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In the Graphics Studio

While the color fidelity of the PV720 is good, it would be hard to recommend it for professional graphics work on that alone. More expensive displays may offer better rendition (a DVI connection alone may help) but the PV720 does offer additional benefits useful in the creation of graphics and photographic artwork.

For certain tasks, the claimed 350:1 contrast ratio is of great benefit. Photo retouching is one of those tasks. If you’ve ever spent hours retouching a photograph to perfection on screen, then printed it and found your retouching that looked so flawless is painfully obvious on paper, then you’ll know what I mean – this is how many of us learned to properly adjust our monitors’ brightness and contrast settings.

Still, there are certain colors and conditions that cause problems, but I’m not sure they’d slip past on this monitor. Taking advantage of the one of the LCDs quirks, you can also change your angle of view by moving your head around, which shifts color tones and contrast enough to ferret out some of these subtle mismatches. Working in blacks and dark grays you will have better luck with an over-brightened CRT screen, but for color work, the PV720 gets a nod.

As long as there is a well-calibrated and trustworthy CRT around for overall color proofing duties, this monitor might well find a welcome home in graphics production. There is one other issue here, though… the monitor’s native resolution of 1280 X 1024.

In creating artwork for websites and onscreen display, I find it’s often helpful to change my display’s resolution to 800 X 600 when working on a small graphic, as it then displays much larger on my screen and is easier to work with. Zooming in results in a fuzzy or pixilated image, so changing the actual resolution of the screen is the preferred method. An LCD panel gets ugly when working outside of its native resolution, and the PV720 is no exception. That’s another point in favor of a traditional CRT.


The PV720 offers several pushbutton-controlled on-screen menus:

AutoTuning - automatically syncs the display with your graphics card.

Color – 6500K and 9300K color temps are selectable, also manual user control

Quality – manual settings of clock and phase in case AutoTuning fails

Position – for both image and OSD

Language – Choose your favorite

Recall – reset factory defaults

There is also a volume control on the OSD for use with the speaker set, and a mute button on the panel. This menu item goes away when the audio module is unsnapped from the bottom of the monitor.

Everyday Use

This is where the PV720 excels, thanks to an attractive and razor sharp image that’s easy on the eyes. I spent an entire week using this as my main desktop display, along with a 19” CRT in a multi-display setup run from a Matrox G450, and can attest to the stable and crisp LCD image’s absolute reduction in eyestrain. I’ve spent long days stretching into the wee hours of the morning staring at it, and am convinced that this remarkable sharpness alone is worth the price of admission for anyone who spends more than a little time in front of a computer.

Something that bothered me at first with this unit is the way text refreshes when you scroll up and down the screen, such in a long document. At first I wanted to describe it as ‘crawling’ or blurring, but it’s neither. After having lived with the monitor for a while and revisiting this issue, I’m not even convinced it’s worth mentioning, except to say that should you notice it too, just be patient for another day or two.

Another daily (or nightly) use issue I encountered stems from the extreme brightness of this display. I prefer to work in a darkened office (at night) with very little ambient light. This monitor is bright enough to require additional ambient lighting just to tone down the contrast between the screen and my peripheral vision. With a CRT I was comfortable in dim lighting; with the CTX LCD, I need almost enough to read by.

Not long ago you’d expect a CRT monitor to be much brighter than an LCD, but with the brightness level of the PV720 set to 28 (in a range of 1 – 100) I can assure you that this is no longer a valid assumption.


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