To begin testing we ran DisplayMate, our hardcore monitor test of choice, and immediately the many deficiencies of the CMV 222H were plain to see. First, the Dark-Grey Scale showed a number of problems, from distinctly average black levels to some particularly problematic shading issues. A great majority of the shades had a very evident brownish tinge to them, showing a complete lack of purity. As you would normally expect from a TN panel, more subtle tones were undefined too but compared to the lack of accuracy this was a minor issue.
Switching to the Dark Screen, there was some bad back light bleed from both the bottom and top edges of the display. Switching to a white background also revealed a dead pixel, which is never a good sign in these times. At the very least, the White-Level Saturation test wasn’t as bad as its Dark-Grey equivalent, though the more challenging shades faded into the background. Happily, the colour tracking wasn’t quite as bad. Colours certainly weren’t vibrant, nothing like, but the display did manage to reproduce the Colour Scales adequately enough, if not with the same verve and definition you’d see on higher quality displays.
For some video testing we plugged in an HD DVD player through the HDMI port, just to see what it was like. Unsurprisingly, the result wasn’t too encouraging. Colours were washed out, while there was also a significant amount of noise in the image. Slow panning shots also highlighted some noticeable ghosting and smearing, while the less said about the light bleed from the bottom and top, the better.
Next we plugged in an Xbox 360 via the component inputs to test its gaming performance, which is certainly the usage the CMV 222H should be best suited to. We played a little bit of FIFA 08 and Sega Rally, with the overriding feeling being that performance was adequate but not outstanding. At its default settings colours were underwhelming, failing to bring environments to life. Bumping up saturation did allay this somewhat, but in reality one ought not to need to do this. However, bearing this in mind, gaming on the CMV 222H wasn’t too bad. Issues such as light bleed weren’t nearly as evident as in the video testing, while motion was predominantly smooth, taking a very keen eye to spot any obvious ghosting or smearing.
Indeed, this is the abiding impression behind the Chimei CMV 222H. Image quality is mediocre at best, so it’s unsuitable for quality intensive tasks such as image editing or watching high definition video. However, for general use and particularly for gaming, the many weaknesses of the display aren’t nearly as apparent. Moreover, given the price and connectivity of the CMC 222H, it’s actually quite a good option for a gamer who needs something cheap and flexible to use with both a PC and Xbox 360 and even a PS3 or Wii.
Nicely designed and chock full of connectivity, the CMV 222H’s many image quality failings are offset somewhat by its plethora of features, decent design and bargain basement price. This makes it a good fit for a PC and console gamer on a very tight budget, though for anything else it will disappoint.
Score in detail
Image Quality 5