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  1. #1
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    Are our screens too big - or is my eyesight just crap? :)

    I've been pondering getting a new monitor for a while - this 19" Samsung is 5-years-old and shows really obvious 'banding' from the backlight but it's done it's job well I reckon.

    Consensus opinion is (surprise surprise) to 'go big' - and a 23" IPS seems to fit that - and my budget - nicely.

    Here's a thing tho, whilst testing my PC recently I ended-up running Torchlight 2 in a window, instead of at full-screen. What I noticed is that TL2 was easier to play in that mode - because instead of staring at my character, but having to glance away to see health/mana and other things around the edges of the screen - I was seeing 'the whole game' at once.

    I also started to play Darksiders 2 last night and my first reaction was that the camera felt clunky and it was hard to navigate the world. This is odd, because I'd tried it on the 360 (on the TV downstairs) and not noticed that. Of course I sit 10' from a 32" TV but rather closer to this 19" screen - again it made a HUGE difference (one which you adapt to - but it's there).

    Another game which changes radically on differing screens is Beat Hazard. I just picked-it-up for Android (having already played it on 360, PC and iPad) and it really is remarkable how differently you play with those formats. I find it EASIER to play on Android (even on a lowly phone like a ZTE Blade which I'm astonished it even works on - WTG Starg!!) than I do on an iPad for some reason (e.g. smaller screen - you see more of what's going on!?)

    This doesn't hold out between the PC and 360 versions tho - I find the PC version easier but that's probably down to BH's intense visuals and the need to pick-out those tiny missiles wending their way towards you... :)

    Anyway - with all that I'm genuinely wondering if getting a bigger monitor isn't a silly idea and whether we're not "going big" for the sake-of-it. As a developer, I'd probably be better-off getting a new 19 and mounting the old one next-to-it (tho it will look 'yellow as hell' I guess).

    Is this just my terrible eyesight tho (I have one 20/20 eye and one rather knackered one - but I was wearing specs!!) :)

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Don't sit so close to the monitor and you need to get used to the monitor.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    No not really,i'm using 22inch and its kinda small these days,thinking about upgrading with bigger one.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Don't sit so close to the monitor and you need to get used to the monitor.
    Basically this

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    For me 30" began to feel too small after 1 year of use. That's 30" monitor, not lcd tv, with a resolution of 2560x1600.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Here's a thing tho, whilst testing my PC recently I ended-up running Torchlight 2 in a window, instead of at full-screen. What I noticed is that TL2 was easier to play in that mode - because instead of staring at my character, but having to glance away to see health/mana and other things around the edges of the screen - I was seeing 'the whole game' at once.

    I also started to play Darksiders 2 last night and my first reaction was that the camera felt clunky and it was hard to navigate the world. This is odd, because I'd tried it on the 360 (on the TV downstairs) and not noticed that. Of course I sit 10' from a 32" TV but rather closer to this 19" screen - again it made a HUGE difference (one which you adapt to - but it's there).
    If you could adjust Darksiders 2's field of view way up on the PC (dunno if you can), you'd probably see the problem go away. Essentially, any game that has a fixed FOV and makes you navigate a 3D space is hamstrung with the requirement that it be played with a certain screen size/distance ratio or "real-world FOV", and feels progressively worse the farther you get from that ratio. This is why FOV is one of the most critical graphics settings to have, and why console ports that do not have FOV adjustment and haven't even adjusted the fixed FOV upwards look terrible when actually playing them.

    Your experience with TL2 just seems to point out the limits of what your real-world FOV tolerance for fine detail is. The solution is to put the display farther back when playing games like TL2 (which have significant fine detail near the edge of the display), and closer up when playing a FPS or similar game where fine detail on the edge of the screen is not important (after all, you'll probably turn towards interesting objects which brings them to the middle of the screen).

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    I also noticed some games look odd on my PC (I have a 19" 970P BTW). Provided you have the space and only one PC, I'd keep the Samsung and get a newer screen, without changing the eye-monitor distance: more screen estate should benefit you for coding and serious stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Don't sit so close to the monitor and you need to get used to the monitor.
    If I moved farther away every time I switched monitors over the years, I'd be sitting in the neighbor's kitchen by this time. Besides, that negates the increase in size and only increases apparent pixel density.
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  8. #8
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    Worth noting that I can't really move away from the monitor - I have an L-shaped desk, where I sit and where the monitor sits are pretty much defined by it's shape/the length of my arms...

    For the record - I sit 20" (sat up working) to 30" (slumped and gaming) from this 19" - even at 30", the monitor fills most of my view...

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    I have pretty bad eyesight and I find the bigger the monitor the easier it is to see.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkasaurusmex View Post
    I have pretty bad eyesight and I find the bigger the monitor the easier it is to see.
    It's not realy a question of 'seeing' stuff - in that Optician's wallchart and 'how small a letter can you read' way tho is it?

    The point I made about TL2 is that you need to watch your health and mana quite closely but they're off in the corners of the display to the extent that you're looking at your character OR your health

    Years of WoW playing - years of UI modding and mod making - taught me the importance of getting core information into the right places - but I don't want to play every game 'staring at a healing grid' or even big sets of health and mana bars.

    So my point was whether we're not all buying bigger and bigger screens and not noticing that were actually making life harder for outselves...

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I find it easier to miss things happening on the edges of the screen if I use a big monitor. Things like a HUD number changing somewhere, etc. The further you go from the center of your vision, the less sharp you see.
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  12. #12
    Personally, I play on a 24"monitor and I just measured that when playing my eyes are around 41" from the screen and the monitor doesn't fill my view at all and I never felt the problem you are mentioning.
    Even when I am sitting up right in front of the desk I am at 31".
    20" to 30" seems very close to me, even on a 19" screen.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    It's not realy a question of 'seeing' stuff - in that Optician's wallchart and 'how small a letter can you read' way tho is it?

    The point I made about TL2 is that you need to watch your health and mana quite closely but they're off in the corners of the display to the extent that you're looking at your character OR your health

    Years of WoW playing - years of UI modding and mod making - taught me the importance of getting core information into the right places - but I don't want to play every game 'staring at a healing grid' or even big sets of health and mana bars.

    So my point was whether we're not all buying bigger and bigger screens and not noticing that were actually making life harder for outselves...
    Yeah, for me it's about bigger text that's easier to read. Obviously I prefer high res, and I hate fucking with DPI settings unless it's on a TV, so "bigger" (like 22 inches) I find easier to use than 17-19 inches. You get higher than 22 and yeah, I think you have to be farther away to see everything.

    I suppose I do a lot of glancing around the corners of the screen, but it's never occurred to me that I might miss something on another part of the screen with a quick peek. It seems like I can see everything on the screen at once, but that's probably not true.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    I much, much prefer a large widescreen for work and browsing, as it offers much of the same benefits of a dual-screen setup for multitasking but in a less unwieldy package.

    For gaming... my monitor is 22" widescreen, and that's a comfortable size. I can take it all in at a glance. At my last home I had a Samsung 27" widescreen TV that was also marketed as a monitor, and it did a great job. Had it hung from the wall next to a bed and could lie back and play games or watch movies, like a Japanese airport traveler's entertainment pod or something. That was comfortable for use at a distance farther away than I would usually sit at my desk. I could be using that for my main monitor right now but I think it's overkill.

    Unless you need to hang back, I would go with something smaller.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    I have a 46" Sony Bravia TV and I still sit pretty close to the screen, I have no idea why though.

    But I guess it depends on the thing showing, if it's shooters I sit pretty close because I need to see things fast and have to react quickly and for role playing games and other less intense games I have a larger distance, same goes for movies.

    For my computer I have a 22 inch LG Flatron screen which is capable of running things at full HD and is big enough, only downside about the otherwise perfect monitor is that he doesn't have a adjustable height and it's legs ( for lack of a better word) are very short and I have to put something under it to elevate it or else I would have to look down.
    Last edited by Ravelle; 17-11-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I've kinda noticed this with Torchlight as well, when I moved from playing it in Windowed Mode (taking up about half my screen) to playing it in Fullscreen mode on my laptop. I can imagine similar sorts of problems if I moved to the desktop, but most of the games I play there are of the "immersive first-person" variety and thus not so dependent on monitoring small corners.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Reminds me of when I was reading about Amnesia and someone said "I was so freaked out by the things moving just on the edge of your vision, and then when you looked, there was nothing there." I played Amnesia through in its entirety, but I haven't once seen things moving that weren't there. Maybe my monitor is just too wide, or I'm too close to it, to see things moving at the edge, I'm not sure.

    I do know that it's a huge relief to come back to my desktop screen after having worked on my laptop for a few days. It's great having so much space, and I don't yet feel like there's more than I can pay attention to on-screen.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Is the problem with the size of the monitor or with games putting the UI around the edge because "that's what we've always done"? Fighter pilots have their HUDs displayed on their helmet visors so they don't have to spend time looking away their target. I remember playing WoW with an addon that displayed the health and mana around the centre of the screen and it did make things easier.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    Is the problem with the size of the monitor or with games putting the UI around the edge because "that's what we've always done"? Fighter pilots have their HUDs displayed on their helmet visors so they don't have to spend time looking away their target. I remember playing WoW with an addon that displayed the health and mana around the centre of the screen and it did make things easier.
    This is pretty much the case. A nice UI brings the critical detail closer to the middle, and still takes advantage of the edges of the screen for peripheral vision.

  20. #20
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    I've never bought into the "bigger is better" paradigm. I've got a 21.5" 1080p monitor and that's doing OK for me. At the distance I'm sitting I can take in the entire screen and in games I only need light AA to make everything look smooth. Actually I'd like a higher res monitor at the same size but nobody makes them. Of course Windows doesn't like high DPI monitors so there is a bit of tweaking involved, even at 1080p. I can't imagine going to a 26" monitor and I have no idea how anyone copes with those 30" monsters. Especially when most of those have a lower dot pitch than what I'm using right now.

    A 23" at 2560x1600 would be my ideal. Shame nobody makes those.

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