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Adrian West

Widescreen monitors

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I am in the process of buying a new Windows 7 PC to replace my aging and very sick XP machine. My new machine will inevitably come with a widescreen monitor as it's impossible to get standard 4:3 monitors these days. My understanding was that most widescreen monitors are in 16:10 format. However it seems to me that most if not all the current batch are in "true widescreen" 16:9 format. I have never had a widescreen monitor and don't really understand the implications of screen resolution and format on TFT monitors - things were much simpler in the days of CRT monitors. From what I can tell, the problem with FS9 will be with 2D panels being stretched out and gauges becoming oval. Am I right in saying that VC is not affected in the same way? I fly Aeroworx' excellent King Air, and they have produced a widescreen panel based on 1680 x 1050 resolution, and this is therefore designed for 16:10 format. Will I have problems using this if I can only get hold of a 16:9 monitor? What sort of effect would this have on the appearance of the panel? Do I ideally need to find a monitor that will run in 1680 x 1050 resolution for this panel to look its best? And do you have any suggestions for good 16:10 monitors that are still available?Thanks for your help.

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Yes - the panel will be stretched and the gauges will become more oval (not in all cases, but in general that holds true), yes - the VC is unaffected.If the panel is desgined for 16:10 widescreen, there will be a slight deformation on 16:9, but I don't think it will be all that noticeable. I have not tested this however (don't have a 16:9 monitor), so I'll defer to whoever has that experience. I'm sure there are still 16:10 panels out there, surely most manufacturers still make them?

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Adrian, When I brought my new 22" Samsung Monitor home a few years back I was disapointed with our and others 2D Panels.Tried all the tips and tricks at the time and was still not satisfied so set out to build a Widescreen 16:9 2D Panel.Liked the results and made the decision to include Standard 4:3 ratio and 16:9 ratio Widescreen 2D Panels in all of our products.We were the first commercial dev to introduce this into our products despite the extra work involved and we are pleased to hear that others are doing similar 2D Panels.Some prefer VC Panels only which are not as subject to stretching and oval shaped circles as 2D Panels are.We suspect that 4:3 ratio 2D Panels will gradually fade from the scene as folks transition to the newer monitors and others commercial devs provide Widescreen 2D Panels. :(

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Adrian, When I brought my new 22" Samsung Monitor home a few years back I was disapointed with our and others 2D Panels.Tried all the tips and tricks at the time and was still not satisfied so set out to build a Widescreen 16:9 2D Panel.Liked the results and made the decision to include Standard 4:3 ratio and 16:9 ratio Widescreen 2D Panels in all of our products.We were the first commercial dev to introduce this into our products despite the extra work involved and we are pleased to hear that others are doing similar 2D Panels.Some prefer VC Panels only which are not as subject to stretching and oval shaped circles as 2D Panels are.We suspect that 4:3 ratio 2D Panels will gradually fade from the scene as folks transition to the newer monitors and others commercial devs provide Widescreen 2D Panels. :(
And despite the fact that I don't like the VC of your latest product (again, personal taste), I HIGHLY appreciate (Oh man, you have no idea how I appreciate this!) you providing 4:3 AND 16:9 ratio 2D panels. WAY TO GO !!! :(

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And despite the fact that I don't like the VC of your latest product (again, personal taste), I HIGHLY appreciate (Oh man, you have no idea how I appreciate this!) you providing 4:3 AND 16:9 ratio 2D panels. WAY TO GO !!! :(
No problem Epikk, we've known for years that we can't please everyone with everything we do.Do keep track of that project up to a month or so from now to see what improvements may be made in that area.Thanks for the appreciation. That's why we started including them. :(

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This company do some Boeing WS panels for FS9.http://www.sky-decks.com/
Good to see other devs providing this feature. As more folks go to the new monitors this will become more important for those who prefer a combination of 2D and VC. :(

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I am in the process of buying a new Windows 7 PC to replace my aging and very sick XP machine. My new machine will inevitably come with a widescreen monitor as it's impossible to get standard 4:3 monitors these days. My understanding was that most widescreen monitors are in 16:10 format. However it seems to me that most if not all the current batch are in "true widescreen" 16:9 format. I have never had a widescreen monitor and don't really understand the implications of screen resolution and format on TFT monitors - things were much simpler in the days of CRT monitors. From what I can tell, the problem with FS9 will be with 2D panels being stretched out and gauges becoming oval. Am I right in saying that VC is not affected in the same way? I fly Aeroworx' excellent King Air, and they have produced a widescreen panel based on 1680 x 1050 resolution, and this is therefore designed for 16:10 format. Will I have problems using this if I can only get hold of a 16:9 monitor? What sort of effect would this have on the appearance of the panel? Do I ideally need to find a monitor that will run in 1680 x 1050 resolution for this panel to look its best? And do you have any suggestions for good 16:10 monitors that are still available?Thanks for your help.
Adrian- I would expect that the distortion or ovalization (from a 16:10 panel design being displayed on a 16:9 monitor) will be quite negligible. Possibly a very slight vertical ovalization on a round gauge. If you wanted perfection, you could always drag the bottom of the panel up slightly so that you create a 16:10 proportioned panel on the 16:9 screen. If you set your desktop background colour to black, you would see only a narrow black strip below the panel.Alex Reid

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... it's impossible to get standard 4:3 monitors these days.
is your current monitor broken? is there a reason you can't use it on a new system? i would agree if you puchase a pre-build finding a system that comes with a standard monitor is a great challenge.NOTE: with a pre-build you 'collect' all the pre-installed system slowing garbage 'convienance'.build you own system (not hard) and purchase a 'standard' monitor.your other options:
  • is the buy a pre-build, buy a new 4:3 monitor and sell the widescreen
  • use your old system's monitor and sell the widescreen
  • or set up a two monitor system (if you can with the videocard(s) your new system contains) using a new 4:3 or your old monitor

--

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Why on earth would you not want a widescreen monitor, it is so much more convenient for everything related to everyday PC use because you have so much more screen real-estate. Fortunately its only a few FS developers that are living in the past and wont supply WS 2d panels and even fewer that don't supply any 2D panels at all. Humans see in WS so to speak too so it just feels much more natural seeing an aircraft panel in WS.

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Why on earth would you not want a widescreen monitor, it is so much more convenient for everything related to everyday PC use because you have so much more screen real-estate. Fortunately its only a few FS developers that are living in the past and wont supply WS 2d panels and even fewer that don't supply any 2D panels at all. Humans see in WS so to speak too so it just feels much more natural seeing an aircraft panel in WS.
I cannot agree with this chap at all.Fact is there are lot's of sheep in the world who when see something new just jump in and say it must be better.Forget what your eyes see in the real world. We are in a virtual world..... a cockpit depicted on a tiny monitor.Fact is that the 4:3 ratio best suits the 2D panel (note I said 2D panel!) you will get the max use of screen space (the essential gauges plus some view out of the window space)I have been making 2D panels for years and every other panel designer I know agrees with me......widescreen is just useless extra space! I tried to buy another 1600x1200 just the other day because I knew the manufacturers would stop making 4:3 ratio screens just like one year all TV's are silver...next year they are black! It annoys the he** out of me.So yes now developers have to start to make widescreen panels because they are forced to NOT because they are better!. To make my panels widescreen I would simply add rubbish at the sides they could not be improved height wise.I am definitely the black sheep lol. I hated Vista,FSX and widesrceen LCD'sLook at AVG antivirus version 9....an improvement? ....no! they have gone from one of the best freeware antivirus programs to one of the worst in one jump.Ofcourse there will be some sheep bleating the latest is the greatest.

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... more convenient for everything related to everyday PC ...
widescreen is driven not because of easy use ... it is driven by more and more folks wanting to watch movies on their computer(s). this is why laptops are being built as widescreens ... making them so large as to be less portable.--

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Ed, as a long time admirer of your 2D work I'm surprised at your response to the current state of the industry.Drop by any electronics store and see if they even offer CRTs with 4:3 Ratio. The same is true of Television.The reality is that people want and prefer to use thinline Widescreen Monitors and Television Sets.To ignore or fight against that is a losing proposition. :(

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... even offer CRTs
now that is a challenge ... finding a CRT TV or monitor!--

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Fact is after a post like that it says to me you are a goat not a black sheep, (i.e. jumping on peoples backs :( ) I think it says more about you as a developer if you cant make use of the extra real-estate, it doesn't mean that widescreen monitors are rubbish. Have a look what PMDG did with the MD11 panel if you choose the WS panel option and tell me that panel just has rubbish stuck at the sides!!

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I'm a 2D panel "nut" and I'm not going to get into the 2D or VC debate,,, but...I just bought a new widescreen for FS2004, and have created a custom resolution and I fly in Full screen mode with a 4:3 display. When you create a custom resolution, you end up with two black bars on each side of your 4:3 window on your widescreen when in full screen mode. If you have NVIDIA card, give it a try.Scroll down to the bottom of this thread for a updated procedure on how setup a custom resolution.http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=245280Maybe another option for some, but not many... (us stubborn old 2D guys will never change) LOLRJ

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Ed, as a long time admirer of your 2D work I'm surprised at your response to the current state of the industry.Drop by any electronics store and see if they even offer CRTs with 4:3 Ratio. The same is true of Television.The reality is that people want and prefer to use thinline Widescreen Monitors and Television Sets.To ignore or fight against that is a losing proposition. :(
Hello Ron, I have a very nice wide screen state of the art TV, the only 1920x 1080 15.4" laptop I have ever seen. I love them both.But equally for my flightsim I have a 21.5" 1600x1200 LCD. The perfect monitor for me. It's quality enables me to both develop for FS and fly.I tried buy another one but they (Viewsonic) have stopped making it. If I thought widescreen was better for 2D panels I would buy one....IMHO is it is not.I am not fighting against this so-called progress. If I was to buy another one now I would buy the 26" widescreen version which would give me the same height of screen but take up more deskspace. :( So yes I would start making widescreen 2D panels...... would they improve my flightsim experience?Not in any way shape or form. The monitor would simply take up more desk space........................... well there is the PT TU154M engineer's panel....it could be one screen...but that's it. :(But certainly today any freeware/payware panel developer now must make widescreen 2D panels. (way to go Eaglesoft)

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Hello Ron, I have a very nice wide screen state of the art TV, the only 1920x 1080 15.4" laptop I have ever seen. I love them both.But equally for my flightsim I have a 21.5" 1600x1200 LCD. The perfect monitor for me. It's quality enables me to both develop for FS and fly.I tried buy another one but they (Viewsonic) have stopped making it. If I thought widescreen was better for 2D panels I would buy one....IMHO is it is not.I am not fighting against this so-called progress. If I was to buy another one now I would buy the 26" widescreen version which would give me the same height of screen but take up more deskspace. :( So yes I would start making widescreen 2D panels...... would they improve my flightsim experience?Not in any way shape or form. The monitor would simply take up more desk space........................... well there is the PT TU154M engineer's panel....it could be one screen...but that's it. :( But certainly today any freeware/payware panel developer now must make widescreen 2D panels. (way to go Eaglesoft)
Sorry Ed, we tried the method posted above with black bars along the sides so came up with our own solution.By the way, we've also made a few 4:3 1600X1200 panels as you have and found them to work pretty well.Fact is, the WS Monitors are here to stay so we all must adapt. :(

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Do keep track of that project up to a month or so from now to see what improvements may be made in that area.
Oh YES!!! I will DO for sure! :( ------Oh, and about 2D panel ratios. Things are very simple for me. 1. I didn't buy a WS monitor because I wanted the new thing etc. as Ed suggest... It just happened to be a nice 22" monitor I could afford. 2. I REALLY HATE distorted 4:3 2D panels or black bars3. I won't sell my WS monitor nor buy another (4:3) monitor to fly with one add-on (when the BEST add-ons out there provide WS panels)4. So I DON'T buy from developers living in the past. Plain and simple.WS monitors are here to stay and I really think devs producing add-ons with 2D panels should also provide WS... PMDG, Eaglesoft, Leonardo, DreamFleet, PT and others have been providing them for year now...

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And yeah... Two examples of beautiful WS 2D panels. See how 4:3 panels look on my system : UGLY as hell. Maddog 2008snag0004z.jpgsnag0011.jpgPMDG MD-11snag0018.jpgsnag0014r.jpgNo way I buy a payware aircraft with only 4:3 panels in 2009 believe me. :(

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Guys, this discussion about the merits and demerits of widescreen and standard monitors, and about wasted space (or not) on widescreen 2D panels is all very interesting, but this thread has gone rather off topic. The fact of the matter is that widescreen monitors are here to stay. Thanks to the couple of guys who answered some of my questions. Yes, my standard 4:3 monitor does still work, but my new system will have a much more powerful graphics card than the old one, and my current monitor will not be able to support the full capabilities of the new card. I want a system that will ultimately be able to run FSX (although I'm not planning on changing from FS9 anytime soon), and whether I like it or not, a new system will come with a widescreen monitor. I have built my own system in the past, but this time I'm going for a pre-built off-the-shelf machine. So, to go back to my original question, if I want to fly the King Air with its widescreen 2D panel without any distortions, do I ideally need to find a 16:10 monitor; and do I need to run FS in 1680 x 1050 resolution (i.e. the resolution that the panel was designed for), or could I run it in different resolutions whilst maintaining the same ratio? And can anybody recommend a decent 20-22 inch 16:10 monitor?Thanks again.

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---------. So, to go back to my original question, if I want to fly the King Air with its widescreen 2D panel without any distortions, do I ideally need to find a 16:10 monitor; and do I need to run FS in 1680 x 1050 resolution (i.e. the resolution that the panel was designed for), or could I run it in different resolutions whilst maintaining the same ratio? And can anybody recommend a decent 20-22 inch 16:10 monitor?Thanks again.
Adrian- check my post above in this thread- I don't think you will have any problem displaying a 16:10 image on a 16:9 monitor.I also see no problem in displaying a 4:3 2D panel on any widescreen. Just drag the right edge of the panel to the left until things are round again- then fill in the blank desktop space on the right with popups such CDU, throttle or whatever. Simple. Save the flight and you're good for go next session.Here is a screenie of an experiment to demonstrate this- note the panel pulled to the left. (Using a 4:3 mon to emulate a WS- that's why the black bar at bottom.) The desktop space gained, is used in this example, for EICAS SW Panel, Misc Sw Panel, Lower Eicas display.Using a WS mon improves a 4:3 panel!! I'd say keep making 4:3 panels!Alex ReidPMDG 744- A 4:3 Panel running on a WideScreen format with popups to fill the extra screen width. (Black areas are unused space on triple 4:3 monitors)

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