But How Good Is It? Samsung SyncMaster 2033HD

Bit of History
When I first got a desktop, I had a CRT (fat) monitor. Since then I have had an unbranded 15″ish silver plasma display, and a 17″ LG LCD TV. CRTs are now a thing of the past, the old monitor I had was fine, but had some terrible speakers built in either side. The LG Flatron M1721A is an okay TV. Built before HD was so common, I managed to get it cheap – £75 I believe, as there was a new Maplins opening in Kidderminster. It has speakers that are okay and ports on the back include ariel, VGA, scart and the 3 coloured component ports that old Xbox’s and PlayStations plug into (red white and yellow). I noticed after a while, a year or two, the reds that the tv displays, it displays them, then also copies them and displays them a short distance faintly from the original. Not sure why, and not too noticeable for most things, but sometimes you do see a red blur. It is currently in use connected to my Toshiba laptop, as I am home for Christmas – and it is doubling as a second screen.

Samsung 2033HD

Samsung SyncMaster 2033HD
On Amazon, I was looking for monitors and came across the Samsung 2033HD – a 20 inch widescreen monitor/tv with freeview built in and a whole host of ports on the back. It looked so good, my parents bought one too for their bedroom. They were priced at a very reasonable (must have been reduced) price of £120. This monitor/tv did not disappoint – it could do everything I wanted and more – I could connect my HDMI Xbox 360, my old Xbox with it’s component connection, my scart freeview box, my VGA pc etc etc.. it was so good, I wanted two.

But How Good Is It?
Very, with 720p HD (not quite 1080p), built in freeview – you just need an external antenna, dozens of ports and a pretty sleek design – I liked it. So what about the specs? Well it is a 20 inch LCD widescreen, with 16.7 million colours – which has to be enough for any domestic situation.. Speakers are in there, and to be fair are pretty good – I have played guitar hero on it, and not had a problem at all. It does sound better coming through my £15 logitech speakers, but only if you compare them consciously. 5ms response time seems to be as low as most other TVs out there, a TV remote is included, as is a stand, and the TV is wall-mountable if you buy a bracket.

Ports – in my opinion the most impressive part of this TV..

  • 2 x HDMI (1 on the side, under a little flap)
  • DVI-D
  • SCART
  • VGA
  • Component video input – RCA x 3
  • Audio line in – RCA x 2 (red and white from the yellow, red, white)
  • Audio line in – mini phone stereo (normal headphone jack it seems)
  • SPDIF – TOSLINK – fibre optic audio – never used this, probably never will
  • Another headphone jack on the side – very useful for connecting to speakers intermittently
  • Antenna in
  • Common interface – on the side – never used – something to do with DTV receivers.
  • USB port for servicing/firmware I believe. Don’t think you can use flash drives with it.. I’ll have to try..

Well that’s the list, the main ones are the 2 HDMIs for PC graphics cards / new laptops, VGA and DVI for PCs etc and the headphone jack on the side is useful too.

Montiors - old pc left, new pc right

Old pc CHKDSKing on the left, new pc installing Realplayer on the right

What’s in the box?
Included is:

  • Samsung 2033HD TV
  • Remote control
  • Stand (bottom bit)
  • VGA cable
  • Instructions

Overall
Overall a fantastic all-rounder TV, and good for the budget concious, they do occasionally seem to drop in price, keep your eyes on eBay. I loved mine so much, I bought another – exactly the same (although one seems to be a millimetre shorter or so). It makes the computing experience so much nicer having identical dual screens. I got the other one second hand off eBay, only quibble it has one dead pixel in the middle which is a little annoying (stuck on red), tried all I could to shift it, but nothing worked. I use a HDMI – HDMI and HDMI (TV end) to DVI-I cable to get from the TVs to my ATI HD6850 graphics card (outputs: HDMI, DVI, DVI, Display Port).
I am very happy with the pair of them, they look pretty cool, they have a blue glow in middle-bottom under the TV when it is on (pulsing if standby). They are made from black very glossy plastic, which gets dusty quick but does look good. One thing to bear in mind if buying twin monitors that are the same – they will BOTH respond to one remote control if it is pointed generally in their direction. I have had a few times where I go to turn the one off, and the other starts as well. I turn the awakened one off, and the other one comes on in reply.. can be prevented by putting the remote right next to their little sensor (bottom right dot on the plastic). No major hassle really. They also do have a fair few controls onboard the TV – along the right hand side (the little flat for the HDMI, headphone jack and CI is on the left), including power, vol up and down, source, programme up and down too I think. The main ones you use are source and power (bottom) though.

Quick Pros and Cons
Pros: Lots of ports, TV in built with freeview, HDMI, great quality, wide screen, big enough to have a document snapped left and right to each half (windows key and left / right arrow keys for Windows 7).
Cons: 1 dead pixel on one of mine, its a fairly unlikely event though, they take a couple of seconds(3-4) to fire up, which is a bit more than a normal pc monitor. I don’t think they are that adjustable – they tilt forwards and backwards I think, which is more than good enough for me – but I know e.g some dells can go up, down, forward, backward and even rotate..
If you want to see a video including this monitor starting up, click here.

Would I buy it again?
Yes, I’d buy two.
Matt

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