LCD - CTX PV722e

When lined up side by side with the other TFT screens on test, the PV722e stands out as the least attractive of the lot. A wide bezel measuring a shade under five centimetres, doesn’t help matters much and the plastic buttons that run down the right side feel, well, very plastic to the touch. It’s a chunky beast too, weighing in at 7.5kg.

Around the back you’ll find the power adapter socket and both a DVI-D and D-SUB port cunningly arranged at the centre of the pivoting mechanism. This means that when you want to pivot the screen for a portrait view, you’re not going to get a tangled mess of cables. Furthermore the actual display can be detached from the stand and fixed to a wall or arm via the VESA mounting.

If you use a lot of USB devices then the four downstream ports on the USB 2.0 hub are a welcom feature, especially when all the other models on test comply with the older standard. This hub slots neatly into the back of the base, and is powered by a secondary lead that forks off the PV722e’s main power lead.
CTX has also included a removable stereo speaker bar that you can hook up to your sound card and your headphones. That said, the sound quality from the tiny speakers is far from dynamic, and is audibly skewed toward the tinny end of the frequency range. While this is ok for office applications, it’s a little disappointing for gaming or movie viewing.

When it comes to image quality, the PV722e puts in a better performance than its questionable looks would have you believe. Head on, the screen is brightly lit and the contrast appears strong. Colour scales and greyscales were rendered very well with clear and distinct steps across the spectrums and no signs of compression. Colour purity was also even, and our test photos were well balanced. However, upon closer inspection large blocks of solid colour, especially sky blue, suffered from what can be described as a mottling of noise. DVD playback was also below par, with flesh tones looking very blotchy, and unrealistic. On the plus side, smearing wasn’t evident. Furthermore, if you view the display from the optimistically quoted 170 degree viewing angle, we would agree that the illumination stays pretty steady, but the overall picture becomes too washed out and colours change hue.

Navigating the OSD is straightforward with dedicated enter and escape, and up and down buttons speeding up access. The menus themselves are clear and include two preset colour temperatures (6500K and 9300k) and one user mode where you can adjust the RGB levels. There’s a movie setting for adjusting tint and flesh tones, although the latter didn’t help very much with the blotchy playback. When using the D-SUB port you also get image adjustments for clock and phase. As you have two video signal ports CTX provides you with a dedicated signal select switch, interestingly mounted on the back of the unit. One little gripe we did have is the inability to rotate the OSD when working in portrait mode.

Verdict
Overall, the CTX PV722e is a feature-rich TFT display that fulfils the demands of general use. We like the USB2.0 hub and the portrait mode, but it’s the second most expensive unit on test and we’re not so keen on its size, build quality, and aesthetics. Competent, but not our first choice.

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