Articles: Monitors

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By default, the monitor has 100% brightness and 75% contrast. When you try to increase its contrast above this value, light colors merge together into one. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white, the brightness and contrast settings had to be reduced to 43% and 50%, respectively.

Dark areas of color gradients look striped on this monitor, which is additionally spoiled at reduced values of contrast with a sort of “fine sand” that changes the gradient colors perceptibly. At the same time, dark tones are easily distinguishable from each other whatever settings you choose.

The gamma curves are not ideal, mainly because of the green curve which sags heavily in the middle of the diagram.

When the monitor is switched into Brilliance mode, its colors become more saturated. In the Mild mode the saturation is reduced, but the shape of the gamma curves remains the same.

Now what about the extended color gamut? Let’s compare it with the common sRGB:

It’s clear that the red and blue parts of the Samsung SyncMaster 931C’s spectrum are almost standard, but the color gamut is shifted greatly towards green tones by sacrificing some yellow. It cannot be demonstrated, unfortunately, but this monitor indeed yields a very vibrant and saturated green color.

The SyncMaster 931C does not set any records in terms of matrix speed, yet it is fast enough at 6.1 milliseconds on average. Unfortunately, the RTC mechanism setup is somewhat inaccurate here and the response time is quite high on some particular transitions.

The RTC error is rather high on average at 13.1%. This is not much as TN matrixes go, but quite sufficient for the error to be noticeable for the user. But like with the response time, it all depends on the particular transition. Almost all transitions into a darker color are performed without errors, but the error is as big as 20-40% with transitions to a lighter tone. In certain cases the error amounts to 90% which leads to easily visible artifacts in the onscreen image.

The brightness and contrast of the 931C are typical for a TN matrix and are not very interesting against the other characteristics of this monitor.

Summing it all up, the Samsung SyncMaster 931C looks an ambiguous product to me. On one hand, it features a stylish and ergonomic design, an extended color gamut, and a matrix with response time compensation. But on the other hand, its response time compensation is implemented shabbily, and it has imperfect gamma curves and problems with reproducing dark tones in color gradients.

Considering all this, the extended color gamut doesn’t give the 931C any special advantage. Speaking generally, an extended color gamut should be regarded as a nice addition to a good color reproduction setup, but not as something with its own intrinsic value. And I can’t say that the color reproduction setup of the 931C is good.

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