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Samsung U28D590D 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

OSD Setup And Calibration Of The Samsung U28D590D

OSD Tour

Pressing the joystick controller brings up a quick menu. Up is the OSD, left is input select, right is PIP/PBP and down toggles the power.

When the menu comes up, it’s permanently fixed in the lower-right corner of the screen, which conveniently keeps it away from test patterns. The Picture menu is the only place you’ll need to go for calibration adjustments. Brightness controls the backlight in about 2cd/m2 increments. Contrast comes set to 70, but needs to be lowered to prevent clipping.

Game Mode improves input lag measurably. However, it also locks out all adjustments except for Brightness.

MagicBright is Samsung’s term for picture modes. Besides the Custom mode we used in our testing, there’s Standard, Cinema and Dynamic Contrast. Custom gives you access to all image controls and is the best starting point for calibration.

MagicAngle is something we haven’t seen before. Since TN panels suffer from poor viewing angles, Samsung attempts to compensate by altering the display gamma. In our tests, it proved effective at retaining detail when looking at the screen from different horizontal and vertical angles. The feature won’t make you forget about IPS technology, but it is a well-executed compensation for TN’s greatest weakness.

The Color sub-menu has RGB sliders, color temp presets and three gamma options. They all proved effective at taking the U28D590D’s grayscale accuracy to a high level. Although none of the gamma presets are precisely at the 2.2 mark, Mode 1 or Mode 2 give you a good picture.

HDMI Black Level is an important option that significantly impacts this monitor’s performance. By default, it’s set to Low, which not only skews gamma but also clips detail. We saw its effect in the color gamut tests as well. If you do nothing else, change this to Normal for PC signals over HDMI. You’ll lose a bit of light output and contrast, but you’ll regain lost detail and see better color accuracy. If you use DisplayPort, it’s grayed-out and therefore not a factor.

The Image Size option can display material in its original aspect ratio with black bars (4:3 for example). Or choose the Wide option to fill the screen with a stretched picture. If you use a native resolution signal, you get a 1:1 pixel-map.

The H and V Position sliders are active when the signal mode is set to AV; they won’t work for PC formats. This allows you to position windowed images anywhere on the screen.

Lastly, you get an extensive list of picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture options. You can display two sources at once, vary their aspect ratios, choose which one plays audio and adjust their contrast independently. You can also swap them.

The OSD is available in 14 languages, and you can leave it on the screen for up to 200 seconds. This is a real boon when you’re tweaking a lot of settings. Transparency lets about 50 percent of the image show through the menu.

Eco Saving should be left off so it doesn’t affect gamma and light output. PC/AV mode refers to signal format and can be set independently for each input. Source Detection works just fine in the Auto mode, automatically switching to an active signal.

Key Repeat controls how the OSD responds when using the joystick controller. The Off Timer can be set to a range of one to 23 hours. Power LED On specifies when the bezel light is on or off. Working means it’s on when the monitor is powered up.

Finally, you can reset the entire OSD to its defaults with the Reset All command.

If you want to view signal information, the last part of the menu tells you the resolution, refresh rates and active input.

Calibration

We calibrated one of the HDMI inputs, so we had to change HDMI Black Level to Normal for proper gamma results. Once this was done it was a simple matter to tweak the RGB sliders in the Custom mode of Samsung’s MagicBright. Our preferred gamma preset is Mode 1, but if you’d like the picture a tad lighter, choose Mode 2. Either one is pretty close to 2.2. Sharpness can be left at 60. Higher settings cause edge enhancement, while lower ones result in image softening.

Samsung U28D590D Calibration Settings
Brightness55
Contrast61
Sharpness60
MagicBrightCustom
MagicAngleOff
HDMI Black Level(HDMI signals only)Normal
Color Tone CustomRed 56, Green 50, Blue 50
Gamma Mode1