LG 34UM67 Introduction and Overview

LG as a company has many products and certainly offers some strong competition. Their product line includes HDTVs and computer displays, smartphones and smart watches, fitness bands, home appliances, audio accessories, commercial AC and lighting, and numerous other offerings; in short, LG is a brand we’ve all encountered. Given their strong presence in the HDTV market over the years, computer displays should be a strong category for LG, and with one of the first shipping FreeSync displays, LG is at the front of the pack as far as new technologies are concerned. But being first doesn’t necessarily mean being best.

As the first FreeSync display to cross our desks, the LG 34UM67 has some good and bad elements. In many ways it feels like the larger version of the LG 29EA93 we reviewed a while back, albeit in an improved design and with most of the early 21:9 issues having been ironed out. The price is also lower now, so for less money you can get a more capable 34” display instead of 29”. But with FreeSync being the marquee feature, the supported refresh rates of 48-75 Hz can be something of a problem.

Gallery: LG 34UM67

But let’s not jump too far ahead. Fundamentally this is a computer display, so let’s talk about the design, features, and other elements before we continue. After testing the two previous TN-based G-SYNC displays, the Acer XB280HK and the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q, the change back to an IPS panel is immediately noticeable. From an ideal viewing location it may not matter as much, but get off axis at all and IPS is definitely superior. The color quality also looks quite good out of the box – not sufficient for professional use, perhaps, but definitely better than most lesser panels.

In terms of connectivity, LG includes multiple input options: DisplayPort, HDMI, and dual-link DVI-D are present. There are also two 7W downward facing speakers in the screen, with audio in/out ports on the back. One thing you won’t find however are any USB ports. The built-in stand likewise offers no height adjustment, rotate, or swivel – the only thing you can do is tilt it forward/backward. There is a 100x100mm VESA mount, however, so the stand at least can be replaced. From an ergonomics perspective, the built-in stand isn’t very good, but it does at least provide a good level of support (which is often an issue on budget displays).

Power is provided via a power brick, which is unfortunate and likely unnecessary – the bulk of the display should have easily allowed for placing the power circuit inside the chassis. There are also no cable routing features, so all the wires simply connect directly into the back of the display above the stand hinge.

Gallery: LG 34UM67 OSD

Moving to the OSD (On Screen Display), LG offers plenty of options. The controls consist of a 4-way nub located at the bottom-center of the panel, and while it might not seem ideal I didn’t find it to be particularly problematic either. The nub also serves as the power button if you press it when outside of the OSD menus. All of the usual settings are present, including various color modes, brightness/contrast, the ability to tune the RGB output (and even a more advanced option that allows adjustment of six colors (Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow – both hue and saturation can be altered), and input selection.

Areas where LG adds extras to the OSD include the PBP (Picture Beside Picture) mode, where you can do a split screen view while using two connections, gaming modes designed to improve (in theory) pixel response times and reduce input lag (DAS aka Dynamic Action Sync), and of course the option to enable/disable FreeSync. I don’t know why it’s necessary to inherently provide the option to disable FreeSync, though – if your GPU doesn’t support the standard, the display should simply function as normal with a static refresh rate.

I want to note that the DAS mode and FreeSync actually caused problems on at least one occasion, as the first time I booted with the display connected FreeSync was disabled and when I turned it on the screen went black and never came back on – I had to restart the PC but then things worked properly. DAS did the same thing when I turned it off at one point, though this time power cycling the display fixed the issue. After that, DAS mode was grayed out, and it’s not clear why that’s the case. Disabling FreeSync didn’t allow me to change DAS mode, but switching to one of the preset picture modes other that Custom brought back the option to change the DAS mode.

It looks like there’s are a few minor bugs in the display firmware, but personally I tend to set up a display and then rarely change things, so it’s not a huge concern. If you happen to regularly tweak the OSD settings on your display, however, you might find the current 34UM67 OSD to be a bit irritating. I also missed the option to adjust the OSD timeout; it's about 20 seconds with no way to make it any longer. As it stands, it’s neither the best nor the worst OSD menu that I’ve encountered, and in general it does what it needs to do.

LG 34UM67 Specifications
Video Inputs 1x DisplayPort 1.2a
1x HDMI 1.3
1x DL-DVI
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.312mm x 0.310mm
Colors 16.7 Million
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio Not Specified (>600:1 measured)
Response Time 14ms
Viewable Size 34"
Resolution 2560x1080
Viewing Angle (H/V) 176 / 176
Backlight White LED
Power Consumption (operation) 53W Typical
Power Consumption (standby) <0.5W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes, -5 to 15 degrees
Pivot Yes
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm x 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 830mm x 469mm x 173mm
Weight 7.3kg
Additional Features 2 x 7W speakers
Audio in/out
Limited Warranty 2 Years
Accessories AC Power Brick
DisplayPort Cable
HDMI Cable
Price $649 MSRP
FreeSync Gaming on the LG 34UM67
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  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - link

    It's worth mentioning that this wouldn't be good test methodology. Youd be at the mercy of how windows is feeling that day. To test monitor input lag you need to know how long it takes between when a pixel is sent across displayport or whatever to when it is updated on the display. It can be done without "fancy hardware" with a CRT and a high speed camera. Outside of that you'll need to be handling gigabit signals. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - link

    Actually it can still be done with inexpensive hardware. I don't have a lot of experience with how low level you can get on the display drivers. Uou would need to find one that has the video transmission specs you want and you could dig into the driver to give out debug times when a frame started being sent (I could be making this unnecessarily complicated in my head, there may be easiest ways to do it). Then you could do a black and white test pattern with a photodiode to get the response time + input lag then some other test patterns to try to work out each of the two components (you'd need to know something about pixel decay and things I'm not an expert on).

    All of the embedded systems I know of are vga or hdmi though...
    Reply
  • Murloc - Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - link

    I saw some time ago that some company sold an affordable FPGA development board with video output.
    Maybe that would work.
    Reply
  • Soulwager - Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - link

    You can still calibrate with a CRT, but you can get thousands of times more samples than with a high speed camera(with the same amount of effort). USB polling variance is very easy to account for with this much data, so you can pretty easily get ~100 microsecond resolution. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - link

    100 microsecond resolution is definitely good enough for monitor input lag testing. I won't believe you can get that by putting mouse input into a black box until I see it. It's not just windows. There's a whole lot of things between the mouse and the screen. anandtech did a decent article on it a few years back.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2803/7
    Reply
  • Soulwager - Thursday, April 02, 2015 - link

    Games are complicated, but you can make a test program as simple as you want, all you really need to do is go from dark to light when you give an input. And the microcontroller is measuring the timestamps at both ends of the chain, so if there's an inconsistency you haven't accounted for, you'll notice it. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, April 03, 2015 - link

    If Windows adds unpredictable delays, all you need to do is take enough samples and trials and compare averages. That's a cool thing about probability. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - link

    CRTs aren't a real option here unfortunately. You can't mirror a 4K LCD to a CRT, and any additional processing will throw off the calculations. Reply
  • invinciblegod - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    Having proprietary standards in pc gaming accessories is extremely frustrating. I switch between AMD and nVidia every other generation or so and I would hate for my monitor to be "downgraded" because I bought the wrong graphics card. I guess the only solution here is to pray for nVidia to support Adaptive-Sync so that we can all focus on one standard. Reply
  • invinciblegod - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    I assume you didn't encounter supposed horrible backlight bleed that people seem to complain about on forums. That (and the currently proprietary nature of freesync until intel or nvidia supports it) is preventing me from buying this monitor. Reply

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