Why more manufacturers don't put TV tuners in computer monitors, we have no idea. The two should go together like love and marriage, but more often than not, they're as disparate as chalk and cheese.
The 22-inch LG Flatron M228WD aims to corner both the TV and computer display markets. It's part high-res PC display, part HD Ready television, but it's all desirable. Could this be the holy grail of displays, or a jack of all trades, master of none? One thing's for sure -- you can buy it now from all good stockists for a quite reasonable £190.
The LG Flatron M228WD certainly looks the part, but it's not just a pretty face. It comes with both analogue and digital TV tuners, so you can enjoy ordinary terrestrial stations as well as over 30 digital TV and radio channels. It operates just like an ordinary television. Just hit the source button to switch from PC to analogue or digital TV mode, tune the stations, then kick back and enjoy. Unless it's Jeremy Kyle you're watching, in which case you may want a sick bag.
When you're sick of telly, you can flick the source button and go back to PC mode. The M228WD has a native resolution of 1,920x1,200 pixels, which is pretty good for a display of this size. It runs slightly above 1080p -- so it's more than HD Ready.
Image quality in PC mode is very good. It never once comes across as a television trying -- and failing -- to be a computer monitor. LG quotes a contrast ratio of 2,000:1, which is high for a computer display. It's not as impressive as the 5,000:1 ratio on the, but in practice it was very impressive. Likewise, colour reproduction was good. It's not the sort of screen to rely on if you're a serious image editor, but it's fine for most purposes.
The M228WD comes with a variety of input options round the back including HDMI, D-Sub, Scart, component and RF, so there are plenty of ways to hook it up to your existing devices. It'll work fine with a games console, DVD player or a VHS recorder if you want to get properly old-school.
While the M228WD is a great monitor, it's not a great TV. The picture quality is average at best, particularly in digital mode. Compression artefacts are numerous, meaning the picture can look dirty and pixellated, especially on channels that broadcast at a low bit rate.
Light bleed is also a problem with the M228WD. This manifests itself by making patches of the top and bottom of the monitor significantly brighter than the centre. It's not the end of the world, but if you're watching a night scene, the top and bottom of the display will always be out of sync with the rest of the monitor. The fact the monitor has a relatively high contrast ratio only exacerbates the problem.
Other less significant negatives include the rather basic stand. It can't be adjusted very much, so there's no possibility of pivoting, swivelling or height adjustment. Your only option is to tilt it backwards and forwards, which may upset some people. The upside is that the lack of flexibility means the monitor is relatively cheap.
The M228WD is a good monitor and a very average TV. It isn't perfect, but if TV image quality isn't your priority there's no reason not to make a purchase. Given the fact you can pick one up online for relatively little cash, we'd recommend you dive right in.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide