Philips 170B6CB LCD Monitor

Philips 170B6CB LCD Monitor


Introduction

The 170B6CB is categorised by the Philips range of "Perfect Panel" displays and is based on Zero Tolerance for defects in the manufacturing process. Philips will replace the LCD even if it has one defective pixel and this warranty of replacement is covered for one full year. Besides, the business and professional monitors cover three years warranty for any other manufacturing defect.

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Philips 170B6CB LCD Monitor


Perfect Panel

Have Philips come up with a perfect panel? I was certainly very curious when I read about their claim and wanted to find out what they really meant.
Pixel and sub pixel defects appear on the screen in different ways. There are two categories of pixel defects:

Bright dot defects are sub-pixels that stand out on the screen when the monitor displays a dark pattern.

Black dot defects are sub-pixels that stand out on the screen when the monitor displays a light pattern.


Some observe dead pixel policies and replace the defective LCD if they have certain numbers and yet, there are some who without questions asked replace them even if there is only one dead pixel. Now that is what the consumer wants, and that includes you and me!

Philips were first to come up with Zero Bright Dot policy in 2001, which boosted the confidence of consumers in their products. Now they have come up with Perfect Panel guarantee not just for a few days after purchase but for one full year from the date of purchase, again an industry first. These policies prove beyond any doubt that Philips maintains a very stringent quality control system at the manufacturing facility. The dot- defect free display is compliant to ISO 13406-2 Class 1, the reason I mention this standard is simply because this gives credence to what Philips claims and is not just a marketing ploy to sell the product on some false claim.

The good news for us, the consumers is that Philips is offering Tier I products at Tier II price levels.

I was in the market to replace my aging Philips 15" LCD monitor that is in use at the office. It was difficult not to go for a Perfect Panel with Zero defect policy in manufacturing, especially when it was available at a very competitive price. In the following paragraphs I will try my best to help you make an informed decision.

Features and Connectivity

This monitor comes with dual connectivity option, the VGA (Analogue) and DVI (Digital), the monitor is bundled with a VGA cable but not DVI. I prefer DVI as it does give you a better image compared to VGA.

The power supply is embedded into the panel and therefore this unit does not need additional space for the power adaptor to be placed on the desk, a space saving design in the truest sense of the word.

Another great feature on this monitor is the USB 2.0 connection on the left of the monitor, one can even connect a hub if need be for multiple connections. USB A-B cable is supplied with the monitor. Once the cable is hooked up from the computer to the monitor a port becomes available for hooking up any peripheral device without having to reach at the back of the computer - this port certainly would come in handy.

The monitor has audio inputs and appropriate cables included with the monitor. The signal is fed to drive the built-in speakers and the headphone jack, which when used mutes the output from the front panel speakers. A headphone socket of 3.5 mm is provided on the panel

I had reviewed the Philips 170S5FB earlier and had covered some of the features in detail, which also apply to this new model. If you so desire, you may use this link: http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Consumer-Advice/LCD_vs_CRT/

I had also done a review on "How to choose flat panel display" entitled "Hardcore gamers and movie buffs delight!" which has general information applicable to all flat panel displays and you can check the article by following the link here: http://www.pcreview.co.uk/reviews/Monitors/Philips_170S5FB_LCD_Monitor/

Sound Quality

I have yet to come across any LCD monitor which does justice to the sound quality if you intend to listen to either music or watch a movie. The built-in speakers are for basic Windows system sound and nothing more. There is lack of space within the panel for a speaker to be powerful enough to give performance rivalling stand alone speakers.

There are certainly some exotic options available but that would render the cost of the LCD monitor to be prohibitive. The speakers however can do net conferencing duties as it involves a limited range of human voice to be reproduced, unlike music which covers a much wider range in the audio spectrum and can be taxing for the 2 watt built-in speaker. So for that windows system sound, the speakers are more than adequate. In any case, if anyone is into watching movies and listening to music they either have the option to go for a good pair of headphones or stand-alone speakers to do full justice to the content chosen. .

Driver and Software Management

The monitor is bundled with standard software and drivers which are very easy to install. You simply need to follow the instructions on the screen once the unit is hooked up. Smart Manage also provides LAN based asset management capabilities if required.

Smart Manage improves IT efficiency through remote monitor management that provides status control, location management, maintenance and messaging from a central location. Philips developed Smart Manage in partnership with Altiris as a tool to add monitors to a managed IT environment.

Image Quality

Remember, the video card in your computer is essentially a digital device and can give digital output through the DVI-D without any further processing, hence, no deterioration in image quality takes place. The VGA output on the other hand is essentially outputs a signal converted from digital to analogue and once it enters the LCD monitor again the conversion takes place since the LCD monitor is also essentially a digital device. By buying a DVI-D cable the user eliminates all the conversion process in the chain and therefore the integrity of the signal remains, hence, the better quality of output from the LCD screen.

The native resolution of this monitor is 1280x1024 and recommended refresh rate is 75 Hz. The contrast ratio is 500:1 and brightness typical at 250 nits. ( Viewing Angle (H/V): 160°/140° ). The monitor is very easy on the eyes and having used it for a couple of months I can safely say that it will be an excellent choice for someone who spends the better part of the day looking at the screen. The ideal mode to use is the sRGB which will automatically adjust all the parameters of the image, however, there are other modes provided to suit individual needs which include Photo, TV/Video, Gaming, Internet, Text and Graphics. This new menu system is based on the Philips LightFrame DR software that can be put in the Start-up folder so that it is always available as a pull down menu when needed.

Use sRGB mode for best results and compatibility with other devices like cameras, printers, scanners etc. Configuring the monitor for the first time is as easy as ABC, you just install the driver and press auto adjustment button on the screen and you are done.

I personally feel that the 17-inch LCD is ideal business size monitor to view documents, which you need not scroll unlike when using a 15-inch monitor having resolution of 1024x768. The larger screens like the 19 inch tend to make the text look smaller. Your own mileage may vary so when buying a monitor; it would be prudent on the buyer’s part to check out the screen size before committing to buy one. The comfort factor should be on the top of the list of any monitor user.

The Philips 170B6CB boasts a very fast 8 ms response time and it certainly shows the difference when compared to my LCD monitor at home which happens to be the basic model 170S5FB which I had reviewed earlier and has a response time of 16 ms.

Conclusion

The Philips 170B6 in my opinion is a much better monitor compared to my previous purchase which was 170S5FB reviewed earlier. It has better facilities in terms of connectivity and above all a better image which is due to the fact that it boasts the DVI-D option. Philips 170B6 LCD monitors are also environment friendly, and they happen to be Lead Free. In addition to that, the power consumption is below industry average, hence a true energy saver in its own right. Never again buy a monitor without that comforting feeling that you are fully covered, if there is any physical defect. "Perfect Panel" policy from Philips alone is a big plus point which no consumer should overlook. I think Philips LCD monitors are worth your attention.

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