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BroMagic 17inch DVI LCD Monitor Review

About three years ago we all would have loved to be an owner of a brand new LCD monitor but with retail prices the way they were it was just not viable. Now LCDs are becoming somewhat mainstream, prices have dropped and are becoming an option for most. Today Shawn "Toxic" Baker takes a look at a new competitor in the value section of the LCD market in BroMagic with their 17" DVI-enabled monitor. Does cheap necessarily mean poor quality? Not always!
@ShawnBakerTW
Shawn Baker
Published Fri, Oct 3 2003 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:25 PM CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: BroMagic

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Introduction

IntroductionIt's not a hard task to find someone who is interested in an LCD. While LCDs have dropped in price, the general thought is that they are still too expensive to be a viable option for most. The most affordable LCD is a 15" model and while it has almost the same screen size as a 17" CRT monitor, you're very limited by a low resolution of 1024 X 768 which severely kills your desktop working area.BroMagic are quite a new company to Australia and recently released a line of LCDs for the budget user in mind out of their factory in Taiwan. Three models are currently available, 15" VGA, 17" VGA and the one we are looking at today - the 17" DVI model. The choice of LCDs to choose from these days is huge. First you have to decide what size: most people are going to be choosing between a 15" LCD or a 17" if they can stretch their budget that little bit further. With so many brands on the market and prices differing a lot, it's not always a case of you get what you pay for, like they say. Just because you pay a few hundred more for a particular brand, it doesn't mean that it's a better monitor. DVI is a term that you may have heard come up and it's simply a cable that provides a digital signal compared to an analogue one with regular VGA. A question that pops up a lot is, "Will I notice the difference between VGA and DVI cable?" The best way to answer this is, "Can you tell the difference between a movie being played in VCR format and a movie being played in DVD format?" Some people can spot the difference straight away, while others will not notice any difference at all; the same can be said for a DVI monitor and a normal 15 pin VGA monitor, just to a slightly lesser extent.So let's see what the BroMagic company can bring to the table as far as LCDs go.

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Specifications

Specifications- Main Features- 1280 x 1024/SXGA- Low Radiation- Low Power Consumption- On Screen Display Control- Superb Adjustable View Angle - Product Details- LCD Display - Display Type 17" active matrix TFT LCD panel - Pixel pitch 0.264(H)×0.264(V) mm - Display Area (H×W) 337.92(H)×270.34(W) mm - Contrast Ratio 400:1 - Viewing Angle L/R +80° ~ -80° - U/D +80° ~ -80° - Interface LVDS(5V) - Resolution: 1280 X 1024 - Operation Features- H Frequency input Range 30KHZ-80KHZ - V Frequency input Range 50HZ-75HZ - Video Frequency 135MHz - Display Colors 16,777M - Resolution SXGA 1280×1024 @ 75Hz - Brightness 250 cd/m^2 - Response Time Tr/Tf=15/20 ms - Operation conditions - Humidity: 20% ~ 80% - Temperature: 0°C ~ 45°C - Storage Conditions - Humidity: 20% ~ 80% - Temperature -20°C ~ 60°C - Input Connector- Analog: 15-pin-D-SUB - Digital: DVI - Multimedia: (Option) - Video AV1-RCA Jack- S-Video Jack - Audio Line in - stereo - R/L Channel - RCA Jack - Ear phone jack - Line out - Micro phone jack - USB (Option)1× up stream4× down stream - Touch Screen (Option)- Capacitive/Resistive type RS232 Connector. - TV Tunner/Remote Control (Option)- Light Senser NTSC / PAL / SECAM- Phono Jack or IEC Connect. - WinNet /Wireless Keyboard(RF)- Wireless mouse(RF)/Camcorder TBD - Users ControlFront Panel Controls- Auto Adjust, Menu, up, down, Select+, Select-, ESC & Volume OSD Controls - Brightness, Contrast, Auto adjust, Phase Clock, H. Position, V. Position, Sharpness Color Temperature, Language, OSD H/V Position, Video select, Recall. - Physical SpecificationDimension (H×W×D) - 448(H)×433(W)×200(D) Typ. mm Net Weight 6.5KG - PowerPower Saving - VESA DPMS Standard Power Consumption - 35W (Typ) - RegulationSafety & EMI - UL, CSE, TUU/GS, CE, VCCI, FCC (DOC)

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Features

Features- The Box and its ContentAs far as first glances of the box go, you don't find anything too exciting. It's in a cardboard box which states the size of the LCD and some of the key features. The main reason for such a bland box is to help keep prices down. BroMagic could have easily made some colorful box with lots of pictures but this would have raised the price of the monitor overall, and at the end of the day most people will probably find themselves throwing the box away anyway.When opening up the box you see the LCD with a little bag packed down one side. When pulling the bag out you see the power cable, VGA cable and audio cable. Unfortunately this LCD didn't come with a DVI cable which was a bit of a disappointment; fortunately the next shipment will come with the DVI cable and not the VGA one, which we discovered after asking the company. The DVI connection used is DVI-D. DVI-D only carries a digital signal, some LCDs use another form of DVI which carries both digital and analogue signals but due to the fact that the BroMagic LCD has a separate port for analogue, the DVI connection used here is DVI-D.The manual gives you the basic run down. Within the bag is the audio cable which can be used to plug into your sound card which gives you the ability to make use of the speakers found on the front of the LCD.- First GlanceWhen pulling the LCD out of the box you find that it is slightly thicker then some of the other LCDs on the market but quickly find that the main reason for this is due to the AC power being built into the monitor instead of it being external.Being internal has it pros and cons. As far as pros go, you don't have to worry about carting a separate transformer around with you, unfortunately the LCD becomes slightly bulkier then others and you also receive a small increase in weight. While the actual panel may be thicker then some others, it doesn't take up any more desk space then other models. The only time you would notice it being thicker is if you choose to wall mount it.

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Features Continued

Features Continued- ConnectionsAs we have stated already, the particular model we are looking at is the DVI version which helps bring a digital image to the screen which results in a much clearer and pleasant image due to less signal noise. Some people are going to find themselves not spending the extra money for the DVI model as its costs a little bit more and would simply prefer to go for the normal VGA model.On the other side, others will go with the DVI version because it does look better or simply because it's more "future proof" - and in all honesty, digital is the way to go these days.
One feature we loved about the Hercules LCD which we looked at a while ago, that we don't see on a lot of LCDs, is the inclusion of an RCA port. This helps give the user more options to not only use the LCD as a computer monitor but also as a TV. The particular monitor from BroMagic takes the experience even further with RCA inputs for sound, so you could utilize the two small speakers on the monitor as well as an S-Video connector which wasn't on the Hercules LCD.
Like a lot of the top model Samsung monitors, the LCD also has separate analogue and digital inputs. This means if you wanted to, you could have two computers and run one via DVI and the other via normal VGA and easily switch between them. Plug in your pay TV box or game console and you have a full multi purpose LCD monitor which has a load of uses. Navigating between inputs is made a lot easier thanks to only having to push the button labeled auto - splendid!- Build QualityYou can tell the difference between a cheaper LCD and a more expensive unit by the feel of it. This particular LCD doesn't feel as nice as the Hercules we looked at not to long ago. Looking at the BroMagic LCD, you notice that the borders aren't too bad, while they aren't as thin as the ones seen on the 191T from Samsung, they are slightly thinner then the ones found on the Hercules ProphetView 920. Moving to the bottom of the LCD, you see the buttons which do exactly what they are suppose to do. The On Screen Display (OSD) is quite easy to use and should only take a moment to figure out; you will soon find yourself jumping around the menu to find the optimum settings for yourself, just like I did.
Moving right down to the very bottom you notice the big black plastic stand. The stand is very strong and not only gives you the ability to tilt the monitor up and down but to also twist it from side to side. Movement is very easy and the stand feels very sturdy.
The overall build quality is very good for the price but it has that cheaper plastic feel that would be naturally expected from a monitor in this price range.

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Features Continued Again and Setup

Features Continued Again- Contrast and BrightnessThe brightness and contrast ratio are very similar to the Hercules ProphetView 920. While the 920 was a very good monitor, it was dark in particular areas which would cause a problem for some people, like in particularly dark games, for example.Instead of the 350:1 contrast ratio offered by the ProphetView 920, here we see a higher 400:1 contrast ratio which should help in the darker areas. We will see just how much of a difference this has on the overall image brightness.
- OSDThe OSD is very basic and shouldn't be a problem for anyone to master. With everything labeled appropriately, you shouldn't have any trouble getting to where you want to. Navigating up and down is done with the + and - buttons and once you are in the section you want, you can easily increase or decrease brightness, contrast etc with the same buttons with ease.If you want to switch between the different video modes all you have to do is press the auto button - this is a lot easier then the ProphetView 920 as you had to go through the menu to do a simply task like change from the RCA port to the DVI port or vice versa, which took up valuable time.SetupSetting up an LCD is far from a hard task. This unit is fully attached and simply needs to be pulled from the box and placed on the desk. If your video card doesn't support DVI, you will have to purchase a separate VGA cable. While this model did have one included, future models will not and instead have the better DVI-D cable. VGA cables are very cheap and you shouldn't have a problem finding one at any local computer shop.
At the rear of the monitor everything is labeled so it's just a matter of plugging the audio cable into the back of the monitor then into your sound card to start making use of the speakers and the power cable provided into the back of the monitor then down to your local power source.If you're interested in making use of some of the other options, like the RCA ports or the S-Video port, just plug the cables into the nominated area. Once that is done, press the auto button to switch between the different video inputs. As stated previously with all these inputs you could hook multiple PCs into it as well as an XBOX or something similar.

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Testing

Testing- Normal Computer UseAs far as normal computer use goes with this monitor, it is excellent. When doing a direct comparison with the non-DVI model, you really see how much brighter and vivid the colors are. With the aggressive pricing the BroMagic LCD features, this monitor is perfect for an office situation. Navigating across the desktop is done with great ease and with a maximum resolution of 1280 X 1024 there shouldn't be any problems with desktop space.- GamingWhen it comes to cheap LCDs, a lot of people don't expect a lot when it comes to gaming. Having the chance to test the DVI model and the non DVI model, it gives you a better view of the benefits DVI offers.It was time to load up our favorite game, Vietcong. Vietcong is a first person shooter based in the Vietnam War days. First Persons Shooters bring out the worst in monitors, due to the fast paced shooting and dark areas; it really shows the flaws in an LCD quite effectively. Gaming was quite good on the BroMagic LCD, while we did have to adjust the brightness and contrast slightly to get the best out of the monitor it played quite well. There was a slight amount of ghosting but when compared to the non-DVI model, it played overall a lot better. The BroMagic LCD isn't the Ultimate Gaming LCD monitor, but it's going to be just fine for a lot of people. For someone who works from home and is a casual gamer, it will be just fine, while not breaking the bank. - Movie PlaybackThe best way to test how the monitor looks when it comes to movie is by running a movie that is dominated by a lot of darkness and on the other side of the scale you want to run something that has lots of bright colors. For these reasons, most of the time a movie like Toy Story is best, since it is animated, there is no flaws in the picture.Loading up Finding Nemo (Pixar's latest animated movie) brings the monitor straight to life and we get to see all the vivid colors come to life. When it comes to watching something that gets quite dark, we ran into similar problems we had with the Hercules LCD. Fortunately because the higher contrast ratio, it wasn't as bad and it did play slightly better. The higher contrast ratio does make quite a big difference not only here but also in games.

BroMagic 17" DVI LCD - Conclusion

ConclusionThe value end LCD market is becoming bigger and bigger. In the past a cheap 15" LCD was about the same price as a good quality 19" CRT. When it came to the option between a 15" LCD or a 19" CRT, the decision for most people was to go for the larger CRT monitor. In 18 months, LCDs are selling like crazy and now it's not uncommon to see pre-built systems with 15" or 17" LCDs as their prices become competitive to CRT.BroMagic LCDs are one of the cheapest on the market and the majority of the time the average user would think of the old saying, "You get what you pay for". Fortunately this isn't the case with the BroMagic 17" DVI LCD and we see a quality product come to the market at a cheap price. As far as paper specifications go, it is very similar to the Hercules ProphetView 920 DVI which we thought was a very high quality monitor. The ProphetView was plagued by a high price but is still the best looking LCD on the market as far as appearances go. BroMagic have a monitor that is aimed for offices but doesn't do too bad a job for the casual gamer at home. Overall we have a monitor that is probably the cheapest in the market over here in Australia and carries the specs of some of the more expensive, higher end alternatives.- ProsExcellent value for moneyCasual gamers could do a lot worse Very sturdy standRCA Ports for sound and videoS Video portSeparate DVI and analogue VGA connectorsPerfect for office due to the price/performanceWall mountable- ConsCan be dark in some placesDidn't come with a DVI-D cable (Next shipment will come with DVI-D cable)
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's Best Value 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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
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