A monitor is a device used for displaying output or information. Example of places where monitors are used is in television, gaming. The most commonly used monitor display is the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitor. When purchasing or selecting an LCD monitor, it is also paramount to note the type of panel technology being used might vary from one another. Some of the types of panel technologies used are the In-plane Switching (IPS), Twisted Nematic (TN) and the Vertical Alignment (VA) monitors. Lets look at a TN panel vs IPS and see how they compare.

A twisted nematic (TN) display is a common type of liquid-crystal display (LCD) that consists of a substance called a nematic liquid crystal. It is confined between two plates of polarized glass while IPS panel is a panel technology for liquid-crystal displays which was designed to solve the main limitations of the twisted nematic field effect matrix LCDs that is the color and viewing angles limitation.

Some factors aid the choice of selection of panel technology when you compare the TN panel vs IPS monitor. These factors are:

  1. Price: Due to the ability of the IPS panel to address the major flaws of TN panel, an IPS display monitor is usually more expensive than the TN monitor. The method of production of the TN monitor makes it easy to produce which makes it less expensive, unlike the IPS.
  2. Reaction time: A reaction time is a time it takes for a given picture element (pixel) to change shade as quickly as possible (usually measured from gray-white-gray or black-white-black). , the TN panel can go as low 1ms (milliseconds) to respond while the fastest IPS panel will take up to about 4ms to respond. Also, a TN panel takes advantage of its 3D shutter time which allows it to display information for as high as twice that of IPS panel. The TN panel is greatly considered and is more popular in gaming due to this factor.
  3. Refresh rate: Refresh time is the number of times required per second in which the display refreshes its image. It is the frequency or time in seconds with which the display refreshes or updates its buffer. TN panels allow for a higher refresh rate, going as high as 120Hz to144Hz while the IPS panels have refresh rates up to 60Hz. However, the IPS monitor is slowly developing to have an increase in its refresh rate, but this development will lead to an increase in cost price when compared with its equivalent TN monitor.
  4. Colors: in colors, the IPS panel has an advantage over the TN panel. The IPS has more precise coordination in controlling the light that passes through them which in turn leads to greater output efficiency in the colors displayed. The color production in TN panel is not 100% accurate, unlike the IPS. The IPS panel should be considered where high picture quality and color accuracy are required, such as in photography and graphic design.
  5. Viewing angle: This is the maximum viewing angle at which a display can be viewed with acceptable visual performance. IPS monitors are built to have a parallel array of pixels, unlike the TN panel which has its pixel arrangement in perpendicular format. The parallel arrangement of the pixel arrangement in the IPS is responsible for its better color reproduction as well as its excellent viewing angles. When an image is viewed from any angle, it still retains its full-color display output while the TN monitor has this demerits.
  6. Contrast: the contrast ratio is the ratio of the brightest color of white and the darkest shade of black that the monitor is capable of producing. The difference in contrast offered by both IPS and TN is relatively low. They both have around 1000 to 1 contrast ratio.

In conclusion, the type of panel to be used is determined by the purpose of the monitor. In photography, graphics design, video and picture edits, where the displayed colors, as well as the viewing angle and contrast, are of great importance, the IPS should be considered. If the refresh rate, price and the reaction time is needed more than the other characteristics, the TN panel should be considered.

However, an IPS panel can have a higher reaction and refresh rate, but this will lead to an increase in the cost of production as well as the cost of acquiring it. It might also lead to a great increase in power consumption.

For our PresentationPoint users and digital signage in general, we can transform this recommendation as follows. For advertising and public information screens e.g. in hotels: use an IPS panel. In areas where the graphics qualities are not that important, use a TN panel. Think here about information screens in factories.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our comparison of the TN panel vs IPS monitors. Contact us if you have questions about digital signage for your facility.

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