Samsung monitor on the fritz!

Self build / N/A
November 6, 2010 at 07:29:01
Specs: Vista SP1, 3.0Ghz,2Ghz
I have a Samsung SyncMaster 753DF. Recently, the screen went dark and there is a constant clicking sound when you turn on the power. I read on the web it could be a short or a transistor. Samsung service is almost 100 miles from my home; I would have to send it in to the service center. Does anyone know what the issue could be? Could I fix it myself? I don't have a discharge rod but I could probably get one if the problem is something simple. Or, should I just get a new flat screen monitor?

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November 6, 2010 at 07:48:32
Apparently SyncMaster 753DF is a 17" CRT flat screen monitor that first came out in about 2000.
You are very fortunate that it has worked up until recently - most CRT monitors that have been used for that long, at the very least, no longer display their colors properly - one or more primary color is dimmer than another. .

It's not worth you wasting your time trouble shooting it or fixing it.

I have several CRT monitors myself, but if one malfunctions I don't bother trying to fix it anymore.

If you don't have much money to spare, you're not going to like what you would have to pay to have a technician fix it, and it's unlikely you or a technician would be able to find the parts you need if it isn't something simple, or even a schematic, or a description of what your problem is probably caused by and enough details about how to fix it.
Working CRT monitors are constantly being disposed of. A local place that sells used computer related stuff, or local classified ads, may have a CRT monitor you can buy cheap, or in some locations, they are collected in a separate area when they are thrown away and in some cases you can just go there and grab one . Someone you know may have a working CRT monitor they are no longer using. There is usually a date on the back of the case stating when it was manufactured - the newer, the better.

Or - you can buy a new smaller display sized LCD monitor for under $200 these days.
Or you could buy a used one, but I don't recommend that, unless it hasn't been used much - LCD displays tend to stop displaying a lot sooner than the average CRT display does.

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November 6, 2010 at 17:13:51

Thanks for your response! I think I might just get a new flat screen LCD monitor. Some good deals around now close to the holidays.

By the way, I read a little about common CRT monitor problems on the web. It said the symptoms I am experiencing may be the horizontal output transistor (HOT) or the low voltage power supply. What would these parts cost to replace? I'm thinking it may be the HOT because prior to the picture going completely off, I noticed little squiggly lines going through the display and then the squiggly lines would go away. This must have been an indication something was about to go. The lines were not interference, since I have no interference where the monitor is. The lines I am sure where coming from inside the monitor due to some part starting to fail.

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November 6, 2010 at 17:19:25
By the way, the date on the back of the monitor is 2002. I chose that monitor because when I was shopping around, it had the best display free of wire ghosts on the display. What I mean by that is, I would open Notepad and maximize it and sometimes I saw a line or two horizontally on the display. On this particular monitor, there were no lines at all! It was better than a Sony!

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November 7, 2010 at 09:17:06
"....the date on the back of the monitor is 2002."

I said your model first came out in about 2000, because I found a review of it on the web that was dated in 2000. Reviews tend to first appear shortly before a model is released in large numbers, or within months, or within a year, of when they were first released. If the model sold well, it may have been produced for as long as 3 years or more.

If there are local computer repair places, many of them have techs who have repaired CRT monitors in the past - some may even be certified to repair Samsung monitors. You could take the monitor there and have them analyze it, that should establish whether it's worth fixing, but most places no longer do free estimates on CRT monitors and you would probably have to pay a fee even just for them to do that, and your CRT tube is probably going to have the problem of at least one color being too weak in not all that long a time.

The very fine lines you see on a Sony Trinitron (or similar name) display are support wires that support the grid of pixels. Some other monitor makers used the same technology in their CRTs, licensed from Sony. The support wires were of no concern until Trinitron CRTs were used on computer monitors, because you're not likely to be as close to a TV as you are when you use a monitor. Most people are quite happy to ignore that because of the superiority of the Trinition (or similar name display, including longer average useful display life (on a CRT). The pixels are rectangular rather than round. When they first used the Trinitron technology way back on their TVs, in the 70's, there was no other display that was as good.

When anyone asks me whether they should continue to use a later CRT monitor, my answer is keep using it until it no longer produces a good enough display. The later CRT monitors have mature technology that have some features that are still better than any modern display.
Getting a new monitor just because it takes up less space and uses less power is NOT a good reason to stop using a later CRT monitor that works well.

If you get a new LCD monitor, I recommend that you don't buy the cheapest lesser known brands and models, or even cheap models of some well known brands. E.g. Acer make cheap models, but they don't even have specific monitor drivers for them. Having specific monitor drivers available that you can load sets Windows, by default, to use only the settings both the monitor and the specific video drivers support, for the monitor. When you use Plug and Play Monitor drivers in XP or 2000, or Generic PNP drivers in Vista or Windows 7, you can choose settings that can DAMAGE LCD (and Plasma) monitors or displays.

The backlight(s) that produce(s) the white light that is filtered through the liquid crystals is(are) often warrantied for only one year, the rest of the monitor often for longer, but from what I've seen, brands known for superior quailty tend to produce a good display for the longest time. They're CCFLs - Cold Cathode Florescent Lamps - the same as for other florescent bulbs, they produce less light as time goes by, and eventually burn out.

A friend of mine bought two Samsung 19" LCD models - about 5 and 6 years ago now - one a monitor, the other a combo TV / computer monitor - she used both as monitors 99% of the time - both still worked fine, until she died in June of this year. She was disabled and had them on most of that time, for at least 3 years, 24 / 7, using a screen saver - the last while I had the system set up to shut the monitor off after xx hours of activity, so they weren't on during the night and during periods in the day when she wasn't using the computer.

If you want a display that will probably produce a usable display longer than a regular LCD display and the average CRT display, there are alternatives if you willing to pay more money.

E.g. Plasma displays, and LED LCD displays which use leds for the white light source, in theory, should last a lot longer, however I haven't seen that available in computer monitor only model - I've only seen that in combo TV / computer monitors - LCD or Plasma or LED LCD TVs that have VGA or DVI or HDMI inputs. The smaller display sized models of Plasma TV / Monitors are probably the cheapest.
(They're listed and advertised as just Plasma TVs or LED LCD TVs, but most if not all also have computer monitor input jacks, sometimes HDMI input ports.)

LCD displays are not anywhere near as good as displaying motion on the screen as the later CRT displays are - it's blurred. The original LCD technology is 60Hz, later on they came out with 120Hz and 240Hz technology; the higher the Hz, the more you pay. However, you can still get a better than average display with a lower Hz technology if you buy a quality brand such as Samsung, Sony, or LG.
Motion on the display looks best with the Plasma displays - 600Hz technology.

Another thing that is inferior about modern displays in comparison to the later CRT displays is they all have a Native or Optimal Resolution that they look best set to - all other resolutions will not look as clear, the most noticeable thing being text/fonts on the Windows screen will not be as clearly defined - although the display will tend to still look acceptable on quality brand displays. The later CRT displays do not have that limitation, at least not to the extent that you would be bothered by.

When you do use a resolution other than the Native or Optimal resolution, which is also often it's max resolution, you often can make the type/fonts on the screen look better by using this....
Turn on Clear Type in Windows XP or Vista - makes type/fonts on LCD screens look clearer.

Since modern displays do have that Native or Optimal resolution limitation which is usually also it's max resolution, you need to pay attention to that. If you want to be able to use that resolution, keep in mind that the higher it is, the tinier things will be on the Windows screen - that may be a problem if the physical display screen size is smaller, especially if you're like a lot of people like me who are older and their eyes no longer easily focus on smaller images and text.
E.g. if the physical size of two monitors you're comparing is the same, it may be wise for you to choose one that has a lower Native or Optimal resolution.
Also, make sure the video adapter you have has specific video drivers that can support the resolution BEFORE you buy the monitor, otherwise you're going to need to upgrade the video adapter in order to get the best looking display.
(E.g. look at what resolutions you can set the monitor to in the Display Properties, when it's set to Plug and Play Monitor or Generic PNP Monitor. )

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November 10, 2010 at 07:45:11

Thanks for your lengthy response! I'll keep your advice in mind.

What do you think of the new Viewsonic VX1932WM-LED? It's supposed to have a dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1.

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November 10, 2010 at 13:19:13
Viewsonic had a reputation for making high quality CRTs, but on the other hand, I've seen some dead Viewsonic (backlight) LCD models that were not all that old. If it's LED LCD it's probably okay, but I think other makers such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba have a little better reputation these days.

"dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1. "

That's the ratio of the blackest it can display to the brightest it can display. It's subjective advertising / promotional hype.
Each manufacturer uses their own way of coming up with the figure, and the way of determining it has never been standardized so far as i know, so it's probably only useful , possibly, when comparing models made by the same brand at about the same time.

What technology is it using? 60Hz ? 120Hz? 240hz ?
The higher that is, the better video motion looks.
Plasma displays (600Hz) are probably the best for that. It doesn't matter if it's max is 720P for the TV display for use as a computer monitor, other than when you're playing movie DVDs in 1024i mode.

I advise that you go some place that has the same or similar TV models on display side by side, and compare what video motion looks like on what they are playing. E.g. compare a display with 60Hz tecnology to one with 120Hz or 240Hz or a plasma display.

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November 10, 2010 at 18:54:38
What do you think about those TV flat screens that also have VGA input? Is the picture as good as if it was just a computer monitor? I wouldn't think the dynamic contrast ratio is as good. Plus you're limited to just VGA input vs. DVI or HMI, unless you use a converter.

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November 10, 2010 at 19:57:02
I think most, if not all, modern TVs have computer monitor capabilty .

My friend's ~ 5 year old Samsung LCD TV / monitor (hooked up to a VGA port) proved this to me ....

If the TV has a VGA or a DVI port, the display on it when used as a computer monitor is just as good as on a monitor, because the TV's display has been designed to be used as a monitor. It aint' like it was previously when you had no choice but to use TV out on the computer and got a relatively crappy display on the TV (at 60hz, or 50 hz, only, vertical refresh rate, depending on where you are in the world) . It's a monitor that's also a TV, not the other way around. The only compromise there may be is you may not have as high a Native or Optimal resolution on the TV's display in monitor mode as you do on the same size of computer monitor (only) , but if that suits your needs, it's of no concern. A computer monitor may have a higher max vertical refresh rate, if you buy a more expensive monitor, but no modern LCD or Plasma computer monitor can have as high a vertical refresh rate as the later CRT monitors.

You can't convert VGA output or input to DVI output or input - you can only convert DVI output or input to VGA output or input.

I've seen both VGA and DVI displays - I really don't see much difference at all - as far as I'm concerned, it's just another thing that is a lot less dramatic in the real world than it is in theory. .
For video chipsets on computers, you usually have fewer resolution choices in DVI mode than you do in VGA mode.

I don't know much about HDMI output / input yet.

Some recent or fairly recent mboards onboard video, and video cards on computers, have a HDMI port and come with a HDMI to DVI adapter. I suspect you can't convert DVI output to HDMI output as well.

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