TFT Display Evaluation
|PCstats TFT Display Evaluation
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
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
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
||MSI GeForce 3 Ti200 (MS8850) |
Windows 2000 |
||Color Temp: 6500 Kelvin|
* Note: The 171MP will only display NTSC Broadcast System feed, and it does not support DVD
|LCD Display Test
||Test Notes and Observations|
Excellent picture geometry at native 1280x1024
resolution. LCD displays as a general rule never have problems displaying straight lines.
|Brightness and Contrast:
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.
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.
The display produced very good red, green and blue
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
Excellent, all patterns are clearly visible and defined in both the
horizontal and vertical axis.
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
Excellent, all test patterns were displayed properly and
Excellent, all text easily defined and
The Syncmaster 171MP supports a very broad range of resolutions. The full
list of manufacture supported resolutions and frequencies are listed
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
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.
||Use the power of Google to search all of PCSTATS and the PCSTATS Forums. Tell us what you think of this new feature - FEEDBACK?|