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Samsung SyncMaster B2230HD - Connectivity and Testing

By Benny Har-Even


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Review Price £192.19

Connectivity is fair. Since it lacks a DVI port, you'll need to use one of the two HDMIs if you're hooking up a computer, leaving only one digital connection free for consoles and set top boxes. As an alternative there is a VGA input, though as we’ll get to later, this is best avoided. Another HD input is via Component.

While its tuner is theoretically HD capable, the B2230HD is fitted merely with a DVB-T, rather than DVB-T2 tuner, so you won’t be able to receive Freeview HD broadcasts – just standard-def Freeview, which is a shame. There is a Conditional Access Module available though, so you will have access to terrestrial TV pay options. The only strictly standard-def input is the single RGB capable SCART input.

You’ll also find a single USB input, which pleasingly is media compatible. The manual states that it only supports flash storage and not USB hard disks, but it worked for us with a USB stick and a Toshiba portable hard drive. From both we were able to smoothly play Divx-encoded AVIs, MP4 and MKV formats, as well as display pictures and MP3 files – though it would not recognise Apple lossless files. Aside from this and RMVB though, nearly every video format is supported, including ASF, MP4 and WMV, while picture support includes Motion JPEG and on the audio side we have MP3 and LPCM.

In terms of audio connectivity there’s a 3.5mm line-in, a headphone socket, and both optical and analogue audio outputs. Finally, there’s also an ExLink port that enables you to remote control your monitor/TV via RS-232, should you wish to do such a thing with a 22in display.

When you plug in and connect up the monitor it automatically turns on with an accompanying audio chime. Feature wise, the Picture-in-Picture mode only works with the TV aerial and another source – you can’t mix and match inputs. You can at least choose which image has audio, the size of the box and in which corner you want it though.

There are three ‘MagicBright’ presets, Standard, Movie and Dynamic, and one quirk we noticed is that when it switches input it automatically defaults to the Dynamic picture preset, which needs to be looked out for as this tends to deliver a picture that's a tad overcooked. Also in the feature set is an eco-mode, which simply reduces brightness.

Our initial testing began by hooking up to a laptop via the VGA connection - and this did not provide a favourable impression. Using this connection colours were simply all over the place, and the red background of the tabs in our chosen theme for the Chrome web browser were so far off we could hardly make out the text. Whilst there was reasonable sharpness, whites were also way off and colours in our test photos looked positively psychedelic.

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December 5, 2010, 5:11 pm

Any chance of reviewing some "proper" monitors? I am talking about ones with real computer resolutions not this fad for 1920 * 1080 screen resolutions, which are almost useless for real computing. I want to see monitors with 1920 * 1200 at least, even better what about a 24" 1920 * 1440 4:3? I did a quick search and the last time you did a review on a 30" monitor was in 2008, any chance of some updates?


Sean Pursey

December 8, 2010, 3:48 am

To be fair, I think the amount of "proper" monitors that you describe is getting smaller and smaller, Im not a fan of the idea 16:9 for computing use but finding a 16:10 20-23 IPS panel is difficult so I've gone and got one anyway

Miguel Melo

January 12, 2011, 9:41 pm

Interesting review. I do have one doubt, though: is this set quality (image, sound) REALLY worse than the LD220 you reviewed for the same inputs? Or is it a matter of just being less value for money? The thing is, over in Portugal they sell for much the same price and - actual quality being the same - I'd rather get the b2230hd because of the USB playback, better connectivity and actually having a stand.


December 9, 2013, 12:56 pm

I'm a Mac user and with the Mac's good monitor calibration sw I was able to get awesome color matching and an accurate white point, better than all iMacs I saw and even my son's professional expensive Eizo looked poor in comparison. So no points subtracted for bad VGA in my case but some added.

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