Hazro HZ26W S-IPS panel LCD monitor

Icm76

Active Member
Overview
The short summary is: the HZ26W has all the good points of a quality IPS panel, it's nicely finished, I really like the black aluminium bezel and the products are solidly backed with a 3 year warranty.

HZ26W key features:
25.5” wide gamut S-IPS panel with Anti-glare & AW polarizing filter
1920x1200 WUXGA
Excellent stable view angles (spec. sheet quotes CR >10:1 @ 178°)
5ms pixel response
800:1 contrast ratio
DVI-I, VGA and Component inputs​

Input lag is average/decent, but not zero so read the test results below. I played through Bioshock with all the settings at maximum, v-sync on & lag wasn't a problem.

Edit: just thought to add - this thing is absolutely 100% silent! There isn't even a hint of buzzing with an ear up close to the panel!

Full spec is over here:
http://www.hazro.co.uk/products/hazro_hz26w.html









Background to getting test unit
I hadn't heard of Hazro until I saw a post on AVForum asking if their were any reviews anywhere. After I read the spec sheet on Hazro's website I thought the HZ24W & HZ26W sounded almost too good to be true, but there was no way I was going to risk £500+VAT on a monitor with no reputation.

I sent an e-mail to Hazro & asked if any reviews were upcoming or if they could get test units to somewhere like TFTCentral or Lesnumeriques, failing that I asked if could have a test unit myself & in return if I liked it I would share my thoughts on this forum (and a couple of others) Straight away they offered to loan me a pre production sample of the HZ26W so I could test it first hand :)

A little more about Hazro
http://www.hazro.co.uk/
http://shop.routecoit.com/BrowseCat.aspx?CatID=597

I asked about the background of Hazro and up to now they have been selling their monitor into the Japanese medical display market. I guess that explains the rationale behind the sealed aluminium design.

Current model line up is:
HZ23W 23” standard gamut S-IPS
HZ24W 24” standard gamut S-IPS
HZ26W 25.5” wide gamut S-IPS (which is the one I got to play with)
HZ30W 30” wide gamut S-IPS​
Matt black or silver bezel options are available

So far I've been really impressed with their willingness to get demo units out and they really seem keen on getting feedback to try & perfect the model range.

Additional reviews on other websites:
TFTCentral have a review of the 24" version HZ24W
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hazro_hz24w.htm

Trusted Reviews also reviewed the 26" HZ26W
http://www.trustedreviews.com/displays/review/2007/12/20/Hazro-HZ26W-26in-Display/p1

PCPro review of the 30" HZ30W
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/145224/hazro-hz30w.html
 

Icm76

Active Member
My Test Configuration

PC
Athlon X2 4800 + Nvidia 8800GTX
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit + Nvidia drivers 163.44 & 169.09
Bioshock
Crysis
Windows XP Pro SP2 32bit + Nvidia driver 169.09
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (with Float32)
Neverwinter Nights 2​
Image testing programs
Flatpanels.dk monitor test
Flatpanels.dk stopwatch
Nokia Monitor Test
EIZO monitor test
CheckScreen monitor test
PixPerAn​

Xbox 360
Dead Rising
Gears of War
Viva Piñata​

Other Displays (displays used in subjective image comparison & lag test)
Sony CPD-G500 (21” CRT monitor)
HP L1940T (19” TN panel LCD)
Sony KV-21LS30U (21” CRT TV)​

Digital Camera
Sony DSC-S90​



Colour change & detail loss due to my photography
My knowledge of photography is extremely limited and so the image quality of my photos is a bit hit & miss, the result of trial and error with the camera settings. The included photos are not truly representative of the HZ26W, so please bear in mind the monitor shows much more detail & the colour is significantly better.

I took photos of these images, then loaded the photo side by side with the original and photographed it again so you can get an idea of the effect of my camera work.

 

Icm76

Active Member
Image Quality




Greyscale/dark detail
The lowest 1%-2% dark grey shades are differentiated on the various monitor test programs brightness/contrast & greyscale tests.

I am quite impressed with this, tried a difficult dark area on Dead Rising game & the LCD is almost able to pick out as much detail as my CRT television. Perhaps not the fairest test, but the LCD comes out well



Looking down the very dark corridor in the photo, on the HZ26W compared to the CRT TV the character needs to be 1-2 steps further forward to reveal a similar level of detail at the far wall i.e. It's quite playable and really the game is supposed to be pitch black to make your life difficult against the Special Forces soldiers that are hunting you down.


Black level
Average, never an IPS strong point. Plain black screen looks grey, however when there is a contrast e.g. black area in a game it looks black. Backlight control would be nice here, but it's not available unfortunately :( The standard brightness setting is 68 and it can't be lowered less than 63 before black starts to crush.

 

Icm76

Active Member
View angles

Really stable, seems to be similar behaviour to the NEC 26" i.e. no white glow, beyond normal view position blacks have a green tint looking from the left side & red tint looking from the right side. I assume this is the AW polarizing filter at work? In any case there is plenty view angle to fidget around in your seat & the colour/brightness doesn't shift at all

Horizontal


Horizontal View Angle 2
 

Icm76

Active Member
Colour
Subjectively it's very good, I found turning down the saturation & setting the RGB slider with a notch more blue than the standard 6500K was quite satisfying for most of the time. However on a clear bright day the 6500K standard setting looks excellent.

Colour gradient tests are all very smooth (EIZO & Flatpanels.dk test programs) The only question mark is some feint vertical lines on the 256 stepping – however I'm sure it's just the edges between the bands of graduations, reducing the number of steps makes the graduation bands wider with a clear edge between each. Within each band the gradient is always smooth (unlike the TN panel I compared against)



Edit: that last photo in the set is from a test image downloaded from http://lcdresource.com/


Colour with Xbox/DVD is also good, I think the wide gamut helps with the PAL/NTSC source material. I also found that HZ26W's vivid colour pre-set was really useful in the Viva Piñata game as the saturated colour suits the art style.



Wide gamut attributes that make some colours the wrong shade are apparent in some circumstances e.g. Browsing soccer reports the Manchester United & Liverpool red jerseys just looked a little too pink, or a little too brown in some cases. I don't know how much of this is down to the monitor & how much is due to the news report photos being poor quality.
 

Icm76

Active Member
Dead/Stuck Pixels
Zero (either full or sub pixels)

Uniformity/backlight bleed
My HZ26W test unit was a used pre production unit minus the proper packaging. Uniformity wasn't great, but Hazro immediately offered to swap it with a brand new unit – I declined as I thought it would be a waste of a unit that they then wouldn't be able to sell as new.

It's been noted on the tests of NEC, Planar & Mitsubishi that the 25.5” version of this IPS panel does have a tendency to be less uniform than the 24”, so you could go for the 24” if you're worried about it. Personally I won't worry, if I were unlucky to receive a non-uniform sample I'd just get it swapped, particularly as it's ultimately for LPL to manufacture the panel properly and I assume it's them that will pick up the final tab for defective ones.

Sharpness & geometry
Excellent/perfect

Blur/Ghosting
Normal/good. Seems better than the 19" TN panel I have & certainly hasn't bothered me in use.
Couldn't see any serious issues while gaming or looking at a soccer DVD. Obvious differences are apparent when compared with the CRT, but that's expected.

PixPerAn photos are included but you can't really draw anything from it – the camera sees things differently to how it appears to the naked eye regardless of the shutter speed.



The middle photo of flag with the wide strips is on a longer shutter, it just shows the leading & trailing edge pixel response rise & fall is similar for greys & blacks.





Scaler Behaviour

Scaler on DVI using PC as source
1080p – excellent/perfect 1:1 pixel map
720p – good
1280x768 – good

HZ26W doesn't support 1680x1050, but 1080p is similar performance & crisper anyway due to 1:1 pixel map

Scaler/Deinterlacer on Component using Xbox 360 as source
1080p – excellent/perfect 1:1 pixel map
1080i - v. good (didn't note anything unpleasant thought the deinterlacer)
720p - v. good, quite satisfied playing Xbox on this setting
480p - displayed as incorrect 3:2 ratio (res is 720x480)
576i (16:9 PAL DVD) - displayed as incorrect ratio (res is 720x576)
576i (4:3 PAL DVD) - displayed as incorrect ratio (res is 720x576)






DVD quality
DVD video playback looked OK aside from the incorrect ratio, I looked at a football (soccer) DVD & there wasn't any intrusive motion blur. Colour looked good too, so I think an upscaling DVD or HD player would be fine on the component input provided 720p or 1080i/p is used

Hazro are aware of the PAL & 480p scaling to 3:2 problem and are looking into it, but they can't promise a solution or time frame. If they do find a way round it I'll update the comments here.
 

Icm76

Active Member
Input Lag Testing

Summary test configurations & various results
  • Hazro tested an average 14ms in their own lab in Asia. I have requested the full system spec they used in their test & will update here as and when that info becomes available.
  • The fastest configuration I tested on Vista 64 + 169.09 driver could support this result – the stopwatch was mostly showing 0, 10ms & 20ms differences
  • Anomalous Vista 64 results under 163.44 driver showed 40-60ms range
  • XP was very consistent with all variations in system configuration showing 15ms-31ms

Once my own set up was running smoothly I really couldn't tell any difference on the lag in STALKER running on XP, or Bioshock & Crysis running on Vista, or the Xbox 360 games over component. I can't perceive any lag at all while playing normally, although with V-sync active I can see a little lag if I look for it specifically. That said I've had the monitor long enough to run through Bioshock from start to finish, V-sync was on all the time and the whole gaming experience was excellent.

The bad result under 163.44 driver on Vista is probably attributable to the inferior functionality of the NV control panel under Vista. There are less NV control panel options compared to XP and the functions that do work have bugs.



Input Lag under Windows XP Pro 32 SP2
I measured 15-31ms very consistently under using a wide variety of configurations:

  • swapping the DVI ports connected to the LCD & CRT on the graphics card
  • making the LCD then the CRT the Primary in 'clone mode'
  • no scaling
  • use Nvidia scaling
  • use HZ26W scaling
  • CRT vertical refresh 60hz - 144hz
  • camera exposure time 1/1000s - 1/125s
  • 'burst mode' interval 1/30s – 1/7s
  • Anti-virus on/off
  • Stopwatch positioning on screen
  • 1-4 active stopwatches

Note that the HZ26W was always on DVI, the CPD-G500 was always on VGA via the DVI->VGA dongle that came supplied with my 8800GTX graphics card.

I have over 3000 photos comparing this & it's incredibly consistent. Most commonly the stopwatch shows 31ms difference and very frequently 15ms-16ms, occasionally 32ms. Curiously there a few, if any intermediate values in the 17-30ms range.









I have a couple of photos of STALKER with the character turning on the spot & it's possible to see approx 1/4"-1/2" difference movement on the screen.



N.B. For a consistent turn rate I held the cursor key down rather than use the mouse.
 

Icm76

Active Member
Input Lag under Windows Vista Ultimate 64

There seem to be some driver issues & inconsistencies. The first test using driver 163.44 measured 50ms & the lag in Bioshock was spectacularly awful. Nvidia control panel actually was quite buggy and would stop responding for 30s every time I changed anything. Tuning off anti virus improved the Nvidia control panel response speed but did nothing for the lag. Because it was so bad I just returned to lag testing under XP & used that to try any identify any configuration changes that might lead to different lag results. After the 169.09 drivers became available I returned to Vista & Bioshock was vastly improved, lag felt the same as STALKER under XP. Now the clone mode test can give results similar to XP. Time differences tend to be 0, 10ms, 20ms & 30ms

Under Vista the Primary & Secondary monitor options do seem to make a difference. If the HZ26W is made the primary the lag goes up, typically showing 40ms but has spike of 60ms. Making the HZ26W the secondary the lag drops showing 0, 10ms, 20ms & 30ms results + occasional 40ms results. With the Hazro as the secondary monitor plugged into the 2nd DVI port I have a series of lag v. the CRT where 0ms, 10ms & 20ms are the common results &#8211; it looks like the average could be <1 frame, but there are a couple of 30ms spikes in this series.

I don't know why, but under Vista (after approx. 1000 photos) it's mostly usual to see the time difference as multiples of 10ms and sometimes 21ms, yet in XP it's always 15ms, 16ms, 31ms, 32ms. Also I don't yet understand why I rarely see any intermediate time differences in the 17-29ms range

As per the XP test the HZ26W was always connected via DVI, the CPD-G500 was connected via the DVI->VGA dongle.

Initial high lag results with nvidia 163.44 driver

Note the different stopwatch onscreen positions were the only difference between series. The results were always the same overall

Huge improvement with nvidia 169.09 driver

note these samples are from 2 different series, one with Kaspersky Internet Security active, the other with it disabled


Turning on nvidia scaling may increase lag a little under Vista

single series with Nvidia Flat Panel Scaling option set to scale 1280x768 -> Hazro 'Full' screen mode i.e. 1920x1200, but all the scaling is by Nvidia


Speculation on why Input Lag appears different under Vista & XP
It may well be entirely down to the way the Nvidia drivers run clone mode in Vista compared to XP. Certainly driver release notes always make mention of the reduced multiple display functionality compared with XP

There is an oddity with the HZ26W using the Generic Plug and Play display driver &#8211; it gets tagged as an HDTV, with a native res of 1280x768 under XP & 1920x1200 under Vista. Hazro are investigating releasing a specific monitor driver for the HZ26W, if they do I'm interested in running some of the tests again but I'm sceptical that it will make a difference, particularly as the native res is correctly reported under Vista anyway & that's where all the variation occurs. Still it would be nice to be 100% satisfied that the lag is as low as it can be under XP. With the native res reported as 1280x768 it doesn't matter if the Flat Panel scaling in Nvidia control panel is set to: Device scaling, Nvidia scaling, Nvidia fixed aspect scaling or No scaling.

Off topic but I did notice too many stopwatches will max out the CPU, the clocks stutter & stall if you do this
 

crossbow

Well-known Member
how come the HZ30W has a response time of 12ms
That's probably the true value, or 'rise & fall' time.

Most manufacturer's tend to quote the lower G2G (grey to grey) figure for response time.

This monitor's G2G figure could be 6ms, which isn't too bad for a non-TN screen such as this.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: REL T/9x Subwoofer + Bowers & Wilkins PI7 Reviews, AV Shows in a Pandemic and more
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom