Samsung SyncMaster 192MP LCD Review
Reviewed by: Admin
Reviewed on: May 31, 2004
: GF City Computers
Price: $769 USD
A hearty welcome again to all of you to another OverClockersClub.com review. Today we'll be looking at another LCD monitor from Samsung - the SyncMaster 192MP. The MP stands for Multifunction Panel - meaning that this LCD monitor isn't your run of the mill computer - its a TV too! Will this affect the performance of the monitor? Will we still be able to be efficient, hardcore gamers? Well, there's really only one way to find out, let's get this ball rollin!
Samsung packaging is the standard briefcase style box, which I've previously mentioned I love - even for this large 19" screen, the box is still easy to handle and very durable.
Inside the box we find everything necessary for using this monitor:
Again the Samsung monitor impresses me with the slimness of it - quite a compact unit. Slightly thicker then the 172X and 173P, the 192MP still isn't going to put much of a dent in your desk space. The stand for this monitor is more simple, and more sturdy. It doesn't need to raise up because the monitor is actually perfectly positioned for optimal eye-viewing level anyways.
The SyncMaster 192MP boasts a slogan of digital versatility - and one glance at the back panel confirms that. HDTV-ready, this monitor has an input for DVI-D, standard Analog (RGB), HDTV-component, as well as L/R RCA stereo and standard computer-plug stereo. On top of that, it has a plug for CoAxial. And this monitor's hiding something that I was quite pleased to find out about - its got a built-in cable TV Tuner.
The buttons on this monitor are fairly standard Samsung fare - we have Menu, Exit/Auto, Enter (for selection), Source (to switch between full-screen video sources), PIP (Picture In Picture) and the standard MagicBright switcher.
In the centre we have a sleek circular power button, ensconced by Volume and Channel adjustment buttons. On the front panel itself are stereo (left/right channel) speakers.
On the left hand side we have a headphone jack, and MORE inputs! This time we have a Composite and SVideo input. That's 6 total! So, theoretically, you could have 2 computers (one using Analog, one digital), HDTV (this would be my DVD player), normal cable, a VCR and...something that uses Svideo. Theoretically, I don't own the means to test 6 things at once :P
Well, we've all installed monitors. Plug in, turn on, install drivers and software and use. Voila! With this one, of course you can plug in your Cable and other peripherals as well. Fun stuff.
Software - MagicTune
Again with the 192MP we get the MagicTune software, a wonderful little piece of work that helps you tweak your screen.
Shall we review it again? I believe we shall!
The MagicTune software can be used independently, or can sit idly by in your desktop tray (default) waiting to be used. For something you don't particularly think about, the colour adjustments on your monitor can mean a lot in the long run of gameplay and deskwork. My particular job involves a lot of time in front of a computer screen, and it makes this software even more useful.
When you open the program, you're presented with the Display Screen. >From here you can either manually go through the three stages, or click on 'Wizard' to go through them automatically. On each screen, you're presented with a brightness/contrast calibration tool, each with just one slider to adjust. Simply follow the instructions, and you're set.
The next step is the 'Colour' tab, which takes you through 6 colour adjustments. Personally, I didn't have to change any of these settings, I didn't need to (now has held true for 3 monitors!). Simply adjust the box in the middle to the proper colour/brightness and repeat for all 6. The 'Show Me' button brings up instructions on how to manipulate the settings, and 'Quick View' shows all 6 boxes for quick reference.
After manipulating any setting, you are prompted to save it as the Default Preset (starts with the computer). The monitor allows for multiple User settings though, saved as a profile (one of which is the Default). This means if your computer is shared, you can easily switch between User settings, instead of having to goof around through the process again.
With any Preset, in the Options menu, you can use MagicBright to change between scenarios - Text, Internet, and Entertainment. These settings adjust the brightness and contrast automatically, allowing for a dimmer, easier on the eyes experience for reading and typing on Text, a moderate brightness on Internet (for reading and graphics) and the full range of colours and a higher brightness for Entertainment (movies and games). This quick switching ability makes eye stress a thing of the past. No more will you start twitching because you've been exposed to a bright white screen typing for hours, and movies become much cleaner. Again, after you change a setting, you'll be asked if you want to apply it to the Preset, but you can still select 'No' and use the setting - useful in situations where you want to switch to a different Bright setting for a period of time, but still have your default setting different.
The last tab - Support - has only one button, which checks online for updates with the MagicTune software.
The only addition to this is the extra button the 172X and 192MP boast, featuring a quick-link to the MagicBright option with the ability to quickly switch between the MagicBright settings, which was an incredibly convenient feature. Once again, we'll look at the vital statistics of the 192MP to see how it stacks up against others in the market. These are the things you need to know about an LCD monitor.
Pixel Pitch: 0.294mm – This pixel pitch is pretty much right on the money for a 19" LCD at 1280x1024 native resolution. Looks sharp, and its pretty much the top quality a 19" can have.
Brightness: 250cd/m2 – At 250cd/m2, the 192MP is a bit less then the 173P and the 172X, but still allows for better then average brightness, clarity and adaptability.
Contrast Ratio: 750:1 – At an INCREDIBLE 750:1 contrast ratio, this monitor takes the top ranking compared to the other two, and is absolutely key for its HDTV performance.
Viewing Angle: 170° / 170° - This refers to the viewing angle from side-on and top-down. Again the 192MP shines with an impressively large viewing area.
Response Time: 25ms - Though a bit lacking in response time, this monitor really wasn't gamer-oriented to begin with. Though the monitor will ghost because of this, the myriad of other features may make up for it, or perhaps if you're truly interested in solely gaming, you should look more closely at the [SyncMaster 172X]
More games! YES! This time around, I'm still playing tons of UT2k4, Counterstrike and NFS: Underground, as well as various other games. But that's not our only testing today. Not only do I get to play games...I get to watch TV and movies too! YES!
For gameplay, of course, with that 25ms response time you're going to have ghosting. And once again, I argue that after playing with it for a while it really just sort of erases itself from my brain. I don't notice it, maybe you will, regardless it's there.
Af for the other functions - the cable and HDTV stuff couldn't be easier to set up. The monitor automatically detects if there is a feed from the plugs, and only switches over to it then (when you ask it to, of course). The PIP features either wide-screen or standard format, allowing for the PIP viewing of widescreen format movies.
In full screen, you'll have to move a bit away from the monitor. Though I'm sure my cable is part of the problem, the picture itself is a bit grainy, but looks fine when viewing from a normal distance - ie: just a couple metres away in my recliner.
The stereo sound on the monitor isn't bad - equivalent to pretty much any stereo sound on a 19" TV - you can't exactly get the speakers too far apart, but it still is crisp and clear, and that works for me. I think it's actually a bit better than the 19" TV I do have, to tell you the truth.
The remote is a key part of this whole getup - without a comprehensive remote, the whole TV/Multifunction gig would have just gone to shambles. Fortunately for us, Samsung has created a brilliant control. Its got a power button, its got the numbers and 100+ and last channel recall. Mute, Volume, Channel all these things it has. But on TOP of that, it has buttons to flip through the sources you're using - so you can pause that full screen movie, check on something macroing perhaps if you play online games and flip back all from the comfort of your easy chair.
Even MORE - it has full control over the monitor menu!
Even MORE STILL! It has complete control over the TV/PIP device. I already mentioned the widescreen/standard function, but this has controls for basically freezing the frame (not the show) - but it's neat in movies, or commercials, as well as Stereo Mode (Custom, Movie, Music, Speech, Standard), MTS (allows switching from Stereo to Mono to SAP) as well as turn PIP on/off, controlling the source of the PIP (if you have TV and DVD plugged in, for example), the position of the PIP (at each 4 corners of the screen) and the all-important MagicBright hotkey.
All from a remote. I love you Samsung for making something I can actually USE!
Finally, the screen was also tested to make sure there we no dead pixels (using solid screens of colour) - and...none were present. Nice!
Though perhaps not a hardcore gamer's LCD, the SyncMaster 192MP was built for someone else in mind - the casual gamer, the constant computer user, and, I even suppose, the cramped student, or apartment dweller. Personally, my new room next year is going to be incredibly small - and though I have a Cable outler, I will not have room for a TV. Solution: Samsung SyncMaster 192MP. A TV screen for cable and DVDs, and a computer monitor all in one. I love it. I'm even watching Comedy Central while I write this article! If you're looking for something robust, versatile, (multi)funtional and just incredible well put together, then SyncMaster 192MP is a good choice for you. Once again, and its no surprise with the quality of Samsung's monitors, I'm giving the 192MP the OCC Recommended Award.
- Looks fantastic
- Extremely small footprint
- Excellent monitor quality
- DVI-D connection
- Easy to use software
- Built-in TV Tuner
- HDTV ready
- Functional stereo speakers
- PIP ability
- Incredibly well-designed remote