Baumann Meyer DT3220
- Excellent high definition capabilities, Good price, Excellent speakers
- Some noise and discolouration issues in standard definition, Over sharpening in PC modes.
The high definition capabilities of the DT3220 are top notch and the few problems we found in standard definition and PC modes aren’t bad enough to make this an unwise purchase
Price$ 2,599.00 (AUD)
In a design departure from last year's DT2600, Baumann Meyer has come to market with a more traditional bottom speaker design on their DT3220. The 32-inch television performed impeccably in our high definition tests and would make any HD user supremely happy. However in standard definition there were a few problems that lowered the overall quality of the unit.
The DT3220 is silver in colour and has four speakers running along the bottom of the panel. The design is very simple with hard edges meeting to form a highly rigid aesthetic. Continuing this minimalist design, the On/Off switch is the only visible button on the face. The rear of the unit houses the input ports consisting of two component and two SCART connectors, DVI and 15 pin D-Sub ports for PC connectivity as well as both S-Video and composite video connections. Almost flush against the lower right hand side of the panel are the basic user controls comprised of volume, channel and input selectors. The remote control isn't the most startling design you'll ever see but it is functional and does an adequate job.
The speakers on the DT3220 were quite reasonable and performed well with very little distortion or housing resonance even at high volume levels. The bass could have been better, but considering there is no independent sub-woofer, we weren't expecting to be blown away. We did however find the SRS WOW sound expansion made improvements in this area, as well as fleshing out the mid-range, though there was a trade off with some loss in the upper treble registers.
The most common use for standard definition on an LCD television is DVD playback. As such our standard definition testing is comprised of two informal DVD tests and one formal DVD test using our Digital Video Essentials test DVD.
The two informal tests we use are the lobby scene from "The Matrix" and the T-Rex attack from "Jurassic Park". We use these two scenes to test for abnormalities in the way a television draws images. We look for any problems such as discolourations, stepping, contrast ratio issues and image noise, to name a few.
In the Matrix test the DT3220 had a few problems including moments of discolouration on block colours and stepping on flesh tones. There was also some image noise, especially in areas of low colour but this was not as noticeable from a comfortable viewing distance. On the upside, the blacks were very impressive and complimented the rich colour abilities of the panel.
Our Jurassic Park tests further illustrated the stepping issues. This test is particularly useful as it is both a night scene and a scene with intricate details such as rain and the T-Rex skin textures. On human skin tones, there was enough stepping that it was still noticeable when viewed from around two metres. The rain and finer details were rendered well with very little pixelisation; a feat not accomplished by many LCD TVs.
With our informal tests out of the way we moved on to the formal element of our standard definition testing; the Digital Video Essentials. The Baumann Meyer passed many of our tests with no problems but we did notice a slight magenta discolouration in mid-tone grays and some noise in the low registers. This noise explains the similar problem we saw in the informal DVD tests as grey is the basis of all colours on an LCD television. We also noticed this noise a little more prominently in magenta and red colours during our block colour tests.
If you are buying an LCD television primarily to watch DVDs then there are other televisions on the market that outperform this unit. However, the problems are not bad enough to completely discount this unit as it did perform well at a high quality during out high definition tests.
High Definition Testing
To test High Definition we ran the Xbox 360 console at both 720p and 1080i. 1080i is a better test for Australian high definition standards as the only true high definition television broadcasts come in this signal format. The rest are 576p or 576i which are then upscaled to 720p or 1080i. The images produced by the Xbox 360 were clear and crisp and all the problems seen in the standard definition testing were no longer evident. Contrast was handled quite well, although not as well as other units on the market but the overall picture quality was exceptional. Blacks were handled well and with negligible discolouration from the backlights. As a whole we were more than satisfied with the high definition capabilities and have no problem recommending this unit to someone who wants something that will deliver HD content with a punch.
Connecting to a PC
The DT3220 supports PC connection either via the D-Sub or DVI connector. The difference between the two is negligible but for the purposes of our testing we ran our tests via D-Sub. Using DisplayMate Video Edition we ran a complex series of tests on the panel and frankly, were not surprised by the results. Fine details like text and intricate graphical elements were hampered by picture noise and the grey scale tests showed a little green discolouration in the dark grey end of the spectrum. In low grey there was a noticeable pixel fluctuation which also seemed to indicate the problems this unit has with grey. It's not a huge problem but it is the difference between a great TV and a mind blowing one. Thankfully, the SMPTE colour bars and some of the harder moire pattern tests were all handled beautifully. The DT3220 probably won't work well as a monitor replacement on your current PC due to these problems but it will definitely suffice for casual use.
There are so many LCD televisions on the market and most of them have over-inflated price tags when you compare features and performance. The Baumann Meyer DT3220 is a good quality television and while it does have its share of problems, it sits comfortably at a fair price point. The high definition capabilities of the panel are top notch and the few problems we found in standard definition and PC modes aren't bad eough to make this an unwise purchase.
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