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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

TFT Display Evaluation

PCstats TFT Display Evaluation Criteria:

We evaluate the quality of TFT displays with the help of a program called Nokia Monitor Test. The software application displays a range of colours and test patterns that can help diagnose just about any visual problems or defects a TFT display may contain.

It can also be a very useful tool for properly adjusting a display to the optimal settings. The software consists of eleven tests which can be run in steps as adjustments are made to the OSD. As the tests are run we look for the following problems, only one of which should be inoperable (broken pixel).

  • Broken Pixels: What we class as a 'broken pixel' can fall under any one of the following circumstances: Pixel always on (any colour), pixel always off, pixel unable to display a shade (red, green, blue, black, white), pixel shown colour gradient.
  • Pixel Clock: If the number of dot clocks within one horizontal synch are not properly configured the screen will appear to drift or vertical stripes may be generated. This should be correctable by the on screen menu.
  • Phase: If the phase of the display data and dot clock are not correctly tuned the screen can flicker, or text be displayed blurry. For example text may appear dithered, or when looking at a test pattern of a one-pixel black, one-pixel white checkerboard pattern the pattern may be distorted. This should be correctable by the on screen menu.
  • Response Time: We look for any streaking associated with moving a full page of text up or down quickly. Displays with slower refresh rates tend to show some degree of image streaking or text discoloration which can be distracting.
  • Stand Stability: TFT displays are fragile components and the stand should offer adequately stable support as well as be easily adjustable.

    We deduct marks for quality control if there are any predominant broken pixels in a display. While many manufacturers may consider a few broken pixels acceptable, we believe the high cost of TFT displays should translate into a clear and unblemished image.

  • Display Test System Configuration:
    Video Card: MSI GeForce 3 Ti200 (MS8850)
    Operating System: MS Windows 2000
    Display Settings: Color Temp: 6500 Kelvin
    Resolution: 1024x768 pixels
    Frequency: 75Hz
    Colour: 32 Bit
    Display Resolutions:
    Resolution Freq Hor. Freq Ver. Standard
    720X400 31.5 70 VGA
    640x480 31.5 60 VGA
    640x480 37.5 75 VGA
    640x480 43.3 85 VGA
    800x600 46.8 75 VESA
    800x600 53.6 85 VESA
    1024x768 48.3kHz 60Hz XGA
    1024x768 60.0kHz 75Hz XGA
    1024x768 68.7kHz 84Hz XGA
    1280x1024 63.98kHz 60Hz VESA
    1280x1024 79.90kHz 75Hz VESA

    * Note: The 171MP will only display NTSC Broadcast System feed, and it does not support DVD component output.

    LCD Display Test Overall Test Notes and Observations
    Geometry: 10

    Excellent picture geometry at native 1280x1024 resolution. LCD displays as a general rule never have problems displaying straight lines.

    Brightness and Contrast: 9.7

    This is one of the areas where LCD displays can fail, and it all has to do with the glass used. The 171MP uses a LCD panel with a contrast ratio of 400:1 so the very light shades of white are clearly separated and distinct if you look close enough. On the other end of this test screen, the 20%-100% white is also very good, with the 100% white nice and bright as it should be.

    HV Test: 10

    This test is more applicable to CRT displays than it is to an LCD. How ever since it forces the display to show a full screen of black or white, while maintaining a solid white line around the outside it is a good indicator of flicker during quick refreshes.

    Colour: 10

    The display produced very good red, green and blue test screens.

    Convergence: 9.8

    No monitor ever gets 10 out of 10 in this test on the vertical plane. The grid test patterns in purple, light blue, and yellow illustrate the worst case situations when different coloured pixels must work together to produce a colour, and the 171MP faired quite well in this test.

    Focus: 10

    Excellent, all patterns are clearly visible and defined in both the horizontal and vertical axis.

    Resolution: 10

    Resolution was also excellent at the native 1280x1024 resolution. The image stretching algorithm was very good, but I personally wouldn't want to run a LCD display at anything other than the suggest size.

    Moire: 10

    Excellent, all test patterns were displayed properly and without problem.

    Readability: 10

    Excellent, all text easily defined and visible.

    Jitter: 10

    None.

    Display Resolutions:

    The Syncmaster 171MP supports a very broad range of resolutions. The full list of manufacture supported resolutions and frequencies are listed above.

    Evaluation Notes & Conclusion

    The 171Mp retails for around $1250 USD making it one of the more expensive TFT displays we've looked at. However, it is not priced that way without any features, quite the opposite in fact. The 171MP builds upon the 170MP series of TFT display that Samsung had on the table last year and manages to sweeten the pie even more.

    Now with the 171MP series which also includes a 15" 151MP version Samsung have introduced Digital TV. While we first thought that the component output cables that connect to the special HDTV video connector on the back of the unit could be used in conjunction with a Progressive Scan DVD player, this was not to be the case.

    These cables are designed to work with DTV, and that is it. So sadly we will have to wait a bit longer before DVD HDTV will show up on a desktop LCD display. Making up for this, are the ton of other video connectors that pepper the 171MP, which also includes a S-Video jack and series of RCA inputs for audio and video.

    In terms of multimedia applications the 171MP is simply unmatched. It offers users almost total display convergence at a savings of desktop space that was previously unthought of. With its removeable stand the 171MP improves upon its predecessor by offering a zero foot print solution without a nasty stand hanging below.

    Visually stunning in its silver shell, and packed with so many features that we can go over them all enough times the 171MP offers users looking for a 17" multimedia TFT display in the $1200USD an amazing feature set. I can see a lot of use for a display that tackles video, computer, and cable TV all in one unit - and well. The only bad thing I can think of is the absence of a DVI input and the short fall on DVD HDTV which would have been really awesome. Still even those two things are not enough to dissuade us from awarding the Samsung Syncmaster 171MP Editor's Choice Award. It's going to be tough to review another TFT display after this one!

    So tell us, do you think this LCD display is worth the money? Come to the forums and let us know what you think about it.

    < Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Monitors News»

     

    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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