|Samsung SyncMaster 245BW Widescreen LCD Monitor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Monitor | HDTV|
|Written by Ronald Tibbetts - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 29 April 2008|
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SyncMaster 245BW: Testing & Results
Using the hidden service function built into the 245BW's firmware (accessible by setting contrast and brightness to zero then holding both the menu and input buttons) we can verify the internal specifications for the display. SAMSUNG has removed the panel information from this menu likely due to the recent controversy surrounding their 226BW display "lottery". However, SAMSUNG has said that they now only use their own in-house panels for all their displays - though there is no way to confirm this short of dismantling the display.
Viewing angles are one of the key areas that set TN based displays apart from other panel technologies. The problem, as most already know, is when viewed off axis LCD displays exhibit a reduction in contrast that skews colors and brightness.
The established standard for measuring the maximum viewable angle is at a point when loss in contrast ratio is no more than 10:1. Unfortunately, some manufacturers now measure the maximum viewing angle at a contrast ratio of 5:1. And that is how SAMSUNG has arrived at their 160° viewable angle for the 245BW.
We don't like that companies change the standard to make their products appear to have better specs, and always caution buyers to do a little research before making the sale. The up-side to this viewing angle issue is that it won't affect the vast majority of buyers as this display and most like it are intended for single person viewing.
To show the effect on contrast from different viewing angles on the 245BW, images are taken from 36" (91.44cm) at 30° off axis from above, below, left and from right with a centered shot for comparison.
0° and 30° Left
0° and 30° Right
0° and 30° Above
0° and 30° Below
True to form this is a TN panel, easily apparent by its less than stellar viewing angles. Though loss of contrast isn't as noticeable when shifting view from side to side as it is vertically, it's still enough to make this display unacceptable for critical color work. However, most gamers and serious photographers will have no problem taking advantage of such a large screen, and viewing angle will always be a non-issue for office applications.
Fast pixel response is especially important is in motion video, such as gaming and movies, where every pixel needs to quickly change its color at every screen refresh. Displays with a lower pixel response time are able to return to their static state faster to, ready to deliver the next image. Because motion video is always shifting a display with a lower pixel response speed is going to reproduce a more natural looking image. On the other hand, a display with a slower pixel response time will result in artifacts such as blurring and ghosting of moving images. The measured of Response Time is the amount of time it takes for each pixel transition from one state of on to another state. The smaller the response rates of a display the more artifact free a moving image will appear on the screen. To add confusion to the whole thing there are different measurements taken for response times. The first is measured in time to Rise-and-Fall, the time it takes a pixel to transition from black (on) to white (off) and back to black (on). The other measurement is known as Grey-to-Grey (GTG), the time it takes a pixel to transition from one state of "on" to another. Since most motion images tend to transition in GTG and not on-off-on, GTG is the preferable measurement of response time.