experience. Good blacks, but not good colors. 1080p on a 27".
But I don't still understand the problem with dark scenes and OLED. Please can somebody give me a example pic or game location, where can I check this myself?
Va monitors have ghosting/blur issues, particularly with high contrast content like thief.
Tried a Benq Va in the past and it had much better contrast than a Tn panel.
Nothing can beat an oled, crt, or even a late model plasma panel for contrast though, and all of them have much better motion performance than any lcd, especially Va.
If you're set on lcd, you really need to move up to local dimming tvs to get decent contrast along with decent motion performance. No guarantees though, lcd's just aren't built for good contrast and good motion performance, local dimming is band aid solution.
I ran a Samsung F5300 plasma as a computer monitor for the longest time with no sign of burnin.
Panasonic has even better contrast than Samsung but I can't comment on burnin resistance. If you could track down a Panasonic 42" S60 it would be worth checking out for one heck of a Thief Display with 4000:1 measured contrast: http://ca.rtings.com/tv/reviews/panasonic/s60
Update: Holy crap! I might have a chance at the Panasonic 55" St60 in my area, similar/slightly better black level to the Panasonic S60 but brighter for an astounding 7500:1 measured contrast, my Samsung f5300 was only 2700:1. Unfortunately the input lag is 55ms vs 30ms on the S60, but that's still better than the Samsung.
Update 2: Nevermind, the St60 actually has ~74 ms of input lag, completely unacceptable going from an Optoma hd25 with around 20ms of input lag.
Last edited by mikjames; 1st Jan 2017 at 15:52.
I'd recommend you go there with a laptop and a HDMI cable and ask them to let you try it. Panasonic and Optoma use different response time measurements (because there's no standard) so your curent 20ms may be worse than Panasonic 74. It's a long shot though, but worth testing?
I've since learned that a lot of the artifacting and blotchiness I saw in the past was actually the fault of the (compressed) content and not the screen, but OLED still has banding problems with near-blacks. These guys say it's not a big deal, but these guys also don't play Thief for hours on end. I'm still not sure OLED is mature enough for something as demanding as Thief (which is the ultimate test in my opinion), but it's something I want to get more firsthand experience with.
For now, I get by using a calibrated higher-end LCD with the backlight turned way down. Looks dim at first but the eyes tend to adjust over time and it becomes ridiculously dark and immersive.
No problem, Abysmal. Now I see a little bit clearer.
Regarding to thief: Maybe I can use my camera to catch up a dark scene so we can compare ourselves?
If you did that you'd have to enhance the footage after the fact, because I'd still be looking at it through my LCD. But honestly just your word is enough, as long as you have an eye for these types of quality discrepancies and understand the needs/demands of an uncompromising Thief player.
I just got a laptop with an OLED screen and loaded up Thief Gold. The shadows look like they are drawn in on Paint. Looks awful.
Gamma to low?