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Philips BDM3270 32-inch VA Monitor Review

Grayscale, Gamma & Color

Grayscale Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

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We’ve been talking about the BDM3270’s out-of-box accuracy in the previous pages and now you can see what we mean. Check out that first grayscale chart! Few monitors can even calibrate to that standard. Grayscale errors aren’t just below the visible threshold, they’re way below. When it comes to default performance, Philips pretty much obliterates the competition.

Since the ability is there, we attempted a calibration in the User Define mode. Obviously the results are good, but they aren’t as tight as the default 6500K mode. There’s a touch of extra green that you can’t see with the naked eye, but it’s visible to our i1 Pro spectrophotometer. The User mode without adjustment isn’t bad either, but it still won’t hold a candle to the default settings.

Comparisons

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With a .30dE result out-of-the-box, there’s no reason to add our calibrated numbers to the chart. The best we could do was 1.02dE. That would be more than acceptable for any other monitor, but not so much for the BDM3270. It truly doesn’t get better than this.

Gamma Response

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Gamma tracking tells pretty much the same tale as grayscale. The default 6500K mode, gamma preset 2.2, offers the best possible performance. Calibration can equal that performance but not exceed it. And selecting the User Define mode without adjustment is a step backwards though not significantly. This should have a great effect on color saturation tracking which we’ll look at below.

Comparisons

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As good as the BDM3270’s gamma tracking is, it gets edged out by the PA302W for average value and the PV3200PT for range. That’s some pretty stiff competition considering the performance we’re seeing here. For all intents and purposes, the gamma performance of the top three displays is perfect.

Color Gamut & Luminance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

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As expected, the BDM3270’s default 6500K mode has the best color saturation and luminance tracking. Usually when a monitor has such accurate grayscale and gamma, color metrics fall in line as a matter of course. It also helps that the native primaries are almost exactly on target. Our calibrated result is pretty good and sports almost neutral luminance levels, but there’s a hue error in magenta that can’t be fixed. We were a little surprised when our grayscale adjustments didn’t correct it. Ultimately though, the default mode is the best, and our test results confirm that fact.

Comparisons

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Like the grayscale results, our calibration could not improve upon the BDM3270’s default accuracy. Though it takes fourth place in the comparison, the other screens have been calibrated. Their default numbers are less accurate. Our adjustments yielded an average error of 1.32dE, still quite low but not the lowest possible figure. We’re truly impressed at what you get for less than $700 in this monitor. Many professional displays that cost two or three times as much can’t match the numbers we’re seeing here.

Gamut volume works out to just over 105% of the sRGB gamut. There’s a tiny bit of bonus saturation in all three primary colors. Luminance is correctly adjusted to compensate, which explains the super low error values. But if you need precise saturation control, an ICC profile is recommended. The BDM is ideal in this situation, since you can’t add color that isn’t there, but you can subtract color that is.