Introduction

We review many LCDs, but the reality is that we don't review very many different LCD panels. The reason is simple: there aren't very many LCD panel manufacturers. Most LCD panels come from one of the top three panel manufacturers: AU Optronics, LG Philips, and Samsung Electronics. While there are minor variations in panel quality, if you choose a particular panel model and put it in two different LCDs, overall performance is likely to be very similar. Differences between panel models can be much greater, however, especially if the underlying technologies are not the same.

Besides the panel manufacturer, there are three panel technologies in widespread use: TN (Twisted Nematic), PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment), and IPS (In-Plane Switching). MVA (Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) is also around, but without getting into the details we'll just say it's somewhat similar to PVA. All of these technologies can also have an "S-" prefix, which stands for "Super" -- indicating the use of an upgraded version of the original technology. (Nearly all modern panels are S-TN, S-PVA, or S-IPS, but we won't worry about that.)

Given the above two pieces of information -- the panel manufacturer and the panel technology -- we can come up with a pretty good idea of how a display will perform when it comes to benchmarking. More important than the panel manufacturer, however, is the technology. TN has been around the longest, and while it is inexpensive to manufacture there are certain performance characteristics that we dislike, specifically the more limited viewing angles. If you're sitting directly in front of your display -- which most of us are -- it doesn't make a huge difference, but because these panels also tend to target the budget markets, overall quality is usually lower as well. PVA and IPS are both better technologies in terms of quality and viewing angles, but they cost more to produce and they usually have slightly slower response times. Since we're at the point now where response times really don't bother us, the net result is that we strongly prefer LCD panels that use S-PVA or S-IPS technology.

That brings us to today's review of the Samsung 245T. Not surprisingly, the LCD panel is also from Samsung and features S-PVA technology. After being disappointed by the HP w2408 last month (which uses a TN panel), we're looking for a return to form. Is the latest Samsung offering significantly better than previously reviewed 24" LCDs? Let's find out.

Features and Specifications
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  • Deusfaux - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I thought Samsung monitors had a 16:9 scaling mode? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    This one doesn't... other Samsung displays might. See the OSD image gallery for details. The only options are "Wide" (fill the whole screen) and "4:3". That means that 5:4 resolutions (1280x1024) will also be distorted no matter what you do. I don't think the minor stretch of 16:9 to 16:10 is terrible, but some people care more about that than I do. Again, though, this is only an issue on non-PC use (or if your drivers don't allow you to correct the scaling). Reply
  • hotdogandchips - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    Jarred, can you tell us when the NDA regarding the 2408WFP expires by any chance? ;0 Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    LOL... actually, no, I can't. Funny thing is that the date isn't set in stone just yet either, which is part of the reason I can't say. It's supposed to be this month, based on what I heard at CES, but it might get moved to early March? Reply
  • AcAuroRa - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    According to

    http://www.samsung.com/us/system/consumer/product/...">http://www.samsung.com/us/system/consum.../C070096...

    ... its a TN.... bah I'm confused -_-.. is it a TN or a PVA?

    I actually own a w2408... and I actually like the thing -_-;;...but if there can be some facts straightened out I might go and get a 245T off the 'Egg as it is currently on sale for $650...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    See above post... the unit I reviewed is most assuredly an S-PVA panel. I believe the PDF is simply erroneous. Reply
  • bobo51 - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I am confused.

    The article identifies the 245T as having a PVA panel. But I just went to the Samsung website and in their specification PDF for the 245T the panel is stated to be a TN.

    Is their website document incorrect?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I can absolutely state that the 245T LCD I have is S-PVA (based on how it looks from various angles), and Samsung told me it was S-PVA before I received it. http://www.samsung.com/us/system/consumer/product/...">This states otherwise, so I guess someone just put the wrong information in there. The other possibility is that there are different LCD panels in some of the 245T displays... hopefully not.

    Most companies do not make a point of stating what sort of technology their panels use. While I can understand that on TN panels, I'd think anyone using a PVA or IPS panel would want to crow about it. Kudos to Samsung for at least putting information on all of their displays in the PDF files; now they just need to make sure the data is correct. :)

    I'm going to email my Samsung contact about this and see if there's just an error in the PDF that they can correct.
    Reply
  • XrayDoc - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I was all excited about this new display until I read about the limited scaling choices. I can't believe they didn't include a 1:1 or pixel to pixel option! Not everyone has a triple SLI video card setup that can run Crysis well at 1920 x 1200. I'd much prefer to run the game at a lower resolution with black borders and have the "pixels" look sharp, as opposed to stretching the non native resolution to fill the screen and look blurry! Plus automatically stretching 16:9 aspect sources vertically to fill the 16:10 screen is just plain ludicrous. Most people can notice when the aspect ratio is displayed incorrectly. What happens with a 2.35:1 ratio DVD? Does that also get stretched vertically so that you dont' see any black bars at the top or bottom? This single design flaw is a definite deal breaker for me. I hope the upcoming new models from Dell, etc. don't have this same design flaw. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, February 08, 2008 - link

    The big question would be; 'why do you need a 24" LCD to play Crysis?' For me personally I cannot see the need for anything much more than a 19" LCD(a good one at that) for gaming. This making current title fly on my C2D system with a 7600GT, and it draws way less power than one of the current higher end cards. Granted I probably wouldnt mind using a 8600 or something that draws slightly more power, and has DirectX 10 capabilities, but I wont go out of my way just yet to purchase another card, especially since I am still using XP Pro.

    Also I'm noticing complaints about input lag ? I would think this would be an image retouching LCD which doesnt require fast screen refreshes. You can buy cheap fast LCDs that will play games just fine(all day long).
    Reply

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