Monitor Panel Types – Complete Guide

If you’ve ever bought a monitor, you would know how vital the refresh rate, screen size, and 3D support are. However, there is another feature that can significantly impact the quality of your picture. And that is known as monitor panel type.

Are you aware of the monitor panel type? Well, if you’re not, we can help. In this article, you’ll find everything about a monitor panel and its types. This will help you select the right kind of monitor for your use. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive right in.

What is a Monitor Panel Type?

Panel type is a technology used in LCD monitors. Different panel types bring in various features and benefits. The most common panel types are TN panels, VA panels, and IPS panels.

TN (Twisted Nematic) panels

The TN panel type is one of the most popular panel types that replaced CRT TVs. It’s better than the CRT TVs but comes with some disadvantages. Viewing angles being an example. The colors in a TN panel invert completely when you view it from an extreme angle.

Another disadvantage is the low color reproduction. The TN panels cannot display 24-bit true color and use interpolation for color shade stimulation. This leads to a low contrast ratio as compared to IPS or VA panels.

However, people still go for TN panels. It’s because these panels are cheap and affordable. If you don’t want many colors and great viewing angles, the TN panels can be significant. The TN panels also support refresh rates of 240Hz without any hassle.

It helps when you want to play multiplayer games. If you want an LCD with the least latency, the TN panel is what you should long for.

Pros

  • Affordable and easily available
  • Better response time, which is good for multiplayer gaming
  • Better refresh rate support. You can achieve a refresh rate of 120Hz, 144Hz, and even 240Hz

Cons

  • The viewing angle is not worth it. Viewing the screen from side affects brightness, contrast, and color reproduction.

VA (Vertical Alignment) panels

You can think of VA panels as an advanced form of TN panels. These panel types offer a better contrast ratio. It’s the reason why TV manufacturers use it vigorously. You can commonly find a contrast ratio of 3000:1 in these panel types.

The VA panels also offer amazing viewing angles. The performance is way better than TN panels and similar to IPS panels. However, the response rate of VA panels is slower as compared to the TN panels. VA monitor with refresh rates of up to 240Hz is available, but it usually results in motion blur.

Unlike the TN panels, VA panels offer better color reproduction even if you buy lower models in this range. The VA panels are good for multiple average uses. You can play single-player games using this panel type or use it generally for watching TV.

However, most media professionals prefer ISP panels or VA panels. It’s mainly because of the wider gamut of colors that is available.

Pros:

  • Better picture quality as compared to TN panels and the viewing angles are better too.
  • Better contrast ratio than TN and even IPS panels

Cons:

  • The repointed time is quite slow

IPS (In-Plane Switching), PLS (Plane to Line Switching), and AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) panels

IPS panels are the best panels available in the LCD panel technology. These panels offer better image quality, viewing angles, and color accuracy. When it comes to graphics design, where you need constant color reproduction and color accuracy, IPS panels are the best.

Also, the viewing angles you get with IPS panels are the best. It can even support a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, which is quite impressive. So, if you care about the image quality and viewing angles, this is what you should go for.

What is Super PLS?

Super PLS is similar to the IPS panel technology that Samsung developed. The manufacturer claims to produce better and wider angles as compared to previously available IPS panels. Also, they claim to generate about 10 percent more brightness as compared to the generic IPS displays.

What is AHVA?

The AHVA panels are also known for being similar to IPS panels and offer performance similar to PLS. The AHVA is an acronym that, when expanded, becomes Advanced Hyper Viewing Angle. As the name suggests, this panel type delivers a better and wider viewing angle.

Pros

  • IPS panels are the best when compared with the VA or TN panels. For everyone who needs better color accuracy, reproduction, and wider viewing angles, IPS panels are what you should prefer.
  • All in all, the IPS panels are great for gamers, videographers, graphic designers, etc.

Cons:

  • The IPS screens require more backlighting as compared to other variants. And this can sometimes lead to backlight bleed. This scenario is visible during the night and is non-removable.
  • The response time it comes with is quite low. Also, it’s quite hard to increase the rate due to limited technology.
  • The best quality IPS panel monitors are quite costly and not affordable for all.

Comparison of Three Types of Panels

Here’s a brief comparison of the three-panel types in tabular form: –

FactorsTN PanelVA PanelIPS Panel
Response TimeFastest SlowMediocre
Refresh RatesHighest of up to 240hz

Low refresh rate 60-75hzRefresh rate of up to 144hz
Image QualityLow MediocreBest Quality
PurposeMultiplayer GamingGeneral UsageVideo Editing & Gaming
PriceCheapestMediocre/Fairly pricedCostly

Conclusion

All of the above panel types come with their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best one can be easy if you know the purpose you need the monitor for. Here’s a briefly summarized view of all the panel types discussed above for your reference.

IPS, PLS, AHVA: All the IPS panel types are usually voted as the best because of the better image quality they deliver. However, it’s the price that keeps most people from buying a monitor with IPS panels.

VA Panels: VA panels offer a good contrast ratio, color reproduction, and viewing angles as compared to the TN and IPS panels. However, the response times are slightly lower as compared to TN and IPS panels. You may also experience color shifting in these kinds of panels. But the VA panels are easily available and affordable too.

TN Panels: These panels are easily available in the market and are the cheapest. You can also find the best response rates with these panels. However, the TN panels offer poor contrast ratio, viewing angles, and color reproduction.

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