Samsung's 192MP

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Product: Samsung 192MP 19" LCD
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price: (~799.99USD Pricewatch | 1,212.96CDN NCIX)

Introduction & Specs:
 

Back in January of this year I took a look at the Samsung Syncmaster 1701MP 17" Multipurpose LCD, and was left wanting. That was an older generation of display that didn't seem to perform as I had expected. Samsung contacted me a few weeks back and asked it I would like to take a look at their 192MP. To be honest, I was very skeptical. The tuner performance on the 1701MP was not great, and with all the new inputs on the new 192MP, I figured that Samsung was going for quantity at the expense of quality. Keep on reading to find out if the 192MP offers quality, quantity, or both.

True to form we'll start off with some of the unit's features & specs - according to Samsung:

  • Viewable Image Size: 19"
  • Brightness (Typical): 260 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio: 700:1
  • Viewing Angle (H/V): 170 / 170
  • Interface: Analog/Digital
  • Horiz. Frequency: 31-81
  • Max/Native Resolution: 1280 x 1024
  • Emissions Standard: TCO '99
  • Available Color(s): Silver
  • Special Features: External TV Tuner, Dual CPU inputs, S-Video, HDTV ready, PiP function, MagicBrightâ„¢.
 

Display & Bundle:

 
 

The LCD itself is very nicely sized, measuring a full 19" from corner to corner. This display comes with both a DVI cables as well as a standard VGA cable. Also included in the package is the software CD, power adapter, and full-function remote. Not a loaded bundle by any stretch, but enough to get you going. Samsung has not included any S-Video, Audio, or Component Cables, as most users won't use all these connections, and it just adds more cost to the unit.

The software that comes with the display is pretty much standard fare. It ships with a Samsung driver CD that also includes a Color Setup Utility.

 
The back of the unit is where most of the magic happens. As you can just make out, there is a whole row of connectors under the edge. The base/handle flips up into the recess pictured below, and then a plate can be attached to the four holes under the "Samsung" name, to allow this display to be wall-mounted. Even when wall mounted, there is enough room for the cables, and no pressure will be placed on them as they easily feed out the bottom.
 
The center button on the display is not your average power button. The very middle of this arrangement is in fact your power switch, and the outside ring is your volume control (side-to-side) and channel selector (up-and-down).
 

On the right side of the display is where your menu and function buttons are located. After the menu is activated you navigate it using the center channel/volume control, then press the "Enter" or "Exit" buttons on the side of the display to select menu functions. Although this worked fine for me, it does require the use of two hands to navigate and change menu settings quickly. . . when using the buttons on the LCD. The remote can access all of these functions as well. . . more on that in a minute.

Also on the side of the display are the buttons to select the video source, as well as to turn Picture-in-Picture on or off. Below that is the "MagicBright" button which lets you select different levels of brightness and contrast to match the content you are viewing.

You can also see in the picture below the speaker grill. These speakers really sound quite amazing. When the unit was placed across the room in my house, they were loud and very clear. Comfortable listening was obtained at "40" on their arbitrary volume scale of 1-100.

 
The remote that comes with the unit is a full-featured remote. I really have no complaints about the remote at all. It has a logical button layout, and after a few minutes, you can use it without having to hunt for the buttons. You can control the 192MP menu's and functions with it, as well as choose video source, PiP, PiP source, a nifty "Still" mode that captures a single frame on the screen (but not to hard drive), as well as common TV functions.
 
 
Connectors, Connectors, and more Connectors . . .
 

What separates the MP from other LCD's is the ability to hook this beauty up to a veritable thwackload of devices. I apologize for the reflective pic, but it is very shiny and I needed the flash.

Starting at the left we have the Power Connector, DVI Connector, VGA Connector, 1/8" Stereo Audio Input, Component Video and Audio Inputs, as well as the Cable or TV antenna input (tuner). A whole bunch of stuff.

 
But wait there's more! On the left hand side of the 192MP there is a few more inputs for S-Video, RCA Video, and standard RCA audio inputs. Also there is a 1/8" headphone jack to help keep the family happy.

 
As you can see so far, this is a fully loaded display. It has enough stuff to keep a gadget junky happy, but does it perform well enough to keep the computer enthusiast or executive happy? You'll have to head on over to the next page and view the testing info and results to find out!


Test Setup & Info:
 

For the following tests I used my main rig, my wife's laptop, and various home theatre devices:

Main Rig:

  • ABIT NF72 Rev.2
  • Mobility 2500+
  • ATi Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
  • 1024MB PC3500
  • Plextor PX-708A DVDRW
  • Intervideo WinDVD 5
  • PowerDVD 4
  • Windows XP SP1 (Dual Boot)

Wife's Laptop:

  • Syntax G736
  • Pentium 4 2.6C
  • 512MB PC2700
  • Mobility 9600

Home Theatre Stuffs:

  • Toshiba DVD Video/Audio with Component Video.
  • Bell Expressvu Digital Satellite.

 

The games, movies, and applications I tested were the following:

  • Movie: X-Men
  • Movie: 50 First Dates
  • Game: UT2004
  • Game: FarCry
  • App: Adobe Photoshop
  • App: FireFox 0.9.1
  • App: Nokia Monitor Test

Keep in mind that it's pretty hard to "test" a Monitor or LCD. Different people perceive things differently, and what appears clear to one person may not appear as clear to another. As far as gaming goes, this is especially true. I'm very fussy when it comes to "ghosting". I know a few people who games on LCD's that I could not even consider gaming on, and they think it looks clear. I will try to be objective, and describe things exactly how I see them. Individual results may vary, but here's my take.

 
Application Testing:
 

I always approach the first power up of an LCD with a little fear. I've received a few over the years that had a few dead pixels, and very little irritates me more than a dead or locked pixel. I was very glad to find that all pixels functioned fine and displayed correctly. I used the Nokia monitor test to confirm this.

To be honest, I was initially a little disappointed by the quality of the LCD. The mouse "trailed" when I first plugged it in and booted into Windows. There was also a texture shimmy on a web page that I visit that has a very, very fine gray/black checkered background. I decided to install the monitor driver that came on the CD, and it actually fixed up these issues. I always recommend installing monitor drivers although I know many people do not. To get this display working like it should, please install the drivers. That's what they're there for.

 
At it's native 1280x1024, this display once again raises the bar on visual clarity. Text is smooth and crisp on every extremity of the screen, and looks flawless. 2D app's and pictures are truly a thing to behold, and the color is rich and vibrant.
 
Game Testing:
 

As with any 25ms response LCD I've had, this is not a gaming LCD - at least not for me. There is visible ghosting in FarCry and UT2004, but due to the lower contrast of UT2004 it is visually much better. Either way after a half hour of gaming, I had to go back to my 19" 955DF CRT.

The picture below shows the LCD much more vividly than my CRT. The actual difference was not that great, but the LCD did have a brighter, more saturated picture.

 
Movie Testing:
 

For these tests, I fired up XMEN which stresses the high contrast and response time. Only a couple of times during action sequences did I notice any ghosting. The color was deep and rich, with the blacks being, well . . . black, and the white very bright. I played around with the MagicBright profiles and found that "Entertainment" was the best choice for movies.

The second movie I spun was 50 First Dates. This movie is good for a laugh and tests the richness and color of a display. Color again appeared accurate and very clean.

 

 
Multi Purpose Testing:
 
For this part of the testing I plugged my gear into every possible input on the LCD. I had a Toshiba DVD Video/Audio player that I ran into the component inputs. I ran S-Video from my Satellite which I also ran into the TV Tuner for comparison.
 

The picture above shows the movie XMen running with the PiP option overlay onto a 1280x1024 DVI-input Mozilla browsered web page. As I mentioned previously, the text quality is flawless, and with the overlay enabled there is no change. The PiP can be displayed in any of the four corners of the screen, and can either be 4:3 Pan Scan aspect ratio, or a 16:9 Widescreen aspect ratio. Any of the video inputs (not including the VGA or DVI) can be viewed in the PiP window. Quality of this windowed media is very good. When viewing the video full screen the quality is actually quite amazing.

With the last MP LCD I reviewed, the Samsung Syncmaster 1701MP, the quality of the tuner was quite poor. I am very pleased to see that the quality has improved dramatically. Viewing a video signal through the tuner is just as good as viewing it through the RCA video and even the S-Video input. The color saturations are a little different, but the quality is just as good. Connecting a video source to the component video inputs though is where this really shines. The quality is just a step above the S-Video and looks very clear at distances of more than 2 feet.

It's true, at super close range there is slight pixelation in any of the images inputted through any of the auxiliary video connectors. This is really not surprising as the LCD's native resolution is 1280x1024 and video signals are far less than that. The magnification of the image produces the very slight pixelation. However, at distances of more than 4 feet it is virtually unnoticeable. My wife and I put this across the room beside our 25" TV and ended up watching TV on the LCD more than our regular TV. It really is that good.

Samsung has enabled all of the video features such as PiP, position, size, source, and picture adjustments from the remote. There is also a nifty "Still" button that enables you to freeze a frame of the TV/Video source. The audio keeps on playing behind the still frame, and when you press "Still" again, it switches back to the live video. I'm not really sure how handy this is, but I enjoyed playing around with it for sure. I'm very glad to see that the remote isn't one of those credit card sized remotes that have poor range. This remote worked from as far away as 20' without any issues. I wasn't able to test it farther away as it is IR, as our rooms are small. ;-)

 
Conclusion:
 

I'll admit in a few ways I was a bit skeptical that this LCD could perform. The 1701MP left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth as the quality was not so great as I expected. I'm very pleased with the quality of the 192MP however. In fact my retiring boss has been looking for an LCD TV, and after seeing this product has decided to get a Multipurpose LCD from Samsung instead. The quality of this device is definitely better than LCD TV's that I've seen, and I've seen some pretty decent ones.

If you need an entertainment setup for your home, office or dorm, you would be hard pressed to find a better solution than the 192MP from Samsung. This unit delivers quality in almost every way. The only thorn on this rose is the 25ms response time. If Samsung had the timing down to 16ms, this unit would walk away with a perfect 10. That really is it's only flaw.

Pros:

  • Excellent text quality.
  • A veritable cornucopia of inputs.
  • Excellent picture quality on all inputs.
  • No dead pixels.
  • Supports DVI & VGA.
  • "Real" remote with very good range.
  • Did I mention the abundance of video inputs?

Cons:

  • 25ms = Some games showed "ghosting."

In order to give you better idea of how we score products here at BensCustomCases, we're going to start including a scoring summary at the end of our reviews. This will help you to understand how it shapes up as a whole package.

BensCustomCases.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
9/10
Software Pack:
9/10
Stability:
n/a
Value:
10/10
Total Score 9.5

 

I'd like to thank Samsung for firing over this LCD. It was definitely interesting and exciting to see the improvements they've made over previous models.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please feel free to head on over to our forum and post them here.