Philips Brilliance BDM4037UW review: A 40-inch, curved 4K UHD ultrawide display

philips-brilliance-40-curved-header.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    7.5 Very good
  • $961.75

Pros

  • Multiview 2-way/4-way PbP, or PiP
  • 5 inputs (2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 1x VGA)
  • Flicker-Free brightness modulation
  • 10-bit colour with 12-bit internal processing
  • MHL support for connection of portable devices
  • Integrated 4-way USB 3.0 hub
  • Built-in power supply
  • 'A' energy rating (EnergyStar 7.0)

Cons

  • All connectors extend at right angles to the back of the casing
  • Tilt is the only pedestal adjustment (-5/10 degrees)
  • VA rather than IPS panel

The Philips Brilliance BDM4037UW is the new top-end product in Philips's range of office displays. With a 40-inch (101.6cm) diagonal, curved (3-metre radius), 16:9 aspect ratio, A-MVA 3 LCD panel, the BDM4037UW has a native resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels at 60Hz. It has a White LED backlight and a 4ms (GtG, or grey to grey) response time. The specified 10-bit colour depth is actually 8-bit with dithering.

Picture in Picture (PiP) and Picture by Picture (PbP) modes

With two video signal sources plugged in, one of those sources can be allocated a variable size PiP picture window within the display, or the two sources can be displayed side by side in PbP. With four sources, the display can be divided into four areas of equal size. The menu for these modes is accessed by clicking 'up' on the rear-mounted joystick for a selection of PiP, PbP two-window, or PbP four-window. Control over these picture modes is also available via right-clicking for the main OSD menu and selecting PIP/PBP.

philips-brilliance-40-curved-main.jpg

The Philips BDM4037UW mounted on its tilt-only pedestal.

Image: Philips

Styling

Rather than the usual black, the design palette for the Philips BDM4037UW is a subtle glossy warm-white/grey-white two-tone on the back, combined with matte silver on the bezel and pedestal. Detailing is kept to a minimum: the only status indicator is the small white LED at the right bottom corner of the display, and the only user control is the small joystick on the back of the enclosure just above the LED. The BDM4037UW has a fairly narrow matte silver bezel (19mm wide along the bottom and 12.5mm along the other three edges) that extends right up to the active screen area.

Mounting

A simple two-piece pedestal, with only a tilt adjustment, is provided with this monitor. Assembly is tool free. A dog-leg post hinges from the back of the display enclosure, to which a crescent foot is attached by a screw fitted with a folding thumb tab. Both parts of the pedestal are of aluminium alloy finished in a matte silver surface treatment. Four threaded holes in the back of the enclosure are provided for VESA mounting.

Connections

All the sockets for the BDM4037UW are mounted flat on the back of the casing, grouped around the holes for the four point VESA mount, so all connectors and cables extend at right angles to the back. Viewed from the back, from left to right, the signal connections are: two MHL-HDMI (one 1.4 and one 2.0), two DisplayPort connectors (1.1 and 1.2), one VGA port and two 3.5mm stereo jacks, one for audio in and one for headphones out.

The HDMI and DisplayPort inputs all support up to 3,840-by-2,160 resolution, the HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 inputs at 60Hz refresh and the HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.1 connections at 30Hz. The VGA input and the MHL connections support up to 1080p at 60Hz.

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A four- port USB 3.0 hub is arranged vertically, next to the audio connectors. A stereo pair of built-in loudspeakers output audio from a built-in 5 by 5 Watt amplifier, through downward firing grilles along the bottom edge of the display.

Mains power connection is via an IEC320 C5 'clover leaf' cable. There is no dedicated power switch, either touch or mechanical, although holding down the rear-mounted menu navigation joystick for longer than three seconds will turn the BDM4037UW off. A brief click on the joystick will turn it back on. Power status is indicated by a small white LED located at the bottom right of the bezel.

philips-brilliance-40-curved-back.jpg

The connectors and the VESA mount are on the back of the BDM4037UW.

Image: Philips

User controls

As is all too often the case with today's digitally controlled devices, the on-screen menus are extensive, with 90 choices distributed over three levels. Navigation is via a small 4-way joystick mounted on the back of the display, behind the bottom right corner. Bending the joystick up opens the display mode menu for PiP and so on; bending to the left opens the SmartImage menu, to the right opens the main menu, while the downward bend can be user-assigned as a menu favourite. Once any on-screen menu is opened, up and down clicks move through the possible selections on that menu level. A right click moves deeper into the menu levels, while a left click backs out. Variable settings are adjusted using up and down clicks for increase and decrease. This one-finger/one-control approach is certainly an improvement on five separate rear-mounted buttons.

The BDM4037UW does not have a so-called 'Blue filter' or LowBlue mode. If required, users can simply set a colour balance with reduced blue gain.

SmartImage: uniformity, brightness and power consumption

Like a number of recent displays from Philips the BDM4037UW incorporates Philips SmartImage. This is an active technology that Philips claims analyses the content displayed on your screen and dynamically enhances the contrast, colour saturation and sharpness of images and videos for ultimate display performance. Many may feel that a 'smart' feature that still requires you to choose from six possible settings -- Office, Photo, Movie, Game, Economy and SmartUniformity -- isn't actually that smart.

Photographers, videographers and designers who calibrate their displays and want stable colour might consider using the SmartUniformity setting, which is intended to reduce brightness variations across the display area. Philips provides a factory calibration sheet for this mode with each display and states that it improves brightness uniformity to better than 95 percent.

The Economy mode adjusts brightness, contrast and backlighting for general office use at the lowest possible power consumption. The brightness setting of the backlight has the greatest effect on power consumption. With an 'A' energy rating this display is specified to consume 61.77 Watts (typical at 230V supply). Set to a comfortable brightness of 240cd/m2 (maximum specified brightness is 300cd/m2) our measured power consumption was 43W, at 243V supply. Switching to SmartImage Economy mode reduced consumption to 25W, but with a noticeable reduction in brightness.

Included accessories

Four signal cables are included: a DisplayPort cable, an HDMI cable, a VGA cable and a 3.5mm stereo jack audio cable. A 3-pin UK mains cable is also included. Basic setup instructions are provided on three paper sheets and the multi-language user guide is on a CD.

Manuals and drivers

A User Manual, Quick Start Guide, Leaflet, Important Information Guide (as PDFs) and Windows drivers are all available for download from the Philips product support web page.

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Measured gamut (absolute colorimetric) of the BDM4037UW quite comfortably exceeds sRGB (dotted line).

Image: Terry Relph-Knight/ZDNet

Conclusions

Like all vendors of curved displays, Philips claims "a more immersive experience" for the BDM4037UW, but the claims made so far for curved displays are unconvincing. As we discussed in our recent article 'Curved ultrawide displays coming to a desktop near you', it's hard to say whether a display of this size really makes sense on the desktop because, at typical office desktop viewing distances, it more than fills the 60 degrees of the central visual field. Image quality and colour gamut from the VA panel are good, but not as good as many IPS displays.

Curve aside, this large ultra-wide display with its MultiView feature is perhaps best suited as an alternative to a multi-screen setup. It might also find a place in boardrooms, where it could serve as a display for video presentations or video conferencing. The white and silver styling of the BDM4037UW is a good match for Apple products.

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Specifications

General
Dimensions (WxDxH) 35.8 in x 9.7 in x 25.3 in - with stand
Display Type LED-backlit LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
Aspect Ratio Widescreen - 16:9
Native Resolution 4K 3840 x 2160 (DisplayPort: 60 Hz, HDMI: 60 Hz)
Contrast Ratio 4000:1 / 20000000:1 (dynamic)
Color Support 1.07 billion colors
Horizontal Viewing Angle 178
OSD Languages Hungarian, Czech, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), Ukrainian, Brazilian Portuguese, English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Korean
Vertical Viewing Angle 178
Pixel Pitch 0.23 mm
Panel Type VA
Brightness 300 cd/m²
Horizontal Refresh Rate 30 - 160 kHz
Backlight Technology WLED
Vertical Refresh Rate 23 - 80 Hz
Power Device
Nominal Voltage AC 120/230 V
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption Stand by 0.5 Watt
Connectivity
Interfaces VGA
2 x MHL / HDMI
2 x DisplayPort
4 x USB 3.0
Audio line-in
Headphones
Audio
Type Speakers - stereo
Output Power / Channel 5 Watt
Chassis
Built-in Devices USB 3.0 hub
Miscellaneous
OSD Languages Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified), Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Chinese (traditional), Ukrainian, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek
Color glossy silver, glossy white back cover
MTBF 70000 hour(s)
Flat Panel Mount Interface 100 x 100 mm
Display
Image Brightness 300
Image Contrast Ratio 4000:1
Type LED-backlit LCD monitor
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Certified Yes
Software / System Requirements
Included Software Philips SmartControl
System Requirements
OS Required Apple MacOS X, Microsoft Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
Mechanical
Flat Panel Mount Interface 100 x 100 mm
Display Position Adjustments Tilt
Tilt Angle -5/+10
Audio Output
Output Power / Channel 5 Watt
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
Humidity Range Operating 20 - 80%
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions & Weight Details With stand - width: 35.8 in - depth: 9.7 in - height: 25.3 in - weight: 25.6 lbs
Without stand - width: 35.8 in - depth: 2.8 in - height: 20.9 in - weight: 24.9 lbs
Width 35.8 in
Depth 9.7 in
Height 25.3 in
Weight 25.57 lbs
Header
Brand Philips
Product Line Philips Brilliance
Model BDM4037UW
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Software
Type Philips SmartControl
Dimensions & Weight Details
Width 35.8 in
Depth 2.8 in, 9.7 in
Height 20.9 in, 25.3 in
Weight 24.9 lbs, 25.6 lbs
TV Tuner
TV Tuner Presence No
Interfaces
Type DisplayPort, MHL / HDMI, USB 3.0, VGA, audio line-in, headphones

Topics: Hardware, Reviews, Productivity

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Philips Brilliance BDM4037UW

Part Number: BDM4037UW

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