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
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
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:
- 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
Language – Choose your
Recall – reset factory
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.
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
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.