OSD Menus

The OSD controls for the EW2420 are broken down into five main screens: Display, Picture, Picture Advanced, Audio, and System. For most users the Display screen will go unused as it only applies to the non-digital D-sub input. It would probably be better if BenQ moved this screen to a lower selection in the menu instead of being the initial choice, as it will be used so much less compared to the other choices. Picture contains your standard Brightness and Contrast settings, as well as a Sharpness control, a Gamma control that is welcome to see, Color for an advanced Color sub-menu, and AMA. AMA enables panel overdrive to take the Gray-to-Gray times from 25ms down to 8ms. If you are using the panel for gaming, this sounds like an option you will want to enable, but we’ll see later how much it actually helps.

If you venture into the Color sub-menu, you will find a single set of RGB gain controls for the white balance, as well as a hue and saturation control. These are only enabled if you select the User Mode choice from the different color modes available. The Normal and User modes were closer to 6500K in temperature than either the Reddish or Bluish choices, which were so far off the mark I can’t imagine someone using them as their choice.

Picture Advanced lets you pick between different picture modes that claim to be designed for different content types, but the majority of these are very skewed and not likely to be used. The Standard and sRGB modes provided the best results of the available choices, and I went with Standard as it allowed for the most customization. The Senseye Demo mode allows you to compare the Standard mode in a split screen to the other picture modes, in case you want to see how drastically they affect the image. Dynamic Contrast affects how aggressively the LED lighting operates (it’s automatically disabled on sRGB, Standard, and Eco modes) and Display Mode lets you choose if you want to have images scaled to use the entire screen, or if you want to maintain the correct aspect ratio on a signal that isn’t 1080p.

Color format lets you choose between YUV or RGB encoding for your digital video signal, which we will test in a later section for color handling capabilities, and finally the HDMI RGB PC Range lets you select between RGB PC video levels (0-255) and RGB Video Levels (16-235). As the EW2420 is designed to serve as a multi-purpose display, this will be very important if one of the HDMI inputs is used with a digital TV tuner, PS3, Xbox 360, or other device that uses the video range. Having the incorrect range would lead to crushed highlights and a lack of shadow detail on all of your video material, since the monitor would be optimized for the wrong range.

Audio lets you set the volume of the speakers, mute the audio, and select the source for the audio. Using a Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter on my MacBook Air, I was able to send audio perfectly fine to the BenQ, though even at bare minimum the volume was louder than I would have preferred it to be. The sound wasn’t anything fantastic, but it was better than the speakers in my laptop and will work just fine for occasional use. If you want higher quality sound, I’d recommend using the headphone jack on the left side of the display, or a separate set of speakers. Finally, the System menu provides your standard functions such as input selection, OSD positioning and time out, DDC/CI control, and information on the signal being received.

The OSD is reasonably easy to navigate through, though I often found myself hitting a button to go in the wrong direction than I intended. A label on the screen that showed which direction each button would move the cursor would be nice. Additionally the Auto button at the top is going to be used very little by people now that analog connections are so uncommon for people to use on their display. Much like defaulting to the Display screen initially in the menus, this seems to be a design touch that is out-of-date now.

Introduction and Hardware Impressions Viewing Angles and Color Quality
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  • cheinonen - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    The SA750 is on hand and up for review soon, though probably behind a couple of other panels that are already here, one of which is TN.
  • JMS3072 - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    Can you speak to the volume of the headphone jack when using high-impedance (32Ω or greater) headphones?
  • cheinonen - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    I can't right now but I can try to hook them up tomorrow and give it a quick listen. The headphones I have on hand are 32 ohm (Grado SR60) or AKG K701s that are a huge pain to drive, and I'm certain it won't be able to do a decent job on at all. I will try with the Grado's and see how it does, though. I focused more on the speakers than on the headphone output.
  • cheinonen - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    I got a chance to hook up my Grado SR60s to the BenQ, playing back a Blu-ray over HDMI. Even with the volume cranked all the way up it really wasn't that loud, much quieter than I would expect. If I had headphones that were hard to drive, I certainly wouldn't count on it putting out a decent volume level.
  • ncomben - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    What is it with all these 16:9 monitors - can we have at least have reviews of proper monitors for PC users who do more than just watch films or play console games?

    I believe the panel makers are doing the public a great injustice in the name of reducing costs and standardising across markets. I can almost understand reviewing below 24" at 16:9 since the headline resolution sounds better than a 16:10 screen much better but at 24", come on...

    I'm a developer and, I would argue that the 22" 1680x1050 monitors I am currently using are vastly superior to use than the newer tiny 22" 1920x1080 screens that my company buy for new developers.

    I use a 16x10 24" at home for gaming, development, films &, browsing and it's perfect.
    We recently got a 27" in the office to try out... it's going back because nobody could read the fonts!

    Then again, perhaps it's just me?
  • cactusdog - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    That makes no sense.....

    "I'm a developer and, I would argue that the 22" 1680x1050 monitors I am currently using are vastly superior to use than the newer tiny 22" 1920x1080 screens that my company buy for new developers."

    Absolutely no sense when you have less verticle resolution. I'm getting a bit sick of hearing this debate 16:10 vs 16:9, Sure, some people will prefer the extra verticle resolution of 1920x1200 vs 1920x1080 but the ratio argument fails if you prefer a 1680x1050 over a 1920x1080.

    Resolution matters, ratio does not. It makes no sense to prefer a smaller res just to get 16:10.

    And I agree about testing the SA750/SA950. They are very nice monitors and have better colour reproduction than mainstream IPS monitors.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    The real problem isn't 16:10 or 16:9.
    the real problem is, that 4:3 and 5:4 are dead, especially in larger than 19 inch screens.
    I'm looking for an excellent 1600x1200 screen to get three of, and use them in portrait mode, but it's almost impossible, because the Eizo s2100k is apparently the only high quality display that's not costing an arm and two legs, while still offering reasonably thin bezels and usb-auto-calibration. Sadly, that screen hasn't seen a refresh for more than 6 years, and only old stock is being sold.

    At that size and resolution it's also unpractical to go for single displays, and even a good 30 incher is already more expensive - and also going the way of the dodo.

    Seems like screen real estate isn't that sought after anymore :(
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    Dell is still selling their 20" model 2007 LCD which is 1600x1200, but it's $399, i.e. the same price as a Dell 1920x1200 24" IPS monitor.
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    It does make sense in a personal experience aspect. Once you use a 24inch 1920x1200 using a x1080 just "feels" wrong. You fill ripped off. Games especially. It just feels the screen is tearing.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    " I'm getting a bit sick of hearing this debate 16:10 vs 16:9, Sure, some people will prefer the extra verticle resolution of 1920x1200 vs 1920x1080 but the ratio argument fails if you prefer a 1680x1050 over a 1920x1080."

    Well, you going to keep hearing it - 16:9 sucks. I work in 1920 x 1200, but if I had a choice, I'd pick a 22" 1680 x 1050 screen over 1080p (for work). It makes sense if you spend all day trying to work with the 2 resolutions.

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