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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  • daarrid - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    First, I'd like to thank Jarred Walton for his excellent review. A great deal of work goes into such a review. So, first and foremost, thank you sir! I'm also impressed by your timely follow-ups to the comments that have been posted.

    I just purchased the Samsung 245T (August, 2008). The firmware evidently has changed because there are new scaling options.

    I'm only using two inputs - the VGA for various computers connected to it via a KVM and a Sony Playstation via the HDMI.

    The VGA input now shows three options for size: wide, 16:9 (this is new), and 4:3. Wide is the only useful option (it appears to be 1:1 pixel mapping). The other two options distort the display. Why 16:9 was added as a choice is hard to say because it adds no useful function I can think of.

    However on the HDMI input (and perhaps the DVI - I didn't test the DVI input) we have the old choices - Wide, 16:9, 4:3 and a new one! The new one is called "Just Scan" which seems to be 1:1 pixel mapping. Samsung evidently is listening.
    Reply
  • bobo51 - Thursday, June 26, 2008 - link

    I find it interesting that 4 months after Jarred was reassured by his contact at Samsung that this panel was a PVA, it is still speced as a TN panel on the Samsung website. And the mail order websites that report this characteristic seem to just parrot what is on the Samsung website.

    It would seem that it being a PVA unit would be a marketing point that Samsung would want to be front-and-center in their specs and advertising. So why isn't it out there?

    Does anyone have any written documentation or labeling on the back of a unit (or anything other than someone's statement) that this is a PVA panel?
    Reply
  • maxdog - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    All of the 24" panels on the Samsung website state the same type. I'd like to know for sure. Reply
  • TrinityJayOne - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    Just thought I'd point out that there's an error in this review regarding display modes. It's true that there's no 1:1 pixel-mapping, but there IS a 16:9 option, it just isn't available when using a DVI source (I'm guessing because Samsung figure DVI = PC only and video cards support 16:10 resolutions). For HDMI, component, S-video etc, the 16:9 option will keep your 1080p signal un-squished and 720p will be upscaled. Check it out for yourself in the user guide, about 2/3 of the way down the page- http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/EM/20070...">http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/conte.../200707/... Reply
  • XrayDoc - Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - link

    The new Dell 2408WFP has been available for perhaps a month. When are we going to see a killer review on AnandTech? Reply
  • machspeed5 - Saturday, February 16, 2008 - link

    Conflicting Information!!!

    Page 4 of this trustedreview of the 245T states "genuine 1:1 pixel mapping"

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/displays/review/2007...">http://www.trustedreviews.com/displays/.../2007/11...

    ".....A tonne of connectivity only adds to the appeal, as does the genuine 1:1 pixel mapping from 1080p sources."

    This Anadtech review clearly states the opposite!

    Who is correct here? Clarification appreciated, as you've thrown a monkey wrench in my purchasing decision! :P

    Thanks
    Reply
  • machspeed5 - Saturday, February 16, 2008 - link

    found this:
    source: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=10319083...">http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=10319083...

    According to the User's Manual:
    - if the video source is connected through PC/ DVI, you will be able to switch the size between "Wide" and "4:3";
    - if the video source is connected through Composite/ S-Video, you will be able to set the size to "Wide", "16:9", "Zoom1", "Zoom2" or "4:3";
    - if the video source is connected trough Component/ HDMI, you will then be able to choose the size between "Wide", "16:9" or "4:3".
    Supposedly, by "Wide", they mean "Full screen" (1920x1200).
    I don't really know what they mean by "Zoom1" and "Zoom2", but I guess this is some scale of "expansion" (by keeping the aspect ratio). But I insist, this is just me guessing; I do not own the screen.
    As matter of fact, this leads also to the conclusion that there is no pure "1:1 pixel mapping" for all resolutions, even if you can get such pixel map for a HD 1080 lines source if you choose the "16:9" size.

    can you confirm please, & perhaps update the review? many thanks.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 16, 2008 - link

    I checked the VGA and DVI connections... I didn't consider that they would add options on other inputs (most OSD controls gray out disabled options rather than removing them completely). I'm trying to come up with some meaningful "input lag" testing -- internal image processing lag would be more appropriate as a description -- so I'll see about testing the Component/HDMI/S-Video as well.

    Not surprisingly, I've got other things to review as well, so it might be a couple weeks before I get around to testing this.
    Reply
  • machspeed5 - Sunday, February 17, 2008 - link

    thanks.

    looking forward to seeing the input lag & HDMI pixel mapping options on the 245T. :)

    word on the street is that the input lag is pretty bad, ~50ms, (2.5 frame lag.)

    from my readings, 50ms (while on the upper end of laggy displays) may still be usable for all but the most time-sensitive games. (fps specifically) a lot of people complain and overrate the input lag problems on forums, though it's evident few understand what it is. (even confuse it with response time)

    i'd appreciate hearing your opinion on the matter. I plan to use a PS3 with the 245T, and FPS will certainly be in the machine from time to time.

    Genuine 1:1 pixel mapping is also important to me, and if you could clarify the issue here i'd be much appreciated.

    cheers
    Reply
  • Thetruepit - Monday, February 11, 2008 - link

    It does suffer from inverse ghosting.
    Most noticeable in gaming mode so I don't use that.
    Surprised it wasn't picked up. Also if you move your mouse cursor over a grey background you see noticeable ghosting.
    Reply

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