A Close Look at the BenQ FP241W
Simon Baker, 30 Sept 2006 (updated 19 Jan 2007)

Introduction and Specs
Features
    TCO 06 Certification
    HDMI Interface

    Picture In Picture (PiP)
    Senseye
Performance
    Response Time
    Backlight Leakage and Panel Uniformity
    Colour Gradients
    Viewing Angles

Functionality
    1:1 Pixel Mapping (updated 19/1/06)
    HD Support and HDCP
    Split Screen Working

Reviews
User and Review Comments

Advanced Look at BFI and the FP241WZ  (updated 19/1/06)

 
 

Twitter: Stay up to date: @TFTCentral |    Forum: Discuss this article  | RSS Feed: Review Alerts




Click for larger images

The FP241W has yet to hit the UK shores but should be on sale at the beginning of October. BenQ are releasing two versions of this screen, the first being the FP241W, sometimes referred to as the FP241VW, which is set to retail in the UK for ~ £650. Later in the year, the FP241WZ will follow which includes BenQ's new AMA-Z and BFI technologies (Advanced Motion Accelerator with BFI / Black Frame Insertion). The FP241WZ is expected to be available towards the end of November and should retail for about £100 more than the FP241W. Both models offer the same panel and features, but the Z edition has the new BFI technology as well. More on this later. The specs for both models are based on AU Optronics' 24"WS P-MVA M240UW01 V0 panel.

Specifications:

 

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Response Time

6ms G2G / 16ms ISO

Contrast Ratio

1000:1

Brightness

500 cd/m2

Colour Depth

16.7 million colours, 8-bit

Viewing Angles

176 /176

Connections

D-Sub/DVI-D/S-Video/Composite/HDMI
3x USB 2.0

Panel

AU Optronics P-MVA (M240UW01 V0)

Functionality

PiP, Height, Tilt, Pivot and Rotate

Full Specification on BenQ's Site


 


Features

  • TCO 06 Certification: The FP241W is one of the first models in the market to carry TCO's new 2006 certification offering a respected standard in the world of displays, particularly LCD. The certification offers some certified improvements over TCO 03 displays including more strict grey scale linearity and standards for response time and black levels. More info available here about TCO 06.
     

  • HDMI Interface: Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the FP241W (and certainly one of the most marketed points) is the presence of an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connection, as standard on LCD TV's today. This will allow easy connection of HD enabled equipment including the new wave of HD-DVD players and the Playstation 3. This interface is capable of carrying both a digital video signal and digital audio, and is a popular connector for modern multimedia devices. HDCP encryption is supported over HDMI as well for full HD support and future-proofing (note: DVI port is also HDCP compliant).
     

  • Picture In Picture (PiP): This feature is already found in other large models including Dell's latest 2xx7WFP range. This allows the screen to display two sources at once, for instance showing the PC connection over DVI, while also showing a TV connected via an alternate connection like composite.
     

  • Senseye: BenQ's proprietary sensor technology is featured in the FP241W and allows the user to choose from various preset modes for different applications. More details available here. The FP241W comes with the following preset modes: Standard, Movie, Dynamic and Photo.

 


Performance

  • Response Time: BenQ have a close affiliation with AU Optronics and so it makes sense for them to be the first to use their eagerly anticipated 24"WS P-MVA panel. This panel follows in the footsteps of some of their other very popular and well established panels including the famous 19" version (Viewsonic VP191B / VP930) and the recent 20"WS version (Viewsonic VX2025WM, Belinea 102035W). The BenQ FP241W boasts a 6ms grey to grey response time thanks to a heavy dose of overdrive, what BenQ refer to as "Advanced Motion Accelerator" (AMA). Initial analysis of the screen and early reviews suggest actual responsiveness in real use is good, but there may be some motion blur detected in fast moving scenes. Many people may find the response time perfectly fine, but it will be interesting to see how this compares with other 24" models as well as against some of the fastest panels in the market like the Viewsonic VX922 or NEC LCD20WGX2 for instance. More info on this as it becomes available.

 

The following were provided by IT.com.cn. Please click for larger sizes:

Panel Uniformity

Greyscale DisplayMate gradient

Colour gradient

Colour gradient 2

  • Backlight Leakage and Panel Uniformity: The build quality is of a high standard and there is minimal backlight bleed reported from the early sample models reviewed at sites like IT.com.cn. There is some slight leakage as you might expect from TFT technology but this is only really slightly noticeable in low light conditions and is very minimal (see picture above).
     

  • Colour Gradients: IT.com.cn have conducted some DisplayMate tests on the screen and report impressive colour and greyscale gradients across the screen. The Dell 2407WFP seems to have been plagued by some bad press in this area, and it is bound to be an area of focus as potential buyers comparing the new FP241W with Dell's existing 24" offering. There is consistently smooth gradients across the FP241W with no sign of colour banding or inability to display certain shades (see pictures above).

Images show varying colour hue and contrast at different viewing angles, both horizontally and vertically

  • Viewing Angles: Viewing angles are what you would expect from a P-MVA panel. They remain perfectly usable even at extreme angles, but there is some  colour hue degradation, contrast loss when you move past about 75°.

 


Functionality

The FP241W comes with an impressive range of functions. The stand is surprisingly sturdy but somewhat basic in design. The stand offers tilt and height adjustments which are common on most models in today's market. The screen can also be pivoted right to left, and offers rotation from landscape to portrait if required. The sheer size of the screen makes this last function a little unusable in real terms, but might be handy to some users.

The thin bezel is attractive, but the buttons might be considered a little inconvenient on the right hand edge tucked out of the way. For aesthetic purposes the button location is justified, but when you're wanting to use any of the controls it might be a little tricky. Once you've got the monitor set up as you like it, there's probably very little need to use them anyway.


 

Side Buttons

Click for larger image

Side and Top USB Ports



Interfaces showing DVI, HDMI, VGA, component and S-Video


The screen offers a wide range of connections as well including DVI and VGA as you would expect. There is also the previously mentioned HDMI interface which at the time of launch is exclusive to the FP241W in the world of desktop LCD displays. Component inputs are also available and are particularly useful for games consoles like the X-Box 360 and forthcoming Playstation 3. The screen has 3x USB 2.0 ports as well, two of which are on the side, and the third which is cleverly hidden on the top of the monitor, and nicely positioned for those wanting to integrate a webcam into the screen.

  • Lack of 1:1 Pixel Mapping: The absence of this feature from the FP241W is strange, and might well be an issue to potential buyers. Without it, the image from external devices or non native resolutions from a PC are always stretched and scaled to fill the screen, rather than offering options to maintain the aspect ratio or map the pixels 1:1 via the hardware itself. It has been confirmed in the FP241W manual that this option is not available, and also by BenQ support.

     


    Update (19/11/06):
    there has recently been word across the internet that there would be a firmware update for the FP241W to fix the main gripe everyone seemed to have with the screen, the lack of aspect ratio options and 1:1 pixel mapping. We can confirm that UK management at BenQ have confirmed that this WILL be happening, and while there is limited detail at this time, BenQ have stated that the "24W series will have new firmware to phase in new functions, such as display mode//Windows Vista-DDC/CI". This confirmation only came on Friday, and more details will follow soon. This upgrade will not be possible by the user directly, and I would imagine screens would need to be sent to service centres for the update to be applied. New stock after a certain point (expected December) will have this updated firmware in place.

    Update (7/12/06):
    BenQ have confirmed that on it's release (in the UK at least), the FP241WZ stock will feature the new firmware which as reported, will feature options for aspect ratio control and 1:1 pixel mapping. The release date and price of the FP241WZ has not been officially announced as yet.
     

    Update (12/1/07): After months of "coming soon" anticipation, it seems some users in the US have started to receive the FP241W with the new firmware included, allowing aspect ratio control and 1:1 pixel mapping. This has been confirmed with user pictures of the screen on Hardforum (a US based internet forum) showing the new OSD selections along with images of the screen running at the various settings. The OSD now lets you choose between "full", "aspect" and "1:1" (as shown above), and early reports suggest these function correctly when using external devices on the screen.

    It has been stated that all new models produced during January would have this fix in place, but it will probably be a little time before they are widely sent out from the suppliers stocks. It is unclear what existing users will need to do in order to update their screens, but it is expected that monitors would need returning to local service centres for this firmware upgrade to be applied.
     

    From a PC, sources with black borders will maintain them. For instance if you watched a 4:3 TV show on the screen, since the graphics card is still outputting 1920 x 1200 the screen will see that the borders down the right and left hand sides are part of the source and keep these. Likewise for a 16:9 movie played from a PC, the black borders at the top and bottom are part of the source and will be kept. It is when using external devices like XBox 360, HD-DVD players etc that the source resolution does not match the screens native resolution. If an XBox tries to output 1080i which is 1920 x 1080 resolution, the screen will stretch the image to fill the screen, meaning the image is stretched vertically somewhat.

    It will be the same situation when playing games on the screen from a PC at aspect ratios outside of the 16:10 format (e.g. at 1280 x 1024). There may still be hope if you need to use such options, as some software (including NVIDIA display drivers) can achieve this instead and maintain 1:1 pixel mapping or aspect ratio retention as shown below:


Above: NVIDIA display options for fixed aspect ratio scaling


Above: NVIDIA display options used to maintain 4:3 aspect and stretch (left) and to centre the output as 1:1 mapping (right)

  • HD Support and HDCP: The monitor can support HD signals up to and including 1080p over both DVI and HDMI. The Dell 2407WFP was another popular 24" model, but was let down in its support of true HD resolutions. While the Dell stumbled with interlaced signals and reportedly progressive scan at 1080 lines, the BenQ can support both 1080i and 1080p making it a truly compliant HD monitor. Both digital interfaces (DVI and HDMI) support the HDCP encryption algorithm which will be widely used in future HD sources and hardware. HDCP support by its nature requires a digital connectivity and so this is not used or required over the component input.
     

  • Split Screen Working: The FP241W is marketed as being able to display two A4 sized documents side by side for office use. This is obviously something that other 24" models can do, but is certainly useful for those wanting to multi task. As I write this I have a similar split screen set up on the Dell 2405FPW and it really brings a useful function for those using the screen for Windows and office work. I don't personally think the smaller 20"WS monitors are as suited to this purpose. While it might still be achievable, the extra horizontal resolution (1920 compared to 1680) really comes into play here. You can use software including NVIDIA graphics driver software to automatically map grids and snap windows to certain screen areas.
     


Reviews:

The following reviews of the FP241W are available so far:

TrustedReviews Review (Sept 2006) - Full English review
IT.com.cn Review (Translated - Sept 2006) - Wide range of detailed pictures and some text
Beareyes.com Review (Translated - Sept 2006) - Plenty of pictures, minimal text
PC User Review (Japanese Translated - Sept 2006) - a look at the new model
[H]ard|Forum.com User Comments (Sept 2006 onwards) - user comments from this page onwards

Bit-Tech Review (Nov 2006)
- English Review
Tom's Hardware France Review of FP241W (Nov 2006 - Translated)
Tom's Hardware France Review of FP241WZ (Nov 2006 - Translated)
BeHardware Review of FP241WZ (Dec 2006)

 


User and Review Comments:

TRUSTEDREVIEWS: "With a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, I was getting the full benefit of the 1080i signal of the Sky box’s output and I have to say that the image looked superb....What I did notice when watching films is that the BenQ does a good job of picking out detail in low light scenes, while blacks managed to look, well, black rather than grey. A lot of LCD monitors have problems with greyscale gradation, but the FP241W had no such issues....without even a hint of green or pink creeping into the midrange, as is often seen on other screens....Likewise, the colour scales test was spot on, with no compression at the high end and every single colour falling off uniformly at the last block.

Talking of gaming, this monitor isn’t just great for high definition consoles like the Xbox 360, if you’ve got a fast enough PC you’ll soon realise how good it is to play games at such a high resolution....I was more than happy with the response on this screen. When you throw the HDCP compliant HDMI port into the equation, BenQ really does have every single base covered with this screen."

For the full and detailed review of the FP241W, please visit the 'TrustedReviews' Review (Sept 2006)

 

IT.COM REVIEW (Translated): "Brightness is extremely high, if you set the parameter to 100% it is more dazzling, but not suited to word processing and office work. We found 10% setting was most comfortable but for office work in dark light conditions even 0% brightness is preferable. The P-MVA panel technology achieves good results in black depth. There is minimal backlight leakage from the panel and it will only really be slightly noticeable in dim light conditions. The greyscale DisplayMate tests were impressive showing all 256 tones, even the difficult 1 and 2 grey levels. This achievement can be attributed to the high brightness and good contrast ratio. Grey transitions are very smooth with no banding evident. The same result was seen with colour gradients with the screen showing smooth transitions (see pictures previously in article). Viewing angles are good horizontally with a slight change in contrast and colour hue evident at about 80 degrees. The definition of the image is still pretty good even at 88 degrees. The viewing angles are comparable to Samsung's S-PVA panels. Vertically the viewing angles are also good with the image being clearly visible even up to past 75 degrees. Greyscale, colour saturation and grey scale are within an acceptable range.

Photo viewing was impressive and the screen is suitable for graphics design, due in large part to its large 1920 x 1200 resolution. Colour rendering is not quite as good as S-IPS based panels, but is still perfectly good enough for general users. Watching 480p DVD content from a couple of metres away soon makes you forget the low resolution of the source. 720p content was impressive as was 1080i and 1080p. You can really see the close up detail from a metre or so away but even the 6ms response time does not quite feel enough in some fast scenes. Gaming is very good, and dark scenes are rendered well. However, the responsiveness is still not quite enough for some fast moving scenes, with some blurring noticeable. Hopefully the addition of BFI (see below) in the FP241WZ model might help improve this."

 

[H]ard|Forum.com User Comments and pictures:

WOOD2395: "First and foremost, absolutely NO vertical banding - absolutely smooth gradients. Second, the component input is gorgeous. I've been playing Xbox 360 for the past 2 hours on this baby. Videos on the pc are perfect quality 16:9 with appropriate sized black bars above and below. I haven't plugged in a DVD player to the HDMI port to see if it stretches the image or not yet. Maybe tonight. The stand is rock solid, sturdier than the 2407's. It won't go as low to the desk, but sits 4 1/2 inches up at the lowest horizontal setting. It's not as sexy as the Dell's stand, but does sort of disappear, rather than drawing attention to itself. It's amazingly easy to raise and lower and can be rotated a little clockwise or counter clockwise so you don't end up with one side lower than the other, which my 2407 did to my dismay before I returned it. It really is a pain in the can to have the adjustment buttons on the side of the monitor, but I guess I'll get used to it. Overall, at first blush, this thing rocks. I'm super glad I returned my Dell and waited another 3 weeks for this."

BELBEDERE79: "So it would appear everyone's fears have been confirmed. Every source I checked the OSD and no 1:1 pixel mapping options appeared. This is a minor disappointment for me but I'm sure its a deal breaker for some. If you wanted a single display for your desk for PC and HD consumer electronics, the BenQ 241W is NOT your ideal solution. That said, it seems to be an awesome desktop PC solution that has additional bells and whistles. Luckily for me it was between the dell 2407 and the BenQ, and after all the initial frustrations of the 2407 its nice to have a nice display that actually works."

CHALOUX: "I bought my monitor last Thursday and have been nothing but happy with it. It's primarily used for my PC so the 1:1 stretching really isn't an issue. I Mostly do video/photo work and the extra space has been excellent. The colour and brightness compared to my 19" CRT is really quite astounding, I didn't think it'd be SO much better. I also play some FPS and have been for 6 years. I am a bit fussy about certain settings so I was hoping that there wouldn't be any noticeable input lag. For me, there isn't and I'm very happy about that. That's the primary reason I bought the BenQ over the 244T, I was scared of having to deal with a super laggy monitor. I don't notice any lag in desktop or in games."

Advanced Look at BFI and the FP241WZ

BenQ's AMA technology has already been used to lower response times across grey transitions to as low as 2ms. However, they have hit the conundrum that even if pixel response times were 0ms, the user would still perceive motion blur around the edges of moving objects. Reducing response time has helped, and thanks to RTC based technologies like their AMA, such motion blur has been reduced considerably since the days of non-overdriven panels of the 16ms generation for example. This perceived motion blur effect is in large part due to the human visual system and is something manufacturers are trying to overcome on their hold-type displays. Hold-type displays are defined by VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) as those where a pixel state remains as it is, until switched to a different state. In summary this means the operation of an LCD screen will be such that pixels only change when they need to, and there is no need to continually re-draw the screens image as is the process on CRT based displays.

Pixels in an LCD display respond to voltages which command changes in the liquid crystal orientation. The principle behind RTC / Overdrive (or in BenQ's case, AMA) is that the voltage supplied is more than traditionally would be applied, in order to allow the crystals to rotate more quickly to their required orientation. Moving objects would exhibit changes in luminance and the pixels in turn are being asked to change on request as an object moves across the screen. This can result in some delay regardless of the response time, and motion blur is exhibited. Studies on the human visual system have shown that the eye responds automatically to changes  in brightness levels in moving objects, an affect which is called "smooth pursuit tracking" or "spatial-temporal integration" and so not only is there the delay from the pixel response, but perceived problems due to the human visual system. As a very crude example, if a pattern of alternate black and white areas moved from left to right across a screen, our visual system would perceive a grey "ghosting" effect.

The Black Frame Insertion (BFI) powered FP241WZ will follow in the footsteps of the FP241W and it looks like at this stage it will be available in February / March for approximately £100 more than the "regular" addition. The Z model is labelled with BenQ's AMA-Z technology (the Z being exclusive to BFI enabled displays) and also referred to as "Perfect Motion".

First unveiled at CEBIT 2006, BFI is an interesting development from BenQ / AU Optronics. By inserting a black frame every few frames, the technology helps 'clean' the human eye of moving images and in real terms, is designed to improve perceived responsiveness. This process artificially helps cloak the ghosting artefacts from the moving image and the human visual system automatically combines the inserted black frame with the image either side of it.

There are some misconceptions about the technology and I think it is important to realise that this does NOT mean the screen will be running at 120Hz, or showing 120 fps. In reality, the screen will still function at 60Hz / 60 fps, but some of them will be replaced with black frames.

While investigating ways to improve the appearance of moving images on LCD screens, BenQ decided to follow the route of BFI rather than other technologies like scanning backlight or image interpolation technology like Samsung's forthcoming MPA technology. Displays featuring BFI were promising at CEBIT, but it should be noted that they were comparing the FP231W screen (a 16ms S-IPS panel) with the FP241WZ. An employee of BenQ has recently commented that he has seen the FP241WZ in action against the regular version and noticed some improvements mostly on fast moving panning. The technology will offer three settings for timing of the black frame insertion allowing the user to find a level they find comfortable. There is also an "off" option if required.


A look at the FP241WZ and BFI technology is available here at Tom's Hardware France (Nov 2006)

 


Much of this content is derived from the various reviews already available, mostly internationally. My thanks to those sites for some of the content and pictures featured here. Thanks to BenQ for some pre-release Whitepaper information about the FP241WZ and BFI technology.

 

 

Back to Top

 

Sections
______
 

Reviews

Articles

News

Forum

Buying Support

___________

 

TFT Selector

Specifications Explained

Terms and Functions

Technologies

Frequently Asked Questions

Resources

_______

 

Panel Search Tool
Settings and ICC Profiles Database

Monitor Panel Parts Database

Laptop Panel Parts Database

Links

About

_____

 

Contact

Donations

Store

Advertise

 


    © Copyright, TFT Central.                 Privacy Policy and Cookies

 

     Search TFT Central