TN Film, MVA, PVA and IPS ? Which one’s for you?
TN Film (Twisted Nematic + Film)
With their fast response times, TN Film panels are arguably the most responsive in the market today. Response times of 4ms G2G and under are common place. Black depth is not quite as good as VA panel types, but has improved significantly in recent times, aided further by the introduction of high dynamic contrast ratios. Colour accuracy is very good with proper calibration; however some people are put off by the 6-bit colour depth. Modern FRC methods and improved panels make TN Film still pretty decent in terms of colour accuracy, but remain behind VA and IPS panels. Movie noise is often a problem, especially where overdrive technologies are excessively used, or implemented with poor control. Perhaps the most obvious down-fall of TN Film is the restrictive viewing angles, especially vertically. TN Film based displays are normally very cost effective however, and dominate most sectors up to and including the 22? range.
MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment)
MVA panels offer typically very good black depth, a notch above TN Film. The viewing angles are also greatly improved, and are wide in both horizontal and vertical fields. Colour depth is nearly always a true 8-bit, with no need for FRC methods. Colour accuracy is very good, and movie playback is probably the smoothest and least prone to ?noise’ on MVA based matrices. Response times are decent with modern overdrive methods, but not quite as fast as TN Film panels. MVA screens are considered very good all round. Viewing angles are slightly inferior to IPS panels however, and a characteristic contrast shift can be seen as you move your line of sight off-centre. This is why IPS panels are considered more suitable for colour critical work, and are more widely used in professional display ranges. Premium-MVA (P-MVA) and Super-MVA (S-MVA) are variants of this technology and represent the modern generation of such panels. Advanced?MVA (AMVA ) is very new, and is designed to offer the next generation of improvements in this technology.
PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment)
Samsung’s own version of VA matrices, offering very similar characteristics to MVA based screens. Movie noise is more accentuated however, and overdrive control is more variable. Black depth is very good; arguably the best in the market, and again PVA panels are pretty decent all round. Super-PVA (S-PVA) panels represent the latest generation of PVA screens and feature some improvements over the older PVA panels.
IPS (In Plane Switching)
IPS and Super-IPS (S-IPS) panels are well regarded at the moment. They offer the widest viewing angles in the market, and are superior in this regard to VA matrices. They do not suffer from the off-centre colour / contrast shift of VA panels and are commonly used in colour critical professional displays as a result. Response times are variable, but some modern overdriven panels are very responsive in practice, even being comparable to the fastest TN Film panels. Colour depth is 8-bit and colour accuracy is very good. Black depth is not as good as VA based displays, but modern dynamic contrast control has improved performance in this area for multimedia application. IPS based screens are typically the most expensive however, but some modern panels are very good all round. Movie playback is noisy in most cases, and a step behind MVA panels.