First and foremost among the problems is the panel that is clearly of the 6-bit TN variety, so struggles to reproduce colours as well as more sophisticated panels. OK, it has a respectable response time of 5ms, so gaming won’t be a problem, but colours are rather dull and inaccurate and sharpness is also quite poor. Likewise, viewing angles are mediocre at best. In fairness, the overall picture is by no means awful, being on a par with other cheap 22inch models, and with a bit of manual tweaking the picture can be livened up a bit and there’s no obvious colour distortion at wide viewing angles. It’s just that on an image quality front, the M228WD doesn’t warrant any merit either.
It’s the same story when watching TV. The picture is fine for general watching and isn’t dramatically worse than many cheap TVs, but there’s no image enhancing features either – at least not ones that work – so signal noise and compression artefacts are all very obvious.
Firing up DisplayMate only served to highlight these issues with noticeable colour banding in the colour scale tests and compression in the Dark-Grey Scale and White-level tests. That said, the backlighting is nice and even with no obvious light bleed and colour uniformity is also spot on.
The final test was of sound quality and it is possibly here that the M228WD disappoints most. Not only is the sound thin and weedy but there’s also this horrible spacial effect whereby voices seem to come from somewhere behind the bottom left of the panel, rather than in the middle. This occurs no matter which Sound Mode you choose and it really is quite peculiar, and certainly not a pleasant listening experience.
So, on the one hand, the M228WD is a thoroughly feature packed TV/monitor that is a breath of fresh air in terms of usability, but on the other it has the sort of image and sound quality we’d normally expect from a model costing maybe £150, not £250. The question is whether all those extras are worth the price premium or are you better off spending all the money on a decent TV or monitor. Of course, if you only have £250 and you require both a TV and monitor because you need the extra connections and remote then the M228WDs features have surely got to tip the balance in its favour. If however, you could make do with just a monitor for the time being then I’d recommend you get a better quality one and grab a TV card for your computer.
The LG Flatron M228WD combines a class leading feature set with great usability and connectivity to create a seemingly perfect TV/monitor combination. Unfortunately, it’s let down by mediocre image quality and poor sound so we’d only recommend it to those who really are pushed for space and need the extra connections. If you don’t need all the extra connections, though, you’d be better off buying a better quality monitor and a TV card for your computer.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6
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