The concept of a PC monitor with an integrated TV tuner has really taken off in the last couple of years. The idea is definitely sound, especially for anyone that lives in shared accommodation or a studio flat – you’ve basically got both a TV and a computer monitor without needing to find space for two units. Of course you could easily just plug a TV tuner into your PC and then use any monitor, but the downside is that you then have to power your PC up every time you want to watch TV.
The SyncMaster 930MP builds on Samsung’s already strong display line up, and it’s further proof that the Korean giant is spending a lot of time, effort and money on design as well as function. This screen definitely looks good and blends the function of a PC display with the style of a consumer LCD TV.
The front fascia of the 930MP is finished in matt silver, which is pretty much par for the course these days, but it looks good nonetheless. The bezel surrounding the screen is reasonably slim, but not overly so, while there’s a large speaker grille below the screen. At the very centre of the speaker grille is a round four-way control with a power button in the middle. By default, pressing the four-way controller up and down will change the TV channel, while pressing it left and right will adjust the volume.
The main bulk of controls are located on the right side of casing. Here you’ll find the Menu button that takes you into the OSD – you then navigate the OSD using the four-way controller on the front fascia. Below the Menu button is the Auto button, which automatically configures the screen when you’re connected via an analogue signal. Next down is the Enter button, which also doubles up as the switch for the integrated FM radio tuner. Below this is the source button which toggles between video inputs. Next is a Picture in Picture (PIP) button, which overlays the TV tuner picture on the corner of your Windows display.
The final button is for Samsung’s MagicBright feature. This gives you four presets for the brightness of the screen labelled, Entertain – for watching movies or playing games, Internet – for when you’re browsing the Web and Text – for when you’re working on Word documents or spreadsheets. The final preset is Custom, where you can have quick access to your own user defined setting.