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A look at Samsung's LCD offerings

If you have been in the market for a new monitor in these last few months, chances are that at one time you heard of Samsung's latest CRT/LCD offerings, they are currently one of the top rated display products on the Net for their good value and packed features. In this article, we are pleased to review Samsung's latest LCD solutions.

The Company

The SyncMaster 770TFT

The 770TFT model is somewhat of an unique product on the market; its one of the few 17" LCD displays offering a 1280x1024 viewing area for a very competing price of around 750$ USD. People dreaming of owning a 19" LCD, but having the funds for a 15" might have another solution on the corner.

Front

Features
  • 1280 x 1024 / 75Hz max resolution
  • Full 17" viewable screen
  • Most advanced image scaling
  • Fast and accurate auto adjustment
  • 160/160 Viewing Angle
  • Little electromagnetic radiation
  • Absolutely no flicker
  • Ivory Color NUTEK & TCO '99 certified
  • Optional USB-Hub Available
  • Color Solutiona (Colorific s/w)
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The 770 is all about style. The unit spots a stylish design and an easy to browse OSD menu. The front of the unit features 6 buttons and two LED(s). The first button is marked as AUTO. This feature activates the auto video adjustment function. Second is EXIT, this option lets you exit from menus. The LED(s) indicate the function of the display, green indicates normal operation, when it glows amber, it indicates the monitor is in a power saving mode and / or if the signal becomes disconnected. Next is power, this button is somewhat on the middle of the unit and is the biggest. The next three buttons are fundamental options for the OSD menu. The + and - buttons move the selector between menus and sub menus, decreases and increases values of the selected function on the OSD and while off the OSD, adjusts the brightness levels. At last, the menu button opens the OSD Menu for the configurations.

The 770TFT features a basic OSD menu (On Screen Display). The + and - buttons are used to move between function icons. The menu button is pushed to activate the selected function, the - and + buttons are used to make the adjustments. Features from the menu include; brightness, contrast, image lock which is used to adjust the amount of noise in the video signal which causes horizontal lines or areas on the screen where the image appears to be unstable. Menu positions let you replace the OSD menu around the screen. The reset function restores the viewing area and color settings to the standard specs. Color temperature lets you select the most comfortable viewing mode. Color control lets you adjust the saturation of RED, GREEN and BLUE in the display area. The language feature lets you chose the preferred language from the 6 offered (English, Dutch, Espanol, Francais, Italiano and svenska). Menu display time sets the time you want the OSD menu to be active and at last the display MODE option shows the horizontal and vertical frequencies, sync polarity and the resolution of the display.

The 770TFT spots a 1280x1024 maximum resolution; a great 75Hz refresh rate and a reasonable .264 pitch. This is without questions more than enough for the average home/business user. We found the 770TFT to be the perfect companion for home/business use. The output was impressive for this 750$ unit. Text was crisp and clear, outstanding image quality and good color renderings. However, as with most LCD displays, High-end graphics and FPS games are unfortunately not that great due the slow pixel response rate compared to traditional CRT technology.

Even at 1280x1024, the display still manages to output crisp and clear text.

The unit connects via standard 15-PIN SVGA D-sub connector; no digital input is available. This of course should not be a big issue as the 770TFT is priced amazingly well and is targeted for the home/small business.

The SyncMaster 570V

Features
  • Panel a-si : TFT/TN
  • Viewable Area : 15"
  • Pixel Pitch (mm) : 0.297
  • Brightness (Typ.) : 200 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio : 250:1
  • Viewing Angle (H/V) : 120/110
  • Response Time (ms) : 40
  • Interface : Analog
  • Frequency Horizontal
  • Frequency (kHz) : 30-61
  • Vertical Frequency (Hz) : 50-75
  • Bandwidth (MHz) : 80
  • Maximum Resolution : 1024 x 768
  • Color Supported : 16.2 Mil.
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The 570V is 770TFT's smaller brother, the unit features the exact same design; the main difference between both is the included stand, while very similar, the 770TFT's stand is a bit larger. I will not go trough the whole design and OSD process once again as both unit have identical features.


The 570V being a smaller unit spots a 1024 x 768 maximum resolution; a 75Hz refresh rate and a .297 pitch. The unit connects via standard 15-PIN SVGA D-sub connector; no digital input is available here either. This of course should not be a big issue as the 570V is strictly targeted for home use.

The 570V manages to do a great job for what it has been designed - Home Use (Web Surfing, Gaming and Office applications. The Text output is crisp and clear at its optimal resolution of 1024x768, the image output is clear and the color rendering is very reasonable.



The SyncMaster 170MP

Features
  • 1280 x 1024 max resolution / 76Hz NTSC,
  • S-Video, TV Tuner Built-In
  • RCA Video & Audio, S-Video,
  • Antenna Connector
  • Picture In Picture Capability
  • Full 17" viewable screen
  • Built-in Multimedia Speakers
  • Most advanced image scaling
  • Fast and accurate auto adjustment
  • 140/120 Viewing Angle (H/V)
  • Little electromagnetic emissions
  • Absolutely no flicker
  • Metallic Silver Color
  • NUTEK & TCO '95 certified
  • Weight Less Than 15 Lbs
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The 170MP unit is what I can call the monitor of the future. The unit features absolutely everything a PC enthusiast could ever dream of and much more. I am not even sure if I could call the 170MP a PC display, it features more TV features than a computer monitor. The 170MP includes a 125 Channel TV Tuner with V-CHIP support and spotting different video inputs to watch your favorite DVD's.

The front features 9 buttons. First comes the source, this lets you select your video source, four source indicator LEDs on the left indicate currently active video source. Second comes the PIP button, this stands for picture in picture and lets you switch PIP in a windows, Full Size and/or turn it off. Third comes the Exit button, this has the function to exit from menus and turn the PIP feauture off. Menu is fallowed; it pops the OSD menu with the highlighted features. Power turns the display ON and OFF and at the same time, indicates the status of the monitor using the little built in LED. The next four buttons come in groups (CH-/CH+), this increases and decreases the channel number and lets you browse around the OSD menu (UP-DOWN) the last group is the (VOL-/VOL+) buttons, these let you increase and decrease the volume level and are also used as left and right indicator on the OSD menu.

The back side of the unit features all the Inputs and outputs. First comes the 12C DC input and then fallows all the video inputs. First video input is a standard 15-PIN D-sub input used to connect your computer, fallowing with an S-VIDEO input marked as video2 and a Composite video input market as video3. Next are the audio inputs. First comes the composite Left and Right audio inputs, second is a standard 3.5mm jack that lets you connect your computer. The next category coming is the Audio Out. First is a standard 3.5mm output jack that can be used to connect your external audio system and second is another 3.5mm jack that can be used to connect your headphones. At last comes the Antenna Port (Cable Jack). All the connectors are fit vertically into the ports because the 170MP's capability to be installed on a wall. The ones not planning to install this unit on a wall will find these vertically placed ports to be a problem as it is a pain to connect the cables, but as this will not have to be done every day we might as well not complain. Below the buttons, you can notice the long speaker grill hosting two 1.5W small speakers, while not top of the line, they manage to do their job quite well.

To facilitate the installations process of the 170MP, Samsung packed all the necessary audio/video cables in the bundle. You of course get the 15-Pin D-Sub Signal cable an Audio/Video RCA cable, Stereo RCA Cable and a Stereo/Stereo 3.5mm Cable.

The OSD menu on the 170MP is what I can call advanced and well designed. It features similar features to the previous viewed displays (770TFT and 570V) but in a classier and more defined style. In addition to the basic computer monitor menu, you have all the video/TV features in there. The TV options look very similar to a normal TV.

OSD MENU

One of the most interesting features, making it unique from its competition is the included stylish remote control. You can control absolutely everything from there as in a normal TV

Remote Control

The 170MP has a great video quality. Its S-Video input is by far superior and recommended when connecting a DVD player, the composites manage to display a standard VHS picture. The TV tuner quality is very acceptable and almost identical to a TV set. The 170MP features a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 and a reasonable .264 pitch. The output quality while in a computer mode display is very similar if not identical to the 770TFT. Most of the video features are identical to both units. Once again the text is very clear and sharp.

The unit connects via standard 15-PIN SVGA D-sub connector; no digital input is available here either. I found this a bit unfortunate as the unit is somewhat priced around what high end Digital solutions retail.

Summation

To finish up and make things clearer, the 770TFT is without questions the monitor for anyone looking for a large quality LCD display for their office without having to completely empty their pocket. The 770TFT became my personal favorite choice and is currently replacing my SONY G400 CRT that was used for office applications. You can't go wrong at 750$ for a quality and large LCD display. I have found the 570V to be another interesting contestant, while not representing the same value benefits as the 770TFT, the 540V offers everything a home user could ever ask for - Quality and Price. The 570V ends being a recommended unit by us. And at last, the 170MP is of course the feature packed unit. Retailing for around 1200$ USD will unfortunately limit this beauty for most. If you have the money and are looking forward into spicing up your computer experience, this unit could be something to consider. As far as gaming concerns, Id feel more comfortable with my CRT.


SyncMaster 770TFT

SyncMaster 170MP

SyncMaster 570V










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