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Thread: Finding the perfect DMD monitor - 2017 edition

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    17

    Default Finding the perfect DMD monitor - 2017 edition

    First time builder, long time follower.

    I have seen quite a lot of amazing looking pinball cabinets, and the DMD is one of the only parts I have been struggling with for some time.

    I am slowly making a custom cabinet from scratch, so sizes and designs can be changed to accommodate the proper choice.

    I have seen the works of the actual DMD units you can buy that interface with the usual programs like Pinball FX2 and Pinball Arcade, but I am hesitant to drop almost $500 Canadian on the ready built offering, and would rather not wait 2+ months to get some of the parts for the custom built ones.

    Thought I would post what I have tried so far and my comments, and if anyone has any tips I am all ears!

    Attempt 1 - Old 17" Acer LCD
    Had this kicking around the storage room in the house. Pretty old now, going on about 10 years. Still works like a charm and has good colours.
    Pros: Free! (and if you wanted to buy one most 4:3 LCDs can be had cheap on local selling sites). Had a four screw mounting plate that held the arm on, which could easily be modified to hold directly to the case. Also a good size, would fit well in the cabinet.
    Cons: Poor viewing angle. Poor black replication. Poor brightness. When put between the playfield and the backglass it looked very washed out and faint.
    Rating: 1/10 - Good if you have nothing else

    Attempt 2 - Old 24" Samsung LCD
    Also had this kicking around in the storage room at home. Good colours and better brightness, but larger, still old.
    Pros: Free again! (still pretty cheap if you wanted to pick one up second hand). Had 100mm Vesa mounting holes on the back. Colours better and blacks blacker.
    Cons: Poor viewing angle again. Poor brightness like above. Far too larger to go in normal landscape orientation.
    Rating: 3/10 - Also good if you have nothing else

    Attempt 3 - 10" IPS LED from Amazon - Eyoyo brand
    Picked up this little unit from Amazon to try out. It boasted an IPS LED screen, 600cd/m brightness, and Vesa mounting. Was just over $100 CAD.
    Pros: IPS LED looks amazing! Blacks very black and colours vivid on the screen. Comes with a remote but will auto-power on when power is sent to it.
    Cons: Size - to my eye 10" was just too small. Also, on further research, looks like it was only actually 400cd/m, which was sill a good move up from the previous attempts.
    Rating: 8/10 - Would be perfect if you were happy with a 10" screen.

    So I learned a few key take aways here:
    1 - IPS is hands down the best for viewing angle concerns, also has the blackest blacks and the brightest brights
    2 - LED will offer a better overall brightness to the screen
    3 - 10" was too small and 24" was too big. 17" 4:3 was pretty much perfect, and translates into roughly 15" across

    Attempt 4 - 19" RCA LED TV
    This one was a bit of a surprise. I was in Walmart and found a nice and cheap little TV. Had Vesa mounting holes on it and the display looked to be about 250cd/m brightness.
    Pros: Good image, Vesa mounts, 250cd/m brightness
    Cons: LED LCD looked good but had not great viewing angles. Took up a little too much room
    Rating: 6/10 - Meh...

    Attempt 5 - Acer 19.5" IPS LED
    Since IPS LED monitors are so thin I thought I might be able to get away with a 19.5" display and speakers behind it peeking out.
    Pros: Great colours on it, and pretty decent brightness. Also 250cd/m
    Cons: Large, no Vesa, and no easy way to mount it
    Rating: 7/10 - Meh x2...

    Attempt 6 - Asus MB169B+ USB display
    I stumbled across this and got really excited. Its a 15.6" 16:9 display that is both IPS and LED and powered by USB.
    Pros: Perfect size, great colour replication, great brightness. Also auto powers on as it is a USB device. Listed as 200 cd/m but looks like 250 cd/m
    Cons: No Vesa, and for whatever reason turns on at 75% brightness every time.
    Rating: 9/10

    This one was getting really close to the perfect solution. I knew that I could deal with the Vesa issue if it was otherwise perfect. The 75% brightness really killed this one off for me. Even at 200 cd/m it performed like a 250 cd/m unit. If there was a way to set it to 100% brightness I would have kept it. I tinkered with the settings, and sadly there was no way to adjust without physically pressing the button on the side of the unit. I didn't really want to have to adjust it up every time I turned the table on.

    Attempt 7 -

    This one is blank since I have yet to decide what to do next. Here are some ideas:
    1 - AOC makes a 15.6" portable monitor as well, might try that to see if it can turn on at 100% brightness, it also has Vesa on it, but its AOC . Also says on the site they are 250cd/m
    2 - Might try picking up one of the higher end professional IPS LED 4:3 monitors and see if its good
    3 - Looking at taking a 27" IPS LED (sadly cheaper than the portable units) and putting it in portrait mode

    If you have any ideas please let me know!

  2. #2

    Default

    Thank you for this test report. Sadly so far I haven't found an suitable candidate either, I would rate my current old 17" Dell TFT as meh when it comes to brightness.
    At least it has DVI so the picture stays in place (unlike VGA) and it doesn't use the CPU to render the screen (unlike USB)

    That reminds me, I still have an promising old monitor to test. Will give you feedback after testing it.

  3. #3

    Default

    I just bought a new gpu, my build was going to only be 2 monitors, but now I can go 3... so I'm in the same boat, trying to find a DMD for ~$100

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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