Asus VH242H 23.6" Widescreen LCD Monitor

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Controls and OSD Usage



The VH242H has six control buttons, which are laid-out alongside the bottom-right edge of the front bezel. These are physical buttons (as opposed to touch-sensitive buttons) that emit a noticeable click with each press. Most of the buttons perform multiple functions depending on which particular menu is being accessed, the primary functions of the six buttons, from left to right, are:

  • "Splendid" mode
  • Volume control
  • Menu control
  • Brightness control
  • Video input selector
  • Power on/off



We found that navigating the on-screen menu system took some getting used to, as it did not feel intuitive. To the right of the power button is an LED power indicator that glows blue when the monitor is on and amber when the monitor is in standby mode.

 
Asus VH242H OSD (On Screen Display)
"Splendid" color
 

   

   

Different types of content can sometimes benefit from different display settings. The VH242H covers many of these content-viewing scenarios with its five "Splendid" preset viewing modes, each optimized for the different viewing scenarios. The Splendid modes can be accessed by cycling through them via the Splendid mode button on the front bezel or through the OSD menu. The included Quick Start Guide is very terse and does not give an explanation of what each mode does. The electronic User Guide, found on the bundled CD, gives very brief descriptions of which viewing scenarios each mode is best suited for. In addition to the default "Standard" mode, the other four preset Splendid viewing modes are:
  • Scenery Mode: This mode is meant to bring out more details from photographs by increasing the brightness.
  • Theater Mode: Designed for watching movies, this mode increases the sharpness and contrast of the image.
  • Game Mode: This mode increases the color saturation so as to make the colors in games more vibrant.
  • Night View Mode: The mode is designed to make dark images more visible, such as dark scenes in games and movies.
We were less than impressed with the viewing enhancements offered for most of the Splendid modes. That said, it is important to note that this can be very subjective--when it comes to viewing images, what appeals to one person may not look good to another. We actually found that the Standard Mode was more than adequate for almost all viewing scenarios. Theater Mode, however, did positively add to the viewing experience when watching movies on the display in a dark room--colors felt more saturated and the blacks appeared even darker. While we felt Game Mode didn't add much to games that took place in bright or outdoor environments, games that had scenes that were indoors and that especially had dark locations benefited from Game Mode by bringing out objects hidden in the shadows. The monitor's Sharpness and Saturation menu options are not available when the monitor is set in Standard Mode--they can only be adjusted when using one of the four optional Splendid modes.

In addition to the Splendid Modes, the display also includes three presets for adjusting how the monitor displays skin tones: Reddish, Natural, and Yellowish. While the Skin Tone presets worked as advertised, we're suspect as to how useful they really are. A user who requires this level of color correction is likely to use a higher-end or professional-grade display that has more granular control over the various color and image settings. We suspect that most users will likely either ignore the Skin Tone settings entirely or play with them for a while and then wind up leaving it set to Natural.

The VH242H also includes specific color temperature settings such as Cool, Normal, and Warm, as well as the ability to make separate adjustments to each of the Red, Blue, and Green (RGB) color settings. The VH242H also includes what Asus calls its ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) technology, which Asus claims "amplifies the [dynamic] contrast ratio up to an astounding 20000:1." When we enabled ASCR we did notice a significant increase in both contrast and brightness. Curiously, ACSR is off by default and it is not automatically enabled by any of the Splendid modes--ACSR must be turned on manually. Many of the VH242H's advanced settings, such as ASCR, Saturation, and Skin Tone, are not available when the monitor is set in Standard Mode.
 
Tags:  Asus, LCD, monitor, Widesceen

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