Philips Brilliance 190P5
A curious design feature of this monitor is that the front panel of the case is not flat as with the absolute majority of LCD monitors, but is slightly arched, as it was in many CRT monitors (more exactly, in older models on non-flat cathode-ray tubes; when “flat” tubes like FD Trinitron, NaturalFlat and DynaFlat appeared, the manufacturers strove to emphasize their absolute flatness using a flat design of the case).
The Brilliance 190P5 is based on an MVA matrix.
The monitor’s stand is large, is made of black plastic and allows to change the tilt of the screen (in a small range), to control its height, to turn it around the vertical axis, and to rotate it into the portrait mode.
The Brilliance 190P5 comes equipped with analog and digital inputs, and both cables are enclosed with it. The DVI cable is initially attached to the monitor. Since this is a multimedia model, it has an audio input, but the quality of the integrated speakers is very low. Just take a look at the first snapshot – you can discern two tiny dark circles of the speakers through the decorative grid. The size of the circles is self-explanatory – you will hardly want to use them for playing music even as a musical background of your workplace. But if you need sound of a higher quality, you can use the headphones socket, also available on the monitor.
The monitor’s menu is quite convenient. With white text on a blue background, it resembles the menu of the Philips Brilliance 170T4 I reviewed in my earlier article called (Closer Look at 17” LCD Monitor Features. Part V). I found some faults with it, though. For example, there’s an Exit menu item for leaving the menu and this item is active when you leave any of the submenus. On the one hand, you don’t have to move the cursor to the Exit item, if you’ve wanted to change just one setting, but on the other hand, the monitor doesn’t remember which menu item you last stopped at. It would be handier to have a separate Exit button, especially as the Auto button isn’t used in the menu at all – it could be double-duty.
Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature and to the brightness and volume settings. To adjust the contrast setting you have to enter the main menu where this setting is not even first, but a third item.
The LightFrame feature is a different story. At first sight it seems to be an analog of LG’s LightView or Samsung’s MagicBright, i.e. a button on the front panel allows switching between presets which consist of several settings. LightFrame, however, is inferior to the competitors merely because of the number of the available presets: LG offers six modes, while the Philips offers only one. If you press the LightFrame button, the monitor’s brightness and contrast are lifted up almost to their maximums, and the color temperature is reduced considerably (although the image has already been warm enough). A second press on the same button returns everything back. Some users may be misguided by the fact that the monitor’s brightness, contrast and color temperature settings are not blocked in the LightFrame mode, and you can adjust them without leaving this mode, but your adjustments do not affect the image until you disable LightFrame manually.