Brightness And Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
VA panels are still fairly rare on the desktop but we have two other in our database, BenQ’s XR3501 and BL3200PT. The rest of the screens are Ultra HD – ViewSonic’s VP2780-4K, BenQ’s BL3201PT and Acer’s XB280HK. All of these are suitable for gaming or productivity tasks and sell for under $1000.
Philips claims 300cd/m2 for the BDM4065UC but we could only get it to a touch over 248. It’s not the brightest display out there but it’s bright enough. Once you see how good the blacks are, output won’t be on the radar.
Many HDTVs use VA panels for their superior contrast but very few computer monitors do. It’s too bad because then more users could enjoy black levels like this. .0396cd/m2 soundly beats every screen in our database including the other two VA displays here today.
Out-of-the-box, the BDM4065 has a contrast ratio of over 6000 to 1. That’s extraordinary for any LCD much less a computer monitor. Let’s just say the image on this thing has to be seen to be believed.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
The backlight is quite dim when you drop the slider to zero. Even in a totally dark room, 24.7271cd/m2 is too dark for our taste. To see a more useable 50cd/m2 set brightness to 13.
Of course this results in a super-low black level. Many plasma TVs can’t get this dark. In fact it’s about the same measurement as we got from a Pioneer Kuro.
Contrast is a little inconsistent as you drop the backlight. But it’s still so high, even at the minimum, that you won’t see the difference. You can set output at any level you wish and the picture will look great.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
The calibrated black level is only slightly higher than the max value. You’d have a hard time actually telling a difference. And once again the BDM4065UC beats all comers including our other two VA examples.
This is reason enough to consider one of these monitors. It makes even the best of the rest look pale by comparison. If you can deal with its large size you’ll wonder how you ever used anything else. 4820.8:1 contrast is a record that’s likely to stand for a long time to come.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
Despite the BDM’s low price, it uses a high-quality panel part. When ANSI and on/off contrast measure this close, you know that screen uniformity is good and the grid polarizer is top-notch. This, like all our contrast results, are measured in the monitor’s native state. No dynamic contrast settings are used and the contrast control is set to prevent any clipping of detail.