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Tracking LCD Display Trends

(September 2007) posted on Wed Sep 12, 2007

Bigger is in, wider is better.

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By Molly Joss

If you haven’t upgraded your workstation or your monitor in a few years, chances are good that you’re at least looking around for a good deal or planning to make a purchase soon. If so, you have plenty of company: The release of the latest versions of Adobe’s software lineup, including the CS3 packages, as well as the recent release of Windows Vista, has prompted many users to upgrade their computer, including their monitors.

Once you begin your shopping process, you’ll probably notice that it’s increasingly difficult to find CRT monitors for graphicarts workstations. Although some monitor manufacturers are still making these, more and more are turning their attention to thinner and wider versions of monitors. They’re betting that the future of their businesses-and their share of your desktop space-is in LCD monitors.

And as more manufacturers enter the market, prices on LCD monitors continue to drop. Economies of scale have pushed down the price for graphic-arts-capable monitors, to the range of several hundred to several thousand dollars. Plus, LCD-technology improvements have allowed manufacturers to create monitors that are widescreen, akin to the screens on LCD televisions and in movie theaters.

Monitor manufacturers also are working hard to make best use of LCD technology for the graphic-arts market. Improvements in the basic technology during the last few years have enabled them to create monitors that can display 95% or better of the Adobe RGB color space. Some monitors can be calibrated and the settings copied and transferred to other monitors of the same make and model. There are wide-screen models on the market today that can display a double-spread at full size with plenty of room for palettes and toolbar, but manufacturers are planning even wider wide-screen monitors for release in the near future.

Adopting LCD

DisplaySearch (, the Austin, TX-based company that does display market research and consulting, says the year-over-year growth of unit sales was up 26% on a unit-volume basis from first quarter of 2006 to first quarter of 2007. Overall, reports DisplaySearch, people most often purchase 17- and 19-in. monitors, but the sales rate of wide-format monitors 19-in. and wider is significantly on the rise. And, as43you might guess, DisplaySearch predicts a steady decline in the sales of CRT monitors of all sizes during the next few years.