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Comparison Of 15" LCD Monitors - Part I

CTX PV520

CTX is trying to become a stronger player in the LCD arena. It has one of the fastest developing product ranges on the market. The PC 520 has replaced the PV 505, fixing most of its shortcomings, including its rather flimsy construction. The first issue to be addressed was the auto-adjustment feature, an extremely important function on an LCD monitor. It didn't work properly on the PV 505, crashing each time it was used during animated sequences. The reason for the crashes was that it was unable to detect the outer limits of the image. On the PV 520, though, this feature works like a dream. There's nary a glitch in it, no matter what context it's used in: games, office applications, movies, etc. This is extremely important, since it's often necessary to make use of the feature. Although some monitors use a single setting for both office applications and gaming/ Internet applications, the CTX requires you to reset the auto-adjustment feature whenever you change from one area to the next.

The tests have shown that the screen displays the widest array of colors when the contrast is set to 60 and the brightness to 100. This appears to be the best compromise between lighter and darker shades. Unfortunately, the image isn't quite as good in office applications. While the colors may be varied, they aren't displayed properly. In other words, the settings are incompatible with office applications. Instead, you'd be well advised to set both the brightness and contrast parameters to 80. This will also allow the lighter colors to be displayed much better. The disadvantage, of course, is that darker shades will be displayed as an almost pure black. Just consider it collateral damage, though, since most of these colors are never used, not even online.

If you're planning to play games, you'll have to set both settings to 100. Likewise, you may have to adjust the color values manually - the pre-set color temperatures, 9300 K and 6500 K, stain everything either with a faint bluish or a reddish tone. Once the contrast and the brightness have been set to 100, you'll be able to differentiate between some dark hues (essential in FPS games such as Quake). In return, though, you lose the ability to differentiate between a lot of lighter shades. Overall, you lose more than you gain - hence the necessity to re-adjust the display completely after quitting any game to set contrast and brightness back to 80.

It goes without saying that this monitor is definitely not for you if you're planning to work with images - its color range is a bit too limited. While observing the different hues individually, we discovered that the monitor had the most difficulties displaying blues accurately. We also noticed that the problem worsened when the monitor was supposed to display lighter hues of blue.

The PV 520's response time is just fine. It's a standard TN and works without any real snags. If it weren't for the color problems, you could even use this display for gaming. However, some of its rivals are better monitors, even if their response times aren't as quick. In short, CTX should have integrated a better panel than the Samsung panel used in the PV 520.