LG DM2350D 23in passive 3D monitor and TV combo
Gaming desktop telly, anyone?
Review The DM2350D is the first 3D combination monitor/TV released by LG. Sharing the same passive FPR 3D panel technology as its Cinema 3D TV siblings, it’s presumably aimed at wannabe 3D PC gamers and those looking for a jack of all trades screen that’s easy to accommodate in student digs or wherever.
Best of both worlds? LG's DM2350D
A lightweight, plasticky affair, the DM2350D is more desktop monitor than telly. The only sop to designer style is a shiny dust-magnet finish and power-up LED glow. Back panel connectivity comprises two HDMI/DVI inputs, a Scart, PC D-sub with minijack audio, USB and component AV. There’s also an optical digital audio output, headphone jack and RS232 control port. Ethernet is absent though.
A decent array of connectivity
While the screen snubs LG’s Smart TV portal, it does have a decent USB media reader. Video file support is excellent, covering all key suffixes including MKV, AVI, MP4 and DivX, plus subtitles. Music is restricted to MP3s; JPEG playback comes with standard slideshow and background muzak options.
The panel is a TN (twisted nematic) job, albeit one offering reasonable off axis viewing. Resolution is Full HD. While the on-board TV tuner is vanilla-flavoured, standard def Freeview, that 1920 x 1080 pixel count makes the DM2350D suitable for use with hi-def source components. The panel has a horizontal/vertical dot pitch of 0.265 mm, in keeping with its price point.
More akin to a desktop monitor than a TV
Overall picture quality impresses, provided you make use of the extensive picture setup controls on offer. Things improve dramatically after calibration. Images are crisp and dynamic. Take care with the set’s sharpness control though, as this needs to be eased back to prevent rampant edge enhancement. The screen’s black level is good, comfortably tracking a 16 point greyscale.
Darkly lit test sequences reveal only low levels of noise, with the result that shadow detail is not easily obscured. While colours zing, I’d award the panel a silver rather than gold gong for fidelity; as it struggles to portray convincing reds (they’re a tad orangey). Colour depth reflects the 32-bit standard of 16.7 m hues.
Plasticky packaging, but the image quality is good
Brightness is rated at a perfectly acceptable 250cd/m2. With a claimed contrast ratio of 7,000,000:1, the screen takes great pleasure in spotting your retinas with peak whites, so go easy with those dials.
The monitor/TV is 60Hz (unsurprisingly, as there’s no need for 120Hz with passive 3D), and as such doesn’t offer any proprietary high frame rate modes. Consequently, motion resolution is limited, clearly dropping below 600 lines at 6.5ppf. Response time is rated at 5ms.
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As a regular 2D PC monitor, the DM2350D is a solid enough performer. Connecting a PC with the VGA input produces a perfectly acceptable image for general duties, casual creative chores and streaming video. Using an HDMI input from a PC gives pretty much an identical result. For DVI PC outputs, the HDMI input will work with an adapter.
The DM2350’s 3D performance is entertaining, with caveats. Viewed from an optimum distance (LG suggests between 50 - 90cm), the screen offers a convincing sense of depth. However, I was always aware of crosstalk lurking somewhere in its images. This can be tackled using the supplied adjustment tool, although tracking in one ghosting image more often than not causes a problem someplace else.
Inexpensive passive 3D specs are used so anyone can join in on the 3D viewing experience
The display can also depth convert any available 2D video source (including PC) into 3D, but this is a haphazard process at best. One pair of passive 3D spectacles is included in the box, along with a pair of clip-ons for prescription spectacle wearers. Also bundled is TriDef 3D software disc, to get your PC dimensionalised.
Overall, the LG DM2350D can be considered good value at £250 and a good deal less if you shop around. Lacking a Freeview HD tuner, its highest image clarity comes from a native 1920 x 1080 source that a PC or various AV components will oblige with. Given its size, as a monitor, even though some may find this resolution delivers graphics and text that can be painfully small, detail remains high. I suspect those looking for a do-it-all display will find the DM2350D’s versatility outweighs any foibles. ®
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No freeview HD is nuts
For the sake of a few quid for a DVB-T2 tuner they've probably alienated 50% of their prospective customers.
I can see the difference
I have a 46" TV and I sit about 2.5 meters away from it. I can easily tell the difference between SD and HD at that distance. It's not just about being able to tell each individual pixel though images are sharper but all the fact that SD is (over) compressed with MPEG-2 and tends to produce a crappier picture quality with more noticeable blocking, washed out colours and less overall detail.
Given that DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 are the only ways to receive HD AVC broadcasts in the UK and both have launched it makes sense to buy an HD TV which supports one or the other.
I'd also point out that if the TV doubles up as a monitor then chances are that the person is sitting very close to the screen where the differences would be even more pronounced.
Isn't the amount of import duty greater for a TV with a tuner rather than a monitor?
A 100Khz vertical sync is required which counts out about 95% of standard monitors.
"presumably aimed at wannabe 3D PC gamers"
I doubt it. It is my understanding that 3D gaming is currently restricted (on PC) to "Nvidia 3D Vision (nvidia drivers with 3D capabilities and compatible active shutter glasses).
I've read that AMD/ATI are coming up with their own system but I don't think it is available yet.
Nvidia use a WINE style rating scheme to indicate how well a specific game performs on the system from "3D Vision Ready" (best) down to "Not Recommended" (worst)
Of course things being as they are there are Internet guides on how to hack around to get passive 3D working using third party drivers and other hacks but the official support is already patchy (on a game by game basis) so be prepared for a less than 100% return on your efforts.
With sufficient hacking you might be able to get games to run in 3D on a passive monitor in an acceptable quality but I wouldn't recommend it.