|Review: LG Cinema 3D D2542P|
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 11:45
The LG Cinema 3D D2542P is a great monitor for 3D junkies (if there are such people), as it can convert 2D content into 3D content.
However, converting 2D to 3D is definitely not advisable to anyone but the most devout 3D enthusiasts.
I also wouldn't describe LG's monitor as plug-and-play, as I had to do a lot of fiddling before I actually got the 3D display working.
Look and feel
LG's flat-screen monitor has a very simple design that makes for a painless set-up. The monitor is encased in a shiny black plastic chassis, and smooth surfaces give it an elegant look.
The buttons on the bottom-right corner of the screen are unlabelled, keeping with the stylish design. When a user presses one of the buttons, the screen just above these keys displays their function. It's a great design that is both elegant and functional, as it means it can be used in a dark room.
When it comes to the bezel, however, LG may have erred on the side of simplicity. While the bezel lets users tilt the screen up or down, it won't let users raise, lower or rotate the screen left or right. This means users will have to position the stand itself at an angle if they want to place the monitor in a corner. It also means users have to realign the stand instead of just tilting the bezel if they want to change the angle of the screen.
The monitor's inputs and outputs are very neatly stowed at the back of the monitor, which also makes for minimal cable clutter.
LG has included one pair of 3D glasses with the monitor, as well as a set of clip-on lenses for those who wear prescription glasses.
The LG Cinema 3D D2542P is incredibly easy to set up, physically at least; users simply slot the bezel into the screen and fasten the bezel to the stand with a screwdriver (or your fingers, if you're feeling tough).
When I first plugged the monitor in, I thought, "Wow, that really is a nice screen", as it looked way better than my own laptop's display. That was, however, simply using the default plug-and-play settings that Windows picked for me, and this was without 3D.
To get 3D, users need to install the software on the two CDs provided. While installation is fairly simple – if users follow the instructions provided – they will also have to fiddle with the settings if they want to get a decent 3D image.
Being not-so-tech-savvy, I found the set-up incredibly complicated and had to rely on my boyfriend for some help. After much fiddling, we found that the best way to get 3D was to ignore LG's recommended 1 920x1 080-pixel setting, and set the resolution much lower. At the recommended resolution, every 4mm or so, entire rows of pixels in the 3D content went blank, leaving solid bands across the screen.
The monitor itself is easy to operate, its menus being very simple and well documented in the manual.
LG's Cinema 3D D2542P boasts a 64cm screen with 1 920x1 080-pixel resolution. The contrast range of 5 000 000:1 produces sharp images and great contrast. The display is crystal-clear, with bright, well-saturated colours.
One great element of this monitor is that LG has gone with a passive display. Active displays leave me with a huge headache after 20 minutes of watching.
Active-display 3D monitors rely on a pair of electronic glasses that use an LCD layer to lighten and darken each lens in sync with the monitor. When the right eye's image is being displayed on the screen, the left lens in the glasses will darken, and vice versa. The monitor displays alternating left and right images, using infrared connectors to the glasses to keep them in sync. When this happens 50 times a second, it's not really noticeable because the brain puts the two images together as 3D. However, the result is often a headache.
Passive displays, on the other hand, use polarised lenses, like those used in cinemas, to separate the left and right images, which are displayed simultaneously on the screen. I much prefer it.
The down side of a passive display, though, is that viewing the screen from the wrong angle will cause the 3D to stop working, or worse, invert itself, which is very strange to watch. This can, of course, be problematic when there are more than just a few viewers in the room.
While watching 3D content, I found the default depth setting on the monitor is a bit extreme, making it difficult to focus. However, lowering the depth setting resulted in a very easy-to-view 3D environment. Despite the lower resolution, images were bright and well defined.
However, I noticed missing pixels when I played some of the 3D sample footage, and occasionally, there were double images when the glasses didn't block out all of the light intended for the other eye. In all fairness, this happens at the movies, too.
Unfortunately, I found LG's software to convert 2D into 3D, which LG refers to as "Virtual 3D”, is less accurate than true 3D, or the image that results from playing 3D-ready content. Fast-moving images also lose a lot of their 3D effect.
Ports and connectivity
The monitor has one DVI and one HDMI port, as well as a VGA port for older, lower-resolution machines.
Unlike a lot of monitors today, the D2542P does not have a USB port and hub functionality, LAN or optical audio options. This means users who intend to use it with a Blu-ray player or XBox will need to connect sound and other peripherals directly to the console.
In a nutshell
The LG Cinema D2542P displays good-quality 3D, but I found its conversion software inaccurate. However, at a recommended price of R3 599, the monitor is incredibly cheap for its size and display quality.
While I'd argue that the Virtual 3D needs a bit of work, at less than R4 000, I think users would be hard-pressed to find better.
Good: Great display at a low price point
Bad: Complex set-up, default settings are not great
Price: R3 599
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