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Thread: LCD's (Passive/TFT/VGA)

  1. #1
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    Cool LCD's (Passive/TFT/VGA)

    This is my first time posting here and I'd like to say this site is awesome and has been an incredible help so far in my car-mp3 player. A little background - My car was burglarized in December and they stole my entire stereo system. I decided to replace my old system with an MP3 player...being a computer nut, I eventually ended up deciding to install a computer in my car and ended up here.

    I have a question about LCD Screens. I've read a ton over the last couple days, and it appears that there are 3 different kinds of color LCD's. (please correct me if these definitions are off):
    1) Passive Matrix
    2) Active Matrix (sometimes called video LCD)
    3) VGA LCD
    I have the same question that everybody who decided to install video into their car has - what kind of screen should I get? So far almost every screen I have found in the 5-7" range appears to be Active Matrix (Gnet, Pyle, Clarion, Redant, etc).

    Are there any VGA LCD screens in the 5-7" range with analog (traditional computer monitor connectors) connections?

    I'd like to keep my cost down, but I am willing to fudge if I can find a great deal. So far it looks like I'm going to get a Pyle 6.4" or a Clarion 6.4". Please tell me if these screens are crap so I don't waste my money! (FYI - I'd like to run DVD's, MP3's, GPS, and perhaps some windows applications).

    Any input/suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    ----
    BMW Speed Freak
    7" Redant, ATI AIW, IR, SB Audigy, 1600watts
    325hp Supercharged Straight Six
    http://www.end2endintegration.com

  2. #2
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    I'd say 90% of the people here uses an active matrix (TFT) LCD. VGA screens are much better but they are expensive. I wouldn't recommend getting a Pyle LCD, as the tech support is non-existant and I had a problem with the +12v on mine. I've never heard anything bad about Clarion though. If you are doing GPS you may want to look into a VGA LCD as the text is usually clearer, but a TFT screen should pull it off. As for MP3, DVD, and Windows a TFT screen will be fine.
    http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/Maveric/ M.A.V.I.C. System
    Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case.

    http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/listings/ MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)

  3. #3
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    1)passive matrix---skip it. Bad viewing angles, bad refresh rates, not ideal for in-car applications.


    2)active matrix---best bet. Keep in mind that the term "active matrix" is another term for "TFT", so it could apply to both "VGA" and "video lcd" or "NTSC" montitors. It is just the technology behind the screen, the way the picture is displayed. Most people on this board, including myself, have a TFT "video" lcd that accepts only standard audio video inputs, like the ones from, lets say, a DVD, called "composite video" or some use a higher quality "S-Video" which will give you a little bit better picture. But they still will fall short in clarity compared to a "VGA" lcd. The text will be blurred unless you raise the font to some huge number. Then a couple of sentences would take up the whole screen. On some windows applications you cannot raise the font on certain windows. Like, lets say, a setup window. Some portions of the text that are very small will be unreadable. Same goes with GPS. Small characters such as street names and stuff will be unreadable or hard to recognize. Do a search for "GPS" or "GPS video" or something along the lines of that and you will see what people have done to compensate. Good place to buy LCD's cheap is www.etronics.com thats where I bought my setup.


    3) VGA LCD-----the best choice, but the most expensive. Ususally most setups you get will have to be custom configured and custom installed. YOu would have to make your own enclosure and cable lengths from the LCD to the computer are a concern. You have to be pretty knowledgeable and creative to make a VGA lcd work. You can also get touchscreens to work with VGA lcds. Very cool.


    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies! I would prefer a VGA LCD, but perhaps for my first install I should try something more basic like the Clarion LCD.

    PS - I found a great solution controlling the system, a touchpad ps2/udb mousepad called "easy cat" available from cirque.com (search for cheaper prices). It is an extremely small unit just like a laptop pad. I think it will serve as a good alternative to a touchscreen. Just my 2 cents.

    I'll post my photos when I finish!
    ----
    BMW Speed Freak
    7" Redant, ATI AIW, IR, SB Audigy, 1600watts
    325hp Supercharged Straight Six
    http://www.end2endintegration.com

  5. #5
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    I found that my VGA screen (12.1") which is larger than you want was not so expensive. You can get one for $299 from EarthLCD, including the controller with a regular VGA input and 12DC operation. An enclosure for it (very nice aluminum with heavy duty hardware) was another $50.

    this is more than most cheap LCD's, but it will do 1024x768 and that looks awesome.

    the cirque touchpad sounds like a good way to do it. Having just added a touchscreen to my LCD I can tell you that I'm finding more ways to use it, but I still go to my dedicated trackball while driving. The cool thing about dedicated buttons is that you can operate without looking at all, whereas with a touchpad or mouse, ect., you have to look to make sure you are in the right place.

  6. #6
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    Question

    I ripped apart (not literally) my console area in my car giving me approx. 7.25in wide x 5.5in high. Depth is approx 2 inches. That would give a diamater of about 9.1inches.

    Anyone know where I can get a VGA LCD that would fit their for a reasonable price?

    Thanks...
    ----
    BMW Speed Freak
    7" Redant, ATI AIW, IR, SB Audigy, 1600watts
    325hp Supercharged Straight Six
    http://www.end2endintegration.com

  7. #7
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    Wally,

    Do you find that that LCD is too dim in the day? Do you have tinted windows?

    I want to pick up that display, but am a bit worried about being able to see it in daylight.

    Twostep

  8. #8
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    Also, keep in mind that all standard LCD designations are DIAGONAL measurements.

    I agree with Adam F, and I personally dislike the TFT nomenclature. In my experience, the older the LCD, the more likely it is to be passive matrix. Most LCD's I see these days are active matrix, because of the upsurge in video usage on LCD screens (which isn't the best application for LCD's. Drop me an e-mail for a full explanation, would take waaaaay too long here).

    The hardest part in dealing with LCD is the fact that thay are digital devices. All current standard video cards output an analog signal, converted from the digital signal inside the computer, which is then reconverted into digital to address the pixels in the panel.

    One other factor to keep in mind when choosing a monitor is scan (refresh) rates. These are affected both by resolution and refresh. I have seen more problems professionally when the resolution is set to match the panel resolution. but the refresh rate is set to "optimal".

    In my own case, I purchased an old, active matrix LCD panel from my company. It just arrived the other day, so I haven't had a chance to play with it, but the actual panel in the enclosure appears to be a 6.4", with a resolution of 640x480 and an integrated VGA controller. I will need to create a backlight and enclosure for my truck in order to utilize it, but it was a cheap alternative to some that I have seen. I have seen these for sale on e-bay as well.
    KG6OQD
    www.americansandassociation.org

  9. #9
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    Talking

    I'm happy to see a reply to somebody questions instead of "click on search"!!! I was thinking about some of the same questions BMW Speed Freak had. I do computer work and I always come across someone with a broken laptop and it out of warranty and so they just let me have them. So I just when a head and trash them. If I know what I know now from reading this forum I would have kept them all. I have let three displays and one laptop now. One diplay I've taken out of an Compaq Armada 1130 and it is an Hitachi LMG9661ZWCC and the other two are from an IBM ThinkPad 360c and thier are an 8" SHARP LQ9D03B. The laptop is an Toshiba Libretto 100ct with dock station and works fine expect that you have to press reset for it to boot up . I'm thinking about installing the ARM G1 pc and still not to sure about the display yet. EarthLCD have the controller for the Sharp displays but it cost like 270.00 for it . I did not ask about the Hitachi display because I've got that one after the fact. Oh, I've forgot I also have an Sharp 11" LM64P571 and do not know what I'm going to do with this one. Can I buy just the VGA cable from EarthLCD and not the whole PCI card?? Do any one know?? And this is for the 8" Sharp displays. I was also thinking about the displays at www.partsexpress.com the LCD 5" ultra thin video module or the LCD 4" Video module. Did any1 have try to hook up one of them?? If what and where did you get the VGA cable from??

    Nimrod
    Nimrod
    ----------------------------------
    2001 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe
    Nothing installed yet!!! :D

    J-BODY

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