Making Your LCD Monitor Investment Pay Off

When I took the test as a Certified Document Imaging Architech (CDIA) over ten years ago, there were a lot of questions and calculations involved with figuring out things like pixel pitch on displays. It was very important to invest in expensive monitors so that scanned images could be accurately displayed for the user. Today’s modern LCD wide screen monitors offer unparalleled clarity when working with scanned images alongside a line of business application. Many organizations are investing in dual monitor or large LCD monitors for their employees in these environments. When brightness and contrast are set properly, the worker not only has access to all the information they need on one screen, their eyes do not fatigue as quickly as more expensive monitors from just a few years ago. This makes for a productive environment and worker. Often though, one user preference is overlooked.

At native resolutions, pixels on the screen are very sharp and clear. Typical native widescreen resolutions for 19-21inch wide screen monitors are between 1440×900 and 1650×1080. At default settings however, many users find text to be too small on screen to comfortably work with. Most users at that point adjust the screen resolutions down to something closer to 1280×960 or less to make the text appear larger. While the text will appear larger, the user will pay a heavy price in loss of clarity and sharpness. This is because LCD monitors do not interpolate down well like CRT monitors can. Instead of deploying monitors and allowing the users to adjust these settings, adjust the text size settings in the Windows interface. This can be found Control Panel, Display Properties, Appearance, Font Size. Use of the Advanced tab will also allow you to make fine tune adjustments to make the user environment most productive. Turning on effects like Clear Type makes a big difference as well.

While these settings are obvious to the typical IT staff or power user, the typical claims examiner, underwriter or other line of business person won’t likely understand what the screen should / can look like. This can make the investment in these very capable displays not pay back the benefits hoped for. Clarity of text pays back wonderful dividends for a relatively small investment.

Finally, I have also found dramatic improvement from use of a DVI Video Card when connected to a DVI monitor (as opposed to standard D-Sub). That investment choice can sometimes break a budget or may have already been made. The gains vary based on the specific models chosen, a little research into monitors with similar specs should pay off nicely.

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