Samsung Updates 2018 QLED TVs with FreeSync Support

Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, qled, Predator X27, hdr. g-sync, freesync

Hot on the heels of the pricing and pre-order availability of the first G-SYNC HDR displays, we have news on more support for FreeSync, this time expanding to TVs.

Today, popular TV review site Rtings posted confirmation that the latest firmware (1103), released on May 21st, in fact, enables support for FreeSync on Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN, Q9FN, and NU8000 sets. We have no official confirmation that this is FreeSync 2 support, but all signs point to this being the case.

Given how well the 2018 QLED sets fair in Rtings own reviews, including HDR performance, this could be the first product to be released combining high-end HDR with variable refresh technology.

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Interestingly enough, you can currently pick up the 55" Samsung Q7F TV for around $1700, which translates to $300 less than the 27" Acer Predator X27 G-SYNC HDR display available for preorder now. While it would be difficult to fit a 55" display on your desk, it's an interesting comparison nonetheless.

If you happen to own one of these compatible TVs, you can find the firmware to enable FreeSync on Samsung's support page for your given model. For the rest of us, we'll be waiting for reputable outlets like Rtings to conduct their standard through testing of this new feature!

Source: Rtings

Wave your arms in the air ... dual and single monitor mounts from Echogear

Subject: Displays | May 22, 2018 - 02:14 PM |
Tagged: monitor arm, echogear

An often neglected accessory for computers are monitor arms, which open up a large amount of space on your desk and allow you to switch from portrait to landscape and back quickly and easily.  Not all arms are created equally and a poorly designed one can sour your experience and cause you to abandon them altogether.  The Tech Report have just tested two models from Echogear, a single monitor stand as well as a dual monitor option.  The mounting procedure is quite easy as well as adjusting their profile to fit your personal needs, the only area which was mentioned as less than ideal was the included cable management rings.  Take a look at the full review to see if that is enough to sour your opinion or if these might be the accessories you are looking for.

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"Once upon a time, I had a sweet monitor-arm setup that proved such a hassle that I eventually put my screens right back on their included stands. Now, I'm putting my screens back on EchoGear's single-screen and dual-screen monitor arms to see whether the company can change my mind."

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Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Samsung

Super Ultrawide

Ultrawide monitors have become an enormous trend in PC gaming over the last 3-4 years. In late 2014 when LG launched the first PC monitors with a 21:9 aspect ratio, I indeed was a skeptic. To me, it seemed like such a radical new aspect ratio would be wrought with game incompatibility, and wouldn't offer much of an advantage over two monitor setups for productivity.

And in the beginning, this was mostly the case. In 2014, games didn't even enable the option for 21:9 aspect ratio resolutions, and those that did, generally resulted in distorted image and FOV settings.

However, gamers wanted these ultrawide aspect ratio displays, and the game support soon followed. Now, ultrawide monitors are a staple of every monitor manufacturer's product lineup.

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What we are looking at today though, is the most intense of all of the ultrawide monitors, the 49" Samsung CHG90. And it just so happens to be one of the first AMD FreeSync 2 displays.

Specifications

Still in the ultrawide category, the CHG90 moves away from the more traditional 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio to a wider and squatter 32:9. This aspect ratio allows Samsung to maximize the width of the CHG90 while keeping the display short enough not to engulf your entire wall.

Essentially, you can look at this display as two 27" monitors sitting side-by-side, without the pesky bezel in the middle. Similarly, the resolution of the CHG90 matches the effective resolution of two 1080p monitors sitting next to each other, with a total resolution of 3840x1080.

To achieve such a big display size in a still relatively usable form factor, the CHG90 display features a 1800R curvature. This figure refers to the measurement of the resulting radius that the display would make if it continued to make a full circle. For example, a 3000R display would have less of a curve than a 1800R display.

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The curve on the CHG90 isn't quite like any other display we've seen, however. Due to the immense size of the display, the entire panel isn't curved. The curve stops about 6 inches from the edge of either side of the screen.

Continue reading our review of the Samsung C49HG90 Ultrawide FreeSync 2 monitor!

Philips Momentum 43" First Monitor Certified HDR1000

Subject: Displays | April 24, 2018 - 09:25 PM |
Tagged: philips, hdr, displayhdr1000

While Philips has been a bit quiet in the LCD space since they divested from LG.Philips, they are still in the market through their partner, EPI. Today’s news is that this duo has created the first monitor to be certified as compliant with VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 standard: the Philips Momentum 43-inch (436M6VBPAB).

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The number in front of DisplayHDR comes from the brightness rating (measured in candela per square meter) that the specification demands for HDR content.

As for the rest of the monitor’s details? 4K, check. HDR, of course. 43-inch, could be very good for that resolution. Quantum dot, yup. $999.99 USD, very interesting price. It doesn’t list whether it is compatible with any variable refresh technology, though. G-Sync HDR is pretty much out of the question, but FreeSync would have completed this monitor’s checklist. It will still turn heads, but its omission will also raise a few questions.

Unless it has it but they just forgot to list it? Maybe?

BenQ's EL2870U; Freesync for sure, HDR not so much

Subject: Displays | April 18, 2018 - 03:59 PM |
Tagged: benq, EL2870U, freesync, 4k, hdr10, TN

The BenQ EL2870U is a 27.9" 4K TN display that touts a 1ms gtg response time, supports HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.4, a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz and HDR 10 support.  The proof is in the testing however, which Kitguru conducted in their review.  The display suffers from an all too common flaw; it accepts HDR input but cannot properly display it so you should consider this a SDR display, more or less.  The colour calibration is not good enough for professional usage but would certainly function perfectly for gaming.  Check out the full details before considering a purchase.

BenQ-EL2870U-Monitor-Review-on-KitGuru-Front.jpg

"On paper, the BenQ EL2870U initially seems like the ideal entertainment and productivity monitor. It’s a stylish, flicker-free 28in 4K UHD display with a 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync and HDR 10 support, to list but a few of the highlights."

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Source: Kitguru
Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Acer

When PC monitors made the mainstream transition to widescreen aspect ratios in the mid-2000s, many manufacturers opted for resolutions at a 16:10 ratio. My first widescreen displays were a pair of Dell monitors with a 1920x1200 resolution and, as time and technology marched forward, I moved to larger 2560x1600 monitors.

I grew to rely on and appreciate the extra vertical resolution that 16:10 displays offer, but as the production and development of "widescreen" PC monitors matured, it naturally began to merge with the television industry, which had long since settled on a 16:9 aspect ratio. This led to the introduction of PC displays with native resolutions of 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, keeping things simple for activities such as media playback but robbing consumers of pixels in terms of vertical resolution.

I was well-accustomed to my 16:10 monitors when the 16:9 aspect ratio took over the market, and while I initially thought that the 120 or 160 missing rows of pixels wouldn't be missed, I was unfortunately mistaken. Those seemingly insignificant pixels turned out to make a noticeable difference in terms of on-screen productivity real estate, and my 1080p and 1440p displays have always felt cramped as a result.

I was therefore sad to see that the relatively new ultrawide monitor market continued the trend of limited vertical resolutions. Most ultrawides feature a 21:9 aspect ratio with resolutions of 2560x1080 or 3440x1440. While this gives users extra resolution on the sides, it maintains the same limited height options of those ubiquitous 1080p and 1440p displays. The ultrawide form factor is fantastic for movies and games, but while some find them perfectly acceptable for productivity, I still felt cramped.

Thankfully, a new breed of ultrawide monitors is here to save the day. In the second half of 2017, display manufactures such as Dell, Acer, and LG launched 38-inch ultrawide monitors with a 3840x1600 resolution. Just like the how the early ultrawides "stretched" a 1080p or 1440p monitor, the 38-inch versions do the same for my beloved 2560x1600 displays.

The Acer XR382CQK

I've had the opportunity to test one of these new "taller" displays thanks to a review loan from Acer of the XR382CQK, a curved 37.5-inch behemoth. It shares the same glorious 3840x1600 resolution as others in its class, but it also offers some unique features, including a 75Hz refresh rate, USB-C input, and AMD FreeSync support.

XR382CQK-desk.jpg

Based on my time with the XR382CQK, my hopes for those extra 160 of resolution were fulfilled. The height of the display area felt great for tasks like video editing in Premiere and referencing multiple side-by-side documents and websites, and the gaming experience was just as satisfying. And with its 38-inch size, the display is quite usable at 100 percent scaling.

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There's also an unexpected benefit for video content that I hadn't originally considered. I was so focused on regaining that missing vertical resolution that I initially failed to appreciate the jump in horizontal resolution from 3440px to 3840px. This is the same horizontal resolution as the consumer UHD standard, which means that 4K movies in a 21:9 or similar aspect ratio will be viewable in their full size with a 1:1 pixel ratio.

Continue reading our look at 38-inch 3840x1600 ultrawide monitors!

Need a new display, right now?

Subject: Displays | March 12, 2018 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: 1080p, 1440p, 4k, 21:9, g-sync, freesync

Today is perhaps not the best day to buy a new monitor, FreeSync 2 should be arriving soon, as should high refresh rate UHD models, and well, the HDR standard is a wee bit more dynamic than we want right now.  There are some out there who will feel the need to upgrade or to replace a veteran panel which has hit retirement age, so check out TechSpot's current recommendations.  They have spilt their displays into four categories, 1080p, 1440p, 4K, Ultrawide aka 21:9 and a budget category.  For the most part, they chose G-SYNC as NVIDIA holds the largest marketshare but they did include a few FreeSync alternatives. 

Check out their recommendations to see if anything might fit your immediate needs.

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"With the gaming monitor market expanding to all sorts of display types and technologies, it's time we had a dedicated Best Of feature dedicated to them. Today we'll provide you with 5-10 key monitor recommendations across a variety of popular categories."

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Source: TechSpot

Acer's slightly upgraded Predator X34P display

Subject: Displays | January 16, 2018 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: acer, Predator X34P, 1440p, 1900R, curved screen, g-sync

The Acer Predator X34 was a 34" 21:9 aspect G-SYNC display with a 3440 x 1440 resolution.  The newer model sports an updated panel to address the issues some people were having when the X34 hit its top 100Hz refresh rate.  The X34P is able to be overclocked to 120Hz, not only to offer a faster refresh but also to ensure you do not see flickering at 100Hz.  The curve is also more pronounced, however there is no HDR support.  If you are looking for a decent gaming monitor and aren't concerned about the lack of HDR you can read more about it at TechSpot.

S-11.jpg

"For the past two years the Acer Predator X34 has remained one of the best gaming monitors on the market. I've been so satisfied with it since launch that that I've kept it as my personal monitor for both gaming and video production. But this new monitor from Acer, an upgraded version of the X34, is even better in almost every way."

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Source: Techspot

CES 2018: Dell S2419HM and S2719DM IPS HDR Monitors

Subject: Displays | January 9, 2018 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ips, hdr, dell

Dell is announcing a pair of consumer monitors at this year's CES. Each SKU uses an HDR-ready IPS panel, which covers over 85% of the DCI-P3 color space and does so with up to 600 cd/m2 peak brightness. As far as I can tell, the only technical difference between the panels is that the 24-inch one has a 1080p resolution, while the 27-inch one has a 1440p resolution.

S2419HM And S2719DM.png

As for a possible difference: the 27-inch is also listed as being VESA certified DisplayHDR 400, which means that it will provide at least 400 nits of brightness in HDR content. I’m not sure why the 24-inch is not listed as DisplayHDR 400, because it has the same backlight, but that could be something as simple as “one finished the certification process before the other”.

Ultrathin Monitors.jpg

Regardless, the main features of this monitor is that it’s bright, it’s thin, it has a thin bezel, and it is HDR-ready. If that is what you’re looking for, then consider these monitors when they launch on February 6th. The 24-inch (S2419HM) has an MSRP of $299.99 while the 27-inch (S2719DM) has an MSRP of $499.99.

Source: Dell

CES 2018: NVIDIA announces Big Format Gaming Display initiative with 65-in G-SYNC

Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | January 8, 2018 - 12:30 AM |
Tagged: SHIELD TV, nvidia, hp, hdr, g-sync, DCI-P3, bgfd, asus, android tv, acer

Although their Keynote presentation tonight at CES is all about automotive technology, that hasn't stopped NVIDIA from providing us with a few gaming-related announcements this week. The most interesting of which is what NVIDIA is calling "Big Format Gaming Displays" or BFGDs (get it?!).

Along with partners ASUS, Acer, and HP, NVIDIA has developed what seems to be the ultimate living room display solution for gamers.

Based on an HDR-enabled 65" 4K 120Hz panel, these displays integrate both NVIDIA G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology for smooth gameplay, as well as a built-in NVIDIA SHIELD TV set-top box.

In addition to G-SYNC technology, these displays will also feature a full direct-array backlight capable of a peak luminance of 1000-nits and conform to the DCI-P3 color gamut, both necessary features for a quality HDR experience. These specifications put the BFGDs in line with the current 4K HDR TVs on the market.

Unlike traditional televisions, these BFGDs are expected to have very low input latencies, a significant advantage for both PC and console gamers.

Integration of the SHIELD TV means that these displays will be more than just an extremely large PC monitor, but rather capable of replacing the TV in your living room. The Android TV operating system means you will get access to a lot of the most popular streaming video applications, as well as features like Google Assistant and NVIDIA GameStream.

BFGD KV.jpg

Personally, I am excited at the idea of what is essentially a 65" TV, but optimized for things like low input latency. The current crop of high-end TVs on the market cater very little to gamers, with game modes that don't turn off all of the image processing effects and still have significant latency.

It's also interesting to see companies like ASUS, Acer, and HP who are well known in the PC display market essentially entering the TV market with these BFGD products.

Stay tuned as for eyes-on impression of the BFGD displays as part of our CES 2018 coverage!

Update: ASUS has officially announced their BFGD offering, the aptly named PG65 (pictured below). We have a meeting with ASUS this week, and we hope to get a look at this upcoming product!

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Source: NVIDIA