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Unoptimized defaults

Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:33 pm

This weekend I finally decided to buy a Full HD monitor for my PC to replace now, IIRC, 7 year old ViewSonic VP171b.

I was just browsing through the shop, but seeing that Samsung BX2450 was super cheap, I decided not to shell big amounts of money on ViewSonic Pro series, and not to wait for 3D screens, which are still very poor in my opinion (noticeable flashing, non full hd panels), so I just decided, why not.

Even though I was always wary of the 16:9 vs 16:10 screens, I decided to take the risk, and I'm glad I did. The screen is pretty decent and I honestly don't feel I'm missing anything when browsing the web, gaming or watching movies. It even feels it's better to have video fill the whole screen instead of leaving black bars at the top and the bottom, which would be an issue with 16:10.

The screen has an LED back-light, which is pretty cold, and looking at the specs, 24" LED consumes less power than my 17" ViewSonic does, 27W vs 33W. The color is quite bluish though, hard to say if it's good without calibrating. Also there is some back-light bleeding, but I guess it's ok and to be expected.

What shocked me, though, is that the default settings the screen has, and all those marketing gimmicks, make the screen perform badly by default.

If I'd have just swapped the screens, I'd probably wouldn't have noticed much of a difference, but since I decided to compare them side by side, the first impression was WTF. The image quality on BX was way, way worse than on VP. All of this because of the on by default marketing features.

The screen was bright by default, washed out actually. All of this because of MagicBright at standard, and HDMI black levels at normal. When compared to VP the default settings were awful. The response time was set on "faster" by default, which also causes some banding and artifacting, the third, fastest setting, is simply awful, the paints some gray parts purplish while moving fast in 3D shooters. Turned that to normal, and image was correct all the time, and there was no ghosting whatsoever. Why on earth someone has to choose defaults that have some image corruption? The menu has them, cool, but why on by default if there is no sense to have less than 8ms response time anyway?

Then, returning to MagicBright, the feature is actually awful, and ruins the otherwise pretty good screen. With the demo mode (where half of the screen is shown with MB on and half with the MB off), I noticed that blacks are completely washed out, the contrast is ruined, and MB image is actually worse than the default. Easily noticeable with green leaves background of Windows 7. Also, MB cinema mode applies such amount of sharpening that everything looks bad.

The sharpening menu makes no sense to me, as well, by default it's left at 60, but setting it to 0 causes some horizontal blur that looks awful, and higher setting have all the regular sharpening artifacts. DVI has correct, digital, signal by default, do they use DVI to analog internally to apply these effects?

It just doesn't make sense to me why someone would put all those image ruining effect on by default. :roll:

Otherwise, the screen is pretty good. And with all gimmicks off, I even like it more than VP now.
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Re: Unoptimized defaults

Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:22 pm

The overbright setting is usually there because the monitors will be demo'd in big-box retail stores, where the overhead lighting tends to be some combination of bright, harsh, and high color temperature. Moreover, the display often needs to catch attention from a distance. Flatscreen televisions are often tweaked that way for the same reason -- a coworker who did retail at an Ultimate Electronics store had a name for it: Death Ray Mode.
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Re: Unoptimized defaults

Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:06 pm

Slightly off topic... Coincidentally, I just ordered a cheap-o 21.5" 1080P LED Dell to replace my 6+ year old vp171b.
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Re: Unoptimized defaults

Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:38 pm

PixelArmy wrote:
I just ordered a 21.5" 1080P Dell.
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