lcd panel tn or ips brands

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lcd panel tn or ips brands

Again, IPS is the clear winner here. The vertical viewing angles are very similar to the horizontal ones on both IPS and VA panels. Unfortunately, this is one area where TN panels are usually much, much worse. TN monitors degrade rapidly from below, and colors actually inverse - resulting in a negative image that can be distracting. For this reason, if you decide to buy a TN monitor, look for one with an excellent height adjustment, or consider buying a VESA mounting arm, as you should mount TN monitors at eye level. Even when mounted properly, larger TN displays can appear non-uniform at the edges.

There"s usually not much difference between VA and IPS panels in terms of gray uniformity. It"s rare for monitors to have uniformity issues, and even on monitors that perform worse than average, it"s usually not noticeable with regular content. TN monitors tend to perform a bit worse than usual, though, and the top half of the screen is almost always darker than the rest, but that"s an artifact of the bad vertical viewing angles.

Black uniformity tends to vary significantly, even between individual units of the same model, and there"s no single panel type that performs the best. It"s rare for monitors to have good black uniformity, and almost every monitor we"ve tested has some noticeable cloudiness or backlight bleed. IPS and TN panels can look slightly worse due to their low contrast ratios, as the screen can take on more of a bluish tint when displaying dark scenes. Like with contrast, black uniformity issues usually aren"t very noticeable unless you"re looking at dark content and you"re in a dark room. If you only use your monitor in a bright environment, generally speaking, you don"t need to worry about black uniformity.

Historically, TN panels used to have the worst colors, as many of them were cheaper models that only supported 6-bit colors or used techniques like dithering (FRC) to approximate 8-bit colors. Most displays today, including TN models, are at least 8 bit, and many of them are even able to approximate 10-bit colors through dithering. New technologies, like LG"s Nano IPS and Samsung"s Quantum Dot, add an extra layer to the LCD stack and have significantly improved the color gamut of modern IPS and VA displays, leaving TN a bit behind. Between them, NANO IPS is slightly better, as it tends to offer better coverage of the Adobe RGB color space. Although the difference is minor, IPS panels still have a slight edge over VA and TN displays.

Although TN panels have caught up a bit in the SDR color space, they"re far behind when it comes to HDR, so if you"re looking for a good HDR color gamut, avoid TN panels. Between VA and IPS panels, the difference isn"t as significant; however, IPS panels still have a slight edge. The best VA panels top out at around 90% coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by most current HDR content. IPS panels go as high as 98% coverage of DCI P3, rivaling even some of the best TVs on the market. Due to the very high coverage of DCI P3 on both VA and IPS, the difference isn"t that noticeable, though, as most content won"t use the entire color space anyway.

Although not necessarily as noticeable to everyone as the differences in picture quality, there can also be a difference in motion handling between IPS, VA, and TN displays. TN panels historically offered the best gaming performance, as they had the highest refresh rates and extremely fast response times. Manufacturers have found ways to drastically improve the motion handling of VA and IPS panels, though, and the difference isn"t as pronounced.

LCD panel technology has changed drastically over the last few years, and the historical expectations for response time performance don"t necessarily hold anymore. For years, TN monitors had the fastest response times by far, but that"s started to change. New high refresh-rate IPS monitors can be just as fast.

VA panels are a bit of a strange situation. They typically have slightly slower response times overall compared to similar TN or IPS models. It"s especially noticeable in near-black scenes, where they tend to be significantly slower, resulting in dark trails behind fast-moving objects in dark scenes, commonly known as black smear. Some recent VA panels, such as the Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T, get around it by overdriving the pixels. It results in much better dark scene performance but a more noticeable overshoot in brighter areas.

The examples listed above aren"t perfect. The average response time metrics shown don"t necessarily show the whole picture. Monitors also usually offer a certain level of control over the pixel overdrive, so it"s possible to adjust the response time to match your usage and personal preference. Some overdrive settings deliver a sharper image but introduce overshoot and reverse ghosting artifacts, while other modes might not be as sharp but have no distracting artifacts. You can learn more about our response time testing here.

Within each of the three types of LCD we mentioned, other related panel types use the same basic idea but with slight differences. For example, two popular variants of IPS panels include ADS (technically known as ADSDS, or Advanced Super Dimension Switch) and PLS (Plane to Line Switching). It can be hard to tell these panels apart simply based on the subpixel structure, so we"ll usually group them all as IPS, and in the text, we"ll usually refer to them as IPS-like or IPS family. There are slight differences in colors, viewing angles, and contrast, but generally speaking, they"re all very similar.

There"s another display technology that"s growing in popularity: OLED. OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, is very different from the conventional LCD technology we"ve explored above. OLED panels are electro-emissive, which means each pixel emits its own light when it receives an electric signal, eliminating the need for a backlight. Since OLED panels can turn off individual pixels, they have deep, inky blacks with no blooming around bright objects. They also have excellent wide viewing angles, a near-instantaneous response time, and excellent gray uniformity.

OLED panels aren"t perfect, though. There"s a risk of permanent burn-in, especially when there are lots of static elements on screen, like the UI elements of a PC. There aren"t many OLED monitors available, either, but they"ve started to gain popularity as laptop screens and for high-end monitors, but they"re very expensive and hard to find. They"re also not very bright in some cases, especially when large bright areas are visible on screen. The technology is still maturing, and advances in OLED technology, like Samsung"s highly-anticipated QD-OLED technology, are promising.

As you can probably tell by now, no one panel type works best for everyone; it all depends on your exact usage. Although there used to be some significant differences between panel types, as technology has improved, these differences aren"t as noticeable. The two exceptions to this are viewing angles and contrast. If you"re in a dark room, a VA panel that can display deep blacks is probably the best choice. If you"re not in a dark room, you should focus on the other features of the monitor and choose based on the features that appeal to your exact usage. IPS panels are generally preferred for office use, and TN typically offers the best gaming experience, but recent advancements in VA and IPS technology are starting to change those generalizations. For the most part, the differences between each panel type are so minor now that it doesn"t need to be directly factored into your buying decision.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

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lcd panel tn or ips brands

You should choose between different panel types according to what you’ll mostly be using the monitor for — gaming, color-critical work, or watching movies and other everyday activities.

VA panels have the highest contrast ratio, but it usually comes at a cost of slower response time, so they’re excellent for watching movies, but not suitable for competitive gaming. TN panels are cheap and have fast response times, but have inferior image quality and viewing angles.

IPS panels offer the most consistent colors and a quick pixel response time speed as well as the widest viewing angles, but they don’t have as high contrast ratio as VA panels, and they are usually more expensive.

All newer TN monitors will offer a rapid ~1ms response time (gray to gray pixel transition or ‘GtG’ for short), which eliminates ghosting/trailing behind fast-moving objects.

When paired with a high refresh rate, TN panel gaming monitors provide a buttery-smooth gaming experience at an affordable price, which is why they are usually the first choice of many professional FPS gamers.

TN monitors have the worst color reproduction and narrow viewing angles (170° horizontally, 160° vertically), which causes the image to shift in color, contrast and brightness when it’s looked at skewed angles.

The viewing angles aren’t an issue as long as you’re sitting in front of the monitor, apart from some gamma/saturation shifts, so if you’ve got a limited budget and care more about performance than pretty colors, a TN panel monitor is for you.

IPS panels provide themost accurate and consistent colors as well as wide 178° viewing angles, meaning that you can look at the screen from basically any angle without the image shifting in color and contrast.

Nowadays, most IPS monitors have just as fast pixel response time speed as TN panels (~1ms), though there are still some slower IPS variants with 4 to 5ms.

If you’re watching particularly dark content in a dark room, you will be able to notice light ‘glowing’ around the corners of the screen. This is an expected side effect caused by the excess light passing through the panel.

It’s rather tolerable as it’s only mildly bothersome in certain scenarios i.e., watching dark scenes of a movie/game in a dim-lit room with high brightness setting. In some rare cases, mainly due to poor quality control, IPS glow can be distracting, in which case you should RMA the monitor.

Now, another thing to keep in mind is that IPS panels don’t have as high contrast as VA panels. A standard IPS monitor has a static contrast ratio of around 1,000:1, whereas a VA alternative has around 3,000:1, or even higher.

In 2022, LG Display developed the first IPS Black panel, which increase the static contrast ratio to around 2,000:1! The Dell U2723QE is one of the first monitors released with this technology.

LG is also bringing back the A-TW polarizer on some of their models, such as the upcoming LG 32GQ950. This will help reduce IPS glow at a cost of introducing a minor purple glow at extreme angles.

Further, through the use of localized dimming, the contrast ratio can be significantly improved on LED-backlit monitors. However, unless an expensive full-array local dimming solution is used, there’s basically no meaningful improvement.

In the past, IPS monitors were more expensive than TN models with the same specs. Nowadays, some IPS monitors are only slightly (if at all) more costly than their TN counterparts.

Keep in mind that there are several variations of IPS panels depending on the manufacturer, and you will also find them named differently. These are the most current versions you should know:

While IPS and TN panels usually have a contrast ratio of around 1,000:1, most VA panels have a contrast ratio between 2,500:1 and 3,000:1, with more expensive models offering even higher contrast.

Even though their specified response time speed may be the same as that of an average IPS display (4-5ms), they actually have a lot slower black to white pixel transition.

Consequently, in dark scenes of fast-paced video games, you get noticeable black smearing behind fast-moving objects, which can be distracting for competitive gaming.

Samsung’s latest VA panels used in the Odyssey G7 and G9 curved gaming monitors are actually just as fast as some IPS models with 1ms GtG response time!

Therefore, these monitors offer the most balanced image quality and performance with deep blacks and fast pixel transitions, but they are also more expensive and have some other flaws, as explained in the review.

In fact, there are VA panels that have just as good or better colors than certain IPS monitors, but the colors on those VA displays won’t be as consistent as that of the IPS technology.

In other words, a certain shade of red, for instance, might not look the same at the top of the image and at the center of a VA panel monitor due to gamma shifts.

Generally, these slight uniformity issues aren’t really noticeable or bothersome in everyday use, but they are crucial for color-critical work, which is the main reason designers opt for IPS monitors.

Thanks to their high contrast and lack of IPS glow, VA panel displays are particularly great for watching movies in a dark room where details in shadows of the picture really stand out, which is why most LED TVs use VA panels, not IPS.

Lastly, although VA panels have specified 178° viewing angles just like IPS, some minor shifts in contrast and brightness are present at certain angles, but nothing extreme.

That’s it! Hopefully, we’ve helped you pick the perfect panel type for you, but there are many other things to consider when buying a new monitor such as screen size, resolution and refresh rate.

You can find more information in our comprehensive gaming monitor buyer’s guide or one of the other guides on our website — depending on whether you need a monitor for photo-editing, office work, etc.

All in all, even if you’re a competitive gamer and don’t care much about image quality, a modern IPS monitor is the way to go as you get just as fast response times as that of old TN displays, but a better image quality and viewing angles too.

For color-critical work, we highly recommend IPS monitors, but you can also use VA displays for basic content creation where color accuracy isn’t crucial.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

So, why would anyone ever buy a TN panel? For starters, they’re cheap. They don’t cost a lot to produce, so they’re often used in the most budget-friendly options. If you don’t value color reproduction or need excellent viewing angles, a TN panel might be fine for your office or study.

TN panels also have the lowest input lag—typically around one millisecond. They can also handle high refresh rates of up to 240 Hz. This makes them an attractive option for competitive multiplayer games—especially eSports, where every split-second counts.

IPS technology was developed to improve upon the limitations of TN panels—most notably, the poor color reproduction and limited viewing angles. As a result, IPS panels are much better than TNs in both of these areas.

In particular, IPS panels have vastly superior viewing angles than TNs. This means you can view IPS panels from extreme angles and still get accurate color reproduction. Unlike TNs, you’ll notice very little shift in color when you view one from a less-than-ideal perspective.

IPS panels are also known for their relatively good black reproduction, which helps eliminate the “washed out” look you get with TN panels. However, IPS panels fall short of the excellent contrast ratios you’ll find on VAs.

While high refresh rates were typically reserved for TNs, more manufacturers are producing IPS panels with refresh rates of 240 Hz. For example, the 27-inch 1080p ASUS VG279QM uses an IPS panel and supports 280 Hz.

Previously, TNs exhibited less input lag than any other panel, but IPS technology has finally caught up. In June 2019, LG announced its new Nano IPS UltraGear monitors with a response time of one millisecond.

Despite the gap being closed, you’ll still pay more for an IPS panel with such a low response time than you would for a TN with similar specs. If you’re on a budget, expect a response time of around four milliseconds for a good IPS monitor.

One last thing to be aware of with IPS panels is a phenomenon called “IPS glow.” It’s when you see the display’s backlight shining through it at more extreme viewing angles. It’s not a huge problem unless you view the panel from the side, but it’s something to keep in mind.

VA panels are something of a compromise between TN and IPS. They offer the best contrast ratios, which is why TV manufacturers use them extensively. While an IPS monitor typically has a contrast ratio of 1000:1, it’s not unusual to see 3000:1 or 6000:1 in a comparable VA panel.

In terms of viewing angles, VAs can’t quite match the performance of IPS panels. Screen brightness, in particular, can vary based on the angle from which you’re viewing, but you won’t get the “IPS glow.”

VAs have slower response times than TNs and the newer Nano IPS panels with their one-millisecond response rates. You can find VA monitors with high refresh rates (240 Hz), but the latency can result in more ghosting and motion blur. For this reason, competitive gamers should avoid VA.

Compared to TNs, VA panels do offer much better color reproduction and typically hit the full sRGB spectrum, even on lower-end models. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, Samsung’s Quantum Dot SVA panels can hit 125 percent sRGB coverage.

For these reasons, VA panels are seen as the jack of all trades. They’re ideal for general use, but they either match or fall short in most other areas except contrast ratio. VAs are good for gamers who enjoy single-player or casual experiences.

When compared to CRT monitors, all LCD panels suffer from some form of latency issue. This was a real problem when TN panels first appeared, and it’s plagued IPS and VA monitors for years. But technology has moved on, and while many of these issues have been improved, they haven’t been eliminated entirely.

Uneven backlighting is another issue you’ll find on all panel types. Often this comes down to overall build quality—cheaper models slack on quality control to save on production costs. So, if you’re looking for a cheap monitor, be prepared for some uneven backlighting. However, you’ll mostly only notice it on solid or very dark backgrounds.

LCD panels are also susceptible to dead or stuck pixels. Different manufacturers and jurisdictions have different policies and consumer laws covering dead pixels. If you’re a perfectionist, check the manufacturer’s dead-pixel policy before you buy. Some will replace a monitor with a single dead pixel for free, while others require a minimum number.

Office or study use: Your budget should be your primary concern here. VA is the do-it-all panel, with superior viewing angles to TN, but either would do the trick. You can save some money because you don’t need high refresh rates or ultra-low latency. They’re still nice, though. You’ll see a noticeable difference in smoothness just when moving the Windows cursor on a monitor with a 144 versus 60 Hz refresh rate.

Photo and video editors/Digital artists: IPS panels are still generally favored for their ability to display a wide gamut of colors. It’s not unusual to find VA panels that also cover a wide gamut (125 percent sRGB, and over 90 percent DCI-P3), but they tend to exhibit more motion blur during fast-paced action than IPS panels. If you’re serious about color accuracy, you’ll need to properly calibrate your monitor.

Programmers who mount monitors vertically: You might think TN panels are great for programmers, but that’s not necessarily the case. TN panels have particularly bad viewing angles on the vertical axis. If you mount your monitor in portrait mode (as many programmers and mobile developers do), you’ll get the worst possible viewing angles from a TN panel. For the best possible viewing angles in this scenario, invest in an IPS display.

Competitive online gamers: There’s no question TN panels are still favored in the eSports world. Even the cheapest models have fast response times and support for high refresh rates. For 1080p gaming, a 24-inch will do just fine, or you could opt for a 1440p, 27-inch model without breaking the bank. You might want to go for an IPS panel as more low-latency models hit the market, but expect to pay more.

Non-competitive, high-end PC gamers: For a rich, immersive image that pops, a VA panel will provide a higher contrast ratio than IPS or TN. For deep blacks and a sharp, contrasting image, VA is the winner. If you’re okay with sacrificing some contrast, you can go the IPS route. However, we’d recommend avoiding TN altogether unless you play competitively.

Best all-rounder: VA is the winner here, but IPS is better in all areas except contrast ratio. If you can sacrifice contrast, an IPS panel will provide fairly low latency, decent blacks, and satisfactory color coverage.

As you probably know, you can usually get a monitor cheaper online than at a brick-and-mortar store. Unfortunately, buying online also usually means buying blind. And with a TV or monitor, that can lead to disappointment.

If you can, check out the monitor you’re interested in in-person before you buy it. You can perform some simple ghosting and motion blur tests by grabbing a window with the mouse and moving it rapidly around the screen. You can also test the brightness, watch some videos, and play with the onscreen display to get a feel for it.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

When searching for a liquid crystal display (LCD), consideration of the device’s display technology is essential. Screen technology companies such as Apple and Samsung search for the best possible display panels and panel technology in order to offer their customers the best image quality. In competitive gaming, gaming monitors must be able to provide great image quality but also fast refresh rates so that gamers can play at a fast pace.

Before diving into how exactly liquid crystals affect display features, it is necessary to understand their general role in an LCD monitor. LCD technology is not capable of illuminating itself, so it requires a backlight. The liquid crystals are responsible for transmitting the light from backlight to the computer monitor surface in a manner determined by the signals received. They do so by essentially moving the light differently through the layer’s molecular matrix when the liquid crystals are oriented or aligned in a certain manner, a process which is controlled by the LCD cell’s electrodes and their electric currents.

The methods of alignment, however, can vary between panel types, offering different features and benefits. Two common and popular liquid crystal alignment techniques are twisted nematic (TN) and in-plane switching(IPS).

TN panels offer the cheapest method of crystal alignment. They also are the most common of the alignment methods and have been used for quite a long time in the display industry, including in cathode ray tubes (CRTs) that preceded the LCD.

In TN displays, the electrodes are positioned on either side of the liquid crystal layer. When a current is sent between the back and front electrode, something called an electric field is created that shifts and manipulates the orientation of the molecular matrix.

If no electric field is applied to the specific cell, the crystals experience a 90 degree twist in the alignment. As light from the backlight passes through this twist, the light waves are polarized, allowing them to pass through the polarizer that sits on the surface of the TN monitor.

If an electric field is applied, it can either untwist the TN liquid crystal layer partially or in full, depending on the strength of the field. The structure of TN crystals will typically straighten out when this happens, and some, if not all, light waves will not be polarized properly to pass through to the surface.

Each LCD cell composes a pixel of the display, and in each pixel are subpixels. These subpixels use standard red green blue (sRGB) colors to create a variety of colors to make the pixel display the necessary color to play its role in the overall display. If beneath the subpixel the liquid crystal fully polarizes the light, that subpixel’s specific color would be very bright in the pixel as a whole. But if the light is not polarized at all, then that color will not show up. If partially polarized, only a limited amount of that color is used in the mixture of RGB colors in the final pixel.

A more complex method of alignment is IPS. IPS monitors, unlike the TN, place both electrodes on the same level, behind the liquid crystal layer. When the electric field is applied, this forces the liquid crystal molecules to align themselves parallel to the IPS device layers instead of perpendicularly like the TN molecules.

Opposite of the TN, when the electric field is applied, IPS technology will polarize the light to pass, whereas when the electric field is not applied, the light will not be polarized to pass. Because of the orientation of the crystals, IPS displays require brighter, more powerful backlights in order to produce the correct amount of brightness for the display.

Though both concepts are rather simple to understand, the pros and cons of each are more specific and can attract different consumers in their search for the best monitor to suit their needs and fit their budget.

An important consideration is viewing angles. The TN offers only a limited viewing angle, especially limited from vertical angle shifts, and so color reproduction at these angles will likely not look the same as from a straight-on viewing; the TN’s colors may invert at extreme angles. The IPS counters that and allows for greater and better viewing angles that consequently offer better color reproduction at these angles than the TN. There is one issue with extreme viewing angles for IPS devices: IPS glow. This occurs when the backlight shines through the display at very wide angles, but typically is not an issue unless a device is looked at from the side.

In terms of color, as mentioned, TN devices do not have very strong color reproduction compared to other alignment technologies. Without strong color reproduction, color banding can become visible, contrast ratio can suffer, and accurate colors may not be produced. Color gamut, or the range of colors that the device can reproduce and display, is another feature that most TN displays do not excel in. This means that the full sRGB spectrum is not accessible. IPS devices, on the other hand, have good quality black color reproductions, allowing the device to achieve a deeper, richer display, but it is still not the best option if a customer is in search of high contrast (discussed further in a couple more paragraphs).

While TNs may not have the best color quality, they allow for high refresh rates (how often a new image is updated per second), often around 240 Hz. They also have the lowest input lag (receiving of signals from external controllers) at about one millisecond. TN panels often attract gamers because of the need for minimal lag and fast refresh rates in a competitive or time-sensitive setting. In consideration of moving displays like in video game displays, it is also important for fast response times (how fast a pixel can change from one amount of lighting to another). The lower the response time (the higher the response rate), the less motion blur will be shown as the display changes to show motion. TNs also offer these low response times, but it is important to remember that a powerful graphics processing unit, commonly called a GPU, is still needed to push these displays to meet the fastest refresh and response rates.

Standard IPS devices have been known to have slower response time and refresh rates. This can often lead to not just motion blur but ghosting as well, meaning that an image does not refresh fast enough, and so the previous image will remain temporarily burned in the expected new image. In recent years, though, IPS technology has achieved higher refresh rates than in the past through the super-IPS, abbreviated s-IPS.

Oftentimes, refresh rates and frame rate of output devices (such as graphics cards) will not be synchronized, causing screen tearing when two different display images will be shown at once. This problem can be addressed through syncing technologies like Vsynch, Nvidia’s G-Sync, or FreeSync (a royalty-free adaptive synchronization technology developed by AMD).

Another common consideration of customers is the price of each display. TN, though it does not offer as high quality of a display, offers the lowest cost and best moving displays, making it useful if the intended use of the LCD monitor is simple and not too demanding. However, if you intend for something that calls for better color production or viewing angles, the IPS and other methods are viable choices, but at much higher costs. Even though IPS motion displays have reached the speed and rates of TNs, the price for such technology is much more expensive than the TN option.

There are other options besides the TN and IPS. One option is known as vertical alignment (VA) and it allows for the best color accuracy and color gamut. Compared to a typical IPS contrast ratio of 1000:1, VA panels can often have ratios of 3000:1 or even 6000:1. Besides improved contrast ratio, the VA is in between the TN and IPS. To compare the TN vs IPS vs VA, the VA does not have as great a viewing angle as IPS but not as poor as the TN. Its response times are slower than TN but faster than IPS (though at fast refresh rates, the VA displays often suffer from ghosting and motion blur). Due to the contrast ratio benefits, VA technologies are most often desirable for TVs.

And lastly, there is an option quite similar to IPS that is called plane to line switching (PLS). It is only produced by Samsung, who claims the PLS offers better brightness and contrast ratios than the IPS, uses less energy, and is cheaper to manufacture (but because it is only created by Samsung, it is hard to judge pricing). It also has potential in creating flexible displays.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

PC monitors and laptop screens come in all manner of shapes and sizes, but at their heart nearly all have one thing in common: an LCD panel. But not all LCDs are created equal. Some are better for gaming, some offer better contrast and some produce more accurate-looking colours. So, which is the best LCD type for your needs?

We’ll get to how the technology works below, but what you probably want to know off the bat is which technology is right for you. Here we’ll break down the main characteristics of each type: IPS, VA and TN.

Both IPS and VA have two main advantages over TN panels. The first is that they offer much better viewing angles. In other words, you can view both VA and IPS panels from far shallower angles and still be able to see what’s on-screen without much, or any, colour degradation. This is quite a big deal.

VA panels don’t tend to be quite as good as IPS, and as a result there can be a somewhat noticeable variation in brightness when viewed from different angles. ButIPS suffers from what’s known as ‘IPS glow’. This is where the backlight of the LCD shines through when the display is viewed from a certain angle.

You shouldn’t normally notice this unless viewing from an extreme angle, but it can sometimes be seen in the corners of large displays, particularly if they’re not manufactured to a high standard. Some users are particularly bothered by this; for most it’s all but unnoticeable in general use.

Another advantage of IPS and VA panels is that both tend to present better colour reproduction – again, because they simply have a more controlled and precise ability to manage the light that passes through.

As for other differences, IPS tends to have a faster response time than VA since its crystals don’t have to tip over and then twist as they do with VA (see below). You can get fast-refreshing gaming monitors that use VA, but they offer a poor experience due to the slow pixel response time. IPS is slower than TN, but can be fast enough for responsive gaming.

Meanwhile, VA’s last hurrah is contrast. Since its resting state blocks light, its black level is the lowest of all LCDs, yet it can still produce bright colours when needed. A typical IPS or TN panel will have a contrast of 1000:1 or lower. VA panels can double that. This is the reason VA tends to be the best choice for TVs, where a deep black level is important for enjoying movies.

As for TN, it isn’t all bad news – it has a couple of key advantages. The first is that it’s easier to produce so can be used to make cheaper monitors.

If you’re after a monitor that offers great image quality for day-to-day work and image editing, but aren’t particularly bothered about super-competitive gaming, then go for an IPS screen. They deliver the best all-round experience for work and play, and you can still get gaming IPS monitors that refresh at over 100Hz, making them nearly as good as the best TN gaming screens.

However, if gaming is your be-all and end-all then TN is the way to go. Not only are they the most responsive – with the latest displays having refresh rates of 240Hz – but they also tend to be relatively affordable.

That leaves VA, which is the least suited for fast-paced gaming and isn’t as good as IPS for most day-to-day computing such as reading emails, browsing the web and writing documents. However, great contrast levels means it’s the best for watching video and playing some games. So, if you’re looking for a screen to be part of a a multimedia hub then VA might suit your needs.

Liquid crystal is a material that’s somewhere between a liquid and a solid crystal, so it can flow but the molecules remain somewhat aligned. As is the case with solid crystals, these aligned molecules can do clever things with light, refracting or bending it as it passes through.

In the case of LCDs, a grid of pixels made from liquid crystal is sandwiched between two polarising filters and placed in front of a backlight. As light passes through this assembly, it’s either blocked by the second filter or allowed to pass, depending on the orientation of the molecules in the liquid crystal. Vary the voltage and it varies the orientation of the molecules.

This basic principle is what controls the pixels of any LCD panel. Split each pixel into three and add colour filters for red, green and blue and you have yourself a colour LCD screen.

These fundamentals apply to all the different types of LCD available to buy. However, in order to improve certain characteristics of the displays, different types of LCD have been developed that tweak the way in which the liquid crystal, polarising filters and the electrodes are arranged and controlled.

The original and most basic version of a modern LCD is TN, or twisted nematic. This has the polarisers arranged at ninety degrees to one another, so that – normally – no light passes through them. However, the resting state of the crystal has the molecules arranged in a helix, which twists the polarisation of the light as it passes through, in turn allowing it to pass through the second filter.

When a voltage is applied to the liquid crystal the molecules point directly towards the viewer, so no longer twisting the light, resulting in it being blocked by the second polarising filter. TN works well enough, but famously suffers from poor viewing angles (see above), which is why alternative models were developed.

The most famous of these is IPS, or in-plane switching. Here the polarising filters are in the same orientation so that light is blocked when the crystal is in its resting twisted state, rather than allowed to pass through as it would in TN. Then, when activated, the crystals line up in the same direction as the polarising filters and parallel to their surface: for instance, when switched they’re in-plane.

There are several variations on IPS, such as S-IPS and H-IPS, that use slightly different pixel structures and layouts, and have optimisations for faster response times – most displays that are referred to as IPS are in fact S-IPS panels – but the fundamentals are the same.

Samsung has also developed PLS as an alternative to IPS. It’s basically a reworking of the technology that allows Samsung to manufacture the panels without infringing on existing patents.

The other most common variant is Vertical Alignment (VA). Here the crystals are arranged perpendicular to the polarisers, which are again orientated at right-angles as they are with TN. As such, in its resting state a VA panel blocks light as the light isn’t being twisted. When a voltage is applied the crystals tip to a more horizontal position and twist, allowing light to pass through.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

With so many companies in the market churning out newer and newer gaming monitors, shopping for LCD monitors can be confusing. Not only is there a lot of marketing noise out there today, but there are also debates on what panel/monitor type is the best?

When it comes to buying either a TV for home or a monitor for your office or a display for that gaming setup in your basement, things can be distilled down to usage and based on that; you can compare what different panels have to offer and how they will suit you. In this article, we will be having a quick look at the three most commonly used panels – TN, IPS and VA and helping you understand what they have to offer, and what they can be best used for. But first, a basic run on what an LCD is.

The major drawback of the CRT (cathode ray tube) technology was that it occupied quite a significant amount of space. The CRT displays worked on the principle of ‘light emission’ and they consumed a lot of power, which just added up to the size issue. The solution to these problems came in technological research on developing a screen that consumes less power (hence, increasing productivity), and which was smaller. Lit using fluorescent tubes, LCDs (liquid crystal displays) consume less power, are way thinner than the CRTs, and work on the principle of ‘blocking light’ rather than emitting it.

LCDs are made from a passive/active matrix grid made of conductors, the latter called as thin film display (or a TFT). Pixels are mounted on this grid at each intersection (and an active matrix has a transistor located at each pixel intersection). This network structure controls a pixel’s luminance and consuming a little amount of current. This ability leaves us with a choice to switch the current on and off more often on the grid, and this leads to a high ‘refresh rate.’ And a high refresh rate means a ‘smoother’ operation.

Developments in these screen types lead to LED TVs. The main difference between these and the LCDs is that they are lit using Light Emitting Diodes instead of fluorescent tubes. So technically, a LED display is a ‘LED backlit LCD screen.’

This LED backlighting helps in enhancing the color contrast and it consumes less power as compared to fluorescent tube lit panels. It significantly improves the overall picture quality by tapping into a wider RGB color range, and there is a better brightness achieved which allows you to see the images clearly, even in well-lit environments. On top of these things, LED backlit displays to consume less power and are lightweight too. So there are no drawbacks of this technology as such, resulting in backlighting being used in more and more panels every day. Today, we have three types of backlighting: White Edge, Full LED array, and Local Dimming LEDs.

White edge implements a diffusion panel, with white LED around the edges of the screen. This helps disperse the light evenly throughout the screen. A full LED array, as the name suggests, implements arrays of LED lights placed right behind the screen that collectively controlled for an even light dispersion. The third one is the Local Dimming LED system, which implements an array of dynamic led lights that can either be controlled in groups or individually to obtain an even light pattern.

This information, however not essential for everyone to know, is a good bit for panel enthusiasts and pro gamers, as having a high refresh rate depends on the panel’s build and it’s resolution. Now, let’s go ahead and have a look at the three most commonly used panels on these LCD monitors – TN, IPS, and VA.

The most common LCDs are based on TN (Twisted Nematic) panel designs. Manufactured on a vast scale and pretty cheap, TN displays can be found in most homes. Primarily made for supporting low response times, TN panels remain to this day, a cheaper option for gamers who want a massive resolution with a low response time and a high refresh rate. Not to say that the IPS panels don’t have these features, but an IPS panel with the same features as a TN (1ms response time, QHD resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate for example) will always be more expensive. However, while the price is good with the TN, the color quality and viewing angles take a toll. They are the drawbacks of a TN panel when compared to other panels out there.

TN displays, (TFT-LCDs for example), work by passing light through two polarized screens, a color filter and liquid crystals that tend to twist and block light in correspondence of the current applied to them. This type of an arrangement leaves a lot in your hands as you can change the amount of current applied to adjust the crystal twists. Hence, you can achieve virtually any color or shade reproduced on the screen. But while precise adjustments are possible with a TN display, there are some drawbacks to this structure.

Every LCD’s pixel is constructed using some red, green and blue sub-pixels. Colors and shades are produced by mixing different brightness levels for these pixels that result in the perception of a particular solid color by the user’s eyes. The problem with TN panels comes from its adoption of a 6-bit per channel model, which outputs 64 shades per color, instead of the 8-bit per channel, 256 shades implementation. Needless to say, color accuracy takes a toll here. And while the TN compensates for this issue with ‘dithering,’ (using alternating colors to produce a certain perceived shade) it is still a poor substitute for 24-bit color reproduction. On top of that, narrow viewing angles don’t help the case, as there is a ‘washout’ produced that puts TN panels at a low level concerning color accuracy.

But if your main concern is not the aesthetics of the performance, but the performance itself, TN LCD screens reign supreme over other panel types because of providing us low response times and high refresh rates on a budget.

Measured in milliseconds, pixel response time or ‘responsiveness’ is the time taken for a pixel to change from one shade (of gray) to another (denoted as grey-to-grey or GTG). The higher the response time, the more blur and smearing you will experience during rapid transitions. While no industry standard exists for measuring precise response times, there is a value specified by the manufacturers on these displays.

TN panel displays have very fast GTG pixel response times that are usually well under the typical 5ms TFT-LCD average. This makes these displays a good choice for competitive gamers who are willing to sacrifice some color accuracy and viewing angles for great performance at a good price.

In-Plane-Switching, or IPS, was designed to overcome the shortcomings of a Twisted Nematic panel and they are replacing TN panels. These panels also use polarized filters, liquid crystals, and transmitters. However, in this case, the arrangement is different. The liquid crystals in an IPS panel design are aligned in a way that allows less light to distort and achieves better color visibility. Additionally, IPS panels use 8-bits of depth per color unlike TN’s 6-bit, which results in a wider 256 shades spectrum. This takes care of the color accuracy problem.

The second thing that is improved in IPS panels is the range of viewing angles. While Twisted Nematic panel displays ‘washed out’ at shallow angles, IPS displays have rich colors that don’t shift/fade when viewed from side angles. One other significant improvement of the IPS screen was that there were no trailing distortions when you touched them. This made them ideal for Touch-screen applications.

While marketed as the best of the best, IPS screens have some drawbacks of their own. The major one happens to be the cost. The construction of IPS panels requires a greater number of transmitters and lighting for each pixel. Now, the higher the resolution of the constructed panel will be, the greater number of pixels will be mounted on the panel. This results in a complex architecture, and they cost more than their TN counterparts. However, with the rising competition in the market, the prices of IPS panels have come down from expensive to reasonable, and you can get a decent IPS display for a few hundred dollars. However, the more you want from your monitor as a consumer, the more pricey it will become. This leaves high-end IPS monitors most commonly found at the desks of editing professionals and competitive gamers – people who want a lot of color accuracy and detailing along with decent speed and longevity.

IPS’s complex technology introduced some additional overhead that reduced the responsiveness of these panels. For quite some time, these panels clocked in around 8ms grey-to-grey. However, due to the popularity of these panels, response times, as well as refresh rates, have been improved quite a lot (the majority averaging at 60Hz)- at the cost of bigger price tags, of course.

Today, many variants of the IPS also exist, like Samsung’s popular PLS (plane line switching) panels. These variants are not entirely different from IPS, though there are subtle ‘generational improvements’ like enhancements in viewing angles, brightness and whatnot. LG also has a variation to the IPS, called as the eIPS, which is basically a IPS panel you can get on a budget. However, in real world use, the usage experience varies by a little factor.

VA (Vertical Alignment) panel technology sits between the high speeds of TN and the color richness of IPS panels. Constructed implementing IPS’s 8-bit color depth per channel approach (that has a crystal design capable of reproducing rich colors), VA (and its variants) also retain some of the low latency of TN panels. This results in a display that is ‘almost’ as fast as TN and as colorful as IPS.

Often reaching 5000:1, VN panels have a superior contrast as compared to both IPS and TN screens, and this remains the highlight among other features. These panels reproduce better black levels than TN or IPS. However, there are more issues with VA panels today than there are advantages, and some of these issues can’t be ignored.

First on the list of cons is the color (and contrast) shift that happens when we view media from a wide angle. And while the viewing angles of VA panels are wider than TN, the shift is similar to a TN panel and renders most VA panels ‘not ideal’ for tasks that require a great amount of color accuracy. When it comes to gaming, there’s another issue. VA panels offer rapid light-to-dark pixel transitions. However, darker color shifts aren’t as speedy, and it can lead to blurring during high-performance tasks.

Just like there are variants of IPS, VA panels also have their own. To put it simply, they progressed from 1998 to 2005 (and beyond) from MVA, AMVA to AMVA+. MVA or Multi-domain Vertical Alignment technology first came out in 1998 and provided a 25ms response time with 160-170 degree viewing angles. This was, of course, a lot of value at the time. Today, these panels can be found as AMVA (Advanced MVA) in many displays, and they offer a contrast ratio as high as 5000:1 (which is the best contrast ratio in LCD technology), and QHD (2560 x 1440p) resolution at a wide screen size like 32 inches. So again, a lot of value here as well. After that, we have the AMVA+ which had improved viewing angles on the standard AMVA.

So in a nutshell, while VA panels are much better than average TN panels regarding color reproduction, they are still not good enough if you were to switch to premium TN panels oriented for gaming purposes. And when it comes to IPS panels, they dominate the list but with one disadvantage – price. If we were to talk about performance, high-end IPS panels reign over all else, with response times as low as 1ms, 144Hz refresh rates and supporting resolutions all the way up to 4K and 5K. If, however, you want to talk ‘value for money,’ TN panels give you decent colors and speed at decent rates. And if you have some more money in your pocket after selecting a TN panel of certain specifications, you can look for a VA panel that will offer you some added color quality and viewing angles. It’s all about comparison here, and understanding the fundamentals of these panels is a good starting point.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

First, to be clear, there is no “best” panel type out of these, as all have their respective advantages and disadvantages over the others. The information here pertains to general characteristics, as even panels of the same panel type will have some variance in characteristics (power consumption, backlight bleed, etc.) depending on the luck of the draw. Manufacturer tuning can also impact display output, affording some differentiating leverage to manufacturers sourcing from panel suppliers (which is effectively all of them).

The earliest widely available and used consumer PCs employed CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors. For this reason, CRT monitors are oftentimes remembered in fondness (or contempt) by those who grew up using them.

Nostalgia or riddance aside, there are still some valid reasons to use a CRT monitor. When compared to LCD panels, CRT monitors can have higher contrast ratio, very low response time (which leads to non-blurred pictures even with fast movement on screen), and very little input lag, although LCD input lag can be largely negated. The downsides of CRTs are apparent, though: they’re large, heavy, consume more power, produce flicker, can produce audible, high frequency noise (although age plays into whether one can hear them or not), produce slightly distorted images, and produce harmful electromagnetic waves (in the form of x-rays), which requires that toxic materials such as lead and barium must be used as shielding to prevent detrimental health effects. CRT monitors are also notoriously hazardous to repair, given their large, active electrical coils that can measure upwards of 50,000 volts of electricity.

CRT displays are sometimes still used in medical, simulation, military, and government fields that have embedded the displays into control panels and machinery.

CRT monitors have largely gone out of production, and are rarely sold new (finding a used CRT is fairly easy), but their advantages temporarily lent themselves to some special uses. In regards to gaming, CRT monitors have historically been advantageous to use when gaming competitively due to very little motion blur and very little input lag. That being said, these advantages have faded with the progressive march of TN panels.

TN panels now have low motion blur (especially with lightboost or a similar technology), offer high refresh rates, low response times (1ms GTG in many cases), and are more than adequate even in the world’s most competitive games.

Ultimately, for the vast majority of users, the disadvantages of CRTs aren’t worth their limited gains, especially when TN panels meant for gaming more than adequately satisfy the needs of even competitive gamers.

TN panels have many benefits over the previously popular CRT monitors: lower weight, lower cost to produce, lower power consumption, they’re much thinner, offer clearer pictures, have no realistically achievable resolution limits, offer flexibility in size and shape, and the ability to eliminate flicker.

That being said, TN panels weren"t and still aren’t perfect, and compared to the previously popular CRT monitors, they’ve suffered from limited viewing angles, uneven backlighting, worse motion blur, higher input lag, dead/stuck pixels, and poor display in sunlight.

To be clear, many of these issues have been improved upon, but due to the underlying science of LCD TN panels, cannot be completely resolved. In fact, many of these issues -- like uneven backlighting, motion blur, input lag, and dead/stuck pixels -- are inherent issues across all LCD panel types. Poor viewing angles become a more pressing issue with larger displays, since the viewing angle when viewed straight on increases towards the outside of the monitor, thus causing more color distortion. TN panels do have the advantages of lower response times and higher refresh rates than other panel types/CRTs. TN panels are generally from 60Hz to 144Hz, offering substantially greater fluidity of gameplay with higher frequencies.

TN panels provide a good compromise between CRTs and other LCD panels as their traditionally low response rates, input lag, and high refresh rate make them comparable to CRTs for accuracy; TN panels also have the advantages of offering sharper pictures, widescreen output, lower weight, smaller physical dimensions, and higher resolutions compared to CRTs.

Still, compared to other LCD panels, TN panels suffer from poor viewing angles and worse color reproduction. Ultimately, for most gamers playing somewhat competitively to very competitively, TN panels are a good choice, but for those looking for a prettier and improved color experience, another panel type may be worth considering.

IPS (In-Plane Switching) was created to address the shortcomings of TN panels. IPS panels seek to solve TN panels’ issues of poor color reproduction and viewing angles. In this regard, IPS panels have largely succeed. Not only do they offer a higher contrast ratio (superior blacks), high color accuracy (which leads to IPS panels also generally looking less “washed out”), but IPS panels also have very little color shift when changing the viewing angles.

The tradeoff to this is that IPS panels have slower response times, higher production costs, higher power consumption, and lower possible refresh rates. IPS panels have traditionally been 60Hz, although, as with all monitors, they can be overclocked (results will vary). There have been improvements to IPS panels over the years, and slightly different revisions in the form of E-IPS and H-IPS, but ultimately the differences between these versions are inconsequential to gamers and those not involved in graphic design as a job.

Due to their worse response rates and lower possible refresh rates, IPS panels are generally considered to be worse for competitive gameplay and used more often when color is important, such as graphic design. For gamers who don’t play competitively and prefer breathtaking strolls in Skyrim instead of sweeping scrubs in CS:GO, an IPS panel should be a consideration for the next monitor.

PLS (Plane to Line Switching) are quite similar to IPS panels, so much so that they have the same advantages and disadvantages, with a couple extra minor advantages. PLS is produced by Samsung, who claims that compared to IPS panels, PLS panels have better viewing angles, a 10% increase in brightness, 15% decrease in production costs, increased image quality, and allow for flexible panels. Samsung’s PLS panels have been known to overclock well in monitors such as the QNIX 2710 in particular. Overall, PLS is basically Samsung’s version of IPS, as it is very similar in functionality (and even name). AHVA is also very similar to IPS and PLS, and differentiation between them is rare, although it should not be confused with the next panel type.

VA (Vertical Alignment) panels offer a solid medium between TN and IPS panels. VA was created to combine the advantages of IPS and TN panels, and largely did, although they did so with some compromise. That seems to be a theme in the world of monitors.

Compared to IPS panels, VA panels have the advantage of higher possible refresh rates. Although most are currently 60Hz, there are a few that are above 60Hz. VA has more advantages over TN panels than IPS, with better color reproduction, higher maximum brightness, and better viewing angles. VA panels do have the best contrast ratios of all panel types mentioned, but they also have the worst response times of the monitor technologies covered here. This causes blurring in fast-moving pictures and is disadvantageous to gaming.

For the use of gaming, VA is not the greatest option due to generally higher response time in comparison to other panel types; this slower response causes more motion blur, effectively eliminating its deployment for fast-moving titles. For a general work monitor, VA panels provide high contrast ratios, brightness, refresh rates, good color reproduction, and good viewing angles.

CRTs provide practically no input lag and have extremely low response times, which makes them useful for competitive gaming, but their size, resolution limits, aspect ratio restrictions, and other issues make them largely unused in recent years.

TN panels are another good choice for competitive gamers, as they support higher refresh rates, low response times, decent input lag, and high resolutions. Their bad viewing angles, color reproduction, and slight blurring compared to CRT monitors (due to higher response times) are all disadvantages, ones which cannot be easily fixed.

IPS panels solve the issues of TN panels, with better color reproduction and viewing angles, but do so at the cost of refresh rate and response time. IPS panels are especially useful for those not wanting to play too competitively, but want a beautiful/immersive visual experience. PLS and AHVA are similar enough to IPS to usually not be differentiated.

VA panels provide a good middle ground with better-than-IPS refresh rates and contrast levels, but have worse viewing angles and color production, although generally still better than TN. Response times are VA’s largest downfall, though, being slower than IPS and its variants and TN.

What’s best for you will depend on all of these items. For those wanting to play at a competitive level and who favor FPS or racing games, TN panels are best. Those wanting a more impressive and immersive experience may want an IPS (or similar variant, such as PLS), especially if working on artistic endeavors. Finally, those wanting a general monitor for work might consider a VA panel, although due to their higher response times, they won’t be good for gaming.

While monitors may sometimes seem simple in that they just display pretty pictures -- as with everything else -- they are more complicated than they appear at first glance.

lcd panel tn or ips brands

By far the most common types of display panels used on PC monitors are TN, IPS and VA. We"re sure you"ve heard these terms before if you"ve researched monitors to purchase, and to be clear, the type of panel is a key piece of information that reveals a lot about how the monitor will behave and perform.

TN is the oldest of the LCD technologies and it stands for twisted nematic. This refers to the twisted nematic effect, which is an effect that allows liquid crystal molecules to be controlled with voltage. While the actual workings of a TN-effect LCD are a little more complicated, essentially the TN-effect is used to change the alignment of liquid crystals when a voltage is applied. When there is no voltage, so the crystal is "off," the liquid crystal molecules are twisted 90 degrees and in combination with polarization layers, allow light to pass through. Then when a voltage is applied, these crystals are essentially untwisted, blocking light.

VA, stands for vertical alignment. As the name suggests, this technology uses vertically aligned liquid crystals which tilt when a voltage is applied to let light pass through. This is the key difference between IPS and VA: with VA, the crystals are perpendicular to the substrates, while with IPS they are parallel. There are several VA variants, including Samsung"s SVA and AU Optronics AMVA.

IPS stands for in-plane switching and, like all LCDs, it too uses voltage to control the alignment of liquid crystals. However unlike with TN, IPS LCDs use a different crystal orientation, one where the crystals are parallel to the glass substrates, hence the term "in plane". Rather than "twisting" the crystals to modify the amount of light let through, IPS crystals are essentially rotated, which has a range of benefits.

There are many IPS variants on the market, with each of the three big LCD manufacturers using a different term to describe their IPS-type technology. LG simply calls their tech "IPS" which is easy for everyone. Samsung uses the term PLS or plane-to-line switching, while AU Optronics uses the term AHVA or advanced hyper viewing angle. AHVA shouldn"t be confused with regular VA displays, it"s an annoying and confusing name in my opinion, but AHVA is an IPS-like technology. Each of LG"s IPS, Samsung"s PLS and AUO"s AHVA are slightly different but the fundamentals are rooted in IPS.

So in summary, TN panels twist, IPS panels use a parallel alignment and rotate, while VA panels use a vertical alignment and tilt. Now let"s get into some of the performance characteristics and explore how each of the technologies differ and in general, which technology is better in any given category.

By far the biggest difference between the three technologies is in viewing angles. TN panels have the weakest viewing angles, with significant shift to color and contrast in both the horizontal and especially vertical directions. Typically viewing angles are rated as 170/160 but realistically you"ll get pretty bad shifts when viewing anywhere except for dead center. Higher-end TNs tend to be somewhat better but overall this is a big weakness for TNs.

VA and IPS panels are both significantly better, with IPS being the best overall for viewing angles. 178/178 viewing angle ratings are a realistic reflection of what you can expect with an IPS, you won"t get much shift in colors or contrast from any angle. VAs are good in this regard but not as good as IPS, mostly due to contrast shifts at off-center angles. With VAs and especially TNs having some colo