AOC Q2963PM Monitor Review: 2560x1080 Is A New Way To Play

OSD Setup And Calibration Of The AOC Q2963PM

Pressing any of the side buttons on the Q2963PM’s right side opens the OSD. When this happens, a little graphic appears telling you the function of each button. From there, you can access the OSD for image adjustments, PIP, and other settings.

The Luminance menu has the contrast and brightness controls, along with a selector for the six picture modes, referred to as “Eco Mode”. There are also three gamma presets, DCR (dynamic contrast), and OverDrive selectors on this screen. In our testing, setting OverDrive to Strong produced the best response time. The only picture mode that allows any image adjustments is Standard, which is the default. The factory settings for Contrast and Brightness correspond to just over 200 cd/m2 of brightness, which we consider ideal. Increasing the Contrast past its default of 50 will clip information at the bright end of the luminance range. This means detail in the brightest parts of the image will blend together into what amounts to a white blob. Brightness can be set at any level without clipping. There are three gamma presets, but only Gamma 1 produces a correct 2.2 measurement with flat tracking. Moving further down the menu, we found a dynamic contrast control that increases perceived contrast, but only at the expense of crushed detail and an altered gamma response.

The Image Setup menu has adjustments for sharpness and for analog (VGA) inputs. Clock and Phase help reduce line noise, while the position controls are used to center the image on the screen. These controls are grayed out for all digital (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort) signals.

The Sharpness control works for both digital and analog signals. At its default of 50, Sharpness produces visible outlines around high-contrast objects. Turning it down to zero takes care of this artifact. Auto Config returns the Image Setup menu options to their default values.

The Color menu has all you need to correct white balance, or to select a color temp preset. You need to be in the Standard Eco Mode from the Luminance menu to access these controls, though. For our purposes, we set Color Temp to User in order to get our hands on the RGB sliders. If you don’t choose to calibrate, we recommend the sRGB or Warm presets. The DCB Modes are color enhancers and have presets like Nature-Skin and Sky-Blue. When image accuracy is your goal, avoid these. They over-saturate specific colors to produce an effect.

The Picture Boost menu contains an option called Bright Frame, which is a feature we’ve seen on other AOC monitors. It allows you to create a brighter area of any size, anywhere on the screen. Within that area, you can set the brightness and contrast independently from the rest of the screen. It’s an interesting and unique feature that we haven’t seen from any other manufacturer.

The OSD Setup menu only lets you specify Timeout (how long the OSD remains visible) and Transparency. Having a long timeout is very handy for calibration. It lets you take your time with adjustments while your meter is measuring patterns. Unlike most monitors, you can’t change the position of the OSD. Fortunately, it’s down in the lower-right corner, out of the way of test patterns.

Many monitors have a multi-source PIP function. It’s even handier in the Q2963PM due to the extra screen width available. All you need to do is select your two source inputs, the size of the PIP window, and its position.

Audio Setup is the option  you'd use to enable/disable audio coming over the HDMI input. Swap simply switches out the sources, similar to a consumer TV. To use the AOC Q2963PM’s screen-split function, choose PBP in the PIP selector at the top.

The Extra menu lets you manually select inputs or set it to Auto-Detect, which worked well in our testing. You can change the DisplayPort version if you have video card compatibility issues. A sleep timer is handy if you are prone to falling asleep at your desk. And you can change aspect ratios if you wish. Setting anything below 21:9 will leave black bars at the sides of the screen. DDC/CI stands for Display Data Channel/Command Interface, and this allows your video card to change image parameters. Leave it on so that you can make calibration adjustments from your PC. And of course, Reset returns all settings to their factory defaults.

Calibration can only be performed in the Standard picture mode and User color temp preset. Here are the settings we arrived at after calibrating the Q2963PM.

AOC Q2963PM Calibration Settings
Eco
Standard
Contrast
50
Brightness
75
Color Temp
User
RGB
Red 47 / Green 46 / Blue 50
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60 comments
    Your comment
  • Simos Kozanidis
    Does it tilt?
    Having 2 in chain of those, tilted on the side, would be very nice for productivity apps, like coding, etc.
    1
  • eddieroolz
    Good to see 21:9 monitors come down in price. I don't ever watch movies so the width is no use for me, though what I'd like to see in the future is a vertical VESA mount to stack 2 of these monitors in the vertical orientation. That would result in a 2560x2160 resolution that would be great for productivity purposes.
    2
  • cobra5000
    If only it was 21:10.
    -2
  • giovanni86
    I'm actually in the market for the LG 21:9 primarily for gaming. Though i was disappointed that the veritcal length is smaller then others. Its still a very nice display. Looking forward to buying it and playing BF4 on it :)
    -1
  • christop
    I would like to try gaming with 3.
    -3
  • ubercake
    Seems like a good choice for an RTS/MMORPGer. The input lag of the IPS panel is still going to keep me away from using something like this for shooters.
    2
  • vertexx
    With the multiple sources, does it force a 50-50 split or is that adjustable?

    I currently run two PCs for my daily work and could probably use something like this. Two 1080p monitors side by side is too much back and forth, so this may be a good solution. But I'd want to be able to adjust the split between the sources if needed.

    Thanks!
    0
  • cknobman
    I know no one wants to hear this and I will be instantly down voted but this resolution seems ideal for Windows 8 Metro/Modern interface.

    Everything in Windows 8 Metro/Modern is designed for horizontal screen orientation vs. vertical.

    Besides that point this monitor seems like a great piece of hardware for the money. Nice review!
    0
  • major-error
    Anonymous said:
    Good to see 21:9 monitors come down in price. I don't ever watch movies so the width is no use for me, though what I'd like to see in the future is a vertical VESA mount to stack 2 of these monitors in the vertical orientation. That would result in a 2560x2160 resolution that would be great for productivity purposes.

    What you're looking for comes from Ergotron: http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/15/language/en-US/Default.aspx
    I have this stand holding up a pair of Dell U2412M displays. My only real concern when hanging displays on this stand is the panel weight, although I bet the bottom-mounted of a pair of 27" 16:9 displays would end up touching the desk...
    -1
  • nekromobo
    You totally forgot to compare it to Dell U2913WM for little more there's 3years NBD warranty etc.. not to mention how does it compare picture-wise? Probably same panel used on both.
    -1
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    what I'd like to see in the future is a vertical VESA mount to stack 2 of these monitors in the vertical orientation. That would result in a 2560x2160 resolution that would be great for productivity purposes.

    1080 lines is too little for (advanced) productivity IMO.

    For things like programming and browsing, I would be much happier with 2560x1600 on a 24" screen in portrait mode + 1920x1200 on a 20-24" landscape secondary display than 2x 2560x1080 29" in landscape.
    5
  • clonazepam
    The only thing we're missing here is some youtube video goodness of someone "cam-ing" this thing in use. Like switching modes between single source and 2. How quickly does it switch between modes?

    As far as gaming goes, I'd never opt for this. As has been mentioned, the input lag may be irritating for some. Also, would you have to tweak a game's field of view setting, if it has one, to make the most of it?
    0
  • Charles Cox
    Any idea how this compares to the Dell UltraSharp U2913WM? I'm actually finding it quite difficult to find accurate comparisons between them, especially with regards to input lag.
    1
  • dennisburke
    This is a great aspect ratio for watching movies or gaming, but the vertical height is about 2 inches less than my current 27" 1080p monitor, which is a no go for productivity. To get the vertical height back up to my current 13.25 inches, the 21:9 monitor needs to be a minimum of 34 inches...I think that would be a sweet monitor.
    0
  • blackdragonx1186
    I own and use Dell's variant of the 21:9 monitor. For gaming, it is amazing. Although, there are a lot of games that don't fully support the resolution, so in certain menus things can be chopped or cropped wrong. Skyrim doesn't work at this res, but Oblivion does, which is interesting. Great aspect for what most of us will use them for; games, and movies.
    0
  • ubercake
    Anonymous said:
    This is a great aspect ratio for watching movies or gaming, but the vertical height is about 2 inches less than my current 27" 1080p monitor, which is a no go for productivity. To get the vertical height back up to my current 13.25 inches, the 21:9 monitor needs to be a minimum of 34 inches...I think that would be a sweet monitor.


    Anonymous said:
    I own and use Dell's variant of the 21:9 monitor. For gaming, it is amazing. Although, there are a lot of games that don't fully support the resolution, so in certain menus things can be chopped or cropped wrong. Skyrim doesn't work at this res, but Oblivion does, which is interesting. Great aspect for what most of us will use them for; games, and movies.


    Skyrim menus were messed up for me across 3 screens too.
    0
  • g-unit1111
    21:9? Ultra HD? Less than $500??? Count me in! :ouch:
    0
  • tpbutch
    This review was so timely for me. I had been eyeing this thing on Amazon for the past week. Today, the price is down to $400. No-brainer for my needs.
    0
  • none12345
    The 1080 is a bit too small, 1200 would be better(1440 seems too large but ive never used that screen height, so duno). Black bars on movies dont bug me, id rather have the extra space for everything else i do on a pc. Seems to make a lot more sense to turn off part of the screen because you dont need it, then not have it there at all when you do need it.

    What id really like tho is 200 dpi ~24"/~12" viewable area(27" viewable diagonal), with a slight curvature. ~4800x2400, ~120 hz. And the graphics card to drive it in next gen games at 120fps. Let me know when we have that.
    3
  • bee144
    This really isn't any better for playing games than my 2560x1440 monitor is it?
    1