Somewhat more interesting is the namesake program you receive with the monitor. After its installation there appears a small window with three buttons on the Windows Desktop (you can see two states of this window above). Clicking the first button, you can select a picture (a rectangular picture, rather than a random object) and enable the extra-bright LightFrame mode only for this picture. This resembles the MagicBright feature in Samsung’s CRT monitors which allows “selecting with brightness” a certain part of the onscreen image, but the third version of LightFrame employed in the Brilliance 190P5 can select several such parts at the same time. Unfortunately, this function doesn’t work ideally yet. For example, LightFrame would agree to highlight only one of the several pictures opened in the image-processing program GIMP 1.2.5, while the auto-highlight mode in Internet Explorer 5.0 didn’t work at all (all pictures in IE should be automatically highlighted in this mode). When I tried to select the pictures in Internet Explorer manually, then not only the pictures, but also the entire contents of the IE window, including ordinary text, were highlighted. Thus, I have to confess that the quite interesting LightFrame feature is rather useless in its current version. The LightFrame button on the monitor’s panel has a much more limited functionality than the analogous buttons on the competitor monitors, while the LightFrame 3 software doesn’t work ideally, although it can do things the competitors cannot.
You also receive a simple FPAdjust utility with the monitor which helps the beginner users to set the monitor up correctly. In fact, this program contains a number of tips about setting up the resolution and brightness setup and about the adjustment to analog signal. The tips are accompanied with appropriate patterns that facilitate these operations.
Alas, but the quality of the color reproduction setup couldn’t please me: the red and green channels are too intensive, even though the blue channel is almost normal. This leads to incorrect color temperature values, and you can also see the characteristic bend of the green and red channels in the area of light tones which means that these colors are not practically reproduced at all. This situation can be somewhat improved by reducing the monitor’s contrast setting, but not cured completely. Of course, the monitor also exhibits the typical defect of MVA technology: darks become noticeably lighter when you deflect your head 10-20 degrees to a side from the center of the screen. On the other hand, I have no complaints about the reproduction of smooth color gradients.
By default, the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings are set to 100% and 50%, respectively. By choosing 60% brightness and 45% contrast I achieved 100nit screen brightness. The monitor controls its brightness by modulating the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 120Hz.
The pixel rise time is typical for MVA technology and exceeds 80 milliseconds at the maximum, which makes this monitor not very suitable for playing games. What’s more, the monitor cannot make it to the optimistically specified 16 milliseconds even on black-white-black transitions, but has almost twice that time on them.
The contrast ratio is more than three times lower than specified, which is a very unassuming performance in comparison with the other models reviewed in this article.
On the whole, the Philips Brilliance 190P5 has more lows than highs and its handsome appearance is almost its only advantage. The monitor employs a slow and low-contrast matrix and the color rendition setup doesn’t satisfy me at all. The exclusive feature – the LightFrame mode – doesn’t always work correctly, either.