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Samsung Syncmaster 171MP LCD - HDTV Review

Samsung Syncmaster 171MP LCD - HDTV Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: While this isn't quite a re-run of the the six million dollar man, the very new, and very cool Samsung 171MP is something that has caught our attention.
 86% Rating:   
Filed under: Monitors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Jan 23 2002   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Monitors > Samsung 171MP

Signal Inputs: Support for Everything

Important info about buying a TFT display

We always suggest you test any flat panel display you are considering in the store before you pay for it! LCD panels are very complex components and in the past many manufacturers only guaranteed their display's to be 99.9% free from defect. That could mean up to 3 or 5 broken pixels before the display is considered "broken." Broken pixels are individual pixels in the display panel which are stuck on a certain colour, are constantly dim, or are always off. Depending on the location and intensity of a broken pixel they can be next to invisible, or glaringly obvious. It pays to test the display first, regardless of which manufacturer makes it.

Analog and DVI Standards

Analog Connection DVI Connection

Analog video connections are the type of video cable most commonly in use at the moment. In the future this may change, but for the moment there are still a heck of a lot of people holding on to their old 17" CRT displays. The 171MP only offers support for an Analog connection.

The basic differences between an analog display adapter and a DVI (digital) display adapter is that with the blue analog cable the image is transmitted to your monitor as an analog signal.

On the DVI it arrives at the display as a digital stream of one's and zero's. When these display signals are sent to an LCD display - a device which only operates in the digital realm - the picture must translated to a digitally signal before it can be processed and displayed.

On the other hand, if you happen to be equipped with a digital output on your video card, the digital signals are simply sent right to the display to be shown on the screen as they were intended. Is there a difference between the two means of connecting a display? No... not really. On the visual level there hasn't ever been a perceivable difference in display quality that I could actually see.

Six Sets of Cables

Given the number of signal inputs (for video and audio) on the back of the display you would expect there to be a separate accessory kit so you can take full advantage of all the features (like the X-Box and DVD playback for example).

We've generally seen companies engage in these types of practices because it is an easy way to grab money, and not get stuck with the cost of including all the accessories, that only 60%-70% of buyers will actually use.

Contrary to this disappointing trend in the tech industry we were pleased to see the full complement of cables and connectors were included with the Syncmaster 171 save for the TV tuner ($90), RCA-DTV & stereo RCA cables which are the only optional components.

Included with our review display were a; 15-pin analog video cable, s-VHS cable, stereo audio cable, RCA (left, right, video) cable, RCA-DTV cable, Stereo-RCA cable, a power cord/AC adaptor, remote, tuner box, batteries, and some manuals and an installation CD.

Inputs and Outputs

These are just the main connections on the back of the 171MP. Another set of connectors on the left hand side of the cable bay takes care of the Super Video input, L/R RCA audio and RCA video inputs. What we have pictured above is in order from left to right, the DC power connector, analog video, computer audio in, HDTV connector, L/R RCA TV audio.

What isn't shown immediately to the right is the cable connector. The adaptor box is shown below - this screws into the back of the unit into a special socket.

Remote Control

What would any self respecting TV be without a remote? How would anyone be able to surf between computer and video and HDTV and all the channels? True to form, the SyncMaster 171MP is equipped with an Infrared remote to control the menu, PIP features, signal input, and last but not least volume and channel surfing.

This remote is a big upgrade from what Samsung have previously bundled with their displays, and frankly it is a big improvement. The buttons are easy to press, and the layout is very good. The remote works off of two AAA batteries which come included with the unit.

Incidently, the OSD menus Samsung use are some of the lushest we ever seen on a monitor! They make those other simple blue menus just look so cheap!

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Contents of Article: Samsung 171MP
 Pg 1.  Samsung Syncmaster 171MP LCD - HDTV Review
 Pg 2.  Main Control Panel
 Pg 3.  — Signal Inputs: Support for Everything
 Pg 4.  Samsung OSD Menu's
 Pg 5.  Watch DTV on a TFT
 Pg 6.  TFT Display Evaluation

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