As a shift worker I find myself with alot of time off when everyone else is busy working...so I do what a large proportion of people do now and stick the Xbox on. Yes it's not particularly productive, but it beats daytime TV and after a night shift I can't be bothered to do much else lol.
So this product was primarily bought for use with my Xbox 360, which is situated on the computer desk in my front room...therefore there was never an intention to use it as the main TV and I'm very glad about that and you'll hear why very shortly.
For now though let's go through my experiences with it.
My first impression...it's gorgeous to look at!!! A strange comment about an electrical item I know, but the design and finish are absolutely fantastic. There are no physical buttons, they are touch sensitive and backlit which is aesthetically pleasing and enhances the feeling of a sleek, quality product. You can also adjust the brightness of the backlit touch sensitive buttons which is a nice touch. Don't worry about the touch sensitive buttons though, if they're not for you then the perfectly laid out remote control allows you to make any changes you need.
Set up was very easy and the menus on screen are laid out very well. By default the installation sets it up as a TV and begins installing channels, which brings me onto the point of 'what is it?'.
I've seen this listed as a TV, a monitor and a TV monitor...it seems as though Samsung and the retailers aren't quite sure themselves. Looking at the three main things that might help us decide, only one really tells me the real answer.
Size: It's a 24" screen which by the standards today would make for a very small TV, but perfectly suitable for a bedroom.
Tuner: The inbuilt freeview tuner suggests it's a TV first, monitor second. I live in Coventry and the freeview signal prior to switchover was very poor, but I managed to get all the channels with good signal on the first automatic installation which was very impressive.
Sound quality: Ok ok, it's definitely a monitor! The sound isn't very good from the inbuilt speakers. Despite trying all the settings I found it still lacked any depth and bass, which was a shame, but for a monitor you'd actually say it's not too bad at all.
I mentioned earlier I bought this primarily for my Xbox and I do not regret it one bit. I do also hook it up to my laptop when watching the football. It's perfect for use as a monitor, particularly a gaming monitor. Once set up properly the picture is perfectly sharp, full HD 1080p, with absolutely no ghosting on fast moving images and the colours are spot on! I've owned many monitors from companies like eMachines, Acer and LG, but I've never seen a monitor that provides such a fantastic picture, with the added bonus of doubling as a TV for occasional use.
In terms of inputs, it's a fairly decent setup, although I personally feel it could have done with at least one extra HDMI port as it only has one. The inputs are as follows:
Digital Audio Output
HDMI x 1
SCART x 1
There are a few issues I've noticed with this monitor which are the reason I only gave it 4 stars, but don't let these put you off what is otherwise a fantastic monitor / TV erm...monitor, it's definitely a monitor, that let's you watch TV...whatever, the 'cons' are listed below:
Sound quality: Already mentioned but at the end of the day, hook it up to some speakers and you'll be laughing! I actually use a Turtle Beach headset for my Xbox so the sound isn't an issue for me.
Inputs: Again, already mentioned but only having 1 HDMI port isn't really sufficient nowadays, however, you can buy HDMI to DVI converters, so that can act as a fix if you have a second device you want to connect by HDMI. There is a newer version of this TV, the B2430HD and that does have two HDMI ports.
Power cord: There is an issue with the power cord in that it sticks out a couple of inches from the back, as such it drops under the weight of the cable and now sits quite loose, leading to it falling out on a handful of occasions (very frustrating). To get around it I have wedged it in with some folded card and it's been fine since. Not ideals, but it works.
Stand: Unfortunately the stand it comes with seems to have an issue with the tilt feature. It can be tilted, but I personally don't think it's worth the hassle. If you do get one and want to tilt the screen, Samsung suggested people follow these steps:
1-Lay the monitor face down (on a soft platform)
2-Disconnect the base from the monitor (by taking out the screws on the bottom of the base.
3-Slowly try to tilt the monitor/neck vertically in opposite directions.
I did this once thinking it might free it up a bit, but it didn't, meaning to tilt it again you need to repeat this process. It might loosen over time, but as stated before for me personally, it's not worth the messing around.
In a nutshell then, this product is by no means perfect, but if you want a great quality monitor or a decent small TV for a bedroom then this is a good choice. I got mine for under £150. Samsung have since replaced this model with the B2430HD, so there are some excellent deals to be had.
Thanks for reading!