Samsung 215TW Impressions!!! (DVD, Satellite, Xbox)

zero002021

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I recently received the Samsung 215TW for my birthday. I’ve noticed that this monitor doesn’t seem to have as popular a following as the Dell or Viewsonic widescreen offerings, as is apparent by the lack of reviews and impressions on these forums. I figured I would give my impressions and help out those looking for more information on this display. I have tested the Samsung 215TW with DVDs, Satellite TV, and an Xbox 360. My photography skills are a little lacking, but I tried to get the best shots I could of this monitor in action. If anyone has any requests for shots, such as GameCube, Playstation 2, original Xbox, gradient tests, etc. just let me know and I will do my best to provide shots upon request. Here we go:

*Once again, I would like to note that my photography skills are lacking and my camera is kind of old, so a lot of this stuff looks better in person than it does in my shots.*

Last Updated: August 11, 2006

Before Testing & Desktop:










DVDs:
DVDs looked fairly good on the Samsung 215TW. There was no apparent trailing or ghosting and the image quality was great, all things considered (DVD isn’t high-definition, after all). Colors are vibrant and black/whites are pretty good for an LCD.

Shrek:






The Lion King:






V for Vendetta:






Satellite TV:
I don’t have a high-definition Dish Network box in my bedroom (it’s in the basement), so I could only test standard definition signals. I have to admit, standard-definition satellite TV looked a lot better than I expected it to on the Samsung 215TW.

The Colbert Report:




The Simpsons:




PC Games:
I didn’t really test too many PC games, but I believe the two I tested are important titles. First, Prey is based off of the Doom 3 engine and takes place in mostly dark environments. This allowed me to test the monitor’s ability to handle darker games, and it did so extremely well. I also tested Unreal Tournament 2004, as the game has bright, vibrant environments and plays at a fast-rate, allowing me to test the monitor’s response time and trailing. Again, the Samsung 215TW passed with flying colors.

Prey:






Unreal Tournament 2004:






Xbox 360:
The following are images of the Xbox 360 running on the Samsung 215TW via component cables set to 1080i. Based on the impressions of others, I thought it was going to be too dark and unplayable, but it's actually fine. The image quality isn't perfect, but thats what the Xbox 360 VGA connector is for. Please note that the Xbox 360 looks A LOT better in person running on the monitor than these shots show. My picture taking skills are lacking and my camera isn't helping any :p .




















 
Joined
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Thanks for the wonderfull picture post. I'm very interested in this monitor and am very interested to see how the console games look on it. Good work!
 
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The skin tones look pretty bad on those movie shots, especially the ones on V For Vendetta, not sure if it's the panel or your camera.

Reminds me of the color splotching on my 740B.
 

Link

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-=Antimatter=- said:
The skin tones look pretty bad on those movie shots, especially the ones on V For Vendetta, not sure if it's the panel or your camera.

Reminds me of the color splotching on my 740B.
It's the main reason for my returning it and got L204WT instead. DVD play back on 215TW is not good enough for $499 price tag.
 

zero002021

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leviathan814 said:
Thanks for the wonderfull picture post. I'm very interested in this monitor and am very interested to see how the console games look on it. Good work!
I'll be taking some Xbox 360 shots over the monitor soon, I should have them up by Friday at the latest.

-=Antimatter=- said:
The skin tones look pretty bad on those movie shots, especially the ones on V For Vendetta, not sure if it's the panel or your camera.

Reminds me of the color splotching on my 740B.
My camera made all the shots look worse than they actually are. Combine that with my lack of taking good pictures, and there you have it.
 
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Link said:
It's the main reason for my returning it and got L204WT instead. DVD play back on 215TW is not good enough for $499 price tag.
You must mean the artifacts while playing dvd, I don't know if a TN monitor is going to be any better.. As for splotches of color it must be a bad digi cam pic because the color on this panel is exceptional. And I really don't see how even the artifacts are bothersome enough to return a near perfect monitor. If you sit a normal distance away, and not 2 feet in front of the monitor it looks great, and I'm using my 34" CRT HD set for reference. DVD playback in my opinion is a minor con with this monitor, after using so many with problems I love mine, btw
nice setup to the op and don't listen to the haters it's a great monitor edit: Here's mine, playing back an old episode of lost, colors look dead on to me
 

Lord Rahl

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Cool. I am able to see the pictures now. I have the monitor as well, and I love it. Only problem is, I can't raise it. Can you take a picture of the pin that you pulled out of the back so I can see if maybe mine broke off inside? Thanks. BTW, download the pacman demo and play it on your monitor. The colors are so vibrant its insane, lol.
 

zero002021

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Lord Rahl said:
Cool. I am able to see the pictures now. I have the monitor as well, and I love it. Only problem is, I can't raise it. Can you take a picture of the pin that you pulled out of the back so I can see if maybe mine broke off inside? Thanks.
Here you go, a picture of the pin pulled out of the back of my monitor. I placed it on a sheet of paper so that you can see it easily:

 

Lord Rahl

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wierd...that's exactly what mine looked like when I pulled it out, but I can't adjust the height. Are you able to?
 

zero002021

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Lord Rahl said:
wierd...that's exactly what mine looked like when I pulled it out, but I can't adjust the height. Are you able to?
Yeah, I have no problems adjusting the height with my monitor. I think something may be wrong with yours if it's not letting you adjust and the pin isn't broken. Maybe something inside in the stand broke? I'd contact Samsung about it, see what they have to say.
 

Lord Rahl

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I might, but I plan on wall mounting it soon with one of those arms that lets do everything. How do you remove the base? Do you just unscrew that square panel in the back?
 

thehum

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hey have you noticed any delay or lag when gaming or moving the mouse around? and where was your monitor made in?
 

zero002021

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Lord Rahl said:
I might, but I plan on wall mounting it soon with one of those arms that lets do everything. How do you remove the base? Do you just unscrew that square panel in the back?
I looked through the documentation that came with the monitor but didn't see anything in regards to moving the base, so I have no idea. There might be something (a PDF?) on their site that'll explain how to do it or something.

thehum said:
hey have you noticed any delay or lag when gaming or moving the mouse around? and where was your monitor made in?
Looking at the box it came in, it says it was made in Mexico. I haven't experienced any input lag or delays when gaming or on the desktop. I was very worried about input lag because I read a few threads here where people were having problems, but luckily my monitor is fine. BTW, I'm using the monitors DVI connection.
 
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I think the whole input lag thing is a bit overblown, not to say it isn't noticeable but it'll get on your nerves if you have a faster display next to it. And anyways according to a recent tests ALL LCDs have some input lag just some more than others. The ones with least are TN panels, since I'm not that much of a hardcore competetive gamer I'll take viewing angles and color accuracy over pratically unnoticable input lag.
 

zero002021

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That's the thing, I played Unreal Tournament 2004 specifically to test the monitor's input lag but I didn't notice any at all. I think the input lag problem has more to do with peoples hardware/setups than it has to do with the monitor itself.
 

dennie

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All the pictures looks nice! i myself still waiting for my 215TW. ordered it 3 days ago, and now it's still in transit. from vancouver to toronto, only god knows where, and the purolator guy of course.
 
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Lord Rahl said:
Cool. I am able to see the pictures now. I have the monitor as well, and I love it. Only problem is, I can't raise it. Can you take a picture of the pin that you pulled out of the back so I can see if maybe mine broke off inside? Thanks. BTW, download the pacman demo and play it on your monitor. The colors are so vibrant its insane, lol.

try pulling (or pushing) down really hard to raise/lower it.. i had the same problem when i first got it. once you do it, it moves really smoothly.
 

TBONEU

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Thanks for the review. I would love to see and hear your thoughts on using this with your Xbox. I have a Xbox 360 and I would like a monitor that I could use with my Mac and 360.
 

XLeezardx

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Very interested in this monitor. I am returning my 20.1 LG 204WT monitor because images are grainy, especialy DVD's. Hows the images on this monitor?
 

zero002021

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XLeezardx said:
Very interested in this monitor. I am returning my 20.1 LG 204WT monitor because images are grainy, especialy DVD's. Hows the images on this monitor?
Well, DVDs are going to look at least a little grainy regardless of what monitor they are viewed on. It's a fault of DVD technology, not the monitor. DVDs are low-resolution when compared to HD at 720p or 1080i/p. I recommend downloading some HD trailers from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/musicandvideo/hdvideo/contentshowcase.aspx

There should be much less grain when watching most of those, if any at all (varies by trailer). If you still see a lot of grain, then the problem may also be with the monitor and not just the low quality of DVDs. Oh, and how close are you sitting to the monitor? At a monitor of 20"+ in size, you can't sit as close to it as you would a 17" monitor. Make sure there is some space between you and the monitor.

BTW, to everyone waiting for the Xbox 360 shots, I'm setting up my system right now and will be taking pictures soon. They'll probably be up in a few hours.
 

Lord Rahl

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dipset4life said:
try pulling (or pushing) down really hard to raise/lower it.. i had the same problem when i first got it. once you do it, it moves really smoothly.

Thank you so much! I was afraid to try to hard, and I just did and it works!!!! Awesome. Thank you.

Actually, it doesn't go really smoothly. Will that just take time?
 

zero002021

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Congrats Lord Rahl, nice to see you finally got it working. I don't know if the monitor is supposed to go completely smooth when adjusting though. Mine goes fairly smooth but it does get stiff every once and a while. Maybe with use over time it'll just go smoother?
 

ninty

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StaticSurge said:
Vancouver eh? *cough* NCIX *cough* :p

I order from NCIX and it's here the next day since i'm in Calgary. That is really cool to me because most of the time stuff comes from Toronto or the States and it takes usually more than a week. NCIX is great.

Have a link to that background zero? Looks great.
 

zero002021

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I got the wallpaper in my opening post from InterfaceLIFT:
http://interfacelift.com/


BTW, I'm actually using another background now. I used the one in my originals posts until I could get this one transferred off my laptop.

 

Lord Rahl

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I just used the Potrait mode. It was AWESOME. I love being able to go on forums and stuff and being able to see all the posts without having to scroll down. I wish I had a camera so that I could take some pictures of mine too to help your thread grow.
 

zero002021

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I just updated my opening post with the Xbox 360 shots. Remember, if there is anything anyone would like to see shots of, make a request and I will do my best to get you the shots and full your request.

Lord Rahl, I almost forgot about the Portrait mode. Thanks for the reminder, I'll take some shots soon and put them up. :)
 

Lord Rahl

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Cool 360 pictures, but I would definitely switch to VGA. It look so much better. And also, you aren't getting true widescreen with the component. I don't know why, but if you play pac-man at 1280x768 with VGA, and then at 1080i with component, you will see what I'm talking about. On the main menu of Pac-Man, look at the arcade machine. At 1080i, you can't see the left of it, but at 1280x768, you can.
 

zero002021

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Well, I don't actually plan on playing the Xbox 360 on my Samsung 215TW. I more or less took those shots for others who plan on doing so and wanted to see how it would perforn. I have an HDTV with a dedicated surround system in my basement that I use for movies and gaming :D

EDIT: I'm considering buying an Xbox 360 VGA cable to run the tests again and compare them to component, but there are two things stopping me:
1) I don't know if my camera is good enough to show a visible difference.
2) It's really not worth it as I'm probably never going to play my Xbox 360 on the Samsung 215TW. I always game with friends so I leave it hooked up to my HDTV.
 

Lord Rahl

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Lucky. One of the main reasons I got my monitor was for 360 gaming...lol. But I don't mind, as 21 inches is big enough for me and the picture is amazing. I am in to competitive gaming(mlgpro.com) and they use 20 inch tvs at their events so if I ever go to one I will be used to the small size
 

RtbChief

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Any chance of getting some original Xbox or PS2 screenshots? I just saw this monitor at Crap USA and it looked fantastic. It was right next to the Viewsonic VX2025 and it looked MUCH better! Plus all the inputs (as long as they look pretty good) make this much more attractive even at the higher price.
 

zero002021

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Sure, I can definitely take some original Xbox shots for you, and I'll try and unhook the PS2 and take a few shots of some games as well. I'll have the shots up by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.
 

zero002021

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Small update: Sorry about not having the shots up, I plugged my Xbox into the monitor and turned it on, ready to take pictures, when it started giving me it's version of the dirty disc read error. It's happened before but usually cleaning the lens fixes the problem. I'll try and get some pictures posted as soon as I can clean/fix/replace the disc drive.
 

slimbim

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zero002021 said:
I got the wallpaper in my opening post from InterfaceLIFT:
http://interfacelift.com/


BTW, I'm actually using another background now. I used the one in my originals posts until I could get this one transferred off my laptop.
Can you tell me the name of the background from your earlier pics? I looked through all the pages on interfacelift.com, and didn't see it....

Thanks!
 
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