In-Plane Switching Versus Twisted Nematic

Why IPS is better than TN Monitors

Steve Smith talks about the differences between IPS and TN Panels.

Episode #6-14 released on December 6, 2015

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There are commonly two types of screens a person can buy, TN (Twister Nematic), and IPS (In-plane Switching).

Today, by request, we will be talking about In-Plane Switch screens, and how they have a distinct advantage over the Twisted Nematic Screens that a lot of people buy and use. Typically, gamers and average users use TN panel screens for their tasks, as they are both inexpensive, and have a fast response time. Pretty much every screen for laptops, and desktops are TN based, and not IPS, however, a great deal of products do use IPS instead of TN screens for a few good reasons.

Now, while TN screens are cheaper, faster, and less power hungry, than IPS screens, they are more consistent, have much more accurate color, do not lighten or show trailing which is good for touchscreens, smartphones, and tablets. And, IPS monitors offer clear images and stable response times, which makes them well suited for retina displays, like those used in the iPhone 5 and up.

Now, what makes an IPS screen more consistent?

Let's start with the way the screen is constructed. A twisted Nematic screen is a layered sandwich which includes two external polarizers, two internal transparent electrodes that cover the entire surface of the LCD, which applies a voltage that opens and closes the pixels to make white by opening all colors in pixels in the LCD, and make black by closing all colors in the LCD within the pixels.

Now, the IPS screens based on the design that Japan Display uses, seems to also use two external polarizers, with strips of transparent electrodes on the outside, which apply a voltage to the pixel within the LCD, and allow the crystal molecules to rotate in parallel with the panel. This significantly reduces the amount of color shifting from side to side, and up and down. It, also, helps reduce and eliminate the color shifting and lightening in touch screens.

Now, another reason that IPS panels have better color than TN panels, is the very fact that TN panels only have 6-bits of color display, effectively not allowing them to emulate all 16.7 million colors in 24-bit true color, some can imitate 8-bit through dithering, but it isn't as good.

IPS panels have access to 8-bits of color, and some even 10-bits of color which allows for more accurate color reproduction, necessary for color correction and graphic design. It, also, means that what you see on the screen is, in fact, closer to life, and a lot closer to true color.

Twisted Nematic Screens pixels are made of Red, Green and Blue shutters that are, also, side by side. This is the simplest way to setup a single pixel. However, this means that because of the polarizers and left to right positioning, we actually experience color shifting as we view the image at different angles. In-Plane Switching pixels, are different. In-plane switching pixels and their respective shutters for one, is chevron shaped, so like a boomerang, made to look like an arrow pointing right. This configuration reduces the amount of effect the pixel receives from being viewed at different angles, and makes color reproduction, hence, more accurate at any angle, perfect for those who wish to have a multi monitor setup, as I can attest to.

Now, the detail that counts for most gamers, is response time. If you are a gamer, and want to have the best color depth, cleanest look at any angle, and have the cash, IPS MAY be for you, but there is a catch twenty-two. Twisted Nematic screens respond faster with less power requirement than IPS for a reason, and for a good gaming experience, you need a monitor with a gray to gray response rate of 8 milliseconds or less to prevent ghosting in the screen from being an issue. A lot of IPS monitors have an effective response time of 6 to 16 milliseconds. If you are intent on using the monitor for gaming, you have to make absolutely sure, the response time is 8 milliseconds or less.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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