Now that the home entertainment market has moved towards streaming video services and Blu-ray content, there has never been a better time to convert DVD collections to digital.
Samsung SyncMaster 245B
- Suitable for watching high-definition movies and DVDs, good brightness and contrast
- Noticeable colour-shift when viewed from the sides, it doesn't have a component input, slight red discolouration in the grey level
It's not a perfect monitor; viewing from the sides and from the top causes some colour-shift and it did look a little dull in our photo tests, but the 245B is a decent high-definition monitor for productivity and multimedia use. Because it's a high-definition monitor, we would have liked the inclusion of video-in ports.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Rarely do we review monitors that don't require a lot of calibration, but Samsung's 245B was almost perfectly set up straight out of the box. We only had to adjust the contrast slightly in order to make some light grey colours visible on a white background. But, while we didn't have to fiddle much with its settings, we did find a couple of minor problems with its display.
It's a 24in monitor with a native resolution of 1920x1200, and it has a widescreen aspect ratio (16:10), which makes it suitable for productivity (you can easily line up two documents side-by-side) and watching movies. It has analogue (D-Sub) and digital (DVI) connections, and we tested with the latter, using an ATI Radeon HD 2900XT graphics card on a Windows Vista-based system.
The monitor has a high level of brightness and very good uniformity when viewed from directly in front. Its brightness may not be to everyone's liking, but it can be changed at the touch of a button, as this screen has Samsung's MagicBright technology. There are pre-set brightness levels for playing games, surfing the Internet and watching movies, among other tasks, but we found the default, custom mode to be best for all our tests. The on-screen menu also allows for the gamma and colour levels to be set manually.
From the sides, the monitor can't be viewed perfectly. There was noticeable colour-shift, even from slightly wide angles. Luckily, the base can swivel. Its vertical viewing angle is also sensitive. We had to adjust the tilt angle to get the brightness to be even at the top of the screen. The height-adjustable base also helped this cause.
As for its colours, its white looked white, and not grey or blue, during our tests, and its black colour was rich and didn't suffer too much from any paleness. There was some slight backlight bleeding on the sides and at the top, which became evident on dark screens and when watching dark scenes in movies. Using DisplayMate, we noticed that the monitor's grey colours did suffer from a slightly red discolouration, and some noise was noticeable in the mid-level grey colours. In the colour scale test, there was good contrast between colour intensities (from dark to light).
In our photo tests, however, photos looked a tad dull. We didn't have any problems viewing fine details such as feathers and strands of string, and dark areas were handled well. The colour-shift from different viewing angles was also noticeable during these tests.
For watching movies, the monitor supports HDCP and it happily played back Blu-ray movies at their native resolution. Blu-ray movies looked great as far as detail and colour are concerned. DVDs were also handled well by the monitor, with relatively good detail shown in our test DVD (The Bourne Supremacy), despite the monitors' native high-definition resolution (which is much higher than the resolution of a DVD).
The monitor handled motion fairly well; there was slight blurring during our horizontal text-scrolling test, and vertical scrolling didn't induce headaches. While gaming and watching movies, we didn't notice any problems.
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