Pros: UHD, large 39", good pixture quality, little backlight bleeding, price, conectability, 120Hz+ panel, solid build quality, 220V, English menu, extras
Cons: HDMI pixel clock limitations, only available to chinese market for now, not 110V compatable(for US buyers), no HDMI cable included, no english guide.
Introduction about UHD (Click to show)
IBM's 3840x2400 display was released back in 2002 and was updated in 2003 this was a major shift but not for the masses also the quality of those panels aren't on par with todays quality panels at all.
Then later on we started seeing the 1440p and 1600p coming to the desktop for all people with 500/1000 dollar to spare now those panels can be had on for cheap by buying a korean panel in a normal enclosure.
Along the years we've seen the pixel density rise in products all around us especially tablets and laptops saw this change in pixel density and total pixel count.
Now since 2012, UHD is coming to the consumer but sadly it costs just as all early adopted standards quite a bit.
Now there are various tv and display companies working on bringing UHD to market we saw it before with the Seiki which was for sale in America for 1300 dollar in contrary to the Sony and Sharp screens that cost a arm and a leg.
The display that I'll be reviewing today has a resolution of 3840x2160 (16:9) and a diagonal of 39".
But as an enthusiast I have been looking into getting the UHD standard early on as I was late to the game with 1080P which I really graved.
I was positive about what I wanted I just didn't have the money to drop 6000 euro on a 4K sharp screen.
So I started looking for alternatives and found those after looking around a bit the closest I could get to retaining a high pixel density while not paying top dollar where: the Skyworth 39E780U, Konka's 40 inch UHD screen, and TCL's 39 inch screen(which is almost certainly using the same panel as the Skyworth)
Below a picture showing the TV at my agent before shipping:
I went with the Skyworth as I knew it was better to go with the major brand also I liked the black bezels, the aluminum(actually titanium plating) look and the fact that the panel was extremely thin(20mm at the edges and 40mm in the middle the only part that takes up space is the stand/foot)
I looked the screen up on Taobao with the person with the best feedback I could find and ask my agent to check if it was available and if there was a way for me to get it.
After a bit of to and fro with my agent I confirmed that I would take the full risk and therefor would be using a bank transfer instead of normal protected PayPal, I had it shipped trough UPS later that week after it arrived at their warehouse.
A funny thing that happened during the shipping was UPS not giving the correct shipping information even though the shipping itself went perfectly fine.
After unwrapping the box I had a hard time installing the foot not because it was hard to do so but because I had to transfer the panel to my bed to install the foot then back to my desk.
The installation of the foot was fairly simple the base had to be attached to the foot with hexagon screws and there was a align key in the package to do this.
Then the base could be slid into the back of the monitor so it would line up with the screw-holes and 4 philips screws had to be applied.
This all went well for those not getting what to do there was a pictorial manual included however the text was Chinese (everyone who has ever assembled something Lego gets the instruction)
So the contents of the package:
The base and the foot
Screws hexakey for attaching base to foot and base to panel.
A plug for getting 3.5mm plug audio over Coax/tulip cables(analog)
A manual all in Chinese
screws, plugs and metal strips for mounting the monitor to a wall.
A remote control and a usb stick (more on this later in miscellaneous extras section of the review)
4x active 3D glasses chargeable via USB (though I haven't tested that them yet)
What was not in the package:
a HDMI cable (which was kinda a bummer as I don't work with HDMI normally so I didn't have on later that day I lended one from a friend)
The monitor comes with various options to connect and also comes with a android based system making it a stand alone entertainment and browsing system.
Analog and cable connectors
rj45 port for internet over cable instead of wi-fi
10 bit colors
MVA based panel
120Hz true refresh rate
The panel requires a 220V input I don't know if it takes 110V.
There is about 1cm of bezel around the panel except for the bottom where the is 2cm of bezel it is a nice black bezel so it doesn't bother at all it actually helps a bit for the panorama.
Beside those specs the panel gives you the option give you the ability to switch of off all the motion blur things you don't want as a gamer.
It has a vast range of settings for all the things you might wanna change I recommend setting the backlight to 40(100 default) or lower for desktop use otherwise you might get eye-strain if you sit 80cm or closer.
I checked for backlight bleeding by dimming all the lights then have the screen showing a black image with the backlight set to 100.
There is no noticeable bleeding the edges of the monitor show a slight darker tint but you have to got to the point where you are just 30 cm from it to actually spot it.
In terms of viewing angles and color equality the monitor also does very good I can stand and look at the monitor with a large angle before getting color shifting.
I haven't watched true UHD content on it yet but I think that is gonna be great I have played Bioshock infinite which also looked stunning it was a bit sad that I had to put the settings down to make it get 38Hz(and I ended up with 30 after I put the vsync on).
One of the mayor drawbacks of UHD(3840x2160) over HDMI is that the current HDMI spec is limited to only doing so at 30Hz max or in more technical terms the max pixel clock over HDMI is 340Mhz then we have another current limit on our hands since the Ramdacs on my Nvidia card only go up to 400Mhz.
Later this year when HDMI 2.0 comes to market the pixel clock will/can be doubled giving us effectively double the refresh rate we can achieve with the current spec.
One of the things I will update on later on is if the monitor actually takes the new HDMI clock rate even though it was made in the HDMI 1.4 era.
I also found a part in the manual showing a HDMI cable that split into all 3 of the available HDMI ports but I need a Chinese person or someone that understands Chinese to decipher if this is what I think/hope it is or that it is just a wrong hinting image.
The overclock results:
UHD 3840x2160 was 30Hz max now 38Hz (up to 40Hz by reducing the extra pixels/blanking in the stream but with minor artifacting)
Side note: the current max refresh rate is 45Hz check the bottom of the review under the update spoiler
WQHD 2560x1440 was not there now 82Hz
FHD 1920x1080 was 60Hz max now 140Hz (I checked with RRMT Refresh Rate Multi Tool and it actually did it without dropping)
HD 1280x720 was 60Hz max now 254Hz (checked again with RRMT but it was too fast for my eyes then I took pictures and video)
I also made my one resolution to match 60Hz while not giving away too much pixels 60Hz/MCLK sweet spot 3024x1701 (60Hz with 5.7 million pixels which is not bad it is actually close to the normal pixel density of your average 24 inch 1080P monitor)
The QHD refresh rate is enormous after checking the video and pictures out:
and it turned out to be dropping mostly 2 but sometimes 1 frame for every 2 shown frames making it effectively refresh at 127Hz+ the + depending on how often 1 frame was dropped instead of 2 so I guess the panel goes up to 140Hz maybe a little more as that HD bench was limited by the bandwidth/pixel clock of HDMI
I say this out of personal experience and it is solely Microsoft's fault (unless you believe that nearly all of it was because the 3rd parties weren't doing their job right)
Running the monitor at native resolution 3840x2160 while not watching a movie or playing a game under windows 7 is not a good idea the text gets very small however it is sharp it is just too small to read.
I don't have terrible eyesight and I don't use glasses the text is just too small for a normal average human eye to read comfortably.
You should be able to fix this tough with DPI options in windows but those options seem to not work as intended.
Skype for example a mayor application even backed by microsoft themselves doesn't scale correctly leaving the text ridiculously small.
While we all know there is a simple fix for this use DPI scaling on supported apps and use simple pixel doubling in the others.
Apple does it Microsoft should too.
However Windows 8 and 8.1 should do this better as they were made to work with high pixel density screens (moving your head closer to the monitor is also an option but with a screen this size will require you to move your neck if you sit any closer than 60 cm (I sit 80 cm from it).
Another thing that should be discussed is gaming at native res @30/38Hz a lot of people say that it isn't doable but quite frankly I disagree.
I found it to be quite fluently although not as smooth in movement as my old 60Hz display at 30Hz it feels nearly the same once at 38 the trick is to make sure that you have a frame rate overhead (make sure the gpu/gpus can actually render 50 or more fps) and it will go fine.
This monitor is great for gaming as it does 140Hz while running 1080P so it is very good I also didn't notice any input lagg.
Black to white goes fast the only thing that should be noted which is probably because this is a MVA panel once you go from a dark image to a light image with the backlight set to 100 it will ramp up.
So for example you go from your beauty showing desktop to Google which has a white background you can see the white getting more bright over a period of 2 seconds. (not annoying at all just saying)
There however is a fix for this which you won't need if you us it as a tv but for desktop users it can be fixed simply by putting down the backlight to 70 or lower then it doesn't do it anymore.(I've set the Dream Image setting to off which also stops it even at 100% backlight)
So summing this up Windows scaling currently sucks, gaming is fine at 38Hz unless you really need to respond within the 150ms time frame (pro gaming), the backlight gets brighter when switching between dark and light at high backlight settings.
Something that should be said before closing this subject is that there is a possibility that it can do higher refresh rates depending on whether the driver board is limited to 340MHz clock or not.
But I can test that only once HDMI 2.0 is out.
I will try with a DP to HDMI cable but I figure as it would just send HDMI over it trough a switching method it would still be limited to 340MHz instead of 540Mhz.
And again this one also has a few extras it has Skycloud a Chinese service for if I understand correctly watching/streaming videos and series online.
Another extra it has is that it is also a Smart TV it incorporates as said earlier a android based system in the TV making it it own stand alone media player/mobile device.
But last and this took me quite some time to figure out the remote has a awsome feature:
You can control your computer cursor with the button pad on the remote.
A USB stick is included which acts as a reciever then if you want it you can move your finger over the pad and make gestures it doesn't work as good as a wii controller or a regular mouse as the pad isn't super responsive but it is certainly a very very cool feature.
I've looked trough the manual and translated it into English nothing for 2/3 way HDMI was found.
But in the meantime I've been fiddling around with some of the settings and I came up to 39.75 by reducing the unecisary pixels in the stream.
I came even higher once I made the stream think it was transmitting a sub 338MHz signal marking the output signal as 1080P instead of 4k UHD.
A maximum of 45Hz was achieved but there still is headroom so as soon as I can somehow get the pixel clock higher being it with a active DP to HDMI adapter or a newer gen of HDMI whatever I can get my hands on the soonest.
I'll post the pictures as soon as others receive their display so they can enjoy it to the fullest.