REVIEW: NEC PA241W Part 24
HD signals with 720 lines are also displayed correctly (left: 1:1; right: justified).
SD signals (here: 4:3 letterboxed) are stretched by the justified scaling (left picture); correct display is achieved with user-defined scaling (right picture).
With the extensive possibilities to respond to the aspect ratio of the signal being played back, any material can be played back correctly. This also includes SD signals, which do not have a square pixel aspect ratio. For this case, the user must experiment somewhat with the custom setting in the advanced menu.
The importance of the signal level selected in playback is often underestimated, but it is an important criterion in providing correct playback. If adjustment problems arise here, this either results in a greatly reduced range of hues or a washed out, matte image without full white or black.
Regardless of the signal being played back, the NEC PA241W always expects an RGB signal with PC levels (value range 0-255 per channel). This is absolutely sensible. For playback via an external player device, the signal must therefore be changed to PC levels. We were not able to check the DisplayPort connector, but it is very improbable that the behaviour of the model differs here.
NEC has absolutely succeeded in launching its new PA range with the PA241W. The positive aspects shape the picture that the NEC PA241W left us with during the test. Already in the factory settings, it is very neutral and the advantages of the powerful electronics can already be used to their full extent via the extensive OSD. The implementation of a gamma regulator, which allows for sRGB and L* gradation, is pleasing. The colour space emulation has been implemented in a convincing manner and offers true improvement for working in unmanaged environments.
If NEC could be persuaded to offer SpectraView II in Europe as well and include correction matrices for the colorimeters supported, there would be nothing left to be desired. Because of the high level of neutrality and extensive OSD options, however, the user can certainly forego a hardware calibration on the NEC PA241W without great discomfort and carry out a software calibration instead.
Apart from the lack of the A-TW polariser, considerable progress has been made as compared with the already good "90" series. The relevant bright patches visible from an angle are one of the few negative points of the model. This sort list can also have the playback problems apart from 60 Hz material and the slight operational noise added to it. In addition, the PA241W is neither a contrast world champion nor an absolute gaming pro. Both points have no effect on the actual area of application for this monitor.
The price of about 900 Euro is absolutely appropriate for the performance offered. Thus, we can only award the monitor a rating of "very good". We are excited about the 27- and 30-inch models.
Overall rating: VERY GOOD
Technical specification: NEC PA241W
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