Philips Unveils 43-Inch 4K Gaming LCD with DisplayHDR 1000, DCI-P3, FreeSync

Philips Unveils 43-Inch 4K Gaming LCD with DisplayHDR 1000, DCI-P3, FreeSync

Philips has announced its new large gaming display that brings together an ultra-high-definition resolution panel, VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 certification, and AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate technology. In addition to being the only ultra-large gaming monitor to support the aforementioned features (among those announced to date), the Philips 436M6VBPAB also supports USB Type-C docking, which is going to please users of laptops that feature only USB-C ports.

A Gaming Display with Quantum Dots, Ambiglow, and a Remote

The Philips 436M6VBPAB relies on a 43-inch 8-bit + FRC VA panel featuring a 3840×2160 resolution, 600 – 1000 nits brightness, a high contrast ratio (since it is a VA panel, we are probably talking about something like 2000:1 or better), a 4 ms response time, a 60 Hz optimum refresh rate, 178°/178° viewing angles, and so on. The backlighting is outfitted with a Quantum Dot-enhancement film that enables it to cover an above-average 97.6% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

In addition to accurate colors and HDR support, the 436M6VBPAB supports Philips’ Ambiglow technology, which produces LED lighting effects to match ambient lighting with what is happening on the screen. This is not a programmable RGB lighting found on gaming displays from companies like ASUS, but it adds visual effects that are useful practically and bring additional immersion to games.

Speaking of gaming, it is noteworthy that the ultra-large monitor from Philips takes a page from AOC’s book and supports the so-called Low Input Lag mode that reduces input lag by bypassing “most of the display’s internal processing.” This is not particularly surprising since both AOC- and Philips-branded LCDs are made by TPV.

Moving on to connectivity of the 436M6VBPAB. The monitor has four display inputs: 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, and 1x USB Type-C that can be used both for display connectivity and as an upstream port for a USB 3.0 hub. The LCD supports Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture capabilities from two sources. As for audio, the display features a 3.5-mm audio input, 3.5-mm audio output as well as two built-in 7-W speakers with the DTS Sound badge.

Another important feature of the Philips 436M6VBPAB monitor is bundled remote controller that can be used to control the monitor as well as other devices connected using HDMI (e.g., media players, game consoles, etc.). The remote is going to be quite handy because the 43-incher can be used like a TV when connected to various media streamers or players (or even a TV tuner!). Now, a disadvantage of this size is that the 436M6VBPAB does not come with a stand that can regulate its height or tilt. To partly solve this, it does have VESA mounts.

FreeSync Meets HDR

The new monitor from Philips belongs to the brand’s Momentum lineup of LCDs aimed at gamers and multimedia enthusiasts. Given the target market, the key features of the Philips 436M6VBPAB besides its dimensions and Quantum Dot-enhanced backlighting are AMD’s FreeSync technology and VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 badge, a rather odd combination considering the fact that FreeSync 2 is a technology that is supposed to bring HDR to gaming displays. There is an explanation to this combination.

AMD’s FreeSync 2 mandates monitors to support a number of features: they have to support the tech on the logical level (i.e., let games tone map directly to the native color space of a display), they have to cover at least 90% of the DCI-P3 color space, and they have to support a dynamic refresh rate with Low Framerate Compensation. In case of the 436M6VBPAB, the LCD supports a wide color gamut and a dynamic refresh, but not direct tone mapping and LFC, which is why it cannot get an appropriate AMD certification. In fact, it yet has to get a FreeSync certification, which is why Philips uses the term ‘Adaptive Sync for AMD GPUs’. Philips does not disclose dynamic refresh range of the monitor, but given its maximum refresh rate, we don’t expect the minimum refresh rate to be much below 45Hz.

Update 6:15 PM ET: Philips Australia has published official specifications of the 436M6VBPAB monitor on its website. The specs list 3840 × 2160 at 60 Hz as “optimum” resolution and refresh rate of the display. At the same time, the LCD supports a 23 – 80 Hz scanning frequency for DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, which looks like the FreeSync range. Considering that 80 Hz is an odd refresh rate, it is highly likely that the monitor overclocks itself from 60 Hz to 80 Hz in certain situations. In the meatime, since display supports a 23 – 80 Hz scanning frequency, it is more than enough for LFC.

Update 4/27: AMD confirmed on Friday that the Philips 436M6VBPAB display is FreeSync certified.

As for the DisplayHDR 1000 logo, the VESA’s highest HDR has a rather strict requirements for brightness (600 nits full-screen long duration minimum, 1000 nits full-screen flash minimum) and black levels. The VESA does not mandate local dimming for this standard, yet it does not believe that corner maximum limit of 0.05 nits and tunnel maximum limit of 0.1 nits are achievable without local dimming. That said, while the Philips 436M6VBPAB does not support FALD (full array local dimming), it does support some kind of local dimming and therefore should feature a good contrast ratio.

The Philips Momentum 43″ 4K HDR display with Ambiglow
Panel 43″ MVA
Native Resolution 3840 × 2160
Maximum Refresh Rate 60 Hz (normal)
80 Hz (overclocked)
Response Time 4 ms GtG
Brightness 720 cd/m² (typical)
1000 cd/m² (peak)
Contrast 4000:1
Backlighting LED with quantum dots
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Color Gamut 100% sRGB/BT.709
97.6% DCI-P3
DisplayHDR Tier 1000
Dynamic Refresh Rate Tech AMD FreeSync
23.976 – 80 Hz
Pixel Pitch 0.2479 mm²
Pixel Density 102 PPI
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2
1 × Mini DisplayPort 1.2
1 × HDMI 2.0
1 × USB Type-C
Audio 3.5 mm input/output
2 × 7 W DTS Sound speakers
USB Hub 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A connectors
1 × USB 3.0 Type-C input
VESA Mount 200 × 200 mm
MSRP Europe: €799
UK: £699
US: $799 without VAT (unconfirmed)

Pricing and Availability

Philips plans to start selling the 436M6VBPAB this May for €799/£699 in Europe. As production of the unit ramps up, its availability will get more widespread in June, but the manufacturer does not explicitly say when it plans to start its sales in the U.S.

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ASUS Launches ROG Swift PG27VQ: Curved 27-inch LCD with 165 Hz G-Sync & RGB Lighting

ASUS Launches ROG Swift PG27VQ: Curved 27-inch LCD with 165 Hz G-Sync & RGB Lighting

ASUS is about to start selling its new ROG Swift PG27VQ, the company’s latest 165Hz monitor. Aimed at gamers who are looking for a very high responsiveness in games along with ultimate style, the monitor features a curved panel and 1 ms response time. To make design of the ROG Swift PG27VQ unique, ASUS added its RGB Aura Sync lighting to the back of the display.

RGB LED lighting has (inexplicably) become a signature feature of gaming hardware in 2017. As we’ve already seen, there are motherboards, graphics cards, memory modules, chassis, PSUs, keyboards, mice, even SSDs with RGB LEDs, on the market these days. Earlier this year ASUS decided to complete the list of RGB lighting-enabled devices with its curved ROG monitors. So far, the company formally introduced three of such displays, but only the relatively inexpensive ROG Strix XG27VQ has been released commercially so far. ASUS is going to change this in the coming weeks as it is getting ready to start sales of the considerably more expensive ROG Swift PG27VQ.

The ASUS PG27VQ uses a 27” TN panel with a 2560×1440 resolution, an “overclockable” 165 Hz refresh rate, a 1 ms response time as well as a 1800R curvature. Responsiveness is a major selling point of the monitor, which is a reason why the manufacturer went with a TN panel featuring 400 nits brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 170°/160° viewing angles, nothing unexpected from TN here. As for ergonomics, the ROG Swift PG27VQ can adjust height, tilt, swivel or can be attached to a VESA wall mounting. Those interested in a multi-display configuration will be glad to know that the display has thin bezels. As for connectivity, the monitor comes with an HDMI 1.4, a DisplayPort 1.2, a dual-port USB 3.0 hub and an earphone jack.

Just like any other ‘Republic of Gamers’ monitor from ASUS, the ROG Swift PG27VQ features a host of features aimed just at gamers. Firstly, it supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync dynamic refresh rate technology with ULMB, which is designed to make fast-paced actions look sharper. The combination of a 165 Hz maximum refresh rate, 1 ms response time as well as G-Sync with ULMB should deliver rather impressive experience. Secondly, the monitor comes with the ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting on the back to customize the look of the display or even synchronize its lighting with other components featuring the technology. In addition, the LCD has ROG’s LED lighting projection signature on the bottom, which owners can customize as well. Thirdly, the monitor supports the ASUS GamePlus modes, which are present on other gaming monitors by the company, and ASUS GameVisual color profiles for different type of content. Finally, the monitor is compatible with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology for those who still have the shutter 3D glasses kit (or plan to get one now).

ASUS ‘Most Responsive’ 27″ Curved Gaming Monitor
  ROG Swift PG27VQ
Panel 27″ TN
Native Resolution 2560 × 1440
Refresh Rate Range 165 Hz overclockable
Dynamic Refresh Rate G-Sync with ULMB
G-Sync Range unknown
Response Time 1 ms (gray-to-gray)
Brightness 400 cd/m²
Contrast 1000:1
Viewing Angles 170°/160°
Curvature 1800R
Inputs HDMI 1.4
DisplayPort 1.2
Audio 3.5 mm audio jack
USB Hub Dual-port USB 3.0 hub
RGB Effects ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting
Proprietary Enhancements Trace Free Technology
Color Temperature Selection: 4 Modes
GamePlus Modes:  Crosshair/Timer/Display Alignment
Low Blue Light: Yes
GameVisual Modes: Scenery/Racing/Cinema/RTS/RPG/FPS/sRGB
Power Consumption
Idle 0.5 W
Active 67.5 W
Detailed Information Link

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27VQ is expected to be available from leading retailers like Amazon and Newegg in several weeks. Being a unique offering, the new unit will cost $799.99, a price tag well above average for a 27” monitor.

Toshiba Sells 95% of Its TV Business Unit to Hisense

Toshiba Sells 95% of Its TV Business Unit to Hisense

Toshiba on Wednesday announced plans to sell 95% stake in its TV business unit to Hisense Electric for approximately $114 million. The transaction will strengthen Hisense’s positions as the world’s fourth largest supplier of TV sets after …

StarTech's Thunderbolt 3 to Dual 4Kp60 Display Adapters Now Available

StarTech’s Thunderbolt 3 to Dual 4Kp60 Display Adapters Now Available

StarTech’s new family of Thunderbolt 3 adapters that let one TB3 port to drive two 4K 60Hz displays are now available for sale. One of the adapters supports two DisplayPort 1.2 outputs, whereas another features two HDMI 2.0 headers. The devices are bus powered and do not use any kind of image compression technologies.

When Intel introduced its Thunderbolt 3 interface two years ago, the company noted that one cable can drive two daisy chained 4Kp60 displays using one TB3 cable – as TB3 can carry two complete DisplayPort 1.2 streams – greatly simplifying dual-monitor setups. The reality turned out to be more complicated. At present, there are not a lot of displays supporting Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C input along with an appropriate output to allow daisy-chaining another monitor. Makers of monitors are reluctant to install additional chips into their products to save BOM costs and keep designs simple, essentially concealing one of the features of the TB3 interface. Meanwhile, each TB3 controller supports two DisplayPort 1.2 streams, so to drive two 4Kp60 displays, some PC makers even integrate two TB3 ports into their ultra-thin laptops to support two 4Kp60 outputs, whereas others go with four. The new adapters from StarTech solve the problem and get two DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 headers from a single TB3 connector.

Earlier this year StarTech introduced two devices: the Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter (TB32DP2T), and the Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI 2.0 Adapter (TB32HD4K60) for customers with monitors featuring DP or HDMI inputs. StarTech does not disclose much about internal architecture of the devices, but I understand that they feature a Thunderbolt 3 controller that “receives” two DisplayPort signals from the host via TB3 and then re-routes them to either two DP outputs or two HDMI 2.0 outputs using appropriate LSPCons. Moreover, the TB3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter can even handle a single 5K monitor by using both outputs.

The new adapters are compatible with Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows-based PCs. Meanwhile, one thing to keep in mind is that the adapters do not support DP or HDMI alt modes over USB-C and they can only use TB3 ports.

The StarTech Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter (TB32DP2T) is now available either directly from StarTech for $99.99 or from Amazon for $77.97 (a limited time offer, I suppose). Meanwhile, the Startech Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI 2.0 Adapter (TB32HD4K60) can be pre-ordered from StarTech for $134.99.

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