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19” LCD monitor survey: 4, 8 ms, TN, IPS, VA…
by Vincent Alzieu
Published on June 9, 2005

Sony SDM-HS95P
The HS95P includes a Fujitsu MVA panel with a 12ms response time. That means that it would be a fast panel, different from the one included in the ViewSonic VP191b. Will this monitor combine very wide viewing angles, good color quality and a fast reaction time?

Foreword: I wrote a news item last April 14 saying that Sony has successfully improved the X-Black 2. The monitor presented didn’t feature any mirror effect as disturbing as with the previous X-Black and X-Bright monitors’ generation. One month later we were finally able to order the first monitor of this type: the SDM-HS95P and it was a huge disappointment, the mirror effect is still present. Obviously, the monitor presented one month ago wasn’t an X-Black at all. So I apologize to all of you who hoped for a better monitor to come

The new Sony range design differs seriously from the previous generation. Instead of a base, there is now a prop, the bezel color is now black and several pictograms are found on the left side of the monitor.

The HS95P apparently promises us fantastic results. Almost complete viewing angles, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a fast reaction time, and a sensor to automatically adjust the brightness and an intense brightness.

The new look includes the replacement of the base by a non-vertically adjustable prop. The monitor doesn’t have a pivot mode either. We have the choice between DVI and analog interfaces, but there is no USB hub. The only really new trick is: an automatic sensor to adjust the brightness. The problem is that we didn’t find it very efficient. Playing in the dark or with the light switched on hasn’t changed the brightness: 294 cd/m² for the first case and 295 cd/m² for the second. Switching the lights on or off considerably reduced the panel mirror effect. But at this stage it is important to remind you of a couple of details.

Sony doesn’t build any panels and only added some value to their high-end monitors with the X–Black technology. Sony described it for us in this previous article.

In a nutshell, they changed the back lighting system and added filters to the panel to reinforce the contrast (or an impression of contrast). The problem is that these filters turn the panel into a mirror. We clearly see ourselves in the monitor, but not when the light is shut down.

The HP95P has the price of a very high-end monitor but standard ergonomics. Now we will have to hope that this price will be warranted later on, with the other tests.

Color quality
On the one hand, there is a monitor with 1000:1 contrast ratio, and on the other a brightness measured around 300 cd/m². To keep its promises, the HS9P should be able to provide a 0.3 cd/m² black. The result in practice is: 0.8 cd/m².

How to interpret the graph

On the left is the gamut this is the monitor colorimetric range compared to the sRGB range (the one usually used for digital cameras). This doesn’t correspond to the accuracy, but to the range of reproducible colors.

For accuracy, you have to refer to the right graph, the DeltaE. This is a measure between the color requested and the one really displayed on the monitor. The result obtained is also counter-balanced by human color sensitivity.

With Delta E > 3 the desired colors is noticeably different from the one on the screen.
With 1 < Delta E < 2 colors are accurate. With Delta E < 1, the result is perfect.

Just as a reminder, we made this test with all , IPS, MVA and Lumileds panels here.

The comparison of this graph with the other ones shows the HS95P’s good results. Its gamut is very close to the sRGB colorimetric space. Compared to this space, we usually find a little weakness in the blue compensated by a good green level. The DeltaE graph is better than any of the five reference monitors.

Viewing angles
This monitor illustrates once more the foolishness of the measures taken to establish viewing angles. It is surprising, but this time, the norm used disadvantaged this monitor. Sony introduces the HS95P with 170° lateral and vertical viewing angles. If we just stick to this figure, this monitor would only be average, since even TN monitors now announce this level of characteristics, whereas VA claims to reach up to 176°. However, this monitor provides, thanks to the X-Black 2 filter, much better than average results.

It is, though, important to differentiate between two situations.

At night, with no other light sources than the monitor, the image is superb, without reflection and has almost complete viewing angles. The 170° claimed are accurate this time. Colors are in fact perfect until 130° for vertical and horizontal viewing angles, then beyond they tend to get lighter but it is still very good.

In daylight, the panel reflects surrounding lights. The viewing angle will depend on how your lighting reflects on the monitor. In the end, it will be much lower.


The result is comparable to the quality obtained with the ViewSonic VP191b: it is better than average but there is still some work to do in order to let the user choose any of the resolutions to work. The quality is immediately reduced as soon as we leave the native mode.

Video games

It is the biggest disappointment: the afterglow is really present on this monitor and it is just barely better than 25 ms MVA monitor. There is no, or very little, progress (especially if we compare this panel to the new MVA AUO). Blurred areas due to traveling are so strong that we were disturbed even with World of Warcraft, which doesn’t require a fast reaction time. Of course, if you are caught up in the game, you may not pay attention to this problem. However, as soon as the character is passive, for example while traveling, it is possible to see disruptions on the sides of the objects which don’t appear with very fast TN and MVA panels.

It is even worse with FPS games. We don’t advise you to use it with this type of game.

Just for your information, this Fujitsu panel has a response time of 12 ms according to the ISO norm, and 8 ms for G2G. Iiyama using a very similar model for the H1900, chose to use this characteristic for their monitors.

Films : DVD, HD

It is getting worse. If VA monitors so far meant good quality for video, this one features, like the TN monitors, a strong twinkling effect. Colors are superb but pixels are moving and it is quite annoying.

Faced with this result, we have to ask ourselves whether if these VA are sill real 16.7 millions f colors panels, or whether, as we feared during the CeBit (see this news), some of these new panels only reach 16.2 millions of colors with dithering.


Take a look at this manufacture’s dead pixel policy by clicking here!

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