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Monivision DM-6552SW - 30" 16:9 Direct View CRT HD-Ready DTV/Monitor

HD-Ready TV and high-performance PC Monitor
monivision.jpg (35843 bytes)

Princeton at it's heyday was an exciting environment buzzing with talk of convergence and anything HDTV.  Enlisting talented and product savvy engineers, Princeton's HDTV division under the direction of Phil Callahan created and marketed the "Best HDTV Monitor" display that won many critical acclaims from Widescreen Magazine, Stereophile's Guide to Home Theater, and even the Robb Report.  The demise of this popular display was a devastating blow to us HTPC zealots as we felt no other display defined convergence like the AF3.0HD. Would another manufacturer ever create a computer friendly high-performance HD-Ready TV?

Fast forward a year, and here we are with the new DM-6552SW 30" from Monivision.  Hmmm, looks awful lot like the AF3.0HD except the case color difference (this set is true black).  Could it be that the similarities run deeper?  Let's just say the the two share similar specs including the very fine image quality which was always the main reason for considering this "All-format" 720p capable display, but the commonality in this instance is only the tube used.

dm6552sw_rear.jpg (24930 bytes)There are many differences in the back of the set.  Unlike the original Princeton, the Monivision does not offer RGBHV (BNC) and various other inputs.  In fact, it technically only has a VGA input unless you choose the Vision Box option, which adds Component, S-Video and couple of composite video connections and an RF tuner.  Unfortunately, the line doubler and the resulting image quality is less than optimal, and there have been some problems reported with this add-on box.  

So, here's my report for the HTPC faithful.  Getting 540p or 720p on this set is a cakewalk, all Digital TVs should be built with these minimal specs.  The on-screen user controls allow for size and phase adjustments in addition to pin cushion, tilt, rotation, and individual color gain and cutoff.  Using PowerStrip to configure 1280x720 and 960x540, the DM-6552SW has no problem with synching, and did so almost perfectly.  I found 540p easier on the eyes with larger icons and font size for Windows, but 1280x720 is looks just as good with video material.

Now the bad points, while 720p yields an image as good as you'd expect, feeding 540p can result in a "wrap around" of the image on the right hand side.  PowerStrip can help resize the image without this effect, unfortunately it is by sacrificing the image size and results in a ever so slight black bar on that side as it could not be eliminated entirely. 

If you think that I like this monitor, you're right.  I'm glad to see Monivision resurrected it from oblivion for us PC enthusiasts.   You can get a nice picture on today's 34" flat screens, but none offers the scan frequency range nor the fine dot pitch of this display, and not certainly in this price range.  Even with the progress in today's market, this 30" CRT is still a winner.

Review by Kei Clark.  Click here to e-mail questions and comments.

Specifications - Product discontinued.




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