Phillips BDM4065UC, Mini review.

About two months ago I bought a great monitor
BDM4065UC_75-RTP-global-001

 

And I do mean great in more than one sense!

The short conclusion is that I can warmly recommend it.

It is a 40″ QFHD (aka UHD) 3840 x 2160 display, a little misleading often also called 4K.

Update 2017-05-22, Philips have replaced the VA BDM4065UC (39.56″ sold as 40″) with a slightly curved  (r=3m) VA variant BDM4037UW (39.7″ sold as 40″) and a 7½% larger (42.51″ sold as 43″) IPS variant BDM4350UC. that offers much better viewing angles, but less deep black (IPS versus VA trade off). I updated with the IPS, see mini-review here.

At first when I put it on the desktop it seemed HUGE replacing my 27″ 1920×1200 display, but after a few days to a week, it was another story.

For a more lengthy review with a lot of technical info I will recommend this review from TFT Central.

The only real complaints they got is the lack of an adjustable stand (But standard 20×20 Vesa mount, so should not be hard to find) and that they observe flickering light when dampened. I do not know if something have been fixed on the model since then, but I do not see this at all!

I’m usually quite picky on flickering, and I use the monitor at 10/100 brightness settings, not to be ‘blown out of the room’, but haven’t been able to see it in any normal circumstance.
If I turn off other light sources, and move a thin metal object quickly, I can see it though. I tried holding a screwdriver in the handle, and twisted my wrist quickly. (aka “pencil test” with a pencil…)
The flickering is at 240Hz so four to five times faster than the usual flickering you see from e.g. cheap LED bulbs or fluorescent light due to the frequency of the mains.

The manual is blabbering about the importance of screen savers or the like to avoid burn ins. Maybe that is an issue when used as an advertising stand with full brightness. For desktop usage I have not been able to see even the slightest touch of this, even if a window have been at a fixed position for 20 hours, and I look carefully in a dark room just after closing or moving the window….

Important for DP usage: As default the monitor is set at DP1.1, you need to go into the OSD, Setup, DisplayPort, And change it to 1.2, to be able to use it in 2160p@60Hz (dp1.1 only allows @30Hz). Of course this requires that your graphics card (and cable) supports dp1.2.

To me the lack of adjustments is only an initial issue, as I have my monitor in a position so it is suitable both sitting and standing (elevation table)

I have it placed ‘logically above’ my laptop, so I bought a 5 x 10 cm planed wooden beam (Could not buy less than 2m) for £3, and cut two 25cm pieces to elevate the sides of the stand. This have the nice side effect of leaving an open space between the blocks, on the elevating table. And allows for the speakers at the sides under the screen

BDM4065UC_Win8

By this arrangement I logically got the pixels of 5 full HD screens to work with.

With my arrangement it is usually about 75cm from my eyes, so it fills an angle of +/- 30° to the sides, which is comfortable within a pair of glasses without the need of turning my head.

I recommend to turn off windows magnification of things, as it produces woolly blurry images, that just gives you eye strain and a headache if you use it for an extended period…
Some newer apps handle the magnification correctly, but most (still) does not, and thus rely on the system stretching it, resulting in woolly edges on EVERYTHING in the app…

The display area is 878mm x 486mm or 1004mm in diagonal, which is actually a bit odd as this with 16:9 resolution means that each pixel is 0.2286mm x 0.2250mm or 1.6% wider than tall or said otherwise has an aspect ratio of 1.016:1. I would never have noticed it had I not started calculating a little while ago…

Here you can see an example of the subpixel arrangement from this thread, by my Ricoh CX5

BDM4065UC Macro crop

Looking carefully at this image (and what it is a crop off), it is quite clear that the red LEDs are at the deepest level, then a layer with the green LEDs, and the blue at the top. This is quite normal, though it to many is a surprise.

 

Usage

It is really great with the ability to have a FullHD movie playing alongside a large Remote desktop, a browser with a bunch of tabs, and still plenty of room for other apps….

If you are doing something concentrated, it might be more comfortable to move it along the centre line, but that still leaves plenty of room above/below and to the sides.

Lync was on my previous 1920×1200 + FHD a tedious business, especially if someone wanted to present a FullHD screen duing the meeting. This is now 100% painless, with room for the presentation, the videos, and any messaging. And you still got plenty of room for additional stuff…

To get an idea of how large this is in real usage, see this example with a screen-dump of a google image search, FF maximized, completely normal readable fonts:

BDM4065UC_Google_Image_Ex

I won’t recommend normally using the browser in full screen though, as most pages poorly supports even FullHD, and thus even less the Quad of that!!
Most web designers/developers seems to still live in the VGA world…. Here is an example from GSMArena, and they are no better or worse than most…

BDM4065UC_Example_GSMarena

But for handling documents, images and coding it is great. Though I mostly use it with several about FHD sized windows

….And off course watching 4K films is nice, if you got the bandwidth needed.

 

Silly detail

On the front, right next to the P in Phillips is an always on VERY bright LED!! It is funny that they have actually turned it off in the above advertising picture/rendering (or edited it away?), since there is NO way of doing it in the OSD settings – And trust me I looked for it…. So I cut a tiny black sticker dampening it by something like 95%, and: Problem solved!