Upon firing up the T240HD, it immediately impresses as having a pleasantly neutral image. A lot of manufacturers, including Samsung – who manufactures a high majority of panels anyway – have gone down the “high colour gamut” route with their monitors. This has lead to a spate of displays with rather stilted, often florescent looking images that look un-natural and require tuning to iron out. With a TV monitor, this approach simply wouldn’t work, so we’re happy to report no problems in this respect with the T240HD.
It’s noticeable that the T240HD takes a more TV inspired approach to settings. Like the rather smart remote, the settings menus are lifted directly from Samsung’s TVs and this is no bad thing since they’re well arranged and easy to navigate, especially with the remote. MagicBright picture modes include Entertain, Internet, Text, Dynamic Contrast and Custom modes. Text and Internet are darker for comfortable reading, Entertain is brighter and Dynamic Contrast enables the dynamic backlight – you can probably work out what Custom means!
Unlike some monitors, though, the colour options are labelled as Normal, Warm and Cool – rather than using the colour temperatures. This is more end-user friendly and provided you know what you’re looking at, it’s pretty easy to tell what is what. Along with the usual brightness and contrast controls you can also adjust sharpness – handy when viewing higher detail high-definition video.
Before we get onto to such delights, however, there’s the business of standard definition content to deal with and specifically Freeview image quality. Despite its “digital credentials”, anyone who knows anything knows that the Freeview feed isn’t of great quality and good TVs use a lot of processing to get regular TV looking passable.
It’s this kind of processing that the T240HD lacks and though it puts forward a reasonable performance, we’ve seen Freeview look better than this. It doesn’t do a great job of eliminating pixel crawl and the various digital artefacts are obvious for even an un-trained eye to see. This doesn’t make it unwatchable by any means, but it won’t match most dedicated TVs.
Another department that weakens its TV credentials are the viewing angles. Again, they’re just about acceptable, but there is a noticeable loss of contrast and some colour shift that’s at its worst when viewed from above. Happily, things like the EPG and basic navigation are very good, better than the majority of TV/Monitor hybrids we’ve seen and though it may sound like the T240HD isn’t that a good TV, as a secondary TV for the bedroom or kitchen you could do a lot worse – but also slightly better.
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