Philips Brilliance 248C3LHSB
There’s a parallel universe where we’re all
millionaires, our PCs are hooked up to 30-inch LED-powered beasts with 120Hz
refresh. Life is pretty sweet. Back in this universe, compromises must be made.
Which is where the Philips Brilliance comes in.
It’s the solution, or so Philips hopes, to
the following crucial conundrum: just how much screen can you get for under
E200? The real answer begins with 24-inches or more accurately 23.6-inches of
corner to corner screen diagonal. Next up is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It’s the
full HD grid, then. Finally, and rather predictably, you get TN panel
More on that in a moment. Because one thing
you might not expect to get at this price point is a really classy chassis and
stand. But that’s precisely what Philips has come up with. Granted, the stand
is limited to tilt-only adjustment. That aside, it’s a remarkable high quality
effort which leverages cast aluminium for the base and both looks and feels
Does this improve the image quality? No.
Does it make you feel better about your purchase? Definitely. All Philips
therefore needs to do is deliver half decent image quality in the TN idiom and
we will have ourselves a deal.
It’s a TN panel, but what you don’t
expect at this price is a classy chassis and stand
Weighing in on the positive side of the
ledger are good black levels and contrast. Panel backlighting is another strong
point with very little unwanted bleed at the edges. As TN screens go, the
viewing angles are impressive, too, even if the Lagom test suite proves they
fall well short of the best IPS and PVA panels.
We’ve no particular bones to pick with the
response performance, either. Philips offers two switchable modes. The Smart Response
mode clearly involves pixel overdrive and does introduce a little inverse
ghosting. But it also delivers super-quick response and, more to the point,
it’s your choice — you can always switch it off.
If that’s the good news the bad is that the
Brilliance will never let you forget your virtual world of desktop computing is
tinged by TN. The give away involves slightly thin and watery colours. This
screen simply isn’t as saturated, vibrant or pleasing as more expensive panels.
It’s still a great gaming panel thanks to the speed. And we have to admit that
1080p video looks very fine. But you will notice the Lack of depth and vibrancy
on the desktop.
If none of that sounds like a deal breaker,
there is one further snag. Philips has seen fit to limit video inputs to
dual-HDMI and a single VGA port. Problem is, HDMI can be problematical,
especially with AMD graphics cards. Be warned.
Native resolution 1,920 x 1.200
Pixel response 2ms
Viewing angle 170/1600 H/V
Samsung 5 Series
Movies, games. PC and TV — can a single
screen really deliver on each and every count? That’s the challenge for the new
Samsung Series 5 T27A550 HDTV monitor. It’s a 27-inch beast with an integrated
digital TV tuner and enough inputs to soak up everything from desktop PCs to
games consoles and set-top boxes. It’s the total video solution.
That it’s also priced at just $384; looks a
little like a miniature high-end HDT; sports a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel grid
and comes complete with an IR remote just sweetens the deal. It’s an awful lot
of screen, features and technology for your money.
Of course, HDTV prices have been tumbling
of late. A 32-inch HDTV can be had for under $318. Likewise, pretty much any
HDTV with an HDMI port is capable of doubling as a monitor for a PC or a screen
for gaming console and set-top box larks. It’s also worth noting that the panel
itself is based on TN technology. At this price that’s inevitable. But it’s
worth remembering that large, expensive HDTVs use more sophisticated VA or IPS
The 127A550 tries to be all things
video for everyone and just about succeeds
Still, TN is the fastest responding panel
technology and the T27A550 duly delivers blur-free gaming. Elsewhere, the image
quality is above average for a TN. Thanks in part to the LED backlight, colours
are vibrant and relatively saturated Okay, a VA screen has more visual punch
and IPS panels are much more accurate. But for anything less than pro usage,
the Samsung monitor’s colours are adequate.
Black levels are good for a TN, too, even
if Samsung’s dynamic contrast technology is no substitute for a panel with
strong contrast. Then there’s the Magic Angle Vertical technology, which claims
to improve viewing angles. First, it’s not dynamic, and second you have to set
up and stick to a particular viewing angle.
If you change your viewing position or the
height of the screen itself, you’ll have to recalibrate. That said, it does
offset much of the colour inversion TN panels suffer when viewing from below
As for other features, Samsung has included
support for direct video, audio and image playback from USB mass storage
devices. That includes full HD video files in a wide range of codecs, such as
H.264 and XvlD, and containers, including. AVI and .MP4. Images in .JPG format
up to 15,360 x 8,640 resolution and non-DRM MP3 files round out the USB
On a negative note, the 1.920 x 1,080
resolution is great for games, but it doesn’t deliver any extra desktop space
compared to cheaper 22-inch screens, including BenQ.’s RL2240H (reviewed p14.).
Native resolution 1,920 x 1,080
Pixel response 5ms
Viewing angle 170/1600 H/V