Philips C-Line 249C4QH - Lacking In Features And Adjustability

11/3/2012 9:32:55 AM

A great-looking VA panel, but expensive and lacking in features and adjustability

IPS might be the display technology to opt for in the high end of the market, but that doesn’t mean you have to opt for a bargain-basement TN panel if you’re on a tight budget. VA (vertical alignment) panels such as the one used in the Philips C-Line 249C4QH can offer a very reasonable middle ground between price and picture qualities. However, at $324.5, the 249C4QH will have to be a very special VA monitor to justify its price, especially with its minimal feature set.

Description: Philips C-Line 249C4QH
Philips C-Line 249C4QH

The249C4QH doesn't cater for wall-mounting and multi-monitor brackets-there are no VESA mounting holes and the base is non-removable, as it houses all the inputs and OSD buttons. Meanwhile, the bezel has a minimal -3 to 15 degrees of tilt, but there's no height or swivel adjustment.

Inputs are equally limited, with just one VGA and two HDMI ports, and there isn't even a DVI to HDMI adaptor in the box for graphics cards with only DVI ports. On the plus side, an auxiliary3.5mm audio jack acts as an HDMI audio pass-through, so you'll still be able to use HDMI audio, even though the 249C4QH doesn't have a set of internal speakers.

At its default settings, the monitor's peak brightness of 249.2Cd/m2 was certainly healthy, although the color temperature was a little high at 6,875K, resulting in a noticeable blue tinge. Meanwhile, the average gamma was an exact 2.2 with little variance, and color accuracy was only slightly off our target with an average dE94 of 3.1. We also measured an incredibly high contrast ratio of 2,265:1, although this is still well below the 5,000:1 typical contrast ratio that Philips quotes. Basically, without any calibration, the 249C4QH can still produce a great-looking image, and it also has an even backlight that showed no signs of bleed around the edges.

Description: At its default settings, the monitor's peak brightness of 249.2Cd/m2 was certainly healthy, although the color temperature was a little high at 6,875K, resulting in a noticeable blue tinge
At its default settings, the monitor's peak brightness of 249.2Cd/m2 was certainly healthy, although the color temperature was a little high at 6,875K, resulting in a noticeable blue tinge

VA panels have much better viewing angles than TN screens too, so the 249C4QH impressed us in this respect, even if it couldn't match an I PS panel - there was some minor color shift at more extreme angles. The matt finish also helps to diffuse light reflections, although colors don't have the same vibrancy as they might on a glossy screen.

Beyond the slightly high color temperature, there's little not to like about the 249C4QH out of the box, although there's always room for improvement and tweaking. However, this meant battling with the awful touch-sensitive OSD buttons. These are a pain to use, especially in the dark, as they aren't backlit; the basic menus themselves offer very little control over image quality too.

Meanwhile, Philips' Smart image presets only seem to alter image sharpness and none of the six options managed to improve the picture at all.

However, with some perseverance using our X-Rite i 1 color meter, the 249C4QH continued to impress. After dropping the brightness to a more eye-friendly 125Cd/m2 and using a calibration tool, we lowered the color temperature to a more accurate 6,598K and reached an impressive average dE94 of 0.6.

The resulting contrast ratio of 1241:1 was also still impeccably high, even if it was half the original value, which made it very easy to pick out details in our dark test video.


The Philips C-Line 249C4QH might be lacking in terms of features and connections, but its picture quality is excellent for a VA display. Despite this, however, it struggles to justify its $324.5 asking price when you could buy a superior IPS monitor such as View Sonic's VX2336s for $105 less.





Product code:


Display type:


Dimensions (mm):

569x 180 x434(W x D x H)

Available colors:




View able screen size:


Maximum resolution

1,920 x 1,080

Contrast ratio:

5,000:1 (20,000,000:1 dynamic)



Response time:

6ms (grey-to-grey)


Three-year RTB


Great picture quality out of the box


Lack of inputs; few adjustment options; expensive


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