225UW, With Integrated Webcam
April 29th 2007
Samsung are set to release a new feature into the 22"WS display market, an integrated webcam and microphone. The SM225UW will feature a 2 MegaPixel camera and a built in microphone designed to make the screen ideal for videoconferencing and web-chat. The rest of the screen remains fairly standard, with a TN Film panel offering 5ms response time, 700:1 contrast ratio and 160/160 viewing angles. A USB cable will connect the new add-ons to your PC to allow operation with Windows. The screen is also expected to come with additional video conferencing software supplied by a company called Bravis GmbH. Release of the SM225UW is expected in June 2007 across Europe.
Source: Prad.de, photo credit to pcpop.com
April 29th 2007
Originally shown at CEBIT 2007, the Samsung SM245B will be the first 24" TFT display released using TN Film technology. The arrival of TN Film into this sector is bound to prompt a price war from manufacturers and may well see monitors of this size being more affordable and popular. With an expected retail price of around 650 Euros, the 245B offers the usual 1920 x 1200 resolution, along with a 5ms response time, 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 400 cd/m2 brightness and 160/160 viewing angles. The panel used in the SM245B is the Samsung LTM240CT01 which we have reported about before.The screen also features a VGA and DVI interface (HDCP supported) and ergonomic adjustments for tilt, pivot and height.
April 24th 2007
ViewSonic recently announced in January at CES 2007 that they would release two new large format screens. The first was the 24" VX2435WM which we discussed recently at TFT Central. The second is more unusual, being a 28" (27.5" viewable) display, the first of its kind in the desktop TFT market. Other manufacturers have recently released large format 27" displays into the market, including the Dell 2707WFP and Samsung 275T. Viewsonic have skipped this diagonal and instead opted for the slighty larger, 28" screen size. Viewsonic's press announcement stated:
"Owing to software and hardware applications being popularly utilized in current digital life, ViewSonic foresees big and wide screen LCD will be the most appropriate LCD to fit this trend. In order to provides consumers with the feature-packed displays they need to access, use and experience more from the latest digital content and PC technology offerings, ViewSonic VX2835wm will be definitely the most ideal LCD to perform digital content perfectly."
The VX2835WM features an HDMI interface which is HDCP enabled, along with component, S-video, DVI-D, VGA and composite connectivity options. The panel offers a 3ms response time, 1920 x 1200 resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 500 cd/m2 brightness, and 160 / 160 viewing angles. Along with the large pixel pitch which may worry some potential buyers, the spec seems to suggest that the panel used is TN Film technology! While the Dell 2707WFP and Samsung 275T use Samsung's S-PVA technology, the Viewsonic appears to opt for the more cost effective, yet limited, technology. The 3ms response time and 160/160 viewing angles are certainly indicative of this technology, which is being more commonly launched into the larger format sectors. We are seeking clarification from Viewsonic about the panel technology, along with who the manufacturer are, so more information on that when it is available.
Source: Viewsonic Press Release
April 24th 2007
Finally someone has managed to do an in depth analysis side by side of the two versions of the Samsung SM226BW which have been widely discussed since the screens result. Hardware.fr (the French version of BeHardware.com) have managed to test both an A and S version of the screen side by side, to see whether there was really any difference to support the discussion seen across many internet forums.
As a reminder, we discussed the 'panel lottery' on the SM226BW a little while ago in March. Two versions of the same model were being shipped by Samsung most probably down to availability of components and the need to meet customer demand. The models were quickly labelled as either the "S" or "A" version, discernable by the letter annotation on the sticker on the rear of the screen, and also identifiable via the factory OSD menu. These versions were separated by the panel they used, with the S version using Samsung's LTM220M1 TN Film panel, and the A version using AU Optronics' M220EW01 TN Film panel. Samsung acknowledged the issue and responded that all models still pass the same quality control and adhere to the same performance specs.
While swapping panels around in monitors is not uncommon, users were becoming increasingly worried about reports of performance variation, and a trend of x > y soon began to develop. In this case, users were quick to adopt the S >> A school of thinking. Users claimed that the A version was inferior, being more prone to backlight uniformity issues, having often poorly set up colours, and even offering inferior responsiveness.
Hardware.fr have done a good analysis of both screens which I would recommend a read of (you'll need to use your preferred translator site to translate to English). In their tests they compare colour reproduction, uniformity, responsiveness, input lag and even power consumption. I'll leave you to read the full analysis there, but it seems that a lot of the worry - as we expected - seems to be unfounded. Colours are different at default settings as many users have reported, but as expected (and this is something we stated back in March), Samsung panels are more accurately calibrated at default settings, but with proper calibration, both models offer good colour accuracy. Uniformity seems to vary, but there is no drastic difference in the models tested. Response time is also comparable, but note that the option for RTA (Response Time Accelerator) is necessary to boost the RTC control and get the most out of the panel in this regard. We hope to test the SM226BW in the near future but for the mean time hopefully the article at Hardware.fr helps alleviate some of the fears around the panel lottery on this model.
April 23rd 2007
There has been talk recently about the "HC" edition of the very popular 2407WFP display. With the recent release of the 3007WFP-HC edition, and the 2707WFP displays, a "High Color" version of the 24" model was expected. Dell have recently released the manual for the 2407WFP-HC online, and while the design and majority of the spec remains the same, the screen now offers a 92% coverage of the NTSC colour space, expanding it beyond the normal sRGB colour space (72% NTSC coverage). This matches the gamut range of the 2707 and 3007-HC models, and is achieved by the use of enhanced CCFL backlight lamps. The spec of the monitor remains the same, except the brightness figure is now 400 cd/m2 instead of 450 cd/m2, again due to the change of CCFL backlighting. Those hoping for the addition of an HDMI interface will be disappointed by the look of things.
Source: Dell 2407WFP-HC Manual
April 23rd 2007
Sony have stated that sometime during 2007 we will see the release of their first 1,000,000:1 (yes, 1 million to 1!!) contrast ratio OLED TV. This will be a 1024 x 600 resolution, 11" display and will feature true 8-bit colour depth and a colour gamut covering more than 100% of the NTSC colour space. One of the most impressive features of this new display is the fact that it is only 3mm thick!! The screen is bound to come at a high cost, but at least marks an interesting change in the market which we can maybe expect more from over the next couple of years. More information when it becomes available.
NEC Launches 5 New Models
In Their Pro Monitor Range
NEC have announced the release of 5 new models in their professional range of screens, all set to hit the Japanese market on 28th April. Thes range in size from 24" to 19" and from the impressively spec'd 2490WUXi to the more modest and standard 19" 193WM. Specs and features are listed below along with estimated price (in US dollars) where available. More details on UK release dates and prices when they are available.
Dell are looking to soon introduce a model of their own into the now, quite popular, 19"WS market. With sales in this sector increasing over the last 6 months, Dell have actually been quite slow to introduce a model to rival the other manufacturers. Dell are usually known for offering well priced, but quality monitors, and the 19"WS model will hopefully be no exception. The model will most probably use a TN Film panel (since this is the only technology currently used at this size), and probably one manufactured by either AU Optronics or Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). Obviously there is a good chance of the familiar "panel lottery" we have seen from other Dell models, but Dell are not afraid to swap panels around to meet demand and to match availability from the panel suppliers. More information when it is available, but for now, we can hopefully look forward to a well priced and well built model to spice things up a bit in this sector.
Samsung have announched that they will be starting production of a 24" panel with LED backlighting. This will offer improved colour gamut of 111% of the NTSC space, and will allow monitors to offer the colour quality to rival even the highest quality TV's. The 24" panel size is also now considered optimum for Windows Vista, offering full HD support compared with 22" models (which don't offer the resolution to support true 1080 HD content). In addition, industry experts now say that a 24-inch display provides a better Windows Vista fit to also include the Vista right side bar and margins. The panel will be part of Samsung's S-PVA generation.
The new 24" model from Viewsonic is now listed on their US website along with an estimated retail price of $779 USD. The new screen follows in the recent trend of models like the BenQ FP241W and offers an HDMI interface, along with HDCP certification. Like other large format displays in the market, Viewsonic are marketing this as a complete entertainment display, with full HD content support.
The spec is also listed on the site, with a 5ms G2G (or 8ms G2G, depending on which bit of the page you read!) response time. I'm seeking clarification from Viewsonic as to which response time figure is correct, but they have also listed a 20ms ISO response time on the site. The screen features a 1920 x 1200 resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 500 cd/m2 brightness, 176 / 176 viewing angles and uses traditional AR screen coating.
The VX2435WM features VGA, HDMI, component, composite and S-video interfaces, but sadly no additional DVI. The screen does come with an HDMI > DVI-D cable however. The monitor also has two built in speakers for some basic sounds.
Updated 14/4/07: I've had confirmation from Viewsonic that the correct response time spec for this screen is 8ms G2G. The screen also uses a 24" MVA panel.
The Video Electronics Standards Association has officially approved DisplayPort 1.1 as an industry standard. This will bring the introduction of a new interface for displays, one which is smaller, but designed to replace DVI, LVDS and eventually VGA connections. This is a next generation digital interface and offers support for HDCP protection version 1.3.
DisplayPort 1.1 provides for low voltage and low power operation, and enables improved interoperability and reduced EMI through its unique embedded clock architecture. Significant advantages over DVI and VGA include a small USB-sized connector with available latching, two-way display connectivity, optional audio support, higher performance than dual link DVI at 10.8 Gigabits per second, and a unique micro-packet architecture that enables new display features.
The interface is capable of pass-through of DVI and HDMI signals to allow you to use adapters similar to DVI > HDMI adapters available already. There is obviously some competiton as to whether DisplayPort of HDMI will become the more widely used interface.
Source: VESA Website
TAIPEI, TAIWAN, April 2, 2007 – BenQ Corp. (2352.TW) today announces that it has completed a sale of NT $4.54 billion in AU Optronics shares. The total gross proceeds will be used to increase cash flow and enhance BenQ’s financial strength.
“This is one of the first steps we are taking to strengthen our current financial condition.” expressed David Wang, deputy spokesman of BenQ Corp. “The partner who has purchased BenQ’s holding of AU Optronics has expressed their strong support in the current management team of the AU Optronics and it is expected that this partner will support the future development of AU Optronics.
Today’s sale is part of a larger on-going financial strategy to enhance BenQ’s financial structure. The strategy, which started in Q4-2006, has included the sale of BenQ’s shares in Airoha, PBDS, Gallant Precision and the building and land of Jian Dong factory, which have yielded NT$2 billion in cash. BenQ has also issued exchangeable bonds worth NT$4.5 billion. Furthermore, BenQ announces that it is planning to realize its long term investment in shares of Taiwan Fixed Network Co. Ltd in April at an estimated amount of NT$870 million. Altogether these will generate an estimated NT$12 billion in cash.
Source: BenQ Press Release
Sony have released 3 new models in their D3000 series, at 32, 40 and 46 inches in size. While some aspects remain modest, for instance the 1366 x 768 native resolution (not true 1080 HD displays), other elements are more interesting. The 3 sets will feature Sony's so called "MotionFlow +100Hz", offering 100Hz technology designed to reduce motion blur. As with Samsung's LCD TV 100Hz technology we reported last year, the new Sony sets will use interpolated image insertion to achieve a higher frame rate than traditional 50Hz / 60 Hz sets.
The screens also feature a 10-bit colour depth which should increase the number of producable colour tones from 256 to 1024. The sets also feature Sony's "24p True Cinema Mode" designed to offer support of 24 fps playback on 24p-enabled Blu-Ray players.
Source: Sony Press Release
Originally exhibited at CEBIT 2006, Samsung's MPA (Motion Picture Acceleration) technology looked to be based on the principle of inserting an intermediate interpolated image between adjacent frames. The idea behind this is that it would reduce perceived motion blur, a problem which still plagued even the fastest LCD displays due to retention of images in the human eye. This insertion of interpolated images later became the principle behind Samsung's 100Hz LCD technology, something which looked very promising.
However, from reports from CEBIT this year (e.g BeHardware's report), MPA looks more like it is is going to be a scanning backlight type technology, similar to what BeHardware observed in their early preview sample of the BenQ FP241WZ. The Samsung 245T was the model on show at CEBIT, supposedly offering this technology, and also reportedly featuring LED backlighting rather than traditional CCFL tubes! An MPA-enabled monitor is supposed to scan a sweeping, "cleaning" line down the screen, similar to the principle of CRT scanning, which is supposed to reduce motion blur. However, there was some confusion with the model on display it seems, with the on/off options referring to "RTA" (Response Time Accelerator) as opposed to the MPA technoloy. We have seen RTA used before by Samsung (e.g 940BF) and it is there term used for response time compensation / overdrive. The Samsung rep apparently suggested it was a translation error from Korean but BeHardware had their doubts. With their close photography, the screen showed no signs of scanning like they had witnessed on the FP241WZ, and this might suggest the screen was not MPA-enabled after all! The video could well have just shown the difference between overdrive on and off!
The Samsung 245T is expected to be the first screen to feature MPA technology, and it is anticipated that this will be released this June. The model was also shown in Las Vegas this year at CES, and while MPA is mentioned in the spec from the CES press release, the article doesn't mention this in any more detail. There may also be some confusion over the use of LED backlighting given that the CES article announces a $799 retail price, something surely not possible with LED's! Seeing as it looks like MPA was also not on show after all, the use of this technology still remains a little mysterious at this stage. It is entirely possible that we will see MPA at some stage, but it looked almost as if the 245T did not feature this, just an option to enable and disable RTA. It is also unlikely that the screen features LED backlighting, certainly at the expected retail price. More info from Samsung about MPA and the 245T as we receive them.
BeHardware's News Story (more detailed): http://www.behardware.com/html/news/cat22/page1.html
With credit to Hardware.fr and BeHardware.com for the news article and story from CEBIT. This news piece is designed to make people aware of their reports and hopefully provide a bit more information and some thoughts for our English speaking readers! More info from Samsung soon as it is a little vague at present.
March 20th 2007
Hot on the heels of the recent release of their impressive XL20 display, Samsung have showcased their new 30" model at CEBIT 2007. The new XL30 uses LED backlighting to offer a reported 123% colour gamut, a worlds first in this area. Engadget and Digitimes reported from CEBIT that the screen would also offer a 2ms G2G response time, 3000:1 contrast ratio and 170 / 170 viewing angles. The specification seemed to be a real mis-match of specs, and while the XL20 features a new AMVA panel from AU Optronics, there is no such panel in this diagonal available. I would expect Samsung to use their own 30" S-PVA panel for this model, with LED backlighting in the place of traditional CCFL tubes. However, the 2ms G2G response time seems almost unrealistic at this stage, and along with 170 / 170 viewing angles, would imply TN Film normally. If this wasn't a 30" screen, I might consider this a possibility, but given the size and the panels actually available, I'd suggest S-PVA is likely to be the choice here, with the spec extremely exagerated for the CEBIT show and early press releases. Furthermore, the images released seemed to imply a 5:4 aspect ratio screen which is very unusual at this diagonal size.
Samsung have released some information of the XL30 on their CEBIT press page and the spec listed offers a 2560 x 1600 resolution, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 178/178 viewing angles, 6ms G2G response time and a 14bit LUT. Launch is expected in August 2007. The spec certainly seems to clear up a few issues as well. The resolution suggests the XL30 will be a widescreen format display although some images on the official Samsung site still seem to suggest 5:4 aspect, as shown above. However, there is also a WS format image shown on the Samsung site which also matches images of the screen taken live from CEBIT as shown over at flatpanels.dk. The spec is now more in line with Samsung's LTM300M1 S-PVA panel as well, with response time, viewing angles and brightness now fitting more accurately. Contrast ratio is not listed by Samsung at this stage, but will likely be 3000:1 using dynamic control methods. The LED backlighting is responsible for improving the colour gamut above that of regular or enhanced CCFL backlighting.
The screen features DVI connectivity with HDCP support, along with USB interfaces for peripherals. The monitor will come equipped with "Eyeone Design & Eyeone Photo" and "Natural Color Expert" software. The "Natural Color Expert" program will allow users to enjoy custom-made features of gamma, color temperature and white balance. The settings can be set to Adobe RGB as well as sRGB so that users can operate on the color ranges of their choices.
NEC have recently announched the release of their new 24" LCD display, the 2470WNX. Part of the NEC 70 series, the screen utilises a Samsung S-PVA panel and offers 6ms G2G response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 500 cd/m2 brightness and 176 / 176 viewing angles. The screen is Vista and HDCP certified and also offers an impressive array of ergonomic adjustments, including height, tilt and rotation functions. The 2470WNX is available in silver and black models and is expected to be available from April 2007.
"They are rather amazed at how such a fuss has been made
from one person comparing two panels side by side. They claim it proves nothing
as with all panels they claim they all differ slightly in grade. As with
everything there are good and bad apples.They simply say the person may have
just simply recieved a poor example using panel A hence why the difference.
Hopefully the above information regarding swapping and warranty will be useful to potential buyers. I would still advise caution before jumping to conclusions about the panels used, and take note of what is said in our earlier report.
Samsung look set to release a 20"WS model in the same design as the impressive 971P, which we have recently reviewed at TFT Central. This new model would offer the same features and functionality as its 19" brother, and is likely to be based on an S-PVA panel from Samsung. At this time, details are limited, but it is expected that the 2071BW will use the LTM201M1 panel and offer a 6ms G2G response time, 4000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness and 178 / 178 viewing angles. It is also expected to offer HDCP certification over DVI with the screen looking likely to be showcased further at CEBIT 2007.
We've recently reviewed the 971P at TFT Central, but Samsung are preparing the release of the follow-up model, the 971P+. The updated model is expected to feature a similar spec, offering 6ms G2G response time, 250 cd/m2 brightness, 178 / 178 viewing angles and the same ergonomics and functionality as its predecessor. However, the 971P+ will offer a 4000:1 contrast ratio thanks to the use of dynamic contrast control. We already experienced the excellent contrast ratio and black depth in the 971P review, and this is certainly an impressive dynamic contract ratio to offer. As with the 2071BW, it is expected that the 971P+ will be on show at CEBIT 2007.
The annual CEBIT conference kicks off this week in Hannover, Germany. The event takes place from the 15th March until the 21st and normally features a big presence from the monitor manufacturers. NEC have already announced recently that they will be exhibiting their entire LCD monitor portfolio including new 19", 20" and 22" models, the LCD195WXM, LCD203WM and LCD223WM respectively. The 24" LCD2470WNX is also being showcased and is bound to attract attention.
The other manufacturers including Samsung, LG and BenQ are all expected to be present. We will feature news from the conference as it is available this week.
Official CEBIT Webpage: www.cebit.com
SM226BW - 'S' vs 'A' Panel Lottery
March 8th 2007
It's not just Dell who like to mix up the panels they use in their stock! Samsung have also recently done a panel swap with their new SM226BW model, and this has been widely discussed on the internet already. It's not uncommon for manufacturers to utilise different panels in their displays based on availability, price etc, and Samsung have seemingly released two versions of their new 22"WS model. This is quite possibly due to initial demand for the new model, and perhaps a stock shortage of their own Samsung panel. The two panels being used are being labelled by the masses as the 'A' version and the 'S' version.
Samsung have at leasy made it easy enough to distinguish which model is which for the consumer though. There are two panels being used here, Samsung's own LTM220M1 TN Film panel ('S' version), and AU Optronics' M220EW01 TN Film panel. There is some confusion across several forums with discussion of an "AOC version", but this is a mistake. AOC are a display manufacturer, and do not make LCD panels of their own. What is sometimes referred to as AOC, is in fact meant to refer to the AU Optronics (AUO) version. The two models are identifiable by either the factory OSD, as shown above, or the sticker on the back of the display, denoting either an "SM226BW A" or "SM226BW S" as shown below:
However, the result of this panel lottery is that there is a lot of discussion now about which version is better and whether there are issues with either. I would advise caution if you're reading about these screens on the various forums dedicated to monitors. There are some quite sweeping statements made by some, and segments of the discussion might well be a little ill-informed. The general opinion seems to be that the Samsung version is superior, with the AUO version perhaps suffering from washed out colours, poor contrast and more common backlight bleed and panel uniformity issues.
One comment I would make is that AUO are not a second rate panel manufacturer, they are one of the largest LCD panel manufacturers in the world, and so using an AUO panel is not automatically a terrible thing to do. The panel has already been used in the Belinea 2225S1W and Iiyama E2200WS as well.
Panel uniformity as an issue is very variable from one model to another, and it's unlikely that the issue is much worse on a certain panel choice. From current reports, it seems the issues with backlight bleed are being more widely reported on the 'A' version, but it is still early days in the screens release. Regarding the colours as well, Samsung panels can often feature pretty good colour accuracy out of the box, and in a lot of tests (BeHardware have commented on this quite a few times), Samsung panels are more accurate at default settings than AU Optronics panels are. This might well explain the differences people are seeing in colour levels and accuracy. It is very likely that with a decent calibration method, you can get very good colour accuracy out of both versions, since modern TN Film panels are actually very good in this regard.
In summary, be careful about jumping on the bandwagon about S >>> A, since there are several points to consider as discussed above. With correct calibration, I would suggest both models are good, and I'm hoping to be able to test them for myself very soon so keep an eye on the front page for more information.
SM940UX - USB Connected Monitor!
February 23rd 2007
With an expected release date sometime in May 2007, the SM940UX may look like just another 19"WS monitor. However, what makes this screen different is that Samsung have reportedly done away with the traditional DVI and VGA connectivity, and instead plan to make the 940UX connect to the PC via USB 2.0! Samsung are expected to showcase the screen further at CEBIT 2007, but it is said to be Windows XP compatible already, with Vista drivers being produced as well. The spec of the screen is not available yet and further technical documentation regarding the connectivity of this screen is also a mystery. Samsung have suggested it would be possible to connect 3 - 5 screens to a singe PC at once using this connection, but hopefully Samsung will be able to provide further information soon.
February 16th 2007
As we announced back in November, Samsung have released their 20" XL20 display with an anticipated retail price of $1999. This model features LED backlighting offering 114% coverage of the NTSC colour space. Clearly the XL20 is designed for colour critical applications, desktop publishers, video and photography editors and graphic designers, and it supports users that demand extremely accurate colour temperature, linearly colour tracking, brightness uniformity and colour reproduction.
The spec of this display is impressive as well, with an 8ms G2G response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 250 cd/m2 brightness and 178 / 178 viewing angles. Interestingly Samsung have decided not to use one of their own PVA / S-PVA based panels, and have instead opted to use the newly launched AMVA technology from AU Optronics. Samsung have also packaged the screen with a colorimeter, but it is a little unclear whether this will be a Pantone Huey or Gretag One-Eye Display 2 calibration tool. These will help the user get the most out of the screen when it comes to colour accuracy and gamut range. Let's hope it is the latter since it is a superior product to the Huey tool, which is only really suitable for basic home users.
Does the XL20 offer the future for LCD screens? There have already been a couple of good reviews of the screen which are well worth a read: Hardware.fr have their review available which you can use your preferred translation tool to read in English if required (Feb 2007). Xbitlabs have also reviewed the screen recently (Jan 2007) which is well worth a read.
With an impressive class leading spec of 2ms G2G response time, and 3000:1 contrast ratio; the Samsung 226BW is already making a big impression in the 22" market. It has already been released in the USA and retails for ~$360.
The official Samsung spec can be found on their site here, but the SM226BW offers 2ms G2G response time, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio (boosted to 3000:1 with dynamic contrast control) and 160/160 viewing angles. The screen is of course TN Film based, as with the rest of the 22" market, but it seems Samsung have perhaps applied an aggressive dose of RTC (MagicSpeed here) to boost pixel response times even further. While the spec lists 16.7 million colours, the panel remains reliant on FRC technologies to offer this colour palette.
The SM226BW offers an attractive design and resonable functionality including a black bezel, swivel and tilt functionality. The screen also offers VGA and DVI connections (DVI being HDCP certified). Users have already noted that the screen does not offer hardware based aspect ratio control / 1:1 pixel mapping but that this can still be achieved through software measures.
Plenty of excellent pictures of the screen are available here
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