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PC Monitors UK 2020 Complete Guide Fri, 18 Jun 2021 15:48:58 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 PC Monitors UK 32 32 How to Add LED Lighting to the Back of Your Monitor Fri, 18 Jun 2021 15:19:17 +0000 How to Add LED Lighting to the Back of Your Monitor

LED back lighting is a quick affordable way to smarten up your home working environment.

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How to Add LED Lighting to the Back of Your Monitor

With many of us staring at screens for longer periods during the global pandemic of 2020/2021 we’ve all become a bit more conscious about our eyesight.  One way to reduce strain is by adding LED Lights to the back of your monitor.  Or maybe you have been working at home more and simply want to make your home office look a bit nicer.

One of the first changes I made to my working environment once I was forced to work from home was to add LED lights around the back of my monitor.  It looks cool and it really is easy to do.  Don’t be put off by thinking you need any kind of DIY skills to get this to work, it really is very easy to buy the right lights and fix them in place yourself.


Which LEDs do I need to buy?

There are a whole range of LED lights for monitors available over at Amazon so you won’t have any problem finding the right type of strip lighting.  There are a few things to consider:

  • Length: The length of the strip light you need depends on what size monitor you have.  As a minimum the lights should stretch across the width of your screen, but you might want a longer set to go the whole way round the edges.  I would suggest measuring the permieter of your monitor before ordering.
  • Colour: I bought myself some plain white backlights, but there are many options available out there that offer colour control or strobing effects.  The latter can be quite fun and is good for mood lighting but you don’t need anything fancy if you just want to make the area brighter.
  • Power: If you have a monitor with USB ports then I would recommend getting USB powered lights.  You can plug them into the monitors USB port and there is no need for visible cabling.  The lights will then come on when you turn your computer on and the monitors power up. Note that some monitors coninue to supply power to the USB port even when in standby mode.  This was the case for my ViewSonic screen, fortunately there was a configuration option to cut the power in standby mode so the lights went off with my monitor.  If you want continuous ambient lighting then you may want lights that can be powered independently.


How do I attach LEDs to my monitor?

It’s really very simple.  The strip lights will have sticky backs, just peel away the protective backing and fix the lights to the back of your monitor by pressing down on them.  It can be a little awkward to get the strips round corners but it’s nothing you won’t be able to handle with a little patience.

Once attached the effect looks really good, it helps your eyes and makes your home office look that much smarter.

So what are you waiting for, go buy some LED backlights and upgrade your home office!

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Can I Play Games on a Projector? Tue, 07 Jan 2020 16:23:51 +0000 Can I Play Games on a Projector?

Find out why more gamers are investing in a home projector.

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Can I Play Games on a Projector?

Projectors are becoming increasingly popular among gamers looking for a more immersive experience.  A good quality model will set you back several hundred pounds, or you can easily spend over a thousand if you are looking for the best image quality.

Modern projectors are now capable of producing 4K images in bright stunning accurate colours, even when positioned just a short distance from your wall or screen.  They are great fun when you have friends round and what to indulge in some multi player gaming with the sounds cranked up and a few drinks.

And when you are done gaming, they are fantastic for a home cinema experience too.

Good quality low latency full HD projectors that are suitable for gaming will cost more than your average monitor but if you want that extra size then check out, for example, the Optima.

Projector Gaming

I run an Epson at home and get great results.   The larger screen area is great fun for multi player split screen fun where each player now gets an image bigger than your usual TV!  The experience is positive all round with no perceivable lag and immersive game play.

Find out more about projectors over at our projector review site.

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Are TVs good for PC gaming? Mon, 02 Jul 2018 09:51:34 +0000 Are TVs good for PC gaming?

Interested in playing games on your TV? Here are the pros and cons of PC gaming on your telly.

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Are TVs good for PC gaming?

When it comes to playing games many of us want a good big screen to enjoy the latest modern graphics, unfortunately not all of us have the budget to go out and buy a dedicated gaming monitor.  However, it won’t have escaped your notice that you most likely already have a big screen sitting in your living room – so how about playing PC games on your telly?

Will my TV work with my PC?

All modern TVs will come with an HDMI port making it easy to hook up your PC to your big screen for some sofa based game play.  Your TV is not going to have any of the modern features that you have in a dedicated monitor though, you won’t get adaptive sync technologies or super fast refresh rates.  But don’t worry, an HD television running at 60hz will still look good to the casual sofa gamer.  I know PC gamers demand more from their hardware compared to the console crowd, but I regularly play multi player split screen games around my TV and it works great.

How can I plug in my PC?

You have a couple of options here.

  • Plug your PC directly into the TV!  Sounds simple enough but if your heavy PC is at the other end of the house you aren’t going to want to shift around every time you want a quick game of split screen Rocket League with your mates.  This approach will work better if you have a laptop to power the game play.
  • My preferred option is the Steam Link.  This little box of tricks allows you to connect to your PC at the other end of the house and brings your games direct to the telly. You can connect three USB cabled controllers to the Link and additional wireless controllers. It works over WiFi but a wired network gives better results.  I use a HomePlug solution to get a fast network connection

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    . Keep your eye out for the regular Steam sales, the price of the Link has been known to drop to just £2 (plus postage)!

  • There is also now a Steam Link App for smart TVs.  This allows you to connect to your PC without additional hardware by downloading the app to your television, although I’m not sure how you then plug in a round of controllers!

So if you like the idea of some sofa based gaming in the comfort of your living room, the TV is going to do a good job.  Sit back, plug in a couple of controllers and get to grips with your favourite local multi player games.  I recommend Sonic Transformed, the Lego series, Table Top Racers, and don’t forget Stick Fight!

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Should I Buy a 4K Monitor for Gaming? Mon, 26 Mar 2018 16:06:18 +0000 Should I Buy a 4K Monitor for Gaming?

Is it a good time to buy a 4K monitor?

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Should I Buy a 4K Monitor for Gaming?

If you are upgrading your monitor you are probably looking around at all the different options and thinking, is it worth getting a 4k monitor? There are a few things to consider.

First of all, don’t panic if you can only afford to run a good old HD monitor. 1080 is a good resolution to work with and games still look sharp. If you prefer smaller screens, say 24″ or up to 27″ then you will still get a good number of pixels per square inch of screen space and your images will look good. If you’ve never known any different then you aren’t going to suffer by sticking with the tried and tested.

That said, 4K is slowly becoming more and more affordable, in particular the screens themselves. Once the preserve of ultra high resolution enthusiasts, 4K screen are coming down in price and falling into the realms of possibility for every day folk with a bigger budget.

Monitor Size

It is important to consider the size of your monitor when weighing up the options. The more pixels you have on a screen the smaller things are going to look without adequate scaling. The good news is that with more people adopting higher resolutions scaling is becoming more of an issue. Operating system and game developers are more likely to make things work, so hopefully you aren’t squinting at tiny text anymore. The other solution to this problem is to get a big screen, start looking over 30″ and text that looks teeny at 24″ is going to look about right.

PC Hardware

A further problem you will need to deal with is the sheer number of pixels that your PC is going to have to move around the screen. It’s a lot of work for a graphics card to generate 60 or more 3840 x 2160 frames every second to keep the demanding gamers happy. You’re going to need a top line PC spec to get good results, and that’s going to include an expensive graphics card. High performance GPUs were coming down in price before the Bitcoin boom seems to have messed up the market somewhat

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. If you can get hold of stock the cards tend to be very expensive.

Tempted to pull the trigger? Start exploring the best 4K monitors here.

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What are Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD )? Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:52:02 +0000 What are Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD )?

BFGD was announced at CES 2018, find out what this new initiative from Nvidia means.

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What are Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD )?

The big format gaming display, or BFGD for short, is an initiative from Nvidia to build a brand around what they think a display should be. To be labelled as a BFGD display you’ll have to include certain features. First announced by Nvidia at CES 2018, these products have to meet Nvidia’s requirements for high refresh rates, low latency , PC-tuned HDR, and G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology

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High refresh rates pave the way for smoother game play compared to almost all current consumer TVs, they will be fast and responsive and the G-Sync technology could help when watching films that have different source frame rates that a traditional TV, doing away with the need for interpolation. BFGD stamped displays will also feature 4K resolutions and HDR and will compete with rival manufacturers pushing this technology in the coming years.

The integrated Nvidia Shield platform does a way for additional smart TV tech and will provide access to games and the usual array of apps.

No word on UK availability yet, you can try searching on Amazon to see if anything comes up, let us know if it does.

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What is HDR? Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:42:56 +0000 What is HDR?

HDR is a term you might have come across is photography, and if not, you'll be seeing it more and more on displays. Find out what it means and why it's rolling out to a monitor near you.

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What is HDR?

In 2016 HDR technology was something that started appearing in our television sets even if we didn’t quite understand what it was and why we needed it.  My old telly worked just fine before HDR came along!  in 2017 more and more PC monitors are now starting to include this technology and no doubt it will become equally ubiquitous.  So now’s a good time to get your head round this new acronym and see if it’s worth the hype.

What does HDR mean?

HDR stands for high dynamic range, wiki describes this as a technique used in imaging that reproduces a greater dynamic range of luminosity than possible with standard digital imaging techniques.  This means you see a more significant difference between the bright parts of an image and dark parts.  The goal is to create more realistic looking images in games and movies by allowing greater levels of detail.

So for example, in an SDR screen (standard dynamic range), the detail in darker scenes can be lost as subtle grey tones fade into black.  Similarly brighter parts of the image may be lost in a white background.  HDR aims to solve this problem.  Bright parts of the image can be really bright, the dark ones can be really dark, and the detail is visible in both.

The overall effect is a more dynamic image that will seem more “real” to us the viewer.

HDR and PC desktop monitors

It’s early days in the PC monitor market when it comes to PC implementation

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.  Delivering content is not so much of a problem, this can be handled by existing graphics cards and updates to drivers.  And whilst a standard for a true HDR experience has emerged in the television market it looks like, as is often the case, Nvidia and AMD will have their own approaches under their FreeSync and G-Sync brands.

If you are looking at adopting HDR then you’ll have to check carefully to see what is on offer  and we’ll be sure to take a look at HDR in our upcoming monitor overviews.

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The Complete Guide to Monitor Cables Wed, 10 May 2017 12:26:24 +0000 The Complete Guide to Monitor Cables

Whichever monitor you buy you'll need to hook it up to your PC via a cable. Read this to find out about the modern cable and socket standards, do you know your HDMI from your VGA?

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The Complete Guide to Monitor Cables

Keeping up with the world of monitor cables is a tough job. Typically you’ll only buy a monitor every few years, and it’s not uncommon to keep one for a decade or so. So by the time you come round to finally upgrade you might find a whole new set of ports round the back of your new screen.

It is worth taking the time to understand the different ports. On one level you just need to know that your knew monitor is compatible with your graphics card – is it going to work? But you also need to understand the various limitations of each cable so that you get the right one hooked up. If you’re not careful you might prevent yourself from getting the fastest refresh times and maximum resolution, not to mention adaptive sync compatibility.

In this post we outline some of the terms and take you through the different connector types.

Monitor Cable Glossary

Let’s start with a couple of terms you should understand. If you are serious about buying a new monitor then you will definitely want to get a good grasp of these concepts.

Resolution: The resolution of your monitor is the number of pixels that your monitor is capable of displaying. This will be written as length x height, for example an HD screen is 1920 x 1080 meaning you have 1920 pixel columns across the width of your screen and 1080 rows along the height. Higher resolutions means more pixels and a fatter pipe is required to feed the monitor. HD is the minimum on modern monitors, and you may be looking at QHD, or 4K screens.

Refresh Rate: The refresh rate is the number of images that the screen can display in a second, measured in Hertz. The minimum you would expect is 60hz meaning that the monitor flashes 60 frames in front of your eyes every second. Gaming monitors are often around 144hz but some push to 240hz buy the benefit begins to tail off. Higher refresh rates give smoother images but, again, need a fatter pipe to send all the additional images through.

Adaptive Sync: Adaptive sync technology is designed to give gamers a better experience. If your PC is unable to produce frames fast enough for your monitor you might observe split images (tearing) or stutters. Adaptive sync allows your monitor and PC to communicate and stay in sync, this requires the right cables to work.

Buying Cables

Often monitors will come with at least one cable, it’s worth checking exactly what is included. My new monitors both came with DisplayPort cables, but with only one port on my graphics card, I had to by a new HDMI cable.

If you’re not sure what cable is included (it is often not clear) a good place to check is to look the monitor up on Amazon and check the Q&A section. It is likely someone has already asked the question or else you can always submit it yourself.

A further consideration is the length of the cable. You want it to be long enough, obviously, but if you care about keeping your cables tidy, try to make sure you don’t go for something too long! I typically underestimate the length I need so do measure carefully rather than just guess. Longer cables tend to be more expensive. Also bear in mind that signal strength becomes an issue after about 15 feet, so you may have problems if you go longer.

One last note on quality, whilst you don’t want to waste money on a poorly constructed cable that will stop working after a few twists and turns, you also don’t need to pay a premium for gold plated diamond encrusted offering either. These cables are digital so there are big doubts whether frills such as gold plating makes any difference. What does matter is the cable specification and connection type.

Personally I stick to the “Amazon Basics” range as I trust that I’ll get exactly what I order, but feel free to explore other options if you prefer

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Video Cables and Connectors

Let’s run through the video cables that you might still find in use today. These cables will connect your monitor to your PC, usually to a graphics card but sometimes to a port attached directly to the computer’s motherboard.


The Video Graphics Array (VGA) connector is the oldest you’re likely to see still in use today, and even then it is rare to see it on modern equipment.

It is entirely possibly that your PC or laptop relies on VGA so if this is the case you’ll need to make sure any new monitor you buy still supports this standard. Or, you know, you could just replace your computer with something a bit more modern!

VGA monitors do actually carry an analogue signal so this is the one time where a quality cable might make a difference, or at least watch out for length. The signal will degrade over longer distances. The VGA standard is limited to 60hz and 1080p. Anything more than that and VGA just doesn’t have the capacity to carry the volume of data required.

VGA is considered obsolete, avoid if you can. If you have legacy VGA devices you can buy digital converters but these are expensive, they have to actively convert the signal to a digital standard.


The Digital Visual Interface standard replaced VGA but it is also rapidly being replaced by HDMI and DisplayPort. That said, it’s not uncommon to see graphics still support this standard and it is still in use on a lot of recent monitors. If you do have legacy DVI devices you can use a passive adapter to convert to the modern standards.

Standard DVI is also limited to 1920 x 1080 at 60hz, but dual DVI is capable of 2048 x 1536 at 120Hz. Typically a DVI cable is good over for about 15 feet in length.

DVI will not support adaptive sync.


The High-Definition Multimedia Interface is a proprietary standard that has become the standard connector used on modern TVs. It’s small, easy to connect and also carries audio, unlike both VGA and DVI.

There are different versions of HDMI, so watch out for this. HDMI 1.0 only supports 1080i and 720p, but you’ll need the “high speed” HDMI 2.0 to get 1080p and beyond. For a more detailed run down of the different version capabilities take a look here.

FreeSync adaptive sync can now be support over HDMI, but check if your specific monitor does. This compatibility was introduced in 2016 so anything before that won’t allow FreeSync.


The DisplayPort standard was put together by VESA as a replacement for VGA and DVI. It is the most recent of the standards and is similar to HDMI in many ways. Modern graphics cards and monitors are likely to support both HDMI and DisplayPort, and I would stay away from anything that doesn’t have at least one of these!

Like HDMI there are a number of different versions with varying ability to carry different resolutions and frame rates. You can find a detailed list here.

DisplayPort can support FreeSync and G-Sync adaptive sync technologies.

Power Cables

Monitors will come with a power cable and possibly a power “brick”. These bricks can be annoying and look messy under your desk so if you don’t have somewhere to store these away then try to buy a screen with an inbuilt power supply. These may be slightly thicker but personally I think it is worth it.

Normally the monitor will be hooked up to the mains using an IEC power cable, often known as a “kettle” lead. Note that you should be cautious about which cables you use as the plug itself will have an appropriate fuse installed.

Always use the power cables supplied by the manufacturer. Failure to do so could damage your product or even lead to a fire.

Looking for cheap monitor cables ?

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Monitor Resource Links Fri, 10 Mar 2017 09:45:39 +0000 Monitor Resource Links

A convenient list of links to the best monitor resources in the Internet. From calibration to buying advice, it's all here.

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Monitor Resource Links

This page lists out a number of resources that any serious monitor enthusiast should want to know about, we keep this page updated with new links so do bookmark us, and please share this page with other monitor enthusiasts

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We also love to hear from our readers and will gladly add recommendations that offer something different.  Do get in touch!

General monitor guides


Understanding the Hardware

  • DPI calculator:  just how many pixels are packed into every square inch of your screen?
  • V-Sync Guide: If you don’t have adaptive sync you need to understand this.

Monitor Hacks




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What is the VESA standard for monitors? Thu, 26 Jan 2017 13:10:23 +0000 What is the VESA standard for monitors?

When looking at buying a monitor you may see VESA Mount mentioned in the specification, but what does this mean and why should you be careful to check it?

The post What is the VESA standard for monitors? appeared first on PC Monitors UK.

What is the VESA standard for monitors?

Some time ago in the distant past, the Video Electronics Standards Association, also known as VESA, thought it would be a sensible idea to put out a standard specification for monitor mounting

. And so the Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI) was born. You might also see it referred to as the VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS) but most of us will just call it a VESA mount.

Just to confuse us, this refers to as a family of standards all designed to improve compatibility when mounting flat panel monitors, TVs, and other displays to stands and walls. So wehenever you are buying a monitor or mount, you need to not only look up whether it is VESA mount compatible but also what configurations are supported.

Typically, for PC monitors, most conform to the 100 x 100 fixture and you’ll probably see this mentioned frequently. Sometimes 75 x 75 too on smaller models. There’s no telling which VESA mount type will be used though, so do check when purchasing.

The VESA Mount standard

In most cases the attachment will consist of four screw-holes arranged in a square on the mount itself, with matching holes on the monitor. Fixing it in place is as simple as screwing in the four screws. It’s so simple, even I can do it! There is no quick release though so you’ll need to go through this process whenever you want to remove the mount.

The horizontal and vertical distance between the screws was originally 100mm, but as mentioned above a smaller 75 x 75 version also exists which you may come across when buying a screen. With the advent of bigger and bigger TVs there is now a version with 200 x 200 fixings and a screw pattern more appropriate for this size. You can see the full spec here.

Buying a compatible monitor and arm means that you can arrange your monitors as you please in your work space, if you have a multi screen setup it is particularly useful for ensuring they are lined up and your desk is decluttered. Monitor arms allow you to remove bulky stands that take up a lot of valuable working space.

For a list of popular monitor arms please click through here.

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What is IPS Glow and Backlight Bleed? Tue, 09 Aug 2016 12:18:31 +0000 What is IPS Glow and Backlight Bleed?

You might have heard of IPS Glow and back light bleed without really knowing what they mean. We explain these two problems and suggest what you can do if you suffer from them.

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What is IPS Glow and Backlight Bleed?

These two affects can spoil your monitor enjoyment so it’s worth being aware of them. If you don’t like your monitor’s performance remember you are entitled to return it within 7 days (assuming you bought in online) so it’s something to test when you first purchase your new monitor.

Many probably don’t notice these affects and go on to live with it, perhaps assuming it is just how all monitors look. Some people don’t seem to be that bothered by the light problems but for others it is the only think they care about!

My view? Well if it bothers you then by all means seek a replacement or a different model, but if you’ve never noticed it before and have only happened upon this page because you saw someone else moaning about it then you can probably get on with you gaming life.

That said, if you are paying for a premium monitor – you should make sure it performs as expected.

What is backlight bleed?

All LCD screens need a light source behind the screen (for example an LED), and, in theory, the LCD blocks the light from coming through when not needed. This gives you a nice black screen. Backlight bleeding occurs when this doesn’t happen as well as it should and the light bleeds through, typically around the edges. When you view a black screen you may see light patches.

What can I do? Turning down the brightness of the screen might help. It’s worth experimenting with this anyway as having screens too bright can tire your eyes. If the problem is serious and way beyond normal expectations then it could actually be a fault with the monitor build itself. If this is the case then you would be within your rights to return as faulty, there is not much else you can do I’m afraid.

What is IPS Glow?

IPS glow is slightly different

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. This effect is again the appearance of light “glowing” areas that can distort colours but you will find that the effect changes depending on the angle you view the screen and how close you are. Obviously this is specific to IPS panel monitors!

What can I do? This is actually a feature of the technology and some models will handle this better than others. If you find this really bugs you then you might have to seek out a different model and hope your retailer offers you a refund. Note that some people never even notice this effect, others seem to be constantly worried about it. If you can be in the former group then your monitor buying experience will be much easier!

Buying advice: Try and look at real user reviews and see if there are any complaints of IPS glow or back light bleeding. Our monitor summaries link to real reader reviews from real owners. A word of caution though, just because one person had a bad experience it doesn’t mean you will.

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