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CTX 1792UA

 

STANDFIRST

Built in an alley but welcome on any desktop, the CTX 1792UA is screen gem

 

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Chuntex Electronics -- CTX to its friends -- must have one of the least prestigious addresses of any consumer electronics manufacturer. It's hard to imagine anything other than overflowing dustbins coming out of somewhere called Alley number 6, Lane 235, Pao Chiao Road, Taipei. The 1792UA 17-inch monitor shows how wrong you can be

 

It is based on a Sony Trinitron tube, a fact CTX curiously fail to mention on the box or in the instructions. The dark and unusually flat faceplate is a dead give-away but we whipped off the lid just to make sure. Whilst inside we gave the circuitry and components a quick once-over. The standard of construction is generally good though the wiring is a bit of a rats-nest; any service engineer having to deal with a faulty one has our sympathy. But we digress. The main points of interest are full auto scan between 30 and 70kHz (horizontal) and 50 to 160Hz (vertical), most graphics standards and resolutions between 640 x 480 and 1600 x 1200 so it will happily operate with pretty well all PCs and Macs.

 

Although the 1792UA supports all VESA DPMS power management protocols the environmentally aware might like to note that it never quite manages to achieve zero power consumption whilst it is connected to a PC. In the 'off' mode it still manages to use 6 watts, this rises to 10 watts in standby and up to 120 watts when showing a bright, busy image.

 

The cosmetics are fairly plain and understated, which is no bad thing, you're supposed to be looking at the screen, after all. All of the front panel controls are arranged in a neat row, with the on/off power switch on the far right. From left to right they are: picture, colour and status menu calls, plus/minus and up/down menu selectors, (which also double up as brightness and contrast controls), plus two buttons for input select and manual degauss. Around the back there's a standard 15-pin D-sub monitor socket and a set of BNC sockets. The latter is for a Mac cable, or it could be connected to a second PC and switched using the front panel selector. A clip-on tilt/swivel stand, PC video cable and power lead is included.

 

At switch-on there's further confirmation of the picture tube's origins. The characteristic shadows cast by the two aperture grille support wires, across the top and bottom thirds of the screen, are immediately obvious. Trintron aficionados are untroubled by the shadows but some find them distracting. It's fair to say that they are virtually invisible on moving video, but they do show up quite clearly on a static white desktop. If you've never used a largish Trinitron screen it's worth seeing one in action, before you decide. The multi-lingual menu-driven on-screen displays are crisp and easy to read they can also be moved to any position on the screen, which is a neat touch. In addition to all of the usual picture and picture geometry controls there are four user pre-settable colour settings, and convergence adjustment. The latter is unusual, normally this is left to service engineers as it can be a swine to get right, without specialist test patterns, and a lot of practice.

 

PERFORMANCE

After a 30-minute warm-up the 1792UA was subjected to our usual test routines, which includes two monitor checking programs (Ntest and CheckScreen), plus some moving video and a selection of Windows desktops, across as may resolution settings as we can muster. The geometry and picture settings needed only a few slight tweaks to get a near perfect result. At all settings colour purity was on the nail with no visible defects, focus is pin-sharp across the whole screen area and the power supply sailed through our stability tests. All good stuff, but the icing on the cake is resolution, the fine dot-pitch produces a crisp, highly detailed image and that combined with the wider than normal contrast range of the Trinitron tube gives a picture that appears to have added depth and sharpness.

 

SUMMARY

A 17-inch screen is about as small as you want to go for serious desktop video and graphics applications but if that's your limit then the CTX 1792US is definitely worth including on your shortlist. The price and specification are fairly run of the mill but picture quality is outstanding.

 

How Much?                   386 (inc. VAT)

Tube size                      17-inch Trinitron

Visible display area      300 x 225mm

Aperture grille pitch     0.25mm

Max Resolution            1600 x 1200 pixels

Max refresh rate            auto scan to 160Hz

Dimensions                   418 x 430 x 446mm

Weight              21.3kg

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       8

Performance                  10

Ease of use                   8

Value for money            8

 

Overall Rating  88%

 

CTX Europe (01923) 810800, www.ctxeurope.demon.co.uk

 

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R. Maybury 1998 2008

 

 

 


 

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