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2006 Archive

(August - September 2006):

Sony Done With PC LCD Monitors
Dell 2007WFP With S-PVA Panel?
Viewsonic ViewDock for iPods
TCO 06 Certification
Hyundai N91W Released
BenQ Promote New Monitor Line Up
Dell 2407WFP A03 Revision Released
More Details on the Viewsonic VX2235WM

LG L203WT Panel Confusion
Hyundai S90D, The First 1ms TFT
BenQ FP241W Delayed
Samsung 917P - Unique Functionality and Design

(June - July 2006):

LG L204WT Released
BenQ FP91R For Colour Enthusiasts
LG.Philips Release New Panel Specs
Philips 190G6 Multimedia TFT
Viewsonic 22" VX2235WM Coming Soon at a Great Price
LG L1970HR - The World's First 2000:1 Contrast Ratio
Sony 'E' Series Announced - E76D and E96D

BenQ FP241W With 'BFI' Announced

 

 

Sony Done With PC LCD Monitors
September 30th 2006

Sony have backed out of the TFT monitor business in the desktop range and will now be concentrating solely on their LCD TV range. This will effect all sizes below 24" according to Sony and USA and Japan ranges were already on the decline as of a couple of weeks ago. The main Sony TFT monitor stock is supplied from Asia, but with the shipments now being stopped, the remainder of Sony monitors across Europe are declared as 'end of life' and will be sold off. A representative of Sony sited the reasons as heavy competition (especially in the USA) and decreased market share. Sony assure consumers that any monitors purchased until stocks are depleted will still be backed by full service and support for 3 years.
 


Dell 2007WFP With S-PVA Panel?
September 30th 2006

 

 

It seems that recently the Dell 2007WFP has started using a different panel to the normal 16ms LG.Philips S-IPS panel which has been uniformly used in this model to date. One user has received a new 2007WFP with an 8ms Samsung S-PVA (LTM201M1) panel and this has left potential buyers confused about what they might receive. This is nothing new in Dell's monitor range however, with the 1905FP widely being known to use two different panels. The newer Dell 2007FP has also used different panels since its release, but until now it looked as if the 2007WFP was unique in its panel choice. Image on the left shows the Samsung S-PVA panel as identified from the factory menu.

More information about the Dell panel lottery can be found here

 


Viewsonic ViewDock for iPods
September 16th 2006

Viewsonic have showcased their new range of "ViewDock" screens at this years Apple Expo. The screens offer a built in iPod dock which allows you to quickly and easily display your iPod's video content and menus on a larger screen. The monitors also come equipped with other connectivity options including several USB 2.0 ports and an 8-in-1 card reader. Add to this integrated stereo speakers and a subwoofer and you have an all purpose multimedia screen which could well be a big hit which ties in with the growing iPod popularity. The screens obviously come with Viewsonic's latest technology offering fast response times, high brightness and contrast ratios and the usual performance you would expect from modern TFT's. Mel Taylor, vice president of marketing said:

“ViewSonic’s commitment to take desktop viewing to the next level is evident in our being the world’s first manufacturer to truly expand the connectivity possibilities of LCD displays. These products will fill a gap in the iPod accessories market, delivering users around the globe the quality and excellence of the ViewSonic heritage.”
 

The release of the new ViewDock screens is expected later this year, possibly as early as mid October but pricing is unknown at present. 18" and 22" models are expected to be the first released, and they will also be available without the ViewDock functionality and naming if required. More information available in Viewsonic's press release.
 


TCO 06 Certification
September 16th 2006

TCO Certification is used to classify standards of display devices and is used primarily for LCD-type screens. The requirements in TCO'06 Media Displays build on the requirements in TCO'03 Displays but some requirements are modified to conform to function and the modes of functionality. Three new requirements have also been introduced that measure picture quality in the moving picture and three requirements have been eliminated. The differences between TCO 03 and 06 can be found here but as a summary of the key points the TCO 06 standard is:

- Less strict on luminance
- More strict on grey scale linearity
- No longer has to have front frame gloss
- No longer has to have vertical tilt or vertical height adjustment
- Less strict on energy consumption
- Must now have video and computer interfaces
- Now has standards for response time and black level

 

Samsung, BenQ and Eizo are some of the first manufacturers to use the new certification. Each of the manufacturers has had a monitor approved according to the new criteria. Features of TCO’06 Media Displays include ergonomics, e.g. picture quality and colour rendering, energy consumption in standby position, emission, i.e. electrical and magnetic fields and ecology, e.g. how the monitor is prepared for recycling. The labelled screens are the Samsung 215TW, Eizo Flex Scan S2110W, and BenQ FP241W.

More info on TCO standards available here: http://www.tcodevelopment.com/

 


Hyundai N91W Released
September 10th 2006

Hyundai have released their new 19"WS offering into the market with the very attractive looking N91W. Featuring a Samsung TN Film panel, the N91W offers 5ms response time, 800:1 contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness and 170 / 155 viewing angles. The screen also offers both VGA and DVI interface, something which is left off some of the 19"WS models which are already established (Acer AL191W and Viewsonic VA1912W for instance). The screen also has an integrated speaker and is available in the very nice "Black Colour Edition".

The Hyundai N91W is available for ~£165 now

 


BenQ Promote New Monitor Line Up
September 10th 2006

September sees BenQ Global release information about their new gaming orientated range, with the aim to satisfy growing market need for faster performance. The line up is head-lined by the eagerly anticipated FP241, in both the regular "VW" version and the Black Frame Insertion (BFI) supported "WZ" version. There is a lot of talk in their press releases about their Advanced Motion Accelerator (AMA) technology and the addition of HDMI interface on this new model:

       
BenQ FP241VW / FP241WZ featuring AMA technology            

"As the official display partner to gaming conventions WCG (World Cyber Games) 2006 Japan Tournament, CPL (Cyberathlete Professional League) Winter Championship in the US and 2006 NGL Gaming League at the Games Convention in Germany, BenQ's LCD monitors – featuring AMA Z and HDMI technology, will be used in all competitions respectively, setting a new gaming standard worldwide."

               
 BenQ FP93VW "Snow-White"          BenQ FP222W

There is also a new 19" gaming screen due, the FP94VW, but little information is available yet. Full press release about the new gaming range available here. BenQ are also soon to release a new "Snow-White" design model, the FP93VW. This is a 19"WS model with 5ms response time, 700:1 contrast ratio and 300 cd/m2 brightness. Press release here. Last but not least is their new 22"WS following in the footsteps of the Viewsonic VX2235WM and hoping to break into this size sector as well. The FP222W offers 5ms response time, but is limited as with the other 22" models in the market to only 1680 x 1050 resolution. More details here

 


Dell 2407WFP A03 Revision Released
September 2nd 2006

With another release of an update from Dell potential buyers and current owners are left wondering whether it will have fixed any remaining 'issues' which some are still reporting from their 2407WFP screens. The A01 revision certainly offered some fairly drastic changes from the original A00 release, including fixes for the text blur problem and colour banding issue (in desktop mode) which many users reported. The A02 was accompanied by very little information from Dell but users still seemed very eager to jump on the band wagon and assume this offered more improvements and that A02 > A01. In reality, users found that there were still some slight issues with colour gradients to some users which still remained the main gripe with the screen. As I've said in the past, I think it is debatable as to whether you would notice such issues in normal day to day use and I'd question whether this slight banding is really a problem to the average user. Regardless, people will continue to test these Dell models in this area and look for new updates to help eliminate the problems.
 

            
A03 sticker                                                                     A03 OSD Factory Menu (Click for full size)
 

Recently users have begun to start receiving the new A03 revision, and again this seems to be accompanied by almost an hysteria about its possible improvements and updates. The firmware has been updated to V1B20 and the panel is now strangely listed as HN208 as you can see from the OSD factory menu. Don't be alarmed by the panel name change, I am pretty certain Dell are still using the Samsung S-PVA panel, but the OSD is just listing it differently and probably referring to an internal Dell reference code.

Some users of the Dell support forums have reported on the following:

RadXGe: "I have both A02 & A03 revision and I confirm that the banding is gone with A03. I repeat: The banding is DEAD with A03. The only issue I have right now is with the incapacity to set the fixed aspect ratio when applying the 1600*1200 resolution."

He has also posted the below image of the vertical gradients from A02 (left) and A03 (right). However, other pictures show that banding is still slightly evident in some cases and remains unchanged since A02.

My advice with the situation is to be very wary of the hype surrounding these new releases. There have been some pretty sweeping statements I have seen across forums, including on Dell's support forum, which include things like "HDCP via DVI has been fixed now supporting full 1080i/p". These kind of statements are unsubstantiated and as with the A02 release, I'd suggest you don't bank on any massive changes. Chris M who is the moderator of the Dell forums conducted meetings with Dell about the 2407WFP and clears the whole thing up with the following:

"The only changes made to the 2407WFP A03 were language fixes in the OSD (On Screen Display)"
 


More Details on the Viewsonic VX2235WM
September 2nd 2006

 

More information has been released about Viewsonic's unusual 22"WS VX2235WM model. This screen features a design not like may of their other range and a new diagonal size not yet explored in the market really. The specs for the model have been released and can be seen below. Release in the UK is imminent really, with some US residents already purchasing the screen from their stores.

 

It looks likely that this display is using CMO's 22" TN Film panel, the M220Z1-L01. More information and spec sheets available from Viewsonic:

Viewsonic's official spec page
PDF Spec sheet

 


LG L203WT Panel Confusion
September 2nd 2006

Originally unveiled at CEBIT 2006, the specs for the L203WT have always looked a little confusing. It's hard to tell from the specs alone what type of panel technology is being used in this model, with viewing angles in particular looking too low for an S-IPS panel, but perhaps too high for TN Film. The original specs from the LG display stand at CEBIT are shown below:

       

There has been some discussion across the web as to which panel is being used in the L203WT and whether it is TN Film or S-IPS based. A good place to have a read about this is in this review at Widescreengamingforum.com. Some people claim that the L203WT behaves like an S-IPS screen, and others that it behaves like TN Film (note: Be wary of the pictures posted at WSGF there as they don't really show anything conclusive). The USA and Canadian LG sites even list viewing angles as 160/160 which further adds to the claim that the screen is based on TN Film technology. I spoke with LG technical support including the assistant product manager for monitors in the UK. It was confirmed that the L203WT IS using a TN Film panel, which is from Chunghwa Picture Tubes (the CLAA200WB01). This is the information I received:

I will be checking whether there are different versions in other countries but so far I've not seen much evidence that the L203WT uses S-IPS. More details as I get them.

UPDATE: 2/9/06 - I have had the following response from LG product management about the supposed S-IPS version of the L203WT: "The L203WT-BF will have the same panel world wide, if there is a change in specification the model name would change slightly.  For example, you may find the same monitor with a different panel called ‘L203WTE’.  As far as I know there is just the TN version of this model though.  I certainly don’t have information on a S-IPS based panel for this model."
 


Hyundai S90D, The First 1ms TFT
August 25th 2006

There isn't much information available yet about this TFT, but this is part of Hyundai's new range coming soon. Early reports suggest this could be one of the first TFT's in the market to offer a 1ms response time. Almost certainly this will be a TN Film based screen, but perhaps one for the gamers out there. More info as it becomes available.

 


BenQ FP241W Delayed
August 7th 2006

The eagerly anticipated 24" BenQ FP241W has sadly been delayed til September in the UK market. BenQ confirmed there was a massive demand for the new model, which is being heavily marketed for its HD support and impressive spec. The 'Z' edition will also be the first of BenQ's range to use their new BFI technology.

More information about the FP241W can be found here
 


Samsung 917P - Unique Functionality and Design
August 7th 2006

 

Originally announced at CEBIT 2006, the 917P from Samsung offers a very unique design and functionality. The 917P offers 180 degree swivel and 135 tilt functionality and comes in two 'mirror-finish' colours, white and black. The spec of the Samsung PVA panel used offers 6ms G2G response time, 1500:1 contrast ratio, 250 cd/m2 brightness and 178/178 viewing angles. The screen features DVI and VGA as you would expect along with a single USB connection. Most importantly with a screen of this design, the included Samsung software automatically rotates the image on your screen in line with any adjustments you make. Whether this functionality of the model is useful depends on your use, and may be more gimmicky than anything.

 

The 917P is expected in August 2006 in Europe

 


LG L204WT Released
July 29th 2006

LG have recently released their new 20"WS L204WT to the US market, with the UK sure to follow soon. Retailing at ~$370 at the moment, the L204WT is the first to use LG.Philips new LM201WE3-TN panel with a 5ms response time, 2000:1 contrast ratio (thanks to DFC) and 300 cd/m2 brightness. The monitor also features lockable OSD with touch buttons on the rear right hand corner of its thin bezel and Adaptive Colour and Contrast Enhancement (ACE) offering preset modes including 'movie', 'text' and 'photo'. The screen looks like it should be well priced on its release in the UK as well, and should hopefully offer some good responsiveness for the gamers out there. More info as it becomes available.


BenQ FP91R For Colour Enthusiasts
July 12th 2006

The marketing states that "after nearly two years of monumental R&D effort and stringent testing, BenQ offers a monitor that finally meets the most demanding requirements of professional designers." For once the manufacturer has concentrated on users who aren't looking for the latest and greatest response time for gaming, and have opted to use an 18ms S-IPS panel from LG.Philips. The panel offers wide 178/178 viewing angles, 700:1 contrast ratio and 250 cd/m2 brightness. Clearly this screen is aimed at professional photographers and those who require very accurate colour qualities. Some key aspects which BenQ detail in their description here are:

Colour Stability at Different Grey Levels - Keeps colour temperatures within 200k of the configured value. The FP91R provides 13 colour temperature settings, from 4000K to 10000K which allows users to adjust colour temperatures without affecting the fidelity of colour rendition.
Colour Fullness at Different Grey Levels - Each colour's gamma curve is consistent ensuring middle colour levels are fully rendered. Each model is calibrated to the best gamma value (2.2 gamma) before it leave the factory.

sRGB Compliance - Compared with normal monitors the FP91R is supposed to reduce deviations from the sRGB-specified colour gamut which increases colour consistency.

Luminance Enhancement - the FP91R features a luminance compensation and calibration reminder feature. The screen comes with a wired controller which will tests the screens luminance automatically and restore to factory levels if required.

Independent Six-Colour Adjustment - Red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colours can be adjusted independently enabling specific colours to look more real without aberration.

 Spec and features available here

 

 


LG.Philips Release New Panel Specs
July 10th 2006

After a long time without any update, LG.Philips have finally released specs from their updated range of monitor application panels. Their collection is available with specs here. For ease of use and cross referencing I have compiled the below table based on the new specs from their website, and from the specs listed in their product catalogue. Please note, specs can vary without notice, but this should hopefully give an idea of their current range:
 

  Size Technology Colour Depth Resolution Response Contrast DCR Contrast Brightness Viewing
          Time Ratio Ratio   Angles
LM300WQ1 30"WS S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 2560 x 1600 8ms G2G 1000   300 178 / 178
LM300W01 30"WS S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 2560 x 1600 14ms 700   400 178 / 178
LM260WU1 26"WS S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 1920 x 1200 5ms G2G 1000 3000 500 178 / 178
LM240WU1 24"WS S-IPS 8-Bit 1920 x 1200 6ms G2G 800   500 178 / 178
LM230WU3 23"WS S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 1920 x 1200 12ms 700 / 800   300 / 400 178 / 178
LM220WE1 22"WS TN Film 16.7 (8-Bit) 1680 x 1050 5ms 1000   300 160 / 160
                   
LM201W01 20"WS S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 1680 x 1050 8ms G2G 800   300 178 / 178
LM201WE2 20"WS S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 1680 x 1050 6ms G2G 800 1600 300 / 470 178 / 178
LM201U05 20" S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 1600 x 1200 8ms G2G 800   300 178 / 178
LM201WE3 20"WS TN Film 16.7 (8-Bit) 1680 x 1050 5ms 800:1 2000:1 300 / 450 160 / 160
                   
LM190E03 19" TN Film 16.2M (6Bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 8ms 700   300 / 420 160 / 160
LM190E04 19" TN Film 16.2M (6Bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 8ms 700   300 160 / 160
LM190E05 19" S-IPS 16.7 (8-Bit) 1280 x 1024 18ms (6ms G2G) 800   250 178 / 178
LM190E06 19" TN Film 16.7M (6bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 8ms 700   300 160 / 160
LM190E08 19" TN Film 16.7M (6bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 5ms 800   300 / 420 160 / 160
                   
LM171W02 17"WS TN Film 262k (6Bit) 1440 x 900 16ms 600   250 140 / 120
LM170E01 17" TN Film 16.2M (6Bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 8ms 600 / 700   250 / 300 / 420 160 / 160
LM170E02 17" TN Film 16.7M (6bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 8ms 700   300 160 / 160
LM170E03 17" TN Film 16.7M (6bit + FRC) 1280 x 1024 5ms 800   300 160 / 160
LM150X08 15" TN Film 16.2M (6Bit + FRC) 1024 x 768 8ms 550   250 / 300 100 / 130
                   

Catalogue detail on panels available here


 


Philips 190G6 Multimedia TFT
July 10th 2006

Philips have released the unusual looking 190G6 monitor, a TFT dressed as a multimedia centre! The screen has 4 speakers built into the monitor on the sides capable of 3D virtual sound, and it also comes with an external subwoofer (20W). Each speaker has a cup shaped acoustic enclosure behind it which adds to the thickness of the screen when viewed from the side but helps improve sound quality. The monitor also includes its own sounds card with a USB interface to the PC, HDTV support (720), component, scart and S-Video connections and various audio interfaces.

                        
Rear view of the monitor showing acoustic enclosures                   Separate Subwoofer             


Aside from the various multimedia enhancements, the screen specs offer 8ms response time (no ODC used), 700:1 contrast ratio, 420 cd/m2 brightness, 160/160 viewing angles. As you can see from the specs, it uses an LG.Philips TN Film panel (LM190E03).

X-Bit Labs have recently reviewed the 190G6 here
Philips Official
Spec

 


Viewsonic 22" VX2235WM Coming Soon at a Great Price
July 6th 2006

 
Viewsonic have launched a new TFT at an unusual size. The 22" widescreen VX2235WM is designed to bridge the gap between those who find the 20" models too small, but who don't want to spend a lot more money on the 24" range. At an estimated release price of ~£350 in the UK (available on pre-release at Overclockers.co.uk), it is as cost effective as many of the 20"WS range which have become increasingly popular over the last 6 months.
 

The screen offers a 1680 x 1050 resolution which is the same as the 20"WS range. Some users may not be keen on this since the extra 2 inches of screen size might seem a little unnecessary if resolution is staying the same. Dot pitch will also be larger and some may argue that text and images might be too big since the resolution is not matching the screen size. On the reverse side, others who find the text and image on a 20" to be a little too small would benefit from this. However, the extra screen size adds immersion in gaming and also offers a larger screen size for home theatre use. The VX2235WM looks from its pre-release specs to be using a 5ms (G2G) TN Film panel from Chi Mei Optoelectronics. The panel offers 16.7 million colours, 700:1 contrast ratio and 300 cd/m2 brightness. The monitor has DVI and VGA connections and built in rear speakers. The design may not be to everyone's taste, but at a great price, many might find the larger screen size a real benefit.

The VX2235WM is expected un August 2006

 


LG L1970HR - The World's First 2000:1 Contrast Ratio
June 13th 2006

LG have announced their new 19" model, the L1970HR, featuring one of the best specs to date. Remember, this is only a spec on paper, but it is certainly impressive. It features a 2ms G2G response time which will no doubt be attractive to gamers and LG are obviously hoping this will compete with the other "fast gaming" models out there like the Viewsonic VX922 and Samsung 940BF for instance. The record breaking contrast ratio is achieved using LG.Philips' Digital Fine Contrast (DFC) and LG's "F-Engine" chip which is also designed to improve brightness and reproduction of colours. The ergonomics are good, with tilt and height adjustments as well as the ability to fold the screen flat. The model is still fundamentally a TN Film panel however and so while being a good choice for the gamers out there, it doesn't offer the all round performance of VA and IPS models available.

   

 


Sony 'E' Series Announced - E76D and E96D
June 12th 2006

Sony have announced their new 'E' range which features a new design aimed at office users. These feature a section at the bottom designed for post It notes and pens as described by Yoshiro (Josh) Honda, Display Marketing Manager, Sony Europe:

Quote: “Post-it notes have become an everyday part of life both in the office and in the home. Sony engineers noticed that people often stick them to their computer screens as reminders - a habit which persists even in this electronic age - and so designed a computer display with an integrated area designed specifically for Post-its. We believe this will be a very popular model as its appearance is striking while its shorter depth and unobtrusive cabling make it ideal for keeping desks clear.”

       


There are two models being released, a 17" SDM-E76D and the 19" SDM-E96D, both due 19th of June. Both models have a native resolution of 1280x1024 pixels, brightness of 300cd/m2, and 8ms response time. The SDM-E76D has a contrast ratio of 600:1, while the SDM-E96D’s is 700:1. Both are based on TN Film panel technology. The estimated end-user prices are £149 for the SDM-E76D, and £199 for the SDM-E96D. 

 

 


BenQ FP241W With 'BFI' Announced
June 9th 2006

BenQ today announced their new 24"WS monitor, the FP241W. There will be two versions of this, the FP241W and the FP241W +BFI. Both models are the same except one version uses BenQ's "Black Frame Insertion" technology which was unveiled at CEBIT 2006, and reported by TFT Central at the time. As discussed, this technology is designed to help reduce ghosting effects by 'cleaning' the eye every few frames with the insertion of a black frame. Early reports about this BFI technology were promising and this looks to be the first model BenQ are releasing which utilises it.

The FP241W also supports a HD 1080p input signal and has an HDMI interface for multimedia connections. The spec seems to have changed a little since early reports about this screen suggested it would be 8ms G2G response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness. This was the spec listed over at Prad.de as well, and it was anticipated that it would use the Samsung LTM240M2 S-PVA panel, as used in several other models including the Dell 2407WFP and Acer AL2416W. However BenQ list the spec as 6ms G2G, 800:1 and 300 cd/m2 which is different to the spec Samsung list for their panel. There is a reasonable amount of speculation as to which panel is used, and it is quite likely that it may still be the Samsung S-PVA panel. However, given BenQ's affiliation with AU Optronics, and the presence of their 24"WS P-MVA panels (M240UW01 variants), it could possibly be their panel. CMO also have an S-MVA panel at 24" whose spec looks potentially similar, the M240J1. We will have to wait and see, although my money is on the Samsung S-PVA at this stage. It is possible that they have used a different backlighting structure and so brightness rating (and therefore contrast ratio) is now lower. This is reasonably common, with the panel still fundamentally being the Samsung S-PVA, but then altered a little thanks to BenQ's panel construction and electronics.

News release at BenQ's site here
 

UPDATE: (23/6/06) BenQ have confirmed that the FP241W is using an AU Optronics 'VA' panel. They have not been able to provide any further information, but assuming this is correct, it looks like the monitor will be using the P-MVA M240UW01 panel. This would make sense since they have been producing the BFI technology, but specs listed on BenQ's site still do not match those of the panel. More news as its available.

 

 

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