I can live with the basic stand but the OSD proved to be quite irritating to use. It certainly is not the slickest to navigate even though the options are arranged in a clear circular fashion. The root of the poor navigation lies in the fact that there’s no physical exit button on the fascia. This means you either have to wait for the OSD to self-exit or you have to press the select buttons to move to the exit icon.
The lack of a dedicated source button also means you have to find the signal source sub-menu in order to switch between an analogue and digital signal if you are using both ports simultaneously. The same can be said of the auto-adjust function too, so if the monitor loses it grip on the analogue signal – although during prolonged use it maintained this well – you will have to once again delve into the OSD in order to automatically correct the phase and clock. In terms of the settings array, I can’t complain. All the necessary functions exist including five sharpness levels, OSD transparency, plus three colour temperature presets (9300K, 7500K,and 6500K), and a user mode for fine tuning the RGB levels individually.
As for the performance of the MVA (Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) TFT liquid crystal panel made by Fujitsu, I was reasonably impressed. This process means that the crystals are angled in more than one direction in a single cell which basically makes the brightness of each cell appear even over wide viewing angles. Indeed, the brightness was well maintained at angles as shallow as 80 degrees from the centre in both horizontal and vertical planes.
The contrast of the screen is also good, especially at the highlight end where low-saturation colour reproduction was detectable all the way to two percent from peak white. Displaymate’s greyscales were also reproduced with a commendably neutral tone with minimal variation in colour tint as the intensity increased – a good sign that the colour tracking is tight between the RGB channels.
However, it wasn’t quite the same at the dimmer ends of both the greyscales and colour ramps. Here the scales are a little truncated which gave rise to the loss of detail in darker, shadowy tones when we viewed our test images and DVD movie. That said, in well lit scenes and images the colour balance was commendably accurate. Performance over the analogue input threw up similar results although text benefited from some sharpening using the aforementioned OSD function.
In general, the TL966B’s picture quality is above average, but if a screen for hardcore image editing is what you want, the loss of detail in the shadows may prove disappointing. However, by combining a truly competitive price, with dual connectivity and decent built-in speakers, the 19in Relisys TL966B could tempt the consumer away from a basic 17in model.