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OSD Setup and Calibration

BenQ BL3200PT Review: A 32-Inch AMVA Monitor At 2560x1440
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OSD Tour

You can control the BL3200PT’s OSD using the front-panel touch-keys or the plug-in controller. Either way, the first thing that pops up is the following menu:

The first three buttons can be mapped to functions other than the ones shown. By default, you see picture mode, input, and volume. The fourth key opens the main menu and the fifth cancels.

The OSD looks just like the one we saw in our previous three BenQ monitor reviews with just a few variations. The Display submenu mainly contains adjustments for analog signals, but also has an auto-pivot option and input selector.

The Picture menu has all of the calibration controls you need except for a color management system. Brightness manipulates the backlight, just as you’d expect. Contrast starts out at 50 and should not be increased, lest you clip detail and create a green cast in the brightest parts of the image. Sharpness introduces edge enhancement at settings above 4.

As you’ll see later in our tests, we encountered gamma issues at the BL3200PT’s default setting of 3. Change it to 1 for best results.

There are three color temp presets plus a user mode. The RGB sliders start at 100 percent. We prefer them to start in the middle of their range for a more balanced adjustment. As you can see, we only needed to make tiny changes to achieve excellent grayscale accuracy.

AMA stands for Advanced Motion Accelerator. It works like Trace Free to reduce ghosting artifacts that sometimes appear behind moving objects on the screen. It’s a definite asset in games and video. On BenQ’s other monitors with the feature, it creates a minor color-fringing artifact. That wasn't the case on its BL3200PT, though. We left the setting at High for the entire review period and saw no issues.

There are 11 picture modes available to tailor the image to your liking. BenQ's factory default is Standard, which measures reasonably well in every discipline  except gamma. The best mode to use without calibrating is sRGB. You can’t change the gamma or color temp, but you can adjust brightness and contrast. For those planning an instrumented calibration, User mode provides the best starting point.

Senseye Demo lets you compare two picture modes in a split-screen format.

Dynamic Contrast aggressively alters gamma in the darkest and lightest parts of the image to increase perceived contrast. It also crushes detail. It’s only available in the Photo and Movie modes.

Overscan zooms the image in by three percent to hide its edges. You'll also notice picture quality soften, since scaling is used.

Display Mode refers to the BL3200PT’s many aspect ratio choices. They’re meant to match different image scenarios you might encounter with lower-than-native resolution content. They all employ scaling, and are therefore lower-clarity than simply running the monitor in its native 2560x1440 mode.

Once you’ve selected a preset, you can use the Smart Scaling slider to tweak the image size.

Color Format only works with VGA or DVI inputs. It allows you to choose between the RGB and YUV formats.

We’ve seen the HDMI Range option on every BenQ monitor we’ve reviewed and it’s been set incorrectly each time. If you adjust nothing else, please visit this menu and change the option to 0-255 so you see a correct PC signal. If you connect a Blu-ray player or cable box, use 16-235 for the proper video levels.

The volume and mute controls affect the internal speakers and headphone output. Audio Select lets you choose whether the sound comes from the analog input or one of the digital (HDMI or DP) interfaces.

The OSD always appears at the bottom-right part of the screen, so you can’t change its position. Not that you’d need to. Display Time can be up to 30 seconds. We’d like to see an option to leave the menu up indefinitely. You can choose one of 17 languages for the display. And OSD Lock prevents any use of the menu whatsoever. Hold any key for more than 10 seconds to restore it.

The first three touch-keys on the bezel can be programmed for different monitor functions like picture mode or volume.

DP and HDMI Auto Switch either include or exclude those inputs from the BL3200PT’s auto-sense loop.

Auto Power Off can be set for 10, 20, or 30 minutes of inactivity.

Signal Information covers resolution, refresh rate, and input type. The only thing missing is the firmware version.

The DisplayPort option lets you choose between version 1.1 or 1.2 of the standard. Use the one that matches your graphics card.

The three keys on the plug-in controller can also be customized here.

To reset all adjustments to their factory defaults, choose Reset All. Confirm by selecting Yes.

The Ergonomics menu is all about preventing eye fatigue. You can set a reminder that pops up when it’s time to take a break. BenQ's BL3200PT also has a light sensor on the bezel that can alter the brightness automatically if you wish.

You can also save power with a front-mounted proximity sensor. When activated, specify a range that corresponds to your viewing distance. If you leave your desk, the monitor powers down after 40 seconds.

Calibration

The best fire-and-forget mode is sRGB, where you’ll find decent color, gamma, and grayscale accuracy. You’ll still have access to the brightness (backlight) and contrast controls.

To calibrate the BL3200PT, we turned to the User mode, which unlocks the gamma and color temp adjustments. To achieve correct gamma, change the setting from 3 to 1. After small tweaks to the RGB sliders, we saw very good results in all of our accuracy tests. We also suggest dropping the Sharpness control from 5 to 4. There is just a tiny bit of edge enhancement present at the default setting. If you go lower than 4, obvious softness will result.

BenQ BL3200PT Calibration Settings
Picture Mode
User
Brightness
88
Contrast
45
Sharpness
4
Gamma
1
Color Temp
User
RGB
Red 100, Green 98, Blue 98

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  • 2 Hide
    npyrhone , August 26, 2014 8:21 AM
    "Remember that 92 ppi number we mentioned at the beginning of today's story? That seems to be a sweet spot. It works fine at 24 inches if your screen is FHD. You won’t discern individual pixels, but you’ll be quickly wishing for more screen real estate. Moving up to 2560x1440 at 27 inches increases density to 109 ppi. That’s great for gaming and photo work. However, text and small objects become difficult to see for many users."

    I can't understand why I would need a monitor with lower pixel density? Why not just zoom the text a notch in your word processor or whatever software you are using? Of two otherwise similar monitors I would always choose the one with higher PPI, even if I used it only for word processing.
  • 0 Hide
    kid-mid , August 26, 2014 8:24 AM
    I rather have the 27" QNIX Evo II 1440p for $300 or the ROG Swift for $600.
    The days of 60Hz are almost over with..
  • 0 Hide
    moogleslam , August 26, 2014 8:34 AM
    Quote:
    I rather have the 27" QNIX Evo II 1440p for $300 or the ROG Swift for $600.
    The days of 60Hz are almost over with..

    Except that the Swift cost $800
  • 0 Hide
    moogleslam , August 26, 2014 8:35 AM
    The Swift cost $800
  • 0 Hide
    Merry_Blind , August 26, 2014 8:39 AM
    "The only complaint we’ve registered along the way involves font size. With a pixel density of 109 ppi, text in most Windows applications becomes pretty small."

    That's why I don't understand people saying 1080p is crap and has to go away. I've always find that even at 1080p, the fonts are really small, and icons and interfaces in general are very tiny. In my case, it's not even a case of not being able to read, it's just that everything looks so out of place and hideous, like, Windows wasn't meant for such resolutions.
    I can't imagine 1440p. Must be ridiculous to look at. It's just aesthetically not nice.
    Bring on the downvotes...
  • -5 Hide
    animalosity , August 26, 2014 8:50 AM
    Why in God's green earth would you pay $1000 for a 1440p display at 60hz when you can get a 4K for way less than that now. Rather have UHD....
  • 1 Hide
    Bondfc11 , August 26, 2014 8:52 AM
    I agree with npyrhone - there are ways to enlarge everything on your screen if the density is too low. Having said that - this is an interesting panel. However, I cannot wait for the days when not TNs, but also IPS and VA panels (in large formats) become standard at 120Hz. The hertz do make a noticeable difference in everything you do on the screen.
  • -2 Hide
    ohim , August 26, 2014 9:04 AM
    I`ll wait to see what Active Sync monitors will be able to do , an IPS with Active sync over a TN with 144hz.
  • 1 Hide
    Merry_Blind , August 26, 2014 9:19 AM
    Quote:
    I`ll wait to see what Active Sync monitors will be able to do , an IPS with Active sync over a TN with 144hz.

    What is Active Sync?
  • 2 Hide
    Merry_Blind , August 26, 2014 9:20 AM
    Quote:
    Why in God's green earth would you pay $1000 for a 1440p display at 60hz when you can get a 4K for way less than that now. Rather have UHD....

    It's not 1000$ though...
  • 0 Hide
    Chris Droste , August 26, 2014 9:34 AM
    it's always depressing nowadays with monitors. I have a Samsung 23" with 2048x1152 (>1080p) and for like... $240 when i got it? now you can't have anything above 1080p unless you want 26+ inches and don't mind shelling out +$400 (nevermind korean grey-market monitors) i understand the whole film standard stuff but i LOVE just that small extra bit of real estate on ONE Monitor.
  • 4 Hide
    Bondfc11 , August 26, 2014 9:47 AM
    Quote:
    Why in God's green earth would you pay $1000 for a 1440p display at 60hz when you can get a 4K for way less than that now. Rather have UHD....


    Part of the reason people do comes down to one, the pixel density (if that matters) and two the GPU horsepower necessary to run it. 4K panels are cool, but I don't game on one at all. I have one, but it isn't my go to monitor due to the low refresh rate, lag, and blur. Is it pretty? Sure. But honestly right now that 28" 4K panel is dumb as a post.
  • 1 Hide
    lelias2k , August 26, 2014 10:53 AM
    I'll add my two cents regarding less PPI.

    I'm always amazed how most people don't know you can adjust the size of pretty much every font inside of Windows. I've had people lowering the resolution of the screen and seeing everything blurred until I showed them that you can adjust the font sizes.

    But for TH to make a comment like that? Did BenQ's marketing department sent you the text ready?
  • 4 Hide
    oxiide , August 26, 2014 11:04 AM
    Quote:
    "Remember that 92 ppi number we mentioned at the beginning of today's story? That seems to be a sweet spot. It works fine at 24 inches if your screen is FHD. You won’t discern individual pixels, but you’ll be quickly wishing for more screen real estate. Moving up to 2560x1440 at 27 inches increases density to 109 ppi. That’s great for gaming and photo work. However, text and small objects become difficult to see for many users."

    I can't understand why I would need a monitor with lower pixel density? Why not just zoom the text a notch in your word processor or whatever software you are using? Of two otherwise similar monitors I would always choose the one with higher PPI, even if I used it only for word processing.

    Its not so much your apps that are the concern, because yes, most of them will give you some scaling options. The issue is that Windows does not scale very far. Your UI (icon text, folder names, Windows Explorer stuff) will be smaller at higher PPI.
  • -2 Hide
    Patrick Tobin , August 26, 2014 11:43 AM
    Quote:
    "The only complaint we’ve registered along the way involves font size. With a pixel density of 109 ppi, text in most Windows applications becomes pretty small."

    That's why I don't understand people saying 1080p is crap and has to go away. I've always find that even at 1080p, the fonts are really small, and icons and interfaces in general are very tiny. In my case, it's not even a case of not being able to read, it's just that everything looks so out of place and hideous, like, Windows wasn't meant for such resolutions.
    I can't imagine 1440p. Must be ridiculous to look at. It's just aesthetically not nice.
    Bring on the downvotes...

    Quote:
    "The only complaint we’ve registered along the way involves font size. With a pixel density of 109 ppi, text in most Windows applications becomes pretty small."

    That's why I don't understand people saying 1080p is crap and has to go away. I've always find that even at 1080p, the fonts are really small, and icons and interfaces in general are very tiny. In my case, it's not even a case of not being able to read, it's just that everything looks so out of place and hideous, like, Windows wasn't meant for such resolutions.
    I can't imagine 1440p. Must be ridiculous to look at. It's just aesthetically not nice.
    Bring on the downvotes...


    Windows 7/8/8.1 has gui scaling as does MacOSX. Non issue.
  • 2 Hide
    luissantos , August 26, 2014 11:44 AM
    Quote:
    I'll add my two cents regarding less PPI.

    I'm always amazed how most people don't know you can adjust the size of pretty much every font inside of Windows. I've had people lowering the resolution of the screen and seeing everything blurred until I showed them that you can adjust the font sizes.

    But for TH to make a comment like that? Did BenQ's marketing department sent you the text ready?


    I am one of the people to whom 1080p @ 24" renders things hard to see (not exclusive to text, mind you).

    I am fully aware of Windows' high-DPI settings. But let me tell you, unless the applications you are running have good built-in support for it, Windows' high-DPI is not going to be a magic bullet.

    You have 2 options: Win XP's high-DPI which will increase font size and leave every GUI element on screen looking highly unbalanced, OR the newest method that scales up the canvas surface upon which everything was rendered before "printing" it on screen, in which case you will also end up with blurriness.

    Trust me on this. I have tried using high-DPI for extended periods of time, not just toggled it on and off so I could tell myself it's there and pretend it works fine. Unless you have a real disability like me though, you may have a hard time understanding where I'm coming from... so no hard feelings.
  • -1 Hide
    anbello262 , August 26, 2014 2:07 PM
    In my case, I REALLY long for the exact opposite: Higher DPI monitors. After using a 120 DPI glossy one (18.4'' FHD), I haven't been able to get over its amazing sharpness and definition... At the moment I have a 24'' FHD anti-glare monitor, and I really, really miss the smaller one... My girlfriend has a 21'' FHD anti-glare monitor, and even that is better than my current one...
    Basically, sharpness of a glossy (or anti reflect, just not anti glare) high DPI monitor is amazing, I just can't get over that... I don't understand why the market is moving away from that...

    By the way, is there any monitor you can reccomend that has this specs? And one that is more than 60HZ?
  • 0 Hide
    LordConrad , August 26, 2014 4:53 PM
    My current monitor is a Dell UltraSharp IPS panel which has amazing color accuracy, but I've always liked the VA panels. Better blacks and faster response times then IPS panels, but better viewing angles than TN panels. I've owned two PVA panels, and while they weren't perfect, I thought they were a good cross between TN and IPS.
  • 0 Hide
    shiitaki , August 26, 2014 5:40 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    "Remember that 92 ppi number we mentioned at the beginning of today's story? That seems to be a sweet spot. It works fine at 24 inches if your screen is FHD. You won’t discern individual pixels, but you’ll be quickly wishing for more screen real estate. Moving up to 2560x1440 at 27 inches increases density to 109 ppi. That’s great for gaming and photo work. However, text and small objects become difficult to see for many users."

    I can't understand why I would need a monitor with lower pixel density? Why not just zoom the text a notch in your word processor or whatever software you are using? Of two otherwise similar monitors I would always choose the one with higher PPI, even if I used it only for word processing.

    Its not so much your apps that are the concern, because yes, most of them will give you some scaling options. The issue is that Windows does not scale very far. Your UI (icon text, folder names, Windows Explorer stuff) will be smaller at higher PPI.

  • 1 Hide
    soldier44 , August 26, 2014 7:11 PM
    Waste of res with 1440p Why not go ahead with a 2560 x 1600 stop with the cutting corners on these displays. I used a 30 incher for 4 years now with a 4K beast Asus 32 incher.
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