Philips 34PW9815 34-Inch HD Monitor
If you're searching for a TV that offers the latest technological advances and will fit in the same space as your old NTSC TV, you've probably realized that finding one is no easy feat. As new widescreen HD monitors have begun to replace the standard 4:3 TV, some space issues have resulted. If a great wall unit or TV console is part of your room, you probably just want a new TV, not a decorator. Well, the wait could be over for those who are in the market for a small CRT HD monitor. Philips has introduced the 34PW9815 34-inch 16:9 HD monitor that incorporates several fun, new technologies into one small package.
Philips recently introduced three new models to their HD-monitor line. The 34-inch 34PW9815 is the largest in the series; the other two are 30-inch displays. I wouldn't want to watch high-def images on anything smaller than a 34-inch display, and this set's small bezel creates the appearance of an even larger picture. The 34PW9815 features several unique image-enhancement technologies that create a more-cinematic picture, and the monitor comes with a unique sound system that produces a full room of sound. The combination of good sound and a good picture makes this one of the better small CRT HD monitors to have passed through my door.
Philips' direct-view HD monitors utilize Real Flat picture tubes that create a crisp, undistorted image from digital and analog signals. Progressive-scanning, line doubling, and Active Control features round out the home-cinema experience. The 34PW9815 also incorporates Philips' proprietary Digital Natural Motion technology, and each of the three new models includes a 3-D Y/C digital comb filter, which further improves the picture quality. The set is available in either a glossy-black or a silvery-gray finish.
The dual-tuner 34PW9815 has just about all the bases covered with its extensive battery of connections. Receiver? What receiver? This set has five A/V inputs. The AV1 input (for video and S-video) has auto selection and auto image-format detection, which selects the image ratio (anamorphic or 1:85, 1:77, fill, or full) and the type of signal. The AV2 input is a standard audio/video input. The AV3 input accepts composite or S-video, as well as Y/Pb/Pr for DVD, and it also has auto selection and auto image-format detection. AV4 is the HDTV input, which accepts Y/Pb/Pr and RGBHV signals (1080i and 480p, with auto selection) for HD devices. Each input has companion left and right audio inputs. There's also a fifth input on the side for NTSC or S-video with audio. The side panel is also where you'll find the headset jack. Outputs? Yeah, they're back here, too. Supplied are a monitor out, an NTSC output with audio for VCR recording, and two audio outputs.
The 34PW9815 comes with Philips' standard RC 2035 remote, or you can use their Pronto remote. The RC 2035 is user-friendly, with a thumb stick—a must for navigating the menu system's 3-D graphics. The two-color backlighting helps you figure out where you are: The red color guides you in the dark for first-level operation, while the green color indicates the second level of operation for a particular button. I like the dual-function-and-color scheme.
The menu system utilizes a 3-D graphic system called "pipes, balls, and a puck." It is through this graphic interface that you navigate to the set's operation and setup functions. Although getting to the functions that need the most frequent adjustment can be tedious, the graphic system makes it fun. The menu offers controls for all of the functions I wanted to access and a lot of one-time functions that I didn't; the one-time adjustments are mixed in with the more-frequent ones. This set also uses the Gemstar Guide Plus program guide—a graphic TV guide that's laid out like your standard cable or satellite program guide.
Getting back to the picture, I was very surprised by how close the 34PW9815's signal parameters were to NTSC video standards right out of the box. The menu's warm setting produced a pleasing picture. Using the remote to adjust the basic functions (brightness, contrast, etc.) got me 80 percent there. As the measurements box shows, it didn't take much to bring this monitor into alignment.
Philips uses a long list of processes in this set. The most unique is their Digital Natural Motion, which builds on the foundations of 120-hertz technology and ensures the smooth, natural movement of images. By eliminating the juddering of moving objects, DNM offers sharp reproduction of movement and motion. This highly advanced processing calculates the motion trajectories of moving picture elements. It corrects jerky movement from studio programs and movie material and also offers advanced noise reduction.