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I have just taken delivery of a new 20" Samsung widescreen monitor to replace my 17" LG LCD screen. My computer tower is new with an Intel Duo processor, Vista and a Radeon Sapphire 1550 graphics card.
I installed the new monitor using the supplied driver CD but on rebooting the computer, the screen kept going off (black) for a few seconds then coming back on for a few seconds ad-infinitum. The previous screen had performed faultlessly so I assumed the new monitor was faulty. I retried the old screen to double check and found it to be stable.
Further experiments with the new screen revealed that the flickering was less frequent if I lowered the screen resolution from the native 1680 x 1050. The lower the resolution - the less the flickering. The use of the word "flickering" might be misleading - the screen actually cycles on and off every few seconds but not consistently. Sometimes it will stay on for a minute or so before flicking on and off.
I then tried the analogue connection which required me to install the appropriate Samsung driver - and it is perfectly stable - not any sign of a problem.
My local friends have older computers with lower spec graphics cards so I am not easily able to try the monitor on another computer.
Hence my dilemma - do I send the monitor back as faulty because of the digital connection problem with the risk that supplier may not experience the problem and claim it is my computer at fault. Or do I shrug and continue to use the analogue connection which appears OK.
This does sound like it could be a fault in the monitor, but there's no certain way of knowing other by substitution.
Does the Samsung indicate that it has founs a digital signal. If you press the Menue button and click down to the "i" icon, you should get "Digital - 65kHz, 60Hz PP 1680x1050". If you don't get this you may need to change a setting in your graphics card. It took me a little while to find the correct settings for my Nvidia card.
My Graphics card specification shows that it supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 which is well above the monitor's native setting.
I have tried two DVI cables - the one used with the previous monitor and the one supplied with the new one.
I am not able to access the monitor on-screen menu in digital mode because the screen is only on for half a second at a time. If I press the menu button in that split second the menu appears but I don't have time to scroll down before it goes off - and when it re-appears the menu has vanished.
If I open the control panel - display - advanced -settings I can see that the monitor is set to 60 Hz with a resolution of 1680 x 1050. The only other option on offer is 59Hz - which I have tried with no success. I have tried lower resolutions with mixed results - in general the lower the resolution the less is the problem - but it never goes away.
But in analogue mode it seems OK.
When the monitor has problems finding a signal it cycles between the analogue and digital modes looking for the signal, which makes me wonder if that corresponds with the flashing you are referring to. Mine does this when there is no signal at all and then there is a graphic representing the video connector in the top left corner of the screen, with the word either DIGITAL or ANALOG according to the mode it is in.
Looks as though the monitors digital capabilities are faulty. If your graphics card worked before it sounds like a replacement monitor to me.
Yes - I have seen the graphic you refer to when the cable is disconnected. Nice thought - but I am confident it is not the reason because the screen flicker is at a much faster rate.
I have placed a call with Samsung support and am awaiting a call-back. There is a 4 hour wait on monitor support response today - I will post the outcome (if there is one).
I have now determined the monitor is faulty.
I spoke to Samsung UK support and discussed the symptoms - they concluded it was most likely a fault in the monitor's digital circuit but advised me to check the monitor on a second computer to verify.
I therefore took it to a friend who lives 25 miles away - but he has a computer of similar spec to mine (better in fact - he is heavily into gaming with high end graphics). On his computer the monitor starting playing up after about 10 minutes and then went off. It came on again after a couple of seconds, stayed on for about 20 seconds and repeated this cycle....... This differs from my computer where it flashes on and off every second or so.
Intrigued by this difference - we trotted off to a friend of his who tried it on his computer. Here the monitor again played up - but the behaviour was different again. It took about 20 minutes before it went off - was off for about 10 seconds - then started flashing on and off every 5 seconds or so.
I have therefore proved there is a problem with the DVI connection to the monitor but cannot understand why it varies when connected to different computers. I appreciate that I can use the analogue connection - but am hesitant to retain a product with a fault in case it "spreads" to the analogue circuit.
Back to the supplier on Monday....
Right decision AlanHo. If the monitor is faulty, get it replaced. The SM205BW is a superb monitor, especially with a digital input, and you should expect it to be fault free.
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