By default, the monitor’s brightness and contrast are set at 100% and 75%, respectively. This is the highest value of contrast when light halftones don’t yet merge into pure white. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I reduced both brightness and contrast to 33%. The monitor controls its brightness through pulse-width modulation of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 336Hz.
The backlight is uniform with small darker areas in the corners. All of the halftones are displayed correctly at any brightness/contrast settings. Color gradients are reproduced without banding.
We’ve seen similar gamma curves on the SyncMaster 940BW – the contrast is obviously too high.
If you reduce the contrast setting by 10% or more, the curves improve and get closer to the theoretical ones.
The color temperature setup is not ideal, but acceptable. The difference between the temperatures is within 1000K in every mode. The temperatures of the modes are selected so as to satisfy most users.
All the Samsung monitors tested in this review have the same color gamut which almost fully covers the sRGB space and exceeds it in the green area. This is expectable, however. The color gamut depends on the employed backlight lamps and RGB filters. It would be strange if same-type monitors from the same brand differed greatly in this parameter.
Not a record-breaker, the monitor has an average response time of 4.3 milliseconds with a maximum of 17.5 milliseconds.
This monitor is not free from RTC errors, but they are mostly concentrated on transitions into light tones where they are barely visible to the eye. The average error is 9.2% with a maximum of 42%. This is acceptable.
The monitor offers an excellent contrast ratio of over 400:1 (I mean static rather than dynamic contrast). A superb result for this matrix type.
The SyncMaster 961BW is a nice product. With a pretty exterior design, a variety of available setup options, a fast matrix, a good color setup, and a high contrast ratio, this monitor is currently one of the best widescreen 19” models on the market.