LG L1932P
Simon Baker, 21 Nov 2006

 

 

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The L1932P is one of the more basic offerings from LG in terms of design and specifications. This model is without the elegant looks of other models in their range like the L1980Q for example, and without some of the interesting new features and technologies like Digital Fine Contrast. The L1932P does however offer more of a basic, but nevertheless clean appearance, making it well suited to a home or office environment where something more simple and modest is desired. The L1932P is based on an LG.Philips TN Film panel rated with a 4ms G2G response time. The panel does feature a degree of Response Time Compensation (LG.Philips 'Over Driving Circuit' - ODC) to boost grey transitions, but the rest of the spec remains quite modest on paper:

Size

19"

Colour Depth

16.2 million colours

Resolution

1280 x 1024

Viewing Angles

170 / 170

Response Time

4ms G2G

Panel Technology

LG.Philips TN Film

Contrast Ratio

700:1

Interfaces

VGA, DVI

Brightness

300 cd/m2

Colour

Silver with black stand

Special Features

Tilt, height, swivel and rotate functionality

 


Above: At full height (left) and side view (right)
 Below: Rotate function and portrait mode. Click for larger images
 

The design is not as sleek or elegant as some of the other models I have tested recently, like the NEC 20WGX2 for instance. The bezel is reasonably thick by modern standards with 2.5cm width around all sides except the lower bezel which is just over 3cm. Materials are of good quality however and the build of the display feels  sturdy. The operating buttons for the OSD are situated on the underside of the lower bezel, and there is a quite attractive and non-intrusive curved LED light indicating whether the screen is switched on (blue), or on standby (orange).


Above: selection buttons situated on the underside of the lower bezel


Above: OSD control labels and standby orange LED light. Below: Same, but with blue LED operational light

The stand is very functional which is a nice thing to find with a screen in this price range (200 - 220). It can be easily pivoted from right to left, and the height adjustment is smooth and extensive. The height can be easily adjusted from about 11.5cm at its lowest level, to 20cm at its maximum. The rotation function is  usable at all height ranges with enough clearance to avoid hitting the desk even at the lowest height. The rotation into portrait mode is very simple and smooth and the screen automatically detects the orientation you have chosen. More on this feature later.


Above: rear view of the screen in landscape and portrait modes. Click for larger images


Above: Interface options show VGA and DVI connections

The screen is equipped with both VGA and DVI interfaces, but no further connectivity options such as USB, S-Video or Component are available. The screen itself is nice and thin and the stand is sturdy and well constructed. There is the usual cable tie you'd expect situated at the back and base of the stand.


Above: Side view and height adjustable stand shown. Click for larger images

The OSD is easy enough to use, but rather limited in it's options, with only the usual brightness, contrast and gamma options selectable along with the RGB settings. There was a series of preset colour temperature options available, but you need to go through the OSD layers rather than use a single button click to access these. From the front of the screen, a single button (labelled 'Lightview') allows the user to switch between modes for 'text', 'movie' and 'photo' in both 'night' and 'day' conditions. VGA and DVI were easy to switch between with the use of a single button.

 


Colour Quality and Accuracy

The L1932P utilises a 6-bit TN Film panel, with FRC technology being used to produce a 16.2 million colour palette. An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user.

I restored my graphics card to default settings and set it to its standard profile. The LG L1932P was tested at default factory settings out of the box using the LaCie Blue Eye Pro and their accompanying software suite.


LG L1932P - Default Settings

Out of the box, the screen looked washed out, too bright, and the contrast didn't feel right either. Testing the screen using the LaCie Blue Eye Pro confirmed my initial impressions, showing a luminance too high compared with the recommended 120 cd/m2 standard for LCD screens at 217 cd/m2. The colour temperature was pretty good however, and this was probably due to the preset OSD option for 6500k it was set to. The sRGB colour space was well represented as well.

The graph on the right shows the DeltaE values for colours tested by the LaCie Blue Eye Pro. As a reminder, the lower these bars down the Y-axis, the better, in terms of colour accuracy. For reference, LaCie describe the DeltaE readings as:

  • If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer.

  • If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable.

  • If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.

The accuracy of the colours shown at default settings was not very good, with an average DeltaE value recorded at 5.3 and a maximum value of 10.8. Clearly a bit of tweaking and calibration is needed to get the most out of the L1932P, but this is common from most screens anyway.


LG L1932P -
Calibrated Results

After calibrating the screen, the results were far more impressive and better than one might expect from a TN Film panel. Colour temperature, gamma and luminance were all pretty much spot on, and DeltaE was far more satisfactory with an average 0.5 value recorded. This was an excellent result for the L1932P and shows that even though the screen is TN Film based, it can offer some excellent performance in terms of colour accuracy, with the right adjustments. Black point was recorded at 0.2 cd/m2 (in PDF report, not shown here) giving a usable contrast ratio of 600:1, not far off the specified 700:1 figure. I was suitably impressed by the L1932P's performance in these tests.

I did find the screen seemed to offer nice vibrant and bright colours but the viewing angles did let it down in practice. I'll speak more about the viewing angles later, but vertically the contrast and tone would change quite noticeably with even a slight movement in the users eye level. Colours therefore varied as you moved your head and some areas of the screen didn't look the same as others. Horizontally the results were not too bad, but vertically I felt the screen was sadly limited.



Black Depth

The above Doom 3 test picture was represented well on the L1932P with a good variation in dark areas identifiable. Black depth as recorded in the above LaCie software tests was 0.2 cd/m2 which is very good for a TN Film panel, and comparable to some VA technology screens. One problem which again was seen with dark images and games was the viewing angles, which showed some shift in contrast vertically, even with slight head movements. You really need to be looking at the screen perfectly head on to get the most out of it, but if you can align it in this way, and at a good height, you can really benefit from a good black depth and grey scale.


Colour Gradients


      Click for larger image

Testing the screen with RGB colour gradients showed an impressive result with a smooth transition across the whole range. There was no sign of banding, even in the darker tones, and this was a pleasing result for a 6-Bit +FRC screen. Again black > grey gradients showed pleasing results with no obvious banding issues. No complaints here.

 


Viewing Angles


Above: Front view (left) and top view (right)
Below: vertical viewing angles show noticeable contrast shift especially from below

Below: Horizontal angles were adequate. Click for larger images

As you can see from the photographs above, the horizontal viewing angles of the L1932P were pretty adequate but there was contrast and colour tone shift evident from about 60 degrees either side of a central point. Vertical viewing angles were somewhat disappointing, and inferior to those of other modern TN Film panels like the Samsung SM205BW for instance. There was obvious change with even a slight vertical movement, and the screen showed the characteristic TN Film darkness from below. Thankfully the screen is easy to adjust in every way, and so getting to a comfortable eye level should not be too hard to achieve. However, the slight changes proved a little annoying in practice, and sometimes you had to reposition your line of sight in darker images in order to be able to get a more comfortable contrast level. Clearly viewing angles cannot match those of VA or IPS panel variants, but for an office user, I see no real issue even with the limited offerings of this screen. The quoted 170 / 170 spec is clearly exaggerated in this instance.
 


Panel Uniformity

Testing the screen in a darkly lit room and using a black image showed some issues with uniformity of the CCFL backlighting. There was some noticeable differences around each edge, but nothing bad from the corners. In practice this was not really an issue other than in movie playback where the leakage was a little distracting on sources with black borders at the top and bottom. In other uses, the leakage was hard to notice.
 


Office and Windows

I hooked up the L1932P in clone mode with both VGA and DVI connections and tested the screen on both. There was some slight difference in image clarity between the two, with the DVI interface showing a slight improvement in sharpness. VGA was still pretty impressive, but obviously if you have a DVI output from your graphics card, it is advisable to use that. The screen came equipped with both VGA and DVI cables in the box.

The resolution of this 19" model is 1280 x 1024 which is only the same as a 17" model. As such, pixel pitch is a little larger (0.294mm as opposed to 0.264mm) and the image looks a little bit bigger than that on other screens I am more accustomed to, like the 20"WS and 24"WS models. The text is perhaps a little more readable for those who have more limited eyesight or prefer a slightly larger image, but I found it a little too much in my opinion. Perhaps I am more used to a slightly smaller text and image, but I'm sure the resolution wouldn't be an issue for most users. Just something to consider if you're looking at a 19" model. There was no sign of any screen door effect though which was pleasing.

The screen proved adequate for office and Windows use with a clean and crisp image being displayed. The initial brightness of the screen needs to be turned down somewhat to get to a comfortable level, but that is not hard to achieve through the OSD. The "day text", Lightview preset made the image feel a little 'cooler' with a tendency towards a blue tone. The "night text" option was similar but a little darker, but in practice I didn't find these offered any real improvement to my calibrated "Standard" screen preset mode.

The screen is not really usable for side by side working which can easily be achieved with 20" or larger WS models. Perhaps if this is something you would find useful you may wish to consider a larger screen in a 16:10 format in order to show two pages side by side. Most users are probably more used to traditional 4:3 screens of this resolution anyway, and so for the majority of users, the L1932P is of course perfectly adequate in normal use.

 


ForteManager

I installed the accompanying software CD which featured LG's ForteManager software. This was simple to install but did require a reboot using Windows XP. The software offers various options including sections for:

  • Picture - Let's you control the screens brightness and contrast settings, as determined in the OSD, through the use of software. A handy test pattern and basic guidelines are provided to help you set the screen up more accurately. There is also a resolution management option and the chance to save the settings as a preset profile.

  • F-Engine - provides a series of preset modes for Movie, Text and Normal use.

  • Color - Let's you adjust the screens OSD settings for Red, Blue and Green levels, again through the software itself. A calibration guide and pattern are provided to help.

  • Options - Perhaps the most handy offering of the ForteManager software is the automatic pivot function which will detect when the screen is rotated between landscape and portrait, and automatically adjust your image to suit. You can then simply rotate your screen and after a couple of seconds, the software will switch your graphics output to the new orientation. This was quite usable, and probably the only feature most users would use day to day, once initial set up is complete. Other options here included selecting between VGA and DVI interfaces and turning the power LED on or off.


ForteManager options for automatic pivot modes



Responsiveness and Gaming

I tested the screen using PixPerAn software which showed some impressive results in the 'flag test' moving car animation. The moving image showed no obvious ghost images behind the car but blurring of the textures was evident. The screen uses a 4ms G2G rated TN Film panel, and thanks to a heavy dose of RTC, LG.Philips have done a good job of producing a responsive screen in practical use as well as on paper.




Above: Left image shows best case example photo shot, while right hand image shows worse case shot. Only to be used as comparative indication of responsiveness, by no means a definitive guide to response time performance.
 

Hooking up the L1932P in clone mode with the NEC 20WGX2 allowed me to compare the performance in this test with that of one of the most highly regarded gaming TFT's in the market at the moment. The test showed quite comparable performance with it being hard to notice much real difference by looking at the screen. The camera captured some slight difference with a third ghost image being more apparent in the worse case example from the L1932P when compared with the 20WGX2. The best case image above also represents well the slight difference in the texture blurring, with the LG L1932P perhaps being very slightly behind the NEC 20WGX2. Both screens remained a notch above the 6ms rated Samsung SM205BW in this test.

I tested the screen in some games which showed no obvious ghosting of moving objects. Some texture blur was noticeable if you really looked for it, but the performance was perfectly adequate for most users I would suggest. Colours remained bright, and black depth was good as well. As I mentioned before, viewing angles can be a bit of a problem in gaming, since you need to ensure you are looking directly at the screen. The restrictive vertical field can be a problem in some cases and you may find yourself lifting or lowering your head in some darker scenes to ensure the detail in darker scenes can be identified.

The screen was hooked up in clone mode with a CRT in order to test input lag and it's degree. The screen consistently showed a 10ms delay, which was nothing too drastic. I saw no adverse affects of this delay in practice.
 


Movies and Video

Testing the L1932P with some of Microsoft's HD content showed an average performance in movie playback. There was some noise evident in areas of large colour mass, which is something in common with most TFT's, particularly those based on TN Film technology panels. There was also some twinkling evident in places with white flashing pixels sometimes noticeable when viewed from up close. I would probably attribute this to the aggressive RTC and some overshoot of the technology. However, watching from a sensible distance of about a metre away resulted in these issues being barely noticeable and I wouldn't say there was any major issue with the movie playback quality in this regard.

Viewing angles again proved a little bit of an issue, especially vertically and this made it sometimes hard to position the screen to be perpendicular to my line if sight. Fortunately the adjustments of the screens ergonomics made this possible with a bit of fiddling, but I still felt the viewing angles let the screen down a little. The slight leakage of the CCFL backlighting at the top and bottom was a little distracting in darkly lit conditions and where the video had black bars at the top and bottom.

One other thing to consider is that with the availability of WS format models in 19", 20" and above sizes now in the market; it would be a shame to settle for a 4:3 format model if you intend to watch a lot of movies or videos. If this is a primary use for you then you might want to consider either one of the very affordable 19"WS models or even look at moving away from TN Film and look at some of the popular 20" models based around P-MVA technology.

 


Conclusion

The LG L1932P does what it is designed to do very well, and forgets about its limitations in other areas. Before I received this screen, a quick look at the specs, design, price and features immediately suggested to me that this screen is designed to be a modest home display, at a low price, aimed primarily at average users who may want to game. In practice, this is exactly what the screen delivers. Responsiveness was very good, and the screen is certainly capable of performing in fast paced games when needed. Office use was perfectly adequate, with the functionality of the screen (and quite handy ForteManager software) being nice features and rare at this ~200 price mark. The design was clean and basic and I think the screen performed admirably in terms of colour accuracy and PQ, fitting the screen into the niche it appears to be designed for.

The stronger points of the screen were unfortunately let down by the rather restrictive viewing angles, especially vertically; which sadly had their adverse affects when it came to using the screen in certain ways. Movie playback was average, but I'd suggest a WS format screen would be far more suited anyway. The L1932P doesn't set out to be a multimedia, multi-input, video playing, all-in-one solution, and it doesn't need to be. The 19" market still has it's advantages, and if you're looking for a low priced, but fast and easy office and gaming screen, then the L1932P fits the bill well.

 

 

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