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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  • nubie - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    In most proper drivers you can select a mode that has 1:1. In the nVidia classic panel (I only use the classic panel, google sedonadisable if you can't find yours.)

    Use DVI or HDMI, and go to device adjustments, there is a setting called "centered output", use this to send black pixels to fill the digital signal until the pixel ratio is 1:1.

    I ran into a problem that wouldn't allow me to run custom resolutions, this is the fix:

    http://wikitechia.org/wiki/The_custom_resolution_c...">http://wikitechia.org/wiki/The_custom_resolution_c...

    I agree that scaling technology needs serious work, 16:10 is not 16:9, and 1388x768 is not 720p. Add to that the fact that even if you can get the native res of some panels to be sent by the PC, the display still stretches and overscans it, that is bad.

    Doesn't the Xbox360 have support for native panel resolutions such as 1280x1024 as part of the VGA output? Doesn't this extend to the HDMI output? I would really like to know what support there is for native panel resolutions on consoles.

    Every PS3 and Xbox360 I have ever seen has had mediocre picture quality, and I sincerely hope that it is a problem on the display side (in-store displays only).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I don't think consoles support PC resolutions. They are usually HDTV/TV resolutions, so you get 640x480 on the old stuff, and 720p or 1080i (or maybe 1080p?) on new stuff. Of course, some titles use a lower resolution like 1024x576 or something and stretch that to 720p/1080p for performance reasons.

    The 245T will accept other resolutions; the problem is that your only options are "fill the whole screen (and aspect ratio be damned)" or "fill a 4:3 area (again, forget about the actual AR)". With PC connections, you're fine if you use the driver to adjust the stretch options.

    Unless I'm severely mistaken, you don't get that functionality with consoles. Or DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD players.
    Reply
  • nubie - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    WRONG!!! Information available as of 2005:

    http://hardware.teamxbox.com/reviews/xbox-360/40/X...">http://hardware.teamxbox.com/reviews/xbox-360/40/X...

    1024x768
    1280x720
    1280x768
    1280x1024
    1360x768

    I was simply curious as to whether recent updates to the Xbox360 firmware had made it MORE compatible.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    Interesting - didn't know consoles supported other output resolutions... though it seems like it would be game dependent, right? (I'm pretty much a PC-only gamer, so I haven't owned a console since the N64.)

    If you can output 1360x768, you should be able to get a 16:10 AR that will fit with this display properly. That's what I would go for, anyway.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    Playing DVDs, you can usually control this with your player software, and in fact you can control this with NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards (though I'd give the edge to NVIDIA here) under Windows. The problem is what happens when you hook up something like a game console, or some other device that doesn't do internal scaling. Then you're stuck with what the LCD firmware provides, and in this case it falls short.

    I'd think Samsung could release updated firmware to address this issue. Will they, and if so can you apply it to the initial models? Probably not, but they may prove me wrong.
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    Click on about above the Forums link, then on the next page, click on intellitext and then choose the option to turn it off.

    Problem solved.
    Reply
  • Welshtrog - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I have tried about 10 times and the B***** thing will NOT turn off Reply
  • GTMan - Friday, February 08, 2008 - link

    You probably have to enable cookies.

    Or get a good hosts (google "hosts") file to block lots of ads. There is also a little program called Homer which will replace the blanked ads with a color gradation.
    Reply
  • Welshtrog - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    I have tried about 10 times ant the B***** thing will NOT turn off Reply
  • AmishElvis - Thursday, February 07, 2008 - link

    Those drop down ads are a deal breaker for me. Get rid of them or I will find another tech review site. Reply

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