The attractive Westinghouse LCM-19v5 has built-in speakers and a digital input--two things we seldom see in a $329 LCD. This 19-inch LCD also offers strong color quality and gaming performance. We wish it were more adjustable, but for the price, we can't complain. If adjustability is key, look to the slightly more expensive
The Westinghouse LCM-19v5 has the crisp lines and the sharp corners of a straight-laced business LCD, as well as a two-tone silver-and-black color scheme and a pleasing design. The base is square and sturdy, and it features two rectangular cutouts (also found on the neck). The thin silver bezel is bordered on the bottom by an inch-thick strip that houses a pair of 2.5-watt speakers and onscreen menu (OSM) navigational buttons. We're disappointed that the LCM-19v5 doesn't offer more flexibility: the screen tilts about 5 degrees forward and 30 back, and the height isn't adjustable--the panel sits just 3 inches above the desktop (an average height)--most people will need a riser. The LCM-19v5, however, is wall mountable, and Westinghouse sells a variety of VESA-compatible wall mounts.
The five buttons on the display's front panel let you adjust brightness, contrast, and RGB color, and there are three backlighting presets: Economy, Text Mode, and Picture Mode. Of the three, we preferred Picture Mode for general use. Unfortunately, the control panel lacks dedicated volume-control buttons; you have to navigate through the OSM to make audio adjustments.
The LCM-19v5 is simple to set up; there are no drivers or software to install. The LCM-19v5 has both analog and digital ports, something we don't usually see in such a low-price LCD, and both cables are included. Connecting the cable heads isn't easy, but once they're installed, you can route the cords through a small clip, eliminating any cable chaos.
The Westinghouse LCM-19v5 delivered a slightly better-than-average performance on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based tests. It had no trouble displaying dark text on a bright white background. On our grayscale test screens, whites and blacks looked OK, but in-between tones showed pinkish tints. Colors looked bright and vivid, with good differentiation between shades except at the darker end of the spectrum.
In spite of its relatively quick 10ms pixel response rate, DVD playback on the LCM-19v5 was average. We saw lots of digital noise, especially in the top third of the screen. Colors looked dark, and skin tones took on an orange cast. The LCM-19v5 performed well on our gaming tests, showing just a hint of jerkiness but otherwise displaying bright, vivid colors. The speakers sound better than most, but they don't go very loud.
The Westinghouse LCM-19v5 is covered by a paltry one-year warranty--two years less than the industry standard. Tech support is available toll-free from Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. If your LCM-19v5 requires repair, you must bring it in yourself or ship it to a service center and prepay the freight. The Westinghouse Web site offers an e-mail link to tech support, a digital version of the user manual, and a good-size list of real-world FAQs about LCDs and wall mounts. For the ecologically minded, there's a link to an electronic-waste disposal firm that charges $7 per LCD or TV.