The menu offers five color temperature values:
- “Panel default” (when this setting is selected, the real color temperature of white is 6040K and of gray is 9350K);
- “9300K” (7840K white and 11,950K gray);
- “6500K” (5930K white and 7950K gray);
- “sRGB” (5850K whit and 7190K gray);
- “User preset” (by default, this setting produces 8240K white and 9730K gray).
These measurements indicate that the 170T4 has a less accurately set-up balance of gray compared to the above-described monitors from LG and NEC, and gray will have a bluish hue when white looks normal.
This monitor uses an MVA matrix, so there are no problems with the viewing angles, but on the other hand, the sluggishness of the matrix is quite noticeable – the 170T4 definitely isn’t for playing games. I have no complaints about the color reproduction as the monitor shows bright and saturated colors of photographs and has no defects on smooth color gradients. The auto adjustment works fine, but sometimes you have to start it manually from the menu.
The gamma curves look nice, too, giving no apprehensions about the color reproduction.
That’s typical for an MVA matrix: the pixel response time is growing rapidly up to 100 milliseconds and higher as there’s a smaller difference between the pixel’s initial and final states. On black-to-white transitions the full response time is 25 milliseconds, like the specification says, and the pixel rise time almost equals the pixel fall time. That’s why the MVA matrix will visually be better than a 25ms TN+Film one on such transitions. Problems will occur in dynamic games with a low-contrast image where the responsiveness of this monitor is going to be a few tens of milliseconds.
The maximum brightness didn’t reach to the specified 450 nits, but was about 370 nits, which is quite good for a monitor targeted at watching movies (for example, if you’re using it in a well-lit room) – but such a high brightness isn’t necessary for other applications. The contrast ratio is a disappointment – alas, MVA matrixes are still lagging behind their close relatives, PVA matrixes, in this respect.
So, the Philips Brilliance 170T4 is going to do well as a monitor for watching movies or – considering its TV tuner and remote control – as a standalone LCD TV-set. If you’re selecting a monitor for work, you’d better consider classic models with a bigger resolution (1280x1024 against the 170T4’s 1280x768) and a higher contrast ratio. It’s also usually more convenient to have the TV-tuner in the system case rather than in the monitor. And if you’re going to play games on this monitor, you must make sure before the purchase that the specific behavior of MVA matrixes in games suits you. You can check this out with any monitor with a PVA or MVA matrix as they all have a similar response time graph.