Design-wise, LG is on to a winner with the LG DM2350. The monitor looks very much like one of the company's living-room friendly TVs, incorporating a glossy black finish, gentle sweeping curves, transparent trim and discreet touch-sensitive controls. You also get a nice full-sized remote control.
To the rear a full set of video inputs is provided namely VGA, SCART, component video and a pair of HDMI ports. Audio input is via HDMI or the separate analogue audio socket. Optical digital audio output is also provided.
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An integral tuner provides full digital TV support for MPEG4, DVB-C and DVB-T formats, although Freeview HD isn't supported without an external set-top box. A USB port lets you plug in a USB storage device, from which the monitor can play back video directly without the need for a PC.
Your PC is best connected to one of the HDMI ports. We've often seen problems when hooking up PCs to monitors in this way, due to the differences in the ways computers and multimedia equipment such as Blu-ray players use the HDMI standard. Hooking up a PC to a display that's set up for a Blu-ray player can result in a horrible picture – either too blurry or too sharp and quite often cropped.
Connect a PC to the LG DM2350 and this issue is avoided by the display detecting the input and asking you “Is the input connected to your PC?”. Selecting “yes” immediately optimises the display for PC use.
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A major selling point for this display is of course the 3D capability. The DM2350, like many 3D TVs, uses passive polarised glasses to achieve a stereoscopic effect, rather than the active LCD glasses possibly more familiar to PC users with nVidia-based graphics (LG has a different display for this type of use in form of the W2363D).
This type of 3D technology makes the TV capable of 3D playback direct from a stand-alone 3D Blu-ray player. We donned the supplied 3D specs and tried Disney's Alice in Wonderland. The DM2350 detected the 3D mode automatically on playback. It worked flawlessly, producing a convincing 3D effect, although we found that the viewing angle and distance from the screen needed to be just right to get best results.
The TV will also have a stab at converting 2D sources to 3D. We tested this option on the 2D version of the film and saw a marked difference, enough to warrant the inclusion of the feature.
Blu-ray playback in 3D isn't supported via your PC, but other 3D video content and 3D gaming is enabled by bundled TriDef software. Once installed, it will let you view content like 3D videos on YouTube, and will search your PC for games matching any 3D gaming profiles.
Other games may also work in 3D with a little tweaking of the settings. Unlike nVidia's 3D Vision system, the TriDef software doesn't require an nVidia graphics card, so AMD users can enjoy 3D video too.
LG DM2350: Performance
We were very impressed by the quality of the DM2350 display. Despite being based on budget TN panel technology with its restrictive viewing angles, our measurements revealed that LG has done a very good job of keeping the colour as accurate as possible. This makes TV and video playback much more convincing and lifelike.
Maximum brightness was high at 240cd/m2, and the contrast ratio impressed at 696:1. The panel could cover 77.2% of the NTSC range, or 109% of sRGB gamut. Power consumption was 40W at full brightness, falling to 30W at 120cd/m2 setting.
The display offers an unexpectedly fine level of control over colour output and display quality via a large menu system which remains easy to use despite the vast number of options available.
A “Picture Wizard” mode takes you step by step through a simple interactive process enabling you to get the very best picture possible. With no technical knowledge required, you'll be correcting black level, brightness, gamma and colour temperature with just a few button clicks. These settings are then adjusted to suit your personal preferences and saved in a custom image setting. The remote control comes in handy here, so you won't need to fiddle with any monitor control buttons.