17" LCD Part V: Four Panels Compared

Nec LCD71VM And Games


This is what it all boils down to: How well does the LG screen do when compared to its rivals?

Unreal

The image is magnificent, very detailed, vivid, readable even in the dark areas but, when it comes down to it, the NEC monitor - based on the new LG screen - is not yet what committed game-players have been waiting for. In 1280 x 1024, it's good, but the wake cannot be ignored. The 25 ms and more monitors are not a patch on it, but it's no better, yet again, than the monitors that use HyDis or AU Optronics panels. So the 20 ms has not yet bitten the dust.

As regards interpolation, here again, this screen performs no better than the rest. As soon as you switch to 1024 x 768, the images become cruder and there is a jagged or aliased effect.

Irrespective of a few disappointing features, the panel is overall good, and even very good for game playing, but it is not up to the standard we were expecting. Our disappointment is based on the fact that this LG screen was introduced after a series of incidents.

At first LG was supposed to be producing a 12 ms screen before the summer of 2003. Eventually, after LG had been too far in advance, they dropped behind. They reviewed their literature and were content henceforward to claim 16 ms. So the first monitors of this type came out in early summer, but the surprise was that the panels inside the monitor were not made by LG but by AU Optronics. LG admitted that the delay was greater than originally anticipated. It wasn't until August that the first LG panels were discreetly introduced into the market and gradually supplanted the AU panels. Eventually, the first monitor officially fitted with a 16 ms LG screen was launched in the fall. This was the L1715S... the one LG decided not to loan us for testing. Fortunately, other LG panels were announced, including the one by NEC. The 71VM is also a 16 ms LG screen, but as has been seen, although the result was good, it did not live up to our expectations.

Wolfenstein

Here again, the wake remains visible. It's still less noticeable though than with Unreal, and eventually you learn to forget it.

GTA: Vice City

GTA runs very well on most monitors, so there's no reason why that shouldn't be the case on this one. So, no problem, budding criminals can get on with learning the tricks of the trade.

Command And Conquer: Generals

In 1280 x 1024 resolution, the game can be annoying if the configuration is slightly too light, but it is superb. There's only one wake if you cross the screen in one bound, but it's more noticeable in short leaps. Never mind, what counts is that the images are great and playable, and that's certainly the case.

As regards the interpolations, they are no better than in Unreal. So, no, this screen was not designed for games played at 1024 x 768, nor at 800 x 600.

Film

The same defects show up here as in the AU Optronics panels, namely, perceptible flashes in areas of flat color. Instead of a nice smooth wash of color, a sort of flashing can be observed, even from far away, and if you are close up, you can see the pixels moving. This means that the screen used is definitely not a 24-bit model, but an 18-bit one and the method used for completing the missing colors in the palette is the same as that used for the AU. The only advantage of the HyDis screen, as for the AU, is that the angle of vision is quite good for a TN + Film screen.

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