You may have heard of Sony Triniton and Mitsubishi Diamondtron monitors. What these names refer to is the cathrode ray tube (crt) inside the case. Both these tubes are totally flat, unlike cheaper monitors which use curved screens (which distort towards the edges) Sony doesn't actually make Trinitron tubes, Trinitron is a small company in Mexico that makes only tubes for televisions and computer monitors. Sony used to have a exclusivity deal with Trinitron so that other manufacturers could not use their tubes. Times have changed and Triniton now sell their tubes to a variety of quality manufacturers. Sony still get the best Triniton tubes, with the other manufacturers a year behind (in terms of the latest Trinitron technology) Mitsubishi however, do not have any kind of exclusivity deals and happily sell their tubes to any good manufacturers. This means that you get the latest technology that Mitsubishi use in their own monitor. This makes buying a Diamontron tubes monitor a better deal than buying a Trinitron, as you are getting the latest technology without the hefty prices. I did alot of research before buying my monitor. Computershopper.co.uk (and their offline print magazine) had some great recommendations. I also looked at many websites, magazines, went window shopping in Tottenham Court Road and around London. I set a budget of £350 for a 19" monitor. Initially I was tempted by Trinitron, but as I learnt more, I found that many of the Sony models had quite low maximum resolutions and low refresh rates, and seemed overpriced. Talking to salesman in many little computer shops, I learnt that you pay a premium for a monitor with "Sony" or "Mitsubishi" on the casing. You can pay up to £100 for the name!! I set myself desired specifications: 0.25 dot pitch max res 1600x1200 1600x1200 @75hz 1200x960 @85hz Flat tube (diamontron or Trinitron)
<br>I looked at Lacie, Sony, Adi, Ctx, Mitsubishi, Hansol, Belinea, Relisys,etc. And then I found "Formac" in Microanvika, a big store half way up Tottenham Court Road. Formac is a company that sell very high quality, no frills monitors for professional users. I'm not a CAD/CAM operator but I play alot of games (like 6 hours non-stop) so I appreciate quality. Formac offered a wide range of models, and I found a great 19" (19/400) model with a Mitsubishi NF tube for only £320. This was around £80 cheaper than the same Mitsubishi tubes model. A side by side comparison with Sony's E400, G400 and ADI's Trinitron 19" showed that the Formac was actually the superior monitor. Getting it home on the bus was a task as the box weighed 25 kilos! Finally I got home and set it up. Wow!! After my 17" Adi Microscan 5P (a good monitor but curved screen and a little long in the tooth) it was a pleasent shock to use a 19". The difference is incredible. The screen is totally flat, so no distortion around the edges. Blacks are totally midnight black, no grey streaking like with cheaper monitors. Whites are very bright, and like the blacks, consistent and solid. Colour depth is very good, very vibrant and bright. Refresh stability is very impressive, something that my old ADI wasn't too hot on (refresh rates were low). I set the display at 1200x960 resolution and 85hz refresh. The 19/400 meets all the emission regulations, has a plain yet attractive case and good OSD (on screen display )controls. I can see that Formac have specified this as a no-frills model, you don't get speakers or USB ports in the case. There's also a 3 years on-site warranty. I'm not interested in crappy speakers or extra USB ports, I just wanted a really high quality monitor that would be softer on my eyes when spending too long playing games past midnight. DVD has never looked t
his good, I don't even bother with my 28" widescreen tv and Samsung standalone player, as I have a better image quality watching DVD's through my PC. If you are looking for a great 19" monitor and have been put off by those £450 Trinitron monitors then check out Formac. Highly recommended. You can find their website at www.formac.co.uk.