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Samsung SyncMaster 171MP - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Pip_UK, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. Pip_UK

    Pip_UK
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    This is only an amateur review but might be of interest to some.

    I purchased the SyncMaster 171MP from Trident Online and plan to wall mount it in my new kitchen (vesa wall mounting plate required for this). Trident are giving away a free Samsung DVD player with this LCD TV.

    Aesthetically the 171MP is very pleasing, particularly it's width of 250mm. The 17" SXGA TFT LCD Panel is surrounded by a metallic grey frame with stereo speakers beneath the screen (2 x 5w per channel). There are also tiny chrome buttons below the screen which accesses all the menus. The chrome buttons only need to be touched, they do not press in like a conventional buttons.

    The 171MP has an on-screen menu which is straight forward and it only took me several minutes to set it up to receive several video signals. Inputs include VGA, S-video, Composite and RF via the supplied tuner module which discretely connects to the VGA port at the rear. There are also RCA (R&L) inputs at the rear next to the video inputs. Cables supplied include a VGA lead and composite/audio. There is also a scart to composite/audio connector supplied.

    The two signals I watched were –
    1. DVD through the supplied free DVD player (M105) via composite and S-video connections
    2. NTL cable via RF and also via scart (cable box) to composite/audio connections

    I had the 171MP sat on the top of my Toshiba 28” 4-3 ratio CRT TV (model 2863DB). Although this TV is 5 years old and the technology dated compared to the 171MP, it gave me the opportunity of comparing the picture quality of cable tv against a CRT TV display.


    First Impressions ….

    DVD – Picture quality via s-video could not be assessed as the picture was in black and white and flickered. The s-video cable was not at fault. I have to check to see if it is a set up issue or a fault. Will keep you posted. Composite input revealed a very clear picture with vibrant colours and very good perceived contrast levels. There was no visible grain, pixel structure or motion artefact, even during fast action scenes. The dark scenes of the Matrix showed very good detail, even better than my Toshiba CRT TV.

    Cable – Picture quality through the RF showed visible grain and motion artefact but with such a small screen size it did not decrease viewing pleasure considerably. This also disappeared completely with the composite connection to give a fantastic picture.

    Cable TV looked far better than compared against my CRT TV. I was amazed at how ‘washed out’ the picture was on the CRT TV when viewed next to the 171MP. The LCD screen displayed better blacks, a sharper picture, more depth and more vibrant colours.

    Audio was very good and not ‘tinny’ as compared to reviews of similar models. With the bass set properly, the sound was more than adequate for a TV of this size.

    I am thoroughly impressed with the 171MP and can’t wait to put it on the wall in my new kitchen. Yes it’s expensive … but a slim and pleasing design with such good picture quality is worth the money in my opinion.

    I can put photos comparing the 171MP against the Toshiba on my website if anyone is interested.

    Pip

    There is a lot of discussion regarding contrast ratios with LCD displays. Several reviewers have stated that ‘spec’ ratios are not always accurate and can be irrelevant. They also state that it a matter of personal taste and also only clearly visible by amateurs, when compared directly against another model. I would tend to agree with this. The 171MP, with a contrast ratio of 400:1 produces blacks that I am thoroughly pleased with.
     

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