Hercules Prophetview 920 17inch LCD Monitor Review

The thought of buying an LCD monitor in the past for many probably would have been a dream due to previous year's high asking price. However, recently LCD's have dropped in price as they become more popular and should become more financially viable. Today Shawn "Toxic" Baker takes a look at the Hercules Prophetview 920 17" LCD monitor and runs it through its paces. With RCA port and sex appeal, it certainly stands out from the rest!
Shawn Baker
Published Fri, Aug 15 2003 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:25 PM CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Hercules

Prophetview 920 - Introduction

IntroductionHercules is known to most as the creator of some of the more expensive video cards on the market. Although Hercules is more then often pricier then the competition, a lot of people are able to justify the price difference thanks to their attention to detail and high build quality. The last Hercules product we had a chance to look at was the Radeon 9800 Pro and while as far as performance went it wasn't that much quicker then the competition, it was little things like the LED cooler and the blue PCB that get the attention of people. Not too long ago we saw the release of the 15" Prophetview 720 LCD, and while it looked amazing it was let down by a high price tag and features that could be found on a lot of other standard LCD's for less. Since Hercules is a company that seems to concentrate on the enthusiast market more then anything else, it was time to upgrade their LCD product from the Prophetview 720 and introduce the new Prophetview 920 (DVI).Hercules has chosen to upgrade on those features that we missed out on in the Prophetview 720. Such features as DVI have made its way into the latest model. Let's not wait any longer and see what Hercules has done with their latest LCD - the Prophetview 720.

Prophetview 920 - Specifications

SpecificationsLCD Module with Latest Technology Size (Viewable Diagonal) 17" (43.2 cm) 338 x 270 mm Similar to 19" Tube monitor. Display Type Active Matrix Color TFT LCD screen Recommended Resolution 1280 x 1024 (Perfect for windows applications) Pixel Pitch (H x V) 0.264 x 0.264 mm Display Color 16.7 Millions (True colors) Brightness (Typical) 250 Cd/m² (Very high Brightness) Contrast ratio (Typical) 350: 1 (Very high Contrast) Response time (Tr/Tf) 25 ms (5/20 ms) (Last generation high speed) Viewing Angle (H/V) +150 / 130 Degrees (Ideal for Group Presentation) Cabinet with High comfortColor: Blue Metal (Fashionable Design)Digital Titanium buttonsOn screen Display adjustment (Automatic Controls)Wall mounting & arm mounting Auto Adjustment ScreenImage 720 x 400 (DOS): 70 Hz640 x 480: 60 Hz, 72 Hz, 75 Hz, 85 Hz800 x 600: 60 Hz, 72 Hz, 75 Hz, 85 Hz1024 x 768: 60 Hz, 72 Hz, 75 Hz, 85 Hz1280 x 1024: 60 Hz, 70 Hz, 75 Hz Input signalCompatible with VGA graphics boardVGA RGB Analog 0.7 Vpp / 75 ohm Un-detachable mini Sub-D 1.8m cable PC99 color FrequencyHorizontal Scan - 30-75 KHz Vertical Scan - 50-85 Hz SecurityKey lock Plug: Compatible Notebook plug (Cable not included) StandDesign: Boomerang (Fashion look) Color: Titanium (Fashion color) Stand Backward Tilt: 20 Degrees (large tilt for stand up use) PowerPower Input: AC 90-264 V, 50/60Hz auto-adjusting Worldwide Power adapter: DC +12V Power Consumption: 35 Watts (Very Low power consumption) Power Management: Standby mode: Less than 4 W Many Safeties & RegulationsIEC950, UL1950, CSA, TUV-GSFCC Class B, CE, TCO95 Dimensions435 x 338 x 28 mm (Stand 160 mm in depth) Weight6 kg (Set), 8 kg (box)

Prophetview 920 - Features

Features- The BoxAs far as the box goes, there isn't too much to say, with a picture of the LCD on the front and a list of specifications on the back it has everything you need to know if you were to go into a shop and look at it. On top of the box is a handle so you can easily move it around, as people who LAN may prefer to box the LCD up during transportation to prevent damage.- The PackageBeing an LCD, there isn't a huge amount within the package. You receive the necessary cables to get the monitor up and running, in this case the power and DVI cable, a simple instruction booklet which a lot of people will find that they toss aside and finally a CD with drivers if you feel you need to install them. The only other item within the package is the DVI to VGA adapter, in the event that you don't have a card with a DVI port you can still use the monitor without a problem. Some people may wonder why you would spend the extra money to buy the DVI version when you can save a few dollars and purchase the normal VGA version. If you are going to be buying a card with DVI in the near future you would be better off getting the Prophetview 920 DVI as it is more "future proof" then the non-DVI version.- First GlanceAt first glance the monitor looks amazing, Hercules have really gone all out in style when designing this monitor. The black version looks a lot nicer when compared to the blue version. The monitor is very streamline and looks fantastic. People who run an all black setup are going to absolutely love this monitor. Moving around to the back you see a big metal back plate with "Hercules" printed on it. Underneath the back plate is the connections needed to get the LCD up and running.

Prophetview 920 - Features Continued

Features Continued- ConnectionsThe particular model we are looking at today is the DVI version which helps bring better image quality to the screen as it is a pure digital signal. While the difference won't be noticeable to some people, others are going to find the picture better. Also included in the package is a DVI to VGA adapter. As we stated earlier, if you aren't fortunate enough to own a video card with DVI, you can still make use of the monitor using the normal VGA port.One interesting feature that we picked up when setting up the monitor was the inclusion of an RCA port. This is very handy as you can use the monitor also as a TV with the right device which we will look more into later on. An ideal setup to make use of both connections would be to have the DVI cable plugged into the back of a video card so you can use it as a normal monitor, but then plug a pay TV box into the RCA port located on the back and you now have the ability to watch TV and use it as a normal computer monitor with a touch of a few buttons.- Build QualityThe Prophetview 920 DVI would have to be one of the best looking LCD's on the market - if not the best. While some of the other LCD's on the market, like Samsung, have very small borders or can be folded right down, the look of the Hercules Prophetview 920 is amazing and unbeatable. The buttons used on the Prophetview are colored titanium and gives off a very nice look. Hercules has chosen to go down a path of quality which helps when lifting the price up. Nothing about the monitor feels cheap, from the stand used to the buttons on the right hand side. People who want a monitor that not only looks great but is quite sturdy are going to love the Prophetview.
Looking at the stand you may be worried that it isn't enough to hold the monitor with out it tipping over as only a thin piece of metal holds it between the foot plate and the monitor. The stand actually works out very well and the monitor has absolutely no trouble when being tilted back and forth. Thanks to the boomerang design on the bottom of the stand its one of the best looking LCD's we have seen.
The overall quality of the unit is extremely high and this is going to appeal to a lot of people. Hercules also sells a blue model of the monitor which should be exactly the same except the color of the outside bezel. Little things have been done to improve the Prophetview 920 over its predecessor the Prophetview 720.

Prophetview 920 - Features Continued and Setup

Features Continued- Contrast and BrightnessAs we mentioned in the specifications page, the contrast ratio used is 350:1 and a brightness level of 250cd/m2. While these aren't necessary bad specifications, they are something that you are more likely to find on a cheaper LCD. This particular model would be competing with such units as the 171N from Samsung which uses the same brightness level but a higher contrast ratio of 400:1. We will have a look further into this when we test the monitor later on.- OSDThe On Screen Display (OSD) is quite basic to use and should only take a few moments to get use to. Inside of it you can do everything from Auto Adjustment to selecting what source you want to use, if it be digital, RCA, etc. Navigation of the OSD works by using the buttons on the right hand side of the monitor. One thing people may find they adjust is the brightness and contrast depending on their own personal preference.SetupThe Prophetview 720, the predecessor of the 920, used to use a one piece stand which couldn't be un-done. The stand used on the 920 is placed together with a screw provided with the package. Once you have the stand in place you simply need to plug the cable into the necessary port on your computer. As stated before, depending on what you use, you may have to install the DVI to VGA adapter that comes with the monitor - no dramas there.Setup of most monitors is quite basic and there isn't anything out of the unusual when it comes to this monitor. Installation shouldn't take you more then a few minutes (if that) and the hardest part would be finding a power point for you to put the plug into. If you wanted to, you can unscrew the back plate of the monitor and wall mount it, or mount it to a LCD arm, otherwise most people will choose to go with the trusty boomerang stand.

Prophetview 920 - Testing

Testing- Normal Computer UseAs far as moving around the desktop and surfing the internet, this monitor is perfect. The colors look very nice and you will find that you won't get any eye strain when looking at an LCD for hours on end.Some people may find that they simply want an LCD due to it being more relaxing to look at or the fact that it takes up a lot less room. While the monitor will be slightly pricey for someone who simply wants to use it for desktop use, some people wont mind going out and spending big for the plain fact that it looks fantastic.- GamingThis is where it's going to become quite important for a lot of people. What good is an expensive monitor if it's hopeless in games? Gaming is where we find one of the first flaws in the monitor. Due to the Contrast ratio being lower then others, when you come to a dark scene in game, it can make it harder to see. If you adjust the brightness and contrast too much all you do is simply turn the black into a grey and it starts to look worse and undesirable.As far as gaming use goes, it's not the best but it's far from being the worse, on the same token. It was only in the darker areas that it became harder to see. If you're into first person shooters it's going to be harder to see people hiding in corners. Other game genres like racing are fine and Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed looks fantastic on it. - DVD PlaybackFor the bigger movie watchers out there we thought that it would be best to see how it goes when you place a DVD into that DVD-ROM of ours. We tried two movies - one had a problem, the other didn't.First we tried Bourne Identity, with this movie we ran into the same problems we had when gaming. Due to a lot of dark areas in the movie at times it could become quite black and annoying to watch, again changing the brightness or contrast only results in the picture becoming gray and looking quite poor.When inserting a more colorful DVD, in this case Toy Story 2, you notice how much better the picture looks when comparing it to a normal CRT, as you can see in the picture below.
- TV PlaybackFinally we thought that we better make use of the RCA port. So, we decided to move the monitor out to the living room and plug in into our trusty pay TV box, in our case Foxtel. The particular pay TV we use runs through a cable instead of a satellite, so we get the ability to watch normal Free to Air (FTA) television as well. Moving through a host of channels we don't find any serious problems, MTV, Cartoon Networks, FTA all look great. We do run into the same problem we had with some games and DVDs that when a program that is dominated by darker colors. As far as the setup of running TV through the monitor, it was very easy. Simply plug your RCA cable that carries video into the monitor and change the input device using the OSD. In no time you will find yourself watching normal television on it. One thing worth noting is that we found it better then our normal TV we had out in the living area and the new Prophetview 920 DVI became a more permanent fixture with a Shuttle XPC attached to it - quite the geeky area you can imagine, but we love it!

Prophetview 920 - Conclusion

ConclusionLCD's have come a long way in the past 18 months; it wasn't that long ago the idea of an LCD for a monitor was ridiculous due to their high price tag. Thanks to the mass production of them, these days, prices have really dropped and they are now a lot more affordable for the average person. The Hercules Prophetview 920 DVI is a big improvement over its predecessor, the Prophetview 720, yet it still could do with a few more improvements - mainly an increase in contrast ratio, this will help get rid of some of the darkness we sometimes find in movies and games.If you're in the market for an LCD, we would highly recommend that you don't skimp on the purchase of one; cheaper LCD's are usually only good for desktop use as their specs are usually quite low. As we stated this particular model comes in two flavors: a DVI version priced at around $650 US (around $1,000 AU) and a non-DVI version priced at a more affordable $530 US (around $800 AU). If you look around you should be able to bargain a few dollars off the price but if you have been fortunate enough to own Hercules equipment in the past, you know the kind of quality used throughout their products and you know you will get what you pay for.Overall we have a very nice LCD which flaws are only very small and we find no reason not to give it our editor's choice award!- ProsBest looking LCD on the marketRCA port is very handyAvailable with and without DVIVery high qualityCan be wall mountedPerfect for an office situation- ConsSlightly more expensive then the competitionBit too dark in some placesRating - 9/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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