The Philips 180MT is a wonderfully stylish monitor and TV, and would be a great addition to any home office or dorm room. While the ghosting was too intense for gaming and high speed action, this multifunctional device fits the bill for an all purpose, casual use system.
The Philips 180MT is a combination TV and LCD monitor, with VGA, audio (RCA and stereo plug), S-video, and TV with Teletext compatibility inputs. There are headphone and stereo-out on the side of the unit for quick access, and it sports built in stereo speakers. It also features PIP (Picture-In-Picture) between all inputs. The max resolution is 1280×1024, .28mm dot pitch, and <30ms response time. No DVI input, though. Included is a remote and all necessary cables.
Design and Technica
Our first impression when we took the Philips 180MT out of the box was simply, “Sweet!” Hands down, this is the nicest looking LCD monitor or TV we have ever seen. The grill covering the speakers has a dispersed shotgun type pattern, and the whole panel portion and base feet have a silver textured paint coating. One minor design improvement we would have liked to see is the addition of a swivel base. The monitor can be tilted up and down, but that is the extent of the adjustments. The buttons are chrome finished, with the power button having a green LED backlight that shines through the power symbol.
As a TV, the Philips 180MT functions excellentl. With the built in tuner and A/V inputs, you can connect game consoles, a direct TV antenna/cable line, and your computer. Viewing an input is simple via remote or the control buttons on the monitor, and allows you to watch TV while surfing, or play a console game. With the tap of a button you can switch back to a view from the computer, so you can check your tips and walkthroughs.
The included remote is of the no frill variety. It includes all the standard TV buttons plus access to PIP and adjustments, and had slightly better than average range. The remote, also painted with the same silver finish, is very straightforward. Most of the functions have to be accessed from the remote, besides the general screen controls.
The wires plug upwards into the middle of the back, which makes us wonder if they might come loose easily. But, this didn’t happen once over the two months we had it here. The remote, also painted with the same silver finish, is very straightforward. Most of the functions have to be accessed from the remote, besides the general screen controls. The screen controls are what you would expect. The auto setup feature when used to the VGA input worked perfectly.
Performance and Testing
Most games experienced significant ghosting, which disappointed us, but even top of the line LCD displays with 20ms response times will still seem slightly blurred. On the 180MT, games were playable, but precision was greatly affected. Likewise, fast action sequences on TV appeared a little blurred, which wasn’t as much of an issue. With games, the ghosting problem makes targeting difficult because you actively are controlling what appears on the monitor. With passive watching, ghosting isn’t as much of a problem, since it appears more like motion blurring effects.
Despite intensive control fiddling, we were unable to get correctly balanced color. For some unknown reason, browns, purples, and reds would appear more purple (yes, we know it is not a primary color). This problem was not pronounced enough that we would have returned the unit if we bought it, but it is worth noting for anyone considering high end image editing. Don’t worry; the family photos will look fine.
This is a beautiful general purpose monitor. While hardcore gamers will scoff at the ghosting, office users will not notice any problems. We highly recommend the Philips 180MT for the following situations: casual use family computers, non-gamer college dorm systems, internet cafÃ©/library computers, customer use systems in retail locations, and secondary home computers (such as kitchen, guest room, and living room tabletop). Essentially, any place where aesthetics matter, and you don’t want to compromise looks for features.