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Introduction

Most of the displays we review at TFTCentral are desktop monitors and although sizes have been increasing over the years, the majority of these displays are still around 27" in size. Some ultrawide format models are larger at around 34 - 38" diagonally, but still very usable for desktop and PC usage. They might be a lot wider, but they are similarly sized vertically. We have with us now something a little different, the Philips 436M6VBPAB from their new 'Momentum' line-up. This display is 42.51" in size (43" class) and is designed as an alternative display option to a TV, being aimed primarily at console gaming. It's a very large format and has quite a few features you would typically find on a TV. We can't really call it a TV as it lacks an in built-tuner but it's certainly in that kind of size range and ultimately aimed at a similar market.

The 436M6 (as we will shorten the name to throughout the review) has a good range of modern features and specs to make it a very interesting choice for console gaming. The key features of the screen are:

  • Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 for high resolution and compatibility with the latest generation of consoles

  • Ultra HD Premium and VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certifications to support high end HDR capabilities

  • Quantum Dot film coating to offer a wide DCI-P3 colour space coverage along with 10-bit colour depth support for HDR

  • HDMI 2.0 connection to support HDR from games consoles

  • 60Hz refresh rate with Adaptive Sync support for the latest compatible consoles like the X Box One

  • Low input lag mode to offer superior gaming experience compared to many TV's

Philips have also included some key things you would expect to see from their popular TV range like integrated DTS sound speakers and an 'Ambiglow' lighting system, Then for PC usage they've included things like a USB 3.0 hub, USB type-C and DisplayPort connections, a factory calibration and a wide range of monitor-type settings and options. It's really a hybrid of a desktop monitor and a console gaming TV and so an interesting display to review.

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Specifications and Features

The following table gives detailed information about the specs of the screen as advertised:

Monitor Specifications

Size

42.51" (108cm)

Panel Coating

Glossy with 2% haze

Aspect Ratio

16:9 format, flat

Interfaces

1x DisplayPort 1.2a
1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2a
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB type-C

Resolution

3840 x 2160

Pixel Pitch

0.245mm (103.64 PPI)

Design colour

Glossy black bezel and dark grey aluminium stand

Response Time

4ms G2G

Ergonomics

Tilt only

Static Contrast Ratio

4000:1 SDR

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

50 million:1

VESA Compatible

Yes 200mm

Brightness

720 cd/m2 (typical)
1000 cd/m2 (peak HDR)

Accessories

DisplayPort, HDMI, USB type-C and USB normal cables. Power cable and brick

Viewing Angles

178 / 178

Panel Technology

TP Vision VA-type

Weight

with stand: 14.71 Kg

Backlight Technology

B-LED with Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF)
32-zone edge lit local dimming

Physical Dimensions

(WxHxD) with stand
976 x 661 x 264 mm

Colour Depth

1.07b (8-bit+FRC)

Refresh Rate

60Hz
48 - 60Hz Adaptive Sync range

Special Features

2x USB 3.0 ports with fast charging, Adaptive Sync/FreeSync support, Remote control, audio input, headphone output, 2x 7W DTS speakers, Ambiglow lighting, PiP and PbP modes, VESA DisplayHDR 1000 support with 32-zone local dimming backlight

Colour Gamut

Extended gamut 97.6% DCI-P3
145% sRGB, 119% NTSC

The 436M6 offers a good range of connectivity options including DisplayPort 1.2a, Mini DisplayPort 1.2a, HDMI 2.0 and USB type-C. The DisplayPort and HDMI ports can support Adaptive Sync and run the screen at its native 3840 x 2160 resolution @ 60Hz refresh rate. Cables are provided in the box for all the video connections except Mini DisplayPort.

There is an additional 2 port USB 3.0 hub, with the ports located on the back of the screen. Both have fast charging support. There is also an audio input and a headphone jack too, with the screen also having 2x 7W integrated DTS sound speakers. The screen has an external power supply and comes packaged with the power cable and brick you need. The fact that this display doesn't include a TV tuner was no major deal, as a lot of people would use external set-top boxes, cable, satellite etc anyway nowadays. Although only having a single HDMI connection does then present an issue and you might need a separate HDMI switcher to connect multiple external devices over HDMI.

Below is a summary of the features and connections of the screen:

Feature

Yes / No

Feature

Yes / No

Tilt adjust

DVI

Height adjust

HDMI

Swivel adjust

D-sub

Rotate adjust

DisplayPort

VESA compliant

Component

USB 2.0 Ports

Audio connection

USB 3.0 Ports

HDCP Support

Card Reader

MHL Support

Ambient Light Sensor

Integrated Speakers

Human Motion Sensor

PiP / PbP

Touch Screen

Blur Reduction Mode

Factory calibration

G-Sync

Hardware calibration

Adaptive Sync/FreeSync

Uniformity correction

Wireless charging



Design and Ergonomics

 
Above: front views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The 436M6 has a glossy black bezel around all 4 sides. This measures ~18mm along the top edge, ~16mm along both sides and ~23.5mm along the bottom edge. The glossy appearance means that it can pick up finger prints quite easily, but it fits in with many modern TV sets in terms of appearance as well as the glossy screen coating. There is a small, subtle grey "436M6" label in the bottom left hand corner, a larger Philips logo in the middle of the bottom bezel and then a fairly larger rectangular power LED strip in the bottom right hand corner. This glows white during operation and blinks white on/off when the screen is in standby.

The stand is already attached to the screen when you unbox it and is made of a dark silver aluminium. It provides a wide and sturdy base for the screen and is thankfully not too deep so it doesn't require a very deep desk to accommodate the large screen if you want to use it as a desktop monitor.


 Above: rear side views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The back of the screen is encased in a matte black plastic. There is a single OSD control joystick on the left hand side (when viewed from behind) which controls the menu and all the screen settings. A remote control is also provided in the box to control the OSD and settings more easily, and from a distance.

The stand provides only a simple tilt adjustment given the very large screen size, although this is more than a lot of TV sets will offer to be fair. If you need more flexibility and movement then you can also remove the stand and VESA mount the screen using the 200 x 200mm mounting holes you can see on the back of the screen in the image above.


Above: side view of the screen. Click for larger version

The side view of the screen is pretty thin as you can see above thanks to the modern backlight. As we said earlier, there is only a basic tile function available from the stand given the screen size. It doesn't offer a massive adjustment range but we found it sufficient for normal uses as a desktop monitor and certainly as a more distance TV/console gaming screen. It was smooth and fairly easy to reposition the screen using the tilt. Height adjustment wasn't really necessary on a screen this large, and so wasn't missed. A side to side swivel might have been useful for when using the screen for longer range, console gaming, movies etc. The screen remained sturdy and stable when moved, and there was no wobble from the stand.

A summary of the ergonomic adjustments are shown below:

Function

Range

Smoothness

Ease of Use

Tilt

Yes

Smooth

Fairly easy

Height

n/a

-

-

Swivel

n/a

-

-

Rotate

n/a

-

-

Overall

Only tilt offered so ergonomics are limited. There are VESA 200mm mounting options if really needed.

The OSD control joystick allows quick and easy access to the OSD menu although it was tucked quite a long way round the back on the right hand side (when viewed from the front) so wasn't the easiest to find and use sometimes.


Above: included remote control

More useful is the included remote control which allows quicker and easier navigation of the menu. This is particularly useful for when using the screen from a distance for console gaming, movies, TV etc of course but if using the screen from close up and PC use might find the control joystick on the back a bit quicker and more natural. There was a really wide range of options and settings available in the menu giving a lot of flexibility.

The back of the screen features the connections. There is HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2a, Mini DisplayPort 1.2a, USB type-C, 2x USB 3.0 downstream, an audio input and headphone jack. It was good to see a wide range of connections offered here for PC use as well as for consoles. Perhaps an additional HDMI port would have been useful in case you wanted to connect a satellite/cable box, or a Blu-Ray player to the screen.

 

The screen also includes Philips 'Ambiglow' lighting system which projects a range of lighting options from the bottom edge of the screen which we felt worked nicely and added to the feeling of immersion well. This only projects from the bottom edge and not the sides of the screen like some Philips TV's offer. The Philips website gives a bit more information about this feature: "Ambiglow adds a new dimension to your viewing experience. The innovative Ambiglow technology enlarges the screen by creating an immersive halo of light. Its fast processor analyses the incoming image content and continuously adapts the colour and brightness of the emitted light to match the image. User-friendly options allow you to adjust the ambiance to your liking. Especially suited for watching movies, sports or playing games, Philips Ambiglow offers you a unique and immersive viewing experience."



Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption the manufacturer lists a typical usage of a rather specific 62.69W, and 0.5W in standby. We carried out our normal tests to establish its power consumption ourselves in a few states.

State and Brightness Setting

Manufacturer Spec (W)

Measured Power Usage (W)

Default (60%)

62.69

116.4

Calibrated (3%)

-

55.4

Maximum Brightness (100%)

-

159.6

Minimum Brightness (0%)

-

51.2

Standby

0.5

0.6

Out of the box the screen used 116.4W at the default 60% brightness setting. Once calibrated the screen reached 55.4W consumption, and in standby it used only 0.6W. We have plotted these results below compared with other screens we have tested. The consumption (comparing the calibrated states) is higher than the other screens included in the comparison, mainly because of the larger screen and backlight size on this 43" display.



Panel and Backlighting

Panel Manufacturer

TP Vision

Colour Palette

1.07 billion

Panel Technology

VA-type

Colour Depth

8-bit + FRC

Panel Module

TPT430U3-QVN03.U

Colour space

Extended gamut

Backlighting Type

B-LED with Quantum Dot coating. 32-zone edge lit local dimming

Colour space coverage (%)

97.6% DCI-P3 quoted
119% NTSC
145% sRGB

Panel Part and Colour Depth

The Philips 436M6VBPAB features a TP Vision TPT430U3-QVN03.U VA-type technology panel which is capable of producing 1.07 billion colours. This is achieved through a 8-bit+FRC colour depth as detailed in the manufacturers specification. Some people may complain that the panel is not a native full 10-bit panel, but in reality you are going to be very hard pressed to see any real difference in practice between a good 8-bit+FRC panel and a true 10-bit panel. Even more so when you consider whether you're going to actually be able to use the 10-bit colour depth in real use.

This screen is aimed at console gaming primarily and so if you have a modern console that can output 10-bit content then you can make use of this capability and the 1.07b colour depth of the display.

Both NVIDIA and AMD users should be able to play 10-bit capable PC games from their graphics cards as well, although consumer grade gaming cards cannot be used for 10-bit content in professional applications. If you have a professional grade graphics card the screen will support 10-bit colour depth for professional applications like Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop, as long as you have the necessary end to end 10-bit workflow. This display isn't really aimed at professional users, so we don't need to really worry about that here. Key thing is that it will support 10-bit colour depth for consoles and PC gaming where needed.

The panel part is confirmed when dismantling the screen as shown below:


 

Screen Coating

The screen coating is a glossy finish with a light 2% haze applied. This glossy coating creates a clean and crisp image which can help make colours and blacks "pop" and is similar to what you'd see on most TV screens. The slight haze helps cut back on reflections quite nicely compared to an untreated surface. We didn't experience any issues really with reflections in practice.


Backlight Type and Colour Gamut

The screen uses a B-LED backlight unit with an added Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF) coating to extended the colour space and gamut. This allows for a high coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space which is the reference used for HDR content and displays and something you will see more commonly talked about with TV's and monitors in the future. This screen offers 97.6% of the DCI-P3 colour space according to the specs, something that we will verify and test in a moment. This also allows for 119% coverage of the NTSC colour space, and corresponds to around 145% of the commonly used sRGB reference.

Basically the screen is capable of producing a wide range of colours than most monitors, which are normally based around providing coverage of the common sRGB colour space. With the Quantum Dot coating film, the 436M6 can cover beyond that, producing more bright and vivid colours to enhance gaming, multimedia and HDR content. High coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space is a requirement if a display is to conform to common HDR standard such as the Ultra HD Premium certification (used in the TV market predominantly) and the new VESA DisplayHDR certifications.

If you want to read more about colour spaces and gamut then please have a read of our detailed article.


Backlight Dimming and Flicker

We tested the screen to establish the methods used to control backlight dimming. Our in depth article talks in more details about a previously very common method used for this which is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This in itself gives cause for concern to some users who have experienced eye strain, headaches and other symptoms as a result of the flickering backlight caused by this technology. We use a photosensor + oscilloscope system to measure backlight dimming control with a high level of accuracy and ease. These tests allow us to establish

1) Whether PWM is being used to control the backlight
2) The frequency and other characteristics at which this operates, if it is used
3) Whether a flicker may be introduced or potentially noticeable at certain settings

If PWM is used for backlight dimming, the higher the frequency, the less likely you are to see artefacts and flicker. The duty cycle (the time for which the backlight is on) is also important and the shorter the duty cycle, the more potential there is that you may see flicker. The other factor which can influence flicker is the amplitude of the PWM, measuring the difference in brightness output between the 'on' and 'off' states. Please remember that not every user would notice a flicker from a backlight using PWM, but it is something to be wary of. It is also a hard thing to quantify as it is very subjective when talking about whether a user may or may not experience the side effects.


100%                                                     70%                                                     50%

20%                                                      0%

Above scale = 1 horizontal grid = 5ms


Zoomed scale vertically to show oscillation
 Horizontal scale = 1 horizontal grid = 5ms

At 100% brightness the screen shows a flat graph and indicates a constant voltage applied to the backlight. As you dim the brightness control a low amplitude, high frequency oscillation is introduced. It is not a full on/off switching of the backlight like you would see from PWM and shows only a small difference between the luminance levels. This oscillation operates at a high 1,333Hz frequency at all brightness settings below 100%. The amplitude (fluctuation between the luminance levels) increases slightly as you lower the brightness control. The screen is still PWM-free and this oscillation shouldn't present any real problems in practice.

Pulse Width Modulation Used

No, but low amplitude/high frequency oscillation

Cycling Frequency

1,333Hz oscillation

Possible Flicker at

 

100% Brightness

No

50% Brightness

Unlikely

0% Brightness

Unlikely

 


Brightness and Contrast

We wanted to measure the luminance range available from the backlight as well as see how much variance there was in the screens contrast as we adjusted the monitor setting for brightness. In theory, brightness and contrast are two independent parameters, and good contrast is a requirement regardless of the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, such is not always the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. Graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. Tests were made using an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings may vary a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

667.69

0.16

4173

90

613.95

0.15

4093

80

555.04

0.14

3965

70

501.11

0.12

4176

60

442.73

0.11

4025

50

384.17

0.09

4269

40

324.93

0.08

4062

30

263.25

0.06

4388

20

209.11

0.05

4182

10

148.04

0.04

3980

0

90.56

0.02

4528

 

Total Luminance Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

577.13

Brightness OSD setting controls backlight?

Total Black Point Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

0.14

Average Static Contrast Ratio

4167:1

PWM Free? 

Recommended OSD setting for 120 cd/m2

5

At the top end the maximum luminance reached a very  high 668 cd/m2 which was extremely bright, although a little less than the specified maximum brightness of 720 cd/m2 from the manufacturer for SDR content. There was a wide 577 cd/m2 adjustment range in total, so at the minimum setting you could reach down to a fairly low luminance of 91 cd/m2. This should be more low enough for most people although if you're using the screen up close for PC work in a darkened room it might not be quite dark enough for some. Remember that this is a console gaming screen and you're likely to want a brighter display to view from several metres away.

A setting of 5 in the OSD menu should return you a luminance of around 120 cd/m2 at default settings. It should be noted that the brightness regulation is controlled without the need for Pulse Width Modulation for all brightness settings so the screen is flicker free. There is a low amplitude/high frequency oscillation present however as covered in the section above.

    

We have plotted the luminance trend on the graph above. The screen behaves as it should in this regard, with a reduction in the luminance output of the screen controlled by the reduction in the OSD brightness setting. This is a linear relationship as you can see.

The average contrast ratio of the screen was measured at 4167:1 which was excellent thanks to the VA panel, and a little above the specified 4000:1 figure even. This remains pretty stable across the brightness adjustment range with rounding errors with the black point measurements likely accounting for any fluctuations seen in the graph.
 

SDR content contrast ratio with HDR modes active

The figures above are for the static contrast ratio without the HDR settings turned on in the OSD, where the 32-zone edge lit local dimming backlight is activated. That local dimming backlight operate in both SDR and HDR content and can significantly increase the active perceived contrast ratio of the screen. Dark areas are dimmed, and brighter areas are turned up at the same time. We measured the contrast ratio in each of the three HDR modes at a range of target luminance levels for normal SDR content. HDR contrast will be looked at later on in the review.

We choose to measure an "up to" perceived contrast ratio here to demonstrate what the maximum potential contrast ratio would be on the screen when viewing an image with a bright white area, and a black dark area at the same time. We take the minimum black measurement on the screen by testing various places but generally this is at a point furthest away from the white measurement area in the centre. The actual perceived contrast ratio in real use could of course vary depending on the content you are viewing, and areas closer to the white area may not be as dark because of the way the local dimming operates. This doesn't change the fact though that the overall contrast ratio experienced on the screen is dictated by the difference between the brightest area, and the darkest area. This measurement gives you an idea of how high the contrast ratio can reach as a maximum in the tests.

 

 

OSD brightness

Target luminance

HDR mode

Normal

VESA HDR 1000

UHDA

White

Black

CR

White

Black

CR

White

Black

CR

3

120

121

<0.02

>6000:1

121

<0.02

>6000:1

121

<0.02

>6000:1

16

200

203

0.02

10,150:1

203

0.03

6767:1

203

0.03

6767:1

32

300

298

0.04

7450:1

300

0.04

7500:1

297

0.04

7425:1

48

400

401

0.05

8020:1

402

0.05

8040:1

402

0.05

8040:1

100

Max

722

0.08

9025:1

718

0.09

7978:1

711

0.09

7900:1

With a screen calibrated to around 120 cd/m2 and HDR mode activated in the OSD we measured a black depth of <0.02 cd/m2 (the limit for the i1 Display Pro device) and therefore an active contrast ratio of over 6000:1. Looking at the other measurements we estimate that it can reach up to probably 10,000:1 or more. This was for where a small white sample on the screen was compared with a measurement of a black part of the screen furthest away and so should be considered the maximum perceived contrast ratio you might reach.

Compared with when the local dimming backlight is turned off, you can see the higher contrast ratios achieved at different luminance levels above when it is turned on, peaking at around 10,150:1. The ability to use the local dimming backlight even for non HDR content was very useful and could certainly help boost the contrast ratio even more than the excellent panel contrast ratio.



Testing Methodology

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.

We restored our graphics card to default settings and disabled any previously active ICC profiles and gamma corrections. The screen was tested at default factory settings using our new X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer combined with LaCie's Blue Eye Pro software suite. An X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter was also used to verify the black point and contrast ratio since the i1 Pro 2 spectrophotometer is less reliable at the darker end.

Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - validates the colour space covered by the monitors backlighting in a 2D view, with the black triangle representing the displays gamut, and other reference colour spaces shown for comparison

  • Gamma - we aim for 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors

  • Colour temperature / white point - we aim for 6500k which is the temperature of daylight

  • Luminance - we aim for 120 cd/m2, which is the recommended luminance for LCD monitors in normal lighting conditions

  • Black depth - we aim for as low as possible to maximise shadow detail and to offer us the best contrast ratio

  • Contrast ratio - we aim for as high as possible. Any dynamic contrast ratio controls are turned off here if present

  • dE average / maximum - as low as possible. 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.



Default Setup

The screen does have a factory calibration but that is relevant only if you switch to the sRGB preset mode. We will test that in a moment, but for now we wanted to test the default out of the box setup. Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Philips 436M6VBPAB
Default Settings


  

 


Monitor OSD Default Settings

 

Smart Image preset

Off

HDR mode

Off

Brightness

60

Contrast

50

Color Temp

6500k

Gamma

2.2

RGB

n/a

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

455

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.11

Contrast Ratio

4025:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

146.1%

DCI-P3 coverage

107.7%

Rec.2020 coverage

77.3%

Initially out of the box the screen was set with the 'Smart Image' preset mode set to 'Off' and the other default settings shown above. The screen felt very bright to the naked eye, even though the brightness control was set at a fairly modest 60% - a lot of screens come set at 100%. You could tell that the screen had a wide gamut backlight as colours felt vivid and bright, if somewhat oversaturated. That's fairly typical for a wide gamut screen. The image looked clean and clear thanks to the glossy screen coating, and it helped the colours and blacks 'pop' compared with a normal AG coating.

We went ahead and measured the default state with the i1 Pro 2. The CIE diagram on the left of the image confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) extends a long way beyond the sRGB colour space reference (orange triangle). We measured using ChromaPure software a 146.1% sRGB gamut coverage which corresponds to 107.7% of the DCI-P3 reference and 77.3% of the Rec.2020 reference. This corresponded closely to the manufacturer specification of 145% sRGB coverage, although the DCI-P3 coverage exceeded the 97.6% quoted by a little way.

For comparison we have provided the CIE diagram of the screen's colour space compared with the Adobe RGB reference above. You can see that the backlight gamut closely matches the Adobe RGB colour space with a little over-coverage in reds and greens.

Default gamma of the screen was recorded at 2.2 average, with a very small 1% deviance from the target which was great news. The gamma looked to be a little further off in the darker grey shades but not by much. White point was measured at a slightly too warm 5975k being a moderate 8% out from our 6500k target. Luminance was recorded at a very bright 455 cd/m2 which is far too high for prolonged general use up close, you will need to turn that down for close up PC viewing. It may be more suitable though for longer distance console game viewing, which is the screen's intended primary use. The screen was set at a default 60% brightness in the OSD menu but you can change that to reach a more comfortable setting for your uses and ambient light conditions without impacting any other aspect of the setup. The black depth was 0.11 cd/m2 at this default brightness setting, giving us an excellent static contrast ratio thanks to the VA-type panel of 4025:1. Remember that the active contrast ratio will be significantly enhanced if you operate the local dimming backlight via the OSD HDR settings for both normal SDR content and when using HDR content.

Colour accuracy was hard to measure in this mode since the screen is operating with a wide gamut output, and the colours are then compared to an sRGB reference. Testing the screen with colour gradients showed mostly smooth transitions, with some gradation in the darkest tones evident. There was no banding thankfully.


Color Temp Setting Measurements

Colour Temp OSD setting

White point measurement

Native

6245k

5000k

4661k

6500k

5975k

7500k

6429k

8200k

6922k

9300k

7690k

11,500k

8899k

sRGB

5848k

User Define (Default)

6256k

Given the default 6500k colour temperature mode was a little off the target (8% deviance at 5975k) we also measured the range of colour temp modes available in the OSD menu as shown above. The 7500k mode was actually closest to our 6500k target and might be best to switch to if you want to reach that typical white point. Out of the box the 6500k is a little warmer than intended. The 'User Define' mode gives you direct control over the RGB channels which will be useful for calibration in a moment. You may also want to try our recommended OSD settings from the calibration section perhaps to see how those look.

 


Factory Calibration

The screen carries a factory calibration which is applicable in the sRGB mode of the monitor. You need to switch to this mode in the 'color' section of the OSD. The provided calibration report confirms that it has been factory calibrated to a 2.2 gamma and a low dE. In our example it reports the average dE as 1.66. The report also states that the uniformity is between 95% and 103% when the SmartUniformity mode is activated. We will test that later on in the review as well.


Above: factory calibration report. Click for larger version

The screen comes with a specific factory calibration report for the unit as shown by the example which came with ours above.
 

Philips 436M6VBPAB
Default Settings sRGB Mode
(Factory Calibration)



  

 


Monitor OSD Default Settings

 

Smart Image preset

Off

HDR mode

Off

Brightness

60 (locked)

Contrast

50 (locked)

Color Temp

sRGB

Gamma

2.2 (locked)

RGB

n/a

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

460

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.11

Contrast Ratio

4016:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

92.0%

DCI-P3 coverage

67.8%

Rec.2020 coverage

48.7%

We carried out the same test in the sRGB factory calibration mode. When you switch to this mode you can see a change in the colours of the screen, as it offers an sRGB colour space emulation. Colours are restricted to more closely match the sRGB reference. We measured a 92% sRGB coverage which is a little low, but at least quite close to the sRGB colour space. This would have been useful to those who want to work with sRGB content potentially for colour critical work, and avoid the vivid and oversaturated colours, and complications with colour management that the native wide gamut output creates. However, the annoying thing about this mode is that it locks you to a very specific brightness level of 60. If you try to change off this, or change some of the other OSD controls like contrast or gamma, it reverts you back to the normal colour temp mode, and therefore back to the full native wide gamut of the screen. With the luminance measured at a very bright 460 cd/m2 in this sRGB mode, it makes it pretty much unusable for any real use. We really dislike these sRGB factory calibration modes provided on screens where you can't at least adjust the brightness level. It feels like it's there for the sake of a spec, when actually it's pretty useless in practice. It's a shame as the gamma, white point and dE were all good in this mode and represented a decent factory calibration.

 



Calibration

We used the X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package to achieve these results and reports. An X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter was used to validate the black depth and contrast ratios due to lower end limitations of the i1 Pro device.

Philips 436M6VBPAB
Calibrated Settings


  

 

 


Monitor OSD Default Settings

 

Smart Image preset

Off

HDR mode

Off

Brightness

3

Contrast

50

Color Temp

User Define

Gamma

2.2

RGB

99, 96, 98

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

120

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.03

Contrast Ratio

3982:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

146.1%

DCI-P3 coverage

107.7%

Rec.2020 coverage

77.3%

We are calibrating the screen here for general close-up desktop use, as we do for our normal monitor reviews. You can alter the brightness to whatever you like if you are using the screen from further away for console gaming etc. In fact, the 'accuracy' may be less important for console gaming than achieving a bright, vivid and colourful image so you may wish to do some by-eye calibration instead to get it looking how you like.

We changed here to the user define mode in the colour temp menu which gives you access to the RGB channel adjustments. We stuck with the default 2.2 gamma mode which we knew to be very close to the target out of the box. Settings were adjusted as shown in the table above, as guided during the calibration process and measurements. These OSD changes allowed us to obtain an optimal hardware starting point and setup before software level changes would be made at the graphics card level. We left the  LaCie software to calibrate to "max" brightness which would just retain the luminance of whatever brightness we'd set the screen to, and would not in any way try and alter the luminance at the graphics card level, which can reduce contrast ratio. These adjustments before profiling the screen would help preserve tonal values and limit banding issues. After this we let the software carry out the LUT adjustments and create an ICC profile.

Average gamma was measured at 2.2 average (0% deviance now) which fixed the very small 1% deviance we'd seen out of the box at default settings. The white point was now corrected to 6509k, sorting out the 8% deviance we'd seen out of the box. Luminance had been improved thanks to the adjustment to the brightness control and was now being measured at a far more comfortable 120 cd/m2. This left us a black depth of 0.03 cd/m2 and a static contrast ratio of 3982:1 which was excellent thanks to the VA panel technology. Colour accuracy of the resulting profile was excellent too, with dE average of 0.4 and maximum of 0.9. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent. Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed very smooth transitions with only some very minor gradation in darker tones. You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which are available in our ICC profile database. Keep in mind that results will vary from one screen to another and from one computer / graphics card to another.
 



Calibration Performance Comparisons

The comparisons made in this section try to give you a better view of how each screen performs, particularly out of the box which is what is going to matter to most consumers. We have divided the table up by panel technology as well to make it easier to compare similar models. When comparing the default factory settings for each monitor it is important to take into account several measurement areas - gamma, white point and colour accuracy. There's no point having a low dE colour accuracy figure if the gamma curve is way off for instance. A good factory calibration requires all 3 to be well set up. We have deliberately not included luminance in this comparison since this is normally far too high by default on every screen. However, that is very easily controlled through the brightness setting (on most screens) and should not impact the other areas being measured anyway. It is easy enough to obtain a suitable luminance for your working conditions and individual preferences, but a reliable factory setup in gamma, white point and colour accuracy is important and some (gamma especially) are not as easy to change accurately without a calibration tool.

From these comparisons we can also compare the calibrated colour accuracy, black depth and contrast ratio. After a calibration the gamma, white point and luminance should all be at their desired targets.

Default setup of the screen was reasonable with an accurate gamma and strong contrast ratio provided. The white point was a little too warm (8% deviance) but actually quite easy to correct by either switching to the 7500k mode (taking you closer to the 6500k target) or making changes to the RGB channels in the 'user define' mode. We were disappointed with the sRGB emulation mode which although it carried a decent factory calibration and setup, was pretty much useless as you couldn't change the default 60% brightness setting - which was far too bright.

When it comes to black depth and contrast ratio the screen performed very well thanks to the VA panel. It outperformed many recent VA panels we've tested and it was way beyond anything possible from IPS or TN Film panels.

Note that this is the static contrast ratio without the local dimming activated through the HDR modes. That can operate in both SDR and HDR content and can significantly increase the active contrast ratio of the screen. Dark areas are dimmed, and brighter areas are turned up. This is thanks to the local dimming backlight which can help increase the screens active contrast ratio beyond the native 3982:1 (calibrated state) and up to around 10,000:1.

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Viewing Angles


Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger image

Viewing angles of the screen were quite comparable to other VA panels we've seen in the past although perhaps a little better than some. Horizontally as you moved you line of sight past about 45 contrast shifted and a yellow tint appeared on the image. The image got progressively more washed out as you moved further away from a central point of view. Vertically the contrast shift was more pronounced and the image became more washed out from a shorter angle. This was actually apparent a little when using the screen from a couple of feet away on a normal desktop position due to the sheer size of the panel when viewed up close. You will see some contrast and colour tone shift as you look towards the edges of the screen as a result. They image didn't appear as washed out as some VA screens we have tested though which was pleasing. You will note that the side edges of the screen also appeared to be a little darker where the panel meets the bezel which is related to the backlight uniformity and screen construction rather than the viewing angles.

Viewing angles were not as wide as IPS-type panels as you might expect given this is a VA matrix. Being VA based the panel did suffer from the off-centre contrast shift you will see from these technology panels. If you view a very dark grey image with a black background head on, the grey content is somewhat lost in the image and appears darker than intended. Only as you move your line of sight slightly away from a head on central field of view does the grey content appear again. This is common of all VA matrices, and is one of the reasons why IPS is so popular for colour critical work. It should be noted that not everyone would even see this issue or be bothered by it. The viewing angles are certainly much better than TN Film panels of course.


Above: View of an all black screen in a dark room from the side. Click for larger version

On a black image there was a slight pale glow from an angle but it was nothing really bad at all. Certainly you don't get the obvious white glow you see on a lot of IPS-type panels when viewing dark content from an angle. From that point of view this is one area where VA panel viewing angles are preferred. The blacks are also very deep thanks to the high contrast ratio of the panel, even more so if you enable the local dimming backlight settings.



Panel Uniformity

We wanted to test here how uniform the brightness was across the screen, as well as identify any leakage from the backlight in dark lighting conditions. Measurements of the luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements for luminance were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter with a central point on the screen calibrated to 120 cd/m2. The below uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the measurement recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the central reference point.

It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.


Uniformity of Luminance
Normal Default Mode

The uniformity of our sample was not very good with only 54% of the screen within a 10% deviance of the centrally calibrated point. The upper area dropped down in luminance to around 97 cd/m2 in the most extreme examples (-24% deviance). The lower area of the screen was a little brighter than the centrally calibrated point, reaching up to 139 cd/m2 at +14% deviance. You couldn't really spot these variations in practice, and certainly not in gaming, but it could present a problem if you're doing any colour critical work or need an ultra-uniform panel for any particular reason. This might of course vary from sample to sample, but we suspect this is one of the challenges with such a large screen and backlight.

We also measured the screen's uniformity when the 'SmartUniformity' mode was activated. This is supposed to be a correction mode to improve the screens luminance uniformity, but actually we experienced the exact opposite! In this mode you can still change the brightness control which is good, as the screen is quite a bit darker overall when you turn it on. You'd need to turn the brightness control up to around 20% to get a luminance of about 120 cd/m2 in the centrally calibrated area. However, the problem with this mode is that it makes the top portion of the screen much, much darker than the bottom portion, creating a huge difference in luminance from the top to bottom. For instance a measurement along the top area reached down to around 79 cd/m2, then it was 120 cd/m2 in the middle area, but up to around 190 cd/m2 along the bottom area. There was a maximum difference between any two measurements of a whopping 95%! This so-called uniformity correction mode obviously didn't work properly. Perhaps it was faulty on our unit but we certainly preferred the screen with it turned off.


Backlight Leakage

The below photo is NOT representative of what you see in real-life, it has been digitally altered to highlight the backlight uniformity variations

Above: All black screen in a darkened room. Click for larger version

It was tricky to take a good photo showing the screen in a dark room, with a black screen as the very high contrast ratio of the panel produced deep blacks especially at our calibrated brightness level. There were some small variations visible with the naked eye in the four corners in real life, but they were very slight. When viewing the captured photo on a different display with a lower contrast ratio you couldn't really see this at all and it just looked like a black image, so we have instead digitally altered the brightness on the above photo to accentuate the variation. This is NOT really meant as a true reflection of what you see in real life. You will spot some slight clouding in the four corners, in the areas accentuated above, but they are pretty minimal.

Note: if you want to test your own screen for backlight bleed and uniformity problems at any point you need to ensure you have suitable testing conditions. Set the monitor to a sensible day to day brightness level, preferably as close to 120 cd/m2 as you can get it (our tests are once the screen is calibrated to this luminance). Don't just take a photo at the default brightness which is almost always far too high and not a realistic usage condition. You need to take the photo from about 1.5 - 2m back to avoid capturing viewing angle characteristics, especially on IPS-type panels where off-angle glow can come in to play easily. Photos should be taken in a darkened room at a shutter speed which captures what you see reliably and doesn't over-expose the image. A shutter speed of 1/8 second will probably be suitable for this.



General and Office Applications

We should start by saying that this display isn't really aimed at desktop Office uses. It's very large and is a display really aimed at console gaming as a TV alternative. Having said that we will consider its usage as a desktop monitor as well. The 436M6 features a 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution which is very useable without scaling on a screen this size. With a 0.245mm pixel pitch, the font size is very similar to a a 27" 2560 x 1440 resolution screen (0.2335mm). You can therefore make use of that full Ultra HD resolution to give you a larger desktop real estate. Although the font sizes are fine, the screen is just really too big as a desktop monitor, when used from a couple of feet away. It's hard to look towards the edges when the screen is so huge and in your face and it just doesn't feel very comfortable for this kind of use.


Above: close up photograph of the BGR sub-pixel layout of the panel

Text on the screen also felt a bit strange and showed a bit of blur and 'fringing' which we were disappointed with. On examining the sub-pixel structure of the panel close up we could see why. This panel uses an unusual BGR (Blue, Green, Red) layout instead of the normal RGB layout. This sub-pixel layout isn't expected by modern Operating Systems and so you end up with some blurriness to text. Microsoft Windows users may find they can improve things a bit using the Cleartype feature but it's not possible to eliminate it entirely, and Mac OS users do not have an equivalent and so are stuck. We found this to be a bit problematic for close up office-type uses to be honest, and it made the screen a bit uncomfortable to use for text work and reading. If you move back a couple of extra feet you can't really notice this text blurriness at all, and it's certainly not an issue from a typical console gaming / movie viewing distance. It just makes the screen a little difficult to use for extended periods up close.


Above: close up photo showing the static dithering type artefacts visible from close up in some situations

The other issue we identified when using the screen from up close for PC and office use was the checkerboard patterns identifiable on some coloured areas. For example the photo above from a Microsoft Excel window shows a noticeable grid-like pattern on the solid green and blue areas. This is related to the way the sub-pixels are being lit, and is essentially a form of static dithering where two slightly different colours are shown next to one another in a repeated pattern in order to trick your eye in to seeing a third intermediate colour. Unfortunately you could spot this quite easily from close up viewing of a couple of feet but only on certain colours and backgrounds, so it again made some day to day office work a bit annoying. It would likely lead to problems with any colour critical work you may want to do on the display, although again that's really not the intended use. If you move back more than a couple of feet, you won't notice this static dithering pattern at all, so it was absolutely not a problem for more distant viewing and console gaming. It's a "feature" of the panel itself and has been seen on other VA-type panels of this kind of size in the past, especially where the panels are designed for longer-range viewing instead of as a desktop monitor.

The glossy screen coating of the panel is welcome, and helps provide a crisp and sharp image compared with some grainier AG coatings. The pretty wide viewing angles provided by this panel technology on both horizontal and vertical planes, helps minimize on-screen colour shift when viewed from different angles. Although the sheer size of the 42.51" screen means that you will see some contrast and colour tone shift as you look towards the edges of the screen from a central, close up position.

The default setup of the screen was moderate for these kind of uses with a reliable gamma at least and a very strong contrast ratio. You will need to adjust the colour temperature to bring it closer to 6500k and of course turn the brightness down to a far more comfortable level. You do need to live with using the full native gamut of the screen for all uses, as unfortunately (and annoyingly) the sRGB emulation mode which carries a factory calibration is pretty much unusable. That is because you are stuck with a very bright setting and are not able to change this without moving back away from the RGB emulation. That means anyone wanting to work with typical sRGB content might struggle a bit outside of colour managed workflows as the colours would appear oversaturated and unrealistic. This isn't really an issue for gaming or HDR where you want the wider colour space and more vivid colours, but it's another reason why this display isn't really ideal for normal office/photo type work.

The brightness range of the screen was quite good, with the ability to offer a luminance between 668 and 91 cd/m2. This should mean the screen is mostly useable in a wide variety of ambient light conditions, although it might not reach low enough for some darkened rooms and low ambient light. A setting of 5 in the OSD brightness control should return you a luminance close to 120 cd/m2 out of the box. The brightness regulation is controlled without the need for the use of a typical off/on Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM), although there is a low amplitude and high frequency oscillation so it's not 100% flicker free. It shouldn't present issues though to most people at all. A range of blue light filter modes are provided to help reduce blue spectral output and make the screen easier on the eyes, especially for lots of text work or in darker room conditions.

The screen offers 2x USB 3.0 ports which is very handy although they are located on the back of the screen with the video connections so aren't really easy access. There is also a headphone jack if you are sending sound to the screen via HDMI, and some fairly decent 2x 7W DTS sound integrated speakers offered here. There aren't any other extras like card readers or ambient light sensors provided here which are sometimes useful on office environments. The stand offers a limited range of adjustments with only tilt available, although given the screen size it's adequate really. You wouldn't really need height adjustment for instance.


 
Responsiveness and Gaming

Panel Manufacturer and Technology

TP Vision VA-type

Panel Part

TPT430U3-QVN03.U

Quoted G2G Response Time

4ms G2G

Quoted ISO Response Time

n/a

Overdrive Used

Yes

Overdrive Control Available Via OSD Setting

Smart Response

Overdrive OSD Settings

Off, Fast, Faster, Fastest

Maximum Refresh Rate

60Hz

Variable Refresh Rate technology

Adaptive Sync / FreeSync

Variable Refresh Rate Range

48 - 60Hz

Blur Reduction Backlight

No

The 436M6 is rated by Philips as having a 4ms G2G response time. The screen uses overdrive / response time compensation (RTC) technology to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes as with nearly all modern displays. There is a user control in the OSD menu for the overdrive under the 'Smart Response' setting with 4 options available - Off, Fast, Faster and Fastest. The part being used is TP Vision TPT430U3-QVN03.U VA-type technology panel.  Have a read about response time in our specs section if you need additional information about this measurement.

We use an ETC M526 oscilloscope for these measurements along with a custom photosensor device. Have a read of our response time measurement article for a full explanation of the testing methodology and reported data.

We measured the response times in each of the 'Smart Response' modes to establish which offered the optimal performance. We were impressed actually with the response times even in the 'off' mode where we measured an average G2G of only 7.1ms. There was no sign of the usual very slow black > grey transitions which are often a problem on VA-type panels, and can lead to noticeable black smearing in practice. That was great news and showed that even though this was a VA panel, it didn't need to suffer from some slow transitions like many screens do with this technology. The response times improved a little down to 6.6ms G2G when changing up to the 'fast' response time setting, although some moderate overshoot started to creep in which you could detect in motion tests too. By the time you push up to the 'faster' or 'fastest' settings the overshoot was too high, and became very obvious in real use. There were actually minimal benefits in the response time measurements as well, so we certainly wouldn't recommend bothering with the top two modes. We felt that the 'off' setting actually delivered the optimal performance, without any overshoot being measured here and still with pretty fast response times. You may wish to experiment with the 'fast' mode to see what you think, but we preferred the 'off' mode.
 


Detailed Response Times
Smart Response = Off

We carried out some further tests with a wider range of transitions in the optimal 'off' mode. The average G2G response time was now measured at a more accurate 7.9ms which was impressive and very good for a VA-type panel. This screen was not plagued by the often very slow black > grey transitions that you will see on many VA panels. For instance even the Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ which is aimed at gaming had some particularly slow transitions changing from black to dark grey (see the detailed response time measurements section if you scroll down a little way here). This meant that there was not the common black smearing on moving content that you commonly see on VA panels. The overall response times were fast enough to keep up with the frame rate demands given this was only a 60Hz capable screen and there was no overshoot at all which was great news.

For PC gaming the 436M6 is not going to offer the same motion clarity that you could get from a high refresh rate panel, as it is limited to only 60Hz. It isn't really well geared towards PC gaming given the huge screen size and some of the text clarity issues when viewed from a very close distance but that's not its intended use anyway. There is support for AMD FreeSync / Adaptive Sync though offering a range between 48 - 60Hz to cope with varying frames rates. That is useful given the high resolution of the Ultra HD panel, which is bound to be a drain on resources and your system. This Adaptive Sync is also supported over HDMI and so will offer variable refresh rate support for modern games consoles where it is supported. There is no blur reduction backlight system available on this screen it should be noted.

 


Gaming Comparisons

We have provided a comparison of the 436M6 against other competing screens. This display was actually one of the fastest VA-type panels we have tested from a pixel response time point of view. This was thanks to the decent black > grey performance which often slows down even the fastest gaming VA screens. Of course the 436M6 is only a 60Hz refresh rate screen so although response times were impressive, it cannot match the fluidity, frame rate and motion clarity of a high refresh rate panel in practice. Remember though that this screen is aimed at console gaming which only offers 60Hz maximum at the moment anyway. Compared with other 60Hz VA-screens you should see comparatively low levels of motion bur thanks to the impressive response times. In fact even if you compared this 60Hz panel against many high refresh rate VA screens you would see some benefits here thanks to the absence of black smearing that plagues many other VA screens, even those with high refresh rates.



Additional Gaming Features

  • Aspect Ratio Control - the screen has a really wide range of options for hardware level aspect ratio control options. There are 3 main settings for 'panel size', 1:1 and aspect available from within the OSD menu. If you drill in to the 'panel size' option there is a massive range of different screen sizes and aspect ratios to emulate if you need them. The aspect mode is really useful as it will maintain the source device aspect ratio while filling as much of the screen as possible. If you want to directly map pixels you can use the 1:1 mode as well.

  • Preset Modes - There are a quite a few modes available in the 'Smart Image' preset mode menu giving you different modes to set up for different gaming uses. There are modes for FPS, Racing, RTS, Gamer 1 and Gamer 2 modes.

 


Lag

We have written an in depth article about input lag and the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display. It's important to first of all understand the different methods available and also what this lag means to you as an end-user.

Input Lag vs. Display Lag vs. Signal Processing

To avoid confusion with different terminology we will refer to this section of our reviews as just "lag" from now on, as there are a few different aspects to consider, and different interpretations of the term "input lag". We will consider the following points here as much as possible. The overall "display lag" is the first, that being the delay between the image being shown on the TFT display and that being shown on a CRT. This is what many people will know as input lag and originally was the measure made to explain why the image is a little behind when using a CRT. The older stopwatch based methods were the common way to measure this in the past, but through advanced studies have been shown to be quite inaccurate. As a result, more advanced tools like SMTT provide a method to measure that delay between a TFT and CRT while removing the inaccuracies of older stopwatch methods.

In reality that lag / delay is caused by a combination of two things - the signal processing delay caused by the TFT electronics / scaler, and the response time of the pixels themselves. Most "input lag" measurements over the years have always been based on the overall display lag (signal processing + response time) and indeed the SMTT tool is based on this visual difference between a CRT and TFT and so measures the overall display lag. In practice the signal processing is the element which gives the feel of lag to the user, and the response time of course can impact blurring, and overall image quality in moving scenes. As people become more aware of lag as a possible issue, we are of course keen to try and understand the split between the two as much as possible to give a complete picture.

The signal processing element within that is quite hard to identify without extremely high end equipment and very complicated methods. In fact the studies by Thomas Thiemann which really kicked this whole thing off were based on equipment worth >100,1000 Euro, requiring extremely high bandwidths and very complicated methods to trigger the correct behaviour and accurately measure the signal processing on its own. Other techniques which are being used since are not conducted by Thomas (he is a freelance writer) or based on this equipment or technique, and may also be subject to other errors or inaccuracies based on our conversations with him since. It's very hard as a result to produce a technique which will measure just the signal processing on its own unfortunately. Many measurement techniques are also not explained and so it is important to try and get a picture from various sources if possible to make an informed judgement about a display overall.

For our tests we will continue to use the SMTT tool to measure the overall "display lag". From there we can use our oscilloscope system to measure the response time across a wide range of grey to grey (G2G) transitions as recorded in our response time tests. Since SMTT will not include the full response time within its measurements, after speaking with Thomas further about the situation we will subtract half of the average G2G response time from the total display lag. This should allow us to give a good estimation of how much of the overall lag is attributable to the signal processing element on its own.

Lag Classification


To help in this section we will also introduce a broader classification system for these results to help categorise each screen as one of the following levels:

  • Class 1) Less than 16ms / 1 frame lag at 60Hz - should be fine for gamers, even at high levels

  • Class 2) A lag of 16 - 32ms / One to two frames at 60Hz - moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming

  • Class 3) A lag of more than 32ms / more than 2 frames at 60Hz - Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming

For the full reviews of the models compared here and the dates they were written (and when screens were approximately released to the market), please see our full reviews index.

(Measurements in ms)

 

Total Display Lag (SMTT 2)

5.86

Pixel Response Time Element

3.95

Estimated Signal Processing Lag

1.91

Lag Classification

1


 Class 1

We have provided a comparison above against other models we have tested to give an indication between screens. The screens tested are split into two measurements which are based on our overall display lag tests (using SMTT) and half the average G2G response time, as measured by the oscilloscope. The response time is split from the overall display lag and shown on the graph as the green bar. From there, the signal processing (red bar) can be provided as a good estimation.

We measured the total display lag of 5.86ms. With approximately 3.95ms of that accounted for by pixel response times we had an estimated signal processing of just 1.91ms, which was basically nothing which was excellent news. This result was consistent whether you had the low input lag setting turned on or off in the OSD menu. This shouldn't represent any problem for fast paced or competitive gaming.

This very low result was obtained when the aspect ratio control was set to just fill the screen (screen size, 43"), but we did notice some additional lag was added if you switch to either the 'aspect' or '1:1' modes. This increased from total of 5.86ms to around 36ms if you use either of those scaling modes with the low input lag setting off, or to around 24 - 27ms if you enabled the low input lag mode.

The screen is 16:9 in format and so most of the time you are going to be fine outputting at this aspect ratio and filing the screen, either at the full native 3840 x 2160 resolution or at a lower resolution like 1920 x 1080 that can just be scaled up to full screen anyway without issue. You will benefit from the very low lag then in those instances. If you are connecting a device with an unusual aspect ratio like 5:4 for instance, you may experience some added lag, but we would recommend using the 'low input lag' mode to help minimise this as much as possible.



Movies and Video

The following summarises the screens performance for videos and movie viewing:

Category

Display Specs / Measurements

Comments

Size

43" widescreen

Very large for a desktop display and entering TV size territory. Great for more distant viewing like console gaming and movies

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Well suited to most common 16:9 aspect content and input devices

Resolution

3840 x 2160

Can support native 1080p content and Ultra HD content natively

HDCP

Yes

Suitable for encrypted content across both ports

Connectivity

DisplayPort 1.2a
Mini DisplayPort 1.2a
HDMI 2.0

Useful additional HDMI input for external Blu-ray players or games consoles. Capable of supporting the high resolution as well. Might have been useful to have a second to connect a Blu-ray player / TV box as well as a games console.

Cables

DisplayPort and HDMI

Both provided in the box which is good news

Ergonomics

Tilt only

Limited adjustments like most TV's but tilt is very useful when used from closer up as a desktop screen. Side to side swivel would have been handy.

Coating

Glossy

Provides clear, non-grainy image which helps make colours and blacks 'pop'. The low haze treatment helps ensure it's not too glossy and reflective.

Brightness range

91 - 668 cd/m2 (SDR)

up to 1119 cd/m2 peak brightness in HDR mode

Very good adjustment range offered although cannot reach very low settings which could have been useful for desktop usage in darker rooms. Flicker free backlight operation with no full PWM, but some low amplitude and high frequency oscillation. In HDR mode the 32-zone local dimming backlight is capable of producing very high peak brightness >1000 cd/m2 and strong HDR contrast ratios

Contrast

4167:1 SDR

up to 10,150:1 SDR with local dimming

Up to 54,540:1 and above in HDR mode

Very strong contrast ratio thanks to the VA panel even with local dimming turned off. When turned on, that can boost SDR contrast ratio nicely, and this reaches very high levels in HDR content.

Preset modes

None

No specific movie preset modes but you could easily set up one of the other customisable modes to your liking, like the 'gamer 1' or 'gamer 2' modes.

Response times

7.9ms G2G with no overshoot

Very good overall and more than fine for movie viewing certainly. Free from the black smearing that most VA panels suffer from where transitions from black > grey can be very slow. Stick with the 'Off' response time setting for optimal performance and freedom from any overshoot.

Viewing angles

Fairly good

Fairly good for a VA type panel but contrast and colour tone shifts can be more obvious than on IPS panels. From a longer viewing distance for movies they are unlikely to cause any real problem. Good contrast ratio and VA panel helps avoid any obvious pale glow on dark content when viewed from an angle.

Backlight bleed

Moderate

No real bleed but you could pick out some slight backlight clouding in the four corners on our sample. Screen uniformity was not great given the large panel and backlight size.

Audio

2x 7W DTS speakers
Headphone jack

Decent integrated speakers like many TV sets, and a headphone jack available also

Aspect Ratio Controls

1:1, Aspect, Full plus a wide range of different screen sizes

Good options to account for non-native format inputs if needed although lag is lowest if you stick to full screen.

PiP / PbP

Both supported

Good range of options available. Refer to the user manual for more information

HDR support

Yes, certified with:
VESA DisplayHDR 1000
Ultra HD Premium

See our HDR section for more information

Extras

Remote control

Useful remote control included which works well and makes navigation of the menu much easier. Definitely handy if using this large screen for movies or console gaming from a distance.

 


High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a technology just starting to make its way in to the desktop monitor market. It's been around in the TV market for a couple of years and is used primarily to provide a better dynamic range and contrast to the image for multimedia, movies and games - that being the difference between light and dark parts of an image. This improvement to the dynamic range is usually paired with other specific features under the banner term of "HDR" including a wider colour gamut for richer, more vivid colours and specs like a 10-bit colour depth support and a high Ultra HD resolution. Overall, an HDR Capable screen is designed to offer a more life-like images, with better contrast ratios between light and dark areas and more vivid, bright colours. You only need to go in to a high street store to observe the difference that HDR makes on TV sets, so we would encourage you to do that if you want to see first hand the improvements it makes to the image quality.

 

HDR Standards Conformity

 

                  

 

Ultra HD Premium Spec Guidelines
 

Yes/no
 

Display Spec
 

At least Ultra HD Resolution 3840 x 2160

3840 x 2160 supported

10-bit colour depth processing

8-bit + FRC panel

DCI-P3 colour space coverage

107.7% DCI-P3 measured

Suitable HDR connectivity

DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 2.0

at least 1000 cd/m2 peak luminance

1119 peak cd/m2 measured

at least 20,000:1 active contrast ratio

>54,550:1 maximum measured

 

Backlight dimming system
(not defined in Ultra HD Premium requirements)

32-zone edge-lit local dimming

 

The 436M6 is promoted for its HDR capabilities, and unlike many screens in the market this one does actually live up to the billing. It even carries official certification under the new VESA DisplayHDR 1000 standards, and the established TV Ultra HD Premium certification as well making it a "true" HDR screen.

 

Local dimming is achieved through a 32-zone edge-lit backlight. This can't offer the level of control that a Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlight can, but should still offer some good benefits in practice like many LCD TV's with HDR. Read our HDR article for more information about these methods to achieve local dimming necessary for HDR. Thanks to the VA panel and high contrast ratio there was low levels of blooming in HDR content and multimedia which was good news. VA panels do tend to do better in this regard than IPS panels and so the 436M6 worked nicely.

 

The screen can also offer the necessary 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness spec required for the mentioned HDR certifications and to provide a great dynamic range contrast in practice. The Quantum Dot coating boosts the colour gamut so that there is a high DCI-P3 coverage, and the 8-bit+FRC panel supports 10-bit colour depth too. You need to enable one of the HDR modes in the OSD menu to operate the local dimming backlight for either SDR content, or if you want to view proper HDR content.

 

 

HDR Contrast and Peak Brightness

 

The following tests allow us to measure how efficiently the backlight operates for HDR content. The brightness of the screen should be controlled automatically based on the content being shown, so it is firstly important that the correct brightness levels are achieved. We test this by sending an image mastered at various different target brightness levels, and with varying sizes to the screen and measuring the resulting luminance output achieved. A good screen will show the brightness levels as intended by the content.

 

Secondly we can also then measure how efficient the backlight is at dimming other darker parts of the image. The whole idea of HDR is that bright areas are made brighter by the backlight, while darker areas are dimmed. The local dimming backlight allows this to happen by controlling different zones on the screen to achieve different brightness/darkness levels. We choose to measure an "up to" HDR contrast ratio here to demonstrate what the maximum potential contrast ratio would be on the screen when viewing an image with a bright white area, and a black dark area at the same time. We take the minimum black measurement on the screen by testing various places but generally this is at a point furthest away from the white measurement area in the centre. The actual perceived contrast ratio for HDR content could of course vary depending on the content you are viewing, and areas closer to the white area may not be as dark because of the way the local dimming operates. This doesn't change the fact though that the overall contrast ratio experienced on the screen is dictated by the difference between the brightest area, and the darkest area. This measurement gives you an idea of how high the contrast ratio can reach as a maximum, and also fits in with the way HDR contrast ratios are measured and specified within HDR standards.

 

 

 

Method: A white box is displayed on the screen which covers 1% of the overall screen size initially. This is designed to show at several target luminance levels, starting at 100 and then changing to 400 and 1000 cd/m2 (and beyond if needed). We measure the actual luminance of that white box to see how close to the target luminance the screen actually performs at each step. When the screen reaches the maximum peak luminance possible, we also measure the black depth of the screen at a point furthest away from the white area. This can then allow us to calculate the maximum HDR active contrast ratio, the difference between the bright white area on screen, and the dark black areas elsewhere.

 

This 1% white screen coverage is designed to give a rough representation of how a small highlight area in HDR content might appear and work in normal multimedia. The box then increases to a larger size, covering 4, 9, 25, 49 and finally 100% of the screen area. This represents different sized areas of bright content in HDR multimedia. Again those progressively larger boxes are shown at the different luminance targets, and we measure the actual screen luminance achieved for each.

 

 

The 436M6 has 3 different modes for HDR in the OSD. We will test each of these. Once enabled, many of the screen settings including the brightness control are unavailable.

 

HDR mode = Normal

 

White window size

100 cd/m2 target

400 cd/m2 target

1000 cd/m2 target

2000 cd/m2 target

4000 cd/m2 target

 

Peak luminance
(cd/m2)

Min black depth
(cd/m2)

HDR contrast (x:1)

1%

30

204

281

293

304

 

304

<0.02

>15,200

4%

42

305

469

487

512

 

512

<0.02

>25,600

9%

60

421

618

642

664

 

664

<0.02

>33,200

25%

84

515

699

720

751

 

751

<0.02

>37,550

49%

108

541

724

746

772

 

772

0.03

25,733

100%

131

547

731

754

779

 

779

n/a

n/a

 

This mode seemed to have trouble reaching the target luminance levels properly even for lower brightness content mastered at 100 and 400 cd/m2. For smaller bright areas the content was displayed too dark, and for larger areas it was too bright. The screen never reached up above about 779 cd/m2 in any measurement and so was not pushing the 1000 cd/m2 capability of the backlight either. We did measure high HDR contrast ratios reaching up above 37,550:1 but the fact that the content was not being displayed at the required brightness was a problem.

 

HDR mode = HDR VESA 1000

 

White window size

100 cd/m2 target

400 cd/m2 target

1000 cd/m2 target

2000 cd/m2 target

4000 cd/m2 target

 

Peak luminance
(cd/m2)

Min black depth
(cd/m2)

HDR contrast (x:1)

1%

113

460

1047

1066

1073

 

1073

<0.02

>53,650

4%

117

468

1065

1083

1091

 

1091

<0.02

>54,550

9%

117

470

1068

1086

1083

 

1083

<0.02

>54,150

25%

119

474

1075

1094

1101

 

1101

<0.02

>54,150

49%

121

482

1092

1111

1119

 

1119

0.12

9,325

100%

120

477

1077

1095

1103

 

1103

n/a

n/a

 

This mode was better than the normal mode. 100 cd/m2 content was a little too bright but only by a small amount. 400 cd/m2 content was a bit too bright as well but thankfully by the time you reach 1000 cd/m2 content the backlight is pushed to its upper limited and that luminance is achieved nicely, and in fact exceeded a little. Even where parts of the screen reached over 1000 cd/m2 we measured a black depth of <0.02 cd/m2 (the limit for the i1 Display Pro measurement device) and so we achieved very high HDR contrast ratios up over 54,150:1.

 

HDR mode = UHDA

 

White window size

100 cd/m2 target

400 cd/m2 target

1000 cd/m2 target

2000 cd/m2 target

4000 cd/m2 target

 

Peak luminance
(cd/m2)

Min black depth
(cd/m2)

HDR contrast (x:1)

1%

98

393

893

956

1014

 

1014

<0.02

>50,700

4%

100

399

902

968

1027

 

1027

<0.02

>51,350

9%

102

401

904

971

1029

 

1029

<0.02

>51,450

25%

103

403

909

973

1035

 

1035

<0.02

>51,750

49%

103

404

908

974

1036

 

1036

0.12

8,633

100%

105

410

921

988

1050

 

1050

n/a

n/a

 

This mode was also pretty reliable, with the content mastered at 100 cd/m2 and 400 cd/m2 being shown very accurately for all sample sizes. The content at 1000 cd/m2 was a little dark by about 100 cd/m2 (-10%) and it was only where brighter content mastered at 2000 or 4000 cd/m2 was shown that the backlight was pushed to its upper limit. Again we measured very strong HDR contrast ratios of over 51,750:1 (measurement limited by the black depth limit of the i1 Display Pro device). This UHDA mode was basically a little darker than the VESA 1000 mode, so you've got a choice there depending on your preference, ambient light conditions, viewing distance etc.

 

  

Although achieving HDR from a PC is very difficult (see our HDR article for more information), thankfully the console gaming part of the gaming market is a bit more mature. With console gaming being the primary focus of this display, that's a good thing. It is far simpler to achieve HDR thanks to the enclosed nature of the system - no software, graphics card or OS limitations to worry about here. If you have a console which can output HDR for gaming such as the PS4, PS4 Pro or X Box One S then the display will support those over the HDMI 2.0 connection.

 

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Conclusion

We spend a massive amount of time producing these detailed reviews, and this one seems to be even bigger than normal! Loads to test and plenty of exciting and interesting things to look at. If you appreciate and enjoy our reviews, and would like to help support TFTCentral we really appreciate it.

As we said in the introduction, this screen is a little different to most of the displays we review as it's not really aimed at desktop uses at all. It's aimed at the console gaming market as an alternative to TV screens and for those uses we felt it performed really well. The response times were very low, particularly low in fact for a VA-type panel like this. There was very low lag, something which is often a problem on TV screens due to all their internal electronics, scalers and picture enhancement technologies. The support for Adaptive Sync was also useful for modern games consoles, and HDR performance was really good as well. The ability to support high peak brightness, a wide DCI-P3 colour space and 10-bit content was great news, and the local dimming operated very well, producing very strong contrast ratios and low blooming.

Inclusion of things like a remote control, integrated speakers, the glossy screen coating and the Ambiglow lighting system were nice touches and crossed that boundary from monitor to TV nicely. While it was great to see HDR support over HDMI for consoles, it was a bit of a shame we felt not to have at least another HDMI port as users are likely to want to connect TV boxes or Blu-ray players to the screen as well we think. There was a good range for PC users, but missing a bit when it came to its intended audience.

For other uses besides distant console gaming viewing we felt the screen struggled. The main issue was with the clarity of text, where the unusual pixel structure caused fringing and blurring to appear from close range. The static dithering-like artefacts visible close up on some colours was also annoying. The basically useless sRGB preset mode (with factory calibration) was also frustrating. Having said that, the default setup of the screen was decent, static contrast ratio was very high and the resolution was at least usable without scaling on a screen this size. We just didn't find it comfortable for desktop use day to day due to the text clarity and the sheer size of the screen to be honest.

We shouldn't penalise the screen too much for these issues as it's really not designed for close up desktop use. It can handle it a bit, probably better than many TV's to be fair, but it's really designed for console gaming and viewing from a further distance. For those uses we felt it was a really good alternative to a TV set and performed very well.
 

Pros

Cons

Fast response times, very low lag, Adaptive Sync support all make for a great console gaming experience

sRGB factory calibration mode unusable

Good HDR support with high peak brightness, good local dimming, high HDR contrast and low blooming

Not ideal for close up PC use due to text fringing and static dithering artefacts

Large screen size and TV-like features make it a good alternative to a normal TV for console gaming

Missing an extra HDMI port

 

 

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