Apple Cinema HD Display Monitor

According to a recent industry report, Apple’s computer sales have grown to the point where they’re in third place, behind industry giants Dell and HP. Moreover, Apple customers tend to be very loyal ones, preferring an all- Apple system, as opposed to a mix-and-match scenario (for example, choosing a Mac computer and pairing it with another brand of display).


Apple’s Cinema HD series of monitors are just about the best looking desktop displays on the market, with Apple’s excellent industrial design. The 23-inch Cinema HD is, like the other monitors in our roundup, equipped with a full 1920x1200 pixel LCD panel, with an elegant sculpted aluminum tilt stand and a svelte panel enclosure made possible by having an external power supply that is itself styled to Apple’s high standards.

Those looking for a full-featured monitor will need to look elsewhere, as the minimalist design provides but one DVI input and no other input connections. That and adjustable backlighting are the monitor’s two main features. Our evaluation of the Apple is somewhat abbreviated compared to the other monitors in our roundup, as the Cinema HD absolutely refused to work with the Samsung Blu-ray player, our source for 1080p HD content. HDMI digital video signals are the same as for DVI, and HDMIDVI adapter plugs and cables are easily available, which I tried here, but nope—no go. The Samsung Bluray player had no problem working with other monitors’ DVI inputs, but not with the Apple. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed that the Cinema HD works only with computer sources, so I disconnected my regular 22-inch Samsung monitor and drove the Apple from my dual core HP PC, using test DVDs and movie discs.

FEATURES

• Tilt adjustable stand

• DVI input

USER INTERFACE

There isn’t any. Just a power on/off button on the lower right side panel, along with up and down backlighting adjustments. No on-screen menu.

RECOMMENDED PICTURE SETTINGS

With no picture adjustments at all in the Cinema HD, any picture tweaking will have to be done via the computer’s video card software or by using a dedicated calibration software/sensor set such as DataColor’s Spyder. Fortunately, the Cinema HD measured very well on the test bench, with very accurate colorimetry, and the gray scale (white point) came reasonably close to the most neutral color temperature ideal.

Ambient Light Tolerance: The Apple puts out a healthy 90 foot-Lamberts of light at the highest backlighting setting, more than enough to handle a brightly lit environment, and it can be dialed down to one third of that for evening viewing in a darkened room.

Viewing Angle:
Very good, both horizontally as well as vertically, with the Apple easily besting the other monitors under review.

Conclusion

I’m still mystified as to why the Apple refused to work with our reference Blu-ray player, but as a computer monitor, the Cinema HD excels. The accurate colorimetry assures natural color tones, important for critical video, photo and movie editing as well as with desktop publishing applications.

The Cinema HD certainly doesn’t come cheaply either, with a price that’s nearly twice that of some other monitors in our roundup, but I suspect most Apple customers will pay up anyway, in order to have their computer system be all-Apple, stem to stern

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